Weichert Franchise offers unique real estate franchising opportunities in a system that is designed by real estate brokers for brokers. Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. is committed to teamwork, cutting edge technology and the growth of every franchise. If you are looking for a real partnership, Weichert may be the perfect fit.
Brokerages fail for many reasons, but sadly many real estate businesses follow the same, time-worn path. Is yours one of them? To ensure success, you’ll want to avoid common mistakes. However this is a lot easier said than done, as in real estate, brokers often assume the path to success is the most heavily traveled one. Here’s how to avoid taking the wrong exit.
The Recruitment Express Lane
Many brokers don’t focus on recruiting. It’s a sporadic activity at best, often prompted by a vacancy left by another agent. Yet recruiting is critical to putting your agency in the fast lane for growth. Jim Weichert discovered this early on. By making recruiting an organized activity of your office, you create a pipeline of agents that will ensure a steady flow of business. Agents will always come and go, but a strong pipeline will minimize any disruptions in business. What makes up a strong recruiting strategy? Setting goals for hiring and staffing. Consistently engaging in the right activities to attract prospects and having attractive marketing materials to effectively market your brokerage. Once you’ve hired them, you want to retain them. This requires you to consistently promote your value as a brokerage. What do you offer your agents? How do you support their professional development? How do you help them secure listings? How do you help them find buyers? What types of farming support and systems do you provide to help them grow their business?
Sales & Listing Rubbernecking
Many of today’s agents tell us that they’re feeling the pain of today’s low inventory market and are always on the hunt for a leg up on lead generation. This can too often leave your best agents peeking over the fence toward the seemingly greener pastures of competitive brokerages. A recent Inman survey of agents identified buyer leads (32%) and listings (30%) as topping the list of valuable services their brokerage does not–or could do a better job of– providing. What are you doing to help generate sales and listing leads for your agents? Do you have a highly dependable and productive lead and listing system for keeping agents engaged? Or brokerage specific Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for effectively managing customer contacts? In today’s high-stakes, instant-access mobile world, minutes could cost you a solid lead. Stop looking back at what competing firms are doing, and zero-in on what you can do in your own brokerage to reach success by developing a coherent and disciplined action plan with tried-and-true methods. When your agents perform well – so does your brokerage.
How do you stand out in your market to avoid being bypassed? Building a strong presence requires consistency. Consistent marketing, consistent promotion and a consistent level of customer service by your agents to create a memorable experience for clients. However, it can be a daunting task to implement those things and keep up with them all by yourself. Joining a national brand is a great way to raise your profile. It also allows you to tap into constantly refreshed resources for marketing, promotion and training of agents so they are confident, productive and can provide the best real estate service in the market and stand out from the crowd. You also benefit from networking with peers to learn what has worked for others with similar challenges.
Paving a Smooth Road Ahead
You wear a lot of hats to ensure your brokerage’s success – but you don’t have to go it alone. Tested and proven systems and tools exist for successfully addressing your brokerage’s growth challenges. You already know you have to attract agents, stand out from the competition, boost listings and move inventory faster. A franchise partner such as Weichert is an example of a resource with proven, successful systems that businesses can plug into encompassing everything from recruiting and securing listings to attracting and managing leads to marketing your brokerage. Discover how to put a Weichert® real estate franchise opportunity to work for your business today.
May has arrived, and we’re in the middle of the 2019 peak home buying season. Buyers have shaken off the winter doldrums and are looking for that new home they can move into before the next school year. Early metrics from the Mortgage Bankers Association show this year’s spring season has promise:
Purchase applications were up year-over-year through mid-March
Average loan size continues to increase
Inventory is high for ‘move-up’ and higher-end buyers
Navigating the buying process can be challenging for customers, even those with home-buying experience. A professional real estate agent can bring a tremendous amount of value to the process by providing good counsel and resources that will ease buyers through the complexities of choosing a neighborhood and buying a home. Their expertise will help home buyers have confidence in their partnership with your brokerage as well. Question is: do they have a process to work from to ensure a positive experience?
Having a Process to Set Expectations Is Key
Buyers typically do not have an understanding of how the process works going in. A successful and satisfying home buying experience for the customer needs to start with an explanation of just that. When your agents outline the steps a buyer needs to take when purchasing a home, it can avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary frustration (on both sides). Buyers will understand:
What to expect throughout their home-buying journey
Key actions and decisions they’ll need to address
Critical deadlines and dates
Introductions to proven, reputable professionals they’ll need to engage with
Realistic understanding of costs associated with their purchase
It’s equally as important to have a detailed conversation with them about their move, what their goals are and define what they are looking for in a new home in terms of cost and features. This will help align realistic expectations and avoid wasted time searching for something that isn’t attainable. Taking time to go through this extra step ensures a more streamlined experience for both the customer and the agent and will help ensure both sides are on the same page. Your team’s support will ensure customers invest their time, energy, and money in finding the right home.
