Success in the business of real estate can be found in building and maintaining of relationships, and good communication is the foundation of any solid relationship. Methods of communication have rapidly evolved over the last few decades and though potential buyers and sellers can get information quicker, it is vital to be dealing with reliable, trusted sources that offer face-to-face, trustworthy advice.
Margherita Verani, President of Prudential Verani Real Estate and a licensed Broker since 1972, says that though she has seen communication technology change dramatically in her 40 years in the business, one thing remains top priority in forming relationships with clients. Here’s a conversation with Margherita, regarding communication in the real estate industry:
What are your initial thoughts on modern communication in your industry?
“Our ability to communicate has changed dramatically and honestly what I think still matters most is having that face to face handshake you can trust. We have come so far in communication with cell phones that do everything, email, websites, and social networking. Clients can reach you anywhere at almost anytime, but first and foremost they have to trust you as a person working for them with knowledge, skill, and experience.”
With so many years in the business, Verani has worked with no cell phone, with a giant cell phone held in a bag, to present-day where most information, as well as phone calls, are a touch away. Is it any easier?
“I don’t know if I’d say it was easier. Marketing in the old days was mailing out ads and newspaper listings. There were so few venues to get the word out about your company and what you were offering. Now the MLS [Multiple Listing Service] is on the Internet and everyone has a website. So, there are more communication avenues, but those streets are lined with not just you, but with your competition.”
Prudential Verani remains very well recognized in the industry. With nearly 100,000 visitors every month, Verani.com delivers detailed home descriptions, photos, and visual & guided tours- pioneering the first online home tours in New Hampshire. The website offers the “Showing Time” program, an innovation that allows online appointment requests, “Virtual Agent”, which allows buyers to set up a profile to save searches and request e-mail updates that fit their criteria. Other helpful information includes school system reports and community profiles.
But what about the personal contact that every client craves and any good agent strives for?
“I think clients want instant answers to their questions nowadays. We are so used to being connected. It is important for our agents to provide quick response but also personal attention. I think it is our duty to make that communication personal, and one that mirrors the old days of that trust-filled handshake. With the new technology we can do both.”
How has Prudential Verani Realty been successful in helping its agents reach the goals that you’ve talked about regarding instant communication?
“Verani Realty tries to be the leader in communication technology, for example our own ‘e-lead system’ to manage potential clients. Where most REALTORS® handle Internet leads the old fashioned way, which can leave people waiting 48 hours for a response, the Verani system gives agents immediate access to buyer inquiries. Agents are often in contact with clients before they have a chance to log off.”
What does all this mean for Prudential Verani Realty agents?
“It is just one of many ways communication has moved to the ‘instantaneous’ response. Times have changed and though we have to keep it personal we also have to use the technology to give us the communication edge. With this system, we don’t lose potential buyers, instead we earn lifetime customers!”