By John Voket
RISMEDIA, June 28, 2010—“It wasn’t long ago that an agent could complete half a dozen deals in a day, without even leaving their own home,” recounts Mark Stark, CEO and owner of Las Vegas’ Prudential Americana Group. Those were the days, according to Stark, when the median home sale price was at $312,000.
Today, however, Stark says the market shift, which saw foreclosure resales peak in April 2009 at more than 73% and median home prices bottom out this past February at $126,197, has forced at least some of the 12,000-plus agents serving the greater Las Vegas region to begin thinking and approaching the way they do business very differently.
Early on, Stark recognized the need for his company to completely rethink the conventional practices of marketing and lead generation to which they had all become accustomed. With that, he found 1parkplace, a San Diego-based real estate marketing technology firm.
“Steve [Hundley, 1parkplace, Inc. CEO] understands the brokerage business, and they have many clients that are interrelated; they get our industry and its needs,” explains Stark. “Steve and his team create a customized system around our agenda, which helped us build the Americana Group online marketplace. He’s got passion, knowledge and he knows his way around the Web business. But, most importantly, he knows how those things integrate to benefit our business.”
Since Stark’s company began working with 1parkplace, he has seen his agents embrace the technology and, as a result, more of them are becoming top producers in what is still a somewhat volatile Las Vegas real estate market.
“We just need to get the folks who are resistant to technology to come along,” Stark says. “We have great sales execs, and we want them to use it. Those who do use technology swear by it, and it has helped us get nearly 80% of our sales executives onboard, a remarkable feat in this era of modern brokerage.”
With that said, the adoption to new technology is key for any brokerage and 1parkplace helped Americana Group’s managers understand the process and systems so that they can provide better value to their associates.
“Once our managers embraced and, most importantly, believed in the systems,” says Stark, “they developed the confidence to hold our associates accountable for their online and offline prospecting via our 1parkplace systems, which has translated to productive agents and enhanced recruiting.
Among the many beneficial tools 1parkplace offers Stark’s agents and associates, is the lead generation system, which he says quickly elevates Americana’s marketing efforts beyond anything the real estate profession has seen up to now.
“If you just want leads, you’re missing a lot of the business,” Stark says. “As a result of utilizing the 1parkplace systems, we’re not only getting today’s business, we’re getting tomorrow’s business—the friends’ and families’ business. That’s why we’re excited about using them.
“We are a business service company,” adds Stark. “We needed a brand-new Internet strategy and 1parkplace was able to attain that goal.”
Stark says he wasn’t just interested in technology that could facilitate communication with consumers.
“We were looking for constant feedback, the ability to be continuously giving consumers quality information and allowing our clients and consumers to search for homes the way they want to search, not the way we want them to search,” he says. “The other aspect was leads, which we don’t even like to call ‘leads’ anymore. What we’re talking about today, through the use of 1parkplace, is relationship generation—that’s what the Web is about. Then through our agents’ exceptional skills and the 1parkplace systems, we build those long-term relationships.”
Building those relationships with clients, Stark says, “has changed all our marketing opportunities—and we’ve seen nothing that can do that today like the 1parkplace systems.”
The beautiful thing about those changes, according to Stark, is that they are supported concurrently and interactively by 1parkplace.
“The way we deal with the Internet is constantly changing, and we all need to stay on top of the game,” Stark says. “We believe 1parkplace will continue advancing and changing along with new innovations that come online. We’re excited about them changing with us and the industry.”
According to Stark, since his company has ramped up its suite of services with 1parkplace, he has received numerous points of feedback from his sales executives about how much they love the systems.
For more information, visit www.1parkplace.com.