How a 2-Year-Old Real Estate Company Drives its Business with Technology
Mr. Adam Conrad knows a thing or two about software — after all, he traveled the United States for a company that handled medical software for more than 1,000 hospitals and managed a large team of high level sales professionals. You know that famous Johnny Cash song, “I’ve Been Everywhere”? That certainly describes Mr. Conrad.
Adam ConradBut after years on the road, Mr. Conrad decided to jump back into real estate and two years ago started his own independent Pennsylvania-based full service brokerage named Perry Wellington Realty.
He started with just one real estate office in Hollidaysburg, but it has since grown into a seven-office regional powerhouse with additional Pennsylvania locations in Scranton, Reading, State College, Johnstown, Bedford and Huntingdon.
Along the way, he also started Circuit Mortgage, a Pennsylvania mortgage company. And for good measure he formed the Advance Academy Online school for real estate, located in Hollidaysburg, PA, with satellite locations in State College, Johnstown, Reading, Scranton and Altoona, PA.
Did we mention that Mr. Conrad also has a weekly TV and radio show and even a podcast to inform buyers and sellers about home ownership and mortgage options?
Not bad for a two-year run. But what else would you expect from someone who also teaches business and entrepreneurship at Penn State University and lectures on entrepreneurial marketing and new venture creation at Saint Francis University and Mount Aloysius College?
So, how does Mr. Conrad keep it all together when everything is going at breakneck speed? One of his secrets is the Instanet Solutions suite of technology services.
“There’s no way we could do what we do without the use of technology, and Instanet has been there from the start. With everything that I’m doing, I need to have a paperless system,” Mr. Conrad explains.
“We really recruit and train agents that embrace technology. What I like about Instanet is that their one-platform solution allows our agents to learn the technology once. Then, they’re off to the races. Their suite of services such as online forms, e-signatures, cloud storage, broker review tools and email integrated into faxing are key. And the fact that you can do this from an iPad, computer or smartphone gives us the flexibility to start a transaction from virtually anywhere. It’s the way business is getting done these days,” Mr. Conrad continues.
“You know, most new homebuyers and even sellers are younger than the average Realtor. They’re embracing technology and want us to do the same. The way we communicate with our clients has changed. Many younger buyers want text messages and property links, not emails or phone calls. We have to be lightning fast and communicate with them on their terms.”
“What I like about Instanet is that their one-platform solution allows our agents to learn the technology once. Then, they’re off to the races. Their suite of services such as online forms, e-signatures, cloud storage, broker review tools and email integrated into faxing are key.”“So even our corporate phone system is different. Any of our agents can answer incoming calls. I encourage all our agents to be hungry and respond quickly. If we don’t respond, someone else will. It’s up to you.”
“Our offices are physically small to save overhead, but we have a lot of agents. In Pennsylvania, we’re still required to have a brick-and-mortar business. But most agents don’t want to come into an office and sit around. It’s not the way things are getting things done these days. Most buyers would rather meet at a coffee shop, and they do a lot of online research before we get into a car to look at houses.”
“No one wants to be chained to an office anymore. It costs too much for the broker to have super large offices. We’re far too mobile for that.”
“That’s not to say there’s not a place for real estate agents anymore. They want us to help them through the process and negotiate the best price, whether they’re a buyer or a seller. That’s at the top of the list of almost all the new research that’s out there by NAR and others.”
“We offer our clients a ton of information, negotiating skills and a seamless, paperless transaction. We can start from anywhere with TransactionDesk, get the right online forms, have our clients sign documents electronically with Authentisign and store the latest files in the cloud with DocBox. And as a manager, I can review files anytime I want. It could be after I teach a class or very early in the morning. And it’s the same for our clients. Who wants to schedule a specific time to sign a ton of documents? It’s just not very efficient.”
“What people want most of all is information. The way we deliver that information has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Clients want information that’s dynamic and in real time. What I like about Instanet is that they’re completely in sync with our current model. They’re as cutting edge as we are and a great technology partner.”
Look for great things from Perry Wellington Realty in the coming years. They’ve only just begun to shape the real estate world in Pennsylvania and beyond.