Real estate apps claim to do it all and, most likely, some do. But for this West Michigan Realtor®, the only apps that matter are the ones that save her time and money.
“As a Realtor®, I spend a lot of money investing in my business,” said Michelle Gordon, Realtor® and founder of The Gordon Group, JH Realty Partners, based in West Michigan. “I need to make sure the tools or apps I buy live up to expectations.”
Michelle consistently evaluates apps for their ability to produce results and whether or not the data they provide overlaps with another app that she is also paying for. She claims her diligence to protecting dollars spent is one of several reasons she is loyal to the Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) app.
“I will no longer pay for vendor tools that attempt to replicate RPR but fall short,” she said. “RPR is already paid for in our NAR dues. It offers everything I need to run searches, generate comps and run reports. It doesn’t spam me or advertise to me, and is constantly adding new features and tools. What else could I want?”
Michelle says that Realtors® only need to ask themselves one question when considering adoption of a new business tool: Does it show value? “All the app needs to do is prove to us that it’s going to help us make money and make our life easier. From there, we should be able to put our minds to using it.”
Yet, she says, many of her contemporaries avoid using real estate apps simply because there are too many choices or they lack the technical know how.
“We need to stop labeling ourselves. It’s too limiting,” she said. “When we convince ourselves that, because of age or perceived learning limitations, that an app is too complicated without even trying it, then we’ve shortsighted ourselves and our careers.”
“I’m 55 and proud of it,” laughs the recently inducted member of the Society of Distinguished Real Estate Professionals or SOD. “And I get a kick out of knowing that, at this stage in my life and career, I’m using all of the so-called ‘tech tools’ to my advantage,” said Michelle. “Unlike my daughter, who, as a Millennial, is conditioned to live in the tech world yet hates tech!”
According to Michelle, RPR’s app consistently proves its worth in the real estate realm. Here’s a recent example of how that happens.
“The Gordon Group specializes in working with relocation clients who have little time to waste when purchasing a new home,” she said. “These folks put a lot of work into coming to town, finding a home and school, mapping out amenities, etc. It’s a pretty intense few days.”
In this case, Michelle’s daughter and colleague, Amanda Gordon, hands off her week’s workload to her teammates, then turns to RPR. “It’s standard protocol for us to set aside an entire week to work with a relocation client,” said Michelle. “We get to know their priorities and then establish a timeline of activity such as visiting schools, touring the area, and viewing properties.”
This particular client’s first priority was to identify a few suitable schools for their children, visit them individually, and then begin a home search in the district of their choice. And they needed Amanda to steer them in the right direction. Yet, as all Realtors® know, guaranteeing a certain school district or sharing personal opinions about the quality of schools in an area can be construed as a violation of the Fair Housing Act.
To ensure compliance with her judicial responsibilities and to best serve her clients, Amanda turned to the RPR School Report––an in-depth portrait of student populations, testing outcomes, parental reviews, ratings, and contact information about a public or private school. The data can be compared among different schools within a district or a specified radius, and can include up to 20 nearby listings.
Gordon Group’s good news came sooner than later. Shortly after sending the School Report to her clients, they called to say they were so impressed by the depth and detail of the data, as well as the presentation, that they were able to choose a school that fit their criteria without having to set up appointments with three or four schools, as anticipated.
“Thanks to that beautiful RPR report, the homebuying process for this client was shaved from five to two days,” said Michelle. “Within minutes of choosing their school district, we were able to jump back into RPR, search for properties in that district, and email them RPR Property Reports for each. The next day, only 48 hours into the process, we wrote an offer.”
“RPR will continue to be an invaluable business asset moving forward,” said Michelle. “In fact, by year end, I predict I will save even more money simply because I’ve made RPR my exclusive go-to business tool.”
A Realtor® since 2002, Michelle claims “there isn’t a real estate transaction I can’t handle.” She and her team cater to the needs of a variety of clients, from the luxury home market to first time homebuyers. Michelle is founder of The Gordon Group, JH Realty Partners, and has been recently inducted into the Society of Distinguished Real Estate Professionals (SOD).