Fostering Collaborative Spirit in Your Brokerage

Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K Smith, author of The Wisdom of Teams, observes, “There is virtually no environment in which teams—if done right—can’t have a measurable impact on the performance of an organization.” This statement is true for your brokerage, too. Building and keeping a team of agents who share your brokerage mission is the starting place for building a culture of support and fostering a common drive for success. Your ability to communicate and lead is critical to motivating the team and getting positive results that are greater than the sum of their individual parts.

Recruit Right the First Time

As you know, creating a solid team of both veteran and new agents is crucial to your brokerage. Skills, ethics and motivation are always important factors to consider, but you also need to determine if each agent has a vision and drive similar to yours. All it takes is one bad personality to ruin an otherwise good team of agents and lower your credibility. Take the time to recruit the right agents and you will have no regrets.

Be a Leader

Building a real estate agent team means you’re in charge; so be a leader. Believe in your agents and your purpose. You should know the strengths of all your agents to determine how you could best to use them to elevate the brokerage. Then encourage them to take on certain roles based on their strengths. This will help reinforce teamwork, while still allowing them to be independent. For instance, perhaps one of your agents is skilled in contract writing and agrees to teach a few classes a year for your agents or help new agents write their first contracts. Or maybe younger agents can provide older agents some social media tips and tricks to make them more comfortable using that medium. Mentor wisely, as being a leader means allowing everyone to grow personally and professionally, while encouraging them to care about each other’s well-being.

Consistently Strengthen Your Brand

While your agent team may continually change, there are a few things that should remain constant: all agents should align with your basic brokerage values, all should have clear goals and a path for success, and all should follow a level of consistency in how they represent your brokerage as a brand. Building a brand is especially important for the independent broker who does not have a recognized national brand to leverage. Let each agent know how to present your brand in the sales process and on listing appointments so that your competitive advantages are really highlighted. Consistency here will create local awareness and a strong brand for you and your agents to stand behind. Katzenbach and Smith believe that leaders must communicate the “purpose, meaning and performance implications of visions”.  By sharing and articulating your goals to your team and asking for their help and participation, your agents will feel invested and empowered to achieve them. They will want the plan to succeed as much as you do.

Benefit From a Culture of Sharing

It’s a natural inclination for a team to want to win. Agents in the brokerage must share an eagerness to ask questions, try new approaches, learn from results and take responsibility for making change happen. They should be able to do this in a safe environment, where mistakes are not overly criticized, but treated as coaching opportunities, and new thinking is considered an asset. If your agents succeed and feel like they are an integral part of the growth and success of the organization, you’ll have happier agents, strengthen your bottom line and drive a positive perception of your brand in the office, which projects itself into the market. Who doesn’t want to work with a happy, successful office?

Create a Shared Purpose. Celebrate Successes.

Do more with your current agents and hire new agents with your vision in mind. Everyone has a strength. Use those strengths for the betterment of the brokerage, while fostering an agent environment of communication and teamwork. Have actionable goals for agents to work toward as a team, such as a certain number of listings and a certain amount of open house traffic each month, so everyone gets a chance to contribute. Keep the individual in mind, too, to reward key players who go above-and-beyond to help other agents. For instance, those who bring in the most listings in a given month or close the most transactions.

Continually lead in new ways that bring out the best from all agents. Together, agents can help each other overcome obstacles to growth while learning along the way. Build team of positive-thinking individual agents and by motivating each other, you’ll watch as they gain prosperity and happiness, while your brokerage triumphs in productivity.

Team Dynamics Can Be Tough To Get Right

You know how to run your business, but everyone can use a little help sometimes.  Having a resource that provides you with the systems and the coaching to help grow your business can make it easier and help you reach your goals faster. As a Weichert Affiliate, our mission is to see you succeed and our service teams are always there to help, so you never feel like you have to go it alone. That’s the power of We. That’s the power of Weichert.

If you think your brokerage could benefit from becoming a Weichert franchise, call 877-746-8807 to learn more or go to weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/real-estate-agent-recruiting/fostering-collaborative-spirit-in-your-brokerage/

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Demonstrating Value: The Power of a Good Listing Presentation.

When competing for a listing, every Agent wants to maximize their commission. However, in an age of discount brokerages and easily-accessible online information, clients are often left wondering whether they are getting the best value. “What exactly am I getting for my money?” they may ask. This is where having a solid listing presentation can be as good as gold. By clearly demonstrating to your clients the services you will be providing, outlining a clear marketing plan for their home and the expertise you bring to the transaction, any questions in their mind over the commission go away and the only question left is “where do I sign?”

