Inman put out its list of the 100 most influential real estate leaders and, within that list, there’s an interesting trend to be observed. Real estate leaders these days are changing their business models to suit the modern world and to accommodate the expectations of customers who are accustomed to businesses and services that offer them a higher level of customer service than was available in the past. To that end, many of these real estate leaders have become more focused on building the technology side of their businesses. In fact, I know the leadership team at Concierge Auctions is devoting a significant amount of time and capital to build out best in class technology and web marketing applications for sellers of luxury real estate.
Roost, a former real estate portal and current social marketing site, was developed by Alex Chang. Chang showed up on the Inman list this year. Roost, as it has been redesigned, provides a host of tools that real estate professionals and other professionals can use to network with and to better service their customers. This marks a rather significant change from what a real estate company was expected to be even 10 years ago.
Realtors were among the first professionals to adopt technology as a primary means of reaching out to customers. In fact, it’s quite uncommon to find a realtor who doesn’t have a personal website set up at this point and, in most cases, those websites include sophisticated features such as the ability to search the MLS system, with all the sorting and filtering tools that somebody hunting for the right property would want. The social aspect of technology has become just as important to realtors over the years. In fact, one of the programs that Roost debuted in March of 2011 is a social media tool that was adopted by the California Association of Realtors and that was used in their training program designed to help realtors utilize the tremendous power of social networking.
Many of the leaders on the list are remarkable for having adapted new technologies in some way to offer a higher level of service to their clients. In the past, a real estate company was expected to be little more than a brokerage firm. Today, real estate companies are expected to utilize all of the technology resources available to them to offer their customers more options, better service and more convenience. Those real estate companies that have successfully integrated such technology have found themselves leading their peers in terms of sales, customer loyalty and the other elements that make a real estate brokerage thrive in today’s world.