The six panelists include Craig Wilburn, partner at Keller Williams and founder of Team Dynamo; Holly Moebus, real estate agent at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Thomas Group; Andy Mauldin, agent at Pepine Realty; Kristen Rabell, owner and broker at Rabell Realty Group; Dave Ferro, managing broker for Watson Realty Corp; and Lisa Fetrow, real estate agent at Coldwell Banker.
There is a misconception that in real estate, agents and brokers are highly competitive toward each other, but in Gainesville that is not the case. Because the local real estate community is relatively small, this tight-knit community of a little over 1400 professionals, agents and brokers have learned to come together and work in-sync with each other. Miami, by comparison, has 5500 agents.
“In real estate, you have to be aware of what other people are doing because they are giving you ideas, they’re giving you knowledge, a new in and a new way of thinking,” said Lisa. “That’s an amazing thing about our business, though we may be in competition for listings or customers, we are not in competition with each other.”
“We are all really good friends as well as each other’s customers because we know the deal will go better for our customers when we can get along and help each other get to the end game,” Kristen said.
The panelists agreed that getting involved with the associations and creating a distinct personal brand are two key factors in becoming a successful agent in the Gainesville market,
“We have a phenomenal local association, the Association of Realtors in Gainesville. It’s a tight group and they are very open in terms of helping people deal with each other. I was very siloed until I got active with the association, I started interacting with people at other companies, and that’s when my business took off for me,” said Dave.
“You have to really think and focus on how to differentiate yourself,” said Holly.
Panelists agreed that the team concept will become more of the new normal for the industry, because it’s more effective to have a group of people who are experts in their craft.
“You can’t do everything on your own, you have to start separating the tasks, and focusing on what your strength is and bringing in people who complement your strengths and build a business,” said Andy.
And like any other industry, agents and brokers have to navigate through the downsides of real estate and various customers’ needs.
“Our job is not selling real estate… Our business that we do is counseling people, helping them navigate – when people are selling homes, they are selling homes because of a life change event,” said Craig. “Our job as professionals is to go in and understand what people are looking for and give them education and help them understand what they need to do to be able to buy or sell a home.”