But having a good listing presentation shouldn’t stop at your own listings. Creating a solid listing presentation is an important tool to have in your brokerage to be used by all your agents. Not only does it avoid each agent having to recreate the wheel, but it ensures all the agents within your brokerage are communicating a consistent message to the clients in your market and gives you something to provide brand new agents to help ensure their success. So how does your listing presentation stack up?

The Keys to Overcoming Objections

It is up to the listing agent to present themselves in a way that makes it clear that there is a world of service a client gets with a full-service brokerage. There is also a world of things that can go wrong with companies selling properties on cut-rate commissions. It is up to your agents to really lay it out for them.

Here are some ideas to incorporate into a listing presentation template that clearly show the client all your agent brings to the process:

  • Showcase their home. Show that the agent understands their property and all of its features.
  • Present a market price analysis that takes into account local trends to assure that the property will be priced properly to help it sell quickly at the best possible price.
  • Outline a marketing plan with everything that will be done to market the home from the exposure your brokerage will provide for the property online to attract buyers searching, to neighborhood marketing, to open houses.
  • Create a handy chart and/or infographic that lists the myriad of things the agent will be doing to help the client sell their home. From setting the price, to holding open houses, to negotiating the final contract. Clients often have no idea all that goes into the process.
  • Craft a brokerage page(s) that lists the resources the agent makes accessible to the seller, from the support of the team within the office, to mortgage and insurance partners, to relocation partners and other service providers.
  • Include a resume template where the agent can outline their expertise, from their selling experience to their local knowledge of the community and notable recognitions.

Agents appreciate having a listing presentation template that incorporates this type of information to help sell their services and is packaged in an easy-to-follow, attractive format.  At Weichert, one of the most highly regarded tools used by its affiliates is the DOORS listing presentation. The Weichert presentation can be easily customized online and creates a powerful visual presentation that showcases a client’s home through photography, outlines all the support resources from the brokerage available to support the seller, provides a comprehensive plan to market and promote the home online and in the community and more. In addition, it promotes the agent, demonstrates their value in the process and helps them maximize their commission.  The agent can have the presentation bound or present it electronically depending on what will be best received by the client. When put up against competitive listing presentations by other agents, the Weichert agent walks away with the listing more often than not. It’s a big step in getting potential sellers to understand what a full-service brokerage is all about.

Maximize the Agent Commission. Maximize Your Brokerage’s Bottom Line.

Sellers want a deal, but they also want to make sure their biggest asset is in the best hands. Give your agents the tools to give them confidence in their worth by demonstrating extraordinary market knowledge and the ability to provide high-quality service. By helping your agents maximize their commission, you help your bottom line.

It can be difficult for you to find time to develop the right tools for your agents, such as an effective listing presentation. As a Weichert Affiliate, you get access to a suite of proven marketing and sales tools which are always being refreshed, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. This leaves you with more time to manage your brokerage. If this sounds like something your business could benefit from, find out more. Call 877-567-3350 or visit weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/demonstrating-value-the-power-of-a-good-listing-presentation/

 

Franchise Success Spotlight: Weichert® Affiliate Steve Wilke – Weichert, Realtors® – Triumph Group

stee-wilkeAs Weichert® Affiliate Steve Wilke stands out in front of the construction site where he will build the new 5,000 square foot home of Weichert, Realtors® – Triumph Group, he can’t help but reflect on how far his brokerage has come in such a short time.

“I’ve been a broker since 2002, but my most significant growth has happened only since 2016. That was the year I became a Weichert broker. Prior to that we didn’t even have an office; my agents and I worked out of our homes.”

While Steve may seem like an overnight success story, his real estate career actually began when he was just a boy knocking around Dublin, Ohio.

“I used to cut grass for a guy whose son was a big real estate success locally. He drove a fancy car and he always wore a suit and gave off an aura of success. I kind of liked that. When I started as an agent, he’s who I went to work for.”

Dublin, Ohio is really a Columbus suburb, so relocation into this major city and surrounding areas is a big business driver. When Weichert found Steve in 2016, he was a broker running a team of about 20 agents out of his home, doing a fair amount of relocation work. Like many independent brokers, he was also still the top producer in his agency. “I wasn’t really trying to get listings, but they came to me due to the reputation I’d established over the years. Generally, these listings were from my sphere of influence.”

