LeadingRE Names Clareity a Preferred Technology Solution

CHICAGO – (6/21/17) – Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has selected Clareity as a preferred provider through its Solutions Group program, which identifies business resources for its global community of 565 residential real estate firms.

Clareity is an industry leader in providing secure identity and access management, serving over 825,000 real estate agents daily. Clareity offers a variety of tools, including secure authentication, single sign-on (SSO), workflow automations, secure messaging and communication, content management and business intelligence.

“While many of our members utilize Clareity’s services through their MLSs, we are excited to introduce them to DASH™, their full-service platform for brokers,” said Robin LaSure, LeadingRE vice president, corporate marketing. “This platform gives our brokers a convenient way to support their agents through a secure mobile-friendly dashboard that centralizes applications and streamlines communications.”

Clareity President Amy Gorce adds, “We are extremely excited to form this relationship with the LeadingRE family. Having worked in this industry for over 20 years, I’ve had nothing but good experiences with the LeadingRE network. We’re confident that we can add value to for each and every one of its members!”

Learn more about Clareity’s broker tools at clareity.com/broker-products. Learn more about Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® at LeadingRE.com.

###

About Clareity
Clareity is the leading provider of authentication, identity management, single sign-on services and consulting for the real estate industry and currently serves over 850,000 real estate professionals in North America. Clareity is dedicated to innovating real estate technology solutions and creating the most convenient, secure and reliable products available. Their product suite offers multiple solutions including DASH for brokers, SAFEMLS PLUS, Single Sign-On Dashboards, Clareity Direct Connections™, the vendor network Discover, and more. The company has received the National Association of REALTOR®’s approval and endorsement, multiple Inman Innovator Awards, and numerous industry recognitions.

Read More

LeadingRE Announces New Executive Vice President

 

CHICAGO – (6/14/17) Chicago-based Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) has named Elizabeth D. Nunan, SCRP, SGMS, Executive Vice President, Member Services. In this position, Nunan will manage membership services for the global network of 565 independent real estate firms.

Nunan will play a key role in company strategy, working closely with other members of the senior management team to identify opportunities for growth, establish performance metrics and address member needs. She will direct the network’s core broker referral program, which generates over 30,000 member-to-member referrals annually. Additionally, she will oversee service delivery to members and account management to ensure engagement, performance and results.

She comes to the position with over 25 years of industry experience, having begun her career in corporate relocation and title services before joining prominent LeadingRE member Houlihan Lawrence in 1997. As vice president, Global Business Development, she achieved a dramatic increase in referral sales volume, earning numerous company awards for referral production. Her expertise extends to training, social media and marketing.

Nunan was presented Worldwide ERC’s prestigious Distinguished Service Award in 2016 and holds the Senior Certified Relocation Professional and Senior Global Mobility Specialist designations, as well as being a licensed real estate broker.

“Liz has been such a vital part of the LeadingRE community for so many years,” said LeadingRE President/CEO Pam O’Connor. “Her ability to build relationships, set and achieve goals and motivate people makes her a natural choice for this important position, and we are delighted to have her on our leadership team!”

Nunan is based in LeadingRE’s Chicago headquarters and can be reached at +1 312-424-0400.

 

Read More

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and Luxury Portfolio International® Partner with HGTV For Ultimate House Hunt

– Annual contest curates the world’s most stunning real estate listings. –     

CHICAGO – June 13, 2017 – Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and Luxury Portfolio International® are proud to announce the start of the 2017 HGTV Ultimate House Hunt, a month-long online promotion held on HGTV.com each year. HGTV has joined forces with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and Luxury Portfolio International® as the exclusive real estate partners for the contest, which runs from June 13 through July 18.

The contest highlights exceptional homes from across the globe in eight categories, including two new categories this year, Kitchen & Dining and Modern Masterpieces. Other categories are Curb Appeal, Outdoor Retreats, Living Large in Small Spaces, Great Estates, Waterfront Homes, and International Homes. All featured homes are represented by members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and Luxury Portfolio International®. Consumers can choose their favorite, and a winner is chosen at the end, including the highly coveted overall fan favorite award.

“The Ultimate House Hunt is very popular with our audience,” said Rich Lacy, vice president, Digital Brand Creative & Food.com for Scripps Networks. “Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and Luxury Portfolio International® represent the most beautiful homes throughout the world, and it is always exciting to see which properties resonate most with our voters.”

