WAV Group supports brokerage companies in selecting and implementing marketing automation software. Firms of all sizes need and easy to use, a one stop shop for agents to access all of the marketing tools that power their success. Last year we worked with Hunt Real Estate and others as they integrated their chosen solution into their broker back office solution. Dan Mirsky of Hunt Real Estate will be joined by marketing executives from Berkshire Hathaway, Coldwell Banker, and RE/MAX to share their perspectives on the experiences they have had with marketing automation. Joining the call with be automated marketing software provider, Bill Yaman, President of Imprev. Yaman will outline current and future trends that his firm is developing against. Please accept this invitation and join us on February 2nd, 2016 at 10 am PST/ 1 PM EST. The webinar will be recorded and distributed afterwards. If you cannot make it, that is ok – just register and we will send you the video to review at your leisure and for sharing with your leadership. The integration allows the broker and agent marketing plan to be triggered around specific business marketing strategies. Marketing Listings Recruiting New Customer Marketing Customer Retention Marketing
Real estate lead generation research tells us only about 1 or 2 percent of all purchased online leads become transactions. Another way to say that is 98 out of 100 times, an agent fails to turn a lead into a client, or 98 times out of 100, they are being rejected. Yet, the conventional wisdom in real estate is that you only need to turn one lead into a transaction to pay for all the leads you’ve purchased this year many times over. But is there a problem with this logic? Is it looking at only one side of the equation, that is, the upside? But isn’t there a downside once one considers all the collective human capital that is expended to find that one needle in the proverbial lead generation haystack? Is lead generation also creating a tremendous waste of human intelligence? The cost of human rejection Most of us probably don’t think too much about the impact of the massive rejection that online lead generation is creating in real estate today. There is a reason we have robo-calls and don’t have door-to-door sales anymore: As humans, it’s tough to tolerate this kind of continuous rejection. It’s likely the main reason why sales call centers have incredibly high turnover rates. When someone hears “no” 99 times out of 100 calls, it has to be demoralizing. Is it really any different in real estate? A UCLA-lead team of psychologists found that two key areas of the brain appear to respond to the pain of rejection in the same way as physical pain. The study’s lead author, Naomi Eisenberger, told ScienceDaily, “There’s something about exclusion from others that is perceived as being as harmful to our survival as something that can physically hurt us, and our body automatically knows this.” We know rejection is painful, yet real estate subjects tens of thousands of hard-working real estate agents to this process all the time. Is it any surprise, taking these numbers into consideration, that real estate agents struggle in following up on all the leads their brokers give them? (See this WAV Group study.) One has to wonder if online lead generation isn’t contributing to weakening teams and agents. Breaking bad habits An argument can be made that the correct way to handle this type of lead generation is to use employees and agents who are independent contractors to handle these leads […]
Advertising contrarian Bob Hoffman gave a talk at Matt Beall’s Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers’ Worthshop 5 conference last week, which is a wake up call to real estate agents and brokers everywhere. Why are we spending so much time, energy and money marketing to 18-34 year olds when the greatest, wealthiest, most powerful spending group in the world in nearly every major product category is 50+ years old? Remarkably, Bob helps us answer that question and a more important one: How should we be marketing to the over 50 crowd? Full disclosure up front: The majority of the marketing world hates Bob Hoffman and thinks he’s dead wrong. The only problem with this is that all the facts and research say he’s right. Why do we market to Millennials? Bob has researched this extensively and his findings are jarring. His overall conclusion is that most marketers have a herd instinct: They are marketing to Millennials because everyone else is and somewhere there must be someone who has the facts and knows “why the hell we are doing this?” Bob’s been looking for that someone and looking for the facts to support this movement, but has come up with contrary research at every step. He cites Nielson, saying: People over 50 are the most valuable generation in the history of marketing They are responsible for over half of consumer spending They outspend the average consumer in nearly every product category: food, household