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'Your Listing, Your Lead' is Guiding Principle for Top Rentals Network
"Your Listing, Your Lead" has become something of a rallying cry when it comes to property search portals. We know who the good guys and the bad guys (Zillow, we're looking at you) are when talking about residential homes for sale--but what about rental listings? Today, we're going to introduce you to one of the good guy heroes of the rental world and show you how you can syndicate your rental listings to their network of over 50 million renters. Introducing the Nation's Largest Rental Network Apartments.com is the largest network for single and multi-family rentals, with over 50 million consumers visiting their sites every month to search for houses, townhomes and condos. Those 50 million renters will never be routed to another agent as all leads on your listings are exclusively yours. Here are a few more perks of sending a feed of your rental listings to Apartments.com: It's easy to keep your listings up to date and accurate, with one point of entry and automated take-down via an MLS or direct data feed. Apartments.com will never share or sell your leads and will not syndicate your listings to any external third parties. In addition to Apartments.com, your listing is displayed across their network of nine leading websites: ForRent.com, ApartmentFinder.com, ApartmentHomeLiving.com, Apartamentos.com, ForRentUniversity.com, After55.com, CorportateHousing.com, WestsideRentals.com. Why Rentals? Before we go any further, let's address a question that brokerages who focus on residential sales may have: Why should I bother with rentals? After all, the commissions on rentals are smaller than those of home sales, so are rentals really worth the effort? Yes, for two main reasons. First, brokerages should consider renters as potential future home buyers—and a future source of profits. Consumers who rent through your brokerage will already be familiar with your brand, making it likely that your firm, and your agent, will be the one they reach out to when ready to buy a home. Brokerages can increase this likelihood by adding renters to a targeted lead-nurture campaign. For example, many renters may be surprised to find out that they can already afford a home, and that they can purchase property with down payments as low as 3 percent. Brokerages can also share content with them that reflects this messaging—whether by social media, email newsletters, targeted ads, and more. Second, rentals are a great way for new agents to get their feet underneath them. They can learn the business, grow their pipeline, and sustain themselves on rentals until they begin earning sales commissions. Sounds good, right? Here's how you can start syndicating your listings to the nation's largest rental site: How to Send Your Rental Listings to Apartments.com Depending on your MLS, your brokerage may have to opt-in your office to the Apartments.com listing feed. The easiest way to do this is to simply contact Apartments.com. You can do that by filling out the application form here. This page also offers a FAQ to answer any questions you may have. It's free to participate in this program, and Apartments.com can accept your feed via RETS, IDX, and XML. Get started today!
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Zillow Poised to Massively Disrupt Real Estate and Investors May Demand It
Zillow Group has been investing in growth and building consumer trust since inception. The company has not focused on profits, but growing audience and revenue. A day of reckoning may be on the horizon and the real estate brokers, franchises, and agents may be watching in horror from the sidelines if the company pivots. In the early days, Zillow offered real estate brokers and franchises a fair exchange of value that give the company a massive jumpstart. As the incumbent, Realtor.com was charging agents and brokers for advertising; Zillow offered it for free. Firms providing listing content to Zillow got leads back from interested consumers. Those days are long gone. Zillow gets its revenue almost exclusively from their relationships with about 100,000 Premier agents, and now from the growth of their iBuyer program.
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77 Year-old Brokerage Has Modern Approach to Lead Generation
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Broker Public Portal Reinvestment Fuels the All-New Homesnap Pro
Today, Homesnap released the most advanced generation of its home search platform. This massive update, called the "All-New Homesnap Pro," is fueled by an ongoing reinvestment from Broker Public Portal, the industry-led initiative powered by Homesnap's technology. Featuring a unique "Likelihood to List" score, Homesnap Pro takes a big leap forward by using predictive analytics and data science. For agents, using this bellwether tool could mean an end to "spray and pray" marketing: sending out thousands of mailers hoping to hit someone who might be ready to sell. Instead, with the new "Off-Market Marketplace" now built into Homesnap Pro, an advanced machine learning algorithm helps agents to cherry-pick those most likely to make a move. New deep, rich data is fully integrated with search – from public records to mortgage data – and that means agents won't ever have to worry about a consumer knowing more about a property than they do. The All-New Homesnap Pro boasts "over 500 data sources on a single platform — more than any other mobile solution in residential real estate." Agents, brokers, and MLSs asked, and Homesnap listened. The new release adds the availability of real-time MLS data integration that delivers saved searches, listing carts, and contact synchronization. Combined with search filters that can identify only those properties with specific parking needs or ones with a pool or basement, the All-New Homesnap is delivering on providing next-level search. There's a lot more packed into this latest release of the All-New Homesnap Pro. Another standout feature – Building Pages – help agents demonstrate that they are the hyperlocal expert. An agent can filter a search to show every unit in a condo complex, showing both listings and off-market units. Drilling down deeper, agents can see the history of every property: current and prior owners as well as past public listings. At its core, the technology that powers the Broker Pubic Portal still delivers its most essential and market-defining feature. Homesnap still connects agents with consumers to provide the most accurate, timely, and extensive information – directly from the MLS — to help buyers and sellers make the best decisions. Homesnap CEO John Mazur summed it up best: "With this latest generation of Homesnap Pro, we continue to give our users resources to better attract and serve their clients." Join this webinar to learn more about Homesnap pro's new features. Hear from Tom Hosack, President/CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, The Preferred Realty Northwood Realty Services and Bill Kauffman, the Director of Development for Homesnap, as they explore and explain the six core areas of Homesnap Pro to provide agents and customers have a better experience. Visit the registration page for more details! Here's the complete news release issued today from Homesnap. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Test, Iterate, Win Leads: How One Brokerage Perfected Their Lead Gen Program
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Long-term Relationship with Tech Partner Leads to Long-term Client Relationships for Florida Brokerage
The Holy Grail of real estate is maintaining long-term relationships with clients--and reaping referrals and repeat business from them over the years. But what about long-term relationships with your real estate technology partners? We talked about the value of a years-long relationship with broker Mike Larocque of LaRocque & Co., Realtors. He shared how his seven-year partnership with realtor.com has benefited his family-owned company. While the technology and consumer habits have changed, one thing has been consistent—realtor.com has been a steady source of quality leads for LaRocque & Co. for the better part of a decade. Read on to learn more about how this long-term relationship with realtor.com has helped this brokerage build long-term relationships with clients. Is the magic still there after seven years? Yes, it's true we've been using realtor.com leads for seven years now. There have been consistent quality leads and it still represents the lion's share of the business that we do at a company level. I've managed to expand into three counties and I've hired more agents. I'm in a growth spurt again at this time. I'm actively recruiting because I have so many leads that I need more agents to service them. I can only recommend it after seven years of a really profitable relationship with realtor.com. I'm a very happy broker. Do customers you met there back in the beginning come back as repeat and referral business, or do they just go back online? 100% of our goal has always been to get the best quality leads from realtor.com and set a relationship as a customer for life. We acquire their referrals and their repeat business, friends and family. It is very common that we're doing multiple transactions with individuals originally sourced from realtor.com. It's an exponential rate of return over time because you're not just doing one deal and done. You're doing multiple transactions with them over the years. Absolutely it's a big component of our business, as well as the repeat business from originally sourced realtor.com leads. Do they need a nudge to remember you if they do go online again? We are now using realtor.com®'s Local Expert(sm) for branding, knowing the importance of continuing to brand even to our past customers. We use this to catch them when they start looking at properties anew on realtor.com. The consumers are fickle and they want what they want when they want it. They don't oftentimes realize that we work in a contingency based environment, and so unless we consistently brand to them and remind them of who we are, they start looking at properties online or go to open houses and such and could wind up stepping foot across other brokerages and agents. Then it complicates our business model and our ability to get paid. Is this the only branding you do? I have no branding at a company level anywhere else. But Local Expert(sm) is giving me an opportunity to acquire some brand-new business. Because consider when the public hits "enter" to get more info about 123 Elm Street on realtor.com (or any site for that matter), they don't really realize who is going to be reaching out and contacting them. It's then that we need to set the hook and let them know who we are. With new customers, branding comes into play after our agents have contacted them and we need to stay top of mind. When they go back to realtor.com, and they do, they're going to start seeing our smiling faces on and also crossing their feed on social media. It's going to click and trigger their memory a little bit and it's a good use and deployment of branding. This is a neat tool and kind of a niche tool for us as a complement or sidebar to the tremendous amount of business we're doing from our realtor.com Connections Plus lead program. This is a nice little addition to that. Is this all focused on buyers? Actually what may be the most significant part of this is the "wow" factor under the auspices of acquiring listings. We can showcase how we can draw attention to a homeowner's property on realtor.com in a listing presentation for the purpose principally of acquiring that listing. The likelihood of actually acquiring a buyer using this tool is awesome. It certainly becomes a more powerful tool in your arsenal than posting things like open houses, for instance, because you'll never get the exposure doing that. I know a lot of agents whose whole business model is hosting open houses with little more than lawn signs. Well, pitch that to the curb using the tools as we just described. If you can showcase a listing across a user's feed on realtor.com, that's a powerful tool.