Last year’s contest saw over one million votes cast, illustrating the ongoing fascination with homes all around the world. This year’s finalists include listings in 14 countries from 48 companies. In addition to bragging rights, the winning homes will receive additional editorial exposure on HGTV.com.

“Each year we look forward to joining with HGTV and working with them to source the world’s best listings from our members to share. With two new categories, this year, we are excited to discover which of our members’ desirable properties will capture the hearts and minds of the HGTV audience,” said Paul Boomsma, president of Luxury Portfolio International®.

Visit HGTV.com/househunt to cast your vote for this year’s finalists:

Curb Appeal

  • @properties, Harbert, Mich.
  • Barfoot & Thompson Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand
  • Florida Executive Realty, Odessa, Fla.
  • Houlihan Lawrence, Bronxille, N.Y.
  • Keefe Real Estate, Inc., Lake Geneva, Wis.
  • Pinnacle Estate Properties, Inc., Encino, Calif.
  • Sea Island Properties, Sea Island, Ga.
  • William Raveis Real Estate, Bedford Corners, N.Y. 

Great Estates

  • @properties, Glencoe, Ill.
  • Beacham & Company, REALTORS, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Chas Everitt International Property Group, Colesburg, South Africa
  • Harry Norman, REALTORS, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Houlihan Lawrence, Greenwich, Conn.
  • John Daugherty, Realtors, Houston, Texas
  • Willis Allen Real Estate, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
  • Windermere Real Estate Midtown, Blaine, Wash.

International Homes

  • Chas Everitt International Property Group, Kenton on Sea, South Africa
  • Grupo Actua Properties, Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic
  • Jawitz Properties Ltd., Ballito, South Africa
  • JK Property & Yachting, Mykonos, Greece
  • LX Costa Rica, Santa Ana, Costa Rica
  • Rahim & Co International, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • WETAG Consulting, Ruvigliana, Switzerland
  • The Whistler Real Estate Co., Whistler, BC, Canada

Kitchen & Dining

  • Arizona Best Real Estate, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons, LLC, Sagaponack, N.Y.
  • First Team Real Estate, Newport Coast, Calif.
  • Gibson International Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.
  • John Daugherty, Realtors, Houston, Texas
  • ReeceNichols Real Estate, Overland Park, Kan.
  • Weichert REALTORS Coastal Properties, Bluffton, S.C.
  • Windermere Real Estate, Portland, Ore.

Living Large in Small Spaces

  • Alain Pinel Realtors (2 finalists), Carmel, Calf.
  • Lost Tree Realty, North Palm Beach, Fla.
  • McEnearney Associates, Alexandria, Va.
  • McGuire Real Estate (2 finalists), Oakland, Calf. and Bolinas, Calif.
  • Windermere Real Estate (2 finalists), Seattle, Wash.

Modern Masterpieces

  • Allie Beth Allman & Associates, University Park, Texas
  • Bennion Deville Homes, Rancho Mirage, Calif.
  • Brown Harris Stevens of The Hamptons, Amagansett, N.Y.
  • EWM Realty International, Miami, Fla.
  • First Team Real Estate, Dana Point, Calif.
  • Paragon Real Estate, San Francisco, Calf.
  • Sibarth Real Estate, Corossol, Saint Barthelemy
  • Windermere Real Estate, Clyde Hill, Wash.

Outdoor Retreats

  • Chas Everitt International Property Group, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Dale Sorensen Real Estate, Inc., Vero Beach, Fla.
  • Ebby Halliday Realtors, Westlake, Texas
  • Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, Holualoa, Hawaii
  • John Daugherty, Realtors, Houston, Texas
  • John R Wood Properties, Naples, Fla.
  • Premier Estate Properties, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Sunshine Properties, Terres Basses, St. Maarten 

Waterfront Homes

  • Bailey Properties, La Selva Beach, Calf.
  • Chase International, South Lake Tahoe, Calf.
  • Houlihan Lawrence, Riverside, Conn.
  • Immobilsarda, Porto Rotondo, Sardinia, Italy
  • Michael Saunders & Company, Longboat Key, Fla.
  • Sea Island Properties, St. Simons Island, Fla.
  • Smiths Gore Limited, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
  • Turks & Caicos Property, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

Read More

LeadingRE Names IXACT Contact as Preferred CRM and Email Marketing Solution

IXACT Contact

 

CHICAGO (6/12/17) – Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® announced today that IXACT Contact® Inc. has been named a preferred provider through its Solutions Group program, a collection of select business tools presented to its global network of 565 residential real estate firms.

