With advancements in technologies, brokers are finding that they need to advance their brokerages as well in order to keep up. This doesn’t have to be a drastic, impromptu change, though. We’re challenging brokers to take a step back and think about how they can put systems in place within their brokerage that will align with the changing technological environment of the industry.
Data is power
“More data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race.” – AnalyticsWeek.com
Data is the currency that will give you an ROI on your technology. Data exchange improves productivity and optimizes operations acrossorganizations in all industries. Real estate is no exception, and we’re already seeing that those brokerages who adopt technologies with consideration for the future, are making significant advancements as a business. Data exchange is what enables an agent to auto-fill MLS information into their presentation, managers to see how for their agents are to their unique GCI goals, brokerages to manage their organization’s roster, and financial success.
Open platform allows fast integrations
The ‘plug and play’ concept is great (we clearly live by it), but only if the plugging and playing can be done quickly. Changing technologies can be incredibly painful and costly for businesses and it’s a major pain point for brokerages in today’s world. The reason brokerages are opting for an open platform API is to hedge against these problems in the future, as the solution enables fast integration of new technologies.
The API (Application Programming Interface) is the key to the open platform. It allows brokerages to plug and play the tools they need into one platform. It means that you have the exact technology solutions you need, when you need them. We integrated 12 tool and service providers within two months. That means within just a couple of months, our brokerage clients had a dozen more technology solutions at their fingertips and they’re able to use what they’d like and forget what they don’t.
From the partner’s perspective, it means they’re able to easily integrate with the Moxi Works platform, sharing critical data and improving the user’s workflow. Interested in learning a little more about how the technical integration works? Check out this interview with Melissa Kwan, CEO of Spacio, about how they launched Spacio to a major brokerage in just 2 days with the Moxi Cloud. From the brokers perspective, it means you can easily onboard new tools to your entire brokerage quickly and easily.
A changing environment
Change isn’t somewhere off in the future, it’s happening now. The real estate industry is faced with the opportunity to adapt, embracing technology that will make brokerages more efficient, winning back higher profit margins. Flexibility is vital, as brokerages that stay nimble and adopt the tools that fit their needs, culture, and process, will find success in providing their agents with tools and services that address their pain points. We like to call this flexibility ‘future-proofing.’ Those who strive to be industry leaders (big or small) will advance along with the changing environment.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE Brokerages large and small work hard to save valuable time and money. But for larger teams with dozens (or hundreds) of agents, remaining profitable and productive often comes down to one thing: technology and data integration. Enter Moxi Works, a comprehensive open platform system created with large residential real estate brokerages in mind.
“Our mission is to make the brokerage more profitable,” says York Baur, CEO of the company. “We do this by increasing productivity and reducing technology costs.”
Increasing productivity and lowering tech spend sounds simple, but how does Moxi Works make it happen?
The home buying journey begins when someone takes a minute out of their day to conduct an online search. In fact, 90% of home buyers search online during the process, according to the National Association of Realtors. People are busy and they want to know every detail of a home before they take the time to go see it. That means agents need a mobile-friendly website that allows consumers to easily and efficiently get the information they need.
IDX websites are the new standard when it comes to real estate websites. If a website doesn’t have IDX, it’s more or less worthless. It sounds extreme, but it’s true. IDX search is the peanut butter to the website jelly.
What are IDX websites?
IDX stands for “Internet Data Exchange,” which simply allows agents and brokers to show MLS listings on their websites – a real estate website must. A key part of Moxi Works productivity is the integration with your MLS. Now with over 200 MLSs, we have a dedicated team that works with MLSs to ensure we have the most up-to-date listing data. We believe agents deserve and need an easy to use website, no matter the level or extent of their tech savviness.
Your Website – Easy as One, Two, Three
In our never-ending efforts to make agent’s lives easier, we created a website tool – Moxi Works Agent Websites – that makes it easy to drag and drop just about anything, anywhere on your site. Not only is it easy to set up, but it also has these key features:
1. Responsive Design
These agent websites are easy to navigate, look great, and work seamlessly on all sized screens. That means whether your future clients are looking on their iPhones, iPads, laptops, Androids, etc., your site will always look flawless.
2. Custom Pages
Custom pages allow agents to give their website a unique twist. Agents want to differentiate themselves & showcase their expertise. Show your in-depth knowledge of a specific neighborhood or area in your city, cater to the typical lifestyle of your clients with new restaurants, sporting events, school districts, and more. The options are endless and you can build out your pages however you’d like them to be.
3. Lead Capture
Just like an agent’s sphere, leads are an integral part to a real estate business. There are multiple ways a new visitor to an agent’s site can connect with the agent, & when they do, they show up in Moxi Engage as a new lead.
And guess what? Our very own moxiworks.com is built on the exact same tool as our agent websites. That’s right. We practice what we preach.
Below is a short video of how easy Moxi Works Agent Websites are to set up! Watch us build a custom page:
You won a new listing! …Now what? It’s time to start marketing. With two goals (selling the home and showing the client you put forth a satisfactory marketing effort), listing promotion can be a challenge. Here are six tips for listing promotion, using the tools you already have.
1. Segment your CRM
Start with who you know. Would the listing be a good investment property? Filter and reach out to the investors in your sphere. Is it a great family home? Segment your sphere based on families and look for the people you haven’t touched base with in a while. Is the property right on a golf course? Look at your contacts who golf and reach out. If they aren’t looking to move, they might have friends who are.
