Ori Staub, technology director at Active Website LLC, will discuss how to build a better brokerage website during a panel presentation at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 12-14, 2011.

Staub moved from England and joined Active Website, a Denver-based firm that builds real estate websites, in 2001, and he was 15 when he launched his first technology venture.

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

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

Ori Staub, technology director at Active Website LLC, will discuss how to build a better brokerage website during a panel presentation at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 12-14.

Staub moved from England and joined Active Website, a Denver-based firm that builds real estate websites, in 2001, and he was 15 when he launched his first technology venture.

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

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

Persistence and perseverance work. If you believe in something that’s genuine and good, there is no "no" — only a "maybe later."

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

I pursued my career path because of my love of technology and the ability to impact actual business goals and success with creative and technical solutions.

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

All my experiences have been great because I chose expert professionals throughout.

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

The most exciting developments have been in the mobile space. Personally, FaceTime (video calls using an iPhone) impacted me and my family communications the most.

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

Become a community expert in your local market. With the rise of hyperlocal content, real estate professionals have an advantage in the marketplace.

Because it’s our job to know what’s happening in the area, we need to leverage the expertise and knowledge we already have in order to position ourselves as a reliable source of information in the community.

Through our website, blog, social media sites, etc., we can engage with our customers and create a conversation online that will allow us to remain in front of current and potential customers.

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

I love the outdoors: camping, skiing and enjoying everything that colorful Colorado has to offer.

7. Who is your hero, and why?

I have no single hero. I find inspiration and admiration in many people from many walks of life, from the big innovators (like Steve Jobs) to people that make a difference around me — like the principal at my daughter’s school or local farmers who are committed to making a difference in the food we eat.

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

There seems to be a lack of focus on (real estate) customers and what really matters to them. In order to remain a leader in the real estate industry, we need to remember that the key to our success is the customer.

Through our research, we’ve noticed there is a huge dichotomy between what the brokerage wants and what the customer expects. With so much information available via the Web, our customers are now better informed — meaning we need to provide a higher level of service than ever before.

If we don’t meet their needs, there is nothing stopping them from visiting a competitor’s site instead. If we work to meet the needs of our customers, not ours, our brands will be associated with a positive user experience — which in turn will help us earn their business.

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

I’m a proud parent to four gorgeous and intelligent kids.

See Ori Staub, technology director for real estate website company Active Website LLC, speak during a panel presentation, "Brokerage website vendor shoot-out," at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 12-14.

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