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Reinvent Now, But How?

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Industry Advisor by Jose Perez

house-web3RISMEDIA, June 6, 2009-Recently in this column, I offered some suggestions to address the need to recruit the real estate agent of tomorrow, the need to reduce your physical “footprint” and the need to have an integrated technology strategy. Most would agree all these things are necessary, however, I sense many people are “frozen.”

Not knowing where to start or fully comprehending that everything you need to do to be successful in the new paradigm touches everything else, they end up doing nothing. If we break it down into smaller, “bite-sized” chunks, the task seems much more manageable.

First off, let’s compare the old paradigm to the new one…they are not that different:

Old Paradigm

• Physically networking at events
• Large offices to house agents, computers, meet clients, etc.
• Engaging consumers through local activities such open houses, etc.
• Print advertising
• Helping someone right away when they walk into your office looking for real estate

The new paradigm consists of the same activities as before, but now improved and enhanced with technology.

New Paradigm

• Supplementing physical networking with online networking through social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
• With devices such as iPhones and BlackBerrys making mobility of agents prevalent, a smaller physical footprint is now possible
• Engaging consumers online through Web 2.0 platforms, utilizing enhanced search and chat features
• Internet marketing, search engine optimization and listing syndication puts your company in front of infinitely more potential customers.
Internet lead-management systems give you the ability to respond to the consumer immediately.

You are performing the same basic activities, however, now using a technology-driven platform. Before telephones, people spoke. After telephones, people were performing the same activity (speaking) but could now do so even if they were not in the same room.

There is another very important fact to internalize… all the activities in this new paradigm are connected to each other, so you must take an integrated approach:

-You need closings to make money
-You need listings to have closings
• You don’t have to fear “the cost” of listings if you are marketing correctly
-You get buyers because of listings and Web traffic
• SEO, measurable marketing
-You need lead generation to get listings and buyers
-You need listing opportunities and buyers to recruit agents
• Gen X and Gen Y agents want the newest, “hippest” time-management tools
-You need marketing tools (CRM) and lead management to profit by design
• Instant response, drip e-mail, back-office admin-all to manage your leads
-You need a comprehensive Web platform to support all of these efforts
-You need a broker who sees the future of real estate
• Those who reinvent will survive

Michael Pappas, president of Keyes Real Estate, an 83-year-old, 1,500-agent, 25-office regional brokerage in South Florida, has helped his company effectuate an ongoing transformation over the past several years. “Regardless of the difficult market conditions that certainly frame many of our decisions, we are always keeping an eye on the future and how we can emerge from this trough as a stronger entity. We are truly ‘reinventing’ ourselves every day as we leverage our technology to provide better service to our agents and our clients.”

The time to “reinvent” is now. Don’t be overwhelmed. Break it down into smaller goals that will fit together over time to create a new you.

Jose Perez is the president of PCMS Consulting. For more information, please visit www.pcmsconsulting.com or e-mail jperez@pcmsconsulting.com.

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