Welcome to “Letters from,” a column that examines the intimate thoughts of members of the real estate industry.
Name: Shane Pendley
Role: Owner and CEO of Parus Solution Marketing and Homes2value
Years in business: 16
1. Why did you get into this business?
My family has been in the real estate industry since I can remember. Having a background in coaching as well as design, I always felt there was a serious need for video and advertising to be done the right way, an aesthetic and educational way that allows the agent to always seem professional.
Throughout the years we have all seen terrible marketing campaigns, video — to even mailers that hit our mailboxes.
A bad marketing campaign can be detrimental to anyone’s business.
2. What is the biggest challenge you face right now in your business?
Getting real estate agents to understand that they should all be marketing specialists in their business. There is a perception that being a real estate agent means being with the right company — not what one needs to be doing to ensure success.
How can one market a home if they can’t effectively market themselves? It’s crazy! We have been in the spotlight of video for sometime now. It is the most effect way to pre-introduce yourself and your team while possibly providing instant recognition.
When one understands that whether you are doing inbound or outbound marketing, creating a call to action is so important. We need to run our business as if we are running any other type of business.
Have a plan and stick to it, stay consistent and allow proven statistics to take their course. As in farming/direct mail, you have to stay consistent to reap the benefits, why else do they call it farming?
3. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started the business?
There is a saying: if you don’t have room in your living room for art, don’t become friends with a artist.
We are in an industry that demands a serious amount of time and energy. If you are not careful, one can get sidetracked very easily. I know now in my business that we provide quality solution marketing for agents or even offices that want to perform at a higher level.
We cannot work with everyone and not everyone needs our service, but for those who do, I have learned to embrace it for more than it is.
Our business is built on referrals and those we surround ourselves with. I have learned to never doubt ambition and always be honest about what you want.
4. Who has made the biggest positive impact on your business?
My family has made the biggest impact in my business throughout the years. It’s funny how success in the eyes of your loved ones doesn’t look like money. My wife and daughter drive me to be a better man, which in return reflects in everything I do.
I was fortunate to have worked with my father, uncle [and] even my mother — that is part of my current business. In some way shape or form, it’s always been a family business.
I come from a generation of trainers and speakers that have paved the way in what I currently do and for that I am grateful. I was taught at a young age to be an entrepreneur — it’s in my DNA I guess.
“Don’t manage it, be the best at selling it or own it,” words of wisdom that stuck.
5. What is one thing someone could do to help you in your business?
Referrals are not just for real estate agents. Healthy marketing, promotion, testimonies and word of mouth are the biggest support one can give.
If you truly believe that you offer a service that can help, support and compliment a potential client, you want everyone to share the word. Confidence in what you do is powerful in any business.
6. What tool has made the biggest positive impact on your business?
Technology — I don’t know if that’s really a tool, but we build a lot of tools from it. When something shifts we have to shift. In the video production world, we know that more than 80 percent of adults watch video on their mobile devices, so we adapt.
With mailers, we need to track it and create a lead capture for the client, so we shift. Technology will always keep companies like mine on our toes, which is absolutely incredible and never boring.
7. What do you think is going to be the biggest change in real estate in the next five years?
I am finding more and more real estate agents and teams are realizing that they need to invest in their business. Marketing can be quite an investment — but a healthy and wise investment, if done right.
With that being said, paying high-end fees to major real estate brands might be a thing of the past. Although, I think if real estate companies start providing marketing services for the agents, it could balance out.
I have clients who hardly ever go into their office. Everything has shifted to online support, and we are seeing independent offices popping up all over. Major real estate brands will have to start offering incentives to their agents for marketing.
Competition among real estate agents will get stronger. In return, they will need to spice up their marketing plans, which in the end — marketing isn’t free, and paying large desk fees digs into the marketing budget that may or may not be set aside.