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Central PA Real Estate Agent: How Technology Is Changing the Real Estate Landscape - YouTube

If you’re fearful of being replaced by technology, don’t be. Today we’ll share a few important points on how we as an industry can make technological advances work for us, instead of against us.

Technology has changed our industry a lot since I first went into business 18 years ago, and even more so since my father (and his father) got their start decades before me. 

There’s no denying that technology has altered (and will continue to alter) the way real estate works for good. But what specific changes have taken place? And how will we, as real estate professionals, respond to them?

“Make technology work for you—don’t work for technology.”

There are two main changes technology has introduced to our industry: big data and artificial intelligence (or AI). 

The truth is that these changes, in and of themselves, are not a bad thing. The best way to approach the increasing prevalence of technology in our industry is not to fight against it, but rather to embrace it. Make technology work for you—don’t work for technology. 

When leveraged correctly, technology can make the lives of real estate professionals like us much easier. Automating certain aspects of the real estate experience using technology may even allow us to spend more time doing what we do best: advising and guiding our clients. 

If you have any other questions about this, or about the real estate masterminds our team will be hosting in the near future, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Central PA Real Estate Agent: Join Me on My Journey to Partner With Community Business Leaders B2B - YouTube

What is the brand ambassador program, and why are we participating in it? Find out right here.

About eight years ago, I almost quit the real estate industry. I was getting burnt out; I felt like I was juggling too many balls by myself. We decided to form a real estate team that essentially takes independent contractors and helps them converge to a common mission, marketing strategy, and brand, allowing them to share information amongst each other, and to go further and faster than they would separately.

We wrapped that concept around a nonprofit called Project Lamplight, which allowed us to take money we made through our business and give back to our community. Through this effort, we can help random needs in the community anonymously, and in the span of four or five years, our real estate team has seen around a 400% or 500% growth.  We’ve been able to give more than $100,000 through Project Lamplight.

Now that we’ve seen that kind of growth and we realize what a real team can do, it’s become a passion of mine to see if we can replicate that in the community. The brand ambassador program is our attempt to do just that.

“Think of it as a collective of community business owners who, as we grow more prosperous, can give money back to the community.”

In the program, we visit business owners all throughout the Cumberland Valley. Knowing how difficult business can be, I want to learn from those owners and ask them if they have any interest in partnering with me, along with our brand and the community.

See, my real estate company is a bit of a marketing business; since we market homes for sale all the time (in addition to a number of other things), it would be pretty easy for us to partner with different business owners to allow them to share presence on our marketing materials.

Through the brand ambassador program, these business owners would also be able to attend masterminds throughout the year so that we can share information with other businesses, helping them grow theirs as we grow ours. Think of it as a collective of community business owners who, as we grow more prosperous, can give money back to the community.

My intention is to share this journey with you over the course of the next year. In future videos, you’ll be able to see me meet with business owners to discuss how they’re doing, what their struggles are, and to help them do better by magnifying their brands.

If you or someone you know has a strong reputation in the community and might benefit from this program, please reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.

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Central PA Real Estate Agent: The Importance of Finding Purpose in Your Business - YouTube

If your business doesn’t have a good purpose, then what is there to truly keep you going?

My partners and I started our brokerage in 2003, and it’s been growing ever since. Three years ago, my wife and I started our own team inside the brokerage and experienced even further growth. In the last year, we sold over $30 million in real estate through 148 transactions, and I was able to leave production altogether.

Though I had reached every goal possible, I still felt like it didn’t matter. I didn’t have a purpose I was shooting for, and it made me feel empty. The purpose I needed wasn’t being found through growing a business.

This feeling came to a head after my wife and I visited Haiti. On the way back home, my thoughts kept returning to a Haitian girl I met named Lovely. In her daily life, she never knew when her next meal would be. Sitting on the plane, I thought of how we’d be speaking with a builder about something as trivial as the color of granite countertops when we landed. 

I realized that selling homes isn’t what’s truly important to me, and I knew I had to strive for something deeper in our business and in our community. We began taking a percentage of each commission check and setting it into a separate account. We asked our clients about causes that needed help, and we found that we could deliver a rapid response to urgent situations.

