Sales Advisory

iBuyer or iFlipper? Let’s Look Under the Hood.

by David Gumpper on June 18, 2018

Opendoor - Which door to flip!

This week, there was breaking news about an iBuyer receiving $325m in series “E” funding as well as lots of talk about their business model and game plan. Given all the buzz, I thought it would be a good time to spend time under the hood, to understand how this motor is put together!

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In these times where inventory is so low there is nothing more important than figuring out new ways to secure listing appointments and convincing consumers that it’s the right time to sell!   Finding the best ways to engage with potential sellers is the KEY to business success. You’ve probably heard the old adage – You have to list to last!   How can you train and motivate your agents to aggressively pursue seller leads and scheduling listing presentations?   What you do in the minutes after you receive a lead makes a huge difference. And when you wait to contact that lead, chances are another real estate agent is going to get to them first. So what can you train your agents to do? Your agents need an iron clad lead follow up strategy that instantly responds to leads for them, so even when they are busy… they can still keep potential clients focused on them and not another agent. On Wednesday, September 27th at 9:00am PT W+R Studios’ National Trainer, Ricardo Bueno, Marilyn Wilson from RE Technology and Realtor Ray Fernandez are holding a free, panel-style webinar “Lead Follow Up Secrets for Busy Agents.” Join me on a webinar that I’m facilitating next week! This webinar will cover simple and proven lead follow up strategies that will help even the busiest agent convert more leads into clients. You don’t want to miss this! REGISTER NOW!  

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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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CRM

Real estate brokerages waste valuable growth opportunities by over-focusing on new client adoption and agent recruitment instead of implementing solutions for the retention of both. Industry research shows that repeat clients spend 67% more than first-time clients, so agent and client turnover reduces a brokerage’s potential return-on-investment (ROI) for marketing and training dollars. The key to capturing these high yield sales is enabling agents to efficiently communicate with clients throughout the sales process and beyond. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution significantly boosts the ability of agents to foster long-term relationships, driving repeat—and more profitable– sales. The potential benefits of an experienced agent’s digital rolodex, or CRM, cannot be understated. Given that 80% of buyers would use their agent again, or refer their agent to others, an agent doesn’t have to engage in costly marketing tactics to convince prospects of their value—they’ve already proven it. Agents who have been with a firm for a number of years have cultivated a broad network of the most fruitful prospects. Since client acquisition costs five times more than retention, it makes business sense to provide a targeted CRM tool for agents to maintain positive client relations before and long after the sale, with the added benefit of acquiring additional new referrals. A CRM enables agents to show their professionalism and dedication at every client touch-point, maintaining a top-of-mind presence even years after a sale. Agents can create a 360 degree client view to deliver anticipatory service that increases trust and loyalty. This relationship deepens even after the sale through continued outreach via e-Newsletters, drip campaigns, social media posts and personalized communication on important dates such as anniversaries of new home purchases. More powerfully, a CRM can track response metrics such as how many past clients clicked on electronic links, providing insight into potential leads for harnessing repeat business. Providing effective tools to bolster agents’ achievement positively influences a sense of loyalty toward the firm. As consumer expectations continually rise, brokerages are coming under increased pressure to reduce commissions—which makes it difficult to retain top performers. However, an effective CRM can reduce agents’ time spent on attracting new leads, managing the end-to-end processes of closing the deal, and maintaining communication with existing and past clients. In effect, a CRM increases production with less ‘hands-on’ investment from the agent, making their time spent on each transaction more financially worthwhile. A satisfied agent is one who […]

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Technology Tools Used by Great Office Managers

