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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
It seems that the number of top brokerage lists is getting cluttered. REAL Trends has its perennial 500 Top Brokerage list, and they have always been the gold standard of top brokerage and agent lists with the most reliable data. Then last year and again this year, T3 Sixty came out with its Mega 1000 list, which they recently released their second one. But as a business consultant, to me, the clear winner in terms of practical value is the work that RISMedia does with its annual Power Broker Report. Let's face it: the RISMedia Power Broker Report is the industry's favorite. And with good reason.
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T3 Sixty Releases Their Industry Rankings
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Majority of Real Estate Firms Remain Optimistic, Evolving Technology Remains a Challenge
The evolving technological landscape, competition from nontraditional market participants and housing affordability continue to be among the biggest challenges facing real estate firms in the next two years, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors. NAR's 2019 Profile of Real Estate Firms found that commercial real estate firms were more likely than residential firms to cite local or regional economic conditions as the biggest challenges, while residential firms were more likely to mention competition from non-traditional market participants and virtual firms.
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The Consumer Journey Is More Like Chutes and Ladders
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Need a Proven Way to Protect Your Brokerage Against Disruptors?
Are you tired of reading about the billions of dollars being invested to convert many of the real estate industry's brokerages and franchises? Are you wondering how you are going to compete to recruit and retain agents and without killing your own bottom line? WAV Group just released a case study highlighting a meaningful way that Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty is leveraging their own historical data to do just that. This smart, tech savvy brokerage is leveraging 20 years of historical data to create a data warehouse that can be used to retain agents by providing them with actionable insights that lead to business success.
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Contactually's Take on WAV Group's 2019 CRM Effectiveness Study
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New WAV Group Study Reveals CRM Usage Is Key to Driving Sustainable Broker Profitability
WAV Group recently fielded its WAV Group 2019 CRM Effectiveness Study. The study distributed to 71,581 brokers across the country, clearly demonstrated that Client Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are becoming mainstream. Key Takeaways
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Ron Peltier Tops Annual List of Real Estate's Most Powerful Leaders
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A Look Inside the 2019 Swanepoel Trends Report
Author Stefan Swanepoel began writing a series of Trends Reports in 2006. His 2019 report does not disappoint. The report chronicles the top 10 trends that he recognizes as material topics for our industry to think about. Swanepoel believes that this year will be "the single largest industry transformation in living memory." The 10 significant trends that were identified are as follows:
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5 Key Recruiting Insights for Real Estate Brokerages
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A Google Study on Team Efficiency: 5 Takeaways for Your Real Estate Business
Project Aristotle A team at Google wanted to explore what types of people and qualities make up the "perfect" team. They studied 180 teams (115 project teams in engineering, and 65 sales pods), and ultimately defined five aspects of effective teams. We will explore these five dynamics, what they mean for a real estate team, and how you can implement them to improve your team efficiency.
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Number of Real Estate Teams is Growing, NAR Survey Finds
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Leads vs. Brand: 3 Ways to Align Agent and Broker Marketing Goals
How do brokers and agents differ in their marketing priorities? A recent REAL Trends study analyzed the strategies that both groups use to market their business. The study, co-commissioned by Adwerx, revealed that agents' marketing was driven by immediate lead generation needs, whereas brokerages aim for long-term goals like branding and community awareness. Today, we'll explore how brokerage and agent marketing goals differ, where they overlap, and how brokers can work to better align with what their agents need. An Overlap in Marketing Strategy While the REAL Trends study points out that agents are client-driven and brokerages are brand-driven, there is a surprising amount of overlap in their marketing strategies. In fact, the study found that the top four responses to "What do you invest in to market your brand?" was identical among both agent and brokers: Websites Social media Yard signs Listing portals Agents said that their next two priorities were open houses and direct mail--two lead-focused tactics. Brokers, on the other hand, next identified brand-driven strategies like community involvement and print advertising as their top marketing methods. The branding/lead divide persists through the rest of the study in responses to questions about spending priorities and the success of individual tactics. However, while agent and broker answers differed, "social media" was listed as a top successful strategy by both groups. Aligning Marketing Priorities The study makes it clear that agents have a lead-driven marketing focus. Knowing this, how can brokers support agents in their marketing goals while still serving the branding needs of the brokerage? Here are a few ideas: 1. Co-branded Agent Websites A challenge that brokers commonly face is keeping brand representation consistent across all of their agents' marketing. Real estate websites, the number one marketing strategy for both agents and brokers, are a prime example. Messaging on an agent's website may not align with the brokerage's, the broker's logo on the agent's website may be outdated, or the branding of the two may clash aesthetically. One solution to this problem is to deploy co-branded websites for all of your agents. A typical co-branded agent site displays your logo and brand colors, while focusing on the agent and their services. The shared design elements and site structure reinforce that the agent is one part of a larger whole--your brokerage. And by linking all co-branded agent sites back to the brokerage's site, you can even boost the SEO of your firm's main website. 2. Automated Marketing Brokers can further ensure the consistency of their brand by automating much of the marketing that their agents need. You can use your listing data to power much of this process. A listing input into your system can trigger the creation of listing flyers, postcards, virtual tours, and more. RE/MAX's Marketing Center is a famous example of this kind of automation. New listings can also trigger the creation of digital ad campaigns, too. Companies like Windermere, Alain Pinel, and RE/MAX automate the creation of digital listing ads through Adwerx Enterprise. The ads feature the the brokerage's branding, but sport the agent's contact information so leads can contact them directly. And, bonus, when campaigns are extended by agents, the brokerage's brand exposure more than doubles. 3. Social Media Social media was listed as a top three "most successful marketing strategy" for both agents and brokers. When looking at paid social media marketing tactics, brokerages can sponsor listing ads on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram for their agents. This gives brokers control over the ad's branding, while sending leads to their agents. Brokers can create the ads themselves, or use a platform like Adwerx to generate and distribute the ads for them. As for organic social media marketing, the key is in engaging followers. If you have a graphic designer or marketing department, lean on them to create eye-catching infographics with market data, for example, or home buying tips--and, of course, your logo in the corner. Post the images on your social media channels, and encourage your agents to share them. Your agents get great information to share, and you get to expand your brand's reach. To learn more about agent and broker marketing priorities, download the full study here. Learn more about branded digital ads from Adwerx here.    
