Break Through Your Ceiling of Achievement by Going From E to P

For the first five years he was in real estate, Brian Cane of PacifiCal Realty Group in San Diego, California, felt like he wasn’t really getting anywhere.

It wasn’t lack of enthusiasm. He wanted the biggest and best business he could build and set large goals to match his zeal. Cane was doing what came naturally to him: using his innate abilities, exercising his people and sales skills, and equating a strong work ethic with long hours. He remembers that time well … “I’d take two steps forward to take two steps back.”

Top Takeaways from Inman Connect San Francisco

They say that successful people never stop learning. And Inman Connect was a perfect example of this – agents, brokers, and innovators sharing their expertise and taking feverish notes. If you weren’t able to attend (or were and just want a refresher), we’ve got a quick recap of some highlights.

 

Here are a few of our top takeaways.

Adapt or Fall Behind

Adapting was one of the major themes of the week. There is so much talk about technology and its role in real estate… it can be exhausting for agents. At the end of the day, you are in “the business of people.” Agents matter and will likely always matter to the consumer. Yet, the fact remains that tech has transformed the industry. Number one piece of advice? Adapt. Keep your finger on the pulse with social media trends, technology that automates busy work, and other tech innovations that affect the consumer experience.

 

“Our industry is about transactions that are ultra-low frequency and ultra-high value. We’re no longer waiting for tech to replace agents. People are always going to want the insurance of having someone to hold their hand.” – Mike Delprete

 

With any new technology, ask yourself. “How will this affect my client’s experience? How will this affect my work process? Can this help drive more business?” The name of the game is not to miss out on something that could transform your business simply because you are resisting the change. Keep a level-headed balance. Know that your value as a real human agent isn’t going anywhere. And also know that technology can elevate your business in ways that you cannot do alone.

Transparency & Authenticity

We are living in a “Power of the People” age. Consumers have more choice, more flexibility, and are demanding more than ever a white-glove experience. The most successful agents are the ones that deliver the best experience at the end of the day. Because of this, it’s critical to be transparent with your clients. Be authentic, be honest.

 

Your social media presence is a great avenue for being authentic and transparent with your clients.
 

social media

 

Being truly authentic might take a little bit of introspection. In real estate, it’s often about what separates you from the rest. What is your unique value proposition? What can you offer, and what makes you special? Discovering this uniqueness is how you build a successful brand.

 

“You can put everything on your menu, but you’ll be replaced by those who specialize in only a few things.” – Jed Carlson, CEO of Adwerx

 

One of the most powerful and unique voices from ICSF, was Beau Beardslee. A veteran who landed in real estate when he returned home from the front lines. He discusses how his military background has shaped him as an agent.

 

Robots, Voice & Augmented Reality

The robots are here, and they’re here to stay.

 

Remember how we talked about the consumer experience? Well, augmented reality is transforming the way consumers shop for and buy homes. In your home search, if you had the ability to do a “walk through” of a property without even leaving the couch, or if you could see what an empty room would look like furnished at the snap of your finger… wouldn’t you?

 

The good news is that augmented reality can benefit agents and brokers as well consumers. They can use property tech tools for their listings, like Pandora Reality, which allows the consumer to view the potential of an unfinished space. Or artificial intelligence tools that notify an agent if one of their properties has the AC left on, or flood damage.

 

“Buying a home can be very emotional. If you can change and personalize things, it can help with the decision-making process.” – Clelia Peters, President of Warburg Realty.

The Consumer Experience

The real estate industry is a packed space right now, with new tech disrupters coming in left and right. The tension was palpable during Inman Connect. Who will “survive”? Will the traditional agent role cease to exist as we know it over the next decade? What’s the “next frontier,” with social media, or CRM technology, or brokerage structures? All of these questions and more were swirling around the stage. Along with those questions, are unique perspectives, polar opposite opinions, and different agendas. It’s enough to make your head spin!

