Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How To Apply Today’s Technology To Your Real Estate Business

Technology is revolutionizing every industry it touches, and real estate is no exception. With clients that are more mobile, more connected and busier than ever, brokers are taking advantage of these changes to grow, improve client service and make their mark in the industry. Find out more with these insights from Weichert, the specialists in real estate broker marketing.

5 Ways Technology is Impacting the Real Estate Industry

  1. Technology for lead generation: The future of lead generation is the Internet, but key to transforming these leads into sales is the use of streamlined systems that gather vast amounts of information, disseminate it and transfer it to the relevant individuals as rapidly as possible. Weichert.com, for example, receives over 40 million visitors nationally per year* and thousands of online and phone inquiries per day. Thanks to our state-of-the-art system, these inquiries are followed up, sorted and passed on to qualified, affiliated agents across the country within minutes.
  2. Online real estate marketing: Marketing your real estate brokerage online is a totally different ballgame than traditional print marketing, and without a proper understanding, it’s no surprise that some brokerages are missing out on this growth opportunity. With the right strategy and tools to make you efficient in doing it, brokers are able to reach more clients more often and more effectively through websites, social media and more.
  3. Mobile, mobile, mobile: Mobile technology is so advanced that brokers can maximize the time their agents spend out of the office – and that means maximizing the potential for growing your brokerage. Smartphones and tablets allow agents to take high quality photographs, develop virtual tours and interact online with clients exactly when they need to. From live Q&As about neighborhoods with new listings on Facebook to responding to emails and queries as they come in, agents are more responsive and more mobile than ever before.
  4. Real estate CRM systemsCustomer relationship management systems like Weichert®PRO are industry-targeted to meet the exact needs of brokers, agents and their clients. These systems are user friendly and allow brokerages to develop an exceptional level of client service by ensuring that information is logged effectively and all queries are followed up on, so no lead gets left behind. Keeping in touch and on top of your agents allows brokers to effectively manage sales activities, save time and spend more time building their business.
  5. More face time: While some agents are finding that technology is getting in the way of real, face-to-face meetings with clients, it’s also true that with a slight pivot in sales technique and customer service, you can get more face time with a client than ever before. From Skype to FaceTime and Facebook calling, video calling is becoming a far more acceptable alternative to try when a client’s busy schedule makes it difficult to schedule in-person meetings.

How Do I Keep Up With All This Real Estate Technology?

Good Question!
At Weichert, we know that effective use of technology and digital tools is key to the growth of your real estate brokerage. Through the development of our unique franchise system, our industry-specialized online tools, real estate CRM system and expert real estate coaching, we empower affiliated agents and brokers to maximize the sales, customer service and lead generation potential that technology offers.
If you would like to find out more about the Weichert Franchise System or what we can offer you as a broker, please contact us today.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Instagram Live & Facebook Live – Using Social Media for Real Estate Lead Generation

It’s no secret that social media is an invaluable resource for building brands, generating leads and effectively marketing yourself and your services to potential clients – but what does this mean for real estate? And how can brokers utilize this resource properly? Here are some insights from real estate lead generation specialists at Weichert on two of the latest capabilities added to Instagram and Facebook, and how they are being used to market homes through social media.

Using Instagram Live For Real Estate Sales – A How-To Guide

This is a new feature on the Instagram app that allows you to stream real-time video. Unlike Facebook Live, these videos are deleted after each session, but you can also send them directly to individual clients using a direct message function. Instagram is a popular destination for younger home buyers, so if you haven’t built a following there for your agency, you should.
On Instagram there are three types of videos that you can create:
  • Live video that disappears as soon as the broadcast is over.
  • Normal video content that disappears after 24 hours.
  • Boomerang video content which consists of a time-lapse series of photographs.
You can customize the settings for these videos to select who can see them, whether comments are turned on or off and even evaluate the video’s success through the analytics capabilities.
Simple, easy to use and effective, this is great for announcing a new listing or service, promoting a photo montage of a listing or even bringing attention to sales that you have recently closed. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy and you can do it spontaneously right from your cell phone. Try to get creative with this medium, for example, encouraging feedback on a listing’s elegant kitchen or kid-friendly yard.

