Connect with us

Housing News

Real Estate Agent 2.0



agent 2.0

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,, 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.

Brandie is an unapologetically candid marketing professional who was recently mentioned on BusinessWeek as a Top Young Female Entrepreneur. She recently co-founded consulting firm MarketingTBD. She's held senior level positions with GE and Fidelity, as well as with entrepreneurial start-ups. Raised by a real estate Broker, Brandie is passionate about real estate and is an avid investor. Follow her on Twitter.

Continue Reading


  1. Paula Henry

    August 14, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Brandie – This is so timely! The effects of being and doing all things solo as technology advances = burn-out.

    I recently added to my team and each person is responsible for the tasks I don’t like and/or do not = my highest and best use. (a little real estate lingo).

    I have a administrative assistant who does everything, sets appointments, answers calls, maintains files and keeps me organized. I share her expense with another agent.

    A marketing assistant who uploads my listings to all online sources and writes copy. Marketing was her degree. She is now a stay at home mom and loves being able to do things part time, from home.

    A Realtor assistant who shares in the management of short sales.

    I just hired an SEO and social media expert who will keep my blog optimized.

    I need one more of me to write posts and socialize, so I can do what I do best – list and sell homes.

  2. Gwen Banta

    August 15, 2009 at 1:32 am

    “…outsource everything that isn’t interaction with a client.” This is great advice, Brandie, and something I aspire to. It seems Paula has captured this method thoroughly, while I flounder in the realm of “Do-it-all-or-die.” And I’ll probably die from trying to do it all. We often waste our best resources in at an attempt at efficency that results in non-engagement. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

  3. Susie Blackmon

    August 15, 2009 at 6:31 am

    Excellent information for which I thank you very much.

  4. Brandie Young

    August 15, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Paula – glad you got something from this! The session was incredible – and it sounds like you would have been a great addition as well. It sounds like you’ve really got a handle on things. (I want to be like you!!)

    Gwen – you and I are alike in that way – trying to do it all. I think it’s a control thing. But, if we could change our mindset to be more like Paula, we’d probably be more in control. (we can kick each other in the pants!)

    Susie – glad this was helpful. These are great folks we can look to for best practices.

  5. Lisa Heindel

    August 16, 2009 at 9:28 am

    It’s the letting go that is the biggest issue for most of us – we are completely convinced that no one else can get across the “feel” of a listing so we write all of the copy for the umpteen sites that we are posting them to…we don’t trust that an assistant won’t let a drop dead date in a contract drop slip through the cracks…we have that “no one can do it better, so I’ll just do it myself” mentality that is a bear to overcome. My team more than likely will need an AA or marketing person by next year and it gives me hives to even think about relinquishing control.

  6. Wendy Forsythe

    August 16, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Brandie

    Thanks for the shout out! I have to admit my job as moderator was made easy with such a great panel. I’m glad you enjoyed the session and thanks for blogging about it.

  7. Amanda McMillan

    August 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Brandie – Thanks for the great write up. So glad that people were able to take that much away from the session. Really makes it worthwhile.

    And Wendy – give yourself some credit. You were fantastic!

  8. mplsrealtor

    August 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I always have trouble making sure most of my time is spent with clients. So many times I find myself working in ways that may not be as effective as they can be. Although, my style is high touch and my clients love when I’ve found good info for them I may otherwise not have found (if just spending time with them).

    Great article

  9. Ken Brand

    August 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    That was a interesting session, thanks for sharing your notes. Cheers Brandie

  10. renee kische

    August 18, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Great article, thanks for taking the time to keep us posted!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

Continue Reading

Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

Continue Reading

Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!