But in 2012, one of their largest relocation clients left them. JP Morgan Chase, a major banking client with national relocation needs informed Steve that they could only offer Columbus relocation work to brokerages with a national presence.  Almost overnight, Steve lost a major source of business and began to consider what being part of a respected national real estate brand would mean for his credibility in the marketplace.

Steve had heard from Weichert in the past, but when they called again in early 2016, Steve was ready to listen. Through prior contacts with Weichert and personal observation, Steve already knew Weichert was the only real estate franchise he would consider affiliating with. In a few short months Steve was ready to sign, but only one small problem remained. Weichert requires affiliates to have an actual office address. So for the first time, Steve rented office space in a local building and moved himself and his team in.

Finding His Way With Weichert

Steve’s agent team welcomed the change to Weichert. The Weichert “Fast Track” training program and its methodology around the automated DOORS listing presentation really sealed the deal. In Steve’s words “As a broker for almost 15 years I thought ‘what are these guys going to teach me that I don’t already know?’, but the bottom line is that you don’t know what you don’t know. I learned a ton.”

In short order, Steve got back the relocation work from Chase. Then he added relocation work for companies like Disney, Pepsico, Lowes, Black & Decker, Dupont, Scotts Lawn, etc., all referrals to his brokerage through Weichert Workforce Mobility, a national source of referrals for Weichert brokers who are operating in relocation markets.

Getting Results

In the almost 2 years Steve has been with Weichert, Steve grew his agent team from 20 to 52 agents following the Weichert strategies for recruitment and training. Steve attributes the growth primarily to the increased credibility that being part of the Weichert brand has brought him. His brokerage is the place to be and attracting and keeping agents has become much easier.

But even more amazing is Steve’s top line growth. In his first year, sales rose a respectable 18%. Then as his team became experts in delivering the Weichert sales methodology, the Weichert Lead Network driving more business opportunities, and the DOORS listing presentation driving even more listings and closings, sales in his second year are up over 500%.

And so, Steve finds himself looking at the grounds that will hold the beautiful new home of Weichert, Realtors® – Triumph Group, an office he is building from scratch. “I could rent, but I’m in this for the long haul. Having my own place from which to run the business is really a dream come true for me.”

See what Steve has to say about Weichert’s strategies for recruiting agents.

For more information on how Weichert helps put brokerages on the path to growth, call our team today at 877-567-3350 or visit our website weichertfranchise.com.

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Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/franchise-success-spotlight-weichert-affiliate-steve-wilke-weichert-realtors-triumph-group/

 

5 Habits Of The Most Successful Brokers

You’re an independent broker who understands the real estate business. You convey confidence and know how to motivate others to be their most productive, but you need to stay fresh and relevant to get ahead of the competition. Set your sights even higher using these five habits for successful brokers adapted from Stephen R. Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit 1. Create New Opportunities

As a tenacious broker, you get every job done. Being proactive and vigorously pursuing new opportunities is crucial for brokerage growth. Stay persistent and build new business, whether local or outside your area. Tap outside vendors, contractors, investors and builders for sales leads or partner with them for co-marketing opportunities. For instance, contract with a builder to list multiple units in a new condo conversion with your brokerage or maybe get a janitorial service you use to promote your brokerage on their company vehicles. Always remain proactive and in control while searching for new avenues of business and don’t be afraid to create your own opportunities.

Habit 2. Have A Plan

You obviously had goals to get you where you are today, so you understand how goals drive success. Leverage those goals by making them the focus of your daily habits. On a larger scale, use your carefully crafted business plan as a guide toward your continual long- and short-term goals. Factor in flexibility, which is important to making your goals come to fruition. Staying one step ahead by analyzing such things as market fluctuations, economic changes and technological trends and adjusting your plan early on are habits that can make your brokerage thrive no matter what comes your way.

Habit 3. Work With Others

To make your plan come to life, it takes a team. Build a mutually beneficial group of managers and administrators as a support team, as well as a team of agents that can help resolve problems based on legal, ethical and brokerage laws and procedures. They can become a sounding board for each other. Actively listen to and understand your support team and your agents to gain their respect, so they will listen to what you have to say, too. Accomplish more through good relations and outstanding synergy, which is easier than working alone.

