Broker Technology Research

It seems like every week we’re hearing about a new announcement from a large brokerage or franchise telling us they are spending millions on technology and re-positioning their brand story around their technology suite.

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Buyside Makes It Real

by Victor Lund on February 20, 2018

If you know anything about Hunt Real Estate Corporation, you know that they are a family owned and operated brokerage with high integrity and a fierce approach to competition. Since 1911 they have been a market leader in upstate New York, cities like Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and the many Southern Tier communities that border Pennsylvania. They recently expanded into the Boston marketplace though a significant acquisition. We have known the Hunt family since Marlyn and I lived in Orchard Park, NY. We became friends though our interactions at The Buffalo Club and The Country Club of Buffalo. At the time, Marilyn ran marketing at Fisher-Price and I was spinning up my first start-up companies.

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It’s GAME ON for Data Standards in 2018!

by Marilyn Wilson on February 20, 2018

The smartest technology companies and most progressive MLSs are leading our industry to a new era of efficiency and profitability.  They are making it easy for start-ups to expand quickly from market to market and serve the innovation needs of brokers.  These leaders are supporting well-established companies to evolve their data platforms and opening the door for standardization in EVERY market in the country.

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Are Brokerages using BI Visualization Tools?

by David Gumpper on February 20, 2018

Google Data Studio and Microsoft Power BI Time of Day Lead Analysis

In talking with various people inside brokerages, I hear the same challenge time and time again. “My data is all over the place and I have no way to figure out what it means.” Driving information out of your data is Business Intelligence (BI). There are free or low-cost solutions to help analyze data in your control and derive the answers needed to make better business decisions.

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This Flashback Features series unearths profiles from the past of real estate and technology leaders. A version of this story was first published in California Real Estate magazine. This profile of Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is from 2006.

By Kevin Hawkins

Craig Newmark, the Internet’s reluctant mogul, makes his daily visit to Café Reverie in the Cole Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. He has dog biscuits in his pockets and a ready smile for the next little child that he encounters.

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WAV GROUP has gotten acquainted with myPlanit and it’s CEO Adrienne Meisels. Adrienne is a fantastic person who is super smart and developing a very creative application that lets agents look at a map to see the places they have gone (like listing appointments, open houses, etc) and visualize their journey on a timeline. It’s a lot more than that, but you can appreciate how this example would benefit an agent. Adrienne uses the term The Internet of You. myPlanit does the work for you by privately and securely tracking the things that you do, for you. Inman News gave myPlanit the first ever 5 star review. That is a big kudo. If you are thinking about app development, you may want to look at the functionality of myPlanit. If you are looking for an app to broaden your mobile strategy for agent retention and recruiting, you may want to look at myPlanit. Here is the release. myPlanit Receives First Ever 5-Star Product Rating from Inman myPlanit’s newly launched real estate app receives major accolades FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. New York, NY, (February 8, 2018): myPlanit, the patented personal data platform that delivers the Internet of You, receives the first ever 5-star product rating from Inman News. The mobile app automatically interconnects and contextualizes data scattered across calendars, contacts, places, videos and photos into a single map- and time-based user experience. Launching in February, myPlanit for Real Estate already has brokerages and other real estate companies lining up to license the app. Northwood Realty Services, and its 1,000 sales associates in Pennsylvania and Ohio, is the first brokerage to be launching the app. myPlanit’s launch strategy will focus on the top 100 brokerages in real estate, representing 45% of the total addressable U.S. real estate market, or about 500,000 real estate agents. In some progressive markets, myPlanit will also introduce its product to MLSs and real estate associations that have more than 5,000 agent subscribers. “myPlanit is a high-concept, visually-enthralling product designed around how the brain processes memories,” describes Craig Rowe, Inman’s technology columnist, who has been writing about real estate and software for 15 years. “It’s an original and practical business app wrapped in a user experience other developers should be emulating on their whiteboards. myPlanit can replace multiple software tools, which means adoption could render other products useless.” “We are honored and thrilled to be the very first recipient […]

