Kristal Kraft, broker associate at The Berkshire Group, Realtors, is also a blogger and sales trainer who has expertise in digital media and search-engine optimization. She designs and develops websites and is an avid photographer.
Kraft will speak during a "Managing Reputation and Content on the Web" session during the Agent Reboot event on Wednesday, Sept. 8, in the Denver area.
Inman News posed a set of questions to Kraft:
1. What is the most important business lesson you learned in the past year?
I am constantly working on learning how to make things work better, for instance my website, blog or my photos. I started teaching this year and found myself surprised at how little people know about things that are very important to them, like their websites and social media.
By taking a little time each day to study how to do things, people can avoid being scammed when it comes to technology.
2. What inspired you to pursue your current career path?
I enjoy real estate as a career since it allows me to create my own destiny. I get to work with people whom I enjoy and my success is totally of my own making.
3. Share a personal experience or anecdote about buying, selling, owning or renting a home.
After 26 years selling real estate I have many stories. My favorite listing was an REO (bank-owned property) that was condemned due to the previous owner digging a hydroponic growing room just off the basement of the home.
He was caught stealing electricity to grow his marijuana crop. The growing room was magnificently built and shored up well, like a mine, but he broke through the foundation of the house to access it, rendering the house unstable.
I learned a lot about drug enforcement agencies and what they do to find these guys, as well as how effective the utility people are at locating thieves. I sold the home "as is" to a young couple who were probably as amazed as I was as to the talent of the former owner who was serving his time! He seemed to me a misplaced talent who was hopefully retrained in prison.
4. What the coolest technology you’ve discovered this year, and how are you using it?
WordPress continues to be my favorite software. I’m forever learning new things to do with it. I enjoy showing others how to drive this marvelous business tool.
5. What is your advice for real estate industry professionals to thrive in this market?
Remove yourselves from negative friends who pollute your thoughts with stinking thinking. Stop watching (television) news or reading the newspapers — set up RSS feeds to deliver topics of importance to you and create your own positive and uplifting world.
6. What is your favorite non-work-related hobby?
Oh, that’s an easy question! Photography. You could sit me down on a 5-by-5 patch in a field with my Canon 50D and I’d entertain myself for hours.
I’m equally happy in the outback of Colorado or in downtown Denver — just let me shoot things!
7. Who is your hero, and why?
I have three: my children. I watch them daily as they take on the challenges of life and find myself admiring their abilities and attitudes. I want to be just like them when I grow up.
8. What do you view as the biggest problem facing the real estate industry today, and how would you fix it?
The lack of standards in the real estate industry continues to hurt both the agent … and, worse yet, the consumer. The consumer is confused by the differences from state to state and blames the confusion on whoever they end up working with.
If we are to gain respect and trust there needs to be a set of unified standards like ISO (International Organization for Standardization) that a consumer can count on.
9. What do you hope to learn at the Agent Reboot conference? (Optional)
My ears are always anxious to hear about the new technologies we can adapt to our real estate business. It seems there’s hardly a week that goes by without some new concept gaining ground. So show me something that is going to change the way I am able to provide service to my clients.
10.Tell us something we don’t already know about you.
The only continent I haven’t peddled on is Antarctica.