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Delta Media's 'Fresh' Take on Real Estate Advertising
Every so often, a real estate-related advertising campaign emerges that cuts through the clutter to make a strong audience connection. Not too long ago, Zillow, like the old AT&T TV ads, tugged at our homeownership heartstrings. The National Association of Realtors' ads used fictional Realtor Phil Dunphy from Modern Family to make us laugh. Go back 30 years to find the groundbreaking Great Western Bank commercials featuring Dennis Weaver. These brilliant TV ads spoke to both a B2B audience (Realtors) and B2C (consumers) with the same powerful "use a Realtor" message. My favorite one has Dennis walking in front of a gorgeous house. Like the accompanying print ads at the time, he conveys the message that, "Looking for a home without a Realtor is looking for trouble." The camera pulls out, and we see the beautiful home Dennis is standing in front of is a Hollywood facade. The current real estate-related ads that breakthrough all the noise are the Tracy Morgan ads from Rocket Mortgage. Comparing "pretty sure" versus "certain" to illustrate the competitive difference between getting a preapproval from Rocket versus a competitor makes these an instant classic. Rocket uses powerful and extreme examples to make these ads both memorable and highly effective. Delta Media Group's new "Delta Fresh" ad campaign was inspired by the Rocket Mortgage ads. It accomplishes the same clutter-cutting effectiveness. What's smart and clever about these ads is how it completely breaks the tradition of just about every other B2B tech ad. Delta's new ad campaign is all about real estate technology, yet it does not feature any technology! Like the Rocket ads, these ads use extreme examples to contrast Delta's competitive advantage versus its competitors. In addition, the images in these Delta ads are beautiful, colorful, and powerful in conveying a tech message without standard tech imaging. See all the "Delta Fresh" ads available at Delta Media's website here. Delta Media uniquely has its own channel to distribute these print ads broadly. Delta publishes a print magazine – Real Estate Marketing & Technology magazine – which goes to thousands of agents and brokers subscribers who are also Delta clients. The first of the new "Delta Fresh" ads debuted in its October issue. You also can find a digital version of the magazine online here (page 45 for an ad sample). Full disclosure: WAV Group worked with Delta to execute this campaign, so we have a built-in bias. Here is the news release announcing this new campaign. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Brokerage Marketing Secrets: How to Help Your Agents Get More Referrals
Brokers need to look beyond their office doors and find unique and affordable ways to help their real estate associates build successful businesses. There is growing evidence that the BIG venture capital funded real estate companies are becoming more transactional in nature and, thereby, losing out on what really matters--the human element. This is in direct contrast to the small business owner-operator brokers who create profits for their teams and are the true "backbone" for their agents. So, what value are brokers offering their real estate agents? Many are now partnering with cloud-based tech companies in an effort to stay ahead of their competition. They still provide training, support and technology. Many spend a great deal of money on advertising to drive people to their websites and keep their brand top of mind. The real issue is that about 10% of the top producers benefit from this strategy, while the remaining are struggling to stay afloat. From an agent's perspective, the burden lies on them. They are paying monthly brokerage fees, regardless of their sales volume. There isn't a reliable way to generate appointments consistently, and new technology is often a difficult and slow process to learn. Brokers need to start investing more in the people they have vs. acquisition Getting back to the basics is a good starting point. Real estate agents used to be looked upon as their neighborhood hub, the go-to person for advice, contacts and relationships. However, during these past few decades, this role has taken a back seat to the "tech platforms," which has eroded the key influencer to one of a transactional nature. What the industry needs now is for agents to take on the role of the community expert once again and establish relationships with people. For those who have committed to this path, however, it can be a lot of work. Imagine starting out now not knowing where to start. With the traditional system, one would need to set up and manage several activities, including, but not limited to: Research every community that you could potentially work in. Then find market trends and know the stats like days-on-market, absorption rate and percentage of list, etc. Email your database every week. Keep it personal by creating new content that adds value for them. Reach out to friends and family. Ask them for referrals. Post relevant information on social media platforms. Create YouTube videos. Door knock in hopes of catching someone ready for your services. Cold call strangers who don't know who you are and try to create a relationship within seconds. Feeling overwhelmed yet? There is a better way. Here's a solution that is working well for Rich Johnson, Broker and Owner of Windermere Homes & Estates, a leading real estate brokerage in San Diego, in partnership with Grant Findlay-Shirras, co-founder of Parkbench.com, a leading online platform that helps local professionals connect with their community. In a time when #supportcommunity has become a mainstay in today's economy, Parkbench has pioneered a new and innovative way for community residents and small business owners to connect and support each other. "Locals must support each other, and I created Parkbench to be the one-stop shop for people to do this and stay up to date with what's going on around them," Findlay-Shirras explains. Create and use blogs and videos to reach out to potential clients. The use of blogs and videos is paramount in today's marketplace as both sellers and buyers are starting their search, looking to consume content to learn before they start the process. As clients demand more from their agents, agents have to move with the trends or they will become irrelevant. The savvy home buyer/seller will know more about you and your business before they actually meet you. The content you provide on your website and social media is what will make your phone ring. Always provide value first. Educate your audience with what is going on in the community. For example: You can create an informative blog about the best parks in the area. Add pictures or a short video with highlights. You can create an article about home buying and point out the five hidden fees people should be aware of. Another helpful tool would be to write a blog listing the pitfalls to be aware of when hiring a house inspector. A common mistake real estate agents make is they talk about themselves and believe people will respond to their slick messaging. The truth is you must give people information and educate them first. People prefer to work with people they know, like and trust. "The use of videography has gained much popularity over the years, allowing real estate agents to become more 'humanized' to their audience and ultimately their clients," Rich explains. "Video marketing links the motivation behind the Parkbench platform, which is to create community and connection. This is central to our core values at Windermere Homes & Estates. My agents will be able to profit significantly from the use of this website platform for years to come," says Rich. Interview business people to expand your sphere of influence. Nowadays, all you need is a smartphone and a willing participant to create a compelling interview that will attract people to watch. This process accomplishes a few things: It gets you out from behind your desk and getting to know people in your area. You become the neighborhood "connector" that people will naturally migrate towards. It increases your database exponentially. But who do you interview? Again, the list is endless, but here are some good ideas: Local Small Business Owners. They could use your help to promote their goods and services, and rarely are you turned away. School Administrators/Council Members. One of the top questions people ask before considering buying a home is, "How good is the school district?" School quality has a big influence on people's choices when considering which neighborhood to move into. Community Associations. People who are involved in their community associations tend to know a lot of people and are good connections to have. They also host various events throughout the year that you can be involved in. For a comprehensive list of people you should contact, click here for a free ebook:"30 Local Professionals Real Estate Professionals Should Meet" Relationships. Relationships. Relationships. Agents need to focus on fostering relationships to get clients. The key to becoming the agent of choice in your neighborhood is to add value to your community members. At Windermere Homes & Estates, Rich and his team honor the true value of the human-to-human connection, or the "Human Algorithm," as they call it. They don't just pay lip service to this idea; they roll up their sleeves and get involved in their communities. Every year since 1984, all Windermere offices participate in a Community Service Day, an event where they help make a positive difference in their local communities. In addition, The Windermere Foundation has raised over $41 million dollars since 1989 to help low-income and homeless families in the communities they serve. Now that's commitment! As for Grant and Parkbench, "We are excited to partner with Rich and his team to help provide a local news source for the people who live in San Diego and the free marketing platform for local businesses. We encourage everyone to check out their local Parkbench website and learn about the people behind the businesses, the events happening down the street, the deals being offered, and much more. Together we can improve the economy and our quality of life." Are you ready to learn more? Do you want to be a community minded broker? Maybe it's time to rethink how you have been doing business. If you want to become the local market expert and increase your exposure within your geo farm community, reach out to Grant Findlay-Shirras or Rich Johnson for more details and become a Local Leader®. Next Steps: If you're an agent in San Diego, contact Rich to get access to Parkbench at no upfront cost to you. If you're a broker/owner or team leader who wants to give their agents a systematic and predictable way to create high quality leads in their geo farm that doesn't cost you any money, then contact [email protected] to learn more about "the local broker program." Free Resource Do you want to know the top 30 local professionals who refer the most business to agents? Download this free ebook and learn who they are and how you can connect with them. Also, you will learn how to add value to business owners so that you can build referral generating relationships with them.
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3 Easy Methods to Instill a Culture of Accountability in Your Real Estate Brokerage
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Do you really want to send your members to a competitor? Here's a better showing solution.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 12:00 PM PDT Get an in-depth look at Local Showings, Delta's fully-featured and wholly independent showing platform that gives MLSs and, brokerages back control of their technology. Local Showings offers all the tools you need to square off against real estate's most frustrating disruptors while still providing an easy-to-understand, user-friendly interface. No need to work with the competition anymore. Now, you have another choice. Plus, with Delta's No Sell-Guarantee in your corner, you can be confident your data isn't going anywhere. At Delta Media Group, we pride ourselves on our independence. Just like you. One of the country's largest and most dependable real estate brokerage technology firms, Delta works with no outside or VC funding. Our goal is to help our clients get the most out of their tech, and that means ensuring you can schedule showings with ease. Don't miss this chance to learn the ins and outs of Local Showings and discover everything you can accomplish on a platform that works for you. Register now!
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Survey Shows Pandemic Fuels Importance, Usage of Digital Transaction Management
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Broker Tips: Supporting Agents During Seller's Markets
Earlier this year, a mansion in Maryland sold for $1,000,000 over asking, an offer nearly 30% higher than the listing price. Offers like these have become the norm in many places. For a typical house listed at $300,000, that would mean selling for $387,000. Put plainly: we're in an epic seller's market. Seller's markets are affected by many factors, including inventory, interest rates, and consumer behavior. The pandemic created a perfect storm of factors resulting in historically low inventory and interest rates, paired with surging demand, especially among millennials. And these conditions are expected to continue for some time. Brokers are uniquely positioned to support agents during seller's markets. These periods can be particularly stressful due to the intensity of negotiations, the likelihood buyers' offers will be rejected, and less predictable commission income. Brokers can help by offering the best combination of services and support for their agents. Read on for ideas on how to help your agents be successful during these periods. Planning and strategizing Brokers need to be equipped to help agents with seller's market strategies. These include tips and tricks for locating new listings, maximizing buyer offers, negotiating the best terms, and finally choosing the winning offer. Strategic guidance from brokers will reduce agent stress and increase customer satisfaction. Attracting listings Agents need a steady stream of buyer and seller leads, and their overall lead generation strategy should have specific seller lead gen tactics. Just one such tactic is automated home valuations (AVMs), which use real-time data and mathematical modeling to estimate listing prices in a certain area. AVMs can easily be added to your brokerage or agent websites to encourage potential sellers to provide their contact information and list with your team. Setting listing prices Listing prices are really important, even in a seller's market. Aim too high, and you scare away opportunities that could drive the price up or improve terms. The trick to setting the right listing price is staying on top of local market trends. It is easier than ever for brokers to analyze their own MLS data and generate market intelligence for picking the best listing price. Marketing and showing listings Houses might sell themselves during seller's markets, but agents should always aim to maximize buyer offers. The best way to get multiple offers is through high-quality and consistent marketing, both in print, online, and in-person. Good staging High-quality listing photos and videos Virtual tours Virtual or in-person open house Social media campaign Listing site Flyers Lawn signs A tool like a full-service print and digital marketing suite can help simplify and automate many of these marketing tasks, so your agents can offer stellar customer service instead of stressing about social posts. These same tools help take the place of yard signs when there are fewer houses on the market: an active social media presence propels your brand even when listings are limited. Streamlining transactions Real estate transactions are complicated. An end-to-end transaction management system with electronic signatures will make your agents' and admins' lives a whole lot easier and help them focus on serving customers, not searching for files. Ensuring accurate, timely commission payments After working hard to close a deal, agents want to get paid the right commission amount on time. With the number of different commission plans and brokerage fees out there, paying commissions properly can be more complicated than it sounds. Luckily, there are highly customizable, intuitive, and flexible solutions like Constellation1 Commissions to help you make sure your agents get their money quickly and accurately, without worrying whether you did it right. Set your team up for success Home buyers and sellers rely on real estate agents for their professionalism and expertise to help them get the most out of their transaction. Agents rely on their brokers to provide the right tools, support, and fair compensation. When you give your team what it needs to succeed, you will have happier agents and happier clients, helping your brokerage grow into the future, no matter what kind of market you're in. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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Supra Offers Showing Solution through BrokerBay Acquisition
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RE/MAX Debuts 'Reinvented' RE/MAX University
RE/MAX announced a comprehensive reinvention of its RE/MAX University platform, an exclusive-to-RE/MAX learning hub designed to help each agent level-up their professional expertise. Built on intuitive new technology, RE/MAX University offers affiliates a modern, simplified experience as they access relevant educational resources via desktop or mobile devices. Designed for RE/MAX professionals at any stage of their career, the platform leverages artificial intelligence to recommend learning courses and materials based on each affiliates' learning interests. The enhancements advance the strong educational foundation at RE/MAX, which disrupted the industry by unveiling its one-of-a-kind RE/MAX Satellite Network in 1994. The original RE/MAX University grew from that RSN innovation, and RE/MAX has been a leader in learning ever since. In fact, RE/MAX has found that agents who engaged with RE/MAX University, on average, closed 29%-38% more transactions and earned 31%-233% more in commissions. "This is a major enhancement to our industry-leading services. We've built an app and system that helps make great agents even better at helping homebuyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals," says RE/MAX President Nick Bailey. "The reinvented RE/MAX University puts agents in control of when, where, what and how they learn. Like never before, they're in the driver's seat when it comes to building their business and sharpening their skills in the areas they find most important. At RE/MAX, we believe the more you learn, the more you earn." With the reinvented RE/MAX University, RE/MAX agents and brokers can: Access thousands of educational videos, downloadable resources, webinars and more. Browse courses and other content by the task or goal they would like to improve, such as: Marketing their expertise Generating and handling leads Caring for buyers and sellers Nurturing repeat business and referrals Organize and share courses, uploaded content and streaming links in training playlists. Brokers can even coach individual agents with content recommendations and monitor agent progress through private coaching reports. Receive support from a virtual coach to keep their learning on track. Experience intuitive search. The new RE/MAX University search engine makes it easy for agents to find what they're looking for by topic or description, even if they don't know what the course or resource is called. Because a big challenge with education is cutting through the noise, the new platform recognizes each visitor and presents content that is relevant to them and their location. For instance, Canadian affiliates will see content applicable to laws and systems in their country rather than having to dig through U.S. programming. The result is a better experience and deeper engagement with education that matters most. Adds Bailey: "Having been a leader in the real estate industry for decades, RE/MAX understands markets are constantly fluctuating. Ensuring our affiliates have the resources available to them to be successful in any type of market is our top priority as it is the key to their long-term success. The RE/MAX University we've had for years has always been great, but this reinvented RU is off the charts. It's going to make a real difference to our affiliates and the consumers they work with."
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Motley Fool Reviews Compass with Interesting Observations
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Howard Hanna Launches an Agent Benefits and Business Planning Solutions Program
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services announced the launch of an updated agent benefits and business planning solutions program, Hanna Health & Wealth. At a companywide virtual town hall last week, leaders of Howard Hanna and representatives from their longtime benefits partner, Dergalis Associates, personally introduced the program to agents across their 11-state footprint. Hanna Health & Wealth is a robust relaunch of a former benefits program, previously known as Secure Advantage. While the former program has been available and supporting agents for nearly 30 years, the updated Hanna Health & Wealth program offers agents more opportunities than ever before, including access to programs that many agents were not previously eligible for or did not utilize when they joined the company – and now they can take full advantage of the entire suite of offerings. On October 15, an open enrollment period will begin for all Howard Hanna agents in legacy markets to enroll in a multitude of services, including guaranteed issued life, short- and long-term disability, dental, and vision insurances. In the weeks to follow, agents will also be able to enroll in the Hanna healthcare and automatic contribution programs. The health platform offers unique products and services, including the benefit of telehealth, which allows instant access to healthcare professionals for agents on the move. "The Hanna Health & Wealth programs were designed to provide our agents and their families with options to safeguard their personal and financial well-being," said Leah Gibbons, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Brokerage for Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. "The peace of mind our agents experience as a result of having these programs at their disposal is a game-changer that allows them to focus on their business without additional stresses and distractions." As the nation's largest family-owned and -operated real estate brokerage, Howard Hanna understands and appreciates the challenges and opportunities of being an agent in the industry. In a greater effort to support Howard Hanna's agents, the business planning management portion of the program was developed to provide enhanced assistance and security for agents looking for methods of tax withholding and planning for future retirement. This program comes with built-in advisors that can develop strategies with agents on the financial wellness and planning portion of their business. "We developed this program to support the whole agent – today, tomorrow, and into the future," said Annie Hanna Engel, President and Chief Operating Officer for Howard Hanna Insurance Services and Chief Legal Officer for Hanna Holdings, Inc. "We are proud to launch this program which will streamline and manage the overall health and wellness of what we believe to be our biggest asset – our agents." As Howard Hanna continues to grow and enter new markets, both organically and through strategic partnerships, the company plans to introduce this program to new partners along the way. As the real estate industry consolidator of choice for companies across the nation, the true power in becoming part of the Howard Hanna family of companies is the support, security, and mutual successes for all partners and agents across the nation. The open enrollment period that begins on October 15 is slated for current agents in Howard Hanna's legacy markets; however, new agents that join the company now and into the future will be able to plug into the strength of these products immediately when they join.
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The New Way to Run Your Back Office: Tips from a Broker
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Redfin Expands Direct Access Home Tours to 22 Markets, Powered by Partnership with ADT
Redfin announced a nationwide rollout of Direct Access, which lets homebuyers self-tour vacant Redfin-listed homes with or without an agent, using the Redfin app to unlock the door. Redfin also announced it has partnered with ADT, a leading provider of security and smart home solutions, to provide 24/7 security monitoring for Direct Access homes. ADT will equip Direct Access homes with smart locks and sensors that allow buyers to enter and tour a home worry-free and keep sellers informed about who enters and exits the property. By making it easy to tour with Direct Access, Redfin is able to generate more interest in its customers' homes so they can sell quickly, for top dollar. Homes with Direct Access get double the tours on average compared to other homes and Redfin makes it easy for sellers to track tours and buyer feedback in real time on their Redfin Owner Dashboard. Redfin launched Direct Access for customers selling vacant homes in select markets last year, the first national brokerage to offer self-guided tours for its home-selling customers' vacant properties. "In this hot market, more than a third of homes are finding a buyer within the first week and buyers are hustling to see new homes as quickly as possible. Direct Access makes it simple to tour our sellers' homes conveniently and safely without having to coordinate with an agent to schedule a showing, driving double the foot traffic that leads to offers for our sellers," said Bridget Frey, Redfin's chief technology officer. "Thanks to advances in automation and smart home technology and changing consumer expectations, we're able to offer a convenient and safe self-touring option that would have seemed outlandish just a decade ago. Our new partnership with ADT gives customers confidence that their home is protected by the most trusted brand in smart home security." The ADT partnership is helping Redfin bring Direct Access to new markets faster by taking advantage of ADT's national network of security professionals to install the smart home hardware in Redfin's Direct Access listings. The feature is now available in the 22 markets listed below, and Redfin plans to expand the program to eventually reach all of its U.S. customers. Keith Holmes, ADT's chief revenue officer added, "We're thrilled to partner with Redfin to deliver ADT smart home security services to Redfin's customers' homes via our team of 5,000 smart home installation professionals. This is a win-win situation for home buyers and sellers who get a professionally installed ADT smart home security system and the peace of mind provided by our U.S.-based network of security monitoring professionals. We're eager to welcome new Redfin homebuyers to the ADT family." In addition to keeping their home secure while it's listed for sale, sellers get the advantage of marketing the ADT smart home security system as an additional feature of their home. The buyer keeps the pre-installed smart lock, ADT security panel, and sensors, which are valued at $899. After closing, the buyer can take advantage of special offers on ADT's smart home security services. The ADT smart home security system comes in addition to multiple security features Redfin already has in place to help protect its customers and their homes, including verifying the identity of every buyer before their tour, using geofencing technology to monitor when a buyer enters and exits the home, and covering up to $100,000 in the event of loss or damage to the home. Direct Access Markets Atlanta, GA Austin, TX Boston, MA Dallas, TX Denver, CO Houston, TX Inland Empire, CA Las Vegas, NV Los Angeles, CA Maryland Orange County, CA Palm Springs, CA Phoenix, AZ Sacramento, CA San Antonio, TX San Diego, CA San Francisco, CA Santa Barbara, CA Seattle, WA Ventura County, CA Northern Virginia Washington, D.C. To learn more about Direct Access, visit redfin.com/direct-access. More information about ADT's offer for buyers of Redfin-listed homes is available here.
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Mark A. McLaughlin Starts New Endeavor Worth Watching
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MooveGuru Announces First-Ever PropTech Franchise
MooveGuru is pioneering a franchise program that allows local franchisees to offer their services to local agents and brokers -- but this is the first localized service. Real estate agents and brokers really believe in working with people locally in their community. This provides them the best possible opportunity to do that, which is particularly important when customers and agents are building a customer-for-life strategy. Please see below for the press release. First Ever, A PropTech Franchise Atlanta, GA - October 5, 2021 -- Through its automated data capture and delivery platforms, the first PropTech franchise emerges from a likely source, MooveGuru. For five years, MooveGuru has been perfecting the consumer experience during their moving process, now the robust platform supports consumers throughout the homeownership lifecycle. Its latest endeavor, YourHomeHub, is the first consumer portal that is "Everything Home" – meaning it allows homeowners to manage both the financial details and physical elements of their home. The consumer can monitor extensive information about their home and local market conditions, store important documents, generate accurate estimates for home repairs and find a local contractor for over 1,000 different home service categories. The platform is provided by real estate professionals who give this powerful homeowner resource to their customers—at no cost to them. Real estate professionals also receive exclusive marketing opportunities to their spheres of influence, which prevents competitors from engaging with their most coveted contacts from the dashboard. All of this is packaged into a unique franchise opportunity for existing MooveGuru partners, which include real estate brokerages, lenders, title and MLSs. Nine states have been sold with 14-unit franchises pending. Scott Oakley, CEO and founder of MooveGuru notes, "We are garnering a lot of interest from our broker and lender relationships. Three of our first franchisees all own multiple businesses in the real estate space and are looking for another ancillary revenue stream." One of the first Regional Developers is Unique Realty Services which is headed by 35-year industry veteran Dave Collins and former COO of the ERA brand. Dave stated, "I reconnected with Scott after a precipitous LinkedIn message. We met in Atlanta a couple weeks later and I immediately knew they had a winning strategy that we needed to be part of." The platform won't officially launch until mid-November 2021. Kathleen Kuhn, a 35-year veteran of the home services franchise sector, and EVP of Strategy and Franchising for MooveGuru, commented, "We knew our platform was needed and that industry leaders would appreciate what a gamechanger it is, but we did not anticipate we would close so many territories before we made any official announcement." To learn more about a YourHomeHub franchise and available territories, please email [email protected] or visit yourhomehub.com. About MooveGuru MooveGuru Inc. is based in Roswell, GA. In 2016 the company launched a free mover engagement program to real estate agents and brokers with the idea of connecting home buyers and sellers to convenience and savings on moving services. Using just-in-time delivery through artificial intelligence algorithms, MooveGuru Inc. ensures consumers receive agent-branded savings and convenience from national and local retailers and utility connections as they step through the relocation process. Today, more than 1500 brokerages, 300,000 agents, and millions of homeowners are connected to the MooveGuru and YourHomeHub platforms. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Relocations: The Biggest Business Boost Your Brokerage Is Missing Out On
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Our Top 10 Most-Read Articles of September
Something free for buyer's agents, something free for listing agents: that's two of the articles that made of list of our top 10 articles of September. Check out article #3 on the list below for a free cheat sheet on working with buyers in today's low-inventory market. Need more buyers to start with? Article #8 outlines how to turn renters into home buyers. Listing agent? See article #9 for a free list of 200 prospects in your area, then mosey on over to #7 for more ideas on getting listing clients this fall. Already have the listing? Article #2 will show you which repairs your sellers should make before hitting the market. We've got a lot more tech tips and advice on our monthly top articles round-up, so check out what else made September's list of our most-read articles below: 1. 4 Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make with Personal RelationshipsBuilding and maintaining relationships is essential to living a happy life. It is even more important for real estate agents who rely on these relationships for future clients and referrals. Through my personal experience with friends who happen to be real estate agents, there are a few mistakes that I've seen that can lead to some awkward moments or loss of future business. 2. The Most Important Repairs Sellers Should Make for BuyersAre you helping guide sellers through our current seller's market? Share this article with them to help them understand the pros and cons of making home repairs before listing. 3. Friday Freebie: Buyer's Cheat Sheet to Winning in Low Inventory MarketsWhat a competitive seller's market means for a buyer's agent is managing your client's expectations and preparing them to compete in today's market. That's easier said than done, however, and that's why we're highlighting a cheat sheet for helping your buyers win in a low inventory market. 4. Take Control: 3 Tips to Master Your Gmail InboxHave you ever wondered how assistants can get so much done? Wonder no more! These three tips will increase your productivity by controlling your Gmail inbox. You will learn how to send, archive, and delete emails without taking your fingers off the keyboard. 5. 3 Zoom Tips to Look 10x More ProfessionalThese three tips on how to use Zoom will help you look even more like the professional that you are. You will learn how to add a virtual background, how to change your name, and what your camera angle should be. 6. The 5 Best PDF Hacks for AgentsIf you want to edit a PDF, convert a document to a PDF or do more complex tasks, such as sign or annotate a form, Adobe wants you to subscribe to access Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Fortunately, we have some PDF hacks to help you accomplish more with a PDF without the Adobe monthly subscription. 7. 5 Easy Ways to Get MORE Listings This FallYou need listings, everyone does. But are you looking in the right places? Or just the usual places? Try thinking outside the box and consider some, or all, of these amazing ways to find more listings this fall. 8. Turning Renters to Buyers: Dispelling 5 Key MythsRenters need not sit on the sidelines and wait out today's uncertain housing market. Realtors can help them navigate the home buying process, establishing long-lasting relationships by pointing them to the right resources and helping them navigate both the decision to buy and a resale transaction. 9. Friday Freebie: Prospect List of 200 Targets in Your Area‍Online ads have made it easy to market to real estate prospects online--but what if you want to target them offline? In this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a way to reach your geographic farm via direct mail marketing with a FREE prospect list of 200 verified names and addresses. 10. Desktop vs. Mobile: Can You REALLY Complete a Whole Transaction from Your Phone?As convenient as a phone is, the transaction remains the most crucial part of your real estate business. So the means the million-dollar question is, Can you complete an entire transaction from contract to close solely from your mobile device? We investigate.
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Realogy Adds Industry-First Retirement Plan Offering to Exclusive Benefits Program
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Real Estate Legend Howard W. Hanna, Jr. Passes at Age 101, Leaving Behind a Lasting Legacy
The Hanna family is deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of their patriarch, Howard W. Hanna, Jr., on September 25. At 101 years old, Mr. Hanna led a life well-lived, impacted an entire industry, and remained a dedicated family man and community leader. In 1957, Mr. Hanna founded Howard Hanna Real Estate Services on the corner of Bayard and Craig streets in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This office, his first in what would become a flagship for hundreds more through the years, was so influential in the region that this neighborhood corner is now known as Howard Hanna Way. His influence in the community extended beyond that region and touched many lives across the industry, but always started with his supportive wife, the late Anne Freyvogel Hanna, his family, agents, and employees. Mr. Hanna's flair for the personal touch is one of his most memorable qualities, with many folks remarking on his handwritten notes through the decades. Prior to starting the real estate business, Mr. Hanna earned two business degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, served in the U.S. Army in World War II, achieving the rank of captain by the time he left military in 1946, held a variety of roles in local chambers of commerce across the region, and served as executive vice president for the Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cleveland. The real estate business that was so humbly started in a single office in 1957 has since blossomed into a national brand as the largest independently owned and operated real estate brokerage in the United States. Through Mr. Hanna's determination since day one, and the leadership of his children and grandchildren during the past 40 years, the business is now a full-service real estate company with more than 400 residential and commercial real estate, mortgage, insurance, title, and escrow service offices across 11 states, and more than 13,000 sales associates and staff members. As a dedicated real estate industry business leader, Mr. Hanna served as the former chairman of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission. A lifetime of achievement has been recognized in the multiple awards and honors that Mr. Hanna received throughout the years, not only for business efforts but also for supporting the communities in which he lived and worked. In 2001, he was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh. In 2013, the University of Pittsburgh named Mr. Hanna a Legacy Laureate, which is awarded to the university's most accomplished graduates, and in 2019, the university awarded him with the Distinguished Alumni Fellow Award. Mr. Hanna was also a proud member of the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning Society. In May 2018, Mr. Hanna was awarded the Senator John Heinz History Center's 26th Annual History Makers Award for giving back to the community and helping to shape the Western Pennsylvania region. As a former Eagle Scout, in August 2021, Mr. Hanna was honored with the inaugural William S. Dietrich II Award, which is presented to a Scouting alumnus for distinguished public witness to the Scout Oath and Scout Law in his or her chosen profession or field of endeavor. Mr. Hanna's three children – Howard W. "Hoddy" Hanna, III, Chairman of Hanna Holdings, Inc.; Helen Hanna Casey, CEO of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services; and Annie Hanna Cestra, Executive Vice President & COO of Hanna Holdings, Inc. – joined the business starting in 1965 and eventually grew Howard Hanna Real Estate Services into a national real estate company. In addition to his three children, Mr. Hanna had 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, all of whom affectionally refer to him as "Bop-Bop." Now in the third generation of leadership, Mr. Hanna's grandchildren are running the business that he was so dedicated to building through the years and will continue their dedication to Howard Hanna Real Estate Services far into the future. Funeral arrangements are being handled by John A. Freyvogel Sons, 4900 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Visitation there is from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 28, and Wednesday, September 29. The funeral is at 10 a.m. Thursday, September 30, at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland. Memorial contributions may be made to the Howard W. Hanna Jr. Scholarship Fund at the University of Pittsburgh or the Urban League of Pittsburgh-Cleveland Hanna Home Ownership Fund.
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Berkshire Hathaway Releases 2021 Luxury Landscape Report
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Getting Out of the Back Office Rut: Tips for 2021 and Beyond
Back office is the backbone of every real estate brokerage. Your accounting and commissions, transaction management, and electronic document management solutions all serve critical business functions. They help you track your dollars and cents, ensure your team gets paid, generate key metrics and reports, and ultimately inform your most important business decisions. In the past, you probably thought you needed to run your back office a certain way. A few industry giants dominated the space and might have imposed certain (real or perceived) restrictions on how you ran your business, due to the capabilities (and limitations) of their software. But it's 2021, and that means you have options. We all have new hybrid working models, and there's a newer, more flexible way to run your back office that allows you to use a wider array of tools to suit your needs and move your business forward. Let's look at the trends driving this shift towards what we call your new back office. The Cloud If your clunky, outdated, and static software hasn't already become obsolete, it soon will. Your desktop applications must go. Long gone are the days where being tied to a single machine or server will suffice. You and your team need to be able to access data no matter where you are, and the rise of mobile technology and faster network speeds mean that web-based and mobile applications are the way of the future, even for back office. Integrations The most useful software is integrated software. You need back office tools that can communicate with the MLS, your existing (or future) transaction management system, a variety of accounting applications, and even proprietary franchise software. You need bidirectional data syncing to ensure every instance of every application you are using is always up to date. Want to be able to use a popular provider like QuickBooks® to run your back office accounting? Now you can! Customization No two offices are alike, so you shouldn't be boxed in by tools that aren't made for real estate or that can't adapt to the way you work. Modular, customizable tools that play well with your existing tech stack (integrations again!) with features you can tailor to the needs of your niche or the intricacies of your market will be non-negotiables going forward. Reliability Today's real estate landscape is dominated by mergers and acquisitions. A competitor today could be a partner tomorrow, or your existing applications could be sold to your biggest rival. When it comes to choosing a back office provider, you need peace of mind knowing you have a reliable long-term partner who will not only help you build something great but be there for you when you need support. Data Data is powerful, and data-driven decisions are smart decisions. You need software that can show you exactly what information you need, when you need it, and allow you to customize how that data is presented. The better way to run your back office Constellation1 is your back office partner, offering the most flexible suite of world-class back office solutions The NEW Constellation1 Commissions app is the new way to run your back office. It's the perfect choice for small or large offices that need the most customizable commissions plans on the market, a sleek and intuitive UI, foolproof transaction wizards, tailored permissions, robust reporting, and more. It has everything you need in an easy-to-use tool for admins and agents. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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5 Real Estate Searches You Should Be Aware of
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Century 21 Real Estate Releases Compelling New Data on the Evolution of Home and Its Impact on Life in the Future
What does "home" mean to you? For many of us, the answer to that question changed dramatically over the past year and a half as we moved forward through our new COVID reality. As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the CENTURY 21 brand explores this concept in a unique collaboration with National Geographic CreativeWorks culminating in the production of its first-ever branded documentary. Titled "Home Rediscovered," the documentary premieres on the National Geographic Network on September 23 at 10 pm EST. To support the film, the CENTURY 21® brand commissioned a global research study with magnetic collective, an insights-driven brand consultancy, to explore how the past year transformed the modern home and what these changes might mean for the future of homeownership and the real estate industry. The study was conducted using both quantitative analysis and qualitative interviews with real estate agents, builders, recent buyers, and future buyers across five key global markets including the United States, France, Australia, Spain and Japan. With more offices around the world than any other real estate franchise, it was important to Century 21 Real Estate to look at the data through a global lens. The survey was based on the responses of 1500 people (300 in each market), from the ages of 25 to 64 from April to May 2021. The "Rediscovering Home" documentary weaves in findings from the study as well as examines several housing trends that emerged during the pandemic which are expected to shape our vision of home for the foreseeable future. Key takeaways from the global data included: There has not been one universal pandemic experience as countries have followed their own COVID timelines with varying peaks and restrictions, creating a home buying process that varies geographically. The US, Spain, and France were all once epicenters and went through some of the longest lockdown and restriction periods 58% of buyers in France say that COVID will have a lasting impact on what they want in their homes; 43% of buyers in Spain say COVID has been most influential when it comes to their desire to buy a new home COVID's influence on aspects of the home buying process in the US is most evident for those with kids and those working from home Australia and Japan initially saw more of a slowdown instead of a lockdown, but COVID's more recent emergence in Japan leaves 48% of future buyers saying it has been a factor in their desire to buy a new home 22% of those surveyed globally say they moved because someone from the family moved in leading to a universal need for flexibility and reimagining of spaces in Australia, children are now more likely to stay at home during college years, until they find a job with a steady income in Spain and Japan, children are staying at home until age 30 or marriage The pandemic forced people to stay close to home, but even when looking to move, they aren't going far. Across all markets, most of the people surveyed reported moving within 20 miles or kilometers of their current home; longer distance moves (50+ miles or kilometers) are more common in the US and France than in other markets 20% of US and France buyers moved 50+ miles or kilometers away, compared to Spain and Japan buyers less than 15% moved that far Low inventory and increasing prices continue to be the hot topics in the U.S. and across markets. Low home inventory in the top five challenges people are facing in all markets surveyed; all markets experienced challenges finding homes to fit their needs. In the U.S., according to the National Association of Realtors, the public inventory numbers from May to June increased 3.3% and the internal inventory numbers are also similarly trending up leading to some early optimism that we are seeing green shoots of increased supply France has seen a 'banlieu' (suburbs) boom with suburb property prices soaring, a trend only more accentuated as a result of the pandemic While Australia has fared better than other well-developed countries due to snap lockdowns, internal border controls and tough social distancing measures, residential property values have been on a steady increase for the past year Urban flight is happening around the world, but there are indications that it may not be a lasting trend. Future buyers in all countries surveyed are more likely to stay in urban areas by a large margin (compared to recent buyers) In the US, 82% of future buyers will stay in urban areas. In Japan, that number is 80%; 59% in France, 73% in Spain and 62% in Australia "It's no secret that the last 18 months have been a wild ride for the real estate industry," said Michael Miedler, president and CEO, Century 21 Real Estate LLC. "What was once a seasonal business that had expected outcomes from month to month was completely upended by work from home, schooling at home, and postponed life events. We were thrilled to work alongside magnetic collective and National Geographic CreativeWorks to take a deep dive into how these lifestyle changes were going to impact the consumers' view of home and subsequently the future of our industry. Regardless of what challenges and changes lie ahead, we were excited to see that buyers surveyed in all markets see the benefits of having an active and engaged real estate professional, like our C21® affiliated agents, taking on multiple roles and being a partner throughout the journey. All of these learnings will help to ensure that we are continuing to deliver the most extraordinary experiences possible for all of our clients around the globe." "Home Rediscovered" is a 45-minute film hosted by National Geographic Explorers Andrés Ruzo and Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant. They met with a diverse group of families and individuals who have uprooted their lives, bought homes, moved, or simply re-thought the way they want to live – now and in the future as they explored what the future of home will look like around the world. To learn more about the CENTURY 21 Brand and National Geographic CreativeWorks collaboration as well as view the exclusive trailer for the "Home Rediscovered" documentary, please visit Nationalgeographic.com/future-of-home.
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Residential Real Estate Council's Broker Solutions Is Latest Addition to NAR's REALTOR Benefits Program
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Broker/Owners Depend on RPR for Easy, No-cost Agent Training
Successful brokers and owners are constantly searching for ways to keep their agents sharp, up-to-date and, ultimately, profitable. If that describes you, then search no further: RPR provides easy, cost-effective ways to train your agents. RPR, a member benefit of NAR, provides agents with data, tools and reports to help them "wow" their clients and close more deals. However, RPR also provides access to high quality learning opportunities for its users at no cost whatsoever. As a broker, you can leverage a wide selection of videos, webinars and guides for: New agent orientation meetings Fostering and furthering professional development Office "refresher" courses on building CMAs, new client prospecting, mailing labels, etc. A remote, work from home way to sharpen and learn new skills On-demand video series: "The Basics & Beyond" The perfect place to start with agent training is RPR's "Basics and Beyond" Learning Series. This collection of brief videos offers a high level overview of all the features, tools and capabilities that RPR offers to REALTORS®. Play the whole series at office meetings, during new member onboarding, or offer it as "homework" to seasoned agents, who can easily watch them remotely from their phone or computer. This video series is a great way to see how the site looks, feels and functions. It's basically the ground floor on how much RPR has to offer and why it's in your agents' best interest to tap into all of the property data available to them. They'll learn the basics of creating their accounts and executing property searches, to more intermediate features such as map searches and creating property reports. Pro Tip: Each video in the "Basics & Beyond" series also features an accompanying Printable Guide. These handy "cheat sheets" give you everything covered in the video, in a step-by-step, easy to follow handout. No need to take notes—just watch the video and refer to the guide. The RPR Learning Center Another solid resource is RPR's Learning Center. Here agents can sign up for live, national webinars from a wide range of topics. This page also features on-demand learning videos, printable guides and downloadable eBooks. Agents can simply use the navigation checkboxes on the left to choose educational offerings based on time, skill level, topics and learning type. Broker learning options Learning to use RPR isn't just for agents! With RPR's Broker Tools, brokerages can sign up and receive access to a slew of business-building tools and features. RPR has recently introduced a whole set of new Broker/Owner-focused printables to help you better understand and utilize your RPR Broker Tools. Get step-by-step instructions on how to change or update an offering, how to create custom pages, how to install our AVM widget, plus tips on implementing Deep Links. Also just released is a series of "Quick Tip Videos," each one running about one to two minutes long. These show broker/owners and office managers how to use Company Branding, Adding Custom Pages, the Broker AVM widget, Affiliated Services and Deep Links to their advantage. As you can see, RPR provides several different ways to keep agents (and brokers!) up to speed so they can get down to business. If you have any questions about how to use RPR or any of the available learning resources, call our Member Support line at (877) 977-7576. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Tips for Brokerages to Leverage 3 Top Trends and Make Their Markets
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NAR Report Finds 4 Out of 5 Real Estate Firms Operated from a Single Office in 2020
The overwhelming majority of real estate firms -- 80% -- operated from a single office and typically with three full-time real estate licensees in 2020, according to a new survey by the National Association of Realtors. Nearly nine out of 10 firms -- 86% -- were independent and non-franchised. As part of National Small Business Week, NAR today released its 2021 Profile of Real Estate Firms, which surveyed Realtor executives and senior managers to learn about firm demographics, composition, benefits offered to staff, business activity and market forecasts. "Most Realtors® are small businesses and work closely with small-business clients in their communities," said NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and the CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby's International Realty. "The ingenuity, perseverance and tireless efforts of our members are the lifeblood of local economies, and this has been especially evident during the many challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic." Business Activity of Real Estate Firms In 2020, single-office firms had a median brokerage sales volume of $4.5 million and 19 real estate transaction sides, up from $4.2 million and 18, respectively, in 2018. Firms with four or more offices had a median brokerage sales volume of $146.2 million and 571 transaction sides in 2020, an increase from $100 million and 478 two years ago. The typical firm generated 30% of its sales volume from past client referrals, 30% from repeat business from past clients, 10% from their website and 10% through social media. Benefits Real Estate Firms Provide to Agents and Staff Errors and omissions/liability insurance was cited as the most common benefit – 42% – that firms offered to independent contractors, licensees and agents. Esignature, comparative market analysis, electronic contracts/forms and multiple listing were the most common tools provided or encouraged by firms. A quarter of all firms offered a virtual office space for agents and staff, while 7% offered a virtual assistant. Future Outlook of Real Estate Firms Nearly three out of five firms – 58% – expect profitability or net income from all real estate activities to increase this year. Maintaining sufficient inventory, housing affordability constraints and competition from nontraditional market participants were noted as the biggest challenges firms expect to face over the next two years. When asked about generational effects on the real estate industry in the next two years, the top concerns for firms were young adults' ability to buy a home (58%), young adults' view of homeownership (33%) and baby boomers retiring from real estate (26%). Characteristics of Real Estate Firms More than a third of brokers of record – 34% – were CEOs, COOs, presidents or owners of a multi-office firm. Approximately three out of five – 62% – were managers or owners of a single-office firm. Survey Methodology In July 2021, NAR invited a random sample of Realtors® who were executives and senior management at real estate firms to fill out an online survey. A total of 6,253 responses were received. All information in this report was representative of member characteristics, sales and lease transaction values, and other statistics from the calendar year of 2020. View NAR's 2021 Profile of Real Estate Firms here.
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Jessica Edgerton of LeadingRE Leads Worldwide Broker Embrace of RESO
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Customer for Life: MooveGuru Is a Service Consumers Use
One market segment that WAV Group has been keeping a close eye on is moving concierge. The company that has raised the most capital and has a relationship with NAR is Updater. Oddly, very few agents report using that service, which is primarily known as a company that changes a consumer's mailing address and sells their information widely. Two other services emerged around the same time, MoveEasy and MooveGuru. Over the past twelve months, MooveGuru has emerged as the leader of the pack with a slew of large firm and franchise integrations. We believe that the sales team at MooveGuru, along with the tight integrations with broker and franchise systems, are the two key catalysts that have driven adoption. MooveGuru also acquired HomeKeepr, one of the leading aggregators of service providers that matter to homeowners. In a press release issued today, MooveGuru reports that their home service providers have been used over nine million times by agent customers. See below for the news release: MooveGuru's Home Pro Division, Powered by HomeKeepr, Hits Nine Million Home Pro Recommendations Roswell, GA – September 14, 2021 – HomeKeepr, the leading referral-only online community of REALTORS®, home service professionals and homeowners, today announced it has surpassed the nine-million recommendation mark. The company has signed on more than 300,000 real estate, mortgage, and insurance professionals who have in turn recommended more than 500,000 unique home service contractors and other local businesses to homeowners over nine million times. MooveGuru's HomeKeepr division helps real estate agents curate their favorite home service providers so that it is easy for clients to access. Beyond connecting the homeowner with the right local pro for the job, the service also helps the agent send home maintenance and repair reminders, tips, tricks and useful data via text or emails, including tasks such as changing air filters and replacing smoke alarm batteries. MooveGuru CEO Scott Oakley says, "This is a great milestone for our network of professionals and home service providers who are collaborating together to deliver a remarkably improved service to homeowners. Together, they are disrupting advertising websites like Angi and HomeAdvisor to deliver superior recommendations from professionals that the homeowner knows and trusts." About MooveGuru In 2016, Roswell, GA based MooveGuru Inc. launched a free mover engagement program to real estate agents and brokers with the idea of connecting home buyers and sellers to convenience and savings on moving services. Using just-in-time delivery through artificial intelligence algorithms, MooveGuru Inc. ensures consumers receive agent-branded savings from over 500,000 national and local retailers, connects all utilities and makes the moving process more streamlined. Today, MooveGuru's platform combines more than 1,200 real estate brokerages with 300,000 agents serving 7 million homeowners. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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There's No One Perfect Commission Split: Here's Why
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How to Target Specific Countries: A Guide for International Real Estate Pros
As an international real estate professional, you know that it's your responsibility to help non-residents buy or sell a property in your specific country. But the question is, how can you actually get international clients? Each traditional lead generation method is applicable to the international niche of the real estate industry, but it needs a little bit of tweaking. Today we will talk about targeting — specifically, how you can target different countries even though you're a U.S. or Canada-based agent. Let's dive in. Geotargeting for International Real Estate Agents So, what is geotargeting? And how is it applicable to international real estate agents? Geotargeting, as the name suggests, is a type of advertisement that uses location data to target and reach consumers. As an international real estate agent, it's important for you to target the right audience. Imagine, you're a U.S.-based real estate agent and you specifically work with international clients from France. How can you let your potential clients know about your brand? As experts suggest, there are a couple of ways of doing that: Country Code Top Level Domain – This is a domain that is specific for the country. If we continue our analogy, France's domain code will be .fr. People usually trust a more local approach when it comes to websites, so having a local domain with .fr will make your brand more credible. Some people fear that having a local domain will also mean needing local hosting. But as experts suggest, SEO and hosting are not correlated anymore. A long time ago when the search console wasn't established yet, Google crawlers were checking hosting locations as well. But it's not important anymore. Another method is to use a top level domain such as .com or .net and use the geotargeting in the search console settings. Use the International Targeting Report and check the geographic target and choose the country you want to target or remove the unnecessary countries. But remember, this method works only if you're targeting one country. For targeting multiple countries at once, this method won't work. Multi-Regional Websites for International Real Estate Agents What about multi-regional or multilingual websites? Multi-regional websites specifically target many regions at once. Often, they are multilingual. Another example is Canada, where you may have a French and English version of your content. Since you're targeting one country, geotargeting — specifically the method we mentioned above — will work for you. Having a multilingual and multi-regional website is a little bit tricky. It requires more technical knowledge and maybe even the help of a developer. In any case, Google Developers provides you with all necessary SEO information to manage multilingual and multi-regional websites. Please check these resources: Multi-regional and multilingual websites Localized versions of your page International Targeting Report To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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5 Real Estate Trends to Watch Through 2022 (and how to stay on top of them)
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Top 5 Features of the New Constellation1 Commissions
Operating a real estate brokerage is hard work. To help keep everything running smoothly, admins and brokers use countless programs and procedures to track transactions, schedule showings, manage money, and more. Some of these programs have been holding offices back because they don't perform as promised. They are often desktop-only applications with dated and clunky user interfaces (UI), making them hard to learn and use. As brokerages evolve, embrace technology, and develop flexible and modern business practices to meet the demands of their agents and consumers, they are stuck with software that makes them work in the inefficient ways of the past instead of the streamlined ways of the future. The result: unreliable workarounds like paper checklists, Excel spreadsheets, manual calculations, time-consuming data entry, and more. We get it, the fear of change and moving on from the static, outdated technology you know can be daunting. So now what? At Constellation1, we believe in solving problems, not accepting them. Read on to learn more about the top 5 NEW Constellation1 Commissions features that an change the way you manage your back office—and your commissions. Feature 1: Sleek, intuitive user interface As we've mentioned before, customer experience is a crucial element of success and growth for both brokerages, like you, and technology partners, like us. As the global consulting firm Accenture has observed, "To remain relevant and compete in today's ever-changing world, customer experience strategies need to be top of mind for every stakeholder in your business." To that end, we've redesigned our user interface from top to bottom with the user in mind. Say goodbye to the clunky, unresponsive, and counterintuitive UI you've been stuck with and say hello to an interface that's sleek and easy to use with minimal training. Your entire team will be up and running in no time without any of the old headaches typically associated with learning a new software. Feature 2: User-friendly wizards The new Constellation1 Commissions features helpful, foolproof wizards for both setting up customized commissions plans and adding transactions that act like a friendly guide looking over your shoulder to help you cross your Ts and dot your Is. The new Commissions walks you through every step of your commissions plan in the right order to ensure the plan is perfectly set up. The transaction wizard also helps you enter transactions in just a few simple steps. Feature 3: Completely customizable commissions plans No matter what commission structure your brokerage uses, if you can name it, you can add it to your own customized commission plan. You can then apply those plans to a single agent, a single team, or your entire office. No commission plan is too complex, and you can create as many as you want. No more Excel spreadsheets, weird workarounds, or manual calculations: our solution does everything for you. Feature 4: A host of seamless integrations We've already stressed how important purposeful integrations are for the real estate industry. We've designed the new Constellation1 Commissions to be insanely integratable. Now you can integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks®, allowing Constellation1 Commissions to handle all the heavy lifting and to plug in the correct amounts to the correct payees in your accounting software. You can also integrate with your TMS or MLS, with more integrations on the way. Stay tuned for more updates! Feature 5: Detailed commissions reports At Constellation1, we believe in putting data to work. We're real estate data experts, so we know that with the right data, anything is possible. To put the right data at your fingertips, we've created the most flexible commissions reporting capabilities in the industry, allowing you to use our out-of-the-box reports or create your own by simply dragging and dropping the fields you want into your report. The result: valuable data insights for informing your business decisions, optimizing your splits and fees, and tracking everything from commission advances to top performers and the most profitable sources of referrals. To learn more, download the NEW Constellation1 Commissions feature sheet here. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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ERA Real Estate Examines Broker Response to Shifts in Homeownership Tenure
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Howard Hanna Real Estate Services Names Leah Gibbons as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Brokerage
WAV Group congratulates Leah Gibbons and wishes her well in the new role of Senior Vice President and General Manager of Brokerage. We look forward to collaborating with her. Please read the full press release below: Howard Hanna Real Estate Services Announces New Position: Names Leah Gibbons as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Brokerage CLEVELAND, OH (August 31, 2021) – Howard Hanna Real Estate Services is pleased to announce that Leah Gibbons has recently been named as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Brokerage. This is a brand-new position, created to streamline operations between the various departments in the organization and continue to build strategic initiatives in Howard Hanna's core markets. Gibbons holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Communications from Baldwin Wallace University and a Juris Doctorate from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She joined Howard Hanna in 1993 and has held various positions throughout the company including Corporate Director of Marketing and sales office manager. Most recently, Gibbons held the role of Vice President and Ohio East Regional Manager, where she led the region to more than $1.7 billion in closed sales volume in 2020. "Leah's dedication to the industry and our company will truly be demonstrated on a new level as General Manager of Brokerage," said Howard W. "Hoby" Hanna, IV, President of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. "I look forward to working with her to integrate the best of our family of companies and support our associates and leadership team." With more than 27 years in the real estate industry and proven successes in leadership, the executive team at Howard Hanna is excited to have Gibbons take on a new challenge as she grows within the company to fulfill this new role. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity in this role to act as an operational liaison between our departments in our organization and the different market centers across our footprint," said Gibbons. "I look forward to working side-by-side with the State Presidents in furthering our commitment to growth and innovation and equipping our agents with robust, industry-leading resources, so they may provide the finest real estate experience to all of our home buyers and sellers." About Howard Hanna: Howard Hanna Real Estate Services is the #1 family-owned and -operated independent broker in the U.S.A. The full-service real estate company has more than 400 real estate, mortgage, insurance, title, and escrow service offices across 11 states, including Allen Tate Realtors® in the Carolinas and The F.C. Tucker Company in Indiana, with more than 13,000 sales associates and staff, including many of the industry's top-producing real estate agents. For more information, visit www.HowardHanna.com. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Our Top 10 Most-Read Articles of August
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Is Your Brokerage Leveraging Recommended Properties Effectively?
Homebuying can be stressful, especially right now. Historically low inventory (a situation that, according to NPR, has been decades in the making) means finding the perfect home is that much harder. Additionally, once buyers do find the right home, it might be snatched away from them after a bidding war or all-cash offer. This means agents and brokers need to be strategic about effectively recommending properties to get their clients the keys to their dream home faster. Here are six reasons why recommending the right properties to your clients is an absolute must and can help your brokerage's bottom line: 1. Homebuyers crave useful information We're living in the information age, with almost any fact just a few taps away on our smartphones (or you could just ask Siri or Alexa!). Regardless of how accessible information is, many people don't have the time or the motivation to look for it, or they're already bombarded from all directions and have information overload. By offering customized recommendations up on a silver platter, you'll satisfy your homebuyers' appetite for listing information they can actually use. 2. Recommended properties position you as an expert in your market You already know you're the expert, but do your clients? Having the inside scoop on the hottest new listing can score you big points, especially if you find a hidden gem. As the expert, you'll know where to search for the right properties and which ones might appeal more based on your customers' preferences. You get to demonstrate that you're really on top of your game and know your stuff. From a branding perspective, this is huge, and will help increase your referrals and repeat business. 3. Homebuyers often don't know where or how to look for the right property These days, most homebuyers start their search online using websites and apps powered by industry giants, but these sites have several drawbacks. For one, buyers don't necessarily know how to search for properties that fit their budgets, what neighborhoods to focus on, or how to modify their searches to find what they are looking for. When you're making the recommendations, you're taking out the guesswork. If you were to leave homebuyers to their own devices, they probably wouldn't find very good results. 4. Regular touch points for keeping you top of mind Due to low inventory, homebuyers are spending more time than ever before finding, negotiating, and buying homes. When houses are plentiful, it might only take six weeks from getting preapproved to closing. Today, it might take six months. That could lead to discouraged and weary buyers. By regularly providing recommended properties, you can keep your team top of mind (more tips on that here) and your clients engaged in their home search. Slow and steady wins the race! 5. The industry giants can't compete with your data Most homebuyers have no idea what an MLS is or how listing data is collected, stored, or shared. So, they probably won't know you have access to a treasure trove of data that the giants don't. Your MLS data is fresher and more complete, meaning you can share a new listing with your clients much faster than they could find it themselves. This increases the chances they will fall in love with an active listing that they can view and make an offer on fast, instead of sending you a link to something that is already pending. 6. Recommending the right properties can boost your brokerage revenue With tight brokerage margins, every broker wants to maximize double-sided deals to capture the full real estate commission. When your brokerage owns a listing that may appeal to another buyer you represent, it's in your best interest to recommend that property for a chance to represent both the seller and the buyer. By strategically recommending broker-owned listings to your buyers, you can increase the likelihood of closing these elusive double-sided deals. Automate the property recommendation process Constellation1 Websites have an automated recommended properties feature that sends homebuyers up to 10 relevant, helpful, and customized property recommendations via a weekly email. These recommendations are based on what homebuyers have searched for and saved on your website. These emails keep your leads informed, boost your online presence, and help you increase revenue. Interested in learning more? Download our recommended properties feature sheet. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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F.C. Tucker Company and Front Porch Real Estate Join Forces
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All You Need Is Love: Meet Sally Love Real Estate, Inc.
Michael Jordan. Tom Brady. Wayne Gretzky. Toss out any of those names, and most people will immediately know who you're talking about. Better yet, they'll know exactly what those names did in their respective fields. Take it a step further, and call any of them the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time)? Sure, you might get some debate about who deserves the moniker most, but few will argue just how influential those names have been over the last few decades. And while it's easy to highlight the heroes of recent sports history, it might be even easier to shine a spotlight on the real estate G.O.A.T. serving the nearly 130,000 people in America's premier 55+ community in Central Florida. With over a decade and a half of experience as a REALTOR® working in The Villages®, Sally Love has topped the list of go-to real estate stars. Less than two years ago, Sally decided to open her own brokerage. Since opening the doors of Sally Love Real Estate, Inc. in November 2019, the company has grown exponentially as Love's philosophy of "putting customers first" took center stage. In 18 months, co-owner Jeff Beatty says Sally Love Real Estate has "gone from six agents to about 70 agents, and is doing about a quarter of a billion dollars a year in transactions and growing every month." "[Sally Love] really is the G.O.A.T.," Beatty adds. "The company is less than two years old but has had tremendous growth, and we attribute that to Sally and everything she did in the preceding years." Sally says, "Let me share a metric I am extremely proud of. If you look at the list of the top 25 agencies selling real estate in The Villages®, we have 16 Sally Love agents who, on the basis of their own production, would earn a spot as a top 25 agency in January through May of 2021." *Data Extracted from Stellar MLS 01/01/2021 - 5/31/2021 An Overnight Success, 15 Years in the Making Sally Love began working exclusively as a REALTOR® in The Villages in 2006. For over 15 years, she achieved No. 1 agent status of all MLS companies in The Villages and, while working at Realty Executives, built what Beatty calls "a really great team around her," with Cindy Wise as her business partner. The pair worked together for eight years, recording even more growth, and, in 2013, Love created her own support team of assistants to help continue her work. Then, about two and a half years ago, Love and Beatty crossed paths. The pair began discussing the industry, working in The Villages, and how, for years, people had encouraged Love to open her own agency. Suddenly, it seemed like the perfect time to do just that, and Sally Love Real Estate, Inc. was born. Of course, starting a business is never easy. Even with Love's reputation in The Villages, Sally Love Real Estate started with only a handful of agents and, on opening day, sat last in production among the 140-plus companies doing business in The Villages community. It didn't take long for that to change. Buoyed by Love's experience and her already strong relationships with those in The Villages and the surrounding areas, the company hit the fast-forward button on its growth. In less than two years, Sally Love Real Estate is ranked No. 2 among companies doing business in The Villages. This year, the company expects to record transactions on approximately 1,000 units. "[Sally Love Real Estate] has a reputation as a very agent-friendly place," Beatty says. "There's been a migration of excellent agents who decided that they had enjoyed working with Sally before and would like to work with her in her agency. And while Sally's name was the initial draw, what has impressed people and helped hold them here and created a buzz about getting more people to come, are the people that are part of...our leadership team." With so many great agents looking to jumpstart their careers at Sally Love, it's no surprise that the company's reputation for success has only continued to grow, particularly when selling homes. After all, the numbers don't lie. In 2020, Sally Love Real Estate, Inc. boasted the highest average sales price, nearly $30,000 higher than the next closest competitor, and the fewest days on the market at 36. How long did homes sold by the number two sit on the market? Forty-five, more than a full week longer. *Data Extracted from Stellar MLS 01/01/2020 - 12/31/2020 Establishing a Mindset of Success Helping the community within The Villages and beyond find their forever homes is what Sally Love Real Estate is all about, and while the growth has skyrocketed, the focus hasn't simply been on numbers. As Beatty says, "growth that happens too quickly, without adequate support can fail." That's why Sally Love Real Estate has also worked to establish a strong foundation, full of knowledgeable agents and a leadership team whose goal is to make sure those same agents can do their jobs to the best of their ability. "We put the plumbing in place, if you will, first," Sally explains, "We hired the support team, and we went through the machinations about hiring the right people. We also experimented with promising technologies. We had two previous web and CRM providers before we found and locked into Delta Media Group. We needed to make sure that when those migrating or new agents arrived, they were going to have outstanding support. That's a big factor for the success of balancing the growth without a big stumble." Assistant General Manager Julie Gordon, an experienced agent before joining Sally Love, also runs the Jumpstart Program, a five-class program to provide agents insights on the best ways of working in The Villages. Gordon adds that making sure agents are knowledgeable about not only the market, but what it takes to be successful in it, is one of the biggest undertakings for Sally Love. By keeping agents informed, up-to-date, and ready to help customers, Sally Love is living up to its promise of being "The Smarter Choice" in the Central Florida real estate world. "Training is incredibly important, for us as agents, but also for us as management and the support staff," Gordon says. "We have to constantly learn. It takes a village to make everybody successful, and it all starts from the top and works down. "We've built our brokerage around an amazing person and an amazing name," Gordon continues. "And that comes ahead of everything else, that everybody knows that reputation. It's up to us to continue that." Sally says, "We've had great people who were brokers in Illinois, brokers in Massachusetts, or elsewhere, who are now here, and our 'Jumpstart Program' and other training, helps them get spun up very quickly on how to do business in this particular micro-market." That internal support and constant drive to be better makes Sally Love one of the most appealing destinations for agents. From extra training courses to celebrating every career victory and advancement, Sally Love offers a camaraderie not often found at other agencies. "We add that personal touch with an agent," Gordon says. "We know their kids' names; we know their dog's names. [Manager of Digital Operations] Taylor [Morgan] spends time helping them navigate the technology and supports them that way. [Assistant Manager of Digital Operations] Madison [Guinn] supports them on the social media side. It's adding that little extra." "They know they can call us at any time," Morgan adds. "When a Sally Love Agent gets a listing and needs help with advertising or marketing, they can call us. We'll sit down with them, walk them through some things and help them market, advertise, and make sure they're up to date with all the technology." When Sally Love first began mulling over the idea of opening her agency, she opted to do so as an independent MLS agency. With no connections to any national franchises, Sally Love agents aren't required to pay annual fees to a national organization. That means they're able to focus that money on advertising clients' homes and, as Sally Love's philosophy says, "putting customers first." Instead of being beholden to big-name brokerages, Sally Love can focus, quite literally, on its own name and, by extension, its reputation, especially in a community as close-knit as The Villages. Sally says, "I don't rule anything out in the future, but if we ever associate with a national brand, it will have to be because that brand brings the ability to significantly add to the bottom line for our agents." Gordon explains: "Everybody around the world knows some of those name brands. But once you step into the small individual market, that is The Villages, I don't know that anybody's reputation is better than Sally Love. It becomes personal. We pride ourselves on being more personal instead of just a number or another check box. We build personal relationships with the people that we work with." Welcome to The Villages Maintaining those personal relationships with clients has become part and parcel of the Sally Love experience and separates the company from the rest of the pack in one of the country's most interesting markets. A collection of retirement neighborhoods in the heart of Florida, The Villages is one of the fastest-growing master-planned communities in the country. Home to one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the United States, The Villages boasts more than 20 veteran groups and organizations. Over 50 golf courses, plenty of shopping and dining options, and recreation events also make The Villages one of the most bustling communities in the state. And while Sally Love Real Estate doesn't work exclusively in The Villages, relating to those who live, or want to live, within the area is crucial to the company's continued success. It's also required a bit of evolution over the last few years. "I used to work in other places where it was important for you to mirror the demographic of the population you serve to be more effective in serving them," Beatty says. "Here, we're dealing with the 55+ community. So we started with a population that almost mirrored that in terms of agents. Since then, though, we've brought in a tremendous cadre of younger agents and are covering the waterfront. "We have numerous agents in their twenties who are just kicking it," Beatty continues. "They're doing great, but I think we started with a core, and we built out from there. We started with the No. 1 and No. 4 Realtors of all time in The Villages; they were among our first six agents at Sally Love. So, people flock to that." Working in The Villages means understanding the community. As the real estate industry has gone predominantly digital, Sally Love has kept pace while still finding a balance between the old and new. That means weekly newspaper ads are just as normal as social media campaigns to drive people to Sally Love's website. "We don't want to be a one-trick pony," Sally says. "You have to be able to reach folks who use all different types of media. With the team we have, we're able to do that." Of course, it's not all work for Sally Love. Building meaningful relationships requires meaningful action, and Sally Love isn't interested in one-and-done real estate transactions. So, whether it's supporting local soup kitchens or food drives or sponsoring Team America, which captured a championship its very first year in The Villages softball league, Sally Love is a major part of turning the neighborhood into something more than simply homes and well-manicured front lawns. Even the Sally Love office plays host to community events, and this summer, they plan to hold an adopt-a-pet day. "We're a soft-touch, really," Sally adds, "when the community comes to us and says, 'Can you support something?' We do." Sally Love and Delta Media Group As Sally Love continues to expand its real estate footprint, one of the most important factors is having a dependable tech partner, and they've found it in Delta Media Group. After working with two other providers in the early days of the company, it didn't take Sally Love long to realize Delta provided, not only the most bang for its buck, but a platform agents thrive on. "When we bring potential new agents through, and Madison and Taylor give them a technology orientation, sometimes I've said to Taylor, 'Okay, demonstrate to them how responsive Delta Media's help desk is,'" Beatty says. "It's just seconds when Delta Media's support team has popped up and said, 'How can we help you?' And we say, 'Don't need anything, this was just a test.' But that means a lot to the agents to know that not only in here but also on our Delta Media platform, they have great access to really responsive support." Utilizing the industry-leading tools within the DeltaNET® 6, Beatty adds that Sally Love agents have been quick to praise everything the CRM offers. In fact, he says, "probably one-third of the agency came on board, in part, because, even if they didn't know Sally that well, they learned what kind of support we had. That's what Delta Media provides us." Tech tools and a powerful CRM aren't all Delta and Sally Love have teamed up on recently. After Guinn geo-fenced the 105-plus neighborhoods within The Villages, Delta worked to provide a game-changing search function for the company's website, giving would-be clients the ability to search by location. If they want to live only in the village of Duval? Easy, they simply have to click on it. Morgan lauded Josh Endres, Delta Media Project Manager and Tech Support Specialist, in particular for his work on the project, calling him "patient and able to work with us to get exactly what we needed. It was fantastic working with him and Delta." Sally Love has also integrated third-party technologies, including lead generation, directly into their CRM thanks to Delta's tech know-how. And in a market as competitive as The Villages, being able to depend on their tech has helped Sally Love grab leads quickly, effectively turning them into profit and, more importantly, another jump in success. "The Delta platform makes it easy for us to post social media ads from our website to Facebook, to direct customers back to us, resulting in more leads," Guinn says. "And the lead quality is measurably better." What's Next for Sally Love Soaring to the top of the real estate market is no simple feat; that's why Sally Love is far from satisfied. Despite everything the company has accomplished in its first few years, the push to be better is felt from top to bottom. For Sally Love, success is borne from a willingness to change. To know what works and what doesn't, and embrace the market as your own. Turning to the future, it's those things that Sally Love believes will help continue to make all the difference and ensure the company continues to be "The Smarter Choice." "We have to reinforce what works. We have to discontinue what doesn't work," Beatty says. "And we have to constantly anticipate the environment. Not just be ready for what's there today, but be ready to dominate in this marketplace a month, six months, six years from now. That means staying abreast of technology, staying abreast of trends, continuing to educate ourselves. And you just can't rest. That's the bottom line." To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Make Mobile Work: Tips for Leveraging Apps at Your Brokerage
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3 Ways Brokers Benefit from Form Simplicity
The ability to offer clients a digital transaction option has never been more crucial. Thinking back on the last five months, it should be no surprise that the most valuable digital tool was eSignatures, according to a stunning 78 percent of Realtors recently surveyed by the National Association of Realtors. No other technology was ranked more valuable, as eSignatures ranked higher than local MLS apps (54 percent), social media (53 percent), lockboxes (48 percent), and video conferencing (39 percent). For most brokerages, eSignature is a feature available with the leading transaction management solutions. In fact, the Ultimate Edition of Form Simplicity from the Florida Realtors® offers unlimited esigning as a core feature. And while key features like eSigning make it easier for agents who use transaction management software to work remotely with their clients, transaction management software also makes it easier for brokers to manage – and protect – their business. Because Form Simplicity is cloud-based, brokers can access it anytime, anywhere, and from any place you can access the internet. Here are three ways brokers benefit when Form Simplicity is their transaction management solution: 1. It helps you avoid making mistakes. How often do you or one of your agents miss a signature or an initial on a transaction document? Unfortunately, it can happen even to the most detailed-oriented agent. But smart technology enables Form Simplicity to guide everyone through each document to the specific place that they need to sign or initial. That saves you and your agents time, avoiding having to chase down a missing signature. If you don't have the math skills of an MIT graduate, don't worry. Form Simplicity has your back and makes sure your agents won't make mistakes too. Form Simplicity does the math for you – all the calculations are built into the forms; you and your agents just enter the numbers. And brokers can also request that their operational forms be programmed into Form Simplicity for office use, including HR forms, commission disbursement forms with calculations built-in, agent onboarding forms, team reports, and more. 2. It's all about collaboration. Staying on top of your agents' business and helping them improve their workflow is the hallmark of a great broker. Form Simplicity is a tool you can count on for better collaboration with your agents. Form Simplicity empowers you to review and sort your agents' active transactions quickly. In addition, it allows you to reassign, rename, and archive transactions instantly. Best of all, Form Simplicity will deliver all transaction information to you in real-time. Brokers also can implement a digital review of your agents' transactions with Form Simplicity. Because Form Simplicity allows you to go paperless, you and your agents save time, and it electronically tracks the entire process. Digital notifications eliminate back and forth emails and phone calls with your agents. By streamlining your workflow and the workflow of your agents, everyone benefits from improved productivity. Form Simplicity helps you work smarter, not harder. 3. Avoid audit fear as everything is digitally documented! No one enjoys an audit, except perhaps the auditors, but certainly not brokers. Audits are time-consuming, require lots of documentation, and can take you away from focusing on what you do best. How do you spell audit relief? Form Simplicity has you covered. Form Simplicity provides you with a Broker Submittal process. This allows you to create and set up digital checklists to approve and mark transactions as complete—or send change notifications to agents. These checklists help eliminate phone calls, emails and make sure that all back and forth interaction is fully documented. In addition, Form Simplicity automatically attaches all communications for each transaction, digitally filing it in one place. After a broker marks a transaction as "complete," the transaction is automatically stored in the broker's Form Simplicity's online storage. The most important benefit: This digital documentation process makes sure you comply with the legal requirements. If you are audited, everything is in one place, fully documented, and digitally tracked, which will make the process much smoother. Form Simplicity offers simplified transaction management, packed with the features brokers need most, including: Allow you to create teams within your brokerage. Grant your assistant or team members access to your Broker View. Delegate permissions of team members, designate team members to approve other agents' transactions. Generate brokerage-wide template packages of frequently used forms. Create brokerage-wide clauses. View your agents' uploaded files. Review your agents' transaction history information and a lot more. Real estate industry leaders trust Form Simplicity to help them manage their brokerage transactions. To find out how you can too, go to formsimplicity.com/brokers. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Why Brokers Invest in 360 Virtual Tours for Real Estate
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What Is a Healthy Adoption Rate for Real Estate Technology?
