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Nancy Braun is the creative force behind Charlotte’s Showcase Realty and its several divisions. Focusing on technology and delivering a new kind of experience, Braun has created a new model for the real estate industry. She was also named the No. 1 agent in North Carolina in Real Trends’ 2015 “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” list.

She’ll be speaking at Inman Connect San Francisco in just a few days.


She also answered six questions for us:

1. What’s something about the real estate industry you believe that others don’t?

Real estate commission, as we know it, may disappear. Brokers may have to find other sources of revenue. Big entities are entering the playing field and receiving a portion of the broker’s commission via referral fees, and they’re slowly eliminating the need for brokers completely.

Auction companies are selling properties online without brokers. Large pools of notes are being traded, allowing banks to reduce their nonperforming assets without having to foreclose or sell the property, again eliminating the broker from the transaction. Low inventory results in the seller not having to offer an incentive to buyer’s agents with commission. The agents may have to begin looking to their buyer to be compensated.

2. What connection have you made — business or personal — that changed the course of your life?

I was selling real estate for 12 years for a large real estate company and never knew about industry conferences or coaches. In 2008 (when I first started my own company), I began attending conferences and met impressive and inspiring leaders in the industry. I joined mastermind groups and my business flourished.

My business took off as a result of the connections I made and the information I learned from other noncompeting brokers outside my area who taught me their best practices. Today I continue to absorb as much as I can from conferences, coaches, webinars and my mastermind groups.

3. What’s on your radar for 2016 as a sleeper opportunity for agents/brokers/companies in the real estate space?

There are so many opportunities out there for brokers to expand their business and diversify. The Internet is always creating new ways to reach out to buyers and sellers. I attend webinars daily to keep up with the technology and Internet marketing, and here’s what I’ve found:

  • The empty nesters are looking to downsize and reduce their debt burden.
  • Millennials are coming back strong to buy while rent keeps rising. We have to adapt our marketing tactics to appeal to these technology-driven millennials.
  • The international purchaser is also a big part of our recovery. Bringing on more agents who are fluent in other languages will be one of our strategies in 2016.
  • Brokers should also personally invest in real estate, whether it is to flip or buy-and-hold, with renters paying the mortgage.

4. What’s your No. 1 tip for building out a network of valuable connections?

Stay vibrant and informative on the Internet, social media and other forms of media. From an online perspective, blog and post relevant and engaging content. You can become the “expert” that your connections want to follow.

5. What’s one thing you want to stop doing in 2016?

Spend less money on generating leads non-organically. We have been improving our online presence and SEO and hope to begin exclusively generating our leads organically without buying leads.

6. What’s the one issue that everyone in the real estate industry should be paying attention to in the coming year?

There are a lot of nonpracticing “broker” entities designed to generate leads and collect referral fees from the working agents’ commission. This includes large national entities that are capturing buyer and seller leads and then selling these leads back to the broker.

These Internet-savvy entities are here to stay, and the agents must either generate their own leads or play along to stay in business. Agents will begin to see buyer agency cooperation disappear in low-inventory markets. The agents will need to learn how to prompt their buyers to compensate them directly. We have seen this in markets like New York City, and it will continue to spread wherever there is low inventory.

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