Habit 4. Be A Leader

Having trouble letting go of management tasks that eat away at your time and stop you from taking business to the next level? As an independent broker, you’re not alone in letting go. After all, the brokerage is your baby. But can your goals really be achieved when you’re spreading yourself so thin? For optimum success, you need to allow yourself time to use your ingenuity and make your personal vision truly come to life. Step aside–it’s time to be a leader and let your trained support team manage the brokerage’s day to day tasks.

Sometimes being a leader also means reaching out for help for the greater good of your team and for expediency. Having an expert coach or a network of trusted advisors is important. A common theme among experienced independent realtors is that they’ve “seen it all”. And yet when they go through the Weichert training as a new affiliate, a common reaction is “I just didn’t know how much I didn’t know”. A Weichert Affiliate gets lots of coaching and support from our expert team of industry professionals and other peer affiliates nationwide and this can become a priceless asset to growing your brokerage.

Habit 5. Avoid Burnout

If you follow the above four habits, you have created a more sustainable business model. Business is only part of life. Learn to balance your work and personal life to avoid burnout. That means taking time for yourself and your family to recharge your energy and renew your mind. Do things you love, take a vacation, honor family time, go out with friends, work out, practice mindfulness, keep learning and eat healthfully. Pursue community service to give back by donating time or money to a local cause. Schedule business and personal or family time separately to create a model that works for the long-haul and keeps you at your prime.

Success is a Habit

Get the expert coaching you need to actualize these five habits and build on your brokerage success. Learn more about becoming a Weichert Affiliate at weichertfranchise.com or call 877-746-2067.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/real-estate-coaching/5-habits-of-the-most-successful-brokers/

Six Ways To Network With Fellow Brokers

Your bustling independent brokerage is a testament to how hard you’ve worked to be known as an expert in your local real estate market. Still, it’s hard to keep up with new real estate laws, tax changes and the ever forward march of technology and digital strategies while running your daily brokerage operations. You can’t expect to know everything. That’s where having a solid support network of other brokers and real estate experts can really help. In fact, a Real Trends study indicates that independent brokers without a network do less in sales than brokerages affiliated with their larger franchised competitors who have broker networks (8.7 percent versus 10 percent or more of total sales transaction volume).

Your Broker Network Helps You Grow

As a broker, connecting with others is an integral part of running a real estate operation. Having a tuned-in network of peers and industry partners to depend on is an invaluable asset when you need to keep up-to-date, seek expert answers, or require help problem solving. You may even find a mentor to help coach you toward better efficiency and a more rewarding, balanced life.

These associations can also increase sales when you show your own knowledge and trustworthiness. Buyers and sellers may be referred to your brokerage and exclusive listings shared for faster sales.

Broker Networking Strategies

Independent brokers all face similar challenges that can be resolved together on national, regional or local levels. Different networking strategies get different results. Try a mix of these four ways to associate with other independent brokers and real estate partners and build your broker network:

  • Use your Active Rain profile (or start one) to ask and respond to questions posted by managing brokers. Read and comment on blogs of other brokers to build rapport or blog to share information you’ve learned.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn, Facebook or other social networking sites or start your own group just for independent brokers. Be active in responding to others, so you’ll get responses to your questions.
  • Attend functions of local real estate, mortgage or other industry-specific groups to associate with influencers and exchange contact information.
  • Attend national trade shows and conferences to meet independent brokers, start discussions and develop relationships.
  • Join a relocation council or group to receive the benefit of relocation leads and referrals.

Overall, broker networking is a challenge for the independent. This is where being part of an established national brand can give you a leg up. The right affiliation allows you to simply plug in and offers a sixth way to build a support network. Weichert affiliate Brokers for instance, enjoy a built-in broker network  that connects them to hundreds of affiliates across the country.  They enjoy regional and national opportunities to meet both virtually and face to face through events like our “Saw Session” workshops, regional Broker Council Meetings, Management Academies and national conferences, not to mention active Facebook discussion groups and advisory meetings. Plus, Weichert Workforce Mobility, our top-rated relocation company, offers affiliates the opportunity to qualify for relocation leads. Because we foster a community of support and sharing, members are very comfortable just even picking up the phone or emailing one-on-one to get advice, share ideas, bounce things around and share referrals. The family-like support that brokers receive as part of the Weichert system is one of the biggest reasons affiliates join us and stay with us.

Get Expert Advice

When you just don’t have the time to be an expert in every part of running your brokerage, having a network of peers and industry experts can be invaluable. But don’t just take our word for it, see what Weichert Affiliate Julie Fugate has to say about having comprehensive support..