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Survey: Is Your CRM Working for You?
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Real Estate Teams Influence is Powerful, Growing, Studies Shows
REAL Trends collaborated with BoomTown, dotloop and ERA Real Estate in 2016 to conduct a terrific study of real estate teams. Called The Real Estate Teams Playbook, perhaps real estate's most comprehensive look at teams, REAL Trends said it surveyed or interviewed thousands of real estate professionals "to understand the foundation and characteristics of today's most successful teams." REAL Trends not only defined what a real estate team was but also included best practices for broker-owners in developing a team. The 41-page report remained the most definitive look at teams—and most recent—until marketing automation leader Imprev recently released its team study. Imprev made real estate teams the focus of its Thought Leader Study, a biannual survey of real estate leaders it pioneered back in 2012.
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Deadline for Public Comments to the Real Estate Workshop by the FTC/DOJ is Tuesday, July 31
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Survey of Top Execs Shows Benefits, Risks in Supporting Teams
Real estate executives across the country are acknowledging teams and their higher sales volumes with more eagerness than five years ago, a new study from Imprev shows. The Imprev Thought Leader Study, which surveyed brokerage leaders representing firms of all sizes across the U.S., found that execs are in broad agreement (80 percent) that teams have helped grow their brokerage's business over the last five years.
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Chicago Brokerage's Digital Ad Pilot Increases Brand Exposure 1000%
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WAV Group Report: Emerging Data Solutions in Real Estate
WAV Group is excited to contribute this report on Emerging Data Solutions in Real Estate. There is so much activity happening across the industry that it is hard to keep all of it straight. This report is written as an overview for real estate executives. There is a little bit of technical reporting to help understand some of the fine differences in some emerging data solutions that seem to be quite similar. This paper aims to deepen the understanding of how broker listing and agent data is entered, stored, and transported. We cover the history of evolution from early data transportation using File Transfer Protocol (FTP), to the development of the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS) and now the emergence of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Each of these steps has allowed the real estate industry to leap forward in supporting the needs of our professionals and the consumers they serve. APIs are changing everything today because they allow software systems to share information and talk to each other in meaningful ways.
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Survey: Industry Leaders Show Record Confidence in 2018 Economy, Housing
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Real Estate's First HyperLocal White Paper Discovers a "Movement"
Social media, mobile technology and marketing automation: those are the three ingredients that are changing real estate in a profound and everlasting way. And, unlike many skeptics, I believe it's for the better. My proof is the emergence of a "HyperLocal Movement" in real estate that the confluence of these three has fueled. Now there is really nothing new about the "idea" of HyperLocal in real estate. No other industry has been more focused on being local than ours. Many agents have legitimately been practicing hyperlocalism for years, if not decades. What is new is what's happening NOW with hyperlocalism, or more importantly, what's NOT happening across America. That's the conclusion of a brand new white paper from the WAV Group — HyperLocal Movement in Real Estate – that we just issued. It was sponsored by a very hot Colorado real estate tech startup zavvie, a broker technology provider that specializes in HyperLocal marketing. It's 100 percent free. This beautiful 40+page report is filled with graphics, statistics, and information from expert sources inside and outside of real estate. Download it here.
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WAV Group Issues First HyperLocal Real Estate White Paper
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Imprev Real Estate Leader Study Shows Record Confidence in Economy, Housing
Real estate leaders' confidence in the 2018 U.S. economy and housing market is the strongest it has been in the last six years: An unprecedented 73 percent of top executives say the U.S. economy will improve or improve significantly, according to the latest Imprev Thought Leader Economy & Housing Outlook Study. "Real estate leaders have not been this optimistic about the U.S. economy since we started the Imprev Thought Leader Survey in 2012," says Renwick Congdon, Chief Executive Officer of Imprev, the leading provider of automated marketing services for real estate franchises and brokerages. "With confidence levels so high, now is the time to take advantage of new opportunities to keep up with consumer and agent demands. I look forward to seeing what the industry can accomplish," he added, noting top real estate executives' confidence in America's economy has more than doubled since October 2016 when 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 [See Graph A]. GRAPH A
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Results From Real Estate's First HyperLocal Survey
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Study Says Longer Tweets Are Better
Twitter for real estate is a curious strategy. There was quite a bit of discussion about Twitter in some of the Facebook groups that I am in. #thatsfunny In all seriousness, when WAV Group evaluates the effectiveness of social media marketing and advertising (those are two different things), the numbers prove that Facebook is far more effective in every matrix of reporting. The data suggests that Facebook is core, Twitter is niche. If you do market on Twitter as part of your surround sound system, you likely already know that Twitter extended the number of characters from the old 140 to the new, abundant 280. A study published by SocialFlow outlines the following results from their research:
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Americans Have Confidence in Homeownership, Says 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey
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Redfin Case Study Shows that Web Traffic Does Not Drive Sales
If you ask any REALTOR about the relationship between online website traffic and sales volume, they will tell you that there is a direct relationship. The conviction among Realtors is that companies that have the most amount of consumer website traffic sell the most amount of homes. This belief has stirred the root of Realtor® emotions, causing them to vilify the Zillow Group. A new entry of concern is Redfin, a company that has long battled with Zip Realty for online website domination. Redfin's IPO has been a great success that is causing competing brokers to contemplate their future in this online real estate landscape. WAV Group just completed a case study to explore the correlation between online success of a brokerage and transaction volume. The results of our survey indicate that winning online does not correlate to transaction success. The methodology for our research used the Seattle marketplace. This is Redfin's top marketplace of any city in America.
