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Keller Williams Deploys AI-Powered Ad Campaign Platform
Keller Williams (KW) announced additional generative AI integrations and a host of powerful feature enhancements to Command, a smart CRM-plus platform and its associated mobile app. "Our new campaign platform paired with AI capabilities will save our agents more time and money, allowing them to focus on what matters most," said Heather Pollard, head of digital and design, KW. Launched in Q3 '23, KW's new Paid Ads experience offers agents better quality leads, more available channels, easy-to-use ad creation, and new AI-powered features for listing ad types, generating more leads at a lower cost. The new Generative AI Ad Copy feature uses AI and machine learning to generate high-performing headlines and body copy primarily for single-listing, single-image ads, single-listing multi-image ads, multi-listing carousel ads, and single-listing multi-channel ads. "We're revolutionizing the approach to ad creation with this groundbreaking feature, setting a new standard for engaging, results-driven content," said Pollard. "Welcome to the future of CRM, where automation meets personalization, and the agents' brand messaging is fully maximized." Through Labs, the innovation hub of KW, the franchise continues to partner with real estate agents and teams to release software integrations and CRM features to increase productivity and eliminate pain points with lead generation, marketing, and real estate team workflow capabilities. "We continue to roll out vast updates that give our agents an unfair competitive advantage in the market," said Chris Cox, chief technology and digital officer, KW. "In partnership with our agents, we're automating more and more functional tasks, saving them time and money." The latest updates to Command include: New Contact Advanced Filtering Capability allows agents to finely dissect their database, supercharging productivity and simplifying the discovery of precise client groupings. With Automated Market Snapshots for social media, agents gain instant access to hyper-local market metrics, eliminating the need for manual data entry or design template manipulation. Transaction Summary Sheets empower all stakeholders to seamlessly access and share comprehensive deal terms in a user-friendly PDF format. Expanded Date and Data Fields within the Opportunity App empower agents to meticulously record and track more transaction-relevant dates and data points, including the loan commitment data, home inspection date, escrow due date, and more. Vendor Tracking in the Opportunity App of Command enables agents to effortlessly monitor all real estate deal-associated vendors and seamlessly export the comprehensive list as part of the transaction summary sheet. Through the Opportunities APIs, third-party vendors on a deal gain access to real-time deal tracking spanning the entire lifecycle, facilitating optimal support for all stakeholders. The newly introduced Onboarding Portal provides new KW agents with an all-in-one, streamlined onboarding experience. It efficiently gathers essential information, introduces KW models, systems, and culture, and seamlessly transitions users into Command, ensuring a smooth and comprehensive onboarding journey. "We are the home of the tech-enabled agent," said Cox. "Our agents highly influence our roadmap through Labs. And our latest innovative and forward-leaning features and benefits of Command reflect our 'By Agents, for Agents' approach to technology R&D." Command mobile app's latest updates include: The Bulk Selection and Action for Contacts empowers agents to efficiently perform multiple actions across numerous contacts simultaneously. From seamlessly transferring contacts between personal and team accounts to adding tags, assigning SmartPlans, and documenting notes and next-step activities—streamlining contact management has never been easier. The new Swipe gestures enable agents to take actions more efficiently and faster than before, such as notification reading and deletion, task editing and archiving, contacts editing, and Opportunities CGI numbers display. With the introduction of Real Estate Team Lead Features, team leaders, or rainmakers, can effortlessly manage lead routing on their teams, whether individual assignments or bulk distribution to a designated agent or the lead pool. "We remain laser-focused on building safe, reliable, and scalable solutions enabling our agents to serve their clients better," said Cox. In February 2019, KW originally released Command, hosted on the Keller Cloud platform, for general agent availability. In December 2021, KW released the first version of the Command app. Command has more than 170,000 quarterly active users as of September 30.
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Recruitment Success: Annual Business Planning with Your Agents
"If you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail." – Benjamin Franklin As we stand on the cusp of a new year, real estate agents across the United States are gearing up for the challenges and opportunities that the new year presents. This offers brokers a key opportunity for connection, mentorship and guidance in annual business planning exercises. Whether this is accomplished through group sessions, one-on-one mentorship, or virtual training and resources, assisting your agents with establishing obtainable goals and developing a measurable path for success plays a big part in your annual recruitment and retention efforts. I work with many brokerages each year in the development of strategic annual planning programs. Below are my tips, tricks and strategies for brokers looking to stand out from their peers and serve as true servant leaders. Setting the Course Though S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting Business planning is akin to charting a course for a ship in uncharted waters. It involves a meticulous analysis of past performance, a realistic assessment of the current situation, and a forward-looking vision for the future. The key is to assist your agents with setting clear objectives, identifying potential roadblocks, and devising strategies to navigate the challenges that may arise. Brokers should focus on helping agents with S.M.A.R.T. goal setting to ensure realistic, obtainable growth. S = Specific (Clearly Identity Each Goal)M = Measurable (Ensure You Can Measure Progress and Success)A = Achievable (Sent Goals That Are Realistically Achievable)R = Relevant (Set Goals That Are Relevant to Your Values and Long-Term Objectives)T = Time-based (Establish Incremental Deadlines via Task Prioritization) Financial Forecasting One of the key components of effective business planning is financial forecasting. By evaluating past years income and expenses, agents can make informed predictions about future revenue, expenses, and profitability. This not only aids in budgeting and resource allocation but also provides a solid basis for making strategic financial decisions. Whether it's allocating funds for lead generation, investing in new technologies, or managing cash flow, a well-thought-out financial plan is indispensable — especially in a business that is many times "feast or famine." Risk Mitigation In today's volatile and competitive real estate environment, risk is an inherent factor that cannot be ignored. Business planning exercises allow agents to conduct a thorough risk analysis, identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities. Armed with this knowledge, agents can proactively implement risk mitigation strategies, ensuring they are well-prepared to weather unforeseen challenges in the market. Having a "Plan B" acts as a shield against the uncertainties that may arise. Alignment of Resources Strategic planning facilitates the alignment of organizational resources with overarching goals and objectives. This not only maximizes agent productivity but also fosters a sense of purpose and direction throughout the year. When everyone within the organization understands the broader strategy and their personal contribution, it creates a cohesive and focused environment, driving the entire organization towards success. Adaptability and Innovation A well-crafted business plan is not a static document; rather, it is a dynamic roadmap that allows for adaptation to changing circumstances. By regularly revisiting and updating the plan, agents can stay agile and responsive to emerging trends. It prompts agents to explore new opportunities, embrace emerging technologies, and continuously seek ways to improve the end-to-end real estate experience. Download Our Annual Business Planning Workbook for Busy Agents Empower Your Agents Following is a list of resources that I suggest brokers present to their agents for annual business planning. Once again, you can offer these resources via group planning sessions (I'm a big fan of these!), one-on-one meetings, or via your online training / resource center (if applicable). Regardless of your approach, I recommend some sort of personal outreach and/or follow-up during the annual planning process, as well as a mid-year check-in to see how things are going. S.M.A.R.T. Planning Worksheet Encourage agents to self-explore questions such as: What do I want my real estate career to do for my overall life? Why is this important to me? Who else will benefit? How? What will drive me every day to accomplish my goals? What will my life look like in 1, 3, 5 years if I don't grow my business? These open-ended questions are a great way to understand the motivation around each agent's business and what is most important to them. S.W.O.T. Analysis Having agents take a look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats helps in setting realistic goals. Have your agents outline their top 3 business goals along with daily, weekly and monthly actions that will help them hit those goals over the course of the coming year. Financial Analysis via Income and Expense Tracking Provide agents with an interactive spreadsheet that will serve as a guideline for tracking month-by-month personal and business expenses in comparison with their income. Is your agent upside down? Help them seek opportunities to eliminate or offset expenses to mitigate risk, and evaluate the past year's production numbers to see where income came from, exploring how to redirect or "double down" on growth opportunities. By committing time each year to help agents be successful, brokers foster an environment of collaboration. These types of exercises also help brokers evaluate the tools and resources they provide their agents annual. For example, if your agents are struggling with lead generation, what types of products and / or training can you provide to drive greater success? Do you see specific trends across your agents' productivity throughout the year that you can help compensate for through ancillary revenue streams? Successful business growth is a team effort, and taking the time to support your agent's businesses is the sign of true servant leadership. Your time and effort will be repaid with not only good karma, but also with happy, productive agents that will stay with your organization and stand beside you through the ups and downs of the real estate market. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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How Market Trends Impact Brokerage Valuation
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Acquiring More Profit: Maximizing Success in Real Estate Brokerage Mergers and Acquisitions
Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 11:00 AM PST Don't miss this comprehensive look at successful real estate brokerage M&A. WAV Group colleagues George Slusser and Victor Lund will be covering each chapter of their new book, Acquiring More Profit: The Definitive Guide to Successful Real Estate Brokerage Mergers & Acquisitions, in this 9-part webinar series. In the fourth session of this series, we will explore the critical aspect of building strong relationships with sellers as you navigate the process of acquiring their brokerage, ensuring a smooth transition and successful transaction. Transitioning from a potential acquisition candidate to making an offer requires careful relationship management. We will guide you through the five phases of a seller's decision process, helping you understand and navigate their journey. Often the most important step in that process is figuring out what’s next after they sell. We will explore ten key considerations that should never be overlooked, including the seller's spouse or significant other, silent partners or investors, and employees. Learn how to effectively address their interests and concerns to ensure a successful offer. Register now!
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Coldwell Banker Debuts 'Best of the Best' Guide of Must-Have Luxury Home Essentials
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Innovation Meets Regulation: AI, Real Estate, and Fair Housing Laws
Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM PST In this masterclass moderated by Audrey Whittington (Local Logic), our panelists Kathleen Lappe (DirectOffer), Liz Sturrock (Miami MLS), and Nathan Brannen (Restb.ai) will discuss the rise of generative AI and their impact on real estate, President Biden's executive order on AI and how to navigate those new frontiers to ensure they align with Fair Housing rules. What you'll gain: Understanding Generative AI: Explore the latest advancements in AI technologies and their transformative role in real estate. Federal AI Compliance: Learn about the executive order's implications for AI applications in real estate. AI's Impact on Fair Housing: Analyze how generative AI aligns with the Fair Housing Act under the new federal guidelines. Register now!
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[Podcast] The Fundamentals of a Lasting Brokerage with Christan Bosley
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What Is an SEO Site Audit Report?
An SEO website audit report provides a comprehensive analysis of the website's performance, identifying areas for improvement and optimization. It examines various aspects such as site structure, content quality, user experience, SEO, and technical issues. No matter which types of real estate website you currently have, this report helps you identify and address any issues that may be hindering the sites' online visibility and user engagement, ultimately improving overall performance and success in the competitive real estate market. Importance of Site Audit Reports for Real Estate Websites Real estate websites are often complex, with a vast amount of content, property listings, and interactive features. A site audit report is crucial for real estate SEO, and these reports offer a holistic evaluation of the website's performance, identifying areas that require attention. It serves as a roadmap for real estate businesses to enhance their website's functionality, user experience, and search engine optimization. By addressing the issues highlighted in the report, real estate websites can attract more qualified leads, improve conversion rates, and ultimately gain a competitive edge in the market. Site audit reports also play a pivotal role in ensuring compliance with industry standards and best practices. With the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing and web development, staying updated with the latest trends and algorithms is essential for real estate websites to maintain their relevance and authority in the online sphere. A thorough site audit report provides actionable recommendations to align the website with current best practices, ensuring that it remains competitive and effective in capturing the attention of potential homebuyers and sellers. In addition, site audit reports can uncover technical issues that may be hindering the website's performance. From page load times and mobile responsiveness to broken links and metadata errors, identifying and rectifying these technical glitches can significantly enhance the overall user experience and search engine visibility of real estate websites. Ultimately, a well-executed site audit report empowers real estate businesses to optimize their online presence, drive organic traffic, and establish themselves as trustworthy and reliable sources in the competitive real estate market. Key Components of a Site Audit Report A comprehensive site audit report encompasses various key components, each playing a crucial role in evaluating the website's performance and identifying areas for improvement. These components include: Site Structure: This component evaluates the organization and navigation of the website, ensuring that it is intuitive and user-friendly. It assesses the hierarchical structure of the website, the accessibility of important pages, and the overall user journey through the site. Content Quality: The quality and relevance of content are pivotal for real estate websites. A site audit report analyzes the uniqueness, depth, and optimization of the content, including property descriptions, SEO titles and meta descriptions, blog posts, and informational pages, to ensure that it resonates with the target audience and aligns with SEO best practices. User Experience (UX): Evaluating the website's UX involves assessing factors such as page load times, mobile responsiveness, interactive elements, and overall design aesthetics. A seamless and engaging user experience is essential for keeping visitors engaged and encouraging them to explore property listings and relevant information. SEO Analysis: This component delves into the website's search engine optimization strategies, including keyword usage, meta tags, backlink profiles, and overall on-page and off-page optimization. It aims to identify opportunities for improving the website's visibility and ranking on search engine results pages Technical Issues: Technical aspects such as website speed, security, mobile-friendliness, and crawlability by search engines are critical for the website's overall performance. A site audit report identifies and prioritizes technical issues that may be affecting the website's functionality and visibility. Each of these components contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the website's current state and provides actionable insights for enhancing its performance and relevance in the highly competitive digital landscape. Common Issues Found in Site Audit Reports Site audit reports often reveal common issues that can impact the performance and effectiveness of real estate websites. These issues may include: Duplicate Content: Real estate websites frequently encounter duplicate content issues, especially when property listings are syndicated across multiple platforms. Addressing duplicate content through canonical tags and unique, descriptive content is essential for avoiding penalties from search engines and improving organic visibility. Page Load Times: Slow-loading pages can significantly impact the user experience and lead to higher bounce rates. Site audit reports highlight pages with extended load times and provide recommendations for optimizing images, scripts, and server response times to enhance overall page speed. Broken Links: Broken links within a website can frustrate visitors and harm the site's credibility. Site audit reports identify broken links and guide on updating or removing them to maintain a seamless user experience. Mobile Responsiveness: With a growing number of users accessing real estate websites via mobile devices, ensuring mobile responsiveness is crucial. Site audit reports evaluate the website's performance on various devices and provide suggestions for improving responsiveness and usability across different screen sizes. Metadata and Structured Data Issues: Optimizing metadata and structured data is essential for improving the website's visibility in search results. Site audit reports identify missing or poorly optimized metadata and structured data, offering recommendations to enhance the website's search engine presence. Site audit reports might not cover all the important issues your website might have. Issues related to Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml should be reviewed manually. Don't know how? Follow the links we mentioned. Tools for Generating Site Audit Reports In the digital marketing landscape, numerous tools are available to streamline the process of generating comprehensive website audit reports. These tools offer robust features for analyzing various aspects of website performance and delivering actionable insights for optimization. Some notable tools for generating site audit reports include: Moz Pro: Moz Pro provides a suite of SEO tools, including site audit capabilities that assess technical, content, and link issues affecting real estate websites. It offers actionable recommendations and prioritizes issues to enhance website performance. Semrush: Semrush offers comprehensive site audit features that analyze on-page SEO, technical SEO, and content issues. Real estate professionals can leverage Semrush to identify and address critical areas for improvement. Ahrefs: Ahrefs' site audit tool provides in-depth insights into a real estate website's technical health and SEO performance. It offers detailed reports on issues such as broken links, crawlability, and mobile-friendliness. Screaming Frog: The Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool enables real estate professionals to conduct thorough site audits by analyzing URLs, metadata, page titles, and other critical SEO elements. It provides detailed reports for technical and on-page optimizations. As a real estate SEO expert and also the writer of this content, I recommend Ahrefs, Learn more about this amazing tools at this link: ahrefs.com/site-audit. Case studies of successful site audit implementations in real estate Several real estate businesses have successfully leveraged site audit reports to enhance their website's performance and achieve tangible results in the competitive online landscape. These sample case studies demonstrate the impact of site audits on real estate websites and highlight the outcomes of strategic optimization efforts: Case Study 1: Real Estate Agency XYZ Real Estate Agency XYZ, a leading player in the local property market, commissioned a comprehensive site audit to identify opportunities for improving their website's performance. The audit revealed several key areas for enhancement, including slow page load times, inconsistent metadata, and content duplication across property listings. Armed with the insights from the site audit report, Real Estate Agency XYZ implemented targeted improvements, including optimizing images to improve page speed, standardizing metadata across listings, and implementing canonical tags to address duplicate content issues. As a result, the website experienced a notable increase in organic traffic, higher search engine rankings for key property keywords, and improved user engagement metrics. Case Study 2: Property Management Company ABC Property Management Company ABC sought to strengthen its online presence and generate more qualified leads through strategic website optimization. A site audit report uncovered significant mobile responsiveness issues, outdated content, and suboptimal internal linking structures within the website. Using the recommendations from the site audit report, Property Management Company ABC revamped its website to prioritize mobile responsiveness, refreshed outdated content with valuable insights and market trends, and restructured internal linking to improve user navigation. These efforts led to a substantial increase in website conversions, improved search engine visibility, and enhanced user satisfaction with the website's mobile experience. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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Unlocking Inventory: Why Retirees Could Be a Good Resource for Listing Leads
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Inside the Tech Stack of a $500 Million Dollar Company
Tech enthusiasts, this one's for you. Whissel Realty, a $500 million company with over 100 agents, shares the technology stack that has allowed their business to scale, all while keeping costs and administrative needs low. How? They use systems and tools that let them achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness. In the video below, Kyle Whissel and Bryan Koci break down their company's top 10 most used systems, including: Their CRM IDX website Sales management system Transaction management system Team communication app Presentation app And more! Kyle and Bryan also dive into which processes they automate and how they integrate their systems using tools like Zapier to streamline operations. Watch to learn how a top real estate team uses technology to achieve real estate success: Related Reading 3 Unconventional Ways to Measure Tech Stack ROI Demystifying the Real Estate Tech Stack
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Adding Value: How Resale Will Survive a Changing Market
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Brokers: Make Social Selling Part of a Successful Growth Strategy
Where do you think brokers and agents said they found the most high-quality leads over the past 12 months, according to a recent survey? It was social media, which beat out their local MLS, brokerage CRM, and agent websites. The broker/owners I talk to say the same: they're finding their best leads using a tool that—in terms of dollars and cents—is completely free. Not sure about what to post? See "10 Ways to Post About Your Brokerage Without Posting About Your Brokerage." That's the beauty of social media: your entire team can use social selling, the art of connecting and building relationships with prospects through social networks, to create an online lead machine without spending a dime—just a little time and energy. That said, spending a little can potentially go a long way. In my colleague Tom Demos' last post, he talked about investing in more (and better) top-of-funnel solutions, including social media. One industry statistic shows that brokers spend most of their tech budgets (65%) on middle-of-funnel solutions that only account for 12% of revenue. Agents' spheres of influence can account for 65% or more of brokerage revenue and are still seriously undertapped. This data shows that investing in social selling can power a successful growth strategy. Here are four advantages of making that investment. 1. Leverage automation Automation ensures a consistent, baseline presence on all your preferred platforms where consistency is key. Your team's feeds can feature your active listings and relevant real estate content, and each agent can add as much or as little of their own touch and flair as they want. 2. Broadcast your brand Social media is an ideal place to amplify your brand for a fraction of what you might spend elsewhere. The right digital marketing tools let you share your brand consistently from the brokerage level down to offices and agents. They also help you leverage underutilized platforms like YouTube, which only a quarter of agents say they use but which is also often billed as "the internet's second-largest search engine." Talk about untapped potential! With every like, your brand gets more exposure (and your team gets more leads). Learn why YouTube is such a powerful selling tool in this post: "The Best Listing Photo is Actually a Video. Here's Why." 3. Keep your contacts warm Another shocking statistic I saw recently: broker/owners are leaving up to 80% of their repeat business on the table (90% of past clients are willing to work with the same broker/agent, but only 12% do). Social media is a great way to stay in touch with previous clients and gently keep your team top of mind, for both repeat and referral business. 4. Help your agents succeed Technology is an essential recruitment and retention tool. Given how valuable social media can be, brokers that help agents build an online presence are likelier to attract and retain better talent. A consistent and quality presence is crucial for agents to grow their spheres, which automation helps with. Agents who don't have their own listings can use tools to post those of their peers, giving them greater credibility and increasing the likelihood of double-sided deals. When agents do well, so do their brokers. Expand your business by being socially smart Social media is one place where you can get a lot of bang for your buck. In my experience, brokers that harness social media marketing tools effectively sell much more than those who don't. As we wrap up 2023 and set our sights on a successful 2024, making social selling a more significant part of your growth strategy could pay extra dividends, especially with the right tools on your belt. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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Coldwell Banker Publishes 'The International Buyer's Guide to Purchasing U.S. Property' for 2023
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Compass Markets to Experience Year-End Lift
There are 2,400 Compass culture carriers returning to work in markets all over the United States today. Coming off an exceptional Compass RETREAT in San Diego, Compass real estate advisors' spirits are high, confidence is contagious, and skills are sharpened to meet market opportunities. For a business that grew from start-up to the top brokerage company in the United States by sales volume, Compass prides itself a technology business empowering real estate advisors. The verdict is in that the technology stack is second to none in the industry and now Compass is pivoting to the second rail of its agenda – to the human connection side of real estate. Since entering the residential real estate business in 2006, I have always said I was in the people business and our people, our real estate advisors, are in the real estate business. "Connectivity" is now clear as the second rail to the core of Compass. In 2023, a full 16% of Compass trades, 28,000 trades, are Compass to Compass referrals – this is a human connection machine! People, E2E and F2F, leveraging relationships to make the American dream of homeownership come alive. I led two sessions at Compass RETreat, each ~500 real estate advisors, on the future of our industry and client relationships. At the core of our industry and the client relationship is trust. We covered every topic in this word collage. Preparing the audience on the practical issues surrounding our industry's hot topics and its "noise." It's vital to remember our industry noise is not our clients' noise. We get the pleasure of managing our industry noise and then transitioning to our clients' priorities. Our experience, knowledge, advice, and recommendations are the attributes that earn our clients' trust. If you think you are close to your clients, get closer! This is Where We Are Now! Mark McLaughlin serves as CEO of McLaughlin Ventures and M&A Advisory at WAV Group. To view the original article, visit the McLaughlin Ventures blog.
