Real Estate, Relationships, and the Digital Age.

When I was first introduced to the world of real estate in 1995, less than two percent of real estate agents used computers. It was a world based primarily on interruptive marketing to a farm of unknown individuals. Today, relationship marketing is still very much alive, but now consumers have access to an infinite amount of information and multiple channels of communication. At the same time, real estate agents have greater access and insight into their clients’ lives than ever before. When used correctly, this can be a win-win for both agents and consumers.

“Over the next 10 years, the amount of both real-time and historical information available to a single person will have increased exponentially, as will the ability of a single person to instantaneously touch – and influence – a billion people in the time it takes to read this sentence.” – Intelligent Catalyst Blog
This is a pretty profound statement, but one that is quite believable when you consider how far technology has come in the past decade. What we have today is a generation of consumers who are hyperconnected via multiple channels, exchanging information every second. They now have a voice to the masses to communicate their opinions (good, bad, or otherwise), and information is readily available anywhere via smartphones, laptops, and iPads. This phenomenon is forcing everyone in real estate to shift their thinking about how they build and maintain relationships with consumers.

Many agents are beginning to understand that the mass marketing methods of the past are being replaced by a hyperlocal, customer-centric approach. Some do this by writing a blog on something they are passionate about, building loyal followers (and potential clients) with every post. They are mastering the paperless transaction and understand that knowing how to capture digital signatures can be used as a point of differentiation. They are learning how to repurpose data and content in a way that adds value in the eyes of their clients, and they know how to use these clients’ testimonials to enhance their SEO. Their websites are dynamic resources rich with real time information that simultaneously serve as a hub to their many spokes of social media.

Agents who have made the decision to embrace new technologies understand what hyperconnectivity means to them, their clients, and their business. They’ve seen first-hand how being active on social media can add significant value to their client relationships. These agents post regular updates on Facebook, tweet valuable community information, check in to their favorite spots using foursquare, and keep their LinkedIn accounts up-to-date. They understand that having the tools and hardware that allows them to do all these things is imperative – because their clients are doing it too.

This new world of technology and social media can be intimidating, so it’s important that agents have some level of support in their offices. If you aren’t comfortable being the point person, find someone in your office who can take the lead. Simply having an agent or staff person that agents feel comfortable going to for help is really all it takes. Those early adopters will help your office improve their proficiency while adding to the overall value of your organization.

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Real Estate Related, Technology | Tagged , , ,

Tools to help the Real Estate agents.

So Today at the Windermere’s 40th anniversary symposium we unveiled a new Ipad application called Touch CMA. This program is very robust and I thought I would just show you some of the screen shots of its functionality.

Cover page of your CMA

Map of comps around your home that has been GEO located.

Draw a circle or outline of the neighborhood you want to search using your finger.

Great Display pages.

A world class CMA presentation tool
An efficient and powerful CMA authoring tool (in the same app!)
A robust feature to construct and send PDF copies to yourself and your client (right from your iPad!)
An automatic generator of trends, graphs, and charts to get the outcome you want
Presenter of marketing materials that support the brokerage, the agent, or the region
Highly usable and simplified user experience that any agent can pick and use from the first minute
A search-by-fingertip function that allows the agent to draw right on the map and find matching listings
A customizable Seller’s Net Proceeds worksheet that clearly demonstrates the use of proceeds from a sale and more!

This is available today on the Ipad app store. To find out more e-mail info@windermeresolutions.com

Posted on January 25, 2012 at 10:11 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Real Estate Related, Technology | Tagged , , ,

10 Common mistakes in sales work.

So I read this article in the Puget Sound Business Journal last week and found that there are some mistakes I have made. I thought hmmmm.. I’m sure all of us have made some of these mistakes so I’m going to list them out for you. If you want to read the entire article written by Arden Clise, I’ve included the link below.
10 common mistakes in sales work

1. Dressing too casually.

2. Not conveying warmth, sincerity and energy in your voice.

3. Speaking too fast.

4. Using unprofessional language.

5. Interrupting your customer.

6. Doing something that makes a noise in the back-ground

7. Putting someone on speaker phone without getting their permission. ( I have had someone call me to ask a question about another person, only to find out I was on speaker with that other person in the room) Yikes!

8. Not knowing your customer. (In today’s world there is more than enough information out there to not know something about the person your getting ready to talk to.)