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Winning More Listings through Teamwork and Technology
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Broker Public Portal Names New Board Officers
The Board of Managers of the Broker Public Portal today announced its Board members for 2020. The Broker Public Portal, which is owned and operated by real estate brokerages and MLSs and operates a joint venture with Homesnap, Inc., connects consumer home searchers to over one million real estate professionals in America today through more than 200 MLS agreements. The five real estate industry leaders joining the Broker Public Portal Board of Managers include Nick Bozovitch, Chief Information Officer of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services; Chad Gilbert, President and Owner of RE/MAX Suburban; Tom Hosack, CEO, President, and Broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services; Donna Kreps, President of F.C. Tucker Company; and Stan Martin, Chief Operating Officer of Austin Board of REALTORS® and ACTRIS. "The surging success of the Broker Public Portal attracts real estate industry's most trusted and forward-looking leaders," said John Mosey, Chairman of the Broker Public Portal and CEO of NorthstarMLS, a regional MLS serving Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. "We have almost 90 percent of the property listings in America coming from 48 states. The Broker Public Portal with Homesnap has delivered millions of free leads to agents, a number we expect to grow significantly every year. Our new Board of Managers will accelerate the reach of, and our industry's commitment to the mission of, the Broker Public Portal," Mosey added. The Broker Public Portal Board of Managers includes, as it notes in its charter, a "fair and balanced group of executives who represent the interests of large brokers, medium brokers, small brokers, independent managers and multiple listing service organizations." The agent count of participating firms establishes the size of brokerages eligible. 2020 new Board members: Nick Bozovitch, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services Chad Gilbert, RE/MAX Tom Hosack, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services Donna Kreps, F.C. Tucker Company Stan Martin, ACTRIS 2020 Board of Managers also includes: Alon Chaver, HomeServices of America Tim Dain, MARIS Craig Cheatham, The Realty Alliance Joan Docktor, Fox and Roach Realtors Rebecca Jensen, Midwest Real Estate Data Craig McClelland, BHGRE Metro Brokers Bill Miller, Metrolist John Mosey, NorthstarMLS Christina Pappas, The Keyes Company Pat Shea, Lyon Real Estate Gurtej Sodhi, Crye-Leike Andy Starck, Starck Real Estate Each officer term is three years, with about one-third of the directors rotating off each year. About the New Board Members Nick Bozovitch Bozovitch is the Vice President of Technology at Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Working closely with the executive team, he oversaw all IT operations and technology initiatives in support of the company's growth as it became the third-largest brokerage firm in the United States. Bozovitch also serves in advisory roles for the Allegheny County Airport Authority and the Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group. Before joining Howard Hanna in 2014, he served in key strategic, operational, and technical positions at a large global law firm for more than 13 years. Chad Gilbert Gilbert is President and Owner of the rapidly growing RE/MAX Suburban and Precision Title Company. From 2015 to 2016, the company grew by $250 million and was recognized as the No. 1 RE/MAX in Illinois and the No. 14 largest RE/MAX by volume in the country. Gilbert and his wife and co-owner Sarah Gilbert were honored in 2016 with RE/MAX's "Above the Crowd!" award, which recognizes individuals for their commitment to the RE/MAX brand within their office, the RE/MAX network and their community. Tom Hosack Hosack is the CEO, President, and Broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty in southwestern Pennsylvania, as well as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services in northeastern Ohio. With over 1,800 agents and 54 offices, they are ranked No. 1 in market share in their region. Before his 26-year career in real estate, he was the principal of a general contracting company, but has now been in real estate for over 26 years. Currently, Hosack serves as President and board member of West Penn Multi List, top 75 director for NAR, RES board member for NAR, and board member and executive committee member for UpstreamRE, as well as a past Chairman of the Realty Alliance. Donna Kreps Kreps is President of Residential Real Estate for F.C. Tucker Company. With over 1,500 agents statewide and over $3.2 billion in sales, it is the largest independent real estate firm in Indiana. It also ranks among the largest independent real estate firms in the nation. She has been with the 100+-year-old firm for over 25 years. She was named Executive VP in 2007, President of the Residential Division 2016, and is the first female executive of the company. She has won numerous awards including the recipient of the coveted Fred C. Tucker Senior Award in 2016. She holds a Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation. Stan Martin Martin is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) and ACTRIS, which provides MLS services to over 15,000 subscribers in Austin, Texas. He has worked in the MLS industry since 2004, providing a strong combination of product management and operational expertise to organizations. Martin currently serves on The MLS Grid Board of Directors, NAR's Leading Edge Advisory group, and was appointed by the Council of MLS to serve on the MLS Technology and Emerging Issue Advisory Board beginning in 2020.
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What Do You Really Know about Apartments.com?
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Broker Public Portal: Fuel for the Rocket Growth of Homesnap
Homesnap now ranks No. 5 on The Washington Business Journal's 2019 List of Fastest-Growing Companies. Homesnap's technology powers the Broker Public Portal effort, and its growth as a company has been jaw-dropping. In three years, Homesnap has grown a whopping 6,176.6% as the BPP initiative drove its expansion into 200+ markets across the country. Homesnap is now accessible to over one million real estate agents and brokers. And there's more. It not only breaks into the TWBJ's Top 5 list, but Homesnap is also the number one real estate company to land on the list of the Top 75 Fastest Growing Companies.
