Tag Archives: Online Real Estate Marketing

Franchise Success Spotlight Profile: Weichert Affiliate Beth Dickens—Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty

Not more than 25 miles northwest of Fort Worth sits the charming rural community of Springtown, Texas, where long time affiliate Beth Dickens runs Weichert Realtors – Team Realty.

Beth Dickens Owner Weichert Team Realty

With a population of close to 4,000 and within commuting distance to downtown Fort Worth, Springtown has seen its fortunes rise slowly over its rich, 160 year history. Housing in Springtown and throughout Parker County represents a rural, farm and ranch lifestyle that Beth Dickens has called home since she was a child. “As a girl I had a doll house.” she remembers, “I would pretend to try and sell it to people. I guess I was born to be a real estate agent.”

After years as an agent Beth and her business partner Lorene, finally opened Team Realty as independent brokers in 1998. The pair did moderately well, but Beth recalls the constant challenge of recruiting and keeping new agents. “We went from 5, to 10, then back to 5 again, we just couldn’t get to that next level and sustain it. It’s hard for an independent in a rural market with so many other well-known brands around.”

Over the years Beth and Lorene had flirted with the idea of affiliation with a national real estate brand and had entertained pitches from RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Keller Williams and others, but hadn’t really felt compelled to make a move. But in 2007, someone from Weichert® came knocking on their door. The Weichert story felt like something different.

“The sophisticated Weichert internet presence and reach was quite amazing to us. There’s no way an independent can compete with that kind of investment and those kind of systems,” notes Beth. What appealed to her was the Weichert internet marketing approach that brings over 40 million visitors a year to their website from around the country. Leads are routed to their call center and calls are carefully screened by trained operators and sent to live agents typically in under 2 minutes.

There was, however, another thing they both noticed in their dealings with Weichert that was equally appealing–their ethics. This was the first franchise team that really made Beth and Lorene feel like they cared about their success as a brokerage and as individuals. At the time of these discussions, they were actually on the verge of opening another office, but Weichert asked them not to. “This was Weichert walking away from money because they felt we needed to be more successful out of the one office we had before we started another one. That really impressed me”.

Beth & Lorene had about 8 agents when they joined Weichert and Beth admits that some of them were worried about the affiliation. “A few people got hung up on the fees”, says Beth “but the great majority of them saw that it was better for them long term”.

Getting Up To Speed With Weichert

And so Beth and Lorene signed on with Weichert in 2007 and became Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty. Joining the partnership was both a relief, and the beginning of exciting changes in their professional life. It was a relief in that the Weichert coaching team, and its proven systems had the answers to so many of the growth and business development challenges they had struggled with as an independent agency for years.  It was also exciting as Beth and her husband bought Lorene out in 2008 and dove headlong into the Weichert training and systems. Almost immediately, they noticed an odd thing when they put the Weichert sign on the building.  “Suddenly recruiting got a whole lot easier,” Beth recalls.  Starting with about 6 agents, in 2007, Beth and her husband slowly built up their team, following the Weichert Methodology.

Change is Good….Really.

Beth and her team loved the training and coaching opportunities afforded by the new relationship and embraced things like Weichert University, Weichert Management Academy, and new Weichert systems and technology.

Beth describes Weichert’s listing presentation system, “DOORS”, as a game changer. Not only is it automated online and easy to create, but it is homeowner centric not brokerage focused. Beth notes that the “price trend analysis” provided by Weichert is also so much better than the simple comparative market analysis they did previously. The combined effect of better training, better materials, better data, and a solid brand affiliation created a noticeable improvement in their closing rate.

Another way in which Weichert was different is in their processes around running open houses. In an internet age where so many agents will tell you “open houses don’t work” or “they’re just for the seller”, the comprehensive Weichert process around running open houses really works. Everything from signage, to balloons, door knocking, and all the online and printed material that goes with it are covered by the proven Weichert open house management system. But the proof is in the results: Beth’s team sells at least one house per month from leads that come from her agents’ open houses.

Results

Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty has just moved into their second decade as a Weichert Affiliate. Starting from their modest single office with 6 agents, Beth has indeed opened that second office, and boasts a staff of 28 agents serving the rural farm, ranch, and residential markets surrounding Fort Worth Texas.

But most impressive is her top line growth. Beth has overseen the growth of Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty to more than 20 times the revenue they had before they joined Weichert.  To hear Beth tell it, “These folks have done for me everything they said they would do. If they told me I had to stand on my head to sell more houses, well I’d start yoga lessons tomorrow…”

The Weichert Way

Being a Weichert affiliate is a partnership, a collaboration, done with great respect for what you’ve already achieved and learned.

