“The future is now!” is a fairly common phrase these days, as new and ever more astounding technology becomes a part of our everyday lives. Our phones get smarter, our computers get tinier and pictures of the surface of Mars show up in our Twitter feeds. In the real estate industry, we couldn’t agree more. The future is now, and with it comes the arrival of a new kind of Realtor, prepared to do a new kind of business.
A New Kind of Business
An agent today is still bound by the age-old adage “Location, location, location,” but now that location has broadened to be “everywhere, always!” A social media presence is now, and will continue to become, a crucial tool in an agent’s arsenal of marketing techniques. Mobility and creativity are quickly becoming the most important tools in an agent’s toolbox, in addition to the same foundational knowledge of the transaction process and industry trends that has always been expected of quality Realtors.
Embracing new technologies is a must for the “new breed of agent,” with the additional challenge of building and maintaining excellent face-to-face customer service. A larger number of clients are at the new agent’s fingertips than ever before, thanks to social media and smart phones that are always connected. With this expanded base comes greater expectations for an agent to be able to do it all. However, the new agent is up for the challenge.
As is shown in the infographic, created from The Enterprise Network Agent Survey, a surprising number of agents spend only 0-5 hours a week in their physical brokerage office. With this vastly increased mobility, a “new office” is also in order: one which supports its agents in their transactions, training, introduction to new technology, and working efficiently, with all of the tools available in the office, from anywhere. Communication is key from all angles: agent to client, agent to brokerage, client to other potential clients, agent to potential clients, AND brokerage to potential clients!
The infographic also states that response time to inquiries is the single most important factor, by thirty percentage points, in making a strong impression on clients.
With contemporary sites such as Yelp adding an accountability factor into business transactions, as agents and brokerages know their performance can be rated and viewed by a huge audience immediately, being available has never been more important. Some traits of a good agent will never change: Experience, honesty, negotiation skills, expertise, local connections¬ — no amount of technological savvy will replace those. But the new agent, and subsequently the “new company,” is working harder than ever to balance these old-school measures of quality with the fast-paced, tech-saturated marketplace. If the future is now, we’ve got to keep our eyes (and skill sets) even further ahead of the curve.
By Anya Rosenfeld, Director of Marketing
Hasson Company Realtors
The Enterprise Network Agent Survey Infographic: