Tag Archives: real estate lead generation

Franchise Success Spotlight Profile: Weichert Affiliate Beth Dickens—Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty

Not more than 25 miles northwest of Fort Worth sits the charming rural community of Springtown, Texas, where long time affiliate Beth Dickens runs Weichert Realtors – Team Realty.

Beth Dickens Owner Weichert Team Realty

With a population of close to 4,000 and within commuting distance to downtown Fort Worth, Springtown has seen its fortunes rise slowly over its rich, 160 year history. Housing in Springtown and throughout Parker County represents a rural, farm and ranch lifestyle that Beth Dickens has called home since she was a child. “As a girl I had a doll house.” she remembers, “I would pretend to try and sell it to people. I guess I was born to be a real estate agent.”

After years as an agent Beth and her business partner Lorene, finally opened Team Realty as independent brokers in 1998. The pair did moderately well, but Beth recalls the constant challenge of recruiting and keeping new agents. “We went from 5, to 10, then back to 5 again, we just couldn’t get to that next level and sustain it. It’s hard for an independent in a rural market with so many other well-known brands around.”

Over the years Beth and Lorene had flirted with the idea of affiliation with a national real estate brand and had entertained pitches from RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Keller Williams and others, but hadn’t really felt compelled to make a move. But in 2007, someone from Weichert® came knocking on their door. The Weichert story felt like something different.

“The sophisticated Weichert internet presence and reach was quite amazing to us. There’s no way an independent can compete with that kind of investment and those kind of systems,” notes Beth. What appealed to her was the Weichert internet marketing approach that brings over 40 million visitors a year to their website from around the country. Leads are routed to their call center and calls are carefully screened by trained operators and sent to live agents typically in under 2 minutes.

There was, however, another thing they both noticed in their dealings with Weichert that was equally appealing–their ethics. This was the first franchise team that really made Beth and Lorene feel like they cared about their success as a brokerage and as individuals. At the time of these discussions, they were actually on the verge of opening another office, but Weichert asked them not to. “This was Weichert walking away from money because they felt we needed to be more successful out of the one office we had before we started another one. That really impressed me”.

Beth & Lorene had about 8 agents when they joined Weichert and Beth admits that some of them were worried about the affiliation. “A few people got hung up on the fees”, says Beth “but the great majority of them saw that it was better for them long term”.

Getting Up To Speed With Weichert

And so Beth and Lorene signed on with Weichert in 2007 and became Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty. Joining the partnership was both a relief, and the beginning of exciting changes in their professional life. It was a relief in that the Weichert coaching team, and its proven systems had the answers to so many of the growth and business development challenges they had struggled with as an independent agency for years.  It was also exciting as Beth and her husband bought Lorene out in 2008 and dove headlong into the Weichert training and systems. Almost immediately, they noticed an odd thing when they put the Weichert sign on the building.  “Suddenly recruiting got a whole lot easier,” Beth recalls.  Starting with about 6 agents, in 2007, Beth and her husband slowly built up their team, following the Weichert Methodology.

Change is Good….Really.

Beth and her team loved the training and coaching opportunities afforded by the new relationship and embraced things like Weichert University, Weichert Management Academy, and new Weichert systems and technology.

Beth describes Weichert’s listing presentation system, “DOORS”, as a game changer. Not only is it automated online and easy to create, but it is homeowner centric not brokerage focused. Beth notes that the “price trend analysis” provided by Weichert is also so much better than the simple comparative market analysis they did previously. The combined effect of better training, better materials, better data, and a solid brand affiliation created a noticeable improvement in their closing rate.

Another way in which Weichert was different is in their processes around running open houses. In an internet age where so many agents will tell you “open houses don’t work” or “they’re just for the seller”, the comprehensive Weichert process around running open houses really works. Everything from signage, to balloons, door knocking, and all the online and printed material that goes with it are covered by the proven Weichert open house management system. But the proof is in the results: Beth’s team sells at least one house per month from leads that come from her agents’ open houses.

Results

Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty has just moved into their second decade as a Weichert Affiliate. Starting from their modest single office with 6 agents, Beth has indeed opened that second office, and boasts a staff of 28 agents serving the rural farm, ranch, and residential markets surrounding Fort Worth Texas.

