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Nobody Wants to Be Managed
Management, teamwork and leadership – what's the difference? Thriving organizations in the real estate and mortgage industries have leadership teams empowered to be agile, decisive and client-focused. This decentralized style of leadership empowers individuals to achieve extraordinary results. We embraced this culture at Pacific Union International, growing from $2 billion in sales volume in 2009 to $14 billion in 2018 when we were acquired by Compass. Each member of the leadership team developed and owned their budget, had hiring authority within their region, and enjoyed bonuses based on the fiscal performance of their department or region. We led 2,000 real estate professionals with 200 employees. As a multiple sport athlete throughout high school and college, I learned the power of teamwork. One individual can indeed make a difference, but rarely can one create a championship in team sports. The same principles are true in business. The CEO can indeed make a difference, but the operating leverage comes from empowering leaders to be decisive and making decisions as close to the client as possible. Will there be mistakes? Sure, but they will be recognized quickly, and course correction comes "in flight." A centralized decision-making model tends to stifle innovation, creates complacency, and course correction takes time. We referred to large, centralized competitors as the aircraft carriers; we were the fighter jets coming back for fuel and returning to the field. We experienced this firsthand when acquiring Pacific Union. All significant decisions were made by GMAC, centralized on the east coast. We immediately empowered the leadership team – some embraced the opportunity and responsibility, others self-selected out. The right leaders [athletes] are required in the right roles. The best athletes generally love to run, create opportunity and bask in their results. They do not ask to be managed! Let's break it down. What is the difference between management, teamwork, and leadership? Management is the art of conducting a task, a project, or a group of people. Teamwork is the synchronized art of working together towards the same goal. Leadership is the art of articulating vision and inspiring others to pursue the vision with you. Leadership generally does not require authority as the vision is compelling enough. Leadership and vision inspire through the noise of everyday business. Focus is maintained on vision and not distracted by competitive sprints. Peak performance also deserves significant incentive compensation. Pay it timely, if not somewhat early! A team of empowered leaders will always outperform a tightly managed enterprise. How does your organization thrive? To view the original article, visit the McLaughlin Ventures blog. Mark McLaughlin serves as CEO of McLaughlin Ventures and M&A Advisory at WAV Group.
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6 Most Common Problems with Brokerage Websites and How to Fix Them
Sometimes even the most experienced brokers and national franchises can fall into these website traps. In this post, we'll cover the most common problems we've observed with these sites and share tips for how to fix them and set your brokerage up for online success. Today, all buyers and sellers make their first move in the same place: online. Your website is your digital storefront, helping you put your business (and your listings) front and center. It helps you showcase your brand and, most importantly, funnel organic leads to your team. But common problems can keep your website from performing at its best, and these problems are holding you back! There are lots of do-it-yourself and bargain website platforms out there, and lots of brokerages use them to create their websites. But even brokerage websites created by experienced web designers fall short when it comes to real estate. Let's take a look at what we mean. Problem #1: Creating a website, then trying to make it fit your brokerage—not the other way around Brokers know that at a bare minimum, their websites need to be able to do certain things: Attract buyer and seller leads Display listings Provide a clear path for getting in touch Showcase the brokerage's brand and team The problem is that out-of-the-box website solutions don't usually come standard with everything brokerages need. That means brokerages need to get their designers to use a variety of complicated tricks and unreliable third-party plug-ins to make their sites. This is especially true for listing data and property search, and CRM functionality. After all, the leads your website generate are useless if your team can't action them. Solution: Using a purpose-built real estate website platform from the beginning will help brokers avoid the bulk of these performance problems. Problem #2: Not leveraging office or agent sites correctly (or effectively) Brokers know their sales team is their greatest asset. So why don't they also leverage the power of agent websites? Many brokerages don't provide agent websites for a variety of reasons, from complexity to cost to the tech savviness of their teams. But the benefits of properly built (and linked) agent sites can have a major impact on brokers' business. When every agent has a website that is properly linked to your brokerage site, traffic to their websites and listings has a direct benefit on your website, helping to boost traffic, share your brand more widely, and get more eyes on your listings. Solution: The best brokerage sites are built with office and agent websites in mind and provide easy (often low-code or no-code) functionality that allows agents to customize their sites while aligning with the brokerages' brand. Problem #3: Neglecting (or ignoring) real estate SEO best practices You've probably read or heard about how important search engine optimization, or SEO, is for your business, but either never learned more or have no idea where to start. Solution: There are things you can do today to improve your SEO, but true SEO success comes from building a website with SEO in mind from the bottom up. Ranking high in search engines means paying attention to hundreds of tiny details that add up over time. It can be hard to dominate in the search engine arena if you've been neglecting it for too long without an overhaul, which is why not paying enough attention to SEO is one of the biggest problems we see when it comes to brokerage websites. Problem #4: Infrequent or poor-quality website updates Consumers (and search engines) crave the latest and greatest. This applies to so many things, but for websites, we're referring to listings, market and pricing information, and even the welcome message on your home page. The dilemma is that brokers and their teams are busy, and it takes precious time to make good website updates. Solution: Maintain a high-quality blog about real estate, your regional market, or your niche (e.g., luxury real estate). Better yet, there are ways to insert dynamic content in your website with a content management system that updates regularly and automatically, allowing you to keep your website fresh without lifting a finger. When you work with the right website provider, features like these are already built in. Problem #5: Poor listing presentation and low-quality IDX/VOW Most DIY or budget website options do not provide listing data themselves, putting you and your website at the mercy of a third-party plugin. The issue is that these plugins frequently don't work well, putting your business at risk. If a consumer lands on your site and can't find what they're looking for (homes for sale in your area), they'll quickly go elsewhere. Is it really worth the risk? Solution: It pays to work with a website provider with the best data feeds, and not only that, one that is recognized for the quality and comprehensiveness of its data, with best-in-class refresh times, so you always have the latest listings. Problem #6: Bad plugins galore Depending on where and how you built your website, you might need third-party plugins for everything we've already mentioned above, plus CRM and more. The result is a Frankenstein website, with odds and ends that were never made to work together. The outcome? A poor user experience, a low SEO ranking, and a site that doesn't deliver the ROI your team needs and deserves. Solution: Find a website provider that has as many of the features and functionality you need built right into the website or with native, high-quality integrations with the programs you know and love. You can even find ways to integrate your site with your existing ERP, TMS, CRM, and more. Learn more about how a Constellation1 website could power your brokerage. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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New zavvie Report Reveals a Surge in Consumer Demand for New Ways to Buy and Sell
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Redfin Launches Favorites Lists to Help Buyers Organize Their Home Search
Home searchers now have an easier way to keep track of their favorite homes on Redfin. The technology-powered real estate company has launched Favorites Lists, a new tool that allows Redfin's app and website users to organize their favorite homes into custom lists and share them with their home search partner. The new tool builds upon Favorites, one of Redfin's most-loved features. About 7 in 10 Redfin app users have chosen at least one favorite home, and nearly 40% have compiled a list of more than 30 homes. With Favorites Lists, home searchers can bring some much-needed organization to their search and group their favorites in any way they like—whether that's rental apartments in the city or homes with amazing kitchens. "It's common for buyers to search for homes in different neighborhoods, or to consider renting in a new place before they decide if they want to buy there," said Redfin Phoenix agent Kelly Khalil. "Everyone's journey is different, so having the ability to organize your favorite homes according to your own goals or preferences makes the process easier. And since most people search for homes with a loved one, it just makes sense that you can seamlessly share those lists with a search partner." Renters can also organize their search with Favorites Lists and share homes with a roommate or partner. For those deciding between buying or renting, the feature makes it easy to collect candidates and decide how to move forward. "We're excited about this feature because it works for anyone who uses Redfin to search for a home," said Ariel Dos Santos, Redfin's vice president of product. "It's just as useful for a renter keeping track of apartments in different neighborhoods as it is for someone looking to buy their first home or an interior designer browsing the latest home trends. Our goal was to give users the flexibility they need to stay organized and to encourage people to have fun with it." How It Works When someone logs into their Redfin account and favorites a home, the feature prompts them to create a list for the home or add it to an existing list. House-hunters can create up to 100 lists and may edit or delete any list they have created, making the experience fully customizable. People who are searching for a home or an apartment with someone else can designate a Redfin search partner, which instantly shares their lists and invites the search partner to collaborate through list edits and comments on favorited homes. The feature is now available for all for-sale, off-market and rental homes on Redfin.com and the iOS app, and will be available on Android later this year.
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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Reveals New Global Brand Identity
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The 'Chase' Is On!
On Thursday and Friday of last week, I participated in the Chase International Leadership Retreat — a gathering of more than 20 Chase executives passionate about their future and very focused on their growth. Working with Shari Chase, Sue Lowe, and Georgia Chase, I led three sessions with the executive team. We focused on the market outlook for 2023, recruiting as the life-blood of growth, and the importance of core services. We reviewed macroeconomics and national housing data. We reviewed the detailed market reports Chase International publishes for their 20+ different markets. From this, we were able to focus on the velocity of Chase's local markets, the price points and geographies that are in flight, and related opportunities. Next was a shift to educating their real estate professionals and their clients on the realities of local markets versus the national headlines. We then focused on the life-blood of a real estate brokerage company: Revenue, retention, and recruiting. Uncovering the core competency of the Chase International brokerage launches the strength of messaging for recruiting campaigns. The Chase team is focused on growth. Their teamwork will be impressive to follow. Finally, we discussed the current phenomenon of mortgage, insurance, and other financial services companies going "direct to consumer" (D2C) instead of relying on the real estate professional as the furthest most upstream in a transaction. It's a phenomenon that started in 2019 and intensifies annually. Our conversation was about core services as a culture versus a series of products. Once again, I will enjoy following Sanctuary Mortgage and Signature Title. An impressive executive team at Chase International. I expect to see them enjoying quarter to quarter market share growth through 2023! To view the original article, visit the McLaughlin Ventures blog.
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How RPR's Commercial Data Partners Stack Up
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RE/MAX Begins U.S. Rollout of MAX/Tech Powered by kvCORE
RE/MAX has begun offering the RE/MAX-branded platform – MAX/Tech powered by kvCORE – to affiliates across the U.S. Following a successful launch of the tech ecosystem in Canada in late 2022, RE/MAX accelerated its phased U.S. rollout, which will provide access to RE/MAX Broker/Owners, agents and teams as a benefit of affiliation – at no additional cost. Offering award-winning agent/team/office websites, lead management, a smart CRM, effortless marketing, transactions integration, business intelligence and more, the platform empowers affiliates to automate virtually every aspect of their business. Features of the tools and platform include: Customizable IDX Websites – Affiliates can engage website visitors with rich community details, home valuation pages, and more – all while maintaining total brand control with customizable templates. Lead Engine – Lead generation tools help brokerages, teams, and agents effectively drive new business. AI-Powered Smart CRM – A personal, private database with AI-driven lead validation, scoring and scheduled follow-up helps affiliates convert contacts to clients. Marketing Autopilot – Smart campaigns engage contacts directly, so affiliates are always top-of-mind and positioned for more business. Listing Management and Marketing – Affiliates can seamlessly manage all their listings, from all markets, in one central location, driving maximum listing exposure with built-in marketing tools to instantly post to Facebook, mass email, text, and more. Transaction Management Integration – Deep integration into industry-leading transaction management platforms like Dotloop, SkySlope and DocuSign Transaction Rooms makes closing a deal easy and streamlined. Team Platform Independence – The platform provides team branding, lead gen and sophisticated routing, agent accountability rules and a built-in marketplace to integrate the add-on solutions needed to run a business. Top-Rated Mobile Dialer and Open House App – With agents and teams on the go, business can be run from anywhere with the top-rated mobile dialer app and a sleek open house app designed to capture and convert more business. "With more brokers, agents and teams gaining access to MAX/Tech powered by kvCORE every day, we're starting to see what happens when premier technology meets the most productive global network and the backing of a top brand," said Grady Ligon, RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. Chief Information Officer. "This platform can help affiliates do everything they need to grow their business. From maximizing their sphere, generating leads, automating their systems, marketing their services, and driving their overall growth. It gives them the technology edge they need to build their business and take it to a higher level." In addition to the robust kvCORE package, affiliates will also have access to: CORE Listing Machine and Design Center: A fully automated listing marketing suite, including single property websites, property tours, automated social posting, along with a complete print and digital design center. CORE Present: An award-winning CMA and presentation builder with interactive pricing analysis, persona driven designs and client engagement tracking. CORE Team Add-On: Independent team accounts with team lead generation and lead routing, pond accounts, team accountability rules and more. Marketplace: A built-in and fully integrated marketplace for premium add-on solutions and integrations like PropertyBoost, Done For You lead generation, and more. Some existing RE/MAX technology tools like RE/MAX Hustle will be fully integrated, completing the branded tech experience. "As RE/MAX takes the next step in the evolution of the RE/MAX technology strategy, offering tools specific to managing and building successful teams is a home run," said Nick Bailey, President and CEO. "We know RE/MAX teams lead in productivity and can thrive at RE/MAX, and these tech offerings only give them more opportunities and resources to up their game. We're especially proud to provide CORE Team Add-On as part of our package, a unique offering RE/MAX includes." "[I] love all the resources; everything is accessible. The support team is quick to respond. It feels like I have the keys to a Ferrari," added RE/MAX Key Broker/Owner, Carey Rose, who is based in Alberta, Canada, and began onboarding to MAX/Tech powered by kvCORE late last year. Product rollout will continue throughout the remainder of the year. Initial rollout of the platform is for U.S. company-owned regions, followed by participating independent regions.
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Get Me to Tax Day!
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eXp Realty to Partner with Realty.com to Deliver Qualified Leads with Enhanced Branding
eXp Realty® announced it has signed a Letter of Intent for exclusive enhanced services and pricing with Realty.com, a listings platform that connects qualified sellers and buyers directly with real estate agents. This partnership will provide participating eXp Realty agents the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage with exclusive and direct access to buyers and sellers in 26,000+ cities across the U.S. "As the industry's most agent-centric brokerage, we are laser-focused on helping our agents succeed and grow their businesses," said Glenn Sanford, Founder, CEO and Chairman of eXp World Holdings and CEO of eXp Realty. "Our partnership with Realty.com will provide participating eXp Realty agents a significant advantage in their markets and illustrates how we are continuously enhancing our agent value proposition." Realty.com will deliver unique functionality for eXp Realty agents, including exclusive branding on community-based pages and blogs, inside sales agent coaching, in-house inside sales lead nurturing and support, and access to a dynamic market of digital customers. Further, any surplus leads will be funneled to eXp's newly launched Revenos platform, as another stream of quality portal leads. "We couldn't be more excited to partner with eXp Realty to provide the only nationwide real estate portal with exclusivity," said Lance Custen, President and CEO of Realty.com. "eXp Realty's tech-forward model and unique agent value propositions makes this a perfect fit and we look forward to helping eXp Realty agents succeed."
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What the Year-over-Year Numbers Can Tell Us About 2023
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Inside Real Estate Announces the Acquisition of BoomTown
Inside Real Estate announced the acquisition of BoomTown, an industry leading cloud-based sales and marketing automation platform serving more than 100,000 real estate professionals. This combination creates an industry leading provider of residential real estate software and services, across product and customer segments. In addition to exceptional product innovation, Inside Real Estate will now deliver even higher value through top-shelf client support and services, and one of the largest and most engaged communities of top producing real estate professionals. As a result of the acquisition, Inside Real Estate is well positioned to help top performing franchises, brokerages, teams, and agents manage their business more effectively by providing an unparalleled technology, services and partner ecosystem. "I'm thrilled to welcome BoomTown to the Inside Real Estate family!" said Joe Skousen, CEO, Inside Real Estate. "I commend Grier and the BoomTown team for what they have built and accomplished with their clients over the past 15 years. Our companies share a common DNA that is focused on driving real results for every client, every day. Together, we will deliver an unmatched experience for every user from single agents, to top performing teams and mega teams, to robust national enterprise brands. Our #1 job is being a tech partner to our clients — this combination reinforces that commitment." Inside Real Estate and BoomTown each have a proven track record of delivering high value solutions to help real estate professionals drive more effective business outcomes, achieve a competitive market advantage, and ultimately generate more transactions and revenue. The combined resources and backing will help deliver: The #1 Front Office Experience for Every User: The combined technology will deliver an enhanced and elevated front office experience that supports every type of user, from single agents, to top performing teams and mega teams, to top brokerages and enterprise brands in growing their business. The First Complete and Modern Back Office Suite: Together, the company's combined portfolio of back office solutions, including CORE Back Office, Brokermint and Inside Real Estate's recently acquired AmpStats, will provide the foundation for the industry's most innovative, modern and complete back office solution. Marketplace and Tech Partner Ecosystem: Inside Real Estate's Marketplace of leading add-on services and solutions, including the Propertyboost listing promotion and lead generation tool, will continue to expand, and be paired with a new Preferred Partner program, unlocking additional value and differentiation for customers through a vetted, network of premium, tightly integrated partner solutions. Industry Leading Home Ownership Solutions: Inside Real Estate will continue to invest heavily in the first integrated lifetime homeownership platform, CORE Home. The technology, paired with smart affiliated services solutions, and branded for Inside Real Estate's customers, will place brokers and agents at the heart of the consumer relationship. "This combination brings together significant capability to innovate as a true technology partner and support the needs of our customers," said Nick Macey, President, Inside Real Estate. "Our passionate, capable team is committed to leading the market with the features, products and solutions that drive agent, team, brokerage and enterprise brand success." Inside Real Estate's Joe Skousen will continue as Chief Executive Officer leading an experienced executive team of industry veterans from both Inside Real Estate and BoomTown, including Nick Macey as President and Grier Allen of BoomTown as Chief Strategy Officer. The combination of the two employee and client-centric cultures will create a company that continues to be consistently recognized for their culture and as one of the best places to work. The company is headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, with offices in Charleston, SC and Carlsbad, CA, and employees located throughout the U.S. "This is the first day of an exciting new chapter for BoomTown and our clients!" said Grier Allen, CEO, BoomTown. "Joining Joe and the talented Inside Real Estate team enables us to continue on our combined mission to serve the real estate industry with world class technology and services. With a clear vision for the future, we look forward to accelerating the pace of innovation to fuel our clients' growth and success." Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Inside Real Estate. Houlihan Lokey served as exclusive financial advisor and DLA Piper LLP (US) served as legal advisor to BoomTown.
