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Ravath_RP_PokIn the following interview, Ravath “RP” Pok, principal broker/owner of Realty ONE Group in Midvale, Utah, discusses the benefits—and challenges—of using technology.

Region Served: Salt Lake County
Years in Real Estate: 21
Number of Offices: 1
Number of Agents: 69
Must-Have Tech Tool: iPhone and MacBook Pro

How would you describe the real estate tech industry?
The problem I see in the tech sector is the lack of collaboration between vendors and brokers. Too many vendors try to sell us a product without having an understanding of our needs and skillsets, and too many agents buy products without having an understanding of the same. As their broker, it’s important for me to teach technology from multiple perspectives. As I’ve said before, technology must be efficient, effective, and, most importantly, effortless.

How do you use technology to better serve your clients?
We work closely with our technology vendors to create automated updates and marketing touches, including a monthly market snapshot of their local area using their zip code. Our message to them is that real estate is like the weather; it could be sunny here and raining two zip codes over. We’re here to help interpret the data and how it affects their home.

What is your favorite time-saving tool that you use on a weekly basis?
I use a photo app that allows me to organize photos into easy-to-find albums based on metadata and geotagging.

What are some of the most creative ways you’re using social media?
We teach our agents the idea of responsible social media. We know the harm a quick tweet can cause, and the danger of providing too much information to those looking to take advantage of opportunities. Our creative social media campaign consists of a balance between personal and professional. It’s done with respect.

How do you see your market evolving throughout 2017?
I think the competition of Zillow and others looking to replace the value of the REALTOR® brand will require us to be more engaged with our market. Redefining the value that involves human decisions will be key to keeping us in the transaction. We’re going through the same dilemmas that existed during the .com boom. New models are being created to entice consumers to cut REALTORS® out of the equation. Just like the need for brick and mortar operations was the cause of the .com crash, I believe the same will happen to the new competitors as long as we continue to show the importance of human engagement.

What would you want the next real estate tech tool to take care of?
An automated marketing system, beginning with virtual tours, drone and other photography services to be utilized in both print and digital formats for ongoing marketing endeavors, including, but not limited to, social media. Photos are key, as this tool provides engagement through their use. Agents need to focus on sales and support, but still have top-of-the-line marketing that’s handled for them.

For more information, please visit www.realtyonegroup.com.

Gabrielle van Welie is RISMedia’s editorial intern. Email her your real estate news ideas at gvanwelie@rismedia.com.

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