Tax Changes and How to Increase Your Sales in 2018!

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While attending the National Association of REALTORS® (N.A.R.) conference this past November in Chicago, there was an air of uncertainty about housing that I have not seen since 2007 when it became evident that the housing crisis was real.  By the end of 2008, the Case-Shillar housing price index reported its largest price drop in its history. Housing prices in most urban and suburban areas struggled to recapture their value before starting to rebound in 2013.

The theme of the 2017 N.A.R. conference, “The Sky’s the Limit”, focused on raising attendees’ real estate careers to higher levels.  With a pending massive tax legislation being proposed, the idea of raising your income in 2018 was an immediate challenge to envision. This time, the uncertainty at the major real estate conference of the year was not about the financial stability of households, the economy, or the quality of mortgage underwriting.  It was legislation proposing the elimination of mortgage interest and property tax deductions. These deductions have helped to promote and incentivize homeownership, helping millions of families realize the American dream of owning their own home. Eliminating those deductions completely would have a major negative impact on housing markets across the United States.

Credit is certainly due to the N.A.R., as their efforts helped impact the decisions of congress. The deductions stayed in the tax reform that passed into law. However, there are now limitations that affect certain areas more than others. Specifically, high tax states such as California, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, where it is estimated that 30% of homeowners pay more than $10,000 annually in property taxes. The limitation for interest deductions on mortgages above $750,000 will give pause to buyers in the luxury market, and the elimination of the interest deduction on home equity lines combined with the maximum mortgage deductions will also affect individuals who are considering buying a second home. If you are already close to the $750,000 mortgage cap on your primary residence, buying a second home will not have the same benefit of ownership, as the additional interest and property deductions would be eliminated and not tax deductible on that new residence. You also are less likely to take out an equity loan for a down payment on a vacation home.

How local real estate markets will be affected by the new law remains to be seen. What is clear for 2018 is a universal agreement amongst economists that there will be a modest, at best, increase in the number of home sales. This means more competition for real estate buyers trying to purchase an affordable home and an increase in competition amongst REALTORS to build their client base.

What will it take to grow your income in 2018? First, you will need to become an expert. Not an expert in your entire city, but an expert in a micro-market. Real estate consumers will do their research and will want to work with someone they like and trust. That trust will be gained in 2018 by agents who position themselves as micro-market experts, not generalists. Second, develop the thinking of an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur in real estate is not only a business model, it is a mindset. You need a mindset of positivity, growth, and personal accountability in 2018 to raise your income.

To learn more about the 2018 market, micro-markets, and developing a mindset of growth, please view my Facebook live interview with RealTrends at the N.A.R. conference.

https://www.facebook.com/realtrends/videos/10154962768797927/

Best wishes for growth in 2018!

Peter

The ABC’s of Having a Great Start to Your New Year!

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The chance to start anew makes the New Year’s holiday unique for almost everyone. New Year’s is not centered on a historical event, a memorial occasion or a religious remembrance. It is about the beginning of a new calendar. The fresh new calendar and end of year celebrations, spurs millions to rethink their opportunities in life. If you are one of the millions of people who made a New Year’s resolution and want to start off right to achieve your goals this year, here are the ABC’s of simplifying the process to crush 2018!

A – Acceptance.  In order to get where you want to go, you have to accept the realities of your current situation. If you do not start with your current truth, the odds are against you achieving your future goals. It is important to have a bold and exciting vision for the New Year so you are continuously reminded that success is worth the journey.  However without accepting the complete truth of your current status, the New Year goals will soon be replaced with the realization of the difficulty in change. If you want to lose weight, then you must step on the scale to see your starting point. If you are in sales and your goal is to double your income, then you must look to see the potential clients you should reach out to in the New Year. Eliminate a potential downfall by recognizing the facts and accepting your starting point, whether positive or negative.

B – Belief.  It is very seldom in life that we accomplish anything more than what we believe we can achieve or deserve. Belief is the foundation of all religious faiths.  It is central to our accomplishments that we believe that regardless of the difficulties ahead, there are in fact better days ahead. If you create goals and accept your starting point, then you must develop a process that reminds you each day to move forward and reach your goal. Forget the naysayers, the biggest critic you have is you. In order to reach your true potential and crush your goals, you must stop your own negative thinking and believe in yourself.  Start each day with the affirmation, “I deserve this success.” Follow up with a visual image of what you are striving for in 2018 that is printed out and in front of you each day as a meaningful reminder of why it’s important to believe in yourself.

