2014 may well be the year of the broker, or as they are referred to in MLS speak, the year of the Participant. If your MLS has adopted the National Association of REALTORS® template for MLS Rules and Regulations, you will find that brokers are Participants and agents are Subscribers. As a Participant in the MLS, brokers accept full responsibility to adhere to MLS rules and regulations. The MLS does a pretty good job of enforcing those rules. But who among you is making sure that the MLS is not running afoul? WAV Group MLS clients are traditionally the largest MLSs in the nation. If the MLS has a member count of less than 2000, it is unlikely that WAV Group has ever facilitated a strategic plan for your MLS. From this perspective, WAV Group has learned that large MLSs rarely run afoul of staying current. The place to spend time auditing your MLS is the small MLS. These MLSs are unlikely to attend NAR’s National or Mid-year meetings where MLS policy evolves. They rely on NAR emails to stay current. Moreover, the MLS board of directors is also unlikely to stay current with MLS policy, which erodes their appreciation and ability to make informed policy decisions. Beyond NAR, there is also the Council of MLS or CMLS. This is the industry trade group for MLS executives that has regular meetings to discuss best practices of operating an MLS. Ask your MLS if they attend NAR Annual, Midyear, and CMLS meetings. The goal of this post is not to pick on small MLSs. The reality is that they do not have the resources to participate in all of these things. Where WAV Group discovers small MLSs that have fallen behind is when we audit large brokers for rules compliance. Large brokers proactively engage in an audit each year to make sure that all of their systems are in compliance with local rules and regulations. This process is as much a vendor audit as it is a broker audit. MLSs often change rules and the broker or vendor miss the memo on the rules change. Alternatively, the NAR rules change and the MLS does not revise their rules to keep current. Either way, the broker is out of compliance, and is liable for fines and other disciplinary action. WAV Group gathers the rules and regulations from each MLS then review all […]
For the last half of a decade, the real estate industry has taken blow after blow. Through grace, we have recovered as an industry and that has a profound impact on homeowners and REALTORS® alike. The number of families losing their home to foreclosure has reset to reasonable levels. WAV Group facilitated nearly two-dozen strategic plans for some of our industry’s most significant market makers. In many cases, boards of directors are thinking pretty big. They are taking on difficult policy issues including syndication, data licensing, and data management. If these organizations accomplish half of what they have set as goals, the industry will be stronger ever. That is good for organized real estate. There is an appetite for agents, brokers, MLSs, Associations, and franchises to work together in unprecedented ways. As you embark on your plan for 2014, think big. In 1732, a 26 year-old man wrote an interesting book called Poor Richard’s Almanac. His name was Ben, making the title of the book awkward. It had a lot of great sayings like “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” They are still words to live by. This fellow profited from the publication of the book financially, becoming a wealthy colonist who could have retired at the age of 42. He could easily have rested on his fortune, but he aspired for more. His goals reached beyond himself and out to the emergence of a nation. Ben went to work in his tinker lab where he discovered electricity, invented the lightning rod, the iron stove, bifocals, and the glass harmonica. Bet you did not know about the harmonica. His theories of meteorology, heat absorption, electricity and ocean currents are still revered today. Some speculate that Ben may have been an alien, brought to earth to help us evolve. Since science is a bit of a bore, Ben founded the first insurance company, fire department, public hospital, public library, night patrol and first militia. He even became the first postmaster and civil defense chief for the French and Indian War. To make all of this work more effectively, he created the association of Colonies and put together the Albany Conference. Not a bad day’s work for a retired fellow. He tried to negotiate some better rights from the British Crown for the Colonies. The Brits did […]
Many real estate brokers are being asked to sign new MLS Participant Agreements. The cause for new agreement is based upon the MLSs efforts to support real estate brokers to protect their intellectual property. This is a very important initiative that every broker should take very seriously. Every broker should also consult with their attorney to discuss ramifications and meet with the MLS in a forum to discuss the best path. There are a couple cases before state supreme courts (MD and MN) that are ruling on the ability for the MLS to defend the intellectual property rights when they are scraped from public websites or misused by licensees. Since I am not an attorney, I will not opine on the cases but suggest that you get a statement from the attorney for your MLS. I surmise from my reading of each case that the courts are divided. The specific methods that MLSs use to perfect and protect copyright have a lot to do with the ability to defend the copyright on behalf of the broker. New Intellectual Property Options in MLS Participant Agreements Although there are variations on what I have seen, this is the language that seems to be popular for MLS adoption into their rules: Election regarding copyrights in Participant Contributions Assignment from Participant. Participant hereby assigns to the MLS all right, title and interest, including all rights under U.S. and international copyright law, in the Participant Contribution, Participant