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From New Listings to Referrals: The Marketing Secret that Helps this Realtor Win Every Time
If you're like most Realtors, you probably already have a plan in place for marketing your listings. But how well are you able to communicate that marketing plan to potential seller clients--especially if that plan includes digital strategies that may be confusing to homeowners? Randy Durham has it all figured out. A practicing Realtor since 1994, Chattanooga-based Durham uses realtor.com Local Expert to market both specific listings and his brand. The tool employs ad retargeting technology to display his listing and branding ads to real estate consumers as they browse around the web. But how does he explain that to sellers during his listing presentations to help them understand how it will benefit the sale of their home? We sat down with Durham to find out. Read on to learn how he talks about Local Expert in his listing presentations, and how the program also helps connect him to buyers and past clients. How persistent is your brand on national websites? When consumers search a particular city or zip code on realtor.com®, I'm always there and present with either a listing or information about me. Even if they go from page to page, I'm still there with them so I stay top of mind. I've been pre-introduced. Someone buying a home will be familiar with you before they make contact. Does this help you with home sellers? When I'm on a listing presentation, I'm able to show that they're going to be in at least 50% of the searches for a buyer in their area looking for a home. That home will follow that person around as they're looking within the specific area where that seller is. So I'm showing the seller that they're going to get exposure continuously. How do you let prospective sellers know you have this advantage? You can use this in neighborhood campaigns or in specific targeting listing promotions as far as trying to solicit for listings. This is particularly effective with expired listings. You're showing them you have a way that other agents typically would not have to get additional exposure for their home. It's very powerful for expireds because they've already been-there-done-that—but now many are looking for new things that can happen to actually get their property sold. What are the longer-term benefits of being persistent with your brand? You've got to have consistent impressions of yourself out there for the public to see. Research shows it takes eight to 10 impressions of some sort of marketing to actually get a buyer's attention and recognize who you are and have recall ability. You want to continuously have your name out there, particularly in targeted areas. You want to be the agent that owns that area. It works to get yourself top of mind with your past clients as well as new clients. I just really took on the Chattanooga market with this branding. I just think that it's going to have a powerful impact. This is one of those things you've got to be in it for the long haul. You can't go out there in one month and say, "Okay how many transactions did I get?" But this has some power to it, and I'm quite impressed with it. Does this work into your repeat and referral business plan? A home seller generally starts their search on the internet. Even if there are past clients, they don't always usually pick up the phone and call me first. They're out there looking to see what's available or what's sold in their neighborhood if they are a seller. If you're there with a branding product like realtor.com® Local Expert in those searches in their neighborhoods, when they see you they say, "Yeah, that's the guy that sold me my house—that's who we need to call."
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Digital Marketing Strategy Wins Agent 3 Transactions from 1 Inquiry
How would you like to win multiple transactions from a single online inquiry? That's what happened to Realtor Terry Grayson of The Grayson Group when a lead from realtor.com referred him to family members who owned a construction company. And although those referrals already had a decades-long relationship with another agent, they decided to transact with Terry because of the online exposure they knew their listing would get. We recently spoke with Terry to learn how he differentiates himself online, his secrets to converting more leads, and more. Today's topic is multiple transactions from one inquiry. Apparently, you have been able to make this happen with your online leads? How did you get started with this and what triggers the "extra business" from your online marketing? In 2014, I started off with purchasing leads from two of the national websites. Also, the company I was with at the time would send me their brokerage overflow leads if the listing agent did not pick up. This introduced me to the whole concept of online advertising and reaching out to clients when they have an inquiry about a property. When I switched over to realtor.com, I could just see a difference in the quality of the lead. The others were not as serious or as ready to engage immediately. As an example, I have a realtor.com customer right now that I'm working on. This one realtor.com lead turned into three transactions so far because he was not only a buyer looking for property; his parents have a construction company that does concrete work and they met me at the showing. They came along just to make sure that my buyer made the right decision and they were looking at the structure of the property. Six months after we closed, his parents reached out to me and they went forward with me to list their property based off of that relationship. It was an interview process because I was competing with a more well-established real estate agent that had a 25-year track record in the community. And yet they felt that I would do a better job listing their house and selling it—just due to the fact that they knew they would get online exposure. What is it that you can offer your buying customers on the listing side to facilitate double-ended transactions? The likelihood of the house selling would be better than if it were just to be put online because I have the realtor.com branding. With this new Local Expert product, we are coming up 50% of the time in local home searches. I own market share in ten different markets, and I'm showing up in the fourth position on the front page for all of them—and so are my sellers' properties. This is really awesome because they can see that they're going to get that exposure where the other competing real estate agents wouldn't. I've already have used it for listing