The Remarkable Power of Common Courtesy
Who should listen: Real estate agents with an interest in mega brokerages and those curious about blockchain and cryptocurrency—and their ability to disrupt the real estate industry.
Key ideas: 1. The mega brokerage business model takes the focus off the most important aspect of real estate—the clients—and puts it on agents. 2. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are rapidly transforming real estate for this generation and may be the norm for the next. 3. Common courtesy is the most effective but under-rated marketing tactic.
This is the second interview in our Real Estate Leaders series.
This week’s guest is Vanessa Saunders. She’s the founder, CEO, and principal broker of Global Properties Systems Real Estate (GPS), a company Vanessa started 10 years ago that now has a presence on three continents. Last year, GPS grossed $300M worldwide, of which the residential division earned $82M.
The road that led Vanessa to real estate includes stops at the George P. Johnson Group as their EVP of Global Marketing and Operations; the World Trade Center Association, where she held a board position sponsored by the Johnson Group; and MIT, where she completed a certificate from the Sloane Executive Program in Blockchain Technologies: Business Innovation and Application.
She earned her certificate at 65 years of age and finished at the top of her class!
Where is the real estate industry headed?
We ask Vanessa to share her wealth of knowledge and insight about the real estate industry as well as the latest direction in which it’s moving. She has some strong opinions about mega brokerages and their shortcomings, especially their lack of agent oversight and attention to what matters most: clients.
She also shares her experience about doing business on blockchains and using cryptocurrency to buy and sell properties. After closing a transaction between clients in China and Greece, Vanessa knew what the future was going to look like. That experience compelled her to get her MIT certificate.
Pay attention, agents! This train is coming in fast to the station.
Vanessa predicts blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are going to disrupt the industry more than the internet ever did. In fact, the signs are so clear that Vanessa recently took steps to ensure her company became the first blockchain and cryptocurrency certified real estate brokerage in New York.
It’s the simple things that make a difference
As extraordinarily impressive as Vanessa’s experience, knowledge, entrepreneurial spirit, and business sense are, there was one aspect of her interview that truly stood out to us.
We asked her, “What marketing strategy is most neglected by real estate agents?”
Her answer? . . . Common courtesy.
(So much for the big reveal. 😜)
She admits it’s not a calculated marketing ploy, but says you’d be surprised by what a simple please, thank you, and sorry (even when it’s not your fault) will do for relationships.
And as wildly successful as Vanessa and her company are, she attributes much of her success to one simple habit.
Throughout her career, Vanessa has sent handwritten notes to clients, business partners, contractors, and just about anyone else. She’ll write to them for almost any reason, including to say, “Thank you.”
It was one of those notes, which had nothing to do with real estate or even with Luke or Josh, that brought her to our attention and convinced us to invite her to be a guest on Stay Paid. It’s a story she tells during her interview, and if ever you needed proof that nurturing relationships creates raving fans, then this story is one you have to hear.
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