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Broker Public Portal with Homesnap Hits an All-time Traffic High
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Learn How the Real Estate Industry Is Avoiding Economic Meltdown with the Broker Public Portal
Started by a group of MLS executives and brokers who were tired of handing away their value to third parties who took their listings and sold them back the leads generated from their own inventory, Broker Public Portal with Homesnap is the national consumer home search platform built from within the industry and governed by Fair Display Guidelines, which guarantee "your listing, your lead." Download the NWMLS Case Study NOW to learn more The industry-controlled portal – operating as Homesnap – has become our industry's greatest "overnight" success story. It has generated over one million free leads for REALTORS® across the country and is the number one rated real estate app in App Store.
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Fixing the Agent Search Problem
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Accolades Continue for Broker Public Portal with Homesnap: 38th Fastest Growing Company in America
Be sure to pick up a copy of the September issue of Inc., which features the top 500 companies named to the 2019 Inc. 5000 list. Homesnap's three-year growth rate since partnering with the Broker Public Portal (BPP) is a whopping 6,176.7%. Broker Public Portal with Homesnap reaches over 200 markets across America and is now accessible to over one million real estate professionals! This massive expansion has led Homesnap to become the third fastest growing company in America in the real estate category. The net effect is a win for real estate agents, brokers, and their MLSs, and may spell doom for Zillow Group.
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How One Brokerage Gets More Listings and Referrals with Online Branding
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Tapping the Zillow Gap: Competing on Consumer Experience
Ah, Zillow. The real estate portal we all know and love? It's no secret that many homebuyers leverage the "Z word" to begin their initial stages of the homebuying process. Due to the popularity of Zillow with homebuyers, many brokerages and agents alike feel they must be committing a dedicated monthly budget to the platform out of a perceived fear of missing out on a potentially limitless stream of leads. Many real estate professionals also feel there is an unspoken expectation they need to be present on the search portal to truly compete with those who are also on Zillow.
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Thinking Like a Homebuyer Will Get You More Leads
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Broker Public Portal with Homesnap Hits Milestone: 1 Million Agents
All I can say is WOW! In the real estate market, we TALK about doing a lot of things, but many of our ideas do not come to fruition. Contrast that with Broker Public Portal (BPP) with Homesnap. In less than 18 months, this highly successful initiative has been rolled out to more than 1 million agents. Like every new idea, there have been--and still are--critics of this initiative. I think it's worth restating just a few of the reasons why I believe BPP with Homesnap is a winning strategy and program that is helping to strengthen the real estate industry's ability to generate listing exposure and leads affordably and effectively.
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Zillow 3D Home Tour Is Really Property Panorama
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Century 21 Launches ListTrac for Analytics on Portal Marketing
In an email blast to Century 21 brokers and agents last week, Century 21 released the Golden Ruler powered by ListTrac, a reporting tool that allows sellers, agents, and brokers to see the engagement that a property is getting across the Internet. Portals like Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, and Homes.com are shown side by side with Century 21's family of sites and partner sites along with MLS systems, consumer sites and HomeSnap. In fact, any real estate website can easily have ListTrac monitoring configured.
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Zillow Is Already the Google of Real Estate
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How Did the Broker Public Portal Start?
The First Meeting In mid-2014, there was a pivotal meeting at a boutique hotel in Washington, D.C. Robert Moline, then chairman of The Realty Alliance, and I met with a group of brokers who served on various MLS boards, along with some MLS staff members. Their pitch: MLSs and brokers could work together to help lessen broker frustration with websites that advertised properties for sale by creating a consumer-friendly option. Hearing that MLSs wanted to work with brokers was a real draw, and brokers wanted a breakthrough on their portal frustrations.
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Tapping the Zillow Gap: Competing on Consumer Experience
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Zillow Is the New Craigslist
We recently wrote a piece that looked at the lifecycle of marketplace startups, specifically as it relates to real estate technology. A key theme is that the incumbents, most notably Craigslist, spawned a slew of companies that focused on a single vertical and benefitted by going deeper to provide a better consumer experience. Today, there exists a similar emergence when looking at Zillow—successful companies and applications are being developed by focusing on certain features within its platform. The question is, are companies that offer more singular value, but perhaps do those few things better, better off than a platform like Zillow that can offer more components of the transaction in a single place?
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Your Brokerage Needs to Improve Your Consumer Responsiveness
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TRIBUS Becomes First Broker Platform to Send Solds to Zillow
TRIBUS, a leading provider of custom real estate brokerage platforms, has become the first such vendor in the industry to provide its broker clients with the ability to automatically send all their sold data to online real estate database portal Zillow. These sold listings will automatically be claimed for the correct listing or selling agent immediately after closing.
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WATCH: How Newly Licensed Agents Get a Fast Start
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WATCH: Wemert Realty Reveals Their Source of Better Buyer Leads
Does more accurate listing data lead to more sophisticated buyer leads? According to broker Jenny Wemert of Wemert Group Realty, the answer is "Yes, absolutely." Wemert Group relies on realtor.com® for online leads, and compared to other sources, Jenny says that leads from realtor.com® are closer to purchasing a home. Watch the video above to learn more about how realtor.com® leads make a difference to Jenny Wemert's firm. Discover how your firm can get more high quality leads with realtor.com®.    
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[Video] How Online Leads Powered Wemert Realty to 20x Growth
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A New Battle Cry: I Want My BPP!
Did you read the article by John Mosey, Broker Public Portal Chairman and head of NorthstarMLS, in the latest issue of Real Estate magazine? "You Got Your MTV, Now Say 'I Want My BPP'" calls for a new battle cry for the BPP with Homesnap movement. It reminded me, once again, of how people, when they come together, can cause remarkable change. Change that in the beginning everyone thinks is impossible and certainly improbable.
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Zillow's Opinion of Upstream and CAR's Forms License Policy Is Obvious
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Generate Leads Immediately by Signing Up for Realtor.com!
Jason Huerkamp is the ambitious founder and co-leader of the Huerkamp Home Group, part of Keller Williams Realty. Since 2002, the Huerkamp Home Group has grown exponentially to become one of the most dominant real estate teams in Minnesota. Jason is a savvy real estate investor and enjoys sharing this aspect of the business with others. In the video above, he talks about the speed in which his team started to receive leads when they signed up with realtor.com®. He tells us that he literally started receiving leads within 12 hours of becoming part of the realtor.com® program. Now that they are actively engaged in the program, they receive 15 to 20 leads per day. Jason also tells us that the conversion rates for the realtor.com® leads are really high as well. Jason uses the realtor.com® lead generation program as part of an overall lead generation campaign for his team. He uses realtor.com® to generate buyer leads AND seller leads. By creating nationwide exposure for his team, Jason is strengthening his position to attract clients for his properties and agents nationwide. If you would like to learn more about how your team can start getting leads almost immediately, click here: https://hub.realtor.com/team    
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How this Brokerage's Agents Close $1.2 Million per Month
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The Secret to a Faster Start for New Agents from Year One
For rookie Realtors, the secret to success is all in the systems that are in place to support them. At Kendrick Realty, that system centers around the leads they receive from realtor.com®. With those leads, new agents can immediately build a client base and start closing transactions within three to six months. Watch the video above to learn more about how realtor.com® plays a crucial part in how Kendrick Realty takes their new agents from zero to success in their first year. Click here to learn more about how realtor.com® leads can support your agents' success.    
