About Phillip Cantrell

Phillip Cantrell is the CEO and Founder of Benchmark Realty, LLC.

Industry Insider Update: Technology’s Role in a Changing Industry

Last week we examined the evolving role of the real estate agent in light of changes happening across our industry. Technology is a major player in both how and why our industry is shifting. This week we’ll look at the role it’s played as well as how agents can harness technology to grow their businesses. Technology’s Impact Historically, agents have served as data providers for their clients—helping potential buyers find properties, guiding sellers through the pricing process based on home prices in the area, and more. But with the introduction of technologies like Zillow, Trulia, and even Amazon’s Alexa, consumers are being increasingly empowered with easy access to information. The power and impact of technology doesn’t end there. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the next big drivers of change with respect to automation and data-driven insights as well as products and services. And many transactions will be moving into the digital space, speeding up the home buying and selling process. For the smart agent, it’s time to pivot from fighting back against technology. Agents must embrace their new roles and harness new tools for greater efficiencies and sales. Smart CRM’s and the Power of Big Data CRM’s or [...]

By |2019-06-27T09:33:11-05:00August 24th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Industry Insider Update: Technology’s Role in a Changing Industry

Networking Opportunities for Middle Tennessee Real Estate Agents

As a real estate agent, building relationships is a part of the job—maybe even the best part. Connecting with other agents doesn’t just give you the chance to share stories, ideas and best practices, it also lets you build long-term friendships. That’s why we’ve introduced Group Therapy at 5:01 as a chance for real estate agents to connect with each other and potential vendors in a fun, after-hours environment. We meet at a chosen location around the Middle Tennessee area from once a month to once a quarter, depending on company schedules, giving attendees the chance to unwind and relax, with some talking business and others just having a good time. Though Benchmark agents can work out of any of seven our offices at any time, regardless of which office holds their license, it can be hard to get everyone together. Group Therapy at 5:01 has made it possible, drawing agents from across Middle Tennessee. So far, we’ve held meetings at Top Golf in downtown Nashville, Arrington Vineyards in Franklin and Urban Grub in 12th Avenue South (just to name a few). But Group Therapy at 5:01 isn’t only limited to the Benchmark community. We encourage all real estate agents [...]

By |2019-06-27T09:33:11-05:00August 7th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Networking Opportunities for Middle Tennessee Real Estate Agents

Industry Insider Update: The Evolving Role of the Real Estate Agent

The real estate industry is changing fast. Just two years ago, Benchmark CEO Phillip Cantrell predicted the next five years would have more change than we’d seen in the last twenty, but it doesn't stop there. Now, the next two years may hold more change than the last seventy-five, and many unprepared agents are reeling. We’ll be sharing a two-part series looking at the two largest shifts in the industry and how savvy, professional agents can respond to them and use them to their benefit: the changing role of the agent and the impact of technology. Last year was a major turning point for our industry. Though traditionally relationships and referrals have played a significant role in building a client base, for the first time in history more consumers found agents online than via person-to-person referrals in 2017 (28 percent versus 23 percent compared to 2016’s 26 percent versus 33 percent). This—combined with a client’s ability to find relevant, accurate information on the homes in their market—signals a change in how home buyers and sellers view the role an agent plays in their transactions. Agents are no longer gatekeepers of information. Instead, to remain relevant in a quickly changing world, [...]

By |2019-06-27T09:33:11-05:00June 26th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Industry Insider Update: The Evolving Role of the Real Estate Agent

The REALTOR’s Guide to Social Media

Social media has exploded over the past 10 years with new platforms coming on the scene providing different ways to share content. As REALTORs, it’s important to have an active online presence, but trying to push content out across all available platforms can be a huge time sink. From Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to Pinterest and Snapchat, it’s hard to know the best types of posts to share and where to share them. Understanding Your Goals Before investing too much time in social media, think about why you want to be using it. For a real estate agent, there are a few specific goals you should have in mind: 1. Staying in touch with your clients to maintain relationships for both repeat business and referrals. 2. Providing valuable content to prove your position as an expert on the market and the go-to agent for your network. 3. Driving traffic back to your website so people will see your property listings. Choosing Your Platforms With these goals in mind, selecting the best platforms for your business becomes a lot easier. According to Pew Research Center, 79 percent of Americans use Facebook, making it a must-have channel for agents because most of [...]