IXACT Contact® is an integrated real estate CRM (customer relationship management), email marketing, and website solution that helps sales associates and teams manage communications, listings and active buyers, as well as their online presence.

“IXACT Contact helps real estate professionals save time and be better organized with a single, easy-to-use platform that allows them to nurture and convert more leads,” said Robin LaSure, LeadingRE vice president, corporate marketing. “We are pleased to introduce the service to our members looking for a highly effective and affordable agent or team level CRM and email marketing platform.”

IXACT Contact Co-Founder and EVP Rich Gaasenbeek adds, “We are simply delighted to have been selected as a preferred service provider by LeadingRE. Their members are market leaders who have achieved success through innovation and excellence across all aspects of their business, and they are exactly the kinds of companies we most enjoy working with,” Gaasenbeek said.

Learn more about IXACT Contact at www.ixactcontact.com. Learn more about Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® at www.LeadingRE.com.

 

 

About IXACT Contact

IXACT Contact® Inc. is a cloud-based real estate CRM that helps agents stay organized and build lasting relationships, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The integrated solution offers three powerful elements including a real estate CRM, email marketing platform and mobile-friendly agent website for one low price. Established in 2007, IXACT Contact is a sister company of Morris Real Estate Marketing Group, which has been in business since 1927.

Read More

Consumers Show Preference for Independent Real Estate Brands

CHICAGO – (5/31/17) In a recent survey of more than 3,000 U.S. homeowners, consumers indicated a strong preference for working with sales associates affiliated with local independent brands. More than 88% said they preferred working with an agent with a “well-known, local real estate company,” while   12% preferred those affiliated with a national franchise.

This was one of several responses describing how today’s consumers buy and sell real estate as part of a broad-based, wide-ranging U.S. consumer segmentation study conducted on behalf of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) by McKee Wallwork + Co. and Decision Analyst.

This particular finding on the appeal of independent brokerages is supported by another third-party source, the REAL Trends 500 ranking of the top 500 residential real estate firms in the U.S. The data collected from brokerages around the country indicates that LeadingRE produced 25.7% of the total sales units among the top 500 brokerages in the U.S., outselling any single franchise network, and that has been the case for more than 10 consecutive years. LeadingRE members also represented 14 of the top 25 firms in the U.S. in sales volume for 2016.

In terms of total sales for all brokerages in each network, LeadingRE’s residential real estate firms outperformed their nearest network competitor by $62 billion, producing 1.1 million sales units valued at $368 billion in home sales.

“Year after year, the independent firms that comprise our network demonstrate their market leadership locally and collectively as an international community focused on delivering the most exceptional customer experiences,” said LeadingRE President/CEO Pam O’Connor. “This is consistent with the growth in popularity of local restaurants, locally-branded divisions of major hotel franchisors, and other locally-sourced retail goods and services that offer the brand differentiation and community roots that appeal to many of today’s consumers as compared to big box brands of the past.”

Figures for the top 500 firms are verified and published by REAL Trends each April. Figures for total sales of all networks are estimated by using average sales units per agent for each network’s firms in the REAL Trends 500, multiplied across each network’s entire agent population. 

With member firms in 65 countries, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® selects only the highest quality, market-leading independent companies for membership and supports them with its robust referral network, award-winning professional development programs, Luxury Portfolio marketing program, and events providing meaningful connections to people and opportunities worldwide.

Read More

Why Global Matters: Looking Beyond Borders Integral to LeadingRE’s Growth

LeadingRE Chief Economist Marci Rossell, EVP of Global Operations Chris Dietz, and President/CEO Pam O’Connor featured on the cover of RISMedia’s Real Estate Magazine, April 2017. The full article appears below, and the digital magazine can be viewed here.

 

By Maria Patterson

That timeless belief, “all real estate is local,” is so ingrained in the minds of most practitioners that eyes often glaze over when the topic of global real estate is brought up. But Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has been taking an alternative view since the early 2000s, when it actively began expanding to other countries from its strong U.S. base.

“Real estate isn’t local or global,” says LeadingRE President/CEO Pam O’Connor. “It is both. Those who ignore the global piece are missing enormous opportunities.”