warrants that it has the authority to make this assignment. Participant acknowledges that once it has made the election agreeing to this section, all copyrights in all portions of the Participant Contribution, whether submitted to or after executing this Agreement, shall irrevocably vest in the MLS MLS Obligations. MLS hereby grants to Participant a non exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, transferable, royalty-free, license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute, display, perform and license (including sublicenses through multiple tiers) the Participant Contribution and those portions of the MLS Database relating to Participant’s listings. MLS shall secure the rights of Participant hereunder by obtaining assignments and licenses from Subscribers and others as necessary. MLS shall make quarterly registrations of the copyrights in the MLS Database, including the Participant Contribution, MLS shall employ reasonable efforts to detect and hinder third parties using the Participant Contribution without Participant’s permission. Of course, there is typically an option to opt-out of the MLS protecting your Intellectual Property […]
Real estate business consulting firms wear a lot of hats. When we are hired, our goal is to serve our clients goals as master – never our own goals. It’s a unique mindset. National Association of REALTORS® annual conventions are a keen reminder of this paradigm. In a single day, it was commonplace to speak strategy with technology companies; brokers; Associations of REALTORS® (National, State, Megaboard); Association governed MLS, broker governed MLS, broker owned and governed MLS. Perhaps the only oddity is that there is no example of a broker owned, Association governed MLS. Same Issue, Different Rights I think that often there is a tendency to try to lump disparate groups together in ways that are naive in our industry. Uninformed people may talk about strategic issues without regard for the nature of things in local markets. For example, a broker owned MLS consumer website appeals to many brokers whereby an Association owned MLS consumer website may not. REALTORS® may appreciate Association owned consumer websites, but brokers may object. There is no right or wrong. There are many rights and many wrongs. Choice is a matter of local consideration and proper execution. The Right Balance is Never Static Regardless of the chosen strategic paradigm in a market place, there will always be critics. Given a choice, groups form that favor or do not favor an initiative. Perfect alignment on any given issue involving hundreds or even thousands of people is unrealistic. We are a society of compromises that understands that you may be on the right side of some issues while your peers may sometimes be on the other side. There are Lots of Rights Remember that strategy is more of an array of strategies than a single strategy. With any enterprise organization there are many issues that form policy and policy forms strategy. You win some, and you will never win them all. But you keep fighting for your version of right. Being Two-Faced At the NAR convention, I had an encounter whereby someone remarked that WAV Group was supporting one issue over another. I had to explain that WAV Group does not support any issue. We support them all. WAV Group is not a policymaker; we are a research company that leverages information to help clients form and execute their strategy. Our only goal is for the client to succeed with the strategy that is chosen by […]
Arroyo Grande, CA (December 16, 2013) – The real estate technology leaders at RE Technology (www.RETechnology.com) today announced the appointment of Jason Raya as Manager of Business Development. Raya will be maintaining the company’s key relationships with advertisers and technology partners and onboarding new companies to the portal. “We’re excited to have Jason on board,” says Victor Lund, CEO of RE Technology. “It’s challenging to find someone who is well-versed in our industry. Jason’s real estate and communication expertise will only enhance our ability to support our technology vendor relationships.” Raya brings six years of internet marketing and entrepreneurial expertise to his new position at RE Technology. He most recently worked as a Senior Internet Marketing Consultant at Z57 Internet Solutions, where he received multiple top producer awards. “Living inside the sales department of a leading real estate technology company is invaluable experience,” says Lund. “After working with hundreds of REALTORS® over the last few years, I’ve experienced first hand how agents and brokers use solutions like RE Technology to research technology purchases,” says Raya. “I look forward to helping technology companies shine bright on RETechnology.com and open the door to over a million visitors to the site each month.” Raya served for four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. After an honorable discharge, he earned a B.A. in Communication from California State University-San Marcos before joining Z57. Raya and his wife have relocated from San Diego to the Central Coast of California to join the RE Technology team. He can be reached at email@example.com or (619) 866-8197. About RE Technology, Inc. RE Technology, Inc. (www.retechnology.com), is a comprehensive real estate technology website, reaching over 750,000 real estate agents and brokers. By embedding directly into MLS systems across North America, RETechnology.com makes it easy for agents to access clear product descriptions, read product reviews, and stay current with technology trends. Providing a rich assortment of tutorials, how-to’s and technology training articles, RE Technology helps agents understand the benefits of technology and how to strategically implement technological tools. The RE Technology website is colored with user ratings and comments, creating a rich community of product feedback and user-driven endorsements.