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In an announcement made to their membership, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) have entered into a definitive agreement with MoxiWorks® to provide LeadingRE Cloud™ to their 565+ brokerage members. The solution is called LeadingRE Cloud. Franchises and networks like LeadingRE have been providing data services for their brokers over decades. No doubt, the most notorious version is the legacy CREST system at Realogy Holdings Corporation®. Keller Williams® CEO, Gary Keller has kicked off a Billion dollar investment in technology. RE/MAX® is in a process to buy a company or outsource to a vendor. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services® has projects underway but have not released their ambitions to the media. Remember, all franchise systems are required to have some sort of data base for tracking payments from the broker to the franchise on transactions. They all need data systems to power up their franchise software solutions. Realogy made a $220 Million investment in the acquisition of ZipRealty® to upgrade their technology. Formerly CREST, this system is now called Dash, a data management system that allows the franchise to delivery all of their software as a service systems like Zap™ (Lead Managment, CRM and Agent Website), DotLoop® (Transaction Management), etc. Each of the brands does something a little different in their software stack, but core solutions like Listhub™ and LeadRouter™ carry across them all. Remember too that Realogy is also the world’s largest brokerage, NRT®. Operating in more than 100 MLS areas, they are handling a lot of data aggregation. A lot of the features in LeadingRE Cloud are on the roadmap for Dash and Zap, but they are not available yet. LeadingRE Cloud is not a competitor to Upstream, but has some similar benefits to brokers. All of these activities are representative of brokerage and franchises collaborating to disrupt themselves. Unlike the taxi industry that got rolled by Uber and Lyft – or the travel industry that was rolled by Expedia and dozens of others – brokerage is fixing itself before any third party disrupters take over. Admittedly, brokers and franchises were already rolled by Realtor.com and Zillow Group in online search. But data strategy is open territory to get it right before the newcomers step in. LeadingRE just took the lead. How apropos. How LeadingRE Just Passed the Franchises There is a keynote of significance to the move made by LeadingRE. Today, WAV Group is unaware of any franchise […]

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NAR’s Goldberg Kills Amp and Powers Up Upstream

by Victor Lund on February 2, 2018

We’re starting to see the impact of a new leadership team at the National Association of REALTORS® led by Bob Goldberg, a strategic, yet practical leader that is SERIOUS about making the industry function more effectively.  He also seems to be critically evaluating every investment in technology and making some bold moves to re-focus efforts. NAR announced yesterday that is shutting down development on its Advanced Multilist Platform, or AMP. AMP was under development for a few years at a burn rate of $6 Million per year. The concept behind AMP was solid – consolidate MLS data into a single data repository and allow developers of systems like Matrix, FlexMLS, Paragon, Stratus, Rapattoni, Navica and others focus on the front-end software development. Most of all, the ambition was to provide more choice for MLS members to access MLS information and reduce costs to MLSs. There were a number of contrarian opinions about the idea. First of all, the price of AMP was estimated to be $5 per user per month. This was way off the goal of saving money. Large MLSs pay less than that for the entire MLS system. For AMP to succeed, they would have needed to hit a price point of about $1 or $2 at the most. My hope is that NAR will donate the code to RESO and/or make it open source. At a recent broker town hall meeting in California, CAR President Joel Singer talked about the merits of a single MLS database with local service providers. I do not think that this idea will die along with AMP. Two MLSs in California are working on MLS Front End of Choice. Both the Los Angeles based California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS) and San Jose based MLSListings have CoreLogic®’s Matrix® product as their primary system and are integrating Black Knight Financial®’s Paragon MLS® as a secondary system. Both companies have been working on the project for about 2 years or more. Both companies already have an AMP-like database that is connected to Matrix. When the system goes live, agents will vote with their log in preference for one system over the other. The vendor’s only get paid for the users they support. Both Paragon and Matrix will be in a heated battle to serve the agent or watch their market share of users dwindle to their competitor. It will be interesting to watch. It […]