by Victor Lund on December 10, 2012

success manager

All too frequently companies focus on broker tools or agent tools, losing sight of the tools used by great managers. Brokers who truly understand the value of office managers dedicate resources to deliver manager tools that drive company success and agent productivity. These tools fold into three categories: Market Analysis, Sales Analysis, and Agent Effectiveness. Market Analysis Tools Market Analysis involves using tools like Terradatum Broker Matrix or Trendgraphix. These tools give office managers access to two specific measurements that are key to success: Competitor Sales Volume and Agent Sales Volume relative to market pace. The first is a competitive overview of competitor sales volume vs. office sales volume. Managers can compare their office productivity relative to competition in the market to understand pace. Pace is a different measurement than market share, and is more important. Your office will always grow or shrink in sales volume relative to real estate cycles. Pace is the measurement of growth vs. competitive growth. If your office is up 22%, you may be excited. But if competitive offices are up 28% in the same market, you are losing pace. Likewise, an excellent manager may have a 10% loss in sales, but if competitors lost 15%, that manager’s office has out paced competitors by 5%. Sometimes even when you are losing, you win. The second measurement of success is individual agent pace and Sales Volume. How are each of your agents doing relative to each other. Your top-producing agent may be having a great year, growing business 22% over the prior year. However, a competitor’s top agent may be growing at 30%, out pacing your top producer. Great managers know this, and use these measurement tools to motivate agents in the office, and identify the best recruits from competitors. Aside from pace, managers can evaluate performance relative to days on market and list to sale ratio. Sales Analysis Great managers use a variety of tools to understand sales. Most MLS Systems and tools like the REALTORS® Property Resource provide managers with the ability to view sales activity on a map. It helps them identify neighborhoods and price points of sale activity so that they can both measure sales performance in hot areas and focus agent prospecting activity in those areas where sales are happening. This is a strategic farming strategy that great managers develop to succeed where others often just tread water. Agent Effectiveness Measuring […]

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Mobile Realty Apps has experienced outstanding growth over the past 12 months and has established itself as a leader in mobile technology for MLSs and real estate companies.  Winner of the 2012 “Most Innovative Real Estate Startup” at the Inman Conference in July 2012, Mobile Realty Apps offers a full set of leading edge mobile products for real estate professionals and the consumers they serve, from their custom branded native apps to their augmented realty technology HomeSpotter. Mobile Realty Apps is currently interviewing individuals who will lead their  sales to MLSs  nationally.  This individual will work closely with the national Broker sales manager to reach company sales objectives. WAV Group has been retained to help find the ideal candidates to continue to drive new growth for the company and to manage existing account relationships. Interested candidates should be experienced sales professionals with an established network of MLS relationships, looking to move into the new core technology of our industry. POSITION TITLES: National Sales Manager MLS Accounts REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer CLASSIFICATION: Exempt OPPORTUNITY: Mobile Realty Apps a leading provider of mobile products for the real estate industry is seeking to hire a sales executive for the position of National Sales Manager MLS Accounts.  The position will be responsible for building revenues by securing new MLS customers for their mobile technology products and for managing existing account relations and renewals.  The position reports directly to the CEO. Mobile technology is the new core technology for each level of the real estate industry.  Mobile Realty Apps offers a full range of leading edge products for the full range of mobile devices, combined with deep integration with existing MLS systems to allow for photo upload and mobile editing as well as their award winning augmented mobile realty technology, HomeSpotter.  Learn more about why Mobile Realty Apps is the choice for MLSs and real estate companies nationwide. ORGANIZATIONAL DESCRIPTION: Mobile Realty Apps is a profitable, funded startup that has experienced substantial revenue growth in the last twelve months. Founded in 2009, the company provides best-of-breed, white-labeled tablet and smartphone app solutions to the real estate industry. The company was recognized as the “Most Innovative Real Estate Startup” at the Inman Conference in July 2012 – in large part due to its industry leading solutions, including its augmented-reality HomeSpotter technology and its unique approach to deep MLS integration with its edgeMLS product line. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the […]

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Come join the partners of the WAV Group as they draw on their experiences in eCommerce to talk about ways to create new revenues for your organization. While I was at Fisher-Price, I launched the company’s first ever eCommerce program. Since then I have worked with several companies in many business sectors launching their own eCommerce programs. While the Fisher-Price is now one of the most profitable divisions of the company, it did not come without gaining a few bumps and bruises along the way.  Bottomline – eCommerce is a LOT harder than it looks. WAV Group would like to share its year of learning about online stores with you. We have scheduled a webinar for October 30th at 1:00 pm EST, 10:00 am Pacific time to help educate MLSs and Brokers about a path to a profitable eCommerce effort. To register for the webinar, click here! During the session, we will walk you through many of the elements that need to be considered when launching an eCommerce effort.  We will talk to you about what types of products you might want to consider, pricing options as well as best practices to effectively merchandise and promote an online store.  The session will also cover methods about how to define each of your customer segments – finding who are the most likely to buy products from their MLS as well as other research methods for identifying a winning combination of products and promotions. The session will also provide a brief overview of the eCommerce options like Orderwave backend ecommerce solutions available for MLSs today. We look forward to your attendance at this FREE educational session. To register for the webinar, click here!

