RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

AUG 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE August 2018 91 MP: It sounds like you really take a consultative approach with every client… VB: One of the most important things we do is educate the consumer. It's so easy to get frustrated in this mar- ket. Educating them on what they can afford and showing them the data so that they don't end up bid- ding against themselves is critical. We also educate them on financ- ing. We can't make the low-inventory piece go away; what we can do is help them get started within this ecosystem and not put their home- buying plans on hold for the next six years. We let people know, "Here are the tools you have; don't go to this neighborhood—we know you love it, but this is what you can spend, so let us introduce you to this alternative where your buying power might be stronger." From the seller's perspec- tive, we advise them on many things, such as how much they should put into the house to get the right return. MP: Tell us about the typical process of working with a seller. VB: When we first meet with some- one, we really hone in on the hyperlo- cal statistics. Agents are well versed on market data and have access to yearly, quarterly and monthly sta- tistics on every neighborhood that affects us. We take it down to the microscopic level and break it down by house type, by certain features that have high demand, and analyze the impact of that for sellers. That's what we do on the front end prior to marketing. Then it's about position- ing the property for maximum return. You have to market in the portals and in the local community by word of mouth. Should there be video? A floor plan? How involved does the seller want to get in prep, interior de- sign and landscaping? A lot of buyers don't have time to do a renovation or put in a garden, so we often pro- vide referrals for that. Then we focus on the best ways to market, set bid dates and create demand on those dates. All of this is done weeks, if not months, in advance by the agent. This is all very thoughtfully prepared in advance in a very methodical way. MP: Your market is very competitive. How are you seing the company apart? VB: We just rebranded the company. We looked at how our colors and logo play in the digital world across social media and all the digital por- tals, as well as print. We needed to make sure we wouldn't get lost in the volume—that we would stand out online, in a magazine or when you're simply driving by. We needed to make sure people would pay at- tention. We wanted to get both higher marketshare and consumer mindshare. MP: How do you stay innovative in terms of marketing? VB: I'm always very cautious about saying what the next big thing is, such as video, which can work against a property if it's used incor- rectly. It's our job to make the prop- erty look as best as possible, then price it competitively to the right demographic. On Facebook, you can do a lot of targeted marketing. We also hired a PR company out of LA, Lion & Orb. Anytime we get a listing, we snap photos and get the story to our PR team who then crafts a great narrative and pitches it out to publications such as Dwell, the Wall Street Journal, Curbed, etc. That's a huge piece of our marketing with massive reach for the property and a huge benefit to our sellers. MP: What's on deck for the future of the firm? VB: The firm's focus will be on using our rebranding to have a more pow- erful national and local reach. We're looking at growing our marketing team and adding services that will benefit clients. Right now, we're all about how we serve our clients, not just in one transaction, but during the course of the homeownership ex- perience. It's all about learning how to stay relevant to your customer and giving them what they need as a busy homeowner. We want to take care of them on an abundant level, not only as a buyer and seller, but as a homeowner, too. RE For more information, please visit www.redoakrealty.com. The company rebrand includes new colors and patterns developed by 1000 Watt Consulting.

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