Connect the ICSF Speakers: Kendall Butler on Differentiating Yourself

Hear how Butler built her empire at Inman Connect San Francisco

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“Differentiate yourself” is advice that every real estate agent has heard more than once — but how? Kendall Butler of FLI Properties is a problem-solver for her clients, and that’s helped her flourish in her 12 years as a broker-owner. And lest you think you need experience to find your differentiator or unique value proposition: Butler had only sold two homes when she and her husband launched FLI Properties.

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Although she didn’t have extensive real estate experience, Butler had worked as an engineer in operations management, and her husband had an MBA and was a finance specialist. Combining their formidable analytic powers in real estate has both helped clients and ensured they weren’t driving their brokerage into a comfortable rut; the Butlers keep intentional transition and change top-of-mind.

Butler will share what she’s learned about creating a unique value proposition that resonates with your community — and leverages your strengths — in a session at Inman Connect San Francisco, July 17 through 20 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. It’s one of many educational, networking and growth opportunities you’ll experience as part of the weeklong real estate deep dive.

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Today, FLI Properties is “extremely data-driven,” Butler says, and “before there was a lot of data available, we focused on becoming the market experts as well.” But as data becomes more prevalent and clients need to learn what to make of it all, they have shifted toward forecasting for clients and trying to understand why certain real estate trends and local economic are unfolding and what it will mean for clients.

By tracking price trends, Butler was able to see that although the local real estate market was recovering from the Great Recession, it wasn’t recovering at the same pace as in other nearby areas, and she used that information to create solutions for clients that might not require selling a home — she launched a property management division so some of her clients who were moving to a new area would have the option to rent their former home instead of sell.

And Butler was also on top of the inventory shortage in her area: She knew there was pent-up demand and wanted to help recruit builders to help alleviate the problem. To help prove to them how dire the need was, she started digging into tax records dating back to the 1930s in order to pinpoint the number of homes built per decade. Butler found that in the 1980s and ’90s through 2010, the area was gaining 3,000 homes per decade, but there have only been about 800 homes added to the tax registry from 2010 through 2018.

By using data and her ability to analyze it and identify important trends from inventory to school quality, Butler has been able to establish herself as the go-to real estate expert in town. That’s her unique value proposition, and you’ll hear her explain how she built her empire at Inman Connect San Francisco.

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