Recently, LeadingRE brought on its own chief economist to share insights on the global economy and how it impacts real estate. Dr. Marci Rossell, whose background includes stints with the Federal Reserve Bank, Oppenheimer Funds and as chief economist for CNBC, believes that real estate is only beginning to feel the effects of globalization.

“Globalization is still a strong force in real estate, despite the recent rise of economic nationalism worldwide,” says Rossell. “The factors that drive real estate buyers to one area of the world—things like safe political environments, cultural and family ties, the supply of talent—are still in place. And while a stronger dollar makes U.S. real estate more expensive for foreign buyers, these other forces are a powerful counterbalance to that trend. Globalization may be under threat, but it represents an international integration arising from economic, cultural and political factors. It is here to stay.”

The iPhone has had a lot to do with this. Introduced in June 2007—less than 10 years ago—it has unleashed a new era of innovation, made the internet and global communication accessible to the masses, and further eroded cultural differences. The world population as of August 2016 is 7.4 billion people, and the median age is 30.1 years old. This is the iPhone generation, and we can only expect more global integration in the future as a result.

But if you’re sitting in Omaha or Cincinnati or Atlanta, you may still be asking, “What does this have to do with real estate in my market? We don’t have a lot of international buyers.”

In 2015, NAR reported that foreign buyers purchased 214,885 residential properties from April 2015 to March 2016, a 3 percent increase over the prior year. While most of that has been in coastal markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and Miami, many Chinese have purchased in college towns across the country based on where their children are studying. In any market, there is likely more international activity than you think. Individuals from other countries often gravitate to the same real estate agents who have worked with their friends and family or financial advisors and have thus established a foundation of trust. You could be missing out on international business in your town or city simply because you are underestimating the potential business and have not focused on it.

Even if you have few foreign buyers in your market, no one can ignore the changing demographics in this country in virtually every state and region, represented by millions of potential real estate buyers who come from different cultures and ethnicities.

Non-Hispanic whites are now 62 percent of the American population; they will be less than 50 percent by about 2055. Today, about 14 percent of all Americans are foreign-born, versus 5 percent in 1965 (though, ironically, that 14 percent is similar to what it was in the early 20th century). These changes in the composition of our country have major implications for real estate as we usher in a new generation of buyers and sellers from different cultures. If we expect to serve the needs of these potential customers who come from other backgrounds, we must learn those values, customs and needs. All of this bodes enormous opportunity for those who embrace the change and recognize the need to recruit agents from different backgrounds, to customize services for these different cultures, to engage with them online and in the community, and to provide services in different languages.

LeadingRE has jumped into globalization in terms of both coverage and culture. Comprised of 550 strong, independent brokerages with 4,000 offices and nearly 130,000 agents, the network is now operating in 63 countries and expects to hit 70 by fall 2017.

Leading that charge is EVP of Global Operations Christoph (Chris) Dietz, based in London and Frankfurt, Germany. Since joining LeadingRE five years ago, Dietz has expanded the network’s country count by more than triple, but even more significantly, he is continually reinforcing a global mindset that goes beyond coverage.

“In Europe—simply because of geography and other factors—we cross borders all the time and have a sense of the different cultures and practices,” Dietz says. “That is not the case in the U.S., so we are always thinking of the little things…having +1 before U.S. phone numbers for international dialing, scheduling multi-audience calls or webinars involving overseas colleagues at times that make sense, reviewing messaging intended for all members so that it isn’t so U.S.-centric.

“But the best way for that kind of thinking to be natural is to experience other cultures,” he continues. “At LeadingRE, we are very focused on connecting our members, not just having dots on the map. That way, we form trusted relationships based on mutual understanding and respect, and we find that at the end of the day, people are people. If we know each other, we are more likely to do business with each other.”

To foster these cross-border relationships, LeadingRE schedules at least two or three non-U.S. events each year in addition to its annual “Conference Week,” held last month in Miami with members from 25 countries in attendance. In 2016, the network’s annual Global Symposium was held in Amsterdam, and a luxury property event for its Luxury Portfolio division took place in Beijing. Regional networking webinars for members in the Caribbean proved so popular that they are being replicated in Europe and other regions this year. In 2017, in addition to its Global Symposium in Vienna at the end of September, a variation of its highly lauded “Asia Immersion” event in Shanghai in 2014 will be repeated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with pre- and post-event visits to Singapore and Thailand.