presentations, and it worked out perfectly. It's quite impressive that you can just show up 50% of the time in somebody's neighborhood. Do your clients take notice of your branding? Yes, and if they're using, for instance, Facebook, it attaches itself to that and all of a sudden my ad pops up. I've had customers come back to me that are still actively looking for homes (they like to do their own house search even though I send them listings through the MLS). They come back to me and say, "Terry I see your face all over the internet—you're everywhere." Since you have closed an abundance of customers you met online, how does this position you to get additional listing business, repeat sales and referrals? It really is pretty impressive. I feel very confident that the past clients that I serviced realize that I am the agent of choice in the area because my face just continually pops up everywhere they're looking. When they come back in the market to move again, they're the ones really looking online on a daily basis and they see us over and over and over again. Sample of a flyer that Terry uses in his business:
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Market Dominant Yet Still Marketing: One Agent's Secrets to Success
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How Kyle Whissel became the #1 Team in San Diego
Kyle Whissel, with The Whissel Realty Group, is doing something right. Actually, he's doing a lot of things right. His business, The Whissel Realty Group, has been ranked the #1 team in San Diego and #76 team in the country! So what is the secret sauce behind this success? Step 1: invest in real estate technology that functions as a partner in your success. For Kyle Whissel, BoomTown is the only choice. "We initially got BoomTown in 2012. That first year that we implemented BoomTown, we went from 82 to 242 transactions... so that was a huge quantum leap for us!" A System that's Scalable The most successful businesses are built from a model that is (A) repeatable and (B) scalable. When Kyle's team began to see more and more listings, they knew that they had to take advantage of those listings to generate leads. But without a technology system in place that could support the level of transactions they were hoping to reach, they were leaving money on the table. "We needed to leverage those listings to get more leads. And then when we had more leads, we needed more people. The system we were on previously was not built to scale that up… so we went to BoomTown." With BoomTown, Whissel Realty Group was able to: Manage a large database of leads Generate a healthy pipeline of new leads Manage follow-up and long-term lead nurture Hold agents accountable and track performance "When you take a business that's on the right track, but when you actually implement systems in place that help you manage all of that, that's what takes you to the next level." The Best of the Best in Technology Think about your favorite car. Or the toothpaste brand you use. Those names (Mercedes, Ford, Crest, Colgate), they evoke a sense of familiarity and trust because they've been around for decades. BoomTown has been powering real estate professionals for over 10 years. With its beginnings in the Great Recession in 2008, BoomTown's technology and people have proven that they can adapt, grow, and continue to drive success for real estate teams. (And we're not slowing down!) For Kyle, it's all about working with a leader in technology. He doesn't have time for a platform that is playing "catch up" and working out the kinks. He trusts the company that powers 40% of the REAL Trends top 250 teams. "You can't catch up to what BoomTown has done in 10+ years. They are innovating at a really fast pace at BoomTown and you don't want to get left in the dust with something that's behind the times, because it's probably never going to catch up." Let's Talk Dollars and Sense Kyle Whissel is great at selling real estate. And he's even better at running a business. He knows that if you want to run a business that is scalable, efficient, and built for long-term success, you need to invest in the right infrastructure and processes. Sometimes that means not cutting corners and using the best possible technology available. "The saying holds true… you get what you pay for. You can get produce from a 99¢ store, but do you?" He compares it to when his team works with a FSBO. They let the seller know that the reason they should work with the Whissel Realty Group is that they're going to put the most money possible in your pocket. It takes more of an investment up front, but at the end of the day what matters is the "money in the pocket" AKA the ROI. Choosing the Right CRM So what should you consider when investing in a real estate technology partner? Your CRM should do the following: Hold Agents Accountable: For brokers, the accountability tools in a CRM can be invaluable. Track agent performance by making sure they're staying on top of lead follow-up and prospecting. Capture More Opportunities: With an organized database of leads (tags and segments), it is easier to keep track of where your leads are in the pipeline. Agents are alerted when follow-ups are needed, so no lead gets left behind. Generate More Leads: With a team of expert digital marketers, your brand is highlighted in the best quality advertisements on Google and Facebook, generating high-quality leads. Reduce Busy Work: One of the most important benefits of a CRM is that it can automate busy work, like emailing and texting new prospects. This frees up time for agents to expand their sphere, spend more quality time with clients, or even just take a vacation. Be Smarter with Prospecting: At BoomTown, we like to encourage "Smart Prospecting." This means organizing your lead database into workable lists. You're not just blindly scrolling through a Rolodex of numbers; you're working with targeted leads and you know what they want. Sync with Other Tools: There is no "one size fits all" tool in real estate. The best CRM will offer different packages that can better fit your needs, but even then, there are other tools outside of the CRM that you'll likely still want to use. This is why it's important to have a CRM that integrates with other technology. BoomTown seamlessly integrates with companies like dotloop (transaction management software). Improve Agent Experience: At the end of the day, real estate is all about providing an excellent customer experience. A good CRM will assist agents in providing this experience, but will go even further and improve the agent experience as well. A CRM should be intuitive, easy and enjoyable to use. And the provider should include excellent training as well as customer support. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Secrets of a Top Listing Agent
