WATCH: 3 Proven Ways to Help Your Agents Make More Money
Every brokerage wants their agents to make as much money as possible--but what does the process of attaining that goal look like? In a recent webinar, we explored just that. Two prominent broker/owners and a special guest from Inside Real Estate joined us for a panel discussion on the three components that have proven to be a brokerage's "secret sauce" for helping their agents make more money. Consolidation of tech Independent lead channels Behavioral automation Check out the recorded webinar below to learn how leading brokerages are successfully leveraging these three components in their businesses. Webinar Guests Jeff Russell, Broker/Owner, Russell Real Estate Services Ron Snow, Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Associates Utah Joe Skousen, President, Inside Real Estate Moderator: Victor Lund, Co-founder and CEO, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Victor Lund introduces the topic and panelists. 4:04 - Joe Skousen shares the story of Inside Real Estate. 6:23 - Brief overview of today's webinar agenda. 7:44 - Joe on brokerage profitability and the changing pressures on brokers. 12:30 - Consolidation and integration of technology. 13:22 - A look at research on today's brokerage technology landscape. 20:56 - Jeff Russell shares how his company's effort to consolidate technology has delivered important benefits to his agent and teams. 30:29 - Joe on the status of Inside Real Estate's back office integration with booj. 33:10 - Jeff and Ron Snow share how and why they transitioned away from third-party portals to independent lead channels. 51:29 - How behavioral automation has helped Jeff and Ron's agents focus on selling, rather than on small tasks. 57:27 - Key takeaways from this webinar, and final thoughts from Jeff and Ron. To learn more about Inside Real Estate, visit their website.
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[VIDEO] Growing the real estate client relationship: Connecting opportunity, community and reality capture
By now, most real estate agents and brokerages know what a 3D virtual tour is. They've likely either captured their own listings with a technology like Matterport or at least walked through a virtual tour online. But did you know that there are more opportunities for drumming up new real estate business with 3D tours than just scanning new listings? In a recent webinar, we explored how real estate agents and brokerages are strengthening their community ties (and passively earning business) by capturing local spaces like breweries, churches, schools, recreational facilities, and beyond. Watch the recording to learn how real estate professionals are broadening their reach with their innovative uses of Matterport 3D reality capture.
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WATCH: How to Solve Your Top Two Agent Challenges, Leads and Referrals, with Broker Public Portal with Homesnap
When the real estate community in the Chicago metro area joined the Broker Public Portal (BPP), a pleasant surprise happened in many agents' bottom line: they were able to save upwards of $3000 per month on lead generation. What made that possible and how can brokerages reap the same benefits for their own agents? That's what we explored in a recent webinar with special guest Paul Wells, a Chicago area broker/owner, and executives from Homesnap, the BPP's technology partner. Watch the video recording below to learn more:
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[VIDEO] How Independent Brokerages Are Winning the Fight Against the "Big Boys"
The independent brokerage is experiencing a resurgence, but these small and mid-sized firms face special challenges. In a webinar last week, RE Technology explored how indie brokers are competing against big brands, new brands, and the ever-increasing number of people trying to take away their business. We were joined by a panel of special guests with years' worth of insight and experience into what independent brokerages face in today's market. Watch the recorded webinar below to learn the four main challenges that independent brokerages face, and best practices for overcoming those challenges. Webinar Guests Bondilyn Jolly, VP of Marketing at Elevate and Managing Partner of 3sixtyfive.agency Frank Chimento, VP Broker Relations at Elevate Justin Falb, Managing Broker of Oceans Luxury Realty Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, Co-founder and President, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Marilyn Wilson introduces the topic and guest Bondilyn Jolly. 1:31 - Bondilyn starts the conversation by introducing Frank Chimento and Justin Falb. 3:30 - Bondilyn shares stats on the growth of the indie brokerage, and asks why brokerages and agents are choosing to go the independent route. 4:36 - Justin shares what motivated him to go independent. 8:19 - Broker challenge #1: Technology 18:57 - Broker challenge #2: Agent core services 26:00 - Broker challenge #3: Analytics and insights 43:05 - Broker challenge #4: Training and support 50:05 - How brokers can learn more about boosting their productivity with Elevate BOSS, and download a free copy of "The 27 Most Influential Words That Brokers Should Use While Recruiting." 54:23 - Question and answer segment. Next Steps Learn more about Elevate BOSS Request a consultation to download a free copy of "The 27 Most Influential Words That Brokers Should Use While Recruiting" Register for our next broker webinar, Learn how to solve your two most nagging agent challenges, Leads and Referrals, with Broker Public Portal with Homesnap Register for our next agent webinar, Do you fear anonymous reviews? Take back control of your online profile today.
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WATCH: Win Over Sellers and Close More Listings with This Tech Tool
From wowing sellers during listing presentations, to increasing sight-unseen offers, to increasing your speed to market, there's a marketing technology that can turbocharge essential aspects of your business. We're talking about 3D virtual tours--and during a recent webinar, we took an exhaustive look at all they have to offer. We were joined by representatives from Amy Kite Realty, who gave us first-hand insight into how their business is winning new clients and closing deals faster, thanks to Matterport. If you missed the webinar, no worries. We recorded it for you! Check out the video (and our notes) below:
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WATCH: Broker Public Portal with Homesnap - Take Charge of Your Listings
Paying too much for your leads? How does a price tag of $0 sound? That's how much agents and brokers across the country are paying, thanks to the Broker Public Portal with Homesnap. Available to over 1,000,000 agents, the Broker Public Portal is an industry-lead initiative that's upending the dominance of portals like Zillow--and ending the need for agents to pay for leads generated from their own listings. In a webinar last week, we learned all about the Broker Public Portal with Homesnap and what it can do for brokerages and their agents. Watch the recording below to hear from David Howell of McEnearny Associates and see a demo of Homesnap Pro and all its best features. Then, be sure to claim your share of the 1,000,000 free leads generated by Homesnap each year!