C – Comfortable. If you are comfortable in your current situation, you will continue to justify your actions and be part of the 90+% of the population that does not achieve their New Year goals. If you allow yourself to be comfortable with the status quo, you will prevent yourself from taking the necessary actions to achieve your goal and become okay with your past self. You will justify your actions and rationalize why you didn’t reach your goal. Life should be lived with an attitude of abundance to wake up each day working towards achieving a big dream. We become who we desire, by taking action every day until those positive actions become habits. Whatever you want to accomplish that is new in 2018 will require change. Change is difficult because doing new things is uncomfortable. The key to success is committing to new action items.  You will reach success when you transform actions that were once uncomfortable into actions that are now comfortable. No one is immediately comfortable getting up early to go to the gym or in a sales position is eager to call on new prospects.

The key to crushing your goals this year is to take action. Perform those new activities for 90 days and you will discover what was once uncomfortable will become comfortable and you now have built a habit to reach your goals.

Happy New Year!

Peter Giese

Determine Who You Want To Be And Grow Your Business Exponentially

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We recently completed our annual business planning workshops where over 1,000 United® Real Estate agents participated and I am extremely enthusiastic about their future. Those in attendance ranged from recent graduates to experienced individuals switching careers to long-term real estate professional. Each attendee was introduced to the first component of successful planning – knowing your why and who you want to become.

It does not matter where you are in your professional career. Every day we see images on social media and read about people who accomplish what we classify as “incredible achievements.” It’s important to note that before they achieved success, every one of them took the same initial step – they decided who they wanted to be, what they wanted to do and that they were going to create their success.

Choosing to create your success today is a deciding moment that will change the course of your life. The path you take and the decisions you make will have an effect on those you meet along the way and, most importantly, be the architecture that drives your end result. Write down today’s date; take a picture of yourself as a reminder and memento that you can show others when your deciding moment happened. Despite the changes in technology, the global economy or your own local real estate community, concentrating on becoming who you want to be will allow you to achieve what you need to be successful. With that stable foundation, the changes you encounter in life will not affect who you are or who you will be.

Recently, United Real Estate was highlighted in a documentary series by trusted real estate source, Real Trends, on How to Grow Your Business. What began as a technology testimonial turned into a more in-depth overview of United. The shift in focus of the documentary occurred because of a common theme evident in our office owners’ and agents’ testimonials which demonstrated that United is more about the culture and the people of a growing company, rather than just the company objectives and strategies. Motivation comes from being empowered to become who you want to be. Once you discover who that is, what you need to accomplish your goals will become evident and you will look forward to the progress you make each week.

Click Here to enjoy the brief video documentary that is also available to view on our United Real Estate YouTube channel.

Thank you to all our local brokers and managers that helped make these successful, life-changing workshops a reality. When your dream is bigger than you are, you can either give up or seek help.  At United Real Estate, we are here to help!

Best wishes that you may always dream big!

Peter

Dramatically Change Your Business Results in 2018

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If you are an entrepreneur or are in a leadership position inside a larger organization, at some point in your career you will initiate a strategy that requires you and your team to change how you’re operating. Specifically, entrepreneurs can fall behind their competition because of a delayed response to change, or their ideas of what to change were faulty. Often a decision made on a course of change, is not properly addressed in terms of managing clients, partners or employee’s feelings or aversion to change. Not addressing those individuals’ real concerns can lead to resistance, which leads to non-action. Being unengaged with your work associates and clients’ feelings does not create better thinking, and it does not create better customer outcomes. If you want to better predict what your customers’ needs will be — spend more time getting to know their motivations and less time expanding the tabs in your company’s spreadsheets. To close the gap between your goals and potential client’s wants and needs requires you to further develop the skill set of empathy.

Empathy: the ability to identify with and understand another’s situation, feelings and motives. What challenges are others having and how is it affecting them personally and in their work habits? How would you feel or handle their situation? What is the best way to offer support and suggest actionable steps?

Using this definition of empathy, it is clear there is an unfortunate lack of empathy in the majority of our government and educational institutions, businesses and the personal interactions we have every day. Doctors, teachers and sales people who are more empathetic have all demonstrated greater success in their occupations. They have patients who recover faster, students who perform better on tests and receive more repeat business and referrals for their business. If you own a real estate company, you will perform better as a recruiter and coach to your agents if you are more empathetic to their needs.