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Broker Public Portal Is the #2 MLS Consumer-Facing Website!
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Zillow May Have Finally Justified Listing Syndication
Real estate is a fickle industry, cycling back and forth from favoring buyers to favoring sellers. It does not take an economist to develop a strategy for when to advertise for buyers and when not to. Certainly, real estate is in a condition of buyer saturation today. Brokers and agents who are advertising for buyers are mismanaging their advertising spend. Despite the lack of demand for buy-side advertising, Zillow continues to grow revenue, mostly by raising prices. At some point, the market will reverse. Days on market will stretch back out to traditional levels and drive competition for Zillow advertising. Zillow's revenue growth should explode. If Zillow can succeed when brokers and agents do not need to advertise to find buyers, imagine their success when advertising is required. To be clear, Zillow prices on volume and market demand. If there was no market demand, prices would not increase. They have publically commented that in some markets, prices actually go down because it is driven by dynamic pricing.
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How Do the Top 20 Sites Manage Digital Search Advertising?
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Is It Possible for a Broker to Achieve 250 Closings Year One?
Getting started as a brand new brokerage is really difficult these days – especially in markets where there is very little inventory. I just watched this story from Kendrick Realty about how they did 250 deals in their FIRST YEAR. Instead of building a sphere and cold prospects, they started right out of the gate with realtor.com® and found interested online buyer leads. Combining the online leads generated from realtor.com with strong internal follow-up systems and training to help their agents learn how to nurture prospects generated from realtor.com, Kendrick Realty experienced a very successful first year. With great responsiveness and a team dedicated to nurturing relationships with potential buyers, Kendrick Realty generated 250 deals in just 12 months! Pretty impressive stuff! Watch the video below to hear their encouraging and exciting story, and see how you might be able to apply their winning marketing principles to your business:  
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You Can Beat the National Portals with This Strategy Today
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Zillow Group Continues Tradition of Showing Consumers FSBO, Other Non-MLS Listings
Since its early days, Zillow Group has maintained a position that consumer interest is best served by allowing listings from many sources, including For Sale By Owner, to be posted to their site. This may be, in part, why Zillow sites had 187 million unique visitors last year. Recently, WAV Group noticed a new type of broker support that is in line with this policy.
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Broker Public Portal Update: Q1 2018
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Broker Public Portal Adds Four New Members to Board
Redfin. KW. Keyes. Metrolist. Executives with these four real estate industry-leading firms just joined the BPP Board of Managers. It's akin to the automobile industry announcing that representatives from Tesla, GM, Audi and Johnson Controls just joined a board that's collaborating on their industry's most pressing cutting-edge initiative. This is a blue-chip list of leaders of today and tomorrow by any measure:
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Get Off My Transaction! What Zillow's Latest House-flipping Announcement Means for Brokers
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Broker Public Portal Gets Financial Boost as Homesnap Lands $14M Funding
Broker Public Portal (BPP) announced that joint venture partner Homesnap, the public-facing brand of the BPP, has raised a $14 million Series B investment round led by Updata Partners, with participation from Moderne Ventures and individual investors. Homesnap is the highest-rated and most-installed home search and mobile productivity app for real estate brokers, agents, and clients. BPP with Homesnap is now available to 125 MLSs serving over 800,000 agents. More than 20 million consumers visited the Broker Public Portal in 2017.
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Build Your Own Real Estate Portal
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Instant Offers and What to Do About Them
2017 has brought a lot of change and disruption to the real estate industry—some good, others upsetting at the very least. In the spring, Zillow announced Instant Offers, allowing homeowners to potentially cut out the agent. This is one of many efforts to remove real estate agents from the transaction, but client satisfaction may say otherwise.
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Did Zillow Open the Door to Their Own Demise?
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Zillow Protects Broker Data
WAV Group supports brokers and MLSs in constructing data licensing agreements with users of data records that belong to the broker. When a company like Zillow ingests broker data, like all recipients, they must adhere to the data license agreement, which typically requires that you cannot allow the data to be used by a third party. The blog McMansionHell.com is learning the hard way that using data from Zillow without proper authority is a copyright violation that Zillow will pursue. Not only will Zillow pursue the violation, but they are contractually bound to pursue the violation. The media around the case is a bit confused, so let me try to break it down in layman's terms.
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Zillow Is a Broker – So What?
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Broker Public Portal Announces Seven New Board Members
The Broker Public Portal (BPP) is a thriving real estate industry initiative that is delivering benefits to about half of all real estate professionals in America today. The company expresses its gratitude for those who have served as leaders and welcomes seven new members to its Board of Managers. "It is an honor to serve with so many great leaders of our industry to develop this company, and I am grateful for the time and commitment given by each of my colleagues that are stepping down from the board. I am equally excited to for the introduction of new leaders who will shepherd us into the future," said Merle Whitehead, Chairman of the Broker Public Portal. The Broker Public Portal Board of Managers is designed to include a fair and balanced group of executives who represent the interests of large brokers (5), medium brokers (3), small brokers (2), independent managers (2) and multiple listing service organizations (4). Agent count of participating firms establishes the size of brokerages eligible. The nominating committee of the board has seven of the current directors and was chaired by Joan Docktor of BHHS Fox and Roach REALTORS. The board has staggered terms of three and two years in each category.
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5 Ways to Eliminate 'Headless Agents' on Your Listings
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How One Brokerage Cured their Weak Conversion Rate (and Brought Their ROI Back to Life)
When Pat McCandless and Chris Earl bought Stephens Real Estate in 2013, they became the instant owners of one of the top firms in their area. They knew, however, that the company could perform better. "Our reputation is excellent," says Pat McCandless. "But we did realize our support systems were out of date. In order for our agents to maintain our standards of service, we had to update those support and tech systems." One major underperformer was their online lead generation effort. Their ROI was weak, with leads converting at just half the industry rate. Obviously, something was wrong—but what? McCandless and Earl had to dig in deep to find out.
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CFPB Investigating Zillow – Brokers Consider RESPA
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Pull the plug or double down? Why one brokerage invested in new tech to get more value from their low-conversion paid leads
Stephens Real Estate describes themselves as a "traditional, full-service brokerage." And everything from their location — in the heartland of Lawrence, Kansas — to their business model does seem pretty conventional. But when new broker/owners Pat McCandless and Chris Earl stepped in to run the firm in 2013, they knew that continued success would require that they innovate and invest in technology for their agents and clients. Here's how they created an office technology culture that didn't interfere with the company's longstanding traditions. Q. You recently had to choose whether to invest more or pass on your primary online portal contract. What provoked this? Pat McCandless: We purchased the company in January 2013, and for the first year we really just focused on not interfering in any way that would derail their longstanding success.  We are one of the top companies in the area and our reputation is excellent. But we did realize our support systems were out of date; in order for our agents to maintain our standards of service, we had to update those support and tech systems. Q. What systems are you talking about, and how did you first learn that your systems were no longer efficient? Chris Earl: Two weeks before renewal of our contract with realtor.com®, our sales representative, Richard McDonald, came to explain changes to our existing offering. The program we had been using was being transitioned and we weren't able to renew the contract for our web leads in its current form. Surprisingly, Richard did not recommend we go forward with a different product. He had conducted an analysis of the response rate we were providing for leads, and it was less than ideal. Some leads were responded to quickly, others were not and some did not receive any response at all. Our conversion rate was at 3-4 percent, when it should have been 8, 9 or 10 percent.
