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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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Redfin Study on Housing Density, Plus How Nimbyism Hurts Housing
Redfin recently released a study about who supports housing density and who opposes it. The study found that homebuyers and sellers are nearly twice as likely to oppose the building of dense housing in their neighborhood than they are to support it. More than half (53 percent) support zoning policies that limit housing density near where they live. Nearly one in three support policies that enable it. The data hits home with me, literally, because there's a new housing development being finalized that buttresses our neighborhood. About 100 homes have been proposed to be built on a lot that once was slated as a new home for the county jail, until folks protested. It's across the street from a middle school, which is next door to our intermediate school.
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New Homebuilder Study: What Millennials Want, Don't Want
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Top 10 Issues Impacting the Real Estate Industry: Annual Forecast Reveals
As a data junkie, I love Top 10 lists. So, when The Counselors of Real Estate releases its member survey of current and emerging issues that will have the biggest impact on real estate in 2019 and 2020, I'm all ears – and eyes. The 1,100 member Counselors released its Top Ten list once again at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference, this year in Austin. The top concern? U.S. infrastructure was identified as the #1 issue impacting real estate.
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A Glance at America's Most Prominent Minority Homebuyers
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What's Going On in Today's Real Estate Brokerages? [INFOGRAPHIC]
What do real estate brokerages deal with on a daily basis? Whether they're dealing with growing pains, figuring out what really attracts agents, or sorting out those inefficiencies, there's always something going on in today's brokerages. That's why it's so important to keep our fingers on the pulse of the industry--and what better way than by asking? In our latest market research survey, we asked today's most promising brokerages about the issues they're facing. Where do they run into pesky growing pains? How do they recruit (and retain) agents? And how do they plan for growth? Get the essential information in our infographic below—and don't forget to download the full market report for the comprehensive analysis!
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The Power of the Power Broker Report from RISMedia
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T3 Sixty Releases Their Industry Rankings
In the same week, REAL Trends released their REAL Trends 500 broker rankings, RISMedia released their Power Broker rankings, and T3 Sixty released their Mega 1000 ranking of the largest brokerages, franchisors, and holding companies. In large part, these firms use self-reported dollar sales volume and unit sales volume data from brokerages and franchises to construct the rankings. As we noted in our article about the REAL Trends list, not all firms report. When you are missing data from companies like Weichert and Redfin, it skews the rankings.
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Majority of Real Estate Firms Remain Optimistic, Evolving Technology Remains a Challenge
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The Consumer Journey Is More Like Chutes and Ladders
A tremendous amount of energy and money has been invested into moving consumers from a digital experience into an agent relationship. Consumer research performed by the National Association of REALTORS regularly indicates that consumers start their process of buying or selling online before connecting with a Realtor. I do not think anyone denies it. Journey Example
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Need a Proven Way to Protect Your Brokerage Against Disruptors?
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Contactually's Take on WAV Group's 2019 CRM Effectiveness Study
Technology Drives Agent Success Agents know websites and online leads are necessary to increase the sales funnel, yet it's the CRM that accelerates productivity. Sixty percent of brokers now provide a CRM to their agents for just this reason — and 90 percent of brokers who offer a CRM say their agents understand that CRMs strengthen relationships. Brokers view CRMs as one of the tools that generate the most ROI (along with social media, transaction management, and open house management).
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New WAV Group Study Reveals CRM Usage Is Key to Driving Sustainable Broker Profitability
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Ron Peltier Tops Annual List of Real Estate's Most Powerful Leaders
The Swanepoel Power 200 (SP200), the definitive ranking of the residential real estate industry's 200 most powerful and influential leaders, has named HomeServices of America Chairman and CEO Ron Peltier real estate's most powerful person in 2019. HomeServices of America has been a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary since 1999. The annual study was released Tuesday by T3 Sixty.
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A Look Inside the 2019 Swanepoel Trends Report
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5 Key Recruiting Insights for Real Estate Brokerages
Not too long ago, Engel & Volkers released its State of Real Estate Recruiting Insight Report with a plethora of interesting information for broker/owners across the continent. The goal of the report? To survey residential real estate agents to see just how satisfied they are with their brokerages, as well as what would make them move. So what did those agents say? Let's have a look at some of the key insights and what they mean for you.
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A Google Study on Team Efficiency: 5 Takeaways for Your Real Estate Business
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Number of Real Estate Teams is Growing, NAR Survey Finds
Teams are becoming more common in the real estate industry as an increasing number of Realtors consider themselves a member of a real estate team, according to a new survey by NAR. NAR's 2018 Teams Survey found that 26 percent of respondents were members of a real estate team while 73 percent were not a member of a real estate team.
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Leads vs. Brand: 3 Ways to Align Agent and Broker Marketing Goals
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Survey: Is Your CRM Working for You?
Welcome to the 2018 Broker CRM Survey Client Relationship Management software is coming of age in real estate. WAV Group Consulting, a leading research firm in real estate, is fielding a broker survey to better understand the role CRM solutions are playing today in helping brokerages become more successful by helping agents become more productive, focused and effective at building and maintaining client relationships. The survey should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your participation and candid feedback. We know your time is valuable and we really appreciate your feedback. WIN a $500 Gift Card! Complete the survey and automatically be entered to win one of four $500 Gift Cards! If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or 805-748-9118. Please click here to begin the survey.    