Using data as opposed to connecting to an individual’s personal motivations and fears is nothing new. We have been bored by excessive charts and graphs for some time.  Yes, it is important to know your numbers and where your customer comes from, but if you want to successfully implement change, you are much better off working on showing empathy towards your team than showing them charts.

A prime example of overusing data to implement change was during the 1992 Presidential election. Ross Perot was the third party candidate who spent a great deal of money to gain an audience only to provide them with too much information at one point in time. You can relate his approach to the modern business meeting with PowerPoint presentations that have an overwhelming amount of data. I am not certain whether his charts and their predictions were right or wrong. What I am certain, is that the majority of people did not connect with the information and charts he was presenting. The election that year was won by a candidate with a slogan that was simple and to the point. Change in the economy was wanted and every candidate made this their primary focus, but only one message resonated with the majority of voters. What will your message be to your company on how to execute a new strategy of growth?

The idea of building empathy to properly implement change is not only for large corporations and government bureaucracies. If you are self-employed in a business, such as real estate, and you want to grow your income, the idea of implementing empathy will hold true for you. You are going to need to invest more time and money to develop a larger client list. Most real estate professionals have someone in their life who will want to know what will be spent in order to grow your business. How might your family feel about you working more hours each week or how the business change will affect their overall responsibilities to your household? Show them a chart about your potential income growth and you will probably receive reluctance. Show them a picture of a beach house you can own together and how they would feel about making sacrifices to obtain that, and you will most likely have a partner on your side.

Next time you are faced with implementing change in your business, with your customers or in your personal life, try to empathize with your employees, clients or family members on how they feel.  After you do this, then you can demonstrate your proficiency in Excel and PowerPoint.

Want to learn more about how to discover what truly drives your motivation to succeed and positon yourself for abundant success in 2018? Please contact your broker about joining us at one of United’s national business planning sessions that will be held on November 9, 16 and 28.  Together, we will build a plan that is more than a spreadsheet, and one that takes into account the changing consumer preferences. If you can get to the “heart” of what matters to you and your clients, you can enter 2018 with a plan that will inspire you to take the steps needed every day to be successful in effectively helping more clients and reaching your annual income goal.

A dream is a goal with a deadline.  I look forward to helping each of you create the lifestyle you desire from the entrepreneurial opportunity that exists in working for United Real Estate.

Peter

How Betting on Yourself with a 100% Commission Model can Grow Your Business

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“I’d love to chat with you about what I discovered”…“Learn about an exciting new opportunity” – have you ever received one of these emails? Chances are, if you are over the age of 40, you’ve received many of these emails! It is the first step in the backbone of recruiting for multi-level marketing. This sales technique is usually accompanied with either flattering you as a hand-selected, unique individual for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity or boasting the sender’s prowess as a business-thought leader that is now driven out of “retirement” because of this great product. In either technique, you are being sold more fiction than fact.

I was recently reminded of this when someone I knew claimed that they “came out of retirement” and began this type of email campaign in hopes of getting to step two of the multi-level marketing plan – the sales pitch. Promises of an abundant life, enjoyable retirement and “this is the future” are all part of the standard “pitch.” While it is possible to make money in any venture, it’s unlikely to achieve the results described in the pitch, including in the real estate industry. An interesting book on multi-level marketing was written by Jon M. Taylor, MBA, Ph.D., president, Consumer Awareness Institute. In his free eBook, Mr. Taylor found that 99.7 percent of people will lose money in network marketing. The dream of making money by not working and building a down-line is just that, “a dream.” And, in a case where it seems too good to be true – it actually is.

A better strategy for obtaining your goals is to bet on yourself. This is where the power of focus will help you succeed in reaching your goals. To be successful and earn more money, you need to become a specialist in your field. To become a specialist, you need to continue learning. I strongly agree with Malcolm Gladwell, who identified in his book, Outliers, that people who become experts in a field put in a practice time of around 10,000 hours to master the skills in their chosen discipline. Because of this dedication to practice, they were able to become very successful in their occupations.

Who makes the most money in any profession? The world rewards people who have obtained specific skills. This holds true for all professions. If you are a doctor who becomes a heart specialist, you will achieve greater financial rewards than someone in general medicine. The same holds true for the leaders in business who developed specialized knowledge of an industry, financial dealings or organizational development.

The next time you are approached about an exciting new opportunity that promises residual income with an ever-growing down-line, do yourself a favor and bet on your own abilities. After all, a half truth is often a great lie. The process of obtaining special skills is only achieved through committing to improve your knowledge, focusing and then applying that knowledge to your career and your life. The truth for everyone is that time is our greatest asset. Are you going to spend it developing your skills or hoping that others you recruit will spend their time selling for you? Right now, someone is betting on themselves and becoming an expert. If you want to guarantee your future, you should do the same.

