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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.

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Ian
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
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
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.

Written By

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.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  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!

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