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We got such great feedback from the first segment of “Talking Tech on Main Street” that we decided to hit the streets again, this time with Paul Wells, the broker/owner of
RE/MAX of Barrington in Illinois. Here’s what he had to say about how technology is shaping his firm’s and his agents’ business:

Seth Kaplan: What technology are sellers most interested to know if you’re using?
Paul Wells:
 Sellers are most interested in total Web exposure. They want to make sure their home is getting out to as many sites as possible. The argument can be made that the Web does not sell homes, the right price does; however, the exposure is good for the property and for the agent.

SK: What technology do you find most useful/practical/beneficial as a broker?
 The latest tools for us are the Matterport 3D camera and drone videos. Both of these add amazing excitement and pizzazz to our sellers’ presentations.

SK: What is the biggest technological change you’ve seen within the last 12 months?
 Keeping up with the latest technology is important; however, caution must be taken so that the latest “shiny new object” does not take the agent’s attention away from the foundation of their business. Many agents spend far too much time with social marketing and Web-based initiatives, while on average, 80 percent of their business comes from past clients and referrals. That same technology can be used as an even stronger tool if they’re focused on providing better contact and connection to their database.

Final Thought: To address Paul’s last point regarding recent technological change, how can we best leverage technology to drive our core business? If 80 percent of our business comes from past clients and referrals, how can social marketing and Web-based initiatives be used to initiate more of that business? Retail Social Commerce, sales generated directly through a referral from a social network, currently accounts for only a fraction of retail business, but last year, it grew at three times the rate of overall e-commerce. It’ll be interesting to watch the impact that social commerce can have on the real estate industry.

Paul Wells has been a licensed broker since 1987 and purchased RE/MAX of Barrington in 2002, which currently has two offices in the Chicago Area with 50 agents and over 1,000 transactions in 2013. His offices have been recognized as some of the most successful offices in the entire RE/MAX system and his team, The WELLS Group, has been one of the top-producing teams in the region for almost 20 years. Paul is on the Board of Managers and the Treasurer of MRED (Midwest Real Estate Data), one of the largest MLSs in the world.

If you’d like to participate in Talking Tech on Main Street, contact Seth Kaplan at

Seth Kaplan is president of MRE. For more information, visit