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Inside Real Estate Acquires Circlepix

by Victor Lund on February 1, 2018

Circlepix has sold everything. They operated an extensive network of photographers that they sold to VHT Studios in January. Now they have sold the rest of their company to Inside Real Estate. If you have not followed Inside Real Estate lately – pay attention. Inside Real Estate is the incredible company that recently landed Keyes – one of the largest firms in South East Florida among others. They are taking a piecemeal approach to purchasing world class software providers to complete their suite of an end-to-end solution for brokers, teams, and agents. At the heart of Inside Real Estate is Kunversion – a competitor with Commissions Inc and Boomtown. What’s different is that Commissions Inc. and Boomtown do not really have an enterprise broker solution. Inside Real Estate invested a year of development to extend the original Kunversion platform to make it a fully enterprise broker solution. For brokers looking to run significant digital marketing campaigns, you need to look at systems like Inside Real Estate. Inside Real Estate calls their broker platform KVCore. It’s great website solution for lead capture off of online media buys. Behind the lead capture, they have an impressive CRM. It does everything that other CRMs do, but is built to look fresh and impressive to agents. It is among the best broker-in-a-box solutions – broker facing website and co-branded agent websites with impressive integrations supporting SSO and Web APIs.  WAV Group has written extensively about how brokers can remargin their business by generating online leads and referring consumers to their agents for a referral fee. What is interesting about Inside Real Estate is that they are building their application stack by purchasing known companies with lots of customers. Kunversion was their first big purchase. Reimagined as a platform, KVCore provides broker website, intranet, and agent websites. It also incorporates an excellent CRM that is pretty competitive to other CRM leaders. Inside Real Estate handles digital marketing and lead capture on Social Media and other platforms as well. Inside Real Estate is integrated with around 450 of the 690 MLS markets supporting RESO certified data feeds. Their system internalizes about 85% of all listings in America. Inside Real Estate purchased an amazing company called BrokerSumo a few months ago. They have a commission accounting solution that is lighter than LoneWolf, AccountTECH, or ProfitPower – but pickup up the full accounting ledger with Quickbooks integration. With […]

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Study Says Longer Tweets are Better

by Victor Lund on December 13, 2017

Twitter for real estate is a curious strategy. There was quite a bit of discussion about Twitter in some of the Facebook groups that I am in. #thatsfunny. In all seriousness, when WAV Group evaluates the effectiveness of social media marketing and advertising (those are two different things), the numbers prove out that Facebook is far more effective in every matrix of reporting. The data suggests that Facebook is core, Twitter is niche. If you do market on Twitter as part of your surround sound system, you likely already know that Twitter extended the number of characters from the old 140 to the new, abundant 280. A study published by SocialFlow outlines the following results from their research: Average Clicks – This is interesting. If your Twitter strategy is to get people to click though to your website – the number of characters in your post does not really matter. Their article publishing the research tells us that they evaluated 30,000 publisher tweets. I have no clue what the 94.46 means – but that is certainly not the click though rate! Suffice it to say that the click through rate does not seem to vary in relation to the longer or shorter tweets. Retweets did show a significant increase in engagement. Looks like the publishers in the study were doubling the number of retweets. This is great news for the ability to extend your messaging beyond your group of followers and reach their followers. Think “new business.” Average Likes – Who does not like to see the love from the followers you have on Twitter? The good news is that the more you say, the more your followers like you. Although not quite as significant as the enhanced performance found with retweets, the number of followers that will like your posts jumps up dramatically. To be sure – Twitter made a good decision in extending the number of characters from 140 to 280. Now your opportunity is to learn how to tweet in the extended format to improve your online effectiveness. Twitter is not for everyone, but plenty of people are into it – mostly media, marketing, and technology folks. We find this to be a particularly effective way to develop relationships with local journalists. Remind your PR folks! disclaimer – Facebook is a WAV Group client – Twitter is not. @victorlund

