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 Robyn Jones, the owner/broker of Robyn Jones Homes, which, in addition to its Katy office with 13 agents, has offices in San Antonio and Los Angeles.
Houston Agent (HA): Can you talk a little bit about how syndication plays a role in your business?
Robyn Jones (RJ): Syndication is crucial to my business model. I moved to Houston from Los Angeles, and I did not know one human being. So, to market myself and build my business, I didn’t have the luxury of referrals. I had to build an Internet-based lead and referral system, and all of that started with syndication. It was one of the first things I researched.
The biggest thing about syndication is the ability to send byproducts of your work out over the Internet to real, live people. When anybody wants to do anything, they go to the Internet, so it’s just crucial.
HA: We just wrote a story that looked into NAR’s Realtor Party, and how it combines many of the association’s political aims into one source. What are your views on the association’s political efforts?
RJ: I sit on the boards of and participate in a lot of committees. I’m on HAR’s MLS committee and technology committee, and I think that when you participate, you have a voice in change. So rather than complain about things when you give you time and energy, you can really bring about change and correction to things that are not working.
Also, if people don’t participate and help protect the profession, the tax rates, the commission splits – if people are not participating at that level, we’re going to lose all our protections.
HA: A recent story on real estate photography has also garnered quite a bit of interest. Can you tell us a little bit about how you approach photography with your listings?
RJ: That’s one of the things we really pride ourselves on, and it’s another one of the ways I was able to get a foothold in the Houston market – I was very competitive on the pictures. We make sure all our pictures are light and bright, and that they all contain substantive information. One of the other things that I do that has been incredibly helpful is I very rarely lead with a picture of the front of the home.
I have a lot of buyer’s that come into town, and they say, “Pick out 10 houses for me,” and when I do my search, 170 houses come up, and as I’m going through, I see 165 houses that are either brick or stucco, and then there are four or five that are leading off with the pool, the kitchen, or some other unique feature of the home.
Those are the ones that tend to stop me, so I think we get a higher rate of appointment because we’re just not one of the pack. You’re going to find a beautiful picture of something that’s unique and will make you stop and look.