Blake Wallace started his career in real estate walking neighborhoods throughout the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area, knocking on doors of strangers’ homes and opening up conversations about couples’ plans to downsize or families’ hopes of moving into better school districts.
In the nearly two decades since ringing that first doorbell, confronting an unknown face and an uncertain outcome on the other side, Wallace has built countless relationships that are so critical in his profession. His track record validates the approach, but it comes with an expected downside.
“I’ve had a couple doors slammed in my face,” he says with a laugh. “It happens, but not as often as you might think. The funny thing is that people are actually way nicer at the door than they are on the phone.
“Being the agent who was there, when they see that you’re a real person, it really goes a long way.”
Wallace still aims to visit his target neighborhoods two or three times a year, offering property valuations to interested homeowners and maintaining regular contact with them from there.
His methods, however, have changed over time, evolving alongside the technological innovations that have transformed real estate since the early 2000s.
Wallace, specifically, has expanded his reach by capitalizing on the tools available through the Realtors Property Resource® (RPR), the nation’s largest property data platform, which is accessible at no additional cost to members of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Wallace employs comparative market analysis videos—often referred to as CMAs—that he has refined over the years and have become a favorite of his clients. Using data from RPR, Wallace can provide concise analysis of any property, customizing the reports to ensure he’s sharing only the most relevant and requested information.
“I came across the RPR tools three years ago, just as I was starting my own brokerage,” Wallace recounts. “A lot of the other tools, they went for so much flash and flair, but I liked how RPR just spit out the information black and white with figures and numbers.
“From that point on, I’ve been using it every single day.”
RPR added over 10,000 new accounts this July alone, defying trends for similar platforms in the market. The release of new, cutting-edge features and products have helped to sustain that growth.
RPR’s hyperlocal Shareable Market Trends feature, specifically, offers localized housing statistics and metrics that REALTORS® can easily and efficiently share with their clients, while its Market Trends Scriptwriter has helped agents quickly generate market-specific messages for consumers.
Despite the progress Wallace has made integrating these technologies into his business, he still relies on the personal touch that comes with knocking on doors and talking face to face with homeowners he’s just meeting for the first time, knowing that initial interaction is not something that can be replaced by a phone call or customized video.
One of Wallace’s more recent clients, a family looking to downsize within the Minneapolis area, was generated through a cold-call door-knock. The story sticks in his mind.
“It was one of those perfectly timed visits where I knocked on the door, they happened to be home, and immediately they told me they were looking to move into a smaller place in a different neighborhood,” Wallace reflects today. “The prospecting gods must have been looking down on me, as we like to say.”
Wallace said he went home that night, shot a video CMA using data from an RPR report and included a call-to-action link where the family could schedule a follow-up appointment. Less than an hour later, he says, he had an email from them asking to set up a meeting.
“It looks like you did so much research,” they told Wallace in their email. “Going and walking around the neighborhood like that, it looks like you’re in pretty good shape and it’s obvious you take care of yourself. That’s someone we want to work with.”
Technology, of course, can do many things for us today. But maybe there are some things it can never replace.
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