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Real Estate Teams Influence is Powerful, Growing, Studies Shows
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Deadline for Public Comments to the Real Estate Workshop by the FTC/DOJ is Tuesday, July 31
June 5th was an interesting day in Washington, DC for the real estate industry. The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice held a workshop to gain insight on the competitive environment in real estate. There are three videos about the workshop that can be viewed as a refresher for: What's New in Real Estate Brokerage Competition
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Survey of Top Execs Shows Benefits, Risks in Supporting Teams
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Chicago Brokerage's Digital Ad Pilot Increases Brand Exposure 1000%
RE/MAX does it. Windermere Real Estate does it. Alain Pinel Realtors, HUNT Real Estate ERA, and William Raveis Real Estate all do it—and more brokerages are signing up every day. We're talking about automated digital listing ads. Companies who leverage these ads are seeing up to a 400 percent increase in their digital exposure, more satisfied seller clients, and increased agent loyalty. But before automated listing ads became the marketing tool du jour, it all started with one brokerage—tech-forward, Chicago-based @properties. Their pilot program with Adwerx—an award-winning digital advertising platform—netted impressive results, and influenced the creation of Adwerx's broker-focused product, Adwerx Enterprise. The Beginning In February of 2017, Adwerx and @properties launched a pilot program that automatically generated digital ads from @properties' MLS listing data. Each listing received a single week of advertising, with the option for agents to purchase an extension of the campaign. Ads were created automatically, with no input needed from agents, though agents were able to edit their ads if they wished. In addition to automated ad creation, sellers were also automatically notified when an ad was generated for their home and sent regular reports on the ad's performance. This increased seller satisfaction and highlighted the marketing savvy of the firm and listing agent. The ads were targeted only to likely buyers and sellers, increasing their efficacy and cost-effectiveness. The Results Within eight months, Adwerx's pilot program with @properties had delivered 47 million impressions and 144,000 ad clicks. What's more, a survey of @properties associates found that: 94 percent of seller clients were satisfied 81 percent of agents felt greater brokerage loyalty 94 percent of agents believed they would win more listings 81 percent of agents expected increases in referrals The Adwerx Enterprise pilot program resulted in huge brand exposure for @properties. The firm's agents loved the program so much that many of them were extending their listings campaigns, resulting in a "halo effect" that more than doubled the brokerage's brand impressions—all the result of a sophisticated automated process. For a better idea of the impact that the halo effect can have on your brand's exposure, check out the illustration below. As you can see, automated listing ads can increase your online reach by 400 percent. When agents purchase additional advertising, your brokerage's impressions increase by a whopping 1000 percent. For further details on the success of @properties' pilot program with Adwerx, download this case study. To learn how automated digital ads can benefit your brokerage, visit enterprise.adwerx.com.    
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WAV Group Report: Emerging Data Solutions in Real Estate
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Survey: Industry Leaders Show Record Confidence in 2018 Economy, Housing
An unprecedented 73 percent of top real estate executives say the U.S. economy will improve or improve significantly. That's the highest level of confidence real estate leaders have expressed since Imprev started its annual Thought Leader Economy & Housing Outlook Study in 2012. These numbers are simply stunning. Top real estate executives' confidence in America's economy has more than doubled since October 2016. Then, just 32 percent said the U.S. economy would improve or improve significantly. The 2016 survey was conducted immediately prior to the U.S. presidential election. The highest confidence level prior to the current study was 54 percent in 2012. The biggest surprise in the survey data: for the first time, it broke the "closer to home" trend. Every year, the Imprev Thought Leader Survey asked top real estate leaders about their confidence in the economy, the broke it down: local economy, state economy, U.S. economy and world economy. And every single year, the same results: real estate leaders expressed the most confidence in the local economy, second most confidence in the state economy, third most confidence in the U.S. economy, and the least confidence in the world economy. It made sense: one has more influence and knowledge about one's local economy, so naturally, the closer to home the economy, the greater the confidence. Except when it's not: As in 2018.
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Real Estate's First HyperLocal White Paper Discovers a "Movement"
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WAV Group Issues First HyperLocal Real Estate White Paper
In-depth analysis shows huge "HyperLocal Movement" opportunity for brokerages ARROYO GRANDE, Calif., Jan. 10, 2018 -- A "HyperLocal Movement" in real estate is presenting real estate agents and brokerages with a massive opportunity to build robust businesses that can thrive regardless of "digital disrupters" or even market conditions, and it's being fueled by social media, mobile technology and marketing automation. That's the conclusion of a new White Paper -- HyperLocal Movement in Real Estate – issued today by the WAV Group and sponsored by hot Colorado real estate tech startup zavvie. The 40+ page document, authored by WAV Group's founding partner Victor Lund and Kevin Hawkins, who runs the firm's communications division, includes new results from real estate's first HyperLocal Survey, in partnership with broker technology provider zavvie. The HyperLocal Survey of 340 leading brokers, agents, team leaders, and industry executives shows that the gap between the neighborhood expertise consumers are demanding, and the industry's current activities to deliver that local expertise, is astonishingly wide. "This new White Paper provides context to the survey and casts new light on why HyperLocal is flourishing now, driven by the confluence of social media, mobile tech, and marketing automation," said Stefan Peterson, COO and Co-founder of zavvie, real estate's first HyperLocal marketing platform for brokerages and agents, and the sponsor of the WAV Group study. "All the research points to one major finding," said Lane Hornung, CEO and Co-founder of zavvie. "Becoming a neighborhood expert is the most valued way agents can differentiate themselves." The full-color HyperLocal Movement in Real Estate White Paper, in addition to the HyperLocal survey results, presents HyperLocal research findings from dozens of studies conducted by top marketing, real estate and research firms in the U.S. and abroad. Complete with detailed graphs, charts, and analysis, the document contains hundreds of data points and is the most comprehensive look at Hyperlocalism in real estate today. Also featured in the White Paper is a detailed Case Study by Victor Lund of a brokerage based in Boulder, Colorado, 8z Real Estate, that was built upon a philosophy of HyperLocal marketing. In eight years and with just 150 agents, it did $1 billion in transactions last year and has become one of the Top 10 brokerages in Colorado. "By taking a look under the hood a the firm that spawned the technology that became zavvie," Lund said, "brokers will be able to see how a HyperLocal approach not only works, but works incredibly well and the unique benefits it brings." Among the other Highlights from HyperLocal Movement in Real Estate: HyperLocalism is entrenched in virtually every business sector, from manufacturing to media, finance to health care, retail to real estate, reaching every major consumer segment as it continues to build momentum. It's not a stretch to say that today, anything that can be produced or provided locally, will be. In real estate, HyperLocal is much closer to home. A city or county is not HyperLocal, and neither is a metropolitan area — and certainly not a zip code or a region. Consumers define "local" in real estate as their neighborhood. Many businesses are failing to take advantage of the HyperLocal movement. Research attributes this to their overall failure to leverage the three factors driving this movement. They're missing out on opportunities in mobile device adoption, social media use and marketing technology advances, as HyperLocal communications channels and opportunities are spawning and multiplying at ever-lower costs while accelerating business-building cycles.Internet research guru Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins in her 2017 Internet Trend study wrote: "HyperLocal targeting is more effective than any other kinds of advertising in driving engagement." Josh Team, Chief Innovation Officer at Keller Williams Real Estate at Inman Connect SF 2017, describing the "Keller Williams Playbook for Surviving Real Estate Disruption," talked about the value of Hyperlocalism, saying, "Technology can't compete with the agent as a local expert," Team said. "This is something that technology has a really hard time doing. Be the local expert, and you can defend yourself. And brokers like us should be investing back into the agent to make it easier for them to be that expert." Real estate author Bruce Gardner is even more emphatic, saying, "No technology can replace the HyperLocal expertise or the network and relationships of a local real estate expert. Tom Ferry said, 'Farming is the most powerful way to grow and maintain a successful real estate business,'" Gardner added. "Now it is HyperLocal marketing." The White Paper features additional observations about Hyperlocalism from many other top real estate and marketing professionals including, Noelle Bortfeld, CMO of Windermere Real Estate; Eric Stegemann, CEO, TRIBUS; expert blogger and real estate marketing consultant Heather Elias; Neil Cohen, a nationally renowned brand marketing expert; Abbie Tse Higashi, General Counsel and Manager at McGuire Real Estate in the San Francisco area; Jimmy Mackin of Curaytor; and Daniel James Lesniak real estate agent and author of The HyperLocal, HyperFast Real Estate Agent. The new zavvie sponsored White Paper HyperLocal Movement in Real Estate is available at no cost – completely free with registration here. About zavviezavvie is the nation's first HyperLocal marketing platform, the place where savvy, trusted local real estate agents go to tap into the most powerful way for a real estate agent to grow and maintain a successful real estate business. zavvie delivers to brokerages, teams and agents, a complete social media and HyperLocal system for top agents to build their listing business and make – or keep –them the dominant agent in their neighborhood. Discover more at zavvie.com. About WAV GroupWAV Group is a leading real estate consulting firm, offering a depth of experience in technology, strategic planning, research, business development, strategic public relations, sales, product development and marketing in the real estate industry. Clients include some of the largest MLSs in North America, International real estate franchise organizations, technology companies and trade associations. WAV Group partners have been CEO's, executive team members or founders of Fortune 100 and venture-funded corporations and approach each relationship with a clear understanding of the challenges that face each client's businesses today.      
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Imprev Real Estate Leader Study Shows Record Confidence in Economy, Housing
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Results From Real Estate's First HyperLocal Survey
WAV Group and other consumer research have consistently shown that buyers want neighborhood expertise above all else. It's more important to consumers than an agent's ability to negotiate or communicate. It's often even more important to consumers than trust. So you would think that the most common agent business model would be designed to exploit that opportunity, right? But you would be wrong. Yet if you ask agents, they will tell you they indeed have deep local expertise – often they see themselves as being the "top" local expert. But if you look at what they do in their day-to-day business, they certainly don't market their business or themselves that way. That's some of the findings of the first-ever Hyperlocal real estate study WAV Group recently conducted for Colorado based technology firm, zavvie. The headline for the survey could very well read: "Agents, teams and brokers say one thing, do another."
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Study Says Longer Tweets Are Better
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Americans Have Confidence in Homeownership, Says 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey
For the past twelve years, the National Association of REALTORS® has conducted a National Housing Pulse Survey to gauge Americans' confidence in homeownership. And the results show that when it comes to safe investments, Americans feel that home buying is where it's at: "The vast majority of Americans believe that buying a home is a solid financial decision, and most believe that homeownership helps create safe, secure, and stable environments." Key Homeownership Findings: 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey
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Redfin Case Study Shows that Web Traffic Does Not Drive Sales
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Real Estate Leaders See Bright Future for Predictive Analytics, Big Data, and Marketing Automation
New Imprev Study Also Shows Surprises: Lukewarm Ratings for Portals and "Hot" Technologies Real estate industry leaders anticipate big opportunities coming from newer technology like predictive analytics, big data, and marketing automation over the next five years, but show lukewarm confidence in artificial intelligence, augmented realty, and virtual reality 3D tours. These findings emerged from a new Imprev Thought Leadership Survey asking participants to predict the future of real estate marketing and anticipate the effect on their businesses. The study was released today at Inman Connect, the nation's largest real estate technology conference being held August 7-11 at the San Francisco Hilton.
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White Paper: Generating New Business in Real Estate
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What Information is Most Important to Real Estate Consumers?
The amount of information available to a typical real estate consumer is vast. In just a few minutes on the web, real estate consumers can find what properties are for sale, how the local schools are ranked, how easy it is to walk around, and much more. New and interesting data is constantly coming available that can help engage real estate consumers and help guide them in making the right decision. So what pieces of information are most important to real estate professionals and their potential clients? When so much data is available, how do you prioritize what to include in your sales process? Last month, we conducted an extensive survey of nearly 400 real estate professionals and asked them questions on how they generate new business. The results can be found in our exclusive whitepaper, Generating New Business in Real Estate. One of the questions we asked was what type of information real estate professionals provided to their clients in their home-buying process. Here is what we found: The most common piece of information real estate professionals provided was likely commute times, with nearly 70 percent of respondents saying they provide this information during the real estate buying and selling process. Understanding how long it will take a typical consumer to get to work was considered a valuable piece of information.
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[Infographic] How Brokerages Are Leveraging Technology
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Buying and Selling Differences and Similarities Across Generations
Since 2013, the National Association of REALTORS® has written the Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. This report provides insights into differences and similarities across generations of home buyers and home sellers. The home buyer and seller data is taken from the annual NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Below is an infographic with highlights from the report. For additional statistics, read the full report.