“There is an enormous sense of comfort when gifting a client to a LeadingRE/Luxury Portfolio colleague in another part of the world,” says Lulu Egerton, a partner with London-based Strutt and Parker in the UK. “Even if we haven’t met a particular member, we know that these companies have been carefully vetted and share our values.”

For example, when Egerton’s team identified Turkey as a source of investor buyers coming to London, they reached out to LeadingRE/Luxury Portfolio member AYIKCAN Real Estate there, who organized a dinner with high-net worth Turkish business people during a Strutt & Parker visit to Turkey.

“That kind of thing lays the groundwork for relationships that inevitably lead to business transactions,” says Egerton, “and this simply wouldn’t happen without the connections fostered by LeadingRE and Luxury Portfolio.”

As the frequency and participation in LeadingRE’s global events have grown, so have its cross-border referrals. Member-to-member referrals are a core competency of the network dating back to its roots in the old RELO® network. Last year, members generated over 30,000 “client introductions” to one another with a whopping 50 percent conversion rate. Traditionally, most of that has been within the U.S., but cross-border referrals are doubling each year, and conversion is improving thanks to a “Cross-Border Liaison Team” that assists members with communication, customs, and follow-up required by referrals between different countries.

One recent success came with a referral from Smith & Associates Real Estate in Tampa, Fla., to Stone Real Estate in Sydney, Australia. Smith & Associates Vice President of Business Development and Relocation Jane Gowarty made an introduction on behalf of REALTOR® Amanda Heese, whose godmother had a distinctive property in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

With assistance from LeadingRE’s cross-border team, Heese connected with Reece Coleman, CEO of Stone Realty. “Immediately, I felt confident that Reece saw and appreciated the ‘story’ behind the property and would be a natural at marketing and selling it,” Heese says. The connection between the two companies was further solidified when Gowarty and Coleman met at LeadingRE’s Global Symposium in Amsterdam. A few months later, the property was sold just 10 days after being listed, in a market with an average days-on-market of 360—also setting a new residential price record in the area.

“It was an absolute delight marketing this property and getting to know and work with our LeadingRE colleagues,” says Coleman. “While we are literally on opposite sides of the world, we are aligned by a shared focus on delivering an exceptional experience, and this focus on quality is a universal trait of LeadingRE firms.”

Another globalization focus for LeadingRE is on the corporate relocation side. Its sister relocation management company, RELO Direct®, Inc., works with multi-national clients who relocate talent all over the world. As a result, in Shanghai and Munich, RELO Direct works via two firms that are also members of LeadingRE. These two companies operate both destination service companies (DSPs) to assist international expatriates moving from one country to another and real estate brokerages.

“The organization has synergies for us in both areas,” says Dima Lorenz of Ark Properties in Shanghai. “We work closely with RELO Direct to assist employees relocating to China with RELO Direct client companies, but we also work with fellow LeadingRE colleagues to support individual buyers and sellers.”

LeadingRE is expanding its referral business to also encompass commercial referrals, working with its members who operate dedicated commercial divisions as well as selected commercial-only partners in other cities. Given the growth in commercial investment in the U.S. in recent years, that is yet another way in which LeadingRE plans to extend its global reach.

“While the stock market is hot right now, investors are always looking for ways to diversify,” says Rossell. “Not only are financial advisors considering the real estate portfolio of their clients in addition to equities and other investments, but we’ve also seen growth in global real estate mutual funds and global real estate investment trusts (REITs). Additionally, we see consumers in other countries ‘parking’ their money by buying property in the relatively safe economic environment of the U.S. All of this indicates the fascination with and confidence in real estate from an investment, as well as lifestyle, perspective. As we continue to see an accelerated interest in cross-border real estate purchases, the traditional barriers to these transactions—financing, logistics, and more—will be increasingly minimized, so that buying or selling property in another country becomes nearly as routine as it is in the U.S.”

LeadingRE truly lives its mantra: “We’re Local, We’re Global®.” Its locally-branded independent real estate firms have to be market leaders in order to qualify for membership, whether a mega-brokerage like Howard Hanna or Long & Foster or a one-office firm that dominates the market in its small suburb or town. No matter what a firm’s local profile, having meaningful connections to other quality-focused firms worldwide is a real differentiator in this global economy.