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DocuSign Launches WhatsApp Delivery for eSignature
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The Biggest Mistake Brokers Are Making on Social Media and How to Fix It
According to NAR's 2022 Technology Survey, nearly half of agents and brokers surveyed said that social media was their best source of high-quality leads. Brokers and agents who don't use social media effectively are essentially giving up leads to those who do, leaving money on the table. Still, many real estate professionals are frustrated when they don't get the results they expect from social media or hope that their social networks will be a source of quick and easy leads. In many cases, these brokers are all making the same big mistake. Can you guess what it is? The biggest mistake real estate brokers are making in their social media marketing is consistency. Why consistency is key in social media marketing For social media marketing to be successful, it needs to be a habit, not a sporadic undertaking. This means posting consistent content according to a consistent schedule. Why is overall consistency so important? Consistency leads to better brand recognition By posting consistent kinds of content in a consistent way, you give your audience an opportunity to recognize your content and develop positive associations with it. The content you post is how you share your expertise, values, identity, and voice on social media, as is the way you respond to your sphere's comments and posts. Consistency helps build a stronger audience Most social media algorithms favor regular posting, meaning that if you post according to a particular schedule, you will be rewarded with more views and hopefully more engagement (and leads!). If your goal is to get your content in front of your sphere, the rule of thumb is generally the more you do it (without spamming, of course), the more your sphere will see. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon weren't built in a day, and neither will your social media marketing machine. Like creating a beautiful garden, it takes time to build the community you need to generate a consistent stream of leads. How long is hard to say, but a consistent presence will help you attract more leads over time. Consistency builds loyalty, credibility, and trust Consistency is also important because people are not generally on social media to be marketed to, at least not consciously. Social media is where family and friends connect, and so real estate brokerages trying to promote listings are "invading" a social space. Your advantage as a broker is that houses, homes, and homebuying occupy an important part of many people's lives, and so sharing genuine, authentic content about the value you add and the benefits of working with a real estate agent can help your sphere start to trust your expertise and promote and amplify your brand even more than you already are. How brokers can help their teams post to social media consistently The challenge is that consistency can be hard. Agents are usually busy out selling houses, not generating content for their social media profiles. But a little effort can go a long way to help ensure a consistent brokerage presence on social media. Develop a social media calendar and stick to it Like any habit, you need to pick a frequency that works for you. Some people manage to go to the gym six days a week. Others manage to go once. Both are fine, as long as you're consistent. Pick a schedule for posting content and adhere to it as much as possible. If you find it hard to post content according to a set schedule, you can use a social media tool like Reach Social to automatically post content on all your preferred platforms. Create social media guidelines and share them widely You can encourage consistency by defining the kinds of content you want to share, the color scheme of your posts, the size and shape of any logos you decide to use, your online tone of voice, and by ensuring your team follows these guidelines. Share your own content regularly You can give your agents content inspiration by creating your own posts for them to share. This gives them the opportunity to share more information about the brokerage and encourage stronger brand recognition and loyalty. 3 other ways brokers can win at social media marketing To reap the benefits of social media marketing, a little bit can go a long way. In addition to consistency, learn more about three other Cs for social media success: Scroll-stopping social media content Content is king on social media, and different kinds of content are better suited for different platforms. Listing images and videos do really well on Instagram, videos are obviously well suited for YouTube, and Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to post links to listings and interesting real estate articles. Controlling the branding and messaging As a broker, being able to exercise a degree of control over how your business is presented online is both empowering and a business imperative. It's also key to creating a consistent presence, and there are tools at your disposal that give you the control you need without restricting your team. Cost-effective tools and strategies Getting the most out of social media doesn't have to cost a fortune. Social media is one of the most effective places to market your brokerage, and it's essentially free. For a relatively low investment and cost per lead, you could be amplifying your reach significantly. To view the original article, view the Constellation1 blog.
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Keller Williams Names Mark Willis as CEO
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eXp Realty Partners with HomeHunter to Streamline International Property Search
eXp Realty announced a new partnership with HomeHunter, a web application designed to improve the home search process for consumers across Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. HomeHunter is powered by WikiRealty and goes beyond a traditional search tool, providing a personalized, comprehensive and centralized platform for an easy global home search. It goes beyond the limits of individual searches to streamline the hunt for a home, bringing together data from numerous international platforms. It also features an intuitive bookmarking function that allows users to save their favorite properties from different regions and platforms with just a single click, and provides a curated list of property suggestions based on user search history. "HomeHunter is poised to become a core source for listing data all over the world with unprecedented opportunities," said Glenn Sanford, founder and CEO of eXp Realty. "We are immensely proud to be the pioneering brokerage to offer our agents access to this tool to improve the home search experience for their clients. It exemplifies our commitment to enhancing our agents' value proposition on an international scale. By streamlining the home-buying process for consumers, this tool empowers eXp Realty agents to allocate more of their time to revenue-generating opportunities."
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[Podcast] Thriving Empire: Why the Keyes Company Thrives Through Change with Mike and Christina Pappas
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Interest Rates and the Verdict
What an exhilarating start to November 2023. Just as I started feeling comfortable planning for the holidays, the intensity and excitement in our industry has ratcheted up – in a big way! Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in the John Burns Research and Consulting Housing Market Outlook 2024. The speakers and content surrounding mortgage interest rates and the impact on the U.S. housing market had my attention from the outset. The debate of "higher for longer" and "slightly softer" was influenced by so many nuances. One expert said, "no one knows what they are talking about" when referring to what's next. So, comforting. The fact that 80% of U.S. homeowners have mortgages at 5% or below is fundamentally constraining supply more than mortgage rates of 7% or above seem to be constraining demand. These sub-5% mortgages are viewed as a financial asset of homeowners versus the more traditional liability. Very few homeowners are motivated to trade a sub-5% mortgage for a 7%+ mortgage. Cash buyers are now approaching 30% of the U.S. luxury home marketplace. The new home segment of the industry is approaching 30% market share in the United States. This unprecedented inertia is driven by available inventory and homebuilders' commitment to buying down mortgage rates for new home buyers. One influential CEO referenced buy-down programs, sometimes paying 600 to 800 bps to buy down rates in certain communities, that ultimately deliver a 5.75% 30-year fixed rate mortgage to a buyer. As I observed in April 2023, homebuilders are way out in front of the resale markets with these enticing structures. We entered November 2023 with a significant jury decision in one of our industry's class action lawsuits. I leave legal opinions and speculation to far more qualified minds. My focus shifted months ago to the practical implications to the practices in our industry. I'm confident in these statements: Our clients will be more aware, through our engagement, that commissions are, as they have always been, negotiable. Sellers will continue to have the choice to offer buy side compensation, as they always have. We will have far more transparency with our clients on who gets paid in a transaction, including referral sources, lead generation sources, and portals. We will formalize our relationships with clients on the buy side of a trade in a similar manner as on the listing side of a trade. At Compass, we hosted two webinars on the above, on November 2 and November 7. Between the two sessions, we had more than 9,000 unique URLs signed in. Many unique users were "watch parties" from Compass conference rooms and offices. Best estimate is we reached 12,000 Compass professionals in our first week delivering messages of calm and confidence for our future. We further have a comprehensive, internally generated coaching program that launched today and flows deep into Q1 2024. This is when the good become great. We are making every effort to get closer to our clients. Intellect and execution at its finest. This Is Where We Are Now. Mark McLaughlin serves as CEO of McLaughlin Ventures and M&A Advisory at WAV Group. To view the original article, visit the McLaughlin Ventures blog.
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Recruitment Success: Tips for Overcoming Objections with Top Recruiter Pat McFarland
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21 Holiday Marketing Ideas for Brokerages
Do you have a signature holiday marketing campaign or event that you put together for your brokerage every year? If not, what are you waiting for? While this is not a time of year where most markets are experiencing robust real estate sales, it's the perfect time of year to get more involved with your community, remind prior clients that you exist, and get into the holiday spirit. With that in mind, here are some tried-and-true holiday marketing ideas for brokerages, from direct mail to email to online to in-person. Pick one or two (or more) and see how they can help lift everyone's spirits, throughout your brokerage and your entire community. Direct Mail Holiday Marketing Ideas for Brokers 1. Holiday Cards They're basic and classic because they work. And people expect them! Plus, you can get really festive and creative with the designs and information you put on them. Have everyone in your brokerage sit down for a signing party, or take a group photo and send it out postcard-style. 2. Holiday Swag From ornaments to wreaths to warm hats, there are all kinds of branded gifts you can put together for clients, fans, and more. Tote bags are perennially popular, and crafting a different ornament every year to mail out to your network can create a new family tradition. 3. Mistletoe If you're already sending out a card, why not add a sprig of mistletoe to your mailing or drop-off routine? It's one of those things people love to display on a holiday, yet don't know where to find on their own initiative. (If you mail mistletoe, make sure to follow USPS guidelines around mailing plants). Email Holiday Marketing Ideas for Brokers Most of these ideas will work in tandem with your website. In other words, you can post a blog or create a landing page on your website (this is very easy to do if you use a platform like Real Estate Webmasters), and then send an email blast that links back to the web page. 4. Neighborhood Light Tours Ask your agents which homes typically go all-out for holiday light displays, then use Google Maps to put together a map of a tour that people can follow either on foot or in their cars. If you have lots of listings, this can be a great way to get people to drive by them; hire some light-hanging professionals and put those homes on the light tour. 5. Favorite Holiday Recipes Cookie exchanges are standard, but you don't have to stick to the standards if you want to branch out! Ask your network for the best family holiday recipes they make year after year, from latkes to roast goose, and put together a locally inspired meal plan if you're feeling really aspirational. 6. Decorating Guides First-time buyers living in a new home might not have much by way of decorations, and even longtime homeowners love a good before-and-after photo. Put together some decorating guides for curb appeal and interior homes of different sizes, and provide step-by-step instructions for recreating the look. 7. Charity Highlights It's the time of the year for giving, and your sphere of influence is going to want to know about local charities that could be in need of donations. From domestic violence shelters to animal advocacy groups to food banks, there are all sorts of ways for a real estate brokerage to get involved in their community. Providing a roundup of local charities (with information about how to donate or volunteer) can be a popular way to share your involvement. 8. Home Winterization Tips Like holiday cards, this is a classic for a reason! Depending on where you are working, the climate might require different levels of winterization, and providing information to first-time buyers and long-term homeowners about how to winterize their homes (including vacation rentals or homes that are not occupied year-round) can be welcome reminders. Website and Social Media Holiday Marketing Ideas for Brokers 9. Home Decorating Contests Some people already love the idea of decking the halls for the holidays, and if you can drive engagement on your website, why not take advantage of their enthusiasm? Host a home decorating contest through your most active social media accounts (perhaps centered on a landing page on your website) where visitors can submit a home or room into a contest; you can make the prize a gift card to a home improvement store or something similar. 10. Donation Drives Already involved with a charity such as a domestic violence shelter or a food bank? Hosting a donation drive, either online or in person (or a mix), can be a great way to share your passion without alienating anybody. Online donation drives might involve ordering items from Amazon or another etailer to be sent to the charity, or links to donate directly. 11. '12 Days of (Neighborhood)' Social Media Posts If you have an active social media presence, why not plan the 12 days before December 25 to share things you and your agents love about the area where you work? This can be a wonderful way to celebrate your market as well as showcase your expertise by uncovering hidden gems for your audience. 12. Gift Guides for New Homeowners Figuring out what to buy loved ones for the holidays can be stressful. If those loved ones recently bought a house, then your brokerage could do an act of service by providing a list of gift ideas that new homeowners will love, especially if you source those gifts from local shops or artisans. 13. Holiday Giveaways Hosting some kind of giveaway on social media, for followers old and new, can be a great way to increase your audience and grow your footprint during the holidays. Consider providing a gift certificate that covers a fancy dinner for two, an evening away at a local vacation rental, a whole-house cleaning service, or something else that will generate a lot of excitement and interest. In-Person Holiday Marketing Ideas for Brokers 14. Baked Goods Drop-Off If you or someone at your brokerage already likes to bake, or you have a good relationship with a local bakery, then dropping off pies or cookies or other goodies door-to-door can be a wonderful way to remind your clients that you're always around for their real estate needs. (If you're going to bake yourself, go with something simple – nobody wants to bake 50 pumpkin pies in a residential kitchen.) 15. Give Flowers or Wreaths New homeowners might not have a holiday wreath for their door, and poinsettias are an ever-popular gift for a reason. If baking isn't your thing, consider sourcing such items from a local nursery or farm, and give something green instead. 16. Cheer Up Your Open Houses Selling a house during the holidays isn't always easy, but if the sellers are amenable, maybe you can offer some extra cheer at your holiday open houses. Photos with Santa are relatively easy to set up if you can find a Santa and a photographer, for example, and it might generate more foot traffic than the local mall if you can market it right! 17. Host a Holiday Party Many brokerages decide to host a client appreciation event during the holidays, and there are all kinds of options you can explore to help you stand out from whatever competition exists in your area. From cookie swaps to gift-wrapping to tree-lighting to hosting a buffet spread of lunch or dinner on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, consider what your community would most appreciate, and then ask yourself if you can help create it for them. 18. Put Together a Crafting Event Making wreaths or decorating gingerbread can be two kid-friendly examples of holiday crafting options that are easy enough for many brokerages to host. Crafting ornaments or gifts like picture frames can also be good options. Ask your agents and staff (especially those with kids) for ideas and run with it! 19. Screen a Holiday Movie Brokers operating in climates where outdoor movies might still be an option could consider hosting a movie night with the film projected on the side of a building; otherwise, you could ask your local movie theater what the cost is of renting out a room, or talk to a rec center or gym about indoor movie seating opportunities. 20. Go Caroling Are you and your agents notorious for your karaoke skills? If so, why not organize a caroling event where you walk door-to-door and serenade the neighborhood with holiday tunes? It's quirky and fun enough that you might find some joiners; if you're going to bring branded swag, like hats and scarves (we recommend you do!), make sure to bring extras for new friends. 21. Shovel Snow (Or Hire It Out) When there's a big storm brewing in the area, whether it's the holidays or not, a lot of people don't have the ability or the energy to clear the snow out of their driveways. If you're the lucky possessor of a snowblower or you have the ability to do this yourself, clearing out driveways and walkways can be a wonderful way to endear yourself to the community. Or you can always hire out the services of a professional for a morning or afternoon and ask them to mention you sent them! The holidays can be the best time of year to remind your clients that you're in their corner and ready to help them with all their real estate needs. Hopefully one or more of these holiday marketing ideas for brokers will resonate with you and your clients!