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WATCH: Kent Hanley of Coldwell Banker HPW Shares Broker Tech Strategy
Switching technology platforms is a huge undertaking. After all, your brokerage platform is more than just a website--it also includes your company intranet, integration between all tools and services used in your brokerage, individual agent websites, and more. In a recent webinar, we learned how a large brokerage firm tackled the task of the switching technology platforms. Howard Perry and Walston (HPW) is a 15-office firm that serves the Raleigh, NC market. Their CEO, Kent Hanley, relocated to the area in 2016 to lead the company. But when he used HPW's website to search for a new home, he found it difficult to use. Kent knew that if the site was cumbersome for him, it was likely confusing to consumers, as well. So once he settled in to his new role, Kent began looking into how to improve their website, as well as to understand all the technology and vendors that HPW used, and how they worked—or didn't—for the company. What Kent discovered is that HPW was well overdue for a change to their entire brokerage technology platform. Watch the webinar below to learn how HPW came to this decision, how they evaluated vendors, and made the transition to a new platform.
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WATCH: Join the Broker Public Portal Movement -- Find Out What the Buzz Is All About
Property portals dominate the consumer search landscape, but they're an ever-increasing expense for brokers and agents. In fact, Zillow's latest quarterly report said that agents spending $5k per month or more increased 58 percent! There's got to be a better way--and there is. It's called the Broker Public Portal (BPP), an industry-run portal built by "the people who sell homes, not ads." Leads are free to agents, and the BPP operates under Fair Display Guidelines. We explored the Broker Public Portal movement last week in webinar with broker and association guests from MRED, NWMLS and Homesnap, the BPP's technology partner and consumer-facing brand. Watch the recorded webinar below to learn what the BPP is, how you can join the movement, and how the BPP revolution is already well underway--BPP with Homesnap is already available to 900,00 agents nationwide. Check out the video to learn more!
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WATCH: Fend off the competition from new brokerage models
From Redfin to Purplebricks to Opendoor and beyond, the real estate landscape is rife with disruptive new brokerages that tinker not just with technology, but with the brokerage model itself. How can your brokerage compete--for both recruiting top agents and converting consumer leads--in today's brave new world? That's the question we answered in a recent webinar. We were joined by Erica Ramus, broker/owner of Ramus Realty Group in Pennsylvania. As an early adopter and self-professed technology geek, Erica runs a traditional model brokerage that not only competes with emerging models, but thrives. How does Ramus Realty Group do it? Watch the webinar recording below to find out:
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WATCH: How Profitable is Your Brokerage Compared to Your Peers?
Brokers, do you want to triple your profits without raising fees or even needing to bring on new agents? Then we've got a killer strategy for you. Recently, RE Technology teamed up with iBroker and the Profit Centre for a live webinar all about broker profitability. Attendees learned the single most important metric for driving higher profits and how brokers can drive profitability with the right metrics in hand. Did you miss the webinar? No worries... we recorded it for you! Check out the video below to catch up, and see our notes below for more information and to learn more about a special offer for RE Technology readers!
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[VIDEO] How to Keep Your Brokerage from Fading Away
Between Redfin's recent IPO and Keller Williams' $1 billion dollar investment in technology, a lot's been happening in the real estate tech space. Investors are throwing record amounts of money into industry technology, and brokerages have more tools to choose from than ever before. But regardless of which tools you choose, how do you make all of them work together? And how do you prevent each tool from becoming its own little isolated island of data? We tackled these questions head-on in a webinar last week, and explored a solution that can help: the open platform. Open platforms like the Moxi Cloud not only allow all your existing tools to work together, but they also give you greater control over all of your data. That's crucial, says webinar guest York Baur. "If you remember only one thing from today's webinar, it is this: Get control of your data." York doesn't just mean your property data, but also agent data, branding data, consumer data, and more. If your data is not in one place where all agents can easily access and contribute to it, then "You're going to be in for a challenge as these large players with these millions or billions of dollars come after the market." So how can you compete? Check the webinar recording below to learn more:
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[VIDEO] How to Delight 91% of Your Agents and Sellers without Lifting a Finger
Real estate consumers are increasingly savvy. According to NAR, over 50 percent of sellers ask if agents can digitally promote their home. "Agents don't necessarily have a good answer to that question," says West Hubbard, Director of Business Development at Adwerx. But if brokers can help their agents answer that question, it can make big impact on not just their agents' success at winning listing, but recruiting and retention for brokers West joined us last week for a live webinar on how automated listing ads can help your firm win more listings and attract and retain top performing agents. He shared how brokerages that provide digital ads can expect to see a 400 percent increase in their brand's exposure online. How? Check out the webinar recording below to learn more.
