NEXTGENre Conference: A new standard in Events for Professionals in Business and Real Estate in Canada
In a competitive real estate market, the challenge is, how to be valuable, useful and noticed?
How can agents be different? How can professional real estate agents get the seller’s attention and stand out from the rest?
“Real Estate professionals need to know & truly understand their WHY? WHY should clients select to work with them over their competition & WHY are they deserving of Referral Business. What is their key differentiator? Business must be earned.”, Virginia Munden, Real Estate and business coach, NEXTGENre co-founder.
“Create the breadcrumbs path of trust”….”We don’t need more leads… We need stronger relationships.”
“Those that are able to articulate their humanness on the web are the ones that are going to dominate the market”, Seth Price, VP of Industry Relations at Placester.
“Education combined with mentorship is the key to success.”
“Focus on a niche, keep being an individual, find out what you are really good at and keep in mind that not everyone can be your customer!”
“To succeed in real estate today, you can’t do business the same way as thirty years ago. The tools are different”, Jamie Schreder, President, Co-Owner at Royal Lepage Wolstencroft Realty.
“Becoming an Exponential influencer is about creating a magnetic brand, a vibrant compelling personal brand so business comes to us. And leveraging through other influencers.”, Shane Gibson, Author – Keynote Sales Speaker – Social Media and Social Selling Trainer.
“Be flexible, be resilient, and be an innovator.”
NEXTGENre, NEXT GENERATION REAL ESTATE, Canada’s National Real Estate Conference for Professional Entrepreneurs was first launched in 2010 to serve the Real Estate Landscape. This conference aim is to fuse technology and innovation with business principles & fundamentals in an exciting and engaged forum. NEXTGEN Tour Stops this year are in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto & Mississauga/Oakville/ Westend.
The 2016 NEXTGENre conference in Vancouver, B.C was held May 31st, at the Hilton Hotel in Burnaby, kick-off was exceptional, with a sold out crowd of over two-hundred real estate professionals; Virginia Munden and Kelley Skar in collaboration with Vancouver’s Organizing Committee, Teri Conrad, Matt Collinge, Robyn M. Lau, Rebecca Troelstra and Nick J.M. Profeta kicked-off NEXTGENre, by discussing the importance of connection, collaboration and offline networking to strengthen relationships and take real estate businesses to the next level.
This year’s NEXTGENre’s Vancouver Pre – Soire took place at Cactus Club Resto & Lounge in Burnaby, this event was organized by Carolyn Blum-Unsworth of RE/MAX, over 55 agents had a great time networking enjoying great food and conversations amongst all.
For agents to succeed in a thriving Canada’s real estate industry, it’s all about sharpening the tools in their skills toolkit. The reason these tools need to be sharpened and honed is that these are the things that agents will use to build their reputations. Those [agents] that can bring a wide tool belt that has a collection of sharp tools will stand out and be sought after. Preparation and execution will lead professionals to profitability & sustainability in their businesses.
“If you are serious about succeeding in Real Estate, you must treat it like a business! You need a plan, a strategy and a budget, real estate requires more than passion, drive, commitment and discipline for success”, NEXTGENre co-founder, Kelly Skar, Coo- Realtor, Calgary Real Estate Advisor, REDLINE Real Estate Group.
NEXTGENre is a forum where professionals come to share information openly. In a market where people want to keep their secrets. It’s about collaboration and knowledge sharing instead of competition.
NEXTGENre 2016 featured experienced and passionate facilitators and speakers who shared authentic, engaging and conversational content to help change the way real estate professionals do business with consumers. The goal of these kind of events is to help a diverse group of professionals take pride in their business while the knowledge acquired will helps professionals to further improve their practices. The conference’s networking portion encouraged collaboration and co – operation through peer – sharing.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the sessions I attended including:
- Seth Price, VP of Industry Relations at Placester
- Warren Dow, Vice President, Industry Engagement, Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies, Inc.
