Tag Archives: real estate technology

From Conversation to Conversion – Strategies that Work

Much of our energy as real estate professionals goes into figuring out how to get in front of more clients. How to be involved in more transactions in our markets, and how to get that first call when someone is looking to buy or sell.

Equally important, however, is what you do with that call or conversation once you manage to get it. In 2019 let’s remember, too, that many of those conversations aren’t on the phone. They occur through social media, email responses, text messages, LinkedIn connections, Facebook messenger, etc. And each comes with their own set of protocols, expectations, and best practices.

Here are some thoughts from the experts at Weichert Franchising on both old and new strategies for making the most out your opportunities, however they come to you.

In 2019, Consumer Attention Spans Continue to Shorten.

Most people will recognize that this has been going on for most of the last decade as the generation raised in all things digital has come of age. This phenomenon has set the bar for responsiveness in the real estate industry ever higher and expanded the number of ways in which effective brokers and agents must respond.

Response time is King – Studies by NAR and others have shown that conversion rates drop significantly  when lead response takes over 5 minutes.  With over 50% of new home buyers reaching out through online inquiries, systems for reaching an agent require a responsiveness that many brokerages are not prepared to handle.

One way to compete, is to team up with a resource that is equipped to receive and respond to leads in a way that meets today’s expectations. Weichert has always placed a value on consumer responsiveness. Even in 2002, when it set up its first national call center, it knew this was critical to the sales process. This service is an advantage to both its company-owned and affiliate offices. Today, this fully integrated lead system continues to attract leads through its online advertising strategy and web presence, respond quickly to inquiries and then qualify them before passing them to an agent. Our national call center responds to all calls, queries, emails and forms that come in through the Weichert.com website within 3 minutes. During this processes these leads are professionally screened and routed to a live agent. With our newest technology, lead information can be populated directly into the Weichert CRM for immediate access by agents to manage. Systems like this insure that no lead opportunity is lost in the journey from lead to client.

Leads Don’t Just Call or Email Anymore

In all kinds of sales there is an old adage, “think before you dial!” With so much opportunity coming in through social media and other digital and mobile sources, the adage certainly needs an update, but the idea is the same. Working leads through social or mobile sources can take some time to bring them to the point of committing to a phone call or even giving you’re their contact information. It could take 8 or more attempts, so persistence is important. On this journey, an agent’s ability and willingness to provide genuinely helpful advice and information will help establish credibility and trust. Agents should be mentally prepared for these interactions, just like a phone call, respecting both the channel of contact, as well as the nature of the outreach.

This means coaching your agents to have good social media profiles, response scripts if they need them, a CRM to record contact activity and mobile connectivity to respond and provide service promptly. A franchise partner like Weichert helps brokerages with the right systems, technology and coaching to compete.

Being prepared to handle both traditional phone and email requests, as well as social and digital leads puts your team on the path to a conversion strategy that leaves no lead behind. No matter where the lead comes from, your agents should always have one goal in mind – asking for the appointment.

How Does Your Conversion Strategy Compete?

How much are you investing to attract leads? How quickly are your agents able to respond to leads? Do you offer them a way to track their contact activity? Do you have online content to help them nurture social and online leads? It can be daunting to try to pull it all together on your own, but a franchisor such as Weichert can offer your brokerage a one stop shop to help your agents compete. Bring your local expertise, plug into our systems and enjoy the results. If this sounds like something you would be interested in for your brokerage, contact Weichert Franchising today at 877-567-3350 or go to weichertfranchising.com for more information.

It’s a Mobile World. How Do You Stack up?

In the last 30 years, brokers have seen their primary means of selling and advertising go from newspapers and referrals to online or digital sources. According to NAR, almost 95% of homebuyers used a website to search for homes last year with 72% of those using a mobile or tablet app.

What is equally interesting is the prevalence of mobile usage across demographics. Of Course 99% of millennials used mobile devices or apps to assist in their home search and 58% of them found the home they bought on a mobile device. Even consumers between 35 and 65 used their mobile devices for real estate research at a rate over 89% and roughly 40% of them found their home on a mobile device.  Another interesting dynamic is that overall, 14% of all buyers found their real estate agent using a mobile device.

Real estate agents have been on the front lines of the mobile revolution as well with over 90 percent of REALTORS® using digital or mobile devices on a daily basis. Despite this, REALTORS cite “keeping up with technology” as one of the biggest challenges for brokerages in the next two years.  So how can brokers assess their use of mobile technology and insure they are keeping up with the industry?

