Opinion: Agents and developers can be a powerful pair
The last three years have taught us a lot about the unpredictability and impressionability of the market. They also shed light on the essential attributes that today’s real estate agents and developers need to survive and succeed.
While most understand the potential for profitability and capital growth that arises when the right agent works with the right developer, we don’t often discuss the commonalities that exist between them from a technical and soft skills perspective. They have more in common than you might imagine.
For example, both should work with a understanding of the market, its history, the current compositions and its potential. Both worlds also require an instinct that cannot necessarily be taught, an instinct that positions them as a subject matter expert who is willing to take calculated risks while simultaneously putting clients’ interests first.
Do it well and you will be considered a superhero. Get it wrong and you could quickly become public enemy number one. Few people have the stomach for it and those who do understand that it’s not always for the faint of heart.
Real estate cooperation
I met for the first time Kurt PotterBroker at The right choice RE/MAX at a UConn football game. After a few games and a shared enthusiasm for the local team, we quickly recognized an opportunity for collaboration, which could expand networks, benefit customers and generate significant economic benefits for the community.
Our relationship is rooted in a shared passion for helping clients cultivate new chapters, but it’s grown because we both operate with the intensity and instinct to take the bets, go big even when it’s tough. Others advise against it, and most often rely on our own expertise.
These common denominators have resulted in several projects between us, the most recent being The Offices at Addison Square, a condominium office complex.
Our teams embarked on this adventure at the start of the pandemic. Spectators have warned us that now is not the optimal time to develop and promote a new desktop environment. Despite the obstacles, the project moved forward. Today, units are selling strongly, second construction is underway and it looks like our appetite for calculated risk taking and optimism has paid off.
While our background was undeniably unique given the market variables at the time, we attribute our success to characteristics and skills that we both deemed essential to our careers, our investments, and ultimately our success.
Market expertise is essential
It is not enough to simply understand the transactional aspects of development or real estate. You need to immerse yourself in the places you serve and gain an understanding of things like:
While projections are never 100% accurate, demonstrating to clients that you understand the factors that could impact their investment creates peace of mind and confidence that will likely drive future business. It also allows the team to make informed decisions, building their own books of business in places that are likely to have yield potential.
Taste for building relationships
My business mantra has always been, “The most important thing we build is relationships. This is evident in by TruNORTH strategy and our approach. By demonstrating a passion for understanding clients, their needs and ambitions, we have created credibility and a competitive advantage over our peers who often treat each client as a project.
People don’t want to be treated as a transaction. They see through a cookie-cutter approach and often refuse to do business with professionals who prioritize profits over people. It’s not enough to love what you do, you have to have a passion for the people who entrust their business to you. Our business is extremely personal in nature, you must pursue it that way.
Our constant communication, taking the time to sit down and discuss benchmarks, and treating every effort as a collaboration are tactics that have enriched our networks and kept customers coming back.
Knowledge of trends and preferences
Addison Square Offices is a project that lent itself well to the opportunity to pay homage to the area’s rich agricultural history while leveraging here-and-now design preferences. A modern farmhouse aesthetic created a perfect intersection between past and present.
The team understood that some elements would continue to prove timeless but some decisions had to be based on qualitative data, real estate trends and anecdotes from design experts.
Sitting down with Kurt, he pointed out, “It’s easy to be blinded by your own preferences or what you’ve seen from people in the field. You must maintain a holistic perspective. Talk to designers in your network. Keep an eye on trends. Stop as you pass the shop windows. You may not always understand what’s newer and better, but it’s important to keep your pulse on the pulse when talking about longevity potential and resale value.
I agree. You have to build on your own perspective. It’s so easy to get lost in your own silo, but sitting down with people who understand other components, have expertise you might not have, and are willing to share it with you, those moments and those relationships are gold.
Flair for traditional and “outside the box” marketing
When the world went virtual, more traditional professionals in the industry had to adopt tools such as Zoom and Google Ads. Most even found themselves using terms such as “Reels” and asking questions such as “what is a ICT TacNevertheless, those who have leaned in and embraced these uncharted territories have persevered.
As the TruNORTH team began embracing social media and video long before Covid-19 turned the world upside down, I believe new-age marketing tactics are driving relevance and visibility. In fact, since embarking on the digital journey, the company has seen a 48% increase in subscribers across Facebook, instagramand LinkedIna 783% increase in engagement and a noticeable increase in sales.
We marked ourselves with authentic storytelling. We let our personalities shine through because people want to know who they’re going to work with. We’ve used tools like Instagram to provide insider insights into the properties we work on and platforms like LinkedIn to position ourselves as thought leaders.
Kurt agrees and even though he is a firm believer in “fundamentals”, he recognizes the value of stepping out of his comfort zone.
“I wasn’t necessarily jumping on blogging or capturing property video footage, but I knew I had to jump on the bandwagon or be left behind. I’m not saying leave traditional approaches in the rearview mirror, but I’m saying that if you’re not optimizing those lead generation tools, maximizing Zillow membership, or personifying your brand, today’s customers will leave you for those who do all of the above efficiently and consistently.
It’s no secret that marketing has taken on a whole new form. While it doesn’t always feel natural to deliver that first-person account or upload that story, pushing yourself to embrace these tools will undoubtedly help you break through the noise, effectively target audiences, and strike that personal chord. that many are looking for before. sign on the dotted line.
When you collaborate with partners like Kurt, one thing becomes certain, none of the above carries weight unless you are committed to pursuing it. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been with the company, how many tough deals you’ve worked on, or how big the deals are – if you don’t have the guts, it doesn’t matter.
This is a company that is notorious for its lack of predictability. It doesn’t always play nice, and you can’t just “turn it off” at the end of any given day. You must pay your dues. You have to take the hits and get up. You cannot rely on your reputation or industry knowledge alone. You have to live, eat, sleep and breathe that stuff. You must like it.
Kurt always says that “a relationship between a realtor/developer can hold so much potential for both parties. It can be incredibly lucrative to learn about properties long before they are listed. It can also benefit a developer to work with someone who has a network that will prove relevant to their results.
None of us intend to slow down anytime soon. If we offer any advice to aspiring agents, brokers, developers, entrepreneurs, etc., it would be to go into every engagement with a sense of security. This aforementioned instinct, it is only as powerful in your self-confidence. If you do the work, take the time, and greet each day with curiosity and intention, you will get what you put in, even in uncertain times.
Jeff Sawyer is co-owner of TruNORTH Construction in South Windsor, Connecticut.