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[Video] The Secret Ingredient for a Record Breaking Year
"If an Apple data scientist and a US intelligence analyst had a baby, and that baby went into real estate marketing," it would look a lot like predictive marketing tool Totomic. At least that's how Totomic CEO Chris Weltzien describes it. It's a fair assessment — Totomic sifts through thousands of consumer and property data points to create a highly accurate profile of your listing's ideal buyer. The platform then lets you target ads to local prospects who match that profile. This means you spend money only on those most likely to buy, and save money compared to campaigns with a less precisely targeted audience. Weltzien joined us for a recent webinar, along with Greg Sundberg of Moxi Works, a back office platform that connects over 30 different broker tools, including Totomic. Together, they showed how connecting high-end consumer intelligence to your ecosystem of existing tech tools can win more deals for your firm and set you on the path to a winning 2018. Did you miss the live webinar? No worries, you can check out the video recording below. Hear what Weltzien, Sundberg, and brokerage executives Jessica Frushtick of Pacific Union and Ryan Hildebrant of Seven Gables Real Estate in Orange County, Calif. have to say about creating a record-breaking year.
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[Video] Unleashing the Marketing Power of RESO for Brokers
According to a recent survey, most brokerages have five or more tools/systems that don't communicate with each other. These are critical systems, too, like accounting, human resources, back office, CMA, etc. The problem? Many of these tools speak "different languages," due in part to a lack of standardized data fields. In fact, brokers say inconsistent data fields from the MLSs that they work with is their no. 1 data challenge. This is a challenge that increases technology costs and  the time it takes to get to market for products that use MLS data. So what's a broker to do? For an increasing number of real estate brokers, the solution is to rely on data standards. According to the aforementioned survey, a whopping 91 percent of brokers believe that data standards are critical. Brokers surveyed believe that consistent data flowing across the MLSs that they use means benefits like: Lower technology costs Focus moves to technology innovation Bug fixes are faster to implement Product enhancements are faster to market Quicker response time The benefits of data standards is a topic we tackled in depth last week during a live webinar with the Real Estate Standards Organization last week. RESO's CEO, Jeremy Crawford, and RESO board member Tom Flanagan, VP Technology for Alain Pinel Realtors in Bay, joined us for "Unleashing the Marketing Power of RESO for Brokers." Missed the webinar? Don't worry, you can catch the full replay in the recorded video below:
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[Video] Go 100% Digital, from Lead to Close
As technology transforms the real estate industry, brokerages are turning to a completely digital strategy, or what's become known as a lead-to-close strategy. On Tuesday, brokerage leaders who have implemented this strategy in their own companies shared their insights with us during a live webinar. What tools and methods are they using to help them accomplish this? To find out, watch the webinar recording below: If you don't have time to watch the full hour-long recording, here's a cheat sheet to help you find the segments most relevant to your business. Just skip ahead to the time indicated to view that portion. 0:00 - Introduction. Meet our panelists, and learn about the recent shifts and trends in real estate technology. Find out how agents fit into the digital 'ecosystem' of the 20+ apps they use over the course of a transaction. 7:00 - Meet Scott Crowley, SVP and Chief Information Officer, Berkshire Hathaway - Fox & Roach. In addition to brokerage services, Crowley's company offers mortgage, title, and insurance services. "What we tried to put together was a system that basically can sit over top of all four of those core business units and help them to function better at an enterprise level," he says. Berkshire Hathaway - Fox & Roach wanted to move customers through all four business units seamlessly. Crowley says they wanted to manage their digital assets in real time in a way that generates revenue building opportunities. They company wanted to "see if there is a better way to try to run our brokerage."
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Online Leads Don't Suck. Your Conversion Rates Do. (11/9)
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT Are you generating enough online leads to make a significant impact on revenue? Are your online leads ready to transact? Do they yield fruit for your agents? If not, let's talk. Let's talk about an easy solution that converts at a higher rate with no additional effort required from your agents or support staff. A solution that delivers the personalized experiences consumers now expect. In this exclusive RE Technology Webinar, we'll walk you through easy ways to identify key types of consumers and deliver personalized communication that gets twice the engagement rates of the industry average. We'll answer your questions on data-driven consumer engagement and demonstrate how other real estate professionals use data to increase online conversions and drive revenue as illustrated in our exclusive white paper. Onboard Informatics is a leader in data-driven engagement with 14 years of experience in real estate data. We have information on all 150 million properties in the country and their surrounding areas. We combine our data and experience to create impactful data-driven solutions. As more consumers gravitate online to find their next home, having these types of turnkey solutions will put you ahead of the competition as you advance with the latest data-driven technology. Join us November 9 as we demonstrate this technology, teach you easy ways you can incorporate these improvements, and answer your questions on improving online lead conversions. Register now!
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[VIDEO] Marketing Excellence through Automation
Our series on marketing automation culminated yesterday in a live webinar. We heard from leaders of large brokerages who are operating the same enterprise level marketing solution, but using it in completely different ways that are unique to the needs of their companies. They're at the forefront of a national trend of brokers who are turning to automation technology to generate marketing materials for their listings. According to Imprev's most recent Thought Leader Survey, 56% of brokers plan to implement marketing automation in 2016. Want to learn how marketing automation can fit your unique business needs? Watch the webinar below:
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Top 5 Reasons Brokers Choose Digital Transaction Management
Why are brokers increasingly adopting digital solutions to handle their transactions? To find out, we spoke with broker Aaron Wheeler, President and Managing Director of The Oakville Group in San Francisco, during a live webinar on Wednesday. "Transaction management is like a form of insurance," said Wheeler. "Most people don't think about transaction management like they don't think about insurance until something goes wrong." So what happens if your brokerage is sued because one of your agents allegedly fails to materially disclose something relevant to a transaction? "That's the day that transaction management becomes especially important and you need to know where those documents are and, very quickly, to show you were in the right. When you need that level of insurance, you need good insurance and DocuSign and DTR is some of the strongest that you can have." During the webinar, we explored the five key ways that digital transaction management provides that "insurance." Visibility - Get insight into brokerage performance; See how agents stack up; View activity for any transaction Compliance - Be able to manage workflow and set required tasks; Create an approval process; Rreference activity logs Control - Stay organized by setting a hierarchy of regions/offices; Assign roles and permissions to employees to create security levels; Archive and view closed transactions when needed Mobility/Flexibility - Access documents and transactions anytime and anywhere; Send documents for signatures from any device; Stay on top of your business by following activities in real time Security - View activity logs when being audited; All data is secure in the cloud; Use various document security layers to protect data integrity To listen to the full webinar, click through to the next page to access the recording. There, readers can also learn how to claim limited time discounts on DocuSign plans.
