Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What You’re Really Paying for When You Invest in a Real Estate Franchise

When you’re considering purchasing a real estate franchise, brokers inevitably focus on the costs of the investment trying to understand if gains made by the relationship will ultimately outpace costs of the relationship. While each franchise is different, here are some of the key things you should expect from a real estate company offering a franchise opportunity.

  • Brand Recognition: National real estate brands all have varying degrees of name recognition among consumers. Much of this depends on the area of the country you live in. While some level of name recognition in your area is good, equally important is that people perceive that you are part of a larger national organization. They may further understand that a large national real estate company has resources to offer that many independents may not. For instance, Weichert has nearly 500 corporate and affiliate offices in over 39 states, giving franchisees considerable brand reach to leverage in most areas of the country. Equally important however are the assets that Weichert offers you to build brand in your local area. If you still wonder just how transformative a good brand can be for your business, try speaking to a few franchisees about their experience.
  • Lead Generation: Some real estate franchises offer you little more than their name. Look for a franchise that not only has an excellent brand, but supports it with a proven system that puts you in contact with buyers and sellers in your local market. A bonus if it also has referral resources across the country and around the globe. Your ability to derive additional sales from such a system, is one of the key considerations in determining how much you can grow your brokerage under a franchise model.
  • A Franchise Should Give you A Blueprint for Growth: The best real estate franchises will offer a proven system for success and sophisticated tools, training and people that support it. This means the system and its steps are a tested recipe, which you can plug into and follow. Make sure the system has a track record of broker success stories and that you can talk to them about their experience.
  • Ongoing Support: Too many real estate franchises, start with a flurry of activity, but then leave you alone in the woods to find your way on your own. You need to be sure that any training and tools you receive are actively supported by both digital and human resources. For instance, Weichert Franchise Brokers and their agents are exposed to comprehensive, systematic training on the Weichert processes and systems as part of our onboarding program. They have 24/7 access to “Weichert University” our online e-learning portal and our resource centers filled with sales and marketing tools. Plus, they have access to expert, experienced support, through regional business coaches, corporate training, marketing and technical expertise, as well as best practices derived from our own brokerage business and an active network of peers who aren’t shy about giving you the skinny on things. When looking at franchises to invest in, make sure the one you choose offers this type of proactive, energetic support in all areas to help you build your real estate brokerage.

With the Right Partner, Franchising Benefits Quickly Outpace Costs 

It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers when you’re looking at a franchise opportunity, but it’s important to never lose sight of what each franchise is really offering you in return for your hard-earned money. Pay close attention to the totality of each brands’ offering and remember that what’s cheapest isn’t always the best deal – the returns on your investment and the scope of training and support that is offered are what really counts.

At Weichert, we believe in the power of the handshake, supported by advanced technology and proven processes. With Weichert you have both digital assets and expert real estate professionals that provide you training and coach you through your specific challenges every step of the way. If this sounds like a good fit for your business, we’re happy to chat with you in more detail visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com for more information.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/real-estate-broker-marketing/youre-really-paying-invest-real-estate-franchise/

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Blogging: Why Brokers Should Jump on The Bandwagon

Blogging – It’s something that it seems like everyone does now. You’ve probably already heard that you should be doing it and maybe you even have a twinge of guilt that you’re not or not doing it enough.

So, what is it all about? And how exactly does it help you market your brokerage?

What is Blogging?

Simply put, this is publishing a series of short articles on a website. It’s a bit like an online chronicle of interesting subject matter or stories related to real estate in general. You can publish images and video along with your stories too and they can be viewed by anyone on the internet. While it’s often used by people sharing their hobbies and interests, the fact is that blogging is one of the best, low-cost marketing tools available for promoting the visibility of a brokerage in their local market.