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NAR Mobile App

My theory about conventions is this: if you plan your schedule well, your convention will go well. If you don’t, it won’t. It’s as simple as that. With Second City, our next destination, good planning could make or break how you measure the success of your NAR experience in the Windy City. Each year before I head out to the largest annual gathering of real estate agents and brokers, an estimated 20,000+ from across our nation, I like to look for some of the golden nuggets tucked away in the schedule and on the Expo floor. I cull through the info that NAR and others send out, as well as share some of the information WAV Group has. Full disclosure: this often includes insider stuff we get from our very own clients. The goal of all this stuff is simply to make your NAR ventures more interesting, and, well, easier to plan. NAR Chicago Officially called the REALTORS® Conference & Expo, November 3rd to 6th, it’s largely held at the McCormick Place, 20 minutes on a good traffic day south of the 27 official NAR hotels that are dotted around Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River. Meetings also are sprinkled among these hotels so the logistics are going to be, well, interesting. A listing of all the official hotels with their locations and addresses are here. Bus Routes The 27 NAR official hotels are served by 7 Bus Routes, all color coded and listed online in this handy-dandy PDF here, and in the App. The buses start early and run at least every 30 minutes, and at peak times, they run every 10-15 minutes. The link on the NAR Website for the Shuttle bus frequency is here, as well as the locations at the hotel where the exact pickup/drop-off will be. NAR Smartphone App Touted as “the fastest, easiest way to navigate the Conference & Expo from your mobile device,” I would have to add it’s probably the only way to navigate the Expo from a mobile device unless Google Maps has added it. Good news is all the sessions, meeting schedules and booth numbers for the exhibitors you need to meet with or visit are in the app. One feature that can save you time is you can select the “Star” image next to the event in the top right corner and it will save it to a personalized […]

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Lone Wolf Acquires Instanet Solutions

by Marilyn Wilson on October 16, 2017

The Transaction Management software space is one of the most competitive categories of real estate technology.  Today, Lone Wolf, one of the leading providers of broker accounting and management solutions, announced its acquisition of fellow Canadian company, Instanet Solutions.  This is the second transaction management software acquisition in the past two weeks.  Fidelity National Financial, Inc. recently acquired a majority interest in Skyslope, another highly regarded transaction management solution. Instanet provides Transaction Desk to over 500,000 REALTORS® through its partnership with MLSs and Associations across North America. Transaction Desk is a transaction management solution comprised of several cloud-based products for document and file management, electronic forms, eSignatures, and file review and compliance. In the last year alone, real estate professionals completed ten million signings through Instanet, while also submitting over 22 million documents and creating 31 million forms. Lone Wolf currently provides services to 10,000 brokerages offices serving 180,000 REALTORS®. The relationship between Lone Wolf and Instanet started as an integration partnership in 2014. The vision for an end to end broker solution has been in the works at Lone Wolf for several years.  We at WAV Group have been talking about this concept since 2010. Here’s a white paper we published in November 2010 entitled Brokerage Real Estate Technology, an Industry in Need of a Backbone. We wrote a follow-up piece in June, 2011 further articulating the vision for a broker-centric technology company seamlessly connecting to MLS data and delivering all of the functionality needed by a brokerage to secure new listings, effectively promote listings and then efficiently process transactions. It’s great to see the vision of a true end to end solution for brokerages coming to life. We had the pleasure of interviewing Patrick Arkeveld, CEO of Lone Wolf Technologies about the acquisitions implications for MLSs/Associations MLSs and Associations will remain a KEY priority. Given that Lone Wolf is clearly a broker-centric company we wanted to understand whether MLSs and Associations will remain a key priority. Lone Wolf was clear to reinforce to us that MLSs and Associations will remain a key priority.  They told us: “Instanet’s MLS customers are a major factor of the company’s success, and we plan to continue to invest in those relationships and the MLS space to enhance our value to the industry as a whole”. Corelogic/Instanet Partnership to Remain Unchanged We were first interested to find out what changes, if any that […]

