Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Focus On The Willing (Let Go Of The Rest)



In any brokerage, there are team members who embrace, new ideas, new tools, new strategies with enthusiasm and energy. You know who they are: the people you go to when you want to bounce a new idea off someone or discuss a change you want to make. They will take the time to listen and give you good, constructive feedback. They are the people who support what you are trying to accomplish and get in the boat with you so you can all reach the end goal together. These are “the willing” and the people you can build a successful business around.

Then there are the “unwilling”. Those who react adversely to anything requiring a change to the status quo or the way they like to do things. These are the people who always want to follow a different path than the one you are forging and create distractions within your office and among “the willing”. As a broker you need to ask yourself: How much time and energy am I spending trying to convince, cajole, motivate, and oversee the implementation of my business strategies with those who are less than flexible and unwilling to change the way they do things?

The Willing Will Enhance Your Agency Culture


As a broker, you’re running at light speed, trying to give all aspects of your business the attention it needs. We understand this, we’ve been there. Managing change is one of the central activities you have and is essential to your continued growth as a brokerage. The problem is that it’s easy to get caught up spending too much time trying to convince the naysayers in your organization to follow the systems and plans you set forth. Negative people are like an anchor, draining your enthusiasm as well as your time. Instead, filter these people out from your agent team over time and seek to surround yourself with positive, energetic people who share your goals and vision.
Here’s a few things to consider:

  1. Create And Communicate A Mission and A Vision – Sometimes this is all it takes to change the unwilling to the willing. People need perspective on what they are doing and a reason why. Even if they disagree, when they see you have a clear strategy and a destination, they might be much more “willing” to at least try it.
  2. Involve The Team In Planning Your Initiatives – Where possible, be collaborative and get them vested in any initiatives by soliciting and incorporating their ideas and allow them to be part of the solution. When people are invested in the plan, they are more apt to want to see it succeed. Showing your willingness to implement and credit other people’s ideas and feedback is one of the most powerful things you can do to create positive energy inside your team.
  3. Let The Willing Be Your Ambassadors –Rather than allowing the negative players drain your energy, work through the willing and hold their example up for everyone to see. Let them act as examples and even coaches for those who are slower to get on board.
  4. Be Willing To Let Go Of The Chronically Unwilling – There will occasionally be those in your organization whose attitude may work to undermine your leadership. If they cannot be coached, ultimately both you and they will be better off with an amicable parting of the ways.


Attracting the Willing To Your Agency


Remember, positivity attracts positivity. Your ability to focus on The Willing and celebrate their success will create a positive, supportive culture inside your agency. This in turn will become the word on the street for you, which will help you attract other like-minded agents. Who doesn’t want to be on the cool team?  It is also incumbent on you to sustain that positivity by feeding it. Walk the walk. Talk the talk. Provide the enthusiasm and energy for your team to feed on. One of things we focus on in the Weichert® System is training and coaching offices on the importance of building and maintaining this positive culture to attract and retain new agents. Your ability to understand these behaviors and implement them in your brokerage will go a long way toward building the kind of willing team and workplace that gets results.

For more information on how you can partner with Weichert Franchise, visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/focus-willing-let-go-rest/

Monday, September 11, 2017

Making Great Customer Service A Full-Time Gig



If you ask 10 brokers what great customer service is, you’ll get 10 different answers.  But they’ll all tell you that they provide “great” customer service.

What does good customer service really mean and how does it impact your business?