When it comes to "technology adoption rates," I have seen a plethora of articles from technology vendors as to what should be expected from brokers/owners. Some vendors in the marketplace boast an eye-popping 90%+ agent adoption rate for using technology tools. Other vendors settle for adoption rates as low as the 30% mark. After years of analyzing trends and data from brokerages utilizing the DeltaNET tools, I believe that I can share what should be the honest, realistic answer. First and foremost, we must address what the definition of "adoption" is. In the context of technology adoption, the definition provided by Merriam-Webster is "the act or process of beginning to use something new or different." The reason I bring up this definition is because you will find an abundance of varying opinions when it comes to technology vendors advertising their adoption rates. I am choosing to follow the worldwide accepted definition of adoption for this article. I have found throughout my tenure educating real estate professionals that the word "training" has quite a strong negative connotation. Nobody wants to sit through another two-plus hour training course detailing the latest technology being deployed by their brokerage. The fact of the matter is that real estate agents endured a bevy of technology rollouts over the last 20 years, all of them driven by dozens of factors. Asking your agents to sit through another new technology class to learn something new is an uphill battle. Our philosophy at Delta Media Group is that technology needs to be intuitive, and it needs to work for you. The question isn't "How do I use this technology?" but "What does this technology do?" Inside the DeltaNET® 6 CRM, which is the underlying technology I will share adoption numbers for, we've focused on innovating how agents think about technology tools. Most CRM trainings focus on the step-by-step process of conducting various aspects of the platform: Click CRM, select customers, select add new customer. Within the DeltaNET 6 CRM, that three-step process is accomplished simply through our patent-pending "Quick Actions." Rather than the agent needing to know HOW to add a customer to the system, they can simply type into the quick actions bar "Add Customer," which will bring that feature directly onto the page they are working from. It transforms our training from a "Here's how you do " type of training into an "As long as you know what the system can do for you, it just works" type of training. The other differentiator I wanted to share before I dig into our true adoption numbers is that our CRM is not a simple "what you see is what you get" solution. We designed our entire intranet platform to be customizable for each unique brand and brokerage partnering with us. That means if you want to "white-label" the DeltaNET to look and feel more like an internal tool developed by your organization rather than an out-of-the-box third-party CRM, that is possible. As just one example, one of our partners, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group, based near the Chicago region, launched the DeltaNET as the "Galaxy" platform. Their agents don't just have the DeltaNET CRM; they have a version called the "Star CRM." This type of customization encourages agents to utilize the unique tools provided by their brokerage as they won't find that same experience elsewhere. So what is a realistic and accurate adoption rate for new technology being implemented throughout a brokerage? In my experience, the vast majority of brokerages follow what I call the "30-30-30 rule." Thirty percent of agents are begging for new tech and tools to use. They are usually a part of the younger crowd and are the people who should become your champions of tech, pushing how amazing it is through the rest of your organization. This is the group that should be primarily involved in the decision-making of any new tools you are looking to bring into your suite of services. The second 30% of users are what I call the inbetweeners. They could really go either way. Any adoption/training strategy should focus on getting as many of this group on board as possible. They are the career real estate professionals who fall right in line with NAR's standards for a real estate agent. They do a healthy number of annual deals and are committed and focused on improving their careers. Your job as a leader should be focused on getting this core group of users excited about your tech tools, as they are the crowd that focused training strategies will really resonate with. The final 30% of users are the group that you are better off leaving to their own devices. Even as I write this, it sounds harsh. Still, any professional in a leadership position within a brokerage understands that the reality of running a real estate company means you will have a group of agents that just will not use the technology or marketing services offered by your firm. This group of agents is primarily made up of those holding a real estate license more as a hobby than as their career. They may have a handful of transactions each year, but they are not really focused on growing their own business. Being an agent is a post-retirement career or a second job for many in this group, so taking time out of their day to learn a new technology tool just isn't appealing. You likely won't ever get them to engage. That last observation is not in any way meant to be disparaging to those agents or to display a defeatist attitude. I believe in business there is no better way to convey an open and honest conversation than by trusting the data and having a dialogue about what it shows. Logical thinking often wins out on emotion in the realm of business. Something that I often hear in my "30-30-30 rule" conversations is a question regarding the remaining 10% I haven't already discussed. What I've found is that the remaining 10% of agents typically fit into one of those three categories I mentioned above, but where they fit changes based on the culture of the brokerage. Many smaller boutique brokerages have a stronger technology adoption rate because they have technology spread within the company's DNA. It's a part of their recruiting efforts. Many legacy independent organizations have a lower adoption rate because the top producing agents in the organization have been using a strategy that has worked in their business for 30-plus years, pre-dating the modern tech trends. So what is the healthy and realistic adoption rate for a new technology offering within a real estate brokerage? Our data shows that 60% is the magic number you want to push your team to achieve. If you can get 60% of your agents logging into your technology platform and taking advantage of the services you provide, then that's a win. Many CRMs on the market have key automations built in that can help all agents capture more business, but we believe automation should be defined as "the process of using something new." Our automated technologies, such as automated newsletters like our My Customer for Life campaign, automatically-generated social media posts, automated task lists driven by agents' clients, and more, all qualify as something new. I'll conclude with some real data from one of our brokerage partners that has been using our technology within their organization for the last three years. This firm has more than 600 agents in its company and ranked in the top 150 brokerages within the RealTrends Top 500. In the seven days before this article was written, 455 out of 653 agents logged into the platform and performed CRM-related actions (70% of total users). In the previous four weeks, 567 of their 653 active agent accounts logged in and interacted with the technology tools within DeltaNET 6. That is 86% of agents regularly engaging every month with their brokerage-provided CRM/lead generation system. Do you see those types of numbers within your toolset? If not, please consider reaching out to us for a consultation. RE Technology readers can try DeltaNET 6 free for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Up Close with the Only Transaction Management Platform Made for Teams
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Friday Freebie: Marketing Workshop for Brokerages and Teams
Does your marketing need a refresh? Would you like to discover new ways to reach consumers? No need to brainstorm alone. In this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a free one-on-one marketing workshop that can help you find new strategies for bringing in more leads. Read on to learn more! Free Marketing Workshop for Brokerage and Teams, courtesy of Amarki We're big fans of webinars at RE Technology--in fact, we host several of our own every year. But sometimes a webinar isn't enough. When you're just one person in an audience of many others, your specific needs aren't always addressed. This week's Friday Freebie to the rescue! Real estate brokerages and teams can sign up for a free one-on-one marketing workshop that's personalized to their needs. Offered by real estate technology company Amarki, each 30-minute workshop is customized based on the brokerage's or team's needs and on discoveries made during the call. Workshop topics include: Brokerage and team marketing Agent and property marketing Digital marketing strategies Resources and benefits Ready to fine-tune your real estate marketing strategy? Pick a time and sign up for your FREE workshop today!
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What Does RPR Commercial Offer Realtors?
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Transaction Management Systems Need to 'Talk to One Another' for More Market Efficiency
Brokerages and agents are suffering with technologies that are incompatible, requiring brokerages to support redundant data input and inefficient processes. Listing and transaction data fuels most processes within brokerages from accounting and commission payments to marketing systems. The 2021 WAV Group Transaction Management Interoperability Report revealed brokers have strong interest in the ability for digital transaction management systems to pass data seamlessly for the brokerages representing two sides of a transaction. Today, brokers have to enter data in as many as nine or 10 systems, creating inefficiency, added cost and increased chances of inaccurate data. According to the study, nearly three-quarters of brokers would like to enter data into one system, either at the MLS or brokerage, and then seamlessly pass the information to other systems. With the shrinking profitability of residential transactions, many brokers have turned to ancillary services to strengthen revenues and profitability. There's strong interest in passing transaction data to these entities as well. While there is still a ton of work to be done to allow data to pass as seamlessly as brokers would like, the nearly ubiquitous adoption of digital transaction management solutions has created a foundation of opportunity. According to the 2021 WAV Group Transaction Management Interoperability Report, 81% of transactions are now processed digitally. The interoperability needed to simplify transaction data management across a brokerage or market can be fueled by standardization outlined by data uniformity outlined by the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO). RESO has a Cross Platform Interoperability Work Group in place to address these important broker issues. Any member from a company RESO member is welcome to participate in the Work Group. Download your copy of the 2021 WAV Group Transaction Management Interoperability Report here. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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What Is Social Publishing? Takeaways for Real Estate Pros
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Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline Go Back on the Road Again!
From San Diego to Ohio and Arkansas to Colorado, Florida Realtors will be back on the road again, showcasing its technology offerings for real estate brokers and agents nationwide. This fall, thousands of real estate professionals who use Form Simplicity transaction management software, as well as Tech Helpline support services, can see and meet the folks behind these scenes face-to-face at local conventions and conferences throughout the country. Form Simplicity by Florida Realtors is a leading transaction management solution that helps agents go digital and paperless. Form Simplicity allows real estate professionals to manage real estate transactions in the cloud, from start to finish, on their mobile phone or computer. The real estate industry's No. 1 ranked tech support service, Tech Helpline, is a member benefit available to more than 667,000 individual real estate professionals across North America. Known for its friendly customer service and expert technical advice, Tech Helpline offers support via phone call, email, and online chat. See for yourself the benefits these products offer on their websites – FormSimplicity.com and TechHelpline.com – and meet with their representatives in person at the trade shows. This year's trade show schedule contains leading real estate conferences that once again are offering in-person meetings. The list includes the following: On August 25 and 26, both Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline will return to our own Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Expo in Orlando, FL. For the upcoming fall, September will be a big month for both Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline, as they will head to five major conventions, and Form Simplicity hosts an online a free training webinar. On September 9, Form Simplicity will host a live training webinar, "Optimizing Your Workflow with Form Simplicity," and you can register for free here. Then reps of both brands will be live and in-person at the Wyoming Realtors Conference and Expo in Sheridan, WY, on September 15-16 with a live Form Simplicity training session. Wyoming provides the Ultimate Edition of Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline to its members as benefits. On September 20-23, CMLS returns to in-person meetings and you can meet representatives from Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline at CMLS2021 in Las Vegas. Tech Helpline will be in two places at one time! Representatives will be at the Ohio REALTORS® Annual Convention & Expo at the Columbus Easton from September 27-29. Form Simplicity will join Tech Helpline for the Arkansas REALTORS® Convention & Trade Expo at the Hilton Branson Convention Center, also from September 27-29, with a live Form Simplicity training session. Arkansas also provides the Ultimate Edition and Tech Helpline to its members as benefits. Near the end of September, folks from Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline will travel to Kansas City, MO for the Missouri REALTORS® Fall Business Conference from September 29 to October 1. On October 6-8, Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline will be in Kansas for the Kansas AOR Annual REALTORS Convention. In-person training will be provided for Form Simplicity. Then Tech Helpline will be at the Colorado Association of REALTORS® Centennial for the CAR's 100 Year Celebration Conference and Expo held in Colorado Springs, CO. Both Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline will be at Idaho REALTORS 2021 Convention in Boise Centre, Boise, ID. In-person training will also be provided for Form Simplicity. Idaho also offers the Ultimate Edition and Tech Helpline to its members as benefits. Finally, Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline's last two conventions in 2021 include this year's NAR Conference & Expo in San Diego (Booth #2113) from November 12 to 15, and finally the Triple Play REALTOR® Convention & Trade Expo for New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Realtors in Atlantic City, NJ, from December 6-9. If you're on the road again for any of these events, meet the friendly folks at Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity who are ready to answer your questions. We are excited to see everyone face-to-face once again! Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline.
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Down Payment Assistance Program Types and Features
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CoreLogic Releases 2020's Hottest Cities for Homebuyers
CoreLogic publishes great industry data on the housing market. The first-ever Hottest Cities annual report shows the top cities that are growing, where people are moving to, and how technology plays a leading role in the homebuying process. Take a look to see if your city is on the list! The following is the introduction to the report by CoreLogic: Affordable Metros are In for Homebuyers and Real Estate Agents In 2020, a black swan landed on the real estate industry and created a wave of 'firsts' that would take homeowners and real estate agents for a wild ride. A mass shift to remote work. Record low mortgage interest rates. An unprecedented slowdown in new home construction. A growing public awareness of the risk of crowded places. A consumer need to temporarily cut costs and save for the unexpected. The result? A new homebuyer migration trend that CoreLogic® experts think is here to stay: Major metros are out, and affordable ones are in. According to CoreLogic, 2020's homebuyers left states with high taxes and expensive housing, particularly coastal locations such as New York and California, and relocated to metro areas in Texas, Florida, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. "The pandemic created a perfect recipe for consistently employed Americans," said Archana Pradhan, CoreLogic's principal economist. "If it had been any other mix of events, for example, if low housing inventory was coupled with job inflexibility, we wouldn't have had such a large group of homebuying consumers feeling empowered to make bold moves in their living situations." As homebuying trends lurched into new territory, real estate agents were quick to keep up with both national market shifts and their local market conditions to provide clarity for their buyers and sellers. As the pace of home sales picked up, many joined the realty profession. The National Association of Realtors reports that their membership rose from 1.3 million in 2017 to 1.4 million in 2020. The percentage of licensed real estate agents increased more quickly in some of the aforementioned hot housing markets, too. For example, Florida gained 13% more real estate agents between 2017 and 2020, while New York gained just 9% more agents in the same time period. In Texas, there were 18% more real estate agents in 2020 compared to 2017, while California gained just 4% more agents. Technology-infused realty experiences have made the profession more accessible while simultaneously increasing competition. Agents now have a host of digital tools, from virtual and enhanced graphics for listings to artificial intelligence-enabled client home search experiences, and it's never been a more dynamic time to be in real estate. As we enter the thick of the 2021 home-buying season, the health and behavior of the housing market continues to be a hot topic. In 2020's Hottest Cities for Homebuyers Report, we'll uncover: Which region had the highest in-migration activity What drove homeowners to move away from major coastal metros The top 15 metropolitan areas with the highest in- and out-migration activity in 2020 What agents and homeowners can expect for 2021 Follow this link to view the full report. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Collaborating with Media and Reporters for Brand Awareness in Real Estate
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How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Real Estate Business
Real estate social media marketing is a unique challenge because your market is outside the typical production chain of manufacturing to retail. Instead, your products are property, your services are 'concierge' and your clients are often one-time buyers. But that doesn't mean you can't build a powerful reputation for yourself as a reliable and rewarding real estate business to work with. Social media is one of the most flexible marketing channels available, making it ideal for real estate marketing. The platforms are often have a highly visual focus and also bring local community members together online. You can use these elements to build a social media presence and begin finding clients through social media for your real estate business. Ready to get started? Here's how to tackle social media marketing for a real estate brand: Build an Online Presence for Your Realty Office Your online presence is something like a resume for customers. Real estate customers are often careful, doing their homework on an agency or brokerage before choosing. The more profound your online presence, the more clout you will have with researching buyers and sellers. The key is to know how to use each platform to build the right kind of presence for either credibility, momentum, or both. Facebook Business Account Create a page and build rich content for your social media business listing Add each new home listing and announce when homes are sold Spotlight success stories Twitter and Instagram Activity Highly visual platforms for your best real estate photos Post eye-candy property marketing Build a presence and then a following LinkedIn Reputation Curating Create a professional presence for clients who investigate your brand more thoroughly Also great for networking with other real estate professionals Showcase Beautiful Property Photos on Image Social Media Social media is image-driven and so is good real estate marketing. When you have a gorgeous photo walkthrough for a new property, post that eye-candy on your social media channels. Make stories and collections on the most image-driven platforms, while detail platforms like Facebook can host the entire listing alongside your best images. You should also include shots and links to your 3D virtual tours. Share House Listing with Local Groups Many social media platforms help locals find each other through groups and interests. Join a few groups for locals and especially for those house-hunting and looking to sell property in your area. Start sharing home listings, photos, and fun stories with local groups to build a rapport and grow awareness with locals about your available properties. Create a Feed History of Beautiful Homes Sold When a new lead first stumbles across your brand's social media profile, they may spend a few moments scrolling down through your past posts. Dazzle, delight, and entertain viewers who are keeping up in real-time and those reading your entire feed in one fascinated sitting. With beautiful and engaging social media content, your page can become a draw on entertainment value alone. Share Success Stories and Client Testimonials Use social media to share fun and personalizing stories about your past successes. Invite clients to share their testimonials through video, audio, or written stories of their experience with your team. These personal windows into your brand are the kind of content that makes audiences feel connected to you and confident in your ability to achieve more happy conclusions for future clients. Invite Past (and Future) Clients to Share on Your Page In fact, user-generated-content is a powerful marketing tool, especially for social media campaigns. Use your social media channels to invite past – and even future – clients to share their stories, photos, and ideas on your page. Encourage user-generated content that is uplifting and relates to your real estate sales and community. Network with Other Agents for Hard-to-Sell Houses (and Hard-to-Please Buyers) Lastly, social media makes it easier to network with other local real estate businesses for the kind of partnerships everyone benefits from. Get the word out to buyers' agents if you have a hard-to-sell property that needs a special buyer. Find out about lesser-marketed properties for your hard-to-please buyer. Even B2B, social media is good for your real estate business. It takes time, so make some time Growing an effective following, one which actually produces real-world results for your business beyond just a follower count, takes time and intentionality. Obviously no one would raise their hand and say, "I have extra time!" We could ALL use a little more time. A wise step for scaling up your business is to delegate non-revenue-generating tasks like paperwork and coordinating transactions to a Transaction Coordinator. Hiring in-house can be difficult and expensive, but in the digital age there are new and highly effective ways to make it a reality without major commitment. This single move cuts out 90% of the contract to close 'busy work,' and saves agents like you 16+ hours per transaction for a flat fee per contract. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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Done-for-You Tools for Brokerages
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Mark McLaughlin Announces Departure from Compass
Marilyn and I would personally like to wish our friend Mark McLaughlin best wishes on his transition into "what's next." We have had the pleasure of working with Mark and his teams since his departure from Loopnet in 2001. Over those past two decades, we have developed a deep friendship, and it has been inspiring to endure this journey with Mark through the best of times and darkest days of real estate brokerage. Since joining Compass, Mark has contributed outstanding vision to his colleagues and the company is positioned for continued growth and success. His LinkedIn profile states the mission of Shared Vision Producing Shared Achievement | Transformative Growth. He delivered on that vision and departs the ship at Compass in great hands. Time to move on. Not sure what chapter Mark and his partner Monique will write next, but I am sure that it will be as outstanding as the achievements that precede them. Go get it, Mark! The following is a statement from Mark McLaughlin: Dear Colleagues: For twenty-four people, this journey started in Marin County in September 2006 – sunrise so to speak! Our journey was joined by many of you to ultimately create a CA powerhouse in Pacific Union International and Chartwell Escrow – a blending of ten acquisitions, cultures, people, successes and traditions. Over the past 15 years, we stretched, excelled, tackled challenges, survived several crises, embraced change, created opportunities and set records. In 2018, we began our journey with Compass, the industry leader! Compass empowers and embraces agents and our professional staff. Delivering the finest technology, escrow, title and soon mortgage services for you to reach your personal best – – – yet again! My sunset from this journey is now on the horizon and I will depart my full-time role on September 30, 2021. Thereafter, I will be available as needed to Compass as a Strategic Advisor. I leave knowing our business and your performance is the best shape it has ever been. We have grown over 25 percent since 2018 and we deliver the highest level of service in our history during one of the most trying times. Congratulations to each and every one of you! I vividly recall my first regional meetings around the Bay Area with Pacific Union in the Fall of 2009. These were the most important job interviews of my life. I needed you more than you needed me. Same is true for The Mark Company, Empire Group, John Aaroe Group, Partners Trust, Gibson International and the escrow businesses, people and passions that joined our vision. We all needed each other! It is my hope I walked this walk for the last twelve years. I have always believed, "get the people right or nothing else matters." I have learned more from all of you than you could ever imagine. I will miss this team and know it's irreplaceable – a unicorn of a different kind. Compass has amazing vision and sets a ferocious pace. Such a pace that at times it's only appreciated after you pass a milepost vs. while you are approaching it. Growth, technology and tools before you know you need them. Please embrace this pace, absorb what you can, when you can – you will be better for it! When you think of my departure, please know I am at the age and time in my life that it's only appropriate rising stars take over day-to-day operations. My journey will certainly continue, but more likely in strategic roles lending my vision and experience to emerging or transitioning businesses. Monique and I moved to Jackson, WY and are remodeling the home we bought in Q4 '20. I hope to catch up to her on the number of ski days [72] she had this past year. I will soon be more actively working on a few investments we have made and will look to make several more. I will be moving around our CA operations in the coming weeks – I look forward to connecting eye-to-eye. You will be able to join my blog or find me at McLaughlin Ventures, [email protected], or 415-699-5906. I am grateful for your trust. Cheers to a journey I will never forget! This is Where We Are Now. P.S. Remember where the magic happens. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Lone Wolf Acquires Terradatum
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Our Top 10 Most-Read Articles of July
What do agents and brokers want? More seller leads, if we go by which posts made our list the most popular articles last month. In July, RE Technology readers gobbled up articles on prospecting for seller leads (see #9 on the list below), buying online leads (#2), and they downloaded a free seller's guide that they can use to attract more homeowners (#3). To see what else real estate professionals were reading last month, check out the full list below: 1. What Salary Can You Expect to Make as a Real Estate Agent?You hear about real estate agent salaries all the time. In truth, a real estate agent's salary varies depending on a number of conditions. That aside, once you become a seasoned real estate agent or even a real estate broker, your salary will significantly change. But it's always that sunshine and rainbows in the beginning. This is why we've created this post to show you what you can expect to make as a real estate agent. 2. The REAL Problem with Buying Online Leads that No One Wants to Talk AboutA real estate agent's salary varies depending on a number of conditions. That aside, once you become a seasoned real estate agent or even a real estate broker, your salary will significantly change. This post will show you what you can expect to make as a real estate agent. 3. Friday Freebie: Home Seller's Guide Template‍In this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a brandable Home Seller's Guide that's full of the helpful information that homeowners are searching for before they decide to list their home. Use it to attract seller leads, educate seller clients—and ensure you're top of mind when a homeowner is ready to sell. 4. Bad Advice You Hear from Other Real Estate Agents OnlineThe internet is a great source for information, but you need to sift through a lot of misinformation. This misinformation then gets amplified in an echo chamber by people who are trying to validate their bias. This is how fake news spreads, but it is also how bad advice is accepted by a mass population of people. These are the pieces of advice you should avoid from other real estate agents online. 5. 9 Automation Tricks that Will Rock Your Real Estate BusinessMany real estate platforms today can integrate with one another directly, or through third-party services like Zapier or API Nation. These integrations can help you automate tasks that you may be doing manually—or skipping altogether. To help you understand the many time-saving automations that can take your business to the next level, here we're highlighting nine handy examples of real estate integrations. 6. Clever Ways to Use Text Message Marketing for Real EstateAs a real estate professional, many things you do are time-sensitive. It's possible that you can lose out on a deal simply because you were waiting for a buyer to listen to the voicemail or check their email and they acted too slow. Text messaging allows agents to provide updates to buyers and sellers that are quicker and more immediate than email. 7. Top Negotiation Tactics for Buyers in a Red-Hot MarketHigh demand and low inventory in the residential real estate market is great for sellers who are ready to list, but it's created a battle for buyers as prices soar amid record competition. Buyer's agents need to be at the top of their game to win for their clients. Brush up on real estate negotiation tactics to ensure you can expertly make your buyers' offers stand out with these four tips. 8.  How to Identify and Track Your Real Estate CompetitorsWhat makes you stand out and succeed in regard to your competitors is realizing your strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your competitors. This is why it's important to conduct a comprehensive competitive analysis and research your potential real estate competitors. 9. Find Sellers Now! Farming for Prospects with RPRGeographic farming is one of the most tried and true techniques when it comes to an agent's long term success. You need to find the right neighborhoods, crunch data to determine if they're ripe, and effectively market yourself to the homeowners in the area over a sustained period. Not sure where to start? RPR is here to map out your path to success. 10. Real Estate 3D Virtual Tours vs. Videos: Which One Should You Use?In the eyes of buyers, sellers and other real estate professionals, your approach to virtual showings can set you apart. How do you decide which option is best for you? In this article, we'll go over why people love 3D virtual tours and real estate videos, and some tips on how to make the most of them.