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Retention, Recruiting, and Acquisitions as Operating Leverage
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Why Free Software Is Best for Real Estate
You know the adage, "If you're not paying for it, you are not the customer, you are the product being sold!" Possibly, the genius author of this quote is a guy named Andrew Lewis on Twitter who posted it on September 13, 2010. Fact checking this was a bit of a rabbit's hole. Andrew is a Canadian with 387 followers. Regardless, I am happy to give him credit until the real genius teaches Google the truth. The point is the real estate industry has wrangled with this issue for a long time. The barter from software companies is a trade of data about properties, real estate agents, real estate brokers, their client information and all the behavioral data they can collect for software. The real problem with this barter is that it is not very transparent. Generally, the barter that exchanges data for software is outlined in the "Terms of Use" or "Privacy Policy" of a software provider, with the provision that they reserve the right to change those terms or policies at any time. We have written many articles about Terms of Use, stemming from our review of the dangers of listing syndication. Generally, the default language on many property advertising websites is that the content (listing and contact information) that you provide will be displayed as "free advertising," but they retain the right to use the contributed information forever; also they repurpose it however they like, but you maintain all of the liability over the contributed content. If you are shortsighted, you do not really care about the data—you just want to market and sell the property. If you have experience and vision, you understand that the data contributed by the broker or agent leads to the creation of multi-billion dollar media companies and data companies. Look at the largest companies in real estate: CoStar, Zillow Group, NewsCorp, CoreLogic, Black Knight – all data and media companies. So... why is free good? So far, it does not sound like the trade of data for advertising or software is a very good barter. The truth is, it was not always a good barter. However, thanks to the efforts of hardworking consultants and real estate data licensing lawyers, the leaky bucket of Terms of Use and Privacy Policy mistakes has been mostly plugged. If you want, check out this whitepaper from Silicon Valley based MLSListings to read the best practices around Privacy Policy. California, along with most of Europe, has adopted laws that give the consumer the right to be forgotten. That is good news, but data licensing is a bit trickier. The laws around enforcing data licenses have a lot to do with the sovereignty of the data and copyright, which is not always clear unless you do the heavy lifting of creating copyrights and data sovereignty. The opaque nature of this issue makes the barter for free software interesting. The real problem solved by free software in real estate is product adoption and overlapping distribution Product adoption is a massive problem in real estate software site licenses at every point of distribution. Unless an agent is required to use software to get paid, it's unlikely that you will have high adoption. Moreover, because agents are independent contractors, there is very little that you can "require" an agent to do. Some systems, like the MLS service, enjoy the unique position of requiring that all agents use the MLS software (Clear Cooperation Policy). But even so, during the melt down of 2008, some MLSs reported that 25% to 50% of their subscribers had not logged in for more than a year. Normal participation rates for software are in the 10-20% range, meaning that only 15% of agents who have access to software through their REALTOR association (national, state, local), franchise, MLS, network, brokerage or team will use the software. So, a $1 per seat site license to a 10,000 seat customer brings in $10k per month at a true cost per active user of $5-$10 per user, per month. The primary cause of low adoption rates is overlapping distribution of competitive products. The same product is often offered to the agent through their association, franchise, MLS, network, broker, or other source. All these companies that serve the agent build their "value" through the tools they provide to help agents. To realize that value, they need to be differentiated – so each of those distributprs overlap on offering many types of the same software – like websites, CRM, CMA, marketing suite, etc. A RE/MAX agent in Los Angeles has access to websites from the local, state, national REALTOR associations, multiple options from the MLS, multiple options from the franchise, and an option from their broker. If they are a member of a team, they might have that option, too. Freemium is perfect for real estate The value that associations, franchises, MLSs, networks, brokers, and teams are trying to build with the offer of software solutions is sincere and effective. First of all, each of those distribution points must make the software available to everyone. eXp cannot recruit agents and tell them that they only get access to Inside Real Estate's kvCORE if they meet certain criteria. They must offer it to all eXp agents. For decades of working in the industry, the champion of Freemium software was Russ Bergeron when he was the Chief Executive Officer of SoCAL MLS. They structured tight data licensing terms that only allowed the data to be used for the purpose of serving the agent. Dozens of software providers flocked to SoCAL MLS to gain access to their 60,000-agent marketplace. SoCAL MLS developed the most comprehensive suite of software services for agents for free, and shared revenue when agents upgraded to the premium version of the software. It was a real win-win. The Houston Association of REALTORS® made the maverick decision to offer core and premium services with great success. Many brokers have done the same by offering a basic set of software, with an upgrade path to premium products. When to switch from free to paid? It is difficult to know when you switch from a free product to paying the upgrade fee for all agents. The calculus considers more than just adoption; the character of the vendor, customer service, and cost are additional key elements to consider. If you are large and well-funded like Compass, rather than license a CRM like Contactually, you acquire the company – but this option is limited to a few companies. Perhaps the best path is not offering a single product, but offering variety. Variety vs. site license One of the key issues with a site license is that you are stuck in a contract with a company that delivers operational software which keeps your business running. For the most part, software is stable today and you do not suffer long outages. Many companies ran redundant systems in the old days when software outages were common. The bigger concern today is the disruption to the business if the software company gets sold. The industry freaked out when Zillow acquired dotloop, when Compass acquired Contactually, or when RE/MAX acquired booj, and so on. When you have all your eggs in one basket, and the company holding that basket gets sold to a person that you have uncertainties about, it is a huge distraction. MLSs have been proactive in offering system of choice. This is a dual benefit of giving agents a variety of options without undertaking the associated risks of being dependent on a single vendor. System of choice adds complexity to support and training, but the increased costs are marginal. Generally, agents use one of the choices and not multiple choices. You only pay for the number of actual users each month, so you do not pay for users that do not log in. In some cases, this has reduced costs for MLSs who have "ghost" agents who never log in but pay annual MLS fees – and there are lots of those in every market. Next steps As you can see, this is a complex issue that requires a lot of research and strategy to get right. WAV Group starts the process with an agent-first perspective. When you know the products used by every agent regardless of source – association, MLS, franchise, broker, self-paid, etc. – then you can visualize the roadmap for free vs. premium. We like to use the terms "vitamins" and "pain killers." Pain killers are services that the agent must have; vitamins are nice to have. Honestly, with the few exceptions of a few dozen of our clients, I doubt that anyone is collecting this information. Some brokers even extend the research to their key competitors to make sure that their "value" proposition is right for recruiting. Marilyn Wilson, David Gumpper, and Victor Lund are all specialists at helping you get your technology offerings right. Reach out if you would like to discuss a project. When the market is sagging, it's a great time to reevaluate your strategy. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Luxury Real Estate Begins with People and Ends with Brand
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Is Your Tech Stack Optimized for 2023?
The past two years have been wild for real estate. Experts believe 2023 will be a return to a new "normal"—given that the factors affecting the market today are different from anything we've seen before. Brokerages have transitioned from a two-year sales spree to a state of reflection (and evolution). The consensus among the biggest executives in real estate is that times are changing, and technology will be a key differentiator. What does that mean for you? Complicated (and confusing) economic factors The Fed is still raising interest rates, though these increases are slowing and may even stop in 2023 if inflation shows signs of stabilizing or, better yet, returning to the 2% target. Even still, low housing inventory remains a persistent problem, one that will be compounded by high interest rates (high cost of borrowing to develop new housing) and a stubborn labor shortage in the construction industry. Optimism for real estate brokerages All of this is actually good news for brokers. As Forbes has reported, Chief Economist at Realtor.com Danielle Hale expects home sales will be down 14.1% compared to 2022, but prices are expected to remain relatively high, albeit with an increase in days on market. Consumers are still going to buy and sell millions of homes this year, and many more will start looking for their first home, even if they aren't ready to buy just yet. The key will be ensuring your brokerage is there at the right moment to advise them and win them over as customers for life. Tech will play an increasingly important role in this process in 2023. The undeniable importance of proptech Constellation1 President Andrew Binkley was recently featured in a Real Estate News article that asked top proptech executives about the state of real estate tech. He noted that software solutions that help brokers and their teams reduce repetitive tasks (and human error) will help lower operating expenses, improve margins, and free up time to focus on value-added tasks, like strategizing, roadmapping, and building the human connection that is central to real estate. The right tech will be critical for teams to improve and simplify operations, generate business, and create "a homebuying experience with fewer clicks." Wouldn't that be great? It's time to put your brokerage's tech under the microscope Let 2023 be the year you really get your tech stack in order. Do you have old tools that are no longer suited to the way you do business? Did you acquire software that none of your agents use? Are you looking for ways to move more of your processes online and streamline them so you can work smarter, not harder? Start 2023 off right with a free, no obligation audit of your front and back office tech by the experts at Constellation1. We'll take a holistic view of your business and your tech and recommend ways to make it better to set you up for greater success in the coming year and beyond. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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Redfin Becomes First Real Estate Site to Add Energy Cost Estimates for U.S. Homes
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Delta Media Leadership Survey Reveals Real Estate Brokers' 2023 Outlook
Real estate brokerage leaders are rarely a pessimistic group, yet more than half believe the global economy (63%) and the US economy (51%) will deteriorate in 2023. That's according to the new Delta Real Estate Leadership Survey of more than 100 brokerage leaders of firms collectively responsible for more than 60 percent of all transactions last year. "Another bigger takeaway is that the closer to home, the more confident real estate brokerage leaders are about the economy improving over the next 12 months," explained Michael Minard, CEO and owner of Delta Media Group. Most (72%) real estate leaders believe their state economy will stay the same or improve over the next 12 months. An even larger majority (75%) believe their local economy will remain the same or improve. The independent study found only 4% of real estate brokerage leaders believe the global economy will improve in 2023. However, many leaders are more bullish on their local economies, as 28% of real estate brokerage leaders believe their local economy will improve, and 25% believe their state economy will improve over the next 12 months. "It's important to note not a single real estate brokerage leader of the more than 100 professionals surveyed believes the global, US, state, or local economy will 'improve significantly' in 2023," Minard added. The survey also revealed real estate brokerage leaders were split on what they believe will happen to housing demand in their local markets in 2023. About one-third say it will improve, one-third say it will stay the same, and one-third believe it will deteriorate. Only 3% of those surveyed believe their local housing market will decline significantly in 2023. Moreover, the survey gauged the confidence level of real estate brokerage leaders today compared to 12 months ago. The survey shows two in three leaders are less confident than a year ago in the global and US economies. In addition, about one in three are less optimistic about their state and local economies. But, overall, most real estate leaders (59%) have unchanged confidence in their state and local economies. More bullish about their own business in 2023 More than half (53%) of real estate brokerage leaders see their profitability decreasing this year, and their total transactions dropping from 2022. "What is surprising is despite the fact many real estate brokerage leaders believe their profitability and transaction count will decline in 2023, 56% believe their brokerage will increase their local market share," said Minard, adding, "They clearly see opportunity in a chaotic market." About the survey The independent research, conducted in December 2022 by Delta Media Group, one of America's largest technology solutions providers for real estate brokerages, collected responses from more than 100 broker-owners and top brokerage executives representing firms that were responsible for more than 60% of US residential real estate transactions last year. Nearly one in five (18%) of the leaders responding manage brokerages with more than $3 billion to over $10 billion in projected 2022 transactions; 23% manage brokerages with $1 billion to $3 billion; 21% manage brokerages with $501 to $999 million, and 38% manage brokerages with $500 million or less in total transactions. Delta survey participants included leaders from all sizes of brokerages, with nearly one in 10 (9%) managing brokerages with 20 agents or fewer; slightly more than one in four leaders (26%) managing brokerages with 21 to 100 agents; 41% of leaders operating brokerages with 101 to 500 agents; 9% of leaders managing brokerages with 501 to 1,000 agents; and 15% of leaders operating brokerages with more than 1,000 agents. Forty-three percent of the respondents are 60 years or older; 34% are 50 to 59 years old; 20% are 40-49 years old; and 3% are 31 to 39 years old. In addition, 77% are male, 21% are female, and 2% selected "not listed."
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Wonderful to Witness Plunk Success
WAV Group's involvement in the venture capital community allows us to meet a great amount of smart and dedicated entrepreneurs who reimagine real estate. Two of those people are Brian Lent and David Bluhm, co-founders of Plunk, and the wonderful team that they have assembled. In 2021, Plunk was among eight companies selected for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® REACH program, designed to facilitate critical conversations with forward-thinking real estate companies, along with some venture capital. When I met them, they shared their vision of developing a more accurate and dynamic analytics platform for real estate valuations. My first reaction is that they are crazy to go after the cornerstone of billion-dollar enterprises like CoreLogic, Black Knight Financial, and in some existential way – the consumer favorite – Zillow. Crazy is as crazy does, I guess — onward they charged. Today, we can officially recognize that Plunk has accomplished so much. They reached their first, most important milestone. Plunk's analytics are now available on over 104 million U.S. homes, representing all U.S. markets. It took five years of hard work and a lot of capital. You can now see Plunk's Home Value, Home Ticker, and Market Insights live across the housing industry, including online sites, agent products, brokerages, MLS providers and CRM solutions. Now that they have seeded the usefulness of the Plunk products in instrumenting residential real estate values in key vertical markets, they will need to expand adoption. This should be an interesting year for Plunk, facing the headwind of many companies in the real estate industry who are trading innovation for cost savings. Gaining market share will be challenging, but talented people always seem to find a path. If you are unfamiliar with Plunk's home value, ticker and market insights products, they are worth a look. I think that many broker website platforms and CMA tools would benefit from making Plunk available. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Should Brokers Embrace Fractional Ownership?
Real estate is a great investment, but for most Americans, buying a second property is a bridge too far. In America today, we have witnessed the private equity takeover of investment properties because of the intense up-front capital loan requirements. Historically, most property investments have been held by individual owners who buy a single property, flip it, or hold it long enough to develop enough equity to borrow the down payment for a second property, and so on. In 2021, many housing markets recognized that 1 in 5 homes were being purchased by private equity, in some cases deploying more than a billion dollars in single family home acquisitions. It appears that the lessons learned in commercial property and multi-unit residential property investments are informing a movement into single-family residences. In recent years, several companies have imagined the opportunity to develop fractional ownership opportunities for investors who cannot afford to purchase a whole property. These companies sell fractions of the property, allowing smaller investments without undercutting the value of real property investing. Fractional property investing has many benefits: Potential for regular income in the form of monthly payments Opportunity to build equity as the property appreciates over time Tax benefits, such as depreciation and deductions for costs of ownership Diversification of an individual's investment portfolio Greater liquidity opportunities For the most part, the opportunity for fractional property ownership is concentrated around the ability to attract investors to purchase fractions of properties. Wouldn't a brokerage be in the best position to offer fractional ownership investing opportunities? Brokers sit in the center of real estate property transactions. They have the inventory, the sales professionals, the marketing power, and the customer records of potential investors. Imagine a home buyer who cannot get a mortgage on their own for the entire purchase. Through fractional home ownership, the buyer can get investors who will purchase the property alongside them, depreciating the loan risk for a share of the home equity. The fractionalization process also invites more investors to diversify their investment risk. Also, the number of fractional investors allows for liquidity where one fractional owner can buy out another fractional owner or a new fractional owner can step in. The biggest benefit of fractional ownership is delivering a path to homeownership to an enormous number of home buyers who have bad credit, but good income. It would be delightful to see the door of homeownership open up to so many who face impediments today. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Real Estate Website SEO: Guide for Success in 2023
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eXp Elevates Leadership and Tackles Next Evolution of eXp Realty's Agent-centric Model
eXp World Holdings, Inc. announced that Glenn Sanford, eXp World Holdings Founder, Chairman and CEO, will return as eXp Realty's CEO in addition to his current responsibilities. Jason Gesing has been appointed Chief Industry Relations Officer of eXp World Holdings, an expanded role to facilitate the company's growth across key sectors. The moves intensify focus on building the next generation at eXp Realty, amid challenges in the real estate market.   "We are laser-focused on driving exponential growth and innovation across eXp Realty and the industry," said Sanford. "Our model was designed to withstand varying market conditions, and we continue to have the most agent-centric model in the industry. This uniquely positions us to continue investing in our future and iterating on our industry-leading agent value proposition. I'm excited to be the hands-on leader for the next period of growth for the company." Sanford will assume CEO responsibilities of eXp Realty to drive the next phase of growth while iterating on the agent value proposition. Since joining the company in 2010, Gesing has been a critical part of eXp both as an executive leader and long-standing board member. During his tenure, most recently as CEO of eXp Realty, Gesing helped establish eXp as one of the fastest-growing real estate companies. His deep understanding of the business, industry, and future prospects positions him perfectly to take an expanded role across all of eXp World Holdings' platforms and growth opportunities. As Chief Industry Relations Officer, Gesing will focus on industry relations, metaverse advisory and environment, social, governance (ESG) initiatives. He will also continue to serve on the eXp World Holdings Inc. board of directors. "Jason has been an integral part of the company ever since he joined in 2010," said Sanford. "As CEO of eXp Realty, he forged important industry relationships and has deep knowledge of the opportunities provided across the eXp World Holdings ecosystem and the emerging technologies that will shape the future." Bolstering Leadership Across eXp World Holdings Brands Through 2022, multiple executive leadership appointments were announced to drive continued growth, including: eXp Realty Leo Pareja, Chief Strategy Officer Michael Valdes, Chief Growth Officer Patrick O'Neill, Chief Operating Officer eXp World Holdings Shoeb Ansari, Chief Information Officer SUCCESS Enterprises Courtney Keating, Chief Operating Officer – in addition to her role as CMO, eXp World Holdings Jairek Robbins, President and Chief Strategy Officer – newly appointed to provide deep coaching and development strategies Tristan Ahumada, Chief Marketing Officer Strengthening eXp Realty's Agent Value Proposition New and expanded service offerings announced through 2022 enhance eXp Realty's agent offering while generating attractive, high-margin revenue streams. eXp Realty acquired Zoocasa and launched Revenos, eXp Solutions, eXp Luxury and eXp Referral Division to offer new revenue streams for agents. SUCCESS Enterprises launched SUCCESS Coaching and SUCCESS Health, expanding personal and professional development services. Virbela launched a new metaverse campus to better connect physical and virtual working worlds.