9. Talking more than listening. ( My Dad told me, ” Son you have two ears and one mouth for a reason!”)

10. Over promising.

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 11:00 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today | Tagged , , ,

Let me tell you what they didn't print.

Let me tell you what didn’t get printed. I also said that Just having a great website isn’t enough in today’s world. Windermere understands that you have to compete on all levels which is why we are launching some new amazing tools and options for our customers with a new www.windermere.com site. Great new office.com sites and new agent.com sites.

But the bigger piece is the way our Brokers show up day in and day out. Buying and selling a home is a huge deal, using a Windermere agent that has the knowledge and expertise, is worth it’s weight in gold.

They didn’t print the part about the home we sold in Magnolia and how an identical listing up the street that was listed by redfin was about 68,000 high and while our Windemrere agent listed and sold our house in 4 days at 100% LP the Redfin listing sat for over 3 months and sold at 89% of LP. There is a huge difference.

All the technology in the world doesn’t replace that relationship and hard work ethic that good real estate brokers bring to the table day after day. I know other companies have great brokers as well but I’m bias in I think Windermere has some of the best and they prove it day after day by dominating the market, Selling homes quickly, and having a very strong loyal customer base. Just look at what happened a few weeks back in the Puget Sound Business Journal battle of the brands.  We made it all the way to the second place up against some pretty amazing brands. That doesn’t happen because you have a great website. It happens because you invest in people and you show up and give back more than you take. You make sure you exceed customers expectations day in and day out.

That is what didn’t get printed. 🙂

Posted on September 11, 2011 at 11:27 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Interesting stuff | Tagged , ,

Let me tell you what they didn’t print.

Let me tell you what didn’t get printed. I also said that Just having a great website isn’t enough in today’s world. Windermere understands that you have to compete on all levels which is why we are launching some new amazing tools and options for our customers with a new www.windermere.com site. Great new office.com sites and new agent.com sites.

But the bigger piece is the way our Brokers show up day in and day out. Buying and selling a home is a huge deal, using a Windermere agent that has the knowledge and expertise, is worth it’s weight in gold.

They didn’t print the part about the home we sold in Magnolia and how an identical listing up the street that was listed by redfin was about 68,000 high and while our Windemrere agent listed and sold our house in 4 days at 100% LP the Redfin listing sat for over 3 months and sold at 89% of LP. There is a huge difference.

All the technology in the world doesn’t replace that relationship and hard work ethic that good real estate brokers bring to the table day after day. I know other companies have great brokers as well but I’m bias in I think Windermere has some of the best and they prove it day after day by dominating the market, Selling homes quickly, and having a very strong loyal customer base. Just look at what happened a few weeks back in the Puget Sound Business Journal battle of the brands.  We made it all the way to the second place up against some pretty amazing brands. That doesn’t happen because you have a great website. It happens because you invest in people and you show up and give back more than you take. You make sure you exceed customers expectations day in and day out.

That is what didn’t get printed. 🙂

Posted on September 11, 2011 at 11:27 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Interesting stuff | Tagged , ,

The fabric of the Windermere culture.

Being out in the field I’m often asked what is it about Windermere that has kept me here for 14 years. There are many reasons but below is a quote form a colleague and friend of mine at Windermere, Pat Grimm. This  was written on the bottom of his owner’s meeting agenda for next week. It said this.

Final thought: Are we committed to collaborating with one another? … working with one another? … trust one another? We stand arm to arm no matter what … It’s what separates us from other franchises. Let’s keep that always in mind.

I have to say that the type of Owner/Broker that I work with throughout our network is and always has been about giving and working together to make sure they are delivering the highest level of service they can to their customer’s.

The other is the way each of our individual offices give back to the communities they serve. The Windermere foundation is able to do some amazing things, but it wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for the Brokers and Owners that are so giving of their time and money to support those less fortunate.

At the end of the day it feels good to be a part of a group of individuals who care so much about others.

Posted on September 6, 2011 at 10:02 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, customer services, Real Estate Related | Tagged , , ,

Blogging does matter.

As Windermere gets ready to launch their new agent.com websites that are based on a wordpress platform it will be a huge opportunity for many of you to think about having a blog. I for one truly believe in blogging. That said there will be many of you that may not think that blogging adds any value to your business. I recently saw this video and Seth hits the nail on the head as to why blogging is important, whether you get many viewers or a small amount of viewers. (It’s important) I really hope you make the most of your windermere.com website and think about using the blogging option.

