New School Tech and Old School Attitude

November 16, 2015

Door knocking is old school. It’s personable, but best practices in real estate are changing with the integration of technology, according to a panel of top agents from around the country speaking at the 2016 REALTORS® Conference & Expo Friday. To help them succeed in the evolving environment, attendees crowded into the session, “More Listings, Better Leads, Increased Conversions: A Panel of Top Agents.”

Panelists Tristan Ahumada of Keller Williams/Tristan and Associates, Westlake Village, Calif.; Syreeta Saunder-Keys of The Keys2Day Team/Keller Williams Realty, Columbia, Md.; Kevin Markarian of Marker Real Estate, San Francisco; and Tracey Velt, editor-in-chief of REAL Trends, joined speaker Max Pigman, senior vice president and chief ambassador for®, for a review of the tools they use to stay on top.

The agents discussed websites and programs they use to their advantage, praising sites such as® as a consistent source for quality leads. Lead conversion programs like Fivestreet and Follow Up Boss give their brokerages a boost in customer connections, they said. The programs send an automated message to prospective customers any time of day, whether it be an e-mail or text message. Ahumada cited texting as one of his favorite methods of communication, calling it quick and user friendly. A timely initial response is key, the panelists agreed.

The main takeaway: Gravitate toward technologies that are user-centric and facilitate quick response times.

Kevin Markarian also emphasized that attendees must practice accountability and diligence. Once he gets a customer, he said, he sets up a one-on-one meetings with members of his team, whom he refers to as his “business partners.” The term business partners, he said, gives customers a sense comfort no matter whom they are meeting with.

In the end, old school techniques still matter; it’s a people business, after all. But to remain competitive, brokers and agents who haven’t explored and integrated new customer management tools may find themselves left behind.

—REALTOR® Magazine