I attended a number of sessions at Inman last week, and one titled Agent 2.0 stood out as offering some interesting ideas for agents to manage their day-to-day business.
Agent 2.0 was a panel discussion moderated by Wendy Forsythe with Eric Stegemann, Strategic Development, Tribus Real Estate, Amanda McMillan, Real Estate Consultant, Prudential Preferred Properties and Ian Watt, Luxury Condo Realtor, Ian Watt personal Real Estate Corporation as the panelists. (Big shout out to Wendy Forsythe VP Broker Services & Product Development, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, who was a fantastic moderator. She kept the conversation on track, and asked relevant, interesting questions.)
Stay out of the weeds
Intentional or not, that struck me as the overarching theme of the session. Rather than solely focusing on 2.0 tools and explaining how to use them, they spoke of leveraging said tools to maximize business and “1.0” activities with clients – i.e. face time.
Realtor and Manager and Marketer … oh my
An agent’s role these days consists of these distinct silos, with a plethora of activities falling beneath each. Here are a few sound bites from Ian, Eric and Amanda on managing the deluge.
Lani has described Ian as the Gary V of Real Estate. If you get the chance to meet him, you will understand why. His enthusiasm is contagious.
“When considering your Manager duties, look at everything you do and outsource everything that isn’t interaction with a client.”
(Very Six Sigma of Ian … removing everything for which the client wouldn’t pay)
- Has a virtual office
- Utilizes Google Apps for calendars and other tools to collaborate with his team
- Each team member has specific, defined roles to manage process
- Prioritizes activities so 100% of his work time is spent with clients (so he can have a life)
- Leverages an off-shore assistant
- Is in the process of building an internal Wiki to house Employee Manual, Procedures, Listing Content, etc. for future reference
Eric is authentic and intelligent, owns one of the largest independent real estate brokerages in St. Louis in addition to a Tribus – which provides a full technology platform to brokerages.
“When considering technology it should boil down to two things: it should either make you money, or help make you more productive.”
- Stopped investing in every new technology that comes along
- Suggests Mobile Real Estate search is the next big thing
- Recommends marketing to clients based on what they are looking at online (very 3.0 /semantic web)
- Believes vendors should “walk the walk” and stand behind the
- Trials new technology (when possible)
Amanda, a self-described “statistics junkie” brings a great deal of compassion to her real estate practice. She’s setting a high bar, and is a genuinely wonderful person. Amanda will soon launch (September) a new website that will “recreate the Agent website as we know it” to provide highly relevant and important information and forge a relationship that extends beyond the transaction.
“Technology is an enabler to the real estate transaction – a part of the equation. You can’t build client love or loyalty in 140 characters.”
- LOVES Altos Research, and leverages the data to provide timely information during the buying cycle
- Will leverage the site to round out more of the buying and selling experience
- Wants to continue to engage the client after the home buying/selling process
- Site will incorporate Yelp, Outside.in, Education.com and Flickr APIs, among others
- Is concentrating on hyper-local stats & info
I did get quite a bit of information from this session, and give huge kudos to Ian, Eric and Amanda for so openly sharing their thoughts.