Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before.
This week, we talked with Alma Sofia Logan, the broker for RE/MAX Real Estate Associates in Houston, an office with 30 agents and more than $49 million in sales volume so far in 2012.
Alma Sofia Logan (ASL): [Since January 2012] we have had an in-office, professional photographer, and it has made a big difference. The properties are having a lot more showings, which in turn is generating quick sales. The days on the market have been reduced, and we have all realized it is as a result of our photographer, Spencer, and his excellent photographs.
Price it right, have great photos and you will generate traffice. It’s all about the traffic. The more activity, the more exposure, the quicker the sale. Our sellers are very happy with our results. Pictures are crucial for marketing.
HA: Houston’s strong market is also a consistent topic for us, and we recently profiled some of the fastest growing real estate offices in Houston. How has business been for your office, and how has it grown?
ASL: My office has been in growth mode for the past year and we are very excited. Although I must say, we have always done very well. When other real estate offices were closing, we were standing strong, because RE/MAX has market presence.
With that being said, this year started with a boom. It’s great to see the values climbing. Because of the low interest rates, we have been able to help buyers find their homes and have a lower mortgage payment than their rental payments.
We are extremely excited about the future of real estate and believe we have weathered the storm. The difficult times have only made us stronger and better agents. I learned so much and am grateful for the learning experience. We are still growing and are actively seeking agents to continue in our mission. We seek learned-based professionals that share the same values and understand that what we do is help those in need achieve their dreams of homeownership. I have buyer specialists, listing/seller specialists, investor specialists and commercial specialists. We cover it all!
HA: Our coverage of technology, especially syndication, always finds an active readership; how do you use technology and the Internet in your office?
ASL: RE/MAX has done a great job with technology. We have all the tools we need to stand above the crowd. RE/MAX Advertising drives consumers to our RE/MAX.com website, and our agents, many of whom have their own personal websites, get free leads. In the end, every agent in our office chooses what works best for them and implements it.
I have agents that get their leads from social media, while others, have a referral-based business. There is no doubt that the Internet is a huge part of our business now, and RE/MAX has embraced it. There’s still a lot of Baby Boomers, and with them, referrals are still very strong. I think most of my successful agents in the office have a strong referral base due to the number of years in the business. But as a brand new agent, when you come in and start a business, online lead generation is definitely important.