Tag Archives: real estate CRM system

From Conversation to Conversion – Strategies that Work

Much of our energy as real estate professionals goes into figuring out how to get in front of more clients. How to be involved in more transactions in our markets, and how to get that first call when someone is looking to buy or sell.

Equally important, however, is what you do with that call or conversation once you manage to get it. In 2019 let’s remember, too, that many of those conversations aren’t on the phone. They occur through social media, email responses, text messages, LinkedIn connections, Facebook messenger, etc. And each comes with their own set of protocols, expectations, and best practices.

Here are some thoughts from the experts at Weichert Franchising on both old and new strategies for making the most out your opportunities, however they come to you.

In 2019, Consumer Attention Spans Continue to Shorten.

Most people will recognize that this has been going on for most of the last decade as the generation raised in all things digital has come of age. This phenomenon has set the bar for responsiveness in the real estate industry ever higher and expanded the number of ways in which effective brokers and agents must respond.

Response time is King – Studies by NAR and others have shown that conversion rates drop significantly  when lead response takes over 5 minutes.  With over 50% of new home buyers reaching out through online inquiries, systems for reaching an agent require a responsiveness that many brokerages are not prepared to handle.

One way to compete, is to team up with a resource that is equipped to receive and respond to leads in a way that meets today’s expectations. Weichert has always placed a value on consumer responsiveness. Even in 2002, when it set up its first national call center, it knew this was critical to the sales process. This service is an advantage to both its company-owned and affiliate offices. Today, this fully integrated lead system continues to attract leads through its online advertising strategy and web presence, respond quickly to inquiries and then qualify them before passing them to an agent. Our national call center responds to all calls, queries, emails and forms that come in through the Weichert.com website within 3 minutes. During this processes these leads are professionally screened and routed to a live agent. With our newest technology, lead information can be populated directly into the Weichert CRM for immediate access by agents to manage. Systems like this insure that no lead opportunity is lost in the journey from lead to client.

Leads Don’t Just Call or Email Anymore

In all kinds of sales there is an old adage, “think before you dial!” With so much opportunity coming in through social media and other digital and mobile sources, the adage certainly needs an update, but the idea is the same. Working leads through social or mobile sources can take some time to bring them to the point of committing to a phone call or even giving you’re their contact information. It could take 8 or more attempts, so persistence is important. On this journey, an agent’s ability and willingness to provide genuinely helpful advice and information will help establish credibility and trust. Agents should be mentally prepared for these interactions, just like a phone call, respecting both the channel of contact, as well as the nature of the outreach.

This means coaching your agents to have good social media profiles, response scripts if they need them, a CRM to record contact activity and mobile connectivity to respond and provide service promptly. A franchise partner like Weichert helps brokerages with the right systems, technology and coaching to compete.

Being prepared to handle both traditional phone and email requests, as well as social and digital leads puts your team on the path to a conversion strategy that leaves no lead behind. No matter where the lead comes from, your agents should always have one goal in mind – asking for the appointment.

How Does Your Conversion Strategy Compete?

How much are you investing to attract leads? How quickly are your agents able to respond to leads? Do you offer them a way to track their contact activity? Do you have online content to help them nurture social and online leads? It can be daunting to try to pull it all together on your own, but a franchisor such as Weichert can offer your brokerage a one stop shop to help your agents compete. Bring your local expertise, plug into our systems and enjoy the results. If this sounds like something you would be interested in for your brokerage, contact Weichert Franchising today at 877-567-3350 or go to weichertfranchising.com for more information.

It’s a Mobile World. How Do You Stack up?

In the last 30 years, brokers have seen their primary means of selling and advertising go from newspapers and referrals to online or digital sources. According to NAR, almost 95% of homebuyers used a website to search for homes last year with 72% of those using a mobile or tablet app.

