Real Estate Disruption Is Happening – Are You Ready?


Real estate disruption is happening as we speak. And even could cause a certain amount of pain for many agents, due to numerous factors it will continue to change the industry.

However, what actually happens (and its impact on real estate professionals) might look different than a lot of people forecast.

At this point in time consolidation of many different brokerages by big players shows no sign of slowing. In the US for example large companies have been acquiring brokerages for quite a while. But while these large players own the actual businesses, at the moment individual agents still own their relationships with clients. That might be changing if some of the current trends continue to take hold.

In the consolidation model the large corporations have their brokerages operating on rather slim margins and incent their agents to encourage their clients to purchase related products. Another way to look at this would be the agents bring in leads that can then be monetized by the corporation in the form of affiliated products to sell to their clients. These products could be appraisals, mortgages, title insurance, and other fees that get associated with every transaction. And with other competitive pressures, fees across the board have declined over the past 10 years.

As fees decline for the actual real estate transaction many believe that the number of agents working in the industry will decline. An alternate scenario could be that the traditional role of the real estate agent as a home ownership expert may rise again as the transaction-only model will increasingly become commoditized

But what does this mean to the future of the industry?

There are a few indications of the direction that the industry is going. Consumers by and large still support having a professional to guide them through the process. Just as they continue to require professionals in the legal and accounting industries they will still see value from those professionals who help them use their time and dollars effectively in a home purchase or sale.

However there are indications that there will become an ever increasing gap between a platform that allows buyers and sellers to connect with low fees and low personal touch and agencies that provide real value over a lifetime relationship with clients. The result of the former is that the number of agents will decrease as technology fills the gap for those consumers who are primarily price motivated.

Keep in mind that for the vast majority of consumers a real estate purchase is not a frequent transaction. So they will still require agents that keep up with trends and provide transactional and market expertise

There will also be experimentation with different fee structures. This will continue on for the foreseeable future and likely culminate in different models based on different consumer segments and preferences unless government legislation intervenes.

But like many high-value industries relationships will remain paramount. And if there is any lesson to the previous decade or so of technological innovation it’s hard to duplicate quality relationships with a technology platform alone. So it is paramount to continue to develop deep relationships with clients that will endure over many years. There are many ways to do this but it really comes down to how you create real value for your clients by understanding their true goals and using your expertise (and hard work!) to get them there.

Using Social Media for Real Estate Marketing (Without Spending A Ton Of Time)


Interviewer: I have with me Andrew Jenkins, Founder and Principal of Volterra Consulting, who is focused on emerging technology. Andrew was formerly head of social media for RBC, one of the country’s largest banks. Andrew, welcome.

Andrew: Thank you.

Interviewer: Andrew, off the top, I wanted to ask you about some of the advantages of using social media for real estate.

Andrew: Well, given the, I’ll call it the different sources that people are being inundated with in terms of information, and people’s attention span is getting shorter, they’re looking for more engaging content. I mean, that’s what’s resonating with them and real estate is well aligned with that, or the content related to real estate is conducive to those changing circumstances.

People want to see pictures of not only the house that they’re considering, but the interiors and so on. They want to see themselves in that space but as well, they want to be well informed about mortgage rates and equity and debt ratios and those sorts of things and that’s not always the sexy part of it, but still fundamental information that they need to know.

If, as a realtor, I can engage them with some visual content about listings, the local neighborhood where the listing might be situated, but then also give them informative information to make their buying decision easier. Make them feel more comfortable with it, and that’s all stuff that can happen in social, then you’ve done them a good service.

Interviewer: Now buying a home is arguably one of the most important purchases in a person’s life, and most people don’t really buy a home on a whim, so what are some of the strategies agents can take to engage potential clients, long-term?

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Real Estate Marketing Strategy for 2015


As the year draws to a close I’ve been looking at some of the things that business people do to build a real estate marketing strategy for the New Year. One of the things they focus on is putting together a marketing strategy. But if you look at doing the exact same things next year that you’ve done this year you’ll probably achieve the exact same results.

Take social media for example. If you have a bunch of followers on Facebook you may find that they’re not as engaged as you might think especially if all of your postings are only about your just listed properties.

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RE BarCamp Toronto – Social Selling For Real Estate

We kicked off the day with our presentation on Social Selling. We started with a good discussion on how to engage prospects through social media. One of the biggest ‘ah ha’ moments for agents in the audience was that their prospects are actively searching for Realtors through their networks.

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Through a variety of search tools we showed them that they could mine Twitter Facebook and LinkedIn for insights into what their prospects were looking for and offer helpful advice and guidance. There are some really good tools out there that help people stay in touch with their network and proactively allow them to follow up with prospects. The one we showed was called Nimble which integrates social feeds into an easy to view dashboard.