furnishings, entertainment, personal care, etc. They account for 55 percent of all package goods sales and dominate 94 percent of consumer package categories They outspend other adults online two-to-one, on a per capita basis They buy about 60 percent of all cars He also shared this nugget: “You know how you see all of those Millennials in car commercials? Well, people 75 to dead buy six times as many cars as people 18-24.” Then he dropped this statistical bombshell, met with gasps from the audience: People over 50 account for more than 70% of the wealth in the U.S. If they were their own country, they would be the third largest economy in the world – bigger than India, Japan and Germany. The biggest problem, says Bob, is this: People over 50 are the target of only 10% of all advertising in the U.S. Marketers are not over 50 Listening to Bob, you immediate start to ask yourself, […]
This year’s REALTORS® Convention & Expo in San Diego traces its origins to the first Chicago meeting of the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges held May 12-14, 1908. One hundred and seven years later, some 20,000 real estate professionals will visit the San Diego Convention center where more than 400 organizations will display their offerings and pitch their products. 2016 promises to be a pivotal year of rapid adoption of sweeping innovations and the emergence of new powerhouses in the residential real estate matrix. Here are five hot trends to look for and listen at the workshops to learn about to get the most out of NAR to help you next year. Full disclosure: All of these trends identified here come from my own personal biases and prejudices, having delved deeply into these subjects over the last several months. Trend #1 – Marketing Automation It’s is a no-brainer that Marketing Automation will dominate the minds of broker owners in 2016. This is what solves the low adoption rates by agents of new technology offerings their firms provide. It’s also a huge boost for broker ROI as it removes agents from the quagmire of self-created marketing materials. Agents waste a huge amount of time creating marketing materials to promote a listing and themselves, and Marketing Automation allows them to focus instead on the things they are good at: Generating listings and closing sales. Take the agent out of the equation when it comes to creating, deploying and promoting listings by automating the marketing for them and you have 100% agent adoption and deliver zero wait time to promote properties for every seller. Bill Yaman, President of Imprev, a leader in this effort, has written extensively about this topic in his blog, here. Trend #2 – Mobile everything It’s go mobile or go home in 2016. It’s not just Google driving this accelerated change, it’s also your clients. Zillow is saying that 70 percent of its weekend search traffic is coming from mobile devices. Mobile First remains the best strategy and companies that understand the difference that this approach brings – versus the shortcut of building responsive websites or just mobile apps – are going to distance themselves from the competition when it comes to lead gen. At NAR, look for firms that really are committed to a Mobile First strategy. Trend #3 – Mobile Admin Speaking of mobile, forward-thinker Randall […]
Shaping an idea or a strategy takes time. More importantly, it takes a well-structured catalyst that “just makes sense.” WAV Group has had the opportunity to work with some pretty fantastic visionaries on the future of real estate – powerful market makers that rethink things many times to carefully construct strategies for the greater good. The outreach with peers and competitors only drives the momentum and refines the structure. It is impressive and inspired. But these things take time to develop correctly. Upstream and the Broker Public Portal are the outcroppings of this industry-wide thinking. We are blessed to be administrative supporters of the will of these leaders. Passion creates urgency and urgency drives desperation and that causes mistakes and increased risk. Despite pent up energy and demand, there has been ample time for consideration of detail. That’s good news. For the past couple of years we have worked with franchise organizations, MLSs, large firms, independent firms, Mid-sized firms, small firms, all sizes of associations, state associations, an incredible range of technology companies, portals, and the National Association of Realtors to plant some seeds. Sorry for the run-on sentence, but we have endeavored to keep pace with many of the greatest sprinters in our industry. For the most part, our process has been confidential. I can tell you that the endurance and desire among this group of confederates is nothing short of world championship caliber. They are a fantastic group to serve. There is no ‘love at first sight’ in any industry. Relationships and strategies take time to develop. After all, industries are the constitution of