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Finding success in real estate means constantly looking to the future. In the following interview, Timothy J. Greene, President & CEO of John Greene REALTOR® offers insights into everything from running productive meetings, to simplifying your workloads.

Greene_TimTimothy J. Greene
President & CEO
John Greene REALTOR®, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
Naperville, Ill.

Years in real estate: 39
Number of offices: 3
Number of agents: 100
Best tip for running a productive meeting: Create an office environment where people want to come for meetings. Make them fun, informative and productive.
Motto/work philosophy that you live by: I just try to keep it very simple. Since we’re in the customer service business, we try to put ourselves in our clients’ shoes and do what we say we’re going to do while treating them the way we would want to be treated.
Must-have technology tool: The phone. We’ve placed a lot of emphasis on technology so that our agents and clients can have the best experience possible. Our website has received awards, our mobile app has received accolades, and we use DocuSign Transaction Room to run a paperless business. But all that pales in comparison to the power of the telephone. It’s effective, extremely personal and an efficient way to solve problems and create relationships.

Where does your market stand in terms of consumer confidence? We’re in a pretty good place. Our market didn’t quite heat up like many others, but we’re slowly seeing those sellers who were underwater trickle back into the market. Homebuilding is also making a slow and steady return, which should provide a nice, stable recovery.

What demographic segments are driving your business these days? We’re seeing high demand in the first-time buyer and move-up buyer segments. In addition, new construction in the luxury market is making a strong come back.

How does your company make its agents’ jobs easier? As a full-service brokerage, there are a myriad of ways. We have the philosophy of allowing agents to do the part of the business that they love and that generates the highest income per hour—selling. We provide a highly proficient agent support team, marketing tools and technology to help them automate a large portion of the “everything else” that takes time away from the real income-earning activities.

How are you preparing your agents for the future of real estate? Our team is constantly monitoring the latest trends and happenings in the industry. As a company, we’re very focused on incorporating technology to improve our systems and processes for clients and agents. But the biggest thing we see is that disruption and/or disintermediation in our business is going to be the result of agents not providing enough value to their clients. We instill in our agents to be incredibly great at the things a computer can never do: understanding our clients’ dreams and desires and connecting those with superior knowledge of the people and places we interact with every day. As long as our eye is on all the trends and technology, our agents can focus on people, and that will cement our place in the market.

What is one of the challenges your market faces and what are you doing to overcome it? Inventory. And maybe not just inventory, but the right inventory. The great recession was extremely difficult for a lot of local builders, and it’s left an unfortunate hole in the market when it comes to providing new housing stock for first-time and move-up buyers. We’ve been on a mission to put “private homebuilding back on the map” in our market. Through our land and commercial companies, we’ve partnered with institutional capital and prominent private homebuilders to get their operations re-established.

How do you see your market evolving throughout the next year? Household formations should be up, so it’s going to be about providing the right inventory. New construction starts will be very critical.

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