“The purpose I needed wasn’t being found through growing a business.”

It’s been incredible seeing the leadership opportunities that have come from our continuous growth. Roger Deal has stepped in to take over the roles I no longer fill, and my wife has become the financial director for our business. Our entire staff has been incredible, meeting with people who have needs and making anonymous donations.

I can’t imagine what things would be like if I hadn’t taken these steps, and I can’t believe I used to simply deal with selling homes. We’ve been given a purpose and a reason to feel good about coming into work each day. Even when we’re having a tough time, we know we’re doing something important. We’re investing in our community.

We do a meet-and-greet workshop each month to help people see what we do at the Dave Hooke team. If you would like to attend, have any questions, or would like more information, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Central PA Real Estate Agent: Get Nights and Weekends Back by Using a Showing Agent - YouTube

You can welcome back your nights and weekends with the help of a showing agent. Here’s how.

In the early days of my real estate career, I had to do everything: show houses, list houses, take photos, and much more. It was hard work, but I learned that bringing others onto my team was a great way to ease the burden. By implementing this kind of collaboration into your own career, you can ease your workload, too. One of the roles that helps my team immensely is that of the showing agent.

There are a few key elements in any sales process. In real estate and most industries, there is:

  • Client prospecting—this reveals how customers hear about and get in contact with us
  • Conversion—this solidifies trust with customers
  • Service—this includes finding and showing potential homes. 
  • Negotiation—this solidifies the contract
  • Contract to close—this continues all the way to settlement

“Since we always explain our process up front, we haven’t encountered any problems with our buyers.”

We need to spend a lot of time on the search and service portions, and while we do enjoy showing homes, it’s one of the most time-consuming parts of our job. Showing someone through a home should require a real estate license, but it doesn’t always need to be done by the client’s primary agent. 

Since we always explain our process up front, we haven’t encountered any problems with our buyers. We simply let them know that we work as a group in order to make our services available to clients but also allow ourselves some nights and weekends off. We introduce them to the showing agent and let them know that we’re still always there to help.

If you have any questions about utilizing a showing agent position, would like any guidance about the role, or would like further information, feel free to reach out to us. We also host a business mastermind meeting each month, and you’re always more than welcome to come. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Central PA Real Estate Agent: How to Get What You Want in a Home Sale - YouTube

Refusing to budge will lead you nowhere. Instead, collaborate on a great outcome for all.

Many people assume that negotiation means drawing a line and refusing to cross it. This tactic is called competitive negotiation, and while it may work in some instances, it’s not guaranteed to get you what you want.

The best option is collaborative negotiation, which uses various methods in order to find the other party’s motivation. In other words, to increase your chances of a successful transaction, you need to understand the buyer or seller you’re dealing with.

If you find out what matters most to them, be it timing, finances, or bonus incentives, you can begin to structure the transaction around that. You can offer these items in exchange for something you want, thus creating a win-win situation where all parties feel their needs have been met.

“To increase your chances of a successful transaction, you need to understand the buyer or seller you’re dealing with.”

We’d like you to know we’re currently hosting a meet-and-greet event each month that gives attendees an inside look at what a career with our team could mean for them. If you would like to attend one of these upcoming events, have any real estate-related questions, or need further information, feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Central PA Real Estate Agent: How Agents Can Maximize Customer Satisfaction - YouTube

By keeping a gold standard across the board, you’ll keep customers happy. Here’s how.

The business of real estate can be an incredibly busy one—there’s often not enough time in the day for us, as agents, to meet with each and every client. So how can we keep their satisfaction high when we simply can’t meet with them all?

When I first got into real estate, I handled absolutely everything you can imagine in the business. I dealt with brokerage management, listing photography, lead prospecting, home showings and listings, and so on. But as a jack-of-all-trades, I never felt like I was truly doing my best in any of these areas. 

As our sales (and our team) grew and grew, we had to create specialized roles in order to keep up. Instead of juggling every facet of the job, I actually had to remove myself from various positions and allow others to handle them. 

Part of my job now is to focus on marketing, accounting, and finance, so I don’t always have the opportunity to meet with all of our clients. But those who do meet with them provide the same exceptional standard of service that customers expect from the Dave Hooke Team. Customers don’t just want you—they want the standard you represent.