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Real Estate Leaders See Bright Future for Predictive Analytics, Big Data, and Marketing Automation
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White Paper: Generating New Business in Real Estate
In real estate, it can be tough to figure out the best way to generate new business year over year. There is a finite number of movers out there with more companies competing for their share. While we don't have the magic bullet on how to generate new business in real estate, we wanted to find out what you thought about it. What were you doing to bring in closes? What was working? What wasn't? This year, we surveyed nearly 400 real estate professionals on how they generate new business in the real estate industry. We discovered a wide range of feedback and insight from brokers, marketers and agents on how they invest their time, money and efforts. We took the findings and created an exclusive white paper on the best ways to generate new real estate business.
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What Information is Most Important to Real Estate Consumers?
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[Infographic] How Brokerages Are Leveraging Technology
We are living in an increasingly digital world and searching for a home is no different. Buyers now have easy access to apps that let them search by location and neighborhoods. Online searching maximizes the ability to compare and contrast homes on the market by selected features, and many times this is done before a potential homebuyer connects with a real estate agent. In their Real Estate in a Digital Age report, realtor.com® examines how real estate professionals utilize technology in their everyday business practices. Check out our infographic below for highlights from the report, and click here to read additional statistics from the full report.
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Buying and Selling Differences and Similarities Across Generations
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Effective Ways to Generate Seller Leads
WAV Group recently did an audit of a broker's lead strategy, and it caused a bit of a eureka moment for the broker. We found they needed to stop focusing on buyer lead generation immediately and focus on seller lead generation. As a consulting firm, WAV Group has a full bag of executional tricks for firms to consider when they are setting strategy. The way that these activities are implemented and driven though the culture of an organization is the secret to success. We considered a few of these strategies in our latest study, Generate Seller Leads: Don't Worry About the Buyers, They Will Come. Read the full study here!
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RESO Standards Adoption Report
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Real Estate Statistics for 2017
After what felt like a very turbulent 2016, we're facing a new year with a new President here in the US and plenty of questions as to how the election may or may not affect the housing industry. But we'll let the numbers speak for themselves! We've put together a list of the some of the most important real estate statistics to keep in mind and things we think that real estate professionals should be aware of as they move into a brand new year. Take the time to look over the stats and give them some thought. How can you use them to your advantage this year and how can you implement their implications into your strategy for the new year? As Zvi Band, CEO of Contactually, recently advised in his latest EPIC webinar, this year you ought to be focusing on setting better goals and strategies rather than lofty resolutions that often are forgotten by March. How will you make the numbers work for you this year? And the winning numbers are.... Ready to start strategizing? We're breaking down the statistics we think will be the most relevant for the real estate industry in 2017 and what their implications could be for you and your business. Take some notes and then let us know how they could affect you this year. Top real estate stats for 2017: 1. Millennials will make up 33% of homebuyers in 2017. This stat is pretty impressive and should help inform your marketing and business strategy overall in the coming year. Millennials are a whole new generation of buyers and need to be marketed to as such. Check out our guide to marketing to Millennials and change up your strategy. 2. 17% of under 35 year olds were able to save for down payments in 2016, which means they will make up more of the buyers in 2017. This goes hand-in-hand with the first stat and further informs us as to why so many Millennials are shifting to buy in the coming year. Now they have the cash to finally leave their parents' homes and start their own!
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Imprev Study Shows Real Estate Leaders' Outlook for Housing, Economy Softens for 2017
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White Paper: Data-driven marketing is a force in real estate
Data-driven marketing is a huge force in and out of real estate with 95.7% of brokers and agents using data and 100% of technology providers in real estate utilizing data in some capacity in their marketing efforts. 100% of companies outside real estate also implement data-driven marketing in some capacity. What is data-driven marketing? Data-driven marketing is essentially using data to drive marketing decisions. It can mean anything from collecting consumer data to decipher buying signals to matching consumers to content they care about to increase engagement. The type of data and the ways to use that data is what we explored in our latest white paper: Data-Driven Marketing in Real Estate. We surveyed nearly 100 real estate marketing professionals and discovered that most real estate companies use data to make decisions (72.9%) and large majority also use data to engage consumers (68.6%).
