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Sharing_Circle_BH&GIt is popular today to talk about the “sharing economy.”

But what does that really mean?

With the growth in social media, people and businesses have found ways to “share” news and information with consumers to build strong brands and relationships with consumers. The sharing economy was nurtured by companies, like Yelp, Zagat and Amazon, which made sharing reviews integral to their businesses.  Today it has been further expanded with services like Uber, the car sharing service, and AirBNB, the apartment sharing service. People are finding ways to make money through sharing.

So what does that mean for real estate agents and brokers?

Recently, I had the good fortune to listen in on the Better Homes and Garden®’s Real Estate Broker-Owner Conference and hear BHGRE leaders, owners and executives from Realogy talk about the future of the real estate business. In many of those presentations, I seemed to find the answer.

As the industry’s growth strategy has shifted in focus from brokers to agents, and now to consumers, real estate professionals will only be successful if they are proactive in sharing information consumers actually need. While this may sound intuitive, it reflects a sea change in how most real estate agents have historically been trained.  Prior to the mainstream explosion of social media sharing, brokers and agents withheld information and shared it very selectively to ensure they maintained control over the process. That no longer works. It is actually the opposite of the model for success in a sharing economy.

Joe Rand of BHGRE Rand Realty provided a specific example. In the not so distant past, listings were advertised in the local newspaper. The text in the ads was abbreviated to an industry code primarily to keep the cost down: “Excl! 4 bdrm Excel Pvt Loc $350k Call 908-555-1212

There was another key benefit of these abbreviated listings.  The lack of information meant buyers needed to call to get more information, and the call became a lead. In fact, when a prospective client came in asking questions about the advertised property, the real estate professional was trained to not directly answer about that particular home, but rather fish for what the caller really needed to begin building a new client relationship.

So what can real estate professionals do to effectively sell in this sharing economy?

Read my latest post on BHGRE’s Clean Slate blog, “Selling Real Estate in a “Sharing Economy,” to find out. Remember, in a sharing economy, sharing is the way you pay it forward and get more of the right clients.

For more on Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, and to network and engage with top real estate professionals, take a moment to like All Things Real Estate on Facebook, follow @AllThingsBHGRE on Twitter, and follow our company page on LinkedIn.

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