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The Power of Data Integration in Real Estate Listings: A Path to Success
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6 Business Lessons Every Real Estate Broker Can Learn from 'Selling Sunset'
Does art imitate life? Any broker who watches Netflix's hit reality series Selling Sunset knows that, in most cases, it does not. You are not Jason Oppenheim, and the drama portrayed on screen is just that — drama. But wow, does it make for binge-worthy TV! Netflix is serving up a seventh season of Selling Sunset this month, showcasing luxury real estate agents at the Oppenheim Group, Los Angeles's premier luxury real estate brokerage. If you're unfamiliar with it, take a peek here: But even amidst the drama, Selling Sunset is full of real estate business tips that brokers can leverage to improve their bottom lines and stay ahead of the competition. Here is what we've learned from the stars of Selling Sunset. 1. It's worth putting in the work Casual viewers and superfans alike will agree on at least one thing: the agents work hard. Many have challenges finding listings and closing deals for their clients. They are pounding the pavement (albeit in designer heels), showing their multi-million-dollar listings, and stressing about not closing enough deals. Take away the glitz, and it's a pretty accurate depiction of what it can be like to work in real estate. Brokers are working harder than ever these days, too, in an environment that can be unforgiving. But working hard is part of the job. Brokers who find ways to help their teams work smarter and get more out of the work they put in are the ones blazing past their competition. Those who take smart action are overtaking the ones who are sitting on their hands, waiting for interest rates to drop, a new quarter to start, or the right listing to magically fall in their lap. 2. Real estate is a relationship business The on-screen relationships on Selling Sunset may feel over-produced or inauthentic at times, but they reveal a basic truth that every broker knows: real estate really is all about relationships. And while reality show relationships are rocky for a reason (as Vox culture correspondent Alex Abad-Santos wrote about the show, "If I wanted something peaceful, I'd have invested in a saltwater aquarium"), brokers can help foster great real-life relationships that propel their businesses forward instead of attracting great ratings. The key: instilling a culture that emphasizes close, meaningful, and mutually beneficial relationships between all the important people your brokerage works with: fellow brokers, real estate agents, transaction coordinators, and admins; lenders, title companies, and home warranty companies; service providers like contractors, plumbers, inspectors, and landscapers; and most importantly — current, former, and potential clients. Technology is an incredible partner for cultivating relationships without losing the human touch. Brokers who want to give their agents powerful tools to help them maintain close (and profitable) relationships should consider upgrading their CRM. 3. Real estate teams that truly work together are unstoppable In past seasons, Oppenheim Group agents have closed some of their most successful deals when they put aside their differences and petty squabbles and work as a team. Teamwork doesn't always make for great TV, but it is a key ingredient for business success. As a busy broker, it's hard to do everything on your own. And agents are busy, too! Real estate is a competitive industry, but competitive doesn't have to mean cutthroat. A culture of kindness, respect, and accountability is the foundation of productive, mutually beneficial relationships. As the broker, you set the tone at your brokerage — and after all, teamwork makes the dream work! 4. Understand your target market and excel at what you do best You can't be all things to all people. The Oppenheim Group leans into its location, areas of expertise, and niche market — and it doesn't work outside of them. The lesson: know what you do well, be the best at it, and refer opportunities to the very best people to close them. You can apply this lesson to your brokerage as a whole or to certain members of your team. You wouldn't send a VIP listing to your newest agent, nor would you trouble your most experienced agent with a minor listing. If you specialize in luxury, you probably wouldn't also work on multi-family listings. Specializing is an amazing way to stand out while also getting better at what you do. At the same time, expanding your niches can be a significant opportunity. In uncertain times like these, growth in new areas is good, but if you try to expand into an area you know nothing about, your hopes may be dashed faster than you think. 5. Leverage the power of your brand How do you think the Oppenheim Group got approached about doing a reality show in the first place? By having an indelible brand that everyone was talking about — not just potential buyers and sellers. And the increased publicity has certainly helped them with their business! You don't have to have your own TV show to leverage the power of an amazing brand. Having an identifiable, recognizable, trusted brand attracts more new business and encourages repeat business, as leaders like Real Estate One and SERHANT. can attest. And building a consistent brand isn't necessarily difficult or expensive: with automated tools like a digital marketing suite, you can project a consistent brokerage brand across your entire team's sphere of influence without breaking the bank. via GIPHY 6. Be ready for anything! None of us has a crystal ball. As a broker, you can prepare for the unknown in one of two ways. In the case of Selling Sunset, a lot can happen: cast members leave, controversies erupt, viewer expectations and loyalties shift. But it has overcome these challenges and is releasing a seventh season. And so, the last business lesson from Selling Sunset is that if you're ready for anything, you can overcome anything (and hopefully sans controversy!). How can your brokerage prepare for anything? By continuously learning new things By being open to change By being willing to embrace technology Technology isn't going to replace us, but those of us who embrace technology will replace those who don't. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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Anywhere Joins Forces with RealScout to Further Simplify Home Buying and Selling
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[Podcast] Enduring Excellence: The Legacy of Four Generations at Real Estate One with Dan Elsea
In this episode of Million Dollar Question, host Jess Edgerton engages in a captivating conversation with Dan Elsea, the owner of Michigan's top independent real estate agency, Real Estate One. Dan and his brother, the co-owner, are the fourth generation in the family-owned business. With three of their kids already a part of the company, their legacy seems firmly assured for the foreseeable future. Dan and his team lead the company with the understanding that the best agents in the business are more than just salespeople, they're true counselors to their clients. Today, Dan shares with us the values, principles and wisdom that have helped Real Estate One maintain success generation after generation. In this episode of Million Dollar Question: Discussing Detroit's revitalization and its impact on the real estate market Addressing the "clog" effect caused by Baby Boomers The importance of counseling clients on optimal buying decisions How Real Estate One has sustained success through the generations Flexibility, kindness and curiosity: The keys to sustained success Connect with Dan: LinkedIn Website Listen to this podcast on: Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts RadioPublic To view the original article, visit the LeadingRE blog.
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Brokers: Holiday Marketing Tips to Help You Reach Your Annual Revenue Goals
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eXp Realty Incentivizes Teams to Join with New Equity Incentive
eXp Realty announced the launch of its new Thrive program, which is designed to incentivize culturally aligned, producing teams to join the eXp Realty family. Once onboarded, the team lead will receive an equity award based on their previous 12-month production, subject to future vesting. "As a company committed to continuously pushing the boundaries in support of our agents, eXp Realty is always looking for new ways to enhance the agent experience," said Michael Valdes, Chief Growth Officer, eXp Realty. "Earlier this year, we introduced two incentive programs, Boost and Accelerate, aimed at helping independent brokerages and individual agents transition to eXp Realty. Now with the addition of Thrive, we are offering teams an accelerated equity opportunity. We understand that each team has its own unique culture and way of doing business, and we want to provide a platform for them to thrive in our agent-centric environment." eXp Realty will provide this equity incentive to team leads of culturally aligned teams with more than 10 agents in addition to the team lead and a minimum of $40 million (U.S./CAD) in sales volume in the originating country over the previous 12-month fiscal period. International qualifications to be released. Additional qualifications apply. A core criteria of this program is for team leads to commit to team training and ensuring their team members integrate with the eXp Realty ecosystem as part of their cultural alignment with eXp. The Thrive incentive program is rolling out in the United States and Canada immediately and will soon be available in eXp's additional 22 global markets, subject to applicable law. To learn more about eXp Realty's new Thrive program and how it can benefit your team, please click here.
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[Podcast] AI and Tech Trends in Real Estate with Jake Hamilton
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The Art of Listening
Our greatest form of communication Over the last 10 days of business planning and family communication, a common thread has emerged. Listening may be our greatest form of communication. Our geopolitical landscape is stressed with two wars, political battles, labor strikes in the health care, entertainment and automotive industries, and fear of recession. Compassion and empathy We need to listen to each other in significant doses. We need compassion and empathy to reign. Many of our friends, colleagues, and family members have emotions that need to be heard. Heroes are made by good listeners. The US real estate markets are having the worst year for units sold since 2008 to 2010. 2024 may be flat to slightly down compared to 2023. Collectively, the related stresses resemble the GFC in 2008 to 2009 as well as COVID Q2 2020. We have endless buyers seeking minimal inventory and mortgage rates 2.5 times more expensive than Q4 2021 and January 2022. All of us learn in these cycles to meet people "Where they are," knowing this was an emotional state and not a geographical location. Connecting requires empathy, compassion, and patience. Last Friday's podcast / post by Scott Galloway, articulates the art and power of listening better than I could ever communicate. If you are not a subscriber to Scott's newsletters, I seriously encourage it. Source: Scott Galloway, profgalloway.com Scott's final thought in his writing last week: "The best advice you can give is to listen, which is to tell that person that they matter. The most effective treatment for anybody's grief or anxiety is time and care. The former takes care of itself, and the latter can be achieved when we tell someone we love them, without words. By listening." If you think you are close to the closest people in your life – "get closer." Listening is an amazing way to meet people where they are and to get closer. This Is Where We Are Now. Mark McLaughlin serves as CEO of McLaughlin Ventures and M&A Advisory at WAV Group. To view the original article, visit the McLaughlin Ventures blog.
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Redfin Announces Redfin Max, a New Pay Plan for Agents
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The Real Brokerage Announces New Brand Positioning and Marketing Tools
The Real Brokerage Inc. unveiled new brand positioning at its second annual signature conference, RISE 2023 in San Diego this week. Real's enhanced brand reflects the company's unique market position as the real estate experience company focused on creating a better consumer experience with agents at the center. The new positioning communicates Real's vision to simplify life's most complex transaction by creating a simple solution that combines every touchpoint in the home buying and selling process into a single, seamless experience. This refreshed messaging follows the company's expansion into Nebraska, its 50th state, on Monday, which will be celebrated this morning with a digital billboard in Times Square to mark the achievement. "Real's vision is a world in which home buying and selling is a simple and enjoyable experience for everyone. Our new positioning represents this vision as well as our culture of community, and it comes at a time when Real has distinguished itself as the fastest-growing publicly traded brokerage firm for two years running and the only one to continue to grow profitability and truly innovate during a challenging and contracting real estate market," said Real President Sharran Srivatsaa. New Marketing Tools In conjunction with the brand update, Real introduced several new marketing tools, including an end-to-end Agent Listing Toolkit and a Digital Asset Management System that allows agents to easily access the company's extensive marketing resources as part of their affiliation with Real. In addition, Real rolled out an updated Design Center and announced an agreement with Luxury Presence as a preferred vendor to support agents in developing AI-enhanced websites optimized for lead generation. "Real as an organization is known by the agent community for being innovative, inclusive and bold, and that's exactly what we wanted our brand to represent. We are committed to communicating who we are through our graphic identity and providing our agents with the support and resources they need to differentiate themselves to increase their impact within their local markets," said Dre Madden, Real's Chief Marketing Officer. The Agent Listing Toolkit was specifically designed to help agents win more listings and support their listing marketing in today's competitive environment. The toolkit includes a comprehensive suite of consumer listing presentation tools, digital and video marketing assets and step-by-step coaching and training programs for agents. The toolkit will be easily accessible via Real's award winning agent platform. The Digital Asset Management System was designed to be a repository for all of Real's creative materials and content. Organized by custom portals to provide a useful interface for agents to easily access these materials, the system will empower agents to discover and distribute marketing collateral, while ensuring brand consistency and accuracy over the long term. The Creative Studio is a new portal that houses a redesigned library of resources to meet agents' production marketing needs. One element of the Creative Studio is Real's Design Center, which seamlessly integrates with Real's MLS data feed, ensuring that all information is accurate and up-to-date and eliminating the need to enter data manually. The other element is made up of a new suite of fully customizable resources designed with top-producing agents in mind. Real's newly formed preferred vendor relationship with all-in-one website development platform Luxury Presence provides agents with discounted pricing on professional web design for their agent and individual property website, as well as cutting-edge lead capture tools and 24/7 customer care. Agents will now be able to easily build impactful websites pre-populated with Real's elevated brand identity. As a company that is reinventing and challenging the traditional real estate process, Real has elevated the look and feel of its graphic identity by modifying the Real logo with the addition of a square graphic element and introducing new colors and a visual identity system that elevates the company's earlier tech-inspired designs. The company's new look and messaging were updated to appeal to both agents and consumers as Real focuses on expanding its consumer-facing offerings. The new graphic identity is available to agents immediately and will be visible on the company's updated website in the coming weeks.
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Greater Tech Adoption: The Not-So-Secret Strategy of Successful Brokerages
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[Podcast] Futureproofing Your Real Estate Business with Lindsey Smith
In this episode of Million Dollar Question, Billy welcomes the esteemed Lindsey Smith. Lindsey dives deep into the art of consistent business evaluation, emphasizing the power of the "scorecard." With a wealth of experience under his belt, Lindsey opens up about the essence of timely feedback, the mantra of spending within your means, and the vitality of adapting to ever-shifting market dynamics. Expect to hear the blueprint for businesses aiming for enduring success and profitability. In this episode of Million Dollar Question: Present trends in Calgary's real estate market Strategies for adjusting to tech and market shifts The pivotal role of business metrics in gauging business wellness Hurdles for Realtors and brokerages in sustaining profits Methods to consistently evaluate a business's trajectory Connect with Gary: LinkedIn Website Listen to this podcast on: Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts RadioPublic To view the original article, visit the LeadingRE blog.
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3 Tips for Increasing Agent Productivity Through Your CRM
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Need to Generate More Revenue? 7 Ancillary Services Brokerages Should Consider
Running a real estate brokerage is rarely a wildly profitable enterprise, but the current environment has been exceedingly tough for even many experienced brokerages. High mortgage interest rates and inflation have combined to put a big damper on would-be buyers' ability to purchase a home, and the lack of inventory means that many would-be sellers are reluctant to leave a good-enough home for the wilds of the unknown. So how can brokerages help to push back against shrinking margins and find new areas of profitability in their businesses? It's not the easiest thing to do, but it's far from impossible. If you haven't yet considered adding one of these ancillary services to your business, then it might be time to ask yourself if it could generate the revenue you've been missing. 1. Mortgage loans Just about everyone who's interested in buying a house — and many people who are interested in selling — are going to need to apply for a mortgage loan. Most buyers need to secure a mortgage loan in order to buy a house, as very few people have the cash on hand to purchase a home outright. And sellers will almost certainly need to move after selling, unless they plan on negotiating some kind of rent-back deal. Instead of referring borrowers to an outside mortgage lender, why not offer your own mortgage loans through your brokerage? Even if only a segment of buyers decide to go with your mortgage loan, the additional revenue could make a big difference for your bottom line. Companies like HomeLendia provide franchise opportunities that can allow brokerages to offer these kinds of products and services without an unreasonable upfront investment. (On Tuesday, October 24, HomeLendia is hosting a webinar to explain how its mortgage franchise works; register now to learn more.) 2. Rental services Another potential area of expansion and growth is helping landlords or investors find qualified tenants for their rental properties. While some rental owners prefer to do this on their own, if they don't live locally or if they only have one or two properties to rent, they may not have a very robust network of people who would make high-quality tenants. As a brokerage, it's almost certain that you have access to a network of aspiring buyers, move-out sellers, and young adults moving out of the house for the first time. If you can leverage that to help landlords and investors fill their properties quickly and seamlessly (and charge a fee for it), that could be a decent amount of extra revenue for a relatively small lift. 3. Property management Both long-term and short-term rentals, especially single-family homes, will require some kind of property management oversight. Short-term rentals like vacation rentals need to be cleaned in between each visit, and if something breaks at a rental property, owners will typically have to call someone to fix it as opposed to fixing it themselves. Many real estate brokerages have existing relationships with house cleaners, general contractors, plumbers, electricians, and other problem-solvers that a property management company might call up to help with a rental. Property managers can charge either flat fees or collect a portion of the rental money, but either way, it's some additional revenue for your balance sheet. 4. Title and escrow To move a real estate transaction from offer to close, title and escrow companies must become involved in order to handle any earnest money deposits, review the home's title and provide title insurance, and serve as notaries on closing day, among many other duties. These tasks are typically outsourced to title and escrow firms, which charge to fulfill them. Offering these services in-house as part of your brokerage can be a good way to increase your bottom line. 5. Relocation help Here's a fact: While people might enjoy shopping for a new home, almost nobody enjoys the process of moving itself. Providing services around moving, from packing to loading to hauling, can generate more business for your brokerage (people love full-service options) as well as potentially create a new revenue stream. 6. Staging and photography services Sellers who want their homes to capture the best possible price are usually going to be interested in professional cleaning, staging, and photography. If you can find the experts and create a suite of products around home staging and selling that cater to this need, you could even consider outsourcing the offerings to other real estate firms. 7. Investing advice and opportunities Many people would like to get their foot in the door of a real estate investment property, so to speak, but they have no idea where to start. As the expert on real estate in your area, providing advice and data to aspiring investors can be another way brokers can increase their baseline sales business while also generating new income in a new way. The market might be tough, but you have options! Remember to register for the HomeLendia webinar to learn more about adding mortgage ancillary services to your brokerage.
