Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Turn The Low Inventory Challenge Into A Recruiting and Retention Strategy


Everyone in Real Estate knows that this is a cyclical industry and if you are a brokerage who has lived through the last 15 years, you’ve seen a lot. From boom times of high demand and rising home values to times of scarcity where homes sales are few and far in-between. Now, even in relatively good economic times, agents across the country are experiencing the unique challenge of low inventory and competition for those few listings is fierce. These circumstances flow through every aspect of your brokerage business. How well you can help your agents withstand these cycles can affect your ability to retain them, as well as attract new talent to your firm. How well are you prepared to help them?
By providing agents with the right ammunition to work through these market challenges, you position yourself as a resource to them, which elevates your value. Take the current low inventory trend for example. Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. Sr. Vice President of Consulting Services, Mark W. Hanna, sums it up: “…low inventory does not mean NO inventory. It means that there ARE listings, just not as many as buyers (and agents) would like. But instead of pulling out the phone and calling potential sellers, what many agents are really saying is, ‘I’ll let my competition get whatever listings there are and I’ll try to work with one of the many buyers competing for them and hope I win the bidding and/or timing game.’”
Sound familiar?
The franchise coaching team at Weichert has been working with many affiliate agents and offices over the past several months on how to meet this issue head-on. With just a little coaching and the right tools and systems, it’s been amazing how many more listings they have been able to capture, even in a market such as this.

Weichert Systems Help You Provide Value


The real question you as a broker need to ask yourself is “What am I doing differently?” Whether it’s low inventory or any issue your brokerage is facing, are you standing still or are you doing something about it? Weichert coaches its franchise offices and agents through a Listing Mastery program, outlines systems and activity plans for reaching customers through phone or direct mail and provides tools like its 2-Step DOORS Listing presentation. That, combined with its Weichert Lead Network to attract buyers and the WeichertPRO CRM system to manage contacts, helps ensure their franchise offices and agents stay in front of their spheres of influence and getting as many listings as possible.
By combining these proven strategies with effective tools and technologies and adding high-quality, local lead generation and exposure, your brokerage will provide value to your agents to strengthen your recruiting and retention efforts. Not only will this ensure that you attract and retain a high-quality, productive agent base, but it will also help you nurture and drive your existing team to be more productive associates.
And that’s good for everyone’s bottom line.

Monday, May 22, 2017

How Taking Your Real Estate Brokerage Online Can Save You Money


Online real estate marketing is a must-have for any brokerage that is focused on growth, success and brand development in 2017– but that’s not all it can do. It is also one of the most cost effective ways for reducing your brokerage’s marketing costs. Here’s how:
  • Affordable marketing:When it comes to marketing your brokerage online, the costs are minimal. In fact, if you already have a good website, you’re more than halfway there. You can manage and produce content for your social media sites with just a bit of time and effort – content that can reach hundreds and thousands of potential buyers each day, routing them to your website and agents. Virtual home tours, Q&A sessions, promoting new listings, and sharing information on locations can all be created to build your brokerage’s brand, get your buyers interested and engaged – and can all be done using a smartphone or a mobile device. This form of marketing is very affordable and effective and a great complement to traditional print marketing.
  • Virtual personal assistant: Real  Estate agent CRM systems are designed to act as a 24-hour personal assistant to each agent and broker. It makes users more efficient, whether it’s working with a buyer/seller or a recruiting prospect. Not only will it log appointments, notify you of queries and develop personalized follow up plans, it can also receive hot incoming leads assigned to your agents to manage. This allows you and your team to automate many day-to-day functions.
  • More Efficient Use of Time: Brokers know that there is only one way to be productive in this industry – and that’s when your real estate agents are not behind a desk. For your brokerage to grow, your real estate agents must be generating and closing sales. So, traveling to and from the office multiple times a day to collect leads or to follow up on administration is not the most productive use of time. Online technology allows real estate agents to take care of administrative tasks, manage their day and stay in touch via  a central intranet system, all from a mobile device or smartphone. This means that they can achieve optimal levels of productivity, helping to increase business in the most effective and efficient manner.