Common Mobile Strategies

Going mobile in 2019 means more than just texting and getting email on your smartphone. The following guidelines are critical if you are to be effective, and want to appeal to the shifting demographics of both homebuyers and new agents you may be trying to attract. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Is your website mobile friendly? If you haven’t looked at your site carefully on mobile devices lately, then you may want to do a review. Mobile standards are changing with new technologies like Google AMP which will drive the proper performance of your site on mobile devices. Mobile responsive design of your website is a requirement now and even sites that worked fine on mobile a couple years ago, are due for an overhaul.
  2. Is your advertising mobile friendly? Many brokerages are running Google Ads but did you know that these ads must be specifically optimized for best performance on mobile devices? Make sure the people who are running your paid search advertising are using the latest mobile algorithms and extensions in the setup of your campaign. Mobile search is a slightly different animal than traditional desktop search and you shouldn’t just assume that your campaigns are optimized for it.
  3. Facebook Advertising? With 95% of Facebook users accessing their account from mobile devices, there is no mobile presence for your brokerage without a solid presence on Facebook and Instagram. You should consider both organic posting and paid advertising on this medium so that Facebook users in your locality get to see and experience your brand in a more social setting.
  4. Mobile Chat Anyone? Direct messaging, or mobile chat, is the new email of real-estate marketing. Whether you use old-school text messages, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, or real-estate specific apps, mobile chat can sync up listings, manage customer relations, and improve communication between your team, too.
  5. Mobile Client Management. If you want Millennial generation agents to be comfortable in your brokerage, pay attention to the capabilities of things like your CRM. In 2019, that CRM needs to come with a good mobile app that makes client management and communication easy.

Getting Up to Speed With Mobile

It’s certainly a challenge for independent brokers, even if they are tech savvy, to keep up with and train agents on the best uses of mobile technology. That’s why brands like Weichert have put so much time and energy into figuring out and implementing mobile-focused digital strategies. Weichert.com recently completed a site redesign focused on providing an optimized mobile experience. It attracts over 3 million visitors a month and is key to the company’s digital strategy to attract leads to its Customer Care Center. Those leads are delivered to our brokers and agents in real time, on both their desktop and mobile devices and directly into our Weichert PRO CRM. The CRM features a mobile app which allows easy access to all features including client management, marketing tools, email and more. Weichert offers a mobile app to help agents stay on track with monthly production goals by allowing them to easily set and track their activities. In addition, Weichert places local Facebook advertising optimized for mobile users to help build brand awareness in its markets.

Keeping up with technology can be hard, but there are other solutions. By affiliating with a company like Weichert, you can take advantage of their vast resources for keeping up, so you can focus on managing your business.  If you’d like to hear more about available Weichert resources and how they could benefit your business, contact Weichert today to learn more at weichertfranchise.com or 877-567-3350.

How to Make Millennial Real Estate Agents Feel at Home in your Brokerage

As you recruit agents into your brokerage, it’s important to acknowledge there are differences in the way various generational groups communicate, respond, work and interact. Understanding these differences can be your secret weapon in motivating and communicating effectively with your team. Millennials currently make up the largest portion of the workforce and account for 50% of workers in the next 2 years. Here’s how you can make sure your brokerage is a good fit.

Values That Match Their Own

As an experienced broker, you already have a good handle on the basic qualities that an agent looks for in evaluating a brokerage: leads, commission splits, support, education, etc. However, if you want to both attract and retain Millennial real estate agents, you’re going to need to appeal to more than just those cornerstones. The desire for self-fulfillment is strong in this generation and drives them to seek out companies that strongly support their growth and learning at this stage of their career and down the line. Millennials are especially driven towards companies that promote a positive, well-rounded and healthy culture. If they do not form a strong connection with your company culture and trust in its genuinely altruistic nature, they will not hesitate to leave for greener pastures. This is a key difference from the Baby Boomer generation who has more of a “pay your dues” mindset and would usually stay with a job for years to gain experience. By contrast, a Millennial will leave quickly if the fit isn’t there.

Technology That Supports Their Goals

Although it is not their top priority, tech is still an important factor for Millennials that have grown up with it. Tech-savvy tools like a CRM, modern website, and lead generation systems are mandatory to them. Like your company culture, this is an area where you will need to both talk the talk and walk the walk. If you are not yet familiar with all things mobile and social, now is the time to bone up. Remember, these tech-savvy newbies are looking for you to take them by the hand as their leader and show them the way. If you can’t show them at least some acumen and understanding with social, mobile and technology as well as real estate, you will struggle to convince them that they are in the right place.

Someone to Turn to For Guidance

Taking less experienced agents by the hand and making sure that they know they can turn to you for help or guidance is crucial; a rule that applies to new agents of any age or generation. Millennials seek out leadership that frequently engages in positive reinforcement. One way to do this is to find regular ways to recognize your agents for their various accomplishments. If you hold regular team meetings, this would be a good time to hand out various awards for goals reached or at least acknowledge those agents that are making progress towards goals set like listings taken or open houses held. This will also contribute to the positive company culture you are trying to foster.

Team Meetings

Team meetings help to build camaraderie and give a brokerage that familial feeling that Millennials crave from their place of work. The more that you can make them feel as though they are a part of a family working towards a shared goal, the more invested they will become in the overall success of the brokerage. Again, injecting your team meetings with positive reinforcement and recognition for a job well-done will resonate with Millennials. They are also a great time to offer continuing education on day-to-day issues that real estate agents face and technological advances that could help the team with their goals.