This local “private label” character of LeadingRE’s members is serving them well in the age of the internet and today’s consumer interest in community roots and distinctive business personas. It is no accident that the love affair with local brands is driving many business decisions, whether it is the introduction of boutique-brand divisions by major hotel chains or the decision by HomeServices of America to retain the local brands of independent acquisitions like LeadingRE members Kentwood in Denver and Houlihan Lawrence in Westchester County, rather than moving them into its Berkshire Hathaway franchise network.

“We believe there has never been a better time for local brands,” says LeadingRE’s O’Connor. “Ironically, this translates in the global landscape, as well. In effect, we are able to offer the authenticity and connections of strong local brands around the world. When clients understand that they are accessing the same integrity, competence, and client care in another country that they’re used to at home with one of our members, this becomes a huge factor in bridging cultural, political and economic differences.”

So regardless of where you sit in the real estate world, why should you care about global?

  1. National economies are increasingly intertwined, and when business crosses borders, so do people and the homes they buy and sell. As that happens, the barriers to real estate transactions will fall.
  1. The internet and smartphones have introduced new vistas to consumers everywhere, particularly with younger people, so those who have never thought about buying a home in another country are or will.
  1. You already have a host of cultures in your own backyard, and if you wish to have their business, you need to know them.

Having a global mindset does not mean abandoning love or loyalty to country; it simply recognizes the changing world in which we live and the many reasons—business, practical and personal—to respect and embrace the rich opportunities that diversity brings, just as it has in this country throughout our history.

For more information, please visit www.leadingre.com.

Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas atmaria@rismedia.com.

Read More

How May I Serve You?

 

This article by LeadingRE Business Development Manager Jeff Kennedy was published in RISMedia’s e-News on April 19, 2017.

 

Recently I tried to use my corporate American Express card while on a business trip to New York City. I tried to pay for a taxi, but it was declined. I ran it through twice to make sure it wasn’t “operator error.” Although I was positive that the card wasn’t frozen for lack of payment, it was a bit embarrassing, and I could feel the judgmental eyes of the cabbie glaring at me. Of course, being pulled over, with traffic backed up and horns blaring, just added to the intensity of the situation. Thankfully I had cash, paid a larger than deserved tip and hastily made my way out of the cab. That isn’t the end of the story.

I quickly called the toll-free number on the back of the card and spoke with a customer service rep. I wish I had his name, but I didn’t expect to need to remember it later. Rather than being greeted with the DMV-style voice/tone that we’ve come to expect when calling customer service, he was inviting and empathetic… it was actually a bit disarming. He said things like “You are a valued customer” and “How may I serve you?” rather than the standard “Thank you for calling. How may I help you?”

The fact that he used the word “serve” struck a chord—not because I feel the need to be served, but because of what the word infers. There is a reason that the employees at Chick-fil-A are trained to say “How may I serve you?” and “My pleasure.” It’s because words matter.

When a customer service rep offers to help someone, he is agreeing that there is a problem (which was likely caused by the company), and he is implying that the client needs his help to resolve said issue. Neither of those responses is positive.

“How may I serve you?” has a completely different feel to it. It may be semantics, but his word choice changed the tone and trajectory of our conversation. It made me feel that he was on my side, that he wanted to make it right, and that we were going to figure this out together. In that moment, I went from frustrated business traveler to a “valued customer” with a friend on the “inside.”

What is your mentality with your real estate clients? Do you see yourself as helping them? Servicing them? Or truly serving them?

The best way to serve your clients in real estate is to keep your focus on what is right for them.

Here are some examples of service versus help:

Service – Understand that you couldn’t be successful without this client.
Help – Have a mindset that the client couldn’t do this without you.

Service – Welcome questions, as that shows engagement.
Help – Have a set idea of how long a conversation should be or how many questions a client should ask.

Service – Think of only what is best for your client. Period. Your client doesn’t care that you are getting a bonus for selling that house. They want a house that is a perfect fit for their needs, not yours. Think of the old police adage “To Protect and Serve.”
Help – Think about the quickest way to get the transaction closed.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) is a service organization first. Our clients are the top independent real estate brokerages in the world. While we offer a referral network, vendor relationships and proprietary platforms, service to our members always comes first, and we are guided by our mantra of Making the Best Brokerages BetterSM.