- Shane Gibson, Author – Keynote Sales Speaker – Social Media and Social Selling Trainer
- Jorda Maisey, current Past President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board
- Deanna Horn, British Columbia Real Estate Association President
- Michael LaPrairie, President CENTURY 21 In Town Realty, Vancouver, B.C.
- Ari Lahdekorpi, Real Estate Broker and Consultant – RE/MAX Performance Realty
- Christina Kroner, RE/MAX Edge Realty Inc., Brokerage, Toronto
- Terra Maibach, Realtor at RE/MAX, Nanaimo
- Vince Pontaletta, Realtor at RE/MAX TreeLand Realty, Langley, B.C.
- Jamie Schreder, President and Co-Owner at Royal Lepage Wolstencroft Realty
- Sebastian Albrecht, Realtor at Royal LePage
There is no fixed plan that is going to work every time. The idea of having an ever widening tool belt with a selection of tools is to insure that agents have a place to start.
As a professional in the real estate industry, ask yourself – What do I need to learn to achieve my personal and business goals?
Then, take what you’ve learned and decide which tools you will hone into a sharp skill. Finally, take the time to schedule yourself to take action! Evaluate, the end result should be a tool belt with a collection of sharp tools that can help you advance and stand out in your career.
Crafting a path to recognition | Seth Price
The morning of the conference began with keynote speaker Seth Price from Placester. He began by talking about the power of human creativity and emotional connection, genuinely connecting one on one, rather than on social media.
It’s our responsibility as product and service providers to create the breadcrumbs of trust so that people can refer business to us and work with us. That’s the path we should be on as business owners.
What does it take to stand out in a flat market?
YOU DON’T NEED MORE LEADS. YOU NEED MORE GENUINE RELATIONSHIPS.
We need to understand the buyers journey. The web is blowing up at an incredible rate. Speed dating is the norm. It’s a short attention span world online, it’s hard to find someone who is truthful. We need to be in the service business, to tell your clients at the moment they’re freaking out that, hey, this happens, it’s okay, I’ll walk you through it.
Websites need to be about the customers. A few years ago it was 60% online, now it’s 80-90% online.
The differentiator between service providers is , how can someone be more useful than someone else, what can we do to demonstrate that we care about our clients.
Don’t be an order taker. If you want to differentiate yourself from others, you need to allocate a portion of what you do as an organization to caring for your clients, if you do, they are going to be a customer for the next 5 or 10 years and they will refer people to you.
It’s about nurturing relationships
Are we losing our ability to pay attention?
Today, everyone is distracted by shiny objects, puppies, cats and our phones.
Personal and Professional branding is all about showing that you are a real person.
Those that are able to articulate their humanness on the web are the ones that are going to dominate the market
Understand your client
Focus on a niche, not everyone can be your client!” Think, what language does my client speak. Are you making it easy to buy from you?
Use your CRM system as a black book that tells you everything you need to know about your clients, do they have kids, pets, what’s your clients favorite sport, etc. You need specific information. Communicate directly and properly to the people in your database that have a specific interest.
SEO is about having useful information, have signals out there so you can be found. Think, is the information on my website useful? Test your website by sending it to your friends and ask them to let you know if they found information that is useful to them [as consumers]. Ask them to be honest with you.
Focus on the consumer experience
Step into your customer’s shoes. It’s not just about your logo or the aesthetics of your website, it’s about relevant and useful information. Think, how do I build trust? How does it make your customers feel, does it solve their problems? Make your website a destination.
You need to have a Google listing. It is the modern yellow pages.How do agents take the customers they have and turn them into referrals?
72% of consumers won’t do business with you if they can’t find you online. It’s a matter of trust.There is power in testimonials and customer reviews.
We are in a contest for people’s attention. There is power in knowing who your clients are.
Understand your customer. What can you create that is unique and useful? Create useful and shareable content. Content can be in form of videos, infographics podcasts and blog posts that address your clients questions.
Your job is to figure out what marketing activities you can invest on that you can leverage longer than just placing ads. Current and appropriate content can be used and shared by your clients.