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Upstream Study Shows Strong Real Estate Industry Support
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RESO Fielding Survey to Learn How to Make MLS Data Work Better for Brokers
COMPLETE THE SURVEY NOW The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) has been hard at work creating consistent data across MLS regions and across the country by creating the RESO Data Dictionary. To date, 1.1 million agents across the country now have access to the RESO Data Dictionary, thanks to the hard work of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, The Realty Alliance, NAR, MLS system providers and MLSs across the country. This normalized data built from years of work with technology leaders from around the industry is being used to fuel Upstream, Broker Public Portal (Homesnap), and the AMP program. RESO standards are making it easier for brokers to expand into new markets and to work with innovative technology providers. WAV Group, along with RESO and its industry ambassadors, is very interested in learning more about the challenges you and your brokerage face with data management today and what RESO can do to aid in your challenges. We would like to gather insights from you as a broker about RESO and candid feedback about the challenges you deal with when trying to ingest and manage MLS data.
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Where Real Estate Agents’ Business Comes From
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Real Estate Statistics for 2016
Every new year, we take it upon ourselves to publish a list of real estate stats and figures that we think—no, we know—that Realtors will find handy in the coming year. Since the winter tends to be a quiet time for the real estate sector, it's a great time to take a look over the statistics and brainstorm some ways that you can utilize them to your advantage in 2016. We gleaned our statistics from a variety of sources, and it sure looks like technology rules all when it comes to real estate in 2016. But it doesn't mean that you should pack up your bags and stop reaching out personally to your potential clients; you just need to find another outlet to do so. We've now entered the era of social media. And in this era, where 72% of all online adults are active on Facebook, it's time for you to get active on Facebook too! Are these numbers convincing enough for you to turn more towards technology for your business?
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The Latest Report from NAR Can Increase Your Sales
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Why It’s Critical For You To Know Your Neighborhood
Most agents make one big mistake when trying to get a listing – they go into an unfamiliar neighborhood. Tatiana Londono, star of HGTV's the Property Shop, explains why it's critical to do your research and learn everything there is to know about a neighborhood when prospecting a listing. Check out the 0:45 mark for the big mistake most people make!
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7 Surprising Facts from NAR's Newest Research on Buyers and Sellers
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Why Using Professional Photography Makes Good Economic Sense
Yesterday, we posted a list of "scary" listing photos--images executed so poorly that using them risks driving buyers away. What each of these photos have in common is that they were shot by the listing agent rather than a professional photographer. Knowing how crucial photos are in drawing in prospects, why would an agent or their broker allow such unflattering images to be made public? Often, the answer is cost--some brokers may feel that hiring a photographer is too expensive, or that the financial burden should be borne by the agent instead. However, this approach is short-sighted. A recent study from Real Trends shows that agents who consistently use professional photography earn 100 percent more in average Gross Commission Income (GCI) than those who never use professional photography. When compared against agents who use professional photography intermittently, consistent users still earn over 46 percent more GCI.
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Groundbreaking Real Estate Agent Safety Study Announced
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What is the Deal with Millennials?
Brokerages are currently being challenged in their efforts to capture a commanding share of what some in the industry are trying hard to classify as a "Millennial land rush." The fact of the matter may be that the current situation may not constitute a land rush at all, but rather a generation playing out its unique developmental destiny. The industry's conference and literature environments are currently awash with presentations and articles about the consumer behaviors of the 80 million Americans between the age of 18 and 34 that comprise what is generally known as the Millennial generation. While much of the information that is being shared is simply a rehash of extremely limited professional and previous offerings, there is one new publication that meets everyone's five star test of relevancy, accuracy and power. Last week, the Pew Research Center, a unit of the Pew Charitable Trusts, issued what is probably, at this point in time, the definitive report regarding the Millennial Generation and their current interactions with the housing industry. The Pew Charitable Trust is an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), founded in 1948. With over $5 billion in assets, its stated mission is to "serve the public interest by improving public policy, informing the public, and stimulating civic life." It is, by any criterion, an amazing fountain of knowledge that matters. The Pew report is entitled More Millennials Living With Family Despite Improved Job Market. The report contains a revealing analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data regarding this increasingly important demographic. For real estate professionals seeking to effectively work with this group, the following insights will be essential.
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"Marketing Automation" for real estate poised for explosive growth
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Go Digital: 3 Studies on Young Home Buyers
The amount of young and tech savvy home buyers is set to increase this year. Are you ready to do businesses with a more informed, "always connected" generation of home buyers? Now really is the best time to take your real estate business digital. But don't take our word for it--check out three quick facts that should convince you to go to take your real estate business all digital. "50 percent of buyers use a mobile website or application in their home search." - NAR Home Buyer and Sellers Profile 2014 More and more, agents needs to be comfortable with working on their smartphones, this includes making sure their sites are optimized for mobile. If your site looks bad on a cell phone, people are going to go elsewhere.
