Tag Archives: real estate CRM system

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.

 

Tech Is Great for Getting Them, But It’s Still Your Sales Skills That Close Them

We live in a world of distractions. The media, news, entertainment, technology tools and social media are constantly bombarding us from all directions. It’s easy to get sucked in to all the cool, shiny new ways to attract leads. While tech is great for attracting leads, don’t become so distracted that you forget to practice the skills and habits that close them. In this highly connected world, it’s more important than ever to hone your relationships and your personal selling techniques.  Lots of people can use the same lead technology, but there is only one you. Use that to set yourself apart.

Use Technology To Stay Connected

Make sure you have a good CRM. This is the best way to keep your contacts organized and keep track of your communications with them so you don’t lose touch. If you stay out of touch too long, it opens the door for a client to become connected with someone else and call on them when they need something. A good CRM is the perfect example of a tech application that blends automation and good sales techniques. Use the automation and calendaring features to:

  • Send personal notes celebrating birthdays or anniversaries or just to see how they are doing or if they or someone they know are ready to make a move.
  • Disseminate useful information related to their home or friendly updates about your business.
  • Invite guests to your Open Houses and keep track of your visitors.
  • Keep track of your phone call outreach.
  • Automatically receive leads from your lead gen source.

Successful business owners understand that it takes some effort to learn these tools, but they use them regularly and teach and encourage their agents to do the same. The use of these tools actually helps you automate your business and have more freedom to spend one-on-one time forging new connections. Use technology to replace functions of your business that give you and your team more time and opportunity to make great connections within the community.

Use Technology That Showcases Your Personality

It’s no secret. People want to do business with people they feel a connection with and can trust. That is especially true when it comes to one of their biggest assets – buying or selling their home. The best way to stand out is to utilize technology that allows your personality to shine. Use video to share real estate tips or your knowledge about the neighborhoods you work in. Post them on Facebook or use a video email service, such as BombBomb to communicate. This will help humanize you and make you more memorable than a static post or email.

Don’t Forget Your Hustle

Lead generation sources are focused on one thing…selling leads. And they are happy to sell the same lead to you and the 10 other agents in town if you are willing to buy them. Customers typically work with the first agent they speak with. So make sure that agent is you. This means picking up the phone when it rings and not waiting to respond to that email. Don’t be so busy that you don’t have time to be responsive. Yes, you may have to speak with a few frogs, but you never know when that awesome lead is going to come to you and you need to be ready.

Be Smart About Lead Gen Options

Make sure the lead gen options you choose are truly productive for your business. How qualified are the leads you are receiving? Do you have to pay for them up front? What is your close rate on the leads you do receive? If it’s not good or you don’t know, you may be spinning your wheels and wasting valuable time and money. This can distract you and make you unavailable when the quality leads do come to you. Make sure you are spending your time and money on the right things.

Always Keep It Personal

No matter what technology and lead sources you use, don’t lose sight of the personal touch. Don’t let the technology do all the work. Find ways to use it to reach your customers in personal ways or use those applications that allow your personality to shine through. You are your product and people can’t buy if they don’t know you. As Jim Weichert always says, “People buy people, before buying a product or service.”

Conviction & Consistency Are King

At Weichert, we believe that tech is critical, but must be complemented by proven and successful sales activities. From a technology and lead generation perspective, Weichert associates and affiliates are automatically provided with its proprietary CRM and can qualify to receive leads from its lead center. Weichert invests heavily to attract online leads that are then screened by its call center. This helps connect the most qualified prospects to its agents. Those leads feed automatically into the Weichert CRM. Additionally, Weichert provides a blueprint of best prospecting and sales practices, together with qualified suppliers to help its offices and agents stay connected with prospects.

When you approach tech with the right frame of mind, stay true to your mission statement and core values and deliver value to your community, you will never have to worry about how fast tech changes or its impact on the industry. Don’t be concerned with change, as much as you are maintaining consistency and staying connected with your clients.

For more information on how Weichert systems can set you up for technology and beyond, go to https://www.weichertfranchise.com or call 877-567-33350.

