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Embrace Agent Reviews
Consumers are evaluating us behind our backs or on Yelp and other venues whether we like it or not. Most reviews are favorable, and when they’re not, an opportunity is presented to diffuse a bad situation. What better way to influence strong performance than the accountability of being publicly evaluated? Rather than having others drive this here-to-stay phenomenon, brokers should look for ways to house reviews on their own websites or support third-party venues that are friendly to their interests.

Managing the ZTR Conundrum
Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com® serve a purpose in the industry at the top of the funnel for early-stage buyers and sellers, but the numbers show that when buyers become closer to transacting, they go to brokerage or agent websites. Make sure your site shines in what you do best—local, local, local. Study what consumers want and give it to them with content-rich strategies that provide local “color” that is difficult, if not impossible, for national portals to replicate. And lobby your MLS for the same rights to the full data your activities generate that is being syndicated to industry portals, such as sold data.

Sell the Value of What You Do
Brokerage firms are the infrastructure of our business. Without these companies to provide culture and brand accountability, develop agent talent, and offer consumer tools and support, real estate would be the Wild West. Make sure you articulate your value internally and to the public. If we don’t tell them, others will shape the conversation and ignore that value.

Our business is continually evolving, and the ongoing lesson is to “see the forest as well as the trees” and focus on the mission-critical areas we can control to ensure our future viability and success.

Pam O’Connor is president/CEO, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. ?To learn more, visit www.LeadingRE.com.

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