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 […]
WAV Group has deep experience supporting real estate brokers on the selection and adoption of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for their agents. Sometimes the best business strategy is a simple one. All research points out that successful real estate agents have 500 or more legitimate prospects in their CRM and they actively communicate with those prospects with a customer for life philosophy. Bearing this in mind, a broker or manager can better understand customer value of agent recruiting and retention. If you have been in the industry a long time, you may know the story of Intero Real Estate in Silicon Valley. They worked with a company to build a CRM that became the cornerstone of their business. They used it to recruit like crazy from Alain Pinel and Coldwell Banker and became one of the largest brokerage firms in America under the leadership of Gino Belfari. Granted, having an agent CRM is a requirement for brokerages today, and Mr. Belfari and his partners built the business on far more than a piece of technology. But this is an iconic story that shows the representational value of implementing CRM successfully in a brokerage and the resulting value of how agents using CRM leads to customer development, customer retention, and long term success. Agent Experience Demographics Recently, we have begun to create three categories of agents: New Colonists, Old Colonists, and Native Loyalists. The New Colonists – Those who have been in real estate less than six years and at the brokerage less than six years. The Old Colonists – Those who have been in real estate more than six years, but who are relatively new to the brokerage. The Native Loyalists – Those who are well experienced in real estate with over seven years of experience and who have also been at the brokerage more than six years. Interestingly enough, we have begun to use this methodology with all of our enterprise software adoption research. As it turns out, year six seems to have a material breakpoint in terms of behavior. At year six, the agent is experienced and routine in their behavior. Changing behavior for people who have been in real estate for less than six years is very different than changing behavior for professionals who have been working in the industry for more than six years. More importantly, it is vital to communicate differently to these groups. […]
There is an old pubic relations myth that indicates that the best day for issuing PR is on Tuesday. This opinion is likely formed from the days when media was printed on paper or broadcast on TV. Tuesday is not the top day anymore. For today’s MLS, Association, or any other company that supports real estate agents, communication is very important. The timing of that communication is also very important. Despite the nay-sayers that preach “REALTORS don’t read,” we have learned that they do. They read a lot. In fact, the problem with communicating to real estate professionals may not be related to their reading habits, but the sheer volume of information that is pushed to them each day. I think that one of the near term issues that MLSs and Associations will encounter in the near future is vendors spamming agents. Some MLS offer 40 products either as member benefits or premium services (hunting licenses). In some cases, each vendor may send as many as 1 or 2 emails each week to every MLS subscriber. Ouch. This makes it nearly impossible for the MLS to get their own message through. Here is a tip.