Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Five New Year’s Resolutions for your Brokerage

The New Year came fast and is already in full swing. Did you make any resolutions? It’s important to maintain your focus on where you want to be in 12 months. Continue to take the lead and decide what direction you want to move your brokerage toward this year. Just as in your personal life, January is a good time to set goals for your brokerage to help you stay motivated and to reinvent yourself a little bit.

To improve your bottom line and keep your agents in the forefront of their market, consider ringing in these five New Year’s resolutions for your brokerage:

1.Create Buzz Around Your Brand

Think about your marketing plan for the year. After all, marketing should create buzz around your brand and should be well thought out and budgeted into your business plan. Use the amount of an average transaction commission as a base for determining how much you can comfortably spend this year. You want the most impact at the least cost.

Whether that’s an ad highlighting your listings or a glossy ad in a regional or national magazine showing off what sets your real estate brokerage apart from others, your spending needs to build awareness, bring business in and grow your brand. As marketing is so crucial to business growth, Weichert® advises having a well thought out brokerage marketing plan in place each November for the following year.

2. Track Numbers Differently

Every successful broker knows their numbers. Do you? It’s important to track sales, of course, but following the numbers of all your agent activities—new listings, buyer consults, open houses conducted—shows patterns that may suggest a change is needed to increase income. Keeping your agents accountable for their activities using hard data like this leads to better performance.

3. Introduce A New Technology Application

Technology is ever evolving and is an indispensable part of the modern real estate enterprise. Try introducing new technology to your agents that can make showing listings easier in real time. For instance, Periscope is a live-streaming video application launched in 2015 that can be used from any smartphone to simply broadcast virtual open houses for those purchasing from a distance. Best of all, the app is free to use.

4. Use A New Marketing Tool

It can be time-consuming to keep up with the latest marketing tools, but it’s important to remain competitive. We all use hashtags in our social media posts, but how do you know if your choice of hashtags is effective? This year, try Keyhole, which provides analytical details on various hashtags, including impressions, demographics and sharing.

5. Better Project Management

Recruiting, training, checking budgets, answering agent questions, reviewing contracts and many other tasks must be completed to keep the office efficiently running. Simplify big projects and tasks with Todoist and save time. Used on over 10 platforms—web browsers, mobile devices, desktops, inboxes—and with lots of special features, projects and tasks on this application can be scheduled, broken down into manageable parts, and even shared and delegated to your office manager to keep you both in check.

There you have it, five New Year’s resolutions to implement into your real estate business plan for 2018. Use of these resolutions can help you increase sales through smarter marketing, keep your agents accountable and productive, and, best of all, save you time.  And if you are looking for one centralized solution to help you implement these types of resolutions, consider a franchise affiliation.
Affiliations with a national brand such as Weichert® can offer you help with branding, tracking your numbers and have teams dedicated to researching and implementing new technology and marketing tools, so you can spend time managing other aspects of your brokerage.

Final Thoughts

New Year’s resolutions can be hard to keep, but your ability to set and keep some around your business goals are an opportunity to reinvent pieces of your business in the New Year and take it to new heights. At Weichert, we know something about reinventing real estate brokerages, it’s what we help owners do.  For more information about becoming a Weichert franchise and its benefits, contact a member of our team today at 800-533-9007 or weichertfranchise.com.

A Healthy and Happy New Year to us All!

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/five-new-years-resolutions-brokerage/

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Training New Agents: How To Tap Your Best Resource

As a real estate broker, it’s expected that you know a lot about the business. The success of your brokerage is directly tied to your knowledge and experience. From picking a commercial location from which to run your business, to hiring new and seasoned agents, to marketing, you run it all. You keep abreast of changes in financial and real estate newstrain and carefully study market hot sheets each morning.

What New Agents Don’t Know

But how do you impart your sales and marketing skills and expertise to new agents who may be eager, but still have a lot to learn? These fresh-out-of-school agents have a general real estate education, but don’t know the first thing about what it takes to work in the business—generating leads, doing a CMA, writing a contract or even basic marketing.