As long as we can create and uphold a standard among our team, client satisfaction remains high. But we must ensure that the client is clear about what is going on. There’s nothing worse than a bait and switch—they expect to be meeting with you but are instead met by someone else. To avoid false pretenses, we always have an in-depth review of our process and how our team works. If they’re uncertain, we always make it known that they can speak with other Realtors before making a decision.

“Customers don’t just want you—they want the standard you represent.”

By being clear about your processes and maintaining a gold standard in service, your customers are bound to stay happy. If you have any questions or need further information, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Central PA Real Estate Agent: A New Strategy That Changed the Way I Generate Leads - YouTube

I take training seriously in my career. Here’s a look at some of the best training I received this year.

I’m here today to answer the question, “What’s the best sales training I learned this year?” 

I can honestly say that we’ve trained more this year than in any of the 16 years I’ve been in business, but I think the one topic that has helped us serve our customers on a deeper level is how to isolate objections. This is a really good way to approach customer service and let people know what their next step is.

What does isolating an objection look like? Well, first it starts out with a written or oral consumer notice. Next, when I’m having a conversation with someone, I invite them to the office or offer to come out to their home. They might offer up an objection, such as they’re waiting until spring. To follow up, I would learn more about their process by asking what is so important about the spring to them. This is where I might find out the real objection. Maybe someone they trust told them to wait because they’ll get the best home.

“This is a great way to approach customer service.”

The next step is isolating that objection. Other than finding the perfect home in the spring, is there anything else that would prevent them from taking the next step in the home buying process now? If they say no, now I can stand side by side with the customer and talk to them about that singular issue. I then pose the hypothetical: If the perfect home were available now, will they want to take the next step sooner? If they say yes, we let them know that we don’t know if the perfect home is out there or not until we look. Then I invite them into the office to see if we can find the perfect home. If they don’t find anything, we can just wait until spring.

I wouldn’t have gotten to that point without isolating the objection and solving it with them. It’s a process, and I skipped this part for 16 years. You can bet I won’t anymore. This has been a huge help for me, my team, and our clients. If this information was helpful for you or you want to talk about anything else related to building a successful real estate business, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Central PA Real Estate Agent: The New Industrial Revolution and Its Impact on Real Estate - YouTube

In today’s post, we’ll answer the question, “How is the next industrial revolution going to affect real estate in 2019?”

What is this new industrial revolution? You might think that we’ve been in the digital and technology age for some time, so what could possibly be revolutionized?

The truth about any industrial revolution, if you look at the data and the economy, is that when the substance or thing (whatever innovation is going to change the industry) undergoes a revolution, it doesn’t do anything to change the GDP or anyone’s wealth—at first. Once it catches the right person or business’ eye, it can then dramatically change the wealth of a few people. For example, the wealth differential was very great in the oil revolution for a few people. The same is true for when Henry Ford learned to use the assembly line; wealth was aggregated by select people.

This can also be said of the digital and technological world. You can probably think of a few people yourself who have accrued dramatic enhancements to their wealth due to the tech revolution. Over time, that substance, concept, or thing percolates throughout the rest of the economy and affects everyone else at a very rapid rate, creating extensive growth in wealth, GDP, and the economy at large.

So what is the substance that triggered the most current industrial revolution? Well, we’re entering into a time when data aggregators have gathered data and information about all of us—our lives, our purchasing habits, etc.—and they’ve built ‘refineries’ to process that data to provide insights and information that will save consumers and businesses a lot of time and money. Data is the new crude substance to be refined into something more valuable and the fuel for this next industrial revolution.

The entities or organizations that are building the best ‘refineries’ to accumulate, monitor, and process that data are the ones that are accruing the largest savings of money and time. These entities are growing at a rapid rate, and the ones who can’t keep up are losing the battle. For example, think of what happened to Blockbuster Video after the advent of Netflix.

So how does this affect real estate? Well, there are many facts that point to industries being taken over by data aggregators who are using data for insights and then creating cost savings in their operations so they can capitalize on it. 

“Data is the new crude substance to be refined into something more valuable and the fuel for this next industrial revolution.”