Don’t feel like you have to go it alone. You can still run your own business while benefiting from an affiliation with a larger system. Learn more at weichertfranchise.com or call 877-957-9692.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/six-ways-network-fellow-brokers/

Build Your Business, Let Your Agents Sell Listings

Running a real estate brokerage is a rewarding business. You can do things your way from choosing a name and a location, training and mentoring a team, and driving your marketing.  You know you’ll never forget the excitement you felt when your sign was hung outside your brokerage for the first time. You made the transition from motivated sales associate to independent business owner and with that, comes a necessary shift in your thinking, and your actions.

The Salesperson Within

Most of the independent brokers we talk to were excellent sales associates. It’s why they made the move to being a broker. But a few years in, too many of them are still actively selling their own listings on a day to day basis. If this describes you, you have to know that you’re limiting your brokerage growth by continuing to actively sell. Before you hung your sign, the inner manager in you should have begun to change your focus from selling, to the process of managing. This means recruiting both experienced and promising new agents, and figuring out how to make them successful. Sure, it’s hard to break away from selling homes. After all, your sales prowess paid your bills all these years, but now it’s time to use your expertise to help other agents succeed and increase your bottom line. Salaried or contracted specialized administrative employees can help ease your work load and move you away from directly working with buyers and sellers to focusing on increasing agent transactions.

The Case for Letting Go

Many brokers mistakenly believe that they can’t stop selling or they won’t have the revenue to continue their operations or sustain their own income level. Inevitably this feeling is really due to another issue: you don’t believe your staff is able to do it as successfully as you. While this may even be true, if you want your brokerage to continue to succeed and grow, you need to invest in addressing that issue, not out meeting sellers to get listings. Train your agents to sell like you do, recruit new agents, and resist the temptation to slide back to old ways. Do that and everyone will reap the benefits and financial reward.

In fact, non-selling brokers typically earn more than those that continue to sell after opening their own brokerage. National Association of Realtors member profile for 2015 showed that managing brokers who solely took charge of their brokerage earned a median annual salary of $102,200 as opposed to $86,400 for brokers who also were in the field listing homes and/or working with buyers.

Handle Business Details

Think back to when you were working for another brokerage as a salesperson. How do you think everything ran so smoothly? Through the broker’s hard work on the various day-to-day activities of running the brokerage as a business. Or maybe it didn’t run smoothly, because the broker was too focused on their own selling or not invested in developing their agents.

Similarly, your mindset should only be on overseeing business details, such as continuing to foster your business and your brand to help agents get a leg up on the competition and your brokerage keep its integrity and sorecuieputation, among a slew of other operational tasks. If you are overwhelmed with the sheer number of tasks involved in managing your own brokerage and need a roadmap, you can consider an affiliation with a national real estate brand like Weichert. Our affiliates have the advantage of a blueprint for running a successful real estate brokerage, complemented with many broker tools to help handle business operations, marketing, recruiting and training that points you to the activities you should be working on for success.

Build A Better Life

When your entire brokerage is run seamlessly as a business, you are making a better life, not just for you and your family, but for all your agents. A successful brokerage means you can confidently take the family on vacation, knowing that the systems and people you’ve put in place will handle affairs while you are away.

Weichert has helped hundreds of brokers build the business of their dreams, contact us today at 877-567-3350 or online at http://weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/real-estate-agent-recruiting/build-business-let-agents-sell-listings/

Is Your Website Converting Visitors To Leads?

Leads are the backbone of your brokerage. Good leads keep existing agents productive and are a draw for new agents. With 92 percent of buyers using the internet in their home search, according to NAR, brokers using smart website visitor conversion methods have a competitive edge in the cultivation and generation of leads for their teams.

Website Traffic to Leads

Let’s say you’ve been diligent about your advertising and your team is actively working multiple social media channels to promote their listings and your brokerage. You are monitoring your website analytics and you can see a healthy rise in website traffic from your efforts. While you may be getting website visitors, how many visitors complete your contact form or, better yet, directly contact you by picking up the phone or sending an email?

Converting visitors to real contacts through your brokerage website is one of the most cost-effective methods of generating leads. In digital marketing, we look at the ratio of unique website visitors to contacts, over a period of time, and we call that your “conversion rate”.  Too many brokers leave money on the table by focusing exclusively on advertising, and not the more subtle art of optimizing your website’s conversion rate.

