By Paige Tepping
Today’s market is unique, and navigating it can provide challenges that agents of the past never had to address. “For the first time ever, there are four different generations in the marketplace—seniors, baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y—all of whom require a different way of communicating and doing business,” says Larry Flick, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Fox & Roach, REALTORS®. “Understanding each of these segments is key to remaining competitive today and as we head into the future.”
Read on as Flick gives us additional insight into positioning yourself, and your company, for a successful future in real estate.
Chairman and CEO
Prudential Fox & Roach, REALTORS®
Paige Tepping: How is Prudential Fox & Roach positioned in today’s marketplace?
Larry Flick: We are the leading broker in our marketplace by a 3-to-1 margin, which has given us a competitive edge since we have been able to take advantage of the uncertainty in today’s marketplace through a flight to quality. In good times, it’s easy for anyone to succeed, however, in challenging times, consumers and sales associates want to deal with the best, largest and highest-quality broker.
PT: What is the company’s approach to expansion and business building in today’s environment?
LF: There are four key areas in which we are focusing when it comes to expansion and business building. The first has to do with attracting the best sales associates and helping them succeed by providing them with the best tools, resources and support systems possible. We also have a highly focused acquisition program, always looking to attract small brokers who want the opportunity to be more successful with a large broker rather than managing their own business in today’s stressful environment. In addition, we are continuing to build our mortgage capture rate while taking advantage of today’s refinance options. To this end, we have an aggressive direct mail and email program that reaches out to our current database to spread the message that now is a great time to save money by refinancing.
PT: What strategies have you put in place to maintain a competitive edge?
LF: Part of maintaining a competitive edge in our market areas has to do with helping our associates feel comfortable with what is happening in the local real estate market at any given time. By keeping our sales associates up-to-date, they can then help consumers convert information to knowledge in order to make better decisions. We are also maintaining a competitive edge through the use of technology, as it continues to have a dramatic impact on the business. For the first time ever, there are four different generations in the marketplace—seniors, baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y—all of whom require a different way of communicating and doing business. Understanding each of these segments is key to remaining competitive today and as we head into the future.
PT: How have you evolved your definition of ‘customer service’ to stay in tune with today’s consumer?
LF: With so much incorrect information out there, we are constantly asking ourselves how we can best help consumers filter out what is useful and accurate, and demonstrate how they can use it to their advantage. Additionally, transactions today take longer than in the past, and there is also more emotion tied into the process, so we are focusing on communicating with our clients and helping them understand the entire process before the emotion sets in when trying to close a deal. In today’s mobile age, consumers can access information anywhere, anytime, so we are focused on staying one step ahead when it comes to connecting with consumers through mobile devices. We recently launched a new website that includes mobile apps and new features, such as lifestyle search, in order to give today’s consumer what they’re looking for.
PT: What does today’s successful agent look like?
LF: Successful agents invest at least an hour a day in business development and they don’t allow themselves to be distracted. Agents need to continue doing what they have done in the past—calling, direct mail pieces, pop bys, etc.—but they should also focus on taking advantage of social media. We have a social media department, a blog, a Facebook page and a variety of training classes to help our sales associates use social media to their advantage when it comes to connecting with others and promoting themselves. While social media is an important piece of the puzzle, we provide our associates with information that can be used across the various relationship platforms so they can focus on what’s most important—selling real estate.
For more information, visit www.prufoxroach.com.
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