Meet Sandy Krueger, CEO of SIBOR (Staten Island Board of Realtors)
Casandra Properties CEO James Prendamano sits down in studio this week for episode 8 of the Casandra Properties podcast -- with CEO of SIBOR, Sandy Krueger, whom he considers and icon and someone who has provided a steady hand in the business for decades.
A Strong Computer Background Before Real Estate
Mr. Krueger says he had spent a year in Vietnam for a year and then returned home where he attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. He has been in the Real Estate industry since 1990, having spent the first 10-15 years after college in the computer industry. He began doing work – on a volunteer basis – with a National Computer Users Group while he was working for DEC, Digital Equipment Corporation; and it was the second-largest computer company after IBM. He would soon realize that he found his volunteer work far more enjoyable than what he was getting paid to do. So, he set forth on a search to lead an association that would pay him. He then received a call from someone at the ‘Somerset County Board of Realtors.’ It had been formerly run by a husband and wife team and was way behind the times. It was 1990 and they weren’t even using MLS books. They were manually typing out listings on typewriters and collating listing packages, and delivering them all across New Jersey. He was there for a number of years, and of course, brought in computer technology. As time progressed, he felt folks shouldn’t have to join a dozen different MLS systems; rather, data should be able to be shared among brokers on one system. Eventually, he would go on to launch Garden State MLS. When he came to Staten Island in about 1991/1992, he noticed we were a lot further along as compared to New Jersey. However, our systems were starting to run their course, and we also had to upgrade. In fact we’ve upgraded the systems at SIBOR three times since I first got there in 1991.
Connecting Real Estate with Technology
James Prendamano reports that 89% of sellers want agents to use videos in order to sell their homes. Remarkably, less than 10% of agents actually do this. In general, real estate agents have been resistant to this adoption of technology, but he also notes they are a lot less resistant here than in other areas. Sandy Krueger notes that in about 2006, they finally got rid of those MLS listing books, which was often just referred to as “the book.” Everything was done manually and it took a tremendous amount of time, says James. Now, just 15 short years later, he emphasizes that he still cannot believe how much digital transformation has taken place in the industry. Much like Mr. Krueger, James too has always positioned himself at the forefront digital technology.
About SIBOR . . .
Mr. Krueger says he has a team of ten professionals at SIBOR. Some are assigned to MLS and some work for the real estate school, which offers everything from the initial real estate license to brokers licensing. He notes that they just recently had their fist online class on Zoom, which he thinks is better than sitting in a classroom wearing masks, making it more difficult to ask questions and communicate. Mr. Krueger also says he has witnessed more people attend virtual conferences than when they’re held in a catering hall with coffee and donuts. It is more convenient and it saves time. We’ve seen a difference from 40 people attending meetings in person – to hundreds attending meetings online. Mr. Krueger mentions a new digital product called REMO, which provides virtual seminars. With this technology, you even have the ability to hold private one-on-one conferences with other event attendees. The tech just keeps getting better and better, and it’s having a profound impact on the industry. James and Sandy both believe that things like virtual tours may not have exactly taken off just yet, but they are here to stay. There is going to be an ongoing evolution of how we market our properties and effectively manage our time, which Covid has shown us is invaluable, says James. This continual digital revolution will create efficiencies for both agents and clients, alike.
What’s Next for Staten Island?
In July 2019, the average time a house stayed on the market was 98 days. This year, in July 2020 the average time spent on the market was 119 days. Mr. Krueger, however, notes that large discrepancy is because “we were down” for quite some time during Covid and not conducting business -- or rather we were operating on a much lower level, but we had never stopped counting the days.
James thinks as residential real estate is moving quickly here on Staten Island and we’ll see the average number of days on the market possibly go down to a number in the 70s at some point in the future. Real Estate was back in business on June 22 in New York, says Mr. Krueger, at the start of Phase 2. Both professionals agree that in about 90 to 120 days, by October 2020, we should have a much clearer picture of the trends here on Staten Island.