By Barbara Pronin
When it comes to giving consumers what they want, a consumer-centric website and open lines of communication are undoubtedly at the top of any prospective buyer or seller’s list. Find out what Chuck and Chad Ochsner and Greg Smith, partners, RE/MAX Alliance are doing with their website to help create a winning formula when it comes to working with today’s clients.
Chuck and Chad Ochsner, Greg Smith
Barbara Pronin: Congratulations on the launch of your redesigned website. What can customers expect to find at HomesInColorado.com?
Chad Ochsner: The new site is 100 percent customer-centric in design. It gives people the most flexible array of search options and data available, whether they are choosing a neighborhood, researching school districts or comparing properties and prices. Consumers can take a virtual tour of the homes that interest them and save their searches for future reference. We will also be incorporating walk scores for neighborhoods and we will integrate social media through a new platform called “social bios.”
Greg Smith: Great communication is at the very top of every consumer’s want list, so our site now offers the industry’s most robust customer relationship management system. That means our customers can expect—and get—instant responses to their questions. And they will get those answers in whatever mode they prefer, whether by phone, text or email.
BP: What does this mean for your agents?
GS: It means every agent will have, free of charge, a robust website branded just to them, including the capacity to create customized pages. They will have the capability to enhance and enrich their customer communication capabilities—and they will know where the customer is calling from and whether or not he or she is local. They will also be able to see what pages the customer has been viewing, so they can more easily zero in on properties that will likely be of interest.
CO: And, of course, they will be able to manage leads, inquiries and email marketing databases more easily than ever before. Our agents will also have the option to upgrade and enhance a number of these new website features for a nominal fee to give them even more powerful capabilities.
BP: What are consumers concerned with in today’s market environment?
CO: Today’s consumers, more than ever, want agents who are knowledgeable and reliable, who understand the trends and can help them make sense of what is going on in the ever-changing local market. Our company has been around for more than 30 years, and our agents enjoy a well-earned reputation as knowledgeable, reliable and trustworthy. Our investment in new and improved technologies now, at a time when a lot of companies are cutting back on their spending, underscores the company’s commitment to keeping our people one step ahead of the competition.
GS: We know our agents are among the best-trained in the industry, both through RE/MAX University and what we do in-house. The new website, and its additions to our technology arsenal, will position us better than any other firm in Colorado’s Front Range to help our customers make the best possible real estate decisions.
BP: What are market conditions like in Colorado now, and how do you see things shaping up in 2012?
CO: Obviously, we’ve come through some challenging times. But, for the most part, those times are behind us. This is a great time to be buying real estate in Colorado, and I think consumers are realizing that. We have pretty much hit bottom in terms of pricing. In fact, in some cases, we have a dearth of inventory, and we are seeing multiple offers on a single piece of property—and prices are beginning to tick upward even in the most desirable neighborhoods.
BP: What are your plans for continuing to grow the company?
CO: As always, we are open to the right opportunities for mergers and acquisitions that will expand our footprint in Colorado. In fact, we just closed on a merger with a small boutique company in downtown Boulder. We choose these opportunities carefully because it’s important that these firms are a good fit with our company culture. In all, I think we are well positioned to stay in front of the competition.
For more information, please visit www.homesincolorado.com.
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