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Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone
For real estate professionals across the board, maintaining a competitive edge in today’s ever-changing market begins with a commitment to step outside their comfort zone. In fact, this was one of the most valuable pieces of advice taken away from the event. “I’m very structured and in control, and I learned to let go and just try something new,” says Ligato. “To let go and trust, which is something we as agents ask of our clients—to trust us during the real estate process.”

This same sentiment was echoed by winner Michael Downing with RE/MAX Pro in Hays, Kan. “The most valuable piece of information was to step out of our comfort zone, to try something new, something different.” Whether it pertains to the business side of things, or even personal appearance, taking a proactive approach is the name of the game when it comes to successfully distinguishing oneself from the sea of competition.

Keeping Up with Technology Best Practices
Technology reigned supreme throughout the two-day business makeover as winners learned the ins and outs associated with various technology initiatives that would not only increase their presence on the Web, but also enable them to stay in touch with today’s tech-savvy consumers more easily.

“Doug Breaker (president and CEO, showed me how to implement best SEO practices on my website to appear higher in a Google search and position myself as a land expert in my area,” says Mackenzie. “Since the makeover, that’s exactly what I’ve become. My website is producing leads and I’ve increased my listings volume significantly.”

For 2013 winner Antonio Sanchez with Exit Realty in the Bronx, N.Y., dedicating time to his website—and even incorporating a blog into the mix—have been instrumental when it comes to interacting with clients and potential clients as well as increasing his exposure and positioning as a local expert. “I’m jumping forward and working on my website on a daily basis,” says Sanchez. “I’m doing weekly blog posts, and I’m getting more buyer leads than I ever have before.”

“I didn’t realize how influential blogging could be,” says Downing, “and how it can change the perception of how people see you. It really positions you as a local expert since so many people turn to the Internet for advice.”

From blogging to social and digital media, Ligato notes that the one-on-one workshops touched on various points, providing a well-rounded look into how technology can help real estate professionals get as much exposure as possible. “As soon as I got back, I was in touch with my top clients to create testimonial videos for my website.”