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Why an Up-to-date Agent Profile Helps You List More Homes
Your customers are likely checking you out before agreeing to an appointment. Sellers want to see what else you sold--and buyers want to read what your previous customers have to say about you. Greg Drake makes the effort to ask his customers why they chose him, and found that what they read on his profile pages made a difference. He has figured out how to make sure his reviews get read--in particular by people on the verge of listing or buying a property. Drake has won awards for his five-star customer service. Here is his opinion on how this drives new business. Realtor.com's Local Expert product and your realtor.com profile are meant primarily to get your brand out there where people are shopping for homes. But can you point to actual business this brings? A couple of times this this year, I've had people click on the Local Expert ad on realtor.com and then they went to my realtor.com profile and reviewed that. They then contacted me and I got two listing appointments from it. One was a sell and buy, so I effectively got three sides from that combination of the Local Expert and the realtor.com profile. I know this because I stared asking how they got to me or chose to work with me. I asked them saying, "I know you're interviewing agents, why did you choose me?" Why do you think seeing this makes them inclined to work with you? One of the big things was they saw my Local Expert ad on realtor.com and they felt very comfortable with that backing from realtor.com saying, "Here is your local expert." They felt that it added extra credibility over the other agents that they were interviewing so it was that edge that got the team to where they needed to be to get the listing. It was extremely helpful. So they check you out when comparing agents. How are they going about their research? People find our team through Local Expert at or they'll look at the profile on realtor.com and they'll also go to my LinkedIn. I get a report on how many people have looked at my profile in the last week, and with LinkedIn I can see who is looking. I find a lot of people will do that—they'll do some of the research on realtor.com and go to LinkedIn as well. They look at everything to make sure they are choosing the right agent. They want to feel that the legitimacy and the credibility is there before they'll engage with you or they'll meet you. This occurs with a Connections lead when they say "I want to see this house today." Do they still look you up once you speak with them? You go out and meet them at the house. They don't know you and you don't know them. You're trying to gain rapport and gain credibility. I'll find that they will later go in and look at LinkedIn and then they'll look at my profile on realtor.com. I've asked them, "What guided your decision to work with me after you've seen houses with multiple other agents?" It came back to their research into our credibility and the sales volume and things like that, which show that I am an experienced agent and I know how to get the job done. They also see the recommendations, and from this they felt comfortable with me. That's what gave them the kind of edge to say, "Yes I want to work with you." Being able to bring in buyers is always interesting to sellers. Do you use this advantage when making a pitch for a listing? I bring up Local Expert in listing presentations because it's a key factor for people searching for that. I'm going to show up in your ZIP code as the Local Expert. They're going to contact me to find out more about your home, and who knows your home better than I do when I'm listing it? I can best answer the questions to find out what they're looking for. I can convert that inquiry into a showing, which is a benefit to you versus that lead going to someone who you know doesn't know your home who can't sell your home for you because they don't really know anything about it. Sellers understand it and they'll go online and they'll test it to see who are the couple of people that show up as a Local Expert in this area. To them, they see the value in having the Local Expert marketing the home. They feel comfortable going with me versus somebody who doesn't have that exposure. Greg Drake is the Broker/Owner of Realty Professionals, LLC. He provides a superior level of informed and professional residential real estate services to buyers and sellers in the Denver metro area.  
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Building Your Brand and Referral Business with Ad Retargeting
Digital advertising and retargeting have become an increasingly popular tool for businesses to ensure they get their product/services in front of the right people at the right time. If you've ever checked out a pair of shoes while online shopping, you may have noticed that ads for those shoes have suddenly started following you to other websites. Lisa Fettner of ReferralExchange recently interviewed Chris Leithe, VP of Sales and Customer Success at Adwerx, to discuss how agents can use retargeting to build their brand and business. Below are tips from Chris on how you can use ad retargeting to boost your brand and reach the homebuyers and sellers you want to work with.