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Wanted: Your Opinion on Digital Transaction Management
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The Facts: What We Know About Homebuyers
Marketing needs direction. If you are in the business of buying or selling homes, you need to know who you're marketing to. Of course, many real estate professionals are working a niche, and local markets can vary widely. In general though, I'm a big advocate of what I call "selling to the fat part of the bell curve." That means marketing and advertising to the broadest number of people who have an interest in buying or selling a home – and have the financial ability to do so. This involves gathering as much information as you can about your bread-and-butter prospects, including demographic, financial and behavioral data. So, here is what we know about homebuyers in 2014. This valuable resource can help you better market your services to buyers in your area. Key Findings From the Annual NAR Report The National Association of Realtors® recently released their annual publication of real estate statistics, the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Key Facts From the Report About Buyers Forty percent of buyers choose their agent as a result of a referral from a friend or family member. Most buyers – two-thirds of them – only interview one agent. Buyers look at an average of 10 homes before buying. The new home search lasts for an average of 10 weeks – down from 12 weeks in 2012. First-time homebuyers are still down from historical levels. Thirty-three percent of recent homebuyers were first-time buyers. The historical norm is about 40 percent. The average age of first-time buyers: 31. The median household income of first-time buyers is $68,300. Average age of repeat buyers: 53. The median household income of repeat buyers is $95,000 per year. Sixty-five percent of recent homebuyers were married couples. More buyers are using agents: 89 percent of buyers used a real estate agent or broker. That's up strongly from 69 percent in 2001.
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MLS or Broker Technology Site License
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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
Real estate agents and brokers subscribing to Zillow and Trulia premium services spent more than $33 million in the latest quarter to secure new leads, but data from the 2014 Imprev Thought Leader survey reports that brokers view leads that their agents already have in their address books as being far more valuable. "A real estate agent's best lead is organic," said Renwick Congdon, chief executive officer of Imprev, a leading real estate technology company, "It comes directly from his or her sphere of influence, company or personal web site, and through local marketing, such as yard signs, flyers, and open houses." Imprev asked which leads were most valuable to more than 270 broker-owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms that were responsible for nearly half of all U.S. residential real estate transactions last year. Eighty-six percent of those responding said organic leads from an agent's sphere of influence -- past clients, and referrals -- offer exceptional value (based on quality of the lead or return on investment), compared to only 8 percent citing Zillow, 7 percent citing Realtor.com, 5 percent citing Craigslist and 4 percent citing Trulia. "Real estate leaders are telling us their agents already have the gold -- they just need to mine it," Congdon said. "The nurturing of organic leads from capture to transaction is crucial, and an area that I believe is not adequately embraced by the typical real estate agent." The Imprev Thought Leader Survey showed that organic lead sources dominated the list of most-valuable lead sources: An agent's sphere of influence ranked first, followed by the broker's website, with 32 percent of the real estate leaders rating the quality or ROI as exceptionally valuable; in third place was local marketing, (flyers, walk-ins, signs, open houses) with 27 percent. A complimentary copy of the "Thought Leaders Survey Report" featuring these new results is available here at http://www.imprev.com/thought-leader-2014.
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Brokerage CRM: Best Practices for Sales Driven Organizations
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Real Estate Leaders Share 2015 Outlook on Housing, Economy
Imprev arguably has come to own the real estate "Thought Leader" space with its bi-annual survey now in its third year, largely because it's not a self-serving exercise. What we get from their latest Thought Leader Survey is a refreshing, unfiltered view from a broad cross-section of the leadership of America's real estate brokerage and franchise operations, large and small. Collectively, the real estate execs surveyed represent firms and brands that generate about half of all real estate transactions each year. Individually, there's solid representation among small and large firms: 15% of the respondents have 50 agents or fewer, 18% have 51-100 agents, 35% have 101-500 agents; 14% have 501-1,000 agents and 18% have more than 1,000 agents. Among the most interesting findings: Housing market enthusiasm is cooling, almost tepid, among real estate leaders. Two years ago, 70 percent of top real estate execs saw the market improving over the next 12 months. Last year that number dropped to 58 percent. Today it is 52 percent. No more exuberance: It's now a glass half-full, half-empty scenario among a group that is often characterized as eternal optimists, which means this new data may alarm some. The bigger you are, the more bullish you are. Leaders of larger brokerage firms are typically far more confident about the outlook for the U.S. economy than leaders of smaller brokerage firms. Nearly two-thirds of top execs with firms of 1,000 or more agents say the U.S. economy will "improve," compared to 34 percent of leaders of brokerage firms with 51 to 100 agents.
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State of the Nation's Housing 2014: Millennials Key to Recovery
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Millennials Place a Premium on Mass Transit. Why this Matters to your Business (the Bias Series)
Why Do Groups Matter? We spend our lives organizing things into groups. Its how we make sense of the world – we take items, find what's in common between them, and start to think about them as a set. That item in common can be thought of as a grouping criteria. In the real estate business, we organize home search around these prospective buyers and present a listing or a workflow on our website that appeals to these groups. What criteria do your visitors consider when deciding where to live? Perhaps they think about where their kids will go to school or how long it will take them to get to work. Maybe they're more concerned with square footage or resell values. Potential buyers now have an acute interest in this type of criterion. Search sites need to provide explicit search options and property descriptions with key words to meet this demand. We are constantly presented with stats from surveys purporting to tell us which housing factors are important in home selection. What these studies really tell us is more about the size and nature of a group of buyers for whom that criterion is relevant. Commute time will only be relevant if you are part of a group we label "workforce." School performance if you have or plan to have kids. At least that's the theory. Millennials? What are They? How do you define a sampling group? Well, it relates to some set of criteria. First, you need a base element – or member type. Are we interested in people? People who commute? Only people who own homes? Households? Properties? Maybe towns or counties? Voters? Likely voters? People in certain age groups? Then you will define a representative sample for polling. If you are looking at "all people," then some random selection method will be used.