Steps To A Better Conversion Rate

Increasing and optimizing your conversion rate isn’t rocket science. In fact, in most cases it’s just applied common sense. But done correctly you will build a better conversion rate and help ensure a steady flow of clients by using a few tried and true website marketing principles:

  • Calls To Action – Studies show that simply asking someone to contact you on a webpage, can increase your overall conversion rate 1-2%. Make sure you ask people to contact you on every page in context appropriate ways that are highly visible.
  • Micro-Conversions – If they are not ready to speak to a realtor, offer them another way to stay in touch. “Sign up for alerts about this property”, or “Download our ebook on local schools”, or “Home Wish List”, “Report on recently sold nearby properties” etc. These “micro-conversions” may not lead directly to a sale today, but any interaction that allows you to capture their name and email, builds your ability to market in the future.
  • Create a pop-up capture form on your landing page after leads have been viewing your website for 1-2 minutes.
  • Change the calls to action on your website forms every three months to determine which wording performs better.
  • Analytics – Keep track of your website traffic and form completions and regularly analyze the conversion rate of visitors to leads to see where and how they convert. Make sure all the leads are being followed up on.
  • Ensure your contact information on all pages is easy to find and click on for quick communication. Modern websites lock the phone number of the brokerage in the header, so it is always visible to those who want immediate and direct agent contact.
  • Humanize the non-MLS pages of your website where possible through pictures, stories, blogs, and talk about community events, being careful to stay away from text heavy pages where possible.

Finally, always remember that when you get that contact, you need to be ultra-responsive. Think minutes and hours, not days. The digital world is one of instant gratification, if not by you, then it will be by your competitors.

Lead the Way on Conversions

To win in real estate, you’ve got to do it all. In the digital case that means both getting the website traffic, and getting the contact from either a form, a phone call or an email. The more website visits turn into actual leads, the more the cost of creating and maintaining your site and buying advertising, pays for itself with increased sales for your agents. Don’t neglect the last piece of the puzzle, convert!

If you don’t have the type of resources outlined above to put into your website, you can still effectively take advantage of online consumer traffic by aligning yourself with someone who does. At Weichert, we make a significant investment in our website, Weichert.com and have the resources to continually optimize its results.  Our digital advertising and marketing strategy drives over 3 million visitors to weichert.com every month*, making it one of the top independent brokerage sites in the country and continually driving leads to our call center to connect with agents.  It’s one of our key benefits to our affiliates. To learn more about how this could fit into your business plan, go to weichertfranchise.com or call our team today at 877-567-3350.

*Google Analytics, January 2017

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/real-estate-broker-marketing/website-converting-visitors-leads/

Top Ways to Increase Warm Leads

Three decades ago, potential clients were reached by print advertising, mailings and landline phone calls, or by going door to door. Leads took a lot of time and investment and there was no real way of targeting the people most interested in what you had to offer. While those older methods are still used, technology is leading the way as digital lead generation methods take over in ways that were previously unthought of. In today’s digital world, you can connect with potential clients while they are at home or work, in the gym or anywhere; they are frequently online using both desktop and mobile advertising strategies. While some of these strategies won’t cost you much money, they will all cost you some time, but the payoff can be significant because you are spending money on the people who have the most interest in what you have to offer. Here’s a few strategies for driving warm leads in the digital age.

Free Digital Advertisements

Using these “free” strategies, real estate professionals can cast a wider net for their properties, and your brand.

  1. Craigslist – Craigslist can have a fantastic reach for housing promotion especially at the lower end of the market. Make sure your ad stands out and that you repost regularly at a frequency that reflects the population density of your market. In a busy metro market your ads will disappear in about 5 days, but if you post too frequently you’ll get flagged as a spammer. Also don’t forget that Craigslist has a “services” section where you can create a compelling ad for your brokerage as well.
  2. LinkedIn – If you’re going to focus on using free networking sites to connect with buyers, LinkedIn should probably be in your top three or four. Almost all the top agents work FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter, but many omit LinkedIn as a source of warm lead generation. Here is a great article from LinkedIn Pulse that talks about how to use LinkedIn for real estate lead generation.
  3. Facebook/Instagram – While real estate professionals are almost all heavily posting in Facebook, many neglect simple low-cost paid advertising extensions to Facebook that will greatly increase the reach of your listing. Every broker and agent should have some monthly budget set aside for targeted Facebook advertising and the boosting of posts about your listings. A couple hundred dollars a month is enough to get started, but large brokerages in urban areas will often spend thousands promoting their brand and their listings to remain competitive.