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[Podcast] 'It's Closing Time' with Chuck Hattemer, CMO and Co-founder of Poplar
In this episode of It's Closing Time, Michael Lucarelli sits down with Chuck Hattemer, CMO and Co-founder of Poplar — a property management solution for homeowners and renters. Chuck has over 10 years of experience in professional marketing, sales, and executive roles. Since co-founding Poplar in 2014, Chuck has grown his company to over 300+ employees, with over $75M in venture backing and 13,000+ doors under management across the country. He contributes to Forbes and other industry publications such as the SFAA Magazine in his spare time.    
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Top 7 Real Estate Accounting Tips for a Successful EOY 2022
As 2022 comes to a close, it's time to tie up the final loose ends so 2023 starts off on the right foot, with as much success (and as little stress) as possible. There are only a few days left in the year, so why not take a moment to make sure you start 2023 with financial peace of mind? Close your books with confidence before you break out the bubbly and celebrate what promises to be another exciting year in real estate. Below are our top seven real estate accounting tips to ensure you're ready to ring in the new year. 1. Update your accounting software It's important to close out your year with the most up-to-date software. Why? This helps you make sure your platform is accounting for all the latest regulatory changes for the year. If you have to update your software manually, you may be using an outdated version that will cause extra work for you later. If you use a QuickBooks® integration, make sure you've upgraded your application to the latest release. This will ensure that you have access to the latest tax forms, especially 1099s. If you have Automatic Updates turned on, you're all set. If not, follow the QuickBooks® instructions for updating to the latest version here. 2. Double-check your reconciliations Life is about balance, and so is accounting! Reconciling your accounts is important so you can track your cash flow and make sure everything balances. Reconciliations are typically a monthly task, but it's easy to fall behind, especially when you're focused on other year-end tasks, like fun holiday parties. Check your reconciliations in your accounting software now and if you find any discrepancies, download your statements to find the culprit transactions. It's not fun playing catch up the last week of December, but it's worth it to come into work on January 3rd and hit the ground running! 3. Verify your tax payments Did your brokerage accidentally miscalculate your tax obligations for the year? If it did, you have until mid-January to recalculate and pay what you owe to avoid any penalties. On the other hand, you might have overpaid your taxes, too. Once you get back from the holidays, ask your accountant how you can optimize your payments in 2023 so you aren't paying too much or too little tax. Tax policies change all the time, and your accountant will have the most up-to-date information to make sure you're doing everything to the letter. 4. Prepare your brokerage financial statements Make sure you have a complete and updated balance sheet, which lists all your assets, liabilities, equity, and trial balance and provides an overview of all your general ledger accounts and their balances. Are there any discrepancies or glaring errors? Make sure you review and correct them before year end, since December 31 is the closing date for many important financial statements and other reports for your brokerage. 5. Review employee settings Did you hire any new employees this year? Make sure they are set up properly in your system and have submitted all their important reporting documents, so that when it comes time to report their income (using W-2s in the U.S. or T4s in Canada), you don't have to chase down missing files. You can, of course, update and correct these forms later, but why not make sure you have everything you need do it right the first time? 6. Review your brokerage vendor, agent, and independent contractor settings Double check to make sure your vendors, agents, and any other independent contractors are set up correctly so that everyone who needs one receives a correct 1099 (in the U.S.) or T4A (in Canada) when tax season starts next year. You don't want to find out there was an issue after the filing deadline, which falls at the end of January in the U.S. and the end of February in Canada. 7. Plan for 2023 Year end is the perfect time to sit down and look at how you did. Did you grow this year? Did you improve your profitability? How are your margins? The end of each fiscal year is an opportunity to assess your past goals and whether you met them, take stock of your other achievements, look for improvements, and set new goals for the coming year. By writing down your goals and making them official, you're also more likely to meet them (as many psychologists agree). Learn how to build resilience at your brokerage The end of the year is the perfect time to set yourself up for success for the coming year. Make your final preparations now so you don't have to dread logging in on New Year's Day. If you're looking for a versatile accounting tool to power your brokerage, consider Constellation1 Accounting and our entire suite of back office solutions. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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Keller Williams Further Expands Command Capabilities
Keller Williams (KW) announces feature enhancements to Command, a smart CRM-plus solution, and its associated mobile app. "As the market continues to shift, top agents and teams are realizing their businesses have become increasingly complicated," said Chris Cox, chief technology and digital officer, KW. "In response, our latest updates to Command bring radical simplicity to lead generation activities and more." During 2022, KW partnered with real estate agents and teams to release software integrations and CRM features aimed at increasing productivity and eliminating pain points with lead generation, marketing and real estate team workflow capabilities. "Command gives agents more time to deliver increased client satisfaction while maximizing higher profitability," said Cox. "Agents today want immense value from their CRM; they want efficiency and speed in their business operations and they want it all seamlessly delivered. Command does that." The latest updates to Command include: End-to-end integration of CRM tools was enhanced via further embedding the rich, intuitive capabilities of the Campaigns, Contacts and Designs apps within the Opportunities app, which tracks deals across phases of a sales pipeline. The Marketing Tab features curated lists of top performing marketing assets, such as print flyers and trifolds, Facebook and Instagram ad templates, and prescriptive marketing campaign templates. Recommendations change based on deal phase in the Opportunities app. Contact Quick-Create feature within the Opportunities app, which allows agents to rapidly create and edit contact details. The Contacts Imports Wizard enables the thousands of agents onboarding monthly with KW to have an easy and efficient means to import their contacts into Command. Instagram social posting for business accounts was added to the Campaigns app to increase the lead generation and brand-building and engagement opportunities for agents via social media. Contacts information validation functionality was added to the SmartPlans app to give agents visibility on the gaps among the data a SmartPlan requires and the data available for a contact. Cap accuracy dashboard enhancements allow agents to view in real time their progression toward a production cap. As production cap is reached, an agent no longer pays a commission split, meaning the agent is at a 100 percent commission until their anniversary year starts again. Expanded native software integration with DocuSign, which allows for further embedded signature processing, simplifying workflows and document processes between agents and market centers. An Earnnest integration allows for quick and secure handling of earnest money within the Opportunities app, simplifying the workflow for agents, buyers and escrow holders. A Sisu integration enables real estate coaches to view agent production data on Sisu-powered coaching dashboards, leaderboards and coaching reports. "When our agents connect with clients through Command, it is the beginning of a meaningful relationship, and that's the reason we're a part of one of every five transactions that happens in the U.S.," said Cox. Command app latest updates include: Comprehensive integration of the Opportunities app functionality, which enables agents to view, edit, manage and archive real estate deals on the go. Home screen of the app includes a dashboard of open opportunities, offering a quick glance at the number of deals within each phase of the sales pipeline. Agents can sort and view opportunities based on a specific client. Expanded native software integrations with Twilio and WhatsApp allow for increased embedded communication capabilities with clients. Timeline enhancements to the Command app include the ability to view details about a property inquiry or a property tour, view listing feedback, view co-buyer and seller additions and removals, add email and mail activities, and view feedback on Collections or saved home searches within the KW Consumer app. Navigation enhancements include easier account switching between individual agent and real estate agent team views of Command app, a counter of new notifications that is always visible on the bottom of the home screen, and the ability to send the KW Consumer App through any smartphone app using a native share phone component from the home screen. User experience enhancements include translation for 28 different languages in response to KW's robust international growth. Contact and property address auto population and the addition of the "Quick Contacts Bar" to bring contacts closer to the fingertips, were also added. Task app updates on the mobile app include the ability to bulk edit tasks, delete and undo tasks, assign a task (if on a team account), unarchive a task and mark a complete task as incomplete. "The iterative updates we rolled out for Command in 2022 were highly influenced by consistent engagement with agents," said Cox. "Our solutions will always be anchored in our agents' success with a laser focus on what drives growth in their business." In February 2019, KW originally released Command, which is hosted on the Keller Cloud platform, for general availability for its agents. In December 2021, KW released the first version of the Command app. Command has more than 110,800 monthly active users as of Nov. 30. "Our continued foundational advancements to the code base and data structure of the Keller Cloud have put us in a position to dramatically increase the speed to market for Command updates and innovation," said Matt Green, head of agent experience and innovation, KW. "We have some exciting releases in store, along with additional feature extensibility with our open API library model that will be released in 2023."
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RPR's Best Commercial Real Estate Articles of 2022
RPR (Realtors Property Resource®) is taking a look back at the past year to give our users a top line of 2022's most popular, most read and most informative articles and interviews. RPR Commercial had numerous posts on a variety of topics, all designed to help commercial practitioners be more efficient and make more trips to the closing table. Be sure to check out all of our helpful content for RPR Commercial users, but if you're pressed for time, here's our top five articles for the year: our data integration with CompStak, how to conduct quick, simple property searches in RPR, and how to use Parcel Overlays for prospecting and gathering listing intel. Happy New Year! We'll see you in 2023 with plenty of more tips, news, announcements, solid strategies and helpful ideas. 5. RPR Commercial: A Simple and Solid Way to Search for Properties RPR offers simple, right to the point property and land searches that make commercial workflows more efficient and more productive. 4. RPR Commercial: Parcel Overlays The parcel overlay map feature found in the RPR Mobile app can help you research and gather commercial property information, right from your phone. 3. RPR Integrates with CompStak to Deliver a Deal-Making Commercial Tool RPR is now integrated with CompStak, a commercial property comp and data exchange platform. 2. REALTOR® Sees RPR Commercial as a 'Game Changer' Based on the Size of His Market Even in a smaller market, RPR Commercial helps REALTOR® Dave Ferro search for properties and create professional reports to help his business expand and flourish. 1. RPR Launches a New Commercial Property Details Page RPR Commercial has launched a redesigned version of its Property Details page. They're more intuitive, perform faster and require less scrolling and clicking. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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RESO Announces 2023 Board of Directors Election Winners
The results of the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) 2023 Board of Directors election have been announced for five open seats, director appointments and the board's Executive Committee for the next year. "RESO has entered the 2.0 phase of its existence, not only with second-generation versions of the industry-standard RESO Data Dictionary and RESO Web API, but with our entire approach to driving the industry forward," said Rebecca Jensen, who was re-elected 2023 Chair of the RESO board and is President and CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED). "Our leadership team reflects some of the most tech- and business-savvy minds in real estate, and I am proud to serve alongside them as we continue to bring greater data transparency, consistency, accuracy, ease and speed to the industry." Winners representing Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and REALTOR® associations were Greg Moore, CTO, Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS) in Oregon, and incumbent John Breault, VP, MLS, State-Wide MLS in Rhode Island. Moore and Breault are also the chair and vice-chair of the RESO Research & Development Workgroup. Winners representing real estate brokerages, brokers, agents and appraisers were incumbents Caitlin McCrory, VP, Industry Relations, Anywhere, and Dan Troup, Director of Data Operations & Strategy, RE/MAX. Dan also serves as the chair of the RESO Certification Analytics Subgroup. The winner of the open board seat representing technology companies, developers, partners and consultants was Shaun York, Executive Director of Technology, Homes.com. The following at-large appointments were made by the board: Richard Renton, CEO, Triad MLS Vandana Vohra, EVP/CIO, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Matt Hendricks, Senior Director, Broker Operations, Zillow The RESO Board of Directors officers remain unchanged between 2022 and 2023: Chair: Rebecca Jensen, President and CEO, MRED Vice-Chair: Michael Wurzer, President and CEO, FBS - Creators of Flexmls Secretary: John Breault, VP, MLS, State-Wide MLS Treasurer: Richard Renton, CEO, Triad MLS Closing out their terms this year are Andy Woolley from CoStar Group, Chris Carillo from MetroMLS, Turan Tekin from Zillow Group and Jessica Edgerton from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, who all served the RESO board admirably. 2023 RESO Board Members Not Listed Above Include: Dave Conroy, Director of Emerging Technology, National Association of REALTORS® Matt Cohen, Principal, Advisory Services, CoreLogic Bob Evans, SVP, Industry Relations, Move Shayne Fairley, COO, Stellar ML Alex Lange, Head of Strategy and Innovation, National Association of REALTORS® Mark Lesswing, Owner, Lesswing, LLC Frank Major, CTO, Bright MLS Marty Reed, COO, CRMLS Jeff Young, COO/General Manager, Realtors Property Resource "I am inspired by how much the RESO board does to push data standards forward with such industry-wide acceptance," said Sam DeBord, CEO of RESO. "Real estate technology provides abundant opportunities for innovation, and our board positions RESO as the flag bearer to lead the industry through challenges." Top Row Rebecca Jensen, President and CEO, MREDMichael Wurzer, President and CEO, FBS - Creators of FlexmlsJohn Breault, VP, MLS, State-Wide MLSRichard Renton, CEO, Triad MLS Second Row Alex Lange, Head of Strategy and Innovation, National Association of REALTORS®Dave Conroy, Director of Emerging Technology, National Association of REALTORS®Matt Cohen, Principal, Advisory Services, CoreLogicBob Evans, SVP, Industry Relations, MoveMark Lesswing, Owner, Lesswing, LLC Third Row Shaun York, Executive Director of Technology, Homes.comShayne Fairley, COO, Stellar MLSCaitlin McCrory, VP, Industry Relations, AnywhereFrank Major, CTO, Bright MLSGreg Moore, CTO, Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS) Bottom Row Marty Reed, COO, CRMLSDan Troup, Director of Data Operations & Strategy, RE/MAXMatt Hendricks, Senior Director, Broker Operations, ZillowJeff Young, COO/General Manager, Realtors Property ResourceVandana Vohra, EVP/CIO, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World
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[Podcast] Real Talk, with Realtors: DJ Milonas on How to Lead a Large Real Estate Brokerage
DJ Milonas is a CEO and Managing Director for Keller Williams. He's responsible for the growth of the office and oversees over 235 real estate agents. Hear what a day in the life looks like for a team leader of a brokerage, how to recruit the right real estate agents, help them grow, set your company culture, and teamwork lessons DJ learned from playing baseball and basketball. This episode of the Real Talk, with Realtors! podcast covers everything from business leadership to sports. Here's a small sample of what you will hear in this episode: How do you determine the growth of your brokerage firm? What is the competitive culture like? How does DJ feel about recruiting? Should young Realtors join a large brokerage firm? What does it mean to service your real estate agents? Should the barriers to entry for being a Realtor be higher? What is DJ doing on the day-to-day in his leadership role? Real talk...not Real talk: Real estate agents to get coaching Connect with DJ on Instagram and on Facebook. Listen on: Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Visit the episode homepage for show notes and more detail.
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Anywhere Announces Strategic Leadership Changes
Anywhere Real Estate Inc. announced a series of executive leadership changes intended to accelerate the company's strategic priority to further integrate and simplify the home buying and selling experience. Sue Yannaccone, Anywhere Brands President and Chief Executive Officer, who today leads the Anywhere portfolio of brands, including Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, CENTURY 21, Corcoran, ERA, and Sotheby's International Realty, will expand her role to also oversee the Coldwell Banker brand. M. Ryan Gorman, Coldwell Banker Chief Executive Officer, will step down from his position and move into a strategic advisor role. Don Casey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anywhere Integrated Services, who oversees title and settlement services, insurance, and mortgage and underwriter joint-ventures, will expand his role to include the Cartus relocation business. Katrina Helmkamp, Cartus President and Chief Executive Officer, has announced her decision to retire at the end of the year. Cartus Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, Eric Barnes, has been appointed interim Cartus President and Chief Executive Officer, reporting to Casey. Both Yannaccone and Casey report to Ryan Schneider, Anywhere President and Chief Executive Officer, and serve on the company's Executive Committee. "Don and Sue are exceptional leaders with deep expertise running multiple successful scaled businesses," said Schneider. "We believe having a singular leader for our core real estate brokerage business and likewise, for the real estate transaction services we provide, will help Anywhere move even faster, create more value for our customers, and ultimately, deliver a better experience for both affiliated agents and consumers." "Cartus and Coldwell Banker are both in strong, industry-leading positions," continued Schneider. "I am grateful for Katrina's and Ryan's leadership, including driving growth of their respective businesses, simplifying operations, and innovating with new products, technology, and marketing to support affiliated agents, franchise owners, and mobility clients. We wish them both well as they move to what's next." Yannaccone, a longtime real estate leader, joined Anywhere in 2015 and has held several executive leadership positions across the company's franchise and owned brokerage operations. In November 2020, she was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Anywhere Brands (formerly known as Realogy Franchise Group LLC), which includes Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, CENTURY 21, Corcoran, ERA, and Sotheby's International Realty. Prior to joining Anywhere, Yannaccone served in senior roles within residential real estate organizations. She is consistently recognized as a leader within the industry, including for her contributions helping women in real estate with the "What Moves Her" campaign she founded. Casey, a residential real estate veteran, has held leadership roles with Anywhere for more than 30 years, including as Chief Executive Officer of Anywhere Integrated Services (formerly known as Realogy Title Group LLC) since 2002. He is a skilled real estate services operator with extensive experience in title, escrow, and settlement services, and serves on the Boards of Guaranteed Rate Affinity, the company's mortgage joint-venture, and Title Resources Group underwriter joint-venture.