After all, you’ve already built a successful business.

We can help you do more

For more information on becoming a Weichert Affiliate, call 1-(877) 567-3350  or visit www.weichertfranchise.com .

 

Best Way To Get Full Commission? Know Your Value.

In the ultra-competitive market for local home listings, the pressure to discount commissions is ever present. Some brands in your market may even make the discounted commission their primary marketing differentiator while selling themselves as full service agents. How do you compete with that?

Is discounting simply devaluing your services or something you have to do to survive? Here is some insight from the online real estate marketing specialists at Weichert.

Educating Clients About the Value of your Services

If you want to keep your full commission, you have to sell the value of what you do for it, plain and simple. A 4% commission from the other guy may sound great, but we all know he’s cutting corners somewhere to do that. Yet for clients, cutting broker commission seems to be the easiest route to saving money – and in their heads, this makes sense because they often lack the insight into what it is that real estate agents actually do. Taking the time to keep the client informed of the services you will provide at every step of the way is key. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Start with a great listing presentation and local market analysis. If you impress them with the professionalism and thoughtfulness of your competitive research, you’ve immediately set yourself apart as a professional who is deserving of full compensation.
  • Do the legwork – Scheduling multiple open houses, tours, inspections, re-inspections, conducting follow up, recommending small changes to make the house more sellable, running ads in local real estate publications, posting in supermarkets, mailings… the list goes on and you should be able to tell prospective home sellers exactly what they won’t get when they go to a discount brokerage.
  • Most people hate to negotiate – It’s a fact, but as an agent negotiating deals is your bread and butter. Agents can spend hours presenting, convincing, and following up on an offer – and only their experience and negotiating expertise maximize the seller’s chance of selling quickly at the price they want.
  • Expanded Property Marketing Exposure – This is achieved by accessing your real estate agent’s branding and MLS platforms, the most important of which is its online space. Buyers predominantly search the Internet for housing choices, and it’s almost impossible to get the same visibility and access to buyers through a discount realtor.
  • Accurate pricing – There are always properties that are overvalued by owners and may stay on the market for months or even years, just as there are undervalued properties that are rapidly sold for far less than what the owner deserved. Accurate pricing ensures a good result for owner and buyer, as well as a faster selling process.
  • Executing the sale – Completing a sale is a complex process that is made far easier, faster and more reliable when taken on by an experienced professional agent and broker. A full service agent will often have a real estate crm system to help them stay on top of potential buyers and a transaction management system to manage the transaction in a way that for-sale-by-owners, or discount brokers will not.

Technology plays a vital role in achieving this and is another area where you can show the value you add at full commission. As an agent, you have access to expert online marketing tools for real estate agents, a broker who is able to properly leverage the full power of their local brand and reputation, as well as a network of financing, legal, and construction professionals who you can recommend and help manage for your client.

Transform the way you sell with industry-leading real estate coaching programs 

Built on the expertise of experienced brokers, technology specialists and real estate industry leaders, Weichert is focused on providing effective answers to the challenges faced by today’s real estate agents. From marketing strategies for agents and a cutting-edge lead generation system to the best real estate coaching programs in the industry, we provide all the solutions you need to build your business and succeed in even the most competitive climate.

If these tools and solutions sound like a good fit for your brokerage or you would like to find out more about the Weichert system, please contact us today.

Differentiating Your Brokerage In A Crowded Market

It’s a crowded real estate market out there. Between independent brokerages and national brands, there are a lot of options for agents and potential buyer or sellers. What’s going to influence their decision and make you stand out?  Maybe it’s a good reputation for performance and service; maybe it’s how often they see your signs in the neighborhood or wherever they travel or how often they see you in advertisements. As an independent broker, how do you compete?

Recruit Effectively

Agents are subject to the same perceptions as consumers when it comes to the power of a well-known real estate brand in their market. They may feel that the bigger the brand, the better the marketing, support and lead generation will be to better support their efforts and lead to greater earnings potential. What’s really important, though, whether you are affiliated with a big brand or not, is that you can provide value to your agents and offer a positive, supportive environment in which they can thrive. Equally important is having a recruiting strategy and the materials to attract recruits to you. You create value by providing them with tools, training and leads to help them succeed. Recognize their accomplishments.  Encourage a culture of support and have a little fun!

Demonstrate Your Value

Sure, there are a lot of discount brokerage options out there, but that puts pressure on profitability. Consumers are willing to pay for full service, but it’s up to you to demonstrate all they will get for their money. Make sure you have a dynamite listing presentation that shows them everything you and your agents will do to sell their home. Make sure that you have the right marketing and online programs in place to support clients’ listings and purchasing needs.  Provide references and testimonials of satisfied customers. Do what you say you will do, be responsive and over-deliver on your promises. Make sure your marketing materials are professional and impressive. People like to be part of something positive. Do all these things well and you will draw in buyers, sellers and agent recruits alike without having to give away the store.