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Value of Buyers Agent Diminishing, Study Reveals
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Agent Responsiveness Study Reveals Critical Flaws in Real Estate Lead Response
A new whitepaper reveals that failure to respond to leads in a timely manner is a major problem for many real estate professionals. The whitepaper is the result of the collaboration between partners at leading consulting firm WAV Group and Weichert Lead Network, the Internet lead generation arm of Weichert, Realtors®. What they uncovered was remarkable and could help real estate professionals achieve new levels of service and prosperity. In the whitepaper, WAV Group details lead responsiveness results from a sample of 384 different brokers across 11 states. Researchers posed as consumers and inquired about listings on broker websites, Zillow.com, realtor.com®, and Trulia.com. They found that: 48% of buyer inquiries were NEVER responded to. Average number of call back attempts after the initial contact was 1.5 Average number of email contact attempts was 2.07 Average response time was 917 minutes (or 15.29 hours) Victor Lund, partner at WAV Group explains, "These numbers reveal a staggering failure of real estate professionals to serve the consumer. But this failure actually represents an important opportunity. If brokers and agents take steps to rectify this problem, and respond more effectively to consumers, they are opening the door to a great increase in revenue."
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Highlights from the 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
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Online Performance: 5 Key New Findings
The REAL Trends 2013 Online Performance Study was recently completed. Here are five facts we find most interesting! 1. Those with a mobile CRM were more productive than those without. The impact of mobile on real estate is significant, with one out of every three visitors browsing a real estate site from a mobile device. However, one impact of mobile was not measured until this year. Real estate agents with a mobile CRM or a CRM that was adaptable to a mobile device were one and a half times more productive than those without. Real estate in this era is happening on-the-go, so be sure your sales associates are equipped with the proper tools and time sensitive urgency to compete. 2. Real estate professionals' social media posts can be categorized by topic. After analyzing 8 million broker and agent social media posts (in the top eight categories) for overall effectiveness and engagement, we discovered the top four: Charity and community involvement posts such as participation in Habitat for Humanity. Polls and Quizzes: Engaging the followers with interactive questions. Humor: Funny real estate or real life stories. Inspirational Quotes
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Challenge: Recruiting Younger Agents
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Consumer Centric or Customer Friendly?
An often-heard criticism of traditional brokerage firms is that they are not inclined to be consumer centric. Given the fact that consumer centricity is not a traditional business policy, or even a recognized value factor, this may well be true. But one cannot help but wonder if this suggested lack of consumer centricity or sensitivity is a product of traditionalism or merely a cultural shortfall. We recently had an opportunity to work with a brokerage whose new management team wanted to experiment with the whole issue of consumer centricity with an eye towards moving the firm gently towards a more productive consumer perspective. As a starting point, we conducted a series of surveys and interviews with management executives, administrative staff and top agents. Our objective was to determine a residual attitude with respect to the idea of consumer centricity. While we would not suggest that our research methods met the requirements of a PhD dissertation, it was sufficient to arrive at some management quality conclusions. What we discovered was an atmosphere of consumer neutrality. The research failed to disclose any overt anti-consumer sentiment. But neither did it discover any overwhelming urge within the firm to cozy up to the consumer. What we did find interesting was the fact that those whom we surveyed or interviewed did not really think about consumers at all. Rather they focused their attention on their customers instead. Most interesting of all was the discovery that most of the individuals who participated in the research had a very strong sense of customer service but no impressions regarding appropriate consumer interactions. Moreover, while their respect for their customers was quite high, there was no corresponding cultural or professional respect for consumers.
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1 plus 1 Equals Video
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How to Turn Online Home Searchers Into New Clients
This post comes to us from the HomeFinder.com blog: According to HomeFinder.com search data, potential buyers in the U.S. are online home searching most frequently from 8-9 p.m. (local time). However, if you're in Connecticut, most home hunters are online at 9 a.m., or if you're in Mississippi, the majority of your potential buyers are searching online at 2 p.m. Do you find these times to be true for your local markets? Below is the most popular home searching hour, by state. Be available during this hour and turn those house hunters into new clients!
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The New Frontier of Internet Marketing, Part 2
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The New Frontier of Internet Marketing
Introduction There isn't a real estate agent or a home seller who hasn't dreamed – starry eyed – of the international buyer, waltzing in to pay for their property listing in cold hard international cash. International buyers are traditionally pictured as wealthy home buyers in the market for luxury homes – and some of them are – but the opportunity goes well beyond luxury. This paper takes a look at some of the facts around international trends in real estate and the current options for marketing properties online to international buyers. Our findings point to an opportunity that is already making a big impact in our business, one that is clearly growing, but difficult to measure and containing significant problems related to data management. The Opportunity The most recent Profile of International Home Buying report published by the National Association of REALTORS® in June 2013 showed International home sales in the U.S. reached their second highest level in recent years. The total market is estimated at $68.2 billion, comprising nearly 6% of the total real estate market in the United States. THE TOTAL INTERNATIONAL MARKET IS ESTIMATED AT $68.2 BILLION
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Quantifying The Value of Walkability and Public Transit
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When Are Your Potential Clients Online?