 

So let’s get some value out of all of this noise, and to be perfectly frank – fear. At the end of the day, what is the most important thing in real estate? The consumer experience. This should be on your mind from the second you walk into your office to the second you turn off your phone for the night. Surviving in real estate in 2018 means providing exceptional value.

 

So is it possible to provide this exceptional value without burnout? That’s where your team comes in. Whether it’s just you, an assistant, and a powerful CRM…or you’re working with a team of 20+ agents, you need to work with people you trust to help you. Jay O’Brien, co-founder/CEO of Client Giant, shares how he provides excellent service while traveling the world. 1. Outsource what you can to people you trust. 2. Stay connected via technology (personal touches don’t have to be in person. An assistant can send a birthday card, or flowers).

 

“In 2016 after putting a lot of these activities into practice, I sold 30 homes and in at least half of those deals, I never saw the property or the client. And those clients are still a source of repeat and referral business. On top of that, a lot of those transactions happened when I was traveling in Iceland, Dubai, South Africa, Greece.” – Jay O’Brien, Co-founder/CEO Client Giant.

Tactical Advice for Agents

Marketing expert, Katie Lance, delivered a must-see talk on free marketing tools to boost your business.

 

A few of our favorites:

  • Free Stock Photo Sites: Death to Stock Photo, Unsplash, Pixabay
  • Storeo: This app breaks down videos into 15-second, Instagram-friendly clips!
  • Coschedule: A headline analyzer that rates the strength of your headline and gives recommendations for improvement.

 

 

While I expected to hear session after session about generating more leads and improving lead quality, there was actually quite a bit of focus on lead follow up! Creating a strategic follow up plan is critical for maximizing the leads that you have. This is particularly important for team leaders who may be paying for leads for their agents or a CRM that provides lead generation services. Holding agents accountable for properly following up with their leads could result in more closings.

 

Learn more about Lead Follow Up Best Practices

 

 

In closing, Inman Connect San Francisco 2018 was a jam-packed week of big ideas, big personalities, and some age old truths about real estate professionals. The role of the agent is shifting from sales to customer service. Consumer experience is incredibly important. Technology can take business to the next level. Adapt, adjust, keep learning, and keep striving to be better.


3 Easy Methods to Install a Culture of Accountability in the Real Estate Office


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Have Multiple Systems For Managing Leads? Here’s How To Simplify

“This is my favorite system for transaction management, but it doesn’t work with my CRM, so here’s my workaround…”

 

“I prefer to use this dialer, but it doesn’t integrate with my system, so I take notes on my calls and attempts and input them manually later…”

Whether it’s transaction management, dialers, or another solution in your arsenal of real estate tools, these are common problems. There are some great systems and technology out there, but if you’re juggling multiple systems in order to generate and manage your leads, I’m here to tell you that there’s a much easier way. And not only is it easier, it is much more productive, less costly, and less time-consuming.

Here’s how you can simplify the business of real estate by condensing into one central hub to manage all your leads, deals, follow-up, and communications.

Say hello to fewer logins, and better insights.

Lead Generation Real Estate Plan

Don’t Fall Victim to Fragmented Systems

You didn’t get in this business to be a systems manager. And time-consuming manual work is not the point of technology. Beware of “technology collecting” and chasing the next shiny thing that promises to improve your business and increase your revenue.

Most of these products are fragmented pieces that have been pushed together to create a functioning platform. Different companies sell different components, such as the website, the IDX, lead generation, lead management, etc. Managing a number of platforms or products like this becomes a challenging juggling act.

The reality is that a bunch of piecemeal solutions cobbled together into a “system” typically leads to poor adoption rates, wasted time, and potentially wasted money. Who has time to learn each system, create workarounds between them, and manually share data?

Throwing down thousands of dollars on a website every few years, then dropping a few thousand more to add more bells and whistles isn’t practical, yet it has become common practice in the real estate industry.

So what’s the fix?

Real Estate Lead Generation

Find A System That Integrates Well

Look for a holistic business solution. This means a platform that encompasses and powers your lead generation, website, CRM, and affords the ability to integrate with other point solutions.