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How to Work Your Way into the Plans of Potential Sellers
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Mission Focused: Behind the Scenes of a Top Team
The Nick Shivers Team is mission-driven, dynamic and red hot. What's their secret? Peek behind the curtain of one of the most successful teams in the Pacific Northwest. Nick Shivers Team, Keller Williams Realty Portland Central Building a Culture In real estate, we talk a lot about culture — and culture seems especially important when it comes to building, growing and sustaining a team. How would you describe the culture of the Nick Shivers team? Our team culture is about giving back, through our Sell a Home, Save a Child initiative. So at the core of it, we all believe in trying to help people; that's the basis of the team and the business. But as the team leader, I know that if my agents don't have business opportunities, they can't help clients or give back. So, we recruit with a combination of making sure the culture fits, but also by feeding them high-quality business opportunities and leads so they can better jumpstart their businesses. Extending Your Brand Online and Listings Statistically, sellers list with someone they know and trust. How do you carry your brand over to online to start building trust with those who don't know you and your team? The Local Expert™ product from realtor.com® really helps us in our listing presentations. It's an online ads solution that targets buyers and sellers with ads on realtor.com® and Facebook. And I know it works because my agents are using it to win the listing. The biggest thing that I've seen my agents do there is show sellers, "When people click in your area, you can have your open house advertised right there." It's massive exposure and I know that sellers, who are really interested in their house being seen by as many buyers as possible, are impressed. I can tell without having a lot of data (because we're in the early stages), that it is working right now. We also have our rocket listing, which is our instant buy program that I run on radio and billboards and advertise on realtor.com®. Lead Nurture, Persistence and Conversion If you meet a potential seller online, they may be months away from making a decision to sell. How do you keep the relationship fresh? To be successful, you need to be structurally able to follow up immediately. We offer new agents a 90-day ramp up where they're trained on scripts, dialogue and follow-ups for leads. The key is the follow-up and how they can use our technology to do that. We also focus a lot on staying the course. When I started in the business, I was really good at working with the leads who were interested in transacting in the next 30 to 60 days. I was not so good at the longer-term prospects and that's where the gold is. The sale might come after seven, eight or nine follow-ups. That is where you're going to get a lot of those deals, but it is in those repeat contacts that a lot of agents will give up. So we are laser-focused on training our agents not to give up too soon. Retention Once your agents "get it" and start using these guidelines, do they stick around? If I get my agents on the system, my retention improves. I suggest agents stick with me for a minimum of three years and then if they decide to start their own team, that is completely all right with me. I had an example in 2018, my number one producer decided to go out on his own. We are really good friends and I said, Great, go for it. He made less money this year and admitted that it's a lot easier to think about it and talk about it than to actually do it. Final Thoughts from Nick What defines your company? What are the main reasons that should someone consider joining your brokerage? Our big mission statement is about serving people — saving kids by selling real estate. Everything that we do is based on how we can give back to underprivileged children around the world, so that's number one. If that strikes a chord with you, then you're going to get past the first layer. The second thing is we love the underdog. I don't care where you have been. I want to see that you've had success, but I also believe that it doesn't matter where you start, it's where you're going. Last, it's about our systems and our lead generation and solutions and their long-lasting impact. And from this, we've built a tribe of loyal clients. In today's market, that's so important for agents. And of course, a big part of that is that our followers and clients know what we stand for. Because when you can literally say that your industry has helped — our Sell a home, Save a Child movement has raised over a million dollars to help kids — I think that makes a point where people go, "Wow, I'm not going anywhere else but with these guys and gals."    
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Real Agent Story: Online Branding Key to Winning New and Past Clients
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5 Tips for Winning More Listings with Your Property Data Tool
Looking for an edge to beat out the competition for listings? Look no further than your property data tool. From generating CMAs to helping you overcome seller objections, this tool can help you impress prospects and win more listings. But how? To find out, we turned to an expert. Nikki Morgan of CRS Data has spent years training agents on how to leverage public records. "The best thing agents can do is to come to the table with the information that your property data solution can arm you with," says Morgan. "Not just words, but the facts." Here are five ways agents can tap into their property data solution to impress sellers and win more business:
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Kendrick Realty Clones Business Model to New Locations
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20 Years of Staying in Touch Leads to Multiple Transactions
Leah Goldstein is a successful agent with Ebby Halliday Realtors in Dallas, Texas. She's been in the real estate game for 20 years and has been using Top Producer CRM for each and every one of those years. We asked Leah to reflect on the long term implications of having the discipline to keep up with customers in this system and whether this translated into bigger rewards over time.