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Mission Focused: Behind the Scenes of a Top Team
The Nick Shivers Team is mission-driven, dynamic and red hot. What's their secret? Peek behind the curtain of one of the most successful teams in the Pacific Northwest. Nick Shivers Team, Keller Williams Realty Portland Central Building a Culture In real estate, we talk a lot about culture — and culture seems especially important when it comes to building, growing and sustaining a team. How would you describe the culture of the Nick Shivers team? Our team culture is about giving back, through our Sell a Home, Save a Child initiative. So at the core of it, we all believe in trying to help people; that's the basis of the team and the business. But as the team leader, I know that if my agents don't have business opportunities, they can't help clients or give back. So, we recruit with a combination of making sure the culture fits, but also by feeding them high-quality business opportunities and leads so they can better jumpstart their businesses. Extending Your Brand Online and Listings Statistically, sellers list with someone they know and trust. How do you carry your brand over to online to start building trust with those who don't know you and your team? The Local Expert™ product from realtor.com® really helps us in our listing presentations. It's an online ads solution that targets buyers and sellers with ads on realtor.com® and Facebook. And I know it works because my agents are using it to win the listing. The biggest thing that I've seen my agents do there is show sellers, "When people click in your area, you can have your open house advertised right there." It's massive exposure and I know that sellers, who are really interested in their house being seen by as many buyers as possible, are impressed. I can tell without having a lot of data (because we're in the early stages), that it is working right now. We also have our rocket listing, which is our instant buy program that I run on radio and billboards and advertise on realtor.com®. Lead Nurture, Persistence and Conversion If you meet a potential seller online, they may be months away from making a decision to sell. How do you keep the relationship fresh? To be successful, you need to be structurally able to follow up immediately. We offer new agents a 90-day ramp up where they're trained on scripts, dialogue and follow-ups for leads. The key is the follow-up and how they can use our technology to do that. We also focus a lot on staying the course. When I started in the business, I was really good at working with the leads who were interested in transacting in the next 30 to 60 days. I was not so good at the longer-term prospects and that's where the gold is. The sale might come after seven, eight or nine follow-ups. That is where you're going to get a lot of those deals, but it is in those repeat contacts that a lot of agents will give up. So we are laser-focused on training our agents not to give up too soon. Retention Once your agents "get it" and start using these guidelines, do they stick around? If I get my agents on the system, my retention improves. I suggest agents stick with me for a minimum of three years and then if they decide to start their own team, that is completely all right with me. I had an example in 2018, my number one producer decided to go out on his own. We are really good friends and I said, Great, go for it. He made less money this year and admitted that it's a lot easier to think about it and talk about it than to actually do it. Final Thoughts from Nick What defines your company? What are the main reasons that should someone consider joining your brokerage? Our big mission statement is about serving people — saving kids by selling real estate. Everything that we do is based on how we can give back to underprivileged children around the world, so that's number one. If that strikes a chord with you, then you're going to get past the first layer. The second thing is we love the underdog. I don't care where you have been. I want to see that you've had success, but I also believe that it doesn't matter where you start, it's where you're going. Last, it's about our systems and our lead generation and solutions and their long-lasting impact. And from this, we've built a tribe of loyal clients. In today's market, that's so important for agents. And of course, a big part of that is that our followers and clients know what we stand for. Because when you can literally say that your industry has helped — our Sell a home, Save a Child movement has raised over a million dollars to help kids — I think that makes a point where people go, "Wow, I'm not going anywhere else but with these guys and gals."    
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Real Agent Story: Online Branding Key to Winning New and Past Clients
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Kendrick Realty Clones Business Model to New Locations
At RE Technology, we love to bring you success stories from fellow real estate professionals. Kendrick Realty has a GREAT story about how they were able to significantly dial up the success on their lead gen efforts in 2018. Check it out! In early 2018, the founders of Kendrick Realty, Lucas Monroe and Dan Sundberg, started to expand their lead program with realtor.com. At year-end, we checked in on their progress to see what they learned while driving agent- and office-expansion through their realtor.com lead solution.
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Agent Builds Veteran Homebuyer Resources He Wishes He Had
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Boyenga Team Delivers Online Excellence through Chime
Eric and Janelle Boyenga are a husband and wife real estate team working with buyers and sellers in one of the most technology focused markets in the world for two decades. California's Silicon Valley is not only the epicenter of global technology, but also real estate technology. To position their company, the Boyenga Team comfortably promotes themselves as Property Nerds. They aim to deliver the best digital experience to their clients with an abundance of software applications. They target their services to engineers and other employees of companies like Google, Facebook, Sun Microsystems, Apple, and many of the leading technology firms in the Silicon Valley. "You cannot grow a successful real estate team in the Silicon Valley without a constant investment in cutting edge technology," says Eric Boyenga.
