This is re-posted from Community Impact Newspaper – Southwest Austin.
By Yvonne Lim Wilson Thursday, 21 January 2010
The Ignite real estate marketing summit Jan. 19–20 helped shine a light on the future of real estate sales. Summit meetings took place at the office of QuantumDigital, 8702 Cross Park Drive, in northeast Austin.
Discussion panels and lectures on the second day focused on the brokerage industry and also shared strategies to advance businesses through technology.
Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, started her panel discussion, “Becoming a Next Generation Brokerage,” with a wake-up call about the future of real estate sales.
“With the current economic conditions, let’s get real here. Someone said, “Hope is not a strategy.” We need to leave the past behind,” Chris said.
Panelists shared their ideas on company culture, lead generation, downsizing office space and recruiting.
Panelist Krisstina Wise of The Good Life, a local real estate brokerage firm, talked about her experience leaving a traditional brokerage company to form her own company. She compared traditional brokerage companies to the failing auto industry and said that change needs to happen.
“The consumers are not going to the agent who puts pumpkins at their doorstep anymore. They’re going to the web,” she said. Brokerage firms need to provide better online services to not only attract customers, but to also provide a better service to their agents, she said.
Panelist Thad Wong of @properties in Chicago talked about the marketing and branding services his company provides to agents so they can focus their efforts on selling.
Brad Andersohn of Active Rain, an online real estate network, introduced the audience to a virtual real estate office. Realtors and brokers can use the site to meet, have conference calls and share documents in real time. “It’s tomorrow’s technology, but it’s live now,” he said.
Participants also toured QuantumDigital, an online service provider for direct mail and print marketing products, which hosted the summit.