This post comes to us from the HomeFinder.com blog: As featured in the Wall Street Journal, HomeFinder.com* listing data shows there are five cities where early birds get the housing worm, and there are five cities where night owls wind down their day with a relaxing home search. Are you a real estate agent who falls in one of these markets? Be available to house hunters during these hours, so you are can turn these house hunters into potential clients. Early Birds: These early rising home searchers start their day by scoping out the latest homes to hit the market. Across the U.S., 18.5% of all home searches are made from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. Below are the top five cities with the most home hunters searching between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. (local time), the average home data per city, and the breakdown of searches made on a desktop vs. a mobile device. City % of Searches Between 4am - 10am % Desktop Searches % Mobile Searches Bellingham, WA 28.20% 85% 15% Palm Springs, CA 27.40% 75% 25% Anchorage, AK 26.70% 84% 16% Sacramento, CA 25.70% 89% 11% Irvine, CA 25.60% 95% 5%
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Foot traffic, future sales and on-location marketing
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Share This Listing
WAV Group has gained the support of The Realty Alliance and The Leading Real Estate Companies of the world to revisit our Broker Website Effectiveness study performed in 2008. A lot has changed over the past five years, but much has remained the same. Our report will be published at the end of the month in advance of the Inman conference in San Francisco. As the MLS Issues and Policy Committee continues to debate a rule structure for social media, here is an early insight that may forward the shape of what the rule is trying to solve for. Social media marketing in real estate works, but not the way you think. The impact has less to do with brokers and agents publishing listings to social sites, and more about the ability for consumers to plug listings into their social pages. The ongoing drone social media experts in real estate eschewing the benefits of Facebook and Twitter at creating real, authentic, and meaningful relationships with consumers on those sites is not likely to end anytime soon. It is a bunch of retarded noise. Real research of agents indicates that social media is not effective at selling real estate. At least, it is not effective at selling real estate the way that the social media experts suggest. There are a number of top brokerage websites in America that have a feature on the listing detail page called "Share This Listing." Share This Listing is the key social media strategy for brokerage online effectiveness today. Consumers want to communicate and store relevant real estate information on their social pages. Our research of traffic behavior on broker websites indicates that Facebook and Pinterest are powerful drivers of traffic and consumer engagement. Facebook was expected. Twitter was very disappointing. Pinterest was a huge surprise.
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Whitepaper: Maximum Marketing - Part 2
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Whitepaper: Maximum Marketing
This article is part one of a new whitepaper from ListHub: Do Brokers Know What They Want? The research presented in this paper explores the foundation decisions that a broker must make regarding the advertising of their listings online, and specifically provides insight into the reasons why brokers choose to send their listings to the maximum number of available publisher websites. More than 200 broker-owners or principal brokers of real estate firms provided their detailed input to help us understand why they use the "Maximum Marketing" button in the ListHub application to select all sites for advertising their listings. Various industry participants have publicly voiced skepticism about whether brokers who use the blanket feature for sending their listings to all available publishers "have a clue" what they're doing. The data indicates they do! "ListHub's study takes a look at the reasons why brokers make their marketing choice, and underscores ListHub's continued commitment to support broker choices and control. From an MLS perspective, it is encouraging to know that many of the brokers who choose the broadest possible exposure for their listings are doing so with eyes wide open." - Russ Bergeron, CEO, MRED, LLC Introduction Debates continue to surround the advertising of real estate listings online. There is a wide sphere of topics and a broader range of opinions. One mantra, though, typically brings a collective nod of agreement: Brokers should be able to do what they want with their own listings.
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Whitepaper: Maximum Marketing, Part 2
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Whitepaper: Maximum Marketing
This article is part one of a new whitepaper from ListHub: Do Brokers Know What They Want? The research presented in this paper explores the foundation decisions that a broker must make regarding the advertising of their listings online, and specifically provides insight into the reasons why brokers choose to send their listings to the maximum number of available publisher websites. More than 200 broker-owners or principal brokers of real estate firms provided their detailed input to help us understand why they use the "Maximum Marketing" button in the ListHub application to select all sites for advertising their listings. Various industry participants have publicly voiced skepticism about whether brokers who use the blanket feature for sending their listings to all available publishers "have a clue" what they're doing. The data indicates they do! "ListHub's study takes a look at the reasons why brokers make their marketing choice, and underscores ListHub's continued commitment to support broker choices and control. From an MLS perspective, it is encouraging to know that many of the brokers who choose the broadest possible exposure for their listings are doing so with eyes wide open." - Russ Bergeron, CEO, MRED, LLC Introduction Debates continue to surround the advertising of real estate listings online. There is a wide sphere of topics and a broader range of opinions. One mantra, though, typically brings a collective nod of agreement: Brokers should be able to do what they want with their own listings.
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Know What Your Customers Are Looking For
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[Report] Your Business Suffers By Keeping Customers On Hold
Buckle your seatbelt, because you're in for some super interesting facts courtesy of the Ifbyphone blog.  Got a minute? If you're in a consumer-focused business, the answer is "no." Two days ago, we released a survey that revealed some eye-opening data related to customer hold times and their likeliness to convert. The bottom line: if you keep your customers waiting on hold, and they may not be a customer for long. The longer customers do wait ("longer" meaning more than just one minute) they're less likely to convert into sales. Consider this statistic: Ifbyphone® research finds 59 percent of consumers more likely to buy when brands answer the phone in under a minute; 73 percent more likely to recommend highly responsive brands to other consumers.