This is probably snooze news, but the agreement between realtor.com and AOL that powers http://realestate.aol.com is going by the wayside. The two companies terminated their agreement mutually. Zillow jumped in and will not get that traffic – so if you publish your listings to Zillow today, they will also appear on realestate.aol.com. Here are the details that were just circulated to the media. When will this agreement end? · December 18, 2013 @8 am PST Why is this relationship ending? · AOL and Move have mutually decided to discontinue our relationship. In 2014, Move will be focused on connecting more directly with consumers through realtor.com and empowering real estate professionals with the opportunity to engage more directly with consumers. Zillow takes over AOL. How will this change impact customers? · Move does not envision business impact to our customers. Over the last year and into 2014, Move is focused on the further developing the following traffic and lead driving initiatives to support our customers: AOL leads will now come through the Zillow network. · Campaigns with the NAR: Our partnership with the NAR, providing consumer marketing through radio and television campaigns, combined with our own media outreach has contributed to our success in reaching well targeted consumers contemplating a move (See: Realtor.org) · Increasing content: The increase in content on realtor.com has helped us attract and retain consumers who are earnestly preparing for a move and may be tempted to search elsewhere were we not able to provide a full spectrum of inventory. This was brought about by our agreement with NAR allowing for more content growth and presentation flexibility · Investments in website design and branding: This initiative has resulted in greater usage of realtor.com. Recent research from CAR indicates that actual buyers and sellers are more likely to use realtor.com. (See: http://marketing.realtor.com/2013/Q3/RDC-Update-201308-Page5.html) · Reaching consumers directly: We are continuing to invest and optimize efforts we believe will not only provide traffic, but most directly result in reaching consumers closer to the verge of moving · Realtor.com is producing more actionable leads than other national portals for real estate, according to a survey of brokers and agents by independent analyst. (See: PAA research)
WAV Group is blessed to work with some excellent brokers. We have never worked for an agent unless it was through their broker. Regardless, we try to keep the agent in clear perspective because agent retention and recruiting are the mantra of the best brokerages in America. Yesterday, I ran across the path of a brokerage that really sucks. Here is the story. A young family with three children struggled with a stay at home mom who nurtured each babe through adolescence and into first grade. The mother was raised a dancer and supplemented her sanity and the family income by teaching dance classes at night. This is how we met. When her youngest child entered school, she added more part time jobs to help the family. Eventually she found her way to becoming a real estate agent. Still in her first year, she worked as a buyer’s agent in six transactions, procured two listings and sold one. Clearly this gal has skills. We were sitting together last night when a tweet popped up on both of our phones from Point2, something about a sale on leads. We both chuckled at the irony of following the same company on Twitter, but she asked me about leads and Point2. I retorted with questions about how she generates leads today, how many leads her current listing is pulling in per month, and how she follows up on leads. To my surprise, she said that she did not get any leads. Since I am a “fixer,” she and I set out to see what was broken. We checked online and saw her listings syndicated everywhere. I suggested some improvements to her profile and told her how to modify the description text on portals to generate more calls and clicks. Then we tested the lead routing solution from her broker. I inquired about her listing and we watched her phone for the lead to come in…silence. After five minutes, still silence. She went to teach class and left her phone with me. I was monitoring email for both of us. An hour passed and she returned. “So, did it come in?” she asked. Nope. I asked her to log into the Realogy back office and the broker back office to show me where her leads come in. My fear was that she had been kicked out of rotation for not responding to leads. This […]