Online Real Estate Marketing Saves Money – And Increases Sales

Simply put, no marketing medium has the reach and affordability of online marketing. Easy to use, practical and with a reach that puts your real estate brokerage in touch with hundreds of potential property buyers, the right online marketing strategy, tools and training can deliver exceptional results for your business.
At Weichert, real estate specialists offer a franchising system developed by brokers and real estate agents, for brokers and real estate agents. It gives our affiliated real estate brokers access to essential resources for growing their business successfully, including expert real estate coaching, our real estate agent-specific CRM system, and industry-specific marketing and management tools.
For more information, please contact us today at https://www.weichertfranchise.com/  and see if a Weichert Franchise is a fit for your brokerage.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Are You On the Fast-Track to Success or Failure




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.

Agency Bypass

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.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

5 Ways Technology Is Used in Selling Real Estate



Successful real estate brokers and agents know that the key to building their business is in reaching the right buyers and sellers. Online real estate marketing specialists (experts?) say despite the prevalence of technology many agencies underutilize commonly available tools and techniques to make their agency and its listings more visible. Here are just five of the ways in which technology can be used to effectively market your real estate brokerage and your listings.
  1. Social Selling for Brand Development and Increased Closings:
In the old days, selling was all about newspaper ads, walk-ins, and referrals. But what many brokers and agents don’t realize is that each of these proven strategies has acounterpart in the internet world and its name is social media.  While most agencies have a presence on Facebook or Instagram, they are often underutilized, misused or just plain ignored. An active social media strategy that includes elements of paid advertising, should be a part of every agency strategy in the new digital economy. This strategy should create credibility and visibility for the brokerage, as well as socialize key properties for increased local reach and online word of mouth.
2.  Virtual tours:
While not a replacement for a face-to-face meeting, virtual tours have become a staple in the real estate industry. However, their full potential has only recently been realized by brokerages looking to grow. They don’t require high-tech equipment – in fact, your staff can film it on a smartphone or tablet with ease – and they can be posted on social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram as well as your website, reaching your brokerage’s followers as well as their friends and connections with ease. This is not only great content for your brokerage’s social media followers, it helps build your company brand, promote feedback and advertise properties as well.
 3. Mobile apps:
While websites are incredibly popular with property buyers and sellers, mobile apps allow your brokerage’s real estate agents to interact with clients on the go through a simple, user-friendly format. It’s a vital tool for planning a route for visiting the show houses, conveniently looking up the details of a property, finding directions to a property and getting the details of the agent in charge of it. In this way, mobile apps work for brokerages by directly linking potential clients with your listings and agents wherever they are, making your brokerage and your real estate agents more accessible to potential clients and leads.
4. Real-time lead and contact management:
The Internet allows us to instantly connect brokers, real estate agents, and clients, whether in the office or out in the field. A real estate CRM system designed specifically to meet the needs of the real estate industry provides your agents with the ideal online space to track and manage leads via smartphone or mobile device.
A good lead program can be invaluable in driving new business to your agents and your brokerage. They key ingredients to a good leads program is that perfect combination of high-quality leads, coupled with quick response time to capture them. The ability for those captured leads to then feed right into your CRM—a bonus! Agents can then save client notes and emails automatically, helping increase their productivity and sales results.
5. Knowledge Sharing:
For many buyers, the home buying process is a confusing one. However, your brokerage can turn this to an advantage by sharing information with sellers and buyers to build loyalty to your business and brand. Online home loan applications and queries help demonstrate the affordability of the property. Digital signature technology allows buyers and other parties to quickly and easily deliver, sign and return important documentation – all of which can be stored and processed online. The buying process can also be monitored online, showing the clients a timeline of the different stages of the buying process and where they are in relation to it. It helps them to track their property purchase and plan their move. Is there a specific tool to do this or is this something the blog is suggesting the brokerage/agents use email and other tools to do on their own? This not only makes your business more visible than your competitor’s, it directly increases efficiency and productivity, making the sales process smoother and faster than before.

Want The Technology To Help Your Real Estate Agency Grow? Speak to Weichert

To flourish, you want your team using the best real estate agent marketing tools and techniques. At Weichert, we utilize industry-leading technology, expert support, and real estate coaching programs to assist our affiliates in developing highly effective marketing strategies and implement efficient programs that maximize results.
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 at weichertfranchise.com  for more information on our services or to see if the Weichert franchise model is the appropriate opportunity for your brokerage.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Franchise Vs. Independent Real Estate Brokerage – Finding the Right Fit

