Tag Archives: real estate CRM system

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.

 

 

 

Having The Right Tools For Your Agency

Real Estate Marketing Tools

Successful brokers are always searching for the right tools to automate systems, save time and increase productivity and income, which doesn’t occur until each system is firmly entrenched in your overall brokerage procedures. The tool may be a new recruiting and retention software for accountability, a CRM system that better fits your growing brokerage or high-quality, easy-use digital marketing materials.

Consider Your Goals 

Before considering any new tool, keep in mind your updated brokerage business plan and the goals you intend to achieve this year. Ask yourself what tools will put you ahead of the competition? How can your agents’ productivity be transformed? What will improve the buying and selling experience for clients? Any systemized tool needs to work exactly as planned to either help you, as broker, improve productivity or your agents reach higher performance figures in less time, all while ensuring improved client satisfaction.

New Tools Take Time 

Getting a new tool up and running is an incredibly time-consuming task. Time for a busy broker is already a precious commodity, but it can feel as if it’s at a premium when attempting to incorporate a new tool seamlessly into your current system, which may take weeks or months.

Think back to the difficulties of setting up your own brokerage and what it took get software and systems set up. You’ve no doubt learned from your previous experiences and know the effort it takes to incorporate any new tool. The steps from research to use may flow like this:

  • First, extensive research into each digital tool under consideration is essential.
  • Second, speak with customer representatives to ensure each potential tool has the capacity to do exactly what you want it to do. Get hard answers to questions, such as: Are changes to the web-based software able to be made to accomplish your specialized needs? At what cost and in what timeframe is expected?
  • Third, you need to know that the technology or other tool will work as expected, so a trial test of one or two of your best options is important before you make that purchase.
  • Fourth, you must set up the system, implement the tool chosen into brokerage procedures, work out any kinks in the system (and there will be issues) and train those using the new tool.

Don’t Have The Time? Stop The Guesswork 

While there are brokers out there who can do this successfully on their own, it can be a real challenge for the average small independent brokerage owner. If you want to compete and stay ahead from a technology standpoint, an affiliation with a larger real estate brand can really help and offer a solution. They have teams of resources working through this every day. So while you are focused on running your brokerage, they are researching, vetting and testing out the next best thing to make running a real estate business easier and more productive. Weichert, which offers its affiliates proprietary digital tools, is a great example of how affiliation helps take away the guesswork in many areas. Its years of research into systems that work mean that all the tireless research and functional testing of new tools is unnecessary on your end. Plus, Weichert provides the training needed to make the best use of their technology inside a proven system for success.

Weichert’s numerous tools position you at the forefront of your area and assist with:

Build Momentum Before Tool Launch 

Whether you choose to go it alone with a new tool or system or affiliate with a company like Weichert that offers time-tested ones, know that you need to build momentum in your brokerage around agent tools prior to the roll out. Create a bang around the launch to keep agents interested in what it can do for them, as most will be skeptical that its use will improve their work. Pick a super user (that may be you) to train all users to fully unlock all the features of the new tool so all have the chance to achieve success.  Above all, keeping your arsenal updated and fresh is important in maintaining your value as a brokerage to retain your agents.

Why work harder than you should? Contact Weichert at 1-877-533-9007 to learn how their cutting-edge tools can help you exceed your business goals in less time.

 

 

Need A Lead Magnet? Give Them Something They Want.

Lead Generation

As a broker, you have carefully built your brand through targeted advertising and marketing. You have strategically calculated a marketing plan to funnel quality leads in a variety of markets to your agents to help them close more transactions. Your website, social media presence and other digital marketing is part of your overall plan. But how much time do you spend chasing these leads? The time you have invested should not outweigh the amount of leads generated.

Buyers and Sellers Want More

Today’s market is different than even five years ago. Buyers and sellers want more value out of a brokerage. Specifically, they crave quality information. No longer are buyers and sellers content to sit back and roll with the fact that an agent has years of experience in real estate and has closed a certain of number of sales in their neighborhood. Instead, they want specific information presented to prove that agent’s expertise. More importantly, prospects expect a high value from the material they receive.

Tempt Prospects with A Giveaway

One way to stop chasing listings and build your brokerage into a lead magnet where prospects come to you is through the value of a giveaway, such as a short, easily accessible video, e-book, infographic, quiz, guide, handout, resource or checklist or free home inspection for new listings. Create a giveaway that builds value and tempts prospects to give up their name and contact information to get the free material. The material should be well written and designed and present your brand as an authority to build long-term trust and add monetary value in the eyes of your prospects.

Create A Relationship

The point of the giveaway as a lead magnet is to alter your prospect’s mindset to be predisposed to use your services. The topic of your materials should be clear-cut, easily read in no more than 5 minutes and address a distinct topic that provides specific answers. The prospect should feel a relationship with your brokerage after reading the material that prompts her/him to act.