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Brokerages: Why You Should Consider Marketing Workshops
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The Best Real Estate Commission Splits for Happy Agents and Maximum Profits
In real estate, all transactions run through a licensed broker. Since a single broker can only do so much, they typically work with a team of agents. These agents might be employees or independent contractors, and the way they are compensated is negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Agents might earn a salary, commission income, or a combination. The way brokers compensate their agents has a significant effect on their business that goes beyond just the bottom line, so it's important to figure out the best way (or ways) to pay your agents depending on the size and age of your brokerage, your clientele, and your market. How should you pay your agents? There are several common ways brokerages decide to pay their agents. While some real estate agents are salaried employees (5% of agents in 2021, according to the NAR), the vast majority are independent contractors (88%) who are paid on a commission basis. Let's look at the most common types of commissions and how they work. Fixed commissions Fixed commissions are the most common, and the way they are split between brokers and agents can vary widely. As the name would suggest, when commissions are fixed, they remain the same, regardless of how many deals an agent closes or how much revenue they bring in. Typically, depending on the type of brokerage and the market, fixed commission splits fall between 50/50 and 70/30, with the first percentage going to the agent and the second going to the broker. Let's look at an example: It's worth noting that there is no law or rule that dictates what the commission for a real estate transaction must be. For many deals, it's about 6%, but agents and their brokers can negotiate this amount with every seller that lists with them. For brokers, fixed commission splits mean you will get the same percentage from every transaction until you decide to renegotiate your relationships with your agents. This results in more predictable income, which you and your agents might come to appreciate. According to the NAR, in 2020, 37% of agents received a fixed commission split. Fixed commissions can be great for brokerages that provide a full-service model, or for smaller brokerages with fewer agents. Brokerages have significant overhead expenses, especially if they are leasing a nice office and providing agent benefits like a CRM, marketing tools, a website, and passing leads on to agents. Especially with a smaller number of agents, brokerages need cash flow to cover expenses and remain profitable, which is easier with a higher fixed split. Fixed splits also provide benefits from an administrative and accounting standpoint: the agent takes their share, which is the same percentage of every deal, and then the broker keeps theirs. No extra deductions, fees, or sliding scales to account for. Graduated commissions Graduated commissions are similar to fixed commissions but operate along a scale: the more an agent produces, the more their commission percentage increases. For example, you might agree to start your agent at a 50/50 split until they reach $25,000 in commission income. Then, your agent would switch to a 60/40 split for income up to $40,000, and then to an 80/20 split for all commissions after that. According to the NAR, in 2020, 23% of agents received a graduated commission split. Depending on the market your brokerage serves and the potential for higher commissions, you may be able to recruit and retain high performers more easily when using a graduated commission, since they will be enticed by the prospect of being rewarded for more sales and keeping a greater percentage for themselves. Unique features of graduated commissions Graduated commissions have two unique features that fixed commissions do not: rollbacks and caps. A rollback policy states that an agent's commission split resets to the standard split once per year, usually at the beginning of the calendar year or on the agent's anniversary date. As a broker, this rollback may incentivize your agents to start producing more at strategic times of the year, which helps cover operating costs and improve month-to-month margins. It also helps motivate agents through slower, low-inventory periods, since they know that once the market picks back up, they'll go back to keeping more of their commissions. Brokers might also choose to cap commissions at a certain amount. When commissions are capped, agents pay their graduated split until they reach the cap, then get to keep all their commissions after that. According to the NAR, in 2020, 15% of agents received a capped commission split. This can be very motivating for agents, because they will work hard to reach the point where they can keep the full commission, but once they do, it might affect your cash flow, especially if you have a small team of top producers. This might be offset through transaction fees, which are discussed below. 100% commissions Brokerages that use a 100 percent commission structure let agents to keep the full amount of the commissions they earn and instead generate revenue by charging various fees. In contrast to a full-service model, under which you're taking a portion of each commission to pay for things to help your team, agents on a 100% commission structure, sometimes called a rent-a-desk arrangement, pay their brokers a variety of flat fees for all the basic brokerage services, plus extra fees depending on what additional services or perks they need. These fees might include: Desk fee: A flat monthly fee for office space at the brokerage's brick-and-mortar location Equipment fee: A flat monthly fee to cover internet, phones, copiers, etc. Administrative fee: One-time or flat fees to cover getting set up in the brokerage's system and then recurring expenses like transaction record management, etc. Transaction fee: A flat fee added at closing. Insurance fee: A monthly fee applied towards errors and omissions insurance or other professional liability insurance. Support fee: A fee charged for support or mentorship from the broker or trainers hired by the brokerage. Agents pay for what they need when they need it, but brokerages also get a steady and predictable flow of cash from recurring flat monthly fees, the amount of which is determined based on operating expenses and desired margins. Factors affecting your commission structure In theory, there is no incorrect way to pay your agents. That said, different brokerage sizes, markets, business goals, and agent profiles might dictate what type of commission structure (or structures) you choose to implement. Let's look at a few of these factors: Agent Recruitment One of the biggest challenges all businesses, brokerages included, face is recruiting the right kind of talent. Without new agents, your brokerage will have trouble growing; without a cohort of seasoned agents, your brokerage may have trouble surviving. New agents who are recently licensed likely just spent a lot of money getting set up. In many cases, they would prefer a brokerage with fewer out of pocket fees that provides leads and mentorship opportunities, even if it initially meant lower commission income. On the other hand, seasoned agents who need less mentoring and already have a steady stream of leads want to maximize their income and minimize their costs. They would therefore be less likely to accept a 50/50 split than a new agent. Different commission splits appeal to different kinds of agents, and therefore the commission structure your brokerage uses will have a major effect on recruitment. Agent Retention The market for agents is fierce, and retaining agents can be hard because their needs change as their careers mature. According to the NAR, in 2021, the median tenure for agents with 15 years or less of experience was only three years. That means a lot of turnover and a lot of costs associated with onboarding and training. Newer agents need training and leads, while top sellers want minimum fees. So, the commission structure that got an agent through your door might no longer satisfy them when they are farther along in their career. With a few years of experience under their belts, they may begin looking for a brokerage that offers a graduated split, so they can keep more of what they're bringing in. It is important for brokers to consider these realities as they grow their teams, given how competitive the market for top agents is. Profitability Brokerages have substantial overhead. Leasing an office, hiring administrative staff, providing leads to agents, mentoring them, and presenting a consistent brand all cost money. If you don't generate enough revenue and maintain certain margins, you won't be able to stay in business. If you have a 100% commission model, you will need to develop a fee structure that can keep your doors open and the lights on. The upside is that this kind of arrangement can attract agents that bring in a high sales volume. In contrast, with a 50/50 or 60/40 split, you'll likely have the budget to provide tools like a CRM, a website, business cards, online marketing, a transaction management system, and more. These kinds of front and back office tools help your agents work smarter instead of harder. And if you operate with a graduated commission model, you might consider a combination of a split commission plus fees so that, even after an agent is keeping more or all of their commissions, you're still earning a fee on every transaction you help facilitate. Franchise fees Many franchises charge a franchise fee (also called a royalty fee) that's taken off the top of every commission in exchange for the advantages and privileges of working under that franchise's banner. This fee comes out of the commission before the broker splits it with an agent and usually ranges between 5% and 8%. This is yet another expense that needs to be factored in when figuring out the best way to split commissions at your brokerage. Referral fees Referrals between brokerages can be a major source of revenue, yet they can also have a major effect on your commission structure. Referral fees are a pre-negotiated percentage of the sale price that comes out of the commission before splitting it. With referrals, if a broker can't capture both sides of a transaction directly, they can at least earn something by referring a lead to another broker they trust. Referral fees can be high, sometimes 35% or more, which for major sales can mean a significant amount of money being sent to a referring broker (and less for you and your agent). The ideal structure: you don't necessarily have to choose just one As a business owner and employer, you might be tempted to try to come up with a single compensation structure that pleases every agent at any stage in their career. Be warned: this is next to impossible. As mentioned previously, agents have different needs and wants at different stages in their careers. If you are a newly established brokerage, your most urgent need is cash flow, so using a 100% commission model and charging agents fees likely isn't feasible, since it might not generate enough income. If you're an established brokerage, you may have more leeway, but might also be worried about retention and recruitment at the same time. Throw on top of that the fact that every market is different, with different average sales prices, costs of living, taxes, and more. If you can keep the doors open by selling a single $100 million home per year, your needs and commission structure will be vastly different than a broker in a market where the average listing price is $200,000. You might therefore decide to offer a combination of fixed and graduated splits, as well as fees, to accommodate different types of agents and your own business needs. No matter what your commission structure, your brokerage will benefit from the ease and peace of mind of using robust real estate commission software like Constellation1 Commissions. Get in touch and schedule a demo today. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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zavvie Releases New Midyear Seller Preferences Report
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Delivering on Your Own Brokerage's Secret Sauce
In real estate, every brand delivers the same ultimate net result -- the purchasing or sale of a home. So, if every brokerage basically delivers the same service, how do you attract consumers to your brand over others? How do you differentiate your messaging when every "product" does basically the same thing? Also, how do you ensure that the customer experience with your brand will be consistent when the experience is delivered by independently minded real estate agents? These are three very important questions to pay attention to if you are interested in scaling your business. Real estate is not alone in this challenge. Think of the laundry detergent section in your grocery store; every detergent gets your clothes clean, yet there are TONS of them on the shelf. Why? Each one of them has carved out a unique niche to convince the grocery store chain they are worthy of placement on their shelves. Real estate brokerages need to identify a meaningful, customer-centric benefit they can deliver that is true to their brand and yet meaningfully different than competitors. Not an easy task, but it can be done. We have helped tons of brokerages, tech companies and even MLSs figure out how to differentiate themselves from others. Let's discuss how to get started down a path toward brand differentiation. What Makes Your Brand Different? The first question you need to ask yourself is, what makes my company different? When you think about the culture and service philosophy of your company, what makes yours unique? What are you most proud of? What do you think your agents say about your brand when they are talking to prospects? These are important questions to ask yourself before you can build a brand messaging plan or customer experience plan. What Do Consumers Say About Your Brand? It is very important to understand how the real estate consumer perceives your brand. You must differentiate those that chose to work with you – versus those that chose to work with another brand. Ask those who are considering a purchase in the next 12 months; renters are a critical group for feeding your future sales opportunities as well. With consumer research, you can uncover your key brand perceptions, as well as compare strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. WAV Group is the largest independent consumer research company in real estate today. If you need help, reach out and we are happy to help you put together a research plan. What Do Your Competitors Say About Their Brand? While branding is a lot more than a slogan, the tagline that each brand chooses gives you a look into what they prioritize in their communications. Here are some examples of the phrases/mantras in real estate today as a starting place. Do the same exercises in your local market to identify what your strong, local competitors are claiming as well. Sampling of National Brokerage Brands Compass: Find Your Place Keller Williams: Find Your Dream Home Coldwell Banker: Search for Homes in your Neighborhood eXp: Find Your Home, All the help you need for your home buying journey Zillow: Change Starts Here Redfin: Find Homes First. Tour Homes Fast. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services: Our network knows great homes Century 21: Don't Settle for Average Why Does Your Brand and Messaging Matter? Some brokerages we talk to are not interested in doing the hard work to carve out a unique position in the marketplace. They are worried that they will somehow limit their agents' opportunities through focusing on their message. They say that consumers buy from agents, not brands, so, why does my brand matter? With an ever-increasing amount of competition and business models entering the real estate space, that attitude is very myopic and dangerous. Think about your own behavior – does brand matter when you buy a car? Do you appreciate the consistent experience when you travel from one Marriott hotel to another? Are you excited when your favorite Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor delivers every time? That's what brand consistency can do for you, too. How We Can Help? WAV Group can help you identify and clarify what you deliver to produce raving fan experiences. The evidence we gather is likely to be what you already know, which may or may not be the experience you really want to deliver. This information forms the foundation of your brand messaging and the ultimate service experience you are striving for. If you are interested, give us a call and we can help you take your brand and your growth opportunities to a whole new level. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Local Showings Is Ready to Change the Real Estate Game
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Q4 Concerns? Get in Front of the Real Estate Market and Don't Chase It
Chaotic markets leave many agents stuck in reaction mode, but that's not how Q4 real estate success is achieved. How can you shake that and prepare yourself to seize opportunity in Q4 and future-proof your pipeline? We've honed in on the top four things that win in today's market, and tomorrow's--and $500 million agent, Mary Simmons-Maloney, the Founder/Owner of Hometown Realty, powered by eXp in San Diego, is weighing in with her wise words too. Maximize the Client AND Agent Experience Always deliver with an unparalleled website experience, a branded consumer app to keep prospects searching and interacting with your brand, and make sure your team is equipped with the tools to deliver effortless white-glove service. "When we brought BoomTown into our organization for our agents, it was about having a centralized, easy-to-use system," says Mary. "The consumer interface is so easy for our agents to use. It's not overcomplicated, it's not over-cumbersome. It's super easy to use. And that was very important for us at the time, to be able to have a way for our agents to track their leads, for us to be able to hold them accountable, and then, at the same time, to have a system that allowed us to track and measure our spending." Lean into Your Lead Generation for Q4 Real Estate Success While so many are scaling back on their ad spend and lead generation efforts, now is the time for savvy agents to lean into their lead generation efforts, build that database, and prepare for the market to shift. Because it will shift. Consumers are being discouraged from buying right now since it's the "height of the market," but they will return, and you need to have the tech and the teams in place to make sure you're ready to seize opportunity. "A lot of agents are pulling back on their online buyer acquisition spend, but we doubled ours because we're in this for the long game," says Mary. "We look at the relational side of the business, not just the transactional side. And when you're in it for the long game, the market is going to shift. So, if you're front-loading your database with the client, that will be ahead of the next market shift. When the market does shift, you're going to have amazing business." Cut Through the Noise and Stay Top-of-mind News reports are a constant reminder that the field is crowded and competition is fierce. Smart tech and customizable marketing can cut through the digital noise, differentiate you from the competition, and build trust Arm yourself with customizable tools like: Landing pages to promo new and featured properties, "Coming Soon" properties, home valuation report generators, new-buyer seminars, you-name-it! Automated drip campaigns to send the right message at the right time, and keep you top-of-mind A branded consumer app to keep prospects searching and interacting with your brand An ad-creation portal that makes customized social media advertising a breeze Consumers want to work with a brand that they feel like they know, so make sure you have the tools to make it easy to compete, stay relevant, and grow your business. Prioritize Your Time Everyone has reached a new level of busy, and this will probably continue. You can't add more hours to your day, but you can certainly streamline your workload and make your time management more effective. Mary's no-fail routine centers around BoomTown. Predictive insights, reminders, and to-dos to keep you on top. Automated bulk marketing plus expert teams can offload the heavy-lifting of qualifying new leads and engaging your database. "My favorite feature is the NOW Wall. It allows us to monitor our leads and make sure that we're not missing anyone. If they're showing interest, calculating a mortgage or coming back to the site after being just a 'browsing' type of lead, we know we need to follow up." Make Real Estate Success Easy in Q4 It's time for the system that gives you an edge and the tools to keep you on top. See how BoomTown makes it easy. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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SEO Tips for Images: Real Estate Edition
The visual side of the real estate website is as important as the written text. Real estate professionals should know this better than anyone. The listing images are practically the bread and butter of real estate pros. So, how can you improve these images' SEO? Compressing Equals Better Speed Well, first of all, don't forget to compress the images. The bigger the size of the image file is, the slower the page loading time will be. Compressing helps reduce the file size. Image Backgrounds Another important tip that not many realize is the background of the images. Images with a clear background have a bigger size, compared to the blurred background images. Remember, the smaller the file size is, the better the page loading time will be. Original Images for Your Real Estate Website Imagine you're writing a blog and you need a good image representing the main idea. What are you going to do in this case? Most probably, you will check royalty free stock images. But remember, too many websites use the same generic stock images. Imagine finding out that your real estate website has the same stock images as, for example, an online gambling company. Original content is what Google the algorithm values, and visual media is no exception. Nothing will top original content being placed on your real estate website. File Name This is a pretty simple but often overlooked SEO tip — creating a unique file name. Google crawlers recognize what the image is about specifically by checking the file name. That's why customizing file names by adding a keyword-rich phrase is what will make your visual content stand out. Alt Text of the Real Estate Images Both the description and alt text serve a very important role in the image ranking process. Alt text is an alternative way for search engines to recognize the image in instances when browsers can't properly render them. Basically, when the browser can't load the image, the alt tag will show up instead, showcasing the subject matter of the image. Creating SEO friendly alt texts will certainly help Google to recognize the images better. Description for Real Estate Images What about description? You probably heard about ADA, also known as the Americans with Disabilities Act, which ensures the accessibility of websites. One of the key points is the accessibility of the visual content. Often, people with disabilities use screen readers to access content. Screen readers check the description of the visual content to recognize what the content is about. With the more and more demands on the accessibility of websites, it's important to pay attention to descriptions as well. File Path We already discussed the importance of the file name in the image ranking process. It turns out that in addition to the file name, Google checks the file path of the content. What is a file path? File path is the location or address of the content. There is two kind of paths: Absolute File Path - indicates the full URL of a contentFor example: <img src="https://www.realtyna.com/images/picture.jpg" alt="Real estate agents"> Relative File Path - indicates file path relevant to this specific pageFor example: <img src="/images/picture.jpg" alt="Real estate agents"> Google recommends making the file path more distinguishable. For example, as a real estate agent, you probably are working with many property types, which means you can structure your folders based on property type. For example: <img src="https://www.website.com/townhouses/picture.jpg" alt="Villa for sale"> This is just a small example of how you can arrange folders on your website. Keep in mind that these structures are customizable based on your needs. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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Turn Your Agents into Reps for Your Brand
Are you doing everything you can to turn your agents into the best possible representatives for your real estate brand? Just by the nature of the job, your agents are always representatives of your brand because they are the primary point of contact between your clients and your brand. But there's a difference between representing a brand and being a true ambassador. Agents who are brand ambassadors recognize that promoting your larger brand is just as beneficial to them as it is to your real estate businesses because building a trusted, reliable, recognizable brand means more business for everyone. But agents are busy, so they may simply need some guidance and a nudge in the right direction. Here's how to turn your agents into valuable reps for your brand. Start By Making Sure Agents Are Informed About Your Brand In order to be great promoters for your brand, agents need to understand exactly what your brand means. That means going beyond logos and branded marketing materials to help agents understand the core values, standards, and benefits of your brand. An agent with an understanding of what your brand is will be better equipped to share that brand with the world. Who Are You Trying to Reach, and How Do You Offer Value? For agents, it's hard to promote your brand if they are trying to be everything to everyone. So agents need to understand your target audience and how your brand brings value to that audience. If your brand is focused on luxury real estate clients, your agents will need to promote your brand differently than they would for first-time home buyers. Even if your brand is geared to a wider audience, helping agents understand your unique value proposition will help them rep your brand. Do Agents Understand Your Brand Standards? While logos, color schemes, fonts, and images aren't everything when it comes to branding, those standards do make a big difference in brand consistency. Communicating those standards and making it easy for agents to integrate them into their own branding materials are simple ways to help agents promote your brand. How Consistent Is Your Branding? Some parts of your branding, like your website, branded social media feeds, online advertising, and traditional marketing materials are largely beyond the control of your agents. However, keeping your brand consistent in all of those areas will make your brand more recognizable, which ultimately makes it easier for your agents to represent your brand. How Marketing Tools and Technology Help Agents Rep Your Brand The vast majority of agents will want to be great ambassadors for your brand, but they only have so much time to devote to actively representing your brand while still handling all of the day-to-day details of their work. That's why it's so important to provide them with the right tools and technology to make representing your brand a simple, streamlined process that they can easily integrate into their busy day. Leveraging Technology to Make Promotion as Easy and Automated as Possible Your agents will be using technology to communicate with clients, cultivate leads, and promote your brand to the world. Are you providing all of the tools that they need to complete those tasks efficiently and effectively? Help them by providing the right marketing tools, making templates for key announcements on social channels, and giving them everything they need to represent your brand consistently — both online and in the wider world. Automate as many key tasks as possible, like sending email newsletters, to help agents rep your brand while still saving time in their busy day. Keeping Track and Following Up with Branding Opportunities The right real estate CRM makes it so much easier for your agents to represent your brand and to keep track of all of the information that they need to serve their clients. CRM data makes it easier for agents to keep tabs on branding opportunities, know when to follow up, and know what makes each client tick. Does Your Website Represent Your Brand? Your real estate website will be the first contact that many clients and prospects have with your brand. A great website that communicates your brand clearly gives your agent a leg up in representing your brand because it establishes your brand for your audience and helps communicate the values that your agents will build upon in their own interactions with clients. Where Will Your Agents Take Your Brand Next? Every agent should want to be a valuable rep for your brand, but it's up to you to provide what they need to succeed in that role. With the right mix of knowledge, tools, technology, and motivation, your agents will have everything they need to be outstanding reps for your brand. Want to help your agents take your brand to the next level? Try DeltaNET 6 free for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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When It Comes to Brokerage Branding, Consistency Is Key
