The following Ask the Experts Q & A features advice from Doug Breaker, the president and CEO of Homefinder.com.
Q: How can agents stay one step ahead in a rapidly evolving industry?
A: With low inventory and low interest rates, the market is heating up, and heating up fast. For agents and brokers, the last few years have meant patience as homes sat for months or even years; now, real estate professionals must learn to turn on a dime, as houses sell in days or even hours. Our 2013 HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Sweepstakes will focus on that change and help the five winners and thousands of participants understand the changing landscape and adapt to the new normal. Below are a few thoughts on how you can be well positioned to take advantage of the changing landscape:
1. Be the agent you want to work with: As a real estate agent, would you hire yourself? Do you feel like you offer clients experience, knowledge and expertise? Are you establishing a personal rapport and nurturing client relationships before, during and after the sale? If the answer is no, identify your weakest areas and find resources to help you grow as an industry professional.
2. Power of planning: Do you want to improve your marketing strategy, stay in touch with past clients, or increase your commission? Write down how you plan to achieve these goals. If you fall into a rut and think you haven’t made any progress, revisit your plan; you’ll be astonished at how far you’ve come!
3. Let go of what’s not revenue generating: Hire a full-time, part-time, or even virtual assistant to relieve your task-oriented workload. When you hold on too tightly to parts of your business that someone else can manage, you lose the ability to maximize money- making opportunities.
4. Technology is a necessity, not a convenience: Streamline your workload with apps such as:
Checklist Wrangler: Manages multiple checklists and auto-creates lists; creates templates for tasks you need to do more than once; creates checklists from text copied from emails, websites, etc.
Brewster: Pulls contact information stored across your email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn databases to create visual, in-depth profiles. Sends updates regarding moves or new jobs, sends reminders when you’re falling out of touch with someone, and has a highlyintuitive search function.
ÜberConference: Minimize your role as the go-between by quicklyscheduling a conference call while on the go. Choose contacts from your address book and UberConference will automatically call, email or text contacts to join, no PIN required.
5. Bring online connections to life: Use social media to connect with clients on a personal level. People like doing business with “real people,” so being genuine on social media enables your clients to see your interests outside of work, helping them see a different side of you.