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RMLS, arguably one of the most progressive MLSs in America today took a brave new step to make it easier for their brokers to promote their brands online leveraging rich, comprehensive and timely MLS information. They have REQUIRED every one of their IDX suppliers to move to a RESO-Compliant data feed. They made this bold move in just a few short weeks. The move has been applauded by Brokers and Technology companies alike. Learn about why MOVOTO, a large broker with one of the top 10 property search sites in America, believes aligning against the RESO standards is a great IDEA. Key Takeaways The move for MLSs to transition to ONLY RESO-compliant IDX feeds is not that difficult. Moving to offering only a RESO-compliant IDX feed is not that difficult.  RMLS™, one of the first MLSs in the country to distribute only RESO-Compliant IDX feeds, made the move in just FOUR weeks. They launched a campaign to their IDX providers showing them the fields that needed to be transitioned to be RESO-compliant and requiring them to transition completely ONLY to a RESO-Compliant IDX feed. Promotion is Key According to RMLS™, to make the move MLSs will need an effective promotional campaign to be sure each of your technology companies is aware of the reasons for the change and knows exactly what they need to do to make the transition successfully. Set a deadline Be sure to set a deadline with a reasonable timeframe to allow each of your IDX providers can meet the deadline. Since many of the largest IDX providers have already made the transition in RMLS™, it should make it easier for them. Brokers Endorse RESO-compliant IDX feeds   Brokers support the idea of making IDX feeds RESO-compliant. They applaud MLSs that make this bold move.  Join forces with RMLS™ and make the move in your MLS.  It’s hard to argue that standardized real estate listing data is not good for our industry. It makes it easier for brokers to collect and distribute information from multiple MLSs on their website.   It allows technology companies to move into new markets more quickly.  It allows MLSs to collaborate in new and exciting ways. The leaders at RMLS™ in Portland, Oregon decided to take a bold step designed to help brokers and agents achieve all of the benefits of standardized information for online marketing. RMLS™, one of the pioneers in the […]

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Big Data Can Drive Bigger Broker Margins

by Victor Lund on June 9, 2017

customer reports

WAV Group spends a lot of time consulting with brokers on how to re-margin their business. We published a paper in 2013 called Harvesting Business From Broker Data.  That paper characterized the methods that we developed with a number of brokers to harvest business from across the enterprise of title, mortgage, residential, relocation, insurance, commercial, and property management businesses. It has worked very well for many brokers to recapture repeat transactions and new business though cross sell. In many ways, the rethinking that went into the thesis around harvesting business across the enterprise was the first intellectual break from the linear approach of Advertising for Lead Generation to Lead Maturation to Lead Conversion. Brokers were spending too much time trying to onboard new customers and far to little time staying connected with customers they have already won. Strangely, there has been a shift in advertising dollars away from the broker and more toward the team and agent. This shift is largely reflective of commission economics. But also driven in big part by Zillow remodeling their brokerage platform. If top producing agents and teams are capping out and getting 80% to 100% commission, there is no contribution to broker budgets for advertising. How does the broker get commission margin back? Referrals! WAV Group is now in a position to support brokers to re-margin their business with big data programs that we have been maturing. The programs key off of the relocation and referral commission programs that brokers retain about 35% commission on. Brokers who increase their referral business stand to reap greater margin rewards. Brokers are in a position to purchase big data solutions that use predictive analytics to generate leads for consumers upstream of Internet leads from websites or portals. CoreLogic, SmartZip, Opcity, and a host of other companies are framing up these solutions for brokers today. WAV Group works with brokerage firms to make these programs pay out. Here is the rub. The broker must become competent at developing these opportunities and purchasing solutions efficiently. The challenge for brokers is taking this strategy, understanding how it fits into your business plan, allocating resources, implementation, and managing effectiveness. You cannot just buy the service and expect the checks to start rolling in. This strategy needs to be developed as a center of excellence in your company. Brokers Can Win! WAV Group has done some experimenting with market buy-outs. In some […]