But most impressive is her top line growth. Beth has overseen the growth of Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty to more than 20 times the revenue they had before they joined Weichert.  To hear Beth tell it, “These folks have done for me everything they said they would do. If they told me I had to stand on my head to sell more houses, well I’d start yoga lessons tomorrow…”

The Weichert Way

Being a Weichert affiliate is a partnership, a collaboration, done with great respect for what you’ve already achieved and learned.

After all, you’ve already built a successful business.

We can help you do more

For more information on becoming a Weichert Affiliate, call 1-(877) 567-3350  or visit www.weichertfranchise.com .

 

The Top 3 Challenges to Brokerage Growth and Success

Independent Brokers have generally learned things the hard way: through trial and error and experience and there are a lot of land mines out there. You may have loved the idea of being a broker and have achieved certain milestones, but the road to success can often seem like a never ending trek uphill. Is this the right direction? Am I choosing the right tools and software? Is my marketing message right? Is there more I should be doing? The challenges of lead generation, recruiting, and brand perceptions are significant and always there, especially in tight markets.

It turns out that you are not alone. At Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. we talk to independent brokers across the country every day. They are universally a motivated and experienced bunch and have a great deal of local market knowledge. These brokers often wonder what it is that they have left to learn from a national franchise brand like Weichert that they haven’t already learned at the school of hard knocks. Often you don’t know what you don’t know.

While every broker is unique and has unique challenges, there are a number of common problems that create hurdles to growth in brokerages. Has your own business or business practices been “stuck” on any of these areas?

No System for Recruiting and Retention

Recruiting and retaining agent talent is really the foundation of a successful brokerage. Independents face multiple challenges here, often because agents have similar perceptions to home buyers. They are often attracted to well-known brands due to their lead generation potential and resources. As if this perception wasn’t tough enough, many brokers don’t have a structured recruiting system and portfolio of materials to attract and create a pipeline of new agents to draw from.  Then once you recruit them, you need a way to get them up to speed – fast – so they can start contributing to your brokerage production and earn an income.

There is no single magic bullet to solving the recruiting problem, but a proven process that incorporates multiple things is required. Do you have a business plan with growth goals? Have you translated those goals to specific business and recruiting activities you must engage in to be successful? Do you as a broker “know your numbers”?

At Weichert, part of our job in coaching new affiliates is to teach them a system. Our system is comprehensive and includes marketing materials and training to attract and get new agents up and running once you get them.  Once you have them, it’s incredibly important to provide value to keep them from walking next door. Creating a supportive culture, offering them an expansive suite of tools and marketing materials to help them market themselves and their business and providing opportunities to constantly learn and improve their skills are all ways to do this.

Owner/Broker That Are Still Listing and Selling Houses

Chances are if you’ve become a broker, you are highly experienced in real estate and were a darn good sales associate. It can be hard to stop doing that, even though it is actually a distraction that takes you away from the other activities you need to focus on to build and manage your business. The idea of “letting go of the bench” is a concept every broker struggles with at some point in their career.

Are you that broker who feels like he needs that extra income that comes from listing and selling his own properties? Weichert business coaches will tell you quite simply, that it’s time to stop. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it has to happen in order for you to focus your attention on business-building, rather than selling. Once that happens, you’ll start to see your business grow, rather than continuing to run in place. Figuring all that out yourself is hard, which is why partners like Weichert exist to bring you proven systems that take the guesswork out of managing your brokerage.

Difficulty Competing Against Recognized Brands

A recognized brand can be a powerful magnet for drawing buyers and sellers into your agency, as well as recruits. If you are an independent broker, you understand this having spent years building a local reputation to compete with more recognizable brands in your local market.

But for sellers who don’t know you or don’t get explicitly referred to you, not having the backing of a national brand can make you work harder for listings and recruits. We hear it all the time, a variation of “…my recruiting problems basically ended the day I put the Weichert Sign on the building…”

Consider Whether A Partner Is Right For You.