Your brand is what sets you apart from your competition. It encompasses much more than you might realize. Your brand doesn't just include your logo and your color scheme. It includes every aspect of working with your brokerage, from the tagline on your business cards to the images on your flyers and from the look and feel of your website to your social media posts. Ultimately, your brand is a reflection of your entire customer experience. The most successful companies, from Apple to Starbucks, know that consistency is key to creating a brand that precedes them in the minds of their customers. A consistent brand lends credibility to your prospecting, marketing, and sales efforts, and helps people remember you. Consistent branding helps build trust and could even help you win more listings. In real estate, brand management is a tough job. Not only are you working to differentiate yourself from every other brokerage in your area, you're also relying on each of your agents to establish a consistent message across so many different media and platforms—from lawn signs and flyers to social media and websites. With all that noise, it can be difficult to stand out. If your brand isn't consistent everywhere, you run the risk of confusing potential clients about who you are and what they can expect from working with you. Below are four key areas to focus on to brand your brokerage effectively and consistently. Consistent service The first key to a consistent brand is delivering a consistent product or service. Without your product, your brand wouldn't exist, and your customers come to rely on and expect a certain level of service. Imagine if, overnight, McDonald's stopped serving buns or Ford trucks were sold without doors. Customers would immediately lose trust in those brands. Some major brands have suffered significant credibility issues after product recalls, legal troubles, and other scandals that call the consistency of their offering into question. The absolute baseline for branding is to deliver on your promise to your customers, no matter what you do or sell. Consistent messaging The second key to consistent branding is consistent messaging. This means knowing what you want to say, how to say it, and then saying it in a similar way across all your marketing channels. Let's look at an example. One of the most successful brands in history is the Nike swoosh and the slogan Just do it. This personal, inspiring message permeates all of Nike's marketing. They don't say, "just do it" in some places and, "wait, don't do it yet" in others; they inspire professional and amateur athletes to seize the day and get it done, no matter what "it" is. Consistency is also about matching messaging to action. If you say you put customers first, but customers consistently feel like they're put second (or worse, last), your brand won't stand a chance. Consistent imagery The third key to consistent branding is consistent imagery. The images you share need to reflect your values and your value in a uniform way. This can mean different things for different brokerages. If you sell luxury properties, bright photos and stellar staging are critical, whereas if you're a small-town brokerage, nicely lit no-frills photos will probably serve you just fine. Make sure your images, logos, and colors match across platforms and accurately convey who you are. Consistent timing The fourth key to consistent branding is timing. Consumers have poor short-term memories. How many times have you seen a product you wanted, only to forget what it's called or who makes it? To overcome this, marketers rely on the other consistency tips above and build them around a regular schedule: potential and existing customers are exposed repeatedly and briefly to content and messages that are relevant and valuable to them, keeping a particular brand top of mind for when they're ready to buy. Tools for building and maintaining consistent brokerage brands Today, tools abound for helping brokerages build and maintain consistent brands, both online and in print. It has never been easier to build a stunning, beautifully branded brokerage website backed by the most robust MLS data in the industry. Social publishing applications and automated digital and print marketing tools are taking the hassle out of consistent timing and messaging across platforms. Plus, strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategies have made it easier than ever for leads to find your brokerage and listings online. Paradym by Constellation1 and Constellation1 Websites can help your brokerage do all of this and more to maintain a consistent brand, no matter what marketing channels you use. If you're ready to get your listings noticed, contact us today. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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Bad Realtors Are Here Forever
There was an article in Inman News that was written by a broker from Colorado. He talked about the number of bad agents and how that is impacting the reputation of our industry and eroding the confidence of consumers who choose to work with a Realtor. This type of article is written regularly throughout the year. This is an enormous problem and the most serious threat to our industry. It is a problem that we have faced every year before today, and one that we are going to face until consumers simply stop working with Realtors and start hiring companies that supervise Realtors. That day may be far off, or it may be happening widespread today. Let's unpack the problem. There are about 1.4 million Realtors in America today, perhaps over 2 million if you count licensed agents who are not members of NAR. The simple fact is that 2 million people performing 12 million sides are condemned by the laws of large numbers to produce some horrible outcomes. And remember, not only are there bad Realtors, but there are also bad circumstances, and plenty of bad customers. I will spare you the tragic stories as I am sure that you have piles of your own. "Raise the bar," said NAR. "Code of Ethics, certifications, fines, and training can fix this problem." That was also the resolve of the broker who penned the Inman article. This doesn't work. Fire bad agents. Brokers can do this, but they will have a job at the brokerage down the street within minutes. This strategy does not fix the problem. There has been effort after effort to solve this problem that does work. Allow consumers to share their story. Agent ratings. "Agent ratings," said Marilyn Wilson of the WAV Group. She spent years pounding the drum of agent ratings. The industry failed to react with a few exceptions—namely Zillow and Redfin. Today, Zillow is only passing off customers to agents that have high consumer ratings. No more purchasing leads. Agents need to pay one-third of their commission as a referral to Zillow and be the most responsive and best rated agent to earn a customer referral from Zillow. Redfin started this model years ago, too. I believe that you can confidently assess that both Zillow and Redfin are winning with agent ratings. Are you? Zillow and Redfin have it right. Agent ratings are the only path to some form of resolution. Ratings must be gathered and published for all consumers to see. I believe that NAR should take up the challenge, but I doubt that they will. They have looked at it many times, but the board has never had the leadership to require it. I understand why and find little reason to cite the list of reasons. Here is the saddest truth. By the time that the industry is desperate enough to launch a mandated agent ratings program, it will be too late. In fact, I would say that it may already be too late. The real estate industry is changing at hyper speed. Agents have been able to spend billions on acquiring strangers as customers to overcome the bad customer experience. But that is changing. You cannot buy your way to a lead on major portals anymore. You need to earn it. Our research shows that Zillow and companies like them that mandate agents to perform at their best to get a great rating are delivering change in an industry that will not fix itself. Thank you Zillow and Redfin for your leadership. In many ways, you are a reshaping America's Realtors to be better. Your companies have made the hard decisions with courage. You have made agents better, and separated out those who do not perform. You have taken a beating for it, but emerged stronger. As for the brokers who supervise agents and associations who uphold the Realtor Code, I hope that you will consider taking a page out of the Zillow and Redfin book. No small broker or group of brokers should be the source of truth on Realtor performance. But that is the way that it stands today because you failed to commit and take early action. But it is not over—bad Realtors can be exposed and cured. The next move is yours. Will you take it? If you are a business leader, share this with your management team or board of directors. Let's see who has the determination to be better. Will it be Keller Williams? eXp? Compass? Side? BHHS? Realogy? Will it be you? What choice will you make?
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How One Chattanooga Brokerage Tripled Their Business in 2 Years
In real estate, two things are true. (1) The industry can change at lightning speed and (2) delivering incredible customer service is absolutely critical. A modern real estate business needs to evolve and adapt fluidly without ever losing sight of that premium customer experience. Doug Edrington, CEO at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices J Douglas Properties, does those two things incredibly well. He stays ahead of the curve, anticipating and embracing change while staying laser-focused on the client. Evolving with Technology "If you continue to evolve with the technology that is handed to you, seeing it as an opportunity instead of a headache, you're going to stay ahead of the curve," says Doug. Doug partnered with BoomTown to function as the central technology hub of his business. In addition to lead generation, the predictive CRM and lead follow-up capabilities allowed Doug's team to stay consistent with their lead communication and sales flow. The hidden value in a database comes from the wealth of leads that convert over time. They're entered in the system, and over time through smart, automated touches, leads that you generated six months or five years ago will start to pop back up and convert. "Implementing BoomTown opened our eyes to really see all the possibilities," says Doug. "BoomTown has all the tools you need to nurture your leads to get them where they need to be: ready to talk to you." A good leader knows that it's critical to get their team trained properly on a system. Adoption is necessary to use a tool to its fullest potential. And Doug Edrington works hard to provide value to his agents. BoomTown was a natural fit, being easy-to-use, intuitive, and designed to make agents successful. "Every single team member embraced the BoomTown system very quickly. We soon realized how much we wished we had it a long time ago. It just made a lot of sense. I think we would go crazy if we ever lost it." Good Leadership Means Focusing on Relationships We know the classic adage in real estate: Clients work with people they know, like, and trust. And Doug has built his business around living up to those expectations. Real estate home buyers and sellers want someone to solve their problems and rise to the occasion. For Doug, that means setting up his agents for success with the right training, processes, culture, and technology systems. "We can't forget the basics, we still continue to do all the foundational things. But we also understand that one person cannot do this business by themselves anymore. It has to be a team. BoomTown gives us the tools to gain the advantage of all the people surrounding us that make us successful." When you are scaling a real estate business, you need to deliver excellent service at a high volume. That's a lot of touchpoints and a lot of opportunities to drop the ball if you're not careful. With BoomTown's predictive CRM and lead insights, he can assure that leads in the system are being engaged with the right information at the right time. Quality and quantity. Accountability Wins the Race A high-functioning team can only thrive with strong accountability measures in place. Even for the most diligent of self-motivators, some type of accountability will not only make sure they're accomplishing their goals, but it will push them even further and make your business more profitable. Even with powerful technology, a tool is only as good as the one who wields it. Doug relies on BoomTown's To-Dos, follow-up and nurture plans, and accountability dashboard to keep his team productive. "BoomTown has been a really great platform for us all around. From a team leader perspective, the Dashboards have given us a whole new level of accountability." With insights from the Accountability Dashboard, Doug can make sure his team is engaging with the right leads at the right time. He also knows when there's room for improvement and how to work with the agent to help them succeed. Triple Your Business BoomTown clients have a tendency to triple their business in the first five years working on the platform. Once again, Doug is ahead of the curve, tripling his business in just two years. The best part is that the system is designed to grow with you. So as Doug's team expands and his agents take on higher and higher volume, Boomtown grows alongside him to fit his evolving needs. "We've evolved quite a bit from when we first started our business in 2004," says Doug. "The market has changed a lot as Chattanooga exploded from a small town into a bustling city hub. As the city continues to grow, customer needs will also change. It's important to adapt and evolve with the market in order to efficiently meet your client's shifting needs." Innovation is no longer a technology buzzword but a critical component of a thriving real estate team. Consistently rising to the demands of modern real estate consumers and adapting to better serve his unique team structure is why Doug trusts BoomTown to power his business. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Redfin Launches Career Accelerator Program to Bring New, Diverse Talent into the Real Estate Industry
Redfin announced it has launched a career accelerator program to hire and train 50 new real estate agents in the Seattle and Washington, D.C. metro areas. This program is designed for people from outside the real estate industry to successfully transition into a full-time, real estate career. Unlike most agents who work as independent contractors, earning commissions from home sales, Redfin agents are employees who earn a base salary and bonuses for every transaction. Redfin also provides comprehensive benefits, including health insurance and paid leave. In 2020, Redfin agents earned a median income of $112,200. That is more than double the median gross income of $43,330 earned by a typical Realtor in 2020, according to research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Redfin agents earn an average of $63,000 in their first year at the company. Realtors with two years of experience or less earned a median gross income of just $8,500 in 2020, according to NAR. "Typically, you need to spend money to make money in real estate and new agents often rack up debt on dues, fees, marketing and technology costs before they sell a house or earn a penny. The career accelerator program gives new agents everything they need to thrive in their first year: a salary and benefits, training, team support, introductions to customers, and a $1,500 signing bonus to make the transition easier," said Kathryn Rion, senior director of real estate operations. "Many people who want to pursue a real estate career are dissuaded by the start-up costs, financial insecurity, lack of benefits, and sink or swim mentality that is common in the industry," Rion continued. "By providing on-the-job training and eliminating hurdles and expenses for new agents, we hope to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to join us in our mission to redefine real estate in the consumer's favor. You shouldn't have to dig into savings or go into debt or forgo health care just to get started in real estate." Participants in the career accelerator program will receive comprehensive training and individual coaching to learn everything required to become a successful agent, including customer service, real estate contracts, negotiation and transaction management. Each agent-in-training will be supported by a team and local manager focused on their career success. An experienced local trainer will coach new agents through their first three transactions. Like all Redfin agents, agents-in-training will have access to Redfin's leading technology platform and will have the opportunity to meet serious customers through Redfin's site so they can start growing their business right away. The program is accepting applications through August. Once accepted, participants will have until the end of October to complete their licensing coursework and pass the licensing exam. Once licensed, participants will start in November as full-time real estate agents with Redfin and receive a $1,500 signing bonus to cover the start-up costs and ease the transition. Because agents-in-training will start at the same time, they'll have the added benefit of learning together in a collaborative program. The career accelerator program is an addition to Redfin's ongoing agent recruitment and training efforts. The company is growing rapidly and hiring hundreds of agents across the country this year. Redfin offers a variety of real estate agent and support roles to fit candidates' career goals, skill sets and experience levels. "To keep up with our rapid growth, we need to develop talent from other industries as well as recent graduates," said Rion. "Folks with experience in retail, hospitality, sales, the military, and other industries bring transferable skills and valuable new perspectives to our business. We're excited to soon welcome our first cohort of agents-in-training in Seattle and Washington, D.C. and to get them started in a fulfilling career where they can make a meaningful impact on people's lives." Visit redfin.com/careers/real-estate to learn more about real estate opportunities at Redfin. Candidates can apply for the career accelerator program here: Washington, D.C. Maryland Virginia Seattle
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Ryan Wilson: Closing Nearly $100M in Sales
Next-Level Success In 2021, good real estate tools are a dime a dozen. But for growth-driven agents and brokers like Ryan Wilson, it comes down to separating the good from the great. Broker/Owner of Edge Realty in Rhode Island, Ryan Wilson had settled into a groove with his thriving boutique real estate agency, serving Rhode Island's competitive luxury waterfront market and finding success doing it. But as the family-owned operation grew from a team of four to what would eventually be 30 agents, Ryan had the foresight to know that he needed his technology to level-up as well. Early on, after dabbling with some solutions with basic-level functionality (Contactually and Top Producer), Ryan moved to Sierra Interactive to experience a wider variety of features and capabilities. Then, as his team began their expansion, he landed on BoomTown as the right tool to drive that growth, while empowering and unifying his entire team within one central system. Tools to Empower Agents BoomTown was built to empower real estate businesses from the ground up, with tools to help entry-level single agents thrive as well as robust enterprise solutions for broker-owners and multi-city expansion teams. For Ryan, it was important to have a solution that helps his agents close more deals while giving him the transparency, data, and metrics necessary to manage and support a team. With BoomTown's Accountability Dashboard, Ryan can see if his agents are following up with their leads, plugging them into SmartDrip automated marketing campaigns, and reaching out when new "hot" leads register on their site or show interest in a property. (All of the activities that help convert online leads into closed deals!) To take it even further, with the BoomTown Vitals Dashboard, Ryan can see how his business's performance on the BoomTown system compares to other BoomTown users… because a little friendly competition never hurt anyone, right? "We needed something with a little bit more capability as far as the tracking and recording and reporting on what our other agents were doing within our framework. We reached out to a few brokerages throughout the country that were using BoomTown at the time and it just seemed like a much better fit for us to expand out." Empowering Agents to be Proactive and Productive Actionable Insights: Lead activity is tracked within the real estate CRM system to give agents predictive insights on top opportunities most likely to engage in conversation. Hot Sheet with MLS Updates: Agents can keep tabs on hot listings and get every update right in the CRM. Smart Prospecting Tools: Match your best listings with the most fitting and interested homebuyers with Best-Fit Leads. The Opportunity "NOW" Wall shows you leads to focus on and when to reach out to contacts. Mobile App and Consumer App: Never miss a beat and keep up with new leads and conversations on the go. Plus, the consumer app will keep your leads coming back. Success Assurance: A Lead Concierge Service handles lead engagement for you, following up and qualifying leads 24/7 and passing them off to the agents when they're conversation-ready. Expert Onboarding and Training We often say, "A tool is only as good as the hands that wield it." Meaning, we can provide the most robust, complex, powerful technology ever, and it simply doesn't matter if it's not easy (and enjoyable) to use. That's why BoomTown has 100+ team members dedicated solely to client success, onboarding, training, and support. For a broker with 30 agents to manage, being able to trust BoomTown with the training and technical support was a gamechanger for Ryan. "The fundamental training classes are super useful especially when we're onboard and new agents or have introduced new agents into the Boomtown and everything because that's something that takes a huge workload off of us from the very beginning. From a brokerage standpoint—from a management standpoint and maintaining the ease of being able to communicate with the support team is extremely advantageous." A Data-Driven Process The biggest differentiator that Ryan experienced between BoomTown and the other solutions he tested was the data-driven lead insights. Tools that are necessary for next-level growth. "I remember the first time of going into BoomTown just feeling like, 'Woah.' The amount of information that they're able to capture for any single prospect, the amount of tracking that they're able to then relay over to you. It's amazing. Compared to what we had before, so." When it comes to converting leads from your database, it's all about being in the right place at the right time. And if you don't have a fortune-teller on your staff, you're not going to be able to do that without the support of technology. Seeing when a lead registers on your website is one thing, but what if you could see more granular details and patterns like: What neighborhoods they're searching in Did they calculate a loan? Did they favorite the property? Did they send the property to someone else? "That is one of the biggest features I find helpful, is when you get somebody that pops up in your NOW wall and it says they looked at this property from three different locations. What that tells me is that they liked that property enough to text that property over to their husband or wife, or email it to somebody else, or they calculated the loan on it. So 'hyper interest' in the properties was the biggest feature difference that I found to be very useful." Ryan Wilson runs his real estate business with his eye on the long-term prize: healthy, sustainable growth. Which is why when it came down to deciding on a long-term technology partner, he didn't want to settle for just good but instead invest in the best. And after coming in at just under $100 million in closed sales in 2020, we'd say the ROI is paying off. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Our Top 10 Most-Read Articles of June
High home prices are on everyone's mind, especially potential home buyers and the agents that serve them. That's likely why our #1 article on our monthly top 10 most read articles list is a look into what's driving today's outrageous prices. Part of the issue with today's market is the amount of corporations who are buying up homes and pushing home ownership out of the reach of average consumers. Read more about this trend in #10 below. Want to make working with buyers easier? Check article #2 for a free downloadable homebuyer's packet. Want to win more listings (of course you do)? Check out article #9 to learn more about leveraging pre-listing presentations. To see what else made it into the top 10 most read articles of June, check out the full list below: 1. When Will U.S. Buyers See Relief From Skyrocketing Home Prices?U.S. home prices have increased for an astounding 110 months straight; and since the pandemic began, they've risen at an extraordinary pace. Just this past April, the median home sales price in the U.S. was $341,600, nearly 20% higher than the year before. So when can buyers expect to see some much-needed home price relief? 2. Friday Freebie: Homebuyer Packet Template‍It's a tough time to be a home buyer—and a buyer's agent. While you can't fix today's inventory problems, you can make the home buying process as smooth as possible for both your clients and yourself. In this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a homebuyer packet that you can use to educate buyers, qualify buyer leads, and more. 3. What's the Big Deal about Google Local Services Ads?If you're in the real estate business, there's a good chance you've been hearing a lot about Google Local Services Ads, or Google LSA. The industry has been buzzing with talk about how this new seller lead source can generate a lot of inexpensive ready-to-transact leads and even produce inbound "come-list-me" calls. The question is -- is this lead source actually worth it? 4. 8 Strategies for Dealing with Difficult ClientsHave you ever been exasperated by a difficult client or conversation? Interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are abilities that real estate agents need to master. Take courage – you can remain calm, professional and make your way through skillfully to overcome challenges and defuse conflict. 5. How to Write the Perfect Real Estate Agent BioMaking a good first impression online is far more difficult than doing so in-person. Luckily, you don't need to be a creative writing major to craft the perfect real estate agent bio. If you follow our suggestions, you'll be able to make a great first impression with anyone who reads about you online. 6. How Much is That Home Upgrade Worth?The ability to accurately price a property for sale is arguably a listing agent's most valued skill. But when it comes to making tweaks and adjustments, how can you refine value based on upgrades made or repairs that need to be made? RPR's Refine Value Tool is the perfect solution. 7. Do You Own Your Real Estate Photos?When a home's been listed for sale and arrangements have been made for a photoshoot, who owns the property photos once they've been taken? There are legal complications to consider, but to present arguments for both the agent and the photographer, we'd rather stick to the guidelines that dictate how property photos get used before, during, and after a real estate sale. 8. The Ultimate Script for Reconnecting with Past Real Estate ClientsHave you fallen out of touch with some past real estate clients? If you're like most of us, it's likely that you have. You need something like a script to help you in reconnecting with past real estate clients, since it can be difficult to consistently keep in touch with them, especially as your career progresses and your database grows. Here's what to say. 9. Want to Win More Listings? Learn the Art of the Pre-listing PresentationWinning a listing is a multi-step sales process. There's the introduction, the meeting (in person or remotely), seeing the property, and the follow-up. Sending a pre-listing presentation ahead of your first meeting acts as a "door opener," and is your opportunity to set the stage and make a great first impression. 10. Are iBuyers Good for Consumers?Cash-rich corporations are out-gunning desperate individual consumers with all cash offers to snap up more and more of the fewer and fewer homes available for sale. Increasingly these corporations are selling these homes to corporate landlords, off-MLS, and without ever making them available to families seeking homes to buy. What should we do when we encounter an existential threat to home ownership?