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JPAR Meets Consumer Demand for Floor Plans in Real Estate Listings with CubiCasa Partnership
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C5 Event Promotes Collaboration Among Tech Companies to Create a More Efficient Industry
The NAR-sponsored C5 + CCIM Global Summit is billed as "3 Days of Commercial Real Estate Networking, Learning, and Deal-Making." If you're curious, the five Cs stand for "Capital," "Connect," "Commerce," "Community" and "Commercial." It took place in Atlanta on September 28th-30th, and it is one of commercial real estate's premier conferences. The event was attended by some key members of RPR's Commercial and Member Experience team who brought back some insightful takeaways on data and tech as it relates to commercial real estate. We thought that commercial practitioners who use RPR (Realtors Property Resource) would appreciate a summary of the technology-focused panel and some of the topics that were discussed. Collaboration and listening: Transforming the commercial real estate industry The commercial real estate industry has long been plagued by fragmentation, complexity, and inefficiency. Historically, it has been disjointed due to a variety of reasons, such as fragmented ownership, diverse property types, and a lack of standardization. However, there's a growing effort to change this narrative and make the commercial real estate sector more accessible, efficient and cohesive. This transformation is being driven by advances in technology, data transparency and collaboration among industry players. A great example of this was the C5 Tech Panel, where a panel of experts got together on the main stage to showcase a real-life case study of how collaboration and listening can lead to positive change in the commercial real estate industry. More specifically, this session highlighted RPR, ICSC and CompStak's efforts to deliver value together producing accurate, easy-to-use technology for commercial practitioners. The panel included individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences including: Valerie Richardson, the COO of ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers). Valerie brought a wealth of experience to the panel, as evidenced by her experience with well-known brands including the Trammell Crow Company, Ann Taylor, Barnes & Noble and The Container Store. Michael Mandel, the CEO and Co-Founder of CompStak. The company was born out of Michael's experience as a commercial leasing broker in Manhattan, and he was recognized as Grubb & Ellis' National Rookie of the Year in 2007. Emily Line, SVP of Strategic Engagement, is a pioneer at RPR Commercial, and she has been instrumental in shaping the platform from its concept to present-day. She's accomplished this by focusing on strategy, usability testing, and outreach to enhance the value and experience for commercial members. Moderator Deena Zimmerman is a Principal/Broker at Baum Realty Group, LLC. Deena is a top-producing Retail Tenant Rep and a 2024 NAR Commercial Liaison. She recently moved from SVN Chicago to Baum Realty in Chicago to build on her success as the "Retail Queen." Tech panel takeaways The overarching theme of the panel was to show the need for collaboration and listening to create a stronger, less fragmented and more efficient commercial real estate industry. And yes! This committed collaboration included talk about product deliverables with the use of the hot topics: Chat GPT and AI. The panelists demonstrated that by working together and understanding the unique needs of commercial practitioners, significant improvements can be achieved. Valerie's experience underscored the importance of understanding the challenges faced by practitioners. She offered insight from The Container Store, a retail giant, and stressed the significance of accessible space and market information for ICSC members. Michael's journey led to the creation of CompStak, addressing the need for accurate leasing comps. His experience highlighted the value of integrity and precision in data. Deena Zimmerman, as an active practitioner, offered a real-world perspective on how a more streamlined industry workflow can enhance efficiency and client relationships. Emily's role at RPR emphasized the importance of user-driven technology. Her efforts in collaborating with entities like CompStak and ICSC aimed to bridge gaps and provide the right data and partnerships for commercial practitioners. In Conclusion The commercial real estate industry has recognized its historical challenges and is actively working towards overcoming them. Collaborative efforts, data transparency and a commitment to understanding the needs of industry professionals are driving the sector toward a more cohesive and efficient future. By focusing on collaboration and listening, the industry is breaking down the barriers that have historically made it disjointed. As these changes take hold, commercial real estate is poised to become a more accessible and dynamic field for investors, brokers and all stakeholders involved. For more information on NAR and RPR's commercial real estate growth and support efforts, check out: 4 Pillars of Support for Commercial Real Estate Pros. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog. Thank you to RPR for sponsoring this article on RE Technology!
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How to Attract Customers... and Keep Them: Think Like a Healthcare Network
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eXp Realty Unleashes Agent Marketing Powerhouse with Game-Changing Listing Kits
eXp Realty announced the launch of its Listing Presentation and Active Listing Kits, providing agents with all the necessary tools and resources to effectively demonstrate their comprehensive marketing efforts to potential clients directly through the eXp Marketing Center. The Listing Presentation Kit is a carefully crafted package that empowers agents to skillfully present a property's comprehensive marketing strategy to clients. By utilizing this kit during client appointments, agents can enhance their ability to secure listings with confidence and efficiency, creating a professional and lasting impression. The Active Listing Kit offers an array of features tailored to enhance the marketing efforts of agents, ensuring their active listings receive the attention they deserve. Some of the key features of the Active Listing Kit include: Seamless integration with eXp Realty's direct MLS data feed: This integration ensures that all information is accurate and up-to-date and eliminates the need for manual data entry or constantly updating multiple platforms, saving agents valuable time and effort. All-Inclusive Print Marketing Materials: The kit provides agents with professionally designed print materials, including flyers, postcards, door hangers, thank you cards and a sign rider. Each printed material incorporates a distinctive QR code, seamlessly directing potential buyers to a sophisticated single-property website, with detailed information about the listing and a lead generation form. Digital Assets: In addition to a lead-generating single-property website, the kit includes essential digital assets: a seller's roadmap, listing management checklist and a comprehensive single sheet detailing eXp Realty's listing marketing resources for agents. These resources empower agents with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively manage their listings. Social Media Templates: The Active Listing Kit provides agents with professionally created social media templates, enabling them to showcase their listings on various social media platforms, maximizing the property's visibility online. Convenient Printing and Shipping: The kit simplifies the printing and shipping process for agents, allowing for easy dissemination of marketing assets. Agents can also take advantage of direct mailers that can be sent to specific audiences or neighborhoods, streamlining the process for efficient and targeted marketing campaigns. This feature enables agents to cultivate and nurture leads effectively, ensuring a personalized approach to potential buyers. "We are committed to providing industry-leading support and resources for our eXp Realty agents, delivering enhanced tools that make marketing and branding easier for them and amplifying their impact in the market," said Carolyn Merchant, Chief Marketing Officer, eXp Realty. "Backed by the formidable eXp Realty brand, our agents can confidently take center stage, seizing opportunities and delivering exceptional results for their clients. We are dedicated to helping our agents grow their businesses by offering and constantly iterating on the finest marketing tools and making it easy for them to access and utilize these valuable resources directly through the eXp Marketing Center." eXp Realty's Listing Presentation and Active Listing Kits are currently available to U.S. eXp Realty agents, with plans to expand into Canada in 2024.
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[Podcast] Mastering Markets and Mindset: Insights from Gary Scott
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The Real Brokerage Offers Healthcare Benefits Resources to Its Agents in the U.S. and Canada
The Real Brokerage Inc. announced that it has partnered with Global Benefits Partners in the U.S. and Sterling Capital Brokers in Canada to help its affiliated agents gain access to a wide range of healthcare benefits. The partnership allows Real agents to benefit from group purchasing power, which can translate into more competitively priced insurance options. As independent contractors, real estate agents have historically had difficulty securing access to healthcare. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, up to one-third of its members go uninsured every year. By offering education and expert planning assistance, Real is attempting to close this gap. "Gaining access to affordable, quality healthcare plans to protect themselves and their families has been one of our agents' top concerns and one of our key priorities," Real Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tamir Poleg said. "We are excited to provide access to resources that give our agents across the U.S. and Canada the ability to not only have more choices when it comes to obtaining healthcare coverage, but the expertise of consultants who can help them make informed decisions." In the U.S., Real agents can work with Global Benefits Partners to educate themselves about and potentially select from curated medical, dental and vision plans, voluntary benefits, disability income insurance and term life insurance at group rates at a savings of up to 35% depending on the plans and coverage they select. In Canada, agents working with Sterling Capital Brokers have the option of selecting supplemental health and dental insurance, wellbeing programs and income replacement insurance that meets their needs. These partnerships are the latest ways in which Real is creating value for its agents. In addition to offering some of the highest commission splits in the industry, Real provides increased earnings opportunities for agents through a culture that encourages collaboration as well as stock ownership in the company and revenue sharing. Throughout 2023, Real has enhanced its Revenue Sharing Program by making more agents eligible for the program and introducing an industry-first Co-Sponsorship and Williable Revenue Sharing programs.
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Expert Tips From Real Estate PPC Pros
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is the digital compass that will guide your property listings on top of search results. It provides agents the unique advantage to place their website right in front of potential buyers and clients who are actively searching online. This results in reaching the correct audience and gaining quality leads. Overall, PPC is essential for real estate agents because it increases your visibility, and gives you control over your budget, who to target, and where your ads will show. Furthermore, you have the flexibility to adjust your campaigns in real time. Google Ad's dashboard. Cost and Budget The cost of PPC campaigns depend on keyword selection, competition, and the platform used (like Google Ads, Bing Ads, and social media). It is crucial to pick less expensive but effective keywords like long-tail keywords to lower your expenses and strengthen your PPC campaign. Don't forget to optimize your bidding strategies, ad copies, and landing pages to increase your return on investment. In PPC, you get charged every time someone clicks on your ads, which makes setting a clear budget very important. PPC is also essentially a bidding, but the highest bidder doesn't always emerge victorious. Platforms like Google Ads consider the quality of content, relevance of the ad, and which ad will offer the best answer to user queries. Target Audience Understanding your target audience is essential for your PPC campaign to be successful. This involves demography, their needs, pain points, and where they are in the buying or selling process. You also have to create detailed personas based on research and feedback from previous campaigns. Don't forget that there are existing restrictions in terms of targeting based on some demographic information like age, gender, ZIP code, parental status, and marital status. Landing Pages Your ads landing page is a crucial part of your PPC campaign. Your landing page should be relevant to your ad's promise, contain an effective call-to-action, and be mobile-optimized. Moreover, the design and user experience should be focused on. A clutter-free and easily navigable page encourages visitors to remain and engage. Selecting Keywords Keywords are the words or phrases that users choose when searching online. As mentioned above, long-tail keywords are more targeted and less competitive, which give you successful results. Try using "2-bedroom homes for sale in [specific location]," rather than general terms like "homes for sale in [specific location]." Always remember to also utilize local keywords, exclude negative keywords, and use Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs' Keyword Explorer for research and analytics. How long-tail keywords perform on search engines like Google. Conclusion In the real estate industry, you have to arm yourself with the right strategies to stand out. Ultimately, your goal is not just to showcase your listings, but to form connections and turn each click into sales. PPC advertising is a powerful tool that can help you with these, so learning how to effectively use it is a game changer. Alternatively, you can also reach out to Real Estate Webmasters to get professional support from PPC experts. This is a summarized version of a blog that was previously posted on Real Estate Webmasters' website. Thank you to Real Estate Webmasters for sponsoring this article on RE Technology.
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eXp Realty Launches Nationwide Listing Network
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Housing Affordability and Other Brokerage Concerns: The NAR 2023 Profile of Real Estate Firms
Housing affordability, maintaining sufficient inventory and keeping up with technology were among the biggest challenges cited for firms in the next two years, according to the 2023 Profile of Real Estate Firms by the National Association of REALTORS®. The report measures characteristics of firms nationwide to determine how they operate and assess what lies ahead. NAR surveyed its broker members of record to better understand firms' demographics, composition and characteristics from the executive and manager perspective. "With interest rates rising to more than 20-year highs, it is no surprise that the biggest current concern for real estate firms is housing affordability," said Jessica Lautz, NAR deputy chief economist and vice president of research. "This surpassed the concern of maintaining sufficient inventory, which we saw in 2021. Characteristics of Real Estate Firms In 2022, the overwhelming majority of real estate firms – 81% – operated from a single office and typically had three full-time real estate licensees. Roughly nine out of 10 firms – 86% – were independent and non-franchised. Nearly a third of brokers of record – 31% – were CEOs, COOs, presidents or owners of a multi-office firm. Almost two-thirds – 65% – were managers or owners of a single-office firm. Business Activity of Real Estate Firms Single-office firms had a median brokerage sales volume of $5.3 million and 15 real estate transaction sides last year, up from $4.5 million and down from 19 transaction sides, respectively, in 2020. Firms with four or more offices had a median brokerage sales volume of $154.6 million and 403 transaction sides in 2022, an increase from $146.2 million and a decrease from 571 transaction sides two years ago. The typical firm generated 48% of its sales volume from repeat business from past clients and 47% from past client referrals. "Housing affordability has had an impact on real estate firms' overall sales activity," explained Lautz. "There are fewer buyers who can purchase a home due to the rise in prices and interest rates, and fewer sellers are motivated to make a move. While sales are down, sales volume has increased as home prices have augmented because of limited inventory." Benefits Real Estate Firms Provide to Agents and Staff Errors and omissions/liability insurance was cited as the most common benefit – 43% – which firms offered to independent contractors, licensees and agents. E-signature, comparative market analysis, electronic contracts/forms and multiple listing were the most common tools provided or encouraged by firms. A quarter (25%) of all firms offered a virtual office space for agents and staff, while 8% offered a virtual assistant. Future Outlook of Real Estate Firms Nearly one-third of firms – 30% – expect profitability or net income from all real estate activities to increase this year, down from 58% in 2021. 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 (63%), young adults' view of homeownership (38%) and baby boomers retiring from real estate (27%). "Due to tight inventory, the outlook among real estate firms is more conservative since the pandemic-induced housing boom," Lautz said. "Only 30% of real estate firms believe there will be an increase in profitability from all real estate activities, compared to 58% two years ago." View NAR's 2023 Profile of Real Estate Firms.
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90K eXp Realty Agents Can Now Provide an Opendoor Cash Offer for Listing Clients
For many homeowners interested in selling their house today, one big obstacle is the lack of security around an outcome. Mortgage interest rates are high, inflation has run rampant for a couple of years, and those who might be considering selling their largest asset are concerned that it would be better to wait a year or two because there's no guarantee they'll get the price they want (or need). A new collaboration between Opendoor and eXp Realty will provide eXp agents with the ability to share a cash offer on certain properties with the potential seller, helping them make the transaction decision that makes the most sense for them, financially and time-wise. Read on for the full news release. Opendoor and eXp Realty announced a partnership to provide greater certainty for the millions of people who move every year. With this partnership, Opendoor will provide an integrated API tool and be the primary cash offer solution powering eXp's ExpressOffers platform. eXp Realty's nearly 90,000 agents will be able to request a cash offer on qualifying properties on behalf of their clients directly within their eXp dashboard, and present the Opendoor offer alongside the option of listing the client's home on the market. Across the U.S. today, the vast majority of home sellers continue to face a complex real estate transaction process. This partnership demonstrates Opendoor and eXp Realty's commitment to providing their customers with innovative options and peace of mind when making one of life's biggest decisions. "Empowering the nearly 90,000 trusted eXp Realty agents at America's largest independent brokerage with on-demand, integrated access to an Opendoor cash offer will empower their millions of clients," said Nick Boniakowski, Head of Agents Partnerships at Opendoor and a third generation broker. "This partnership gives sellers a simple and certain option, supported by their eXp Realty agent and backed by an Opendoor cash offer. It's also the first step of a broader relationship that gives us a trusted partner for future opportunities to better serve our customers." "This is a huge win for our agents and their clients," said Leo Pareja, eXp Realty Chief Strategy Officer. "Our focus is always squarely on our agents and making it easier for them to drive their business forward. The ability to offer their clients this seamless solution quickly and easily is a significant differentiator." "As a tenured eXp agent who has worked with Opendoor for years, I'm confident this partnership is going to be a game-changer for my fellow eXp agents and all of our clients," adds eXp Realty agent Kendall Bonner. "Being able to work within eXp's existing platform to bring that cash offer solution to all home sellers at the outset puts us in a new category entirely." In addition to on-demand cash offers from Opendoor, eXp Realty agents will have access to the Opendoor for Agents rewards programs, including the opportunity to receive a commission from Opendoor on top of any previously negotiated client commission for every eligible transaction that originates and closes on their portal. Opendoor and eXp Realty aim to launch this new product experience in the coming months with the goal of serving customers nationwide.
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[Podcast] Empowerment, Authenticity, and Balance: A Deep Dive into Women's Professional Experiences in Real Estate
In this episode of The RENEW Podcast, host Lauren Martin sits down with Deena Zimmerman, vice president at SVN Chicago and the National Council Co-Chair of Retail for SVN. The two women talk about Deena's leap into commercial real estate and the initial challenges in a male-dominated industry — from gender biases and skepticism regarding financial acumen to the threat of harassment. The candid conversation revolves around the pressure on women to be more prepared, the importance of embracing individuality and the need for women to carve out their own space. The conversation also touches on safety during conferences and the essence of checking on each other. Listen to the full episode above, or click one of the links below to listen on the podcast service of your choice: ‍Apple Podcasts‍ Pandora Spotify‍ RENEW by RentSpree aims to help change the lack of women in leadership roles within real estate and foster a community that elevates female voices. To view the original article, visit the RentSpree blog.