While independent brokers may face stiff challenges, they are not insurmountable. Sometimes a leg up from the right partner can be just what you need to get over the top of that seemingly endless hill. A recognized brand can help you stand out for sure, but the real power of plugging into a known brand are the assets, marketing and support and proven systems they bring to you in your local market. Couple that with other benefits such as investments in lead generation and technology, investments that few independent brokerages could develop or sustain on their own, you have a powerful formula for success. Your identity doesn’t go away, it gets amplified ten-fold. That’s why the Weichert system is so much more powerful than just our name and could be the right partner for you.

Please consider contacting the team at Weichert to discuss your unique situation, we can help: 877-746-2067 or weichertfranchise.com

 

Truth: Your Agents Will Leave You Someday. How Strong Is Your Recruiting Plan?

As with any business owner, you must hire well for your business to succeed. The growth of your brokerage depends on the number and productivity of your agents. Continually recruiting agents—new or seasoned—who are enthusiastic go-getters adds excitement to the entire office and motivates current agents to do better. Having the right recruiting tools and systems ensures that your pipeline of potential agents remains full and you won’t be scrambling to replace production if, in fact, an agent leaves you.

Business Plan And The Numbers

Doing a formal business plan every year isn’t always the first thing on a busy brokers long list of To-do’s. Yet at Weichert, we emphasize the importance of this tool with all our affiliates. Your business plan should include a recruiting plan that should be a constant point of reference for you, not something you do and forget about. You should keep it current with an updated assessment of the brokerage’s needs in terms of agent count. Just adding 10 new recruits a year can substantially increase your gross sales income. Adding 20 a year is even better.

Think about your own plan. Do you have a realistic growth goal for your business? Do you know how many recruits you will need to reach your income goals this year? Knowing your financial goals and how that translates to additional sales and feet on the pavement is critically important in determining the minimum number of agent recruits you need to bring in for your desired profitability goal. Weichert affiliates are taught efficient ways to conduct productive recruiting activities, roll up and review the numbers each week to determine if they are on track to reach their yearly goals and can adjust their strategies if not on target.

Here’s a few tactics you can try to improve your pipeline of potential agent recruits.

Participate In School & Community Recruiting Events

You know that recruits can easily be found at real estate schools or college campuses, especially one that has a real estate program. Be part of recruiting events at these locations. Request to put a recruiting flyer on a bulletin board with a business card pocket to help gain interest in between recruiting events. Check it regularly to keep the pocket constantly filled with cards. Track who responds and from where to gauge the best locations and strategies.

Have Attractive Marketing & Training Materials

Use updated and well-designed marketing materials as recruiting tools. Professionalism is key. Be prepared to show your stuff to potential recruits with modern materials that describe your company culture, your success, the value you offer, and other important information that agents new to your brokerage want to learn. Inexperienced agents will be particularly interested in how you are going to train them to get up to speed and productive. Highlight strongly all the formal training and mentoring programs you have in your brokerage to keep them competitive. Really give them a sense that you will be fully vested in their success.

Promote Online

Let your online presence do some talking for you. Use your website to attract recruits with a career section that tells them why they’d love to work with you! Include information on company culture, photos of agents working and having fun and descriptions of all the great tools, training, sales successes and support every agent receives as part of your brokerage team. Social media works well to search for and solicit potential recruits, especially those more seasoned, who already have active real estate social media profiles.

Use Brand As A Power Tool

Sometimes having the right brand can be a powerful recruiting magnet. No matter how successful your independent brokerage is now, being part of a nationally recognized brand can open doors that accelerate business growth and more easily attracts recruits. Not to mention it often allows you to offer your agents much more than you could on your own.

Host Regular Career Events

One of the most effective activities can be holding regular recruiting events at your office. Promote through email, phone calls and social media. Make sure you have a dynamic presentation, be prepared with takeaway materials, show off your awesome office space and brokerage personality. By the time you’re done, they won’t want to work anywhere else!

Yes, effective recruiting is a big investment, but it is the single most important thing you can do for your brokerage. How do you find time to create the materials and training programs you need and where do you start? That’s where being able to plug into an existing, proven system can help. Companies that affiliate with Weichert, for example, are coached in best practices for recruiting, including effective ways to conduct regular recruiting outreach, hold career events and how to roll up and review the numbers each week to determine if they are on track to reach their yearly goals so they can adjust their strategies as needed. Weichert also provides affiliates with the presentation tools and marketing resources to make that dynamic recruiting presentation and professional impression. Plus, we offer training to get new agents up to speed and working in no time. All that plus national brand recognition which amplifies the attractiveness of your brokerage. All you have to do is implement. How easy is that!