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Gratitude in action: How Bev Blume is building a business on a pay-it-forward philosophy
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20 Years of Staying in Touch Leads to Multiple Transactions
Leah Goldstein is a successful agent with Ebby Halliday Realtors in Dallas, Texas. She's been in the real estate game for 20 years and has been using Top Producer CRM for each and every one of those years. We asked Leah to reflect on the long term implications of having the discipline to keep up with customers in this system and whether this translated into bigger rewards over time.
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Why Use the RPR app? Hear from These 7 REALTORS®
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Agent tried online leads and received a lead that closed on day one!
RDC: We know this is not always going to be the case – but we heard you signed up for realtor.com leads and immediately received an inquiry that went to contract – can you tell us about your experience? JP: I received my very first realtor.com® lead the same day I signed up for realtor.com®, from a gentleman out of Oklahoma looking at properties in Carillon Beach in Panama City Beach Florida. We toured four homes and we made an offer on a home listed at $1,175,000 on May 19th, just ten days after I signed up for realtor.com® leads. We closed on that home on June 6th, less than six weeks after the initial contact. It was a cash purchase and it went fast. I am very happy for him and his family and I was glad to be a part of the transaction.
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Easy Icebreaker Ideas for Creating New Business
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How Digital Ads Helped a Rookie Realtor Sell 100 Homes in 2 Years
Realtor Kevin Johnson has never held an open house, never mailed a postcard, and never door knocked--yet he's closed nearly 100 homes since he started selling real estate in August of 2014. "I've never done any of the things that all the training programs tell you that you should do," Johnson says. "When I first got into real estate, I was like, why would I do that? The largest block of buyers is Millennials and they're not going to open houses, they're not checking their mail, right?" Rather than rely on traditional real estate marketing practices, Johnson leverages a more modern form of lead generation to grow his business--digital advertising. He says that this method brings him three to four leads per day. Johnson used digital advertising in his previous career in hospitality, and was already familiar with its benefits. But it was serendipity that introduced him to the advertising tool that he uses in his real estate practice. "When I came into real estate, Century 21 had just started their partnership with Adwerx," he says. "I remember getting an email from Century 21 about it and thinking, 'God, this is ridiculously cheap compared to what it takes to go out and hire a digital agency.' So I started with them and it has worked out amazingly well." Lead Generation Success with Adwerx So what is Adwerx, the tool that Johnson attributes his success to? Well, perhaps you've noticed that certain ads seem to follow you online. You visit a website once, and then you see that brand's ad on various places across the web for days or weeks after. This is called retargeting and it's one of the most effective forms of online advertising available today. Adwerx offers this kind of advertising to real estate pros. Adwerx offers four types of retargeting ad campaigns--listing ads, zip code-based branding ads, sphere ads, and agent recruitment ads for brokers. Johnson utilizes all four for different purposes, and estimates that he has a total of 10 to 12 different Adwerx campaigns running at any given moment. "I use the zip code ads to generate initial interest in an area that I'm trying to farm," he says. Next, Johnson uses Adwerx sphere-of-influence campaign to target his database of 6,000 people. "I take my sphere campaign a step further by breaking up my database into buckets of buyers, sellers, and rent-to-own leads. Then I target those people with different ads and different calls-to-action based on which bucket I've put them in." He updates the contact list he uses in his sphere campaigns every week, and adds tracking codes to the URLs so he can better measure his results, which, according to Johnson, "have been great." And though Johnson is mostly a buyer's agent, "for the listings I have had, I've used the listing campaign, which is an awesome tool," he says. Johnson also recently started his own brokerage with United Real Estate, and has been using Adwerx's recruiting ads to market to top performing agents in his area (see his sample ad below). The ads are targeted only to agents whose contact information Johnson uploads to the Adwerx platform. Best Practices for Effective Campaigns During our interview, we got Johnson to spill a few of the secrets he employs to get the most ROI out of his Adwerx campaigns. Here are his top tips. Keep an eye on your visuals and call-to-action. "This is so critical," Johnson says. "Realize that your ad is going to appear on a website like CNN or MSNBC or Forbes where it's going to blend with a lot of other things. So think about what color will make your ad pop yet not be offensive." Once your ad has caught the attention of a lead, it's crucial that it tells the viewer then next step they should take--whether that's checking out a listing, searching for homes on your website, or downloading a free buyer's or seller's guide. "Make sure that your ad sends consumers to a specific landing page--not the homepage on your site, but a clear, concise landing page that's tailored to the ad's call to action." Realize that your landing pages are the difference between success and failure. Is your ad getting clicks but no leads? That may be a sign that "your landing page sucks," according to Johnson. "Your landing page should allow visitors to do only one thing--and that's give you their email address." Johnson uses a psychological design trick to help make sure this happens. "On my landing pages, I've removed the navigation on the top and the bottom so literally the only thing you can do is sign up or search for homes." As we mentioned above, Johnson sends consumers who click on his ads to a landing page tailored to that specific ad's call-to-action. "My 'search homes' ad takes them to the IDX sign-up form, so they actually have to sign up to search homes on my website," he says. Another landing page offers bullets summarizing his rent-to-own program and a short form that leads can fill out to see if they're qualified. "It's little things like that--download my seller guide, download the buyer guide, etc.