By now you know what new agents consistently need to learn and can coach them on those topics. While teaching them real estate best practices can be a drain on your time, you understand that new agents can only be producing agents with the proper training. Taking the time to educate new agents toward success means they have a better shot at being the 13% who succeed, rather than the 87% that fail within five years in the industry*.  But if you don’t have a dedicated trainer, where do you start?

Create Q&A

A question-and-answer format is a fun way to train agents new to the business. Create answers to the most often asked questions you’ve heard over the years. Keep your answers clear, simple and to the point to make it simple for agents to grasp the concept and easily act. Questions to answer may include:

  • How do I get prospects?
  • What kind of prospects should I go after?
  • How do I generate leads?
  • What can I do to set myself apart from other agents?
  • How do I negotiate my commission?
  • How do I run and analyze a CMA?
  • How do I market my listing?

Make Training Accessible

Share your expertise with new hires in an accessible YouTube video or other digital platform. To make the information easier to learn, shoot a short video for each question. Doing a training video, for instance, is a good delivery method that frees up your time. You can create the material, upload and use it to train many agents with no extra work on your part. Just create updates as information changes. If you are lucky enough to be affiliated with a large real estate brand like Weichert, you may have access to some of the best real estate marketing tools in the industry like an online, e-learning center, which provides a wealth of material on important training topics.  Best of all it is available 24/7.

Motivate For Longevity

Knowing how to attract and funnel leads, how to acquire listings and how to write a contract are all key parts of any real estate business. But, as all brokers have experienced, agents often have slow times or difficult buyers or sellers. Think back to what it was like when you were just getting started as an agent. What was that bit of wisdom, quote or daily affirmation that you’ve never forgotten and still use today? Share what keeps you going each day with your new agents to teach them the art of motivation. It will help keep them in the game for the long haul.

There is of course, an easier way to train new agents that works around the clock every day, so you don’t have to–that is affiliating with a company who invests and provides you with these training resources. Weichert® realizes the relationship between education and success, and offers a full suite of training programs for new agents. These include an online university and ongoing interactive training sessions to get agents up to speed fast and keep them current with best practices.  Call Weichert® at 877-533-9007 to learn more.

*NAR Survey 2014


Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/real-estate-coaching/training-new-agents-tap-best-resource/

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tips For Coaching New Real Estate Agents

Bringing new real estate agents into your brokerage, can be an exciting part of growing your business. For a new agent that is eager to grow and open to new ideas, real estate coaching is essential in order to teach them how to create and cultivate leads and sharpen their sales skills to achieve their desired results. Some of these new agents will be young, working in real estate for the first time. These young agents can be a great source for reaching first time homebuyers and connecting with Millennials.

But let’s face it, whether they are new to your brokerage or new to the industry completely, they are going to need training and supervision to be productive and understand your unique systems for marketing and selling.

Fast Track To New Agent Productivity

To increase new agent productivity, ensure retention, and produce strong agents, brokers need to quickly train and reinforce best sales practices and proper systems in their new recruits. However, it can be a challenge as a broker to conduct individual training sessions, while trying to also manage a company. To achieve both goals, have a formal plan that includes an active and diverse set of training strategies. In addition to helping your new hire, these practices will become word of mouth for your brokerage and new agents will want to join you over others if the word is out that your training is the best in the area.

Here’s a few tips from the professional coaches at Weichert:

Assign A Mentor to All New Agents

Some brokers do a few individual trainings, but expect the new agent will primarily learn the ropes from an already established agent. Seasoned agents often appreciate the extra help to further grow their business (and share commissions), while also imparting their knowledge and expertise as a new agent mentor. For consistency, set a timeline of goals for new agent productivity that includes occasional meetings with you. During each goal review meeting, discuss these results and how the new agent can improve. Setting these mutually agreed upon goals really is important to both you, and your new agent.

Consider Supplementary Online Training Systems

Some brokers who do not have good internal systems may bring in outside real estate trainers. While this can be effective, it is also an additional brokerage expense. As a less costly approach there are web-based coaching programs that you can investigate as a supplement to other personalized methods. These are cheaper than hiring a personal coach, but typically are very generic treatments of processes that may or may not be suitable for your business.   The ideal situation is training that perfectly describes your business model, your processes, and your tools. Weichert training for example, provides online courses, scripts and other tools through their online University that directly support the proven processes and systems that Weichert gives their affiliates. They are highly specific and relevant to the operational model that has proven to be so successful for Weichert affiliated brokers.

