Tag Archives: real estate CRM system

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.

 

3 Tips For Selling Homes To Gen Y

Gen Y, more commonly referred to as Millennials, have now become the most populated generation in the USA, surpassing Baby Boomers. That means that they are one of the largest demographics of home buyers and sellers and are in the crosshairs of real estate agents and brokerages eager to build a profitable business. However, the buyers and sellers of Gen Y are unique in their interests, priorities, and especially their behaviors when it comes to buying and selling real estate. Selling to this tech-addicted generation will require you to be savvier than the competition and to do things a little differently than you did when you were starting out as an agent. Here are three useful tips that can help the modern broker prepare their agents to sell homes to Gen Y.

1.  Ad Content That Doesn’t Sell!

Millennials grew up in an age of digital marketing with its ever present ad mechanisms, making them somewhat impervious to more blatant forms of advertising. In fact, the more that you try to directly sell members of this generation, the less effective you will be. That’s not to say advertising is ineffective here, but the style and nature of the content has to be more helpful, relevant, or entertaining and less overtly service focused.

Millennials respond to creative that is more visual and will be attracted to video content using mediums such as Facebook newsfeed ads. And don’t forget Instagram. Offer free and convenient tools to help, like an online mortgage calculator, or a downloadable neighborhood or local school analysis. The more free tools, tips and services you can offer in your ads, the more likely this generation is to trust your agents, and your brokerage.

2. Supply Your Agents On-Going Training

Now, more than ever, the technology and platforms that are used to reach buyers and sellers are complex. Furthermore, they are forever evolving and shifting in popularity. If you want to enable your agents to close deals with the Millennial set, you’re going to need to provide them with ongoing training on topics like social media, mobile marketing and digital marketing, in general.

This is an area where big name real estate brands sometimes have an advantage. Weichert for instance, has both proprietary technology and processes that make marketing to Millennials (and everyone) less complex and more efficient. Add to that the training provided by Weichert training teams and its ongoing University approach, and you leverage a powerful educational infrastructure that keeps you and your team on the cutting edge.

3. Enable Prompt Follow-Up

Growing up in the most technologically advanced era in human history has had many effects on Gen Y. One of the largest is their increasing desire for instant gratification. This means that when a Millennial expresses interest in buying or selling a property, or has a question about a property or a town or neighborhood, they expect to hear from an agent right away. In fact, agents that fail to follow-up with a lead within 30 minutes or less, will usually fail to convert that lead. They simply won’t wait to hear from you.

What is your system for getting immediately back to leads, however and whenever they come in? Do you pass the 30 minute rule, even in the off hours?

Brands like Weichert have systems in place that help the agent both get leads and automate the follow-up. Once a lead comes in, Weichert has a call center that handles pre-screening and forwarding, putting incoming leads into the hands of a live agent within minutes. Accepted leads are then fed directly into the brand’s proprietary CRM. As a broker you need to consider tightening up your lead response times and follow up to be sure you’re making the most out of your opportunities.

How To Plan The Future With Gen Y

As an experienced real estate broker hoping to attract business from the country’s largest demographic population, you understand that your agents require advanced technology and training. You also know that trying to supply all of that tech and training on your own can be a challenge. If you feel that you could benefit from a system of tools and access to the most advanced training programs for selling to Millennials and any consumer category, think about teaming up with Weichert.

For more information about our proven strategies and resources go to weichertfranchise.com or call 877-746-2067.

Never Miss An Opportunity Again to Lack Of Follow Up

As a dedicated broker with a desire to grow your team and increase their production, you can’t afford to ignore the importance of follow up. Whether a lead is purchased or organic, it will require prompt, consistent, and personalized follow up if it will ever transition from a contact to a client. In fact, statistics show that for every 100 leads that an agent acquires, only 1-5 of them convert to business. If you and your team of agents are ever going to reach your goals, every lead will need to be treated like a VIP.

The Value Of A Lead

To really set the stage for how important follow up is, it helps to remember that a lead is so much more than just a lead; it is a lifetime opportunity. It is an opportunity to close multiple deals with that buyer or seller, and everyone that they refer to you. As a broker, you already understand that point because you have paid your dues and served your time as a real estate agent trying to build a business. You also know that it is far more expensive to find a fresh lead than it is to acquire deals from an existing client. For all these reasons and more, facilitating follow up by offering training, tactics and tools for your team, should be high on every broker’s priority list.

The First Follow Up Should Be the Fastest

In today’s fast paced world, it is more important than ever that a lead receives contact within 30 minutes of “raising their hand” by phone or online. It is not uncommon for qualified leads to fall through the cracks because they don’t receive the immediate and necessary attention they deserve from overwhelmed agents. In fact, a Harvard Business Review study concluded that nearly 71% of all qualified leads are never followed-up with because it can be so challenging to execute without the proper tools and systems in place. Yet, the fact remains that the faster they get a response, the more likely those leads are to become a client.

For example, Weichert, understanding these lead dynamics invests in a highly sophisticated national lead processing center which screens all calls and web queries, then transfers qualified leads to local Weichert agents across the country within minutes. With so many agents competing for leads, it is this kind of turnaround and responsiveness that really maximizes the engagement rate within a brokerage.