competition that is programmed to allow some to win at the loss of others. There are only a fixed number of homes sold each year. The winner takes their share from their peers. In these projects, there is mutual agreement that data is like oxygen: How each person uses it will be different, but the purity of the air is requisite to all. WAV Group founder, Marilyn Wilson writes about “Haters” in her newsletter article this month. I feel her words. There is a tremendous amount of bullying that has happened in our industry as a result of the “potential” progress of industry-wide change. I am amazed that people would make these statements in text messages and emails. Say what you will in conversation, but to publish opposition and personal attacks is ludicrous. Moreover, […]
Social media campaigns seems to be getting the bulk of attention in marketing and communication budgets these days, but I would argue that mass media still packs a far more potent punch when you are trying to build a brand or generate top of mind awareness among a mass audience. Skeptical? Let’s look at some numbers. Super bowl advertisers paid as much as $4.5 million for a 30 second spot this year – a new record – to reach 114 million viewers. That’s just over 4 cents a viewer. In 1993, advertisers paid $850,000 to reach 90 million viewers, just under a penny per viewer. That means advertisers are spending more than four times as much to reach the same number of people today as they did in 1990. Even adjusting for inflation, advertisers are spending three times as much: $850,000 adjusted for inflation is just over $1.5 million. Why? Because today there are very few opportunities to reach more than 100 million people with a single 30-second message. First cable television, followed by the Internet, brought in a wave of fundamental change in how we use media. We have gone from an age of mass media to the age of media choice, being able to consume precisely what we want, when we want to see, hear, or read it. My thesis in grad school was about how the impact of cable television was going to fundamentally change how we consume media, as channels would continue to fragment a mass audience, delivering narrow topics to appeal to specific market segments. Later, the Internet and social media would accelerate that trend in a profound way. The result: Broadcast television has watched its total audience shrink, despite a growing U.S. population: 11 million fewer viewers watch broadcast television in the last decade. Recently, the head of Netflix predicted broadcast television would die by 2030. And I see a lot of my colleagues reacting by focusing away from mass media and more toward social media. I think you have to remain focused on both today, and for a very long time still to come. Because a funny thing happened on the way to mass media: It’s still the only game in town to reach the biggest audiences. Advertisers know that, and that’s why they still spend big dollars on mass media: Where else can you reach an audience the size of the Super […]
The fervor about marketing to Millennials peaked for me during the National Association of REALTORS® Convention in New Orleans last week. Surely you’ve seen some of the recent headlines: “Millennials could hold the key to housing recovery,” “Millennials need to be wooed,” “Insights about Millennials’ path to homeownership,” etc. One of the seminars at NAR had this in its title:” “Generating Referrals from Millennial Home Buyers.” Say what? Try this headline: Millennials are broke. Yes, Millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y), those who ages range from about 19 to 38, may comprise the largest segment of the U.S. population at 86 million strong, but they don’t have any money. They are student debt rich and cash poor. Worse they don’t make much either. Millennial Malaise I was awakened by this fact by one of my favorite daily bloggers, economist Elliott Eisenberg, Ph.D. who pens a 70-word blog five days a week (see econ70.com). He shared these facts: In 2010, households headed by those under age 35, the Millennials, had median income of $37,600, now it’s just $35,300. Worse, 41.4% of them have student loans, up from 33.6% in 2007 and 23.3% in 1998 Their student loan balances are up from $10,000 in 1988 to $17,300 in 2013. Moreover, just 38.6% hold equities, down from almost half in 2001. Their median net worth is a paltry $10,400 Re-read these numbers: Median income is $35,300 and median net worth is $10,400. If you do the mortgage math and assume all of their other monthly debt totals no more than $500, the maximum home the average Millennial can afford is about $87,000. That’s why Millennials are renting, or living in mom and dad’s basement. The total student debt number in America is staggering: Over $1 Trillion – that’s $1,000,000,000,000 dollars, more than double what it was just 8 years ago. As demographer Peter Francese told Barron’s,“These people have a mortgage and no house.” And they are not just talking out loans, they are defaulting on them: Ten percent of all borrowers defaulted on their student loans in the most recent year available, the highest since 1995. That’s going to kill a lot of credit scores for a very long time. “Hopefully, they are saving,” said the NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yu during his press conference last week, who also noted job creation will help them significantly. But half will still likely be renters. For those […]