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Why Small Firms and Tech Companies Should Be the Focus of Brokerage M&A
There are two major trends developing in real estate brokerage mergers and acquisitions (M&A) that are dramatically changing the landscape of where agents hang their license and access technology. Both can provide a small business merger solution for brokerages struggling to meet transaction minimums. The first trend involves larger firms acquiring and merging with smaller firms. The second involves the investment in and acquisition of technology firms that serve the needs of real estate agents and teams. Small Firms Selling to Stop the Bleeding There are fixed costs to operating a brokerage. Just think about the basics. Every business needs to handle accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, taxes, office expenses, and more in order to operate. Operating a business forces companies to manage this burden, regardless of the number of agents or volume of transactions. There are 108,000 real estate brokerages in America. When you look at the number of transactions per brokerage and you benchmark the bottom third of firms in any market, you realize that the majority of real estate brokerages are operating at a loss. According to George Slusser, my co-author of the book we published last month, Acquiring (More) Profit, "there is a basic economic principle driving merger activity among small firms." The baseline cost of operations in every brokerage is determined by sales volume. If it takes $30 million in sales volume to cover the fixed costs for a given market and office, and the firm is operating below that threshold, then owners are writing checks to keep the business afloat. "When you combine the production of two brokerages operating at $20 million in sales volume, both of which are losing money, you wind up with a firm doing $40 million, which becomes instantly profitable," says Slusser. This is when a small business merger can make a lot of sense. For now, trade volume in real estate is expected to remain at the current rate for another two to three years. Economists blame the low volume on the extreme rate increases by the Federal Reserve bank, effectively locking consumers into low interest loans that discourage the move-up market. Other influences include higher costs of living, driven by inflation and stagnant wages. The outcome is that brokers who are operating at a loss are facing another four to eight quarters of unprofitability. For those firms, it's time to find a merger partner, whether for a small business merger, a full acquisition, or another type of partnership, so they can move on. Technology Firm Consolidation by Brokerage Compass has achieved one point of differentiation that no other major brokerage can claim. They invested an obscene amount of capital into developing the core technology that is used by Compass agents to service their clients. You can argue all you want about the wisdom of such an investment, or about the quality of the applications. But you cannot dispel the truth that Compass has a proprietary suite of tools for their agents that no other firm has. If you want to use the Compass tech, you need to be a Compass agent. The wisdom of this strategy is not new to real estate. Windermere was among the first firms to set itself apart with technology. If you recall, it was the first major firm to launch map search to consumers at scale, and developed its internal CRM and listing presentation tools. This placed a wall around the technology that required agents to join Windermere or become a franchise to use the technology. A similarly successful but somewhat different model was made popular by Booj. Booj, which stands for "be original or jealous," was a successful technology company that operated under the principle that only one firm in a marketplace would be allowed to offer the technology to their agents. The company was very successful and developed wonderful technology. To the dismay of their brokerage clients, RE/MAX acquired the company. This terminated the exclusiveness of the technology in the marketplace and led to the demise of the products. The sale of Booj to RE/MAX immediately disrupted brokerage firms who were all-in on that technology platform as a differentiator. Their customers felt betrayed, and they learned a deep lesson about partnering with technology providers. The best strategy to create exclusivity when partnering with a technology company is to own the company (potentially through some activity like a small business merger) or to invest enough in the company to offset the disruption caused by an acquisition. It is pretty hard to say how many agents a firm needs to justify owning their own technology. The main denominator is less about the number of agents and more about the income per agent. Keller Williams charges their agents and franchises a technology fee, allowing them to deploy those fees into the development of technology and the training and support. In similarity to Compass, you can argue about the quality of the technology, but there is no argument for the exclusivity of it. If you are not a Keller Williams agent, you can't use it. Regardless, in every brokerage there is a number of agents that justify the firm's investment in owning the core technology that is exclusively provided to their agents. Losses Will Continue to Drive Acquisitions Brokerages on solid financial footing today have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for growth. Firms can expand their sales volume through small business mergers by acquiring small firms, and they can can lock in exclusive tools and resources by purchasing and building core technology. You can draw a circle around the top 50 firms in America by transaction volume to target the ones that have the best opportunity in today's market. Historically, real estate brokerages have been more successful at acquiring other firms than acquiring and developing technology, but that is changing. Everything in technology is easier today than it was just five years ago. Databases are cheaper to operate, application development can be done with fewer people, and APIs have smoothed the path to platform development by driving application interoperability. WAV Group exists to help brokerages like yours thrive in challenging markets. If you need help with your acquisition strategy, please contact Victor Lund. If you would like a valuation on your brokerage, please contact George Slusser. If you are struggling with the technology you have today, please reach out to David Gumpper. And if you have a great strategy but are not communicating or marketing it effectively, reach out to Kevin Hawkins or Bondilyn Jolly. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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The Power of Retargeting in PPC for Realtors
Thank you to Real Estate Webmasters for sponsoring this article on RE Technology: Understanding Retargeting PPC retargeting, a powerful tool in the real estate industry, ensures that properties and listings stay on the minds of potential clients. This article focuses on retargeting through Google Ads, though the principles can be applied to other platforms. With this being said, this article is a summary of the original found on Real Estate Webmasters' website. What Is Retargeting? Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a digital advertising strategy that targets users who have previously engaged with your site or content. With Google Ads, you can display tailored ads to these users as they browse other sites or apps. The goal is to remind them of what they viewed on your site and encourage them to return and take action. Segmenting your audience based on their interaction level can make your retargeting efforts more effective. The Importance of Retargeting Retargeting ensures that Realtors®' listings remain in the consciousness of potential buyers. This consistent visibility enhances brand recall and trust. Google Ads allows Realtors® to set budgets and big strategies for their campaign, ensuring cost-effectiveness. Realtors® can see higher engagement rates, and a 50% increase in repeat visitors, and can even target specific areas. The Mechanics of Retargeting Retargeting operates by placing a pixel on your website. This pixel drops a cookie on a visitor's browser, which later signals Google Ads to display your retargeted ads when they browse other sites. Google Ads makes the process user-friendly, allowing Realtors® to set up and monitor campaigns with ease. The retargeting pixel is GDPR compliant, and retargeted visitors are 70% more likely to convert. Benefits and ROI Retargeting offers impressive returns on investment (ROI) for Realtors®. By targeting individuals already interested in your listings, conversion rates are naturally higher. Retargeting can lead to a 147% increase in average conversion rates and 76% more clicks than regular display ads. Google Ads provides real-time ROI metrics for campaign adjustments. Debunking Myths Contrary to misconceptions, retargeting isn't about "stalking" users with relentless ads. When done correctly, it's a subtle way to stay on a potential client's radar. Google Ads ensures ads aren't intrusive. Another myth is that retargeting is only for big businesses. In reality, Google Ads offers scalable options suitable for all Realtors®. Best Practices For effective retargeting, clear goals are essential. Google Ads allows campaign tailoring for maximum impact. Quality ads with clear images, compelling copy, and well-researched keywords are crucial. Timing is also vital; Google Ads offers tools to customize the timing and frequency of retargeting ads. Dynamic retargeting can show users specific products of listings they viewed. Conclusion Retargeting is a significant asset for Realtors®. By using this strategy, listings remain top-of-mind for potential buyers. As the digital world evolves, staying updated is crucial. Embracing PPC retargeting can elevate real estate endeavors to new heights.
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The 2024 Recession: Balancing Cost-Cutting and Growth Pursuit Strategies
For most brokers in 2023, there are two ongoing realities: High interest rates, which are dampening the ability for many income-earners to afford a home, and a lack of inventory due to softening real estate prices across the country (and the aforementioned interest rates are probably playing a part there, too). WAV Group's Victor Lund explains how real estate brokerages can navigate the 2023 recession with a two-pronged approach. Real estate has four economic modes of operation: Buyer Market, Seller Market, Growth Market, Recession Market. We are in a recession market, defined as a market that has retracted 20% or more. In the realm of the real estate industry, recessions present a formidable challenge that prompts real estate brokerages to make strategic decisions to weather the economic storm. As economic uncertainties loom large, organizations are faced with the crucial choice between cutting spending to conserve resources and pursuing growth to seize opportunities. The decision hinges on factors such as financial stability, industry dynamics, and long-term goals. In this article, we explore the two primary approaches that companies consider during recessions: cost-cutting and growth pursuit. Cost-Cutting Approach: Weathering the Storm In speaking to several owners of America's largest firms who are members of the Broker Resource Network, cost cutting quickly has become the modus operandi across the board. During a recession, real estate brokerages adopt a cost-cutting approach to maintain financial stability in the face of reduced consumer spending and economic uncertainty. The key strategies under this approach include: Reducing Expenses: To preserve cash, companies scrutinize every expense and curtail discretionary spending. Operational costs are meticulously reviewed and streamlined to ensure maximum efficiency. Workforce Management: Unfortunately, workforce reductions become a necessity for many organizations. Layoffs and furloughs are painful decisions that help control labor costs but can impact morale and company culture. Scaling Back Initiatives: Expansion plans, new projects, and investments are often postponed or scaled back to prioritize core operations. Capital expenditures are scrutinized to ensure they align with immediate needs. Agent Optimization: Effective agent management becomes crucial. Companies strive to avoid excess agents, reducing carrying costs while maintaining the ability to fulfill customer demand. Growth Pursuit Approach: Seizing Opportunities Contrary to conventional wisdom, many of the nation's most successful companies view recessions as windows of opportunity for strategic growth. Historically, many of the world's most successful businesses were born out of recessions. These organizations focus on exploiting market gaps and positioning themselves for post-recession success through the following strategies: Investing in Innovation: Innovation becomes a driving force as brokerages create new services that address evolving customer needs during the recession. It is an opportune time to launch affiliated services in insurance, mortgage, concierge, title, new home, property management, commercial real estate, etc. Expanding into New Markets: Companies may choose to enter previously unexplored markets or target niches that remain resilient amid economic uncertainties. Expanding markets in the USA include Atlanta, Raleigh, Dallas, Fayetteville, Greenville, Charleston, Huntsville, and Jacksonville. Acquisitions: Organizations with solid financial foundations may consider acquiring distressed competitors or complementary businesses at lower valuations. Merging an office that is operating at a loss, or breaking even with a competitor who is in the same boat will often create a profitable office. It's easy to know the volume required to make an office profitable, you will find many willing competitors who are anxious to avoid losses. Download a copy of our recent book, Acquiring More Profit by George Slusser and Victor Lund, here. Strategic Marketing and Branding: Companies that continue marketing efforts effectively can gain market share by establishing themselves as value-driven brands. Customer Retention and Loyalty: Building strong customer relationships during tough times can pay dividends in the long run, fostering loyalty and referrals. In reality, the decision between cost-cutting and growth pursuit is not binary. Most companies strike a balance between the two approaches – tailoring their strategies to their unique circumstances. Available resources, industry landscape, competitive positioning, and risk tolerance all play a pivotal role in shaping the company's course of action. Navigating a recession requires careful consideration of both cost-cutting and growth pursuit strategies. While cutting costs is crucial for immediate survival, strategically pursuing growth can position companies to emerge stronger in the post-recession landscape. Regardless of the path chosen, each decision should be informed, data-driven, and aligned with the company's long-term goals. As businesses embrace the challenges of a recession, their adaptability and resilience become the cornerstones of their success. WAV Group's brokerage advisory specialists – Victor Lund, Mark McLaughlin, George Slusser, and Finley Hair are experts at supporting you through your recession planning. We can aid in the planning or the execution of any piece. Reach out to request a confidential consultation. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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[Podcast] Market and Mindset: Queuing Up Your Business for Success with Whitney LaCosta
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How a Faster, More Responsive Website Can Accelerate Your Brokerage Leads
Thank you to Real Estate Webmasters for sponsoring this article on RE Technology: Why Website Speed Is Important Website speed is pivotal for a real estate business. It's the digital face of your brand, and a slow website can deter potential clients. In contrast, a fast real estate website can captivate and convert. With the rise of mobile browsing and the significance of SEO, a speedy website is essential. User Experience In real estate, first impressions matter. Visitors expect a seamless and efficient experience. A slow website can frustrate visitors, causing them to leave prematurely. A fast website, however, retains visitors and increases the likelihood of conversion. In essence: User expectations have evolved with technology. Website speed can make or break a potential lead. Speed reflects your brand's professionalism. Speed and SEO SEO is vital for online success, and website speed is a significant factor. Search engines prioritize fast websites, meaning a slow website can hurt your rankings. A speedy website signals quality, leading to more visibility and organic traffic. In summary: Speed affects search engine rankings. Faster websites get more organic traffic. Speed combined with SEO boosts online presence. Tailoring Websites for Performance Custom real estate websites, like those from Real Estate Webmasters, prioritize performance. Unlike generic templates, custom sites are optimized for speed. They also integrate seamlessly with other tools, offering a competitive edge. Key points include: Custom sites from Real Estate Webmasters prioritize performance. Integration with other tools enhances efficiency. Tailored websites stand out in the market. Bounce Rate: The Silent Killer Bounce rate measures visitors who leave after viewing one page. Slow websites often have high bounce rates, which can damage your brand's reputation. A faster website reduces bounce rates, ensuring longer visitor engagement. To summarize: Slow sites contribute to high bounce rates. High bounce rates can harm your brand. Faster load times increase user engagement. Mobile Browsing With over half of web traffic coming from mobile devices, mobile optimization is crucial. Mobile users, often with limited data, value speed. A fast, mobile-optimized website improves user experience and SEO rankings. In summary: A significant portion of users browse on mobile. Speed is vital for mobile users. Mobile optimization enhances SEO and user satisfaction. Conclusion Put simply — a fast website, especially in real estate, is indispensable. It enhances user experience, SEO rankings, and conversion rates. With tailored real estate websites and integrated tools, businesses can lead the market. Investing in speed can propel your business forward. This blog is a summary of the original content found on Real Estate Webmasters' website titled “Why a Faster Real Estate Website is Better.”
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Buyer Compensation, Discount Models, and Broker Commission: Recruiting Top Agents in 2023
To be successful as a brokerage, it's essential to work with quality agents: People who know how to uncover their clients' needs and then negotiate to get them the best deal, whether that's a buyer or a seller. That means offering agents commissions and compensation that reflects the hard work they do on behalf of both sides of the deal. As discount brokers and services become a more prominent part of the marketplace, and as some brokerages try to compete for top talent by offering very low splits, how can brokerages determine what model will work best for them — and for their agents? Here's Victor Lund from WAV Group explaining the current landscape and how brokerages can help give themselves an edge when it comes to recruiting. (Incidentally, he's not a fan of the term "splits," which he explains below.) WAV Group is routinely hired to help brokers understand their competitive strengths and improve areas of competitive weakness. One of our tactics is to look at compensation trends in the market, and cross referencing competitive brands. This article will provide a snapshot of our techniques so that you may deploy them at your brokerage. Since the offer of compensation is the leading conversation in the marketplace today, this is a good time to share. The offer of compensation is a confidential data field in the MLS — well, at least in markets where they have not changed that field policy. If you notice on Redfin, they display the buyer's agent compensation in every market where they are permitted to display it to the public — California Regional MLS is an example. For our clients who use VOW or Full Broker data feeds, you can easily pull the compensation data for analysis without looking for it single listing-by-listing in the MLS system. Full listing firm commission ranges from 4% (in extremely high-end markets) to 7% (in the lowest markets); where some portion of that is listed in the MLS as buyer-agent-commission. The offers of compensation to the buyer's agent in an MLS can range from $1 (sad, but true) to 3% of the commission, depending on the market. During the height of the foreclosure debacle, we saw buyer agent commissions surge to 3.5%, and some 4%. The first observation is that the MLS does not know the total commission in the listing agreement. The full seller commission is not recorded in the MLS. This is an important part of the fact pattern to understand. Many journalists presume that a 6% commission split is half because that is an industry average. In reality, it is highly probable that the client agreed to a commission percentage of some other amount, like 7% or lower at 5%. We don't know, and we cannot presume what is in the listing agreement based upon the offer of compensation to the buyers' agent. The second observation is that the industry should stop using the word "split." The word split has the tonal meaning of dividing into half. My experience leads me to believe that many transactions are split in half, but not always. The division of commission is heavily dependent on market conditions. When there are more sellers in the market than buyers (high foreclosure periods), the seller's portion of the commission may be lower than the buyer's commission. When there is a scarcity of listings and plenty of willing buyers (ergo 2022), the portion of the buyer's commission is often lower than that of the seller. Study the offer of compensation by brand By studying the offer of compensation across brands, the observations draw different realities into focus. Obviously, there is the commission pattern of discount brokers. However, even Redfin has backed off the discount broker business model. Generally, it is common to see discount brokers offer compensation to buyer's agents that are lower than the norm. It's their business model, so the lower offer of compensation is rational. (Interestingly, we also notice that discount brokers will often start off with a lower offer of compensation, then convince the seller to switch to a higher commission model as days on market goes over 60.) The franchise brands and leading independent brands in the market were very consistent — KW, Anywhere, RE/MAX, etc., offer compensation at about the same rate. They have the bulk of the market share as a group and normally offer 3% in a 6% market, or 2.5% in a 5% market. They tend to offer a 50/50 division of commission between buyer and listing agent. WAV Group has done commission studies more than 100 times — here's an example of a report we published. Today, there is a fast-growing brand consuming agents whose buyer commission offer is consistently 0.5% below the leading franchise brands. I will not name them here, but it will be self-evident if you do this research. Armed with this information, you can retain more agents. I will get to that at the end of this article. What does the offer of compensation say about your brand? Brands would do well to remember that the offer of compensation is universal. Universal has the meaning of putting a value on the work of a buyer's agent. To me, the .05% commission haircut by this broker sends a clear message that the buyer's agent is not worth the full market commission. Again, I could be wrong. I have not seen the listing agreement, so it's possible that this broker takes listings at a lower commission rate. Or, as I stated above, the buyer's agent in today's real estate market is less valued because there is a scarcity of listings. The point of this discussion is that brokers need to pay close attention to the offer of compensation by their competitors. If another brand in the market is consistently undercutting the offer of compensation, it signals that their agents are not getting full commission for their services. Use that data in recruiting and retention if agents operating under your brand are consistently getting a higher rate from the seller because of your brand's service offerings. Using the offer of compensation in recruiting Brokers should look at the trends of offers of compensation in the MLS to get smarter about recruiting. Brokerage brands that deliver the value to consumers because of the rich quality of their services will command higher commissions for their agents. Visually, 90% of a 4% commission is a lot less than 80% of a 6% commission. Back-of-napkin calculation for $100,000 house: 4% commission = $4000, agent commission for half at 90% = $1800 6% commission = $6000, agent commission for half at 80% = $2400 As an agent, would you rather get 80% of full commission or 90% of discounted commission? We hope that this insight helps you compete effectively in the market. Know your worth and understand that the percentage of broker dollars is highly impacted by the commission offered by the seller to the listing and buyer's agent. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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These Untapped Lead Sources Could Give Your Real Estate Brokerage Your Best Year Yet
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5 Strategic Areas to Refine for Widespread Brokerage Success in 2023
As real estate returns to a normal market and we have a little more time to respond to an offer, Allen Tate continues our focus on operational effectiveness. Historically, in good times, companies open offices at a fast pace. As the market slows, companies will often close doors. Our goal is to be strategic for success in every market. We strive to get the people, productivity, and professionalism just right. Office Strategy Our network of 70 branch offices in local communities throughout North and South Carolina is a significant differentiator that sets us apart from the competition, helps our agents and provides consistency to the customer. Allen Tate believes that physical locations will continue to be important to sustain our culture and community for years to come. During the past few years, we have focused on "right sizing" our branch offices, with correct design that is welcoming and efficient for both agents and customers. In the past six months, we have attracted many experienced agents to our company who left a more virtual company environment. This tells us that agents still want and need a community culture where they have personal face-to-face interactions with their leaders, peers and customers. A successful real estate company must have a definitive branch office strategy. It's important to understand the market representation of your competition, and understand the space, support, and technology needs of your agents. An essential part of that strategy is an investment in tools and resources that drive transactions. Square footage does not accomplish that goal. Delivering Innovation through Partner Offices In recent years, we have introduced a Partner Office option for our top performing agents. We currently have nine Partner Office locations, with a goal to double that in 2023. We partner with high producers with a minimum closed sales volume of $20 million who desire an office of their own. The agents/teams pay for all business expenses, but have access to Allen Tate technology, recognition, and marketing to assist them in growing their business. This has proved to be a great retention and recruiting solution. The name Partner Office really resonates with high-performing agents. They desire an engaging and comfortable partnership, and they appreciate the transparency. The more we treat them like business partners, the deeper the relationship becomes. This helps us grow our branch network and protect and strengthen our culture. Agent Productivity Our approach to productivity is not to be the biggest army, but the best. Our agents average 15 transactions and $5 million in closed sales volume annually. At the close of 2021, we had 1,600 agents, with only 45 who had not closed a transaction – and they were all new hires in Q4 2021. We have always been focused on discipline to stimulate high agent productivity. We choose agents that believe have great potential, and we are laser-focused on developing them. Agent Retention Retention must be a proactive process. We develop deep partnerships with our agents that become the fabric of a trusting relationship. We have enhanced our compensation plan with features that rewards tenure, and celebrate achievements with an aggressive awards and recognition strategy. Above all, you must love your people. We create a culture to make our large company feel like family. We never lose sight that real estate is a people and relationship business. We all need a pat on the back. Inspiring Branch Leadership An ongoing challenge in our industry is great branch leadership. We need the right people in the right places. As a boy, I remember my father Gary Sr. scrambling the office managers every few years by assigning them to new offices. The impact was significant. At Allen Tate, we are doing two things to help strengthen branch leadership and build future leaders: Leadership development program - Every two years, I spend time over six months with 12 leaders, with a focus on developing leadership skills. By the end of 2023, all of our 55 residential leaders will have completed the program. Emerging leaders program - This is a nine-month program where a class of 27 agents learn to be leaders. We develop close relationships through our monthly meetings, and these agents become more aware of our strategies as a company and how our internal teams support those strategies. Agents in this program gain a heightened perspective and appreciation that will pay dividends in the future. I hope that you are all launching powerfully into 2023. I look forward to gaining some perspectives from your contributions to the Broker Resource Network. We will all get better by working together. Gary Scott is President of Allen Tate Realtors.
