RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JUL 2019

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.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/1132072

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Page 34 of 126

30 July 2019 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE munity," Peltier explains. "Today, the customer is still looking for a relationship with someone who is honest, reputable and has the tools and services to help them navigate a complicated transaction." "What we love about HomeSer- vices as a company is that they place a high value on technology, but technology that allows us to in- terface better with our clients," says Budnick. "We use a phrase that's become a little bit of a mantra for us: People first, enabled by process, powered by technology," says Strandmo. "That set of priorities reinforces the rela- tionship aspect of who we are." For that reason, HomeServices of America Chief Technology Officer Patty Smejkal directs the company's technology effort toward meeting the needs of agents and consumers. "We're focusing on the things they need to get their jobs done. We have subject-matter experts who focus on the features and functionality of the technology and help implement it at the local level. We do everything we can from a corporate perspective to make sure technology is being imple - mented correctly." In today's environment, however, offering the latest technology solu- tions is no longer enough. HomeSer- vices is also dedicated to the integ- rity and security of the transaction, instituting systems and protocols to enforce cybersecurity at every level. "We've implemented cybersecu - rity best practices and tools at each company to protect consumer, agent and employee data," says Smejkal. "We've also established best-in- class information-security protocols, so we can monitor, manage and re- spond if there is a problem." "We've also instituted training for our 7,000 employees," adds Strand- mo. "And we've expanded that out— we have wire fraud disclosures that we provide to all consumers and partners on every transaction." Innovating for the Next 20 Years... and Beyond Through a commitment to innova- tion and technology that facilitates agent productivity by streamlining the transaction and enhancing the agent/client relationship, HomeSer- vices is charting the course for its next 20 years. But like everything HomeServices sets out to do, inno- vation for the future must always put people first. As Smejkal says, "We are nothing without our relationships. So, before we implement the latest technology, we always ask, 'How does it affect the relationship?' It has to have val - ue to the end user, whether that be the consumer or the agent." That said, staying committed to continuous innovation remains a pri - ority for HomeServices of America, as it taps into its network of local leaders and national resources to keep the company a visionary indus- try leader. "Our greatest opportunity is to change the perception of our indus- try to the benefit of our agents, bro- kerages and consumers," says Ble- fari. "The collective strength of our real estate network is such that we have the critical mass to assimilate technology on our terms. "This is why I believe we must remain a leader in technology. We must help all of our companies to evolve in a fashion that will make it clear to consumers and clients that our companies are not only the most transactionally proficient, but also the most relationally ready and relevant." "Success by any measure starts with our commitment," says Peltier. "Everything we're doing today, I want to believe we're doing it better than a year ago," he explains. "And I ex - pect a year from today, we'll be doing most everything better than we are now. It's about not being satisfied with where we are in this journey. Along that journey, there are many things that happen—new innova- tions, new development, new tech- nology, new ways of doing business. I'm confident that we will continue to find the best way of deploying our services to agents by not trying to redo the past, but by continuing to take on innovation." RE For more information, please visit www.homeservices.com. "Before we implement the latest technology, we always ask, 'How does it affect the relationship?'" - PATTY SMEJKAL Chief Technology Officer, HomeServices of America

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