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[Video] Are Competitors Eating Your Lunch?
Are competing brokerages getting leads off your listings? You may want to look at your systems and processes. But if you run an otherwise tight ship, it's probably time to think about what's happening with your listings online. The online listing landscape is shifting rapidly, though. With the looming termination of ListHub's relationship with Zillow and Trulia, brokers and MLSs are looking at alternatives to syndication to get their listings to portals. One of those methods is direct data feeds. On Wednesday, we hosted a panel discussion of four industry experts to explore the ins and outs of direct-to-portal listing feeds. If you weren't able to attend the event, you catch what you missed via the recording below:
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Video: Exceed Your 2015 Sales Goals by Leveraging the Power of Your Agents’ Sphere of Influence
Only one out of every 100 leads from online search portals results in a conversion, according to Anna Visioli, Coldwell Banker's VP of Digital Marketing. Visioli was one of three panelists in a webinar that RE Technology hosted today that explored where to find and how to convert high quality leads. Those leads aren't anonymous needles in the proverbial online haystack. Instead, they're closer than you think--existing contacts in your agents' sphere. Today, we explored how data science can help brokers determine what those leads need, how to use that knowledge to segment your contacts and how to tailor your marketing to speak to those needs in order to create more transactions. For those who couldn't attend the webinar, you can watch the recording below. For a quick overview, click through to our notes on the next page.
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Video: The Real Estate Success Showcase
There are a lot of lead generation and management solutions on the market. It's easy for brokers to spend a lot of money trying out new solutions, but how wisely are you investing your money? That's what we asked Craig Reger, the principal broker for the Craig Reger Group in Portland, Oregon in our live webinar last week. A self-described "non-tech savvy guy," he shared how he finally found one solution that he considered a wise investment. If you missed the event, you can catch the whole conversation in the video below.
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Video: Convert Leads and Close Sales for Less
Converting leads into sales is both an art and a science. Finding leads and keeping them engaged through the buying takes both discipline and insight into consumer psychology. Today, we co-hosted a webinar with Onboard Informatics and Commissions, Inc. to uncover techniques that let consumers know us, trust us, stays with us right through closing. Our panelists shared 21 actionable tips for accomplishing this, which you can see in the webinar recording below. For brokers and agents short on time, you can check out our summary of all 21 tips on the next page.
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Video: Mobile. Local. Social.
On Tuesday, we sat down for a chat with Florida broker Richard Eimers to discuss the experience of the modern home buyer. We talked about consumer search behavior, the value of Internet leads to new agents versus seasoned agents, and the tools and resources that can make the buying process easier. If you missed our webinar, you can catch up by watching the video recording below. Readers crunched for time can skip to our notes on the next page.
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Video: Want Each of Your Agents to Sell 1 More Listing This Year?
What would it mean to your brokerage's bottom line if each of your agents got 12 more warm leads this year? What if each agent won one more listing this year? We explored these questions and more in our latest RETechinar™ on Tuesday. What's more, we took an in-depth look at a tool that can help agents nurture their contacts and close more business. But if you missed the webinar, don't worry! We've recorded it for you:
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Showing Software Becomes Key Broker Service
If you didn't attend today's RETechinar™, you missed a round table discussion about showing solutions and how they contribute to success. The webinar was moderated by RE Technology CEO and WAV Group partner Victor Lund. His invited guests included broker Alan Shafran of the Alan Shafran Group in San Diego, and Showing Suite technologist Isaac Guzman. Alan Shafran was a top producer for Prudential in San Diego with a recurring business of over $100 million in annual transactions before venturing out on his own as a broker. In the webinar, he shared how his firm-wide deployment of Showing Suite was a primary driver in taking the solutions he relied upon as a Realtor® and spreading them across a wider group of his agents. "There are a number of key efficiencies that every broker and agent need to consider to be successful," said Shafran during today's live event. "Managing showings efficiently and getting feedback for the seller are top of my list." The heart of any brokerage is managing showing appointments. The poll that ran during the webinar indicated that 57% of agents are still managing appointments manually. "In today's world of technology, that is a huge time suck," said Victor Lund of WAV Group. Lund suggests that successful brokerages have solutions that manage that process for their agents so they do not spend hours of their data setting up showings. For Shafran, a key benefit to showing software is showing feedback software. He trains his agents on how to take the feedback from both agents and buyers and share it with the seller. "If the home does not show well, or the price is wrong, we know right away," says Shafran, "and we can make adjustments immediately to fix it. We also get feedback right away if an agent is preparing an offer."