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Create a Conversion Funnel to Turn More Facebook Leads into Clients
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Agent tried online leads and received a lead that closed on day one!
RDC: We know this is not always going to be the case – but we heard you signed up for realtor.com leads and immediately received an inquiry that went to contract – can you tell us about your experience? JP: I received my very first realtor.com® lead the same day I signed up for realtor.com®, from a gentleman out of Oklahoma looking at properties in Carillon Beach in Panama City Beach Florida. We toured four homes and we made an offer on a home listed at $1,175,000 on May 19th, just ten days after I signed up for realtor.com® leads. We closed on that home on June 6th, less than six weeks after the initial contact. It was a cash purchase and it went fast. I am very happy for him and his family and I was glad to be a part of the transaction.
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How Digital Ads Helped a Rookie Realtor Sell 100 Homes in 2 Years
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How Technology Training Revolutionized One Realtor's Business
It was a fluke that led John Diaz to the training program that changed the direction of his real estate career. In August of 2013, he had been in real estate for over a decade, and a broker since 2005. Diaz already knew that leveraging technology was important for success in real estate, but he struggled with how to implement it. He planned to get an iPad, but hadn't yet. He had also tried Evernote, but "could never put my arm around how to use it for my business." That all changed when he travelled from California to Chicago for a conference hosted by his franchise. There, he hoped to learn how to better use technology in his business, but was largely disappointed—with the exception of one fleeting moment. "What I had flown to Chicago for I didn't really find," said Diaz. "But what's interesting is that the speaker I went to listen to briefly mentioned The Paperless Agent. He's actually the one who pointed me in their direction." The Paperless Agent is a training program owned and operated by the leaders of GoodLife Realty. GoodLife is an independent brokerage in Austin, Texas that's well known for driving sales through their innovative use of technology. Through The Paperless Agent, they share the technology systems and best practices they successfully use at GoodLife Realty with other real estate agents and brokers. On his flight home, Diaz took advantage of the onboard wi-fi to work through the first training session of The Paperless Agent. He was so impressed with what he saw, that he immediately went out and bought his first iPad and started implementing what he had learned.
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5 Best Practices for Advertising on Property Portals
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Ask an Expert: Answers to Your Top Real Estate Marketing Questions
As the real estate industry has evolved and technology plays a bigger role in marketing every year, there are always new questions from agents. You want to make sure you're being as efficient and effective as possible with your marketing efforts. In this post, I invited real estate expert Danny Wood to answer some of your top questions. Danny has a deep understanding of online lead generation. In the last 11 months, he has generated over 10,000 home buyer and seller leads using just social media and Google search alone! He helps real estate agents with marketing and technology... and he helps broker owners with seminars and agent recruiting. For more about Dan, go to: www.brokeragenation.com. Question: I'm a new real estate agent who is just getting started in the business. With my limited budget, what are some of the best marketing tactics I should start with to get my name out there and start building a list of contacts? Answer: When I was a new agent, I would hold open houses every week. At least two. I'd use the entire week as a marketing opportunity and go door knocking or cold calling with invitations to see the new listing. It was a way for me to build my database and meet people thinking of moving. Every week, I had new listings to choose from. If I didn't have many myself, I'd contact agents at my office. I'd watched our office listings and call the agent right away to ask if they wanted me to look after the open house.