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Meet the New Authentisign
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Getting to the Top with Smart Leadership and Powerful Tech
Sonny Downey is many things: motivated, successful, kind. But what really stands out in a sea of successful top producers in real estate is his combination of intelligence and humility. He's sharp as a tack and uses that industry knowledge to empower his agents. That's why his business has skyrocketed to consistently ranking as the #1 franchise for EXIT Realty International in the United States. After 15 years in the industry, the number one obstacle has always been, and still remains, staying ahead of the curve with technology. Being partnered with BoomTown means having the comfort of knowing that your technology partner will handle that for you. As a leader of nearly 500 agents, Sonny understands that the success of his business ultimately comes down to the individual success of those agents. And empowering them with the tools they need to reach their goals has been his priority from the beginning. "I'm in the system now just as much as I was back then. Any broker that doesn't have a robust CRM is just missing out, they really are. They're going to miss the boat." Aside from putting trust in a technology partner, Sonny recommends attending annual user conferences (such as BoomTown Unite) and real estate events like Inman Connect and T3 Sixty. Making Your Systems Work FOR You Sonny's company has been with BoomTown for over 10 years. And if you're wondering why he's never left, it's because he does all of the right things to be successful with the platform. He's taking every important step to get the most ROI possible and use BoomTown as a tool to move his business forward. BoomTown works for Sonny Downey, and not the other way around. Here's how. Strategic Agent Training Most successful real estate businesses have a training program baked in to cover both the tech systems as well as basic agent skills. Sonny does this particularly well, and here's why. Not only do his agents go through basic systems training, but he also educates his agents on the modern lead flow and real estate marketing funnel. Yep, you read that right! Being a successful real estate agent in 2020 means going beyond cold call scripts and LPMAMA. It means understanding the wealth and diversity of lead sources available, and how to work them successfully. "During training we really focus on lead intake. How do we want to handle these leads that are coming in? Because if you're handling them the same way you're handling an open house lead or a referral, you're going to go right into selling, when really you need to coddle that relationship and build trust during that 6-9 month period." This type of real estate lead funnel education may seem trivial, but it is a powerful difference that sets Sonny apart. We believe it plays a huge role in the wild success of his real estate business. Not having a deep understanding of this funnel of real estate leads and how to treat them is why brokers so often hear the complaint, "These online leads suck." Sonny's agents are trained to work the right leads the right way. (And it saves him a lot of pain in the long run.) Focus on Lead Flow Sonny leads nearly 500 agents. So it's critical that the right process is in place to quickly move those agents to a point of productivity. He solves for that problem by educating about lead flow early on and by structuring his business so that agents have "skin in the game" when it comes to leads. First, Sonny's agents buy-in to have their own lead pool. Once they've completed the necessary BoomTown training, they're allowed to start buying in. "You don't buy the leads, you buy the opportunity. If you're not going to take advantage of the opportunity, we'll reassign it to someone else." With skin in the game, agents are more likely to stay on top of their follow-up and really work the system properly in order to build their pipeline of opportunities. And new agents have social proof when they see the more tenured, successful agents that have moved up by following the process. "The only thing worse than a bad lead is no lead. We're a brokerage built off of the word 'no.' I think any agent success is based on their ability to get through the word 'no' at a fast rate. "That's what BoomTown allows us to do. To have the lead flow that we need to get the conversions that we want. A lot of people think they have a lead 'flow' problem, but really that have a lead conversion problem." Building a Strong Recruitment Program If you're trying to grow your business and hire a team – Sonny Downey's EXIT Realty Gallery is a fantastic model to follow. Recruitment and training is a big piece of that growth, and through the years, Sonny has relied on BoomTown as a key player in that recruitment process. The agents that his business tends to attract are younger and tech-savvy. They're comfortable with using a technology system as the "home base" of their business and they understand the value of a diverse base of lead sources. "In our market, it makes us stand out as one of the industry leaders. Our website is one-third of our recruiting presentation. The technology in our industry has changed at lightning speed. Having BoomTown was always so impressive, especially during our recruiting appointments." Why do agents join a team or a franchise rather than work alone? They see the value in what that environment can offer. Brokers who use BoomTown leverage it as a recruitment tool because it empowers agents with a consumer website, predictive CRM, and a healthy pipeline of leads. Choices, Choices, Choices… There's a wealth of technology in the real estate space and it can be overwhelming for anyone trying to choose the right system. So why did Sonny choose BoomTown? And better yet, why has he chosen to stick with BoomTown for a decade? Here are three reasons why Sonny Downey chooses BoomTown to power his business: 1. "The don't try to be the all-in-one printer" A lot of tech systems will promise you the world. But do they really do it that well? "The reality is with the other products, nine times out of 10 they're just trying to catch up with BoomTown. They're trying to be the all-in-one printer. It does everything just okay but it doesn't do anything really well. I like that BoomTown stays in their lane with what they're amazing at, and they integrate with other platforms on an API for the rest." Sonny's agents love using the Google Calendar as well as the Spacio integrations. Check out some of our other integration partners here. 2. It's a system built to scale. There are a lot of leads in Sonny's BoomTown database… a lot. His agents have about 350,000 leads in their pipelines and many of them have been marinating since 2009. "People love the system so much that we have their customers coming back and their agents aren't even here anymore." BoomTown clients tend to triple their business within four years. And the reason for that is there is a direct correlation between database growth and an increase in Annual Production Volume. 3. No matter how much they grow, you still get white-glove service Many clients have BoomTown CEO and Co-founder, Grier Allen's personal cell phone number. That's how BoomTown operates. It was established with one goal in mind: make real estate agents successful. That mission has remained the core focus of BoomTown for over a decade. "I've always liked the transparency, being able to reach out to them and find out if there are other strategies that we need to employ. Just the personal touch of working with us and helping us work our advertising budget better." For Sonny, the hands-on approach from the BoomTown Digital Advertising team exemplifies why he trusts them as his technology partner. It's why BoomTown clients dominate the REAL Trends Top 250 list. "As big as BoomTown has grown, I still have always felt like I can reach out to someone, and I don't get caught up in this hierarchy. I can talk to a real person. You've been able to maintain that personal touch." To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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5 Secrets for Futureproofing Your Brokerage in 2021
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Keeping Your Team on Track and Ready for the Next Challenge
With the anniversary of the first shelter-in-place orders in our rearview mirror, it's fair to acknowledge that motivation can be hard to come by sometimes. As a team leader in real estate, there are many things out there you can't always control. That fact can seem overwhelming at times like these, but in the last year, you've done your best to stay afloat amongst the current of constant change. The key to maintaining that success? Staying focused on what's in your zone of influence. Odds are good your team members are still navigating plenty of stress and uncertainty. It's more vital than ever to leverage relationships and understand what motivates the people around you. When you deeply understand each person's mindset, it gives your entire team a winning edge. Delving into motivations means you can: Help others reach their full potential even when you have limited resources to shape behavior Offset the effects of issues outside of your control, like the overarching trends in your market Business leaders have long known cash compensation isn't the only thing that gets people out of bed in the morning. Although real estate has its share of those who aspire to reach "top earner" status, you'll find diverse motivations within any team. And in a sense, this is no surprise. After all, real estate is one of the most popular second careers. Drives Leaders Can Use to Keep Teams Motivated Think about one of your teammates. Got someone specific in mind? Good. Imagine he or she has the chance to earn a big promotion. Just one upcoming project will determine who gets the new role, and your teammate is already being seen as a strong contender. As they think about the promotion, what pops into their mind first? The satisfaction of knowing they have done genuinely excellent work? The opportunity to enjoy a larger salary and higher commissions? The chance to lead, exercise influence, and tackle big problems? Helping more clients achieve their dreams through real estate? Gaining perspective that allows them to hone their skills more? All five of these represent different drives that mold each person's character in particular ways. Someone driven most by a desire for achievement may see real estate – and the specific skills that foster success – as a craft to be improved "for its own sake," or to continuously outdo their personal best, rather than for material rewards. On the other hand, someone who is driven by bonding and social impact may look at real estate as a way to make a positive difference in the community. Such a person might also feel strongly about contributing to the team as a mentor or even to the entire industry as a leader. This doesn't mean, however, that anyone is "ruled" solely by a single influence, as in a horoscope. Everyone is a blend of multiple influences, and the most prominent ones can change over time. Everything from a person's stage in life to the current state of their real estate market could cause someone's motivations to evolve. However, most people have particular motivations they remain centered in most of the time or come back to again and again. These reflect temperament and core values and rarely change radically. Because they are so consistent over time, a team can flourish when each drive is represented in the workplace. Here are some ways to use these core drives to keep your team's motivation high: Achievement Celebrate Individual and Team Successes Achievement is validated by social recognition. Stay aware of what team members are doing and find ways to show appreciation. This may take the form of a one-on-one congratulations, a brief shout-out in a group meeting, or a note in your team's usual email newsletter or chat channel. Establish Group-Wide Opportunities to Excel If you're tracking KPIs, you know what's critical to success. But have you designed exciting opportunities for achievement-minded people to reach for the brass ring? Think about how you can take the old-fashioned idea of "Employee of the Month" and make it truly suitable for your team! Incentive Come Up With Creative Bonuses Cash isn't always the best way to engage an incentive-minded person. It's much easier to tell a story and build excitement around something like a vacation than a one-time bonus. Creative incentives often cost less and inspire better results because they serve as something amazing to look forward to. Introduce New Office Perks Employee benefits are integral to any incentive-based worker's thought process. But perks must be helpful to your team to make a difference. Tech start-ups may love foosball in the break room, but how would your team feel? What can you offer now or acquire at a discount that would make everyone's day better? Influence Offer Team Members "Stretch" Projects People who are focused on influence – sometimes thought of as "power" – feel a deep need to produce results when they are in the spotlight. They are all about tackling big problems, so be sure they have something that's at least a little bit outside their comfort zone that they can use to stretch their leadership. Embrace Real Estate Automation On the flip side, someone who is already fully booked up can't stretch. That can lead to boredom and burnout for the influence-seeker. Now's the perfect time to look at your technology stack and see what common day-to-day processes you can automate, leaving your team more time to shoot for the stars. Social Sponsor a "Zoom Happy Hour" Zoom happy hour is a new way to bring social bonding into the videoconferencing era. While some people may dodge optional Zoom socializing, it can be a welcome lifesaver for those who miss water cooler conversations. The event also serves as valuable bonding time by incorporating music and party games, such as trivia quizzes about colleagues. Take Advantage of Virtual Convention Season Most agencies still have a limited number of people who are vaccinated. With that in mind, the 2021 convention season will stay largely virtual. Despite the distance, a virtual event is rich with networking opportunities, and your most social team members can bring back wisdom from around the country. Competence Open the Way to Mentor-Mentee Relationships Mentorship creates a powerful reciprocal relationship that keeps someone "in the loop" and connected to the group – especially crucial in isolating situations. For those who pursue achievement, it has the bonus of smoothing the path to note-worthy successes. The mentee can learn faster and avoid "reinventing the wheel." Make Sure Everyone Is Getting Useful Feedback A proactive approach to talent development keeps competence-minded people moving forward even when the long-term outlook is clouded by ambiguity. Create venues for feedback, whether regular one-on-one meetings or Zoom "office hours," and be sure each team member knows which skills he or she should work on. In any new situation, teams thrive when they adapt quickly and wholeheartedly. Use these techniques to connect with the deep wellspring of motivation inside your team members so they can continue to work together and support each other more effectively, no matter what the future may bring. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Mission, Vision and Values: More than Fancy Posters, a Business Solution
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Getting Time Back, with Tech
Caitlyn Mulligan, Team Leader of RE/MAX Revolution, values one thing above all else: time. She knows that all too often in real estate, agents get swept up into the chaos and end up spinning their wheels without making much progress. It's why there's such a high turnover rate for new agents. And after overcoming a major health event in her personal life, she gained even more clarity and determination to build a business that would allow her to live the life she wants (and deserves). But she is determined to accomplish two things: Be financially successful. Have time to enjoy her life. And she's balancing it all with BoomTown. Dollar Productivity You hear a lot about productivity, but what does it mean to be "dollar productive"? It means focusing on activities that are the best for your bottom line. By focusing on the dollar productive activities, you can avoid spending time on things that don't bring much value to you or your business and instead invest your time and effort where it is needed most. "My routine has totally changed. I actually have MORE time to myself because I'm not doing the tedious tasks." Caitlyn didn't get into real estate to send email alerts or hand-build marketing campaigns from scratch. She got into real estate because she wanted to help people find their dream home.So, she sought out the technology that would allow her to focus on just that. Operation Delegate and Automate With BoomTown, Caitlyn was able to automate: eAlerts, sending properties to leads based on their search criteria Long-term lead nurture through Smart Drip Campaigns Pipeline management Lead qualification and concierge services with Success Assurance Powerful Database of Leads + Easy-to-Use CRM In real estate, agents and brokers often plateau a few years in. At that point, what separates the average agents from the top producers is building a framework for your business that allows you to passively generate, qualify, and nurture leads. As your database grows, the pool of leads that have been nurtured over time grows as well. The consistent pipeline becomes the gift that keeps on giving. For Caitlyn, having a database of organized leads is something she can't live without. "I'm generating new business and I can easily reach everyone in my database. It's all on my phone – the instant someone registers." Predictive lead insights are what make conversions skyrocket and keep agents productive. Don't know the next step? Don't worry, BoomTown does. The system will tell you exactly where to focus, what leads are hot right now, and exactly when to reach out. Or, better yet, BoomTown's lead concierge service will reach out for you, 24/7, in as little as 90 seconds. This assures that your leads are being engaged as soon as possible while allowing you to focus on other, more pressing tasks. (Remember when we mentioned dollar productivity?) Visibility into lead activity is what really changed the game for Caitlyn. "I love how I can see where my clients are looking and where they continue to look. I can see how many times they're looking at a property, which helps me gauge their interest or home styles." Beyond the lead generation and automation tools, Caitlyn appreciates the ease-of-use with BoomTown. After trying another, she experienced first-hand the stark contrast between the 12+ years of innovation behind BoomTown and other solutions that simply don't compete. "The other system? I hated it. I won't put my clients into it. The user face isn't as easy and I can't see where my leads are looking! I love my BoomTown features." Weighing the Value At the end of the day, it's all about getting value out of your system. Caitlyn wants to accomplish two things in real estate: be financially successful and have time to enjoy her life. Looking for a new real estate technology partner? Follow Caitlyn's lead and don't settle for less than the best. Consumer-facing websites designed to attract and convert leads Full-circle pipeline management Expert lead generation Lead qualification and concierge services Predictive CRM Success management and legendary support services An ecosystem of integration partners "If you're on the fence about BoomTown… do it. Don't let the cost scare you. It will 100% pay off if you use it!" Discover what's possible with BoomTown! Request a demo. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Don't Let MLS Challenges Get You Down
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What You Should Know About Website Accessibility
When you create a website for your real estate business, it's crucial to make sure that everyone has equal access to all of the features that your website offers. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes standards for website accessibility, and following key guidelines can help ensure your website provides a reliable, equal experience for all visitors. Whether you're creating a new real estate website or updating an existing one, this guide can help you get started with website accessibility. Why Website Accessibility Matters to Your Real Estate Business Your website visitors will come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and some of them will be people with disabilities, which makes it harder to access certain website features. With the integration of accessibility standards throughout your website, visitors with disabilities will be able to consume all of your content and use all of the features that your website has to offer. In addition to simply being the right thing to do, making your website accessible can help avoid lawsuits and liability issues that can arise when a website isn't accessible. Meeting ADA standards helps ensure that your website is up to date with accessibility and provides a robust experience for all users. Key Elements of Website Accessibility The ADA provides extensive guidelines on website accessibility, and those guidelines are worth reading in full. Here, we'll provide a look at some of the key standards for website accessibility that are especially relevant for real estate websites. Adjustable Text Size The ability to adjust text size is crucial to making sure that users can easily read all of your text-based content. And it's not just the ability to adjust the size of the text that matters. It's also important to ensure that your website still offers all of the same features and functionality, even if the size of the text has been adjusted. Clear, Consistent Navigation Options A clear, logical navigation layout is important for all users, and navigation is also part of ADA standards. It's important to provide the same seamless navigation options in the same locations on each page so that users can easily find what they need on your website. It's also a good idea to provide more than one option for navigating your website. This can include a website search function and an HTML sitemap, in addition to your standard navigation menus. Captions for Video Content Captions make it easier for people with certain disabilities to enjoy all of the video content that your website has to offer, and you can use software to provide captions even for live video content. For any pre-recorded video or audio content, you should also provide an audio description for the content, along with a link that makes that audio description easy to find. Avoid Images of Text It's important to avoid using images of text because the text in images can't be resized with the same consistency as regular text. Some exceptions are made for images that are essential to the website, but few images fall within those exceptions. Rather than use images of text, you can use the same text conventionally, with attribution if necessary. Error Suggestions for Website Forms Any website forms, like those used to contact your business or sign up for your newsletter, should have error suggestions to help people fill out the form successfully. Error suggestions can be text-based and should help with basic input errors that often come with filling out things like phone numbers or addresses. Use Descriptive Headings and Labels for Content Using descriptive headings and labels for content helps all users, including those with disabilities, understand the purpose of content and navigate through that content more easily. Try to make headings as simple and descriptive as possible. Also, make sure you label all elements of your website, like contact or sign-up forms. How to Help Your Website Stay Compliant Worried about accessibility with your real estate website? Let our experienced team at Delta Media Group help you handle all of the key details. We strive to make every website we build as accessible as possible by providing adjustable fonts, detailed image descriptions for screen readers, forms that are not time-sensitive, testing every website with the WAVE suite of tools that helps evaluate website accessibility, and taking additional steps to ensure accessibility throughout your website. We stay up to date on the latest accessibility standards, and we make sure that your website does, too. Contact us today to learn more. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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5 More Problems that Form Simplicity Helps Brokers Resolve
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Real Estate SEO: How Do I Get Shown in Google's Featured Snippets?
