Tara Jones is CEO and co-owner of Reel Dwellings TV, a real estate video company. Jones will speak during a Digital Video Summit at the upcoming Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 7-9.

Jones answered a set of questions posed by Inman News:

What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2009?

I see great opportunity for real estate professionals to define themselves as the market leader in a recovering market. It will be those who persevere who will be the "go-to" people once the market rebounds.

What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?

Keep doing what you would do in a "normal" market. I was shocked to see the number of agents who crawled into a hole after the market collapse. The media perpetuates fear — don’t fall victim. After all, perception is reality.

What sparked the idea to start your company?

I have been in the world of television for more than a decade but came from a real estate family. After getting my license and having one foot in the media and one foot in real estate, I realized the two worlds could collide in an entertaining and beneficial way for real estate professionals. Marketing, in general, is lacking in quality in the real estate industry, and advancements in video, I believe, can have a positive impact on the real estate industry as a whole.

What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?

Getting real estate professionals to understand the difference between quality and amateur work. Marketing is a direct reflection of their business and image and should be professional.

Can you share any future plans, goals?

We are committed to educating real estate professionals so they can understand the techniques and tricks of the trade so they can effectively do them themselves or understand the need to call in a professional. We are continuing our education throughout the country.

What lesson did you learn in the last year?

I learn a lesson every day! But I think the best lesson I’ve learned in the past 12 months is to share your knowledge and not buy into the theory of competition. There is room for many in all facets of the real estate market.

What would your second career choice be and why?

I am still active in the television world. I think it’s important to keep your hand in the trade you are promoting on a personal level.

What is the biggest problem in the real estate market today, and how would you fix it?

Clearly, there are numerous problems plaguing the real estate market. But perhaps the most difficult problem to overcome is the declining price of home values in this country, which could have catastrophic effects on the nation’s wealth many times over.

There is not a clear-cut solution to the problem, but I think many agents are trying to underbid each other in order to make a sale and stay afloat. Unfortunately, this is a dangerous cycle that could easily increase the devaluation of homes. A solution needs to come from the national level to stabilize the market and return values to where they should be. This will happen and the market will recover. It always does. Agents need not panic and add to the problems.

What do you most enjoy about working in the real estate industry?

The accepting nature of those involved. It is truly a nurturing and helpful environment of professionals who are eager to learn from each other and help each other succeed.

Tell us something we don’t already know about you …

I’m a seasoned journalist who is not a fan of the news. I don’t believe in sensationalism for the sake of ratings and I believe every marketer (news included) has an obligation to depict events and products accurately. I am a true optimist at heart, which makes me a strange fit in the broadcast world!

Hear Tara Jones speak at the "Five Killer Uses for Real Estate Video" session during the Digital Video Summit at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City. The conference, which runs from Jan. 7-9, will be held at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square hotel.


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