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Marketwatch Reports from 10K Research
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Broker Marketing: CoreLogic Short Sale Study Signals Investor Buying Spree
Recently, CoreLogic released a study on Short Sales. The objective of the study was to use CoreLogic’s extensive property record database to analyze the level short sales that result in a 20% to 40% resale within months of the short sale transaction.In this study, CoreLogic examined over 450,000 single-family residence short sale transactions occurring over the past three years. A short sale, as defined by this study, is a real estate transaction in which the borrower, being unable to pay the mortgage on the property, is permitted by the lender to sell the property for less than the total amount due on the loan, at a loss to the lender.
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Real Estate Market Analysis: Negative Equity - Insights into the Future
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Nearly Half of Sales Are Now Distressed Properties
Sales of distressed properties rose to 48.6 percent in March - the second highest level seen in the past 12 months, according to the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. The monthly survey of more than 3,000 real estate agents nationwide each month also found that demand among both current and first-time buyers declined slightly and among investors was nearly flat on a month-to-month basis as the spring real estate market kicked off. Agents provided opinions on traffic. “January, February and March sales were characterized by a wait and see attitude of buyers. Both investors and first time homebuyers are fearful of what is going on nationally with Washington, D.C. Both the gas prices and the weather influenced the local market.” stated an agent in California.
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Mastering Your Blog Timing
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Consumer Mindset: Home Owning is Better Than Renting
As someone who may have recently bought a home, or (more likely) are thinking of buying a home now, you should know that most American’s consider home buying to be a solid investment. Despite the downturn that we are in right now, it appears that most people still agree that when you purchase a home you are making a good investment decision. According to a survey done by The National Association of Realtors®, of 3,793 home owners and renters in January 2011, both home owners and renters found the following in their “American Attitudes about Homeownership” survey.
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Full Report: Property Buyers Go Mobile
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Minorities and Young Keep Homeownership Dream Alive
Fannie Mae’s latest National Housing Survey found that younger Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans are generally more positive about owning a home than the general population even though Generation Y (ages 18-34) and minorities suffered the steepest decline in homeownership over the past five years. Fifty-nine percent of Gen Yers believes buying a home has a lot of potential as an investment, even though this age group has seen their homeownership rate fall forty-four percent when home prices peaked to fewer than forty percent in 2009. The survey, which was conducted from October 15 to December 10, found that Generation Y aligns closely with other generations when considering reasons to buy a home, but assigns a slightly greater value to its impact on their societal status, as a place to raise children, and the potential to build wealth through ownership.
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Home Price Stabilization Seen in Most Metro Areas
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Are You Ready for the Hit to Luxury?
Things were looking up for luxury home sales during the tax credit boomlet last year.  However, the credit wasn’t the primary reason; after all, $4000 isn’t a compelling incentive to well-heeled move up buyers in the million dollar plus housing bracket.  Rather, a plentiful inventory, good deals driven by price reductions, an improving outlook for appreciation and the beginning of the overall economic recovery made the difference.  When sales of existing homes dropped 25.5 percent year-over-year last July, data by Altos Research for the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing showed that summer sales of million dollar plus homes significantly outperformed sales in other price ranges.
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The Value of Indexing for Real Estate Industry Websites
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One Broker's Case Study - Taking Back Control
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. The third part discussed the new technology solutions that provide light at the end of the tunnel. We have now come to part 4 of this 5 part series, to discuss a broker case study as a guide for brokerages.
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Light at the End of the Tunnel: New Products Bring Hope
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Sifting Through the Maze of Broker Technology
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.  Part 2 of this 5 part series, opens the discussion for how brokers can sift through the maze of technology that currently exists in the industry. Brokers are amazing people. They are leaders, motivators, trainers and counselors.
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No Broker Backbone: How We Got Into this Mess
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Wanted: Backbones for Brokerages
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.  Our 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! 
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How Much is a Facebook Fan Worth?
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Buying or Renting? Which Way is the Population Going?
Is the economy stabilizing? Are potential homebuyers turning to renting instead of home ownership? NAR just released their annual Housing Opportunity Pulse Survey of 1,209 urban and suburban adults in the top 25 metropolitan statistical areas which revealed some interesting trends. The most positive result of the study for real estate professionals is that Americans continue to believe that buying a home is a good financial decision. Seventy-seven percent believe total strongly or not so strongly, 68 percent strongly so. More than two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) say that now is a good time to buy a home.
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How is Your Marketing IQ?
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Third Quarter Market Conditions Report for 2010
Record low Interest rates and buyer tax credits lead to more buyers than sellers on the market for the first time in years, new HouseHunt Survey Shows Boosted by record low interest rates and homebuyer tax credits, the number of buyers in the market has pulled slightly ahead of the number of sellers in theUnited States’ housing market. Forty-four percent of real estate agents polled by HouseHunt.com reported that there were more buyers than sellers in their local market, the largest figure recorded in nearly three years and up 10 percent from the second quarter of 2010.   READ FULL REPORT - Third Quarter 2010 News Release Overwhelmed? Slow Down Don't Fool Yourself: We Frequently Judge a Book by its Cover Digital Addiction: Blurring the Lines of Reality
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How Real is a REALTOR's Use of Smartphones?
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Where Are Your Advertising Dollars Going?
According to a survey last year by IPSOS Marketing and Media Survey the general business climate in the United States has taken a big turn in deciding how to allocate advertising dollars. The survey indicated a major change in attitude resulting in some significant shifting of ad dollars from one sector to another reflecting new direction.
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