Using Facebook Live For Real Estate Sales – A How-To Guide

Similar to Instagram Live, Facebook Live allows you to create and post videos to your Facebook profile. It’s great for encouraging engagement, as you can invite viewers to subscribe to your video feed, so they’ll automatically get a notification when you next broadcast. You can also select who sees the video and monitor comments and results.
This service is more business-orientated than Instagram Live, as it allows you to edit your video, add a call to action and even utilize Ads Manager for additional visibility.
Simple to use and very interactive, this is a great medium for sharing information on how to buy or sell a home, the latest news in your industry and even doing live tours of listings. Again, it’s important to get creative in order to engage your audience. Try showing off great neighborhood attractions in areas where you have listings, or tips on how to move on a budget.

Make Social Media Work For You and Generate Real Estate Leads

Social media networks offer exceptional real estate lead generation potential – if they are used properly, consistently and effectively. At Weichert, we utilize industry leading technology, expert support and real estate coaching programs to assist our affiliates in developing highly effective online real estate marketing strategies.
Keeping up with technology is a challenge for every broker, but we have the tools, training and resources to help you without getting in your way. Contact us today for more information on our services or to see if the Weichert Franchise Model is right for your brokerage.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Best Way To Get Full Commission? Know Your Value.

In the ultra-competitive market for local home listings, the pressure to discount commissions is ever present. Some brands in your market may even make the discounted commission their primary marketing differentiator while selling themselves as full service agents. How do you compete with that?
Is discounting simply devaluing your services or something you have to do to survive? Here is some insight from the online real estate marketing specialists at Weichert.

Educating Clients About the Value of your Services

If you want to keep your full commission, you have to sell the value of what you do for it, plain and simple. A 4% commission from the other guy may sound great, but we all know he’s cutting corners somewhere to do that. Yet for clients, cutting broker commission seems to be the easiest route to saving money – and in their heads, this makes sense because they often lack the insight into what it is that real estate agents actually do. Taking the time to keep the client informed of the services you will provide at every step of the way is key. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Start with a great listing presentation and local market analysis. If you impress them with the professionalism and thoughtfulness of your competitive research, you’ve immediately set yourself apart as a professional who is deserving of full compensation.
  • Do the legwork - Scheduling multiple open houses, tours, inspections, re-inspections, conducting follow up, recommending small changes to make the house more sellable, running ads in local real estate publications, posting in supermarkets, mailings… the list goes on and you should be able to tell prospective home sellers exactly what they won’t get when they go to a discount brokerage.
  • Most people hate to negotiate – It’s a fact, but as an agent negotiating deals is your bread and butter. Agents can spend hours presenting, convincing, and following up on an offer - and only their experience and negotiating expertise maximize the seller’s chance of selling quickly at the price they want.
  • Expanded Property Marketing Exposure – This is achieved by accessing your real estate agent's branding and MLS platforms, the most important of which is its online space. Buyers predominantly search the Internet for housing choices, and it’s almost impossible to get the same visibility and access to buyers through a discount realtor.
  • Accurate pricing – There are always properties that are overvalued by owners and may stay on the market for months or even years, just as there are undervalued properties that are rapidly sold for far less than what the owner deserved. Accurate pricing ensures a good result for owner and buyer, as well as a faster selling process.
  • Executing the sale – Completing a sale is a complex process that is made far easier, faster and more reliable when taken on by an experienced professional agent and broker. A full service agent will often have a real estate crm system to help them stay on top of potential buyers and a transaction management system to manage the transaction in a way that for-sale-by-owners, or discount brokers will not.
Technology plays a vital role in achieving this and is another area where you can show the value you add at full commission. As an agent, you have access to expert online marketing tools for real estate agents, a broker who is able to properly leverage the full power of their local brand and reputation, as well as a network of financing, legal, and construction professionals who you can recommend and help manage for your client.
Transform the way you sell with industry-leading real estate coaching programs.
Built on the expertise of experienced brokers, technology specialists and real estate industry leaders, Weichert is focused on providing effective answers to the challenges faced by today’s real estate agents. From marketing strategies for agents and a cutting-edge lead generation system to the best real estate coaching programs in the industry, we provide all the solutions you need to build your business and succeed in even the most competitive climate.
If these tools and solutions sound like a good fit for your brokerage or you would like to find out more about the Weichert system, please contact us today.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Attracting the First-Time Homebuyer: Selling to Millennials

