Power Panel Puts Innovation in Perspective

Industry icons gather on stage for the first time ever at 2016 BOC

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Adapt or risk being left behind.

Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean your business will thrive in the future.

The importance of a forward-thinking, adaptable business model was just one of the many themes covered in the much-anticipated Power Panel discussion during the Opening General Session at the 2016 BOC.

The panel’s four industry giants – Dave Liniger, CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder of RE/MAX; Steve Murray, president and co-founder of REAL Trends; Brad Inman, publisher and owner of Inman News; and John Featherston, founder, president and CEO of RISMedia – expressed their confidence that real estate agents will remain relevant by being part of innovation, while not being thrown off course by it.

The leaders agreed that agent success is largely shaped by the service and expertise provided by the brokers with whom the agent works.

“The best thing you can do is to be the best at what you do,” said Liniger. “Don’t worry about what everyone else does.”

Murray shared the sentiment.

“It’s clear that the leadership, the strength and wisdom, and the passion of leaders, regardless of brand or business model, is the most important factor to success,” he said. “[Agents] want to trust the person they’re working for. They want to trust that the broker knows what’s going on, and that they’re open and they care.”

2016_REMAX_BOC_Chicago-7494Panel members said it doesn’t take long for innovation to become expectation with clients – and it can be costly for brokers who stay out of the loop.

Illustrating the point, Inman recounted hiring an agent he worked with a decade prior. When he discovered her skills and offerings hadn’t kept pace with the times, he was less than impressed.

“She was still wicked smart, and she was professional and she cared, but she didn’t have the basics,” he said. “It’s just the basic things we should be delivering to the consumer to make it easier. She was asleep for 10 years in a way. And there’s been a lot of changes.”

Inman pointed to a digital signature platform like DocuSign as an example of the basics.

“You’ve got to keep adapting to the right technology that today’s consumers not only think you have, but demand you have,” said Featherston. “We have to look at everything that’s happening and ask, ‘How am I best serving my consumer? Am I doing the best job possible? Am I adapting the right technology, the right techniques to stay relevant?’”

In this age of constantly evolving technology, the panel also agreed that the human element remains a vital part of running a successful business. Personal connections count.

When it comes to recruiting quality agents, a phone call and personal interaction will yield better results than any tech platform ever will, said Murray.

“Let me be very clear about this. You are not going to recruit unless you go visit them personally,” he said. “The greatest difference between brokers who are growing and those who aren’t is that those who are growing are the ones who are going out to meet recruits in person.”

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