Here’s a few thoughts on this:

  1. Speak your customer’s language and be responsive. With so many ways to communicate these days, it’s no surprise that it’s no longer a one-size fits all world in how best to communicate and follow up with customers. Find out how each of your customers like to communicate with you and use that method. If they like texting, text them. If they don’t like texting, don’t text them, call or email them. No matter how you stay in touch, make sure you always return calls and inquiries quickly. If you don’t respond, the next guy will.
  2. Be a resource. Offer information, assistance and guidance – even if there’s nothing in it for you in the near term. Not only does it position you as a knowledgeable, trusted resource, but people will remember you and your efforts will pay you back in dividends.
  3. Make it personal. In the age of digital and online options in real estate, is important more than ever before to bring that personal touch to the real estate process. Practice your hellos and goodbyes and include as many opportunities as possible in your prospecting activities for personal connections. Digital is convenient, but it doesn’t replace a handshake, making eye contact or that personal touch.
  4. Stay top of mind. Staying in touch is everything in real estate marketing. Don’t just focus on the hot prospects. Nurture all your contacts – you never know when they or a friend or family member will need your services. The more you stay in touch, the more likely you’ll be the one they call when they need real estate help.
  5. Exceed your clients’ expectations. Let’s face it, when it comes to service, how often to you get more than you expect? Most people are content to put in a minimum amount of effort to get a job done. And when someone goes above and beyond, you remember the experience and recount it to your friends and family. Don’t be content to just check the boxes. Provide your clients with memorable experiences and be the one that they talk about.

Creating Memorable Experiences


In some brokerages, customer service often takes a back seat to sales. Yet the truth is that a consistent focus on building a relationship with both clients and potential clients brings significant rewards in the long term:

  • Builds a positive brand reputation for you
  • Fosters word-of-mouth recommendations
  • Brings business right to your doorstep.

In most cases, lackluster customer service doesn’t necessarily mean clients are treated badly. It could mean greater focus is placed on keeping business and sales ticking over as quickly as possible and Customer Service takes a back seat as a result.  There are lots of reasons this can happen:

  • Agents lack the time to provide any extra service or information.
  • Closing Sales is a natural priority and they only focus on hot prospects
  • They don’t have an efficient way to maintain touch points with potentially hundreds of buyers/sellers.

The most successful brokers and agents we see, however, have found a way to balance the customer service elements through a combination of the right processes, tools and technology. When you add a great brand name to the equation, everything works together. Now you can be both effective, and efficient, which makes clients feel special and you exceptional.

The Weichert® brand is known for its systems and tools that build business while fostering satisfying customer experiences. 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 our website at https://www.weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/making-great-customer-service-full-time-gig/

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Yes, Culture Does Matter. And It Starts With You



Is your real estate agency growing? Chances are, you’re focused on issues related to commissions, marketing/advertising, agent training and inventory, all of which affect your ability to recruit and keep good real estate agents. But one thing brokers often forget to invest in is the culture within their brokerage and how it affects both agent retention, real estate agent recruiting and productivity.

What keeps agents with an organization? Money is often named as a key motivator for retention. However, at the end of the day, it comes down to much more than that.  Feeling like they are part of something bigger than themselves, creating a positive environment that is both supportive and respectful and fostering a management team that is engaged and interested in the growth and success of its agents—just to name a few.  Money will work for a little while, but to retain people long-term, it’s important to pay attention to the culture you are creating for your office. When agents are motivated and happy, it extends to the experience their clients have, too.  And that’s good for business.

What Makes For Great Brokerage Culture?


Workplace culture is essentially the personality of your business: the environment, attitude, expectations, and ethics that you want to foster to achieve your business goals. While successful brokerages vary on the details, they all have one thing in common: a supportive and positive company culture.  And the more unique you make it, the harder it will be to find it somewhere else.

In a positive company culture, creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and teamwork are encouraged. And while all brokers aren’t Tony Robbins, you don’t have to be in order to make your business a place good agents want to be. When we coach our Weichert® franchise brokers, these are some of the things we help them focus on:
  1. Training. Being able to offer courses, tips, best practices, or insights from your years of experience are enthusiastically welcomed, especially for new or younger agents.
  2. People first. Recognizing achievements as well as celebrating the small personal milestones of folks in your brokerage helps to create a feeling that you are a team that cares about each other beyond the job. These personal relationships create the glue that keeps your team together.
  3. Communication. Don’t hide in your ivory tower, communicate the business of your agency often, in both individual and group settings. Open communication is the heart of an empowered agent team. If they know where you are headed, they may just be able to help you get there.
  4. Support. Even when you’re too busy to help, don’t ever make your agents feel that their requests are unimportant. Find the time to follow up with them, and make it clear that their success is your priority. In fact, it should be if you want to be successful.
  5. Make it Fun. Just because it’s work, doesn’t mean your agents need to feel negative about doing it. Find ways to get people involved and encourage them to do the things they need to do to get the job done.
Your business benefits from the passion, productivity, and loyalty that results from the consistent application of these principles.