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Video: Selling the Sizzle - The One Tool Your Agents Will Actually Use and You Can't Live Without
Real estate brokers are shifting their company resources from a tradition of supporting agents by marketing listings to supporting them with client servicing tools. No single product supports this shift better than electronic signatures. On Wednesday, we hosted a live webinar exploring how one e-signature solution, DocuSign, helps brokers do just that. If you are considering transaction management in your business, this is a webinar that you must take the time to review:
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How Transaction Management Can Make You a Better Marketer
Today, brokers across the country joined us to learn about a free transaction management platform. Fresh off hosting a technology conference in Las Vegas, Reesio demonstrated how their product manages not only transactions but marketing, as well. If you missed the event, no worries. We, as always, recorded it for you. Watch the video below to see a demo of Reesio, and learn more about the politics and other aspects of transaction management today.
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How MLSs Can Support Brokers and the Community
Recently, large brokers have voiced their discontent about the focus and support they receive from their MLSs. The discord reached its boiling point last month following a panel discussion at CMLS in Boise, Idaho that sent MLS executives scrambling to touch base with their broker members. Here's one specific tool that MLSs can use to strengthen the relationship with all of their members and provide an extra boost to your large brokers, too. It's called Down Payment Resource (DPR). It integrates with your MLS system to provide your members with information about down payment assistance programs in your area. It's the first step to removing the down payment hurdle for qualifying consumers. While an average of 70% of listings in any given market are eligible for down payment assistance, these programs are often underutilized. Information can be difficult to find, but DPR makes finding this information simple. It aggregates data on all active assistance programs in your area and flags eligible listings in your MLS's data feed. At a glance, your members are able to see if a home qualifies for down payment assistance. Everybody wins with this program. If anything, large brokers with more listings actually benefit even more smaller brokers do. Any brokerage that has a mortgage company as an ancillary business can benefit in two ways--the program can help generate leads for agents as well as the mortgage division. In fact, two-thirds of agents say that with DPR they are able to convert sidelined prospects into qualified homebuyers. Large brokers can work with DPR to educate their mortgage divisions about how down payment assistance programs can significantly increase the number of clients that qualify for a mortgage--even with QM and QRM restrictions in place. Watch the attached webinar to learn more about the DPR program and how it can help your brokers grow their business.
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Does Your Broker Website Compete Effectively?
How effective is your broker or MLS website? Are you losing traffic to third party sites like Zillow and Trulia? During our webinar on Monday, we demonstrated how to build traffic to your site, improve your visitors' experience, and convert those visitors into leads. Read on for highlights from each of our three speakers, and to view the recorded presentation. WAV Group Since 2011, traffic to broker websites has gone flat, while activity on third party sites has flourished. To understand why this is, we need to turn our attention to broker websites, which have traditionally been developed around the business needs of the broker. However, it's consumers that drive success--not brokers, MLSs, or even agents. If you don't understand what the consumer looks for in a real estate website, you have no foundation on which to build a successful online presence. So what do consumers want? According to WAV Group, they want: Education - Consumers often feel lost during the homebuying process. They want to know what to expect during the homebuying process, what can go wrong, and what decisions they'll face. Service and quick response - During their research process, homebuyers want service--they don't want to be converted. They want you to respond quickly, and they want support services throughout their property search. Clarity - Many brokerage websites are messes of unorganized information. By including everything under the sun, brokers may think they're being thorough, but they're only confusing visitors--and driving them away. You can create an effective website through clean, organized design and by understanding the intent of your visitors. Real Estate Digital Competing effectively requires a constant evaluation of usability, according to David Camp of Real Estate Digital. This is not just a singular event, it's an ongoing process. Usability starts with understanding the mindset of today's online consumer, including: Attitude - "Don't waste my time; Give me what I want how I want it; Give it to me now." Not understanding this outlook of "now-ism" will prevent you from reaching the consumer. Behavior - Users exhibit these behaviors across all real estate websites: Searching for listings, Saving searches and listings; Consuming content on home values, market trends, and demographics. Only after these basics are in place on your website can you begin to create a higher level of engagement. Hunger for local content - Today, 73% of all searches are for local content. Ideas for local content include landing pages, ebooks, and dynamic information on area markets, trends, and demographics. Once you know what your visitors want, you need to understand how they use your website. Use analytics tools to follow their search experience, see how they navigate through your site, and evaluate their search keywords. Be sure to also measure key performance indicators, like time on site and bounce rates, as these demonstrate your visitor's level of engagement. To increase engagement levels, it's critical to evaluate your website. Of particular importance is the "make or break page." This is your listing detail page and lots of time and traffic are spent here. Evaluate your URL structures, as well as your calls to action (are they measurable? positioned correctly?). To learn more, contact [email protected] for their Website Platform Usability and Conversion Guide. The Search Agency Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and buying links. Now, search is all about meeting the user's intent. Search engines like Google try to determine intent by weighing where the user is searching from, the content of their query, and their previous search history. So it follows that effective search engine optimization is all about connecting your site's content with the user's intent. The Search Agency's holistic SEO approach--dubbed h(SEO)--encourages site owners to do this by "thinking beyond the link" to content strategy, analytics, and social media. Key components of this approach include: Creating relevance - This can be achieved with focused onsite content that satisfies homebuyer's search intent. As mentioned earlier, searchers crave local content. Demonstrate your local expertise by creating content that satisfies this hunger and connects with their intent. Building authority - This is all about creating social visibility by becoming a "legitimate topic expert." You can do this by deploying off-site assets that create brand and topic associations, citations, affiliations, connections and mentions within social media, blogs, publishers, and other relevant authority venues. Engagement - Measure onsite user experience and interaction by reviewing analytics for poor engagement. Metrics like high bounce rates indicate that user intent may not be satisfied. Also, make sure that all content is shareable. For more information, download The Search Agency's whitepaper, h(SEO)-A Holistic Approach to Search Engine Optimization. Watch the Webinar You can view the complete webinar below:
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What Serious Buyers Want: Local Market Knowledge
Did you miss the kick-off of our October webinar series on Tuesday? We teamed up with Florida broker Richard Eimers and VOW provider Quantum Leads to explore how giving customers what they want--more data--is the key to capturing more leads. While consumers may start their search on big portals like Zillow and Trulia, studies show that serious home buyers prefer sites run by local real estate professionals. Why? Because consumers that are ready to buy are looking for genuine knowledge of the local market that the portals' generic AVMs simply can't provide. Watch the webinar above to learn more about an easy way to give consumers the data they're looking for, or check out our notes on the next page. Prior to using Quantum Leads, Richard Eimers worked with three third-party IDX solutions. They were all fine, he told us during the webinar, despite his feeling that there was still something missing. "Really, the only question they were addressing was what's for sale. I found that the needs and the desires of the buyers as we spoke to them after they came into the office is that they wanted more information." And information is exactly what a website like Quantum Leads provides--info on active, pending, sold, and even expired listings. For any property, a Virtual Office Website can provide complete data, including when the seller came on the market, at what price, how many times they listed, and more. "That makes for a more intelligent buyer," Eimers said. "The buyer that comes into our office when with depth and wealth of information makes our jobs much better. Rather than showing them 20 properties, we're showing them six properties, and when they come in, they're ready to buy. When they're in and they've looked at those properties, they already have a sense of value. We don't have to sit there and re-educate them--they're educated. They know what the competing properties have sold for. So when we write an offer, we're not writing lowball offers, we're writing reasonable offers and we can negotiate these things. We can negotiate fast and easy. It is an unbelievable pleasure to work with knowledgeable buyers." VOWs can be useful to sellers, too. "We have found many times that sellers have been coming to these websites and they're becoming knowledgeable about, Oh, this is why my property didn't sell," Eimers explained. "We can talk to them more intelligently also. I think that education has been the most important part of it." The consumer facing side of Virtual Office Websites is only one half of the story, though. Quantum Leads offers brokers the ability to manage their leads and their agent all from one back-end solution. You can learn more in our product review, or watch the webinar for a live demo.. Next Steps Visit Quantum Leads' website to learn more Explore more VOW solutions in our Product Directory Read more articles about Virtual Office Websites Join us on Tuesday, October 15 to learn How to optimize your workflow with Cartavi, or find more free webinars
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Help More New Buyers Qualify for Loans
Are you looking for ways to increase your mortgage conversion rates? QM and QRM has made it harder for homebuyers--especially first-time homebuyers--to qualify for a mortgage. First-time buyers struggle to come up with the funds for the down payment even when they can afford the mortgage. Fortunately, there's an exciting program that can help you increase your mortgage conversion rates by helping more new buyers qualify for loans and come up with the down payment they need. It's called Down Payment Resource (DPR). It integrates with your MLS system to provide you with information about down payment assistance programs in your area. It's the first step to removing the down payment hurdle for qualifying consumers. While an average of 70% of listings in any given market are eligible for down payment assistance, these programs are often underutilized. Information can be difficult to find, but DPR makes finding this information simple. It aggregates data on all active assistance programs in your area and flags eligible listings in your MLS's data feed. At a glance, agents and brokers are able to see if a home qualifies for down payment assistance. Everybody wins with this program. Large brokers with more listings actually benefit even more smaller brokers do. Any brokerage that has a mortgage company as an ancillary business can benefit in two ways--the program can help generate leads for agents as well as the mortgage division. In fact, two-thirds of agents say that with DPR they are able to convert sidelined prospects into qualified homebuyers. Large brokers can work with DPR to educate their mortgage divisions about how down payment assistance programs can significantly increase the number of clients that qualify for a mortgage--even with QM and QRM restrictions in place. The best news for brokers? Down Payment Resource is FREE because it's offered through your local MLS. Here's the list of MLSs that currently offer the program. If you don't see your organization on the list, contact your MLS and see if you can get them to purchase Down Payment Resource on your behalf. Watch the webinar below to learn how Down Payment Resource can help you attract new first-time homebuyers and enable them to qualify for a mortgage.
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Convert More Buyers with the Next Generation of School Content
Last year, 25 percent of home sales were affected by the quality of local schools, according to NAR's Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers. For families with school-aged children, poor schools are one concession that most buyers are not willing to make. In fact, only 3 percent of buyers compromised on the quality of schools last year when selecting a home! It's no surprise, then, that comprehensive information on local schools is data that buyers covet most. Your brokerage's website is the most effective channel for this information. When integrated with your site's property search function, this data lets buyers zero in on the perfect home. It also arms your agents with a decision support tool that adds value to their client relationships. RE Technology recently teamed up with Onboard Informatics for a webinar that explored the newest in school-based search for web and mobile. Attendees learned how detailed data like Attendance Zones and School Profiles can help your clients and prospects find a home that matches their needs, and add value to your brokerage's website. Watch the recording below to learn more: What is a School Attendance Zone? To better understand what a school attendance zone is, let's compare it to a school district is. According to Onboard, "A school district refers to the geographical area of a local school administration while a school attendance zone showcases which areas 'belong' to which schools." A school district is a broader geographic region than an attendance zone. It encompasses all the elementary, middle, and high schools within an area. An attendance zone zeroes in on exactly which elementary, middle, or high school a child will attend based on the location of a home. For example, school district information can only tell you that your 15-year old will attend Ann Arbor Public Schools if you buy a certain house. School attendance zones will tell you that your teenager will be going to Pioneer High within that district. Implementing school attendance zones on your brokerage's website can help you: Determine which district, high school, middle school, and elementary school children in a particular home will attend Visualize the "coverage area" of a district or school Append specific school information to listings as they're entered Let web and mobile users search for listings within a desired school attendance zone Add SEO pages to your website to capture school and district searches For more information on School Attendance Zones, see Onboard Informatics' website.
