Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing editor with REALTOR® Magazine. In addition to writing print and online articles, Erica oversees the magazine's Broker to Broker content, co-manages the 30 Under 30 program, and manages the YPN Lounge. Connect with her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a People-Focused Approach in 2022
November 16, 2021
Whether you have 10 people at your brokerage or 2,000, it’s the people you have with you who will help forge your company’s the future. “If you have great minds within your team, that’s what makes the difference,” said Helen Hanna Casey, CEO of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.
From preparing for cycles in the market to providing top customer service, said Hanna Casey during RISMedia’s Power Broker Forum at the 2021 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, bring on people who can blend tech and people skills. “Everyone has to work together. You need your administrative assistants learning the technology too.”
The panel, themed “Setting Your Sights on a Record-Breaking 2022,” brought together a panel of large-company executives.
Cindy Ariosa, senior vice president with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., said the silver lining of the pandemic was that it allowed them to focus on training and providing mastermind opportunities to their more than 2,000 agents.
Ariosa is also meeting her agents’ changing needs by reimagining the company’s physical office space. “We used to plan for 100 square feet per agent and that meant you would have a 10,000-square-foot office for 100 agents,” Ariosa said. “You don’t need that anymore.”
As many agents have built their own offices at home and prefer a flexible, hybrid environment, Ariosa is focusing on building more lifestyle offices with gathering places. She expects to take her 50 offices down to 35. And because her company has embraced teams, they’ve developed agent entrepreneurial locations, where a team secures and leases its own office space so it can create its own culture, but Long & Foster continues to provide all the systems and support. AELs vary in size from 30 to 300 people, she said.
Clients’ needs are also evolving, and several panelists are pivoting in ways to better alleviate the headaches buyers and sells experience.
Ariosa said her company is taking the one-stop shopping experience and applying it to an app that walks clients through each segment of the real estate transaction, from mortgage to inspection to closing. It pings the customer with notifications, sends files, and more.
Anthony Lamacchia, broker-owner and CEO of Lamacchia Realty Inc., said his company is organically attracting clients through social media education, including live videos that explain local market trends and data that have attracted thousands of organic views.
But panelist Allan Dalton, senior vice president of research and development at HSF Affiliates LLC., warned that brokers who are using content need to be mindful of content strategy. Many real estate pros, he said, could do a better job of bringing relevant content to social media platforms.
“Content carries ‘contensequences,’” said Dalton. Through relevant, educational content, brokers and agents will gain more loyalty as a trusted real estate adviser.