Google is constantly changing and evolving, trying to make visitors' experience more user-friendly and allow them get the answers they need sooner. That's why Google snippets rolled out a featured snippet option. So, what does it mean exactly for real estate agents? Let's find out. What Is a Featured Snippet on Google? A featured snippet is a selected search result that appears at the top of the search results in a different format box. Featured snippets, also known as a position zero, aim to give visitors a short answer straight away. Types of featured snippets include: Tables Steps Definitions Lists Example: How Does a Featured Snippet Work? Featured snippets are automatically chosen by Google while crawling a web search listing. Different parts of the text are extracted from your article in order to be placed as a small 40-60 word text above the first position on Google, hence the name "position zero." What Are the Types of Featured Snippets? Tables – In the case of tables, Google is pulling data from the search listing and highlighting it in the form of table. If your data is too big according to the featured snippets standards, Google will hide a part of data under the "More" button. Steps – As the name suggests, this featured snippet type contains a list of steps. Usually, it answers the question "How to...?" It is presented in an ordered format. Definitions – This feature snippet contains a concise definition of the search query. The definition type of featured snipped gives a short but a straightforward answer to the searchers' question. Most commonly, this kind of featured snippet answers the question "what." Lists – List featured snippets usually contain an unordered number of suggestions and items. Usually, it is presented in a bulleted list format. OneBox Results – OneBox results are inline answers or tools in search results. For example, boxes that showcase time or weather forecasts will be considered as a OneBox result. How to Optimize Featured Snippets? Depending on the featured snippet type and the topic you're writing about, there are different ways of optimizing featured snippets. Let's say you're writing about how to buy a house as a first-time buyer. You either will need to optimize your page for the step- or list-type featured snippets, depending on the direction your article takes. As experienced SEO specialists suggest, the first thing you should do is to do your research. And by researching, we mean checking other similar content pieces with keywords you want to rank for, as well the "People also ask" section. What Is a Featured Snippet? As we already mentioned, featured snippets are somewhat of a phenomenon, a dark horse in the SEO world. Without higher rankings, featured snippets can appear above the first position and a lot of times get a big chunk of traffic for so called no-click searches. What might be a great experience for casual internet surfers in terms of instantly getting the answer for the question they're searching for, doesn't exactly translate positively for the content creators, unfortunately. As experts showcase, with Google's attempt to give an instant answer through the featured snippet, they see a drop in traffic and most probably this issue will only become bigger and bigger. And even though you can opt out of featured snippets, as some studies showcased, it leads again to the loss of organic traffic across the whole website. So opting out of the featured snippets might not be a good idea. But, in any case, you should test it on your own website and see it for yourself. To opt out of the featured snippets, you can use a nosnippet tag that looks like this: <meta name="robots" content="nosnippet"> Another way is to limit characters for the snippet. This way, if the text has a lower number of characters, featured snippets won't be shown for your page. <meta name="robots" content="max-snippet:40″> To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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6 Top Reasons Brokerages Should Stop Managing Their Own MLS Feeds
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Broker Resource Network Launches Powerfully with Attractive Opportunity for Firm Owners
The Broker Resource Network (BRN) issued their first press release today. Since January, the network has been forming through the efforts of one broker calling another, then another, and so on. In a short number of months, the group took shape, and through accounting, these firms combine to represent the fourth largest group of brokers in real estate behind KW, Realogy, and LeadingRE. Many of the firms come from those groups, and for the first time, there is one network to house them all. All brokers are welcome! Joining the Broker Resource Network costs $2250 per year. In consideration of the strategy of the BRN, I could not help but to parallel the effort with thoughts from the great success coach, Tony Robbins. The following list includes a few of his quotes: "Set Goals" – The BRN offers benchmarking to member firms. "Selfless Contribution" – BRN creates non-competitive broker groups where firms share success tactics. "Give Back" – The BRN firms can contribute a lot to our industry. "The path to success is to take massive, determined action" – Together, the BRN firms will form a voice for brokerage advocacy across the industry. "Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives" – In this regard, I believe that these firms will collaborate for positive change. And lastly, Robbins says, "In life, you need either inspiration or desperation." I do believe that brokers are in a desperate position; brokers have the lowest margins of any business in our industry today — but brokers are also full of inspiration. The leaders who have formed the BRN are among the most engaging and exciting executives that I encounter in our industry. In collaboration, their future is bright. Enjoy the press release: Real Estate Company Leaders Collaborate to Launch Broker Resource Network COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. (June 15, 2021) – Broker Resource Network ("BRN"), the broadest real estate brokerage-focused network in North America, announces its successful launch and now is welcoming new brokers to join the network. Combined, the early participants in the network already include close to 100 leading real estate firms from the United States and Canada. These firms applied in its earliest days to develop a collaborative environment to improve the performance of brokerage through learning from their peers and identifying the resources the need most, which the network will provide to them. Having completed the quiet launch phase, the BRN is now sharing the news of the opportunity of this network to all companies whose main business is representing sellers and buyers as brokers. "There are many networks, interest groups, and news sources for brokers in the industry today, whether you are a franchisee, an independent, a traditional broker, an alternative model, a single or multi-office, local, regional, or even a national firm. But there is not a single organization that encompasses all groups and is focused exclusively on brokers," said Kent Hanley, president of the Broker Resource Network. Launched last month, BRN is open to all brokers who have a desire to excel as real estate business operators. The network has enlisted the engagement and support of top brokerage leaders and industry experts across the real estate spectrum, all of whom are committed to helping connect brokers with each other and develop a wide variety of resources to support their success. "The best information I ever get is from another broker," said Craig McClelland, vice president and COO of Better Homes & Gardens Metro Brokers. "BRN is primarily about connecting brokers directly to each other. It fills a gap, because currently there is no framework for brokers to connect across all brands and networks. For me, the other resources provided in the subscription are merely a bonus." "We look forward to receiving the additional resources to come through Broker Resource Network," said Nancy Fennell, president of Dickson Realty. "We know our subscription will connect us with research, benchmarking data and timely information focused on broker needs, as well as with some of the best and brightest brokers around. We expect to be even better equipped for the opportunities and challenges ahead by adding this additional level of support." The Broker Resource Network is the broker equivalent to the Council of MLS ("CMLS") and the Association Executives Institute ("AEI") who provide value to their respective segments of the industry. Michael Scarafile, president of Carolina One Real Estate, shares, "While Carolina One has always focused on our local market presence and expertise, we have also looked to leverage multiple networks and associations to connect us and our agents to other regional, national, and international companies and experts." "We look forward to benefiting through our participation in the Broker Resource Network. Research on key issues, data on timely topics and insights from fellow brokers will be very useful to Sibcy Cline in the months ahead," said Robin Sheakley, president of Sibcy Cline Realtors. "Our members tell me they have already begun to find the resources that are produced by this broker collaborative to be of unique value, and we expect our brokerage leaders will enjoy the added benefit from connecting with leaders of firms outside of our own network," said Craig Cheatham, President and CEO of The Realty Alliance. "And we frequently receive requests from brokers who want to join The Realty Alliance, but who lack enough commonality with our current members to create mutual benefit. The Broker Resource Network instead appears to be a perfect fit for these brokers of all sizes and business models." The real estate industry has several associations and networks, but this group will focus on brokers, many of whom do not have access to an organization so focused on their specific role. Franchisors work to connect their franchisees. Realtor associations serve many in this industry but must focus primarily on agents (Realtors). The Realty Alliance supports only the very largest, traditional brokers. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® serves only independents. Ownership groups like Realogy Brokerage Group (formerly "NRT") and HomeServices of America® work with brokerages they own. The Broker Resource Network will connect brokers of all sizes, business models and affiliations, making it a great supplement to any more restrictive group to which a broker already may belong. The newest generation of brokers is more familiar with a "subscription" model than the association model their predecessors utilized, so BRN is structured in that manner, which also will help keep it market driven. About the Broker Resource Network The Broker Resource Network subscription includes exclusive access to private discussions with other brokerage leaders through "Peer Advisor Groups," which offer the broadest base of information and sharing among brokerage leaders. Participants also receive each week at least one resource focused solely on company leaders, such as articles, research, analysis, benchmarking, webinars, and newsletters. Subscriptions to the BRN are open to all brokerage owners and executives in the United States and Canada through an annual fee which includes direct access for up to six leaders from a bona fide real estate firm, including recruiting, marketing, and technology leaders. Technology partners focused on the brokerage segment to provide foundational support for the organization. Brokerage applications are submitted online through a secure and confidential application found here. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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LeadingRE Names Michael Pappas Chairman of the Board
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RPR Offers Specific Benefits to Commercial Members
Earlier this year, RPR rolled out a new and updated version of its website. Redesigned from top to bottom, the platform now boasts a more modern look, feel and functionality. Many of these upgraded workflows were made with the commercial member in mind. In fact, RPR provides data, tools and reports that help solve many commercial practitioners' pain points. REALTORS® asked—RPR listened RPR's refreshed design and functionality was directly influenced by REALTOR® feedback. Months of one-on-one testing groups and various committee sessions revealed that users wanted an easier and more streamlined way to find their items, past searches and saved properties. One meeting in particular, the Commercial Committee session during the REALTORS® Legislative meetings in May of 2020, voiced a need for a "dashboard" style type of navigation. The new RPR Homepage delivers on this "ask" in a big way. The more user-centric homepage was rebuilt for efficient productivity, with the member's regular routine in mind. It offers "Shortcuts" to tools and features, and customizable "My Market" areas with quick access to property hot sheets. Simply put, users can now get more done with less clicks! Raising the bar Another huge upgrade is commercial property searches. Now, any property is available for search from one search bar area. Simply toggle from "Residential" to "Commercial" and all the search settings change accordingly. This gives commercial professionals instant access to more than 900,000 active listings from partnered sites such as Biproxi/OfficeSpace.com, Brevitas, CREXi, Catylist, and TotalCommercial.com. Plus, the ability to search 56 million off-market properties, making RPR an indispensable asset. Use RPR to deliver data-backed advice and insight Here are some more highlights of specific improvements the new RPR offers commercial users: The new Shortcuts: take guided tours of business-building features such as prospecting, mapping insights, reporting, investor analysis, Opportunity Zones and comp lists. Smoother navigation: locate the tools you need from anywhere in the site by clicking one of the main navigation items. Need quick access to Commercial Site Selection? It's in a drop down menu on your homepage, under the Research tab. Market Activity mapping: you can now set up "My Markets" that will be displayed right when you log in to your RPR account. Monitor selected geographies and specific properties to keep an eye out daily for client opportunities. Streamlined saves: finding saved items clearly and quickly was a popular request from members. Now saved searches, properties and listings are easier to find and retrieve. Helpful details: each Property Details page features call-outs to strategic, partnered commercial real estate resources, including national listing platforms. Real world applications RPR's updated site offers quick support for commercial agents to grow their businesses, and here's an example of how to apply them in a real world setting. Gail Clements is a REALTOR® who operates in a variety of real estate categories, including residential, commercial and land. Gail took advantage of an RPR Opportunity Zones Tips and Tricks webinar, which helped her locate properties in Opportunity Zones on the RPR maps, connect with owners via the RPR Mailing Labels feature, and present the properties to investors using comprehensive RPR reports. This is a textbook example of how to utilize RPR to find, reach and impress your commercial and investor clients. From urban high rises to small town strip malls, you can apply these techniques to help build up your business, and you can do it all for no additional cost. Access to RPR is included in your National Association of REALTORS® membership. Take your commercial business to the next level by logging in today at narrpr.com. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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10 Keys to Look for in Buying Broker Products
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Harness the Lead Gen Power of Market Trends Reports
Market trends reports are the perfect way to set up touchpoints with your leads. Are they the most powerful lead-gen tool you aren't using? It's no secret that the real estate market is red hot right now. Inventory is at historic lows, bidding wars are the norm, and multiple all-cash offers are increasingly common. But no matter what the market is doing, one thing remains constant: people are obsessed with it. In November 2020, the New York Times reported that "Zillow-surfing" had become a common new hobby and that, "scrolling through real estate listings in far-flung destinations is a way to visualize an alternate life, whether you're trying to move or not." Whether it's scrolling through listings, exploring new neighborhoods, or trying to figure out the perfect time to buy or sell, potential buyers and sellers go crazy for market information. What better way to capture their attention—and their contact information—than with a beautifully designed market trends report? Read on to learn more about the ways your brokerage can harness the lead gen power of market trends reports and keep your lead funnel full in 2021. Buyers and sellers crave information. Satisfy that craving. These days, with the wealth of information available at our fingertips, we've been trained to crave, and to seek out, the information we want. Why not bring the right information right to eager homebuyers and potential sellers instead of asking them to look for it? A well-designed market trends report backed by the most up-to-date and reliable data in the industry is the perfect resource for getting real estate information into your leads' hands. Show them key statistics, active listings, and encourage them to get in touch with you when they're ready. Data-driven decision making Data is what drives every single real estate transaction. It drives agents and brokers, and it drives buyers and sellers, too. Buyers want to know if it's a good time to buy and what kind of house they can afford. Sellers want to know when to list to maximize their potential return. Recent homebuyers want to see how much their home's value has appreciated. So how can your agents share all of these data points with prospects and clients to ensure they can make data-driven decisions? A market trends report. Potential buyers can see median home prices by zip code and active listings, sellers can see how prices are fluctuating and how quickly they might expect to sell, and recent homebuyers can see how the price per square foot has changed over a given period. Important regular touchpoints When it comes to cultivating leads, consistency is key (without being spammy). By consistency, we mean regular contact, so that your brokerage remains top of mind when it's time to buy or sell a home. Being able to automatically send reports every 30, 60 or 90 days means that your agents can provide timely information at the right frequency without bombarding anyone. The right information about the right market conditions might just inspire someone to take action and get in touch, especially if your agents are also following up regularly with key information about interest rates, capital gains exemptions, and other useful tips. Email blasts are replacing direct mail Paper mailers and licking stamps are going the way of the dinosaurs. While a well-executed, targeted mailed postcard or flyer campaign can be wildly successful in certain markets, your business will get much more bang for its buck by giving your agents the tools to switch to email blasts and automated messages like a market trends report. Help your agents reach thousands of qualified leads in seconds and deliver useful information readers actually want to read! Market reports help demonstrate your expertise When your agents share market trends reports backed by Constellation1's industry-leading data, they look good, which makes your brokerage look good. Our data expertise and stunning design paired with your business's branding and customizations mean leads receive beautiful market trends reports with key, eye-catching information and a variety of ways to follow up and stay in touch. Users can easily subscribe to regular reports from your team. Reports provide helpful explanations to contextualize certain key statistics. Add market trends reports to your brokerage's lead gen toolbox today There are few lead gen tools as complementary (and carefree) as automated market trends reports. Give them a try today for your business. View a demo of the Constellation1 market trends report on our Showcase sight here. Our reports feature: The latest market data Historical market data going back 2 years Auto-emailed reports every 30, 60 or 90 days Dynamic data in a responsive design Unique URLs for easy sharing and lead tracking Current Constellation1 Websites customers can add market trends reports to their websites by contacting their account managers. If you're not a Constellation1 Websites customer yet, book your personal tour today to learn more about the real estate industry's best brokerage and agent website tool. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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Examining Mergers and Acquisitions in the Real Estate Industry
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Turning Your Brokerage Marketing Tools into a Profit Center
Brokerages are a for-profit business, but they're spending more money than ever before running their business. With thinning margins, it's becoming more challenging to be profitable as real estate agents are expecting more for their money. This leads to brokerages being squeezed, and they are the ones making less money as they have to find ways to monetize AND provide more value to their agents. Most brokerages usually have one to three revenue streams to begin with. The first stream is the income you as the broker-owner are personally responsible for and can control. The second stream comes from monthly agent dues, and the last stream comes from what your agents generate and the commissions from your agent splits. Brokerages are looking for new and additional revenue streams to implement all the time. Large brokerages need to retain their top talent while smaller brokerages are looking to attract the talent needed to be able to compete and grow. Brokerages, regardless of size, need to provide value to their agents—otherwise they will look to join a brokerage that does. So, what are brokerages doing? Marketing tools not only provide value to real estate agents, but they can also empower their agents to become more active by increasing their marketing output while keeping within the brokerages branding. A common trend in brokerages these days is to provide a suite of marketing tools to agents. By providing a marketing tool that is easy to use, agents can become more active by spending less time marketing and more time doing what they do best—getting new listings and selling more properties. Depending how the product is rolled out, brokerages have the opportunity to turn their marketing tools from a cost center to a profit center. Having the benefit of working with hundreds of brokerages every day, Amarki has learned that brokerages want to include marketing tools as either a value-add service to their agents or they want to leverage the marketing tools as a new revenue stream for the brokerage. Like all paths, there are pros and cons to each that brokerages need to consider when determining their next steps. For brokerages looking to add value to their agents, they can: Roll out the marketing tool as a completely free offering to their agents with limited functionality. If the agent(s) wants to upgrade their account at any time to a paid version, they can do so on their own accord and at their own expense Brokerages can choose to roll out a paid version giving a larger assortment of features or capabilities within the marketing tool—but this is at the cost of the brokerage For brokerages wanting to create a new revenue stream, they can: Charge their agents a nominal fee to cover the costs of administering the tool Roll out a paid version which includes a small markup, providing a new revenue stream Regardless of the path the brokerage decides, the end result should provide full control of the marketing tool, including the content, templates and branding on the materials within. In addition, the agents will have a new tool to help market themselves and their properties which will benefit both the brokerage and agent. For more information or to start a conversation about setting up a pilot program with the above benefits to your brokerage, please feel free to book a meeting using the following scheduler HERE. Learn more about Amarki and register for your account by clicking here. About Amarki: Amarki was built by real estate experts for brokerages and agents based on years of industry experience and firsthand feedback. We developed a marketing tool accessible to anyone, no matter the experience or marketing budget. By providing an intuitive tool that works "for" the agent, Amarki is able to remove the complexity of marketing tasks, making agents more active.
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Former HomeSeekers CEO John Giaimo Launches New Venture
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Top Tips for Setting SMART Real Estate Business Goals
It's never a bad time to set new, SMART business objectives to take your brokerage further. There's a widespread misconception that you can only set effective business goals in January. People often think of goal setting like new year's resolutions. As a result, you might be reading this without any 2021 objectives in mind, even though we're well into the second quarter! You may be thinking you've missed the boat to set goals for your brokerage, but this couldn't be further from the truth! It might already be June, but it's never too late to set goals for the upcoming week, month, quarter or year. Goals are a moving target: the only way to miss out is to not set them at all. So what's the secret to setting goals and sticking to them? The secret to successful goals There are a variety of ways to increase your success in reaching your objectives. For starters, behavioral scientists agree that something as simple as writing them down can have a huge impact on whether you achieve them. One psychologist found that goal setters who wrote their goals down and also gave accountability updates to a friend or colleague were 33% more successful than those who just thought about their goals. One commonly used tactic psychologists suggest for formulating goals is to make them SMART. There are five key characteristics of SMART goals. Let's discuss these characteristics and how you can use them to improve your real estate business and make your brokerage better—no matter what time of year it is. Intelligent goals? No, SMART goals! Specific SMART is an acronym, the first letter of which stands for specific. What makes a goal specific? Let's use an example. Your goal might be to grow your brokerage. This is very general and could mean a variety of different things. To make it more specific, you might focus on one thing and rephrase it to say, "I want to attract and hire new agents." The market for hiring and retaining top agents is competitive, so to reach your goal, your brokerage might invest in tools that help make their jobs easier, like sleek agent websites for displaying listings, a powerful CRM tool for tracking and following up with leads, or a fully automated social media marketing platform that allows them to focus on customer service, not writing Facebook posts. Measurable The second letter in SMART stands for measurable. When goals are measurable, they allow you to track your progress. Behavioral scientists believe if you can see how well you're doing, you'll be more motivated to reach your end goal. A measurable goal will answer the questions, "How much?" or "How many?" For example, "I want to attract and hire five new agents" is a measurable goal, because if you hire two, you know you're almost halfway to meeting your end goal of five. Achievable The A in SMART stands for achievable or attainable. Your goals shouldn't be too easy; goals that take no effort at all to reach probably won't help you. But goals shouldn't be too hard, either. If your brokerage has 10 agents, hiring 50 new ones in one quarter is unrealistic. Aggressive goals aren't bad, but remember that actually reaching a goal helps motivate you to set more ambitious ones later. Relevant R is for relevant, i.e., choosing the right goal for the right time. Is your brokerage ready for growth and therefore ready to hire more agents, or would a different goal be more appropriate right now? You must set goals that align with your current business needs and resources, otherwise you may be setting yourself up for failure. Back office software is a helpful tool for keeping track of business resources and knowing when it's time to invest in growth or set other more relevant goals. A relevant goal could be, "Because my brokerage is in a position to grow this year, I want to attract and hire five new agents." Time-bound The last letter in SMART stands for time-bound. In other words: set a deadline. Deadlines can be very motivating. To avoid waiting until the last minute, set interim deadlines or milestones to help keep you on track. For example, you might say, "I want to hire two new agents by June 30 and three more agents by December 31." Accountability: the final secret ingredient The last tip for achieving your objectives is accountability. If you write your goals down but never tell anyone about them, chances are you won't succeed. One way to maintain accountability is to share your goals with others. At your brokerage, this might mean including your team in the goal setting process. This creates a sense of ownership, pride and collaboration, all of which are important for working well as a team. Our CRM solution also features tools to help you keep your agents accountable for their own professional goals. Be SMART about it Even if you think you've waited too long, set a few SMART real estate goals today. Then, talk about them and commit to updating your team and colleagues, too. By being smart about your goals, you'll set yourself up for success! To learn how Constellation1 real estate technology can help you reach your goals, book your personal tour today. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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How Strong Leaders Can Make All the Difference
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Our Top 10 Most-Read Articles of May
Loading up on free stuff is one of the best parts of any real estate conference. But since most events are still temporarily on hold, we'll show you an easy way to get a ton of free stuff virtually. That strategy? Just scroll down. In our monthly list of the most read articles of the month, four of May's top 10 articles were "Friday Freebies." Check out #1, #7, #8 and #10 on the list below to claim everything from free real estate flyers to a free masterclass in lead conversion. As for the rest of the list, the reading's good and it's also free. Check out our full round-up of the Top 10 Articles of May below: 1. Friday Freebie: 5 Real Estate Checklists to Share with Clients and ProspectsYou're organized, strategic, and all your processes are streamlined… and then there's your clients. A disorderly client can throw a wrench into the sale of a home no matter how cool, calm and collected you are as a real estate agent. That's why we're sharing five checklists you can share with your clients to help keep them on track all the way through moving day. 2. Spring 2021 Housing Market: Will the Extremes Calm Down?The 2021 spring housing market can be summed up to two extremes better suited for a primetime TV medical drama than an economic snapshot: the sellers market is on steroids, while the buyers markets are on life support. Why so extreme? 3. How to Prep Your Listing for a Photo ShootReal estate photos are the best way to make a strong first impression on a buyer, but it's important that a listing is properly prepared before the photo shoot begins. Share this comprehensive guide to get your listing camera-ready with your clients to ensure their home is picture perfect and ready to sell! 4. 3 Steps to Create More Listing InventoryDealing with low housing inventory is an ongoing pain being felt by every real estate agent and buyer client in the current market. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to help create more inventory. 5. 11 Foolproof Seller Lead Generation Ideas for Real Estate AgentsIt's tough finding seller leads in a housing market with such low inventory. These 11 ideas will help you find more sellers—and, bonus, they're quick and easy to implement. 6. Don't Make These Listing Presentation MistakesWith the market in its current inventory-deficient state, listing presentations are an increasing rarity. So, when the opportunity to win new business does arise, you want to make the best impression possible. We've compiled the five most frequent flubs agents make when pitching to a prospect, so you can avoid these mistakes and win that seller's business. 7. Friday Freebie: 200 Real Estate Flyer TemplatesYou know how people like to say, "Less is more"? Well, throw that out the window (just for now), because in this week's Friday Freebie, more is definitely more. We're sharing with you a whopping 200 flyer templates that you can download, customize, and market with to your heart's content. 8. Friday Freebie: Lead Conversion MasterclassIn this week's Friday Freebie, we're going to point you to lead conversion instruction that's actually helpful—and not the same ol' song and dance that you've heard a million times already. Even better? It's a full-on, six-class series taught by two real estate experts. 9. A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Spot-on CMAsAs a REALTOR, your clients hire you for many reasons: your experience and expertise, educated guidance and advice, your local market knowledge, and help guiding them through the process. One other big reason is your ability to price a property. That's where knowing how to put together a solid CMA comes in. 10. Friday Freebie: Up Your Listing's Appeal with a Twilight Photo EditIn this week's Friday Freebie, we're going to highlight an offer that jazzes up the first thing buyers will likely see of your listing—the exterior listing photo. With this free photo edit, you'll draw in buyers and make them feel like they've found their dream home at last.
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