RISMEDIA, November 2, 2010—No matter what the real estate market looks like, it is crucial for real estate agents to be kept up-to-date with what is occurring. Here, Dominic Scappaticci, president and designated broker with Realty Executives Phoenix, in Phoenix, Arizona discusses how he keeps his agents informed.
Region served: Southwest U.S.
Years in real estate: 35
Number of offices: 17
Number of agents: 1,324
Average time on market: Three to six months
Average sales price: $125,000
Current market conditions: The market in Phoenix is moving at a good pace—we will have close to 100,000 sales this year.
Stay profitable by…Getting agents to embrace the new market dynamic. Companies whose agents aren’t successful won’t stay profitable, so it is crucial to stay up-to-date with market trends so you can be in position to compete in the current environment.
What are some of your technology best practices?
We are in the process of launching a new technology initiative that will better position Realty Executives on the Internet so we can gain higher visibility. Our chief technology officer has spent the past year-and-a-half developing an initiative that utilizes the strength of our agents, listings and our marketplace in order to gain more exposure on Google and other major search engines. Our goal is to draw millions of unique visitors and leads to our webpage on a monthly basis.
How are you keeping consumers educated about today’s buying opportunities?
By providing them with accessible and immediate information. We recently launched a proprietary TagManager Console program, powered by Microsoft, that marks a new era for the home-buying and -selling experience. By placing Tags (unique barcodes) on all of our yard signs, advertising and business cards, consumers can scan the codes with their smartphone and be taken directly to that listing’s virtual tour or the agent’s website.
What is your company’s social media strategy?
Social media is a great way for our agents to stay in touch with past and present clients, so we are providing them with all the information they need to use social networking sites to their advantage. We offer classes to educate our agents on how LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and ActiveRain can play an important part in their business. We have also launched Executive Web Platforms as part of our technology initiative, which are websites designed to allow our agents to build strong personal brands online through means such as blogging and streaming their social media sites.
How do you support and engage your agents, especially in today’s market?
While technology is such an important part of today’s market, it is difficult for many agents to devote the time to it on a day-to-day basis. So, we have instituted MSAs (marketing service associates) for our agents to leverage in order to get technology and marketing working for them…so they can work on their business, not in it. Our MSAs are located in every office and they work to set up web pages for our agents, help them with their brochures, create virtual tours, download their contact management and anything else technology related.
What is your biggest challenge in today’s market and how is your company taking it on?
The biggest challenge we face in today’s market is the amount of short sale and REO inventory. We have had a lot of success in this area as we have worked closely with our agents to help them understand the short sale process, as well as how to successfully complete these transactions. Linking our agents with those who are proficient in the field, in addition to offering classes, has enabled our agents to acquire a comfort level with the short sale procedure.