Here is to betting on yourself. You are worth the power of focus!

Peter

 

United Real Estate Lands on Inc. 5000 List Third Year in a Row!

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To be included once again on the Inc. 5000 list is an incredible accomplishment for United Real Estate. What began as a single real estate office in July of 2011 in Dallas, Texas, has become a testament to how seeing things differently in business can allow you to reap big rewards. The real estate market looked vastly different in 2011 and 2012 when we were preparing the company to grow nationwide. And let’s not forget that in 2012, 43 percent of all home sales were either a short sale or a foreclosure. From having a difficult time selling a home to now having a difficult time finding a home for sale, we have seen dramatic shifts in the real estate market in a short period of time. As a company, United Real Estate continues to move forward full force with commitment to invest and innovate, making certain that we remain a modern, relevant brokerage that is the preferred choice for productive real estate agents and their customers.

While the market continues to change, what has remained constant is the vision we had when we first launched United Real Estate. The vision to build a market-leading full-service 100 percent commission real estate company is thriving and becoming a reality through our ever growing franchise network. No longer do agents have to choose between paying high fees for the support they need to grow their business or working for 100 percent commission with very limited support. At United, our agents are provided the focused support they need with very low fees, all while receiving 100 percent of their commission. Behind our growth is a commitment from all of our employees, brokers, managers and franchise owners aligning with three success principals.

Our first success principal passion.  Our company as a whole is really passionate about our business and works to keep that passion at the forefront of our decisions every day. We are passionate about helping agents achieve personal financial freedom in their real estate careers. United Real Estate operates on the belief that agents are entrepreneurs and if we develop our agents and assist them in creating the business and lifestyle they desire, they will transform United Real Estate into the market leader.

The second success principle is an understanding of what drives our economics. Transaction volume from our agents drives our economics. The company makes money when our agents make money. This aligns everyone in the organization with the same end goal to make certain our agents have the support they need to sell more real estate. We see the success of this principal in our established offices where over 90 percent of their agents are productive.

Lastly, the third principle is an understanding of where we excel in our business and industry. At United Real Estate, we excel at recruiting productive real estate agents. Our rising recruitment of quality agents is the combination of our passion to help agents succeed with the economics of our business model. We warmly welcome the 100+ agents that join our offices each month.

The combined commitments of many people have allowed us to help our agents not only make more money, but create a better lifestyle for themselves and their families. I fondly remember speaking with an agent who joined United during our first year and stating to me, “Thanks Peter, you and United have made it worthwhile for me to sell more real estate.” This statement encompasses the United vision and our culture. It tells the story behind our mission and core belief that our agents are entrepreneurs. Simply put when our agents succeed, United succeeds.

To find out more about our rapidly expanding network and our protected franchise territory model, visit GrowWithUnited.com

Thanks,

Peter

Message to All Affected by Hurricane Harvey

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To all of our United family of brokers and agents in Houston.  On behalf of myself, and our CEO Dan Duffy, I know we speak for everyone inside of our United Real Estate Corporate office and throughout our growing supportive network of offices and agents, that you have been in our thoughts and prayers these past few weeks. Our immediate concern is still for you and your loved ones continued safety.  I have been in communication consistently with Dianne Moore, our and your leader in the Houston market.  She has kept me up to date of what is still an ever-changing dynamic for many citizens of the greater Houston area. We recognize that this is not only an enormous disaster, but also the largest natural disaster in the history of our country.

We are a country filled with people of resolve, and the citizens of the state of Texas have as much spirit as any group of individuals I have ever met. I know the waters will recede and Houston will begin to assess the damage, repair and rebuild.  Houston and its citizens will continue to be an example of a great large American city! It won’t be immediate and some areas will take longer than others, but business and the continued growth of the greater Houston area will resume.

Recognizing this, the United Real Estate leadership team wants to help the 240 agents who work for United Real Estate | Houston how we can during this transition time. An immediate action we will take is to waive your monthly fees for October, November and December. At this time our Houston office has not been damaged and we will open back up when it is safe to do so. We will ensure you have no interruption to the full support services you receive from United Real Estate, while removing the monthly fee obligation.

