In the following interview, Richard Raspantini, broker/owner of HomeSmart Premier Living Realty in Williston Park, N.Y., discusses leveraging technology, in the backend of the brokerage and in marketing.
Region Served: Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn
Years in Real Estate: 5
Number of Offices: 4
Number of Agents: 92
What do you like most about the region in which you work?
I love Long Island because it’s close to everything. A true bedroom community, we’re within an hour of New York City and a short ferry ride to Connecticut. With Long Island Sound to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, we offer the best of both worlds. In my opinion, there’s no better place to live.
Please describe some of the current trends you’re seeing in your market.
We’re seeing a sweet spot when it comes to properties that are listed at $500,000 and below. In fact, anything in that price range is currently flying off the market, while properties listed at $800,000 and up are sitting a bit longer.
How does your company make its agents’ jobs easier?
By offering them all the tools, training and technology they need to be successful. Through our backend system, RealSmart Agent, agents have the ability to work anywhere, anytime—as long as they have an internet connection. Taking this one step further, agents can access flyers, manage their website and download listing presentations all from the backend. They can even upload paperwork to RealSmart Agent for broker approval. In the end, the higher commission they’re earning allows them to make more money on any given deal, which leads to them having more money to spend on marketing.
In what ways do your agents use technology to better serve their clients?
In addition to our large social media presence, I recently built a TV studio in the office so that our agents can get in front of their clients through a variety of different mediums. Whether they’re talking about market conditions/trends or highlighting a new listing, video is a great way for agents to showcase themselves. While some of our more experienced agents shy away from the TV studio because it’s different, it’s a great way for newer agents to launch their business and help it grow.
What sets HomeSmart Premier Living Realty apart from other brokerages?
Our culture. We’re a non-competitive brokerage where we all learn from each other and are always available to help one another. In fact, it’s not uncommon for experienced agents to take newer agents under their wing and show them the business. Because we offer a unique brokerage model, we appeal to a different kind of agent.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Mentoring agents. I love the look in their eyes when they do their first deal.
Who has most influenced your success?
West Coast real estate professionals. Long Islanders tend to be slow in terms of adapting to new and changing technology, so when I got into the business, I followed the lead of those working on the West Coast. This led to my becoming a top-producing agent within my first six months in the business.
For more information, please visit www.homesmart.com.
Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at email@example.com.