Consumer expectations drive industry demand. Groom your online presence to help keep you front and center, says NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall.
Elizabeth Mendenhall and Bob Goldberg

© Oscar and Associates

Not all practitioners are taking full advantage of new technologies or embracing online business practices. What do you say to those who remain skeptical about the role of technology in their success?

Agents and brokers can no longer ignore their online presence. The great majority of the customers we serve are online. There’s no question about it: We need to be there, too—and we need to stand out in a compelling way that demonstrates our professionalism and value. Word of mouth is still our most effective tool, but the most efficient way to relay this to consumers is through a captivating online presence.

Your success doesn’t depend on any single tool or product that you purchase. It’s about helping consumers navigate those challenges and continually demonstrating your value proposition. That is how we stay relevant and vital.

Should agents and brokers be doing more with analytics?

Analytics, by their nature, improve efficiency. When we can apply reliable data, technology can help us identify and connect with target customers, determine more appropriate price points and projections, and even expedite the process of home buying and selling.

Real estate demand is driven by consumers and their values, opinions, interests, and lifestyles. Consumers today are more educated and more tech-savvy than ever. We must adapt our business offerings and communication styles to thrive in today’s marketplace. I encourage everyone to check out the technology companies associated with our REach® accelerator program. Through NAR’s Second Century Ventures strategic investment arm, we are able to leverage world-class technology and resources that help NAR keep pace with evolving technology while we stay focused on what we do best—helping make REALTORS® more successful. (Learn more about some of the REach® companies.)

Besides a smartphone, what tech device could you not live without?

I don’t go anywhere without my Kindle—the old-school Paperwhite version. It looks and feels just like a book. I spend about 200 days a year traveling, so whenever a bestseller at an airport bookstore catches my eye, I go directly to my Kindle and download it.

Moving into the fourth quarter, what’s still on the table for your presidency?

I am routinely asked, “What is NAR doing to increase professionalism?” In November, we’re rolling out the Commitment to Excellence program, C2EX is an engaging user experience that reinforces behavior change, starting with a self-assessment of proficiency in 10 core competencies. It offers a customized path for improving your skills in order to provide the best possible service.