If you had to describe the National Association of Realtors conference in one word, what word would that be? I keep pondering this question and have come up with several: “wow,” “exciting,” and “educational”.
It’s too difficult to choose just one word to describe my first NAR conference. I met so many amazing agents that I hope to stay in touch with, exhibitors with wonderful ideas and attended several classes I found extremely beneficial. But, there was also so much I missed — with a conference this size, you can’t do it all.
Friday was the first day of the Expo and I spent several hours meeting numerous real estate agents and visiting the other exhibitors. There were some amazing products and services being offered.
- Film House: I spoke with Pat Ervin, Senior Marketing Director for Film House, at length. They offer a really great service for high end listings. They create short movies about the home. Each one has a story line and they really help potential buyers see and learn more about the house than they would from pictures. The videos also offer a second benefit: creating an emotional draw to the home. I watched a few of these videos with Pat, and I was very impressed by the quality and story lines created. You can tell that Film House knows how to draw people in to a home with professional filmography.
- Smart Women Buy Homes: I had the opportunity to speak with Jeanie Douthitt, the founder of Smart Women Buy Homes. From the moment I met her I could tell Jeanie had a real passion for her company. The goal of Smart Women Buy Homes is to provide educational materials to single women to assist in overcoming the obstacles of home ownership. Jeanie offers materials that agents can customize and provide to their clients guiding them through the home buying process as a single woman, thus making you a Smart Women Buy Homes adviser.
- Pillar To Post Home Inspectors: These guys provided a really helpful handout that estimates the cost of repair or replacement of hundreds of different items you may see on an inspection. I believe it will come in handy for agents renegotiating a contract after a home inspection occurs and repairs are noted. They have franchises all over the country, and may be a good resource if you don’t already have a home inspector you work with.
I also attended several classes during my time at the conference.
The American Green Home
Speaker: John Shipmann, GREEN, American Green Home Real Estate.
- The demand for green homes is significant.
- A green home will likely have two different qualities: energy efficiency and the use of sustainable products.
- In California, there is a 9 percent premium for green homes.
- The top reasons buyers purchase green homes include: monthly utility savings, increased comfort, healthier indoor air quality, greater resale value and environmental stewardship.
- As an agent, it’s important to be able to do a walk-through and know what features are green so that you can point them out to potential buyers.
- There is still a disconnect between appraisers and green homes – ask the lender to select an appraiser that has experience with these types of properties.
- Creating a team of experts can help educate you on the green home.
- National Association of Realtors has an official Green designation. You can learn more at GreenREsourceCouncil.org
Real Estate, Pop Culture and Relevancy: Trends and Predictions
Speaker: Errol Samuelson, realtor.com
- Finding an agent is still mainly occurring offline but this is starting to change.
- The age of the online search and rating of agents is upon us. He introduced a industry changing website AgentMatch by Realtor.com which matches agents to potential buyers based on numerous factors including the number of homes sold in a particular area, the recency of sales and then ranks agents according to those and additional factors. Clients also have the option of rating their agents. AgentMatch is only available in a few markets right now, but in my opinion it appeared to be a resource buyers would flock to if aware of the features.
- When choosing an agent 32 percent of consumers choose whomever is most responsive.
- We are becoming an “everything available everywhere” society: we want to access sites and information anywhere at anytime.
Mobile: It’s Not Just About the Apps
Speaker: Stephen Pacinelli, Move, Inc. and co-creator of techsavvyagent.com
- 70 percent of buyers access real estate listings on their mobile device.
- You can get tips on how to optimize your website for mobile at Google’s Webmaster’s Mobile Guide.
- If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, Google algorithms will push your site down in rankings.
- If your inbox is cluttered from massive amounts of email newsletters and the like, you can use unroll.me for your Gmail to mass unsubscribe you, reduce clutter and help you become more efficient and respond to the important emails right away.
- If you send gifts or thank yous to clients you may consider using sincerely.com. They have a mobile application that allows you to send mail, gifts and cards personalized for your clients.
I really enjoyed the National Association of Realtors conference this year and I look forward to many more in the future.
If you learned something at NAR you’d like to share, post a comment below!