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Effective Ways to Generate Seller Leads
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RESO Standards Adoption Report
The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) has driven the most important data solution for real estate brokers over the past year. With support from the National Association of REALTORS®, all NAR® affiliated MLSs (think association-owned) are required to adopt the RESO standard for MLS data. This change compelled CoreLogic®, the nation's largest MLS provider, to make the changes to the MLS data feeds. Zillow Group also jumped into the mix with the acquisition of Bridge Interactive to complement RETSLY. But firms went further, and it's good for brokers. Prior to the NAR mandate to adopt RESO data dictionary, every MLS in the nation spoke a different data language. In parlance, everyone had different data fields and rules in those fields. For example, some would structure the number of baths as a whole number that added up all of the bathrooms, like 3.75. Others would structure the data to say 3 full baths, 1 half bath, and one quarter bath. Now, almost every MLS has adopted the same structure for data distribution through the RESO Data Dictionary. The way that any given MLS made choices about data structure was up to the MLS. Now it's a standard across them all. Read the full report on RESO Standards Adoption here!
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Real Estate Statistics for 2017
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Imprev Study Shows Real Estate Leaders' Outlook for Housing, Economy Softens for 2017
Who really has the pulse of the U.S., world, state and local economies? Those with boots on the ground versus those sitting in ivory towers, I'd argue. That's why I look forward to Imprev's annual study that examines the confidence that the top real estate broker-owners and executive management at franchises have in the housing market next year. There have been 240 responses this year from leaders who run brokerages that, together, are responsible for one of every two home sales transactions in the U.S. It's the most comprehensive study of real estate industry Thought Leaders, and it has shown to be incredibly accurate. The message this year: Realtors are not always the eternal optimists they are portrayed to be as they are not as bullish on 2017 as they were on 2016. Here's a look at their news release from today — with a link to a Summary Results PDF — that discloses the hard data from this survey: Study Shows Real Estate Leaders' Outlook for Housing, Economy Softens for 2017 Imprev Thought Leader Study Also Reveals More Brokerages Feel Profitability Pressure December 7, 2016 – Bellevue, WA –Top real estate executives' confidence in the U.S. economy and housing market for 2017 has softened compared to two years ago, and 42% have grown less confident in the world economy since January, according to the latest Imprev Thought Leader Real Estate Confidence study. "Real Estate leaders are clearly less bullish about the coming year than they were two years ago," says Renwick Congdon, Chief Executive Officer of Imprev, a top provider of automated marketing services for real estate. "In fact, confidence for 2017 is lower across nearly all questions related to housing and the economy." "When we compare past studies, an interesting trend emerges: Executives and broker-owners are less confident in the global economy and far more confident in their local economies at the end of each year than they were at the beginning. In fact, their confidence grows stronger the closer the economy is to home," Congdon explains. "This year, while only 4% of leaders say their confidence in the world economy has grown this year, 35% say their confidence in their own local economy has grown; while 13% have gained confidence in the U.S. economy, 26% have more confidence in their own state's economy."
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White Paper: Data-driven marketing is a force in real estate
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Upstream Study Shows Strong Real Estate Industry Support
Real estate leaders are nearly unanimous in support of Upstream, a new real estate brokerage-driven effort to streamline listing and sales data and its online delivery, a new study reveals. The vast majority of real estate leaders – 84% – say they are supportive of Upstream. The new independent research by Imprev surveyed more than 300 broker-owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms that were responsible for more than half of all U.S. residential real estate transactions last year. The study showed that 57% of top real estate executives surveyed say they are "very supportive" of Upstream, and 27% say they are "supportive."  Only 2% say they are "not at all supportive," and 14% say they are "somewhat supportive." "The overall endorsement of Upstream is impressive," said Renwick Congdon, CEO of Imprev, who spearheads the automated marketing services firm and created the semi-annual Thought Leader Survey series in 2012. "With few exceptions, the real estate industry is showing incredible resolve in getting behind Upstream early on. This new study shows that most real estate leaders not only say that Upstream will be vital to how real estate listing and sales data is managed end-to-end, but are highly confident that this new venture – still in its infancy – will succeed." The research shows that more than four out of five (84%) top real estate executives say they believe Upstream will be "important" to some degree for their future data needs. 53% say Upstream will be "very important," and 31% say it will be "important." Thirteen percent say Upstream will be "somewhat important," and just 3% say it will not be important.
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RESO Fielding Survey to Learn How to Make MLS Data Work Better for Brokers
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Where Real Estate Agents’ Business Comes From
Between October to December 2015, Contactually interviewed over 120 brokerage owners and senior leaders at the leading brokerages in the US and in Canada. We wanted to understand their business priorities and how they planned on supporting their agents through the upcoming year. You can download the report here, but we want to dive into one of the findings that isn't only relevant to brokerages, but more importantly for real estate agents. According to our interviews, we found that at least 65% of a typical real estate agent's business comes from their existing network. This is broken down into two parts: 35% comes from a client referrals and 30% comes from repeat business.
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Real Estate Statistics for 2016
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The Latest Report from NAR Can Increase Your Sales
Sales of first-time home buyers declined for the third year in a row, according to NAR's recently released 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. However, the news isn't all bad—this (typically) younger demographic is the most likely to use a Realtor. The trick is in knowing how to reach and engage them. The information in NAR's report hints at how to achieve this, and the folks at Onboard Informatics have condensed data points from the report into a handy infographic, complete with tips. Take a look and feel free to share the image with your own social networks.
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Why It’s Critical For You To Know Your Neighborhood
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7 Surprising Facts from NAR's Newest Research on Buyers and Sellers
Each year, the National Association of REALTORS® releases a study of homebuyers and sellers, which is my favorite REALTOR® research publication. The NAR Research Group publishes publishes excellent research — including its superb daily Economists' Outlook — but this one is especially chocked full of golden statistical nuggets, which is ideal for a data junkie like me. These are the kinds of facts I love to pull from research because these data points are what help tell a story, and that's a great way to earn the attention of a reporter who covers our industry. Here are seven facts from this brand new report that you may or may not find surprising, but my guess is your clients would: 1. Most home buyers have no kids at home. A full 63% of home buyers did not have a single child under the age of 18 living at home. What are we going to do with all these McMansions? 2. Home buyers in the South are more diverse than those in the Northeast, or Midwest. Southern diversity (82% White) among home buyers significantly eclipses both the Midwest (93% White) and Northeast (90% White), and almost ties the West (81% White). We have a lot more work to do as an industry in this space. 3. The Northeast by far had the most first-time buyers in the last year: As a percentage, 43% of all home buyers in the Northeast were first-time buyers, compared to 26% in the West, 30% in the South, and 38% in the Midwest. One would think the Midwest or the South, with lower price homes might be higher, but lower incomes clearly play a role.