Do You Have The Right Stuff?

As Jim Weichert emphasized when he started Weichert, Realtors® over 50 years ago, it’s all about the personal. As a successful real estate broker, connecting with people on a human level is in your wheelhouse, so don’t be afraid to tap into those fundamental skills when working with Millennials. Making your brokerage more attractive to Millennials is just a small evolution, not revolution. If you have a holistic company culture, tech-savvy tools, an abundance of leads, and good systems for ongoing education, then Millennials, and everyone else will want to join you.

Weichert supports its affiliates with things such as sales meeting templates, an awards and recognition program, ongoing training, technology support and more, providing a perfect plug and play system to help brokerages create an optimal fit for Millennials.

With Weichert at your back, you can do even more. Give us a call today at 877-567-3350 or visit us at weichertfranchise.com for more information.

How To Keep It Personal In A High Tech World

Technology continues to transform the way we do everything from how we communicate to how we buy and sell real estate and everything in between. At its most extreme, technology is even being offered as a replacement for a real estate agent. One has to sometimes wonder whether tech is really working for or against the industry. Digital technology is cool and shiny and the next new thing is always so tempting to try. But it should not distract or replace the personal activities needed to succeed in this business. It will never replace a handshake or the trust built through conversation and making eye contact. A real estate transaction is typically a complex, expensive, and highly personal transaction. Your challenge as a broker is to strike that critical balance between using technology to find your clients and the personal touch to win over and keep them. This approach is the right one, for both buyers and sellers, and for you.

Leveraging Tech Is Good

There is no denying that many of the tools and resources available to real estate agents and brokers have helped make doing business easier. There’s also nothing wrong with utilizing tools like a real estate CRM or lead generation software to help drum up business and manage it more efficiently. However, certain pieces of technology that we often rely upon today, like email and text messaging are routinely keeping agents, brokers, and clients at more of a distance than they once were. For example, if you have a quick question for your client that only requires a simple answer, you’re probably more likely to shoot them a speedy text or email. While this might seem easier, it cuts out the chance to casually chat about their day and build that friendly rapport that instills trust and garners future business.

But Building Real Relationships Is Better

Although people can move to technology, technology fails to move people in the way human-to-human contact does. Unlike some businesses where you can get away with keeping clients at an arm’s length, real estate is a contact business and requires you to develop your relationships beyond a superficial business exchange. Consumers are driven by emotions and loyalty; two things that can’t be found in an app or a website. Don’t be tempted to wait for the business to be delivered to your doorstep from that slick new lead gen program you just invested in. Seize every opportunity to nurture your relationships with personal contact.

Easy Ways To Foster A More Personal Relationship With Clients

The more that you invest into nurturing your relationships with your clients, the more loyal they will be to you in the years to come with their transactions and with referrals. Here are easy ways to help you take your relationships to the next level:

  • Call or stop-by without needing a reason – Remember birthdays, anniversaries and other significant milestones. Consider keeping a box of small gifts or treats like a bottle of wine in the car that you can give to clients if you happen to be in the neighborhood.
  • Bond over activities – Do your prospects or clients have a hobby that they’re passionate about like golf? Send them a link to an article they may have interest in or offer to take them out for a fun and relaxing day on the links but keep the conversation casual and fun.
  • Break some bread – Sharing a meal is one of the oldest forms of human bonding and most original signs of trust. Meet up for a cup of coffee or take them out to celebrate the anniversary of their closing, rather than sending a generic card, text, or email.
  • Make a routine – Regularly call your entire database just to chat and see how things are going. The conversations don’t need to be long. However, if they happen to share something special like a referral, personal preference, or special event in their life you can input that into your real estate CRM for future use. It’s best to block this time off on your calendar every month to hold yourself accountable to maintaining the routine.

In a world where technology drives functionality, it can be all too easy to rely entirely upon it. However, one must remember that the business of buying and selling real estate was built on the value of real relationships and real people. Although technology can certainly drive us forward and help reduce busy work or trivial tasks, there is nothing that can replace the value of shaking someone’s hand, looking them in the eye, or laughing over a meal together. It is important to find a healthy balance between leveraging technology and taking every opportunity for valuable personal contact.

A Brokerage Built By Real People For Real Relationships

Since Jim Weichert began his real estate career in 1969, he inherently understood the value of a handshake. He knew that people wanted to buy from people and made it a priority. As he built the Weichert brokerage one handshake at a time, he made sure to empower his team with the tools and technology they needed to work smarter. Yet, he always made sure they understood the power of that personal touch; a core value of the Weichert brand.

If you believe in the value of building lasting relationships, Weichert may be a great fit for your business. To learn more about how you can plug in and be a part of a franchise that will provide you with systems that balance technology with personal touch points, go to https://www.weichertfranchise.com.