In your email communications, website and on your social media channels, you need to use content that will add value to your product or service.
E-books are excellent pieces of content, you can send it to people and they can share it.
Have an strategic approach to content creation. Think, would I read my own emails?
“Blogging is not content marketing”
In your communications, answer the questions that you are asked more often, you need to make sure that your answer is useful, share valuable content, only.
Look at what people is searching for in your market, use that as a source of information. People want to look at real estate porn.
What are the most expensive houses in the north sore?
8 real estate trends to watch for in the Canadian housing market (include photos and video)
Emerging trends in real estate in the United States and Canada, etc.
Email is underutilized. It’s an honor to be invited to send an email to someone, yet we invest very little in hiring people to write those emails as if they care.
Influencer marketing is simple, articulate your message, create content that is conversational, content that people desires and invite people to participate and to join the conversation.
e.i. Interviews, podcasts, conferences, etc.
It’s easier to promote your content, if you have something worth promoting.
You need a CRM [Customer Relationship Management System]. That’s where you will keep everything you know about your clients . You need to create valuable content and you can use social media to distribute it and amplify your content’s reach. Choose a platform and be consistent.
You need a website that answers your client’s questions. Communicate via email with the people in your CRM, tailor your messages to reach different audiences. Make sure your CRM communicates with your website, social media channels and your email system.
The Exponential influencer | Shane Gibson
How do we make people find us and want to work with us?
Becoming an Exponential Influencer is about creating a magnetic brand, a vibrant compelling personal brand and leveraging through other influencers. Shane’s talk covered:
- Building a magnetic brand
- The 3 elements of thought leadership
- The 5 stages of consent
- The 9 immutable laws of social selling
- Recruiting and connecting with influencers
Selling is creating an environment where an act of faith will take place. We truly believe that the other person will deliver. Build trust. More value + more time = more trust
Leadership is influencing other people.Thought leaders are contributors, networkers and creators.
Create relevant content that your audience really needs and that conveys your expertise.
Have relevant, engaging conversations.
Build a community. Something that is bigger than your brand.
Find ways to do things that would be of your community’s interest, this will also help grow your network. Things like NEXGENre!
The New sales funnel
Optimize your online profiles e.i. google places, yelp, linkedin, facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. Create content consistently. Have you thought of guest blogging, written reviews, SEO?
What is your discovery strategy?
“Tell stories because stories aren’t boring” – Jay Conrad.
Your Social footprint is your new business card
Think, are you telling your story in a way that is relevant to your audience?
Does it contain your business’s keywords? What does your social profile picture really says about you?
What are people consuming when they research your name?
Have you thought about optimizing your social accounts for search?
Your social media profiles need to be compelling. Use multiple platforms and media.
Every time you get on a new online platform, you’ll find new markets.
– Interaction and connection
Learn through search and social media monitoring. Have more conversations. Reply to tweets, private messages, emails, comments, etc. Take your online conversations offline.
Use your instincts, look for different ways to connect with people via social media. Send personal and compelling messages.
Rules of Engagement
Stop pitching, start connecting.
It’s not about you. The content you produce and share has to be focused on your market’s needs.
Always contribute to your community. Give to get!
Don’t be a social spammer. Be authentic. Apologize when necessary.
Be consistent and amplify your efforts through participating in your community. Bet sociable!
Become and influencer by mastering the 5 stages of consent:
– Build community
– Publish publish your content in multiple channels
– Connect with authenticity
– Uplift people
Resource: The exponential influencer
Apps to simplify your practice| Warren Dow
“As a professional in real estate, you want to make sure you work effectively and efficiently. Technology can help you streamline your day to day operations. Use technology to automate your practice “, Warren Dow, Vice President, Industry Engagement, Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies, Inc.
- Fast Customer
The fascination with language | Ari Lahdekorpi
“When we speak to people we need to think more than what we say.” Ari Lahdekorpi | Real Estate Broker and Consultant – RE/MAX Performance Realty
How do we move from just talking to a real conversation?
What method you must use to become memorable in your conversations?