This allows you to build a business ecosystem where all tools and data are housed in one platform, and all your favorite solutions can be implemented with ease. It’s critical to find a solution that:

  • Can be seamlessly integrated with other platforms
  • Provides valuable insights and data from user activities.
  • Offers the ability to import your leads from multiple sources into one central database.
  • Automates many aspects of the real estate lead cultivation cycle.
  • Improves consistent communication and reduces costly human error.

Lead Generation Plan

Manage All Your Leads (and Your Business) in One Place

No matter the source of your leads, you should be able to effortlessly import and manage all of them into one system. For example with BoomTown, you can smoothly import leads from top sources (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, eEdge, LeadStreet, etc.) into the CRM and leverage a plethora of communication tools for easy, consistent follow-up.


Learn More about the BoomTown CRM


Real Estate Lead Generation

Connect Your Front and Back End System With Your Favorite Point Solutions

Using separate systems for your website and your CRM can lead to inconsistent or unreliable data transfer. Depending on the level of compatibility between the two disparate systems, some user activity or lead information can go missing when passing between systems.

Having one system that connects your website to your CRM closes the loop in the real estate process. A streamlined system like BoomTown creates a seamless process from first click to final closing with nothing lost in between. And, with BoomTown’s Integration Partners you can seamlessly connect select partners to your BoomTown system, so you can work across your entire arsenal of tools from one central command center.

BoomTown integrates with dotloop, BombBomb, Mojo Power Dialer,  CallAction, Google Calendar, Spacio, and more.


Learn More about BoomTown Integration Partners


Here’s an example to help you see a glimpse of the power of integration: In the system, lead contact information and search history can be passed from a CRM such as BoomTown to a transaction management platform (like dotloop) to eliminate redundant data entry, human error, and increase efficiency.

The transaction management platform then feeds purchase price, commission, and other financial data back to BoomTown upon closing, so the CRM can accurately track ROI. Systems that are well-engineered to integrate smoothly work together to seamlessly increase value.

Real Estate Lead Generation

Understand the Value of Integrated Real Estate Technology

The future of real estate technology is solutions that offer a model to “hand off” to the next step in the process. They automate time-consuming tasks, completing them faster and more accurately. When you couple this automation and predictive intelligence with shared data between tools and point solutions, you have a system that drives new insights and identifies ways to gather more data. With more data you are armed for better customer service, preemptively addressing individual customer needs.

For agents, this means systems that more accurately identifying customers who will sell or buy with them, and connecting their CRM with all the systems they need to do business.

For the team this means more efficient offices with less overhead, less data entry and less duplication of efforts. It also means less time wasted on menial housekeeping tasks that aren’t the most dollar-productive activities.

Using one central system allows you to optimize operations, examine accountability metrics, gather ROI reporting, and empower your agents to make insightful decisions based on lead activity. Connecting your systems through our integrations creates a streamlined process from start to finish, and every phase in between.

The post Have Multiple Systems For Managing Leads? Here’s How To Simplify appeared first on BoomTown!.

Are CRMs Worth the Investment?

If there’s one major theme in the real estate industry right now, it’s technology. With new tech companies popping up left and right, the consensus among most brokerages is to embrace it. But before you move forward with a CRM for your business, consider the investment that you’re making and whether or not it’s worth it for you right now.

What is a Real Estate CRM?

CRM traditionally stands for Customer Relationship Management, however the role of the CRM has grown and expanded, and many real estate technology companies offer a platform that extends beyond maintaining client relationships. The idea is to assist you in managing your leads “from click to close.” From the moment a lead registers on your site, you have tools to help you close the deal. From speeding up your follow-up, to improving the quality of your communication, to automating busy work so you can expand your sphere, the CRM acts as a second set of hands for your business.

 

 

How Can a Real Estate CRM Improve my Business?

The bottom line is that CRMs are robust. They are built from complex software, near endless capabilities. Different tech companies will highlight a laundry list of features (some will be important to you, and some will not). Be sure you don’t get lost in a sea of micro features. Consider the overall benefit and top-level value for your business. Using BoomTown’s CRM as a model, here are just a few ways a CRM can improve your real estate business.