Build a Formal Training Program

Many brokers create and present extensive real estate coaching agent programs which they have built over many years. It’s good to have something formal that defines how things operate inside your agency, and best practices as you see them, but this, too, can require a great time and resource investment to cultivate. One of the benefits of franchising is access to this type of sophisticated training. Weichert affiliate agents, for instance, have access to Weichert’s “Fast Track” training and live sales training sessions to quickly get new agents up and running with the tools and systems needed for long-term success in the business.  Weichert agents and managers also benefit from ongoing weekly webinars and local mastery sessions which provide ongoing live training opportunities given by experts on many different topics critical to agent success.

If you need to grow this yourself however, we recommend that each time you hire a new agent you chisel away at this kind of training material and enhance your training tools so that eventually you’ll have a living, working, comprehensive training program.  Or you can plug into a system that is already developed for you through affiliation.

Final Thoughts

Real estate coaching for new agents doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to drain the broker’s time or the company’s revenue.  The best training programs are ones that achieve a balance between your time and expenses, and that contain multiple sources of training material, including hands-on coaching and online training. The best training is also the one designed to complement and support a proven blueprint for both agent and broker success.

Getting and training new agents is the lifeblood of your success as a broker. You can do it yourself, or you can get a big assist from a franchise brand, such as Weichert.

Speak with the Weichert franchise team today and begin to understand how effective a recruiting, coaching and agent training process can be for your brokerage.

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

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/tips-coaching-new-real-estate-agents/

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Managing Technology in Your Brokerage

While every broker understands how important technology is to an increasingly younger home buying audience, managing the selection and use of technology in your brokerage can be a challenge to say the least. With real estate software vendors, advertising agencies, mobile apps, and website technology issues all competing for your time, it can be difficult to get traction on technology initiatives, or even know where to turn for reliable, impartial advice as to what to use, and how to use it.

Technology Management Is A Process 

Often, it feels like there’s a new piece of tech or some hot new real estate marketing strategy coming out every day and brokers are trying to make sense of it all as they consider juggling their technology investments. What brokers must consider is that understanding and managing issues around technology does not require an engineering degree, but it does require a process. A process that can happen regularly, does not take a lot of time, and leverages resources that are truly experts in real estate technology.

The experts at Weichert recommend that you look at your brokerage’s technology on a regular basis.  Look at your technology investments from a few different perspectives:

  1. Where am I spending the most money on technology? – You should consider your marketing spends on technology based advertising as a part of this analysis. (ie. Google Adwords, Trulia, Facebook Ads, etc.)
  2. What are the most labor-intensive activities inside my brokerage? – How much time does your team spend doing postcards, creating listing presentations, publicizing open houses, getting contracts together, following up with prospects etc.
  3. What solutions do I already have, and what are their weak points? Are they expensive? Hard to use? Collecting dust because your agents won’t use them?
  4. Leverage your Network as to what new solutions exist, who is using them, and is there a trusted resource to discuss them with? For instance, Weichert Affiliates have access to technology guidance through our training & support teams, regional coaches, and a network of peers that can share experience about what does and doesn’t work in our industry. Whatever your network is, leverage it heavily for opinions about useful technology.
  5. Is there a “techie” on your staff that you can charge with evaluating some of the new technology offerings? Some of the younger agents are great to tap for this as they are likely to have a more intimate relationship with technology.

If the selection and use of technology to support your processes is too often the thorn in your side or you feel like you can’t keep up, affiliation with one of the larger real estate brands can be a tremendous resource in this area. They take that burden off your plate, freeing you up to focus on other things related to running your brokerage. Weichert, for example, is continuously improving existing technology and evaluating new ones to ensure it’s using and providing the most efficient and effective techniques for managing real estate business. Affiliates are given access to these technology tools, such as our online marketing resource center, paperless transaction management system and our WeichertPRO CRM tool.