At Weichert, we coach our associates and brokerages on the importance of this step in delivering a positive customer experience and provide the sales tools to help walk customers through these conversations, such as our Buyers’ Consultation Guide and Buyer/Seller Guide.
A home buyer’s guide that outlines critical steps in the home buying experience, such as:
assessing how much a buyer can afford to spend
the offer and appraisal process
what to expect when working with a Weichert sales associate
the value of mortgage pre-approval
home search tips
finding the right financing
the closing process
A home buying checklist with the essential ‘to-dos’ for buyers.
A home buying wish list to support buyers as they frame their thoughts about what they want and need from their new home.
A house-hunting checklist and a home condition checklist that buyers can use during their search to help them objectively evaluate each prospective home on their most important criteria.
An online mortgage calculator to show buyers the financial implications of their purchase offers.
A closing checklist that explains the process and identifies the necessary paperwork for the closing meeting.
The resource center also has useful information that helps address questions about topics such as:
First-time buyers face unique challenges like finding funds for a down payment, understanding the costs of home ownership, and deciding whether a starter home will meet their needs. Weichert developed a first-time home buyer guide that your team can use to assist these customers.
How A System and Resources Help Customers Bond with your Agents
Having organized, cohesive, well-thought out resources to share will help your agent team engage more effectively with clients and help them provide a higher level of service:
Checklists keep buyers organized and more confident about their ability to be successful. And by giving them these tools, you are the one who made them feel that way.
When buyers have more knowledge and tools, they proceed through the process more intelligently, and can better appreciate the expertise and service of a good real estate team.
Giving buyers tangible touch-points keeps the process moving forward and minimizes the opportunity for tasks to ‘fall through the cracks.’
Many of the printed resources you leave buyers may outlive this transaction and remind homeowners years from now of the excellent service your agents, and your brokerage, provided.
Building a strong relationship with buyers and sellers may seem like real estate 101, but the tools and tactics for doing it require disciplined and consistent action, or a proven process. If you are interested in finding out more about how Weichert support helps affiliates build connections with home buyers call us today at 877-567-3350 or contact our team.
Social media has taken over marketing in recent years, with 69 percent of the public using social media of some sort. You may do all your brokerage’s social networking or elect to turn that over to a marketing specialist. Whatever you choose, it’s imperative that you understand the demographics of each social platform to wisely spend your marketing time and money, while carefully branding your brokerage.
Facebook has emerged over the last 13 years as a powerhouse among the social networking platforms. According to Pew Research Center’s Social Media Fact Sheet, 68 percent of adults in the United States use Facebook. Facebook acquired Instagram—a newer social site—in 2012. Its use is becoming more popular at 28 percent of U.S. adults and amassing over 800,000 users to date, trailing far behind but still second to Facebook. Part of Instagram’s growing popularity is the ease of post and paid ad sharing between the two sites.
Facebook may already be central to your marketing plan for its wide range of demographics and the sharing of all types of media—photos, messages and video—across desktop, mobile and tablet formats. Its use is split almost evenly between males and females.
Many view it as a networking forum for older adults, but that’s not a well-rounded picture of this versatile site. While Facebook does attract a larger share of the over 49 crowd than other social sites, Pew Research Center’s data indicates that ages 18-29 are big Facebook users (88 percent) with those ages 30-49 close behind in usage (79 percent).
Content should be engaging in more than one way, so create a mix of videos, images, information and calls to action that elicit user interaction to get followers. A little tasteful fun goes a long way on Facebook.
Facebook purchased Instagram back in 2012, and it has retained most of its unique nature. Both social sites share photos, videos and messages, but Instagram features images first and foremost, allowing the user to add numerous digital filters, as well as use image hashtags and geotags. You can create your own hashtags for events, open houses and more to gain traction. Since December 2017, users can follow hashtags, so your image hashtags need to be relevant, retain your style, and be interesting to grow your followers. Instagram’s newest rollout—Stories—is a Snapchat-like feature that is quickly growing in popularity.
Instagram is primarily intended for use on-the-go with a smartphone, appealing to younger users. In fact, Instagram’s core users are ages 18-29 (59 percent) with a higher percentage of women of any age favoring the site. Ages 30-49 make up 33 percent proving this network is a haven for those ages 49 and younger.
