Bahareh Kamoei was the first in her family to establish herself in real estate, but now, her two sisters — Bita and Sara — have joined her in entrepreneurship as the agents behind BBS Brokers Realty in California. So to say they know a lot about relationships is an understatement: Relationships form the foundation of their business together. “We are a family-owned company, and we treat all our clients as family,” Kamoei notes. “Most of them come to us as referrals because they like the relationship; we prefer quality over quantity.”
Kamoei will be talking about focusing on relationships as a brand proposition at Inman Connect New York, January 29 through February 1 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. She told us more about how she and her sisters think about relationships and how to use your connections to differentiate yourself in the real estate market.
Tell us a little more about your session. How will it address how the industry can embrace the shifting market?
We’ve definitely talked about this in our company and are curious to see where the market will go, but we really feel like people value relationships. We state that we’re local experts — we’re really involved in our area; we have a scholarship fund that gives back to local high-school students, last year we gave back $30,000 to students, and we’re very involved. We grew up in this area, we know a lot of people, and we just try to go above and beyond helping clients.
Yesterday evening we were at a new client’s house, a really sweet elderly lady whose husband recently passed away, so we met her at the property and helped her move things into the garage. If you do those extra touches and market yourself as a local expert, people will always be more drawn to that than a discount brokerage that might not be as engaged in the area where you’re trying to sell. I know we’ve had clients who’ve interviewed agents who offered lower commissions, but when we won those listings, those sellers have said “we want to work with someone who knows the neighborhood,” and they like the special attention we give them. They can call us anytime — there are three of us — and they appreciate that.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities to focus on in the real estate industry right now?
I think it’s extremely important to be involved in the community, whether it’s to do a charity walk or go to a networking event. For us, education is really important; we work with first-generation students who will go on to be first-generation college graduates. We were all first-generation college graduates, and people know they can count on us if they need a speaker for an event. We were recently keynote speakers at a community college for a program for first-generation college graduates. We were, not that long ago, in their shoes, and feel like the students can really connect with us. It’s also helpful to be a charitable company and engage in the community in whatever way you can.
To stay competitive, agents, brokers and companies need to execute quickly. What do you feel are key areas where quick execution can vastly improve the customer experience?
I think it’s extremely important to communicate quickly, and it’s important to be flexible with the type of communication your client prefers. If they’re a texter or prefer email only — figure out how they like to communicate and communicate in that way. It’s becoming probably more and more difficult to be a solo agent, being a one-man or one-woman show makes it hard to be at a listing appointment, a showing, and answering calls at the same time. I think we’re going to see the growth of more teams, and that’s why our business is successful. If you can find someone you can trust like a sister or brother, it’s beneficial to your clients to have a team working for them. Then they know it’s not just one individual discount broker.
What are your hopes for the next 12 months, and what will you be working on?
We’ll be expanding our team, we’re at the point where we need a full-time assistant now. We have a transaction coordinator but we’re looking to add an admin, so we’re looking to develop that position and have more items they can handle quickly and efficiently.
Discover the opportunities in a changing market at Inman Connect New York, January 29 – February 1. Jumpstart 2019 with tactical takeaways, unlimited networking and thought-provoking speakers. Learn more.
Thinking about bringing your team? You may qualify for special group perks! Contact us to learn more.