By |2017-08-10T20:31:06-05:00August 10th, 2017|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog|Comments Off on The REALTOR’s Guide to Social Media

The Power of Having Business Systems as a Real Estate Agent

The key to becoming and staying a top-earning REALTOR is to manage your time, your clients and your transactions like a business. The most successful real estate agents aren’t just a part of a whole as a member of an agency. They’re small business owners. To view your work as a business, you have to act like one. That means having business systems in place for each aspect of your real estate practice. What is a business system? It’s a process or method designed to achieve a specific result. Think organization, marketing, and transaction plans. All of these individual systems work together toward the overall success of your real estate business. Organization and Time Management The simplest and most important system to implement is one that impacts every part of your life: organizing your day. How you allocate your time can be the difference between a decent year and a great year. From planning client fact time and nurturing leads to keeping up with your referral thank you gifts and finalizing transactions at the closing table, it may seem impossible to do everything that needs to get done. Putting a system in place can take the challenge out of time [...]

By |2017-07-28T14:14:11-05:00July 28th, 2017|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog|Comments Off on The Power of Having Business Systems as a Real Estate Agent

How to Nurture Your Real Estate Client Database for Future Profitability

As real estate agents, we’re always on the lookout for new customers, but building relationships based on trust—which our industry so often requires—takes time. While searching for new leads is important for growing your business, you shouldn’t waste the time you’ve already invested developing relationships with your past clients. According to a recent report from the National Association of REALTORS, 70% of sellers say they would use the same agent again, but only 25% actually used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home. To stay top of mind with your past clients when it comes time for another real estate transaction, you have to make direct efforts to maintain that relationship. If you can spend just one day per week working on your customer database, nurturing those relationships becomes a lot more manageable. Take a systematic approach to keeping in touch by starting with your current year’s clients and working backward to organize, review, and update client information so you can begin to have more regular contact. Here are a few ideas to get you started: Start a Monthly Newsletter Staying in touch doesn’t have to be a manual, labor-intensive process. With an email marketing [...]

By |2017-07-18T18:17:06-05:00July 18th, 2017|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Lead Generation, Marketing|Comments Off on How to Nurture Your Real Estate Client Database for Future Profitability

Why More and More People are Calling Nashville Home

We’ve all felt Nashville’s growth over the past several years. With big corporations calling Music City home and more entrepreneurs setting up shop, it’s no surprise our population is on the rise, and the boom isn’t expected to end anytime soon. Recent data shows the city is still growing by roughly 100 people per day. Nashville ranked No. 1 on Zillow’s list of hottest markets for 2017. As real estate agents, this is good news for us as we help newcomers find a place to live and help locals sell, but what is it that’s making so many people want to call Nashville home? Many people looking to Music City get their initial taste as tourists. Nashville was recently recognized as third on Travel + Leisure’s list of America’s favorite cities and ranked by the Forbes Travel Guide among sixteen must-visit places, including such destinations as Rome, Paris and Thailand. While tourism can bring people here, it’s the jobs that get them to stay. Incomes recently grew by 1.1 percent, and unemployment in Nashville is at a low, healthy 4 percent. Large corporations, universities and healthcare giants like Nissan, Vanderbilt University and HCA pull in people looking for new opportunities, [...]

By |2017-05-17T14:59:12-05:00May 17th, 2017|Agent Blog, Benchmark Offices, Blog, Consumer Blog|Comments Off on Why More and More People are Calling Nashville Home

Top 5 Apps for Smart Real Estate Agents

In Nashville’s booming real estate market, the most successful agents don’t have time to be bound to a desk or a home office. Instead, they find the tools that work for their mobile lifestyles to not only make their jobs easier, but to make them a better resource for their clients. These five apps do just that. Benchmark Realty Smarter Agent App At Benchmark all of our agents have access to our Smarter Agent app as a part of their membership. This all-in-one mobile app solution provides our agents and their clients with a more real-time look at the market than Zillow or Trulia. Not only does our app pull from the most accurate and updated listing information, it allows agents and clients to search by neighborhood and subdivision as well as by address, MLS number and map. Plus, all leads go directly to our agents. Available on Apple and Android devices. Not a Benchmark agent yet? Don’t worry, there are a few other apps out there for you. Zillow Premier Agent Now more than ever home buyers are turning to online tools before ever engaging a real estate agent. If you’re looking for a lead generator, consider signing up [...]

By |2017-03-27T15:20:15-05:00March 23rd, 2017|Agent Blog, Benchmark Agent Tools, Lead Generation, Listings, Real Estate|Comments Off on Top 5 Apps for Smart Real Estate Agents