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Why Using Professional Photography Makes Good Economic Sense
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Groundbreaking Real Estate Agent Safety Study Announced
Real Safe Agent, an Austin based company, has retained the WAV Group to conduct comprehensive research into agent safety. The study will involve interviewing agents who have been victims of crimes and convicted felons who have committed crimes against real estate agents, as well as quantitative data collected from thousands of general safety survey results. "If we can identify specific circumstances, behaviors, and patterns that predators use to target and lure real estate agents then we can prevent the crime from occurring," said Lee Goldstein, CEO of Real Safe Agent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has been a 300 percent increase in violent crime against professionals selling or leasing real estate since 2006. Previous safety research primarily used surveys to collect quantitative data about the opinions and habits of real estate agents regarding safety. This study differs from others in that it will collect qualitative data from victims and perpetrators. Additionally, the purpose of the research represents a paradigm shift in the real estate industry from "reaction" to "prevention." Marilyn Wilson, founding partner of WAV Group, said, "We now have the opportunity to uncover new information that could help save someone's life. I can't imagine any more meaningful or important work."
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What is the Deal with Millennials?
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"Marketing Automation" for real estate poised for explosive growth
"Marketing Automation" is emerging as the hottest technology trend for real estate firms in 2016, according to the new Thought Leader Survey of the real estate industry's top executives conducted by Imprev. While two-thirds of real estate brokerage and franchise leaders say their firms do not currently use Marketing Automation, nearly one in three (29%) plan to implement Marketing Automation in 2016. Explaining the momentum behind the trend, among firms that currently use Marketing Automation, more than half (56%) plan to increase their use of Marketing Automation next year. As one survey respondent commented, "It is the future of the industry. The best use of an agent's time is being in front of the client. They can't do that if they are bogged down with marketing." The new Thought Leader Survey, conducted by Imprev in June 2015, polled top executives at more than 200 leading real estate franchises and independent brokerages that as a group were responsible for more than one-third of all U.S. residential real estate transactions last year.
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Go Digital: 3 Studies on Young Home Buyers
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Wanted: Your Opinion on Digital Transaction Management
Brokers, we want your opinion! WAV Group has just launched our 2015 Digital Transaction Management Study and would love to hear your perspective. To participate, all you need to do is complete a short survey. We have been monitoring the growth and acceptance of Digital Transaction Management with brokers since 2005. Our last study on the subject, conducted in 2009, showed us that digital transaction management was coming of age. Respondents desired a "green" business environment and saw the ease in client communication that the tools can bring. Over half a decade later, brokers are seeing benefits beyond just the environmental, like: Less risk of mistakes on transactions Reduced file storage cost More visibility into transactions Better client experience/retention A lot has changed in the technology world and in the real estate industry since 2009. But we'd like to know if the current digital transaction management tools available to the real estate industry meeting your needs now? To take part in the 2015 Digital Transaction Management Study, click the link below and complete our short survey. Your responses will only be used for the purpose of this study and your information will not be shared. 2015 Digital Transaction Management Survey Thank you in advance for participating!
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The Facts: What We Know About Homebuyers
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MLS or Broker Technology Site License
Below is an excerpt of a new whitepaper from WAV Group. To view the full report, click here. Last year, WAV Group spent a lot of time measuring the effectiveness of MLS and broker technology services with our clients. Our process typically includes one or all of the standard practices for measuring product adoption and satisfaction: surveys, focus groups, competitive analysis, adoption rate curves, true cost analysis, etc. The truth is, very few of our nation's MLSs or brokers do an effective job at communicating, marketing, and supporting all of the services offered through subscriber fees. Site licenses have created a circumstance where the many (all MLS subscribers or brokerage agents) are paying for services used by the few that use a service. Definition A site license is a process whereby the MLS or brokerage purchases a service from a vendor for all of its subscribers or brokerage agents. Typically, a technology solution that may cost an individual $20 to $40 per month will be priced around $.50 to $2 per user per month for an MLS or large brokerage firm. Economics of scale come into play. When you are purchasing a service for thousands of users vs. a single user, you get a discount. Moreover, MLSs or brokerages will often assume responsibility of supporting the application. For example, brokers or MLSs typically will take on user set-up, training, first tier help desk, remove billing costs, etc. The brokerage or MLS is removing many of the real costs to delivering SAAS technology to agents and brokers.
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Brokers and agents spend millions to buy Zillow and Trulia leads, yet brokers value organic leads more highly, new Imprev survey reports
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Brokerage CRM: Best Practices for Sales Driven Organizations
The two valves that constitute the heart of consulting are benchmarking and case studies. Benchmarking is measuring an industry norm. Case studies focus on telling the story of new strategies deployed by pioneers for products or tactics. Both provide organizations with insights that sharpen their aim or expand their aspiration. A great example of a benchmark is WAV Group's report that 4 in 10 real estate professionals have not done a transaction in more than a year. Take a look at this study that surveyed data from MLSs across the nation. WAV Group recently compiled a CRM case study with two of America's leading brokerages that are highly committed sales driven organizations. As dedicated sales driven organizations, the agent sales funnel and the agent presentation tools are regarded as the most important assets deployed by the firm. In both cases, Windermere and Long and Foster revealed the success found through changing client relationship management software providers. WAV Group invites you to download a complimentary copy of this whitepaper. In the case of Long and Foster, the company switched listing presentation/CMA providers. In doing so, they were able to level set the buyer and seller presentations across the entire salesforce. They gained design and information control. They also supported agents by delivering a solution that works on all devices – mobile and desktop. Today the company reports higher much higher utilization of broker supplied presentation tool and higher conversion rates.
