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Playing by the Rules: Maintaining Prominence as New Players Enter the Field

RISre - Sun, 02/14/2021 - 11:08

In this month’s National Association of REALTORS® Power Broker Roundtable, industry leaders discuss how new business models are shifting the real estate landscape.

Moderator:
Cindy Ariosa, Senior Vice President, Regional Manager, Long & Foster Real Estate, Chantilly, Virginia; Liaison for Large Firms and Industry Relations, National Association of REALTORS®

Panelists:
J. Lennox Scott, Chairman and CEO, John L. Scott Real Estate, Seattle, Washington
Rei Mesa, President/CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, Sunrise, Florida
Shad Bogany, Broker, Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Gary Greene, Houston, Texas
Greg Zadel, Founder/Managing Broker, Zadel Realty, Firestone, Colorado

Cindy Ariosa: Real estate is an industry that lends itself to change. We have only to look at the year just past, and the adjustments we’ve made to safely manage business in the midst of a global pandemic, to see the truth of that. At the same time, we have a long history of orderly, ethical behavior—a Code of Ethics set down by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) more than 100 years ago and emulated by Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) nationwide, that sets the standards of conduct and rules of cooperation by which REALTORS® everywhere must operate. But the past decade has ushered a wave of new entries into the field—discount agencies, third-party portals, new business models using artificial intelligence to shortcut traditional home-buying. How closely will these new players adhere to these ethical standards—and how do we maintain our prominence in competition with those who may or may not?

J. Lennox Scott: We all have the same tools available to us—the same technologies, the same database management tools, the same approaches to business. The difference is that traditional real estate is focused on relationships. While new players have flipped the 80/20 rule on its head, spending most of their time on implementing new technologies, we stay engaged with our customers—and in this business, in my experience, relationship trumps all.

Rei Mesa: In Florida, we’ve seen every new business model there is, but however you feel about these new players, it’s important to know your competitors—to understand their culture, the way they operate, and then just do it better. You can’t be everything to everyone, but our Code of Ethics has tremendous value. It’s what protects our customers and leveraging that—adhering to and consistently promoting our value to consumers—is the reason they trust us and will continue to trust us while lesser service models fizzle.

Shad Bogany: Some of these new models can actually make us better because we can embrace new technologies and the ingenuity of new players to raise our own game. I was using videos and VHS tapes back in the ’80s to sell properties to customers out of state. We’ve always used technology as part of our business plan, and we have no fear of learning new methods. But I agree that real estate will always be a personal business and, taking care of our customers—being advocates for consumers—is, and always will be, No.1.

Greg Zadel: The truth is, there have been new players for decades—and there is always a segment of buyers and sellers looking to do business based on price alone. The job of a full-service real estate agent—a dedicated and experienced professional—is to help customers find out what they don’t know…and typically, there is a lot they don’t know, and that technology will never give them. That’s why educating the public is vital: Is your agent a REALTOR®?

CA: Yes, what you’re asking there is, “Is your agent playing by the rules—behaving fairly, ethically and on your behalf? Especially when it comes to fairness, including MLS rules, and licensing rules and fair housing practices.”

SB: That’s right. We don’t need new rules when it comes to fairness. They are written into the framework of our Code of Ethics. We need enforcement to be sure that consumers stay protected—and continuing marketing and education so that they understand the value we bring to every transaction.

LS: That, plus our focus on building relationships. That’s how you compete, how you retain prominence—with the day in, day out customer service, the clear advantage of staying engaged, the advantage of our relationship database.

RM: Everything about real estate is cyclical. Right now, it’s a good time to sell. When that turns around, as it inevitably will, the advantage of promotion, of effective marketing, will once again become crucial. As traditional real estate agent, we will be around, and prominent, long after some of the iBuyer and other business models are scrambling to retain their relevance.

GZ: Traditional agents will do the right thing in any case, advocating on behalf of the consumer, building and nurturing relationships. In the long run, tradition wins out, first because of our commitment to ethical behavior, and second, because no computer can ever compete when it comes to customer hand-holding.

CA: Good points, and there’s nothing onerous about a little friendly competition. Will these cool new kids on the block be good soldiers? Will they play by the rules we know and love? We hope so, because we see the value of an orderly, ethical marketplace, and NAR will continue the campaign to remind consumers of that value. We are resilient, respectful and, most important, we will do the right thing. We are well up to the challenge of maintaining the trust we have earned over the decades.

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

The post Playing by the Rules: Maintaining Prominence as New Players Enter the Field appeared first on RISMedia.

Playing by the Rules: Maintaining Prominence as New Players Enter the Field

RIS - Sun, 02/14/2021 - 11:08

In this month’s National Association of REALTORS® Power Broker Roundtable, industry leaders discuss how new business models are shifting the real estate landscape.