We vet and hire the right people, but we also invest resources in the ongoing development of our employees. We never lose sight of the fact that serving our members is our reason for existing as company.

The next time you go to meet a client for the first time, try a service mentality, and maybe even go as far as saying the words out loud: “How may I serve you?” You’ll experience positive results and will be glad that you did.

 

Read More

Global Real Estate Network Selects OutboundEngine as Preferred Marketing Solution

CHICAGO (4/25/17) – Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has named OutboundEngine as a preferred provider through its Solutions Group program, which identifies select business resources for its global community of more than 550 real estate firms.

OutboundEngine combines automated marketing technology with professional design and relevant content so that sales associates and brokerages can continuously engage their networks through effective email and social media campaigns. The company also offers a strategy for brokers to stay in front of potential agent recruits to support recruiting efforts. Their customizable online chat service, ReadyChat, compliments their comprehensive suite of products.

“The challenge of staying in touch with past clients and being top-of-mind with prospective clients is a common concern in the industry,” Robin LaSure, LeadingRE vice president of corporate marketing said. “OutboundEngine helps solve this problem with an easy-to-use program that offers targeted home-related content based on the consumer’s interests, while reinforcing company and agent branding.”

OutboundEngine, which also has an established presence in other industries like insurance, mortgage and financial services, looks to strengthen its connections in the real estate industry through the relationship with LeadingRE.

“We know that LeadingRE’s brokerages are some of the most successful in the business, with outstanding sales associates who work with exceptional properties in markets across the world. At OutboundEngine, our goal is to help these associates save time and sell more homes with our strategic automated marketing platform. We’re excited to help some of the world’s best real estate professionals become even stronger,” said Branndon Stewart, OutboundEngine founder & CEO.

To learn more about OutboundEngine, visit www.outboundengine.com/leadingre-recruiting. To learn more about Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, visit www.LeadingRE.com.

###

About Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (www.LeadingRE.com) is a selective global community of the highest quality independent real estate companies, with over 550 companies and 130,000 sales associates spanning six continents. Network members generate over 1.2 million transactions annually. LeadingRE exists to make its members better by connecting them to opportunities and people around the globe, supporting them with an international referral network, professional development programs, unique events and connections to people and opportunities worldwide.

 

About OutboundEngine

OutboundEngine is an Austin, TX-based marketing technology company that helps real estate agents and brokers grow their business by making online marketing simple. The company’s SaaS platform automates email marketing, social media posting, online review collection and more for over 10,000 customers. Founded in 2012, OutboundEngine is ranked No. 95 on the Inc. 5000 and has been consistently named a top workplace in Austin. Through its acquisition of ReadyChat in 2015, OutboundEngine also offers a customizable, done-for-you chat service with a proven ability to increase highly qualified leads. For more information, please visit www.outboundengine.com.

 

Read More

Mortgage Applications And Housing Starts Are Up Big-Time

LeadingRE Chief Economist Dr. Marci Rossell is quoted in this article by , published April 20, 2017 on TheStreet.

Then there’s the all-important mortgage application benchmark, a key and real-time indicator of the U.S. real estate market’s health. In March, the figure was fit as a fiddle, as new home purchase applications rose by 6.7% on a year-to-year basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Application Survey data for March 2017.

The MBA data states that mortgage applications for new home purchases not only rose 6.7% compared to March 2016, “compared to February 2017, applications increased by 23% relative to the previous month.”

That growth represents a five-year high.

“Mortgage applications for new homes accelerated in March, with the Builder Application Survey Index reaching its highest point since the series began in August 2012,” states Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of research and economics.

Creativity by industry companies is a big reason for the rise in. seasonal mortgage apps, Fisher notes.

“The pick up from a fairly modest February showing suggests that developers are finding ways to bring new product on line to help supplement otherwise low inventories of existing homes for sale in the U.S.,” Fisher says. “About two-thirds of applications for new homes in our survey have loan sizes between $200,000 and $400,000,” she adds.

The MBA also reports that new single-family home sales “were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 670,000 units in March 2017.” That’s up 14.3% from February, where the sales number stood at 586,000 units.

Larger economic trends are also in play, and the burgeoning U.S. employment sector is first up at bat.

“When you look at the economic factors that people consider when they are buying or selling a house today, one of the most important is the jobs market,” states Dr. Marci Rossell, chief economist for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. “When we look at the unemployment rate in the U.S., which peaked at 10% during the throes of the recession of 2009 to 2010, that unemployment rate has come down to less than 5%. What that means is that people have jobs, people have opportunities and they are willing to take them.”