Why Blogging is One of the Best Online Real Estate Marketing Strategies

When you do it right, or even mostly right, the regular production of content on your website can produce additional visibility for your brokerage. And with over 90% of homeowners looking online for information during their home search, the right blog content can help get you in front of clients. With a good blog, you’re also able to:

  • Attract A Younger Generation Home Buyers And Sellers: Think about how millennials and first time home buyers will search when looking for a home, like “Tips for first time home buyers” or “Schools and amenities in Fort Worth area” or even “Eco-friendly homes in Tampa Bay”. Search engines will present your blog if it aligns with phrases commonly searched, increasing the visibility of your brokerage.
  • Give Your Blog Content Multiple Lives: By syndicating (distributing) your blog on your website with comments enabled, off your website, and excerpting it on various social media channels, you can often get readers to engage with the content. Engagement should always be responded to and these interactions can form the basis of a lead funnel.
  • Blogs Can Feed Your Email Campaigns: Your blog can be the source of content for an email campaign, effectively killing two birds with one stone. Using an email campaign, you can forward your blogs to a wider audience driving them back to your website. This helps keep your brokerage at the forefront of the minds of potential clients.
  • Increase Your Authority: Well written blogs will convey to consumers that you are an expert in your field and involved with all aspects of the buying and selling process. That’s good for your brand and can help differentiate your brokerage in a crowded local market. It also helps break the ice making potential clients more comfortable dealing with you because they feel they know you through your writing.

Blogging Is A Key Part Of Online Real Estate Marketing

Some people hate to write, some people love it. To begin blogging you don’t have to take this on yourself.  You can find an associate on your team who loves writing. Or have it be a round robin responsibility within the brokerage. However you do it, it is important to establish a plan and do it consistently to reap the benefits of real estate blogging. What should you write about? Anything a consumer might find valuable, whether it’s a real estate topic or simply tips and advice for homeowners.

If you are a growth-minded broker looking for Online Real Estate Marketing Strategies and other ways to make your brokerage more productive and get to the next level of results, talk to the Weichert franchise team today and visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/blogging-brokers-jump-bandwagon/

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Why the Internet Will Never Replace a Handshake

It’s no secret that the Internet has changed the real estate industry – and every other industry for that matter. It’s made every transaction easier, smarter and faster. We can sit at our computers or look at the palm of our hand and browse a home down the road or across state lines, ask a real estate agent across the country about a home’s location over social media, or evaluate possible mortgage and financing options on websites.  All done without so much as a phone call.

Most successful brokers however, understand that in the sale of residential real estate, having a personal, face to face connection with a buyer or seller has a power well beyond the individual home being discussed and gives you maximum influence during the sale.

Marrying the Digital Age With The Personal Touch

What we need to realize is that the need and importance of the personal connection in real estate selling hasn’t really changed much in the last 50 years. What has changed is simply when and how that happens. In the digital age, more and more initial contact with buyers and sellers happens online. They respond to digital ads, search online, respond to Facebook posts and Tweets, watch virtual tours posted online, or visit your brokerage website. The difference today is that your client is better informed and has a much better idea of what they want before you ever get to talk to them.

This move to digital should not be viewed as a threat, but as something overwhelmingly positive. By learning to use digital mediums more effectively, you can create MORE opportunities to have those important face to face contacts that make a difference. Social media, and other real estate portals instead of threatening our livelihood, have actually made it easier for professionals to connect with buyers and sellers.  What’s more, you can connect with them at the moment they are interested in your services, something the internet has given us that we rarely had in a pre-internet world.

Real Estate Marketing – One Handshake at a Time

At the end of the day, real estate is still a scary and complex process for customers and that personal service they get from you, guiding them through it all, can make all the difference between the experience they get from Brand X and you.  And if you do it right, you will build stronger relationships with buyers, sellers, browsers, and people of every age and from every walk of life. Years from now, when they are ready to sell their homes, it’s not your clever Facebook post they’ll remember: it’s that you looked them in eye, shook their hand, and made them feel like you would do whatever it takes to make their dreams a reality.

Making personal connections is something we believe whole-heartedly at Weichert. It’s what we teach, what we believe, and in many ways, it’s how it all got started.

