Standing out from the crowd is the name of the game in today's highly competitive real estate industry, which, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, is nearly 1.4 million members strong.
But what does it take to be a modern agent? During RISMedia's recent webinar—"How to Become a Modern Agent"—panelists Kendall Bonner, broker/owner of RE/MAX Capital Realty; Dulce Anayasaenz, a licensed REALTOR® and business owner at 8z Real Estate; and Jordan Trosclair, a REALTOR® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices United Properties, shed light on what it means to be a modern agent.
The webinar, sponsored by zavvie, was moderated by Sherri Johnson, founder and CEO of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting.
"A modern agent is someone who uses technology to enhance the customer's experience and make themselves more efficient," explained Bonner, who wholeheartedly believes that being a modern agent doesn't require one to be replaced by technology.
Utilizing technology to her advantage, Bonner is a huge proponent of AI tools that allow her to connect with prospective clients who are most likely to make a move.
"We've never had a crystal ball before, but in a way, we now do through AI," said Bonner. "We're enhancing the customer experience by being able to talk to the people who might want to work with us as opposed to randomly calling people."
For Anayasaenz, integrating the latest and greatest tech tools into the mix is just one component that will help real estate professionals identify as modern.
"To me, being a modern agent boils down to creating efficiencies that use people's most valuable resource well," said Anayasaenz. "And that resource is time."
To that end, Anayasaenz makes the best use of her time and her client's time by conducting buyer and seller consultations via Zoom—fostering authentic conversations each and every time.
"With more than 88% of my business coming from my sphere, the ability to connect and have a more authentic conversation is important," noted Anayasaenz.
As the market continues to change, Trosclair points to one's ability to implement and adapt as the key factor when it comes to becoming a modern agent.
"You have to be willing to adapt at a moment's notice to keep up with this market," explained Trosclair. "This can be achieved by leveraging the tools and technologies that are coming out, determining which ones can help you—and which ones you don’t need—then putting systems into place to streamline the business to make the process more efficient."
A true believer in the power of a simple phone call, Trosclair knew he had to pivot when the pandemic hit—and so, he jumped feet first into video.
With plans to incorporate video into the mix more fully as the future unfolds, Trosclair understands the significance that video plays in today's environment—a value shared by panelists across the board.
Bonner, who has a passion for teaching people how to implement video into their business, shared three types of video to focus on: one-on-one videos (to get more comfortable with the concept of using video); interviews (with home inspectors, appraisers, lenders, credit repair specialists, photographers, etc.); edumarketing (taking education and providing value to the customer by explaining different parts of the process).
"Video is the fastest way to connect with the most amount of people at any one time," added Johnson, who encouraged attendees to jump in the deep end and get started. "Just be yourself."
Authenticity tops the list for Anayasaenz when it comes to becoming a modern agent.
"Stop doing anything that doesn’t feel authentic, and start doing anything that does. Technology is here to stay, and while it has changed the name of the game, it hasn’t changed the fact that customer service can only come from human interaction."
"Stop waiting for things to happen, and start making things happen," added Trosclair, who challenged attendees to pick up the phone and call homeowners in neighborhoods where their buyers want to be in order to find a seller.
"There are so many options coming into play as far as selling a home goes," concluded Maya McEntee, platform specialist at zavvie. "Consumers want that optionality so that they can choose what is best for them. But they also want simplicity in that. They want one button, one brand, one company—and that's what zavvie brings."
Watch the full webinar below:
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