Real Estate CRM Options Making Your Head Spin? Here’s How to Choose.

In this, increasingly digital era, more and more real estate leads are acquired online. Managing all of those online leads, in addition to those coming in from more traditional sources has become the Achilles heel of real estate agents. If your agents are not automating their follow-up, your brokerage is at a disadvantage. Enter the real estate CRM. In recent years, real estate CRM’s have become a dime a dozen and while all promise to simplify the path to success, some may not be the best match for your needs. Brokers are busy and it’s hard to find time to hunt for that diamond-in- the-rough CRM to help their agents be more productive. Here are some ins and outs of selecting one that will help your agents make the most of their time and never miss an opportunity.

The Not So Obvious Value Of Real Estate CRM’s

At this stage in your career, you realize that a CRM is invaluable when it comes to agents keeping track of leads, clients and referrals. You also expect that a CRM will help them manage their to-do list, calendar, and progress of their transactions. Obviously, this is all important because it helps prevent them from dropping the ball and losing business. What you may not realize is that the capabilities of a truly valuable real estate CRM will reach far beyond those basics. Here are some not so obvious benefits of an ideal CRM:

  • A smart CRM can reduce the need for an assistant or virtual assistant and help administrative costs.
  • Good CRM reporting makes it easier to keeping priorities straight and goals in sight.
  • Ability to personalize messages by keeping track of individual details like birthdays, anniversaries, hobbies, preferences, etc. BoomTown reports that using these details can increase lead response by 450%.
  • Increased consistency around how your brokerage brand is presented by having shared email and newsletter templates, designed with your brand look and feel.
  • Systems and processes can become easier to implement, which leads to improved performance by the team.
  • ROI tracking becomes possible because agents can organize leads by groups defined by each lead source. Knowing which lead generators are paying off and which are not is essential in the management of your business.

What To Look For In Your Real Estate CRM

One of the biggest problems with real estate CRM’s is that there are so many of them out there with varying features and benefits. It can make choosing one a bit overwhelming! But investing time in selecting a CRM can pay off for your business in the end. To end up with a successful solution, it’s important that you study what they have to offer and how easy it will be to implement and use. Opt for a free trial if one is available and see if it can work in harmony with your business. But before you even start your search, develop a clear cut list of what you want to get out of the software. Here’s what capabilities we suggest you prioritize in your search:

  • Action plans that automatically trigger your activity and give you reminders.
  • Contact management which helps you track everyone in your sphere and access them easily.
  • Mobile capabilities so you can access the system from anywhere using your phone or tablet.
  • Automated marketing capabilities like beautifully branded email campaigns you can use on holidays or to highlight listings.
  • A sophisticated tool for open house management that organizes and cultivates these valuable leads.

Final Thoughts on Real Estate CRM’s

Offering your agents a way to organize and manage their leads will help them be more productive and your brokerage be more successful. No time to vet them? A CRM is often one of the many benefits your brokerage receives by affiliating with a larger brand. When Weichert looked at the world of real estate CRM’s many years ago for its agents, for example, no one off-the-shelf CRM addressed all the follow-up processes and systems that Weichert felt its agents needed to be most productive. So it developed its own proprietary CRM, WeichertPro. Not only does it contain all of the capabilities mentioned above but goes a few steps further:

  1. Leads received by our call center and transferred to an agent are pushed directly into the agent’s CRM avoiding manual data entry and improving response times.
  2. Branded email templates make staying in touch and promoting events both beautiful and easy with reminders and automation available.
  3. An advanced open house management system, that includes for the agent promote, capture guest information and send out follow-ups to make contact handling a breeze.
  4. Overall the tool supports all the proven processes for brokerage success that Weichert has designed, making it the perfect fit for your operations.

WeichertPro CRM is just one of the many tools offered to our affiliates that support their growth and success. If you’re interested in plugging your business into the suite of tools and resources that Weichert offers, contact our team at  https://www.weichertfranchise.com or 877-746-2067.