As a real estate broker, structure your Instagram posts around interior design, as that is a favorite topic on this platform. Has a local or national celebrity viewed a listing or sold a home using your brokerage? Snap a photo and post it (with permission), as celebrity and entertainment posts are hot. Visual consistency and imagination go a long way toward building your Instagram following.
Stand-Out Instagram Marketing
Instagram is all about the aesthetics. To leverage marketing on Instagram that plays to your brand and brings in sellers and buyers, it helps to study a few real estate accounts of those who are rocking it in the world of Instagram marketing.
Here are some tips to help individualize your brokerage on the Instagram platform:
Display great images—it’s all about consistently branded visuals
Create branded hashtags
Add multiple hashtags—some of the top posts use 10 or more hashtags
Use images with your contact information/logo
Post strictly listings or add a few photos of the team and/or clients for a more personalized appeal
Play Off Each Other
Instagram is a logical choice to add to your marketing arsenal to attract more of the on-the-go Millennial masses and even some older groups. As they play off each other, using Facebook and Instagram together equals a robust social sales strategy.
At the end of the day, a consistent approach to social media usage is just one part of your marketing and sales strategy. At Weichert, we have the systems that can help you pull it all together. Contact us at 877-533-9007 to learn more or go to weichertfranchise.com.
Of course, there is nothing new about the concept of using Facebook’s ad platform to try and attract new business, increase brand recognition, and build the overall size of a real estate brokerage. However, as the platform continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, fewer and fewer agents are using videos to take advantage of its tremendous power. While Facebook Ads can’t completely replace all other lead generation activities, they can be a valuable portion of your overall strategy. The key is being able to understand how to get your ads to stand out and capture the attention of the right people.
What Video Ads Should You Create?
Just Listed or Just Sold- This option supplements direct mail as a way to let people know that you have a property that was just listed or sold. Create a stunning ad to show off your new accomplishment and use Facebook’s advanced targeting tools to get it in front of the local audience.
Neighborhood Profiles- Show everyone that you are the local expert by creating a video that profiles various neighborhoods in your market. Include key details like what makes the neighborhood unique and the benefits of buying a home there.
Testimonials- Testimonials are an invaluable marketing assets that truly help prospects feel more comfortable about working with you. When you complete a transaction, ask your happy clients if they would be comfortable filming a brief testimonial to share with other buyers and sellers about why they enjoyed working with you.
Open Houses- Taking a video of a busy open house and the property is a fantastic way of getting more exposure for the property and showing future sellers how aggressive you are about marketing your listings.
Real Estate Tips- Sharing interesting and actionable tips in an entertaining way are a great way of showing buyers and sellers that you are knowledgeable and eager to help them make the most of each transaction. Videos like these go a long way to building trust with your audience.
Charity Work- Videos that show the community how well you work with charitable organizations build tremendous brand value and go far to illustrate that you care about more than commission checks.
Who Should You Target with Your Ads?
The target audience that you select for your video ads is just as important, if not more so than the content of the videos themselves. It is easy to overthink placement, but there are three main factors to focus on.
Your Database- One of the best targeting options allows you to upload a CSV. file of your contact database and place your video ad in front of those people. This is an easy and effective way of staying on their radar throughout the year.
Locals- Farming your area has never been easier thanks to Facebook’s capability of targeting people that live within a specific geography. This is particularly helpful for all of those “just listed” and “just sold” videos.
Behaviors & Interests- In addition to being able to reach people based on where they live, you can also reach people based on how they are behaving online. For example, you can target people that are showing interest in buying a home and are trying to learn about your farm area. This is extremely helpful in making sure you’re reaching the right people rather than wasting money on “spray and pray” marketing.
Bringing it All Together
While you can’t depend on Facebook video ads to be your only source of lead generation or expanding brokerage awareness, you can develop results from videos with a limited budget. In fact, if you create high-quality video content for your ads and target them correctly, you can reach people for only pennies per impression.
Being in business for yourself, doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. For more information about how to plug into the Weichert system, so you can always get answers to your questions on marketing and more, contact us today. Go to www.weichertfranchise.com.
As digital advertising becomes more and more essential and appealing to real estate agents to grow their business, many have stopped more traditional practices like holding open houses. The promise of quick and easy leads from online sources leave agents feeling like these more personalized experiences aren’t necessary. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When done correctly, open houses can increase an agent’s overall brand equity, be a powerful source of leads and still be the vehicle to move a significant percentage of your listings. Not to mention, in the age of online and tech focused competitors, more personal tactics like this can really set you apart. The key is to understand the correct way to prepare, host, and follow-up from each open house to extract the maximum benefit.