Running your own real estate agency and brokerage is a big step for most real estate agents, and one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make along the way is whether to  partner with a real estate franchise or go at it alone. Here’s some insight on your options.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of maintaining an independent brokerage? 
Choosing to go the independent route has both pros and cons for brokers. The main attraction is having complete autonomy – you aren’t answerable to anyone other than yourself. You can control the development of your own brand, find your own clients and you don’t have to pay any franchise fees.
Sounds great, but being autonomous means that the burden of your success is entirely on your shoulders. All training, marketing strategies, recruitment, retention and growth is up to you. You are the deal doctor, the office counselor, the janitor, the first to arrive and the last to leave at night. It’s also up to you to research the latest and greatest lead gen technology or CRM and build and maintain your brand – a big task in a tough economy and a competitive property market. Trying to keep up can leave you feeling burned out and the investment required to stay ahead can end up costing you much more than a franchise fee in the end.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of a real estate franchise? 
As you might expect, this can depend a lot on who you choose to partner with. While there will always be tradeoffs, affiliating does not have to mean “selling out” or giving up your business to big brother. With the right brand, you can tap into the power of a national system, but hold on to the great things you are already doing in your local market.
Yes, affiliating with an established real estate brand usually means sharing your individual brand with the brand of the franchisor. In most cases this is a benefit, as the brand of a good franchisor will be more powerful and far-reaching than that of an independent agency. Our experience is that most brokers welcome this as part of the other benefits they receive by affiliating. You will still do business with the people who know you, but you will be able to open the doors to people who don’t. Control of your business typically remains in your hands, depending on the policies of your franchise agreement. A system like Weichert’s for example, was conceived by an independent broker, for brokers. It offers a full buffet of training, systems, sales and marketing tools that have been used successfully by hundreds of offices across the country. They are available for you to plug into your business to help you grow. We know they work, but at the end of the day it is up to you how to integrate our programs and systems into your business.
Of course there are inevitably franchise fees, ranging from 6 to 10 percent depending on who you sign with. In the end, you must weigh the opportunity to improve and grow your brokerage vs. the time and dollar investment it will take to do it on your own. Ask yourself these questions: Can I get where I want to be on my own? How do the costs compare? How long will it take me to do it myself? Am I happy with my work/life balance? Am I effectively competing in my market? Can affiliation help me stay ahead? Can it help me reach my goal faster?
Is The Weichert Franchising System The Right Opportunity For You And Your Brokerage? 
Critical to getting the most benefits out your affiliation with a real estate franchise is committing to the right franchise partner. Different franchise opportunities offer different operating models which can lead to different results. Some large, well known real estate brands for example, offer little more than their logo and branding to their affiliates. The Weichert Franchise System couldn’t be more different. Our affiliates are taught a system for success which includes all the elements of the modern brokerage including lead generation and technology for example. The Weichert system is a real estate franchise opportunity developed by real estate agents and brokers with the flexibility to work within each brokerage’s needs, rather than offering a less effective one-size-fits-all solution. We offer access to the most sophisticated national lead collection and screening technologies in the country to support high-value lead generation for your brokerage. Our formula for growth combines effective online and offline marketing tools with expert, one-on-one real estate coaching and training, and even a proprietary real estate CRM which integrates your brokerage and fosters our complete lead lifecycle methodology. This franchise offering is part of a practical, hands-on partnership that brings continual innovation and support to each franchisee and keeps your business moving towards your goals even in the toughest times.
For more information on The Weichert Franchising System or the benefits of partnering with us through our real estate franchise opportunities, please visit our website: https://www.weichertfranchise.com/

