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 Andi St Jean, the broker on record with Keller Williams Realty Southwest.
Houston Agent (HA): How has Houston’s real estate market been in 2012? We’ve recently reported on how it’s overcome much of the economic diversity in the recent downturn.
Andi St Jean (ASJ): The market has turned around, and that’s fabulous for buyers and sellers and brokerages, but we must be careful, though. It is just a spike? Is it just a temporary spark, or are we on an upturn?
It’s hard not to get excited about it, and I’m one of the biggest optimists in the world. Interest rates are great, and people should take advantage of this great market. We just had a record month at our office, bu at my latest leadership meeting, I said I’m not banking on the current market and making any big commitments.
HA: How do you use syndication sites, such as Zillow, Realtor.com or Trulia, in your office, if at all?
ASJ: I think syndication is good; it can be good for everyone; however, our listings could be syndicated and a different agent’s photograph (an agent who paid advertising with the site) will be next to the listing, and they’ll get the lead. Keller Williams did all the work, but the agent who pays for the ad gets the lead. We have a “your work, your lead” philosophy here at Keller Williams.
Keller Williams has an agreement with all the syndication sites that they must send the leads back to the agents. I do think, though, that it can be a good thing in terms of advertising, and fabulous with how many buyers, nationwide, see the agent’s listings.
HA: How do you utilize social media in your business, like the marketing efforts of Cody Phillips?
ASJ: If agents are not taking advantage of social media with their listings, they are missing out. It’s so easy and cheap! I host Tech Master Mind sessions, which teach agents on how to better implement social media. One was on better using smart phones, another on using the iPad in listing presentations, but not just using the iPad, but, are you using Skype? YouTube? Do you have a intro video from your team lead to play, so they don’t have to be at the presentation?
YouTube is just insane; the possibilities are endless. And Facebook has just begun. Social media is not going anywhere. It’s here to stay.