--that make all the difference." For landing pages that offer a free download, Johnson recommends displaying a message after leads submit their information that tells them to check their email for a download link. "That way, you know you're getting a valid email," he says. "If you just say, 'Okay, great, here's a download now,' there's no incentive for them to give you a correct email address." Johnson says it doesn't matter to him whether or not he can get a lead to respond to an email. His main purpose in collecting email addresses is being able to remarket to them via Adwerx sphere ads in the future. "I have a separate sphere ad campaign running just for people who downloaded the buyer guide." Periodically update your ads to optimize performance. Johnson scrutinizes his ads after a month. "Am I getting the right clicks to impression ratio that I want to see?" he asks. "If not, I need to tweak my ad, and keep tweaking it until it works. And I refresh them; it helps a lot." From CNN to Starbucks--and beyond! Johnson has simple advice to agents and broker who may be considering Adwerx for lead generation: Just do it. "It's the easiest thing ever," he says. "In all seriousness, you can't afford not to do it. Think about running one Adwerx campaign. It's 10,000 impressions per month. Can you, for that $50, $60, or $70 per month that it costs, mail that many postcards out? You can't, that's the answer. Even if you could, there's no way to track anything. With Adwerx, you can track your messaging instantly." But perhaps the most profitable thing that Adwerx does for agents is increase the visibility and prestige of their personal brand at an affordable price point. "I had someone at Starbucks just a couple of weeks ago, go 'You're Kevin Johnson, right?' I've seen your ads. You're always on CNN. You must be really successful to be able to advertise on CNN.com,'" Johnson says, laughing. "I said, 'Why, yes, I am.' "A lot of people think that running your Adwerx campaigns on sites like CNN is really expensive, so that adds to your stature as an agent." Johnson says that Adwerx is a 24/7 reminder to your audience of who you are. Even if a prospect is not ready to buy now, that consistent exposure to you and your brand will ensure that you're top of mind when the time comes for them to choose a Realtor. "That's truly the key to it," says Johnson. "If you want to capture mindshare, stay top of mind. I was top of mind with that gentleman at Starbucks. He saw my face, my face was in my ad, and he knew who I was because he sees me on CNN all the time." Johnson has one final piece of advice for his fellow agents: "If you want to be successful in the future, you cannot do what agents have done all these years. Rick Davis at Century 21 said that the next super agent wasn't in our business two years ago. And the reason being is that they're not hindered by the rearview mirror. They don't know how it's supposed to be done. They're going to go out and chart new paths, and it's going to be successful," he says. "And that's what I've tried to do. If I want to stand out, if I want to be above average in my income, I can't do what everyone else is doing. I've got to make my own swim lane and do my own thing--and Adwerx has helped me do just that."
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Hail Mary Effort Proves Worthy of This Realtor’s Strategic Open House Move
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How Technology Training Revolutionized One Realtor's Business
It was a fluke that led John Diaz to the training program that changed the direction of his real estate career. In August of 2013, he had been in real estate for over a decade, and a broker since 2005. Diaz already knew that leveraging technology was important for success in real estate, but he struggled with how to implement it. He planned to get an iPad, but hadn't yet. He had also tried Evernote, but "could never put my arm around how to use it for my business." That all changed when he travelled from California to Chicago for a conference hosted by his franchise. There, he hoped to learn how to better use technology in his business, but was largely disappointed—with the exception of one fleeting moment. "What I had flown to Chicago for I didn't really find," said Diaz. "But what's interesting is that the speaker I went to listen to briefly mentioned The Paperless Agent. He's actually the one who pointed me in their direction." The Paperless Agent is a training program owned and operated by the leaders of GoodLife Realty. GoodLife is an independent brokerage in Austin, Texas that's well known for driving sales through their innovative use of technology. Through The Paperless Agent, they share the technology systems and best practices they successfully use at GoodLife Realty with other real estate agents and brokers. On his flight home, Diaz took advantage of the onboard wi-fi to work through the first training session of The Paperless Agent. He was so impressed with what he saw, that he immediately went out and bought his first iPad and started implementing what he had learned.
