RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JUL 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.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/996974

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Page 20 of 126

16 July 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE {The NAR Power Broker Roundtable} Christina Pappas: Everything old is new again. These words were never truer than they are today, especially in the real estate industry, which has changed and re-invented itself over and over since the term 'REALTOR®' was first coined in 1916. So what exactly is traditional real estate? What do we mean by "the new normal"—and where is the industry heading? Sherry, you've been a real estate innovator through several cycles of change. What do you see as today's "new normal?" Sherry Chris: I've been around long enough to see how the industry has turned upside down with the advent of modern technology. In the early days of technology application, con- sumers would search our websites on their own and perhaps eventually call an agent. Today, we can give our agents the edge through the use of predictive modeling. We can use Smart Bots. We can match up artifi- cial intelligence (AI) with a treasure trove of deep, rich data to determine the habits and patterns of potential buyers and sellers so that the agent can be the first to reach out with exactly what that consumer is looking for. But the truth is that regardless of the impact technology is making, the agent was, is and should be the trusted advisor at the center of every transaction. Joan Docktor: I agree. Today's new normal combines the best of traditional real estate—that is, build- ing relationships and giving every consumer the best possible experi- ence—with everything that technol- ogy can offer to advance those goals. We're using AI to make our agent CRMs smarter—to give our agents more and better information, and to keep them front and center with con- sumers. We're also in the process of developing Chat Bots, or Smart Bots, to reside online and answer consum- er questions 24/7—and to connect online searchers with knowledgeable, live agents. Long Doan: Of course, technology has dramatically changed the way real es- tate is practiced today. But that's only one piece of the puzzle. In my new normal, keeping the agent front and center means more than providing tools. It means creating an environ- ment where the broker works for the agent and not the other way around. Our goal is to provide a business platform that includes technology, as well as marketing support and coach- ing to help every agent become the CEO of his or her own business. CP: There's another way the industry is changing, and it has to do with physical footprint, both in terms of space and layout. What may have begun as an economic need is giving us a new-normal benefit. In our offices, for example, cubicles are becoming a thing of the past in favor of open spaces—almost like a Starbucks atmosphere—that are flexible and that create a more congenial busi- ness setting. LD: I think that back when cellphones went viral, and everybody became mobile, many agents seemed to want to skip the office in favor of work- ing from home. But now, agents are coming back because they miss that interaction. Part of my approach is making the office environment so valuable, in terms of support, sharing and mentoring, that agents want to be there. JD: That's a good thing, because real estate is first and foremost a people business, both in terms of office culture and in building client relationships. But as more business is transacted online, the new normal also means that we need to be more focused than ever on security. As brokers, we need to have online security measures in place to help keep consumer information, as well as all of our data, as safe and secure as possible. SC: And yet, all of that's in the back- ground, as far as consumers are con- cerned—security, data mining, even Smart Bots. All most consumers want to know—even millennials—is that their agent is there for them, face-to-face, throughout every phase of their transaction. In that way, tra- ditional real estate hasn't changed... and I doubt that it ever will. RE 8For an expanded version of this article and other NAR Power Broker Roundtable topics, please visit www.rismedia.com. Traditional Real Estate and the 'New Normal' MODERATOR: Christina Pappas District Sales Manager, The Keyes Company, Miami, Fla.; Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations, NAR PARTICIPANTS: Sherry Chris CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Madison, N.J. Joan Docktor President, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®, Devon, Pa. Long Doan Broker & CEO, Realty Group Inc., Coon Rapids, Minn. 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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