What has helped you navigate your Real Estate career?
Raj: It’s multiple things - but primarily it is technology. Technology found Real Estate. Real Estate did not find technology. I think it’s an important distinction to make because realtors will keep doing what they are doing if they are not forced to change. So the fact that tech found Real Estate makes Real Estate change - even if realtors don’t want to.
I personally see a great divide. Think of it as a highway that hits a fork. On the right is a very skinny lane where realtors are moving towards tech & tech enhanced services and on the left is a very wide lane where realtors are doing everything they can to resist change and rely on the good old ways. Agents think that they need to be very tech savvy but they don’t have to be. They just need to know it benefits them, their clients and allows them to make their business better. I hear agents say “I really love what you guys do at TBREG. You guys are so tech savvy but I don’t need that right now. I’m happy selling 3 homes a year.” The point is that, if agents want to sell 30-40 homes a year they will not survive if they don’t have the technology, processes and strategies in place to enhance the client experience and make them more efficient.
What piece of technology could you not live without?
Raj: My iPhone6. It’s in my hand or my pocket until I go to bed. I can manage an entire transaction at the palm of my hand. I can communicate, sign and share docs on the fly. It allows me to be untethered and not be plugged to a chair or desk. That is why I say agents that don’t get on tech will be stuck and not be able to push the envelope.
What do you do to manage stress?
Raj: You have to do stuff for yourself. I work out 3 times a week, in the mornings. I go to the gym but my phone is in the car and not with me. There I’m letting out my aggression. On a personal level, when I’m with my wife & kids they have my total attention. Everyone wants an answer yesterday - our agents, our sellers, buyers, everyone. We live in a time where waiting 15 minutes to respond is unacceptable. So I make it a point to put my phone away when I’m with my family and de-stressing.
What are your tips for making strong connections within your brokerage?
Raj: I think we have a unique culture where everyone truly cares for everyone in the brokerage. It’s interesting because we created an atmosphere of servant-leadership - where leaders serve with the mentality of ground UP leadership. Its where our leadership team serves our agents and our leaders are active participants in everything we do.
I went to med school, believe it or not, and there I learned this: you are taught a procedure, you do it yourself, then you teach it to a fellow classmate. When you can do that then you are a master of that craft. If I’m able to show someone how to navigate through our CRM and then they can do it themselves and then teach it to someone, not only are they able to do it, but they can train another agent. Then they all become masters of the craft. Remember: See one, do one, teach one.
We also don’t have doors in our office because we’re an office that promotes open collaboration. Our office is like Apple’s offices. We have community tables where everyone can just plug in. When you have so many people working alongside each other, and together, deals just happen faster. All this Real Estate stuff happens at the tables for us where leaders and agents are together. It’s similar to a living room that creates an atmosphere of comfort, transparency and working in an open collaborative way all towards a similar goal.
What advice do you have for others interested in following your footsteps?
Raj: Real estate is a byproduct of us being tech forward, of being creative, passionate about design and connecting with people. It allows us to outpace 99% of agents in our hyper local Real Estate Market.
What I tell people is to not do it for the money because then you’ll be disappointed. One of our slogans is “you’ve probably noticed, we love what we do.” We love being tech forward and creative. We have a video that mashable recently published. It had about 45,000 views in the first couple of days. We shot the video, not to be in mashable, but to give our clients & agents the best chance of success and as a result Mashable picked it up. We think of “what’s the story of this home? What will it look like socially? What is the online messaging on Facebook, RESAAS, Instagram & Pinterest?” When you think of that upfront it’s so transparent you are not in it for the money because it takes so much time, money and resources to think that way. And people notice that and want to be a part of it. Because it truly is special.
So my best advice is - love what you do. Don’t do it for the money. The money will come if you do it with passion.
Connect with Raj at http://www.resaas.com/rajqsar