In the following interview, Cora Bett Thomas, CEO of Cora Bett Thomas Realty, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, in Savannah, Ga., discusses the future of the industry, the local market, technology, and more.
Region Served: The 100 Mile Coast, from Beaufort, S.C., to St. Simons, Ga.
Years in Real Estate: 43
Number of Offices: 2
Number of Agents: 50+
Please describe some of the strategies you employ when assisting homebuyers who are relocating to your area.
Typically, the wife makes the decision, so find out what’s important to her, then ask them both what they want. Don’t just listen to what they say, but what they’re not saying. Once they’re qualified and they’ve decided on a neighborhood, introduce them to the neighbors, places of worship, grocery store, dry cleaners, school, etc. They’ll always remember how you helped them assimilate into the neighborhood.
How do you stay in touch with your clients?
Staying in touch with clients begins with a CRM that’s used vigorously. I’m dedicated to touching clients in all forms: emails, cards, texts and gatherings planned specifically for reuniting. I also take advantage of drip mail to share market trends and remind them of events and charity functions, frequently inviting them to attend with me. Being authentic and honestly caring about the client is imperative if you want to gain their trust and be a friend to them.
You’ve had great success over the years. What’s been your secret to staying ahead of the competition?
Great branding and marketing. Letting potential clients know who we are and what’s important to our company is also key.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve overcome at your brokerage within the last year?
The biggest obstacle we’ve overcome centers around keeping abreast of technology. This includes evaluating what’s needed and what’s best for the company and getting trained on it, even if it may not exist two years from now.
What’s the most significant trend positively impacting your business today?
While people can live and work wherever they choose, we’ve benefitted from the fact that Savannah and the surrounding area sells itself. In addition to a great climate, gracious people and art and music, diversity is embraced in the area, as well as having several institutions of higher learning, specifically Savannah College of Art and Design. Savannah is a beautiful city, but this isn’t just a place to live along The 100 Mile Coast—it’s a way to live in the real South.
Where do you see yourself and your business five years down the road?
The brokerage is growing, young people are coming into the area and the profession for the future entrepreneur is limitless. While it will be hard to recognize the profession in five years, some things never change, and that includes service and relationships. We’ll embrace the changes to stand out and be ahead of the curve.
What are your top tips for staying relevant in today’s real estate landscape?
To be relevant requires flexibility. If you’re going to be flexible, then becoming proficient in technology is imperative. While education is important, you must also take the time to know and understand your customers and what makes them tick.
For more information, please visit www.leadingre.com.
Jameson Doris is RISMedia’s blog and social media editor. Email him your real estate blog ideas at email@example.com.