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Homeownership Portal Milestones Surpasses 250,000 User Mark
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The Broker Public Portal Welcomes Its Two Newest Board Members
The BPP has excellent governance that welcomes brokers and MLSs to serve three-year terms, rotating one-third of the board each year. Today, the BPP's board of managers is evaluating technology offerings and selecting a replacement for the JV with Homesnap. Both Barbaro and Long are technology-driven brokerage leaders who contribute tremendous experience in real estate technology to the board. Please see below for the full press release: The Broker Public Portal Welcomes Two New Board Members SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif – December 7, 2022 – The Broker Public Portal (BPP), a collaborative venture between real estate brokerages and MLSs to create a national consumer home search experience that connects home searchers directly with the agent, today announced the appointment of two new board members, Michael Barbaro, CEO of Redwith Inc. and RJ Long, managing partner of Coldwell Banker Real Properties Group. "We are thrilled to welcome Michael and RJ to our Board of Managers," said Alon Chaver, Chairman of the Board. "Our dedicated team is composed of seasoned leaders representing the nation's finest brokerages and MLSs, who are committed to helping real estate professionals serve consumers on their quest to achieve homeownership," added Chairman Chaver. "As the BPP continues to execute on our mission – to deliver a consumer experience provided by people who sell homes not ads – RJ's and Michael's technology expertise and leadership skills will be indispensable." Michael Barbaro is founder and CEO of Redwith Inc. and its subsidiary companies, including Redwith Real Estate, a technology-driven, impact-focused real estate brokerage and Redwith Technologies, a B2B & B2C (SaaS) software development company with a primary concentration in the ReTech and FinTech verticals. Barbaro also remains at the helm and CEO of his flagship firm, the philanthropically inspired Huntsman, Meade & Partners Compass Realty Corporation, a residential and commercial real estate brokerage which he founded in 2008 and Omni Consulting, a strategic consulting firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions, crisis mitigation and litigation consulting launched in 1999. In addition to his personally held corporate entities, Barbaro is president of SmartMLS – a nationally ranked, top-20 statewide multiple listing service in Connecticut with nearly 22,000 subscribers.   RJ Long is the Managing Partner of Real Properties Group and its Coldwell Banker franchises, including CB Prime Properties; collectively, the 7th largest Coldwell Banker franchise in the US by units. RJ is a strong advocate for quality and providing value in the real estate industry. Over the years, he has held several NYS leadership positions, as well as serving on several industry Board of Directors in various capacities. In addition, his experience has included investment sales, government consultation, asset management, commercial real estate development and he is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Make-A-Wish NENY Board of Trustees, helping to spearhead its mission of creating life-changing wishes for children battling critical illnesses.   RJ Long The nominating committee of the Broker Public Portal is led by Lyon Real Estate CEO, Pat Shea. "The term for the board of the BPP is three years and they are staggered to blend new thinking with historical perspective," says Shea. "We do have a few more broker positions available. Both Long and Barbaro join the board at a critical juncture as we review proposals to replace the Homesnap partnership that terminated on November 1st, 2022," says Shea. Both new board members have served on MLS boards and each offers deep technical SaaS experience. For a full list of the board members, visit the BPP Leadership page. About Broker Public Portal Broker Public Portal (BPP) is owned and operated by real estate brokerages and MLSs to deliver a better home search experience, with the same comprehensive, real-time MLS data used by real estate professionals – the people who list and sell homes, not ads. The BPP mission is guided by delivering a national home search platform powered by real-time MLS data and following Fair Display Guidelines. Broker Public Portal, LLC was founded in 2014 and operated under the Homesnap brand through our joint venture from January 2017 to October 2022. Broker Public Portal serves more than 120+ MLSs representing 850,000 real estate agents and brokers. Learn more at BrokerPublicPortal.com. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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The Keyes Company and Revive Team Up to Help Home Sellers
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Windermere Teams with zavvie, Offering Tech-driven Ways to Buy and Sell a Home
The real estate market is shifting, and as it does, consumers are weighing new tech-driven ways to sell and buy their next home. While multiple offers can help maximize a seller's profits and cash offers can make buyers ultra-competitive, understanding the best way to buy or sell their biggest financial asset can be daunting to consumers who aren't familiar with all options available. Windermere Real Estate, the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S., with more than 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in 10 states, notes that sellers today have more choices available to accomplish their goals. That's the good news — but most home buyers and sellers don't know about all the new tech-driven innovations available today. To help, Windermere is launching Windemere Offers, powered by real estate brokerage tech innovator zavvie. For homeowners working with participating agents, Windermere Offers is available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Using Windemere Offers, agents can now help sellers compare and choose between an instant sale, an iBuyer, a buy-before-you-sell modern bridge solution or listing their home on the open market to maximize their profit. Agents can also help buyers compare Cash Offer, mortgage options, or Homeownership Accelerator (rent-to-own) programs. Buyers can leverage the power of a cash offer for a contingency-free purchase or use a Homeownership Accelerator program to secure a home, even if they currently don't qualify for a mortgage. "Windemere Offers provides our clients with all their options in one place," said OB Jacobi, President, Windermere Real Estate. Powered by zavvie, a software technology company providing real estate brokerages with a marketplace for selling and buying solutions, Windermere agents and their clients are now connected to the latest solutions. "The old days of offering a single way to buy and sell homes are gone," Jacobi explained. "Consumers want to see all their options as there are more of them than ever before. They also want a trusted professional to help select the best path for their situation. Windermere Offers delivers all the choices along with a Windermere professional providing the guidance." Jacobi notes that Windermere Offers enables sellers to see how much instant cash an iBuyer will offer for their home. Another option allows them to buy their next home before selling their current one. Sellers also can list their home on the open market to maximize their return. "All sellers are not alike. They have different needs and goals," said Lane Hornung, zavvie CEO and co-founder. "Windermere professionals help homeowners cut through the clutter and the noise to give sellers complete transparency into what is possible in today's market so they can make a well-informed decision about what is best for them." Hornung notes that the cutting-edge technology that powers Windermere Offers can help sellers maximize their profits and help them buy their next home, often with less effort and less stress, securing the best deal on their new home. For more information about Windermere, visit windermere.com.
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Redfin Adds Zoning Data for More Than 70 Million Homes
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Weichert, Realtors Adopts SkySlope Suite for Its 7,000 Corporate Office Associates
SkySlope has partnered with Weichert, Realtors to bring its digital transaction management to Weichert's over 7,000 corporate associates. The partnership expands SkySlope's digital transaction market share, adding several thousand agents to the 650,000 members it currently serves throughout the U.S. and Canada. Since 1969, Weichert, Realtors has evolved from a single office into one of the nation's leading providers of real estate and related services. Their customer-centric approach to real estate has been integral to their success and informs every decision — from what technology to adopt to what agent programs to invest in. SkySlope mirrors Weichert's propensity for exemplary customer service, an attribute that initially drew Weichert to the digital transaction management provider. Equipped with an award-winning customer service team, SkySlope currently serves over half of the top 20 largest brokerages in the U.S. Founded in 2011 with the intention to create technology that makes life easier for real estate professionals, SkySlope is an all-in-one platform designed for brokers and agents to execute, store, organize, and audit real estate documents. In addition to its core transaction platform, SkySlope offers a dynamic set of solutions that are integrated with the platform for added functionality, such as Digisign — a digital signing tool that can be used to send real estate documents out for electronic signature — that bolster the value that SkySlope offers to real estate brokers and agents. Most recently, in 2021, SkySlope launched SkySlope Forms, an efficiency-boosting tool that makes the most recent versions of state and association forms available to agents directly in SkySlope. Forms are pre-filled with property details pulled from the MLS, and dates and contacts are automatically populated in matching data fields. The tool allows agents to side-step redundant data entry and save time during every transaction. Weichert's decision to adopt SkySlope as their universal transaction management platform comes on the heels of a successful trial run of the system, undertaken by a single Weichert office. Weichert, Realtors was immediately impressed by SkySlope's near-24/7 customer support and continued emphasis on agent learning and training sessions. "There are many reasons agents choose to hang their license with Weichert, Realtors," says Jim Weichert, president, chairman and CEO of Weichert Companies, "But paramount among them is Weichert's dedication to partnering with the services that provide our agents with an industry advantage. With its smartly-designed interface and extensive suite of solutions, SkySlope gives our agents the most competitive advantage in the marketplace today." "A rapidly-changing real estate landscape is asking more of agents than ever before," says SkySlope CEO Tyler Smith. "SkySlope aims to make the shifts less impactful by offering agents a streamlined workflow that saves them time for profit-generating activities like landing more listings or holding open houses. We look forward to providing these benefits to the Weichert, Realtors team and being a continued part of their impressive growth trajectory."
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Zillow's Hot Housing Takes for 2023
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Empower Your Real Estate Brokerage for 2023 with Technology
Real estate and technology have come a long way since the early days of MLSs and online transactions. There are now hundreds of tech companies offering solutions to help real estate teams and offices, but what are the right tools to employ to cope with the current circumstances? We have passed those complicated days of the pandemic and the fluctuations of the post-pandemic era. Still, 2023 has vowed to bring its own challenges or opportunities, depending on how we approach them. In this review, we will recommend a few tools to equip your brokerage for the 2023 real estate market, which is shadowed by a looming recession. What Makes a Real Estate Brokerage Successful in 2023? Competition is the key. Agents and brokers are working against the clock to keep up with the market moving between buyers and sellers. Another great player in this market is data. Business intelligence allows real estate brokerages to stay ahead of the market. The real estate market is an ever-green business environment. In other words, there are always people and companies looking for property and there are leads all over the place. All it takes from a real estate professional is the right mindset, timing, and the right lead generation tools. How to Compete with ‌Competitors? One of the main challenges of small and medium size real estate offices and brokerages is the "big guys." Companies like Compass have reportedly "snatched" lots of agents from more local brokerages, depriving them of revenue. These companies have managed to provide tech tools that make the lives of agents easier, at least tentatively. Therefore, real estate brokerages need to leverage their business by offering their agents state-of-the-art technology. According to T360, top five brokerage firms take almost half of the market share across different classes of the industry: Image source Brokerages that wish to increase their share of the market can compete with the big names in two ways: Be the local expert they really are Equip your brokerage with the right technology. Tools for a Tech-enabled Brokerage A functioning real estate office or brokerage requires the following services: Seamless property listings access and display Effective CRM and lead management tools Mobile apps for agents and clients Branding and visibility Local presence and authority Realtyna offers white-label solutions, designed to turn your brokerage into a full tech-enabled hybrid office.  Learn more about Realtyna's White-label solution here. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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How to Name Your Business and Avoid the Branding Errors Fresh Entrepreneurs Make
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BHGRE Launches Women's Leadership Initiative
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has launched Sphere, a new women's leadership initiative to elevate leaders within the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand. Sphere draws inspiration from a path set forth by Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC, to give back to the community-at-large through mentorship. The member-directed leadership group will shape and direct the organization's efforts to empower future community leaders. "The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network is anchored by strong female leadership that epitomizes what it means to be successful real estate entrepreneurs," said Sherry Chris, president and CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. "Guided by the brand's core values of Passion, Authenticity, Inclusion, Growth and Excellence, we believe when more of us invest in the community, we can build better environments and better lives for all. Through the power of mentorship, Sphere offers the opportunity for members to connect with their communities to have a meaningful impact." Education and networking will be key pillars of the Sphere program, allowing members to discuss mentorship development and share successes with other BHGRE® affiliated leaders. In addition, Sphere members will work directly with local or community-based programs to create unique mentorship opportunities. "We are inspired to be part of a network that encourages mentorship and empowerment by women for women in their community," shared Krista Cherry, Co-Broker/Owner, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Property Shoppe. "We look forward to sharing our successes, values and ideas with the next generations of leaders." "As female leaders in our industry, I believe it is our responsibility to reach out to women in our workplace and community and support them in reaching and stretching their goals," noted Dana Winans, Director of Relocation Services, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Winans. "The Sphere initiative is another shining example of a brand that not only has core values but lives them," commented Christian Barnes, president and CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes. "It is truly inspiring to be a woman in leadership with the BHGRE brand, as I know our support and voice go far beyond the transactional side of the real estate industry. Through Sphere, we can shine a light on the importance and impact we can have on the next generation of women leaders in our industry and, more importantly, in our communities."
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An Up-close Look at Constellation1's eSign Dashboard for Managing eSignatures
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CRM Crash Course for Real Estate Brokers
Real estate always has been and always will be a people-first industry. From the people who buy and sell (or rent!) their homes, to the people who work tirelessly to help those buyers and sellers—everyone has a stake in real estate. So it's no wonder that the interactions between people have always been so essential to the industry. But as people shift to a digital age, those interactions are changing—and managing them the old-fashioned way has lost a lot of the value it used to hold. According to studies from the National Association of REALTORS®, 97% of homebuyers used the internet in their house hunts in 2020, and the pandemic has only increased reliance on technology for real estate. To keep up, real estate professionals have shifted to methods like email and social media, with 95% of agents using email and 57% using social media. Despite the high usage, however, only 27% of agents use customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to help handle these time-consuming communication methods. Many still use spreadsheets, email, and even pen and paper to manage client engagement. Let's explore what CRM does for real estate professionals and brokerages, how it improves your client experience, and what to look for in a solution. What's a real estate CRM? Customer relationship management software is designed to give users an organized hub where they can manage leads, clients, deals, marketing, networking—and in some cases, the list goes on. This is especially useful in the real estate industry because of its reliance on social connections. A real estate CRM becomes a business management strategy, where you can run your entire client experience efficiently and productively. What does a real estate CRM do for you? We met with Red Oak Realty—one of the largest independent brokerages in the East Bay in California—to explore the value a CRM should bring to a real estate business. In their search, the team at Red Oak Realty had been looking for a solution that would help them provide for agents, clients, and the community—and help share information on neighborhoods and properties. That's a tall order—and in many cases, involves multiple solutions. By focusing on their business needs and looking for solutions that allowed them to do what they needed to do, Red Oak Realty has been able to turn website visitors into closed deals. "In today's fast-moving market, it's all about streamlining processes. We've put a focus on accessible tools that help agents better serve their clients," says Vanessa Bergmark, Owner and CEO, Red Oak Realty. So what should brokerages look for in a real estate CRM? It should make work easier. Ideally, a CRM solution will make it simpler for brokers and agents to manage communication. It should be organized, easy to navigate, and convenient to access. On its own, this organization and ease of access is a massive time (and stress!) reducer. But CRM solutions are typically also designed to help cut redundant and time-consuming tasks from your to-do list. It should automate key aspects of your outreach and nurturing, and help you set up intuitive paths that clients can follow to get the information, help, and resources they need. This frees you and your agents up to focus on bigger-picture tasks. It should help you track progress. CRM solutions are all about managing data, so it makes sense that they would help your brokerage collect and analyze that data. A good real estate CRM will help you track and monitor the movement, pace, and progress of deals—which helps you identify what's working, what's not, and what you can do to improve. Some platforms can even use predictive analysis to project your leads' next move, which means you can stay one step ahead. It should help you turn prospects into clients. Nurturing new leads is the bread and butter of finding and closing deals—and it's the entire purpose of a real estate CRM. Most will include automated lead nurture to help you cut down on the manual work involved in outreach, and to improve the client's experience through working with you. Ideally, your CRM should walk your prospects through every step of the conversion process, from the moment they fill out a form to the day a deal closes and even into post-transaction outreach. It should make managing listings simpler. This is where a real estate CRM stands out from a run-of-the-mill CRM. As a real estate professional, you need to be able to manage listings and contacts at the same time—so MLS integrations that help you access key information in your CRM are a non-negotiable. In some cases, you'll even have options to create listings from incoming seller leads and promote those listings directly on social media. What to consider before buying a CRM for your brokerage If you're sold on the idea of a CRM, but not sure where to start, try asking yourself these questions. Does my brokerage have specific needs or features that I need to look for? Do we want an end-to-end platform, or do I need to consider how it works with existing systems? Do my agents have insights or opinions on CRM software that I should consider? What will training look like with our CRM of choice? Can I see how the system works through a demo before we commit? Now that you have the basics of real estate CRM under your belt, it's time to think about the difference it could make for your agents and your business. How much time could you save? What would clients think of the experience? And how could it influence productivity? To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blog.
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[Podcast] Market Trends, Supporting Agents and Luxury Real Estate with Damon Knox of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Brokerage
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What Are Webhooks and Why Are They So Important for Real Estate?