– Use repetition
– Use rhyme
– Use quotes
“Those who dance are considered insane by those who can’t hear the music”
“We don’t see the world as is but as we are”
“It’s not you, it’s me”
“Our product is steel, our strength is people”
When you are trying to communicate effectively think about using “The theater of the mind”.
Make your conversations as visual as possible
e.i. She was walking in stilettos because you could hear the clicking and clacking of her pumps a mile away
What other way of communication do we have? – Verbal
– Non Verbal: Body language
Resource: Watch Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
Expert panel: How millenials are changing the Real Estate landscape
I truly enjoyed learning from this panel discussion moderated by Teri Conrad, where Christina Kroner, Terra Maibach, Vince Pontaletta and Jamie Schreder shared their business insights and best practices, each one of these young professionals is running successful real estate businesses and each one has their own approach to work/life balance and goal setting. They have adopted old school basics, new school technology and social media best practices but ultimately their hard work [and in some cases deep faith] and commitment to a lifestyle has paid off.
To succeed in real estate today, you can’t do business the same way as thirty years ago. The tools are different, Jamie Schreder, President , Co-Owner at Royal Lepage Wolstencroft Realty
Life outside of work is a lot more important than work to millennials. It’s not about a great vacation or going out on the weekend. It’s about lifestyle and balance, it’s just a different mindset. Some people is wired differently.
Millenials have boundaries in their real lives, and they have boundaries in their business as well. People will understand. We have our networks to rely on so we are able to say“I’m not available, let’s reschedule. Work/life balance pays off. If people feel you value your personal life, they will expect you will value theirs.” Terra Maibach | Realtor at RE/MAX Nanaimo.
At the beginning of your career, you’re so hungry you’ll do anything. Later, it’s more about narrowing it down to where you want to work and when you are available, Vince Pontaletta, Realtor at RE/MAX TreeLand Realty, Langley, B.C.
Why aren’t there more young professional at conferences getting educated (e.i. NEXTGENre)?
Young people will go where they perceive value and if they don’t perceive it at a certain event, it’s because you didn’t make the value argument to them well enough.
Younger generations tend to consume their information more via online tools e.i webinars, podcasts, etc. Some of the millenials in the room attended NEXTGENre because it’s a one day intensive conference that covers the topics that are most pressing in their businesses.
How are millenials dealing with work/life balance issues?
As a young professional, ask yourself, what are you really doing in your life? Is it about money? You may have money goals, but ultimately it’s not about money. It’s an overall, success is about your overall life. Goals are what will keep you motivated and inspired. It’s not about your brand, it’s about the quality of service you can provide. It has to be about your audience and the community, speak to people’s needs.
What advice do panelists give to older people to connect with the customers of the future?
“It’s about 100% believing. I’m also looking for different ways to connect. But self-confidence conveys trust . We need to find out what makes us tick and use that to connect with other people” Terra Maibach, Realtor at RE/MAX, Nanaimo
Has the real estate industry lost its soul?
“People now can get information we never could. Now, millennials’ value isn’t the information; millennials don’t value information, since they can get it from Google. They value insight on that information and quality service.”
How do you differentiate yourself in a busy market or a slow market | Michael La Prairie
“Market yourself to wow your customer”
Work harder that your sphere of influence. Do the extra stuff, weather it is a hot market or not.
Be ahead of everyone else, create a buzz.
Pick and choose who you are going to do business with.
earn from your peers. As an agent you want to be in a team that work their sphere of influence.
The best tool in the world is to pick up the phone and go see your clients, real estate is an relationship based businesses.
Treat your peers as an alliance, understand the market. You need to be informed and know what the lay of the land is.
The market we are in rewards the one that goes the extra mile and do more than is expected.If you can do more than expected in a busy market you will thrive in a slow market.
Could mobile responsive sites can be a key differentiator?
No, mobile sites are as good as the user’s mobile device.
Don’t be an order taker, differentiate yourself by caring and paying attention to the market and your clients.
Be ready for when opportunities present to you.