The Power of the Personal

Back in 1969 a man named Jim Weichert started his career in real estate in an interesting way. With his new broker license still hot in his hands, Jim wasn’t content to wait for customers to find him. Instead, surrounded by dozens of more established real estate brokers, Jim started handing out business cards at local train stations. Every morning, and every afternoon, you could find Jim greeting prospective customers commuting to New York City. His approach was refreshing and highly personal, supporting his long-held belief that “people buy people before they buy your product or service.”

The Weichert brokerage grew dramatically, but through it all, Jim maintained the importance of the personal touch as a core value driving the Weichert methodology. Even as the internet became the predominant method of advertising and promotion, his “people first” business philosophy maintains a central role in the operational systems he developed for the Weichert franchise model. By perfecting those systems and recruiting strategies, he created a business model that other brokers could follow with ease and greater certainty.

In the current digital world, Facebook is the new train station, where you can connect with much more than commuters. (Though you are welcome to go to train stations too, this still works!). In this age of self-service and fast moving content, there is something refreshing to a consumer about that personal touch, good customer service and personal reassurance that everything will be fine. Don’t use technology to replace a handshake; rather, use the technology to prompt one.

If you have a vision for your success that includes listening, learning, and working differently than your competitors, you just might be next Weichert Franchise success story. Contact our team at https://www.weichertfranchise.com  to learn more.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/internet-will-never-replace-handshake/

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Top 3 Reasons to Invest in a Real Estate Franchise

There are many reasons why independent brokers chose to hitch their wagon to a real estate franchise after going it alone for years. These reasons are as diverse as the brokers themselves. Some want a better lead funnel. Some need operational support. Some look for a better quality of life with guidance from a partner who is an expert and is vested in their success.

Still there are a few common themes that persist more than the rest. If any of these items have ever crossed your mind, maybe franchising would be a fit for you.

The Power of a Name

Many of the brokers we talk to have a good reputation and are known in their local market. Despite this they are concerned that they are missing leads to companies with more brand power behind them. Whether it’s due to the inherent trust and familiarity that a recognized brand name carries with it or the brand’s ability to invest more heavily in marketing and recruiting materials and advertising. In fact, depending on your location, Google searches favor these national brands putting consumers instantly in touch with big brand competitors right in your local market.

Franchising offers brokers the chance to leverage a national brand in their local market. Almost overnight, they accrue all the brand power and visibility of the franchise brand they affiliate with. They become that recognized, trusted, and stable industry leader. One that has the infrastructure and processes to offer clients the best practices and service in real estate and offer recruits the best training and support around.

Being able to instantly access the strength and reach of a franchise brand can take a load off your shoulders because you’ve leveled the playing field. The brand you now wear only adds to the reputation you’ve already earned in your local market.

 Lead Generation

Many independent brokerages are also looking for a steady source of leads to help bolster their business. It’s important to find a franchisor who invests in lead generation and is structured to provide various sources for leads. Many real estate franchises claim to offer this, but in reality are just speculating that the new sign out front will attract more clients than before. A franchise such as Weichert, on the other hand, is an example of a franchisor structured to provide its franchise brokers with access to leads from a variety of sources:

  1. Weichert Lead Network – Online Lead Generation And Call Center
  2. Weichert Relocation Network – With a Clients And Locations Around The Globe
  3. Weichert Referral Associates – Who Can Refer Leads To A Local Brokerage
  4. Broker to Broker Leads – Via Our Internal Network Of Brokers

The Weichert Lead Network, positions our national brand in local markets through both digital and traditional mediums, so your agents can get the call when buyers and sellers are looking. Calls are routed to our national call center, screened and transferred to you in under a minute. Our investments in Search Engine Marketing drive over 40 Million visitors to our corporate website every month from all over the country.

When lead generation is a key consideration for a brokerage, it’s important to align with a company that is aggressively investing in their brand like Weichert.