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How Loyal Are YOUR Customers?

by Marilyn Wilson on June 6, 2017

It is critical for MLSs and Brokers to measure the relationships they have with their customers.  While most MLSs do not have DIRECT competition, they have tons of indirect competition.  MLSs compete against companies that generate leads for agents since that it one of their key roles. They compete against training companies providing CE credit and teaching about technologies. MLSs also compete. MLSs also compete with companies that provide ways to aggregate and distribute real estate listing information for the purposes of monetizes the information flow.  While MLSs have survived well in the real estate ecosystem, some are more well-regarded than others. Brokers, on the other hand have TONS of competition from their fellow brokers.  Understanding customer loyalty is even more critical for them. To really know how well you are doing in building and strengthening customer relationships, it is critical that MLSs measure customer satisfaction. There are two measures that WAV Group recommends for its clients – the Net Promoter Score® or NPS. Second is the Customer Effort Score or CEF®. What is a Net Promoter Score (NPS)? Net Promoter Score, or NPS is a customer experience metric developed by Fred Reichheld, aimed at determining the level of customer loyalty. NPS was introduced by Reichheld in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article “The One Number You Need to Grow“.  Net Promoter Score measures a customer’s willingness to recommend a brand’s product and services to their friends, family and colleagues. NPS is a simple metric, based on a single question that measures customer loyalty: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company’s product and services to a friend or colleague?” Respondents answer by choosing a number from 0-10, with 10 being the most likely to recommend.   While this question can work well for brokerages and technology companies where there are lots of competition in the marketplace, we have seen it not work as well for MLSs, mainly because in most markets REALTORS® do not have a CHOICE of MLSs organizations to work with. Sometimes it angers MLS subscribers and they will say things like “I have no choice so I would have no need to recommend my MLS to anyone. Depending on the score they give, customers are then classified as promoters (score 9-10), passives (score 7-8) and detractors (score 0-6).  The more 9 and 10 scores you receive the higher your Net Promoter Score will be. Those that […]

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Pacific Union Delivers On International Reach

by Victor Lund on May 25, 2017

WAV Group has been studying broker website effectiveness for more than a decade. One area of interest is global reach. When we look at Google Analytics, we study traffic to understand the level of visibility that brokers are achieving for their websites internationally. Over the past 12 months, Pacific Union International has been living up to their name by expanding their international reach. Driving International Reach International reach has largely been a listing tool in real estate. Even in global cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago or New York, we see that 85% of buyers come from the immediate region. 10% come from other areas within the United States. Only 5% come from international buyers. Despite the real data, sellers continue to believe the media that buyers come from China and Russia. For many brokerages, the seller’s demand for international reach is colored in though franchise or network relationships. There is good news for brokerages that are not affiliated with franchises or networks. Over the past year, Pacific Union International has been focused on reaching high net-worth individuals, increasing their reach in the U.K. by 360%, and over 500% in China. Their targeting has resulted in 900% increased traffic in India and a staggering 2190% increase in Brazil. It is a 6 figure investment, but far more effective than the delivery of international buyers from networks or franchises. Pacific Union’s traffic, leads, and transactions have grown enormously with this proactive approach. Building International Relationships In addition to international marketing, Pacific Union understands that the true success of any international effort is developing relationships with leading brokerage firms across the globe. The distinction here is that they are not building a list. The relationships that they have built for decades are sincere and personal.  Their commitment to these relationships ensures that Pacific Union clients buying abroad get the same level of service that they get at home. Moreover, Pacific Union delivers concierge service to international clients here in America in return. The countries on this map represent the nations where Pacific Union holds these personal trust relationships with foreign brokerage firms. The Pacific Union executive team travels to many of these locations each year to bond with partners, and welcomes inbound partner visits in the best possible way. Communication to Agents and Consumers Performing at this high level is nothing new for Pacific Union. They operate in the most competitive […]