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New Ways to Build Your Personal Brand
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Mobile App Prevents Agents from Becoming Crime Victims
In late 2014, Realtor Beverly Carter vanished while showing a house to prospective buyer, Arron Lewis. Five days after Lewis was apprehended, police were led to the body of Carter. While Carter's case may be heartbreaking, this is not an isolated incident. Many agents have been murdered, raped or assaulted while working. In 2011, a Bureau of Labor study said that those in the real estate industry experience a 40 percent higher rate of on-the-job crime than the average profession. According to Lee Goldstein, CEO of Real Safe Agent, it doesn't have to be that way. Combined with a team of programmers and financial partners, Goldstein thought of a new way to keep Realtors safe. Unlike personal safety apps that have been readily available for years, Real Safe Agent is an enterprise safety system that deploys through the MLS or Realtor Association and allows the entire real estate community to protect each agent without interfering with legitimate sales opportunities. According the company's website, "Any agent could need help on any day, but every can help any other agent every day." "Staying safe means preventing trouble, not merely alerting people that you are already in trouble; by then it's too late," says Goldstein. "The Real Safe Agent system represents a paradigm shift. We designed it to deter predators and allow agents to prevent trouble." The system's key features include allowing agents to visually verify prospects before meeting with them, finding out if other agents have felt unsafe with the prospect and, during a showing, if an agent becomes uncomfortable for any reason, the app allows the agent to request that a nearby agent drop-in. According to the company, having another agent drop in during the showing prevents trouble if the prospect was a threat without interfering with the sales process if the prospect wasn't. Additionally, brokerages, associations, and MLS can have watch commanders if they choose. These are individuals who can monitor alerts and even ask agents close to an alert to respond if no one has responded within 30 seconds or a minute.
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A New REALTOR® Shares 3 Ways RPR Helps Her Business Grow
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How One Realtor® Leverages RPR for Lead Generation
You're likely aware of the reports and other features of Realtors Property Resource® that can help drive the success of your business. But did you know that you can use RPR as a valuable lead generation tool, too? We didn't either until a recent chat with Dale Chumbley, a second generation Realtor® based in Vancouver, Washington. Don't be surprised if you recognize Chumbley; he's shared his real estate technology expertise with audiences at Inman Real Estate Connect, NAR Annual and Midyear, and beyond. Today, he's going to share a few tips for leveraging RPR's new mobile app in your marketing efforts. Responding to Leads from Anywhere For Chumbley, the mobile app is central to how he uses RPR with leads. "RPR came to life when the app was released," says Chumbley. "I'm such an on-the-go agent that the app has made RPR become part of my day-to-day world as opposed to a tool I use once in a while." "One of the cool things to me about the app is anytime I receive a lead inquiry, I have it set up so that I get a text message," he says. As soon as that text alert comes in, Chumbley pulls up either the property's MLS number or address. Then he goes into RPR Mobile, pulls up the data from RPR and generates a Mini Report and immediately emails it to the prospect. "What it's done is allow me, within just a couple of minutes, to be able to reply to the person that's inquiring on the property," says Chumbley. "I'm not just able to reply saying, 'Hey, I got your message. I'll get back to you later.' I'm able to reply to them immediately, 'I'm here. I'm happy to help. Here's a bunch of data for you to start looking through. Let me know when you are at a point where you want to be let in the house, talk to a lender, whatever it is that needs to happen.' It's just a very quick easy way for me to get some real value information to that consumer."
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Follow the Leader: Tom Gonser
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How a Top Agent Goes to the Next Level
A while back, I did an interview with Justin Havre, a top real estate agent in Calgary Alberta working at CIR Realty. CIR is the largest independent firm in Canada with about 650 agents. With his team, Justin Havre & Associates, he has been number one or two in his market for a number of years (number one team for 2011-2013). To put things in perspective, at the time of the first interview he and his team were doing nearly 200 transactions a year. I sat down with Justin in our original interview to understand some of the things he was doing successfully to reach this level as well as to see where he thought he could improve his business practices. In our original interview, Justin noted the significant investment he makes in technology every year. He operates multiple real estate websites and the leads generated from these sites form a significant piece of his business. At the time of the first interview, he had six people on his team. One of the problems he noted as needing improvement was the ability to respond effectively to the large number of leads he received every day. The second key area that needed to be improved was his communication and contact with customers he has already worked with. He realized that largely due to the huge new lead volume he was experiencing, he was neglecting the people that he had already done business with. I interviewed Justin recently to get an update on how things were going and to see what he had been able to do to address the specific business needs noted in the first interview. Most importantly, I wanted to see if whatever steps he took had the outcome that he desired.