  • Hold Agents Accountable: For brokers, the accountability tools in a CRM can be invaluable. Track agent performance by making sure they’re staying on top of lead follow-up and prospecting.
  • Capture More Opportunities: With an organized database of leads (tags and segments), it is easier to keep track of where your leads are in the pipeline. Agents are alerted when follow-ups are needed, so no lead gets left behind.
  • Generate More Leads: With a team of expert digital marketers, your brand is highlighted in the best quality advertisements on Google and Facebook, generating high quality leads.
  • Reduce Busy Work: One of the most important benefits of a CRM is that it can automate busy work, like emailing and texting new prospects. This frees up time for agents to expand their sphere, spend more quality time with clients, or even just take a vacation.
  • Be Smarter with Prospecting: At BoomTown we like to encourage “Smart Prospecting.” This means organizing your lead database into workable lists. You’re not just blinding scrolling through a rolodex of numbers, you’re working with targeted leads and you know what they want.
  • Sync with Other Tools: There is no “one size fits all” tool in real estate. The best CRMs will offer different packages that can better fit your needs, but even then, there are other tools outside of the CRM that you’ll likely still want to use. This is why it’s important to have a CRM that integrates with other technology. BoomTown seamlessly integrates with companies like dotloop (transaction management software).
  • Improve Agent Experience: At the end of the day, real estate is all about providing an excellent customer experience. A good CRM will assist agents in providing this experience, but will go even further and improve the agent experience as well. A CRM should be intuitive, easy and enjoyable to use. And the provider should include excellent training as well as customer support.

Is the Investment Really Worth it?

It’s all about that ROI! In order to be a good investment, the benefits need to ultimately outweigh the cost of your CRM. This can be measured in a few different ways.

 

Income from leads
If your CRM provider is helping you generate leads, keep track of the CRM-generated leads that turn into closings. Once you have that quarterly or annual data, consider that income in comparison to what you’re paying for your CRM. Remember two things when it comes to lead generation. (1) Quality lead generation doesn’t happen over night, it requires a little bit of a time investment, and (2) leads can only go so far. Agent follow-up and working the leads is important for closing the deal.

 

Time Saved
You’ve heard that time is money right? We believe in that mantra. Agents are busier than ever, and with technology that automates some of the grunt work, more time can be allocated towards generating more business. As an agent, you are always one conversation away from landing a new client. So having a few hours of down time for prospecting each week can result in $$$ over time. If your CRM has automated marketing capabilities, you can send emails to leads without even lifting a finger. BoomTown’s Smart Drip campaigns can save agents up to 36 hours a month.
 

Scaling a Business for Growth

If you want your real estate business to grow, technology is essential. As your book of business grows, so to will the need for more agents, potentially an ISA, assistants, lender partnerships, and even a marketing department. With a CRM your business can operate with one central hub, keeping everyone aligned, connected, and accountable. Not only will you save money over time by reducing admin costs, but you also reduce the need for dozens of different gadgets and tech platforms that only perform one unique task.


Want to See the Power of BoomTown’s CRM? Click Here >


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Why They’re Renting and What You Can Do About It

By Madiha Ashour, Consumer Research Analyst, KW Research

For many, the American Dream includes homeownership, yet according to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 40% of people in the United States continue to rent. Intrigued, we sought to understand why renters are not buying and surveyed a random sample of 1,471 renters in the United States. Their responses revealed key insights.

Gary Keller Takes a Stand for Real Estate Agents at Inman Connect

There are competing theories when it comes to the future of real estate, but Gary Keller stands firm in his belief that the industry is in a time of massive change accelerated by an impending digital boom. The winners will be decided soon.

“In February, I said you won’t recognize the real estate industry,” said the co-founder of Keller Williams at Inman Connect San Francisco. “I wasn’t kidding. The amount of change we’ve been feeling is palpable. It’s coming.”