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Detonnancourt_DeanStaying flexible is key to staying on top of your marketplace. In the following interview Dean deTonnancourt, Broker/Owner of HomeSmart Professionals in Warwick, R.I., lets us know how his company is excelling in the industry.

Region served: Rhode Island
Years in real estate: 25
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 48
Tech tool you can’t live without: My smartphone.
Best piece of business advice: Follow up and follow through on everything.

What’s the real estate climate like in your area?
We’re in somewhat of a balanced market with roughly six to seven months of inventory, so the key is to make sure we get more listings. While we aren’t in a buyer’s or seller’s market per se, we’re in an interesting position in that we have a lot of new inventory coming onto the market that’s active. In fact, we’re seeing multiple offers on new listings that are priced properly as soon as they come on the market, while homes that are priced out of their league continue to languish.

What do you like most about the region in which you work?
The most compelling aspect of working in Rhode Island is the fact that the market is so unique. We’ve all heard that real estate is local, and that’s especially true here since every town and city has its own nuances. Neighborhoods are so varied in and of themselves that you can literally go one street over and have a completely different market-value structure and desirability factor.

In today’s ever-changing market, how does your company stay flexible?
Staying flexible begins with being a paperless company. Our online platform—complete with a built-in CRM and marketing component—allows for each and every transaction to be handled in a paperless manner, providing agents with an easy way to stay ahead since everything they need is at their fingertips.

How do you use technology to better serve your clients?
Through online marketing and e-Signature programs. We also provide clients with status and traffic reports that show exactly what’s being done to market their property online, as well as the number of hits and pass-throughs from prospective buyers. Our clients enjoy being kept in the loop, and because of the information we’re providing, they’re becoming more knowledgeable consumers.

How has your company embraced social media?
Not only do we have a Facebook business page, our agents are also active on various social media sites, and some have even taken to blogging. But the key to social media success is in how you embrace it, making sure you maintain a top-of-mind impression. Therefore, we offer in-house training courses on a consistent basis and bring in vendors who are producing via social media to teach our agents.

What is the most significant trend positively affecting your business right now?
Advanced technology has the biggest impact on our business at the moment. From e-Signature programs to the ability to find property information through Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) and Rhode Island’s Realist program, the ways in which we can obtain data when researching and comparing properties for our clients has changed drastically over the years.

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