2016-10-27 / Market Pulse

David Fite

Principal, The Fite Group Luxury Homes

‘To us, it’s not a listing, it’s a lifestyle’

WHO AM I?

NAME: David Fite

TITLE AND COMPANY: Principal, The Fite Group Luxury Homes

YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 8, since founding in November 2008

YEARS IN COUNTY: 8, since founding in November 2008

NATURE OF BUSINESS: Luxury Residential Real Estate Brokerage

EDUCATION: Undergrad: BS, Northwestern University Grad: MBA, The University of Michigan

HOMETOWN: St. Charles, Illinois

What is the most significant change you’ve seen in your industry over the past year?

Locally, the real estate market in Palm Beach County began to shift towards a “buyer’s” market from a “seller’s” market. Normally, this is triggered by high inventory and patient buyers. However, in 2016 we are experiencing continued low inventory AND patient buyers. Patient buyers are influencing sellers to reduce listing prices.

On a macro level, the real estate industry is information intensive and innovations in technology continue to be a significant driver of change. Buyers and sellers are more mobile and more connected than ever before. It feels like consumer’s demand for more robust data with faster access grows exponentially each year. Heavy investments by real estate brokerages in both technology and personnel are required to meet this ever growing consumer demand.

What improvements, innovations or changes do you foresee in your industry in the coming year or two? What about further in the future?

The residential real estate industry operates very differently than it did only five years ago, due in most part to technology innovations. In the coming year, evolving consumer technologies will continue to influence the real estate industry and being able to effectively and efficiently embrace these changes is imperative. Consumers can search for a property from anywhere, at any time and across many competing platforms. With social media, new gadgets and various apps, buying and selling a house has become a very electronic and mobile experience — tons of data, which once took hours to compile manually, instantly in the palm of your hands.

What are three key challenges your industry is facing? How is your industry responding to these? How is your company responding to these?

Two challenges outside of our control are the impending national election and the global and national economies. Currently, being in a presidential election year is a big challenge. If there is a potential for leading party change, many consumers often wait until after an election to make large investment decisions. This obviously impacts inventory supply, as well as demand. The overall health of the economy is a big factor affecting real estate. Broadly speaking, when the economy is sluggish, so is real estate. Conversely, with higher economic growth, demand for housing increases. And, like most data intensive industries, the real estate industry is challenged to stay current with technology innovations. Recently, we’ve invested in totally rebuilding our website, FiteGroup.com, to ensure ease and speed of data flow in a user friendly and totally mobile enabled platform. We’ve also invested resources in managing our on-line presence, especially through social media.

Name the top three elements or practices that have been absolutely critical in the success of your business?

At The Fite Group, we think differently about real estate and that’s what has driven our success. To us, it’s not a listing, it’s a lifestyle. We help people fulfill their goals and dreams. We do this by adhering closely to our core values. We conduct business with honesty – never compromising morals for the sake of a sale, similar to how our clients climbed the ladder. Our agents are as much a part of the community as the properties they sell. We have a family-run ethos - we have opted in to building and sharing our expertise and to the combined knowledge of our team. We think of ourselves as curators - we develop a deep understanding of our clients’ needs, then we provide them properties that fit their desired lifestyle. We’ll find you the right home, then the perfect cocktail bar to celebrate!

Within the context of your current marketing/ promotional strategy, how do you differentiate your company from your competitors?

At The Fite Group, we believe that we are not simply in a place, but of it. We are fully integrated into the fabric of our communities — true locals rather than local representatives. As such we believe and are invested in these places and people, this way of life. We prioritize relationships over transactions, people over properties. Developing long-term trust is more important than any short-term gains. Our Fite Group Realtors take a biographical approach to helping our clients, asking smart questions and working together to define their vision for their life here. Then, we use all our firm resources to get them exactly what they require. While we offer global exposure, we’ve found that maintaining a boutique size and ethos gives us the flexibility to be extraordinarily nimble and responsive. We’ve built a team of agents with exceptional local knowledge and a commitment to service. Everyone shares expertise and information in order to meet the goals of our clients, which ultimately helps us achieve ours. Partnering with The Fite Group is an important step for our clients, their family and future generations. It’s our privilege to help bring their dreams and plans to life in the places we’re proud to call home.

What are you most proud of in 2016?

The Fite Group Luxury Homes! We underwent a total rebranding of our firm in 2016. We partnered with The VIA Agency of Portland, Maine (a nationally recognized advertising and branding agency that has been named both #1 small agency and best places to work by Ad Age) to better define our brand. In the process, we took a hard look at the make-up of our company - our culture, business strategies, agents, staff, marketing, website, name, logo, and more. We engaged in a rigorous strategic process that provided a deep understanding of what makes Fite different from all other firms...what drives us and what defines us. From that, we honed our brand positioning and created a look and feel that brings our ethos to life. It was a huge effort undertaken by everyone on our team and I am so excited about and proud of the results. Many of you have seen our new branding around town in our ads and lawn signs. I invite you to visit our new website FiteGroup.com and learn more about The Fite Way.

How is social media impacting your industry or business this year? What’s in store for 2017?

Did you know that more than 700 billion minutes are spent on Facebook every month? Knowing how to successfully navigate the social media world is imperative for real estate agents and it requires a significant commitment to building a diverse on-line presence across multiple networks. Social media is a vital marketing tool for The Fite Group because it is an extremely effective tool for building brand recognition, promoting listings, and connecting with potential and existing clients. We’ve found that social media is a conduit to a conversation, opening the door to deeper discussions with our clients. Every opportunity we have to promote our Fite Group listings and increase brand visibility is valuable and each social media platform offers a unique way for us to accomplish this. ¦

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