Read more from our conversation here:
Anne Jones: Hi. I’m Anne Jones. I’m the owner and designated broker at Windermere Abode.
Molly McKinley: Perfect. What does the word undisruptable mean for you?
Anne Jones: It means offering a value proposition that is unique and works in any market.
Anne Jones: To me being undisruptable is offering a value proposition that is unique and really works in any market.
Molly McKinley: What does that mean for your market? What are the things that you’re doing that are unique?
Anne Jones: I think what we’re doing that’s unique in our market and helps us persevere is we focus on our people and help them focus on their people. And then we’re at a size that we’re able to stay fluid and adopt new ideas, new technologies. I mean sort of roll with the punches because the market’s changing very quickly. The technology coming into our industry is changing very quickly, and so we’re trying to position ourselves to be ready to embrace that change instead of fighting it.
Molly McKinley: That’s awesome. Is there a story that you have or something that you witnessed someone else where they just start going way above and beyond? The moments where you’re like this is actually what we do that nobody knows? Or a moment where you remember feeling like you were in your own sovereignty… like if only my client knew?
Anne Jones: I’ve been in real estate for 12 years, so I’ve witnessed a lot of those unique moments that you share. They’re private, they’re special to the transactions. It’s the thing that keeps me coming back to it, are these opportunities to be in somebody’s life through difficult times; the loss of a parent, a divorce. Sometimes it’s joyous times, but we get to serve people in those moments. I was thinking of a particular one, but it’s constant. I mean, it’s constant. And to have the trust of your clients at those really challenging times serves you up opportunities to be humane every day, and that’s a really cool part of our job that we don’t talk about very much.
Molly McKinley: Beautiful. Perfect. What is your reputation? How important is your reputation in this business?
Anne Jones: I’ve spent my lifetime building my reputation. That’s how I like to think about it. I work in the community that I grew up in. I was a good kid. I feel like I’ve been a good adult. I’m really proud of what I’ve built and how we serve people. I like for that to extend to the brokerage. We work with high quality people and so they’re definitely an extension of our reputation. That’s what I tell people when they call and I connect them with one of our brokers. This is an extension of who we are and how we serve our community and I’m proud for you to be associated with any of these people. But in real estate, it’s everything. It is your business and so you have to protect that at all costs.
Molly McKinley: That’s awesome. How does that relate to reviews for you, online reviews and people finding you? Do you have a point of view on that?
Anne Jones: Online reviews have been crucial in building both my individual business as I was getting going and the brokerage business. Obviously our presence and our clients’ testimonials, I mean their confidence in us allows other people to feel comfortable hiring us often before we’ve ever met in person. That’s just the way we do business these days. Everyone reads online reviews before making a purchase no matter how small. I actually wish they would do more research when they’re hiring an agent. I think there’s not enough information out there, and so the more we can give them, the greater that trust will be and I think ultimately the smoother our transactions will be.
Molly McKinley: If you were having a conversation with somebody who was just really worried about all the disruption, what would you say to them? What would you want them to know?
Anne Jones:I think no matter what the market is and what we’re facing in terms of outside forces, be it working through the recession or new tech pushing in, new business models, if we’re focusing on providing value and our clients are giving us the feedback that we are providing that value, be it through support in one-to-one relationships, be it through the actual tactical marketing that we’re doing, if we’re delivering on that, I mean our clients are going to let us know if we’re delivering on that, if we’re delivering on that, we’re always going to have a place in their life and in their business.
Molly McKinley: Beautiful. Any words of wisdom that you see that you want to share about being in this moment in this industry right now? What do you see?
Anne Jones: What we’re telling our folks is that relationships are always where it’s at. It’s the mantra of this industry and that’s because it’s so true. But also it’s something that… it’ll carry you. This is a hard business sometimes. We go through difficult periods. I started my career in the recession. Came in in 2008, the market plummeted immediately thereafter and what sustained me during that time was hard work. We were in the highest foreclosure county in our state. The opportunity to give first time home buyers homes at that time… There’s always somebody that you can serve if you’re looking at doing it the right way.
Anne Jones: I feel like there’s been conversations for several years around disruption and yet right this moment in this market, to me the formula for succeeding is still the same. I mean, it’s to care and serve your clients. It’s to understand what’s important to them and find a way to provide it. And that might look different now than it did five years ago. I mean, the way we market a home has certainly changed. It’s maybe happening fast and sort of the historic context of the industry, but to me it’s we’re talking about video being a marketing tool, we’ve been talking about that for 10 years. So I feel like there is time for people to get onboard with what’s emerging. And if it works for them to embrace it. If not, people are varied, there’s lots of different ways that you can serve them, find the right people and serve them in the way they want to be served and you are going to have a job period.
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