Collaboration, deciding to work together, is something that defines growth in society. When there is disagreement within groups, things don’t get done and people are not happy. The same can be said for any country, industry, or family. Human beings that want to create a collaborative community, have the ability to unleash the power of the human spirit. The presence of that drive is something that contains momentum for amazing things to happen.
Why Can’t We Collaborate?
Real Estate is a people business; however, in modern times, large tech companies are doing a number on the industry. And, we literally mean doing a number…
Tech companies are capturing data in order to sell it to agents. In fact, they are charging agents for leads and also offering ways for agents to pay to be seen within their large platforms. These businesses are doing a disservice to the Real Estate industry. Every professional involved is also affected- Mortgage lenders, service providers, abstractors, lawyers, and home inspectors, alike.
A Platform for YOU
One of the central pillars of REALLY’s mission is to create a collaborative community that allows Real Estate professionals to unleash the power of the relationships that they build. That is to say, we want our Community Members to work together to achieve success by giving them a platform and tools with which they can collaborate. With REALLY, Members can discuss, learn, and help each other with all things real estate. Users can do more business, do better business. Ultimately, our vision is that REALLY Members may unleash the power of a collaborative community and tap back into the human spirit in this thoroughly modern world.
Watch Your Flanks
To date, the Real Estate industry has not had a good platform for everyone to come together, collaborate, and exchange key information between each other. Larger Real Estate tech companies saw this vulnerability and decided to exploit it by centralizing information and charging agents to access it.
REALLY to The Rescue
REALLY answers this issue through giving professionals tools to exchange client information and communicate with one another. We, at REALLY, believe in harnessing the power of technology rather than having it harness us. We want technology to serve Real Estate Professionals. Let’s keep the human side of the real estate industry strong. In an automated world that exploits the “boots on the ground,” we need to emphasize the person-to-person connections that grew the industry into what it is today. (more…)
5 Quick Tips to Tighten-Up Your Referral Generation Business
If you’re like us, you LOVE a good referral. There’s nothing better than having your character, business, and reputation work for you. With that stated, and we’re sure it comes as NO surprise to you, most of these ideas hinge on the principle of relationships. You may already be running a strong team with a good word-of-mouth business, but here are tips you may consider adding to your repertoire to increase referral generation.
1. Make Your Clients Your Friends.
After the transaction ends, check in, send cards, make a phone call, or send a text message. Maintaining relationships with people after you’ve completed a sale is a great way to ensure that you’re at the forefront of their mind should any real estate needs, concerns, or referrals arise.
2. Use Your Sphere of Influence: Create Connections Among People You Know.
Are you having a gathering? A party? An event? Include people you know on the guest list. Invite the local musician you see play at the corner pub, invite your kids’ swim coach, invite the people your mom knows from her quilting group… maybe not all at once… BUT including different types of people with whom you already associate will allow for you expand your network. Remember, first the person has to know you to like you and has to like you to trust you. Start with small gestures and build from there to generate referrals.
3. Use Referral Networking Sites and Applications like REALLY.
Creating connections online is not just for college kids and Instagram influencers. Having the ability to connect through a network such as REALLY will allow you to be the person that another agent or broker will think of if they have a client moving to your area. Building and maintaining online relationships can be a fruitful endeavor if you give it some proper time and attention.
4. Check your Ego at the Door.
Try to always remember that the more you remember that this is a cooperative business and the less you allow yourself to be bruised by bumps in the road, the better you will fair in this industry.
5. Maintain your Professional Relationships.
Think about it. As a broker or an agent, if you have similar offers coming in, you are most likely going to choose the one from the agent with whom you have the best relationships. You will choose the person with the best track record with you. So, it is important that you, too, maintain your professional relationships.
A bonus tip: Lastly, and most importantly, don’t always WAIT for a referral. Be sure to also send one, as well. Use your SOI to not only help you, but to help others and it will also yield a positive result for you, too!
Maybe you already do some of these things. Maybe you’ve already considered these angles, as well. We think, however, it’s important to revisit these ideas every few months to truly tap into your referral potential.