An open house that is quickly thrown together without planning and marketing will yield disappointing results. If you want to maximize your traffic and exposure, you need to look at it as an “event” not an item to check off the list. Take to the streets with flyers and door hangers and promote it online. Get the word out to potential buyers, as well as neighbors with friends who may know potential buyers, that this is their chance to see the home. We recommend starting about a week before the event on digital sources and you should post pictures and related material on your social pages daily, leading up to the event. Think about how you can make this an experience for those who attend. It is important to keep track of all that needs to be done which is why agents should have a clear-cut system in place to stay organized throughout the process.
The Open House
Let’s say you’ve done all your preparation well; there is still significant promotion to be done the day of the open house. Be sure that all of your signage is out and visually attractive to capture the attention of people in the neighborhood. This is great low-cost advertising–even to those who do not attend! Seeing your open house signs week in and week out goes a long way toward building brand in your community and ensures you get the call when a consumer is ready to make a move.
If the house is empty for a few moments, hop onto Instagram, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and/or SnapChat to show people who couldn’t make it what they are missing. For those that do come through, make sure you have them sign in to capture their name and contact information, so you can follow up with them later. Make sure you ask them if they are working with an agent. If they are there to buy, there is a good chance they have property to sell as well. Make sure you welcome each guest and walk them through the home if you can. Make the most of their interaction with you–show off your knowledge, your professionalism and attention to detail. This is real estate marketing 101, but as a broker, it never hurts to remind your agents of the basics.
Tech savvy brokers and their agents may even consider running digital ads the day of the open house, concentrated on a geography around the home. New advertising technologies such as “Geo-Fencing” and others, can target people on their mobile devices when they come within a radius of your event!
In addition to getting the listing sold, it is a primary goal to capture new buyers/sellers that aren’t already working with an agent. As soon as the open house is complete, it is important to follow up with the buyers that passed through the property within 24-48 hours of the event. A good real estate CRM is essential to this activity to keep follow-up organized and efficient. Even if someone is already working with an agent, it is important to follow up with them to get their insights about the property and learn what they liked or disliked so you can keep that in mind for your marketing efforts.
For many brokers, organizing a comprehensive system of training, activities and supporting tools to help their agents make the most of every open house can seem like a daunting task. But when you team up with a brand like Weichert, all the work is already done for you. All you have to do is plug in and use the resources. From checklists and suppliers for materials to scripts, tips, and marketing templates, Weichert associates have access to everything they need to make these events successful. Weichert even provides the CRM to help manage and organize pre-event invitations and follow-ups.
Weichert believes in the importance of personal connections and developing meaningful relationships with clients. Embracing face-to-face strategies like open houses are a key to doing this. It’s these types of strategies that generate human connections that will feed your sales production and create a pipeline of business for your brokerage for years to come.
For more information about Weichert and their suite of real estate marketing tools and systems go to www.weichertfranchise.com or call us at 877-567-33350.
Let’s take a glimpse back at realtor marketing in the 1960’s: mornings began with a meeting where realtors discussed and previewed new listings. Afternoons included real estate lead generation activities such as door-to-door canvassing and conversations with walk-in customers. Remember, two-car families were rare, and some homes didn’t have phones. Advertising was straightforward. Realtors handwrote a few ads and gave them to a secretary who placed them in the local paper on a rotational basis.
Fast forward to 2019: you face new challenges when marketing your brokerage. We live in a digital world where people order food, buy airplane tickets, and watch movies online. We’re connected to at least one device all day, every day. It’s not surprising that more than 90% of prospective buyers use online research throughout their home-buying process, according to a National Association of Realtors’ survey.
Marketing your realty today includes more than advertising or a catchy slogan. Marketing encompasses all the activities you participate in to generate awareness and encourage engagement with your team. From business cards to billboards, yard signs to presence at community events, these are all part of an effective marketing mix to keep you top of mind and encourage clients to think of you first when they need a real estate professional. Balancing traditional marketing tactics, like advertising, direct mail with things such as open houses and digital advertising creates an effective mix of activity that puts you in more places, gives you more connection opportunities and creates a greater chance you will be seen by your target audience.
Traditional Marketing Establishes Your Brand
The strengths of traditional marketing efforts like direct mail, print ads, and billboards are noteworthy:
You can reach a broad local audience in a region, city, or neighborhood.