Moderator:
Cindy Ariosa, Senior Vice President, Regional Manager, Long & Foster Real Estate, Chantilly, Virginia; Liaison for Large Firms and Industry Relations, National Association of REALTORS®

Panelists:
J. Lennox Scott, Chairman and CEO, John L. Scott Real Estate, Seattle, Washington
Rei Mesa, President/CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, Sunrise, Florida
Shad Bogany, Broker, Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Gary Greene, Houston, Texas
Greg Zadel, Founder/Managing Broker, Zadel Realty, Firestone, Colorado

Cindy Ariosa: Real estate is an industry that lends itself to change. We have only to look at the year just past, and the adjustments we’ve made to safely manage business in the midst of a global pandemic, to see the truth of that. At the same time, we have a long history of orderly, ethical behavior—a Code of Ethics set down by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) more than 100 years ago and emulated by Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) nationwide, that sets the standards of conduct and rules of cooperation by which REALTORS® everywhere must operate. But the past decade has ushered a wave of new entries into the field—discount agencies, third-party portals, new business models using artificial intelligence to shortcut traditional home-buying. How closely will these new players adhere to these ethical standards—and how do we maintain our prominence in competition with those who may or may not?

J. Lennox Scott: We all have the same tools available to us—the same technologies, the same database management tools, the same approaches to business. The difference is that traditional real estate is focused on relationships. While new players have flipped the 80/20 rule on its head, spending most of their time on implementing new technologies, we stay engaged with our customers—and in this business, in my experience, relationship trumps all.

Rei Mesa: In Florida, we’ve seen every new business model there is, but however you feel about these new players, it’s important to know your competitors—to understand their culture, the way they operate, and then just do it better. You can’t be everything to everyone, but our Code of Ethics has tremendous value. It’s what protects our customers and leveraging that—adhering to and consistently promoting our value to consumers—is the reason they trust us and will continue to trust us while lesser service models fizzle.

Shad Bogany: Some of these new models can actually make us better because we can embrace new technologies and the ingenuity of new players to raise our own game. I was using videos and VHS tapes back in the ’80s to sell properties to customers out of state. We’ve always used technology as part of our business plan, and we have no fear of learning new methods. But I agree that real estate will always be a personal business and, taking care of our customers—being advocates for consumers—is, and always will be, No.1.

Greg Zadel: The truth is, there have been new players for decades—and there is always a segment of buyers and sellers looking to do business based on price alone. The job of a full-service real estate agent—a dedicated and experienced professional—is to help customers find out what they don’t know…and typically, there is a lot they don’t know, and that technology will never give them. That’s why educating the public is vital: Is your agent a REALTOR®?

CA: Yes, what you’re asking there is, “Is your agent playing by the rules—behaving fairly, ethically and on your behalf? Especially when it comes to fairness, including MLS rules, and licensing rules and fair housing practices.”

SB: That’s right. We don’t need new rules when it comes to fairness. They are written into the framework of our Code of Ethics. We need enforcement to be sure that consumers stay protected—and continuing marketing and education so that they understand the value we bring to every transaction.

LS: That, plus our focus on building relationships. That’s how you compete, how you retain prominence—with the day in, day out customer service, the clear advantage of staying engaged, the advantage of our relationship database.

RM: Everything about real estate is cyclical. Right now, it’s a good time to sell. When that turns around, as it inevitably will, the advantage of promotion, of effective marketing, will once again become crucial. As traditional real estate agent, we will be around, and prominent, long after some of the iBuyer and other business models are scrambling to retain their relevance.

GZ: Traditional agents will do the right thing in any case, advocating on behalf of the consumer, building and nurturing relationships. In the long run, tradition wins out, first because of our commitment to ethical behavior, and second, because no computer can ever compete when it comes to customer hand-holding.

CA: Good points, and there’s nothing onerous about a little friendly competition. Will these cool new kids on the block be good soldiers? Will they play by the rules we know and love? We hope so, because we see the value of an orderly, ethical marketplace, and NAR will continue the campaign to remind consumers of that value. We are resilient, respectful and, most important, we will do the right thing. We are well up to the challenge of maintaining the trust we have earned over the decades.

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

The post Playing by the Rules: Maintaining Prominence as New Players Enter the Field appeared first on RISMedia.

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Real Estate Testimonials

RIStoday - Sun, 02/14/2021 - 11:07

Whether you’re keeping your real estate testimonials on LinkedIn or your personal website, or are more old-school and have them filed away in letters, cards and emails for a rainy day, these best practices will help you maximize and leverage their potential. Here’s how:

1. Make testimonials part of your email marketing strategy. When you send out email blasts about upcoming or current listings, make sure to include real estate testimonials in your emails. You can do this by regularly highlighting one or more of your former clients in a “Customer Spotlight” section.