Developing A Productive, Successful Relationship with Tech 

As a broker, you’re a relationship builder. So, it’s key to build a “relationship” with the technology you use and your process for evaluating it. The brokerage that makes effective use of technology is one that will develop into a real force to be reckoned with now and in the future. A brokerage with well-integrated technology will have a more efficient workflow, smarter online real estate marketing tools, and timely, consistent follow-up. Furthermore using effective, up-to-date technology can lead to higher agent retention, better productivity, and more efficient team dynamics. And who doesn’t want that?

Real estate is ultimately a face-to-face industry and Weichert firmly believes that technology will never replace a handshake – but we also understand how the real estate industry is changing – and we want to deliver the best of both worlds in order to help build stronger, more effective brokerages. If you share this vision, get in touch with us today at https://www.weichertfranchise.com and let our team show you some technology solutions that can help take your brokerage to the next level.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/online-real-estate-marketing/managing-technology-brokerage/

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Franchise Success Spotlight: Weichert® Affiliate Brandon Long

While they haven’t yet isolated the gene for real estate success, Weichert affiliate Brandon Long may be the perfect test subject. Brandon inherited his mother’s love for the real estate industry and more than a little of her drive for success as well.

“I grew up in a real estate family,” mused Brandon, on a typical busy day that took him between two of the four offices of Weichert, Realtors® – The Griffin Company, in northwest Arkansas. “My mother started a brokerage back in 1974 when I was just 4 years old. In those days, you could just get a license and open a storefront.  She’s been at it ever since and is still the largest independent broker in her market.”

When he was in his late twenties, Brandon took the plunge and got his real estate license, too. After a few years as an agent, Brandon knew that owning his own brokerage was where he wanted to be. Brandon and his good friend Carter Clark, started an independent brokerage focused on the residential market in and around the Northwest corner of Arkansas in 2003. “Our market is in an area with some of the largest corporate headquarters in the county. Walmart and Tyson Foods are based here and every vendor that sells to them has a presence in the local area,” notes Brandon.  “We are in a beautiful corner of the state and many of those employees decide they want to settle out here.”

While achieving some growth from 2003 to 2007, the housing crash propelled Brandon and Carter to consider some of the challenges they were facing as an independent brokerage in a highly competitive market.  “Recruiting and training agents was a big challenge for us,” says Brandon, “We had nothing formal and weren’t sure how to develop it.”  By late 2007 it was getting harder and harder for them to see a way forward. They decided to consider a franchise relationship.

Due Diligence

In researching possible franchise affiliations, Brandon and Carter looked at literally every real estate company out there. “It came down to Weichert and one other company,” says Brandon, “We chose Weichert because they were the only company that really cared about how we would make a profit.”

In late 2007 they signed on with Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.  In their first couple of years, which was in the midst of the housing crash, the brokerage grew from 20 to about 70 agents. Their success did not go unnoticed by other local brokers and they were presentedwith an opportunity to merge with another large brokerage in the area. The Weichert corporate team assisted with due diligence throughout the merger and Weichert, Realtors® – The Griffin Company was born. With the help of Weichert and through other acquisitions over the subsequent years, the brokerage grew steadily. In January of 2018, their company will open its fourth office in Fort Smith, adding another 35 agents to the roster.

The Weichert® System Today

As a franchisee for a decade, Weichert, Realtors® – The Griffin Company continues to derive great value from the relationship with Weichert.  Some of their favorite benefits include the Weichert Listing Presentation system aka “DOORS”, which has become an indispensable part of the agent selling process. The sales team uses it on almost every listing presentation. In addition to creating a powerful and accurate presentation, DOORS is facilitated by online tools provided by Weichert which make creation of the material easy. “If I go up against another broker with our Doors presentation vs. whatever they bring, I’ll win the listing 95% of the time,” says Brandon.

For Brandon, another great benefit of the Weichert affiliation has been the coaching and training–for Brokers. “I’m always learning something from Weichert Training.  I never miss the “Saw Sessions” and I’ve gone three times to the Weichert Management Academy.” The endless opportunities for coaching and learning through Weichert continue to allow the company to stay ahead of changes, technology and opportunities in the industry.