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Secrets to Success with RPR®
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One Agent's Advice for "Selling With Soul"
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, a former top producing real estate broker turned author, knows how to energize a real estate sales career, and, as any of her followers will tell you, can motivate, inspire, and advise like no other. Jennifer's books have been tremendously successful and instrumental in helping REALTORS® improve their careers. When Jennifer was a real estate broker, she sold between 40 and 60 houses per year and since then has been passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. IXACT Contact recently sat down with Jennifer for part two of our Q&A blog post series (read part one here). "I believe one of my keys to success both as a real estate agent and in my current role is being authentically me. I am who I am and I don't try to change that," she says. IXACT Contact: You wrote a popular book, If You're Not Having Fun Selling Real Estate, You're Not Doing it Right. What can agents do to "have fun" selling real estate? Jennifer: There's a quote on the back of that book by Pearl S. Buck that reads, "The Secret of Joy in work is one word – Excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." So my "fun" book is all about that – being excellent and thus enjoying the heck out of your real estate career. IXACT Contact: Why do those entering real estate often have such a hard time in the business? Jennifer: I could talk about this all day, but I'll try to keep it short: 1) Lack of competence training in favor of prospecting training and 2) unrealistic expectations of new agents.
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Real Estate Blogging Success Profiled
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Why Being Liked Matters
Guest contributor Meg White of REALTOR®Mag says: Marketing strategist and author Rohit Bhargava explains the value of likability and why personal bonds may matter more than experience. In your book Likeonomics (John Wiley, 2012), you point out that we make choices based on likability, not always straight-up ability. What would you say to those who find that unfair? It is unfair. If life were fair, the person who was best on paper would always get the job. But we all know that the world doesn't work that way because people don't make decisions based on logic or as if they were robots. They make decisions based on emotions. There's a lot of new brain science that essentially shows this to be true. Sometimes we do choose the person we have the closer personal bond with, even though maybe that person doesn't have the same amount of experience as someone else. Real estate professionals may assume strong social ties are always better than weak ones and so may work to strengthen weak ties. Is that a worthwhile endeavor? Multiple pieces of scientific research actually show that, particularly around job hunting, weak ties are much more valuable to you because they introduce you to people you have no connection to. Also, social media has forced us to redefine what is a strong tie versus what is a weak tie. For example, if I make a decision on whether to buy a product based on a review from someone I don't know on Amazon, is that a strong tie or a weak tie, or is it a tie at all? At the end of the day, it influenced my purchase decision. It's changing the nature of virtual trust versus personal trust. The challenge is that anonymous reviews can influence people's behavior on whether to look for a place in a certain area, whether to trust a certain company or not, or how to price or make offers.
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Follow the Leader: Top Agent Justin Havre on the Value of Technology
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Follow the Leader - Stewart Morris, Jr.
Stewart Information Services Corporation is truly a powerhouse, offering a wide range of products and services serving the entire globe. Even during the challenging market conditions of the recent past (and present), Stewart has managed to thrive. One of the people who was previously responsible for this success is Stewart Morris, Jr. On the heels of the announcement that he was appointed to the American Land Title Association (ALTA) Board of Governors, we sat down with Mr. Morris to learn more about his strategies, philosophies, and predictions.   RE Technology: What did you do to help your company weather the storm of the down market?   Stewart Morris, Jr.: This was a dramatic, protracted downturn. It has been a character-builder, to say the least, for many people. My strategy for being successful in this environment can be boiled down to two key points:   Cutting expenses. We reduced our affiliate office network and our overall headcount by about 50% in order to achieve a reduction in expenses. At the same time, we were consolidating our back-office services in order to be more efficient. Building sales. We created a Sales Council to look at every market we were in, highlight the major markets, and focus on growing our number of customers, as well as the revenue from our customers. We worked on growing business that would thrive in the new market conditions; Stewart Lender Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Title, is a central component of this. In this way, while one side of our business was shrinking, another side was growing nicely.
