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A New REALTOR® Shares 3 Ways RPR Helps Her Business Grow

March 23 2015

rpr nik nik 1If you've attended a real estate conference in the last ten years, you probably know of Nicole Nicolay or "NikNik." She spent over a decade speaking to agents about how to leverage technology at events like Inman Connect, NAR Annual, REtechSouth, ReMax R4, Century 21 Annual, BHGRE Fusion and launched Inman's popular conference series Agent Reboot. But more recently, you may not have realized that she has become a licensed REALTOR®, joining the family business after her second startup company, Agent Evolution, was acquired.

For Nicole, the transition has been all about family. Not only has becoming a REALTOR® afforded her the opportunity to spend more time with her husband and kids, but she also gets to work with her parents. "Real estate's been in my blood because my parents have been REALTORS® for most of my life, and so I've witnessed their hard work and their business from a wide range of angles over the last 30 years--from answering phones at their office, to walking their geographical farm, building their website and developing their digital marketing strategy," she says.

When it comes to selecting tools to help her run her business, Nicole's background in training agents gives her a distinct advantage. "When I stepped into my own business, I wasn't swayed by the shiny objects or applications out there. Although I see some great advantages to using certain vendors and tools, I'm really able to pick and choose the ones that fit my business."

One of those tools is Realtors Property Resource® (RPR). In a recent interview, we asked Nicole how she leverages NAR's free member benefit in her business. She offered so much wonderful information that we had to split this article into two parts. In part one, Nicole shares three ways that RPR's desktop application has helped her as a new agent.

Leveraging RPR at Open Houses

Being a new and driven agent, Nicole immediately began holding open houses for her parents and other agents in her office. "I wanted to stand out," she says. "So every time I would prepare for an open house, I would utilize RPR by creating a Mini Property Report for the particular home I was holding open and also a Neighborhood Report."

Nicole places a copy of each report alongside her refreshments and a full-color listing flyer. She uses them as a conversation starter and a way to connect with potential buyers. "I piggyback on the information I provide in the reports, so when I'm be talking to prospective clients, I'll say 'Well, if you want more information about the neighborhood, this is an example of a Neighborhood Report that I can provide just to you.'" Rather than giving them a copy of the report right there, Nicole uses it as an opportunity to get their contact information. "Taking the information down and then being able to turn around and give them a report just helps me stand out at open houses," she says.

Using RPR to Assist Buyers

Another way that Nicole leverages RPR is helping buyers research homes. "If someone comes to me after, say, looking at homes on Zillow or other places, they often have more questions about the property," she says.

With RPR, Nicole has access to very detailed information about a home and a variety of ways to present that information to a buyer. So, for example, "I had a client say, 'I'm looking for a house that's within two miles of the nearest track because I'm a runner.' I was able to pull up properties on RPR and use the Radius Search to show exactly how far these homes were from the nearest track and field. I sent a detailed RPR Property Report, along with screenshots that included an aerial view of these home locations. My clients were simply blown away!"

RPR also helps Nicole prepare herself and her buyers before showings. When someone requests to see a house, she sends them a Mini Property Report and looks up information on the home so that she has answers to questions like, "Is this home located in a flood zone?"

Using RPR in Listing Presentations

Nicole says that the listing presentation is "one of the greatest ways" that she uses RPR. While she prefers to take a look around a property and meet the clients before a presentation, sometimes things move too fast and she's unable to do so. In that case, she'll use RPR to get as much information as possible about a home, as well as create a comps analysis to bring with her to the listing presentation.

After winning the listing, Nicole is able to identify fair market value for her listing, refine the value, and set the proper listing price. Recently RPR's set of valuation tools enabled her show a home's value based on its recent major renovations, highly desired location, and low inventory. She ran a Property Report that included the comps analysis and all three valuations (estimated, refined, comps-based). That report showed the home price could be higher than any automated valuation would project. And in this case, the property received multiple offers and sold for much higher than asking. Bottom line, RPR helped Nicole adjust her valuations based on her local market conditions.

Those are just some of the ways Nicole leverages RPR's desktop application in her business. In part two, Nicole shares her favorite tips and tracks for leveraging RPR Mobile.