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Changing Buyer Behavior to Convert More Web Leads: A Q&A with San Diego broker Jesse Zagorsky
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The Top 19 Real Estate Listing and Agency Sites
Finding the right website for your real estate needs can be overwhelming. There are dozens of real estate websites that can get the job done. Instead of having to filter through the results, we break it down for you — we've compiled a list of the most popular real estate sites based on the total number of page listings on Google, with every website having more than 1 million indexed pages. We split the list in two categories: search engines and agency-specific sites. Real estate search engines display properties put up for sale and rental by owners and brokers, often also including various tools and resources to help potential buyers make informed decisions. Agency-specific websites host a database of real estate listings and connect users with the company's own realtors or partner agents. Real estate search websites are comprehensive and detailed, commonly featuring search filters beyond pricing and home amenities. The search engines we've listed here are some of the most popular on the web based on how many pages Google has indexed on each site. Top 12 Real Estate Search Engine Sites: 1. Realtor.com Realtor is the official website of the National Association of Realtors and hosts listings for homes, lands and rentals. Like Zillow and Trulia, Realtor.com gathers its information from MLSs. Launched in 1994, the website is one of the first real estate companies to operate in a digital space. Why you should use Realtor.com: The company website makes it straightforward to find and connect to local and trusted Realtors; Realtors on the site are members of the National Association of Realtors who commit to following NAR's ethical code. Realtor.com provides detailed overviews of the local housing market, categorized by market trends, school ratings, current available homes and rentals and top-rated local agents.
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Will Zillow Win the MLS Data Aggregation Wars?
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Understanding Push Reporting
Many technology companies fail to understand the value of push reporting. WAV Group works with many technology firms to appreciate push vs. pull, but so many fail to grasp the importance. Every broker should pay attention to this example to evaluate how the software licensed in his or her company should leverage push reporting to improve the value. For example, I would love to see data and analytic companies like Terradatum, Trendgraphix, and ShowingTime incorporate this type of push reporting to show market trends, office productivity, and productivity by agent (solds, pending, active). In another example, I would love to see CRM solutions remind and encourage agents to contact their clients, add additional customer records, and promote other sales activities that would coach the activities that lead to agent success. There are many more examples, but let's dissect this email from Zillow. Zillow Push Report Case Example Here is an excellent example of push reporting. At some cadence, in this case it's weekly, Zillow Group pushes an email to the Realtor® to demonstrate the effectiveness of online property display on their websites. With 4 million or so active listings on the website, you can imagine the volume of emails being pushed out each week. Here you will notice that Zillow Group is leveraging this email for training, too. They are encouraging the Realtor to upload a free video tour of the property. Zillow is well aware that video information inside of property listings provides many benefits. The consumer gets an engaging multimedia experience, which is also great for differentiating and improving search engine optimization by contributing additional content and lengthening time on site.
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Zillow Improves Broker Programs
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Broker Public Portal Inks Deal to Become Homesnap
Broker Public Portal, LLC and Homesnap, Inc. have executed final agreements to create the National Broker Portal, LLC, a joint venture that is equally owned by the two companies. The parties agreed that the best path to success would be served by forming a mutual partnership with Homesnap providing technology, brand and operational expertise to the new company, rather than composing a vendor agreement. The National Association of REALTORS® modified their model MLS policy to designate an MLS consumer facing website as a basic benefit of the MLS. In turn, more than 50 leading brokers and 50 leading MLSs developed the case for a national consumer site rather than 700 independent local MLS sites. "HAR.com and a number of other MLSs have been able to capture a reasonable share of voice in online consumer search," said Rebecca Jensen, President and CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED). "But we believe that the best opportunity for success will be paved by MLSs who focus on a single, national strategy." MRED is one of several MLSs whose board of directors have already authorized participation in the portal, including a $1 per subscriber fee that will be paid to the National Broker Portal each month. Other MLSs committed to the portal include Northstar MLS (Minneapolis), Connecticut MLS, NORMLS (Cleveland), CRIS (Akron), Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors and Rochester Genesee Region Real Estate Service. In anticipation of this initiative being formalized, MRED launched the BPP/Homesnap app in July of 2016. "Adoption has reached over 25 percent of MRED's 40,000+ Realtor customers in just a few months," added Jensen. In addition, now that the joint venture has been finalized, MLSs representing over 200,000 subscribers have requested the new National Broker Portal MLS Agreement to review and present to their boards.
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Time for Brokers to Clean Up Online Profiles
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New Data Services for Brokers to Improve Consumer Experience (10/11)
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT Today, all MLSs in America are prepared to provide a standard set of data from across the nation. It's the kind of data that portals have been aggregating for years, which is now being made available to real estate brokers. With great effort, Redfin championed this strategy to become one of the most successful broker websites in America. WAV Group will be hosting a webinar surrounding these topics on Tuesday, October 11. Panelists include: Art Carter, CEO of the California Regional MLS, the nation's largest MLS, and chairman of the Real Estate Standards Organization Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, who will be sharing his company's journey to becoming a top broker website Chris Bennett, General Manager of Real Estate Solutions for CoreLogic, who will be introducing their nationwide solution Trestle. Trestle provides the only nationwide single standard MLS data format, and a single standard county records format to real estate brokers and their technology partners For too long, brokers and their vendors have struggled with the difficulty of managing the different data structures and business rules of more than 700 MLSs. Today marks the beginning of a new era, where each MLS is synthesized into a single common format, allowing brokers to provide services across MLS boundaries without differentiation. Register now!
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What's the Real Value of Portal Marketing?
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3 Tips for Managing Your Realtor.com and Zillow Leads
Purchasing leads through listing portals like Realtor.com and Zillow is a great way to get your hands on some contact information that might be useful. The thing to remember is that the information can only be useful if you can pull it up when you need it, and if you effectively nurture those leads to fruition. Lead nurturing is an exercise in patience. Most research shows that converting a lead requires a minimum of five "touches." Considering the nature of real estate—the fact that transactions are quite rare for the average person—it stands to reason that moving from lead to sale can take considerably longer. It all depends on the lead's situation when initial contact occurs. Past customers are our best source of referrals as well, so staying in touch after the sale is just as important. Occasional contact with some morsel of relevant information is often all it takes to keep your name in a client's mind. It's critical to have a comprehensive system for managing leads, all in a central location. Unless you're using your CRM to manage these leads, you're likely not making the most of that investment. When leads are stored in separate accounts on various listing portals, they can't be categorized and manipulated in many useful ways like they can on a CRM platform. By syncing those listing services with your CRM, you can import the leads directly into your database. This has several advantages right out of the gate: #1. Single log-in When everything is in your CRM, you don't have to log-in to multiple sites to get the information you're looking for. This saves considerable time and aggravation.