Delivering a consistent message across billboards, print advertising, and signage gives clients several opportunities to see your brand and get a sense of what you’re about. Clients can save hard copy marketing materials like brochures and direct mailers as reference tools. People connect emotionally with tangible items.
Clients are familiar with traditional marketing and easily understand the messages you deliver with this type of media.
Importantly, traditional marketing activities boost awareness of your company, helping your brand become known and recognized. People seeing or hearing your message may not need a real estate agent — yet – but your realty name will be familiar when they do need one.
You can also use traditional marketing efforts to encourage engagement with your digital programs. Including your website and social media links give potential clients more information as they shift from a passive observer to an active seeker of your support.
Digital Marketing Generates Real Estate Leads and Brokerage Awareness that Helps Connect
Digital marketing adds power to your traditional marketing activities; however, it does not replace them. It supplements them. Digital marketing tactics like blog articles and online ads allow you to reach clients when and where they are online and ensure your messages meet their needs.
Here’s what we mean:
You can deliver messages cost-effectively through multiple channels. Videos, email blasts, and targeted ads give potential clients a variety of ways to learn about your company. Since digital marketing goes where clients are, there is a greater chance you can reach who you want, when you want.
If you have news about real estate in your market or receive the same question repeatedly from clients, you can adjust your digital activities in real time. You can add digital content or revise existing information quickly and inexpensively.
Response to digital marketing can easily be tracked with metrics. Unlike traditional marketing, you don’t have to wait for data to accumulate or guess about whether you reached your audience. You’ll know how many people visited your website, which pages they read, and whether they downloaded your whitepaper. With information about how well your messages connect with clients, you can adjust how you engage with them.
Digital information can be easily shared and redirected from one potential client to another, creating ‘brand ambassadors’ who help you with additional real estate lead generation.
Then there are the activities outside of advertising that are just as important in promoting your business and connecting you with clients, such as lead gen programs, open houses, yard signs, participation in community events and hosting educational seminars. These are all tactics you need as part of your marketing mix to stay in front of consumers through a variety of channels and also provide the necessary ways to connect them with your services when they are ready to buy or sell.
At Weichert, we teach the importance of engaging in a variety of activities to build brand in your local market. Our coaching team provides a roadmap and is available to guide you every step of the way. Through Weichert tools, systems and approved vendors, you’ll have a foundation on which you can build a solid marketing plan that works for your business.
To learn more about affiliating with Weichert and building your brokerage, call us today at 877-567-3350 or contact our team today.
It takes an entrepreneurial spirit to build a successful real estate brokerage. You’ve crafted a long-term vision for your brokerage and hired a skilled real estate team, putting your talents and efforts into creating value for customers. As an entrepreneur, you’re always looking for ways to improve your processes and your people and ultimately grow your business. You don’t have to do it alone. Partnering with a mentor for support, frank talk about your bottom line, and new ideas is a great way to ensure your brokerage meets and exceeds your goals and keeps moving forward.
Benefits of Having a Mentor
A mentor, like any good coach, will be able to identify and hone your strengths. Your mentor will also help you recognize and remove obstacles to success. Beyond those two comprehensive benefits, a mentor helps challenge you and can bring out your best performance in the following ways:
You’ll gain knowledge your mentor gathered through experience. Real estate training and textbook information are essential, but first-hand accounts of challenges (and solutions) are valuable lessons only a mentor can offer. A mentor can guide you past potentially expensive missteps and find more efficient ways for your team to work.
A mentor’s objectivity makes it easier to improve performance. Yes, a mentor will encourage you, but more importantly, will be honest and direct with you. Great mentors deliver ‘tough love.’ You and your real estate team become stronger when you receive constructive and respectful feedback.
Your mentor can assist with goals, strategies, and best practices. You know what’s worked well for your real estate brokerage. A mentor brings new ideas for you to think about when you’re setting goals, developing a yearly business plan, choosing tools and technology, and recruiting and retaining staff, as well as just best practices for good operational management in a brokerage.
A mentor helps hold you stay on track. You are there to help keep your agents on track with their goals, but who is there to keep you on track? Your mentor or coach will help keep you on track when you start to veer off course, and help you dig in and cheer you on to the finish line when you are tempted to settle for less.
A mentor provides networking opportunities. As you know from your own experience, personal connections and relationships are vital to real estate brokerages. Your mentor will have a network of people you can tap into for additional support if needed.
