Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before. This week, we spoke with Raquel Refuerzo, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker United, Realtors.
Houston Agent (HA): Online marketing for real estate professionals is more important now that ever, as clients largely begin their homebuying or selling search online. How do you stay relevant online, and what tools do you find most useful (i.e. social media, personal website, videos)?
Raquel Refuerzo (RR): The tools that I find most useful are social media and online reviews (i.e. Yelp, Google+, Zillow, etc). It’s proven to be very affective in generating leads. Yes, both are free, but you have to be consistent in providing content on your social media and encourage your past clients to write positive online reviews. Videos are also great. You’ll have to invest some time and money, but it really sets you apart from most Realtors. Lastly, personal websites, although a nice personal website shows credibility and professionalism, it is not a tool I would use to generate leads.
HA: As a young agent, what disadvantages do you face in an industry where professionals sometimes have upwards of 20 to 30 years of experience? How do you overcome them?
RR: Nothing compares to 20-30 years of experience. A seasoned agent will know their target market in and out whereas a newer agent might not. However, real estate is vastly different today than it was 20-30 years ago. Today’s savvy consumers have many tools available to them and they demand instant results and response. I’m able to give today’s consumers exactly what they want by staying on top on current technology and resources.
HA: Houston’s inventory is down and, as we recently reported, a shortage of skilled workers could keep builders moving slowly. Do you expect low inventory levels to persist in 2015, and how do you expect that to effect your business?
RR: I do think inventory shortages will persist in 2015, but not as badly as in the past year. Sadly, prices of gas have dropped and there’s speculation that many oil and gas employees will be laid off forcing them to sell their homes.