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Loyalty Marketing in Real Estate

by Victor Lund on July 23, 2012

Loyalty Marketing

An innovative concept known as loyalty marketing was heralded by the launch of American Airlines AAdvantage in the early 80’s and has since evolved to become competitive table-stakes as loyalty programs have saturated the business landscape. It is curious that an industry like real estate, powered by 80% repeat and referral business has missed the mark on loyalty marketing. Real Estate is not the only industry getting it wrong. It’s safe to say that the majority of programs consumers experience today have been designed “By Boomers for Boomers,” all while fundamental shifts in consumer purchase behavior demand that new models emerge to capture the attention of digitally connected consumers. For real estate to do it right, we need to focus on extending loyalty programs to new forms of media right out of the gate. Customer experience, customer engagement, and Big Data are buzzwords competing for the attention of marketers, and a flood of new technology based on mobile devices, points-of-sale, and social networks offer potential solutions for business, both large and small. Real Estate collects more personal data than almost any industry. We know where people live, income details, debt details, family details, professional details, personal preferences, and have recorded deep levels of contact information. The majority of real estate brokers leave it to their agents to curate this information or, they store this data in paper files in a storage facility for 7 years and throw it away. I think that we can do better as an industry. Moreover, I think that companies that develop loyalty programs and use customer relationships to create clients for life will outperform their peers.

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Every agent I know is looking for new opportunities for generating additional revenue.  At the same time I hear again and again that many agents are not interested in working on rental properties because there’s “not enough money in it”. Driven by this ambivalence, many MLSs are ignoring the rental market. This perspective is a HUGE mistake, in my view.  Let me share some “fun facts” with you to help you understand why I say that… First: Did you know that experts are now predicting that rental properties will constitute up to 40% of the overall residential real estate market over the next several years? Current trends further suggest that up to 25% of the residential market in 2012 and beyond will be comprised of domestic and foreign investors creating rental properties from the distressed real estate inventory. Second: Are you aware that leading online rental sites collectively generate over 40 million visitors every month?   To put that in perspective, Zillow only generates about 25 million visitors per month.  Along these lines, have you ever noticed how every mobile app for the large portals are now focused on BOTH for sale and rental properties? Third: Zillow just purchased rentJuice for $40,000,000!    They don’t invest that much money just for their health!  They recognize the important shift in consumer’s thinking and they are going to capitalize on it! Fourth: What do you think will happen with renters over time? As the market continues to strengthen, and many reach a time when they want to have a family and backyard, they will inevitably want to purchase a home.  It’s important for brokers and MLSs to WELCOME renters so that when they ARE ready to buy a home, you will already have a relationship with them and they will be comfortable searching for properties with you and on your website. WAV Group has been talking about the need to jump on the rental market for some time, yet very few in organized real estate have responded to this important and urgent need.  There are exceptions of course; Kudos to Utahrealestate.com who now overtly markets both for sale and for rent properties!   Utahrealestate.com is already the number one property site in Utah and they are going to likely maintain that position by offering this important new feature!  Great job WFR MLS! It’s about time for every Broker and every MLS in the United States […]

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Two Brokers Go YouTube on Syndicaiton