AgentMatch from realtor.com was a solution that was tested in two real estate markets – Boulder, CO and Las Vegas, TX. The pilot program was developed as a service to connect consumers with agents based on performance, interests and recommendation data. Putting aside the debate about the strengths or weaknesses of this form of rating an agent, there is plenty to learn from how it was rolled out, how feedback was generated, and how the company reacted to the feedback. Pre-roll Out Decisions With any new service, the first question should be opt-in or opt-out. WAV Group has always recommended that the default on any consumer facing solution should be opt-in unless there are powerful mitigating reasons that support opt-out. In this test, realtor.com worked closely with both MLSs to be sure all were in agreement with how the data would be displayed. Pre-roll Out Communication Some companies have mandated classes on product roll-outs. WAV Group is not a big fan of this. Rather, offer the class or training online. Record it. Do not enable the service until the broker has either waived or attended the training. Getting the acknowledgement is really important. It is absurd to think that you will be able to reasonably solicit some form of acknowledgement from every broker – but make sure you get acknowledgement from most brokers. Schedule meetings face to face with your 10 largest brokers and phone conferences with 11-50. Again here, I applaud realtor.com for organizing local, executive and broker advisory boards during the development of this pilot. Pilot Testing New product roll-outs are never perfect. Indeed, the mantra for innovation is “fail fast and fail often.” What RDC did by putting the product out into the wild was aggressive. I know they worked closely with, and solicited feedback from, agents before AgentMatch was publically displayed. But they still got a pile of new feedback in the early days of the pilot. React to Feedback AgentMatch was taken offline today. In a statement, realtor.com President, Errol Samuelson said “The AgentMatch pilot has concluded, but the larger project remains: We intend to create the most accurate and complete resource for consumers looking for a Realtor online, and to continue moving the industry forward with innovative solutions.” What makes the company stronger in the eyes of their customers is that they were comfortable with embracing feedback and taking action to resolve important issues […]
There is a significant gap in the depth of information found on listing portals vs. broker websites today. Aside from marketing acumen and marketing investment, the quality of the experience is simply better on many portal sites. A few years ago, portals dominated brokerages with map search. As brokers got a handle on that, portals evolved with the single, Googlesque search bar. Most good broker sites have gotten a handle on that now too. But the bar continues to move in new directions. The biggest gap seems to be the information contained on the listing detail page. I had a chance to review and discuss this gap with some leading brokers this week and take their temperature on how they plan to address the information gap in 2014. The responses were fascinating. To begin with, there is a legacy rule that is lingering on many MLS IDX rules regarding commingling MLS data with other data sources. Most of the progressive MLSs have stricken that rule. To all extents and purposes the rule only limited brokers from being competitive. With that rule out of the way, brokers are free to augment listing data with the data that consumers yearn for. Here is the top 5 countdown of features brokers plan to integrate into search or the listing detail pages in 2014. #5 – Drive Time – 21% of Brokers Plan to Integrate Drive Time Search – A new company called INRIX peeked into real estate this fall offering Drive Time data via API. This company collects commute times from cell phone data at a rate of a trillion bits per second or some crazy number like that. You have experienced this when you map something in your car’s GPS or on your phone and it estimates drive time and updates for traffic. Using the INRIX API, consumers or their agents can provide property search results on areas according to drive time. In most metropolitan areas, commute time to school and/or work play a significant role in selecting a neighborhood. #4 – School Zone Attendance Search – 29% of Brokers Plan to integrate this feature in 2014. School Zones have been a hot debate because of the legal implications. Brokers have legitimate concerns about liability if the data is not accurate. The good news is that the data is pretty darn accurate today and disclaimers help overcome the liability. Delta Media, Real Estate Digital, […]
WAV Group would like to share an update that was released today from the MLS Domains Association. If you are not familiar with the initiative, it is a collaboration of companies that seek to buy the domain extension of DotMLS. ICANN, which is the international group that determines domain extensions is in the business of licensing domains to legitimate parties. Determining what a Legitimate Party is can be quite a cumbersome (and expensive) task. .Com, .Biz, .Gov, and all of the county domains like .CA, .IT and the like have already been issued. ICANN became widely known when they issued .XXX. ICANN is trying to expand the names available for internet addresses in the best possible way – it is obvious that an extension like .XXX would allow people to block those sites from minors. The strategy of .MLS is to provide consumers with a definition that would allow them to differentiate websites that display MLS data