When you think of the properties that make our peninsula attractive especially in the eyes of international investors, it is normal that the association with the historic buildings of the great cities of art starts, or with the villas by the sea that characterize the prestigious coastal areas. , or with the stone cottages that lonely dominate our countryside. And it is even too easy to lose sight of the large slice of the market that characterized the golden years of real estate in Italy as an impetus for growth and for the real estate agency market. We are talking about real estate for the company, commercial, artisanal, industrial, or those that make up the so-called B2B sector within the real estate market. It is precisely this type of property that, even in a period of the slow recovery of the real estate business such as the current one, is driving by generating a high interest from many investors, including foreign ones, who see in our retail real estate a great possibility of growth and return.
But how can the B2B real estate sector differentiate itself in the digital world, permeated in its vast majority by residential real estate? What strategies can help real estate agents dealing with real estate for the business to succeed in capturing the interest of potential buyers? We wanted to clarify and provide ideas to our readers by asking for an opinion on an expert in the B2B Real Estate sector, a prominent figure on the national online scene thanks to a very successful blog. In fact, we reached Stefano Tronca, a real estate agent and surveyor from Brianza who made his bones “on the road”, that is, on the construction site, before becoming an online influencer and a reference professional for real estate in the business sector in his area and beyond.
Stefano, first of all, tell us a little about yourself, how you got into the real estate world and what you currently do.
From an early age, I wanted to take up the construction / real estate sector and once I got to high school, I strongly wanted to graduate as a surveyor. The day after the end of the high school exams I was already working as a construction site surveyor at a small local construction company. This experience, which lasted about two years, has allowed me to increase my knowledge in the real estate sector and take enormous steps as a person, as well as obviously from a working point of view. After leaving the construction sector, I decided to devote myself to real estate brokerage, accepting my father’s offer to open, within the family real estate agency, a branch of the business dedicated exclusively to the commercial sector and real estate for the company. Despite my good experience in the field of studies, I chose not to continue with a university course of study, as I believe I have not collected the results that I often deserved to have; as a result of this reflection, I made the decision that any results I had obtained in the future should have come only from my own effort and not from sympathies and preferences.
In the common imagination, the real estate agent is seen as the professional who mainly deals with residential properties, therefore with houses. What factors have led to the shift of your business towards corporate real estate and in what aspects do these two areas mainly differ?
With all sincerity I tell you that despite my patience as a Tibetan saint, I was not thrilled by the idea of having to follow the private individual in every decision, regarding the choice of finishes for their home and so on, so I decided that if anything I had undertaken the profession of Real Estate Agent, I would never, ever follow the sales in the civil branch. Then I noticed that it is the Entrepreneurs who have more respect and empathy towards our Professional Figure, as opposed to the private Client who has more difficulty in recognizing and enhancing our business, perhaps due to prejudices and negative experiences. Finally, in the last period of work at the construction company, I followed the phases of the construction of a shed, and this was the spark.
How important was your blog to increase your contacts and your web reputation, and how important do you consider the latter in the career of a real estate agent?
The Blog took my reputation to the next level. My Blog, personally, is nothing more than a diary of my experiences and suggestions that I give every day to my customers, obviously extended to a global audience such as that of the web.
The online reputation is important because today we try everything on the search engines, then be present and make known to potential customers the way it operates even before being contacted, only serves to even get closer to the customer. When I happen to talk to a Client who met me through my blog, it immediately becomes clear that he considers me a higher-level Professional (editor’s note: click here for more information on the importance of the blog for real estate agents). At the same time, however, I believe that this is not all: good words must be followed by facts otherwise it’s easy to get only negative reviews, negative comments or word of mouth. The web speeds up this process, both for good and for bad.
In addition to the blog, what do you think are the main tools currently available online for a real estate agency, which allow you to increase the number of contacts received? Which ones generate the highest quality contacts in the real estate sector for the company?
I think that the Internet has long represented virtual reality, a sort of parallel world to the one we live in. In this regard, for a real estate agency not being present on the web means being out of the market. The tools that can be used, besides the blog, are many: I mention for example social networks, mailing, classic search engines and real estate ad portals. As an agency, we are not yet well structured for what I have in mind to do and in fact, most of the contacts still come from dear and old real estate ad portals, even for industrial properties.
After years of recession in the real estate sector, we are witnessing small signs of awakening from many quarters: how do you see the present and the future of the Real Estate sector, in particular the B2B one, on the national scene?
It is always thought that the crisis in the sector is a negative event for market operators; I don’t think so because I believe that even negative moments always have something important to transmit to us, such as the ability to face them in the best possible way and maybe reinvent ourselves. In the period of recession in the real estate sector we have seen the closure of many Real Estate Agencies, but many others, such as mine, have evolved and expanded. The real estate market and the Real Estate sector, however, travel on two different tracks, because our category has not yet understood that we must unite and make a grouping the face of “attacks” from all over. We are not yet recognized as true Professionals, but rather as “money-sucking vampires”, and this hurts for those who consider themselves honest people and carry out their work with dedication and commitment. I think something is changing, also thanks to new technologies and new startups that are bringing a breath of fresh air to the entire sector and related industries, but I believe that the road is still long due to the difficulties these companies encounter in making the owners understand. Of Real Estate Agencies that these innovative tools really help to improve their business.
To conclude, we would like to hear your opinion on two of the trends/innovations that have been affecting and certainly also changing the entire real estate sector for some time now: MLS and the entry of banks into the world of intermediation.
How important is collaboration for real estate agents, and therefore how important are real estate sharing platforms, especially in a historical period of slow recovery like the one we are experiencing in today’s real estate?
With me you strike an open door when you mention the word collaboration: I have always loved teamwork.
We have always collaborated in the Agency, even if sometimes with difficulty, but I think it is the extra weapon that we Real Estate Agents can use to give 200% when we collect a sales assignment. Collaborating means expanding your range of action and reaching customers that otherwise, you would never have been able to reach. Collaborating means halving sales times. Collaborating means investing half the time for a real estate negotiation.
In short, I think I have conveyed my thoughts: collaboration is really important.
I believe the MLS is a very important and indispensable tool for every Real Estate Agent who wants to collaborate, while it becomes an unnecessary expense for those who do not believe in collaboration between professionals in the sector. For this to work, it is important that there are common guidelines and that everyone adheres to them.
What is your point of view on a debated and controversial topic like the one that is seeing banks create real estate agencies operating on the market in competition with other historical real estate agencies and franchises? What developments do you foresee?
As for the entry of banks into the world of intermediation, I also talked about it in my blog article. We Real Estate Agents have been denied the possibility of naming the word MORTGAGE within our offices, while in banks it is possible to broker real estate, take out insurance policies, etc … In Italy and perhaps not only here, governments are granting too many powers to banks and in my opinion should ban its entry into the real estate sector, also due to the obvious conflict of interest. But I reiterate that our category could even be able to monopolize the Real Estate market, if only it really wanted to do it: we have the skills and tools to make this possible...
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