Tag Archives: real estate lead generation

Does Your Brokerage Infrastructure Stack Up?

You were probably a top agent for years before you opened your own brokerage. You had a gift for understanding and relating to people and you’ve got real estate sales down to a science. You’ve mentored new agents and worked on solutions to close complicated transactions with other seasoned agents. You understand how a brokerage works and the daily ins-and outs of business management. Despite this, you may be frustrated with the rate of your growth, and the seemingly endless effort required to achieve it.

A key part of a successful brokerage is having the right infrastructure in place.  It’s a challenge to build without a good foundation. While some of these may sound familiar, it never hurts to assess where you have solid resources and what areas you still need to strengthen.

Let Your Agents Sell

Perhaps the most difficult transition for new brokers is the move from awesome salesperson to business and people manager. The urge to continue in your most familiar role is both strong and sometimes seems financially necessary.

If you are really going to be successful however, you have to fully embrace the additional and different responsibilities that come with being an established broker. This involves business management operations and strategies that have nothing to do with selling, such as building and utility management, employment laws and legal issues, technology usage, agent and office management, contract negotiations and of course, recruiting. The message here is simple but bears repeating: while you can train and coach your team for higher productivity, leave the day to day selling to your agents.

Hire Support Staff and Contractors

It’s hard to do everything well. And you probably can’t afford to put an employee on the payroll for every specialty need you have, at least initially. Instead, hire specialized support staff to set up and handle business systems you are less familiar with or need assistance with occasionally. For instance, initially bring on a part-time bookkeeper and office manager who can help with daily administrative and business tasks. A marketing specialist or consultant can provide brand expertise, manage social media content, keep your website fresh and promote your business. Develop good relationships with outside contractors for other work that you may not want to bring in-house. Regular meetings with a trusted accountant sets up correct financial systems your bookkeeper uses and advises you of tax and employment issues. Your computers, network, data security and marketing technology, should be in the hands of a trusted IT company who is responsive to your needs.

Develop Operational Policies and Procedures

Often brokers do not take the time to formally write out their processes and procedures.  This document avoids confusion and misunderstanding with your agents and support staff. Detailed topics should include employment contracts, general office policies, records management, trust accounts, broker relationships with consumer (agency, facilitator, etc.), as well as ethical policies, grounds for termination, safety and crisis information. You’ll also want procedures related to marketing and promotion to ensure your brokerage is represented consistently in the market and in compliance.

Get Cutting-Edge Technology

The right equipment and software takes time to research and test, but is so crucial to the success of your agents and brokerage that a regular review of these systems is critical for brokerage management. Technology is at the core of your ability to get and manage leads, track transactions and schedule appointments. Sometimes having a trusted partner for technology selection and training can be a huge relief for the busy brokerage.

Stay Compliant

Brokers must keep up-to-date with local, regional, state and federal real estate laws, but also understand employment laws and follow legal hiring practices to stay in compliance and avoid liability issues. While the local MLS will provide many standard sales forms to help you stay in legal compliance, other forms may be needed for special situations. That’s where a real estate attorney who is a trusted partner in your brokerage business operations comes in handy to provide non-transaction related legal assistance and advice.

Practice Good Business Management

Having a business plan is essential to any successful brokerage. Make sure you write one every year, which includes your sales goals and budget plan. Consult it frequently throughout the year and make adjustments to your activities accordingly.

There’s a lot involved in running a successful brokerage. While many choose to go it alone, affiliating your brokerage with a system that’s already built and proven can take a lot of the guesswork out and give you a strong line of support when you need it. Plus, it frees up your time to attend to many of the areas noted above. Weichert is the perfect example of this. Our service teams have worked with hundreds of independent brokerages to help them to work more efficiently and grow their businesses. From writing a business plan to recruiting strategies, Weichert provides business solutions that are proven and are designed to promote brokerage growth. Plus, they provide the technology resources you need to compete, including a world class CRM system, sophisticated lead generation system, online market continual online and live training opportunities, paperless transaction management, an online marketing design center and more.  There’s no part of your real estate business that we can’t help you with.

If you think you could use a partner on your road to success, consider the team and the brand at Weichert. You can call us directly at 877-746-2067 or go to www.weichertfranchise.com.

 

 

Franchise Vs. Independent Real Estate Brokerage – Finding the Right Fit

 

Running your own real estate agency and brokerage is a big step for most real estate agents, and one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make along the way is whether to  partner with a real estate franchise or go at it alone. Here’s some insight on your options.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of maintaining an independent brokerage? 

Choosing to go the independent route has both pros and cons for brokers. The main attraction is having complete autonomy – you aren’t answerable to anyone other than yourself. You can control the development of your own brand, find your own clients and you don’t have to pay any franchise fees.

Sounds great, but being autonomous means that the burden of your success is entirely on your shoulders. All training, marketing strategies, recruitment, retention and growth is up to you. You are the deal doctor, the office counselor, the janitor, the first to arrive and the last to leave at night. It’s also up to you to research the latest and greatest lead gen technology or CRM and build and maintain your brand – a big task in a tough economy and a competitive property market. Trying to keep up can leave you feeling burned out and the investment required to stay ahead can end up costing you much more than a franchise fee in the end.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of a real estate franchise? 

As you might expect, this can depend a lot on who you choose to partner with. While there will always be tradeoffs, affiliating does not have to mean “selling out” or giving up your business to big brother. With the right brand, you can tap into the power of a national system, but hold on to the great things you are already doing in your local market.