But according to Brandon, no discussion of the Weichert System would be complete without mentioning the Weichert Lead Network. “We develop a huge amount of opportunities through the Weichert Lead Network. In 2017 we anticipate that 90-100 closings will happen through these leads.”  Brandon points out that the National Association of REALTORS® says on average it takes 48 hours for agents to respond to leads and 50% get no response at all.  According to Brandon, “With the Weichert lead acquisition and technology systems, the leads are pre-screened and transferred to a live agent on my team within 3-5 minutes of receiving a call or online form. This makes an enormous difference in our ability to be first in our market.”

The Results

In 2007, Brandon’s brokerage was looking at the most depressed housing market in a lifetime. After instituting the Weichert System, he was able to more than triple his agent team in just under two years. His success attracted opportunities. After a merger, and several acquisitions later, Weichert, Realtors® – The Griffin Company has increased its agent count by almost tenfold since it affiliated, has 4 offices in northwest AR, and business is booming.

Brandon sums it up this way, “We couldn’t have survived without Weichert and we continue to succeed because of their active commitment to our success.”

Visit Brandon and the team at http://www.weichertgriffin.com/

For more information on franchise opportunities with Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com/

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/franchise-success-spotlight-weichert-affiliate-brandon-long/

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lighting A Fire: How to Keep Real Estate Agents Motivated

Real estate is both a rewarding and challenging profession. Associates are constantly learning and are highly knowledgeable about local community issues and the national economy. While every transaction is unique, helping people achieve their dream of homeownership is a gratifying experience that never gets old. The passion your agents have for the real estate industry is why many home buyers and sellers choose your company over your competitors. Just like a high-performance engine needs an occasional tune-up to continue performing at optimal level, your agents also need some regular coaching and encouragement from you to stay motivated and achieve the best results for your brokerage.

Get To Know Your Agents

As a successful broker, you probably have a team of agents with diverse personalities. While a pep talk during an office meeting may fuel the enthusiasm of some agents for weeks, others respond to a one-on-one conversation with you about their individual business plans and revenue-based goals. You or your manager should regularly schedule a time to meet with each of your agents personally to discuss their current clients and transactions that are in progress. This also provides the management team an opportunity to learn more about them and their lifestyle. Understanding your agents helps know how to best to motivate each one of them and lend your experience where needed on deals that are in progress.

Acknowledge Their Strengths and Accomplishments

Recognition is one of the most effective methods of motivating your team. Everyone wants to be appreciated and respected, especially younger, or new to the industry agents. These agents in particular will need encouragement as they exrealerience the normal initial disappointments and setbacks of the selling process. Let them know you recognize that they have the potential to be exceptional real estate agents, while gently coaching them toward best practices.  Make a big deal of their first sale, and let them know they have a safe, professional home within your brokerage.

It is also important to let your experienced top producers know how much you appreciate them. Reliable agents who always do well can too easily be taken for granted. Allow them to mentor junior agents, as a sign of how much you respect their abilities.

Maintain a Great Work Environment – Every Day.

Motivating agents is not something that you can write on your to-do list and achieve in one day. Agents have different temperaments and they have good days and bad days. Brokers should strive to maintain a positive company culture that fosters agents’ creativity, teamwork, and passion for their profession. At Weichert, we have seen that the workplace culture of a brokerage often reflects a brokers’ personality. When thinking about motivating agents, be sure to take some time each day to remind yourself why you started a real estate brokerage and acknowledge that you have accomplished a lot of great things. Part of motivating agents is taking care that you are also motivated and feel good about the job you are doing, and the positive difference you are making in the lives of your agents, and the lives of your clients.

At Weichert, we know a few things about building motivated real estate team. We know that Realtors working together can accomplish great things. Our real estate franchise system is created by brokers, for brokers. For information on the benefits of partnering with Weichert, visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com/ .