Millennials are entering the housing market and their priorities are very different from previous generations. As a result, many real estate agents are struggling to get in front of this segment and finding that their old methods of marketing and advertising aren’t working. Here are some tips from the real estate marketing and franchise leaders at Weichert.
  • Millennials are often in big debt – If you haven’t been to college in the last 20 years you may not realize just how much student loan and other debt millennials have accumulated when they enter the working world. This, coupled with tough employment markets all over the country, make it more difficult for millennials to enter the home market than any previous generation. Thus your ability to lead your marketing with talk about flexible financing options and easy access to a robust local job market is going to make the average millennial stand up and take notice.
  • Millennials will deal with small spaces: Small spaces aren’t a problem for these first-time buyers as long as the space is used in a smart or trendy way. Multifunctional office/guest room areas, compact but functional bathrooms and intelligently organized homes are very appealing selling points.
  • Technology Rules: The millennial generation is mobile first, tech savvy and always online – so it’s important to use this to inform and attract your buyers. What Internet speeds are offered in this area, and at what costs? What is the cell reception like on the property and who are the local ISPs? Are there plans to upgrade tech services in the area? Does the home have any automation, structured cabling or Ethernet wiring? For the millennial, this information is as important as the physical assets of the property.
  • Be online all the time: As a tech generation, the Internet is the first and probably the only source that millennials will turn to for listings. The use of online real estate marketing techniques is the way to reach them. Ensure all your listings are online, easy to find on your website and accompanied by essential details and high quality photographs. If your broker uses a mobile app, it should be free, fast, responsive and facilitate communication between you and your millennial buyer.
  • Easy commute routes: In this sense, millennials are similar to everyone else in that ease of getting to their workplace is essential. One small difference in millennial thinking may have to do with greener options for commuting. Options related to busses and trains or trolley systems, even bicycle paths are likely to be more popular with this group and will make your property more attractive.
  • Share your knowledge: Millennial buyers may be able to easily look up your listings and view them online, but like most first time buyers they have little working knowledge of the home buying process. Have information ready and on-hand for walking them through the process, understanding where the costs lie, how property loans work and any additional information. Presenting yourself as a specialist source of information boosts your credibility and helps them to understand what they can actually afford to buy.

Become the First Choice Real Estate Agency for Millennials

The Weichert Real Estate Franchise system is evolving continuously, informed by hundreds of brokers as well as industry and technology experts across the country. We know what works when marketing to millennials, and our system transforms these challenges faced by real estate agents into opportunities for growth and success. With proven training, tools and support, our specialist team is here to support brokers and drive lead generation, growth, technology and provide ongoing, up-to-date guidance.
For more information, please contact us today and see if a Weichert Franchise is a fit for your brokerage.

Monday, February 27, 2017

How Technology is Changing the Real Estate Industry

Technology is a catalyst for change in most industries.  The real estate industry, in particular, has undergone major change over the past 10 years and shows no signs of slowing down. While the basics of selling real estate haven’t changed, the tools used to do it have. You need to keep up or risk being left out. These days you can access virtually anything, or anyone, from a smart phone. Agents can communicate with clients, managers and service partners, set their open house schedules and showings and complete paperless transactions from wherever they are. Gone are the days of being tied to an office or desk. Gone are the traditional ways of buying and selling property involving a land line and a fax machine.
Innovative online real estate marketing technology such as syndicated, online listings, mobile apps, 3-D virtual tours, e-signatures and social media have delivered the traditional real estate experience online to the consumer.
Then there are the online support systems for the agent, such as client relationship management systems also known as real estate CRM systems, paperless transaction systems and online marketing centers. These tools give them the power to manage their contacts, listings, open houses, transactions and create marketing materials to attract clients. It’s these tools that help them strengthen their personal brand and their value to their clients.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, real estate industry professionals need to be technically savvy to grow their businesses and generate more revenue. As a brokerage owner, it’s important to have the ability to offer the latest tools to attract and retain the best agents. Time is often the biggest hurdle to staying on top of changing technology. After all, it’s just one of the many elements of running a brokerage and managing a business.
It’s not easy to keep up, which is why the Weichert Franchise System takes the lead in helping its affiliates stay up to date with technology and tools. Its turnkey programs enable owners to spend less time trying to keep up and more time on other things. It is possible to stay ahead of the curve without wearing yourself out. Find out how at weichertfranchise.com. See why we are one of Entrepreneur magazine’s top rated real estate franchise opportunities for 13 consecutive years.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Broker Conundrum

