In the following interview, Stephanie and Keoki McCarthy, broker/owners of Real Living Northwest, REALTORS® in Bothell, Wash., discuss the benefits of the Real Living network, including its technology offerings.
Region Served: Greater Seattle area
Years in Real Estate: Keoki, 21; Stephanie, 23
Number of Offices: 2
Number of Agents: 18
How does your company make its agents’ jobs easier?
Our STAR Program is instrumental in this respect, as we take care of the administrative and marketing aspects of the business for those agents who have signed up for the program and committed to a certain level of production. We truly believe agents should be out there meeting people and going on appointments, so we take care of inputting their listings into the MLS, designing/delivering marketing materials for them and creating their social media profiles in order to free them up to do what they do best. The response among our agents has been fascinating. In fact, those who have switched to the STAR Program have seen their production rise, on average, 150 percent.
What are some of the trends you see in your market right now?
We’re in the midst of a seller’s market at the moment. In addition, Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, with a number of big tech companies coming into the area that are continuing to flourish. Even more fascinating is the fact that the Bay Area companies are beginning to realize that they can’t compete with the other companies to get people to come to the area, so they’re building campuses here and starting to recruit heavily, bringing more growth. While Seattle is an expensive market, buyers can still get a decent house in the best areas for a much better deal, and because of that, the market is hot. We’re also seeing a lot of multiple offers.
What factor has the largest influence on the real estate industry today?
Technology, and, more specifically, the utilization of technology, data and info. As technology continues to change and evolve, having a national brand that does it all for you is a huge benefit. This is one of the main reasons we decided to join the Real Living network. The fact that they constantly have the next iteration of our company website in the pipeline is crucial when it comes to staying ahead of the curve, as websites need to be updated just about every two years. In addition, being on the Real Living Broker Advisory Group’s Technology Subcommittee allows us to help shape the direction we go.
How do you use technology to better serve your clients?
The most interesting way we’re using technology is to shape our customer’s journey from not knowing who we are to closing a deal with us. This is done by serving them interesting content—how tos, video tips and other things that get them into the funnel—via social media and other channels. Once they’re in the funnel and they’ve gotten to know us, the content we provide will move them along the journey from being a cold lead to a hot lead. In the old days it was all about providing a tool for prospective buyers to use to search for a home, then hoping they would click through to make an appointment. But we need to do more to create relationships today. While it may sound counterintuitive, technology can help build relationships with those you don’t know.
Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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