Support and Coaching for Real Estate Brokers

Brokers are also looking for the right tools, marketing support and guidance. Having a blueprint to follow and a coach by your side, is always easier than having to go it alone. The best real estate franchises offer multiple levels of support that are designed to assist their business in a strategic way, allowing them to succeed and grow even through challenging times.

As an example, Weichert offers one-on-one business coaching, as well as a full array of training opportunities, including its Weichert University online courses. Combine that with a full suite of marketing and sales systems and tools, franchisees experience a level of support that simply doesn’t exist when you’re an independent broker.

Discover if a Real Estate Franchise is the Right Fit for your Brokerage

At Weichert, we’re in the business of building real estate success stories by delivering the support, tools, quality leads and brand power that brokerages are looking for. If we sound like the right fit for your business, speak to our representatives today or visit us at http://www.weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/top-3-reasons-invest-real-estate-franchise/

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

How to Generate Leads with Content Marketing

In 1996 Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, famously said “Content is King”. While his vision has taken some interesting twists and turns over the years, the basic idea is now well-established. The development of content as a tool for marketing businesses of all types contributes heavily to the millions of content pieces published on the web every second.

For brokers however, content marketing has been a double-edged sword.  Where do I publish, what do I publish, and how effective is it for the time I’ll spend doing it? These are all great questions, with some surprising answers from the marketing experts at Weichert.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is about creating and sharing different types of information online (i.e. videos, blogs, Tweets, and so forth), that is aimed at creating interest around products and services without trying to directly sell to the reader. For example, a real estate broker might post content about maintenance-free gardening, remodeling or decorating. They may conveniently include a couple pictures of the listings they have to illustrate and link the post back to their office website. This creates a nice little funnel back to the brokerage on a subject that creates local brand awareness, whether readers are currently interested in home buying or not.

But is this kind of thing effective? In fact, recent studies show that it is not only effective, but it is becoming even more effective as more and more customers turn to the Internet to do research. Leaders in content marketing for a given subject experience stronger brand recall, 7.8 times more website traffic, and conversion rates that are 6 times higher than their competitors (Source: Aberdeen). What’s more, content marketing isn’t affected by ad blockers – a distinct advantage when you consider that 200 million people now use them to block Internet advertising.

Online Content Marketing for your Brokerage  

Perhaps the best question is not whether it works, but what are my options for getting a content marketing program going with limited time and budget?

  • A little Content Marketing is better than none. We recommend at least one original piece of content every month, posted to your website and any other real estate sites that you belong to that take content submittals (i.e. ActiveRain, etc.). Make it 300 words, minimum, with at least one interesting picture. You can assign this to someone within your team each month on a rotating basis to share the responsibility, plus it will ensure variety.
  • Make primary purpose to educate: Content marketing is not about the hard sell. It’s about providing assistance and education to your target market. Think about questions you often get asked by clients, challenges they have and useful information they can utilize to help make the selling or buying process easier. What’s it like living in the area where you have listings? Are there good schools? Where are the major business districts? What should they look for in a real estate agent? And so forth.  It keeps you top of mind and you’ll be remembered for being helpful.
  • Be creative: Different customers prefer different media, so don’t just set yourself on one type of content. Mix blogs up with video content, short-and-sweet social media content, emails and more. Images make more of an impact than text. So, be sure to include high-quality images along with your text to make it eye-catching.
  • Capture leads:  Don’t forget to incentivize your customers to give you their contact details at every stage of the sales funnel. An example of this could be subscribing to your email newsletter.
  • Syndicate Widely: The more places you can stick your content, the better. In addition to your website, excerpt your content and post links to it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, etc. This gives your content added reach and life and improves the likelihood of it landing in front of a buyer or seller at the right time.

Content Marketing Benefits from Having a Plan

Online real estate marketing using content is a different ballgame than traditional advertising, but when the two are brought together through a comprehensive and targeted strategy, brokers have a powerful and highly functional means of connecting with customers and generating quality leads. At Weichert we believe that this can be a powerful complement to the lead generation systems we provide to franchisees and an important part of your overall formula for success.

