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Interview with Pam O’Connor, President/CEO of LeadingRE

In February 2013, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a collection of over 500 of the finest residential real estate firms around the globe, will be hosting the first-ever LeadingRE Performance SUMMIT for Sales Associates. The KCM Crew had the opportunity to chat with Pam O’Connor, President/CEO of LeadingRE, about her views on the future of the real estate industry and why they are offering this new summit.

Throughout the discussion, O’Connor echoed KCM’s views that we’re now in a new market reality for real estate professionals. Here’s a recap of this interview along with our thoughts on the topics.

Becoming a Knowledge Broker

Real estate agents are no longer the gatekeepers of information. Today’s top performers take the lead because they can interpret and analyze information to a level we’ve never seen before. As O’Connor put it,

“There’s an expression that information is free but knowledge is priceless, and that’s where the real value of a practitioner today is.”

This is something we talk about often at KCM. Because so much information is available online to buyers and sellers these days, it’s critical that real estate agents know more than the consumer. Therefore, agents need to take the information a step further and synthesize it—that’s where the value lies.

Embrace New Communication Channels

One of the key things all the top real estate agents have in common is that they are expert communicators. And they communicate via all mediums: in-person, phone, email, text, and social media.

While many agents have embraced in-person, phone, and email communication, not all are as enthused about text and social media. But you need to use these communication channels regularly to succeed in today’s new market reality, which is one reason why we at KCM use these tools ourselves—to lead by example.

O’Connor reminds us that:

“[There are] lots of different ways you can communicate….If they [agents] are not text savvy, they have to find an assistant who can help them with that because that [texting] is almost a ticket to play the game today.”

Thorough and diverse communication is vital for any successful real estate transaction. So if you haven’t already embraced all the various communication channels, you need to right away.

High Performance is Visible to All

It used to be that agents could run a strong advertising campaign and get clients. Today, with social media, agents can’t hide behind an ad campaign. If an agent is doing a poor job, people will know. Likewise, if an agent is excelling, he or she will get the accolades and the business. O’Connor sees this trend as a good thing.

“[It] is going to really affect the industry in a very positive way, because you won’t be able to hide poor service. … Low levels of confidence are going to be really challenged, whereas the … cream will rise to the top.”

These three areas—being a knowledge broker, expanding communication mediums, and displaying high confidence and performance—have accelerated in recent years and are the essential skills for thriving in today’s new marketing reality.

A Great Base of Knowledge

The fact is that there are a lot of new, shiny tools that real estate professionals can jump into these days— including great tools like social media, QR codes, mobile solutions, etc. — but if you don’t have the knowledge and competence as an underlying core, you won’t be able to differentiate yourself in the market. O’Connor sums it up this way:

“You can communicate all day, but if you don’t have something … meaningful to communicate, … you’re not going to go very far in this business.”

And that’s what today’s savvy consumers are looking for. They want a top-notch real estate professional who has the balance of cutting edge tools and resources that complement the knowledge and substance the agent brings to the table.

Parting Advice for Real Estate Professionals

Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, said, “You’re either green and growing, or you’re ripe and rotting.” The idea there is that you have to constantly be growing in your career and in the expertise you can offer consumers, especially in the environment we’re in today. To that end, O’Connor reminds us:

“You can’t … rest on your laurels or do things the way you’ve always done them in the past. I think it’s so important for today’s real estate professionals to understand that and to really invest in their own success, to put themselves in places and venues where they’re going to be able to learn from other folks and really take their game up a notch.”

Whether you keep current by attending conferences and summits or by using KCM’s offerings, the key is to do something. The more up-to-date you stay, the more repeat and referral business you’ll get. That’s when you’ll become the go-to agent people seek out when they have real estate needs.

We would like to thank Pam O’Connor for sharing her time and her thoughts with our KCM community. If you are an agent with a LeadingRE firm, we highly encourage you to sign up for LeadingRE’s Performance SUMMIT for Sales Associates, February 24-26, at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. We’ll see you there!

For more information about LeadingRE’s Performance SUMMIT for Sales Associates, simply visit www.leadingre.com/summit.

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