Thursday, March 6, 2008

Who's First.... Real Living Is

Real Living is a progressive company and a brokerage striving to be FIRST. I’ve had the fortune of witnessing this effort first hand over the past 11 years of my career and thought this would be a great opportunity to air my viewpoint and stake our claim as “the first” in these categories. I’ll go through these starting in 1997, the year I started with the company.

1997 – Real Living, then HER Realtors, created the first help desk for agents and consumers to utilize for home related services and discounts. It was known as HOME (Home Ownership Made Easy) and eventually evolved into the first utility connection company to be known as Unfortunately, JumpHome is no longer available – a victim of .com venture capital funds drying up in 2002/3.

1999 – Real Living, then HER Realtors, created the first agent Intranet, which we now refer to as our Business Center. This was huge and ahead of its time. We delivered all of the tools agents were buying off the shelf from vendors at real estate trade shows (forms, CMA’s, direct mail, CRM software, etc.) and put it online for agents. The applications were made technology easy and because of the ease of use, our agents actually buy into and use these tools. Quite a testament being that the average age of our agent at that time was 55 years old – traditionally a technology averse demographic.

1999 – In conjunction with the agent Business Center creation, Real Living also delivered the first agent websites. Imagine the forethought this took, when, at that time, the typical brokerage was afraid and intimidated by the Internet and less than 5% of consumers were starting their search there. Some brokers are still intimidated. Despite this fact, Real Living gave each agent their own website, the ability to buy and point it to their site, and integrated the MLS into the site. A move that was revolutionary for its time.

1999 – The first fully integrated platform for agents, owners and consumers. The Business Center, agent sites, broker sites, MLS are all fully integrated within Real Living. Every component works together to maximize agent efficiency. Prior to the Business Center, brokers relied on agents to attend trade shows and buy these products for their business benefit which did not work together. Today, they rely on their broker and this integrated platform.

2002 – The first female facing brand is created and launched. Real Living is launched as a result of a merger between Realty One in Northeastern Ohio and HER Realtors in Central Ohio. The brand is the first brand created for a defined consumer – upscale female buyers/sellers. 89% of real estate decisions are made by women – they are not a niche, they are THE audience. Most all other brands still spends millions talking to themselves in their marketing.

2003 – The first “guest password” to the Real Living Business Center. The goal – to provide owners and managers a virtual way to show off the Business Center to recruits and get them engaged in our tools and systems prior to joining.

2003 – The first real estate 2.0 application is created. In conjunction with the target audience definition, Real Living understands that the female consumer is not only online, she wants to be engaged further when investigating her real estate needs. is created as an online portal to empower the consumer with the following features…
- save searches
- have listings pushed to them within their criteria
- share their favorite listings with friends, family, agent
- schedule activities with their agent
- select their agent – elimination of all IDX information
- receive key documents from their agent
- track page views of their home in real time
Today, Real Living receives over 3,000 new registrations for per month.

2003 – The first environmental branding package for franchise brokers is created. The goal being to have a consistent office look and feel network wide.

2004 – The first fully integrated brand management platform is created for agents and franchisees. Real Living began offering Brand Wizard via the Business Center with a goal of making it easy to tap into Real Living’s creative. No longer do agents and franchisees need a full-time marketing person or designer.

2006 – The first “perfect match” system for managers, owners and agents to use to create better communication between themselves and consumers. The system identifies a personality type into REAL --- Relater, Enthusiast, Analyst and Leader categories.

2007 – The first 360 degree marketing platform for agents. The goal of the platform is to educate agents on traditional, mobile and digital marketing and to create their individual marketing plans with the 360 degree wheel in mind. Real Living delivers many of the tools/services on the wheel via the Business Center.

2008 – Real You Incorporated, is launched as the first book speaking directly to real estate entrepreneurs in a way that helps them define their personal brand. The primary role of the book is to…
- assist agents in creating their “real you” brand for use in marketing
- provide Real Living managers and owners a tool to help recruit and system to help agents market themselves effectively
- educate and introduce the Real Living brand to a national audience

Who knows what the next 11 years will bring. However, I can assure you Real Living will continue to be first and improve and innovate the current list outlined above.

If you have questions about Real Living, our brand or franchise opportunities with our innovative company, give me a call at 614-203-0801 or e-mail me at


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