by Victor Lund on May 3, 2012

ListingSyndicationsmall

Listing Syndication has become one of the more polarizing business topics in the real estate industry. Everyone seems to have a view, and many groups are trying to figure out how to fix it. There is no doubt that some companies are benefiting from syndication, but most find only little or moderate success. We seem to be hitting an inflection point with syndication where a lot of change is about to happen – slowly I suspect – like all real estate trends. The Council of MLS published two surveys this week – one for consumers and another for professionals. They are trying to understand if a prominently displayed MLS logo of some form will be beneficial to provide some assurances on listing quality. WAV Group is providing the survey service to CMLS complimentary. If you want to promote the survey on your public site (consumer) or send it to your agents and brokers (professional), contact Marilyn Wilson from the WAV Group(below) or Sarah Carton at CMLS for the link. Brokers are not banding together, but they are making changes to their syndication strategy in some significant ways. Shorewest and Edina – two of the top 25 largest brokerages in America have turned off syndication. Today, two smaller brokers – The Goodlife Team in Austin, TX and ARG Realty in San Diego, CA released these videos about their own decision to pull their listings out of syndication. Here is the ARG Video ARG YouTube Video Here is The Goodlife Team Video The Goodlife Team Video   In contrast, one of America’s largest brokers – Hoby Hanna of Howard Hanna made a huge investment in syndication and went all in. Here is story with this YouTube Video. He has also recently found out that you can now buy viewers on youtube, which helps grow your channel. Hoby Hanna speaks about syndicaiton

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Smarter Agent throws arrow at Zillow and others

by Victor Lund on January 7, 2012

Smarter Agent

Brad Bloomberg of Smarter Agent is a fighter, and I like that. He takes a position and battles from his corner of the ring. Today, he released a blog post on their company website goes nose to nose with Zillow, Trulia and REALTOR.com. Given that his company is suing them all for patent infringement (another story) – they will never be friends anyway. But this new war is one about his view of listing syndication. Post Title : Listing Aggregators like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com can Erode the Value of your Business. The money quote: ……(syndication) “devalues the business of.. a broker-owner.” I started to write an absurdly long response to the post – and thought it better to put them all here. These are my thoughts on syndication strategy today. They change all the time based upon the broker client we are advising – but this is the gut check response.

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New Ways to Leverage MLS Data

by THE WAV GROUP on April 30, 2010

It is an exciting time for Multiple Listing Services.  The announcement of REALTOR® Property Resource by NAR has spawned many debates and several new programs allowing MLSs to leverage local property information in many new ways.  The programs are exciting, but are evolving quickly and thus can be a bit confusing and even overwhelming at times. In an effort to help every MLS understand the unique values of each of the programs now available, the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS), commissioned WAV Group to complete the attached evaluation.  Ideally, the paper will assist each MLS and their governing boards in understanding the key facets of each program so that they can make an informed choice based on their unique local circumstances. Download the paper This paper does not recommend one program over another but is intended to:   1.    Review the general services being offered 2.    Share sample financial projections for different sized MLSs for each option 3.    Summarize the terms and conditions of each program 4.    Discuss the potential short and long-term implications of each program 5.    Provide recommendations on steps to help you identify each program Four programs have been reviewed in the document: ·    NAR’s REALTOR® Property Resource (RPR™) ·    Move, Inc’s FIND product ·    First American CoreLogic Revenue Sharing Program ·    IMAPP Product/Program Overview It is our sincere hope that this paper from CMLS can make the process of evaluating each of these exciting programs a bit easier and more manageable so that each MLS can make a thoughtful, informed decision on behalf of their subscribers. Click HERE to see the CMLS White Paper on the topic. Look for the “New Ways to Leverage MLS Data New” link located on the right side under the News heading. If you would like to distribute the paper to your board of directors or brokers, feel free to.  Please just include proper attribution to the Council of MLS for the works provided to be in full compliance with copyright law.

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RPR – To Join or Not to Join is Not the Only Question!

by THE WAV GROUP on February 1, 2010

Since the announcement made by NAR on the formation of RPR and their public rollout at the NAR conference in San Diego, RPR and their proposed business model has been a major topic of conversation in MLSs across the U.S.  Some MLSs seem to think this is an idea long overdue while others have expressed “no interest” while most seem to be somewhere in between with a “wait and see” attitude. c planning session we facilitated for a major MLS the topic of RPR participation was, of course, discussed.  Our approach to the discussion, as with any business issue, is to try to take the hype and emotion out of the discussion to look at it for what it is, a business decision.  To that end, we believe there are several points each MLS might consider as they decide whether RPR makes sense for them or not.  This is not intended to serve as a full review of the RPR opportunity but we hope it at least presents some questions to stimulate your MLS discussions. Click on the following link to download the paper. Download RPR – Paper

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