Posted on August 3, 2011 at 8:07 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Real Estate Related, Technology, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

Windermere Community Services Day is about building better communities.

Just to give you an idea what 200 Windermere Realtors can do, take a look at at this video from last years community services day in Spokane at the Ronald McDonald  house. We really are all about building better communities.

Our work is not about houses. It’s about people.

We’re in the business of selling houses. But more importantly, we’re helping people find a place they can call home. Our commitment to service extends beyond each real estate transaction. Every year since 1984, Windermere associates have skipped work for a day to complete neighborhood improvement projects.

Not only is Community Service Day a great opportunity to give back to the communities where we live and work, it also gives us a chance to work together. We clean, landscape and repair parks, playgrounds, schools, shelters and community buildings. Each office selects a project that best serves its community needs.

After all, real estate is rooted in our communities. And an investment in our neighborhoods gives us all a better place to call home.

Past projects have included cleaning, landscaping, painting and light carpentry to benefit senior citizens centers, facilities for physically and mentally challenged children and adults, public schools, low income housing and emergency shelters, among others.

Community Service Day has been recognized by several local and national organizations for its community improvement projects.

Real estate firms across the country have adopted similar programs.

For more information or if you have ideas for a project in your neighborhood, please contact your Windermere sales associate.

Posted on June 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Interesting stuff, Living, Real Estate Related | Tagged , ,

Selling a home the right way!

Well inspection is complete and everything looks good. Closing set for 20 days from now and I couldn’t be happier. So what are the take aways from this process I just went through?

1. make sure your working with a skilled Realtor that knows the market your home is in.

2. Listen to what they have to tell you about the value of your home and the things you need to do to the home to present it in it’s best light.

3. Like my Dad use to say “every pot has a lid”.. point is, there is a buyer for your home and it only takes one good buyer to get your home sold.

4. Making sure your Realtor has skills when it comes to negotiation on your behalf. Marketing the home is one thing but then when an offer comes in there are decisions to be made and leaving money on the table is never a good thing.

5. Working with a Realtor without an Ego. Meaning that they work in an office with other highly skilled Realtors and they aren’t afraid to ask for price opinions and will run scenarios by others to make sure they are getting the best outcome for their client.

6. Listen more talk less.  You may think that you know how to sell your home but believe me there are more ways to do it wrong then there are to do it right.

7. After your Realtor has worked hard on your behalf show your appreciation by, recommending them on sites like Yelp, and Linkedin, and Zillow. Refer your friends to your Realtor it is the best compliment you can give to them.

Posted on April 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Real Estate Related, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

Why is Windermere investing in technology?

A recent article form Geek Wire talked about Windermere and Brett Eddy the new CTO for the new company Windermere Solutions. After reading the article I began to read the comments. It was amusing to me to see the wide gap between the individuals that want to change the way we do real estate and the existing companies who have been successful in real estate for some time now. I’m included in the latter.

For everyone else who read this article I just wanted to make sure that the direction of Windermere was understood.  There were claims that we are behind the times, that we only want to hide information from the customer so  we can continue to run our old school ways of doing business.

I want to step back in time to 1997 when real estate wasn’t on the Internet and the Internet was in it’s infancy. Windermere was the reason for (IDX) Internet data exchange.

The  NWMLS was the first multiple listing services  in the US to get the brokers together and share  listing data and display the address. At that time this  was (Crazy talk).  With the help of John L. Scott and CB we all agreed and became the first region in the US to share listing data  on the Internet. From there it opened the flood gates and frankly IDX was the catalyst to the new breed of companies like Trulia, and Zillow, and many others.

Windermere is of the mind set that the more information for the customer the better. However lets be smart how we deliver that information and make sure it provides value. We are and always will be a company that keeps the customer in the front of our minds as we push forward to be creative and ever changing. I remember how exciting it was back then, and how driven we were to do something different. Well that time is here again and with new technology and our amazing ability to create strong everlasting relationships with the communities we serve will prove to be a successful combination.

I understand the proof is in the pudding but make no mistake we do not see technology as the silver bullet, there are many components to being successful in the business today  and technology is just  one of the corner stones to a strong and successful real estate company.

Posted on April 2, 2011 at 8:58 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Real Estate Related, Technology, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , ,