GUEST POST BY LORENA DIAZ
Eddie Berenbaum, the Principal Broker and co-founder of Century 21 Redwood Real Estate, radiates energy, enthusiasm and knowledge. A natural extrovert, he quickly engages you in conversation and makes a connection. You immediately get the sense he makes an effort to understand your point of view. I met Eddie a few weeks ago and recently sat down with him to talk about his company, Century 21 Redwood Realty.
Personally, I was impressed with the level of detail and sophistication that he used on his sites. It made me curious to learn why a life-long real estate broker had taken such an interest in technology. For Eddie, technology is a tool that allows him to better connect with clients. He understands how to use technology to bring value to clients and make their lives better. Real estate is first and foremost a human process- technology simply facilitates the connection.
Putting the Client First
While there are companies that solely use technology for the entire process, Eddie considers Century 21 Redwood Realty to be a client-focused company that understands technology (not vice versa). With offices specializing in Ashburn, VA homes, Arlington, VA condos & Washington DC real estate, Eddie and his business partners have created a company culture that puts people first. Their goal is to provide clients with the tools they need to help them make an educated decision that is right for them.
Creating Niche Micro-Sites
Century 21 Redwood Realty uses three niche-oriented sites that branch off of c21redwood.com to connect with and service their clients on a hyper-local level in their three main markets. These “micro-sites” have a rich interface that breaks down each of these areas neighborhood-by-neighborhood. This provides clients a unique local perspective that can’t be obtained elsewhere. In designing their DC focused site, dcmapsearch.com, Eddie worked with his team of agents over the course of a year to draw (by hand) the boundaries for 52 neighborhoods that, while widely recognized by the public, do not have official boundary lines. The Arlington oriented niche site, metroArlington.com along with the Loudoun centric site, LoudounCommunities.com are (as far as he knows) the only websites in the entire country (maybe the world?) that allow users to search for homes within specific school boundaries.
Eddie created the sites to educate his customers and take the mystery out of real estate. He is a true expert and views technology as allowing him to share his knowledge with as many people as possible. His websites allow him to really connect with people, answer questions and begin a strong client-broker relationship. For most people, buying and/or selling a home is one of the most important and overwhelming decisions they will ever make.
Keeping it Old School (When You Should)
Despite his focus on technology, Eddie is adamant that he is first and foremost an “old school” broker. Real estate is an imperfect market, he says. A house is a very emotional purchase and its value is exactly what someone is willing to pay for it. There is no 24-hour a day ticker that shows a home’s price. This means that there is a lot of anxiety in the process and there are many emotions at play. Sellers must walk the emotional “Am I pricing too high? / too low?” tightrope. The buyers are on the opposite side of the same coin and worry that they will be taken advantage of. The difference between ten people wanting a house and eleven people wanting a house is not that much- but the difference between one person wanting a house and two people wanting a house is tremendous. Real estate is all about timing and having accurate information.
Elevating Your Game
Eddie’s use of technology has allowed him to take his relationship with his clients to the next level. A full-time Lead Management staff handles all online information requests seven days a week. The goal of this staff is simple- link these prospective clients with the agent who is best suited to service their needs. By empowering his site visitors with rich and immediate information, he has been able to establish a unique experience for them. Once clients find the local details they need on the sites, they are paired with the proper agent to complete the unforgettable “Redwood Experience”.