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Conversion is Key for this Open House Expert
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How RPR Covers Every Angle of Buyer-Realtor® Relationship
Know the market Anticipate objections Find a match Close the deal Wish it were that simple? Of course, but we know it's not. Being a buyer's agent in the information age has challenges probably not worth repeating here. Rather, here at RPR, we offer solutions—simple, reliable, and accurate tools that help REALTORS® successfully execute every step of the home buying process. We were recently reintroduced to a REALTOR® from the Boston area who, along with all 240 of his agents, use RPR in every facet of his operation, notably when working with buyers. "Buyer expectations come in all shapes and sizes but one thing is for sure: they all expect accurate, timely information," says John Connolly, Vice President of SUCCESS! Real Estate, Boston, Mass. "From basic characteristics of the home to a thorough analysis of local market conditions, REALTORS® really need to be on their game." Here, John shares how RPR helps his entire team remain relevant when working with buyers.
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5 Best Practices for Advertising on Property Portals
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What's behind this agency's successful farming strategy? Relationship building
Belly-to-belly are some of the wisest words ever spoken about real estate marketing strategy, according to broker Claire Bisignano Chesnoff. A master salesperson, broker/owner, and founder of a two-office, 10 agent operation based in Staten Island and now in Brooklyn, NY, Chesnoff says one of her most successful strategies for earning new business is farming neighborhoods. Her technique is succinct, safe, and proven. Dominating much of the Staten Island market, Claire Properties, LLC is now setting its sights on opportunities in Brooklyn. Their farming strategy includes identifying potential neighborhoods and then sending a team of up to three agents to go, as Chesnoff says, "belly to belly" with homeowners. "Telephone solicitations are no longer effective," claims Chesnoff. "And marketing pieces, such as postcards, can be valuable, but our greatest reward comes from establishing relationships in neighborhoods, by meeting people on their sidewalks and in their living rooms." In this instance, a team of three agents descends upon a potential market area—a neighborhood known for its rich Italian heritage. The area is chosen specifically to take advantage of Santina's bilingual skills. She is a Realtor®, fluent in Italian, who has built relationships with homeowners and shopkeepers in the area. Yet, each agent, according to Chesnoff, plays a critical role in the pursuit she calls "our newest challenge." Santina is accompanied by Raymond, a techie who loves data; and Frank, a people person whose presence also provides a sense of security for both the agents and homeowners.
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How a 72-Year-Old Realtor Embraces Technology
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A New REALTOR® Shares 3 Ways RPR Helps Her Business Grow
If you've attended a real estate conference in the last ten years, you probably know of Nicole Nicolay or "NikNik." She spent over a decade speaking to agents about how to leverage technology at events like Inman Connect, NAR Annual, REtechSouth, ReMax R4, Century 21 Annual, BHGRE Fusion and launched Inman's popular conference series Agent Reboot. But more recently, you may not have realized that she has become a licensed REALTOR®, joining the family business after her second startup company, Agent Evolution, was acquired. For Nicole, the transition has been all about family. Not only has becoming a REALTOR® afforded her the opportunity to spend more time with her husband and kids, but she also gets to work with her parents. "Real estate's been in my blood because my parents have been REALTORS® for most of my life, and so I've witnessed their hard work and their business from a wide range of angles over the last 30 years--from answering phones at their office, to walking their geographical farm, building their website and developing their digital marketing strategy," she says. When it comes to selecting tools to help her run her business, Nicole's background in training agents gives her a distinct advantage. "When I stepped into my own business, I wasn't swayed by the shiny objects or applications out there. Although I see some great advantages to using certain vendors and tools, I'm really able to pick and choose the ones that fit my business." One of those tools is Realtors Property Resource® (RPR). In a recent interview, we asked Nicole how she leverages NAR's free member benefit in her business. She offered so much wonderful information that we had to split this article into two parts. In part one, Nicole shares three ways that RPR's desktop application has helped her as a new agent.
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How One Realtor® Leverages RPR for Lead Generation
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Building Trust and Business with RPR®
We have been publishing a series of case studies that profile actual real estate professionals using Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) to be more successful. The REALTOR® profiled in today's article is Garnett Sailor, a broker and investor from Arizona. Busy Agent Summary We understand that you're busy, so we're going to provide a quick summary here. In one minute or less, these are the things you can take away from Garnett's success with RPR®: Use RPR® to familiarize yourself with an area you've never visited for investments or out-of-town clients. Use RPR®'s star ratings to establish a level of confidence with the RVM®. Use RPR® as a resource when creating a CMA. If the property has a four or five-star rating, aim to value the property within a few thousand dollars of the RVM®. Use RPR® reports to guide pricing discussions when your sellers have a higher idea of a property's value than you do. First Boots on the Ground In addition to working as a real estate broker, Garnett also runs a note investing business. "Oftentimes, the notes I'm considering are for properties in areas I've never visited," he says. "When that's the case, RPR® is my first – and only – 'boots on the ground.' I've discovered that I can trust their data and reports completely in guiding my decisions about which properties to invest in."