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Correcting False Consumer Beliefs About the Real Estate Market
On Wednesday, hundreds of real estate professionals joined RE Technology for our webinar, "How to Combat Misinformation about the Real Estate Market." Attendees learned about data-based strategies and tools they can use to correct erroneous beliefs that consumers have about the market, like prices and home values. It begins with education. We heard from two brokers, Ed Finlan of Ed Finlan Group-Keller Williams Western Realty and Amy Gallagher of Century 21 Hometown Realty, on how they're leveraging these new data tools to communicate correct information to consumers online and gain credibility as knowledgeable local market experts. As always, we've recorded the webinar for those who couldn't attend. Check out our video below to see how you, too, can leverage data to transform the consumer experience. Both Finlan and Gallagher use a tool from CoreLogic called Market Trends Premium. Creator CoreLogic has tied together MLS data with the public record information to create a better forecast of the real estate market. "By using data from the MLS which is crafted by Market Trends Premium, our customers get a more accurate and realistic understanding of the market because the data used is the closed sale price from the MLS," says Amy Gallagher. Her company, Century 21 Hometown, uses Market Trends in the following ways: Area Market Trends landing pages Improving content quality by bolstering claims with charts and graphs Cross-linking from other articles for SEO and increased page views Populate city and neighborhood landing pages with rich market data Gallagher leverages Market Trends on C21's website to educate a broad swath of consumers. In contrast, the Ed Finlan Group uses it "more on a one-to-one with different clients and potential clients." Here are a few examples: Educate buyers on suggested offer pricing Educate sellers on realistic home prices Statistical data for blogging Give neighborhood date for city/neighborhood sites Updates for sellers Reports for potential buyers and sellers Data on single property websites Post data on social media "The overall goal with Market Trends is the unique combination of both MLS content, which you all have at your fingertips, supplemented with property records and tax information to really give a complete, holistic view of what's going on in the market," says Steve Masters of CoreLogic. Masters shared a live demo of Market Trends Premium with attendees after Gallagher's and Finlan's presentations. Be sure to watch our recording to view the full demonstration! An Exclusive Discount for RET Members CoreLogic is offering webinar attendees and RE Technology readers a 25% discount on annual subscriptions. Visit marketrendspremium.com to claim the offer, and use promo code JAN22 (case sensitive) at checkout.
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Introducing DocuSign's New Broker Platform
Yesterday, brokers across the nation attended our webinar, "Brokers, Accelerate Your Business with DocuSign for Real Estate." Guest Glenn Shimkus, former Cartavi co-founder and current VP of Product Management at DocuSign, showed us a live demo of the company's new broker solution. If you weren't able to attend the webinar, no worries--we recorded it for you! Check out the video below to view the entire presentation, then click through to the next page to read our notes. Our webinar provided one of the first looks into DocuSign for Real Estate PLUS, Broker Edition. The new solution integrates "transaction rooms" into DocuSign's eSignature platform, giving users the ability to manage, share, eSign, and store transaction documents entirely within DocuSign. The transaction rooms were once part of Cartavi, a transaction management solution that DocuSign acquired last year. Cartavi has been completely integrated into the DocuSign brand, and during our webinar, Shimkus introduced attendees to the new broker dashboard. Features of DocuSign's Broker Edition include: Ownership and oversight of all data and documents in every transaction Manage your agents and staff with real time visibility A way to track how individual agents, offices, and regions are growing your brokerage via flexible reporting tools A single centralized library to distribute forms, marketing brochures, presentation templates, and more A way to stay on top of listing dates, pricing changes, contract, expected closing dates, and beyond An easy method to review and approve transactions Incorporation of company logos and information for branding purposes There are many more features available, too--like the ability to compare revenue, closings, and agent rankings. To learn more, view our webinar or visit DocuSign's website.
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Introducing DocuSign's New Broker Platform
Yesterday, brokers across the nation attended our webinar, "Brokers, Accelerate Your Business with DocuSign for Real Estate." Guest Glenn Shimkus, former Cartavi co-founder and current VP of Product Management at DocuSign, showed us a live demo of the company's new broker solution. If you weren't able to attend the webinar, no worries--we recorded it for you! Check out the video below to view the entire presentation, then click through to the next page to read our notes.
MORE >
Correcting False Consumer Beliefs About the Real Estate Market
On Wednesday, hundreds of real estate professionals joined RE Technology for our webinar, "How to Combat Misinformation about the Real Estate Market." Attendees learned about data-based strategies and tools they can use to correct erroneous beliefs that consumers have about the market, like prices and home values. It begins with education. We heard from two brokers, Ed Finlan of Ed Finlan Group-Keller Williams Western Realty and Amy Gallagher of Century 21 Hometown Realty, on how they're leveraging these new data tools to communicate correct information to consumers online and gain credibility as knowledgeable local market experts. As always, we've recorded the webinar for those who couldn't attend. Check out our video below to see how you, too, can leverage data to transform the consumer experience. See our notes on the next page!