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[Podcast] Lead with Connection and All Else Follows: Creating a Magnetic and Sustainable Company Culture with Michael Saunders
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eXp Realty Launches 'Accelerate' Agent Incentive Program
eXp Realty announced the launch of Accelerate, an incentive program focused solely on helping eXp agents build for their future by maximizing their revenue share earning potential during their first year with the company. "In the lifespan of an agent, a critical component of long-term success is the ability to build for their retirement, so we launched Accelerate to help catalyze their potential earnings and create momentum in the first year and build for their future," said Glenn Sanford, Founder and CEO of eXp Realty. "We continue to be relentlessly focused on delivering a model that puts agents first. I couldn't be more proud of what we have created, especially for those looking to build long-term wealth, with our revenue share and equity programs for agents, as well as a favorable cap and split model." Accelerate, which is available in all 24 countries where eXp Realty operates, applies to agents who joined on or after March 1, 2023. The program automatically opens revenue share tiers 2 and 3 for 12 months beginning Sept. 7, 2023, creating the opportunity to have 10 front line qualifying agents (FLQA) immediately. This can open up the eXponential components of eXp's revenue share program in that first year. After the 12-month period, standard revenue share criteria will apply. "Accelerate was designed to reduce barriers and incentivize agents to grow their organizations," said Michael Valdes, Chief Growth Officer, eXp Realty. "It enables them to focus on selling and growing their businesses while earning the maximum potential revenue share for tiers two and three for the first year. Our aligned compensation model, where agents are rewarded for both production and contributions to eXp's growth, brings more value than ever before." This launch comes on the heels of the company's June announcement that, for the first time, was refining revenue share criteria for its agents, reducing the current FLQA tier 7 threshold from 40 to 30 FLQA. As part of its efforts to continually enhance its model, the company also launched Boost, a program designed to financially incentivize qualifying independent teams and brokerages to join eXp Realty. Revenue share is just one part of eXp Realty's aligned compensation model, which also includes competitive commissions and stock equity programs designed to enable its agents to build for their future.
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Anywhere Settles Moehrl and Sitzer/Burnett Lawsuits
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Showing Instructions Should Require Buyer Broker Agency Agreement Today
Nosalek v. MLS PIN, Burnett/Sitzer v. National Association of Realtors (NAR), and Moehrl v. NAR are delivering a "rethink" moment for the real estate industry. Our duties as consultants include researching our client's position in the market, meeting with numerous board of directors and other stakeholders, and making suggestions and developing improvement plans. The two customer bodies that we represent are brokers and MLSs. Buyer broker agency agreements exist in every real estate market across America. They are part of the forms packet you get with your MLS or association membership; they are either required or optional. The MLS, association of REALTORS® and state regulators have done their job – implementation is up to the broker. Every broker may require it of their buyer's agents today. I seriously doubt that an agent will leave your brokerage because you require the agreement. The real question revolves around when it's required. Even in states where it is required, common practice is to have the buyer agency agreement signed at closing. Yikes. Brokers, require your agents to have a buyer broker agreement signed the moment that they establish a procuring cause with the client. Showing Effectiveness for Brokers I was recently at a dinner with a number of brokers and top agents during a state REALTOR association meeting. I proclaimed that I would never allow a lockbox, and I would require the listing agent to be present at every showing when they list my house. You would think that I dropped a bomb in the room. I was shocked to learn that my requirement was over the line, and an excessive ask. My retort, "Then don't take the listing." It's called a "showing" for a reason. From my perspective, the buyer's agent knows very little about my house, and the listing agent should be present to field any questions the buyer's agent might have. I have a new demand for my listing agent: Do not show the house to a buyer's agent who does not have a buyer broker agreement with the client. As far as I am concerned, the buyer is unrepresented if they show up without an agreement in place with their agent (I know this is not the way it works, but this is a suggestion for positive change). I am not a big fan of MLSs dropping the requirement to offer compensation to a buyer's agent in the MLS. As a seller, I would have a discussion with my listing agent that the buyer's broker compensation should be offered, but we should have a conversation about the buyer's broker compensation. Is it a percentage? Is it hourly? Is it flat? Is it based on a list-to-sell price ratio? What happens to compensation when the list price is discounted? Is the buyer a cash buyer? What are the contingencies? Today, the MLS already accommodates the request that the buyer's broker have an agency agreement in place before scheduling a showing. Listing agents can require it in the showing instructions. It's simple. Make the offer of compensation a blank optional field in the MLS Real estate is going to change as a result of these cases. If your MLS does not have the "offer of compensation" field as optional, I believe that you need to discuss it at your next MLS board meeting. Quietly Quit Clear Cooperation Policy We believe that these cases make it self-evident that the Clear Cooperation Policy was a mistake. It triggered the litigation. I believe that MLSs have an opportunity to "soft quit" the CCP. Drop it from your rules and don't tell anyone. Even without CCP, there is a participation agreement that already states that all listings must be submitted to the MLS. It is a basis of unilateral cooperation. MLSs are the marketplace for trading real estate. It's a bad decision to withhold a listing from the MLS without some mitigating circumstances. MLSs will win with participants and subscribers by delivering a valuable service, not by overreaching regulatory practices. MLSs need to drop the enforcement agency attitude and adopt a high-touch service attitude. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Broker Public Portal's Roadmap to Success
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Invitation to Acquiring More Profit: A 9-Part Webinar Series
Don't miss this comprehensive look at successful real estate brokerage M&A. WAV Group colleagues George Slusser and Victor Lund will be covering each chapter of their new book Acquiring More Profit: The Definitive Guide to Successful Real Estate Brokerage Mergers & Acquisitions, during the 9-part webinar series. Acquiring More Profit is a collection of the best practices and invaluable insights George and Victor have garnered over decades of M&A work and thousands of brokerage acquisitions. George Slusser, renowned as the foremost expert in real estate M&A today, has completed more successful transactions in this space than anyone else. As the Head of the M&A division at WAV Group, he continues to assist brokerages in finding profitable growth opportunities. This definitive guide addresses every aspect of the M&A process, starting from the basics of M&A and how to get started, all the way through to the secrets of successfully integrating your very first real estate brokerage acquisition. One of the foundational principles emphasized in the book is the "win-win" concept, which focuses on achieving mutual benefits for both the seller and the buyer. This approach goes beyond mere financial gain and takes into account various factors like market perception, future roles, family dynamics, agents, and staff. Webinar Series Overview: The 9-part webinar series will delve deep into the key topics discussed in Acquiring More Profit, offering attendees invaluable insights and practical strategies to navigate the world of real estate mergers and acquisitions successfully. Each session will be hosted by George Slusser and Victor Lund themselves, ensuring that participants receive first-hand knowledge from the industry's leading experts. Session Topics: The Basics of M&A: Getting Started and Understanding the Landscape Identifying Profitable Acquisition Opportunities Mastering the Approach to Potential Acquisition Candidates Building Successful Relationships and Navigating the Seller's Decision Process Mastering Due Diligence Valuation and Negotiation Crafting and Presenting the Irresistible Offer Seamless Pre-Closing Planning to Maximize Success Maximizing Success Post-Closing is the Key to Unlocking the Potential Who Should Attend: Real estate professionals of all experience levels, from brokers and agents to executives and entrepreneurs, will find immense value in this webinar series. Whether you are new to M&A or looking to enhance your existing expertise, these sessions will empower you to achieve success and maximize profitability in your M&A endeavors. Join Us: The Acquiring More Profit webinar series promises to revolutionize the M&A landscape. By participating in this series, you will gain the tools and knowledge to stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on the wave of opportunities shaping the industry today. Mark your calendar for the upcoming webinar series and secure your spot to ensure you don't miss out on this invaluable opportunity. Together, we will embark on a journey towards acquiring more profit and transforming the future of your real estate brokerage. First Event Details: Date: September 13, 2023 Time: 11 am PT/ 2 pm EST Register Now We look forward to welcoming you to the Acquiring More Profit webinar series and helping you unlock the path to successful real estate brokerage M&A. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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The MLS is THE most powerful source of business generation
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5 Ways Real Estate Brokers Can Make Better Use of Technology
If you were recently at Inman Connect Las Vegas 2023 (or wished you had been!), you know the topics on everybody's minds these days are AI, disruption, uncertainty, and technology -- especially how fast everything seems to be changing. In so many of the conversations we had with real estate professionals from around the country, AI in particular and technology in general were brought up as equal parts amazing and scary. Brokers and agents are amazed by the incredible things ChatGPT can do for real estate, while also being worried about whether their jobs are at risk. The reality is uncontestable: real estate technology is here to stay, and it will only be getting better and more advanced as time goes on. When real estate brokers use technology to their advantage, it will have a transformative effect on their businesses. Here are five ways real estate brokers can make better use of technology and get the most out of their tech stacks, with a handy list at the end to get their tech journeys started on the right foot. The right real estate technology will help humanize lead generation and marketing Real estate is a famously relationship-oriented industry. One common fear real estate brokers and agents have is that technology will remove them from the equation, making their work more robotic and taking the human out of the equation. The result: mechanical workflows that lack the human touch that has always been so important. The way we see it, this couldn't be further from the truth. A quality that many of the best agents share is the ability to systematize and streamline their work. The latest technological innovations do this on steroids and in ways that we couldn't even imagine just five years ago. What do we mean by "the right technology?" The right real estate tech will use human in the loop, which combines advances in machine intelligence with human intelligence (and expertise) to check, validate, and optimize the machine's work. This means that the right tech will never exclude real estate agents, it will empower them. This means fewer tedious tasks and stronger, more human customer relationships. Brokers would do well to assess where the latest advancements would add the most value at their real estate brokerages and try some new solutions. Even just the process of auditing their tech stacks can have a big impact on finding areas of improvement. Real estate technology is an essential tool for improving the agent experience and boosting retention As we mentioned above, the right tech doesn't impede real estate agents, it empowers them. Tech-focused brokerages are the way of the future and will have a much easier time recruiting and retaining top talent, which has always been both a challenge and a reward of running a successful real estate brokerage. The right technology helps agents be more efficient, less stressed, and more productive. They can market more efficiently, support their clients better, and ultimately earn higher commission income. With all of these benefits powered by technology, agents are continuously looking for the brokerage that can provide the best suite of tools. It's no wonder then that tech-forward brokerages like SERHANT. have grown so quickly and boast such enviable retention rates. Brokerage technology is an asset real estate brokers can leverage to streamline processes and improve margins Every broker knows margins are thin and getting thinner. But there have never been so many ways to run more smoothly, cut unnecessary costs, and work smarter. Even just the process of exploring what those options are can provide a huge benefit. Imagine what else you can do when you find the right solutions to optimize your workflows! Today, there are brokerage technology solutions for running every aspect of your business, from operations, HR, and accounting to marketing, lead generation, and transaction management from lead to close, completely in the cloud. Time-consuming and error-prone repetitive data entry is all but a thing of the past, thanks to powerful and versatile integrations between systems and the MLS. Some brokerages have even opted for nearly end-to-end brokerage management platforms that draw from a single database, virtually eliminating the need to work in multiple apps at once. The result: uniquely configured tech stacks that give you a competitive edge, helping you outperform your competition and put more of that commission income into your and your agents' pockets. The right tech investments today will help you reach higher profitability tomorrow There are lots of different ways brokers can add revenue — technology is just one of them. But technology can easily start feeling like just an expense, especially when you're stuck using solutions that aren't right for your brokerage. The uncontested reality is that we're hurtling toward a future filled with more technology, not less. Another factor is that the real estate industry has been notoriously slow to embrace new technology. The consensus at Inman Connect Las Vegas was clear: technology won't replace us, but the real estate professionals who master it will own the future. So, how do you know what tech investments are right for you today? Here's a quick list of tips to get you started: If you haven't yet, it's time to start transitioning to the cloud. Not sure what the cloud is or how it could benefit your brokerage? Read our article Why Your Brokerage Needs to Move into the Cloud. Beyond the cloud, there are always ways to get your tools to work better together and identify gaps where your tech isn't helping you as much as it could. Sometimes, all it takes is an outside eye. See how a free tech stack audit could get you started. Change is hard for anyone. To ensure your changes are a success, read Effectively Implementing New Technology: 6 Key Stakeholder Groups You Must Engage. Still unclear about your next step? Get in touch! We'd be glad to talk about your business and how real estate technology can help. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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MLSBackup.net: New emergency MLS system for brokerages and boards
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Sunrises Follow Sunsets: Mark McLaughlin on His Return to Compass
To amplify Compass' improved Q2 2023 financial reporting, I am pleased to report on my reengagement with Compass as Chief Real Estate Strategist. In my August 2021 Compass exit message, I stated that I would be available to Compass as a strategic consultant going forward. This was very true in casual conversations with Robert once every 45 to 60 days or so through during the last 24 months. In May 2023, these conversations heated up. Greg Hart, COO of Compass, Inc., came to visit Jackson, WY. We spent three sessions of time together covering business and personal conversations. It was very clear to me that Greg's outlook on our industry, market dynamics, and opportunities were nearly identical to mine. In June 2023, I made a trip to NYC and visited with Robert, Neda Navab, President of Compass, Inc., and several other key executives. Once again, the vision and conviction for growth and operational excellence was clearly aligned with my own. The combination of the technology platform and empowering local leaders will reduce friction and add velocity to the business. What I really missed about the business was the people and my ability to lead and motivate. The professional staff and the real estate professionals that rise daily to meet the passions of our clients living the American Dream of homeownership. Does it get any better? Current market conditions seem to be at a "bottom." Like we did with Pacific Union in 2009, we will drive Compass for market share gains and operational excellence to outperform the broader markets in the 24 months ahead. I appreciate Compass' confidence in me. I aim to gain the trust of the 30,000+ real estate professionals and professional staff that call Compass home! I am motivated and I will make a difference. Keep an eye on us. This Is Where We Are Now. Mark McLaughlin serves as CEO of McLaughlin Ventures and M&A Advisory at WAV Group. To view the original article, visit the McLaughlin Ventures blog.
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Finding new growth opportunities in M&A: Insights from the 'Acquiring More Profit' webinar
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Consumer Savings Are Running Out. What Does That Mean for Real Estate?