Could All Real Estate Agents Increase Commissions With This One Question…
To be successful in any career, you have to be willing to hustle and work hard. In Real Estate, there are countless, crazy things that any agent or broker could go through to secure that sale or new client. But, what if you didn’t have to jump through hoops to secure your next commission? Would you do it? Do you already do it?
Let me explain.
Imagine walking into a house to do a listing presentation. You’ve already spoken to the person on the phone, so you know a little bit about their circumstances. During that interaction, if a seller is moving out of the area, an agent should always ask one thing:
Do you have a real estate agent where you are moving?
This one question will allow you to secure a future commission while supporting your client. And yet, many agents do not inquire past the initial transaction and situation as they sit at the kitchen table.
This simple question, “Do you have a real estate agent where you are moving?” immediately places you in a space to gain a future commission. It puts you in the position to increase commissions, overall. Many clients will not have another agent lined up and here is your opportunity to help them and yourself – it’s a win-win situation set-up. We love those!
If your client does not have an agent where they are moving to, you should be sure to offer to set them up with one. Additionally, should the client want options, you can offer to set them up with more than one prospective agent that they can then interview. You can use REALLY to locate and vet prospective agents or should you have someone in the old Rolodex, you can give them a call directly and still connect in REALLY just for the ease of the one-click paperwork.
During that same kitchen table conversation, remember to always tell your clients that at no additional cost to them, they can use you for advice where ever they go and that by relocating to a different town, they still have their relationship with you as their agent. Let them know that you are happy to search some comps on a potential property or just be a third eye on something they are considering as a professional courtesy of the relationship. When agents refer clients to other agents, a shared commission is expected between the two. And, we are all happy to share in this case. But, none of this can happen without asking the initial question.
Do you have a real estate agent where you are moving?
“Well, I can help you with that…”
A referral commission starts here. What if you always asked that question? Surely, if all real estate agents asked that question, there would be no more money absentmindedly left on the proverbial [kitchen] table.
Some people say Santa Monica’s motto is “Happy people in a happy city,” while others claim the original Latin phrase translates to, “Fortunate people in a prosperous land.” However one wishes to translate it, Santa Monica seems like a dream place to live with its coastal mediterannean climate, extensive shoreline, and gorgeous real estate. For J.D. Songstad, “MrWestside [sic] Real Estate”, selling in this idyllic location is nothing short of an incredibly spectacular career.
J.D. Songstad has been in the business since 1999. Before he was an agent, he was in the Air Force and when it came to considering a logical next step, J.D. took a personal inventory. He knew he was a “highly intelligent” person, but he didn’t have a college degree. J.D. also had previous experience in sales and thought about what would be the best fit for him. Real Estate seemed to tick all the boxes for J.D. and after he made the transition, there was no holding him back.
Being based out of Santa Monica, with its 300 plus days of sunshine a year and plethora of shops, restaurants, and attractions, J.D. has an interesting blend of clients. From doctors, to lawyers, to entertainment professionals, to tech industry folk, J.D. loves to serve his clients by making things as simple as possible for them. In fact, one thing that does offer J.D. some challenge is that desire for perfection with every transaction. There are “so many moving parts” to all transactions that sometimes all you can do is “put fires out,” which J.D. finds frustrating as he is trying to deliver nothing less than excellence to his clients. And, in some cases J.D. can offer more than that. For example, through acquiring a recently expired listing from another agent, J.D. was able to stage the same home within a week and sell the property 11.5% more than its previous list price.
J.D. prides himself on being “very responsive, easy to get ahold of,” and highly communicative. He also sees himself as very “tech savvy.” When asked what convinced him to download REALLY, J.D. said that he received an email from us that piqued his curiosity. He wanted to see if REALLY would be a way to potentially get some leads. He was very pleased to find that the way REALLY creates a “direct connection” between agents is “fantastic.” J.D. also tells me that “a lot of other companies try to take a chunk” of agent commissions, but REALLY does not do that, nor will we ever.
As far as his personal character and what J.D. loves most about being an agent, J.D. tells me that one of his favorite things has to be seeing “the excitement of first time buyers or people getting their dream home.” One particular couple that stuck out in J.D.’s mind was an older couple, whose children had grown and moved out. J.D. was able to help the couple buy their dream home on the beach in Santa Monica. To see his clients “light up with major enthusiasm” in achieving their dreams is something J.D. feels privileged to take part in.
