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Cynthia Adams is the co-founder of Pearl National Home Certification. Pearl is a software services company establishing a national standard for verifying and certifying the energy and performance assets of homes to increase property value and improve outcomes for real estate agents and their clients. Pearl is a National Association of REALTORS 2017 REach Technology Accelerator company. We recently got the opportunity to sit down with Cynthia and ask her how her work with Pearl Partners allows her to win more listings, work more effectively with sellers, and grow her business.
What are the 3 most effective things you recommend agents do every day to grow their business?
Learn, engage, reflect. In interviews I’ve had with our Pearl Partner agents, I’ve noticed the really successful ones have some things in common when it comes to their everyday business. First, they never stop learning – whether it’s a newsletter, a webinar, local training, or mentorship – great agents take a little time every day to grow their knowledge and level of professionalism. Second, they engage their sphere. There’s really no getting around the calls, the handwritten notes and email. You can’t grow your business without scheduling time everyday to engage prospective clients. Third, successful agents treat their business like a business; they understand how important it is to reflect on what’s working and what’s not when it comes managing their time, communicating with clients, and marketing.
What tactics do you use for driving referrals and winning listings presentations?
Agents who work with Pearl have special training on home improvements that impact indoor air quality, monthly bills, comfort, and home value. Homeowners, buyers, and sellers care a lot about these issues, so one tactic is for agents to connect authentically with clients’ needs and interests that transcend price, location, etc. This isn’t a gimmick – it’s a conversation that leads to a higher level of professional service and one that requires the agent know a little something about how home’s work (not just how they look). It also signals to clients that you really are their advocate and can be trusted to help them navigate the stressful process of buying or selling a home.
How do you handle working with sellers on pricing?
Pearl Partner agents understand how certain home features can seriously impact the quality of life a buyer will experience actually living in the home. So to inform their research on comparable homes and the CMA, they ask sellers some additional questions that help them understand if the home has any high-performing features, e.g., energy efficient HVAC. Features that be captured in the MLS and the Appraisal Institute’s Green and Energy Efficient Addendum can add value to the home. They also provide additional marketing opportunities to catch the attention of families, retirees, Millennials – any buyer who cares about home comfort, health, and energy bill savings.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever heard?
Be honest and let your passion shine – this advice came to me from a real estate agent friend who, ironically enough, was counseling me on how to work with other agents. Her point was to engage agents with integrity and purpose. These two attributes build trust, which should be the basis of any business relationship.
If an agent should stop doing one thing today, what would it be?
Stop ignoring the sweeping changes taking place in our residential built environment and the resulting shift in mindset of the consumer. From building code requirements, to home automation, to solar panels – our homes are changing. New homes are built very differently from how they were constructed just ten years ago. Smart home technology has given us visibility into the home’s performance in ways we never had, helping us understand how this performance leads to greater comfort, lower bills, etc. Solar panels have reached an inflection point when it comes to dropping costs, and electric cars are less than a decade behind them. Most agents seem to know very little about these features, and yet they have such an enormous impact on how we experience our homes. This is a huge market opportunity for savvy agents to differentiate themselves now.
You can also contact Cynthia at her office address:
1577 Spring Hill Road, Vienna, VA