If you are a growth-minded broker looking for other ways to make your brokerage more productive and get to the next level of results, talk to the Weichert® franchise team today.

For more information visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/generate-leads-content-marketing/

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

It’s All In The Attitude – The Power of Positive Energy

“Commit to CANI! – Constant And Never-ending Improvement.” – Tony Robbins
If you ask any expert, there are a range of elements that must be present for a business to succeed, whether you are a real estate broker, CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or just starting out on a new venture. Some of these are easy to think of:

Others are more industry-specific. But don’t forget the driving force that brings these elements together–the glue of any growing business–which is positive energy and a can-do attitude.

What Is Positive Energy?

It may sound like something right out of an alternative lifestyle book, but it simply means having the right attitude. When you see nothing as an obstacle, but rather challenges to be overcome, you become that positive force that drives your brokerage forward. Think of leadership as a responsibility to inspire, not just give commands. This mental shift will affect everyone in your brokerage including:

  • Yourself
  • Your team
  • Your vendors and partners and those you touch
  • Ultimately, your clients

A positive, energetic attitude has that same effect on anyone you meet, drawing their most positive selves to the forefront. With a brokerage team aligned with your vision and this kind of positive mindset, there is very little you can’t accomplish.

Most successful business owners use this “can do” approach towards their professional goals, allowing them to achieve maximum effectiveness and results in the delivery of their products and services. Even if you’re more of an Eeyore than a Tigger, you can learn just a few behaviors that will make a big difference at the office and in all your interactions.

How Does Positive Energy Influence the Workplace?

An attitude shift is not about being unrealistic or seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses. It’s about creating a culture where achievements, success, innovation, and improvement CAN happen and are celebrated. The interesting thing is that studies have shown that simply by achieving this mindset, business owners receive the following benefits:

  • Improved problem solving: Solving issues and developing creative solutions is key to having an agile, competitive business – especially when you’re in an industry as competitive as real estate. Positive thinkers have been shown to have a greater ability to absorb new information, leading to a more rounded perspective and better-informed decision-making.
  • Improved resilience: This is the ability to bounce back after a failure or setback– something every business owner must deal with. No matter how careful you are, you won’t avoid every challenging, frustrating situation on the path to growth. Instead it’s learning not to take every problem as a blow. It’s learning to see every problem as opportunity to learn, improve or build better relationships.
  • Builds energy and enthusiasm: Real estate agents and brokers work at the top of their game when they’re feeling engaged, driven and competitive – a mindset that is encouraged by having a positive workplace culture. Not only will employees work harder to achieve their own personal career goals, but will actively engage with the big-picture business goals.

This is especially important for brokerages with a less experienced team. With a leader setting the standard for positivity and creating a safe work environment where it’s ok to fail once in a while, your team will strive to accomplish goals more effectively, regardless of their formal experience.

  • Removes the influence of negative energy: Many of us have been part of a workplace with bad energy. In these workplaces employees lack a team focus and often lack respect for leadership.  Attitude filters from the top down and consistent positive energy from leaders builds trust and respect. It can transform an office and its employees into a place of enthusiasm and willingness, focused on how to grow, thrive and succeed.  It also makes people with negative attitudes stand out, making it obvious that their behavior doesn’t fit in.

Increase Your Can-Do Attitude, Increase Your Results

As a successful broker, you’ve already learned how to keep your team happy. But why not kick it up a notch? You don’t have to start dancing down the aisles, but many times it’s small things like choosing to coach, instead of criticize. Celebrate the positive, can-do attitude of others on your team. At Weichert Franchise, developing positive team dynamics is a cornerstone of our philosophy and an attribute of our most successful brokers.

