RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

OCT 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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16 October 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE {The NAR Power Broker Roundtable} Christina Pappas: We are living in the age of the shiny, new penny. Daily, brokers and agents hear from peers that "this new software will boost produc- tion," that a game-changing app is "at your fingertips," that "yet another discount broker is setting up shop in your area." We're checking in today with three industry veterans to hear how they deal with the hype and the growing wave of business disruptors. Dan, what's your take on all this? Dan Forsman: I think so many people get distracted by all the noise that they fail to keep their eye on the prize—and by that, I mean the lead indicators that keep our business running. Sure, we need to be tech- enabled, but we also need to focus in on what is driving our success—how many calls are the agents making, how many appointments are being set? We need to concentrate on cre- ating a culture that focuses on what we know drives business. Drayton Saunders: Real estate will always be people-centric. Buyers and sellers need dedicated, experienced agents who understand the emotion involved, as well as the nuts and bolts of buying and selling a home. I don't think either new technology or any competing business model can replace that kind of agent. At the same time, call it a disruptor or call it innovation, I do try to look at and evaluate what's trending or new in technology. How will it impact our business in the short term? More importantly, in the long term, will it add value to the agent or consumer, because that's the only measure that counts. Joe Clement: We have a business plan. We have a vision. We have a mission statement up on the wall. We try to stick to that and not get crazy about any of these so-called disruptors because, as Dan said, we know what drives our business. We may tweak things a notch now and then, and we do listen, but we also know that 70 percent of our business is repeat and referral. Our agents are dealing most of the time with the people who already love them. There isn't a cut-rate competi- tor anywhere that can shake that kind of loyalty. Bill Plaos: The thing about discounting is, where does it end? There's always somebody who'll go lower. What we offer is full service and the strength of our carefully built brand. We depend on our man- agers to build agents at every level so that they, too, are the best in the business, and I think our customers know that. CP: What I'm hearing from you is, trust your instinct, and I'd have to agree with that. Build the right strategy for connect- ing, reaching, and serving customers with distinction, and those shiny pennies, in many instances, become less of a concern or distraction. DF: You know the elephant in the room here is the risk of another recession, because we all know it's bound to happen sometime. But if you stay focused, stick to your plan, and don't go chasing every new trend, you won't have to run for cover. BP: We know from experience that it's when things get tough that we excel. JC: Low inventory is still a challenge, but we've doubled our listings since the first quarter of the year, largely be- cause we can count on our base—all those referrals and the repeat busi- ness we've cultivated over the years. DS: I think what we're saying here is, leverage what's new, but keep your eye on what you do best. What counts most is building a company that excels on its proven merit. RE 8For an expanded version of this article and other NAR Power Broker Roundtable topics, please visit www.rismedia.com. Growing Your Business in the Face of 'Disruptors' "We may tweak things a notch now and then, and we do listen, but we also know that 70 percent of our business is repeat and referral. Our agents are dealing most of the time with the people who already love them. There isn't a cut-rate competitor anywhere that can shake that kind of loyalty." – Joe Clement Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Properties, Inc. MODERATOR: Christina Pappas District Sales Manager, The Keyes Company, Miami, Fla.; Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations, NAR PARTICIPANTS: Dan Forsman President & CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties, Atlanta, Ga. Drayton Saunders President, Michael Saunders & Co., Sarasota, Fla. Joe Clement Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Properties, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo. Bill Plaos Executive Vice President, First Team Real Estate, Irvine, Calif. The Power Broker Roundtable is brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS® and Christina Pappas, NAR's Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations. Watch for this column each month, where we address broker issues, concerns and milestones.

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