For example, set up a biweekly or monthly email campaign that has a quote from a past client, their photo and a brief explanation of how you helped them. If you want to get fancy, target seller testimonials to the potential sellers in your database and buyer testimonials to the potential buyers in your database. This segmentation will ensure you’re not bombarding your prospects with messages that don’t relate to them.

2. Dedicate a page on your website to real estate testimonials. Create an eye-catching and unique landing page that is solely used for exhibiting testimonials. This can be similar to the “Customer Spotlight” email campaign, using their testimonial, their photo and how you helped them.

Of course, if you want to step it up a notch, make this page searchable by the type of transaction so buyers can find buyer testimonials, sellers can find seller testimonials, and so on.

3. Promote real estate testimonials on social media. In addition to having a website page dedicated to testimonials, you should also actively share these kind words on your social media platforms. Use a marketing automation tool such as Hootsuite to schedule tweets, status updates and other posts that link to your testimonials page. When you share these types of posts on social media, clients may share them with their friends—thus extending your reach.

You can also leverage social media by asking your happy clients to post a positive review about the experience they had working with you on Facebook, Google+ and the many other sites that allow online reviews.

4. Add a mention to your email signature. Underneath your email signature, add a link to your website’s testimonial page. It could say something like “Learn what my clients think of me” or “Check out my latest reviews.” If you are like most people, you probably send out quite a few emails each week. That can mean a lot of eyeballs on your testimonials.

5. Don’t forget national search sites. Finally, don’t forget to add your real estate testimonials to your agent profile on national search sites such as Zillow and realtor.com®. There are thousands of potential buyers searching on these sites for homes and agents, and agent profiles are often ranked by their activity and reviews in search results.

Be sure you’re taking advantage of these channels. A robust profile could mean all the difference when a potential lead is thinking about contacting you.

Real Estate Express is the nation’s premier online real estate school, providing pre- and post-licensing courses, continuing education courses, and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country.
RealEstateExpress, along with its sister schools McKissock Learning, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career.

The post 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Real Estate Testimonials appeared first on RISMedia.

Building Your Brand in 2021

RIStoday - Sun, 02/14/2021 - 11:06

What is a brand? A brand is an emotional thing. It is a gut feeling someone has about a product or service. In real estate, it is the hunch someone has about you. You are a brand!

Individuals define a brand—not companies, markets, logos, color schemes or websites. Each person reacts to a particular brand based on understanding and trust in its value proposition.

Brand development is not about data and facts, but others’ opinions of you—buyers, sellers, fellow agents, friends and so forth. Therefore, you are the manager of your real estate brand.

Branding Has Shifted
In the past, branding focused on features and benefits. For example, we would write lengthy biographies about how our positive attributes, trustworthiness and community expertise as real estate professionals benefit the client.

Today, we need to differentiate our brand from the competition in a more tangible way. If we continue to do business the same way as every other agent, why would a potential client choose to work with us?

1. What should you call your brand?
In real estate, you want people to remember who you are, so building your brand around your name makes the most sense. Using your name is the quickest and most cost-effective way for you to establish mindshare with your audience. As you build your brand, the goal is to connect your name with real estate, so when your audience thinks about buying or selling a home, they think about you.

2. What role does your broker play?
According to local and state guidelines, agents must identify their marketing with the brokerage company that holds their license. Once you have met those guidelines, you may have specific identity standards or policies that your broker requires. Finding a broker that understands that your branding needs come first is essential. Today’s modern broker understands the agent’s brand is the star of the real estate story, and the brokerage brand is in a supporting role. Don’t sacrifice your brand for that of your broker’s.

3. What does your brand stand for?
Your brand should be a describable set of ideas about what it is and what makes it tick. A brand is not a static thing. A living brand breathes through every business interaction and decision you make, not just in your marketing materials.

For more insights on brand building check our Building Your Brand in 2021 resource.

Wendy Forsythe is the chief brand officer at Fathom Realty and has spent her career helping brokers and agents build their brands. Contact her at wendy@fathomrealty.com. To learn more about Fathom Realty visit FathomCareers.com.

The post Building Your Brand in 2021 appeared first on RISMedia.

How to make 2021 your best social media year ever

Inman News - Sun, 02/14/2021 - 02:28
Social media often becomes something that we bolt onto our business when we have time. Instead, let's be more intentional with our strategy. Here's where to start and how to keep it consistent all year long while growing your reach.

Fla. Teen Saves Drowning Newlywed

Happy News - Sat, 02/20/2016 - 20:40

Unexpected Thanks for Good Deeds

Happy News - Sat, 02/20/2016 - 20:40

West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes found in Lake County

Local Santa Rosa News - Sun, 07/07/2013 - 18:51
Sweltering temperatures may have slowed human activity lately but potentially deadly West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes have been more active than usual.

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