Choosing the Right Mentor
Qualities of a mentor or coach mirror those you’d expect from a good manager. Look for a real estate coaching program that has the following characteristics:
Responsiveness. Your mentor or coach won’t be an active member of your real estate team, but should be available to answer your questions within a reasonable time. Having scheduled times to connect is recommended to ensure accountability. Regular meetings also give you opportunities to discuss current performance and adjust plans and tactics as needed.
Favorable track record. Experience and proven results are crucial qualifiers for a mentor’s effectiveness. You’ll benefit most from working with a coach who has been successful in areas you want to improve.
Communicator and collaborator. A trust-based relationship starts with an honest and transparent conversation about expectations and boundaries. A good mentor will have your back, but also expects you to be direct about your needs for support.
Realistic and positive. A mentor who brings out your best will be frank about what’s possible and rein in ideas that may be a bit unrealistic. Remember, good coaches encourage growth and find ways to remove obstacles.
The best mentors and coaches care about your team’s success, providing the direction and resources you need to achieve your goals. They view their role as an opportunity to help your real estate brokerage thrive and grow.
Finding the Best Real Estate Coaching Program
Interacting with a mentor or coach is more than a week or month-long program. A real estate mentor will coach you and provide feedback as needed. The relationship with your mentor will be most useful when it develops and endures over time. You’re both committing to working together to achieve long-term success.
If you’re ready for the next level of success in your brokerage, then joining a team like Weichert may be worth considering. The Weichert franchise model gives you access to one of the best real estate coaching programs available. You are assigned a business coach who will work with you. The model is based on proven processes that are always there for you and cover almost every aspect of real estate, including solutions to common problems related to brokerage growth. You’ll get:
One-on-one business coaching including business planning, recruiting support and financial management training, as well as things such as building culture, implementing change and increasing engagement.
Regional broker meetings, rallies, chat boards and national conferences that connect you with other broker/owners in the Weichert network who openly share their solutions to the similar challenges you may be experiencing.
A regional service manager to provide day to day support on accessing and using the Weichert tools available.
The comprehensive coaching program from Weichert helps bring out the best in you as a leader and supports your efforts to build your business with proven processes, not guesswork. It’s all part of being in business for yourself, but not by yourself. Like all things Weichert, it starts with “We”.
If you think you might be ready to get started with one of the best real estate coaching programs available, Call us at 877-567-3350 or contact our team today.
There are many things that impact on the real estate industry; the economy, pop culture, interest rates etc. Few things, however, have had the enormous impact that technology has had. Everything from the way a property is marketed, listed, and shown, to the way it is sold and closed, have been forever changed and continue to evolve as new technologies and tools emerge. While many things about the future of real estate are uncertain, we can be sure that technology will continue to reshape how brokers and agents approach their work.
In that spirit, here’s a few emerging technologies to keep an eye on in the coming years.
Virtual Reality is Becoming Real
Virtual tours have been around for a while now and many realtors will develop these as a standard part of the marketing material for a listing. Buyers love these videos, because they give them a sense of standing in the property and looking around and can give them comfort to commit to a visit. Still, virtual tours are not perfect. The rooms they show are somewhat limited and they often fail to convey a proper sense of scale. Overall though, they make buying a property from another state or even another country far more practical and efficient than ever before.
The evolution of standard, two-dimensional, 360 degree virtual tour videos is here, however. Virtual reality or 3D viewers can be purchased for as little as $10 online (try Unofficialcardboard.com) and the difference in the viewing experience is extraordinary. By being able to virtually navigate through a home, buyers obtain a more realistic and immersive experience than pictures and standard two-dimensional videos could ever provide. You’ll pay a little to have a company make or convert your video to 3D format, but it will make your brokerage look cutting edge. For elite listings and a tech savvy millennial generation, that can make the difference when it comes to standing out from the crowd. Some brokers have embraced this tech wholeheartedly, buying these viewers in bulk, branding them with the name of their brokerage, and making it a standard part of a listing presentation.
There was a time when the closing process was frequently delayed because agents had to find the time to meet with their clients every time another vital document needed to be signed. Closing meetings could take hours, and cramps of the hand were common after initialing that 37th mortgage page! Thankfully, those days are largely over due in part to e-signature applications like DocuSign, which allow agents and consumers to exchange and sign documents instantly online. Signing up with DocuSign is a breeze and for a small monthly fee, a broker can provide this service to all their agents.
Until recently, some closing documents still had to be signed in person and notarized but now services like Notarize allow for that portion to be handled digitally as well. For those people purchasing a property from a distance, this added convenience is invaluable and for brokers and agents, the less bumps in the closing process, the better.