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How a Top Agent Goes to the Next Level
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Commercial Real Estate Success, Courtesy of RPR®
We have been publishing a series of articles that profile how real estate professionals are leveraging Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) to be more successful. Today, our article focuses on a commercial REALTOR®, Paul Martis. Busy Agent Summary We understand that you're busy, so we're going to provide a quick summary here. In one minute or less, these are the things you can take away from Paul's success with RPR®: Don't wait until your MLS signs up for RPR® before taking a look at it, because there's actually some value you can take advantage of without an MLS agreement. Visual representation of data is an important way to communicate with clients and can help get them more excited about their real estate transaction. RPR® can help provide highly visual reports that enhance clients' understanding and enthusiasm. Mention RPR® tools, and the opportunities they open up, to clients during a listing presentation to help win the listing.
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An Appraiser’s Perspective on RPR®
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A Brokerage Can’t Do for You What You Can
Guest contributor Graham Wood of REALTOR®Mag says: By the end of his first year in real estate, Curt Whitesell quit his job. It wasn't because he didn't like being an agent or that he wasn't good at it. It was that the prevailing business model of real estate brokerages just didn't work for him. He needed to break off and become a broker himself — and build an office that runs things totally differently. "I truly believe that the broker-owner plays little, if any, role in the business success of an agent today," says Whitesell, who started his real estate career in 2007 at the age of 30, working as an agent for a brokerage in Indianapolis. "I bought into the old theory that brokers were a truly marketable brand." What he discovered was that the brokerage wasn't giving him the tools he really needed to succeed. "I listened to them tell me about all the great marketing initiatives, training, and tools available to agents that were going to help make my business a success," Whitesell says. "Frankly, it was all junk." The Web site he was supplied was difficult to use and inflexible, and the print marketing materials he was given were outdated and overpriced, he says. "No leads, no cool new tools — just an expensive cubicle in a big building," Whitesell laments. He decided to use his time at that firm more wisely: He started tuning out what the brokerage was telling him to do and went with his heart.
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Secrets to Success with RPR®
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Beyond Residential: Commercial Agents Can Use RPR, Too!
Making the transition to commercial real estate can be challenging for agents who come from a residential background. Transactions take longer to close, appraisals are more complicated, and agents must learn to grasp the finer points of zoning in the areas they serve. On top of that, novice commercial agents need to embrace new technology tools in order to be successful. RPR Commercial is one of those tools. Launched in 2012, the application gives commercial agents access to dynamic search and reporting features, demographic and zoning information, and beyond. We recently spoke with Sydney Machat, CCIM, CRE, a veteran small town commercial broker and consultant in Maryland. As one of the earliest adopters of the solution, Machat is well versed in its many uses. He shared how RPR helps his real estate practice thrive. One User's Story RPR Commercial helps Machat support buyers in a transaction by enabling him to send comps to financing institutions and banks. "Banks want BPO-type information for real estate counseling assignments. I support seller and landlord brokerage clients with current market data initially from RPR."
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RPR Success Stories. Are you next?
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Do you use a Client Relationship Management Product? Tell us all about it!
RE Technology would love to have our subscribers that use Client Relationship Management or "CRM" products visit our site and leave a review. It's always better to get product information and reviews from fellow agents rather than reading about a product or listening to a sales pitch. Wouldn't you want to know the hands-on details about a company or product before purchasing it? Help your fellow real estate professionals decide what CRM tools works best for their business by taking a moment to post a review of your current CRM or programs that you've used in the past. Don't use a CRM? Read our articles about Client Relationship Management (CRM) tools to learn more about how they can benefit your business. Just visit the CRM category in our product directory, find a CRM solution that you use or have used, scroll to the bottom of that product's page and write a little about your experience.
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What REALTORS® Can Learn from USAA.com
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7 Things I’ve Learned in a Year of Real Estate Technology
Today I realized that I have been writing about real estate technology for one year. As cliché as it sounds, time truly has flown by; it seems like only yesterday that I was sitting down with Victor Lund and trying desperately to understand this mysterious thing called "IDX." Being the sentimental fool that I am, anniversaries like this always cause me to reflect back on the things I've learned. Considering I came into this job with literally ZERO real estate experience, I've learned a lot. Here are some of the things that stand out to me the most. Please keep in mind that these are my own, personal perceptions and do not necessarily reflect the views of RE Technology. 1) Digital signatures are the future, baby. Everybody needs to get on board, because this trend isn't going anywhere. They make life easier for agents, provide a better experience for consumers, and are kinder to the environment. 2) Listing syndication is broken. I don't know how to fix it, although I think that there are some people with great ideas. But it seems enough momentum is building that I'm optimistic things will get better.
