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RISMEDIA, April 5, 2010—Economic conditions, changing consumer demands and new technologies have dramatically transformed the real estate industry and continue to reinvent the role of the real estate agent.

The recession shined a light on the value of productive real estate professionals because of the consumers’ need for superior real estate guidance in our very complex market. So how can agents elect to stand out?

Leverage New Opportunities.
The recession cleansed the real estate industry of agents who may not have truly been committed to the profession and is alternately rewarding Realtors who have stepped out of their market niche to explore the opportunities today’s economy affords from foreclosures to Federal tax incentives.

Continue Education and Training.
In early 2007, distressed properties were not making front-page news headlines; whereas today, they are commonplace. Being from Phoenix, I speak with experience. More than half of Arizona’s mortgages are underwater, so the market can expect the number of short sales to increase in 2010 by 30 – 40% as compared to last year.

Lenders have discovered that there is a greater margin of profit, up to 7-15%, for short sale transactions than if the property goes to foreclosure; so banks are more willing to work with short sales. Successful Realtors attend short sale training programs to gain insight from the perspective of banks, buyers and sellers.

“I don’t have time” is not a reason, nor is being seasoned, to not continue enriching your business with more education and training. The real estate industry is very different from the “Golden Age” and, as the market evolves, so too must an agent.

Embrace New Technology.
Most of us run our businesses from our iPhones and Blackberrys, and soon iPads, which, according to Apple, “will revolutionize the way everyone does business.” New technologies are constantly pushing out traditional business methods.

New and evolving technologies can reveal opportunities for expanding business. Online social networks like Facebook and Twitter are free tools that productive Realtors use to promote their personal brand and engage with their customers. Developing a strong online presence creates increased accessibility to these agents and allows them to connect with current and prospective customers in a very progressive and personal way.

We all want to work with people we trust and simple gestures of engagement are invaluable in expressing our sincere dedication to our relationships.

Join the evolution of our new real estate reality. Real estate agents embracing change are not only reinventing themselves, but our industry-at-large.

Dominic Scappaticci is president and designated broker of Realty Executives Phoenix. Contact Scappaticci at