“That leads to a much more thriving real estate market than when the jobs market wasn’t as healthy,” she adds.

Other financial experts point to rising consumer sentiment, after years of relative apathy from Americans, as a key factor in real estate sales going forward.

“America’s resilient middle-class is back, landing jobs and chasing the dream of homeownership,” states Ray Duran, regional sales manager of Quontic Bank in Miami, a Member FDIC bank

Duran says that middle-class Americans were “beat up” by the 2008 to 2009 financial crisis and the effects of globalization, which left them without work and swamped with unforgiving credit card bills. “But today, more and more middle-class Americans are finding work–actually full-time, white collar jobs–and are fixing their credit scores that got screwed up during the recession,” he explains.

Now, middle-class Americans who “got hosed” by the Great Recession and globalization are bouncing back, finding jobs and fixing their credit, Duran states. “Middle-class Americans that bought homes they couldn’t afford leading up the crash were ultimately foreclosed on and forced to rent,” Duran says. “For years, the rental market was red-hot. But now that the middle-class has found work and fixed their credit, all of those people who were renting are now buying.”

The end result? The resilient middle-class is driving the housing market, Duran says.

“The economy is turning up,” Duran says. “The housing market is coming back. I think we’re going to be busy from now through July. It’s going to be a strong spring selling season and strong summer overall for real estate and housing in general.”

 

Read the article on TheStreet.

Read More

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Names New Advisory Council Officers, Members

Pam Metzger

Pam Metzger, WK Real Estate

 

CHICAGO, IL – (03/14/17) – Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has announced new officers and members for its Advisory Council, a leadership group comprised of business development and relocation professionals who provide guidance on key initiatives for the global real estate community comprised of 550 market-leading firms spanning six continents.

Pam Metzger, director of relocation and corporate services for WK Real Estate in Boulder, Colo., has been named chairperson and will serve a one-year term. Allison Rybarczyk, relocation director, associate broker for Arizona Best Real Estate in Scottsdale, Ariz., has been elected vice chairperson and will assume the position of chairperson next year.

Newly-elected Advisory Council members include Kimberly Barkoff, Halstead Real Estate, N.Y.; Andrea Bowles, Blanchard & Calhoun Real Estate, Augusta, Ga.; Jo Lay, Baird & Warner, Chicago, Ill.; and Catharine Pappas, Dickens Mitchener, Charlotte, N.C.

These professionals join current Advisory Council members, Kirsten Abney, Heritage Texas Properties, Houston, TX; Ryan Carrell, Carpenter Realtors, Indianapolis, Ind.; Rachael Joyner, Joyner Fine Properties, Richmond, Va.; Diana McGrogan, Intero Real Estate Services, Cupertino, Calif.; Frank Morrice Arias, Siuma Realty, Panama; Kim Mullins, HUFF Realty, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Dawn Stevens, Jack Conway & Co., Norwell, MA.

Concluding their service on the council are Jane Gowarty, Smith & Associates Real Estate, Tampa, Fla.; Liz Nunan, Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate, Rye Brook, N.Y.; and Denise Talboy, The Keyes Company, Miami, Fla.

The Advisory Council works closely with the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® management team on strategic network initiatives. Council members also mentor other affiliates and serve as ambassadors for the organization’s extensive programs. Members are elected by fellow council members to serve a three-year term and are chosen based on the merits of their professional experience and reputation and their willingness to share their expertise for the benefit of the network.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such talented, experienced council members providing guidance on vital programs that impact our members around the world, particularly those that relate to business development, lead generation and relocation,” said LeadingRE Director of Member Services Brent Williams who serves as the staff liaison to the group.

LeadingRE connects its members to opportunities and people around the globe, supporting them with an international referral network, professional development programs, unique events and connections to people and opportunities worldwide. For more information, visit www.LeadingRE.com.

###

About Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (www.LeadingRE.com) is a selective global community of the highest quality independent real estate companies, with over 550 companies and 130,000 sales associates spanning six continents. Network members generate over 1.2 million transactions annually. LeadingRE exists to make its members better by connecting them to opportunities and people around the globe, supporting them with an international referral network, professional development programs, unique events and connections to people and opportunities worldwide.

Read More