In the nearly 3 decades of my Real Estate career in the Hamptons and North Fork, I must say the first 22 years, it was business-as-usual with little apparent changes, but the past 7 years have proven to be anything but what we considered business-as-usual. The Real Estate Industry and the practices within have forever changed.
Agent profiles: Successful agents are true professionals with business agendas. The time of part-time agents and the misnomer of “housewife selling real estate” are gone forever. Today’s top tier recognize they are actually running their own business and treat it as such. They are committed to branding themselves through advertising and surrounding themselves with competent associates. My job, as the Broker of Record, is to provide an enriched environment and support their growth and development through experienced guidance and the tools required to succeed and excel. Agents today must be proactive. They must be focused and determined to succeed, knowing that such means long hours of networking, mailing, internet exposure, branding, contact management and much more – just as with any other business, they must invest in themselves and be committed to their course.
Business Tools: The computer is the single most important change to our industry. As it evolves, the internet becomes more and more front and center. Just as the economy has become global, so has the Real Estate industry – the world is our stage – particularly, a resort area such as ours. We see our website receiving traffic from around the globe. The summer of 2008, with the favored exchange rate, was our best year for international leases with nearly 20% of all Town & Country leases written to international tenants. Every year now is a new set of demographics.
Technology: Laptops, Blackberries, iphones, GPS, Google Earth, Virtual tours, websites, portals, SEO, PPC –—– OMG –—– no doubt a year from now we’ll be adding more ‘must haves’ to our list of techno toys.
Though the tools about our business have forever changed, the essence has not. Ours is a business of information and relationships. Above all else, a smart, dedicated sales staff is invaluable and a Broker with vision, committed to their agents and knowledgeable about their specific market, positions their firm to be industry leaders.