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Every Wednesday morning I post a weekly report for Central Oregon. These reports include property search links to the most popular real estate searches, market conditions and events happening throughout our communities. In addition to highlighting the diverse activities of Central Oregon, I also post articles about navigating all aspects of home buying and selling. Whether you are looking for a place for dinner, planning your weekend or researching real estate, you will find it all right here! Register today to receive your reports, or contact Reed if there is anything in the world I can do for you.
Companies around the world pay millions of dollars to develop their brand and cultivate an image. The money spent on branding in the highly competitive world of real estate is astronomical, at the international and local level. As a consumer, should you pay attention to the brand? What does branding mean at the agent level? Let's look at branding from a broader view than logos or graphics and address the important things to know before choosing an agent.
Merriam-Webster defines a brand as a public image, reputation, or identity conceived of as something to be marketed or promoted. Recently I had a local graphics designer design a logo for Enjoy Bend Life Real Estate, something to be used in marketing and promotion. The new logo has helped bring some consistency to marketing and social media for my business. It helps to differentiate me from a sea of agents. But, should someone choose to work with me because of a logo? Statistically, less than 3% of people polled said they decided on their real estate agent based on the brokerage. The indication is that the brand does not matter.
Building a reputation comes from doing an excellent job for your clients, and eventually become referrals from past clients. A consistent brand in print, on social media, and through the marketing of properties are reputation builders over time. All of those activities fall under the definition of a brand. Does it take more than that to be a great real estate agent?
Yes, and many other skills come to mind, like knowledge of the market, professional connections, technology to communicate promptly, and effective marketing of homes. Adding all of these skills together gets you closer. Still, I believe there are other things also to consider.
There are introverts and extroverts in real estate, but we all need clients to make a living. Without you, none of the rest matters. Ironically, for many agents, having a steady stream of new clients becomes a problem rather than a solution. Here is an example/analogy from my past. I grew up commercial fishing on my Grandfather's boat and started my own fishing business when I was 20 years old. Watching top producing fisherman from a young age taught me about planning ahead and preparation. I was 21 the first time I ran my fishing boat from Washington State to Alaska, where I operated it by myself for four and a half months! Preparation, well-maintained equipment, and a solid plan are necessary to execute on the water. Being successful as a commercial fisherman means catching as many fish as possible in highly regulated fisheries, under extremely tight timelines, in adverse conditions. It sounds like a real estate agent's day!
When a commercial fisher does everything right (or gets lucky), the amount of fish can be overwhelming. It was not uncommon to see the less professional fisherman having a tough time dealing with the volume.
In many fisheries, two or three days can equate to 30-40% of a season's production. You must be ready when it matters.
Commercial fishers and real estate agents alike build brand every day, whether they know it or not, and the details matter. Not paying attention to details in real estate may not cost you your life like it can on the water, but it can certainly cost you your career and clients. Having a great brand as an agent means being able to thrive when you are busier than you have ever been.
The next time you are interviewing an agent, look at their brand with a wide-angle lens. There are no right and wrong answers, but ideally, a well thought out reply. Agents that are not as busy can make up for not having systems by devoting all of their focus to a transaction. Top producers stay on top of everything by having a team around them. Solo agents may have technology and systems that ensure they are on top of everything. Many agents will have a blend of the three. The key is asking lots of questions! I have not run across an agent yet that does not enjoy talking with people about real estate! A few simple questions can give you the confidence of knowing you made the right choice. There will be plenty of time to ask questions about your home once you have your agent.
If you have any questions about Enjoy Bend Life Real Estate at Stellar Realty, contact Reed.
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We all rely on daily routines to manage our lives. How much thought have you put into those routines? Do you work backward from an end goal, methodically planning each step of the way? Or do you thrive under pressure and get everything done just before a deadline? The chances are high that technology plays a part in your day.
Technology has forever changed our lives, and there are not many businesses that have been affected more than real estate. Smartphones put your local MLS in the palm of your hand, and your Realtor on speed dial, with the bulk of any transaction taking place electronically. A real estate agent today is running their own technology company, and their mastery of technology has a direct impact on your experience.
The role of technology is prominent when listing a property for sale between digital photography, uploading the listing into the MLS, and advertising. In many cases, even communication happens electronically. Access to lockboxes on homes for sale occurs through an app on a smartphone, and agents can provide feedback in real-time. Marketing a home for sale primarily takes place online, even announcing an open house! In today's world, digital marketing can entirely replace printed material. An agent with a solid grasp of technology and the systems in place to stay on track can make an ok real estate experience great!
Home buying today starts online for most people. Print advertising is still prominent, but nothing compares with the information available to a buyer online. With so many websites available to search properties, how do you choose? An excellent real estate website will have an interactive map search, address search, and work well on your smartphone.
Having an app for searching while touring a neighborhood is another useful feature, as well as emailed search results that keep you up to date. Does the website make it easy to find information to support your search, with links to county and city websites, or GIS information? Having a great go-to site for your real estate needs is an essential first step for buyers and sellers alike.
The majority of real estate transactions start on the internet, but they close with people and communication. Communication starts via phone or text message, and it is vitally important that your agent has the tools to keep track of your needs and appropriate properties. When you choose an agent that has invested in professional systems, it is a step to help guarantee a professional experience.
Use enjoybendlife.com to search Central Oregon by city, price point, riverfront, golf course properties, or map. Read my weekly Central Oregon Market Report to learn about our community, market trends, and local events or use convenient one-click links to the most popular real estate searches. I embrace technology to give my clients every advantage in meeting their goals. Still, it is never a replacement for personal attention and professional service.
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