By Zoe Eisenberg
RISMEDIA June 25, 2011—Some of the most talented and experienced real estate professionals gathered at RISMedia’s Achieve! – Real Estate’s Marketing & Opportunity Conference, held on May 24 and 25, to network and attend educational seminars on today’s most pressing topics.
Held in Rye, N.Y, the speakers at this two-day event were some of the most knowledgeable in the industry, discussing core concerns including implementing cutting-edge technology, using social media to improve business strategies, and how agents can not only better connect with intended clientele, but make a lasting impression and build relationships.
While this was the conference’s 23rd year, the 2011 event showcased a brand new format; speakers were invited to give short, 10-12 minute talks on relevant topics, introduced by vibrant music, creating an exciting and innovative platform for connection and creativity.
Speaking at the event was Mobile Technology Expert John Lim, the founder and CEO of Mobile Card Cast. Lim spoke on present technology and all the ways in which it is possible to make money using mobile. “Mobile technology is not the future—it’s right now,” stated Lim, who covered topics such as the importance of having a URL compatible with every server—including mobile devices—and how QR codes can better your business. “QR codes are not going away,” Lim stated, moving on to explain that the use of QR codes show you are tech savvy, can be used to grab more listings and offer a substantial wow factor. Plus, Lim noted, they’re free!
Another innovative speaker, Joe Gaeta, vice president of sales for Obeo, discussed the main solutions behind Obeo’s cutting-edge virtual tour method. Gaeta explained the way in which Obeo has taken virtual tours to a new level by allowing consumers to personalize their tour experience. “We asked the consumer what they were looking for, and they said they want the same experience as when shopping online for cars or shoes,” explained Gaeta. “People are getting used to manipulating products online. Obeo took that thought process and gave the consumer the ability to do this.” Obeo’s contemporary virtual tour method is only one example of how creatively implementing today’s technology can be a major business boon.
Also focusing on providing clients with quality content, Stephen Schweickart—the CEO of VScreen—offered the audience tips on video optimization. “Your clients don’t care about you, they care about themselves,” stated Schweickart, who urged agents not to waste time or money on self-promoting videos, but rather draw in viewers by providing clients with how-to information or other content-rich videos. “Content trumps commerce. Get them the content first, and then sell them the homes,” closed Schweikart.
Spotlighting innovative ways to connect agents to potential buyers, award-winning REALTOR® and social media whiz Maya Paveza explained how and why social media can benefit the real estate industry. “Online—that is where the next generation of buyers are. They are out there and they are looking for agents,” explained Paveza. Echoing Lim’s earlier statement, Paveza declared “this isn’t in the future, this is already happening.” She then went on to explain that while social media doesn’t replace classic prospecting, it supplements it. Paveza suggested that agents identify a small, micro-local community and serve them online by offering them information via blog, Facebook or Twitter. She urges agents and brokers to respond to any feedback they receive, even if it’s negative, showing people that they are not only there, but present. “You don’t have to work harder, you have to work smarter,” noted Paveza in closing.