Additionally, paperless transaction management platforms helps agents to manage all of their transaction requirements with the brokerage from wherever they are. These software platforms allow documents to be accessed and shared between the agent and broker from anywhere, anytime. Plus it includes checklists and tasks, helps reduce audit time and ensure compliance, all while eliminating volumes of paper files.
Geo-fencing & Lead Generation
Leveraging the advertising capabilities of social media platforms is not new to realtors, but as Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat compete to earn their share of advertising budgets, they’re becoming increasingly sophisticated. One exciting advancement is the development of highly targeted geographic ad capabilities in these platforms dubbed “Geo-Fencing.”
Imagine that an agent or prospective home buyer is driving around on a Sunday and suddenly they cross within a mile of your listing. Using geo-fencing techniques, an ad pops up on all the smart phones in the car. Or maybe you can target people in the area to come to your open house? Or target another agent’s open house with an ad for a similar home listing?
All these techniques and more are possible in the smartphone age; your imagination is the limit. The power of being able to directly target the right people based on their demographics, behaviors, and current location is a promising tool for agents and brokers eager for new ways to stand out and generate real estate leads.
Versatility Is Invaluable
Consumers continue to demand high-tech capabilities and versatility from their real estate agents, which means you can’t afford to ignore the constant advancements in technology. But no matter how amazing the technology is, Weichert brokers know it will never replace the power of a real human connection or the confidence that can only come from a handshake and looking someone in the eye. Jim Weichert recognized the need for this balance from day one of establishing the Weichert brand and his guiding principles continue to lead Weichert franchisees to success.
If you’re interested in staying ahead of the latest and greatest industry technology, visit https://weichertfranchise.com or call 877-567-3350 to find out how you can become a Weichert affiliate.
Welcoming newer or less experienced agents is a wonderful way of adding some diversity and fresh energy to your growing team. However, it is no secret that newer agents often struggle to get up to speed and become productive. While some brokers sit back, wait and watch to see who will sink or swim, smart ones are driven to take an active role that facilitates success.
The Impact of Mentorships In Brokerages
As a busy business owner with limited time for experimental programs, you may be wondering if a mentorship program can really improve agent productivity. The short answer is that yes, it does, and in fact this strategy has benefits for both the mentor, and mentee.
When implemented correctly, a brokerage mentorship program will:
Enhance skill development of new agents
Make onboarding more effective and efficient
Keeps new agents more engaged
Helps mentors manage their workload as part of training
Improve customer service which maintains your brand value
Leads to better agent retention and brokerage loyalty
Makes new agents produce sales faster
Furthermore, by appointing your more experienced agents as mentors, they will be grateful to see that you recognize them for their accomplishments and prior success and consider them a valuable partner.
Types of Mentorships
Not all mentorship programs are created equally. When implementing your own program(s), it is important that you select a program that is best suited for the agents in your brokerage. Here are three of the most common and proven models:
Group Mentorships: In this model, one mentor takes on several mentees. Although it can be an efficient method, it is important that the chosen mentor can handle the demands of multiple mentees and embodies the kind of character that is positive and enjoys helping people.
Peer Mentorships: In peer mentorships, new agents are paired with peers of the same experience level. For some, this is an effective way of encouraging collaboration, healthy competition and support, and may be a quicker way for each new agent to realize some commission revenue.
One-On-One Mentorships: The most popular model involves pairing an experienced agent with one new mentee. Even in this model, the mentor must have a coaching mindset and not consider it a burden. To really make this work, the parameters of the relationship really need to be set up clearly by you, the broker, as a win/win for both parties.
Tips for Success with Your Mentorship Programs
Unfortunately, you cannot “set and forget” a mentorship program within your brokerage and expect optimal results. Here are some ways that you can ensure you are setting your mentors and mentees up for success with their new relationships:
Match Personalities and Skill Sets: It is not enough to simply match your agents up by their personalities. You should also take into consideration professional strengths and weaknesses to ensure both parties get the most out of their work together.
Act As Middleman: Occasionally checking in to make sure that both sides are getting what they need from the relationship can help keep things on track. In some cases, complacency or unrest can creep in and checking in from time to time can uncover any underlying issues preventing progress.
Don’t Use Them As A Crutch: Mentorship relationships are not meant to be used to supplement poor performance or put the mentor in an overly dominant leadership position. This will only undermine you as their true leader.
