Training is very important to me. Our real estate agents are some of the best trained in the business. They are trained in technology, real estate law, client satisfaction, and countless other processes to make sure our clients get the best possible service. I provide training to them through a number of outlets; including our REALTOR® associations and Inman News. Staying at the forefront of technology is critical to how successfully we serve our clients; especially tenants. It makes us faster than other firms, giving our clients a better chance of getting the home they want. So where do my ideas and innovations come from?

Primarily, from attending Real Estate Connect.

I attend this event twice a year. New York in January and San Francisco in the summer. I often get asked why I make these two events a high priority. Here is my response:

    • Energy and Passion: There is nothing like hearing from leaders in the real estate field and CEOs of major technology and service organizations to get me fired up about doing my best and working hard for our clients.
    • Innovation: There are countless vendors serving the real estate space and Connect gives me a chance to shop them and see which new technologies and innovations will allow us to better serve our clients. From iPad applications to process management software, there are always new, helpful technologies available at Connect. Connect is a great opportunity to compare platforms side by side.
    • Referral Network: Connect has allowed me to meet really strong brokers from around the country and the world. If our clients find it necessary to move out of Illinois, I want to make sure they are in good hands. I would not hesitate to refer my clients to any of the amazing brokers I’ve met at Connect. They are happy to do the same.
    • Marketing: As with every business, we need customers to be successful. All of our marketing strategies, mission statements, and client service values have been born at least in part because of this event. From Craigslist to Facebook, to marketing with Trulia and Zillow, I have learned best practices in marketing from Connect. I have developed our brand image and continually rework how we best serve clients using tips and conversations that occur at Connect. I don’t know everything, so I take any chance I get to learn from and talk with really smart people.
    • Discovering new markets: Our tenant business was started because it was made clear at a Connect conference that this customer was being underserved. It has turned into a great revenue stream for us and we have helped hundreds of people find great rental homes. The idea and the tools to do this well, were all discovered at Connect.
    • Get Seen: Prior to attending my first Connect, we had a horribly outdated web presence. Our site traffic was less than 50 people per day. We now average between 2,000-3,000 page views every single day. I learned how to build my web presence and drive traffic all as a result of Connect. Again, hundreds of clients have been helped who would have never found us otherwise. Our clients are glad they found us and their business has allowed me to create jobs. There is a lot of satisfaction in that! This year I am going to be working with vendors to help us build mobile search, which will allow our clients to use our site while they are driving neighborhoods.

I will be leaving for my 3rd Real Estate Connect on July 30th. Who knows what great new ideas we will have for our clients in August!

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