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.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE July 2018 61 online access to the transaction, providing yet another level of support for our agent support operations." There's also a promotional part of BackAgent that Plaster feels a lot of people don't understand or know about. "Let's say it's Friday afternoon and an agent has a new listing or open house and needs some marketing ma- terials for the weekend. The agent can simply go in and create a fact sheet, property brochure or other promotional item in just 30 seconds," says Plaster. "The agent can create a PDF and print the piece on the spot or send it out for professional printing if they have more time." Plaster also found BackAgent's support to be incred- ible, explaining that there were certain challenges in the marketplace due to its three jurisdictions (D.C., Virginia and Maryland), which made it necessary to be able to manipulate the platform accordingly. "The BackAgent staff worked with us to make this happen," says Plaster. "They've jumped right on anything and everything we've ever contacted them for." For more information, please visit www.backagent.com. Providing Value and Overcoming Market Challenges NAR'S GRADUATE, REALTOR® INSTITUTE DESIGNATION (GRI) SETS THE BAR HIGHER IN A COMPETITIVE MARKET by Liz Dominguez V alue. That's what today's consumer is all about. What are they getting out of their REALTOR® relationship that they just aren't getting with other agents? While tech and other innovations are highly regarded as bonus ameni- ties, nothing beats the experience and knowledge provided by continuing education—an invaluable add-on that consum- ers will be hard-pressed to compare to other, less applicable measures when in the trenches of a transaction. The biggest proponent of continuing education, spe- cifically the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) des- ignation? None other than the National Association of REALTOR®' s (NAR) own Member Services Committee Li- aison, and GRI-designee himself, Pat "Ziggy" Zicarelli. A broker with over 40 years of experience in the industry and a past president of the San Fernando Valley Associa- tion of REALTORS® in California, Zicarelli is most proud of being elected 2016 President of the California Associa- tion of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). He was also named 2016 REALTOR® of the Year for California by NAR. As a conduit between the NAR committees and leader- ship team, Zicarelli upholds the REALTOR® image and shares the importance of knowledge with fellow NAR members. One of the biggest benefits? Prepared- ness for any obstacle within the market and the expertise to get consumers to the closing table re- gardless of what challenges arise. "The GRI program provides REALTORS® with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to navigate any mar- ket condition," says Zicarelli. "Learning to analyze and understand how a particular change in the market af- fects buyers and sellers, and the process of the trans- action, is one of the competencies studied in the GRI curriculum." In addition, the GRI designation elevates the status of industry professionals, giving designees the edge they need to stand apart from the competition. "REALTORS® who achieve the GRI have made a strong commitment to provide a higher level of professional ser- vices. The education you receive in the GRI program is considered, by many, as the most comprehensive train- ing program available to REALTORS®, " says Zicarelli. Zicarelli adds that being a designee coincides with be- ing a part of some of the top REALTORS® from around the country, signaling to consumers that they're in the hands of a highly qualified professional with an extensive education. "[REALTORS®] gain a solid foundation, as well as in- depth education in legal and regulatory issues, technol- ogy, professional standards and the sales process. The GRI program is designed to enhance REALTORS®' knowl- edge of real estate marketing and hone skills that will set you apart from the competition." And in the face of disruptive business models that rely on technology, such as all-in-one transaction services or AI that looks to take over customer-facing interactions, the GRI designation stands on its own, attracting today's clients who still prioritize customer service and a smooth transaction over agents who rely on third-party tools ver- sus first-hand experience. "Our clients are more sophisticated than ever, requir- ing us to perform at the highest level to earn and keep their business," says Zicarelli. "By earning the GRI, you're armed with real-world knowledge about new tech- nologies, laws and marketing techniques that positively affect our ability to best service our clients." RE For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor/GRI.

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