from other websites that pretend to display website data but are unauthorized to do so. If successful, MLS participants and agents using the .MLS domain would have a special advantage online. Unfortunately, getting accepted as the registrar for .MLS is really hard, and very expensive. Here is the update on the initiative. If you have an interest in supporting or joining the .MLS Domains Association, please contact Judith Lindenau at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Re: Status Report on the Progress of a ‘.MLS’ Top Level Domain Name Greetings! The Board of Directors of the MLS Domains Association would like to offer a year-end summary to our Association members and friends. Here an encapsulated version of our activities this year and where we stand with the .MLS applications. Partnering with CREA. As we proceeded through the application process, we formed a partnership with the Canadian Real Estate Association to apply for the .MLS top level domain for the US and Canadian multiple listing services. We did so for two reasons: (1) CREA owns the trademark “MLS” in Canada, thus giving more weight to our claim, and (2) CREA was willing to share expenses with us in pursuing a world-wide license to use the domain name for only for CREA and MLS Domains Association members. CREA is the entity applying for the .MLS top level domain; MLS Domains will manage it for MLSs in the U.S. Filing Two Types of Applications. The worldwide organization that manages domain names, ICANN, […]
I do a lot of work helping MLSs choose their next MLS technology vendor and I also work with brokers that use multiple real estate technology tools. The one thing both sets of technology have in common is the fact that without good data the technology is worthless. Numerous roadblocks exist today, however, on the data front that often derails the best software. Some roadblocks come from within the MLS but some come from the technology vendors themselves. MLSs can serve as roadblocks to listing and sales data at the source, meaning they may put arbitrary restrictions on data use by their own members, through their MLS policies, or they make the process to get data difficult. This is not true for all MLSs, of course, but all of us that have been following the concerns voiced by the Realty Alliance realize there are still many Brokers who feel some MLSs make it difficult for them to get and use all of the real estate data they need and are entitled to. The other data issue, that may not be so apparent to the average real estate professional is the problem created when an MLS or Broker wants to move from one technology to a new technology and comes to realize that much of the data they have entered into their current technology platform will not be able to be transferred to their new technology platform. This means thousands of hours of data input will be lost and huge amounts of work done by real estate professionals will have to be done again. The real estate data I am referring to in this case is not listing data, which of course is critically important, but rather data entered by users and consumers in the course of conducting real estate transactions. This includes data such as contact information, agent saved searches, client saved searches, custom report templates, CMAs, listing carts and so on. Today, the most used part of any MLS system is the auto search and client connection feature. There are numerous features and functions associated with these services. Due to the sheer numbers of contacts agents have that use these features the MLS system spends more times handling these specific functions than it does doing searches for agents, or other functions just used by agents. But, with the majority of MLS systems today, if you change vendors, you will […]
Years ago, when consumers searched for keywords like City Name + Real Estate, an actual real estate broker would appear in the search results. Those days are long gone for most cities in America. Unless a broker has invested richly in the goal to appear on page one, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and Homes.com dominate. With the advent of mobile search and the consumer awareness of long tail search, the goal of SEO strategies by portals expanded to include property address. Again, four or five years ago, if you searched for a property by address, and that property was for sale, you would normally see a variety of broker websites with property detail pages appear in search. Today, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and Homes.com dominate the long tail SEO for property address search in most markets. Brokers align themselves with the portals in various ways, including premium advertising products to redirect that consumer back to the brokerage. When you look at the traffic to broker websites today – and how consumers use them – beyond property search, the most popular area of the website is the agent directory and agent detail pages. Property pages dominate, but the agent pages are a clear second place. From there, any other content on the site, including blog content, is