You should also know that your United family from California to New Jersey to Florida, everywhere in between, and back to Texas have asked how they can help.  Many have already donated to different charitable organizations to help the citizens of Houston.  All of us at United are continuing to think of you and will be in touch again soon on how we can support you and the greater Houston area to slowly but steadily get your lives and business back on track. We are United!

God Bless!

Peter

Back-to-School: New Start, Setting Goals & Achieving Success

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Children and young adults around the country have begun the journey of another new school year. Thanks to social media, we are reminded of all the various school milestones with pictures of grade-schoolers to high-schoolers and beyond starting their first day in a new grade. The parents are proud – and both parents and kids are often filled with enthusiasm (and some anxiety) for how that first day will go and how the year will end. There is no doubt a mix of emotions for everyone involved with the start of a new school year, and that is okay.

I enjoy seeing the back-to-school photos because, regardless of the distance between family and friends, in an instant you can see how quickly their kids are growing up. It’s also a reminder that I am getting older, and getting older is happening quicker than I thought. A new school year provides a new start, and I have learned through experience that we all have an opportunity to begin again and create a new path for our future.

With all endeavors, it is much easier to end right if you start right. The school year begins with a list of necessary supplies, preparing students to start the year off in the right direction. In business and in life, the list of supplies needed to successfully get started is based on our individual goals. When setting a goal, many individuals will not dedicate enough time to research what is needed to reach that goal. You need a foundation to launch any new idea or project, and research lays the groundwork to create your own self-determined, successful life.

Through research you find out who you are competing against and the best route to reach your finish line. You will learn what actions are needed to reach each milestone and what relevant skills you need to invest in. It does not matter if you are finding a new job, launching a new business idea or becoming healthier. Research is the first step on the path to success. People often give up on their goals because they didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to achieve their desired results. They were unorganized, uncomfortable with the process or unprepared mentally for completing their “marathon” – and so they quit. Avoid these common mistakes – do your research to ensure you are well-equipped to start this new journey.

Success in life is a marathon, not a sprint. You will have to learn how to adapt and refresh. The big secret of those who reach impressive long-term goals know is – they know when to take a break. Completing a long-term goal, or dealing with adversity, is not only about having persistence, it is also knowing how to recharge. Successful, happy people know how to prepare themselves to reach their goals – AND know how to step away, decompress and reset both physically and emotionally so they can get back on the road to success.

If you are in real estate and need help mapping out your road to success, United® Real Estate has established training designed to help you achieve your business goals, no matter what career stage you are in. Offering training that is available in-person and online 24/7 allows you to build a foundation, gain relevant skills and achieve new milestones on your journey.

Cheers to your success in the year ahead and keep posting those back-to-school photos. They are a positive reminder of growth and all that is possible!

Peter

How to Overcome Adversity like a Professional Athlete

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In pursuit of building anything truly meaningful in your life, career or business, learning how to overcome adversity during your journey is critical in order for you to reach your goal. There is an adversity to overcome that exists in the moment where you must take action and change your direction immediately, and there is a long-term obstacles to overcome that goes along with reaching your lifelong dreams. If you talk about a dream, it becomes a goal. If you can see the goal every day in your mind, it becomes real. If you put a date on achieving your goal, it becomes possible.

Obstacles that require a quick response to turn you back in the right direction are often the case for high paying professions such as professional athletes, entertainers, politicians, top sales professionals and business leaders. These individuals are in the spotlight, playing in the big tournament, in a career-changing audition, delivering their key presentation or speech that if fully executed at that moment, would allow them to experience a pivotal life changing milestone. It is a sink or swim moment and they must perform. Through years of proper training, many have learned to manage the states of their mind and body. They can, typically with an unnoticeable trigger, transform themselves back into a peak state where they perform at their best. With a snap of their finger, a clap of their hands or a change in their posture, they increase their energy level and fill their mind with positive thoughts, and once again are confident to win. That trigger immediately reminds them of what that winning performance looks and feels like.

Retraining your mind and body to accomplish this is by no means an easy task, most of us need support.  Having the right people in your life to help push you in the right direction can dramatically influence your outcome. I was reminded of this while watching one of the top golfers in the world, Jordan Spieth, attempt to win one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world, the British Open. He had a three shot lead going into the final round but things were beginning to unravel quickly. He hit his tee shot on the opening hole and instead of bouncing on the fairway it stayed in the thick long grass. After locating his golf ball his attitude changed and he started verbalizing his frustration over and over. His caddy began the journey of helping him with the mental aspect of overcoming immediate adversity. This process started on the first hole, where he told Jordan “You need to get over it,” after the frustration continued to occupy his thoughts on the unfortunate bounce.

