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In the following interview, Engel & Völkers Minneapolis Downtown’s Geoffrey Bray and Lindsay Bacigalupo offer insight into top tips for motivation, technology and transparency.

Geoffrey_BrayGeoffrey Bray
Lindsay Bacigalupo
Engel & Völkers Minneapolis Downtown
Minneapolis, Minn.

Lindsay_BacigalupoRegion served: The 13-county metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul
Number of offices: 1, with plans to have 3 – 5 within three years
Number of agents: 19
Most effective way to motivate agents: We have two spaces dedicated to getting out of the “usual workspace” to promote idea exchanging. It’s amazing what kind of service offerings and forward thinking can occur when a real estate agent doesn’t hoard their bright ideas.
Best tip for getting buyers and sellers to successfully work together: We promote that everything is done with total transparency. There is no buyer that thinks the home they’re buying is perfect after the inspection takes place, and no seller that thinks their home isn’t perfect before. Explaining these things up-front typically makes the process of working together more enjoyable for everyone involved.

What are the current market conditions in your area?
Geoffrey Bray:
We’re enjoying one of the healthiest markets for every type of consumer. If a home is priced right and in good condition, sellers are happy. Investors are getting some of the highest rental rates we’ve ever seen, and new-home construction is up and running again.

What technology best practices are making a positive difference at your company?
Lindsay Bacigalupo:
Creative and genuine social media posts/campaigns.
GB: Engel & Völkers offers some truly refreshing technology options for our agents. It’s the first company I’ve seen that has truly achieved the difficult task of providing a single sign-on platform for the majority of their tools. In addition, the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® has developed tools such as InfoSparks that provide local market data to our advisors at the click of a button.

What are some of the most difficult challenges your buyers are facing today and how does your company help solve these challenges?
There’s so much information at a buyer’s fingertips via numerous resources today, that being able to interpret and understand that information is increasingly important. Having a real estate advisor to educate you and be by your side throughout the entire process is critical. We spend a lot of time and energy to make sure the REALTORS® at Engel and Völkers are true professionals who have a passion for concierge service and a true desire to make a difference.
GB: We’re still seeing a bit of a shortage when it comes to our local inventory. We view a truly balanced market as having about six months of listing inventory, which ensures that a qualified buyer can usually find something they love. We have weekly meetings in which we talk about upcoming listings and our current buyer needs. If someone in the shop has been to a listing, or has a listing about to come on the market that fits one of those needs, we can help stay ahead of the other consumers out there represented by less aggressive agents.

What is your team doing to stay ahead of the competition?
We go above and beyond for our clients. It really is a customer-focused company, and we never stop pushing to make the experience easier, more fun, and less stressful for our buyers and sellers. Without them, we wouldn’t be here.

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