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Real Estate Leaders Share 2015 Outlook on Housing, Economy
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State of the Nation's Housing 2014: Millennials Key to Recovery
The State of the Nation's Housing 2014 was released last week and Millennials were the headline —the Harvard Research Center finds they are key to a stronger housing recovery. While the housing market is recovering, it's doing so at a much slower rate than first thought, following the slow recovery path of the overall economy. Why are Millennials so important? During the live webcast about the report, Chris Herbert, Research Director, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, reminded us that young buyers have always been important—they add to housing demand and allow others to move up. However, they are also coming of age during the worst recession since the Depression, Herbert said. Key challenges for millennials are: rising interest rates, tight credit, student loan debt and stagnant incomes. The homeownership rate realized a steady decline for the past nine years, but if you look at the age breakouts for the homeownership rate, the story is actually much worse. From 2004 to 2013, the slide in homeownership rates has been most dramatic among younger adults compared to other age groups. Rates for 25-34 year olds were down nearly 8 percentage points and for 35-44 year olds, some 9 percentage points. Herbert said factors contributing to homeownership drop among young buyers include: More wariness among buyers, eyes wide open since the crisis Less confidence in increased home prices Credit conditions are much tighter, making it harder to get in the market Median incomes down for those in their 20s and 30s
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Millennials Place a Premium on Mass Transit. Why this Matters to your Business (the Bias Series)
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Value of Buyers Agent Diminishing, Study Reveals
WAV Group has had the pleasure of working with the Houston Association of REALTOR®'s Consumer Research Panel for over a year now. The panel has helped the organization uncover many meaningful insights that have helped share technology strategies, advocacy efforts and educational efforts. Today, the Houston Association of REALTORS® released the findings of their "DIY: Do It Yourself" consumer research panel study. The purpose of the study was to gauge how important Houston area consumers feel agents are to the transaction. The survey, which was fielded to the 7,000 consumers that are now a part of the industry's largest consumer panel, highlights the differences between those that are in the buying process versus selling process, as well the differences between generations. Here are some key findings: Consumers value the need for a REALTOR® when they are selling their home versus when they are buying a home. 66% of those surveyed believe they can find a home without an agent. When it comes to the logistics of executing a transaction, however, consumers still want to turn to an agent for guidance and advice. Today, third party sites like HAR.com, Zillow, Trulia and others are used by just about EVERY demographic except those born in the 1920s and 1930s. These sites have transcended all ages. Only 4% of all respondents will find an agent first before beginning the search for a home. Home buying criteria differ by generation. Neighborhood and affordability are key factors for Millennials, but older respondents emphasize first finding the right home and then looking at affordability.
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Agent Responsiveness Study Reveals Critical Flaws in Real Estate Lead Response
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Highlights from the 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
The National Association of REALTORS® has long-established itself as a provider of valued data relevant to the industry. One of the organization's most recent studies is the The 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, just released in November. This annual NAR survey of recent home buyers and sellers provides key insight into respondents' experiences with this important transaction. Topics covered in the report include who today's buyers and sellers are, how they use the services of real estate professionals and what role the internet plays in the buying/selling process. Topics are presented in a user-friendly format designed to allow easy comparisons with previous studies through a mix of charts, graphs and tables. Just a few highlights from the report include the following statistics: Sixty-six percent of recent home buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001. For 42 percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties. Fourteen percent of home buyers first looked online for information about the home buying process. The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.  
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Online Performance: 5 Key New Findings
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Challenge: Recruiting Younger Agents
Finding the right talent — younger talent, in particular — is what's most on the minds of top real estate executives, according to the 2013 Imprev Thought Leader Survey. Although recruiting is a perennial issue, leaders of the nation's major brokerages who were surveyed about the issues that concern them most put an even finer point on it, citing "recruiting younger agents" as their top business challenge; it was selected by 70 percent of respondents. "Recruiting top talent" is the second-most crucial business challenge, specified by 65 percent. "The real estate business is aging out," said Renwick Congdon, chief executive officer of Imprev, the real estate marketing software firm that works with 150,000 agents and brokers nationwide. "Broker-owners and other top real estate executives are under pressure to find new talent." National Association of Realtors® data show that a mere 6 percent of its membership is under the age of 34 — and that in the past 15 years, the percentage of members in their 40s has dropped by one-third. Additionally, more than 40 percent of all Realtors® are older than 60 and one in four is 65 or older.
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Consumer Centric or Customer Friendly?
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1 plus 1 Equals Video
Doing research like our 2013 Broker Website Effectiveness Study (BWES) helps WAV Group identify and measure a multitude of strategies that brokers may deploy to improve their online performance. One key trend today that is working very well is video. I am not sure how long video will help brokers gain an edge, but today it works. Some of the facts we gathered in the BWES included that Google is the number one search engine by a significant margin, capturing 75% of all search traffic (see image, right). If you combine the predominance Google with an understanding of how search results are displayed, you recognize that for every keyword search, Google attempts to display a video search result above the page on the first page of results (see image, left). This has been a keynote strategy that we have long appreciated with virtual tours. Today, virtual tours by most vendors are automated. They rely on data feeds from the MLS or ListHub to acquire the data ingredients, including photos that are stitched together, price, description, etc. In many ways, the information found on a virtual tour webpage today is a comprehensive IDX display.
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How to Turn Online Home Searchers Into New Clients
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The New Frontier of Internet Marketing, Part 2
This is the second half of a new whitepaper from ListHub. View Part One here. The Current State of Affairs The quality of U.S. listing information on international websites around the world today is abysmal. We conducted a study in which we evaluated listing data accuracy on two major publishers in the UK that display U.S. listings, RightMove and Zoopla. Here's what we did: we randomly selected 200 listings from the UK websites and checked each one for accuracy by comparing the listing information on the UK site to the listing information on realtor.com®. We chose sites in the UK for one simple reason: they are in English, and thus, easier for us to evaluate without translation. We checked five core fields for each listing: status, price, address, beds, and baths. If all five factors were correct for the listing, it was deemed "accurate." And here is what we found: RightMove: 63% of listings were incorrect on at least one core field. Zoopla: 86% of the listings were incorrect on at least one core field. Overall: 75% of the listings were inaccurate, only 25% accuracy observed on international publishers. 75% OF THE LISTINGS OBSERVED ON INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHERS ARE INACCURATE; HALF OF THOSE WERE NOT EVEN ON MARKET 32% of all the listings we looked up (nearly half of the total inaccurate listings) were not even on the market, with "last sold" dates as long ago as 2007, 2005 and 1992! Clearly, there are severe problems with current methodology used by today's brokers and agents to advertise their listings on international publishers. The question is, what can we do about it?