Offering some of the best sunsets on the west coast, Santa Monica truly seems like a special place in which to be an agent. The city’s motto seems to get it right. Getting to sell properties that create “happy” and “fortunate” people seems like a “happy” and “fortunate” career that we wish MrWestside [sic] continued success in doing.
In another life, Devin Someck may have become a lawyer. He was all set to do so until a turn-of-events sent him toward real estate and deferring from law school indefinitely. Eleven years later, Devin is co-founder and Principal of Living New York, a Real Estate firm based out of New York City with an impressive amount of ever-evolving brands, affiliate companies, real estate syndications, services offered. It seems like one couldn’t walk a block in the city without Devin having had some connection to it down the line.
Devin enjoys his hybrid role at the firm and the managerial role that he also plays with his agents. “Real estate is a relationship business” Devin says assuredly as though his words were a tried and true understanding. It’s a relationships business on the buyer/seller side, but “on the agent side, as well.” He seems excited about the diversity and plethora of experiences that working in real estate affords him. “We have a very different, eclectic group of individuals that come into real estate. People have such different, interesting, fascinating backgrounds and stories.” And, it’s that very unique blend that excites and interests Devin every day. “I like to interact with different people on a daily basis…Every day is different.”
Devin gives me the feeling that he lives very much in the present moment, but is still considerate when choosing his words… not through rehearsal as much as it is through living in a genuine way- it’s his nature. He reminds me of a person that would be a great storyteller because they were actually out there in the world truly living and had a message to share when they returned. So, when I asked about his most memorable experiences, Devin went silent for a brief moment. I tried to assure him it was okay to not have an answer, but before I really could, he responds that there are so many memorable experiences to recall that he wasn’t sure what to say at first. He then elaborates, “the relationships that I’ve established, the friendships with my clients, employees, and brokerage community…” are the biggest takeaway for him. He laughs as though he finds humor in the idea of coming to the cliched understanding, but he says it anyway, “it’s cliche, but true, money comes and goes, but relationships are everlasting.”
Regardless of how you build those relationships and no matter how much you value them, there are many moments that can raise challenge in real estate. For Devin, “the lack of control” that can be experienced throughout any deal raise the most challenge. Devin admits that there are so many variables at play that are out of one’s hands. He states “You can try to quarterback a deal as much as you want, but you can’t control every variable at play such as lenders underwriting process, home inspections, or the emotions of all parties involved” Devin has learned to have patience and how to set his own expectations as a result of these challenges. You have to “be prepared to be let down more times than not” and develop a “rough skin” in response to those let downs. For Devin, seemingly throwing himself into the business, he had to develop this knowledge and experience rather quickly. He now gets to support other Agents in learning those nuances of personal practice that will best ensure their success.
In terms of REALLY, Devin found us through one of his Agents. He said that he is always open to new products and applications considering the way that tech has been influencing our industry. Devin says the “industry is fragmented when it comes to out of market referrals.” Clients want an extension of their Agent, someone in their network… and Devin believes that the platform is good because “it not only provides information on other agents, it gives insight and background, kind of like a resume.” Devin states that “in order to remain competitive brokerages need to serve as a one stop shop,” and REALLY has the potential to increase that capacity.
WIth regard to his personal philosophy, Devin is all about “transparency and honesty.” The industry has changed a bit from one that was more “resource based” to one that is “customer service based,” so it is essential that Devin’s Agents and he always play with their cards face up. Devin trains his Agents “to be as communicative & transparent as possible, to be as available as possible, and to be as informed as possible……” Devin seems like the type of boss that you wouldn’t want to let down, someone who you felt like was truly rooting for you to be the best version of yourself. He seems very principled and sage through experience, but not hardened due to it.
Devin seemed to have accidentally found his passion for a business, but his ability to stay within it and flourish was no accident. His flexibility and willingness to work to build relationships over caring about his commission have guaranteed him a prominent place for years to come.
Principal | Living New York
225 W 35th St, 14th Floor, NY, NY 10001
P: (212) 760–2690 x 187 | C: (516) 652–8943
Living Real Estate Group LLC — Licensed Real Estate Broker.