It’s in conferences like this one [NextgenRE] where you might meet your next partner and perhaps close your next transaction.
“Reach out to other markets. Consistency produces better results”
What are the things that Century21 real estate agents are doing to differentiate themselves?
Thank and impress your clients and prospects with thoughtful personalized gifts. If someone has thought of you to do business, offer a nice gesture in return. Do everything you can to be memorable!
Do not market in a different language just to get a lead. Go out there listen and meet with your customers.
You want to remind people consistently that you exist and you are there to help them with their real estate needs. Be honest.
“The hardest thing to do is to get a customer, the easiest thing to do is to lose it.”
- Michael La Prairie | President CENTURY 21 In Town Realty in Vancouver, BC.
Use social media to share more about your personal life than your business, if you want to be “the best kept secret” [as a real estate agent] keep being impersonal.
Focus your marketing efforts- choose a couple of channels to communicate. Keep in mind, if you have nothing good to say, don’t say it. Be careful what you share.
You have to be better than everyone else. You can never be too ready.
Be useful to your clients, your job is to predict property value.
If there is something that you are doing and it’s not working for you, make a journal and record what you have done so you know what’s working and what’s not.
People want to be around people who are successful. You need to be ready to deliver what you offer.
Mentorship programs for new agents are available so they can some how shadow experienced agents.
Repeat and Referral Clients are GOLD. Learn how to generate more business from past clients using a POWERFUL CLIENT TOUCH PROGRAM with consistency & creative elements | Sebastian Albrecht
Building strong partnerships for referrals requires a systematic approach so clients never forget you!
Giving value to clients for repeat transactions and referrals. It’s more expensive to find new clients than leverage your existing clients
Think of creative ways of staying in touch with your clients and how to make the experience of working with you exceptional.
As an entrepreneur, you start with what you have but then you need to up your game and hire professionals to help you grow your business.
Sebastian’s talk covered:
1. Why does it make sense to market to exciting clients
2. Costs and benefits involved
3. Step by step process
4. Brainstorm new ideas
Do you need more referrals? You need a client and agent appreciation program.
Work with people that you like
Do a good job
Always put your clients’ interest first
Build a database and segment it, it’s the base of any business. Be organize
Chose a CRM, e.i. the top producer, excel, multi juggler, contactually, etc…
The Center of it all
There is a way to systematically engage your clients through client touch program – monthly touches.
- Be given and generous
- Offer value to your clients
- Be strategic
The goal of this system is to keep top of mind for a long period of time
Host events and activities that make people talk to you
Create 1-3 events per year
Plan these events carefully
Invite well in advance
Event Options: baseball games, bbq, movie night, wine tasting, gold day, etc .
Focus your events and efforts. Target specific demographics so you differentiate yourself.People want to work with people that care”, Virginia Munden
“Do unexpected little things”
Dig deep with CREA, Canadian Real Estate Association, discussion on data and the future of realtor.ca | Tim Ayres personal Real Estate Corporation
Where is realtor.ca going?
What are the possible uses for the data CREA collect from the site?
“The British Columbia Real Estate Association \(BCREA) is core to what people is doing in the real estate industry” “Canada Real Estate Association (CREA) helping realtors at every stage in their career”
In the horizon:
– Responsive site – Social Sharing
– Green initiatives
– Virtual reality
How does your profile look like on realtor.ca?
“There are great enhancements in the horizon, make sure you stand out”, Tim Ayres Past President of VREB and Current CREA Board Director & Tech Committee Member – Tim Ayres personal Real Estate Corporation
Sponsor and organizers:
BARCODE REALTY POWERED BY LONE WOLF
CENTURY 21 CANADA
MY REAL PAGE
RE/MAX LITTLE OAK REALTY
ROGERS CANADA COMMUNICATIONS
Thank you to the sponsors, organizers and attendees for making this conference possible, NEXTGENre is truly a must go to event for any professional who wants to stay current and relevant in a thriving Canadian Real Estate Industry.
Photography by Karina Eva