Eric Stegemann, who leads strategic development at Tribus Real Estate, a real estate consulting and technology firm, is coming to the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, which runs from Aug. 5-7, 2009.

Tribus services include training and marketing, and the company also offers technology tools including customer relationship management, lead management, accounting, communications, virtual tour and location-aware mobile search.

Stegemann also serves as managing broker at River City Real Estate, based in St. Charles, Mo.

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

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

The market will be somewhat flat through the rest of 2009 with a few dips and peaks. First-time homebuyers utilizing the $8,000 federal tax credit and various state credits will hold the market up as a flurry of additional foreclosures being held out due to the moratorium flood the market.

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

Opportunity is everywhere. Marketing doesn’t have to be big, flashy and expensive to be effective. For agents with smaller marketing budgets, get back to the basics: walk door to door; offer free information on the market and home values; meet with people; create relationships; ask questions.

Use free and new technologies, such as blogging social media, to become a respected resource for your community. Agents with larger budgets: Create a brand around your name. Use multiple contact points to reach your target market.

What made you join your current company?

The realization that there is a vast difference between what clients expect from their agents and what they are currently receiving. Agents are so busy writing contracts and finding buyers that they don’t have time to keep up with all the newest technologies. We wanted to offer brokers the ability to flick a switch and have everything taken care of for them and their agents.

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

Having people understand we are NOT a technology vendor. We’re a full-time consulting company that implements technology for our clients.

What new features are in the pipeline? Can you share any future plans, goals?

Our corporate mission statement is to keep our affiliates six months ahead of all other brokerages. We’re working to push out a hyperlocal information platform that will dominate searches in real estate beyond the standard "Homes in San Francisco." …CONTINUED

What lesson did you learn in the last year?

How resistant some people can be to change.

What would your second career choice be and why?

Venture capital. There is nothing more exciting than working with a startup and helping the founders mold it into something special.

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

There is a huge discrepancy between full-time, knowledgeable agents who provide excellent service and support to their clients and part-time agents who do one deal a year and don’t have time to keep up with contract and law changes. The easiest way to fix it is if brokerages start holding their agents accountable for their actions by monitoring customer service.

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

The people. There are so many amazing minds and talents and because most are independent contractors there is some true outside-the-box thinking.

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

I started selling real estate when I was 18.

The second set of clients I had: I showed them 152 homes and they never bought one. I since came up with a sales technique that I teach agents to ensure this doesn’t happen to them.

Hear real estate broker and business strategist Eric Stegemann speak about "Cutting Edge Tactics for the Wire-Edged Agents" during the Bloggers Connect Workshop at the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, which runs from Aug. 5-7, 2009.


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