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A T-Mobile Royal Wedding Tribute
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9 Easy Ways to Get Unfollowed on Twitter
Ever since the birth of paper.li and my obsession with aggregating all the content-sharing tweets in my Twitter stream, I have been very aware of annoying Tweeters. Why?  If I don't clean out my Twitter stream every now and then, my paper.li gets overwhelmed with stories I do not want to read about. (To view an example of a paper.li Twitter e-newspaper I manage, check out RE Technology, Inc.'s) Ironically, one of the articles I found interesting, while peeling through my RETechnologyInc Daily was on the very topic of pitfalls of Tweeting that will result in getting people to un-follow you.  In the world of social media, being un-followed is almost equivalent to being virtually told you are annoying or you like things that aren't cool.  It brings many of us back to school yard drama. Jason Yormark, social media marketer, sympathizes to a degree with people who unwittingly abuse common Twitter faux pas. In a recent post he outlines his top 9 Twitter annoyances.  I definitely agree with most. (I still un-follow people who flood my stream with nonsense, but that is due to my paper.li love as stated above.) Here are his top 9 ways to get unfollowed on Twitter:
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6 Reasons You Want an iPad 2
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You Tweet, But Do You Know How to Measure Twitter Success?
Guest Contributor Chris Brogan says: I’ve been using Hootsuite (affiliate link) for a while now, and have really been interested in a few things more than other parts: scheduled tweets and stats. I want to talk about the latter today. (Note: I’m an affiliate for this product because I really appreciate what it does for me.) Checking Stats I became interested in which of my tweets with links were successful or not, so I started looking at the details of what Hootsuite provided. For the picture above at the top of the post, I was surprised that so many people clicked the link about how introverts view confidence, but also not surprised that there weren't a lot of retweets.
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What Sells Homes - Agents or the Internet?
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Want an Easy New Way to Share Your Expertise Online?
Real estate agents are constantly seeing things with their eyes that has value for building relationships with consumers. Agents go to open houses, talk with buyers and sellers, talk with other agents about the market, and attend seminars and other forums to collect information that makes them better professionals. In the recent surge to adopt social media, Twitter has become a tool used by REALTORS® to share real estate information with consumers. This is done in short sentences or with link sharing to blog posts or other news that they find on the Internet. Using your video enabled cell phone, you can now extend your content gathering to your real life using twitvid.
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Here Comes the Blackberry Tablet!
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Ethel's First... What's the Word?... Online Video!
As real estate professionals, the use of video to portray your image, professionalism and even intelect is powerful.  The topics you choose to center your videos around, your attention span in those videos and the level of viewer engagement within your video can make or break your audience's faith in you. Don't believe me, well... apparently neither did Ethel. Karel Murray, a professional speaker and humorist, created a funny sketch about Ethel's first adventure with video technology. Ethel is one of Karel Murray's favorite characters.  In her words, "Ethel is a clueless woman who has exceptional self-esteem and a heart for adventure." Enjoy her first video blunder... and maybe in the process pick up a few hints on what not to do in your own real estate videos.  Happy Friday to you all! The above video can be found on YouTube.com, by clicking here.
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Digital Addiction: Blurring the Lines of Reality
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A Customer Service Confluence
There has been this weird confluence of customer service experiences for me over the last few days. It’s like a disturbance in the nexus of the customer service universe. I’m a big fan of great customer service. I love being on the receiving end of it, and I try to make premium customer service the primary focus of our real estate brokerage. There are several stories of customer service experiences strewn about this blog, from the great — the Broadmoor Hotel and a mattress store — to the not so swift horrific at Nationwide Vision. And then there was this…
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Google Is Playing in the Twitter Sandbox
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Generate Leads with Texts!
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that no matter if your flyer box was empty, that potential home buyers can still learn more about your property while they’re in front of it? Sure, the Internet helps home buyers learn and even visualize the property. But what about the stream of potential leads who drive by your property, stop, look for information, but move on in seconds. The front of a house can only tell you so much. So the question is: what else is there?
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How to Make Use of Twitter Lists
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Using Technology
The history of the Internet is a story of inverse proportion; as technology accelerates, the barriers to it—both monetary and technological—shrink. During one of my CRT presentations, I lead off by asking, “Who has been using email since 1971?” Only once has someone raised their hand. And while you may be wondering who would be naive enough to think that they could have been emailing since then, the lore of the Internet traces the first use of email back to the summer of 1971. So now, I ask you, "Why weren’t you using email back then, or even in 1991?" I lead off with that example because it clearly demonstrates what I’m discussing: technically, there was nothing to prevent people from sending email back in 1971. If you look at a timeline of the Internet, you can see that many of the services that we take for granted today and which we often perceive as only a couple of years old have actually been around for quite some time. Many times, a “new” technology merely refers to an old technology with a new label, a sign that it has reached the mainstream. But because technology takes some time to enter the mainstream, most people either aren’t aware of what’s possible or consider the cost too unreasonable.
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