We all know that the floor is shifting in the real estate industry. There’s a general discomfort among brokers and Associations that the world as we know it could go away soon. So what can you do to prepare? Are you staying close to the new players entering the real estate space? Are you listening closely to what today’s real estate customers are demanding and many times NOT getting from their agent? Are you proactively talking about the ways that the industry is changing and how it is affecting your local real estate marketplace? Here’s what can happen when an Association or MLS is out of touch and not paying attention to the shifting sands. They can delay or even completely avoid decisions because they seem difficult or controversial causing the organization to fall behind or lose its competitive advantage. Boards that do not stay close to trends can enforce outdated rules and regulations that hinder member success. They can make decisions in isolation of the needs of homebuyers and sellers weakening the relationship of their members with the buying public. Worst of all, a Board of Directors that does not stay in touch may not even know it is out of touch if it does not reach out beyond its local community to see where the real estate industry is going. When conducting strategic plans we hear from brokers and board members that their organization is out of touch with today’s reality. So how do you get your board in touch? You can pay thousands of dollars for several of your board members to attend industry events. Many of these events can be very valuable for the content that is presented and the networking and peer to peer learning. The CMLS conference and the AEI conference are two great opportunities for MLSs and Associations to get in touch. WAV Group is now offering another method for staying in touch with trends and learning from progressive MLSs and Associations around North America. We call it the WAVes of Change Series. This exciting new program allows every one of your Board members, Staff and invited guests to keep in touch with the ever-changing trends in our business WITHOUT leaving home. If you would like to learn more about this exciting program you can register HERE for a free webinar telling you all about the program. This quarterly live event will include EXCLUSIVE, […]
I attended Luxury Connect last week in Beverly Hills. If you are not familiar with the event, it was expertly delivered by the team from Inman News that is host to the Real Estate Connect conferences held annually in New York City and San Francisco. I don’t think that anyone really appreciates how difficult it is to put on a great event. This group does it with ease and grace even when pitted against seemingly insurmountable challenges. There was so much fanfare about this event, it is speculated that the original property selected for the event was sold! A week before, they had to move the conference to a new location – another $100MM+ listing in Beverly Hills. It was as perfect as possible despite a few logistical challenges that everyone quickly forgave. Luxury is different, and this Luxury Connect highlighted just how different. One quote that put it all together for me came from my friend Mark McLaughlin, CEO of Pacific Union “We develop lofty strategies that are different and difficult, and that nobody else will do.” It took me awhile to understand how profound this statement was. I did not fully internalize it until I watched Steve Ozonian of Carrington look at a new product from Matterport – “a 3-D virtual tour.” I had seen the Matterport product in the past. They have signed up a number of large and progressive brokerages. I naturally put them in the category of a very fancy virtual tour. What I learned from watching Steve Ozonian look at the 3D Showcase product for a few minutes is that it is so much more. It is what Mclaughlin was talking about. It is a product that stops you in your tracks. It differentiates home marketing. It provides firms, who want to offer elite services, the ability to translate excellence into something that stuns affluent clients. There is not much that Ozonian’s has not seen before. The dollhouse view is what caught Ozonian’s attention. It delivered a view that added spatial context to the property. As he drilled into the property he was able to experience a truly three dimensional walk-though of the home – looking up, down, left, right, moving forward, backwards, even floating through walls, ceilings, and floors. It’s a sensation akin to being a ghost with x-ray vision. I could hear McLaughlin repeating in my ears. Matterport is one of those […]