Real estate runs on data. Teams advise their customers about crucial decisions based on their access to up-to-the-minute data. The accuracy and timeliness of MLS data are vitally important to the industry. If you haven't been following developments around MLS data delivery closely, you might not understand exactly how it's changing or what it means for you and your business. In this post, we take a dive into the technical side of MLS data delivery, so you understand the changes that are coming and what they could mean for your business. The importance of MLS data refreshes Brokers, agents, and their customers need to know essential information, like: When properties list When prices change When listings already have an offer When listings are under contract When listings are taken off the market Incorrect (or delayed) information can have a serious impact on the ability to close deals. The consequences can be serious! As a data aggregator, one of the most common questions we get at Constellation1 is, "How often do you refresh your data?" That's because everyone wants the latest and freshest data. But how is MLS data updated in the first place? How does MLS data get updated? Multiple listing services (MLSs) are vast networks of regional databases updated by individual agents and admins. The most accurate, up-to-date information is available in the MLS at any time. But what happens when you don't have direct access to an MLS, or if you're trying to work with multiple MLSs at the same time? The solution is putting all your data in one place, which involves setting up data feeds and putting them together. This is a lot trickier than it sounds, and then there's the question of how updated MLS data gets from the database to your computer. Until very recently, the only answer was polling. What is polling? If you thought we were going to be talking about elections, think again! In information technology, polling is a technique where a client (in the IT sense of the word) "asks" or polls a server for new data. Think of it like calling up your grandma to ask her how she's doing. Here's a diagram to show how clients and servers relate to each other: In the mid-aughts, polling was implemented as the industry standard for updating MLS data. If you had an MLS feed, your system would poll the server the MLS database was hosted on at regular intervals. The industry standard has been every 15 minutes, but some servers and sites might do it more or less frequently, even as little as once a day! To continue the grandma analogy, polling is a little bit like calling her every 15 minutes and asking if she has any updates. If she does, she tells you, and if she doesn't, she doesn't say anything. You hang up and wait another 15 minutes, and so on. The issue with polling is that you're using resources inefficiently. You're calling your grandma a lot, spending time when there might not be any updates. You might poll four times in one hour and not get any updates, but then get an avalanche of changes and not learn about them until 14 minutes later. This has serious business consequences. As the demand for real-time data has skyrocketed in recent years, polling has put a strain on data providers and their teams. Thankfully, technology has moved on, and the real estate industry is catching up. The solution: webhooks. What are webhooks and what are the implications for real estate? If polling can be compared to calling your grandma every 15 minutes for an update, webhooks can be compared to your grandma calling you when she has something to report (or sending you a text message), whether that's every five minutes or five hours (or longer). Webhooks are a technique for servers to provide clients (again, in the IT sense of the word) with real-time information as it happens. In fact, you're probably already familiar with webhooks: if you've ever received a push notification on your phone, you've been on the receiving end of a webhook: a real-time notification of an update as it happens. It's hard to understate what a big deal this is for the real estate industry. Imagine your system receiving text messages and updating key information almost instantaneously. Webhooks improve on all the benefits of polling and eliminate the drawbacks, which include a huge amount of resources to ensure it goes smoothly. Now, MLS data can update in near real-time, with no more lag between polling times. The result: better, more accurate data that's easier (and cheaper) to get. Webhooks: the new RESO standard The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) helps set standards for the entire industry, including MLS data. It has recommended webhooks as the way of the future, improving the delivery and availability of data across the real estate industry. Not only that, webhooks will allow for faster data speeds, fewer data errors and lags, and lower costs thanks to less IT infrastructure and personnel, resulting in a win-win-win for MLSs, brokerages, and consumers. Leading the way in webhook implementation We at Constellation1 are the real estate industry's data experts, and we're continuously seeking to innovate our technology and improve our services for our customers. We've become an industry leader in the implementation of webhooks, as we reported in a recent press release and announced at the RESO 2022 fall conference. We initially launched webhooks as a pilot project with our friends at RE/MAX. Webhooks aren't a new technology, but their application in real estate is, and RE/MAX helped test the concept with us to prove that it works. You can read more about it here. If you're interested in learning more, check out the video below of our presentation at RESO 2022 with Rick Herrera, Vice President of R&D, Data Services and Kevin Yao, Senior Cloud Engineer. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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Realtor Market Expert Q&A: Scarlett Green and Josh Taylor
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The Case for Recruiting Experienced Agents
It's common to hear brokerage and team leaders say that they like — and often prefer — recruiting new agents. The oft-stated reason is that it's easier to train new agents on your systems and processes than it is experienced agents who may be set in their ways and resistant to change. Scott Pridemore and Mike Hege, co-CEOS of Pridemore Properties, disagree. They lead a team made exclusively of 30 experienced, senior agents (no rookies here!). In this chat, they share with host Tom Ferry why they recruit only experienced agents, how they recruit, and the pitch they give to senior agents. Watch the video above to learn how they "lead a team of leaders" and how it drives their success.
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Sustainability Provides a Value Proposition for Real Estate Pros
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7 Easy Tips for Making Your Brokerage Recession-Proof in 2022
The beginning of Q4 2022 has been one of the most uncertain in recent memory for real estate professionals. The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates again on November 2 and signaled that it would do so again if inflation remained out of control. The current rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is just over 7%, a rate we haven't seen since before the housing bubble in the early 2000s. Inflation remains at a stubborn 8.2%. Sellers are spooked, buyers are tired, and your team is caught in the middle. Your brokerage is likely experiencing a slowdown after a pandemic-fueled buying frenzy. But if the past two years have taught us anything, it's that real estate professionals are adaptive and resilient. There are lots of ways to take advantage of slower times to not just survive, but thrive—and come out on the other side stronger. Let's take a look at seven of them. 1. Branch into new segments or markets Downturns affect every segment of the market differently. The market your brokerage typically serves may be slowing down, but is the same true in neighboring areas or at other price points? You can also consider ways to generate new leads. Hiring is slowing in some areas, but many employers are still hiring as job growth remains strong. Some analysts are also talking about an "affordability migration," where workers in more expensive areas look to move to cheaper ones. This means many workers, particularly in knowledge sectors, may be moving, and relo (or relocation) leads could be a great new source of business for your brokerage. Another market that is stronger than ever is rentals, given that houses are still expensive and scarce, despite high interest rates. So, in addition to relocation referrals, you might drum up leads by helping renters locate apartments, condos, and other kinds of rentals. The same local expertise that makes your team perfect for homebuyers is ideal for helping renters find housing, too. Could relo leads be the biggest source of business your brokerage is missing out on? Learn more about relo leads in our dedicated relocation blog post. 2. Keep your online presence and digital marketing strong When the market slows down, the last thing your brokerage should do is disappear. Leads will be scarcer, so every single one counts. Staying present and active on social and other digital channels will ensure that they can find you. The best (and some might say the worst) thing about social media is that it's everywhere, and it's largely free. With a little effort and consistency, you can build an amazing brand online, both for your brokerage as a whole and for each of your individual agents. This is true of busy periods and slow ones. A slowdown might be the perfect time to implement social publishing at your brokerage. With the right social media tools, you can leverage the best of automation, AI, and lead capture to market all your listings and leverage the power of your collective spheres of influence to stay top of mind all year round. 3. Respond to leads fast The precious leads you do receive will not stick around for long. According to the Harvard Business Review, the average lead response time across industries is 42 hours. HBR found that responding within an hour of receiving a query made it seven times more likely to qualify that lead. One study that is frequently cited online says that 78% of leads go with the first person to respond. We don't know if that's true, but we do know that the speed and the quality of an initial response go a long way to convince a lead to work with you—because that's how we all feel when we're shopping for goods or services. The right real estate CRM will help your team respond to leads fast. If you don't have a CRM yet, or if your CRM is falling down on the job, this slower time is the perfect opportunity to assess your CRM needs and find the right solution for you. 4. Give your current clients the royal treatment Let's not forget that referrals are still one of the best sources of real estate leads! Even if your team is having a hard time finding the right listings and closing deals for your existing clients, make sure they feel taken care of. Be extra responsive, help them price their property appropriately or expand their criteria just enough to find that hidden gem, and negotiate the very best deal for them, even when market conditions might favor the other side of the transaction. 5. Check in on your warmest "cold" leads If times are tough at your brokerage, chances are they are tough for a lot of your prospects, too. Gas is expensive, interest rates are soaring, and the holiday season is right around the corner. The holidays are a notoriously low-inventory period (who wants to move between Thanksgiving and the new year?), but they're also the perfect opportunity to reach out to old leads for no reason at all other than to wish them well. It's far easier to keep leads warm than it is to revive cold ones, but when leads are scarce, you've got to start somewhere. Search your CRM and filter out leads from the past year that stopped engaging with your nurture campaigns or otherwise never went anywhere—then reach out. Remember, it can take some real estate leads up to 24 months to incubate, so keep at it. 6. Give back. Your community will remember. You might also consider occupying your extra time by volunteering in your community, hosting a food drive, organizing a neighborhood cleanup, volunteering at a soup kitchen, and more. Not only is it a great way to give back, it's also a great way to get your team's name out there. It's truly a win-win for everyone! 7. Take advantage of the slower pace to make some much-needed business updates Running a brokerage is tough work! Sometimes you have to put essential work off until "later" because you're too busy, and then a year passes without any meaningful changes. If things feel slow around your office, it might be the perfect time to: Update your website with a brand-new look and feel Enhance your website's search engine optimization (SEO) Optimize your back office accounting and commission accounting Tackle that other project you keep putting off! If you're not sure where a little investment might have the biggest investment, we can help. Learn about a FREE tech stack audit and sign up for one today! To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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The Broker Business Intelligence Gap
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Implementation of New RESO Standard Improves the Delivery and Availability of Real-Time Data for the Real Estate Industry
Constellation1 has become an industry leader in implementing the Real Estate Standards Organization's (RESO) new standard, webhooks, an improvement to the delivery and availability of data across the real estate industry. New and updated data is currently requested using a method known as polling, which takes place at timed intervals and involves the client requesting new data from the provider's server, whether new data is available or not. When polling was implemented in the industry more than 15 years ago, the standard was polling every 15 minutes. Since then, polling has become a strain on providers as the need for real-time data has skyrocketed. The launch of webhooks lets clients receive push notifications that are automatically generated and sent through the API whenever new data, such as a new listing or price change, is available. It eliminates the need for clients to frequently request if new data is available. "Webhooks let clients access real-time MLS data and sets a new standard for reliability and scalability the industry hasn't seen before," said Andrew Binkley, President of Constellation1. "As a center of data excellence, we're pleased to bring this new RESO standard in data delivery to the industry." "RESO creates efficiency for all participants in real estate transactions. The development of push notifications and webhooks will decrease costs and increase speed for consumers and professionals alike. We are grateful for our member organizations like Constellation1 who move the industry forward with these kinds of standards-based innovations," said Sam DeBord, CEO of RESO. The implementation of webhooks will allow for faster data speeds, fewer errors due to request overload, access to self-serve subscription models, cost savings on infrastructure, and better data delivery and service to customers. Constellation1 initially launched webhooks as a pilot project, and RE/MAX was one of the organizations that took part in that initial test phase. "When Constellation1 reached out to me and described what they were testing, I was intrigued," said Dan Troup, Director of Data Operations and Strategy for RE/MAX. "Webhooks and Simple Notification Service (SNS) are nothing new, however, applying them to real estate data replication is. I was happy to test this proof of concept with Constellation1 and validate event-based communications could have a future as a RESO standard." The implementation of webhooks reinforces Constellation1's ongoing commitment to providing top-tier data quality and services.
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Common Friction Points When Generating Website Leads
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Two Amazing Cultures Come Together to Create One Great Company
Two amazing cultures have merged to create greatness together. Even in these volatile times, the best run companies find opportunity together. Richardson Properties of San Luis Obispo in the California central coast was an exceptionally well run family business for over 30 years. LIV Sotheby's CEO saw an amazing opportunity to acquire a solid operation and an exceptional leadership team in Chris Richardson and Brooke Sutton. McLaughlin Ventures served as the strategic advisor to Richardson Properties. From executed LOI, to closing in 50 days, these two leadership teams demonstrated the collaboration and pace required to be successful in today's market dynamics. We are looking forward to watching the greatness unfold. McLaughlin is one partner of four WAV Group M&A experts. Contact us to request a confidential consultation. See below for the original announcement made by Mark A. McLaughlin: M&A Update | Two Amazing Cultures Will Create Greatness Congratulations to Richardson Properties in San Luis Obispo and their family-like culture and team, to have found an amazing merger opportunity with LIV Sotheby's to create Richardson Sotheby's International Realty. I have known Chris Richardson and his family for a decade and just recently met Scott Webber, CEO Majestic Realty and LIV Sotheby's. These two teams are bound for greatness. McLaughlin Ventures served as the strategic advisor to Richardson Properties. This is Where We Are Now. Thanks!Mark To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Coldwell Banker Releases 'The International Buyer's Guide to Purchasing U.S. Property'
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Q3 Market Report: How has your market shifted?
It's not a dramatization to say that the real estate market has been a roller coaster the last few years. From seller's markets to buyer's markets and everything in between, we've seen major changes impact real estate agents and brokers—as well as their clients—in extremely short spans of time. This past quarter especially, we saw major shifts in terms of what's available to buyers and how buyers are responding to that availability. Let's explore some of the key trends we saw between Q3 2021 and Q3 2022. Inventory's rising, but sales are slowing down In the last few years, we've seen fierce competition among buyers, combined with a relatively low supply of listings. Now, as the industry shifts toward a more balanced market, we're starting to see more homes on the market. Between Q3 2021 and Q3 2022, we saw a dramatic 16% rise in inventory! This increase, however, is interestingly juxtaposed with a nearly parallel 14% drop in new listings between Q3 2021 and Q3 2022. This suggests that while more homes are available to buyers, more aren't entering the market—and those already listed are taking longer to sell. Interest rates are dissuading buyers Interest rates, now well recovered from the record lows we saw near the beginning of the pandemic, are creating a barrier for new and experienced buyers alike. Between Q3 2021 and Q3 2022, we saw sold listings drop by 24%. But as Inman suggested in a recent article, the bleak outlook for buyers doesn't need to be a barrier. Finding the right deal simply takes more work than it might in another market, and with a tactical approach, real estate agents and brokers can help recover those sales. Pro tip: Detailed market analysis and insights make it much easier to stay tactical and strategic in unpredictable market shifts. How does your market measure up? Though national averages provide solid overall insight into the real estate market at large, the numbers vary by individual markets—and that can make a major difference in an agent or broker's strategy. To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blog.