Creating a positive, fun and productive workplace doesn’t just happen by chance. There are many things a broker can do to foster a great environment that will create the kind of buzz that brings agents to your door.

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 to learn more, visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/yes-culture-matter-starts/

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Is Franchising a Fit for You?



Don’t be so fast to say “no”.  If there’s one thing we’ve learned at Weichert, it’s that every brokerage is unique and that success is found in surprising places.  So many of our most successful franchisees first told us they weren’t looking to franchise. It’s not always experience, knowledge, or having some great agents that makes a brokerage successful: it’s also the ability to develop, follow and execute a well-thought out and strategic plan. This is the key to making franchising with the right partner a successful, profitable and rewarding business choice.

Analyzing Your Readiness for Real Estate Franchising


If you’re running your own business, you probably set certain goals for yourself. How have you been progressing toward those goals? Are you getting there as fast as you’d like? Or maybe you feel like you’ve plateaued and are looking for a solution to get you to the next milestone. If you fall into either of those categories, you might be ready to consider a franchise. It’s important to evaluate different franchise options and find out exactly how the process will work for your business.  Will the services they offer meet your brokerage’s needs and align with your company’s goals and values.


Another thing to consider is that no two franchise systems are created equal. Some, like Weichert, offer a high level of support, while others offer little more than their logo. Certain franchises ask for a significant investment, while others require less capital to become part of their brand. It’s all about understanding what you as a brokerage are getting for your part in the specific franchise that you are considering, and that means plenty of research. Not only should you be certain that you are going to get the growth you want, you should have a clear understanding of their services as they continue after your partnership, the expectations on both sides, and the reputation of the brand and franchising system itself.


Finally, you need make sure your new brand will support you in your market. The best real estate franchises will respect what independent brokers have built and the following they’ve developed. These opportunities offer high level support, ongoing services and a level of security in challenging real estate markets. This kind of support has often meant the difference between surviving and not surviving for many businesses. From real estate CRM and marketing tools to real estate coaching, Weichert in particular, has always been a franchise ahead of the curve when it comes to offering brokerages effective tools and support designed specifically for business growth.

To Join, or Not To Join a Real Estate Franchise


Tying your wagon to a real estate franchise is a big decision that demands serious consideration on the part of any broker. But if you have a vision for your success that includes listening, learning, and working differently than your competitors, you just might be next Weichert Real Estate Franchise success story. Contact us at https://www.weichertfranchise.com  for more information.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/is-franchising-a-fit-for-you/

Real Estate Franchise     

Monday, August 21, 2017

Open Houses Go High Tech With Today’s CRMs Are You Missing Lead Opportunities?



The Open House has been around a long time. However, most agents don’t work this opportunity as much as they should. And if they are new to the industry, this marketing system offers an excellent opportunity to grow their book of business. Not only are agents selling their current listing, but they are potentially meeting their next clients!  To get the most out of it, though, requires organized prep work and follow up. However, without it, there’s a good chance the agent will be sitting by themselves hoping someone will show up–and when no one does, it’s easy for agents to get discouraged.

The truth is, when you implement a formal Open House plan in your office and your agents do it right, it can be one of the most lucrative prospecting activities in your brokerage’s repertoire. In fact, Weichert reports that 1 in every 3 sales by their agents result from open houses. This is why this sales system is one of many tactics included in the core training provided to all Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. offices. Offices are coached on best practices, together with the tools and technology needed to lead to successful results. And in a market short on listings, wouldn’t you want to leverage every opportunity?

