On the Cutting Edge
How one real estate firm is leveraging the power of technology to reward home buyers and sellers.
Guidance Realty Homes isn’t a household name yet, but just you wait. In a few months, this innovative, technologically savvy and incredibly service-focused real estate organization will be the talk of the town.
That’s because Guidance Realty Homes is blazing a trail for a new and better way to buy and sell homes in today’s mobile market. Gone are the days when Realtors printed a stack of listings from the MLS and handed them to their buyer clients for review. These days, buyers — almost all of them, in fact — use their smartphones or tablets to find their dream homes.
Realizing the critical importance of harnessing the power of technology, Guidance Realty Homes launched a mobile, Web-based platform designed to allow buyers to view, rate and inventory online listings. With a click of a button, clients can now let their agents know they have added a property to their favorites list and would like to schedule a showing.
“We are empowering buyers to do their own research,” said Hussam Qutub, president of Guidance Realty Homes. “Our clients create a profile and receive regular updated listings on their app, but they can also be proactive by having the most advanced search tool right at their fingertips on their smartphone or tablet device.”
The tablet app allows buyers to gain a thorough, accurate picture of the neighborhood they’re considering with dozens of local area data points, such as gas stations, schools, public transportation, restaurants and more. The website, guidancerealtyhomes.com, will soon include walkability scores, transportation scores, school ratings and crime rates.
“Coupled with agents and a broker who [is] highly experienced and incredibly tuned in to this technology and the purchase environment of their desired housing market, our clients have an unbeatable edge,” Qutub said.
This groundbreaking app, along with the website, puts buyers in the driver’s seat, something Qutub thinks warrants a reward. As a result, Guidance Realty Homes rebates its buyers with a half percent of the commission at closing as a reward for the buyers’ efforts.
“We believe that our model rewards buyers who get involved in the vetting and filtering process by giving them a discounted commission. So we credit back a half percent of the property’s purchase price to the buyer,” Qutub said.
This technology also frees up Guidance Realty Homes agents to do what they do best — advise their clients.
“We don’t want our agents to get bogged down in paperwork,” Qutub said. “We want them to focus on counseling clients toward getting their perfect home or the best price for their sold home.”
As a result, the company uses an electronic system that allows all the paperwork involved in the buying and selling of a home, including purchase contracts and offer agreements, to be transferred digitally.
“Everything is done electronically now, including documentation,” Qutub said. “We use e-signing, which makes the whole process as simple and straightforward and cost-effective as possible. We believe it can be a pleasant and much more user-friendly experience.”
And clients agree. Since Guidance Realty Homes launched, the company has rapidly expanded into New York, California and Orlando this past February. They also plan to launch in Texas; Illinois; and Washington, D.C., before year’s end.
“Our philosophy has been adopted very quickly because it caters to the contemporary marketplace,” said Qutub, who also offers preferred-lender discounts, which give clients a $350 appraisal credit at closing.
And it’s not just buyer-clients who are being wowed; sellers are also experiencing the unique difference Guidance Realty Homes offers.
“We go above and beyond with sellers, beginning with a fantastic online tool that allows them to access a very accurate valuation of their home,” Qutub said. “This gives a very detailed valuation using the best assessment tool on the market.”
Once a client decides to sell, his agent presents a highly detailed and targeted marketing plan, adds the property to the MLS, schedules open houses and hires professional high-definition photographers to take pictures.
“You only get one chance to make a great first impression,” Qutub said. “People will very quickly write off your home if the photos aren’t good. We make sure your home makes an amazing first impression.”
Even with such an uncompromised level of service, Guidance Realty Homes is committed to leaving more in their client’s pocket.
“We provide a half percent listing fee reduction,” Qutub said. “Our goal is to maximize the value you have in your home and get it turned around very quickly.”
Heading up the Orlando office is Tariq Saleem, GRI (Graduate — Realtor Institute), an award-winning broker and designated Realtor who has serviced the real estate industry of Central Florida for more than a decade. He is a licensed real estate broker in Florida and a licensed mortgage originator in the states of Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
A native Floridian, Saleem has been a resident of Central Florida since the mid-90s. As a result, he is well-connected to the local communities of Southwest Orlando and has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers throughout Central Florida purchase and sell real estate.
For more information about Guidance Realty Homes and its new Orlando office, call Tariq at 321-231-2500.