At Weichert, our business coaches teach our franchisees how to leverage mentorship programs within their brokerage. And this is one way to support your new agents’ productivity as they enter the real world, smart brokers will provide additional training and coaching opportunities to ensure that the right practices are instilled. Weichert, for example, offers its Fast Track training to bring new agents up to speed on proven techniques and tools to help them be productive quickly. Its online University provides 24/7 online training on almost every real estate subject imaginable. Weekly webinars provide regular tips on trending topics and new tools. Plus, our service team is there to guide brokerage management on any questions they may have and our network of owners around the country are always very ready to share information on what has been successful in their companies.
For more information about the full suite of coaching and training programs and the support available through the Weichert system, visit our website at https://www.weichertfranchise.com or call us at 877-567-3350.
As we all know, one of the biggest challenges we’ve been faced with in the recent real estate market is the supply of listings. They are at a premium. So how does your company be the brokerage of choice when it comes to competing for listings that are out there? The good news is that by stepping up your game and in some cases, rethinking techniques both tried and new, you really can improve your ability to compete and win these clients. By delivering a stellar experience before and during your listing appointment, including an equally powerful listing presentation, you can give yourself a tremendous competitive edge. Here are some key ingredients of both.
Provide a Listing Experience.
We use the term “experience” here with great deliberation. The days of throwing a quick CMA together based on a few publicly available local sales is not going to cut it. In 2019, if you really want to stand out to buyers and sellers, you’re going to have to do more than that. The client experience with you starts the moment you first contact them to the day you complete the transaction (and beyond!) and every moment in between. Use all the tools and technology at your disposal to show them you are energetic, up-to-date and on top of the details. Don’t let your agents be tempted to discount commission. Instead, agents should use the entire listing experience as an opportunity to showcase their value by explaining how their skill set and resources will deliver the most desirable results. The entire client experience must show that you are professional, tech savvy, and someone they can trust to navigate the process.
Trust. Getting to know the client and their needs should be built in to the listing process, in addition to creating the presentation itself. Taking the time, demonstrating that you have listened, truly understand the home’s unique attributes and that you will do what you say you will do, will go a long way toward reassuring the Client that they will be in good hands.
Be Detailed. Be Consistent. And Show Exactly What You Will Do.
The listing presentation itself can speak volumes. A powerful template used consistently by your agents is the first step to ensure all clients receive a consistent experience from your brokerage. It should be customized to the sellers to make them feel special. The other benefits to having a set template is that it will give off the impression that much time was spent putting it together, adding to the consumer experience. The plan should walk the seller through all the steps of the process and clearly outline all the agent will do to sell the home. This helps paint a picture for the seller and puts their mind at ease that the agent has it together, is organized and has a very clear plan to get the job done. An agent simply giving a presentation that’s “All About Me” is not going to make the seller feel that the agent has their best interests in mind.
Make the Impression Last, Even After You’ve Gone
One of the common reasons that a listing is lost is that potential clients are left with too many unanswered questions after the agent leaves. One of the best ways of solving that problem is to give a comprehensive, professionally branded listing presentation, but make sure you leave behind something that summarizes all you discussed for them to review and digest.
Branding: A beautifully branded booklet that unifies your brokerage mission statement, your company values, and what makes you unique will showcase how committed you are. You can bet that sellers will see your listing presentation as an example of how you would represent them should they hire you.
Marketing Strategy: It can be easy for sellers to become confused between the offerings of various agents vying for their business. If the listing presentation clearly explains the marketing strategy that you plan to use for their property and the unique capabilities of your brokerage, it will be easy for them to understand what your team brings to the table.
Systems & Tools: Buyers and sellers are more educated than ever and they will favor agents that have proven systems and high-tech tools on their side. Outlining the technology resources that you implement to deliver the best possible results will show them that they are not just hiring an agent, but rather a large extended infrastructure of people, processes, and technology that brings diverse expertise and action to the problem of selling their home.
Weichert franchisees and agents have experienced first-hand how a listing presentation that incorporates each of these elements can elevate the overall listing appointment experience and significantly improve their success rates. Through our DOORS listing presentation and associated processes, Weichert agents clearly communicate their value, expertise, available resources and detailed, multi-channel approach to their marketing.
Give Yourself An Edge
As an independent broker, it can be hard to stand out from the pack. That’s why you need to make the most out of every listing lead you get. That’s also why a partner like Weichert can be so valuable to you. One of the investments we make on behalf of our affiliates is a great Listing Presentation and providing a system of listing a property that includes all the things discussed above. With our tools and an agent’s attention to the customer, it’s a winning combination for your brokerage again and again to help you win the listings game in your market.
For more information about this and all the tools and systems available to Weichert affiliates, visit weichertfranchise.com or contact the team at Weichert Franchising today at 877-567-3350.