MORE >
Convert More Buyers with the Next Generation of School Content
Last year, 25 percent of home sales were affected by the quality of local schools, according to NAR's Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers. For families with school-aged children, poor schools are one concession that most buyers are not willing to make. In fact, only 3 percent of buyers compromised on the quality of schools last year when selecting a home! It's no surprise, then, that comprehensive information on local schools is data that buyers covet most. Your brokerage's website is the most effective channel for this information. When integrated with your site's property search function, this data lets buyers zero in on the perfect home. It also arms your agents with a decision support tool that adds value to their client relationships. RE Technology recently teamed up with Onboard Informatics for a webinar that explored the newest in school-based search for web and mobile. Attendees learned how detailed data like Attendance Zones and School Profiles can help your clients and prospects find a home that matches their needs, and add value to your brokerage's website. Watch the recording below to learn more:
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How MLSs Can Support Brokers and the Community
Recently, large brokers have voiced their discontent about the focus and support they receive from their MLSs. The discord reached its boiling point last month following a panel discussion at CMLS in Boise, Idaho that sent MLS executives scrambling to touch base with their broker members. Here's one specific tool that MLSs can use to strengthen the relationship with all of their members and provide an extra boost to your large brokers, too. It's called Down Payment Resource (DPR). It integrates with your MLS system to provide your members with information about down payment assistance programs in your area. It's the first step to removing the down payment hurdle for qualifying consumers. While an average of 70% of listings in any given market are eligible for down payment assistance, these programs are often underutilized. Information can be difficult to find, but DPR makes finding this information simple. It aggregates data on all active assistance programs in your area and flags eligible listings in your MLS's data feed. At a glance, your members are able to see if a home qualifies for down payment assistance. Everybody wins with this program. If anything, large brokers with more listings actually benefit even more smaller brokers do. Any brokerage that has a mortgage company as an ancillary business can benefit in two ways--the program can help generate leads for agents as well as the mortgage division. In fact, two-thirds of agents say that with DPR they are able to convert sidelined prospects into qualified homebuyers.
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Rewind! 3 Videos from our October Webinar Series
Did you miss our October webinar series? Never fear--we recorded them for you! Even better, we've made it easy to catch up. Check out the recordings of each webinar below. Make Your Business Explode with a Powerful Lead Generation Program October 8, 2013 Why do home buyers end up on third party portals like Zillow and Trulia, time and again. It's because even though the data on these websites is often inaccurate, they provide a more complete market picture than agent and broker sites do. So how can real estate professionals compete with third party portals? By giving consumers what they want--more data! We teamed up with Quantum Leads to teach our readers how to do just that. Watch the video below to learn how to attract potential new clients directly to your website, and keep them there. Say goodbye to paying for promotion on third party portals! Read our Product Review to learn more about Quantum Leads.
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Help More New Buyers Qualify for Loans
Are you looking for ways to increase your mortgage conversion rates? QM and QRM has made it harder for homebuyers--especially first-time homebuyers--to qualify for a mortgage. First-time buyers struggle to come up with the funds for the down payment even when they can afford the mortgage. Fortunately, there's an exciting program that can help you increase your mortgage conversion rates by helping more new buyers qualify for loans and come up with the down payment they need. It's called Down Payment Resource (DPR). It integrates with your MLS system to provide you with information about down payment assistance programs in your area. It's the first step to removing the down payment hurdle for qualifying consumers. While an average of 70% of listings in any given market are eligible for down payment assistance, these programs are often underutilized. Information can be difficult to find, but DPR makes finding this information simple. It aggregates data on all active assistance programs in your area and flags eligible listings in your MLS's data feed. At a glance, agents and brokers are able to see if a home qualifies for down payment assistance. Everybody wins with this program. Large brokers with more listings actually benefit even more smaller brokers do. Any brokerage that has a mortgage company as an ancillary business can benefit in two ways--the program can help generate leads for agents as well as the mortgage division. In fact, two-thirds of agents say that with DPR they are able to convert sidelined prospects into qualified homebuyers.
MORE >
What Serious Buyers Want: Local Market Knowledge
Did you miss the kick-off of our October webinar series on Tuesday? We teamed up with Florida broker Richard Eimers and VOW provider Quantum Leads to explore how giving customers what they want--more data--is the key to capturing more leads. While consumers may start their search on big portals like Zillow and Trulia, studies show that serious home buyers prefer sites run by local real estate professionals. Why? Because consumers that are ready to buy are looking for genuine knowledge of the local market that the portals' generic AVMs simply can't provide. Watch the webinar above to learn more about an easy way to give consumers the data they're looking for, or check out our notes on the next page.
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Does Your Broker Website Compete Effectively?
How effective is your broker or MLS website? Are you losing traffic to third party sites like Zillow and Trulia? During our webinar on Monday, we demonstrated how to build traffic to your site, improve your visitors' experience, and convert those visitors into leads. Read on for highlights from each of our three speakers, and to view the recorded presentation. WAV Group Since 2011, traffic to broker websites has gone flat, while activity on third party sites has flourished. To understand why this is, we need to turn our attention to broker websites, which have traditionally been developed around the business needs of the broker. However, it's consumers that drive success--not brokers, MLSs, or even agents. If you don't understand what the consumer looks for in a real estate website, you have no foundation on which to build a successful online presence.
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