Yes, affiliating with an established real estate brand usually means sharing your individual brand with the brand of the franchisor. In most cases this is a benefit, as the brand of a good franchisor will be more powerful and far-reaching than that of an independent agency. Our experience is that most brokers welcome this as part of the other benefits they receive by affiliating. You will still do business with the people who know you, but you will be able to open the doors to people who don’t. Control of your business typically remains in your hands, depending on the policies of your franchise agreement. A system like Weichert’s for example, was conceived by an independent broker, for brokers. It offers a full buffet of training, systems, sales and marketing tools that have been used successfully by hundreds of offices across the country. They are available for you to plug into your business to help you grow. We know they work, but at the end of the day it is up to you how to integrate our programs and systems into your business.

Of course there are inevitably franchise fees, ranging from 6 to 10 percent depending on who you sign with. In the end, you must weigh the opportunity to improve and grow your brokerage vs. the time and dollar investment it will take to do it on your own. Ask yourself these questions: Can I get where I want to be on my own? How do the costs compare? How long will it take me to do it myself? Am I happy with my work/life balance? Am I effectively competing in my market? Can affiliation help me stay ahead? Can it help me reach my goal faster?

Is The Weichert Franchising System The Right Opportunity For You And Your Brokerage? 

Critical to getting the most benefits out your affiliation with a real estate franchise is committing to the right franchise partner. Different franchise opportunities offer different operating models which can lead to different results. Some large, well known real estate brands for example, offer little more than their logo and branding to their affiliates. The Weichert Franchise System couldn’t be more different. Our affiliates are taught a system for success which includes all the elements of the modern brokerage including lead generation and technology for example. The Weichert system is a real estate franchise opportunity developed by real estate agents and brokers with the flexibility to work within each brokerage’s needs, rather than offering a less effective one-size-fits-all solution. We offer access to the most sophisticated national lead collection and screening technologies in the country to support high-value lead generation for your brokerage. Our formula for growth combines effective online and offline marketing tools with expert, one-on-one real estate coaching and training, and even a proprietary real estate CRM which integrates your brokerage and fosters our complete lead lifecycle methodology. This franchise offering is part of a practical, hands-on partnership that brings continual innovation and support to each franchisee and keeps your business moving towards your goals even in the toughest times.

For more information on The Weichert Franchising System or the benefits of partnering with us through our real estate franchise opportunities, please contact us today.

Top Ways to Increase Warm Leads

Real Estate Leads

Three decades ago, potential clients were reached by print advertising, mailings and landline phone calls, or by going door to door. Leads took a lot of time and investment and there was no real way of targeting the people most interested in what you had to offer. While those older methods are still used, technology is leading the way as digital lead generation methods take over in ways that were previously unthought of. In today’s digital world, you can connect with potential clients while they are at home or work, in the gym or anywhere; they are frequently online using both desktop and mobile advertising strategies. While some of these strategies won’t cost you much money, they will all cost you some time, but the payoff can be significant because you are spending money on the people who have the most interest in what you have to offer. Here’s a few strategies for driving warm leads in the digital age.

Free Digital Advertisements

Using these “free” strategies, real estate professionals can cast a wider net for their properties, and your brand.

  1. Craigslist – Craigslist can have a fantastic reach for housing promotion especially at the lower end of the market. Make sure your ad stands out and that you repost regularly at a frequency that reflects the population density of your market. In a busy metro market your ads will disappear in about 5 days, but if you post too frequently you’ll get flagged as a spammer. Also don’t forget that Craigslist has a “services” section where you can create a compelling ad for your brokerage as well.
  2. LinkedIn – If you’re going to focus on using free networking sites to connect with buyers, LinkedIn should probably be in your top three or four. Almost all the top agents work FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter, but many omit LinkedIn as a source of warm lead generation. Here is a great article from LinkedIn Pulse that talks about how to use LinkedIn for real estate lead generation.
  3. Facebook/Instagram – While real estate professionals are almost all heavily posting in Facebook, many neglect simple low-cost paid advertising extensions to Facebook that will greatly increase the reach of your listing. Every broker and agent should have some monthly budget set aside for targeted Facebook advertising and the boosting of posts about your listings. A couple hundred dollars a month is enough to get started, but large brokerages in urban areas will often spend thousands promoting their brand and their listings to remain competitive.

Paid Real Estate Advertising -Pay Per Click and Remarketing

While these are both paid strategies, they are really central to real estate marketing operations in the modern brokerage. Google AdWords, while widely used, has become quite expensive and so the addition of remarketing can have the effect of delivering you a lower cost per lead, and more leads that are really “warm”.  These strategies will drive interested parties to your website where they can use the MLS search to further locate homes.  Once they are doing this you have a good chance that it will be your team that gets the call when they see something they like.

If they don’t contact you on their first visit to your website, remarketing will ensure that they are reminded of their interest in your listing as they travel around the Internet.  Only people who have visited your website at least once will see these ads and since they’ve already shown an interest, the chances are much higher that they will contact you the second time around.  In Google, the cost of remarketing clicks is usually much less than AdWords clicks and so this has the effect of driving down your overall cost per warm lead.

Winning the Warm Lead Game

More than most people, real estate agents understand that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to meet a prince. Having an active lead funnel is key to that and your leads have to come from as many sources as you have time and resources to cultivate. It’s one of the reasons why a brand like Weichert invests so much money in lead generation and a call center that scrubs those leads even further to only pass the most qualified ones on to the agent. Not only does this take some of the financial burden of advertising off the broker’s shoulders, but the complexities of modern digital advertising are handled by experts to your benefit and the leads your agents receive are only the most likely to lead to a transaction. You can read more about our lead network operations at https://www.weichertfranchise.com/real-estate-lead-generation/ or by calling the Weichert Franchise Team today at 877-567-3350

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.