Momentum 2017: Agent Panels
The Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) executive team tapped some of the firm’s top brokers for a series of agent panels and talks to cover relationships and referrals, productivity, best practices, negotiation, new development, and more.
Relationships & Referrals
Moderated by Stacia Smith
The first panel of the day was all about “Relationships & Referrals” in a discussion with RSIR brokers Chris Doucet, Sue Eller, Eleanor Heyrich, Jay Kipp, Sean Nielsen and Mary Norris. Each described the ways in which they have connected with their communities and clients to provide top-tier service and establish lifelong relationships that fuel their personal and professional growth.
A common theme among each of the panelists was exploring the ways they can add value: Doucet’s approach to luxury as a level of service rather than a price point, Heyrich’s tenacious representation of and commitment to acting as a resource for her clients, Eller’s ability to tell stories that engage her sphere. And each type of relationship requires its own tailored response, as Norris remarked upon the high touch concierge approach needed when handling transactions with lawyers, buyers and receivers.
For some, the approach is hyper-local, as Nielsen attributed his success within the Newcastle community to the ability to create experiences and engage the consumer, from working the Little League hot dog stand and supporting local sports tournaments, to interactive property showcases and other neighborhood-centric events. Others outlined the ways in which they have reached beyond Washington state, as Eller talked about utilizing the connections she made during the two decades she lived in Los Angeles, and Kipp outlined the competitive advantage he has in cultivating relationships while he spends time living in both Seattle and San Francisco.
“Hot dogs for the win!” joked RSIR broker Chris Kallin, as he reflected on the panel. “Funny business aside, it’s wonderful to see that farming and community-based relationship building still has a place in this industry.”
Top Apps | Winning Systems & Productivity
RSIR broker Brian Hopper, who recently spoke on “Winning Systems & Productivity” at Inman Connect, brought his insights to the Momentum stage, as he went over the ways in which the systems he implements increase his productivity and help him maintain his commitment to excellence. His 7 tips and tricks varied from lifestyle choices and apps to systems as enablers of productivity and email templates that “crush it.”
“This event not only brought tremendous ‘Momentum’ into the New Year for our agents, but was also a huge accomplishment for our organization,” Hopper reflected. “I could not be prouder to be a part of this organization and was honored they invited me to speak.”
Moderated by Andrea Savage
Once attendees had a bite to eat, it was time to get back into broker panels as Aaron Gazes, Phil Greely, Leah Applewhite, Brian Hawkins, Mark Middleton and Melody Paxton took the stage to talk about their “Best Practices,” from thoughtful interaction and unparalleled knowledge, to leveraging the brand’s local and global marketing reach.
Though different in approach, each of the agents touched on the ways in which their marketing techniques engage with current and potential clients in useful and authentic ways. Gazes and Hawkins have achieved results through handwritten letters and knocking on doors, while Paxton feeds her voracious appetite for more knowledge about Seattle by attending events and performing research to educate her clients about in-city living. Greely also highlighted the power of intelligence, as he described how he identified areas where consumers needed more information and brought it to them with the launch of various initiatives including his local podcast and Seattle School Guide.
As experts within the Bainbridge Island community, Middleton and Applewhite both talked about using the RSIR marketing team to help them accomplish their goals. For Middleton, it was about letting go and relying on the team so he could focus on what really matters: his clients. Applewhite took a more global approach, as she worked with RSIR to create memorable print materials to bring to the Sotheby’s International Realty® Global Networking Event, and followed up with the connections she made after.
“There’s no-mentum like mo-mentum,” Paxton said of the event. “I’m still being kept awake with very detailed ideas for what I’m planning in the upcoming year.”
Negotiating the Win
Moderated by Jennifer Johnsen-Cameron
Later in the afternoon, a collective of expert negotiators joined Jennifer Johnsen-Cameron to discuss their winning tactics and approaches. The panel comprised of Sam Cunningham, Catherine Ferrera, Laura Halliday, Becky Gray, Scott Wasner and Randall O’Dowd, each of whom garner stellar results for their clients.
In negotiation, communication is key, as Cunningham outlined understanding each person in the room and slowing things down, Ferrera touched on the importance of broker relationships in successful negotiation, and O’Dowd discussed preparing his clients for “battle” so to speak. Halliday said she loves to dazzle others with her market knowledge and described the importance of testimonials in securing future business. For Wasner, activity breeds activity, whether it’s travel and connecting with the global network or community involvement in local events and boards. Another key factor is collaboration and shifting to a different mindset, as Gray said she enters each transaction not focused on “winning” per se, but on closing the deal.
Moderated by Joe Galindo
The final agent panel of the day covered all things new construction, from forecasting and fostering builder relationships to cutting-edge marketing and presales success. As the day wound down, moderator Joe Galindo asked Kristi Nelson, Carlene Pride, Andy Keating, Helen Pederslie, Michael Cannon and Vlad Popach to share their experiences.
Each broker brought their own unique position within new development to the table, whether it was on building or fostering relationships with builders and developers. Nelson and Keating take a hands-on approach, as Nelson has secured land and built single-family homes for sale on Bainbridge Island, and Keating often “brings the dirt” to developers in order to secure listing the homes. Pride focused on the ways in which the developers she works with appreciate her understanding of what happens on the back end and vast network of connections, from preferred vendors to custom design.
Innovative marketing was a thread that ran through much of the discussion, from Popach utilizing websites and cutting-edge video to market new construction opportunities to Pederslie using the RSIR “secret sauce” and her team’s trusted reputation to secure new development projects. Cannon outlined the results of stellar marketing and identifying market needs in a case study of the NEXUS Condominium Tower, which is now 90-percent presold with occupancy scheduled for fall 2019.