Build Your Brand

You must spend time and effort to build a brand that reflects your brokerage values and services. To attract buyers, sellers and recruits, people need to know who you are and what you stand for. Here are a few suggestions for brand building:

  • Advertise your niche in the area. For instance, maybe your brokerage specializes in relocation or rural properties or is heading that way due to a need in the market. Perhaps you also do property management and work with residential property investors. Find a niche or two that need to be filled and make it part of your brand. Offer agent training in the specialty market(s) chosen to get those interested up to speed.
  • Be consistent in the look, feel and messaging coming from all aspects related to your brokerage. Consistency is king when it comes to brand building. It not only fosters brand recall, but it nurtures consumers’ expectations of your business.
  • Be visible. This can be through local advertising, participation in the community or grassroots word of mouth. You won’t be remembered if you are not on their minds.

Differentiate Your Brokerage

Recruiting effectively, demonstrating your value and building your brand will help you carve out a place for yourself in your local market and stand out. It can be hard to do this effectively on your own. Fortunately there’s an easier way through franchise affiliation and not all franchises are alike. A franchise model like Weichert provides you with recruiting strategies, materials and support to effectively compete for recruits, provides materials and guidance for demonstrating your value to consumers and has the recognition and support of a national brand that you can easily plug into your market and leverage.

If this sounds like something you could use to power your brokerage, contact Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. today to see how we can help. Call 877-746-2067 or learn more at weichertfranchise.com.

The Right Ingredients for an Attractive Brokerage

 

Think back to the real estate brokers you worked for when starting your career. What drew you to work there in the first place and what prompted you to stay or move on? Did you feel your input mattered or that no one cared what you had to say? Was there a real team dynamic or was it everyone for themselves?

As a broker, now is your opportunity to build the company culture you want. Whether you worked in real estate your entire life or started out in another industry, there are key attributes that make any business worth working for, including yours.

Trust And Honesty

Believability is important to success. Honesty and trust go hand-in-hand. Trust your agents enough to let them do their job of selling homes and provide the training and support for them to do so. Even as broker you aren’t expected to know everything but know how to get the answers. So, the next time an agent asks you a question you can’t answer, commit to researching it and getting back to them as soon as possible.  And then make sure you really follow up. Use the calendar app in your phone or email to set a quick reminder for yourself. When agents see that their queries are important to you, it makes them feel valued and deepens your relationships.

Respect

Trust and honesty lead to respect. But it’s a two-way street. You must respect the agents that you brought on to earn their respect in return.  This includes the young, inexperienced ones who may test your patience at times. Always be polite, actively listen and talk with your agents as equals. These agents, who you took the time to recruit, may provide you with a novel way of doing something that can set your brokerage over the top, which can only be learned through mutual respect.

Recognition

Recognize the talents and accomplishments of the team of agents you recruited. Did an agent close a particularly hard transaction or a new agent complete their first transaction by themselves? Announce it.  Did they close a personal record-breaking deal? Give them a shout out. Let everyone know of their achievements. Recognition isn’t all about highest grossing or most transactions in a year. It’s also about general accomplishments and teamwork to help all agents—new and experienced—feel valued. Agents who know their contributions are valued strive harder to succeed.

Support

If your brokerage goes above and beyond to provide the right tools and techniques for your agents to succeed and properly trains them in the use of these tools, then word will spread that your agent support is exceptional. In turn, these support tools make your brokerage the go-to destination for recruits, saving you time and effort in both real estate agent recruiting and retention.

Putting It Together

Re-evaluate your brokerage to make sure you are creating a dynamic and positive culture that values your team as a whole, as well as individuality. Model by example and your agents will do the same. Build a solid team of agents with the right tools, techniques and attitude and you will stay competitive in your market. While it’s up to you to build a culture of trust and respect, there are easier ways to provide everything else than trying to keep up alone. Affiliating with a National brand, such as Weichert, who already has the tools and systems in place makes it easy for you to plug in and run. You get a wide array of agent training opportunities right out of the gate, for example, including sales coaching, weekly and monthly seminars, general industry trainings, online courses, technology training and more. Plus, leverage awards and recognition programs, sales tools and techniques and technology platforms. With all of these things readily available to you, you have more time to focus on your brokerage-building strategy.

 

If you want to learn more about how Weichert can help your brokerage dynamics, contact us today: weichertfranchise.com or 877-567-3350.