For more information on how Weichert Franchising can be a positive force in your business, visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com/.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/attitude-power-positive-energy/

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Six Tips For Writing A Real Estate Franchise Business Plan

If you think writing an annual business plan is a waste of time, think again. If you don’t know where you are going, you can’t possibly plot a solid course to get there. Then you are left meandering trying to find the best way forward, instead of having a focused plan of attack. While you might think you have it all figured out in your head, the act of writing it down can actually help you think things through and flush out the necessary details.

A typical real estate business plan will formally state your business goals, strategy, and the operational structure of your brokerage. This can sound time consuming if you haven’t done one before, but in reality, it is a helpful exercise. There are even many online business plan templates available to help and if you are part of a franchise system, like Weichert, not only do you get help creating a business plan to identify your goals, but you get the added benefits of plugging into a time tested blueprint to help you define the activities needed to reach your goals. What is most important, however, is that creating the plan takes you through a comprehensive thought process that involves every area of your current and future business. When you are done with a good business plan, you will fully understand the path you are taking, and how you expect to achieve it from both an operational and a financial standpoint. You’ll understand the challenges you are likely to face and some strategies for minimizing risks. You’ll define your relationships with your partners and investors.  You’ll sketch out your real estate brokerage marketing plans and understand the unique challenges of your local market. You’ll set some yearly goals around sales targets and revenue and set a basic plan that will allow you to get there. Ideally, you’ll want to review the plan regularly to confirm you are on track. This also allows you to react if you aren’t.

Best of all, you’ll have a document you can reference at any time or show future stakeholders that gives a great overview of your business. Here are a few tips for making this process easier from the real estate business coaches at Weichert®:

Creating Your Real Estate Business Plan

  1. You don’t have to start from scratch: There is no reason to re-invent the wheel. There are many templates out there. Find one that fits your style. If you are part of a franchise, like Weichert, you’ll have even more resources at your fingertips, including a template to follow and coaching on strategies and costs of tools and lead generation that is consistent with the best practices in the industry.
  2. Introduce your business: Include a complete and comprehensive description of your brokerage, from identifying your products/services, the nature of your market, and your operational approach to challenges and risks you are facing. Include a management section with information about key management roles and define what each role is expected to accomplish.
  3. Define your customers: The key here is to avoid the temptation to say “well, everybody!”. Is your market primarily retirement age buyers and sellers?  Are your clients urban or rural? Is relocation an important part of your offering? As a successful broker, you have a good understanding of your local market, but a franchise opportunity can bring you new lead opportunities and strategies. It is worth taking the time to define your typical customers and especially any groups you want to focus on, instead of everyone.
  4. Marketing: Your new business plan should reflect all new real estate marketing tools and strategies you utilize. When you are part of a franchise, this can be quite extensive. Weichert for instance, provides comprehensive training and tools in marketing best practices that can help streamline your day to day activities and improve the visibility of your brokerage to both buyers/sellers as well as recruits.
  5. Financial Position:  Documenting your financial position, assumptions, and necessary cash flow is essential whether you are applying for a business loan, have investors, or are using your own investment capital. Include an analysis of all costs related to the business, including commissions, rent, fees, marketing costs, salaries and other overhead. We call this knowing your company dollar. You should also forecast the increased revenue you expect to achieve by reaching your goals over a given time period.  A business coach can help you with benchmarks and strategies to help you meet them to ensure a sustainable, profitable business.
  6. Get an independent review: Even if you’ve reviewed your franchise business plan over and over, it’s always recommended getting a fresh set of eyes on it to ensure that all your bases are sufficiently covered and that the information is relevant, clear and concise.  A business coach can be invaluable in helping with this.

Take the Time, Do the Plan

The development of a good business plan is a rewarding exercise. The work is its own reward, we promise! And if you’ve chosen a partner like Weichert, you’ll have expert advice and a business coach to support you every step of the way.  If you are a growth-minded broker looking for ways to make your brokerage more productive and get to the next level of results, talk to the Weichert franchise team today.

Visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com for more information.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/six-tips-writing-real-estate-franchise-business-plan/