In the following interview, Cindy Fox, broker/owner of Real Living Now Real Estate in Lake St. Louis, Mo., discusses her market, the real estate marketing programs available through her brand, and more.
Region Served: St. Louis metro area
Years in Real Estate: 22
Number of Offices: 1
Number of Agents: 40
Favorite Part of Your Job: Helping people
Best Advice for New Agents: Treat it like a real job and work for a company that provides training and support in order to build a strong foundation.
What is the most significant challenge you’re facing in your market today?
A shortage of inventory. Since we have more buyers than we do listings, it’s forcing prices up quickly.
How are you preparing your team to tackle this challenge?
We’re communicating with past clients to let them know now is a great time to sell since there’s a shortage, interest rates are still at historical lows and prices have recovered in our market area.
What makes your company unique in today’s market?
The fact that our pricing evaluations are completed with the appraisal in mind. Our agents are trained in regard to pricing listings with appraisal adjustments to help justify the price at the time of appraisal. We also have agents trained in staging who will do staging consultations for free.
How does your company stay flexible and current?
We’re small enough to make quick decisions if necessary. We also have an Agent Action Council that meets a few times a year to discuss any changes or issues that need to be addressed and offer feedback on any new programs or changes we’re considering. In addition, all of our owners are actively selling, which keeps us current in the marketplace. We’re involved in our state and local associations and aware of the current issues in the real estate industry.
Can you talk a little bit about your role as chair of the MarketAdvantage subcommittee, and how it positions the firm ahead of the competition in today’s market?
MarketAdvantage is an online marketing program provided by Real Living. It gives agents the ability to create flyers, postcards, brochures, etc., to help market their services, their listings or stay in touch with their clients. The program is easy to use and offers hundreds of different pieces to choose from and customize. There are social media posts, egreetings, enewsletters and marketing kits as well. Having a customizable marketing program that helps our associates stay in contact with their clients is one less thing our agents need to worry about when it comes to marketing.
What are you most proud of having accomplished as the former Chair of Real Living’s Broker Advisory Council?
The most rewarding part of serving on the Broker Advisory Council is the willingness of all the brokers to donate their time, talent and experience to make Real Living the best real estate company in the industry. Working together, we discuss the tools, education and programs our agents or brokers need to be successful. If we have systems in place, we’re consistently working to enhance them. There have been so many improvements in the past several years, but a few of the top enhancements have been the redesigned agent websites, the automatic publication of our agent Real Living 360 Service℠ ratings on realtor.com® and the current pilot program of a company-provided transaction management system.
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