Keep Clients Close

The commitment to consistent follow up should not waiver after the sale–or even if a sale is not made. To extract as much value as possible from each client engagement, there should be continued communication on birthdays and anniversaries, as well as, newsletters, market updates, and other valuable content. This is one place that a Client Relationship Management tool (CRM) can really be valuable. By using a CRM to keep track of these relationships and creating a schedule to maintain that consistent, regular contact, your agents will get in front of more and more deals without having to work harder than necessary. As an example, the WeichertPRO CRM empowers agents to achieve success by nurturing their leads with automated, yet personalized emails, easy advertising of new listings, Open Houses and more. All of this having the effect of reducing the number of potential sales that slip through the cracks. Regular promotion, planning, and timely follow up are all part of the WeichertPRO CRM’s wheelhouse, making it an invaluable tool for both agents and brokers alike.

Strike a Balance Between Automation and Conversation.

The founder of Weichert, Realtors®, Jim Weichert, will tell you that selling real estate is nothing if not personal. He is famous for saying that “people buy people before they buy your product or service” and it’s that people-first philosophy that pervades everything Weichert teaches their affiliates. So by all means, use the latest technology and real estate CRM systems to stay front of mind with your clients and to follow up with regularity. But making these automations as personalized as possible, and supplementing them with actual personal contact, is the key to effective follow up, and building your business for the long haul.

A national call center and proprietary CRM are just two parts of a full suite of systems and programs available to Weichert affiliates. If you are looking for a blueprint for success that you can plug your business into, contact Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. at 877-746-2067 or go to weichertfranchise.com for more information.

The Open House in 2018 – Promotion

Hungry for a sale, an agent blankets the neighborhood with Open House signs and then waits eagerly for a bite. Their efforts may drive traffic to their Open House and perhaps even bring the gold prize—a qualified buyer. But the question remains: Did this Open House, while effective, reach its full potential?

Even in this digital age when buyers rely so heavily on the Internet, the open house remains a cornerstone of real-estate sales and prospect marketing. At Weichert, Open Houses are deep rooted in our “people first” philosophy. Statistics published by NAR in 2017 show that 73% of homebuyers visit at least one Open House prior to purchasing.* Weichert open houses, specifically, attracted nearly one million potential buyers last year.** If you have the means to assemble a pool of buyers and sellers in one place where you can directly interact with them and sell them your value vs. your competitors, why wouldn’t you want to make the most of that opportunity?

But as every broker knows, a great open house event requires excellent conversational skills and a positive attitude. But more importantly, for it to be successful, it requires careful preparation, execution and follow-up. The question is whether the full potential of this type of event is being realized by your agents and for you the broker.  After all, this isn’t just finding a buyer for the property being held open, but this could help you connect with your next client(s).

If you haven’t recently examined how you and your agents are promoting, conducting and following up on data from open houses, you might want to consider it. As a start, take a few tips from the team at Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. who coach and train brokers across the country every day on best practices for open house management.  Let’s focus on how promotion plays a large role in Open House success:

Promoting Your Open House

In the performing arts it is often said that “less is more”, but when promoting your open houses, actually more is more!  More signs, more brightly colored balloons, more promotion starting at least a week ahead, and in more places. Traditional methods like postcard mailings and supermarket community board tear off’s should all be already part of your arsenal. Knocking on neighbor’s doors and door hangers are also part of this. The real estate coaches at Weichert teach a philosophy of keeping it personal, so there’s nothing like a phone call or personal note to get a response from the hotter prospects in an agent’s sphere of influence.

But what about the digital world?  Promotional strategies that do not fully include digital are leaving behind an increasingly large segment of buyers, especially millennials.  Here’s a quick checklist of activities you should consider for promoting your open houses online:

  1. Feature Open House listings as visual content on the homepage of your brokerage website, which link to the listing on your website.
  2. Have the agent write a blog for your brokerage website about the home and the open house.
  3. Promote the blog and the open house on Facebook. Spend a few dollars on Facebook advertising to reach the friends of your followers in the local area, starting about a week before the open house.
  4. Use the open house listing features available online. Weichert.com, for example, has a robust open house mapping feature that all agents are free to use.
  5. Put a home listing and open house ad on Craigslist.
  6. Post the Open house on LinkedIn from the brokerage page. If you are connected to corporate relo folks, make sure you message them directly about it.
  7. Email Blast! Use your email list or CRM to feature the listing to the many clients and prospects you’ve collected over the years. Send this email about 48 hours prior to the weekend of the event.
  8. Use text messaging to hit buyers as well for whom you have a mobile number. This is especially effective with millennial aged homebuyers. Hit them at least twice, both before the event, and the morning of.

Use the Open House Management Features of your CRM

Most brokerages employ a real estate CRM of some type, but many just use it to send out invites or enter contact data for only the hottest prospects. If your agents are guilty of this, or your CRM lacks robust features around open house management, you may be leaving money on the table. Weichert, for example, has a proprietary CRM which provides an open house management environment that is simple to use before and after the Open House for both promotion and follow up. Weichert also has an Open House sign in tool that feeds the CRM for follow up by agents.

Contacts can be tagged for immediate or subsequent follow up and all contacts are instantly available to the agent for future marketing initiatives.   Reminders and easily customizable email templates and graphics round out the capabilities that diligent associates will use to improve the reach of this open house, and all future open houses.

Good Open House Promotion Pays Off

Open Houses require a lot of planning, but if you do it right, the upside is tremendous. We can tell you from experience, a comprehensive, energetic and positive attitude toward open houses and having a structured system of executing them makes all the difference. The opportunity is there, you just need to know how to harness it. For more information on how Weichert gives brokerages a winning edge in all aspects of real estate, call our team at 877-567-3350 or visit our website at www.weichertfranchise.com


*2017 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Buyers and Sellers. 

**Based on a private study by Weichert, Realtors.