Using Technology To Attract & Manage Open House Leads


Technology is making a significant impact on the real estate industry in many areas, especially on how brokerages and real estate agents market their listings and find new buyers/sellers. But it can also make open houses easier to plan than ever before while being more effective with more efficient follow-up, so fewer opportunities slip through the cracks.

Most real estate CRM tools are a perfect fit to handle the open house management process. For example, Weichert uses their proprietary CRM, WeichertPRO, to manage the event from pre-planning invitations to post-event follow-ups. By leveraging technology, it makes it easier to plan the event and see successful results.

What Should A Good Open House Management System Include?


The open house management functionality of a good real estate CRM can help with a number of related tasks from marketing to follow up.  Again, using WeichertPRO as an example, a good CRM can help real estate agents promote open houses and streamline the selling process:
  • Send branded emails to all their contacts advertising the open house with the click of a button.
  • Advertise the Open house on Facebook and boost posts to all connections on both their Facebook page, and the office Facebook page.
  • Track all buyer and seller contacts and queries from the open house right in the CRM, along with critical information.
  • Prioritize these contacts for timely and individualized follow up.
  • Add these individuals to the agent’s mailing lists to stay top of mind.

There are many more small and large tasks associated with agents getting the most out of  open houses, but the good news is that the reminders, content creation and communication can indeed be automated by a good real estate CRM tool, such as WeichertPRO.  When you partner powerful technology with great marketing materials such as door hangers, property flyers and brochures, and open house signage, you create a winning combination that is sure to attract new clients into your brokerage.

It helps when your sales activities produce results and this is just one example. 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.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/open-houses-go-high-tech-todays-crms-missing-lead-opportunities/

Friday, August 11, 2017

Manage Your Real Estate Office’s Brand On Social Media

Social media networks present a powerful opportunity for real estate brokers and agents to grow their business, but like all marketing efforts, it’s not a medium where you can just “wing it”. By managing your brand effectively and approaching this sphere of marketing with a clear plan, you can position yourself for optimal brand development, exposure, and lead generation with minimal financial expense.

ALWAYS HAVE A STRATEGY

We’ve all heard the saying that “failing to plan is planning to fail”. This is exactly the case with managing your business on social media. It simply isn’t enough to create accounts on several different social networks and then post content a couple of times a year when you remember. In fact, this can do more harm than good, as it shows viewers that you are not engaged with the social world.
Having a strategy in place before you take action, will help you define what you are trying to achieve through social media marketing and help you accomplish goals in manageable chunks. Are you trying to increase followers? Are you trying to attract recruits or sellers? Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Are you trying to stay top of mind with your followers? Having specific goals will prevent your business from becoming overwhelmed with different options, keep you on track and focused, and ensure that you are connecting with optimal results for the time you have to spend on it.

DON’T SPREAD YOURSELF TOO THIN

Social networks are incredibly popular! It seems like there’s a new one launching every week! But this doesn’t mean that your brokerage should be on it. Instead of taking up valuable time and resources by trying to be on every single trending network, limit your choices to the ones that suit your business and are likely to yield the best results. If you’re unsure of what platforms to choose, here are the top three most effective for real estate professionals.
  • Facebook. Both agents and brokerages should have a presence on Facebook and work to create a following. If you only have time for one, this is the one to start with.
  • Instagram. While owned by Facebook, Instagram reaches more Millennials.
  • Twitter. This can be better for professional to professional communication (recruiting, networking) than buyer/seller engagement.

DEVELOP YOUR VOICE AND STYLE

Before starting your social media campaign, think about the voice of your brand and how you can express this online. Are you trendy and quirky? Are you looking to appeal to Millennials? Are you targeting upscale clients? Depending on how you want to be perceived should shape the voice in which you communicate to the world. All your content should have a voice that appeals to your target market: use media that prioritizes this group and engage directly with their interests, concerns, and priorities.

