Agent technology

Coldwell Banker Ackley Realty

When was the last time you got a friend request on Facebook from someone who hadn’t bothered to upload a profile photo and was still using the grayed-out floating head instead?   I’m hoping it was a while ago, but maybe you can remember how you felt when a faceless person reached out to touch you.  When I get one of those I simply delete the request and move on. If someone doesn’t care about enough about their friends and colleagues to even upload a picture I’m not really interested in connecting with them. Do you see how consumers may feel the same way when they encounter a faceless “secret agent” on a portal or third-party website? And on portals like Zillow, where other agents can advertise to appear on anyone’s listing, neglecting to add a photo or any other information about an agent could lose clients left and right as buyers gravitate toward the agent who looks like a human being instead of the one who really knows the listing. Here is a reminder of what consumers see when they go looking for more information about your agents and who they are. Art, Cheryl, David, Eric and John look like pleasant, competent people, but it’s anyone’s guess what the other 13 agents on the page are like. All we know is that they couldn’t be bothered to upload an image, and we’re probably out of luck when it comes to a profile, too. Brokers, it’s your brand at the top of the page, so this reflects on you, too. But what can you do about it? Make profile set-up part of agent onboarding. If your agents are creating or updating profiles as another item on the onboarding checklist, they’re more likely to get it done. When you hire a new agent, make this part of the process. Host a profile set-up session during an office meeting. Don’t let your current agents off the hook. Give them an opportunity to get with the program by going over how to write a profile and the ins and outs of updating it everywhere.  Host a profile set-up session at your office and have every agent in the office set up their profiles together! Have your office managers review profiles for every key site and work with their agents to update them. A little accountability goes a long way. Asking your office managers […]

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A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish

by Kevin Hawkins on April 20, 2016

Coin Flip

A French writer wrote this line – “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” It often pops into my head when I read a trade story about a hot new real estate tech company that upon closer inspection, isn’t a company at all, but an idea in search of a business plan. I also find myself thinking about the same thing when I walk through a conference where startup firms are lined up. I pay a game in my head call “product or product feature.” It seems that so many tech startups in real estate are really just a feature that should be rolled into another product that is offered by an established company. Most often with these new tech startups, there isn’t enough “there there” with the product to justify building a company around. Real estate tech conferences need a professional match-maker who walks around to counsel these firms solely on what product their product feature would best fit, and find a way to marry their innovation off that company. You’re no Google At one conference, I challenged the founder of one of these firms on the viability of his product when it became clear he had no idea how he was going to generate revenue. The CEO argued that Google didn’t have a revenue plan. Google. Really? You are going to compare yourself to Google? I bit my tongue and almost found myself paraphrasing President Ronald Reagan’s retort by saying “You’re no Google.” Not to be too cynical, but there continues to be too much hubris and not enough substance in the plans for some real estate tech firms. Their hockey stick projections that they are selling to the VCs are based on fairy tales of product adoption rates that have never been achieved in real estate. It feels like there are 500 companies all offering the hottest real estate tech for agents at just under $20 or $50 a month. When you ask how many sales they think they can hit, they talk about 10% of the 1.2 million agents as being a “conservative” number. My math says that’s 120,000 agents, paying $20 a month, or $2.4 million in gross sales per month, nearly a $29 million a year business all from one product. No wonder the VCs are throwing money at so many of these firms. That’s sounds great, sounds easy even. Until it […]

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RPR Agent Case Study

by Mike Audet on May 9, 2012

RPR Logo

WAV Group provides consulting services to MLSs and Associations to develop strategies and plans for business success. In working with MLSs and Associations we have learned how difficult it is to help agents and brokers understand the value of new technologies in their daily business.  Today, WAV Group is introducing the second in a series of Case Studies developed for NAR’s REALTOR® Property Resource or RPR®. These Case Studies are designed to help REALTORS® understand the unique benefits of using RPR in their daily business to help position them as THE local expert. WAV Group developed these best practices by evaluating RPR  “power users” and “power promoters” of the software. Download the Agent Case Study here. WAV Group has followed the introduction and rollout of REALTOR® Property Resource (RPR) closely since it was officially introduced and then launched in September 2010.  In previous papers, WAV Group outlined the factors needed to make an informed decision about whether RPR and other data-related products were appropriate for individual MLSs and Associations. These case studies are NOT intended to help an organization make a decision about participation in RPR. Those decisions are best left to individual MLSs, Associations and Brokerages.  The purpose of this case study is to help agents who are have access to RPR understand how they can the tool effectively in their daily business for reviewing COMPS, building CMA’s and providing invaluable market level data and information to their clients and potential new clients.  The case study also clearly articulates how RPR is incremental to the tools available in MLS systems. WAV Group has watched with interest as more and more MLSs and Associations have signed up for this service. From its early beginnings, the product has continued to evolve with more and more tools for REALTOR® members. As of May 6, 2012, 384 MLSs and Associations have signed agreements with RPR, representing 618,914 REALTORS®.  244 have RPR installed and operational for their 503,444 members with more in the review process. While these numbers are impressive, REALTOR® usage and adoption of these products is the ultimate goal. The purpose of this case study is to help agents understand just how easy it is to get up and running with RPR quickly.  It’s also intended to help agents understand how the reports and CMA’s in RPR can be used to project a professional image and provide more in-depth information that non-REALTORS® can. […]

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