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Cole_MikeIn the following interview, Mike Cole, owner of Realty ONE Group Dockside in Myrtle Beach, S.C., discusses the advantages of the brand, negotiating, social media, technology and more.

Region Served: Myrtle Beach, Horry and Georgetown Counties
Years in Real Estate: 23
Number of Offices: 3
Number of Agents: 230
Best Advice for New Agents: Answer your phone and reply to emails.
Favorite Part of Your Job: The interaction with so many different personalities and cultures

What is one challenge that constantly arises in real estate transactions, and how do you educate your clients?
Almost half of our clients come from out of town—long distance investors and second-homebuyers. Many times, they’re used to doing things a certain way according to their home state. For example, when purchasing in Myrtle Beach, the courthouse has to record the transaction before keys can be disbursed, which can cause confusion if a buyer is expecting to move in on closing day. We tell our agents to always educate clients on what to expect.

Are there any generational differences you can point to in the way your clients approach real estate?
We have a large population of baby boomers purchasing retirement beach properties or second homes because of our gorgeous weather and golf courses. They tend to be “folksier” and connect better with agents. On the other hand, Gen X and Gen Y buyers (and, to some extent, millennials) tend to want information quickly and with less “fluff,” and are more interested in quantitative facts on a computer screen. Realty ONE Group has their finger on the pulse of younger buyers who are the future of our business. At the same time, they also know what type of marketing reaches the older generation.

Please describe some of the current trends in your market.
Properties stay on the market for substantially less time than in previous years and prices have slowly begun to appreciate. More agents are using marketing professionals, such as photographers, drone operators (we currently have an FAA licensed operator on staff) and stagers. Agents used to do a number of these things themselves, although not very well in many instances. Another trend is the explosion of social media in marketing. This is a huge reason behind our decision to join Realty ONE Group, as they have the tools and technology to guide us at all times.

What type of innovative tech do you use in your business?
Realty ONE Group provides some fantastic platforms to all team members, such as Spacio, DocuSign, Moxi Works CRM, Moxi Engage, Skyslope and Circlepix.

How do you approach tough negotiations in both the offer and inspection processes?
I firmly believe that for a negotiation to be successful, there needs to be two winners. It goes back to managing our clients’ expectations from the start so they aren’t blindsided when issues come up.

In what ways does your brokerage’s office culture play a role in your real estate career?
Having been at other firms, I’ve grown to appreciate the coolture of Realty ONE Group—a combination of cool and culture. It’s a place where everyONE has a voice and is treated as an equal. Our offices tend to be very laid-back, as evidenced by the ONE Cafe, where agents and clients can relax in a diner atmosphere, yet still remain professional. If we can exceed our agents’ expectations, we will always be successful.

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Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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