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Backed by Google, Zillow Set to Become Online Brokerage
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6 Steps to Driving Real Estate Success with Tools and Systems
Paul Argueta, Broker/Owner of Real Estate Haven in Pasadena, California started out as a single agent working in his family business. He went on to become a broker and built a team of more than 150 agents, which gained him recognition as one of the fastest growing, privately held companies in America according to Inc. Magazine. How did he achieve this success? Like many agents and brokers, it was born from the adoption of tools and systems that streamlined his business, made his agents more effective and allowed for higher conversion. Let's explore the steps you can take to achieve real estate success with the backing of tools and systems: Step #1: Acknowledge the Need At the company's five-year mark, Argueta's team was closing between 400 and 500 units per year, yet referral and repeat business was lacking. He acknowledged the need for technologies that would help them capitalize on this missed opportunity. He also knew implementing these new technologies would help drive his recruitment and retention efforts. Step #2: Set Your Goals Argueta set out to find technologies that he could implement to help his team reach their goal of recapturing past clients and their sphere of influence, with the overarching goal of building a suite of products that could be marketed to his agents as a one-stop-shop for their lead generation, nurture and follow-up.
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Further Evidence of Trulia's Last Gasp
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Portal Lead Generation Evaluated for Top Brokers
In 2014, recognizing the industry’s need for objective data on lead quality, WAV Group analyzed the online website traffic and performance for 87 of The Realty Alliance and LeadingRE broker websites. We reviewed online lead generation, engagement, and lead quality from various sources. One key point of interest has been the comparison of the top four listing portals: Homes.com, Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow®. Recently, we checked in with our research to see how online lead generation shifted in 2015. On the basis of lead quality in 2014, the four lead publishers ranked in order as follows: Realtor.com, Trulia, Homes.com, and Zillow. In 2015, Realtor.com® came in first again. However, this time they were followed by Homes.com®, then Trulia, and Zillow.
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Do You Know What Your Real Estate Consumers are Reading?
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Realtor.com Seeks to Win the Super Bowl
Last January, I visited Mr. Robert Thomson at the News Corp offices in Manhattan to discuss his plans for Realtor.com. Joining the meeting were two senior leaders of News Corp: his chief of staff and his chief of sales. They laid out their targets for their new company. What follows is our report card for them. Clear Vision #1: News Corp will leverage its media assets, including Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, the New York Post, HarperCollins Publishers, and The Sun to drive consumers to Realtor.com. Successful Result: Thomson reports that Realtor.com's average monthly unique users on the web and mobile sites for the quarter ending Dec. 31 grew by 37% to approximately 39 million monthly unique visitors. This does not include real estate related traffic numbers for content from his other media companies. Just Realtor.com. January traffic topped 50 million. Based on the results from the 87 The Realty Alliance and LeadingRE broker websites that WAV Group tracks, this is an enormous jump in consumer engagement from Realtor.com without dilution of lead quality. Realtor.com has always maintained an edge over other online publishers in the quality of its leads and conversion rates. It is worth noting here that consumer traffic to Zillow.com remains strong; lead generation at Zillow Group has also increased. However, lead quality has gone down significantly. Traffic and leads from Trulia has also declined.
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Digital Disruption Prepares to Strike Again
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Realtor.com to Port in Reviews from 3 Agent Ratings Services
Realtor.com recently announced agreements with three agent ratings companies that will port in consumer recommendations from each of the services to Realtor profiles on the portal. Ratings from Quality Service Satisfied (QSC), RealSatisfied and Testimonial Tree are now effectively consolidated into one online place, making it easier for consumers to research agents and choose the best professional to represent them. Realtor.com says that ratings content "must adhere to stringent policies about how the information is displayed" and will follow a "consistent set of criteria for evaluating a real estate professional." Those criteria are based on guidelines for reviews that were established last year by NAR, which include market expertise, responsiveness, negotiation skills, and more. Review content is integrated into the site by matching the external data to the criteria established by realtor.com for display where possible. A boost in traffic and engagement, as well as higher quality leads, are the results Realtor.com expects from the agreements. "The resulting virtuous circle of visibility, combined with the reliability of the content we are gathering, fulfills our vision for this solution: to meet the needs of the consumer for a trustworthy resource while addressing the complexities of the industry which we are uniquely positioned to understand," said Tapan Bhat, Move's chief product officer, in a statement.
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Zillow Offers Better Branding and More Leads to RE/MAX's 59,000 Agents in New Agreement
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Trulia Gives Lesson in Agent Ratings
WAV Group did a study that showed that 50 percent of real estate agents did not respond to online inquiries. Trulia, a third party portal operated by the Zillow Group, understands that the strength of their site is largely pinned to the responsiveness of real estate agents. They often assert themselves as a consumer site first, even though they derive their revenue from agent and broker advertising. Do you know any other industry where a salesperson will not call you back? Perhaps this is only for real estate. When WAV Group did the study, we found that the poverty of agent responsiveness not only resided on third party websites, but broker websites too. Trulia sent me an auto responder when I tested a broker's lead response that is excellent. Rather than ask me if the agent responded, they asked me to review the agent! Broker Best Practice: If you have a service for agent reviews, request a review as an auto-responder, like this example from Trulia.
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Try The House Out Before You Buy? It May be Coming Thanks to AirBnB
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Broker Portal Announces Progress on Branding, Vendor Selection, and MLS Agreement
Broker Public Portal LLC Chairman, Merle Whitehead released this update following the September 9th meeting of the Board of Managers: As the momentum continues, I am pleased to provide this update on the development of the broker public portal project to our many supporters. In keeping with good practice, it is helpful to restate the rationale and goal of the project. The Broker Public Portal project was established as a collaboration of MLSs and brokerages in developing a national MLS consumer facing web site that is owned and governed by the MLSs and brokers. Our Board of Managers' experience in the industry and with technology and public facing websites are proving exceptionally beneficial to this project. Our mantra is to deliver what consumer home search was supposed to be. For 20 years, how people find homes online has been imagined and defined by those who sell ads, not homes. This is our turn to speak, to imagine, and to deliver a better experience. For the past 60 days, we have been focused on three distinct efforts: the development of the brand; the development of the data license agreement between MLSs and the company; the fielding and analysis of RFP responses. What follows is a summary of the results of our efforts and next steps. Branding – Closing in on the "Right" Name The agency did a fantastic job of developing the identity of the company. They reviewed the results from their research process that included doing interviews and focus groups with a broad spectrum of industry professionals. Industry research was coupled with their research of consumer home search experiences. Four options for names are being considered by the Board with a final decision to be announced soon.