Know Your End Goal

To decide the topic of your material, you must know the end goal, such as increased revenue or list building. The market segment you are going after is also important. What real estate pain point are you addressing in your giveaway that will turn prospects into hot leads for the desired target market? For instance, luxury sellers may be interested in top-notch staging tips and resources. Speak to the desired pain point and prospects will more readily give up their contact information.

List Building Management

A well-calculated giveaway campaign can bring in hundreds of leads. It does no good to attract leads and build your marketing list if you don’t have a good CRM system to organize your marketing efforts. Is your CRM up to the task? Review your current system to see if it stands up to others on the market for functionality and number of contacts. Now may be the right time to upgrade your CRM system if you’re just not getting the value out of it that you need. Weichert, for instance, offers a CRM system to its affiliates that is directly tied to the best practices and processes we teach for lead generation and follow up. It is integrated into our national lead network and provides efficiencies in lead handling that are unsurpassed in the industry.

Lead Magnetism Doesn’t Happen Overnight.

Brokers know that there is no silver bullet when it comes to generating leads. A variety of tactics executed regularly is what works to improve your lead generation in less time. But it’s hard when you are doing it all on your own. That’s why franchise affiliation is often a great solution for brokerages. By plugging into their resources, you are able to leverage their expertise and marketing materials to be able to compete effectively in all of these ways, including having a CRM to properly manage and close incoming leads.

For more information on how Weichert can turn your brokerage into a lead magnet, contact Weichert® today at 877-533-9007 or go to https://weichertfranchise.com .

Real Estate CRM’s – A Must Have Tool For Your Brokerage

The leads generated for your company and your agents are one of your most valuable assets. Anytime a prospect moves on to another brokerage or doesn’t close because your agents did not actively nurture them and convert them to clients, you are losing potential revenue that could have come into your brokerage and your team. A real estate Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM) is designed to help solve this problem. The best real estate CRM tools provide sophisticated contact management and automated communication. These systems help experienced agents manage their past clients and referrals and help new agents who are cultivating prospects and trying to grow their business. There are a lot of real estate CRM’s to choose from. You need a powerful system that is user-friendly and will help your agents advance your business.

Benefits of Real Estate CRMs

The ideal CRM saves time and functions as an automated personal assistant. It should provide agents with notifications from clients and prospects along with reminders, calendar alerts, and insightful data about clients all in one easy-to-use platform. Agents should also be able to tell if there are any buyers seeking information and take steps to ensure they receive that information in a timely fashion. It must be complex enough to manage all the nuances of real estate sales and marketing, but do so in a way that simplifies the agent’s workday.

Better CRMs will also have a comprehensive system for managing the contacts made at open houses. Beyond just contact information, these systems will contain fields for searchable notes, scoring of lead potential and urgency, and be able to use leads to create scaled marketing campaigns. These systems keep agents front of mind and work to show prospects your listings to keep their pipeline filled, while they focus on closing the deals at hand.

Other important features of modern Real Estate CRMs include:

  • Full Mobile Access: Real estate agents are frequently on-the-go and need the ability to access their contacts, calendars, and clients at all hours of the day. Real estate CRMs with integrated mobile functionality help your agents maintain a healthy work-life balance by keeping them connected while they are away from the office. It provides peace of mind to know they are not missing any vital communications.
  • Automated email marketing: New and experienced agents can create impressive email campaigns in just a few minutes, regardless of their level of technical skill. The best real estate CRMs include branded templates for holiday greetings, special promotions or allow agents to create their own templates.
  • Increased conversions of prospects to clients: Converting prospects into clients is a skill that agents do not develop overnight. Even the best agents are always working on improving their conversion rates. CRMs can dramatically increase the number of clients for each agent through improved contact management.
  • Integration With Your Lead Sources: Having a CRM that integrates into your lead generation system and supports your workflow makes it even more powerful. For instance, WeichertPro, the tool used by Weichert Franchisees, is fully integrated into its national lead generation system. When a lead is assigned, it goes directly into the agent’s profile, preventing the need for manual data entry or assignment of initial lead data.

Final Thoughts on Using a Good CRM in Your Brokerage

Sometimes the most valuable clients start as just an email address of someone seeking more information. Every contact can be valuable and it is not always clear initially which are serious buyers and which leads are going nowhere. An effective CRM allows agents to view all prospect data and easily identify the stage of the buying process for each person. It prevents enthusiastic agents from burning themselves out chasing dead ends and provides both agents and their brokers with insights that can help them close more sales.  If you and your agents are not already using one, take a look at the many options available and see what’s right for your business. At Weichert, we were fortunate enough to be able to invest in our own CRM technology to ensure it had all the functionality we needed and support our real estate business model.

Long-term success in real estate requires constant improvement. If you’re looking for solutions to build your business, partnering with Weichert with all its resources may be what you need. We provide proven systems, expert advice, and coaching that benefit you, your agents and your brokerage. Contact https://www.weichertfranchise.com  today for more information.