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Staying ahead of the pack with technology with Ryan Bokros

With Ryan Bokros Managing Partner with JLA Realty

Hailing from Texas, Ryan Bokros is a Managing Partner with JLA Realty - one of the fastest growing independent real estate firms in Houston. Ryan works with an affluent clientele who are knowledgeable of financial markets and global trends. He explains, "The Woodlands is a master planned community in the mid-upper price range. So it's an affluent suburb with a median home price of US$385K in my part of town, whereas the rest of Houston is about US$108-185K."

Ryan really believes that real estate agents should see themselves as business owners and like the lead character in a novel - they must act, to create. He says, “It might be in real estate, but essentially you own your own business. You're a business owner. You're an entrepreneur. In order to be a really successful business owner and entrepreneur in today's social world of business, you have to be a good marketer as well."

Every day, he asks himself:

  1. What am I doing to become a better business owner?
  2. What am I doing today to become a better marketer?

Of course, it’s not enough to ask questions - Ryan believes you have to act as well. He explains, “It's not just reading a book today so I'm gonna be better because of that. No, I need to take something and do. I need to go out and put something into action.”

The oil and gas industries in Houston draw what Ryan calls, ‘Financially savvy folks’ who are aware of how financial markets affect the values of their homes. Wanting to be an active agent, responsible for his own destiny, he has harnessed the power of technology to appeal to buyers in the area because of the quality of experience the technology creates. He says, “It’s not actually the technology that impresses the consumer, but it's more how it enhances the experience of the transaction.” For Ryan’s tribe, technology hooks in buyers and vendors and augments their customer experience.

Types of technology that appeal to the financially, digitally savvy and mobile

1. Drone footage for aerial photos

Drone footage can help boost the profile of a property and gives a better overview not just of the property, but also of the surrounding area.

2. Matterport

For 3-D walk-throughs and floor plans of a property, Ryan uses Matterport. With an international clientele on the move, many clients look at properties from overseas and Matterport recreates the feel of a property, remotely. Further, these types of clients tend to also work in high tech industries so this technology appeals to these kinds of clients as well.

Using these types of products also create points of connection with vendors. Ryan says, “Typically, we will set all of that up in an automated sense so that the seller is getting, I hate to use the word drip, but they're getting a couple of drip emails that say, "Here's the process leading up to photos." "Here's the process leading up to the Matterport coming in." "Here's the process to and so on," through those steps”.

3. Centralised showing service with a feedback option.

Ryan explains, "In Houston we've got approximately 35,000 realtors that are members of the Houston Association of Realtors, For $40 a listing, I can put the listing on centralised showings so I don't have to do anything with the setting up of, or scheduling of showings. I can actually set it up to where my client is the one that's notified by centralised showing service if a showing is requested. They can approve or decline the showing times if it doesn't work for them or does work for them. A lot of that's automated as well. My seller can receive a text message and say yes or no to the showing time through centralised showing service".

This service also has a feedback option. Ryan says, “If an agent goes in and says, "We're gonna show the property between 11 and noon," at 12:01, they get an email requesting feedback. Some of these tools are set up so that feedback can go directly to the seller, or I can look at them first and decide if it's something that the seller wants to see or not”.

4. Bluetooth Lock Box

Ryan says, “In Houston we've actually just recently made a change to a Bluetooth lock box. It's an electronic lock box, and each agent has access to that and has his or her own showing codes. They have an electronic key basically. Now with the new Bluetooth lock boxes, you actually don't have to carry a separate key or a key fob, which looks similar to what you use to unlock your car. Now it just works from Bluetooth, so you have an App on your phone. You request a showing. You use your code, and then it unlocks the box and gives you the key”.

5. Docu-sign and Back Agent

Ryan also uses Docu-sign to get things signed and Back Agent - a back office intranet system with a built in transaction workflow engine for virtual brokerage. He explains, "Back Agent actually has a client portal section so the client can log in. They have their own dashboard of all of the documents that they've either signed or that we have as part of the transaction that they can access that at any time. Then we actually keep that archived as well. Say a year down the road and it's time to take care of their income tax or property taxes or sign up for their homeowners exemption, they can actually still log back in and retrieve those documents".

Ryan will do whatever it takes to stay ahead of the pack.

It’s not actually the technology that impresses the consumer, but it's more how it enhances the experience of the transaction. 

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