Surrendering the tournament lead and continuing to play at a level that would not allow him to win the tournament, Jordan’s caddy approached him again but this time more directly. He said, “I’ve got something to say to you. You remember that group you were with?” He was referencing Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps who Spieth saw during his recent trip to Cabo San Lucas. “You’re that caliber of an athlete, but I need you to believe that right now because you’re in a great position in this tournament. This is a new tournament. We’re starting over here.” The mental shift worked, his physical posture improved and a five stroke turnaround occurred, finishing the tournament as the champion. He graciously thanked his caddy for the mental coaching support that helped him win.

Do you have people in your life who encourage you in this manner? I am not talking about a boss. I am speaking about the individuals you surround yourself with. If the people around you don’t inspire you to be more and reach new levels of success and happiness then you need to fire them as friends or colleagues. When you are stuck, do you have a support system in place to remind you that you deserve success, you deserve the next great thing for your life? It will not do you any good to dream big if you have not surrounded yourself with individuals who also have big dreams and want to continue to better themselves.

If you are falling behind on your goals, make a shift and start over. The real question you have to ask yourself is: do you believe it and do you have people around you who will support that belief? You deserve success!

 

Peter

The iPhone® Turned Ten in June and Changed How Real Estate Agents Operate

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Whether you are an AndroidTM fan or an individual like myself who could not bear to part with the iPhone, the disruptive impact that smartphones have had on many industries has been proven time and time again. Steve Jobs described the first iPhone as a “truly magical product.” Looking back, as well as into the future, it’s hard to imagine another device that will ever be more readily used each day by the majority of the population than our smartphones. In 2016, Apple® stated that the average iPhone user unlocked their phone 80 times a day and checked their phone over 150 times a day!

The mobile phone started as a way to increase communication and now the idea of owning just a “mobile phone” is considered ancient. It’s not only mobile phones that were replaced by the invention of the smartphone. Think of cameras, personal computers, GPS devices and even Apple’s own product, the iPod® – all have been replaced by smartphones. It’s not hardware makers alone that have been affected; new industries emerged and disrupted other traditional businesses with the invention of smartphone applications. You now have a computer, video camera, gaming device and movie studio in the palm of your hand. With those capabilities available on our phone, it is easy to get distracted. What are we doing when we constantly check our phones?

Yes, we still spend a lot of time talking and texting on our smartphones, but for many our phones have replaced our computers for website searches, email and have become the main vehicle for interacting on social media and with our community, in general.

A great deal of time and money has been spent by real estate brokers and agents to make their websites mobile friendly and responsive to help facilitate the interaction with buyers and sellers. This shift to mobile responsive websites was caused by the majority of real estate searches being performed on mobile devices. The amount of online research that potential home buyers and sellers conduct continues to increase each year as connectivity and the smartphone ease of use improves. Mobile search and key terms are definitely critical for an agent’s online success. But with the easy access to information and time on our hands, another search category has developed.

Home buyers and sellers are no longer looking at real estate properties, neighborhood demographics and valuation trends alone, they are researching prospective agents extensively too. Two out of three people interested in buying a home are researching prospective agents comprehensively online prior to working with them (see graph below).

It’s no longer enough for a REALTOR© to be proficient at their trade, they now need to pass the Google® test and be seen as the most competent choice online. The first step in this new process is being certain you, as a REALTOR©, dominate a consumer’s search. How do you accomplish this? First, you should own your own website domain with a personal URL and have a website with relevant content. You also need to have a professional profile on dominant national consumer real estate websites, a presence on social media (i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook) and participate on consumer review sites.

The next question to ask yourself is, have you shifted your mindset to that of a media company? The reality is that when you are being extensively searched online, you are your own brand! With the mindset of a media company, you move past checking the box and being found on the Internet or social media and move towards properly promoting and managing your brand. This means you have to develop content, distribute content and be readily seen as a market expert – you have to be someone people want to do business with. The impact of the smartphone will continue to be felt by all brands. Take this opportunity to promote your real estate brand beyond what your competition is willing to do. The rules for winning at this brand game have been already determined. You need to fully commit to the new personal promotion strategy to win.

As you finish this article, take a moment to search yourself using your smartphone and see what results appear on the first page. You would be prepared for an in-person meeting with a client – you need to be prepared for the client meetings that are happening online without you. Be certain to be Google and smartphone prepared because your customer base expects it.

Check out the United Intranet for the latest training on building your brand presence.

Peter