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Real Estate Coach Radio Daily
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Bringing the U.S. Housing Market Back TOGETHER!
Are you sick of watching the real estate market flounder in these trying economic times? Have you spent many an hour on a soapbox outlining where the fault lies? You are not alone. But instead of simply spouting the ills of a market, consider joining with other thought leaders in crafting a solution to the problem this Thursday, April 21, 2011. In an effort to bring some of the main players in the U.S Housing and Real Estate markets together to create a blueprint for housing reform. Industry thought leaders, Congressmen, CEOs and real estate professionals are gathering in San Diego at the end of this week to bring about change to our complicated industry. Presented by 1parkplace, the Real Estate & Housing Symposium is the brain-child of Steve Hundley, CEO and founder of 1parkplace. This is the first symposium of its kind and it has been generating a great deal of interest. As a hot topic this spring, we decided to interview Steve Hundley.
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Who is Doing it Right? A Best Practice Interview with Successful Top Producer
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Part 2: Build a Mountain of Compliments!
People like to evaluate and share experiences. When it comes to evaluating an experience and letting others know where they landed, the people that choose to take time out of their day are typically those who either had an exemplary experience or an awful one. Agent ratings serve two purposes: To give valuable feedback to an agent for him/her to understand areas of strength and areas that need to be strengthened To provide the agent with testimonials they can use to build their online reputation and establish local expertise As you are reading through this series about agent ratings and the available solutions to real estate professionals today, what is your motivation? Are you looking for a marketing tool? Are you looking for a way to stand out from your other local competitors? Or do you feel like you have reached a plateau as a professional and would like feedback to help you grow and expand your skill set? This series will help both types of people find the solution that fits their needs.
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The Queue: Live from the Keller Williams Family Reunion
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Secrets to Making Market Analytics Work For You
If you are looking to add a new tool to your arsenal that could be the difference between winning a client and being side-stepped by another agent, consider market analytics.  The local variability of the real estate market has created uncertainty and hesitancy with many consumers. Have you ever considered learning about these trends and being able to calm buyers and sellers with local market awareness? This week I spoke with Michelle Carter, VP of Sales & Operations at Trendgraphix and we discussed the value of real estate agents using market analytics to drive their business.  Michelle is clearly passionate about the value of market statistics to the agent. “Real estate markets vary constantly both regionally and across the country.  As a real estate agent, if you don’t understand what is happening on the local level you can’t compete as easily,” explains Carter.
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Google SEO Guru Interview
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Twitter… Facebook, Not Just for Kids
For anyone over 40, social media is just for kids. Social media is just the more recent form of online connecting technology. This evolution began with email, then it moved to instant messaging. Email started to connect people more quickly, then it moved to instant messaging. The first entrée into social media, and where the marketing opporuntities are, is with LinkedIn. You want to have a profile, so people can find out about you. Think of LinkedIn as the new yellow pages, with people connecting people. It’s like not having your number in the yellow pages. Marketing is moving global, people need a place to find you online. If you’re in business today, to get equal networking opportunities, you need to be online. You can automatically keep track of your contacts without going through all your business cards. It is also important to keep in mind that companies often look through your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles before they hire you. Facebook is a little more casual than LinkedIn, but it gives a lot of information about the personality/social side of a person. Twitter is like micro blogging (140 characters). Think of it as an ongoing cocktail conversation. Having a global presence for all 4 generations is important. You can link your twitter address anywhere. You have to be careful about what you say and how you say it because once it’s published, it’s online forever. It’s a safe way to connect people, but you have to be careful not to alienate people online. Continue to view an interview regarding Social Media...
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