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Focus on Consumers by Modernizing Your Technology Plan

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By Nick Caruso

Keeping up with new and progressive technology was one of the hot topics at RISMedia’s Real Estate CEO Exchange this month, as Mediatise, LLC managing partner Kenneth Jenny led a panel of key industry members to discuss how brokers and real estate companies can capitalize on all that technology has to offer. The panel, entitled: “Technology’s Turning Point: How to Modernize Your Tech Plan,” offered unique perspectives on what brokers can and should be doing to fit into this increasingly mobile world that their consumers live and thrive in.

Jenny began the panel by replacing the word “technology” with “interactive marketing,” stressing that everything done within this business should ultimately be targeted toward consumers. But how can we keep up? “Things happen fast in this business. The scariest part is that the consumer is changing faster than we are,” said Jenny. “If your website is over two weeks old, it’s probably outdated.”

John Reinhardt spoke from the perspective of an independent brand, stating that companies must strive to deliver a superior experience for the consumer. “The main thing we’re trying to do is get people to move from bricks to clicks. We need to convert those leads over to real dollars,” he said.

Reinhardt, president and CEO of Fillmore Real Estate, discussed his company’s matchmaker program, which allows agents to enter leads into a system to help figure out what listings would be most relevant for them. The system also helps agents identify when a buyer is most likely to make a purchase.

Taking advantage of new systems and technology helps Reinhardt and his company keep the process fresh, but Fillmore isn’t the only company pushing boundaries and making real connections. David Romero, president and CEO of CENTURY 21 Award, has been making great strides with his company’s social networking plan. “The purpose of using social media is to have better relationships with agents, and for agents to have better relationships with consumers,” he said.

Romero described various tactics his company takes and explained some of the types of posts that can be read from CENTURY 21 Award and its agents, including Term Tuesday, posts dedicated to explaining real estate terms; Five for Fridays, which discuss five local activities; open house blasts and plenty of spontaneous posts that both add and shake up their posting routine. Hiring a director of social media has also worked to Romero’s advantage, ensuring that the company’s social media strategy never gets lost by the wayside.

Keeping technology products new and fresh should be in the forefront of every real estate company’s mind, but how is that accomplished exactly? Walt Baczkowski, vice president of sales and marketing for Point2 Technologies, stressed the importance of consumer testing. “We go out and meet with people. We listen to hear what consumers want to look at. We’re constantly talking and testing to find out what the issues are and we address them,” he said. In a business so reliant on service and consumers, consumer testing is one aspect of a modern technology plan that surely cannot be forgotten.

According to John Lim, CEO of Mobile Real Estate, mobile technology is a global game changer. Consumer behavior is forever changed by the technology that is now in people’s pockets, and the resulting consumer aggressiveness has changed the way companies must conduct business from here on out.

“Take the time to understand your business and market,” said Lim. “If your marketing isn’t interactive and mobilized, then you put yourself at a disadvantage.”

Stay tuned for more post-event coverage here at RISMedia.com.

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