Good systems, smart tactics and regular ongoing activity will keep your recruiting pipeline filled with agents eager to be part of your team. If a recruiting system like Weichert offers is something you’d like your brokerage to plug into, contact us for more information at 877-746-2067 or view weichertfranchise.com.

Time Management For Real Estate Brokers

Do you feel drained at the end of the day with a dozen important things remaining to be done? Do you leave tasks half-finished as you respond to an endless stream of urgent interruptions? Are you sacrificing time with your spouse and children? As a hard-working broker, you manage all types of tasks every day and may work long hours to accomplish them, from creating a marketing campaign to training new agents. Developing a work-life balance all comes down to using your time wisely. It’s easy to say but surprisingly hard to do, especially for brokers.

Here’s a few tips on how you can have the business you want, along with the lifestyle you deserve, from the experts at Weichert Real Estate Affiliates.

Principles of Broker Time Management

Time management is learning to accomplish more tasks in less time. It means better productivity and more quality time to renew and recharge. In turn, scheduling your time provides a more nurturing work-life balance that helps avoid broker burnout. There are a few main principles of broker time management that will have you working more productively with more time for yourself and your family:

  1. Organize your daily goals
  2. Delegate, delegate, then delegate some more.
  3. Use automation and tools
  4. Establish operational checkpoints on a regular basis

Daily Goals – The Most Powerful Part of Your Day

One famous dissertation on time management says you should write down 6 important goals you want to accomplish each work day. Whether your number is 5, 6, or 10, taking that 5 minutes each morning to define your priorities for the day is probably the single most important thing you will do all day.

Then as you accomplish each goal, cross it off your list to give yourself that feeling of accomplishment. Don’t get overly upset if you fail to achieve your full list, but make sure you follow through the next day.

Delegation

The temptation to take on certain tasks that you know you will do better than anyone else is strong and common. Yet if you never allow someone else to challenge themselves at this, you will be forever obligated to do it yourself. As a brand representing hundreds of brokers across the nation, Weichert experts will tell you that the most successful brokers have managed to be almost 100% strategic in their tasks and have delegated tasks they never thought they could.

Today pick one time-consuming activity that “I have to do myself”, and train someone in how to help you with it. They may stumble at first, but with patience and consistency, it is you who will run faster in the end.

All The Right Tools

The promise of so much technology and electronic capability is to do things faster and more efficiently. Unfortunately for too many brokers, technology promises have been offset by technology complexity and cost and brokers we see are either not using their tech properly, or at all.

And yet when you and your team are properly trained and fully utilizing modern systems like real estate CRMs, online lead generation and marketing, or even just using Microsoft Excel better, you achieve a level of organization and time management you can only dream of. You don’t have to be a computer geek. You just need to be willing to learn or leverage learned resources to be sure that the promise of the technology you use, is realized.

Trust But Verify (Regularly)

Even if your team is trained and motivated to use the systems and tools you have in place, establishing regular operational checkpoints is a must. This is an activity you can’t delegate. Having a look into how critical systems and initiatives are performing in the brokerage, provides you the critical insight you need to make larger, more far reaching decisions. For instance, you may find that agents are interpreting data in your open house management system in several different ways, causing problems with follow up. Or that the whole system simply doesn’t work the way you need it to, leading to an important strategic reinvestment in a new CRM.

As you grow, your verification activities should rise as well. Insist on the lower level process and tech reviews, but conduct your reviews with your team leaders. Hold them accountable for metrics at the lower levels while you up-level your view.

A Little Discipline Saves a Lot of Time

You don’t have to run your brokerage like a military operation, but a little discipline is certainly necessary. Having proper processes and systems in place that you don’t have to invent or constantly change is a big part of time management, success, and achieving that elusive work-life balance. Don’t spend time thinking about things that can be automated. Save that thinking time for the bigger strategic issues you really need to put thought into.

Management Systems. Digital Tools. Selling Systems. These are all things the team at Weichert can offer your business that you can plug into.  If you think this could benefit your business and put you on the path to growth call 877-567-3350 or visit weichertfranchise.com for more information.