One of the biggest questions that we got was around where do I get the content to post on all the networks? Well one of the ways that agents can find content is to repurpose the material that they use in other channels. For instance they can use their overview of real estate reports as a blog post and then use sections from that post in Facebook as well as Twitter and even on LinkedIn. We advised them to observe the 80/20 rule: meaning that for every 20% of promotional content that you post you should share 80% content from other people that would interest your fans and prospects.

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Webinar Replay – Success With Social Media for Real Estate

In this Exclusive Webinar -Winning with Social Media for Real Estate, Andrew Jenkins and I delved into tools and techniques that work in to generate more clients and transactions.

People are sharing their real estate transaction considerations and intentions with their social networks. They are also asking those same networks for help and advice. In this webinar you can learn more about the tools and techniques to quickly and easily find those people and assist them with their purchase or listing decisions!

Give your Real Estate Business the Time it Deserves

I’ve talked to dozens of Real Estate agents about some of the biggest challenges facing the industry today. The same things kept coming up over and over again. The vast majority of them weren’t satisfied with their business but didn’t want to add more needless complexity to what they already do.

I also asked the most successful agents when they were doing and how they compete with the big guys in the industry. What I found out might surprise you!

After compiling all the data,  I put that together a brief 10 page report that shows you some of what agents just like you said and a new way to address your challenges and grow your business.

Just click here to get access to some of the findings and how to give your business the time it deserves. (Or click below)- No forms to fill in, no waiting!


Four Crippling Beliefs That Keep Real Estate Agents In The Poor House


There’s a myth often perpetrated in the media that agents earn easy money by just putting properties on the MLS and sit around collecting commissions.

In my experience, the truth is very different. Most agents work long hours, dedicated to helping their clients.

Yet most earn less than they would like. And many struggle to survive.

It’s not for want of talent or hard work.

Most usually it’s because they’re not good at marketing and selling their services.

And often, that stems from “crippling beliefs” they have about marketing and sales that undermine their attempts to get new clients and transactions.

I’ve seen four particularly damaging beliefs that are commonly held by real estate agent agents and other professionals. Beliefs you must eradicate if you want to succeed at winning clients.

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You might be making this lead generation mistake, and not even know it.


I often get asked by agents, “what’s the most common business development problem you see?”

Out of all the potential issues, not having enough leads is by far the one I see the most frequently amongst real estate professionals. And it’s also the most debilitating one.

When I’m having discussions with agents, almost half of them say something along the lines of “if I can just get in front of the right clients, I can almost always sell.”

Now occasionally they’re wrong. They’re overestimating their selling skills.

But very often they’re right.

You see, “selling” is not that far removed from what agents do on a day-to-day basis. It involves talking to clients about their wants and needs, understanding the market, and proposing solutions.

Some agents have big psychological hangs up about selling. It’s beneath them. It doesn’t fit with their self-image. But often, when push comes to shove, they’re not that bad at it.

And if you’ve worked in the industry for any length of time, you’ll inevitably have been involved in a number of client meetings. You’ll have built up experience in it, even if you don’t like it.

Lead generation is a different kettle of fish though.

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Is trying to be everywhere online actually helping grow your business?

Social media experts have probably told you that keeping your clients up to date on your activities is an important part of your day-to-day tasks. But with all the social networks out there (and new ones popping up seemingly every day) how do you find the time? From LinkedIn to Facebook to Google+ to Twitter it seems like all the posting and tweeting is eating up every precious moment in your day. It’s keeping you from doing what you really love – and what will ultimately bring you additional business.

And even if you can squeeze in getting on all the social networks, is all your hard work in putting content out there building a lasting, sustainable presence that will help you grow your business? As an someone who has talked to many agents over the years, I’ve felt that pressure too. There are three simple strategies that can help you release the pressure and focus on what works to grow your business!

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Is there anything more frightening than this?


I have a confession to make that you might not have heard before… I LOVE my smartphone. (OK you might have heard it but not from me!)

I carry it with me everywhere even when I haven’t brought my wallet.    I love being able to Google anything at anytime (how many episodes of Hogan’s Heros were there anyway?)

I’m more productive in many ways because it’s with me pretty much all the time.  I can check my email and respond to critical decisions when I have a few seconds to kill.  I can easily check and update my calendar if I’m out of the office and need to schedule an appointment.  I can pay bills, quickly check the weather, and SO much more!

But I’m also aware of a problem… For a long time I’ve been a little worried that my Smartphone might be actually making me less productive.  And its not the radiation I’m talking about!

But over the last few years I’ve come to realize I’m actually nervous when I don’t have my phone nearby.  Almost like a smoker without his cigarettes, but its not like I can just borrow someone else’s whenever I feel like I need a “fix.”

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