What is equally interesting is the prevalence of mobile usage across demographics. Of Course 99% of millennials used mobile devices or apps to assist in their home search and 58% of them found the home they bought on a mobile device. Even consumers between 35 and 65 used their mobile devices for real estate research at a rate over 89% and roughly 40% of them found their home on a mobile device.  Another interesting dynamic is that overall, 14% of all buyers found their real estate agent using a mobile device.

Real estate agents have been on the front lines of the mobile revolution as well with over 90 percent of REALTORS® using digital or mobile devices on a daily basis. Despite this, REALTORS cite “keeping up with technology” as one of the biggest challenges for brokerages in the next two years.  So how can brokers assess their use of mobile technology and insure they are keeping up with the industry?

Common Mobile Strategies

Going mobile in 2019 means more than just texting and getting email on your smartphone. The following guidelines are critical if you are to be effective, and want to appeal to the shifting demographics of both homebuyers and new agents you may be trying to attract. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Is your website mobile friendly? If you haven’t looked at your site carefully on mobile devices lately, then you may want to do a review. Mobile standards are changing with new technologies like Google AMP which will drive the proper performance of your site on mobile devices. Mobile responsive design of your website is a requirement now and even sites that worked fine on mobile a couple years ago, are due for an overhaul.
  2. Is your advertising mobile friendly? Many brokerages are running Google Ads but did you know that these ads must be specifically optimized for best performance on mobile devices? Make sure the people who are running your paid search advertising are using the latest mobile algorithms and extensions in the setup of your campaign. Mobile search is a slightly different animal than traditional desktop search and you shouldn’t just assume that your campaigns are optimized for it.
  3. Facebook Advertising? With 95% of Facebook users accessing their account from mobile devices, there is no mobile presence for your brokerage without a solid presence on Facebook and Instagram. You should consider both organic posting and paid advertising on this medium so that Facebook users in your locality get to see and experience your brand in a more social setting.
  4. Mobile Chat Anyone? Direct messaging, or mobile chat, is the new email of real-estate marketing. Whether you use old-school text messages, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, or real-estate specific apps, mobile chat can sync up listings, manage customer relations, and improve communication between your team, too.
  5. Mobile Client Management. If you want Millennial generation agents to be comfortable in your brokerage, pay attention to the capabilities of things like your CRM. In 2019, that CRM needs to come with a good mobile app that makes client management and communication easy.

Getting Up to Speed With Mobile

It’s certainly a challenge for independent brokers, even if they are tech savvy, to keep up with and train agents on the best uses of mobile technology. That’s why brands like Weichert have put so much time and energy into figuring out and implementing mobile-focused digital strategies. Weichert.com recently completed a site redesign focused on providing an optimized mobile experience. It attracts over 3 million visitors a month and is key to the company’s digital strategy to attract leads to its Customer Care Center. Those leads are delivered to our brokers and agents in real time, on both their desktop and mobile devices and directly into our Weichert PRO CRM. The CRM features a mobile app which allows easy access to all features including client management, marketing tools, email and more. Weichert offers a mobile app to help agents stay on track with monthly production goals by allowing them to easily set and track their activities. In addition, Weichert places local Facebook advertising optimized for mobile users to help build brand awareness in its markets.

Keeping up with technology can be hard, but there are other solutions. By affiliating with a company like Weichert, you can take advantage of their vast resources for keeping up, so you can focus on managing your business.  If you’d like to hear more about available Weichert resources and how they could benefit your business, contact Weichert today to learn more at weichertfranchise.com or 877-567-3350.

Franchise Success Spotlight: Weichert® Affiliate Brenda Elliott Weichert, Realtors® – The Space Place

Huntsville, Alabama may be the one city in the country where the expression “it’s not rocket science” doesn’t apply. In Huntsville, it kind of is all about rocket science. It’s home to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and the Army Aviation’s Space and Missile Command.

