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“I had a great mentor when I first entered the business; I’m organized, thorough and always a step ahead of the client, but I need to communicate this to prospective clients,” says winner Josephine Ligato of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties in Avon, Conn. Ligato has been in the business for 2.5 years, and is looking to build recognition and exposure. She hopes to do this through a variety of channels, one being social media.

Social media and technology were a large focus for many of the winners: a connecting thread between agent and client, a place to build referrals, and an opportunity to show relevance.

“This next generation consists of our future customers and they are so entwined with social media,” says winner Michael Downing of RE/MAX Pro in Hays, Kan. “To be successful in the future, agents have to embrace social media, as it will drive business and our society in the future.”

“At one point in almost everyone’s lives, they are looking to buy or sell, so social media is a great place to build referrals,” says winner Antonio Sanchez of Exit Realty, Bronx, N.Y.

Referrals are not the only reason to be proficient in technology; your reputation could be on the line. “If I’m not current on social media and new technology and able to incorporate it into my business, clients might wonder if I’m able to keep up with the rest of the business,” comments Ligato.

Another opportunity to excel online is through digital marketing, and applying a solid digital marketing strategy can really put you ahead of the competition.

“I have a great website, now I need to make sure my target market can find it on Google,” says Mackenzie, who was interested in learning about SEO basics.

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