In the following interview, Marie and Mark Hischier, broker/owners of HomeSmart Professional Partners Realty in Monrovia, Calif., discuss the real estate industry, both from a business and consumer standpoint, as well as the benefits of the HomeSmart system.
Region Served: Los Angeles County/San Gabriel Valley
Years in Real Estate: 16
Number of Offices: 2
Number of Agents: 100
Top Tip for Staying Organized: Use a contact management system and time-block.
What factor has the largest influence on the real estate industry today?
Knowledge. As a real estate professional, you need to be well-versed on the contracts and addendums your clients are signing. Buyers and sellers are very savvy and can look for homes online and even post pictures of their homes on miscellaneous websites for marketing exposure. As agents, we need to guide them through the process. At the same time, we need to understand the technology available to the public and be able to utilize and maximize it to benefit our clients and our business. The process of buying and selling a home is often very emotional, so we need to remain empathetic and professional. This isn’t always easy, but our clients rely on us to help them make an educated decision, not an emotional mistake. To be successful, you need to continuously educate yourself in all facets: technology, contracts, marketing, relationship-building, etc. It’s not a matter of reinventing the wheel, but staying focused on the positive aspects of that wheel and knowing when to replace it with a new, unworn wheel.
What is the most unique way you have marketed a new listing?
Consumers are all over the internet looking for homes, so we do our best to park our clients’ homes on the busiest corner of the internet. Our HomeSmart system automatically creates personal websites and YouTube videos for each property, blasting our listings out to over 1,000 websites worldwide. We utilize QR codes and direct call capture information on every listing, enabling us to follow up with potential buyers promptly and professionally. One of my favorite stories was experienced while marketing an open house. We were walking the neighborhood, handing out invitations, and this young child saw us coming his way, so he ran up the driveway yelling, “Mommy, Mommy, the REALTORS® are coming, the REALTORS® are coming!” It sounded like a bad horror movie!
Describe the current consumer confidence climate in your area.
Consumers are confident that real estate continues to be a stable investment for both the owner-occupied buyer and the investor. Sellers are receiving multiple offers, but finding that they need to be fair in their pricing and present a nice home to take advantage of the low inventory market. Sellers are investing in minor updates and upgrades and reaping the benefits of presenting a move-in ready home by receiving multiple offers exceeding the cost of those upgrades. Buyers are purchasing for long-term investment, creating a stable community that benefits everyone living in the area. Overall, the market is solid, appreciating reasonably, and consumers are finding nice homes to call their own.
Which HomeSmart system do you find most beneficial, and why?
As managing broker/owners, the back office is critical to our daily efficiency. We’re able to review paperwork, schedule education for our agents and print reports to see where we need to improve and where we’re excelling. The system is set up to be effortlessly delegated to new staff as we grow, or time-block as we’re growing and handling multiple positions within the company. In addition, the proprietary paperless system is absolutely the best available. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the incredible RealSmart Agent portal provided to our agents. With the check of a box, they can create flyers, websites, YouTube videos, QR codes, etc., allowing them to focus on their clients, not the minutiae of paperwork and the hassle of keeping up with technology.
How does HomeSmart help you in your day-to-day business?
We reached a milestone 100 agents in just four years, and our office was awarded No. 1 in transaction growth for 2016. Not only are we hiring agents at a remarkable rate, they’re producing and out-selling the competition. Without the systems HomeSmart has created, it would be impossible to supervise, educate and support 100 agents at this level of production. We’re also exceptionally blessed by a family of franchisees willing to discuss and share their successes and failures, resources and offices to the benefit of all franchisees and agents. This unique relationship is greatly attributed to HomeSmart’s process of recruiting like-minded franchise owners, as well as eliminating the competitive nature of brokerages by designating territories for each office. The support staff at HomeSmart International is also exceptional. Being able to pick up the phone and receive prompt and responsive answers is priceless.
Gabrielle van Welie is RISMedia’s editorial intern. Email her your real estate news ideas at email@example.com.
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