Weichert Affiliate Brenda Elliott, owner of Weichert, Realtors® – The Space Place, is well acquainted with the ever-present missile, spacecraft and rocket themes that run deep throughout the city. Indeed, the word “Space” in her brokerage name isn’t just referring to square footage. Though now an Alabama native, she lived in Georgia most of her life and still calls it home, graduating from the University of Georgia with a BFA in interior design. Her husband Paul graduated Georgia Tech with a degree in Industrial Management and their three daughters went to Auburn University.  Now a Huntsville resident for over 20 years, Brenda is intimately familiar with her local real estate market and her passion for real estate is clear.

Life as an Independent Broker

Brenda’s career in real estate actually started in Northern Virginia, in the early 90’s while Paul was stationed at the Pentagon. Brenda decided she wanted to know the real estate side of interior design and went to work for none other than Weichert, Realtors® in Burke, Virginia. The experience of working inside a Weichert Brokerage stayed with Brenda, even though she eventually started as an independent broker when her family moved back to Alabama.

“My family and I were blessed with moving to Huntsville, Alabama in 1999, where I helped start the Executive Group Realtors, an independent real estate company, with three other partners,” notes Brenda. “As we got going, I actually modeled some of our processes after what I had seen at Weichert.”

Brenda became the broker of record for the agency in 2002 and by 2005 helped build the agency to 56 agents working out of one office. Despite her success, with her increasing business responsibilities came the occasional desire for a partner who could provide guidance and help with the recruiting, branding, and lead generation challenges common to independent brokers.

Still when Weichert approached Brenda’s team in 2005, she told them she was too busy to consider an affiliation. “But their follow up impressed me,” remembers Brenda. “After months of small conversations in fits and starts I agreed to go to New Jersey to hear the full pitch.”

Deciding to Partner with Weichert

For Brenda the decision to partner was not easy. Brenda and her team had concerns about affiliation with a national brand in general, as well as affiliation with Weichert specifically. What would that mean for her existing business and how would her agents react? Brenda and her team had heard all the positives about proven processes, coaching and support and lead generation, but frankly, not enough straight talk about the downside of becoming an affiliate.

Brenda decided to make some calls. But rather than call the list of brokers the Weichert team in NJ gave her, Brenda called other Weichert brokers that she selected arbitrarily, from across the country. In fact, inside Weichert Corporate Offices, it is well known that Brenda set a record by calling 29 other Weichert brokers to try and find someone who would say something substantively negative about their Weichert affiliation. On the 29th call Brenda reached a Weichert Broker in Florida who finally gave Brenda what she needed to hear.

He said, “The downside of becoming a Weichert Broker was realizing that I had wasted so much time and money by not doing this years ago.”

Brenda was done. She began her affiliation with Weichert in 2006.

Everyone’s Path to Success is Different

Those who know Brenda, know she is all about her agents. According to Brenda “I didn’t sleep for about two weeks before the Weichert announcement.” Yet Brenda did not lose a single agent once she impacted. “I very quickly showed them the tools, training, and systems that were now at their disposal,” says Brenda. “Having this level of support for my team was great for me as well.”

Consistent with the Weichert philosophy, Brenda was able to pick and choose the benefits that she wanted to roll out in her brokerage. The Weichert processes allowed her to craft a strategy that worked best for her brokerage and that respected her independent style. That meant that agents could continue using the existing methods that worked for them and implement Weichert tools and systems where they needed them. And everyone was able to benefit from the increased recognition that a brand like Weichert brought to the entire brokerage.

During the market crash of 2008, Brenda watched other local brokers go out of business on a regular basis. Brenda credits her Weichert affiliation 100% for her agency survival. “Due to the advantages of being a recognized brand and having good systems and lead generation, we weathered the storm.”  In 2011, Brenda finally bought out her business partners and made the decision to go all in on the Weichert Model. “We had been implementing parts of the Weichert Model, but when I became the sole owner, I felt the time was right to really be ALL IN on the Weichert Systems,” says Brenda. “We hired many new agents who fully embraced the model from day one, and that has made all the difference.”