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/real-estate-coaching/lighting-fire-keep-real-estate-agents-motivated/

Monday, December 4, 2017

Don’t let Leads Go Cold Part 2 – Have a Follow Up Process

In Part 1 of this series about keeping leads warm we discussed the new definition of “responsive” and the importance of being that first conversation with a lead. In the second part of the series our focus moves beyond responsiveness and answers the question: “How do we nurture and leverage all the contacts we make even when they aren’t ready to engage?”

Facts About Lead Follow Up

A study by the Harvard Business Review found that most businesses fall into a pattern of neglect when it comes to leads. They waste about 71 percent of leads by not following up or stopping contact too soon. Then consider that lead-to-close rates in real estate sales run between 1% and 5% in most studies and you begin to see why every contact is precious. For every 100 contacts an agent gets, they will do a deal with 1 to 5 people. If an agent is not engaging every contact and their close rate is at the lower end of that scale, they are doing themselves a disservice and limiting their income potential.
The message here is clear for brokers and their agents: Even if the vast majority of leads do not immediately turn into transactions, each new lead should be treated with a sense of urgency and pursued as if it is coming from a ready, willing, and able home buyer or seller. Most experienced real estate professionals we talk to understand this intuitively, yet many of those same individuals struggle with both the timeliness and the consistency of this follow up for all but the most promising opportunities.

Contacts are Investments

Timely response to leads makes the prospect feel appreciated and makes the impression that you are a highly responsive professional. But how do you nurture contacts who are not ready to move forward?  Here are a few ideas from the team at Weichert Real Estate Affiliates.

  1. The contact information of the person can be added to your CRM system for periodic email contact and promotion. The more information you can record about the individual in your initial conversation, the better. This includes address, profession, reason for the contact, family members, ages, even birthday’s or anniversary’s if possible.
  2. They can be encouraged to like your office or business Facebook and Instagram Pages, increasing the reach of social media marketing efforts.
  3. Things like birthdays can be put into your CRM system so best wishes can be sent as a reminder that you are there for them.
  4. Send them a hand written card in 6 months reminding them of your conversation in some way. They’ll be impressed that you haven’t forgotten them and the personal touch will be appreciated.
  5. A newsletter can be mailed or emailed to them periodically to stay front of mind.
  6. They can be personally invited to open houses, improving the pool of potential homebuyers for all such activities inside your brokerage.
  7. Host a home buying/selling seminar and invite them to attend.

All this nurturing is done by the most successful associates and creates the kind of relationship that can lead to an active lead, when the prospect is finally ready to move forward.

Nurturing Contacts Efficiently

As Brokers, we need to focus on helping our agents close sales and often the time required for good follow up on everyone else is hard to come by.  Nurturing leads tends to slip as a priority when faced with clients active in the home search or the offer stage. That’s why having both a regular process and tools for lead nurturing can be so valuable to brokers and agents. An obvious aide to efficient lead nurturing is a good Real Estate CRM.  As an example, Weichert offers its proprietary system to all affiliates called Weichert®PRO. This system is tied directly into our national lead generation technology, enabling both brokers and agents to effectively manage more leads and clients. Things like planning, promotion and follow up from an open house are facilitated within the tool, leveraging software designed specifically for that. Email campaigns can be configured to regularly stay in contact with everyone on your contact list. Even personalized ones can be easily generated for birthdays and anniversaries etc.

But perhaps most important is the use of a specific process for lead follow up that is timely, efficient, and personal. For instance, at Weichert we have developed a system for nurturing that is actually supported by our CRM tool. The tool perfectly aides this process, and your team can define highly effective nurturing campaigns, while spending less than ½ hour a week to keep those leads from going cold.

Follow Up Makes a Big Difference

Whether it is a phone call after an initial meeting or a handwritten note expressing gratitude for the opportunity to earn their business, small gestures do mean a great deal. It’s definitely the Weichert Way. When you make a personal connection with leads early, it increases the effectiveness of all future communications and lays the groundwork for a successful long term relationship.

If you would like information on how your brokerage can benefit from the training and lead nurturing tools provided by Weichert, Contact our team at https://www.weichertfranchise.com  today.

Original content posted on https://www.weichertfranchise.com/blog/dont-let-leads-go-cold-part-2-follow-process/