By Lesley Geary
“To stay competitive in today’s market, you have to have a social media presence,” says Jody Korman of RE/MAX Commonwealth. In the following interview, Korman reflect on her 10 years in real estate, and discusses the importance of everything from technology to home staging and education.
How important is technology for building new business in today’s market?
Technology is extremely important for building business in today’s market. The younger generation is so high-tech savvy and they expect instant information. Without technology and all that it affords us, you can’t be competitive—so “old-schoolers” need to make sure they are up to speed. That said, I have to emphasize that technology will never replace relationships. People don’t forget a personal touch and the special things you do, and these are the reasons people keep coming back to a real estate professional. For me personally, about 95 percent of my business is repeat and referral business.
How does social media factor into your game plan?
To stay competitive in today’s market, you have to have a social media presence. I have a very nice business page on Facebook and I reached out and asked a lot of people to “like” it. Currently, I do not have an assistant, but I intend to hire one to take over some of my social media tasks—someone who is tech savvy and strong in social media. This will help me focus on what I do best, yet remain competitive in the social media arena.
Generally speaking, what are you doing differently to build business in today’s market?
I am having more face-to-face meetings with my top clients and making a lot more phone calls to my database. I am being proactive about asking my sphere who they know that may be about to move. I am also contacting all of the people I met last year when I was president of CRS (Council of Residential Specialists) and I am focused on diligently working all of the referrals I’ve received.
What are the top three things you have your sellers do before their home is listed?
Staging, staging and staging. The house has to look perfect before it ever goes on the market. I am also very carefully laying out what they can expect to happen at each step along the way.
What do buyers expect from you in today’s market?
I try to give buyers in today’s market a great deal of education first. I find it essential to first conduct a buyer’s consultation for at least an hour over coffee. I lay out what to expect and go over every part of the process. I even show them what a contract looks like and how to write one up so they know what will transpire before we ever go out and look at the first house.
Why did you become a Member of Top 5?
I wanted to have another way to touch people without it imposing on my time. My time is so valuable, and in the real estate business, you could work seven days a week, 24 hours a day if you wanted to. Top 5 has such great material that automatically goes out to my sphere and touches them without taking more time from my already swamped calendar.
Speaking of the busy life of a real estate professional, how do you maintain balance?
This year, I have taken more time off and have done more traveling to help me relax because otherwise, I work all the time. I also force myself to take off one day a week.
What is the key to a successful life in real estate?
Balance. Outside interests. Community involvement. I am passionate about real estate and love what I do and in order to stay that way, I travel. I love to scuba dive and I just returned from Hondouras, where I made 18 dives. Also, when I travel, I do so without cellphones or Internet. I really get involved and leave everything else behind so that when I return, I am refreshed and able to give real estate my all.
The New Top 5 in Real Estate
This past spring, RISMedia entered into a strategic alliance with Verl Workman and Pinnacle Quest Consulting, who has since taken over the operations and management of RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®. With Workman at the helm as Top 5’s new president, members can look forward to a recharged and enhanced program.
As part of the new Top 5 in Real Estate, Workman and his team have created the TOP 5 CREED, which represents five critical attributes of the professional real estate agent:
Digitally or technologically enabled
Top 5 was founded to help differentiate professional, experienced and successful agents to consumers who, unfortunately, often tend to view all real estate professionals as the same. According to Workman, “Top 5 members are held to a higher standard than the average real estate agent. Top 5 in Real Estate delivers to consumers a brand promise that the agent you are dealing with is a top performer and true professional.”
Under Workman’s leadership and the ongoing support of RISMedia’s veteran editorial expertise, Top 5 will deliver the following to its members:
- Top 5-branded news, articles and videos
- Turnkey communication and marketing tools
- Automated content that can be systematically posted on social sites, blogs, etc.
- New Top 5 coaching programs, including Pinnacle Quest’s popular “Getting REAL Results in an eCrazy World”
- The monthly webinar “This Way to the Top,” a best-practices? coaching call