Hacker Connect January 16 in New York
An event for and by the real estate tech community

Krisstina Wise, broker-owner and founder of The GoodLife Team, a boutique real estate brokerage in Austin, Texas, that emphasizes technology and social media, is speaking this week at the Agent Reboot event tomorrow in Houston.

Wise, who launched the firm in February 2008, was formerly a national trainer and owner of a real estate team for Keller Williams Realty. The GoodLife Team was honored with an Inman Innovator Award this year. She will speak during a session titled, "Managing Reputation and Content on the Web."

Wise responded to a set of questions posed by Inman News:

1. What is the most important business lesson you learned in the past year?

What is necessary to take care of the concerns of today’s consumer is larger than one agent can handle. For a broker to be able to survive in today’s marketplace, the broker must work in partnership with agents in order to provide value and take care of the consumer’s needs. As a result of this lesson learned, I have completely restructured my brokerage to offer value to my agents that they can in turn offer to our mutual customer.

2. What inspired you to pursue your current career path?

In my opinion, the traditional real estate brokerage model is broken and who suffers most is the consumer. The brokerage model is about recruiting and retention of real estate agents and not about taking care of the consumer.

I think this has to change and we, as the brokers, need to care about the consumer and then offer the education, knowledge, tools and support to enable agents to attract and service today’s savvy buyer and seller. It is time to raise the bar, which will require real estate brokerages not to be real estate agent-recruiting firms.

3. Share a personal experience or anecdote about buying, selling, owning or renting a home.

For years, I have advised my clients who are considering custom-building or remodeling their home to triple the time and double the budget. Being in real estate for 15 years, I thought that I knew more than my clients, since I’m in this industry every day, and I thought that advice didn’t apply to me. Bottom line: I now have grounded experience that when building or remodeling a home … triple the time and double the budget.

4. What’s the coolest technology you’ve discovered this year, and how are you using it?

The coolest technology I have discovered this year would have to be the iPad. We use it both as a presentation tool as well as an interactive experience when showing and listing homes. We have moved our listing and buyer presentations from a paper booklet presentation to an interactive digital experience using the iPad. In addition, we have our buyers use the preloaded tools on our iPad to follow maps of showings, open pictures of houses before we walk in the door, and take notes on what homes they like best, among other things.

5. What is your advice for real estate industry professionals to thrive in this market?

Find a niche and build your identity of trust and value in that niche. The global market on the Web is too vast and complex for being the previous jack-of-all-trades agent. Today, it is about specialization, knowledge and execution within a niche.

6. What is your favorite non-work-related hobby?

Health and fitness, reading books, and travel.

7. Who is your hero, and why?

Toby Hecht, founder of the Aji Network. He is my source of knowledge and competitive thinking.

8. What do you view as the biggest problem facing the real estate industry today, and how would you fix it?

I see two fundamental problems facing the real estate industry today, and they both have to do with value.

One, what agents provided to consumers in the past is no longer valuable. Consumers expect more for their 6 percent, and agents don’t know what value they have to offer. In addition, the value that brokers provided their agents in the past is no longer valuable.

Agents expect more for their splits and brokers don’t know what value they have to offer. Until both brokers and agents are able to provide what is highly valued in today’s marketplace, this will remain a fundamental problem for the industry.

Two, the bar is too low. With the pathetically large number of licensees who are in the business without the knowledge and capacity to take care of the consumer (which is not in the best interest of the consumer), our industry will remain undervalued.

9. What do you hope to learn at the Agent Reboot event?

As always, I seek to learn from others who know more than I in order to learn and then … implement new ideas shared from experts in the industry. Inman always brings the best of the best so I have no doubt that I will go home with plenty of new ideas.

10.Tell us something we don’t already know about you.

With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, Google, I don’t think there is anything about me that … you couldn’t, at three clicks of a button, find out.


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