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

4 Reasons Why Using A Real Estate Contact Management System (CRM) Helps With Your Lead Management Strategy

In the real estate industry, leads are everything. They’re what can build your business, help you grow, expand your team and increase profits – but too often, promising leads can get lost in the day to day frenzy of activity. This is where a real estate CRM system comes into play. These software systems are developed specifically for the real estate industry in order to help your team make the most of their leads.  Here’s how:
  • Better management of leads by agents on the go:
Productive real estate agents are often out of the office, whether it’s going door-to-door finding prospective clients, making listing presentations or closing deals. However, it’s equally important for agents to effectively and efficiently follow up on leads while conducting these day-to-day business tasks. Prompt and consistent follow-up is crucial in closing a lead and a CRM system allows agents to respond, track and follow up on leads wherever they are through smartphone, laptop or tablet.
  • Fewer missed opportunities:
In a tech-savvy industry, potential clients and leads can come from a multitude of sources: from your existing book of business, website and social media pages as well as through phone calls and emails. Checking up on these manually can quickly become a nightmare and being unable to manage leads or stay in front of client needs effectively means missing out on opportunities. CRM systems make it easy to collect and respond to these queries through automated tracking, customized management and even automated responses. An agents’ leads and business contacts can be organized in a user-friendly interface and they can set reminders for follow-ups.
  • Convenient integration with lead flow sources:
If you are fortunate to have a good source of incoming leads, the best real estate CRM systems will integrate with those resources, making it easy to follow-up on and manage the lead from receipt until close. For example, Weichert attracts more than 3 million web visits every month to its website, driving leads to its call center where they are screened, qualified and transferred to an agent in minutes. Those lead details are then transferred into the agent’s profile in WeichertPro, a proprietary CRM, where the agent can then use the software’s tools to follow up and manage the lead to close.
  • Boosts customer service:
Customer service excellence is essential for any company looking to make a positive impression and get a leg up on its competition. CRM systems ensure that no queries go unanswered – which can be a real differentiator in the real estate industry. With innovative contact management, all your contacts are available at your fingertips and grouped to your specific requirements. CRM systems can even send timely, personalized emails on your behalf, without you needing to do a thing. These are the small touches that can make a big difference in your bottom line.
Get the Most Out of Real Estate Lead Generation with the Weichert® CRM System 
The Weichert Franchising System combines decades of real estate experience and expertise with cutting-edge technology, real estate coaching programs and tools, including an innovative, easy-to-use real estate CRM system. Designed to support real estate agents and agencies that want to grow and succeed in a tech-savvy market, this system focuses on combining high-quality lead generation resources with streamlined customer service and real estate business management tools.
For more information, please contact us today and see if the Weichert Franchise is a good fit for your brokerage.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Real Estate Marketing – Get Your Agency Online and Growing

Marketing to today’s homebuyers and building a business is one of the toughest challenges facing today’s real estate sales teams. Not only are homebuyers faced with more housing options than ever before and a tough economic climate, they’ve also changed the way they search for, evaluate and purchase products and services. Flyers and print advertisements are decreasing in effectiveness, while online activity continues to increase. In this digital-first reality, the success of your real estate business comes down to one essential factor – is your agency’s online marketing up to the challenge? Here’s some insight into effective online real estate marketing.
Know Where Your Real Estate Agency’s Online Marketing Weaknesses Are 
Not having an online marketing strategy means missing out on sales – it’s just that simple. Many agencies find this to be a difficult pill to swallow, but if you’re struggling to connect meaningfully with potential new clients, having a strong and attractive online presence is key to correcting it.
Common weaknesses in online marketing strategies may include:
  • Having a basic website that is not up to modern design standards, is not up-to-date or is not mobile-friendly.
  • Not having social media pages, or never posting on the pages that have been set up for your business.
  • Not forming a balanced marketing strategy that utilizes and integrates traditional and online marketing media.
  • Managing your online marketing strategy internally through staff with little or no digital marketing expertise.
  • Doing your online marketing when you have spare time, if you have spare time.
Understanding Why Online Marketing Matters 
For a long time, online marketing was treated as a fad that could never replace traditional and print marketing. However, this industry has taken off in a way that has impacted advertising and marketing for almost every business across the country and the globe. This is because it offers the one thing that modern consumers demand – instant accessibility. Being able to see listings as they are loaded over tablets and smartphones, viewing detailed tours of homes and apartments over Facebook and Instagram, being able to contact agents immediately about a listing and get answers to questions – these things are invaluable to today’s market. It also allows consumers to “check you out” before doing business with you and if your online presence is outdated or not up to snuff, you won’t be getting their call.
It is important to realize that feeding the need for instant, accessible and detailed information is a powerful way for growing a business. By developing online marketing expertise and implementing effective campaigns, your agency can tap into the market of today’s homebuyers on a level that they understand and respond to, through tools they are familiar with. Your clients are already on these platforms, so why aren’t you?
Speak to Weichert Experts for The Best Real Estate Marketing Tools, Training and Techniques 
The Weichert Real Estate Franchising System was developed specifically to assist real estate agents and agencies to not only overcome the challenges that face the property market, but also to transform these challenges into opportunities for growth and success.
Developed through decades of experience and expertise, our unique system offers the right combination of one-on-one training and support, industry insight, access to high-value resources, and real estate-specific CRM and marketing tools to access the modern consumer market.
For more information, please contact us today and see if a Weichert Franchise is a fit for your brokerage.