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kvCORE Innovates Around Helping Agents Stay Connected to Clients
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Switching Technology Needs to Deliver an Improvement of 10x
This month, David Gumpper and Victor Lund of WAV Group found themselves on several calls looking at new technology aimed at brokers, agents, teams, and MLSs. On any given week, we are updating our product knowledge across 5-10 companies. It is a challenging time investment, but it is a requirement for us to deliver informed perspective to our clients. Vendors tell us that we do this more than any other firm in our industry – a nice pat on the back. We have a philosophy at WAV Group. Simply stated, there needs to be a very good business reason to switch technology vendors. Drew Meyers from Geek Estate says that the benefit needs to be 10x to get someone to switch. Maybe 10x is not the factor to use in your decision making, but the point is that change is painful (consumes a lot of time) and unless you have a horrible relationship with the vendor, you need to set the bar very high to justify a change. The product you are moving to must be significantly better or significantly cheaper with equal functionality. WAV Group is conducting a national study to take the temperature of the current market of real estate brokerage technology. If you're interested, please take the survey. By sending Michael Nash an email, he can provide you with the link and every participant will receive a free copy of the final report to inform their own future technology investments. We have not run the survey since 2014, and there is a reason. When we were running it every year or every 3-5 years, very little was changing. We think that the results will be different this time around. There has been a full-sweep rebuilding of nearly every product used by firms over the last eight years. The market is softening, and brokers are tightening their belts. Where will you be making cuts in your brokerage technology budget? Sadly, despite all of the innovator awards and billions of funding going into disruptors, technology in real estate has been pretty slow to evolve. We don't blame technology, but we attribute it to the understanding that the features needed to serve consumers trading real estate is pretty simple stuff. There is a wide swath of good products for every piece of the real estate technology stack. Thanks to RESO, the collaborative effort to create interoperability across products, most solutions can be hot swapped. The technical side of swapping out one solution or another is simple stuff if you have the experience. The hard part is moving agents to the new platform and developing their skills at pushing the right buttons. The harder part is moving customers to a new platform. They get lost in the "Frankenstein of broker technology solutions" very easily. Most brokers have nearly a dozen products and some are switching them up every year. Consider this: disrupting the email connection between the agent and the consumer runs the risk of privacy and spam filters that dislodge the relationship. Switch out property search vendors and often you will break the customer's saved search solution. One of the reasons why portals like Redfin, HowardHanna.com and others distance themselves from competitors in search is that they have not broken the automatic emails notifying clients when new listings or updated listings are available. The race is not to have the best search solution. The race is to stay connected to buyers and sellers. Consider the cost of getting a customer – our plug number for earning a customer is $500. Now multiply that by the number of customers you lose when you switch – roughly 5000. Argue the assumptions as much as you want; the opportunity cost of switching vendors that disconnects customers or burdens your sales associates is enormous. Measure satisfaction If your technology sucks, your agents and customers will tell you. We have performed dozens of broker and MLS technology satisfaction studies this year (thank you to the WAV Group research team of Marilyn, Michael, Jason, David, and Gordon). This type of research tells you a few things. First, it tells you what you need to focus on. Secondly, it allows you to track satisfaction with the products that you have replaced to see if you have moved the needle. We segment the reports to show how each product impacts different demographics of agents and clients. Best of all, we can provide blind benchmarks against other companies to signal performance against your peers. Be smart and strategic in your decision making. We are happy to help – just shoot us an email. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Luxury Real Estate Is the Safest Investment One Can Make, Says New Report
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How to Reduce Stress from Tech: 4 Time-Tested Tactics
Brokers and their agents are stressed out: long hours, a seismic shift in the market, a record jump in mortgage interest rates, not to mention a pandemic that turned so many lives upside down. And because of the pandemic, the entire real estate industry jumped on the tech bandwagon, catapulting the adoption of new technology by industry pros — we Zoom, Dropbox, eSign, Facebook, and Google more than ever. Screen time is soaring with the onslaught of new technology dominating a broker's workday. What can you do to reduce stress, especially from tech? Here are four time-tested tactics experts suggest can help brokers – or agents – reduce technology-induced or aided stress. Digital Detox: You need to take a complete break from technology, starting with your smartphone. Build this into at least a weekend vacation. A few days of near-zero screen time can do wonders to help you learn to relax. That means no social media scrolling or checking texts or emails. No video games playing or even watching the news. It's time to break away. Get help from a coworker or your significant other who can monitor urgent messages that may need your response because we all know real estate happens. Pro tip: Go to your happy place – your favorite vacation spot or getaway to chill out (unless, of course, your happy place is an internet café, but that's doubtful.) Divorcing yourself from all things tech will reduce stress, increase social interaction and give you more time control. In addition, you are likely to discover how much negativity digital devices may be contributing to your daily life. Change your tech tendencies: Most people are creatures of habit. The same is true when it comes to the technology we use. Is your phone by your bedside at night? Do you ever check your email in the middle of the night or pick up your phone immediately after waking up? Do you use your phone in the bathroom? How much total time do you spend looking at a screen each day? Your smartphone tracks that and can tell you. How do you feel after spending time on Instagram or Facebook? Happy or sad; frustrated or angry? Taking a full assessment of your tech habits and how you react when you use technology for different things can help you change your tendencies. Be proactive: create one if you don't already have family rules in place, such as no phones out at the dinner table. Understanding how you cumulatively spend your time and energy now with tech will help you correct or reduce bad habits and discover better, more positive ways to use your time. Increase face-to-face interaction: Are you Zoomed out? A lot of brokers find being in Zoom meetings all day can be exhausting. It's a great tool, but like everything, it requires use in moderation. Have you noticed increased pleasure when spending time face-to-face with other people? Humans hunger for interpersonal interaction, which seems particularly true for real estate professionals. There is no substitute for face-to-face communication as a stress reliever. Spend more time meeting with your agents and other professionals in person. You will likely find it less stressful but a lot more enjoyable, productive and fun! Set a curfew for your tech: Did you know that blue light emanating from your phone that you are looking at in bed can wreck a good night's sleep? According to health professionals, your mobile phone screen reduces the production of melatonin, a hormone controlling your sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm. As a result, using a mobile phone at night can make it difficult to fall asleep and wake up the following day. In addition, researchers note that the circadian rhythm appears extra sensitive to blue light, making your brain think it's daytime. The best advice: unplug at night. Turn your electronic devices off an hour before you go to sleep. Let's also acknowledge that while technology may contribute to your stress load, it can also relieve stress. You can enjoy silly videos or funny memes and listen to your favorite music on your phone. Meditation apps like Calm or Headspace can help you relax – and fast. Your Fitbit or Apple watch can help monitor your physical activity, which also reduces stress. You can even schedule a video session with a therapist to discover more ways and methods you can use to reduce stress. Even broker tech tools such as transaction management software like Form Simplicity can help reduce work-related stress. They help keep you compliant, streamlines your workflow, and help you stay connected to your agents. You can learn more about how Form Simplicity can help brokers at formsimplicity.com/brokers. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Facebook Death by Advertising and the Broker Public Portal
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A Big Jump Up for Hot PropTech Startup zavvie
MoxiWorks is a real estate industry titan, serving 800 brokerages and their 400,000 agents, connected to over 500 MLSs and 150-plus tech partners. Today, zavvie announced integration with MoxiWorks, making its white label marketplace for brokerages and vastly expanding its ability to offer iBuyers and Power Buyers solutions with the addition of MoxiWorks powered brokerages. zavvie integrates with MoxiPresent, known as the easy-to-use, feature-stuffed, and ultra-versatile real estate presentation builder. MoxiPresent can now showcase instant iBuyer offers for sellers and information about Power Buyers, including "cash offers" and "buy before you sell" modern bridge solutions for buyers and current homeowners. These new solutions are already generating growing consumer demand, receiving high approval marks from buyers and sellers. This is a big move for zavvie, significantly expanding zavvie's reach as it continues rapidly growing throughout 2022. Here's the full news release: Real estate startup zavvie integrates with MoxiWorks MoxiPresent empowers agents to offer all seller solutions BOULDER, Colo. – October 25, 2022 – From Power Buyers to iBuyers, there are more innovative ways than ever before for Americans to buy and sell real estate. But there are nuances to these programs and explaining them to sellers in concrete and easy-to-understand terms, including fees and potential profit, can be a challenge. That's why buying-and-selling powerhouse zavvie has teamed up with MoxiWorks, the leading real estate technology platform, to empower agents to present the newest choices to sellers and buyers by integrating zavvie's offerings into MoxiPresent. MoxiPresent is the easy-to-use, feature-stuffed, and ultra-versatile real estate presentation builder, and it can now showcase instant iBuyer offers for sellers as well as information about Power Buyers, who employ "cash offers" and "buy before you sell" modern bridge solutions for buyers and current homeowners. All these new solutions are already generating growing consumer demand and high approval ratings. zavvie, a software technology company providing real estate brokerages with a marketplace for selling and buying solutions via white-labeled platforms, is expanding the company's potential brokerage reach with the MoxiWorks integration. MoxiWorks serves more than 800 brokerages with 400,000 agents who collectively account for one in five transactions in the U.S. "Home sellers and buyers have never had more options available to them," said Jim Crisera, COO of MoxiWorks. "Agents today will remain at the center of the real estate transaction by ensuring they present all their choices to their clients. MoxiPresent with the new zavvie integration helps agents do this effortlessly." Lane Hornung, zavvie CEO and co-founder, added, "The days when sellers and buyers only have one or two options are gone forever. With the entrenchment of iBuying and the emergence of Power Buyers, sellers and buyers have more choices than ever, and that's why they will continue to rely on a professional real estate agent to help them determine what path is best for them." More information about MoxiWorks and zavvie is available at moxiworks.com and zavvie.com. About MoxiWorks MoxiWorks is a comprehensive open platform system for large residential real estate brokerages that serves over 800 brokerages and 400,000 agents nationwide, accounting for more than 20% of the transactions in the U.S. MoxiWorks' customer retention over the past seven years stands proudly at 97%. Their integrated tools are centered on sphere methodology that increases agents' repeat and referral business by 54%, while lowering overall technology, training, and support costs for the brokerage. The open platform known as the MoxiCloud has tools from more than 100 partners that integrate to create unique brokerage solutions. About zavvie zavvie is a software technology company that provides real estate brokerages with a marketplace for buying and selling solutions via their own white-labeled platform that keeps agents at the center of the transaction. Over 65,000 real estate agents in 47 states leverage zavvie's software technology to serve their clients better. Discover more at zavvie.com. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Where Will Zillow Go Next?
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eXp Realty Launches Revenos, a New Buyer and Seller Referral Division
eXp Realty announced it is launching Revenos, a new division to drive high-quality buyer and seller referrals directly to eXp agents. eXp Realty's Revenos brings together established eXp referral businesses under one cohesive offering, providing agents streamlined referral opportunities they couldn't otherwise access. Revenos reimagines the referral status quo by creating industry-leading programs that connect eXp agents to ready, willing and able buyers and sellers. The new division includes eXp Relocation, eXp REO (Real Estate Owned), eXp Affinity, ExpressOffers, Making It Rain, and new programs. Revenos connects a thriving referral ecosystem through a robust network of industry relationships. Through this group, eXp agents tap into a powerful network to create more revenue possibilities for their own business. "Revenos is an unparalleled offering in the real estate industry," said Leo Pareja, President of eXp Affiliated Services. "It's integral to eXp that our programs are agile and speak to what is most valuable to our agents' businesses. We are focused on continuously iterating our value proposition in new and exceptional ways for our agents." Dawn Conciatori, Vice President of Referral Generation, will lead the daily operations of Revenos. Conciatori offers 20 years of demonstrated success as a dynamic leader in the real estate referral space. "I am thrilled to continue shaping the next era of referrals at eXp," said Conciatori. "Revenos puts more premium referral opportunities into the hands of our agents who are best suited to provide unique solutions to meet and exceed our client expectations." More information about Revenos can be found at Revenos.com.
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GO Network Grows Through Training
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Real Estate Brokers: Your Agents Need More from You
Your real estate agents come to you for a variety of reasons as their broker: guidance, support, safely conducting real estate transactions as a real estate professional, etc. But one of the most important facets that many agents are not only searching for but requiring is a chance to properly develop beyond just a "good real estate agent." Agents want a chance to develop themselves and their careers, and they want their broker and brokerage firm to help them get there. Go beyond the real estate license: Offer continuing education courses Becoming a licensed real estate agent is a standard in the industry. Many brokers and brokerages offer some form of resource or assistance to their agents that provides them with a path for gaining their certifications and licensure. But what else can you offer to ensure your current agents and prospects take you up on your business proposition over others? Continuing education. Numerous hopefuls enter the world of real estate transaction, client care, market analysis and everything else it encompasses to get further in their careers employing a reputable mentor. As their broker, provide continued education resources, licensure and certification tracks and any other means of career advancement you can. Agent technology adoption is mandatory: Help them learn Real estate agents typically don't have the time to sit down and adopt new technologies. For example, about 80% of agents use drone footage. More than two-thirds of prospective buyers and homeowners say they don't want to use an agent who hasn't utilized video footage. And for those wondering about social media, over 70% of real estate agents use Facebook to help promote their real estate business, establishing them as experts in their field. With all of that extensive technology comes teaching agents how to use tools ingrained within them, such as engagement metrics in social media platforms or best cybersecurity practices when storing their footage. Learn these technologies, best practices and how they apply to your agents, office and yourself. After figuring out the commonalities and pros to using the technology, create an office-specific introductory training to assist your agents' adoption of the technology. Even the most experienced real estate agent could benefit from a simple, branded and intuitive training provided by you, their preferred broker. Ensure your agents are ready: Bolster their skill set Don't expect every real estate agent to have the same set of skills. Most understand the importance of open houses and accurate depictions of real estate properties. Maneuvering real estate market conditions and breaking down complicated real estate law to potential clients is another core skill set. However, they still need continued development. Even if every concrete skill is cemented and could pass a formal review, your agent may have soft skills missing that created a gap between their performance and your expectation. Maybe they need extra help with their time management, but understand the facets of a 203K rehabilitation loan inside and out. Perhaps another trusted real estate agent has an excellent repository of clients they've decided to share with their team out of sheer volume, but they don't understand how to update the information in their MLS backend. Regardless of their deficit, many agents choose a real estate company, brokerage or broker who'll give them the right guidance on how to bolster their skill set. They'll also align themselves more easily with one that invests in them and their professional growth, giving you more credibility and branding power as a real estate broker. The best part about offering more to your real estate agents is the number of resources available to you to help provide what agents are searching for, including free Brunch and Learn events, online webinars and simple consulting feedback to get you started. After all, when your agent succeeds, you succeed along with them. Interested in hosting a FREE Brunch and Learn experience for your office? Elm Street Academy wants to partner with you to bring an educational experience to your office that INSPIRES, MOTIVATES and CREATES EXCITEMENT! You provide the space and which topic you would like us to cover with your organization (social media, marketing best practices, lead generation and more). We provide action-oriented education, awesome food, tasty drinks and a fun experience that will have your office group asking for more! [SCHEDULE NOW]
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[Podcast] The Benefits of Having a Property Management Division with David Howell of McEnearney Associates
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May I Have Your Attention, Please?
Attention is a powerful word. In the military, soldiers stand still at attention, listening to their leader. You probably have not thought about attention lately, but it might be the most important thing that a leader needs to focus on. Do you command attention with the people that are important to your success? In the last day or two, have you picked up your phone to do something and wound up doing something else? A friend of mine who came over to watch the Buffalo Bills game confessed that she deleted Instagram. "I found myself spending 20 minutes scrolling through photos and watching Reels every time I picked up my phone." She had to tell me this twice because I was scrolling through Snapchat posts while watching the game and listening to her. Do I have your attention yet? Have you ever heard the saying that Realtors don't read? It is a very common complaint from brokers and MLSs who are trying to inform real estate agents about all sorts of things. Communications are difficult, especially if you have a lot to say. Most brokers have about 20 software products available to agents, whereas MLSs have a dozen more, and franchises offer their own pile, and REALTOR associations have a handful, as well. All these offerings come with notifications and trainings. Real estate agents live in a noisy inbox. Getting Attention The truth is all of us have attention deficit disorder these days. In our efforts to stay connected, we connect to everything and often connect to many things at once. Our efforts to stay connected are notably separating us from the strongly bonded connections that we need to succeed. As leaders, getting attention is about the quality of connection you are creating when you communicate. Here are a few things to consider that will improve your connection quality: Engage the Senses – Touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. An in-person meeting with food hits all five! Create a Frame of Reference – If you can relate to the book about knowing your why, or a purpose driven life, you understand that reference drives clarity, infuses passion, focuses on goals, develops resilience. Break Expectations – Surprises are great, and people pay attention when you do not give them what they expect. Drop templates and focus on variety. Reward! – Deliver rewards in two ways: extrinsic and intrinsic – money and self-improvement rewards deliver the best results. Reputation – Remember, just because you are the boss does not mean that you have established credibility. Mystery – Never give out the entire answer. Create some mystery by leaving things a little bit incomplete so that you reduce certainty and encourage discovery. Be Vulnerable and Personal One of the most interesting and unknown service offerings at WAV Group Communications is reviewing and editing. We write news releases, blog posts, and newsletters for brokers, MLSs, associations, and technology companies. These are things that we encourage companies to learn how to do themselves, but we jump in when the skill set is not available. A better solution for companies is to draft your communications yourself, and send it over to us for editing. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Inside Real Estate Partners with eXp Realty to Launch CORE Home
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Homeowners Under Management Is the Future of Procuring Cause
At conferences, relative strangers have interesting conversations. At breakfast one morning, we encountered a great agent from Santa Monica. She subtly revealed to me that she had no problem paying one-third of her commission to Zillow for procuring cause referral. "Seventy percent of something is better than 100% of nothing," she stated. She is thinking of changing brokerages. Today, she is aligned with a franchise that pulls 6% off the top, a ransom that she says "delivers nothing to my business." What she is really saying is that her franchise brokerage is not helping with procuring cause – something that she finds to be more valuable than anything else she gets from her broker. The Two-Sided Coin We have seen many brokerages focus on technology as a key value proposition for agents recently. What we have learned is that technology is important to agents. They need sharp tools to cut through the competition and serve the client better. Generally speaking, the normal amount that a brokerage lays out for agent technology ranges between $75 per month and $150 per month. One of the fastest growing brokerage firms in America is Side – they provide a brandless brokerage experience. Side is technology, plus deal management. The agent becomes the brand – but Side is not really helping with procuring cause. The other side of that coin is Zillow (plus a few cohorts like Realtor.com, OjO, etc.) hasl adopted the role of lead generation, incubation, and referral. They do the heavy lifting that creates procuring cause. That is worth 33% of an agent's commission and they do not need to offer any technology or deal management. If you are flipping the coin, which side of the coin are you going to call? Imagine a Path Forward I am convinced that it would be a small step for Zillow to hire agents under their brokerage license. In fact, I think that they should. Given their experience with transaction management and the tools they have available, it would be an incredibly small step. Today, I imagine that Zillow's brand in housing is as big and strong as any brokerage brand. The real estate agent might know that the Zestimate is often significantly inaccurate – but consumers don't care. Like horseshoes, it's close enough. They warm up the consumer, develop procuring cause, and get a payday beyond the brokerage income. We have seen this brokerage model in action. It's called Redfin. I really do not understand why that company – with all of their success online – has not taken a higher rank in the markets they serve. In every way, they are a near-perfect twin of what Zillow would look like as a brokerage. So maybe Redfin is the case study that prevents Zillow from taking that next small step? Redfin is doing a great job developing business for their agents. The office manager is the missing part of the formula for Redfin. Over the years of working with America's largest and most successful brokerages, we learned that office managers are the key to winning and losing in brokerage. They are the culture carriers. If you get the culture of your company right, everything falls into place. So I guess that Redfin might want to consider a configuration for office managers. Beyond the office manager, we presume Redfin is not doing a great job maintaining customers for life. Guaranteed they know exactly how many consumers are repeat buyers, but it's wondered how much they know about a customer who uses Redfin.com – but chooses not to use their company or their agents in a transaction. It's an interesting puzzle. They have nailed consumer engagement and lead generation, but something else is missing. Traditional Brokers Need to Focus on Lead Generation For years, firms like Howard Hanna dominated consumer search in their area. Zillow has surpassed them in some markets today, but the success of their consumer website generates a phenomenal amount of business for their agents. It always gets under my skin when anyone throws a stone at Howard Hanna Real Estate Services (HHRES). These internet experts may not see all of the ingredients that they believe brokers should have, but they are missing the point. HHRES generates tons of business because it ties a trusted brand, with a community of well-known agents operating for generations, with a search experience that is perfectly fine. They drive traffic to the website through tens of thousands of yard signs, radio ads, billboards, newspaper advertising, even a takeover of airport signage in some key cities. Howard Hanna is not alone. Many of The Realty Alliance and Broker Resource Network firms have unlocked this old thinking. If you bring customers to agents, agents are happy to pay you a referral fee in the same way that Zillow or their cohorts do. The unfair advantage of a brokerage is that they can spend more than any agent or team for lead generation, and conversion rates are better for companies than they are for individuals. Customer for Life Real estate agents want technology and need technology, but what they want more than that is customers. Many brokerages that champion the effort to deliver leads to agents fall down when it comes to helping with homeownership. The sale closes and the broker and the agent ghost the client. Don't count drip marketing as relationship maintenance. The master of helping with homeownership is Jacksonville-based Watson Realty. They have business units focused on residential, commercial, new home, mortgage, title, insurance, and property management. They also have businesses focused on electrical work, plumbing, HVAC, and other maintenance and homeownership support. It took them many years to develop all of that, and it works. Watson has never been a chest-pounding company. They just keep their eyes laser-focused on ensuring that their managers are supporting their agents, and that they are wrapping the customer with the warm blanket of homeownership support. If you are a homeowner, a home buyer, a home seller, a renter, a business owner, or a builder, call Watson. Watson has a full-service business that is pretty hard to compete with, and might be delivering the best consumer experience in America. If you want to recruit and retain agents and turn a profit in real estate as a broker – own the consumer. Know great service providers in landscaping, plumbing, electrical, roofing, HVAC, etc. in your marketplace? Why not talk to them about adopting your brokerage brand? Find an economic arrangement with the best ones. Imagine service trucks rolling through neighborhoods with your brand – helping consumers keep their home in good shape. Adopt products like Milestones and give them to your clients so they can order these services simply. Get out there in the community and win on the street with hand-to-hand combat; your business will prevail. Be a good neighbor. When you think about touchpoints, imagine a handshake, not a hit on your website. Avoid the Race to the Bottom There will always be companies offering discounts to consumers and high commission splits to agents. It's a business model that manages to the bottom. But if you want to build an enduring company, aim for the top. Set your sights on offering full-service with reasonable margins serving a wide range of shelter services. Zillow is setting its sights on the share of agent wallets. Obviously, that is a pretty big opportunity as they are among the most valued companies in the shelter business. In some ways, brokers think that way, too. That is the genesis of the agent/broker commission split. But if you want to really surge forward in your thinking, think about the share of the consumer wallet. When you have a customer, what are all of the things that you can do to offer competitive services in homeownership? That is the big idea of the future of real estate. If you change the way you see the future, it will profoundly impact how you view your business today, and the decisions you make today. "The main reason why companies fail is that they missed the future," said Larry Page. The full quote reads, "Lots of companies don't succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future." From our perspective, the future is homeowners under management. Define that in your business and you are bound to succeed. Every human interaction with homeowners is a sensor that informs the consumer of your commitment to serving them, and the affirmation that they entrust you with the roof over their head. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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New Study Reveals Increased Transparency on Commissions Leads to Increased Value in Consumers' Eyes