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How to Harness the Power of Zillow
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Thoughts on Zillow's DotLoop Strategy
As far as I know, DotLoop customers were happy enough with the product and service until the announcement that the company was being purchased by Zillow. That news, along with the $108M price tag of the acquisition, was the fundamental buzz at Inman Connect conference this month. About the price of $108 Million. Typically, companies sell for a multiple of profit – 6x to 10x profit is not bad. The last acquisition of this type was the Real Estate Digital deal, which sold for a much lower multiple than DotLoop. In the case of DotLoop, it looks like Zillow paid a multiple of revenue. As best we can tell, DotLoop would be running at a rate of $15 million in annual revenue. It's privately held, so that number is a guess. They hold a distant third position in the market share behind zipLogix and Instanet. With the calculus on this valuation, Instanet would be worth about $300 to $500 million. ZipLogix would be worth about $750 million or more. The multiple that Zillow paid on this deal is irrational unless they see an opportunity to modify the business to reap profits in entirely new ways. Rather than spend hours on the phone with the investor community discussing the deal, here is a summary outlook on why the $108 million could be justified from Zillow's point of view. I get the strategy. Today, consumers shop for property on Zillow. They then bump into a real estate agent who handles everything from there, and Zillow is long gone from the picture. With transaction management, they can stick their brand inside the transaction. This strategy not only allows them to measure ROI on Zillow lead conversions to measure "share of wallet," but it also provides them with a lead to close solution that encourages the consumer to think that they purchased a home on Zillow.
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What's Next for DotLoop?
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Is Zillow a Great Broker?
Zillow is not a broker. Well, technically they are registered as a brokerage in many states and hold brokerage licenses, but they do not market themselves as a brokerage. The point is that they provide a lot of broker-like support for agents that are noteworthy and remarkable. There are plenty of brokers who can take a page out of their book and improve their business. Specifically, brokers can learn from the way that Zillow provides technology tools and communicates and trains agents. With the acquisition of a transaction management solution, they complete a broker-like set that includes agent websites with IDX, marketing, lead management, mobile, digital signatures, agent ratings, CRM, not to mention a pile of consumers. Zillow Academy Zillow has a full-on training, technology, education, and support group. They have live agent events, record educational webinars, develop tutorial videos for using Zillow, and invite agents to read and discuss topics on the Zillow Pros Blog. Seriously, only a few brokers could have a full time employee doing this sort of thing. I am not sure of the number of agents that would be required to support this type of FTE, but I would guess that it's probably somewhere in the 350 agent range. Franchises do a pretty good job of this. So does Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Some large MLSs do this, too. If you need a roadmap for excellence, take a look at this Zillow Academy page.
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Trulia in the Zillow Era
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2 Ways Portals Support Broker Success
Zillow and Trulia command the largest audience in the industry when it comes to online real estate sites; according to Zillow Group, its consumer websites attracted 140M unique users1 in April 2015 alone. Though this number is impressive, what exactly does it mean for the industry? How do these popular consumer brands translate into value to real estate professionals? The first way is through dynamic search tools and engaging content that contain a built-in (and completely free) contact-generating element for agents and brokers: Zillow's recently launched Agent Finder helps agents and teams leverage unique skills, specialties or languages through advanced search filters, and directories on both Zillow and Trulia clearly identify the brokerage name in search results for brand-building. Every listing includes the listing agent at the top of contact options and, if the listing is from a direct feed, an outbound link to the broker's website. With the launch of Zillow Pro for Brokers Plus later this year, brokers who send Zillow their listings through a direct feed will also have additional, high visibility branding in both search results and on listing pages as well as a company video on listings.
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Zillow is Taking Your Traffic. How to Get it Back
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Realtor.com's Open Letter to Their Broker Partners
Dear Brokerage Industry Partner: For nearly twenty years, realtor.com® has worked side-by-side with the industry to enhance the REALTOR® brand with consumers through the most accurate, comprehensive and up to date consumer home search experience, all the while ensuring that the value proposition of brokerage firms and their agents remains front and center with consumers. Guiding us during this period has been our unwavering adherence to a host of industry-friendly principles such as: Respecting the economic interests of the industry by not commingling FSBO listings with brokerage firm listings; Not displaying value estimates on "for-sale" properties because the local real estate professional is the best person to determine the value of a listed property; and Displaying the online reputation of brokers and agents in a way that both meets consumers' needs to find the "right" professional while also being done in a fair way for the industry. Unlike our competitors, we believe these principles help define the symbiotic relationship we have with the industry. As online real estate evolves, we must find new ways to deliver value to the tens of thousands of listing firms and their agents who provide us their hard earned listing data. To that end, we are pleased to announce several new features and tools, provided at no charge, designed to help listing firms and their agents grow their businesses. Launching this week will be the ability to include on every realtor.com® listing an SEO-friendly hyperlink to the listing display page on the listing firm's website. This new feature adds to the elevated visibility of listing firm and agent names directly under the photograph on each listing display, and full display of up to 36 photos, a marketing paragraph, agent contact information, showing details, open house dates and more.
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A Look at News Corp's New Luxury Real Estate Portal
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Broker Public Portal Elects First Board of Managers
A nationwide group of leading Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and real estate brokerage firms supporting the creation of a national property search portal have elected their first board of managers. The initiative, known as the Broker Public Portal, was launched in January and includes a cross section of participants from 37 MLSs and 39 real estate brokerages representing the interests of 826,000 agents. WAV Group project consultant, Victor Lund explains that MLSs have long provided regional consumer facing property search websites. In December of 2014, a group of likeminded MLSs and real estate brokerages met to discuss the opportunity to build a National MLS consumer facing website to fill an unmet need in the online marketplace. At the first meeting of the organizers on April 22, 2015 in Dallas, they elected the board of managers that will be included in their corporate filings as a Delaware LLC. "There is a tremendous amount of support and momentum throughout the MLS and brokerage communities to create a new choice for how and where to display their listings," commented Robert Moline of Home Services of America. "And the formation of our Board of Managers is a significant step forward in our ability to deliver on that goal through the creation of a national broker public portal." Large Firms - 5 Robert Moline – Home Services of America Merle Whitehead – Realty USA Hoby Hanna – Howard Hanna Real Estate Chris Heller – Keller Williams Joan Docktor – Fox and Roach
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How Do Your Brokerage's Listings Perform on Zillow?
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The Role Sold Data Plays in Building Your Brand
When consumers visit a property search portal, they're looking at homes but also absorbing information about agents and brokers. Whether they're buying or selling, consumers pay attention to agents that have had successful transactions. They're interested in finding the person that, in their mind, is going to provide the best possible outcome. The primary way consumers can investigate an agent's "track record" of successfully closed transactions is through sold data. They can access this information in two main ways--by searching recently sold properties and by viewing individual agent profiles. Let's take a closer look at how each of the top three portals handle sold data. Comparing How Portals Display Sold Data Though Trulia was first to launch this feature, all three portals now allow consumers to search recently sold listings. Where they differ is in agent attribution on the property details page. Zillow and Trulia both display the buyer side and listing side agents under the "History" section of their property pages. For brokers who supply sold data to these portals, the agent's name is linked to their profile where consumers can find the agent's contact info, read client reviews, and more. The more sold homes agents add, the more leads they're likely to receive. According to a Trulia study, agents who add past sales to their profile see anywhere from 2 to 5 times the leads seen by agents who don't add any. When sold data is not provided by the broker or MLS, no name at all appears (see the image below). This is a missed opportunity to connect with seller leads. Owners who are considering listing their home are most likely to search Recently Sold data in order to get a feel for current market pricing.
