Real estate brokers attend conferences all over the country learning how to improve their marketing efforts, reach buyers and sellers better and how to sell more effectively. Sue Adler of Keller Williams, New Jersey decided that something was missing from all of these conferences: the voice of the buyer and the seller. Along with several other brokers, she founded Hear It Direct, a series of full-day real estate consumer conferences held in different markets throughout the country with the aim to put brokers in a room with panels of consumers.
I was honored to be a part of a panel at Hear It Direct’s recent east coast seminar on March 13, 2013. With my previous experience as a luxury real estate speaker and panelist both nationally and internationally, I was excited to share my perspective as part of a Gen-Y panel moderated by Inman News founder, Brad Inman. The millennials, who are having their first experiences in the real estate market, have a lot to say and some valuable opinions on how the real estate industry is evolving. While many recognize that technology is quickly changing the real estate industry, it is rare for realtors to hear its effects the consumer directly from Generation Y, who will be our client demographic over the next forty years.
The top two quotes from the Gen-Y Panelists were:
- “I’m used to technology and texting so I like to do my own searches. I don’t need my broker to filter my search or be the first to find the home, but to work with me and to bring their negotiation and interpersonal skills to the table in order for me to close on the house I want. A broker’s knowledge and ability to communicate in person is better than mine.
- “I am not influenced by or even read Zillow Reviews or other ‘Testimonials’ on an agent’s page because, after all, who would post a bad review about themselves on their own website.”
As a broker, I have been committed to improving real estate brokers’ approach to technology, and have traveled globally to real estate conferences to speak with 3,000 agents and mortgage brokers about luxury real estate marketing, how to stay ahead of the curve on social media in luxury real estate and the best way to react to a market setback. To me, this business has always been about the buyer and seller, not the broker, which is why I was proud to support Hear It Direct.
- Tony Sargent