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The New Frontier of Internet Marketing
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Quantifying The Value of Walkability and Public Transit
Here at Walk Score we see the headlines that the housing market is recovering, interest rates are low and construction is on the rise, but still there is uncertainty in the macro dynamics of the real-estate market post 2007 real estate bubble. In recent months, leading academics, consulting firms and real estate associations have touted the financial benefits of buying and living in walkable cities. While the Walk Score team prepares for Inman's Real Estate Connect conference this week, we wanted to share some recent research quantifying the financial value of walkability, access to public transit and shorter commutes. The American Public Transportation Association, in partnership with the National Association of REALTORS®, recently published a study titled The New Real Estate Mantra that identified "a premium associated with walkability in the form of an increase in office, residential and retail rents, retail revenues, and for-sale residential values. The recession increased the premium for retail and office space in walkable urban neighborhoods; pre-recession (defined as 2000-07) there was ?a 23 percent premium per square foot valuation, during the recession (2008-10) it jumped to 44 percent." Percent change in average residential sales prices close to public transit vs. not close to public transit (2006-11). Source: American Public Transportation Association.
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When Are Your Potential Clients Online?
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Foot traffic, future sales and on-location marketing
This post comes to us from the Sign Rider Store blog: In a recent visual data set provided in part by SentriLock and presented by NAR Research, we see a very strong correlation between foot traffic and future sales, varying by environment. We stress the value of on-location marketing as a way to influence buyers, given this is where most decisions to rent or buy are actually made. In urban environments, it becomes particularly important to differentiate your listings from those in close proximity. Here are some tips for on-location marketing to help spark buyer interest. 1. Advertise what can't be seen from the street Amenities, features, backyard highlights, etc., e.g. "Hardwood floors, renovated kitchen."
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Share This Listing
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Whitepaper: Maximum Marketing - Part 2
This article is Part Two of a new whitepaper from ListHub. Click here to view Part One. Do Brokers Know What They Are Doing? Are brokers making an informed choice when they choose Maximum Marketing? As new publisher sites and models have emerged over the years, some industry participants have questioned whether brokers are demonstrating ignorance with their actions when they make these advertising choices. Do Brokers Need to be Protected From Themselves? So, we asked them. ListHub recently conducted a survey to learn what factors are important to brokers when deciding where to market their listings online. The survey was administered by both phone and email to 200 ListHub brokers who have selected "Maximize Marketing." We Found Out "Were you aware that you selected all of the sites?" First, we wanted to find out if these brokers were even aware of their selections. With 83% responding "Yes," we learned that the brokers knew the choices they had made. "Why did you choose to send your listings to all of the sites in the network?" The second question was open-ended. However, we received many similar responses. The common thread for these brokers was the importance of getting the maximum exposure possible.
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Whitepaper: Maximum Marketing
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Whitepaper: Maximum Marketing, Part 2
This article is Part Two of a new whitepaper from ListHub. Click here to view Part One. Do Brokers Know What They Are Doing? Are brokers making an informed choice when they choose Maximum Marketing? As new publisher sites and models have emerged over the years, some industry participants have questioned whether brokers are demonstrating ignorance with their actions when they make these advertising choices. Do Brokers Need to be Protected From Themselves? So, we asked them. ListHub recently conducted a survey to learn what factors are important to brokers when deciding where to market their listings online. The survey was administered by both phone and email to 200 ListHub brokers who have selected "Maximize Marketing." We Found Out "Were you aware that you selected all of the sites?" First, we wanted to find out if these brokers were even aware of their selections. With 83% responding "Yes," we learned that the brokers knew the choices they had made. "Why did you choose to send your listings to all of the sites in the network?" The second question was open-ended. However, we received many similar responses. The common thread for these brokers was the importance of getting the maximum exposure possible.
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Whitepaper: Maximum Marketing
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Know What Your Customers Are Looking For
Running your clients around to viewings and open houses is part of the business, and no one complains when the homebuyer—at long last—finally finds their dream home and signs on the dotted line. It's expected that your clients will need to visit sometimes dozens of homes before settling on the right one, and there's not much that can be done to minimize that searching time. Or is there? According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2013 Profile of Buyers' Home Feature Preferences has been released, and it includes some very interesting data on homebuyer interests, preferences and trends. For example, geography and demographics have the strongest impact on home buyer preferences. Between 2010 and 2012, buyers went for new homes. The average home purchased was 1,860 square feet, built in 1996, and typically featured three bedrooms and two bathrooms. More than half of the homes purchased were on a single level. "Deciding where to live comes with a lot of options, but buyers quickly realize that some features are more important than others when it comes to choosing the right house for them," said NAR President Gary Thomas. "Buyers need to have a clear idea of what features are important to them and know where they are willing to compromise; in this respect, REALTORS® can bring buyers home. REALTORS® visit hundreds of homes with buyers each year, and have a unique understanding of what buyers value in their local markets."
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[Report] Your Business Suffers By Keeping Customers On Hold
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Marketwatch Reports from 10K Research
We published a press release yesterday announcing that NAR has selected 10K Research and Marketing to continue Economic and Market Watch reports. It's important news, so we thought we'd repeat the key points. After all, these reports are coming to your area soon.
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Broker Marketing: CoreLogic Short Sale Study Signals Investor Buying Spree
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Real Estate Market Analysis: Negative Equity - Insights into the Future
There are many opinions on where the market is going in real estate. With so many moving parts, there is no opinion that is so solid that you’d bet your business. However, there are facts, and CoreLogic recently published some data points that are important. CoreLogic announced that 23.1% of mortgages are in negative equity. That means that according to our data, 23.1% of mortgage loan balances are greater than the associated property values. According to the release, 23.1% of mortgages equates to 11.1 million residential properties. This data moves every month, and does not include commercial properties. An additional 2.4 million homes are within 5% of the equity balance.  