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Audit Third Party Portals Today
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National Broker Portal Launches Website
The national broker portal project continues to gain momentum as brokers and MLSs agree to participate in the formation of the company to explore the launch of a national MLS consumer facing website with broker governance. Although only a month into the funding period, the group is well on its way to raising the $250,000. After the holiday, the Council of MLSs hosted two online webinars on the topic. The Realty Alliance and The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World also hosted two webinars. This activity was followed by the delivery of information at the CEO Summit as part of the Real Estate Connect conference. Leading franchise organizations including Home Services of America, Realogy Franchise Group, RE/MAX and Keller Williams have also had executive briefings on the project. Save the Dates The initial fund raising process is expected to be finished by March 18, 2015 – the first scheduled phone meeting of the initial supporters. The first meeting of the initial supporters is scheduled for April 22. The April 22nd meeting will establish a leadership group to shepherd the project through the formation process where the governance of the corporation will be filed. A parallel initiative will seek the construction of a Request for Proposal that can be used as a scope document for the initial minimum viable "go to market" product.
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Broker Best Practices for Avoiding Listing Delay and Inaccurate Data
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CMLS to Host 2 Webinars on National Broker Portal Project this Week
Dear CMLS members, The National Broker Portal Project is an initiative that aims to develop a new corporation that will create and manage a national consumer-facing MLS property search website. Because this initiative has the potential to significantly impact the MLS industry, we have scheduled two CMLS-hosted webinars to discuss the purpose, objectives, status, and outlook of the project with our members. If you are interested in hearing more about this topic, please register for one of the two webinars listed below. 1st session: Tuesday, January 20 at 1:00 PM EST / 10:00 AM PST Click Here to Register 2nd session: Thursday, January 22 at 11:00 AM EST / 8:00 AM PST Click Here to Register
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Spending Over $60K Per Month on Zillow
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3 Ways Portals Help Brokers Build Brand Awareness
Over the past few months, we've been publishing a series of articles that evaluates the features and benefits of the top portals. So far, we've explored how property search portals protect your brand and help you build your brand with agents. Today, we're going to look at the final piece of the puzzle - how portals support you in building your brand with consumers. When beginning their home buying journey, portals are often the first place a consumer goes. This means they're crucial in building initial awareness of your brand. As in our previous articles, we're going to evaluate how portals accomplish this. Here's the criteria we'll be using today: Broker attribution on search results Link to broker source Photos and property descriptions Please note that two items we've previously discussed in this series are also crucial components in building your brand: The placement of broker attribution on the property details page and listings accuracy. Though we covered it in our first article of this series, the importance of listings accuracy cannot be overstated. It's tied to how consumers view your brand—inaccurate listings that result in potential buyers calling on properties that have been sold or pending leads to distrust in your company. Make it a point in 2015 to understand when and where your listings appear online, how publishers handle your data, and how frequently your data is refreshed. 1. Broker attribution on search results In our last article, we discussed attribution of the listing agent/broker on the property details page. Repetition is key to building your brand, so there's another place that broker attribution needs to be in order to increase awareness of your company in the consumer's mind. The search results page is the first place a prospect will encounter your brand's name. Simply scrolling through the list of properties on this page will reveal which brokerages have the most listings in the area and price range that the consumer is searching for. If the consumer is not yet working with a brokerage, repeated exposure to your company's name on multiple listings may influence them to reach out to you. Each of the three major portals offer broker attribution on search results. However, Zillow only lists the broker on premium listings, while realtor.com and Trulia give the broker credit on all active listings. However, only Trulia provides attribution on sold properties, which also helps build your brand and credibility, especially with sellers looking to partner with a reputable and successful real estate professional. Trulia - Yes, for all, including sold listings Zillow - For premium listings only realtor.com® - Yes, for all active, but not sold listings
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Real Estate Firms and MLSs Team Up to Launch New Consumer Website
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3 Ways Portals Help You Hire (and Retain) Top Agents
Recruiting top agents is a competitive venture, and any worthwhile prospects will pepper you with questions before deciding if your brokerage is right for them. Besides queries about commission splits, franchise fees, and training, expect to be asked how your company helps agents market their listings. To help you in that conversation, today we're going to break down how each of the three major property search portals helps you grow your brand with agents. It's a continuation of an ongoing series that evaluates the features and benefits of the top portals (see part one and part two). Here's the criteria we'll be using today: Placement of listing agent attribution on the property details page Listing agent identification and contact information on the lead form Sold listings on agent profiles 1. Placement of Listing Agent Attribution How prominent is the listing agent's information on the property details page? Ideally, this data should be "above the fold," which means that it's visible without having to scroll down. This placement puts the agent and their brand (as well as yours) front-and-center. When it comes to placement, however, each of the three portals takes a different approach. Trulia is the only one that offers above-the-fold placement. They place attribution right below the property description so that it's easy for consumers to spot. They also link the brokerage's name to the listing syndication source (broker website, ListHub, Diverse Solutions, etc.), but offer no phone number. Realtor.com displays attribution in the middle of the page, but features the brokerage phone number and a direct link to the agent's Realtor.com profile. Zillow places attribution at the bottom of the page with a phone number for featured listings and a link to the syndication source. Trulia - Immediately beneath property description Zillow - Bottom of the page realtor.com® - Halfway down the page
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3 Keys to Evaluating How Portals Protect Your Brand
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Broker Non-Compete with Portals
The great real estate portals of America are trusted partners to brokers. As trusted partners, they are able to collect a lot of information that brokers have held close. For example, portals have access to a broker's agent roster. They know which agents respond to consumer inquiries the fastest and the best. They even know which agents sell the most number of homes and which ones have the best consumer reviews. Beyond the information portals have about listings and agents, they have collected a massive amount of consumer information, including the identify of the consumer. Moreover, with direct consumer email marketing, portals have built a trust relationship with consumers. There is nothing harmful about any of this. Indeed, it makes portals great partners to brokers as long as they stay on their side of the fence. Executives with portals have been consistent in their remarks claiming that they do not intend to get into the brokerage business. That is a good thing, because if a leading portal became a brokerage, they would be a powerhouse right out of the gate. Could it happen? It is not going to happen, but it could. Many leading portals have brokerage licenses in every state in America. I do not know why, but they do. Many portals also provide products to agents and brokers that leverage IDX data – the same data that is used by agents and brokers to power solutions from other vendor partners, and the same data that brokers use to power their own website. Every day, the number of full IDX feeds to portals expands.
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Why Frequent Listing Updates are Better for Your Brokerage
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Hyperlocal and the Real World: 5 Strategies to Dominate the National Portals
Last week, we ended our blog on hyperlocal marketing with a shout out to our client who positions himself as a marketer of real estate instead of a broker. Let's take this idea a step further. PCMS often looks to other industries' innovations to get real estate professionals thinking about how certain concepts can be applied to their own business. Starbucks is a particular favorite to glean ideas from. Starbucks did not invent the coffee shop, but they built an experience around their coffee: They want you to feel like their store is your second living room Do you ever say, "I want a small coffee?"... No, you say, "I want a Tall, Grande, or Venti." Isn't great that you can go relax, listen to music, use their Wifi, have meetings? It's a consistent, pleasing experience marketed around a $2 or $3 product. What are you doing create a consistent, pleasing experience that proves you are the company/agent to do business with? First of all, what is a marketer? A marketer is "A person whose duties include the identification of the goods and services desired by a set of consumers, as well as the marketing of those goods and services on behalf of a company."
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