Marketing is a key component to success in real estate. I hate stating the obvious, but if you don’t start with it, one can hardly understand the reality of the impact that the cost of marketing has on the adoption and utilization of marketing plans by various segments of real estate professionals. Franchise giant RE/MAX announced an agreement with Imprev for marketing solutions. You can see the program in the video below. In the past, the fee for access to these marketing tools was $299 per year. For the sake of argument, lets presume that the pricing is fair. Judging from our appraisal, it would be a fair price at $1000 per year. That is where the price barrier comes in. RE/MAX just launched the Imprev program for free – no cost to the agent. Here is why. Top producing agents do not blink at $299. That is the cost of dinner for two and a bottle of wine at a nice restaurant. Agents who do transactions every month or two are always marketing and they use the tools provided by the franchise and broker and flourish other marketing plans over the top as their secret sauce. This is the top 20% of agents in real estate. The middle 60% of agents in real estate do somewhere between 3 and 10 transactions a year. This is a mixed bucket. Some use the marketing programs and some don’t. In truth, it depends on the economic vitality of the household at the time when the marketing investment is demanded. Some of these agents will make the investment. Others will hold off and hope for the best. Still others will totally ignore it and not do any marketing that is not free. The bottom 20% of agents is the worst group at adoption of marketing solutions. They are broke, or only do real estate part time. They do between 0 and 3 transactions per year. So, why did RE/MAX go with free marketing? Because, marketing works and it works every time. It is good for the brand, good for the agent, good for the broker, and amazing for the consumer. RE/MAX is raising the bar. In truth, they are matching programs offered today by other franchise brands too. It keeps them competitive. The philosophy of RE/MAX has always been to keep costs low and commissions high. This fits, even if it burdens profits […]
Beating Zillow at Their Own Game What if I told you that just about everything you find unfair about the way Zillow and Trulia display your listings can be changed? Guess what? An insider understanding of how these sites work has allowed thousands of listing agents to get hundreds of dollars worth of free marketing on these sites without paying a dime. What is Email Drip Marketing? Chinese water torture is a way to drive someone insane by slowly dripping water on the person’s forehead. Drop email marketing is a communication strategy that slowly drips email messages to prospects’ inboxes over time. Folks on the receiving end of either may feel tortured. But there is a positive way to drip that may be welcomed by the recipient. WordPress Basics for Agents Industry superstars like Nicole Nicolay have made WordPress a familiar term for most real estate agents. The price tag – a big, fat ZERO – has undeniable appeal for many agents. If you’re considering a WordPress site, there are many factors you’ll need to investiage. Today, I’m going to look at only two of the most important. The Biggest Marketing Mistakes (and how to avoid them!) After seeing a study on the biggest mistakes companies make with their consumers, couldn’t help wondering how many real estate agents were making these mistakes. And then I had an epiphany – most of these mistakaes could be avoided quite simply, by leveraging the right technology. 5 Reasons Electronically Signed Documents Might Just be Better than pen-and-ink Signing documents electronically is a necessity–a form becomes a living, breathing document when it’s signed. We’ve got some great reasoning to back up our position. Here are five of the best.
What does your brand smell like? Perhaps there is no better time than the holiday season to remember that humans have 5 senses (at least) that are used in interacting with all things in the world. As the smell of Christmas trees and holiday cookies linger in our homes and offices, there can be no argument that smell plays a role in marketing. Home Scenting It is not just folklore. Baking cookies and other scent tactics are effective at open houses. Victorian Homes should smell like baking. Ocean front homes should smell like the ocean. Modern city condos should smell clean and spicy. Blending scent marketing into your showings will go a long way toward staging a home for a showing. Remember, you cannot smell your own home so your sellers are not likely to smell the old carpet, the cat, or the dog. But buyers will pick that up right away. A more inviting smell will help you sell. Office Scenting Brokers need to be mindful of their office smells too.