The most successful real estate professionals have to be willing to think outside the box. Meet Miguel Berger, Presiden of BHGRE Tech-Valley, and here how he is staying profitable, reaching out to first time buyers and working technology into his marketing plan.
Albany, New York
Region served: Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga Counties
Years in real estate: 27
Number of offices: 2
Number of agents: 31
Average time on market: 112 days
Average sales price: $254,176
Key to staying profitable:
Extreme customer service is the key. You have to actively participate in the dialogue to determine what your constituents want. In my role, I serve agents as well as buyers and sellers. I listen carefully to their needs and either fulfill them completely, or explain where compromises may have to be made.
What are the current market conditions in your area?
We are seeing a lot of opportunity in this market. The area is benefitting from new technology jobs and there is an influx of buyers from throughout the country and abroad. It has been especially beneficial to have the Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate brand in this market, as it is a name with great worldwide recognition.
What are your best marketing techniques?
As the name Tech Valley would suggest, we have a lot of technology-savvy people in our coverage area. We create virtual tours for every listing, regardless of the asking price, and we have been able to take advantage of the full suite of technology products that Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate makes available. For example, PinPoint, the marketing platform based on the very comprehensive Meredith Corporation database of 85 million consumers, is an intuitive and automated marketing system that no other real estate brand can offer.
How do you work technology into your business?
We follow the lead of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate President and CEO Sherry Chris and make it a priority to take the time to integrate technology into our business. Our agents have adapted Foursquare to announce listings and open houses. And they are quick to post property highlights to their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
How are you reaching out to first-time home buyers?
The PinPoint database is very useful in prospecting a variety of potential buyers, including first-time home buyers. We supplement that database with advertisements through Facebook and outreach to new companies relocating to the area to send messages to staff that may need to relocate to our area.
What strategies do your sales associates utilize to stand out to clients and achieve customer loyalty?
As the owner, I am always available to any of our clients. My cell phone number is on my business card and I encourage people to call me whenever they need to. We do not use voicemail in our office, as clients are transferred to our cell phones. After hours, we utilize a company cell phone so someone is always available to answer our clients’ questions.
We also use Greenhouse, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s extranet, which houses the tools, services and products that range from branded marketing templates to educational resources to live chat support.
As a customized loyalty program, agents can provide their clients with a one-year subscription to Better Homes and Gardens or Traditional Home magazine as a closing gift. The order is placed through the Greenhouse, and each issue of the magazine displays a customized label with the agent’s name, phone number, logo, and personal message.