As a broker running your own agency, you know what it means to wear a lot of hats. And rightly so: the buck stops with you.  Unfortunately for too many brokers, the buck often starts with you, too.
If you were ambitious enough to become a broker and start your own agency, chances are you were a darn good agent. You know how to do a good listing presentation, you’ve got the right personality for sales and you weren’t afraid to work hard. You did well, but you wanted to reach a higher level of success, so you became a broker and started an agency.
But now the landscape is different. A few years in, you know it’s all about having a solid lead funnel and agents that will work as hard as you did to get listings and close sales. But instead, too many of your agents are part timers and you may have even lost some of your best associates to other local agencies. You’re lacking in resources for online marketing for real estate agents and some months it may feel like if you weren’t out there selling your own listings and pounding the pavement for inventory that there just wouldn’t be enough operating capital to keep going.
So you’re out there, being both an agent and a broker, because it really just seems like the only thing to do. It’s a vicious cycle that takes its toll on your work/life balance, not to mention your agents and the overall strategic growth of your agency.  Month after month, year after year you swear you’re going to get ahead of things and finally reach that next level…but somehow it never happens.
As a Franchisor, we’ve heard lots of these types of stories from brokers across the country. The key to overcoming these types of hurdles is having the right systems in place for online real estate marketing, recruiting good agents, managing your business with the right tools and being able to measure your performance. Until you have those basics, the vicious cycle will continue and it will be difficult to take your business to the next level and achieve true growth. As the owner of one of the largest independent brokerages in the country, Weichert lives in the trenches every day and has developed systems and tools to work in today’s industry. Our franchise model is based on those practices and serves as a resource for hundreds of offices across the country.

Contact Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.

If you would like more information about the Weichert System and how it might be a fit for your business, contact us today at www.weichertfranchise.com or contact Kevin Hill at 877-533-9007.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Social Media & Selling Real Estate: A Click Made In Heaven

Instagram Live & Facebook Live –are two of the newest social media trends taking the world by storm and can be great ways to reach Millennials. You don’t need a big budget, flashy video content or a major time investment to make this online marketing strategy work for you. By simply posting real time videos and pictures to your audience you can stay relevant and top of mind.
You might be wondering “why would anyone care about my posts and how does this help me with leads?” It’s simple: it helps you sell even when you’re not selling. As followers see your posts, they feel like they begin to know you. When the time comes that they need an agent, who will they call on first? A stranger or someone they feel they know?
Leveraging social media for your real estate lead generation adds a human element to your sales presence. As Jim Weichert says, ‘people buy people before buying a product or service’. Yes, your first role is as a professional sales associate, but differentiating yourself by showing off a little personality can put you leaps and bounds ahead of your fellow real estate counterparts. And these social channels enable you to do this with little effort. Give your audience a behind the scenes look at what it takes to sell real estate from composing the listing to running to the locksmith a for extra keys – it’s all in a day’s work and your clients will find a new appreciation for all you do.
Other uses? Imagine being able to reach 10, 20 or even over 30 potential buyers instantaneously in a 15-20 second video showcasing your hottest property? Or being able to answer questions on the spot by responding in real time with a video addressing their concerns about a particular feature of a property? Your customers will have the opportunity to get an insider’s look at the property before actually seeing it in person.  It can help avoid the frustration when clients arrive and express their disinterest immediately because it “looked different” in the property photos.
Remember: It’s About More Than Just The Properties
While Facebook & Instagram are great for showcasing your listings, these applications are not restricted to just photos and video showcasing gorgeous real estate properties. Use them to broadcast a behind the scenes look at you, sharing the triumph of closing on a sale by snapping your happy clients signing on the dotted line or announcing your hottest listing with excitement as you put the “For Sale” sign up on the front lawn. Captivate your audience by sharing your most valuable and unique sales asset with them – your personality. And the rest will follow.
Make your social media pages part of your brand – add it to your email signature with your username and start building up that audience – and your business.
Learn more about how the Weichert Franchise real estate marketing tools can work for you and your business. Contact us today at weichertfranchise.com.
Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/social-media-selling-real-estate-click-made-heaven/