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RPR Launches a New Commercial Property Details Page
You could say RPR (Realtors Property Resource) is on a roll when it comes to new product releases. A few months ago, RPR made it really easy for residential agents to share local market data and stats with their clients, via the Market Trends charts and graphs. And last month, RPR unveiled a new and improved version of the RPR Mobile™ app, for both residential and commercial users. And now RPR is excited to reveal our latest product upgrade: a redesigned and refreshed version of our Commercial Property Details page. After months of collecting and seeking out feedback from REALTORS®, we're excited to present these redesigned and refreshed page designs. These visually appealing new layouts aren't just pretty to look at—they're also crafted for maximum productivity. You'll find these high performance, faster loading, data-packed pages offer more "at a glance" visibility with less clicks and scrolling. Basically, you'll find more of what you want, and you'll find it faster! So much is packed into the new RPR Property Details page, that the only thing there's less of, is clicks If you're familiar with the previous Commercial Property Details pages, you'll instantly notice that the new version places all the "Basic Facts" just to the right of the property photo. This means there's no more scrolling and scrolling down the page to get a quick look at all the pertinent information. We've also added full search bar capabilities to the top of the Property details page. So users now have the ability to conduct searches and commercial "property hop" without having to circle back around to the homepage. And that's a big win for our users! Find more of what you want, with less effort The page navigation has also been updated. The real biggie here is the Trade Area tab has been made easier to locate and access by placing it in the navigation bar. Now when you're on a property page, and you're just one click away from economic and demographic data on a property and its surrounding area by viewing the Trade Area details. The My Updates tab now rounds out the sub nav bar. This section is easier than ever to get to, and its capabilities have been beefed up. In addition to being able to add notes, some nice improvements have been made to the Photos section, including the ability to select/deselect all photos, and a quick button to select a photo as your cover photo. Rewriting History and Additional Resources Here's another upgrade that RPR Commercial users will love: the new Listing History and Public Record History areas. For the first time ever in RPR Commercial, prior sales transactions will now be displayed in a side-by-side comparison grid. This new format will allow commercial practitioners to do in-depth research and homework on a property in an instant. We've also given the Additional Resource area a facelift with the addition of two new resources: CompStak and LandBroker COOP. (Keep an eye out for a more detailed article on these new integrations in next month's RPR Commercial blog page.) More intuitive, more improvements, more REALTOR® input The changes in this redesign are sure to make agents more productive and more precise in RPR Commercial. We revel in taking your feedback and turning it into real, tangible improvements that make your RPR experience easier and your business more successful. Watch this video to see it in action, and also be sure to check out these convenient Printable Guides that offer step-by-step explanations on all the new features. And these are just the highlights! For even more details on the Commercial Property Details, dig deep with these product release notes. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Time to Fire Unproductive Agents
The real estate industry is famous for hiring any licensed adult with a pulse. The number of agent members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is at an all-time high. Firms would be hard pressed not to discover a significant number of agents on the roster who are not producing. Is it time to fire them? Years ago, after the acquisition from Brookfield, WAV Group collaborated with a team at Pacific Union to take a historical snapshot of the brand from the eyes of the consumer and the agent. We identified that the local, boutique essence of the Pacific Union brand had been eroded over time by efforts to grow through recruiting anyone and everyone. An interview with one long-time, top producing agent summed it up in a nutshell. "Years ago, when you were invited to become a Pacific Union agent, you knew that you had put in the hard work to become one of the elite agents in the San Francisco Bay Area." To some extent, Pacific Union had lost that pride. The new management team came up with a healthy plan to restore the brand reputation to its golden luster. Step 1: Fire unproductive agents Step 2: Build a P&L for every agent and work with the manager in each office to have a discussion with those who were driving losses. The goal was to get those agents back on track in 90 days. This was done with compassion for life events (death, divorce, etc.), but it got done. The outcomes were impressive. In a short period of time, top producing agents were sharing feedback with the management team in support of the decision. Hard working agents hated being in office meetings dominated by unproductive agents who have an opinion but do not sell. They prefer to surround themselves with other professionals, and even lend a hand to hard workers who are putting in the effort to improve. Moreover, the move inspired agents from competitors to join Pacific Union to surround themselves with other top agents. Remember, you drive broker dollars through transaction revenue, not headcount. The industry is on track to sell about 5.5 million homes this year. If you want your top agents who deliver the best services to clients to get their unfair share of those deals, then let the bad agents go. They can move across the street to another broker and drink their coffee. This may seem a little harsh, but brokers need to own their role in raising the bar of professionalism in real estate – one agent at a time. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Redfin Launches Down Payment Assistance Feature in Partnership with Down Payment Resource
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Facing the Future of the MLS Buyer Broker Commission Litigation
If you ask any attorney who is following the buyer commission lawsuits, the outlook is grim. MLSs that require a listing broker to provide a blanket, unilateral offer of compensation to buyer brokers in order to submit a listing to the MLS is likely to be rendered obsolete. Moreover, the case may require those commissions to be returned to home buyers. Imagining a future of the MLS without the offer of compensation should be the top issue discussed in MLS boardrooms today. Mass Brokerage Bankruptcy Is Possible If these buyer commission cases resolve to demand that brokers return commissions to consumers, brokerages will likely be wiped out. The tight margins in brokerages do not allow them to build the kind of cash reserves that will be required to pay back multiple years of buyer commissions. However, there are strategies to insulate your brokerage company from making these payments. With mass brokerage bankruptcies, the size and scale of your association and MLS operations will be forced to change dramatically as well. Build a Plan in Your MLS and Association It's hard to plan around litigation because of timing. Judges can issue judgements from the bench during pending litigation to impact how the industry operates, and there are likely to be significant appeals. Regardless of the timing, you can build a plan now. The plan anticipates a variety of operational procedures for the MLS given a series of possible outcomes that range from doing nothing to dissolving the MLS. Require Buyer Agency Agreements Now Associations, MLSs, and brokerages can immediately do one thing. Today, you can require real estate agents to file the buyer broker agency agreement. The buyer signs the agreement to acknowledge that the commission to the buyer's broker is some percentage of the purchase price and that it will be paid at closing though a reduction in settlement payments to the seller. There are some regions in America where these agreements are always used – like in Minnesota. Associations would be advised to create education courses bringing their members up to speed on the risk of negative litigation outcomes and help drive home the importance of requiring signed buyer-broker agency agreements. Provide a clear reference in listing agreements that outlines the offer of compensation to the buyer's broker. Our understanding is that this language exists in many state and local listing agreements, but not in all of them. Demand Referral Fee Disclosures According to a recent WAV Group study, few consumers are aware of the ever-increasing number of national websites that are now charging significant referral fees for closed transactions instead of advertising. When a home buyer lead is generated from a source that will result in a referral fee, the buyer should be required to sign a disclosure acknowledging they approve of that fee the moment the buyer's agent starts providing transaction services. I would love to see these disclosures required under RESPA, but MLSs and associations can proactively enact these disclosures now. Zillow, Movoto, Homelight, Realtor.com, and other referral fee websites charging a referral fee should be more transparent to the consumer; require the consumer to acknowledge that a significant percentage of the commission will be paid to the website where they found the listing and when they were connected to an agent. Create New State and Federal Laws We are not barred lawyers. We do provide expert witness testimony for many real estate lawsuits, however. From our experience, we believe the industry can be protected from this litigation if states can pass a law that permits the current blanket unilateral offer of compensation. If new state law and/or federal laws support the offer of compensation, that might insulate the industry practice – especially if the law limits the type of litigation that the industry faces today. State associations of Realtors are particularly good at shaping legislation that supports the brokers and agents in their state. You are seeing state-level control being restored today, as an example, in the wake of federal changes to Roe v. Wade. Produce Evidence I recall the final negotiation of our last home purchase. The listing agent and our buyer's agent both agreed to a commission reduction to close the deal. My fear is that the data in the MLS which shows the offer of compensation paints a flawed picture of what really happens. Buyer's agents sometimes discount their commission, provide commission rebates, and the like. I do not believe that evidence has been reviewed in this case. The data would need to come from the broker's closing documents. If your association, MLS or brokerage would like help navigating these potentially troubled waters and building a proactive plan, call us. We're happy to help. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Effective Nurture Campaigns: The Key to Successfully Converting More Leads
Real estate runs on buyer and seller leads: sellers to list with your brokerage, and buyers to represent in their quest to find the perfect home. But it can take months, if not years, after you convert a lead for it to incubate and result in a transaction. This means a lot of time where your agents risk letting leads go cold. A long list of cold leads is every broker's worst nightmare. It's far easier to keep a lead warm than it is to revive a cold one. To keep this from happening, brokers need tools that help agents stay in touch with their leads. A great way to do this is through lead nurture emails. How does lead nurturing work? Your leads can interact with your brokerage in multiple ways: Visiting your website Viewing listings Searching for and saving properties they like Contacting your office directly Signing up for your newsletter Subscribing to your blog What's next? The answer: lead nurturing. Lead nurturing involves setting up touchpoints with these leads so they can stay in contact and interact with you and your brokerage. The hope is that when it comes time to take action, you'll be at the top of their minds thanks to the resources, tips, information, and expertise you provided in the meantime. In short, nurturing a lead means building a relationship of trust over time and guiding them towards deciding to work with you. What are lead nurture emails? Lead nurture emails are messages you send to leads who have agreed to be contacted to help move them through your sales funnel and towards listing with you or closing a deal. Good lead nurture emails are warm, encouraging, and make readers want to continue interacting with your brokerage and agents. What is a lead nurture campaign? When you send multiple nurture emails as part of a conscious plan to guide leads towards certain actions, this sequence of emails is called a lead nurture campaign. You can create a variety of different campaigns and assign leads based on their persona to make sure you're following lead nurturing best practices. Let's discuss these best practices below. Real estate lead nurture best practices Nurturing leads takes time. The winning formula involves a combination of consistency, expertise, and most of all… trust. You'll be surprised just how effective email campaigns can be when you do them right and follow these best practices. 1. Write catchy subject lines and greetings For lead nurture emails to work, your leads actually have to open (and read) them. To tempt your readers to click, keep subject lines concise and enticing, with emotional adjectives and action verbs. Reward the people who click with a warm and catchy greeting before diving right into the good stuff (the reason you're writing). Similarly, don't start your email with something like, "Dear Buyer Lead." It's important to be warm, fun, and always address leads by name. 2. Personalize your messages Your lead nurture messages need to feel personal and unique to be most effective, so your emails and campaigns should be tailored to your leads' personas. This means having separate content for buyers vs. sellers, investors vs. first-time homebuyers, blog subscribers vs. open house attendees, referrals vs. previous clients, or any other meaningful differences that are important to you and your team (for example, a special luxury category for high-end brokerages). The persona will tell you what you should write so that your content is as relevant as possible for your readers. 3. Use consistent branding and voice Part of building trust is teaching your clients what they can expect from your brokerage. This means consistent branding (names, colors, logos) and voice. Clients who come to trust you are likelier to refer you to their networks, too. 4. Share useful content Your leads have questions. You get to provide the answers. If each email you send answers a question or provides useful information, your leads will learn to open what you send and reach out to you with additional questions. This creates even more touchpoints for you to be helpful and win their businesses and loyalty. 5. Demonstrate your expertise Remember, you're the real estate industry expert. Your leads are relying on you to guide them through every step of the biggest transaction of their lives. So, position yourself as an expert and show them what you know. Just as you should be answering their questions, you probably also know a few questions they haven't even thought to ask yet. By providing this information before they know they need it, you'll be saving them time and earning their trust. 6. Focus on one topic per message We're bombarded day in and day out with messages from our jobs, our loved ones, and our phones. Leads don't have time to read a lengthy history of the real estate industry or an in-depth analysis of the politics of your MLS board. But they do have a few minutes to learn more about the transaction they're embarking on and how you can help. If you have a topic that really needs 1,000 words to cover it, write a blog post instead and invite them to read it, or ask them to give you a call. 7. Keep everything short and sweet According to HubSpot, the ideal email length is between 50 and 125 words. That's about the length of this paragraph! In short, keep it short! Your leads should be able to open your email and know immediately to keep reading it (and that it'll only take a minute or two of their day). If they open your message and see paragraph after paragraph, they'll simply delete it. That doesn't mean longer emails aren't useful and don't add value, but briefer is better. Use bullet points, a nice image, and clear, straightforward language. You can also encourage them to read more about the topic of your message on your blog. 8. Create a logical flow between emails The point of lead nurturing is to guide and encourage. That means starting at A, continuing to B, and ending at C. Don't start with C, backtrack to A, and then mention that you (oops) forgot B. For example, you wouldn't ask a blog subscriber to sign up for your blog (again), then give them tips on a successful close before sending them an email about the importance of preapproval. Let your emails flow naturally, and guide your readers towards the action you want them to take, based on what they already did to enter your sales funnel in the first place. 9. Test, track, edit, repeat How do you know if your campaigns are working? By tracking them, of course! You can create multiple campaigns with the same end goal, try them out, and see which one performs better. Sometimes very subtle changes in wording, timing, and tone can have a big impact on clickthroughs and unsubscribes. If your emails are never opened, try a catchier subject line. If more than 5% of leads unsubscribe, check your personas and how relevant your content is to them. Keep editing and tweaking all the time for maximum results. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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And the Winner Is: Revive tops 12 hot startups in the 'Pitch Battle' at NAR iOi Summit
The two-day National Association of Realtors fourth annual iOi Summit in Los Angeles hit its crescendo just minutes before it adjourned with the biggest announcement of the conference. Revive Real Estate, the fast-growing startup that's blazing the presale renovation trail, was named the 2022 winner of the highly coveted "Pitch Battle." It was a moment that embodied the conference acronym, innovation, opportunity and investment, as Revive snagged the winner-take-all $15,000 prize and benefits that will help pole-vault it into massive industry awareness. Revive's four-minute pitch was handled deftly by its CEO and Co-Founder Michael Allawadi. Then Michael faced four more minutes of rapid-fire (and often tough) questions and assessments from a skilled panel of four judges: Thomas Ma of Real Messenger, Chris Gough of Houlihan Lokey, Max Diez of 25v and Liz Sturrock of the Miami REALTORS®. Revive is on fire – helping expand the concierge category with a model that differs significantly from its competitors. The firm business model does not charge consumers, real estate agents, or brokerages any fees or interest – Revive fully funds every renovation upfront, from the smaller prep jobs to the massive remodels. Revive does not share in the profits of its turnkey presale renovation services. It also is not the contractor. Instead, Revive delivers the back-office support and technology for its network of tightly-vetted, high-quality contractors, earning a profit from the difference between the wholesale pricing it pays as a massive buyer and the market-competitive retail pricing provided for the materials used for the renovations. The Irvine, CA-based Revive, founded by veteran house flipper Michael and tech-innovator and entrepreneur Dalip Jaggi, is already responsible for renovating and selling more than 350 homes, mostly during a time when "as-is" homes were flying off the shelves. Clearly, the bet is on both Revive and the explosive growth of this category. Market-ready homes are what buyers want in today's market, especially the biggest home buyer group, Millennials. Revive notes too many homeowners are leaving 15-20% on the table when they rush to list. But when a home becomes market-ready, it sells faster. Taking time to renovate – often 90 days or less – can put hundreds of thousands of extra dollars into the seller's pocket. Doing it stress-free and without the risks is the secret sauce Revive offers homeowners ready to sell. Agents earn more commissions on the higher-priced sale and look like a hero to their sellers for recommending Revive. The brokerage benefits from increased revenue, too. Revive describes its mission as maximizing the sale for every homeowner to help build significant wealth. With an average ROI of over 250%, it is on track to do just that. Here is the NAR news release announcing the Pitch Battle and the win by Revive: NAR Names Revive the Winner of 2022 Pitch Battle Competition at iOi Summit LOS ANGELES (September 29, 2022) – The National Association of Realtors® announced Revive as the winner of the fourth annual "Pitch Battle" competition at the 2022 Innovation, Opportunity & Investment (iOi) Summit. NAR's strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures, hosted this year's Pitch Battle in Los Angeles, California. The competition provided an opportunity for 12 finalists to showcase innovative new tools and resources for commercial and residential real estate marketplaces. The top prize was awarded to Revive, a fast-growing startup with a mission to guide home sellers through renovations to sell their property for more. The company, founded in 2019, uses a next-generation approach to home preparations that enables sellers to make the most practical and impactful updates without the upfront cost and uncertainty generally associated with home improvements. "This year's Pitch Battle saw some of the most promising PropTech startups showcase their innovations to a crowd of stakeholders ranging from global investors to futurists to real estate professionals," said NAR CEO and SCV President Bob Goldberg. "Revive embodies the essence of iOi and our Pitch Battle – the products and services on display today will have a tremendous impact on consumers and real estate agents. I'm thrilled we have this opportunity to promote the progress unfolding in the market, and I congratulate Revive on the well-deserved victory." In its pitch, Revive highlighted the hands-on approach it takes to help home sellers maximize the return on investment. Founder and CEO Michael Alladawi explained how his company has developed processes, technology and expertise to guide homeowners and Realtors® when creating their plans for renovations. Revive provides capital at no upfront cost to the homeowner and a vetted contractor to execute those plans. In addition to the considerable exposure, Revive will be awarded $15,000, a booth at NAR's annual conference in November (NAR NXT) and will present the next Pitch Battle winner at the 2023 iOi Summit. The Pitch Battle's Crowd Favorite, as voted on by the in-person and virtual audience, was awarded to Stake, an innovative loyalty program delivering cash back for renters. Currently available in 30,000 homes nationwide, Stake empowers renters to save, build wealth, and unlock free and equitable banking services. During the company's pitch, Co-Founder and CEO Rowland Hobbs explained how rental communities that offer Stake outperform with dramatically improved demand, loyalty and retention. To see the full list of 2022 Pitch Battle finalists, visit ioisummit.realtor/pitch-battle. The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Second Century Ventures (SCV) is the most active global real estate technology fund. Backed by NAR, SCV leverages the association's more than 1.5 million members and an unparalleled network of executives around the globe. SCV helps portfolio companies grow across the world's largest industries including real estate, financial services, banking, home services and insurance. SCV also operates the award-winning REACH scale-up program in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the UK. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Whitepaper Release: Ocusell New Listing Management Tool for MLSs and Brokers
Today, the primary listing management solution used by brokers is the stock solution that is provided by the MLS system vendor. From there, listings are returned back to the brokerage. Some MLSs have separated listing management – the process of entering or editing a listing – from the core MLS system. Examples include Bright MLS, NorthstarMLS, and the team of FMLS and Georgia MLS in Atlanta. Moreover, brokerages have listing management solutions that are part of their accounting system or broker website back-office solutions as well. This whitepaper discusses the business toils of listing management that creates the demand for having a stand-alone listing management solution. Please enjoy your free download and learn more about Ocusell. Download white paper here Use code: Ocusell To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Milestones Launches Homeownership Hub through InstaMortgage Loan Officers
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Learn How to Boost Your Tech Stack ROI with a Free Audit
Let's be honest: when was the last time you really looked at your brokerage's technology stack? Was it just before or after your last big tech investment? Was it recent? What did you learn? Did any follow-up actions you took give you tangible results? The truth of the matter is that most brokers rarely take the time to do a holistic review of the technology powering their business. The conventional wisdom is, "If it isn't broken, don't fix it," or that if there were ways to get more out of your tech, they'd be so obvious you'd already know about them. But in reality, your technology stack needs to be regularly reviewed to ensure your tools and solutions are helping you not just meet your current goals, but also allowing you to seize future opportunities. This will also allow your business to be more resilient during changing or difficult times. What is a tech stack audit? A tech stack audit is an opportunity to review all the technology-based tools you use at your brokerage. This means taking a look at the front office platforms, apps, programs, and tools that help you provide a seamless internal and external customer experience, as well as the back office platforms that support the day-to-day operations at your brokerage. What are the benefits of a tech stack audit? During an audit, an inventory is conducted of everything your brokerage uses. This allows you to: For a limited time, the tech experts at Constellation1 are offering complimentary 30-minute audits to new and existing customers. New customers can learn about our offerings and how we can help take your business to the next level, while existing customers can touch base with their account representatives, have their questions answered, and learn about new launches and integrations they might not have heard about. What will happen during my tech stack audit with Constellation1? After you schedule your free 30-minute audit, our team will give you a call to review and assess the current tools that make up your tech stack. During our call, we will help identify any potential areas of improvement and suggestions to help you reach your year-end goals and help you hit the ground running in 2023. Schedule your FREE tech stack audit today If you're an existing customer, please contact your account representative, who will be happy to assist you. If you're a new customer and would like the real estate tech experts at Constellation1 to offer their opinion on your tech stack (we'll be honest, we promise!), click here to request a callback. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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Keller Williams Launches Real Estate Planner Community
Keller Williams (KW) has launched the KW Real Estate Planner community for agents to train and mastermind on providing clients with wealth management services. "As the housing market continues to shift, we're leaning heavily into the value of business communities to enable our real estate entrepreneurs the opportunity to thrive," said Sajag Patel, chief operating officer, KW. "As part of a community, our agents are gaining a greater sense of connection, empowerment and impact while staying focused on business growth." KW Real Estate Planner (REP) is a community based around certification, training and networking opportunities for agents to grow and mastermind skills on wealth management for their clients. An emerging community, KW REP is led by Dan Ihara, who serves as its director. Ihara is also the founder of the Honolulu, Hawaii-based The Ihara Team. "KW Real Estate Planner is a new community designed to help our Keller Williams agents help their clients build wealth and transfer wealth," said Ihara. "Agents can elevate their game from being a very good, seasoned real estate agent to a real estate planner that the wealthy will look at for advice." Training Momentum Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), a community for business growth using diversity and inclusion best practices, has also launched monthly masterminds. The new DEI masterminds are conducted with leaders from KW's Social Equity Task Force and KW agent-led affinity groups, such as the Hispanic Leaders of Real Estate, KW Black Real Estate Network, KW CHISPA, KW Pan-Asian Group, KW Rainbow Network, KW Signs, and the Lady Leaders of Real Estate. KW New Homes, a community for business growth opportunities in new construction and land development, has launched new modular training. The training is focused on the best practices of supporting buyers with new construction buys, earning additional builder business and solidifying land developer partnerships. KW agents who join a KW community have access to specialized training, technology, coaching, mastermind events and referral opportunities. More information on KW's communities is available at communities.kw.com/community/.