Paid Real Estate Advertising -Pay Per Click and Remarketing

While these are both paid strategies, they are really central to real estate marketing operations in the modern brokerage. Google AdWords, while widely used, has become quite expensive and so the addition of remarketing can have the effect of delivering you a lower cost per lead, and more leads that are really “warm”.  These strategies will drive interested parties to your website where they can use the MLS search to further locate homes.  Once they are doing this you have a good chance that it will be your team that gets the call when they see something they like.

If they don’t contact you on their first visit to your website, remarketing will ensure that they are reminded of their interest in your listing as they travel around the Internet.  Only people who have visited your website at least once will see these ads and since they’ve already shown an interest, the chances are much higher that they will contact you the second time around.  In Google, the cost of remarketing clicks is usually much less than AdWords clicks and so this has the effect of driving down your overall cost per warm lead.

Winning the Warm Lead Game

More than most people, real estate agents understand that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to meet a prince. Having an active lead funnel is key to that and your leads have to come from as many sources as you have time and resources to cultivate. It’s one of the reasons why a brand like Weichert invests so much money in lead generation and a call center that scrubs those leads even further to only pass the most qualified ones on to the agent. Not only does this take some of the financial burden of advertising off the broker’s shoulders, but the complexities of modern digital advertising are handled by experts to your benefit and the leads your agents receive are only the most likely to lead to a transaction. You can read more about our lead network operations at https://www.weichertfranchise.com/real-estate-lead-generation/ or by calling the Weichert Franchise Team today at 877-567-3350.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/top-ways-increase-warm-leads/

 

Stop Seeing Red: A Smarter View of Brokerage Expenses

Running a real estate brokerage has its share of expenses. Payables—large or small—are a necessary part of doing business. Expenses like rent, office supplies, insurance, furniture etc. are easy to understand and manage. What is less obvious are the investments in marketing, advertising and technology that many brokers spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars on each month. The temptation to periodically cut these expenses requires a much more considered analysis that can’t be based completely or even in some cases, primarily on pricing. Conversely, you shouldn’t drop precious budget dollars on every new shiny thing that comes on the market.

Necessity Of Large Expenses

You must build and advertise a reputable brand to draw clients to your listings, competing with more well-known franchised brokerage names. Brand building for the independent brokerage can quickly eat away at your budget, especially when figuring all your advertising expenses. According to data published in 2012-2014 by the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, U.S. real estate agents and brokers spent approximately $8.9 billion on residential advertising in 2015. That’s a substantial amount of money, yet an important expenditure if you are to compete for listings and credibility in your local market.

Let’s not forget our need for technology, and its ever-increasing role in real estate. Other than general IT set up and maintenance, customer relationship management (CRM) is a large, yet crucial, cost of doing business that can help streamline much of the real estate process in a busy brokerage. CostOwl reports that in 2018 inhouse CRM costs range from $100 to $1,000 per user plus maintenance, support, updates and potential customization, while web-based CRM systems run $50 to $100 per user every month with lesser fees for smaller brokerages.

Expense Analysis Revisited

As you know, with some business items, using a less expensive version works just as well and saves money. But this isn’t necessarily true for larger purchases. Of course, you want to spend money that provides the most value and significant benefit to your brokerage. It’s always a good idea to consider your bottom line when factoring in a new or recurring expense, but there is a difference between purchasing a store name brand to save money on office supplies versus buying a bargain basement real estate CRM technology because it has a lower up-front cost.

In the case of a CRM for example, between increased labor in transferring data, lost production time and price of a new system, it’s more cost effective to choose the right CRM system for your brokerage from the start. One that provides high value, and is right for your operation, rather than choose a system based primarily on price.  When you are part of a franchise, such as Weichert, you typically have the added benefit of a CRM that they’ve already vetted or customized.  The Weichert CRM, for example not only provides top tier real estate features such as contact management, marketing automation, open house management, and mobile app access, but its internal workflow has been designed to echo the best practices brokers and agents are taught on their roadmap to success. Your ability to integrate a CRM into your operations is just as important as the CRM feature set and this is not an area to pinch pennies.

Look At The Whole Picture

Why be penny wise and pound foolish, as the saying goes? Look at the whole picture of expenses in a way that incorporates a wider view of their utility.  Once you’ve made these decisions, give these expenditures a chance to prove themselves. Advertising mediums can be tagged to understand how much additional sales you are getting from expenditures on each. Technology can be judged to large degree on the utility it provides to you and the feedback of your team on its usefulness and ease of use. Budgeting more for items that can have big payoffs in the long run, such as specifically targeted brand advertising or an efficient CRM system can increase the brokerage’s long-term income and reduce their operating costs in a way that more than offsets the cost of the advertising or system.

