I have been the go-to since day one. Even at my old brokerage, my broker was not tech-savvy. I taught her a thing or two about how to get e-mail and how to be productive using the calendar and all of the interfaces that all of the different real estate tools that we have to use for our business, how to make best practices, and then how to train others doing that because there are several resources that we go to every single day, not just our e-mail but the MLS services and then checking additional outside third-party websites for real estate listings, and writing our contracts. All of that is technology-based. It’s all online platform.
Then electronic signatures, only 2 years ago, had been received in the real estate industry as a form of a fully executed binding contract.
I go around and not only teach my team, but I teach other Realtors, I mentor other Realtors, not just here in Georgia, but, internationally, I’ve had friends and family and colleagues all over the world just call me and say, “Hey, Sabrina. Are you using Realtor.com or Trulia?” or “What do you think about Zillow and buying leads from them?”
I’ve always been the tech-savvy expert, if you will, in the real estate industry, where my opinion was always sought after in what was I using and what were the best practices.
Craig: Right. With this using the Google as the platform for your business, it sounds like you’ve really grown out of needing to train your own office to be more technologically savvy and discovering that you have a talent in training Realtors to really use technology to their best advantage. What have you been doing lately with that?
Sabrina: Okay. That’s a great question. It is not just Realtors that I’ve opened up my training to. Because I was featured this year on the cover of People You Need to Know, Women’s Business Magazine here in Atlanta, that platform has a afforded me several speaking engagements, where I’ve spoken before several hundred women and men at different venues and different audience sizes, anywhere from a small class of just 20 people to a large standing-room only at the Fernbank Museum Auditorium just recently of over 200 people.
When I chose a topic to speak on, it was not only the motivation and the inspiration of how did I start my journey as an entrepreneur, but I also threw in my technology business plan. When I would say that, people’s eyebrows would raise and they were like, “Technology business plan? What’s that? I’ve heard of a business plan but not a technology business plan.”
That’s something that I’ve been using as a speaking tool that I’ve gone before several audiences, not only in my own company, not only to Realtors, the National Association of Residential Property Managers just had me as a featured speaker for their state conference that just passed here in September. I’ve had standing-room only for 2 sessions of a 3-day conference, where people were so engaged in that technology class that I offered. It was a free class.
I’ve been asked to come back and speak at several other conferences and be on panels with our Realtor association. Then, of course, just in the community, where I’m out at Google headquarters speaking before other business owners just to say, “Hey, if you don’t have a technology platform or if you don’t have a website, Google has a platform for us small business owners with small budgets that you can at least have a professional look and feel for a minimal budget.”
Craig: Right. Where is it that you hope that the combination between expanding your real estate business and teaching not only Realtors, from what you’re saying, but really just teaching businesses about how to leverage technology? Where is that you hope and see that going in the next few years?
Sabrina: I am very, very passionate about technology and real estate equally. I find that in the real estate industry, a lot of people just treat it like a side job and not really as a business. They feel like, “Oh, I can just go and do 2 or 3 transactions each year, and I’m good with that.”
I never went into real estate as a part time agent. I’ve been a full time agent for 12 years since I got my license. That is what I do for a living.
When I cooperate with these other Realtors on the other side of the transaction and I see the way they operate and mismanage their business, it gets quite frustrating for me because I’m very detail-oriented, I’m very organized. I basically end up teaching and coaching them throughout the real estate transaction without them even knowing it.
Let’s just say something really simple example. I get an offer on e-mail. The contract is in the form of a PDF. If something in that PDF is not correct, I’ll find myself either e-mailing them back or calling them back and giving them a few little tools and tips to say, “Hey, did you know that we could e-sign that contract by using the software called Authentisign?” They’re like, “Oh.”
It’s not the old school days of faxing an offer and then faxing the fax back to the person. Now we have the tool for electronic signatures. If they’re a newer agent, that might be something that their broker didn’t even teach them, not to mention all of the very, very detailed reports that we’re able to generate through the MLS systems that we have.
When we go out on interviews and appointments with sellers to list their house, I have a beautiful presentation that I created in Google presentation. It’s called Google Presentation, which is the equivalent of a PowerPoint.
Instead of me spending a thousand dollars a year on the latest Microsoft Office software, I can use the free Google platform and create just this professional, high-quality looking presentation using the Google platform with Google Presentation. That’s just a small example.