PROFESSIONALISM AND CONSISTENCY

All social media content, from videos and blogs to comments on posts, should be delivered consistently and with professionalism at all times. Stay away from posts regarding political, religious or social issues. Three recommendations:
  • Posts should be made regularly (at least once a week),
  • Messages should be replied to, and
  • Any negative feedback dealt with sensitively and in line with company policies.

REALIZE THE POTENTIAL FOR BUSINESS GROWTH THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Social media represents one of the most effective channels for real estate agent marketing and, when approached correctly, can attract agents as well as buyers/sellers. Don’t let this opportunity pass your business by, and remember, slow and steady wins the race. At Weichert®, we stress the importance of social media to our offices and real estate agents as part of a balanced marketing plan and provide support through real estate coaching and training, our approved supplier network, content, listings promotion and more.
To learn about other ways Weichert can help your brokerage get to the next level, contact a member of our team for more information at weichertfranchise.com or 877-746-2067.
Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/manage-real-estate-offices-brand-social-media/

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Importance of Video in Email and Social Media Communications


You may have heard about the growing importance of video in marketing and social media these days. If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon yet, it’s not too late to incorporate it into your marketing strategy for your brokerage or your agents.   Here are a few ideas to help you use these marketing tools more effectively.

  • Community videos: These are videos that work at the broadest level of the sales funnel, where potential buyers are researching different towns and cities to understand what their best options are. According to the 2013 Google/NAR study, “The Digital House Hunt”, over 86% of homebuyers choose video as the best way to research new communities they may want to relocate to. Posting different videos about the areas in which your brokerage operates and sharing them over email and social media is a highly effective way of marketing your brokerage. Think about seasonal events in your area, schools, colleges, parks and other amenities that your buyers will be attracted to. This is known as evergreen content because it can be reused repeatedly in different formats, making it a great investment for your local business and a great real estate agent marketing tool.
  • Listing videos: These form the second part of the sales funnel, where homebuyers have picked a community they like and now want to see what is available for their money in the area. In fact, 70% of homebuyers actively search for and use video to tour homes, This type of content can be effective in promoting open houses and can be linked from emails and over social media to attract potential buyers to market listings.
  • Real Estate 101 videos: Being successful in this market is all about standing out and offering value to your clients. Real estate can be a confusing and scary territory for lots of people. However, recording videos on basic real estate topics or that answer common questions can help potential clients get to know you, as well help position you as a knowledgeable, helpful resource that they’ll want to do business with.


Still Not Convinced? Take a Look at These Statistics


Video has a strong impact on retail sales and conversion numbers, but does this really apply to real estate? In one word: Yes. Recent surveys by Google and the National Association of Realtors have shown that in the USA:

  • 85% of buyers and sellers want to work with brokerages and real estate agents that use video marketing.
  • According to a study by Domain.com, videos in real estate marketing emails double the click-through rate (viewers who click on links to then browse your advertised content, listings, etc.) while reducing the opt-out rate by 75% (viewers who would unsubscribe from your marketing emails).
  • Inquiries on listed homes marketed using video content is up to 4 times higher than on homes that do not have video content.
  • Videos offer a chance to communicate with far more intensity over a much shorter amount of time. One minute of video is the opportunity for 1.8 million words, and that’s without the impact of visual imagery to accompany it. In fact, this is such an effective communication tool that the Online Publishers Association reports that 80% of viewers remember what they see in online videos, which is much higher than in text-and-image-only formats.

And yet only 15% of real estate agents are actively using video to market listings!
Video is just one of the many real estate agent marketing tools out there. It can be tough to keep up with the best tools and techniques and how to use them. You can easily spend a lot of time chasing down and researching this for your brokerage and your agents. When you join a franchise like Weichert, you benefit from our team’s broad-reaching resources and knowledge as well the guidance, coaching, access to training and vendors who can help. That means more time for you to spend growing your business.

Want to hear more? Check out our Weichert Franchise Video’s!

For more information visit www.weichertfranchise.com.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/importance-video-email-social-media-communications/