Education is a requirement set for the in the REALTOR Code of Ethics. Higher ethical standards for members of the National Association of Realtors involve dealing with the public, with fellow Realtors, and for setting the bar higher for Realtors as individuals. There are many educational events you may hear Realtors today discussing. Last fall I attended 2010 National Association of Realtors Conference in New Orleans. In the winter I attended the NAR Mid-Winter Business Meeting, This spring the XPlode Technology conference and this summer will be at the Gainesville and Orlando REBarCamp events and the Florida Realtors Annual Conference in August.
These events aren’t just for fun, although we try to make the most of it. These are necessary educational meetings that showcase hot marketing topics, marketing products and trending technology business building tools that are necessary to conduct the daily business of real estate sales.
The day before the NAR Conference, I attended the Real Estate BarCamp in New Orleans. Open to 200 or so agents who registered weeks before the conference, the “un-conference” was standing room only. Agents and technology leaders gathered to create a schedule of various classes that spawned creative discussions on topics such as Realtor Property Resource program development, mobile phone applications, Google Tools, Geo-tagging and blogging strategies. People may wonder what a Realtor would need with this type of knowledge. Believe it or not, Realtors don’t just ride people around in their cars.
Real estate is a consumer demand profession. Real estate brokerages are re-defining their business models with the demand that consumers place on them. Finding the happy medium between consumer demand and Realtor schedules is a constant challenge. Brokers struggle to support the needs of their agents and agents are constantly learning the most effective ways to serve their customers.
Customers today, buyers and sellers, are coming to their Realtors with knowledge of technology and have moved beyond print publications and are influenced by media, unfortunately, and by what they have read or seen on the Internet. Today’s consumers are using technology and they don’t even realize it. They check email over 44 times a day, swipe debit cards and internet shop, They follow investment portfolios online, download music. Grandmothers are using Facebook, You-Tube and record TV shows. Realtors have to adapt to changes in technology in order to stay in touch with today’s consumer.
However, many Realtors are not simply embracing the technology to help their businesses grow or expand. The early adopters of technology are moving at the speed of light, literally as technology has created portals of communication that are instant and useful to consumers. According to International Data Corporation (idc.com), nearly 1 in 7 people (one Billion), will be accessing the Internet on a mobile device.1 Yet we still see Realtors resistant to change, using dated systems, struggling with mailouts, cold calls, and yes, even email, all of which are quickly becoming relics! Not for this team!
Today, Home Sales of Tallahassee had developed a team of Realtors, all using the latest technology when dealing with our customers. As a team we use virtual communication tools such as a virtual calendar, form database, file storage system and mobile MLS search application that keep us all in touch with each other as well as accessible to our files while on the go. I have a QR code on the back of my car, and while I see the public stopping to take a scan, or holding a phone outside the car window to grab a photo that leads them directly to my website where they can bookmark us as a reference for their future real estate needs.
The Home Sales of Tallahassee team is also connected on social network sites, using websites, blogs and social media marketing to deliver real estate information, market reports, property videos, and local resource and Tallahassee, FL relocation information to consumers.
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1. Swanepoel TRENDS Report 2011