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Coach

None of the brokers we’ve worked with believe that their office managers are doing what they are supposed to be doing — sales training. Instead, they act more like den mothers. When they could be working on sales coaching or recruiting, office managers are consoling agents who lost big deals, troubleshooting broken printers, or retrieving lost MLS passwords. It’s too easy for office managers to spend the day putting out a series of small fires. Its easy to use all of those daily tasks as excuses for not focusing on the most important roles that managers are responsible for. The path toward a More Profitable Office The first thing for brokers to understand is: You are going to have to change the way you — and everybody in your office — thinks about success and productivity.  Office managers are stewards of productivity. You need to arm them with resources and tools they need, and you need to shift the expectation (both in yourself and in your agents) that the office manager is any kind of glorified fire marshal. Here’s how you do it. The 5-step process You probably already have the basic tools you need to make this shift work — the array of technology offerings that you’ve made available to your agents, and your hard-working office managers. Step 1: Clear the decks. Everyone in the office needs to be trained on how to manage basic administrative tasks. A transaction coordinator is a good hire at this point, someone who understands the law and can help agents with sticky deals or contract negotiation scenarios that the agents haven’t seen before. Step 2: The “reset” meeting. Hire a facilitator to come in for a planned meeting; this person can explain to managers how their jobs will change — and get them excited about it. The facilitator should explain the renewed focus on sales success and shift away from administrative tasks. They will also have to talk about the gentle balance of retention and how helping agents sell more real estate will be the BEST way to retain them in the long run. Step 3: Training the trainers. You want to turn your office managers into technology trainers, and that means they’re going to need to understand the technology. Ideally, they will use appropriate technologies in their own business. How about learning how to use the CRM system to manage recruiting efforts […]

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Zillow Improves Broker Programs

by Victor Lund on February 15, 2017

Zillow Logo

Zillow Group, which includes the websites of Zillow and Trulia have landed on a broker strategy for marketing that works. Zillow Group, which includes the websites of Zillow and Trulia have landed on a broker strategy for marketing that works. Featured listings are dead, and have been replaced with a product to advertise in ways that drive the largest margin opportunity for a brokerage firm – leads to eTeams and Relocation. I call this “shared display,” where the brokerage and agent are clearly displayed and may be contacted – easily understood as “your listing, same leads.” This functionality works equally well for any brokerage or large team. Display rules Primer. There are three general types of display rules, Fair Display, Shared Display, and IDX Display. Fair Display is pretty simple to understand, if it’s your listing, then only your identity is displayed on the listing. Many people like this display because it’s “your listing, your lead.” It works like the new car dealer. You call BMW to buy BMW. The second type of display is a shared display. This shared display is where Zillow has innovated. Under the ad portal strategy, the listing agent and broker are always displayed on their listing and can receive leads. But the display is a shared display; so three other advertisers may be displayed on the listing if they pay. Lets understand that this is “your listing, same leads.” Our research shows that brokers get the same volume of leads on their listings with shared display as they did with fair display (read on). The third display is IDX display. In this display that is popularized on broker and agent websites, the site owner gets all the leads and the listing broker and agent have a bi-line. This is understood as “your listing, no leads.” This model is akin to a used car dealership where the company will sell all brands of cars. Shared Display outperforms Fair Display WAV Group performed A-B testing on Zillow that pitted two brokers who had the same number of listings on the site (one had 430 listings and the other had 431). The broker who paid for fair display, exclusively featuring the brokerage and agent branding, received 281 email contacts with 660,133 listing views. The broker with the free, shared display of 430 listings featuring competing agents, received 411 email contacts, 590,914 listing views. The free, shared display outperformed […]

