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Real estate success often means wearing a hundred different hats. In the following interview, Real Living Kee Realty’s John Meesseman offers insight on market trends, proper pricing and staying ahead of the competition.

Meesseman_JohnJohn Meesseman
Real Living Kee Realty
Rochester, Mich.

Region served: Metro Detroit
Years in real estate: 22
Number of offices: 4
Number of agents: 150
Favorite part of your job: Accelerating agent success!

What are some of the current trends you see in your market?
I am happy to report our market is very healthy, with many areas returning to pre-crash pricing. We have more inventory than we have seen in the past few years. However, there is still a shortage of good, properly priced, inventory. Although we have seen healthy appreciation the last few years, many sellers are pushing the pricing envelope in anticipation of continued appreciation, and pricing higher than the comps justify.

How are you working with sellers to help them price their properties to sell?
An educated consumer is the best consumer, so we take a consultative approach and go over the data when pricing a home. Once the data has been analyzed, we let the client make the final pricing decision.

What demographic segments are driving your business these days?
While many first-time buyers came out of the woodwork during the market crash, move-up buyers are truly driving our business today. This shift is most likely a direct result of homeowners realizing more equity in their home, providing them with the opportunity to sell their current home and move-up to their next property.

How does your company make its agents’ jobs easier?
We recognize the agent as an internal customer. We apply the Real Living 360 ServiceSM mentality to our agent population. Our agents are actually more important than the external customer. Don’t get me wrong; with a 96 percent customer satisfaction rate, we clearly understand the importance of the external customer. But, without our agents, where would we be? So, our entire management team serves the agent. We work diligently to make the agent experience easier. We do not require agents to turn in closing documents; instead, we work directly with the title company. Agents are paid within 24 hours of the closing with direct deposit. We provide assistance with marketing strategies, such as automatic social media posts, and arrange themed client appreciation events designed for the agent to maintain contact with their past clients and sphere of influence.

How are your agents staying top-of-mind in today’s competitive market?
We take advantage of the tools provided to us by Real Living. In 2014, 71 percent of the closed transactions came from our agents’ sphere of influence, as well as referral business. Market Advantage is a tool that provides the agent with a robust, repetitive marketing program. Our agents are able to stay in contact with their sphere of influence through multiple channels, on a continuous basis. Market Advantage provides unlimited multimedia marketing opportunities for both the agents and the brokerage. Whether it is online or offline, the program provides access to consistent communication, which we believe is the key to any successful marketing campaign. In fact, we have developed a marketing plan that we manage for our agents using Market Advantage. The plan connects with the consumer on 24 different occasions during the course of the year.

Real Living boasts a 96 percent customer satisfaction rating. Can you talk a little bit about how the brand’s Real Living 360 Service program (formerly Premier Service®) has given you the upper hand in today’s market?
Real Living 360 Service is Real Living Kee’s company goal. Not only do we consider outstanding service to be the biggest part of Real Living Kee’s value proposition, we’ve incorporated the mindset of Real Living 360 Service into every part of the brokerage. Having successfully closed over 4,000 transactions in the last three years, we’re very proud of our 96 percent rating. In the end, we believe that providing an outstanding service experience to the consumer is important to the continued success of the brokerage.

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