Broker tools

Getty Images for Brokers

by Victor Lund on March 19, 2014

If you are like most brokers, you have received at least one threatening letter from Getty Images for using one of their images. Good news is that Getty is now allowing people to use their images for FREE! I guess all of that lawyering worked out. Or, perhaps they realized that chasing everyone for using their images was more cost than it was worth. I do not know of anyone who did anything other than ignore the notices. In any case, Getty has changed their business model. They now allow anyone to embed their photos, but you need to do it the Getty way – that means that there is a watermark on the image and you are marketing their photo services. Like many businesses, they have learned that internet traffic is a great way to generate revenue. Another interesting strategy for Getty Images is a service they call Getty Video. They have an enormous library of video that makes great content for your blog or community landing pages. Again, they get all of the SEO credit, but you win by publishing extraordinary content that engages consumers on your website. Many broker websites experience about 6 to 12 minutes on site per visit. Search engines like Google and others track this information and you get search engine optimization for the longer people stay on your site. It is their way of not only measuring your site’s traffic, but moreover the engagement level you offer to consumers when they visit your site. Adding a video to a text page may double or triple the time on site. That’s a good thing. Remember, as a real estate broker you are also a publisher. You either need to think like a publisher, or partner with a web services firm that will do it for you. We find that there is always a difficult challenge to hire a content manager for your staff or outsource. The gate to that decision typically hinges on the size of brokerage. Expect to pay a minimum of $36k for a decent content coordinator. If you have 10 offices or more, each office should be able to burden the $300 per month. If you have fewer offices, you may be better off hiring a service. Most service providers start at $1500 per month. In summary, if you are publishing content to your site yourself – take another look at […]

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As real estate agents and brokers strive to develop process to improve every area of their trade, technology supports them. However, with so many solutions, it is difficult to understand what solutions count the most and to whom. Think of the long list of solutions – website, lead management, CRM, drip marketing, email marketing, CMA, email, transaction management, document management, online advertising, SEO, listing syndication, tax systems, mobile solutions for everything, scheduling software, accounting systems, market stats, digital signatures, forms software, recruiting tools. It is quite a list. The goal of the Broker Technology Adoption Survey is to understand who uses which tools and their satisfaction level with them. Who buys them? The agent? The broker? The Franchise? The Association? The MLS? All of them? Some of them? None of them? Understanding these tendencies will provide the industry with a better grasp of the role that technology plays in real estate, along with who we look toward to finding the solutions practitioners need to be successful in real estate today. Please share this link (http://www.cvent.com/d/w4q07r) in your organization. We will run the survey for a few weeks and compile the results of the data into a report that will be provided to you with our compliments by email. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact jenna@wavgroup.com.    

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Top Digital Budgeting Mistakes Brokers Make

by Victor Lund on August 14, 2013

As summer draws to a close and fall sets upon us, it is incumbent upon all businesses to build their budgets for 2014. The old adage rings true, failure to plan is a plan to fail. Too many brokerages in America are guilty of this. Here are a few tips that will improve the planning process in your company. It is a good idea to print this out and provide it to your team as a reminder.   Look at data first. Many brokerages fail to take a close look at the effectiveness of digital marketing programs. Dig deeply into your reports and look for performance and performance trends. Google Analytics will help you determine partners that send you traffic and those that do not. Contrast that with leads by lead source. Also, look carefully for changes in performance as partners grow or shrink. Contrast performance with pricing. Get proposals from everyone for annual benchmarking. Most online portals grew revenue in 2013 as a result of raising prices, not expanding their customer base. Plan by department. Many WAV Group broker clients operate more than just residential brokerages. They operate commercial departments, relocation departments, mortgage companies, insurance companies, and title companies. All too often, these companies are not planning their media buying together to leverage discounts and to cross advertise. Consumer’s appreciate full service, one stop shopping. Be sure you communicate that in your marketing. Make adjustments. Too many brokers set a plan and forget it. It is wise to build in a construct for monthly reporting and success management. The reporting will help you to identify when programs are not being executed correctly, or when program changes are impacting your expected outcomes. For example, data feeds break or sites change their layouts in a way that impacts your performance. Furthermore, new programs with existing partners emerge. You may not need to have monthly review meetings, but quarterly review meetings are advisable. It is also an interesting practice to share your results with your partners. If Trulia is crushing Zillow in traffic and leads, let Zillow know. Monitor competitors and stray from the pack. Resist the temptation to copy your competitors. If your competitor is focused on the newspaper or a particular portal, focus your efforts on something else. This will allow you tooptimize your partnership elsewhere and differentiate your marketing for agent recruiting and seller presentations. Don’t be trendy. For […]

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RPR Logo

WAV Group provides consulting services brokers across the country to help them find the most effective ways to leverage the technology tools they have chosen for their agents. Some of those tools are provided by MLSs as part of their monthly subscription fees. In working with brokers we have learned how stressed the life of a broker is. Their agents, clients, accountants and office staff pull them in a million directions.  Their daily tasks make it virtually impossible to keep up on all of the latest technologies being offered to them. Today, WAV Group is introducing the third in a series of Case Studies developed for NAR’s REALTOR® Property Resource, or RPR™ , designed specifically to help Brokers understand how to get the most out of the RPR™ tool. These Case Studies aim to  help REALTORS® understand the unique benefits of using RPR™ in their daily business, in order to position their firm as a communication leader  complete with unique insights available only to REALTORS®. Download the Broker 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 required to make an informed decision about whether RPR™ and other data-related products were appropriate for individual MLSs and Brokers. These case studies are NOT intended to help an organization make a decision about participation in RPR™. Those decisions are best left to individual firms. The purpose of this case study is to help brokers who are have access to RPR™ understand how they can the tool effectively to build their business.  The case study also clearly articulates how RPR™ is incremental to the tools available in MLS systems and other broker tools. WAV Group has watched with interest as more and more MLSs and Associations have signed up for RPR™. From its early beginnings, the product has continued to evolve by providing more and more tools to REALTOR® members. As of May 6, 2012, 384 MLSs and Associations have signed agreements with RPR™, representing 618,914 REALTORS®.  Two hundred and forty four MLSs 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 brokers […]

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