Real estate values have been holding the realm of suspended values. Despite the incredible rise in interest rates, home prices have remained resilient. Most homeowners are locked in a low mortgage rate, demonstrating that people buy payments and not for the price of a home. This has reduced the turnover of homes, stifling the move-up-buyer and keeping inventory levels low. Homebuyers have no choice but to step up to the higher home prices today – but this all may change. One of my favorite economists in real estate, Elliot Eisenberg the Bowtie Economist, wrote that: During the Covid pandemic, Americans saved an additional $2.1 trillion above and beyond normal savings because of stimulus checks, an inability to travel and so on. Since August 2021, $1.9 trillion of that amount has been spent suggesting there remains just $200 billion. At a drawdown rate of $100 billion/month, the rate that has prevailed since mid-2022, the excess will be fully exhausted during 23Q3. He has a great blog that sends economic snapshots like this almost every day, and he is an amazing speaker. You can subscribe to the blog here. As I absorbed this snapshot about consumer savings, it shocked me into the belief that America is in for an economic drop this fall and winter. The flip side of savings is debt. On August 16, Eisenberg indicated that debt was up $.4 trillion in the second quarter; 70% of that household debt is in the home. (Sidebar: 9.2% of the debt is in student loans – rather than canceling student loans on the backs of taxpayers, I hope our government taps the endowments of universities to pay for loan forgiveness. You should suggest this to your representatives.) Typically, when consumers lack money in their checking account, retail takes a hit. On August 15, Eisenberg noted that retail has faced six months of decline. Retail is 38% of all consumer spending. With all of this bad news, one would think that the mortgage delinquency rate would be going up. To the contrary, Eisenberg writes on August 14 that delinquency rates are down to 3.37% – the lowest since record keeping in 1979. Foreclosure rate is .53%. Homeowners have a ton of equity in their homes. You may wonder, what is happening to credit and credit cards? Well, the U.S. credit rating was dropped from AAA to AA+. I think that this is the first time in history (Eisenberg, Aug. 1). Government spending is up 2.4%, but we have a looming government shutdown with the budget battle in the months ahead. Credit card balances went past the $1 trillion mark. They rose nearly 5% between first and second quarters of 2023. For me, the combination of this data indicates a negative economic outlook for America and housing. Housing is already down between 20% and 35% in most major cities – indicating that real estate is definitely in a recession. The only way to reverse this negative trend is to ease interest rates. Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve is still fighting inflation and likely to hold interest rates, or worse, raise them during their upcoming meetings in Jackson Hole. Our hope is that WAV Group's Mark McLaughlin, a resident of Jackson Hole, will get some good insights. The meetings start August 24. This is going to continue to put pressure on America's public real estate brokerages. Zillow is -$.73 earnings per share (EPS). Compass – $1.06 EPS, Anywhere -$4.45 EPS, Redfin -$2.07, Elliman -$.51, RE/MAX $.01, and EXP $.05. I would look for RE/MAX and EXP to head into negative territory with the others in the third and fourth quarters, probably staying there until we get some signal on the outcome of the elections. Our brokerage guidance is that you should maintain a hold on spending, or cut spending. This is an opportune time for brokerage consolidation. Talk to other brokers in the market about how you can combine offices through a merger to cut losses. The WAV Group M&A division can help identify merger candidates. Contact Victor Lund or George Slusser. If you want to learn the process of M&A on your own, buy our book, Acquiring More Profit, and its companion M&A workbook. The workbook has spreadsheets for financials, NDA, offer letters, confidentiality agreements, etc. It's a great read and will put you on the right path. The digital edition is the best value! Click here to purchase your downloadable copy now! If you would prefer the physical printed version, visit Barnes and Noble's site (Amazon is sold out). To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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10 features of the best real estate websites (and why they're great)
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5 expert insights on how to recruit the best agents
Finding good help is never easy, and that might be more true in real estate than anywhere else. Recruiting and retaining top agents is a big priority for most brokers, and if you're not up-to-speed on the latest recruitment strategies, then you might be at a significant disadvantage to your competitors! A recent WAV Group webinar featured recruiting experts who shared their thoughts about how to win in today's environment. WAV Group extends our heartfelt gratitude to Barbara O'Rourke of Allen Tate Realtors® and Brenda Thompson of HomeSmart Stars, who participated in our recent webinar, "Winning Recruitment Strategies for Finding the Right Agents." This insightful webinar, moderated by Bondilyn Jolly, WAV Group's Marketing Division Leader, shed light on invaluable agent recruitment best practices by top agent recruiters. Here's a recap of the key takeaways and talking points that were discussed: 1. The Power of Storytelling: Making Facts Memorable One of the most compelling points highlighted during the webinar was the effectiveness of storytelling. Research indicates that people are 22 times more likely to remember information when it's presented in the form of a story. In the context of recruitment, this insight emphasizes the importance of sharing your organization's narrative to create a lasting impact on both prospective and current agents. 2. Key Differentiators: Connecting Uniqueness with Prospect Needs Discovering what truly sets your organization apart is pivotal. The webinar emphasized identifying and leveraging unique aspects of your organization that directly align with the desires and requirements of your target prospects. This personalized approach can significantly enhance your recruitment strategy and aid in building long-standing trust and rapport. 3. Balancing Short-term and Long-term Recruitment Strategies The discussion on recruitment strategies delved into the delicate balance between short-term goals and fostering long-lasting relationships. If recruiters are solely incentivized by short-term outcomes, it can potentially hinder the establishment of enduring partnerships. Striking the right balance ensures sustained growth and a positive agent experience. 4. Setting Appropriate Expectations for Prospects Effective agent recruitment goes beyond monetary considerations. It involves transparently discussing various aspects such as financial models, compensation, commitment, mutual growth contributions, training, support, resources, and access to administrative teams. Setting clear expectations lays the foundation for a successful agent relationship. 5. RED: Recruit Every Day for Enhanced Engagement The concept of "RED" (Recruit Every Day) was introduced as a year-round recruitment approach. This strategy not only aids in agent retention but also builds trust, rapport, and top-of-mind awareness. Barbara and Brenda both emphasized the significance of active listening, asking questions, and engaging in meaningful conversations. Voice-to-voice interactions were highlighted as essential, and intelligent marketing campaigns were suggested to warm up leads, facilitating a deeper understanding of prospects and minimizing cold calls. Our "Winning Recruitment Strategies for Finding the Right Agents" webinar provided valuable insights into creating a successful recruitment approach. The expert panelists shared many great examples of what works in their business and that can help you successfully recruit new agents. Watch the full webinar: Struggling with recruiting and retaining agents? Schedule your one-on-one consultation with WAV Group to explore how we can assist you in your marketing and business growth strategies. Receive recruitment tips direct to your inbox! Join our NEW recruitment email newsletter to receive recruitment and retention information direct to your email inbox. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Flavin Realty rebuilds their website with Real Estate Webmasters: Inside the project
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How to compete with the big portals in your market: Parcel-centric SEO
How can the average brokerage or real estate agent compete with big names like Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) for home listings? Compass, which was founded in 2012, has just surpassed both Realtor.com and Trulia in certain markets by pursuing a strategy that's available to anyone who has a real estate-related website. It's all about paying close attention to long-tail keyword search opportunity and developing SEO around parcel data before the home gets listed on the market instead of waiting until you have the listing to create a property-specific page. Victor Lund at WAV Group explains in more detail. WAV Group believes that search engine optimization (SEO) around long-tail address search is a best practice. It is not necessarily the thing that is going to drive massive lead generation and sales, but it is the right thing to do. Your site must be parcel-centric For many years, real estate brokerages have ignored a key principle of SEO. Namely, brokers need to build websites on a public record parcel foundation by creating a web page for all properties. You layer MLS records on top of those pages by adding the MLS information when it becomes available. Portals SEO listings before they are listed Because brokerages have ignored this strategy, sites like Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, Trulia and Movoto have carved out an advantage. SEO provides free consumer traffic to your website. Compass has joined this fleet of companies who are developing SEO on off-market properties. The biggest benefit is that when the listing comes on the market, you have already invested in SEO for that property. A big part of SEO success is being "above the fold." Meaning that your company's webpage for that property address can be clicked without scrolling. I did a handful of searches on properties in different areas around the country and found that "Compass.com" pages were as high as No. three on the list – above the fold! Their results seem to be better in markets where they operate, i.e., better in Silicon Valley than Niagara Falls. What's not on the page? Compass decided not to provide an AVM on the value of the property, but they do display the accessor data. WAV Group believes that this is a mistake. We would advise that they should show three AVMs and show the AVM range, rather than a specific number, and use this as an opportunity to generate a listing lead by creating a call-to-action to meet with an agent to understand the home value. Even Zillow shows a range on the Zestimate. What's on the page? Having an image is very important. Compass uses Google Street View. They highlight the bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, year built, lot size. They do a nice job of mentioning the county and linking to a county landing page where you can see the county boundary. They also add home facts and school information. Want help? WAV Group is working on multiple projects today to move brokers to a parcel-centric platform – meaning that their website and other consumer facing tools (including agent tools) adopt this foundation of records for every property. The reason why products like MLS-Touch from CoreLogic have reached over one million users in just a year is because agents and their clients want to see all of the property information. I would love to see MLSs get behind this and become a conduit for the data. These records should be on the same server as the MLS records. If they were combined, that would be even better. Compass has made great strides in pursuit of this strategy in a short period of time. There is plenty more that they can do on these pages. They can market their mortgage services, allow homeowners to register to monitor their home value and nearby homes for sale, cross market their mobile apps, and more. All of these features are on Redfin – our favorite site for off-market listings. We will keep an eye on future releases at Compass. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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8 types of smart technology for property managers
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Location, location, location: Site Selection provides deep commercial placement insights
It's a truism that finding the best location for your business is one of the biggest keys to success. But how exactly is a city councilmember supposed to know which might be the best businesses to try to attract to their specific district? And where would be the best spot to put the farmer's market that the township is hoping to launch next year? Real estate agents can become the go-to source for answers to these questions when they use Site Selection, an RPR (Realtors Property Resource) tool that's included as part of your arsenal as a REALTOR. It's perfect for commercial agents, business-owners, investors, and anyone else who's interested in building an economically thriving and diverse area. Read on for more details. RPR's (Realtors Property Resource®) Site Selection is an essential part of a commercial practitioner's toolkit. It's an advanced, data-driven tool that simplifies site selection by analyzing comprehensive demographics, economic factors and behavioral patterns. Site Selection helps commercial real estate practitioners and business owners and investors answer the question: "Where are the right people for a business?" Finding Business Locations with RPR A commercial Site Selection analysis starts with a large geography such as a city or county, and from there can be drilled down to identify where optimal conditions exist in smaller geographies, such as ZIP codes or neighborhoods. From there, even further refinement by applying specific attributes from a broad data of categories such as economic, demographic, spending and more. This process helps ensure that the core drivers of a client's business reside in the area, and have the spending power to sustain it. Traditionally, REALTORS® have utilized the RPR Site Selection tool to access extensive information about population characteristics, household incomes and consumer behavior. With this tool, practitioners can identify optimum real estate locations matched to specific client needs. Market trends and prospective investment opportunities can be discerned easily thanks to this valuable tool. Its unique capabilities make it an essential resource for commercial pros seeking instant access to critical information. However, local community leaders are now working with REALTORS® to use it to help build their communities and drive local economic development. Reshaping Local Economic Development With Site Selection Data from RPR's Site Selection isn't just about helping businesses find the ideal location. It's also great for local leaders such as mayors or city council members. The information it gathers helps these leaders make better economic development decisions about how they can improve their towns and what kinds of businesses would be best to attract. Think about it: What if we could find the perfect spot for a farmers' market where locals get the healthiest, freshest options and farmers have the opportunity to sell the fruits of their labor? Or predict what kind of shop would succeed on Main Street and, at the same time, fill a need for the community? RPR's Site Selection and Trade Area data can help with that, shining light on areas such as jobs, income levels, interests and spending habits in any given area. This data and insight could go even further and be applied from a different angle to help solve tricky planning problems, such as where to break ground on new buildings or how public transportation might affect development. REALTORS® share data and insight to help their communities REALTORS® play a crucial role because they're the ones with access to critical market metrics and data points. Local government officials and community leaders are encouraged to work with a REALTOR® to gain access to findings from RPR's Site Selection tool to help in their planning, proposals and roundtable discussions concerning community economic development. Combining this tool with the knowledge and experience of REALTORS® makes a powerful team in city planning efforts. When REALTORS® share insights with city officials, it means better strategies for growth that really fit what each community needs the most. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Pricing guidance for solar panels and more: Meet Pearl Certification
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How to master local SEO for your real estate website
In today's digital world, over 90% of homebuyers initiate their search online. Thus, mastering local SEO for real estate is not just beneficial — it's essential. This article delves deeper into the significance of local SEO in the real estate industry, highlighting strategies to enhance local search rankings and spotlight properties effectively. This article is also a summary of the original article written on Real Estate Webmasters' blog. Understanding Local SEO Local SEO is pivotal for real estate businesses for several reasons: Hyper-Local Visibility: It ensures your content and listings target the right audience in specific geographic areas. Increased Traffic and Leads: A higher rank in local search results can lead to more organic traffic and quality local leads. Online Credibility: A top spot in local search results can establish your business as a trusted local expert. Tip: Local SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Results may take time, but the payoff is worth the patience. Optimizing Your Website for Local Search To be relevant for local queries, consider: Local Keywords: Integrate phrases that local clients might use when searching for real estate services into your website content, meta titles, and descriptions. NAP Consistency: Ensure your name, address, and phone number are consistent across all online platforms. Local Business Listings: Claim and optimize your listings on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp. Schema Markup: Use this code type to give search engines detailed information about your business. Tip: Regularly monitor your website's performance using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to refine your strategy. Leveraging Local Reviews and Testimonials for SEO Reviews and testimonials can significantly influence your local SEO rankings and online reputation: Encourage Reviews: Prompt satisfied clients to leave reviews on platforms like Google and Yelp. Respond to Reviews: Engage with all feedback to show you value your clients. Feature Testimonials: Display client testimonials on your website to provide social proof. Schema Markup: Use "Review Schema" to showcase your star ratings in search results. Tip: Proactively request reviews from clients to enhance your online presence. Enhancing Hyperlocal Content Hyperlocal content focuses on specific communities or neighborhoods: Detailed Neighborhood Profiles: Offer comprehensive profiles on the neighborhoods you serve. Local Events: Share content about local events to engage your audience. Local Market Updates: Regularly update your audience on the local real estate market. Local Keywords: Embed local keywords into your content for better discoverability. Tip: Consider creating videos on local market updates to bolster your content strategy. Citations and Links: Enhancing Online Visibility Citations and backlinks are essential for local SEO: Building Citations: Ensure mentions of your business's name, address, and phone number are consistent online. Acquiring Quality Backlinks: These are incoming links from other websites that boost your site's authority. Internal Linking: Link from one page of your website to another to enhance user experience. Tip: Prioritize quality over quantity for backlinks. Avoid dubious SEO tactics that can lead to penalties. In Conclusion Local SEO is indispensable for real estate professionals aiming to enhance visibility and engagement. It's an ongoing process of optimization, monitoring, and adaptation. By implementing the strategies discussed in this article, real estate professionals can effectively connect with potential buyers and stand out in a competitive market.
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What's your exit plan? Here's how to sell your real estate brokerage
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Does your brokerage have a white-labeled pre-sale renovation solution? Meet HouseAmp
In this era of low inventory and high mortgage interest rates, two things are more true than they ever have been: Buyers want move-in-ready homes that they feel are worth the significant value they're about to invest. And sellers don't want to spend an arm and a leg making multiple pre-sale renovations that they won't be able to enjoy before selling. One solution to this conundrum can be pre-sale renovation platforms, which help sellers make the necessary upgrades to their properties so that they can capture the widest pool of buyers with the highest offers. Sellers pay for those renovations out of the sales proceeds, and that profit is usually significantly higher due to the upgrades, so everybody is happy. Brokerages that can offer a white-labeled pre-sale renovation program for their seller clients can help differentiate themselves within their market and address a need that might not be getting met by the competition. Here's WAV Group's Victor Lund with more context around a new platform you might want to investigate, Compass Concierge. Compass Concierge has been a distinguished service offered to home sellers. The ability to provide home sellers with the funding to make repairs to a property and avoid problematic disclosures is a key listing tool. Home sellers do not want to (or may not be able to afford to) put cash into capital items – such as a roof replacement, driveway replacement, foundation repairs, or something as simple as fresh landscaping; but the return on these investments pays back in multiples of home value. We have learned that home buyers prefer homes that do not have any deferred maintenance. HouseAmp allows any brokerage to white-label the concierge service. They deliver the funding to make home repairs on properties. They do not charge the agent or brokerage any fees for their service. The agent and the home seller have the discretion on who gets hired to do the work. The loan is repaid at closing. Companies like Revive or Curbio – who deliver the project – can be funded through HouseAmp. If you do not have a pre-sale renovation provider in your brokerage today, you should meet with HouseAmp. Please see below for the full press release: HouseAmp Emerges as One of the Best Kept Secrets for Real Estate Brokerages, Unveiling Enterprise Broker Partners and Nationwide Territory Expansion SEATTLE, Wash. – August 8, 2023 – HouseAmp, the groundbreaking fintech firm empowering a brokerage's ability to offer homeowners financing for pre-sell renovations, staging, and more, has quietly built traction and momentum among top brokerages in the residential real estate industry. Its customizable, white-labeled concierge service is recognized as the "best-kept secret" for real estate brokerages. It is now unveiling its pay-at-close platform nationwide, expanding brokerage offerings beyond home sellers to home buyers and their agents. HouseAmp is on a mission to help brokerages remove the friction and fees from the activities done before the sale of a home. By offering a pre-sell renovation, staging, and funding concierge platform, HouseAmp removes seller obstacles while enabling homeowners and agents to select their preferred vendors and projects. The homeowner and the agent are the priority–with flexible, fast funding solutions allowing them to compete more effectively in a complicated, cash-driven real estate market. Brokerage offerings can be customized and reimagined without building from scratch or assuming repayment risk. Houseamp powers one streamlined portal for all the stakeholders involved in the home-selling process. HouseAmp's revolutionary vision steers the traditional focus away from "software on top of software" to a more forward-thinking solution that empowers real estate brokerages of any size to create uniquely proprietary offerings without needing API integrations. In return, their agents are more productive and competitive in an increasingly profit-pinching world. Brokerages will now have programs to immediately provide financial and tangible home resources to agents and their clients without fees or costs while allowing agents and homeowners the flexibility to choose any service provider. Firms with existing funding sources can also plug in their lender to HouseAmp for some or all of their funding needs. As one of the most trusted leaders in the industry, visionary real estate brokerage John L. Scott Real Estate partnered with Houseamp early. "We've seen great success with our Market Ready+ program, which is powered by HouseAmp," said Chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott. "The process is extremely efficient and offers both our agents and their seller clients flexibility and a great overall experience." "We are thrilled to see our brokerage partners' success," said HouseAmp CEO Rick Hennessey. "Our white-labeled concierge platform allows each brokerage to provide their unique offering without the overhead that usually comes with these services, enabling them to offer cutting-edge technology that immediately turns a huge cost into a profit center. We streamline the process so homeowners and agents can quickly access capital, which has vastly enhanced the preparation to sell process and is improving people's lives." HouseAmp has already built significant brokerage partnerships, enabling them to expand their territory nationwide beginning in Q4 of 2023. Houseamp's fintech solutions help brokerages gain a competitive edge and new relevance in an increasingly shifting industry. Real estate brokerages interested in learning more about HouseAmp's innovative offerings and potential partnership opportunities are encouraged to visit Houseamp.com or email [email protected]. About HouseAmp HouseAmp is a trailblazing fintech company reshaping the real estate industry through innovative concierge solutions. Leveraging advanced technology and data-driven insights, HouseAmp empowers real estate brokerages to enhance customer and agent experiences, stay competitive, and drive growth. Our white-labeled brokerage service helps homeowners leverage access to quick and flexible funding programs to fund expenses now, then pay them off at closing. Learn more at HouseAmp.com. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Appraisal bias is real. Here's how HUD and NAREB plan to solve it.