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Tech Firms Should Sell Solutions, not Software

by Victor Lund on February 15, 2017

For years, WAV Group has noticed that too many technology firms market and communicate to their customers in the wrong way. They spend all of their time in front of customers showing how their software works. It’s wrong. The only time that customers want to spend time looking at how your software works is when they are looking to replace an existing software system. Even then, the primary reasoning for wanting to replace their existing software has little to do with how the software works. The decision to change has more to do with user satisfaction or price. If you are too looking for a new software check out bespoke software development in UK. The way to communicate your value to customers is by talking about the solution. Read this testimonial from Teresa King Kinney, CEO of the Miami Association of REALTORS (largest in America): The offer submission and management platform provided by eBrokerHouse and MLS Offers has been extremely beneficial to our members and our association. Since integrating this technology into our MLS, our members have been able to more efficiently manage their offers, especially in multiple offer situations. This has resulted in heavy adoption by our members and decreased the amount of complaints filed with our Association surrounding offers. The team at eBrokerHouse/MLS Offers has been very professional and easy to work with, while delivering a high quality verify services to our members. I would highly recommend their offer submission technology to any Association or MLS looking to provide a tool to their members that will have a significant positive impact on their businesses. This service provides so many benefits to both list and buy side agents that I envision this eventually becoming the standard method by which offers are submitted throughout the real estate industry. In three paragraphs, Kinney states the sales pitch for MLS Offers. MLS Offers improves offer management, and reduces complaints. MLS Offers understands that training, support, and service are critical to the success of any software application. MLS Offers is what Kinney believes will be a standard in the real estate industry. If I am an MLS or an Association of REALTORS® executive in real estate and see a statement like this from Teresa King Kinney – I want to learn more. Use this lens to think about how you communicate to your target customers. If you need help, WAV Group Communications can […]

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Brokers Need To Fix Their YouTube Channel

by Victor Lund on January 11, 2017

YouTube

WAV Group has studied the effectiveness of video marketing for brokers over number of years. By and large, firms are not seeing the level of engagement on video marketing that justifies the trouble or expense. Having a video on YouTube with 2 or 3 views is not a conveyance of success. The promises of video marketing are pretty significant. By using video, a property is marketed more dynamically than photo and text marketing. Videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. Simply stated, it’s a better consumer experience. Prima facie – people enjoy a video television experience over a magazine or newspaper experience. Homebuyers spend more time looking at the property (minutes rather than seconds) at a much higher cognitive level. The average consumer with an Internet connection watches roughly 206 videos per month according to Nielsen. Brokers are also failing to syndicate the branded and unbranded videos effectively. WAV Group audits portray that unless the insertion of the videos into the MLS is done automatically, Realtors® or staff do not consistently complete the chore. IDX syndication of virtual tours drives a lot of views, and done correctly will provide some additional SEO benefits that can accrue to the broker website in the form of back links. Moreover, the branded virtual tours are not being syndicated well on third party listing websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com or others. Again, syndication drives views. Social media also plays a significant role in video engagement. We do not propose that brokers automate the publication of property videos on the wall of their social media pages. Rather, we suggest that you build a channel for videos and socialize the channel. If you pollute your wall with automated tour publishing, you will find that consumers will abandon. According to research by Usurv, Consumers are 39 percent more likely to share content if it’s delivered via video, and 36 percent more likely to comment and 56 percent more likely to give that video a coveted “like.” Brokers and agents would serve themselves well to deliver performance on their YouTube page by boosting the views with a few ad dollars. We have seen some interesting results whereby a broker who tags and advertises their videos correctly can actually display an ad as a pre-roll on a competitors’ video. That’s fun, and not very expensive. On average, video advertising is only about $0.02 per […]

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