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Tracking Agents and Competitors Is a Super Power for Jordan Baris Realty
There might not be anyone in real estate brokerage that is more passionate about the value of data than the Baris brothers at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Jordan Baris Realty. Having a data scientist in the family has given this northern New Jersey regional powerhouse a unique skill. Russ Baris operates eLumindata in Westport, CT. Some of you may remember that the firm was awarded the "Best New Software in the Industry," award by the National Associaton of REALTORS® in the late 90s, called Top Presenter – a data driven listing presentation tool developed by the brothers. WAV Group took note of a comment made by CEO Ken Baris on a mergers and scquisitions panel hosted at the 2022 RISMedia CEO & Leadership Exchange: "We look at the history of every agent in the firm during an M&A transaction." WAV Group consultants have done hundreds of M&A transactions, and we always look at production, but Ken suggests digging a little deeper. We discussed this in a call together and here is what we learned. The company uses data science to answer a lot of questions about their agents and every agent in the MLS. They use the data to support efforts in coaching, recruiting, retention and, of course, M&A. Are agents likely to leave? Is there a coaching opportunity? Are they pricing listings correctly? Are they losing listings? Do customers relist expired properties with them or someone else? When they come to the brokerage, where do they come from? When they leave, where do they go? Often, Baris knows more about a company and its agents than the owner. Not only do they track competitors and agents all the time, but they recognize changes in behavior that might signal opportunities. The data allows the firm to benchmark their performance across many categories to create an observation and a strategy for M&A. Here are some examples: "We look for performance weakness in key areas of a firm's operation," explained Ken Baris. "We can see listing counts dry up, agent turnover rates, swings in expired listings, and so much more from data that allows us to benchmark against competitors." You probably do not have a data scientist on staff at your brokerage, but products like Terradatum or 3 Data Pulse can help you with similar insights. The Broker Resource Network recently heard from Nancy Fennell and the leadership team at Dickson Realty about how they have deployed 3 Data Pulse in their business. The tool is used to track all recruiting in their company – meaning all agents in the market. 3 Data Pulse is also used as the cornerstone of onboarding real estate agents and monitoring the tools they use and the meetings and trainings they attend. This solution is also used to securely store agent and employee documents and even track referrals and referral closings. Tracking all M&A conversations is also a very helpful feature. Here are a couple screenshots from the webinar. (FYI: Subscribers to the Broker Resource Network can watch the entire webinar here, by logging in to their portal. If you are not already a member and you are interested in joining, send Steve Hayes an email and he will provide you all the details.) Feel free to give Victor Lund or Marilyn Wilson a call if you have further questions. Also, if you have interest in hosting a webinar with the Broker Resource Network, send them an email and a team member will get with you to discuss details. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Realtor.com Finds Their Publishing Power
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Why One Top-rated Real Estate Valuation Model Is Better Than the Rest
Some may be surprised to learn that one of the nation's most accurate and highly-rated real estate valuation models is behind closed doors. And for good reason. Tested by leading independent companies for accuracy and hit rate, the Realtor Valuation Model (RVM) has shown consistent high performance. Those "accuracy and hit-rate" indicators—primary measures of automated valuation model (AVM) quality—are regularly analyzed across multiple markets and a wide variety of market conditions. Difference in the data The one-of-a-kind RVM, offered by Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®), continually outperforms other models thanks to its unique algorithm. Unlike traditional AVMs, the RVM's proprietary formula applies on-market and off-market MLS listing data plus publicly recorded sold data to form its estimation. In contrast, AVM estimated values draw solely from publicly recorded sold data. Those unique attributes are foundational to the RVM, yet the tool and its capabilities extend far beyond simply displaying an estimation. The RVM's powerful customization features are such that only a licensed REALTOR® is considered qualified to interpret, refine, and deliver accurate estimations, in addition to dozens of other data, analytics and reporting functions found within RPR. "Any automated valuation model is only as good as the underlying data and the algorithm used in the calculation," says RPR COO and general manager Jeff Young. "It takes a REALTOR®'s experience and local market knowledge to provide consumers with true market values. This is even more important in the rapidly changing market we see in 2022." RVM® Cornerstones of Credibility On- and off-market MLS listing data + public record sold data = estimation Only REALTOR®-owned automated valuation product. Incorporates REALTOR® market expertise and customization. Confidence score describes expected accuracy of estimated value RVM as a starting point As the only REALTOR®-owned automated valuation product, the RVM turns a traditional AVM on its heels by offering users customizable refinement tools. Attributes not found on consumer-facing real estate sites. This distinct advantage allows users to refine the RVM by home improvements made and/or needed, property facts, and market conditions—typically based on knowledge of the property or an on-site visit. AVMs do not factor in a property's condition; instead relying on "average condition" scenarios when determining value. In defense of the AVM, accurate estimations of comparable on-market properties can be obtained using a prior physical inspection. Yet, according to Karen France, RPR senior vice president of market engagement, those values can fail to live up to true market realities. "Many things can distort the estimated value of a property. A home might be unusual compared to its neighborhood counterparts or access to off-market data is limited," says France. "If an MLS shares only on-market listings with an AVM provider, rather than both the on- and off-market information that they share with RPR, the valuations tend to fall short of an accurate estimation." Plus, adds France, AVMs draw from public records sources, which can be inaccurate, incomplete, and slow to record transactions. The 5-star confidence score Lastly, the RVM offers a one-to-five star confidence score that describes the expected accuracy of a property's estimated value. Based on the outcomes of multiple automated valuation models, higher scores are defined by narrower valuation ranges. The opposite is true for lower scores. The ranges are beneficial guideposts that help REALTORS® navigate list-price discussions with potential sellers. RVM Margin of error for confidence scores To date, RPR's Realtor Valuation Model® is in a class by itself among automated real estate valuation models. Learn more about this valuable tool. Editor's Note: RPR encourages REALTORS® to educate consumers on the important difference between AVMs, RVMs and appraisals. RVMs and AVMs are not meant to serve as appraisals. REALTORS® determine market value that must be validated by an appraiser. Lenders rely only on an appraisal. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Keller Williams Releases Expanded Edition of 'Your First Home'
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What Are the Best Tips for Successfully Nurturing Real Estate Leads?
Whether from your website, social media, or even yard signs, not all the leads you get will be ready to move forward right away. In addition to the time you need to prepare their listing, sellers may need to make needed repairs and renovations and properly stage their home. Buyers might still need to get preapproval, identify their ideal neighborhood or, in times like these, adjust their expectations and budgets to find the right home for them. None of this can happen overnight. In fact, it can take a long time. According to some industry experts, real estate leads can incubate from anywhere to six to 24 months. It's important to think of leads like seeds: if you plant them regularly and nurture them with care, you'll have a steady stream of sales down the road. But what are the best ways to nurture real estate leads? Regular, reliable, relevant touchpoints A touchpoint is any interaction you have with your leads. Once they reach out to you by phone, email, or through your website (the first touchpoint), follow-up touchpoints are important to keep leads warm. Three factors are key: Regularity We are, by nature, a little forgetful. To be memorable, you actually need to remind your leads you're there. By following up regularly—but unobtrusively, such as by email—your name and brand will stay top of mind, so your leads won't end up working with someone else after you've put in all the work to cultivate them. Reliability Homebuyers and sellers usually have a lot of questions about the process. After all, it's one of the biggest steps and transactions most people undertake in their lives. They must trust you as a professional, and that you're providing reliable information. Brand your communications consistently, use proper spelling and grammar, and share useful facts and data. Relevance We're bombarded with information all day long. If your touchpoints don't speak to your leads' unique concerns and interests or aren't relevant to where they are in the sales cycle, they'll quickly tune out. To avoid this, provide the information your leads can really use: For Sellers: Staging tips, neighborhood reports, recent sales comps, and more. For Buyers: Preapproval and lending information, recommended properties, tips for picking a good inspector, or checklists to bring to showings. Tailored nurture campaigns Speaking of relevance, your leads should be plugged into tailored campaigns that account for much more than just whether they're a buyer or seller. Are they a first-time buyer, and therefore need more support? Are they a seasoned property investor or home flipper that needs a little less handholding? These two different profiles should not be receiving the same information, and your lead nurture strategy and tools need to provide the flexibility to speak to both. Customizable content Out-of-the-box content sometimes just won't cut it. A library of lead nurture content is important and can save you lots of time, but it won't reach its full potential if you can't customize it. No one wants to receive canned, impersonal emails, so make sure your communications have the human touch. At a minimum, you need to be able to address your leads by name and send content that is specific to their area and budget. The more customization, the better. Personalization tokens are an easy way to do this, and you need the ability to write and add your own messages to your campaigns. Smart automation You're busy! Manually tracking and completing these tasks could be a full-time job, but we understand that busy brokers and agents have a lot of other things to worry about. This is where smart automation comes in. Smart automation allows you to put lead nurturing on autopilot, so you intervene only when you can add value, like answering a specific question, hopping on the phone, or scheduling a meeting. Less tedium, more transactions! Tracking Finally, you need to be able to track your leads effectively. How many have you received? How many have been actioned? How many are in a specific campaign? How many have gone cold? With the right tracking tools, you can sort leads by where they are (or aren't) in your lead nurture workflow and act accordingly. Constellation1 CRM provides robust and granular lead nurture capabilities. Learn more here. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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NAR Announces 12 Tech Startups for Pitch Battle Competition at iOi Summit
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The Flexible Working Dilemma: What Makes the Perfect Hybrid Model?
Since the easing of the lockdown, we have found ourselves in a new phase of the ever-evolving employment cycle: trying to readjust our office habits after working from home for nearly two years. Some companies have called their employees back to the office full-time; others fully adopted flexible working à la Silicon Valley and reimagined their business culture entirely. However, the majority of firms have gone with a hybrid model, allowing employees to work remotely some days of the week and come into the office on others. We have all heard arguments for and against working from home, and the truth is there is no one way of ensuring employee satisfaction and productivity in a modern workplace. All offices and corporate cultures have their own best practices, which reflect their individual needs and the company's ethos. As long as the needs of the business and clients are diverse, the work model can also be flexible, in order to accommodate ever-changing industries and the external factors that influence them. It is clear many employees enjoyed the greater flexibility that came with the pandemic, and this is an element of work that has been adopted as businesses sought to reintroduce office life and face-to-face contact. The hybrid model is a great way to optimize productivity, in addition to being flexible and forward thinking. As exciting as this is, we are failing to come up with a unified standard for what that hybrid working model will entail across our industries. According to Forbes, 70% of workers prefer remote working, whilst over 65% of workers want opportunities to spend face-to-face time with their colleagues. Business owners and management, therefore, face a conundrum, and many have gone the extra mile to ensure offices are better equipped to offer flexible working within their infrastructure. But how flexible can hybrid working really be? Do we all have the same understanding of what hybrid working means? What does it actually look like in practice? Recent studies show that employees and employers have no interest in going back to the office five days a week. Some companies, especially those in the tech sector, are proposing the reverse of most hybrid model working conditions, such as allowing employees to work from the office only a few weeks per year. It seems the most popular variation is going to the office for two or three days a week and working remotely on the others – which brings a new set of questions: do employees pick and choose which days they come into the office? Or, do we simply have set days when everybody comes in? If the days are pre-determined by the company then the workspace will become a more social environment, which would help employees enjoy the benefits of face-to-face interactions and brainstorming, not to forget morale and team building. It would also give staff an opportunity to book client meetings on those days, which is a vital cog in the global real estate industry, for example. Considering the office would be empty during the rest of the week, it would also cut operational costs. On the other hand, giving employees the responsibility to choose days most suitable to them could have a positive impact on promoting a healthy work-life balance. However, this could present obstacles with effective diary management, as employee schedules would be independent to their colleagues, therefore limiting collaboration time. There are endless options when it comes to the hybrid model, and the truth is a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work. Giant corporations and start-ups have different staff requirements – tech and creative businesses might prefer full flexibility, as much of the work is desk-based while architects may need more time in the office to work on drawings and design plans. If we did all switch to remote working entirely, we could see offices close down across the globe and town centers become ghost towns. There can be structure within hybrid work, as long as we see this shift as an opportunity. The property industry has always been considered more traditional than others, as it requires in-person interactions, and most buyers would prefer to see properties before making a decision. However, the great benefits of technology during the pandemic illustrated a hybrid approach on VR viewings and virtual meetings as well. Companies can maximize the effects of hybrid working by committing to current technological advancements and set a new standard for themselves. Investing in team building, increasing the use of internal organizational tools such as Asana, Teams and Slack and doing research in order to create the best hybrid model for them. Setting rules and boundaries that align with the company culture and the demands of the employees can foster a highly positive work ecosystem. Let's be innovative, bold and explore the most efficient ways of building a new workforce culture. This article by Chris Dietz, LeadingRE President, Global Operations, was originally published by PropertyWeek.
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