Weichert, Realtors® – The Space Place in 2018

Today Brenda’s team is firmly rooted in the methodology presented by Weichert, while still running things in a way that is appropriate for her local market. Weichert, Realtors® – The Space Places does a little commercial, a little relocation, some property management, but its primary focus is on residential sales.

From one office and 38 agents in 2011, Brenda has grown her team to 3 offices and over 125 agents covering a good portion of northern Alabama. Brenda credits things like the Weichert DOORS™ listing presentation and their recruiting system, which includes “career nights”. Brenda sells at least 2-3 houses a month using their open house process and embraces the WeichertPro CRM for marketing campaigns, and more. “I especially love that while I get amazing support inside the Weichert model, I’m still free to build the systems that work in my area. This is an active and creative partnership with real experts at the other end.”

The Weichert Model

At Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., we exist to help you make the most of what you’ve already built and learned. Brenda is right about partnership we strive for with our affiliates. It’s the kind of partner support you won’t get from any other national real estate brand. When you affiliate, you become part of a supportive family where you’ll never have to wonder what to do next.

For more information, contact the Weichert Affiliates team today at 877-567-3350 or visit weichertfranchise.com.

 

Why Track Leads Through CRM

Weichert CRM

As an experienced and well-educated real estate broker, you already know that a CRM can do many things for you like automating your follow-up and increasing your production. However, despite their popularity, many brokers are struggling to realize the full value of using a CRM or haven’t figured out the best way to implement one into their business yet. If you fall into one of those two categories, this article is for you!

Review the Rewards

While there are many real estate CRM’s out there, it seems that no two are exactly the same. This can make finding the right one for your business a bit tricky. However, if you take the time to prioritize the rewards and results you hope to reap from your real estate CRM, the selection process becomes simplified. To help you sort through all the bells and whistles, look for a CRM that provides the following benefits:

Lead Tracking – When a CRM enables your agents to track their leads, it also enables you to be able to track their performance and offer coaching in areas where they may be hitting roadblocks.

Automation – There are few real estate agents and brokers out there saying that they have too much time on their hands. The promise of a properly managed CRM is that it will free up precious time by automating or simplifying many common client management tasks.

Regular Reminders – As an experienced broker, you understand that most agents can benefit from regular reminders to follow-up, tackle important tasks, and implement best practices into their routine. When they do, the result is more closings for them and more income for you.

Just Listed/Sold – Communications around just listed and just sold are one of the best opportunities you have to reach out to your sphere of influence with interesting content that puts your local brand in front of people. A good CRM makes this easy by giving you a professionally designed template and managing the list of client email addresses for you, so you can send it to those who may be most interested.

Know All That It Can Do for You

In many cases, brokers that purchase a CRM fail to get all of their money’s worth out of the software because they are unaware of all that it can actually do for them. The Weichert Pro CRM, for example, does a whole lot more than just store all of an agent’s prospects, leads, and past clients. It also provides agents and brokers with integration to the Weichert lead network, templates for automated email marketing, and tools for complete open house management before, during, and after the event. This is a proprietary CRM which is provided to all Weichert affiliates.

Choose a System With Flexibility

Just as all real estate CRM’s are unique in their own way, agents and brokers are also unique. You and your agents may have different styles of running your businesses that work best for each of you. It’s important that whatever CRM you use that it allows people to work in ways most comfortable and productive for them. For example, you may prefer to time-block all of your CRM data entry and put it in once each day. Others may prefer the convenience of mobile, like the Weichert Pro CRM mobile app, that allows them to update and use their CRM as they go.

Managing technology in your brokerage is an octopus with many heads. The way in which you choose to implement processes and procedures around this plays a big role in how efficient and effective your business can be.

A CRM is just a tool, what really counts is how you use it. This is an area where Weichert can help. Through training, best practices and tips from peers, we help our affiliates leverage our technology to its fullest potential. To learn about other tools and systems available to Weichert affiliates, click here.