Gone are the days when real estate professionals could simply throw together a website and plaster their headshot on every billboard and bench in town in order to entice prospective buyers to do business with them.
While this may have drummed up business in the past, today’s clients are looking for more. And real estate professionals are feeling the pressure when it comes to figuring out exactly what it takes to prosper in this new environment.
But thanks to individuals like Garry Wise—co-founder of GoodLife Realty (formerly The GoodLife Team) and co-founder of The Paperless Agent—real estate professionals no longer have to strike out on their own to find the key to success. Passionate about leading the charge within the industry to help real estate professionals elevate their game by providing buyers and sellers a better experience through professionalism and technology, Wise has spent the better part of the last decade cracking the code and pioneering the use of technology within the industry.
With Chris Scott, director of marketing at GoodLife Realty and president of The Paperless Agent, by his side, Wise is on a mission to increase the level of efficiency within the buying and selling process so that real estate professionals can ultimately sell more homes, providing consumers with a better experience.
Laying the Foundation
“I’ve always been very frustrated with the inefficiencies surrounding the real estate process and the way it was performed in the prehistoric days,” says Wise, who comes from a full family background of real estate.
Having gotten his license in 1997 to help his mother build up the family business after his father passed away, Wise eventually merged his operation with his wife Krisstina’s business when they married nine years ago, laying the foundation for the creation of their own independent brokerage—The GoodLife Team.
Founded on the premise of fulfilling their vision of the future of real estate, “we focused on attracting the right talent, working to train and develop them into REALTORS® who were proud to work with the brokerage and provide a five-star experience for buyers and sellers,” says Wise.
And over the years, they have done just that, while being recognized for pioneering the use of technology within real estate. “After winning an award for being the most innovative brokerage in 2010, we received a call from Apple who had learned that we were using their hardware to increase our efficiencies and run a paperless office,” says Wise, who explains that the company followed up in 2011 with a case study featuring The GoodLife Team, which can still be found at Apple.com.
In fact, it’s this innovative approach and forward-thinking philosophy that set the scene for the creation of The Paperless Agent, a group of successful real estate professionals who have come together to help brokerages find success as they head down the path toward creating an entirely paperless office.
“After Apple’s case study was published, we began receiving calls from agents and brokers asking if we were franchising because they wanted to buy what the brokerage was doing—rather than taking the time and investing the money to figure it out on their own,” says Wise. “In lieu of franchising, we decided to build our own independent brokerage and offer everything we’re doing to everybody else through The Paperless Agent.”
Finding Success in the New Age of Real Estate
In addition to providing real estate professionals with a foolproof blueprint for success—and the tools needed to maintain their competitive edge in the market—Wise and Scott are pushing the envelope to constantly stay ahead while educating real estate professionals about the vast difference between the “new” and “old” way of conducting business.
“In a sense, we’re providing real estate professionals with the notion that there’s an old way and a new way of doing business,” says Scott, who explains that most brokerages and agents are still caught up in the old mentality.
And, according to Wise, this type of mentality hurts everyone.
Take for example the tried-and-true recruiting model that enables brokers to bring in as many bodies as possible and retain them to extract a little bit of profit, a business model that hurts the brokerage, its agents and consumers. Or, take the agent who simply shows up and tells prospective sellers exactly what they’re going to do to get their home sold—without showing them a thing.
“In the new way of doing business, our team members—and the agents following us—show up with an iPad that has everything they need to show the client exactly what they’re going to do to get their home sold,” says Wise. That includes a 12-week marketing and promotion plan that centers around showcasing the home where today’s buyers are looking, creating a marginal utility that provides real estate professionals with a unique, competitive edge.
While the old way of selling a home followed a simple pattern: Put a sign in the yard, put the listing in the MLS and then pray that the home sells, Wise notes that the three P’s have changed drastically in today’s technology age to include preparation, pricing model and promotion.
“From helping the client prepare the home to be listed to making sure the home isn’t priced outside of the market and then aggressively and uniquely promoting it online where buyers are looking, we’re setting the stage from the beginning and building a level of trust with today’s clients when we do exactly what we say we’re going to,” says Wise.
“It’s certainly a process,” says Scott. “We’re constantly getting to the point where we’re happy, then something moves, and so we’re innovating again. As we learn what works and what doesn’t, we take that know-how and share it with others so they can do the same thing and get a similar result.”
Collaboration for the Benefit of All
As we continue to head toward the future, Wise and Scott are prepared to face the competition head-on. “Not only will we continue to innovate within our brokerage, we’re also committed to staying on top of the technology that’s being introduced,” says Scott. “We can’t just talk about and show folks what they should be doing; we have to give them the necessary tools.”
With over a million real estate agents in the United States alone, it’s crucial to come together and collaborate for the benefit of all. “REALTORS® and brokers need to focus on what they do best, and that’s selling real estate. We’re working to force the path of collaboration by spending our own money on research and development so that others don’t have to.”
For more information, visit www.thepaperlessagent.com.