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Inman Connect

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What Buyers and Sellers Want in 2013

October 24, 2013

Author: Diane Bravo, Director of Technical Training at Alain Pinel Realtors.
Do you know today’s home buyers and sellers expect from their real estate agent?

I recently attended a real estate conference in San Francisco, Inman Connect, where various types of home buyers were represented in a panel.  While listening to the seven panelists needs, common themes began emerging which I’ve classified into 10 categories.  If you take a look, you will see just a few simple things can WOW your clients if you choose to practice them.
10 Things the Modern Home Buyer and Seller Wants from their Agent 2013:

  1. Communication – Communicate, communicate, and communicate! Some of these panelists weren’t getting calls back from their agent for days.  Same day call back is a must, but within a shorter timeframe really shows a level of dedication that is appreciated by clients today.  Today more than ever, the early bird catches the worm.
  2. Professional Photos – Let’s face it, if the photos aren’t professional, the home is not being presented at its best. If you are a listing agent and are not displaying high-quality professional photos, you are behind the times.
  3. A Full-Time Agent –Every panelist wanted a full time real estate agent! Gone are the days when a part-time agent adds full service value. Buyers want agents who have the contacts, know the tools and have the time to commit and respond quickly.
  4. An Agent with a Smartphone – Some clients prefer a phone call, some an email, and almost the entire “y” generation wants a text!  Whoever you are and whatever your age, you need to know what your buyers prefer – and  they need to know you have the technology to communicate the way they want. This multi-generational home buyer group was tricky, but one thing they were sure about – no flip phones please.
  5. Teamwork & a Game Plan – These 2013 home buyers are ready and willing to pitch in and help with their search. All they want is a plan of attack, carefully assembled with their real estate agent. Not too much to ask, right?
  6. Pocket Listings – This may be specific to certain markets, but those who mentioned it like to feel they are getting the inside scoop.
  7. Quarterly Statistic Reports – While clients have access to lots of information on the internet, they want to get market reports from their agents.  Regardless of your technical skills, it can easily enough be done with an automated tool.  At APR, agents have access to weekly Altos Market Reports that can be sent automatically to their contact database.
  8. Weekly Inventory Newsletter – This may be the most time consuming of the lot and may pertain mostly to listing agents. The idea was to get a simple list of homes available, from all of the different sources the real estate agent has, combined into one communication. Sellers want to know what else is out there.
  9. Customized Service – This may sound complicated, but really it does not have to be. Know what they like to drink? Have it already in the car when you go to show them homes. One example that was given was an agent who arranged a private showing for the prospective buyer’s mother.  This meant the world to the buyer!
  10. Gifts – Oh, the gifts! Most favored gifts included show tickets, game tickets, expensive bottles of wine, or even dinner.  A dinner accompanied with their agent topped the list! If you’re giving your clients what they want, they will enjoy spending time with you – working or otherwise.

Are you giving your clients what they expect?

About Author:

Diane Bravo brings 20 years of technical training and implementation experience to Alain Pinel Realtors. In her current capacity as Director of Technical Training, she is responsible for helping all APR agents improve their business through the use of real estate software. Before moving to APR, Ms. Bravo worked for Integrated Device Technology as Business Systems Analyst.

Announcements Industry Insights Marketing and Technology Insights

Special APR Discount for Inman Conference

June 14, 2013

Did you know one of the BEST real estate events of the year is happening in San Francisco this year? Inman News presents both Agent Reboot and Real Estate Connect this July at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.
The events kickoff with Agent Reboot on July 9th. This one-day boot camp, revamped with all new content for 2013, is a crash course in digital marketing to make your upcoming year your best. Get expert advice via case studies, mobile marketing techniques to attract the digital consumer, strategies to foster and build relationships on social media, tips to ensure your website is personalized and local and so much more.
Next up is the main event – the 3-day, information packed Real Estate Connect from July 10-12th. Real Estate Connect is where real deals are made, new partnerships are formed, new technologies are introduced, start-ups are launched and hard issues are debated openly. Connect SF will position you to take advantage of tomorrow. This year, APR’s own VP of Relocation and Business Development Michi Olson will be speaking.
Unsure whether to attend? Check out our post from last year highlighting some of the take-aways and tools.
Even better – this year we’ve partnered with Inman News to make it easier for you to attend both events – at a reduced price. You can save $300 if you REGISTER NOW. This special deal for local agents will give you tickets to both events for the exclusive price of $649.
Register NOW – and secure your spot in this incredible 4-day event.

Industry Insights Marketing and Technology Insights

Inman Connect Takeaways: Mobile Apps and Tools

September 6, 2012

On August 1st-3rd, I was fortunate to attend the Inman News Real Estate Connect Conference in San Francisco. The 3-day conference highlighted where real estate and technology connects – from social media and marketing, to mobile apps and websites, and listing syndication and big data – it covered some of the largest topics and trends within the industry. The main conference featured notable speakers, including: Caterina Fake, Founder and CEO of Findery (and co-founder of Flickr); Joe Fernandez, cofounder and CEO of Klout; Adi Tatarko, co-founder and CEO of Houzz, and many more. While the Alain Pinel Realtors attendees and I took away more information than can be shared in one post, we did compile a partial list of some of the notable tools and apps that are worth checking out if you don’t already know about them:
Real Estate / Home Tools for You & Clients

  • Open Home Pro (iPad) – beautiful listing and open house management program – keep track of leads from open houses, automatically follow up and organize, export data to excel or CRM.
  • Route4Me (iPhone, iPad, Android) – enter multiple addresses and routes most efficient route, great for open house tours.
  • HomeSnap by Sawbuck (iPhone, Android soon) – snap a photo of a home and find out more about it (integrates with real-time MLS data in most places) and how much they think it is worth (from Sawbuck).
  • BrightNest (web) – Web-based service that helps homeowners by providing customized tips to care for their home.
  • (browser, app coming soon) – apartment rental search, create a renter resume.

Business / Self-Organization Tools

  • Drop-Box (all platforms) – Cloud storage system, synchs files and changes across all platforms, accessible anywhere. Can also share and collaborate on files. 2gb in storage free.
  • Google Drive (all platforms) – Similar to Drop-Box, store, edit, share files that synch across platforms. 5gb in storage free.
  • Evernote (all platforms) – Make and organize “notes” – can be text, full webpage, a photograph, voice memo, more. Share folders with anyone – great for collaboration. Synch across platforms and access anywhere.
  • Wunderlist (all platforms) – Free easy to use task-manager, with reminders, organize, and share. Access anywhere.
  • Twist (iPhone) – Start a “twist” and it will notify people automatically of your ETA to your appointments.


  • Videolicious (iPhone) – Easy do-it-yourself video creation (good for property videos!)
  • Blazing Tours (iPhone, Android) – Shoot and edit video home tours with this do-it-yourself app – add music, text, voiceovers, photos all from phone


  • (web-based, iPhone app) – analyzes your social connections on many social networks and determines your “klout score” – a measure of social influence – including what topics you are influential about


  • Hunch Mobile by (iPhone, browser) Free – gives recommendations about restaurants, movies, things to do, tv shows, more based on you “tastes” – gets smarter over time.
  • Uber (iPhone, Android) – On-demand requests for private driver, automatically charge card on file, and emails receipt. Classy, convenient, reliable experience available in most cities.

Have you tried any of these? Let us know your experiences –

About Author:
Andrew Violante is the Social Media and Communications Coordinator at Alain Pinel Realtors where he oversees social media strategy and implementation for the brokerage.