Gain Access To Systems That Work

At least some of the headaches’ associated with expense management and analysis can be helped by having some deep, expert experience in your corner. Having the resources of a franchise system behind you can save you tremendous time vetting options and more time being productive. Not only do you instantly gain a brand name that matters, input from your coaching team and fellow franchisees about many of the most agonizing expenditures you face is always just a phone call away.

Could your brokerage benefit from this? Learn more at weichertfranchise.com or call 877-533-9007.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/stop-seeing-red-smarter-view-brokerage-expenses/

Understanding The Difference between Facebook And Instagram For Real Estate Marketing

Social media has taken over marketing in recent years, with 69 percent of the public using social media of some sort. You may do all your brokerage’s social networking or elect to turn that over to a marketing specialist. Whatever you choose, it’s imperative that you understand the demographics of each social platform to wisely spend your marketing time and money, while carefully branding your brokerage.

Facebook has emerged over the last 13 years as a powerhouse among the social networking platforms. According to Pew Research Center’s Social Media Fact Sheet, 68 percent of adults in the United States use Facebook. Facebook acquired Instagram—a newer social site—in 2012. Its use is becoming more popular at 28 percent of U.S. adults and amassing over 800,000 users to date, trailing far behind but still second to Facebook. Part of Instagram’s growing popularity is the ease of post and paid ad sharing between the two sites.

Facebook Friends 

Facebook may already be central to your marketing plan for its wide range of demographics and the sharing of all types of media—photos, messages and video—across desktop, mobile and tablet formats. Its use is split almost evenly between males and females.

Many view it as a networking forum for older adults, but that’s not a well-rounded picture of this versatile site. While Facebook does attract a larger share of the over 49 crowd than other social sites, Pew Research Center’s data indicates that ages 18-29 are big Facebook users (88 percent) with those ages 30-49 close behind in usage (79 percent).

Content should be engaging in more than one way, so create a mix of videos, images, information and calls to action that elicit user interaction to get followers. A little tasteful fun goes a long way on Facebook.

Instagram Images 

Facebook purchased Instagram back in 2012, and it has retained most of its unique nature. Both social sites share photos, videos and messages, but Instagram features images first and foremost, allowing the user to add numerous digital filters, as well as use image hashtags and geotags. You can create your own hashtags for events, open houses and more to gain traction. Since December 2017, users can follow hashtags, so your image hashtags need to be relevant, retain your style, and be interesting to grow your followers. Instagram’s newest rollout—Stories—is a Snapchat-like feature that is quickly growing in popularity.

Instagram is primarily intended for use on-the-go with a smartphone, appealing to younger users. In fact, Instagram’s core users are ages 18-29 (59 percent) with a higher percentage of women of any age favoring the site. Ages 30-49 make up 33 percent proving this network is a haven for those ages 49 and younger.

As a real estate broker, structure your Instagram posts around interior design, as that is a favorite topic on this platform. Has a local or national celebrity viewed a listing or sold a home using your brokerage? Snap a photo and post it (with permission), as celebrity and entertainment posts are hot. Visual consistency and imagination go a long way toward building your Instagram following.

Stand-Out Instagram Marketing 

Instagram is all about the aesthetics. To leverage marketing on Instagram that plays to your brand and brings in sellers and buyers, it helps to study a few real estate accounts of those who are rocking it in the world of Instagram marketing.

Here are some tips to help individualize your brokerage on the Instagram platform:

  • Display great images—it’s all about consistently branded visuals
  • Create branded hashtags
  • Add multiple hashtags—some of the top posts use 10 or more hashtags
  • Use images with your contact information/logo
  • Post strictly listings or add a few photos of the team and/or clients for a more personalized appeal

Play Off Each Other 

Instagram is a logical choice to add to your marketing arsenal to attract more of the on-the-go Millennial masses and even some older groups. As they play off each other, using Facebook and Instagram together equals a robust social sales strategy.

At the end of the day, a consistent approach to social media usage is just one part of your marketing and sales strategy. At Weichert, we have the systems that can help you pull it all together. Contact us at 877-533-9007to learn more or go to weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/understanding-difference-facebook-instagram-real-estate-marketing/