Leaders from Compass, Quicken Loans, Qualia and Agentology talk about how to create a unique niche for your business at Inman Connect Las Vegas.
Kofi Nartey, the national director of Compass’ sports and entertainment division, might have some high-priced clients in Beverly Hills, but he got there by toiling away in a very niche field in a massive industry.
Nartey highlighted the ever-evolving journey of a niche real estate agent when he participated in a panel discussion titled “Positioning Yourself as a Forward Thinking Subject Matter Expert” at Inman Connect Las Vegas Tuesday.
“I’ve had to define myself with specific topics and subjects several times,” Nartey said. “Redefining myself from an athlete and an actor to a real estate broker, I had to dive into real estate. Going into sports and entertainment as a niche, I had to roll up and say, ‘what’s different about specializing in sports and entertainment?’ and I had to learn about that and position myself to service that type of clientele.”
One of the keys to becoming a proactive expert — rather than just reacting to what your specific clients’ needs are at any given time — is making the best use of the vast access to information at your fingertips, he said. Nartey is now learning all about rezoning laws so that he can expand his field of expertise.
“If you look at it from a service standpoint and say, ‘okay, if I can learn this information, I can service my client better and my client’s going to have a better experience,” Nartey said, noting that being proactive means anticipating the needs of his clients.
It’s not just agents that need to focus on being proactive either. Nate Baker, the funder and CEO of Qualia, a digital closing and title management platform cited Amazon‘s success as a consumer-first company, as a model that companies should follow.
“Amazon got where they are because they were customer-obsessed,” Baker said. “They really thought about, what is the buying experience and how to get the product into the customer’s hands.”
Quicken Loans is a company that has re-invented itself. The company has worked around making agent and clients’ lives easier, according to Jason Pace, senior vice president of mortgage banking at Quicken Loans. Specifically to the niche of working with agents, the company has created a real estate relationship manager role.
“It’s your one-stop-shop, it’s the only person to talk to during the transaction,” Pace said. “So if you have 10 clients in the process with us or one, we go to the same person and they can answer questions like where the loan is in the process.”
David Tal, the CEO of Agentology, believes that for companies it’s important to have a distinct point of view to separate from all the noise. Agentology is a lead qualification and nurturing company that focuses on the marriage of humans and technology.
“There are a lot of different ways that you can do that, so we have a specific point of view, which is that humans alone are inefficient, technology alone is inauthentic and we bridge the two,” Tal said. “Our perspective and point of view is, how can we leverage the best technology, engagement tactics, strategies, the science behind engagement and leverage real humans to keep that experience humanized.”