This hasn’t happened in real estate yet, but we might begin to see it in 2019. There are a number of companies using artificial intelligence (AI) to collect data and provide insights to save consumers and real estate agents time and money.

What does this mean for us? For me, it means finding the right technology to align myself with so I can use those insights to save myself and my clients time and money, and partnering with those tech companies to use their services to help me capitalize so I can serve our clients at an even deeper level—on a human level. Technology never totally took over the human element in this industrial revolution, it just enhanced it. It’s a very exciting opportunity to use something that we haven’t had before.

Refining my business using technology might involve looking at entire real estate transactions to analyze how much time we spend doing things that aren’t really productive in the big picture, things that could be automated. If we work a 40-hour week, and 10 of those hours are spent doing things that AI could do faster and more efficiently, it means we can take those 10 hours and serve our customers on a more personal level.

If you have any questions about this or would like to chat or share information about it, please reach out to me.  If you do, I can also provide you with information on how to RSVP to our monthly business-building workshop, where we’ll talk about this topic with the area’s top-producing agents. I’d love to speak with you.

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Central PA Real Estate Agent: What Zillow is Doing to Real Estate Agents’ Commissions - YouTube

As Zillow and other online real estate companies keep playing a bigger role in the sales process, they’ll keep taking a larger portion of us agents’ commissions.

What is Zillow doing to real estate commissions? 

I think the better question is, “What are technology companies doing to real estate companies?” Aside from Zillow, this includes OpenDoor, Redfin, Purplebricks, and other companies that have appeared in the last few years. 

The reality is, there are several steps in the sales process from which we real estate agents collect our fee: lead generation (or prospect generation), prospect conversion, search and service, negotiations, and contract to close. What technology companies have started doing is participating in the lead generation step—in exchange for generating prospective buyers and sellers for us, they collect their own fee.

“In exchange for generating prospective buyers and sellers for us, they collect their own fee.”

More recently, they’ve also taken part in the second step of the process. Not only are they generating the consumers, but they also have inside sales associate teams at their corporate headquarters who can qualify prospects and send those qualified prospects to us agents. In exchange, they’re taking a larger portion of the overall fee we typically collect from the entire process. If they continue expanding, they’ll keep taking a larger and larger share of agents’ commissions. 

So the question then becomes, what’s next? 

I have a lot of thoughts on that topic. As we look to next year, we’re making a lot of changes on our team to refashion ourselves as more of a technology company. To summarize, I think our main competition isn’t each other anymore—it’s technology companies. 

If you want to talk more about this topic, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would love to speak to you.

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Central PA Real Estate Agent: How to Track Business Sources to Maximize Returns - YouTube

The best way to maximize your ROI is to know where customers are coming from. Here’s how you can find out.

Do you know where your business is coming from? If you figure out your sources of business, you can adjust your advertising spending to maximize return on investment. Today, I’ll be showing you a simple way to track these sources.

When we first have contact with a customer, we use a buyer or seller info sheet that helps turn them into a client. We ask them how they found out about us and try to pinpoint the exact source, whether it’s from a referral, one of our signs, or the internet. 

As your business grows, you’ll see you have different sources you put money into so people can find you. We have a coding system we call our “Lead Sources Reference Sheet,” which assigns numerical values to each source we have. We record these codes on our info sheets.

“If you figure out your sources of business, you can adjust your advertising spending to maximize your return on investments.”

Next, when one of our agents schedules an appointment, we code the appointment with its lead source on a shared calendar. Now, every time we meet with a prospective client, we can see a code that tells us where the prospect came from. 

When we have settlements, we put all of our codes into a spreadsheet where we assign a monetary spending amount on advertising for each code. If we have 12 sources of business in a quarter, we’ll see 12 codes in the spreadsheet along with each one’s number of settlements and prospects, as well as the monetary spend per code.

At this point, the spreadsheet does the math for us and shows us our return on investment. This number tells us how well we’re spending our money on different sources. From here we can adjust how much we put into our different forms of advertisement.

If you have any questions about tracking sources or need more information, feel free to contact us. We also have a business-building workshop each month that we’d love to tell you all about. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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