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Greg Sax and Heather Elias.

by G. Sax, Director of Growth Management, RESO

Welcome to “Three Questions,” an interview series that introduces you to real estate industry professionals, their businesses and how they interact with real estate standards with a goal of humanizing the tech side of the industry, fun included.

This week is part two of our interview with Heather Elias, VP of Industry Relations and Advisory Services at RealStaq. Heather is a real estate dynamo, and three questions quickly and easily turned into six during our sit-down session. Enjoy!

Q4: You have raised something like 11 children into caring, achieving adults, and you and your husband appear to be great role models. When people get cranky about the ills of social media, I point them to how you manage your social presence. Not only are you sharing the trials and successes of your work and home life, but you seemingly do it not just for your business but for yourself.Last week, we learned that you are considered an “influencer” on LinkedIn (and in my house). What has been at the heart of your social media strategy?

Heather: Having four kids, not 11, creates a lot of memories – a lot of good, a lot of bad and a lot in between. I witnessed this phase when scrapbooking was popular among many suburban moms like me. I’m not a crafty person. I don’t “art.”

My dad’s dad had Alzheimer’s. It’s in my family, and I’m terrified that I won’t remember. Social media has become my digital scrapbook.

The positive side effect of this is that my friends and family have had the chance to watch my kids grow up online.

RESO: Are you not worried about privacy?

Heather: That’s a fair question. When my kids were younger, I wasn’t as conscious of what I shared. As they got older, it became more permission-based.

When my daughter Maddie had cancer, it was a learning experience for me as a mom. We were balancing sharing information with people who actively cared and wanted to know – weighing the privacy with the want for updates. We became acutely aware of how much we were sharing. 

These days, I have kids that don’t care about social media.

RESO: I think that’s a lot of the younger generations now.

Heather: You have to balance how much of their lives you want to share.

My kids actually used real estate tech, like BombBomb and HighNote, to promote themselves through the college sports recruitment process.

For my daughters who play collegiate golf and softball, Instagram, some TikTok and a little bit of Twitter have come in handy as promotion tools. All the kids could care less about Facebook other than it being a line of communications with their grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Q5: “Good morning world.” This is a greeting that you have shared many, many times from your Twitter handle, @LoCoHeather. It is always pleasant to see in the morning. I suspect that this practice began during Twitter’s early, innocent days, but what has motivated you to keep this simple message going? Or, wait, is it an autosend?! It better not be!

Heather: It is not an autosend, and it was never an autosend. You can even tell how my day is going if I attach an emoji.

It’s turned into the tradition I do when I get my coffee. I didn’t think anyone was paying attention until I took a break and they let me know. They were concerned. I just threw it into the ether, and I had no idea if anyone would hear it. It’s like a live mic. You don’t know if anyone is listening.

In addition to using Twitter, which was once marketed as a microblog, if you recall, I have been blogging for about 15 years. The layout of my blog has changed, but the content and tone is about the same as it was when I began. Some of it moved to LinkedIn, but the local content still goes to LoCoMusings, and being human has always been part of my brand, no matter what platform I write on.

Q6: One of the things that is enjoyable about doing this interview series is having the opportunity to talk to people I met more than a dozen years ago that have gone from early adopters of new technologies to industry influencers, and I count you among those friends that I’ve watched flourish. What motivates your curiosity and longevity in the real estate technology space?

Heather: I think at the heart of everything, it’s always been my goal to leave this industry better than I came into it. What I have found along the way is a love of connecting people and making a difference through the experiences that I’ve had and the people I’ve met.

From the tech side of things, I enjoy seeing people bring ideas to the industry that will make it a better experience, that will make it better for agents and, at the heart of it, make it better for consumers.

Tech is at the center of everything we do now, so if I can make it more effective or impactful for the industry, that makes me feel like I’ve actually accomplished something in the industry.

I’ve put myself in a spot where I can help more agents and consumers, and that feels pretty great. I’m sick and tired of agents being seen as unsavory used car salespeople. My personal North Star is to change that perception.