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Nearly Half of Sales Are Now Distressed Properties
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Mastering Your Blog Timing
How many times a day or week should you blog to keep people interested? Do you know what time of day is best for blogging? Does it matter? The answer is simple: there is a science to blogging. With millions of bloggers, how do you make your message rise above the digital noise and gain traction within your industry? When are people listening? Don't worry, there are answers to this based on scientific research. Modern day blogging has evolved into a science. If you are interested in keeping a client and subscriber base informed and engaged with you and your message, it is well worth your time to invest in learning some of the research behind the science of blog timing. HubSpot social media scientist Dan Zarrella discussed his research on timing. He has conducted research on the Internet for the last 2-3 years. Of all the subjects he researches, the science of timing is the number one piece of data consumers want to know. He researches and identifies best practices. This webinar presents all the data to date that Zarrella has studied. It covers three marketing mediums businesses use for inbound marketing: social media, email and blogging. This article focuses on blogging specifically.
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Consumer Mindset: Home Owning is Better Than Renting
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Full Report: Property Buyers Go Mobile
Mobile Search for the Real Estate Industry Property Buyers Goes Mobile In today's real estate market, listings are relatively easy to secure, buyers are not. In order to thrive, REALTORS® need to find breakthrough ways to unleash the power of the localized marketing tools available to them, beyond using the Internet. This paper will discuss a new concept called Mobile Search which will greatly enhance a REALTOR®'s ability to grow their business using traditional "offline" marketing vehicles. Mobile Search provides real estate professionals with an affordable method for dramatically improving lead capture and conversion rates while significantly improving the return on investment of advertising vehicles like print ads, yard signs, and real estate television shows. Several studies have shown that consumers interested in buying a property desire more information than ever before from their agent. They demand real estate information and follow-up in real-time. The proliferation of real estate information on the Internet has trained consumers to expect information within seconds. They are frustrated with the lack of rapid response generated when they contact an agent using traditional means of advertising real estate. When a consumer pulls up to a home, or looks at a magazine ad, for example, they expect to be able to access information instantly or to talk directly to the listing agent.
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Minorities and Young Keep Homeownership Dream Alive
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Home Price Stabilization Seen in Most Metro Areas
Home sales rebounded in 49 states during the fourth quarter. Over half of the available metropolitan areas experienced price gains from a year ago, while most of the rest saw prices weaken, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, jumped 15.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.80 million in the fourth quarter from 4.16 million in the third quarter. The sales were 19.5% below a surge to an unsustainable cyclical peak of 5.97 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, which was driven by the initial deadline for the first-time buyer tax credit.
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Are You Ready for the Hit to Luxury?
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The Value of Indexing for Real Estate Industry Websites
WAV Group is proud to release this property indexing white paper to explain NAR’s policy on indexing listings. The paper provides an overview of indexing, the process used by search engines to catalog information on the Internet. In order for MLSs to enforce IDX rules and regulations, they must understand indexing. Furthermore, anyone operating an IDX website needs to understand indexing and the advantages that it offers to search engine optimization (SEO) and online competition. Non-IDX property search websites like Trulia, Realtor.com and others have been indexing listings for years, and as a result - they have a significant advantage over brokers in online search results. The typical broker website may only have a few hundred pages of content if the listings are not indexed. In a major MLS market, that same broker may have 100,000 of pages of content if the IDX listings on their website are indexed.  
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One Broker's Case Study - Taking Back Control
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Light at the End of the Tunnel: New Products Bring Hope
Brokers, large and small, face significant challenges they did not face 20 years ago.  Profit margins have eroded and control over their independent contractors has been minimized.   The consumer has taken on a much more vocal role in the process and is forcing transparency and responsiveness never before experienced.   Some of these challenges are related to technology and the advance of the Internet while others are cultural challenges that have come about through the changing broker/agent relationship.  WAV Group’s new white paper explores the issues behind the broker’s challenge to gain better control and visibility into their companies while re-establishing a new value proposition for their agents! While part one of this five part series focused on understanding how brokers got into the technological mess they find themselves today.  The second part of this  series discussed how to get through the maze of broker technology. We have now come to part 3 of this 5 part series, to discuss the light at the end of this tunnel. Brokers are amazing people. They are leaders, motivators, trainers and counselors.
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Sifting Through the Maze of Broker Technology
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No Broker Backbone: How We Got Into this Mess
Brokers, large and small, face significant challenges they did not face 20 years ago. Profit margins have eroded and control over their independent contractors has been minimized. The consumer has taken on a much more vocal role in the process and is forcing transparency and responsiveness never before experienced. Some of these challenges are related to technology and the advance of the Internet while others are cultural challenges that have come about through the changing broker/agent relationship. Most Brokers really do not have a clear view of their operations from front to back today. With increased expenses and aggressive competition this is more important than ever. Broker systems have developed over time and are typically made up of multiple products from multiple vendors that were not developed to work in an integrated fashion. The result is numerous points of entering the same data over and over and not being able to share data easily between modules. Brokerages are experiencing cultural challenge as well. Consumer and industry pressures are forcing an evolution in the role of the Broker and the services they offer for today’s agents. The sense of community that used to be evident in every brick and mortar office is largely gone.Agents are mobile and more independent today. Smartphones, wireless Internet and even wirelessly enabled laptops, iPads and tablet PCs have changed the way agents do business. Many Brokers, however, still approach business the way they did before the Internet and this is a losing battle.
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Wanted: Backbones for Brokerages
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How Much is a Facebook Fan Worth?
For a while now the return on investment (ROI) for a Facebook fans has been hard to measure. Social media takes time.  Each day posting, linking and building a followership that you should engage with takes time. A not so underlying concern for real estate professionals is: is it paying off?  It this the best use of my day? Take heart, those of you who are faithfully working on your social presence, recent findings from Syncapse indicate that the average Facebook fan is worth $136.38 to a brand and Facebook fans spend an average of an extra $71.84 on a product. However, previous ExactTarget research indicates only 17% of US consumers reported that they're more likely to buy as a result of liking a brand.
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