less material. Brokers are about to lose the search battle for agent name, and soon, broker name. In 2013, WAV Group detected an interesting trend emerging. The efforts in 2011 and 2012 by portals to get agents to complete their profiles on portal sites began to pay off. The agent detail pages for portals began to appear on the first page of Google search for agent name. Google a few of your agent names and you will see what I am referring to. No doubt, if an agent wants to enhance their leads on their own listing, they absolutely must complete their agent profile page on portal websites. The ridiculous trade-off (conundrum) is that completing the agent profile serves the portal’s goal of enhancing their ability to drive more traffic to their site rather than the agent or broker website from search engines. In 2014, brokers should budget to begin buying advertising products from portals that are not property centric – but agent or broker profile centric. Based upon recent developments with Realtor.com, I doubt that they will have the stomach to productize this, but I […]
It is our pleasure to share the results of the WAV Group 2013 MLS Technology Survey report with you. The WAV Group 2013 MLS Technology Survey was fielded on September 13 and closed on October 16. 11,176 staff and users completed the survey. Survey results are only included for those MLSs that provided both staff and user ratings. Staff and user results are presented separately in the report. Overall, MLSs are happy with their MLS technology but there is some churn in the industry. 43% for the participating MLSs have been with their vendors for 10 years or more. Only 7% of the MLSs say they are definitely going to look for a new vendor, while 12% say they have had issues and will look seriously at switching. Half are happy and will likely renew without a search and 32% say they will probably renew put plan to look. These numbers represent considerably more “looking” than we have seen in prior years. A number of factors are contributing to this rise in system reviews and system conversions. First, systems have really improved over the last few years. Interfaces are improving and overall flexibility at the staff and user level is improving on multiple systems. Client collaboration tools are getting better as well. We are seeing advances in numerous other functional areas. Second, a large portion of our MLSs are still on legacy systems that are showing their age. Some MLSs are being presented new system options from their vendor as their current systems are being phased out over time. Many of these MLSs are wisely looking at all system options prior to making a system decision since even upgrading with their current vendor will require a true system conversion. The great news is there are a number of excellent MLS vendors and system choices and one size does not fit all. We are often asked to identify the best vendor and system and the truth is, it depends. It depends on the system you are on, the size of your MLS, the level of IT expertise you have at the staff level, how important price is, etc. And don’t forget company culture. Your MLS vendor is your partner so finding the right fit, in terms of company culture, is hugely important for a successful vendor/client relationship. We encourage you to take a look around if you haven’t recently as there […]
All of us at WAV Group would like to wish all of our friends in the industry a happy, healthy and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. We all have very much to be thankful for in our industry and this is a great time to take stock of our blessings. Our real estate market has turned around from a period when things looked very dark and gloomy to one where the future looks very bright. Our real estate system for all its imperfections is the best in the world. All of you who have had the opportunity to live abroad know what I am talking about. We are a nation and industry of achievers and a side effect of that constant push to move ahead and beyond our past accomplishments is a tendency to minimize how well we are already doing. We are the only country in the world where real estate professional cooperate and share compensation on a mass scale. There are imperfections and disagreements but we talk and we listen. Our leaders on all sides truly look for ways to address concerns and make improvements and we do improve. The bottom line is our industry works and when you consider that no one else in the entire world does it as well I think that is something to be truly thankful for. Those of us that have made a lifelong commitment to the real estate industry know how crazy our little world is but ask anyone one of us and it is clear that we also love being a part of it. So congrats on a job well done at all levels! This Thanksgiving we are going to slow down for a moment, enjoy our families and remember how good things really are. It can always be better and we will keep working to make it so, but in the meantime all of us at WAV Group are truly thankful to be in this industry with all of you. Happy Thanksgiving!
