The job of the realtor encompasses a wide range of duties — and with the housing market slowly but steadily recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, it’s a more critical one than ever. In a recet Inman.com interview, Rand Realty general counsel and managing partner Joe Rand took to the airwaves to speak on the profession’s future, and what real estate professionals need to know to stay sharp and competetive in a changing landscape. The key takeaways:
Streamline, Streamline, Streamline
According to Rand, the profession’s number one challenge is a widely perceived lack of competence. The real estate industry has a significant PR problem in its reputation for slow-moving, paperwork-laden bureaucracy. Getting ahead of the challenge is a two-step process: first defeating the perception (thus attracting clients), and second performing the job with as much efficiency as possible (thus retaining their loyalty).
There are many traditional business tactics to strengthen organizational efficiency — streamlining internal processes, investing in public relations — as well as real estate-specific ones, such as incentivizing personal client relationships and word-of-mouth referrals. The value is that it’s a self-sustaining cycle: the more efficiently your organization works for the client the better your reputation will become, drawing in new business. It’s also important to maintain a strong two-way relationship with brokers, choosing to work with one who understands that your success is theirs — and vice versa.
Promote the Profession’s Value
Closely related to the efficiency challenge is a public lack of understanding on what realtors actually do — which can make potential clients question the point of retaining one at all. Since the profession is often thought of as just a “sales job,” they may decide to pay someone unqualified a nominal fee to put their home on the market, or list it themselves to potentially disastrous results.
As any seasoned real estate professional knows, sales are in reality only a small part of the picture. Professional realtors guide their clients through an extraordinarily complex and challenging financial transaction that requires specialized knowledge. The solution is to emphasize the concrete value you bring to the transaction when speaking to new clients, and reporting every step of the way on what you are actually doing for their finances.
Accurate, Timely Data
Finally, the quagmire that is listing data must be addressed. Newcomers like Zillow and realtor.com are disrupting the industry in major ways: a 2015 earnings report showed these online venues approaching a billion dollars’ worth of revenue, 95% of which originates from the real estate industry. In terms of brand awareness and lead generation, these sites are poised to outstrip the client > realtor > brokerage relationship in the near future. They also complicate the already-problematic issue of conflicting MLS (multiple listing service) data.
After you’ve streamlined your operations (as seen in the first point), use that newly freed-up time to make transparency and accuracy a priority. This could include double-checking technical specs with contractors or the public records office, reviewing submitted listings twice for typos, or designing a branded “master document” for potential buyers to take home.
Working with Champion Title
You can depend on Champion Title for reliable, efficient title services as you navigate everything from title exchanges to refinances. Visit our homepage to find out how realtors throughout the Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. region are taking advantage of our expertise in title insurance, refinancing, 1031 exchange and more.