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How One Luxury Broker Is Using Philanthropy to Cement His Brand
Rob Thomson sells high-end waterfront homes and properties located in club communities in Southern Florida. And he's also a prime example of someone who gives back to the area; he's spent decades carving out a name for himself in the region, not just as one of the premiere real estate professionals, but also as one of the most philanthropic givers. His latest endeavor is a noteworthy one: Thomson raised money to purchase and donate a custom bus for the special needs students at William T. Dwyer High School. This is one of many donations that Thomson has made throughout his career; in one of his earliest acts of giving, he provided more than 500 bicycles to a church during the holiday season. Curious about how Thomson's efforts to give back have helped make a name for him and his business? Read the full story from Real Estate Webmasters: In an era where standing out from the competition is more important than ever, some brokerages are taking a unique approach to gaining visibility — by "doing good." In a multi-part series we're going to cover the efforts of Waterfront Properties, their staff, and their ownership in the hopes to inspire other agents, teams, and brokerages to "do more" when it comes to giving back. Not only giving back good for business… it's good for the soul! Here's our first story: Rob Thomson, esteemed luxury Realtor and owner of Waterfront Properties, continues his decades-long streak of community impact with his latest act of generosity. Thomson is proud to announce his upcoming donation of a custom bus to William T. Dwyer High School, benefiting the school's special needs students. This donation, the second of its kind and a culmination of over a year of planning and fundraising, exemplifies Thomson's unwavering commitment to providing support to those in need. Inspired by his mother's words, "It's not ours to keep, it's ours to manage," Thomson has become a prominent figure in philanthropy, leaving an indelible mark on countless lives for over two decades. His dedication to giving back has become a cornerstone of his legacy, with charitable endeavors spanning from providing holiday presents to underprivileged children through his program Charities for Children, to his fervent devotion to animal welfare as Vice President of Big Dog Ranch Rescue. Reflecting on his first philanthropic endeavor nearly 20 years ago, where he donated nearly 500 bikes to a local church during the holiday season, Thomson recalled the joy it brought to the children and the lasting impact it had on his family. This initial act of kindness inspired founding Charities for Children and set the stage for his ongoing commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. Thomson's 2020 endeavor of a custom bus donation to Jupiter Public School further solidified his resolve to address the needs of special needs students in the community. Appalled by the poor condition of the bus, lacking essential safety measures and accommodations, Thomson took immediate action. Through his "Help Buy a Bus" Campaign on Facebook, he rallied support and successfully raised over $100,000. Video from previous bus campaign Inspired by the impact of his previous donation, Thomson has set his sights on William T. Dwyer High School, recognizing a similar, if not more immediate, need for improved transportation options for special needs students. With unwavering determination, he has spearheaded a campaign over the past year to build a custom bus specifically designed to cater to the comfort and unique requirements of these students. The donation, planned for this summer, will provide them with a safe, comfortable, and inclusive transportation experience. Commenting on his upcoming donation to William T. Dwyer High School, Thomson stated, "With this upcoming donation, when I heard about the details, I just thought, 'Here we go again.' Opportunities to help others present themselves to you… then you take them. That's what I look at these as: opportunities." Beyond his remarkable bus donation, Thomson's philanthropic endeavors extend to various causes. As the Vice President of Big Dog Ranch Rescue, he is launching the "Christmas in July" initiative, where he will cover the adoption fees for the families of all first responders. This heartfelt gesture aims to show appreciation for the unwavering dedication and sacrifice of these courageous individuals, providing them with an opportunity to bring home a loving companion from the largest cage-free, non-kill dog shelter in the United States. How to get involved? If you would like to get involved in this charity, or would like to learn more about charity marketing you can reach out to Rob Thomson, Owner of Waterfront Properties or Morgan Carey, CEO Of Real Estate Webmasters, the company that helps Waterfront Gain exposure through their charity efforts.
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What Can You Expect at RISMedia CEO Exchange 2023?
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Do you know what your brokerage is worth today?
A broker's work seems endless, and it's often difficult to find the time to work on the business instead of just in the business — or even to know what to work on! But one thing that every broker-owner should be doing regularly, at least once each year, is valuing their business in the current market. Our partners at WAV Group recently published an explanation around why it's so important to get a solid valuation every year for your firm. George Slusser, the definitive brokerage valuation expert, had this to say about regular valuation: "A brokerage valuation gives you a reliable benchmark for growth and establishes a jumping-off point for your firm's future." The revision and update to Slusser's groundbreaking book, Acquiring More Profit, is now available for purchase, including workbook add-ons and other resources to help you understand this elusive but critical business component. Read the full story with all the reasons to value your brokerage on the WAV Group blog, where you can also learn more about Acquiring More Profit (including where to buy it).
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[Podcast] Finding Your Home in the Real Estate Industry with Max Fitzgerald
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Rob Thomson Waterfront Properties Invests in Global MLS and AI
As the market shifts and AI becomes more of a focus, a few true leaders of our space are leading the charge and investing well ahead of the curve in AI and in initiatives like Real Estate Webmasters' new global MLS platform, ListingsByLocation.com. Rob Thomson of Waterfront Properties in Jupiter Florida is one such leader. "We've been working with Real Estate Webmasters since 2005 and they have always come to us with new, innovative ideas that help us stay ahead of the curve. When we heard about the global MLS and new AI initiatives for our CRM, the answer was easy: We want in!" This past July, Morgan Carey, Real Estate Webmasters' CEO, flew into Jupiter in order to spend several days with the entire waterfront properties team. The goal was to ensure the new platform (which will include the new REWPert AI bot) is perfectly tuned to the needs of the brokerage, and includes new reporting and follow-up features that will help the Waterfront agents succeed in a challenging and ultra-competitive luxury market. In a recent article from The Real Deal, Rob Thomson said, "AI is the future of marketing. We recognize this and are proud to be the very first brokerage to leverage the new REWPert technologies combined with a highly customized CRM that is specifically tuned for selling luxury listings in the Florida market. There is no other system like it and our agents have a significant advantage over our competitors because of our proprietary systems." Morgan Carey, CEO of Real Estate Webmasters, said, "The market is getting tougher. The global MLS will allow companies like Waterfront Properties to increase the exposure of their listings to reach a much wider audience, and having a new CRM with AI will allow their agents to do an even better job following up on all the inquiries we're generating." It's a rare thing (especially in this market) that a brokerage is willing to make these kinds of investments in new technologies. This story is ongoing and we will be tracking the progress here at RE Technology. Look for updates as the project progresses. For more information on Real Estate Webmasters, visit www.realestatewebmasters.com. To contact Rob Thomson, visit www.waterfront-properties.com or robthomson.com.
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Zillow and Redfin Announce Partnership to Help Buyers and Home Builders Connect
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Redfin Publishes Wind Factor Data from First Street Foundation to Show Damage Potential for Homes
Redfin is now publishing wind risk data provided by First Street Foundation for nearly every for-sale U.S. property listed on Redfin.com. "Redfin strives for relentless transparency around climate risks for folks on their home-searching journey," said Redfin Vice President of Product Ariel Dos Santos. "As climate disasters such as hurricanes become more severe and frequent, it's critical that we show homebuyers how effects like wind damage may impact their home." First Street Foundation's Wind Factor is a property-level risk model that estimates the likelihood of wind damage based on current and projected wind exposure from hurricanes. Wind Factor also takes into account how wind exposure may shift in the next 30 years, which is the typical timespan for a mortgage. "Wind Factor's uniqueness is that it's hyper-local and specific to wind damage rather than broader climate threats such as storms," said First Street Foundation CEO Matthew Eby. "Through Redfin, every person searching for a home will now have access to the most granular climate-risk data available, empowering them with the tools they need to make educated decisions on where to live." Nearly half (49%) of U.S. residents who moved in the last year believe the increasing frequency or intensity of natural disasters, extreme temperatures, and/or rising sea levels will likely impact home values in their area in the next 10 years, according to a Redfin-commissioned survey conducted by Qualtrics in May and June 2023. Still, only about 5% of respondents who moved in the last year or plan to move in the next year listed climate change as a reason for their relocation. In fact, a recent Redfin study showed that counties more vulnerable to flooding, wildfires and heat have seen more people move in than out from 2021-2022. That's partly due to the housing affordability crisis, which has increased migration into less expensive but more climate-risky areas. There's good reason to believe that transparency around climate risks has the potential to impact which homes people choose to live in. Redfin found last year that homebuyers who have access to flood-risk information when browsing home listings online are more likely to view and make offers on homes with lower flood risk than those who don't have access. This wind risk data will be available on the Redfin app later this year. Redfin also features First Street Foundation climate risk data at the property-level for wildfire, flood and extreme heat.
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Gary Ashton of Nashville Real Estate REMAX Advantage Lead Gen Efforts
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How Brokers Can Increase Visibility and Traffic for Their Real Estate Website
In today's digital era, it's a known fact that having a strong online presence is essential for any business, including real estate brokers. With the majority of homebuyers and sellers starting their property search online, optimizing your real estate website for search engines can give you a competitive edge. In this post, we'll explore some fun and effective ways to boost your website's visibility and drive more traffic to your listings. Keywords: The Secret to Search Engine Success The cornerstones of search engine optimization (SEO) are keywords. Make a list of potential keywords that clients might use to find properties in your area to start. Think outside the box and take into account nearby facilities, well-known neighborhood names, and nearby landmarks. Include these words naturally in the page titles, meta descriptions, and image alt tags on your website. But keep in mind that search engines dislike it when you stuff your content with keywords. Engaging and Informative Content Make sure your website is more than just a list of properties for sale. Add some flavor to it with interesting and educational content that displays your expertise and fosters visitor trust. Write blog posts about the neighborhood's real estate market, offering advice to buyers and sellers as well as insights into prevailing trends in the area. Visitors are more likely to stay on your website longer when you offer useful content, which lowers your bounce rate and improves your search engine ranking. Be Social Media Savvy You cannot afford to ignore social media in the age of viral videos and cat memes. Make a business profile on well-known websites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Share eye-catching pictures of properties, virtual tours, and educational posts to draw followers and spark interest. Respond to comments and messages from your audience as soon as possible to engage them. Social media platforms are not only excellent for increasing brand recognition, but they can also increase website traffic through shared links. Get Local: Claim Your Google My Business Listing Google My Business is your best friend when it comes to small businesses in your area. For your business to appear in local search results and on Google Maps, claim and optimize your Google My Business listing. Give complete details such as your address, phone number, working hours, and an enticing summary of your services. To increase your visibility and credibility, encourage pleased customers to leave reviews. Keep in mind that online reviews are nearly as trusted as personal recommendations! Embrace the Power of Visuals Since a picture speaks a thousand words, visuals are crucial in real estate. Use professional, high-quality photography you've invested in to highlight your listings. Give prospective buyers a preview of what to expect by including virtual tours, 360-degree videos, or even drone footage. Make your images more search engine friendly by giving them descriptive filenames and alt tags. Who doesn't enjoy scrolling through breathtaking pictures of ideal homes, after all? Mobile Optimization: Don't Forget the Thumb Generation Mobile optimization is essential in a time when smartphones are essentially an extension of our hands. To seamlessly adapt to various screen sizes, your real estate website should be responsive. For mobile users, a clumsy, non-responsive website can be a major turnoff, making them leave and visit a rival's website in its place. Aim for an intuitive user experience that enables visitors to browse listings, get in touch with you, and arrange viewings on their mobile devices. To conclude, by following these fun and effective tips for optimizing your real estate website for search engines, you can increase your visibility and attract more potential buyers and sellers. Remember to keep your content engaging, utilize the power of social media, claim your Google My Business listing, showcase stunning visuals, and prioritize mobile optimization. Embrace the digital landscape, and let your website shine like a diamond in the vast realm of real estate. Happy optimizing! To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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Turning the Tables: New Data Sets Come to RPR Commercial
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Coldwell Banker Reveals Winners of Its Annual 30 Under 30 Class of 2023 Awards
Coldwell Banker Real Estate announced the award recipients for its 30 Under 30 Class of 2023 awards. Coldwell Banker affiliated real estate professionals below the age of 30 are recognized for their mark in real estate and achieved success in sales, philanthropy and leadership. The Coldwell Banker 30 Under 30 were chosen from the brand's network of 100,000 affiliated sales professionals in more than 2,700 offices across 39 countries and territories. This group of real estate professionals honors the heritage of the founders, Colbert Coldwell and Arthur Banker, who started their company at 24 and 28 years old, respectively. "As we celebrate this year's winners, I am reminded of how powerful, influential and dedicated the Coldwell Banker network is," said Liz Gehringer, president and CEO of Anywhere Franchise Brands. "These real estate professionals have made an impact in their community and still have so much road ahead of them to continue to innovate and grow. Their commitment to serving their clients, expanding their business and continuing to excel in the industry is recognized by many. I am eager to see how they continue to go above and beyond for clients seeking their dream home and how they will serve as a shining light for others within the Coldwell Banker network as they progress in their careers." The full Coldwell Banker 30 Under 30 Class of 2023 list is listed below in alphabetical order:  
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Do You Know What Your Brokerage Is Worth?
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Boost Your Lead Gen Strategy: The Ultimate Guide for Real Estate Brokers
We are living in an increasingly mobile, digital, and high-tech world. Homebuyers tend to be extremely computer savvy: nearly all of them begin their searches online, and millennials, those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, are one of the largest homebuying cohorts. Contrast that with the fact that most sellers are older, as are the best agents, meaning they aren't always comfortable with technology. Common top-of-funnel touchpoints for real estate brokers. See the full infographic in our ebook. What does this contrast mean for your brokerage, and most importantly, for your lead generation strategy? In this post, we'll talk about a few of the key ways you can optimize your touchpoints and not just manage, but capitalize on generational and technological literacy differences to make sure your funnel is always full. Shifting homebuyer demographics According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2021, millennials made up 43% of all homebuyers. As affordability has decreased, that statistic has changed somewhat: millennials now make up 28% of all homebuyers, with baby boomers making up the largest homebuying cohort—for now. But one thing is for certain: the share of millennials buying homes will only increase, and even gen Z is starting to dip its toes in the housing market (4% of sales in 2023). Older means wiser, but not necessarily savvier when it comes to technology The typical agent in 2023, again according to NAR, is 60 years old. Generally, tech-savviness decreases with age, and most Realtors entered the workforce before even computers were common, much less smartphones. Plus, 60% of sellers are either baby boomers or older. This means that the greatest sources of seller leads (and the professionals entrusted with coordinating their transactions) are likely more familiar and more comfortable with traditional, analog lead generation strategies: lawn signs, direct mail, cold calls, and word of mouth. But did you know you can blend analog, physical lead gen methods with digital ones for even greater success? Without leveraging both, your brokerage will be at a serious disadvantage compared to brokerages that do. Optimizing physical and digital touchpoints so they work together Technology is every real estate broker's best ally when it comes to optimizing (and we dare say, perfecting) your lead generation strategy. But according to a panel at the most recent T3 Leadership Summit, brokers spend 65% of their tech dollars on middle-of-funnel solutions, which only account for 12% of revenue. In our free ebook on making sure your touchpoints work better together, we focus on top-of-funnel solutions and spheres of influence, where each dollar spent can go much farther. As a preview, here are a few tools you can add to your lead gen strategy right now to start seeing an immediate improvement: QR codes QR codes are an easy and inexpensive way to bridge physical and digital touchpoints. They are like a link you click on a website, but you can print them on any physical material you want: a yard sign, flyer, direct mail postcard, business card, t-shirt… you name it, if it can be printed, you can put at QR code on it. Instead of clicking the QR code, a lead can scan it with their phone, which will open to any website you like, including a brokerage site, agent contact form, listing page, free home valuation, or any other conversion tool you like. Text message codes Text message codes are another way to bridge the physical and the digital through your phone. With text message codes, a lead can text a predetermined code to a specific number and receive a link about a particular listing. When they tap the link, you can capture their information automatically, making it easier to follow up with them. Want to give it a try? Text 1003 to 46835 (text message rates may apply, US only) and see what lands in your messages! Text message codes are a perfect addition to all sorts of print media, like lawn signs and flyers. Voice codes Voice codes are a third way to bridge the physical and the digital by harnessing technology to reinvent how leads contact agents by phone. Traditionally, if a lead called your number, you would have to be available to pick up the phone, ask who was calling and what their number is, what property they are interested in, and more. With voice codes, leads can call a predetermined number, enter a code for a particular active listing, and hear a description. Their contact information is automatically saved by the system, making it easy to follow up with them. Voice codes are great for print media, too, and can replace agents' phone numbers on marketing tools like yard signs. Proven ways to boost real estate lead generation Broker business is all about leads. With seller leads scarcer than ever and incubation time increasing as inventory remains low, brokers need to use every tool at their disposal during the awareness and consideration steps of the customer journey to maximize lead generation for their agents. Are you ready to learn how? Download our free e-book for even more insights about all the steps you can take to get your lead machine humming faster and smoother than ever before. Click the ebook cover below to get started. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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iGo Raises $5.5 Million to Strengthen Lead in Home Inspection Tech and Launch AI-based Home Repair Valuation
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Q2 Market Report: Half-empty or Half-full?
With the first half of 2023 behind us and summer in full swing, it's a good time to take stock of the year to date — and strategize to make the most of the year still to come. The numbers — and what they tell us When compared to this time last year, we're continuing to see certain areas trend down, including: A 24.72% decrease in new listings A 11.19% decrease in listings under contract A 22.16% decrease in listings sold But alongside the downturns, we saw an increase of 7.13% in inventory — and a staggering 40.43% increase in off-market listings. Uncertainty, and how it relates to off-market listings There are many reasons that sellers are opting for off-market listings. In 2023, homes are, more often than not, spending more than 40 days on the market — a median number that was at its lowest in America this year in May, at 43 days, and at its highest in January, at 72 days. Alongside the fact that mortgage rates are continuing to surge, sellers might be more interested in gauging interest at a certain price point than they are in the potential of starting a bidding war. Further, while in-person open houses have made their return, digital viewings are here to stay. Sellers might be looking to limit the number of showings that a competitive listing demands. With many working from home — both owners and renters alike — in-person viewings have the potential to be quite disruptive. A combination of high demand and low inventory means that, even despite high mortgage rates, many markets remain competitive — if uncertain. But you can stand out as a trusted advisor to your agents and their clients alike with support from the technology like BrokerMetrics. There's no way to control your market, but with the best insights that data can offer, it's simple to understand how your business fits into the big picture. To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blog.
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