SEM and VTs, sounds a little more than conspicuous. Its code for using some Internet strategies to do a little more with online marketing. There is a gaping area of unexploited territory available to cleaver brokers who understand how to leverage unbranded virtual tours in real estate. As WAV Group has discussed before, the unbranded virtual tour allows a broker to publish a Virtual Tour to other broker and agent websites. If done correctly, that virtual tour provides a link back to the broker’s website. It is not a link that the consumer sees or can even touch, but search engine spiders follow the link. It has long been known that link backs are a big benefit in Search Engine Optimization. However, like every exploit – this strategy wanes in effectiveness as more brokers adopt the strategy and as search engines change their ranking algorithms. Moving on, some WAV Group clients have begun to try some new strategies that are proving to be pretty effective. The unbranded Virtual Tour can place a cookie on the consumer’s browser that can be used to target search engine marketing and online banner advertising to the consumer across the Internet. Obviously you cannot advertise to a consumer on a competing broker’s website, but you can track that consumer when they leave the competitor’s website and hit them with all kinds of advertising all over the web. This practice is commonly referred to as retargeting. Don’t get too excited. Many browsers are beginning to block cookies that do this sort of thing – making the strategy more difficult and the reach less effective. But when it works, it works really well. The cookie acts like a beacon that shines a light on consumers who are on broker or agent websites looking at IDX listings. That is a target rich audience for advertising. There is a little more to this story. It involves recruiting. As we learned in our 2013 Broker Website Effectiveness study, few brokers are deploying search engine marketing strategies. Remember that many of the visitors to agent and broker websites who are looking at virtual tours are agents. It may seem unprofitable to advertise to agents, but that is far from the truth. When an agent sees a broker’s online advertising they get the impression that the broker is doing more than their current broker to market online. That is a powerful recruiting […]
How to Lose a Listing My neighbors really like their original real estate agent, Agent One. They wanted to work with her again. But they tell me that they probably won’t choose her to list their home. This is pretty catastrophic for her, whether she knows it or not, because repeat and referral business is a real estate agent’s bread and butter. 4 NAR ® Member Benefits You Should Be Using The REALTOR® Benefits Program brings members of NAR discounts and special offers on real estate products and services. The value of the Program isn’t just the financial savings; it also ensures that the prodcuts offered are carefully selected to meet the needs of real estate professionals like you. It’s about receiving a quality product for a quality price. Buying a New Tech Tool? The First Question to Ask I consider myself a very open-minded person, but try to convince me to switch from Mac to PC, for example, and I’m going to dig in my heels. I’m not alone; most of the people you meet are committed to their marriages, their families, their careers, and their operating system. So when you’re choosing any technology product, your first question needs to be whether or not it will work with your OS. Every Listing is Worth a Million Dollars Okay, perhaps not literally. Some of your listings will sell for much less while others may sell for even more – and everywhere in between. But your attitude should always be the same. You should treat each listing and each client as if they are the most valuable you’ve ever represented. Your 2013 Holiday Blogging Plan With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to let your blogging habits fall by the wayside. The festive season presents a wealth of easy post ideas, however, so make sure sure you’re not neglecting your blog! We’ve rounded up a few topics that will help you connect to consumers by providing useful information.
LeadRouter is the solution that is used by the REALOGY firms to manage the hundreds of thousands of leads generated by the franchises and the franchisees across the world. It is arguably the most commonly used lead management solution on the planet. Today, it just got better for the agent and for the consumer. In Thursday’s version release, LeadRouter has taken steps to allow agents to immediately contact the consumer by phone when the lead comes in, and the record of that contact record is automatically published in LeadRouther. It is simple, elegant, better. If you are not a LeadRouter user, you may not appreciate this subtle sounding improvement. But it is big. Before the update, an agent would get a get a lead from LeadRouter. Hang up the phone, make another call to the consumer. Complete the call to the consumer, then log into LeadRouter, accept the lead, then update the lead status. All of these steps have been reduced to “Pressing 5” on your phone keypad. When an agent gets a lead and “presses 5,” LeadRouter will dial the consumer’s phone. If the call to the consumer spans 30 seconds, then the contact will be automatically applied to the status of the lead in LeadRouter. One step. Press 5! WAV Group lead research has indicated that our industry is paralyzed when it comes to lead management. Half of all internet leads are never answered and when they are, it is typically more than a day later. REALOGY continues to invest in solving this customer service problem in our industry. LeadRouter “searches” for the most available agent according to brokerage business rules. Usually, the lead goes to the listing agent on all company listings. If the listing agent does not respond within some reasonable time frame, the lead moves on to another agent in the brokerage. Agents who have not taken LeadRouter orientation or do not respond to leads will typically have their LeadRouter account frozen until they take an action to pay attention to consumer inquiries. It is a smart system. IDX or co-broker leads go into lead pools that are targeted to the best available agent that can respond. The leads pass from one agent to the next until the consumer request is satisfied. WAV Group works with many of REALOGY’s largest brokerages to tie all lead generation applications into LeadRouter as a single point of servicing […]