One of the perks of having a well-organized, up-to-date CRM is that performing these searches becomes incredibly quick and easy.
2. Make it easy to share
Once you’ve identified who the property would go a great fit for, dive into your presentation builder. Put together a presentation deck that features the relevant property highlights and use that in your listing promotion efforts. Showcase your personal brand alongside the property and send it out to those in your sphere via email or social media.
By creating property overviews that are professional and engaging, people will be likely to forward them along to people they know, generating a word-of-mouth buzz.
3. Create a video
Leverage video to get people’s attention. Create a short walk-through video showing off the property. Video marketing is effective because it’s intriguing, easy to consume, and gets people to engage with it. Listing promotion using video can be much stronger than your typical content. Also, there’s no need for fancy equipment. For these short videos, your smart phone quality should be just fine.
4. Post through your social channels
The truth is that social media is a great way to quickly reach a large number of people. If you have a following on any of your social media platforms and frequently engage with people, this is the strategy for you. Facebook and Instagram are great places for listing promotion because they’re both heavily visual. Make sure you showcase the best images, add a catchy description, and post away.
5. Advertise on Facebook
Ready to really show your clients you’re willing to go the extra mile? Try promoting your listing on Facebook. It’s a great platform for your listing promotion because it generates a lot of engagement and is easy to target certain areas or income levels. Facebook advertising can be a pain, but using Advertise Your Listing, it only takes 5-10 minutes. By following three easy steps right there in your Moxi Engage CRM, you can have a listing promoted on Facebook quickly and easily. You can even select your reporting parameters to have automated reports sent directly to the client.
Want to try it out? Just navigate to one of your active listings in your Moxi Engage CRM, click on “My Ads” and follow the prompts!
6. Post on your agent website
This one may sound like a ‘no duh’ but it’s also easy to overlook. Make sure your latest listings are not only listed on your website, but that your website is always up to date. The vast majority of people go straight to the internet to search for agents and listings when they begin the home buying process, so make sure you put your best foot forward when it comes to your personal agent website.
How does agent productivity affect your bottom line? It seems obvious that if your staff is more efficient, the business will be more profitable. Yet, agent productivity is rarely a main consideration when big decisions are being made for a brokerage, such as which technology solutions to adopt.
Windermere Real Estate has experienced this correlation first-hand. For far too long, they suffered from ‘shiny tool syndrome’ which was disruptive, inefficient, and caused a lack of cohesion across their organization. When the organization shifted to focus on a sphere selling methodology and put a fully integrated, flexible open platform in place, things changed. Five years ago, Windermere did approximately 60,000 transactions with 6,000 agents. Last year, they handled 83,000 transactions with 6,500 agents.
So… focusing on agent productivity and seeing the average agent increase their annual sides from 10 to 12.8? Not bad for your brokerage profits and growth, but how do you get there? It can be difficult to track the ROI of productivity, so we decided to break down how agent productivity and brokerage profits are interconnected.
Agents can focus on the things that matter
What happens when effective productivity tools are in place is that people have the ability to rely on those tools for the things that make them unproductive. Traditionally, agents are juggling hundreds of little tasks at a given time, trying to maintain relationships with their clients post-sale, trying desperately to acquire new leads, planning open houses and completing transactions, and much, much more. The home sale process has a lot of moving parts, so when a defined process is in place, it relieves the agent from unnecessary stress. Agents spend less time on busy work such as data entry, transaction management, managing their schedule, and client research, and more time developing relationships and closing deals.
Brokerages that have adopted the sphere methodology understand the importance of building strong long-term relationships. Agents need the unique ability to be able to nurture relationships with clients over a long-term period of time to stay relevant in between home sales and gain referrals. With the right systems in place that focus on productively nurturing these relationships, agents can maintain routine touchpoints with their clients in the long-run. What does this result in? High quality referral leads, repeat clients, and easy sales.
Agent recruiting and retention improves
We all know that turnover is expensive. Agents are quick to make the switch from one brokerage to another given the right reason. Work/life balance is a priority for agents, which means productivity is key. The more productive agents are, the better balanced their life is, and the more money they’re making. Providing tools that allow your agents to reach a balanced, lucrative workflow will, in turn, improve your brokerage profitability. Take a manager dashboard, for example. Agents feel more supported, because managers have a level of visibility and become aware of coaching opportunities as they arise rather than after the fact. When agents are used to using a system that makes their business operate more smoothly, they’re less likely to leave. Happy agents make successful brokerages.
As a productivity tool provider, we live and breathe this stuff. Our goal with the Moxi Cloud is to improve margins for brokerages by leveraging technology.
So, what should you do? Take a step back and look at your business critically. Ask yourself what the three major pain points are for your brokerage right now and think about whether they’re linked to productivity and, if so, how brokerage profits might be getting affected.
Agents today have more options than ever of which brokerage they can take “their talents” to. The ability to attract, recruit, and retain top talent is more crucial than ever if your brokerage is going to dominate the competition in your market. What measures are you taking to ensure your business is the “it” place to work?
If it has been awhile since you reviewed your brokerage resources for agents, perhaps it is time to take an internal audit and reassess your value proposition. Questions to consider:
- Why would agents want to work here?
- What do I offer agents that the competition does not?
- How do I help agents be more productive and focused on selling?
If these answers are not immediately coming to you, chances are there is something dated with your brokerage process. To get back on track think two words: open platform.
An open real estate platform gives you the power to customize your brokerage to fit your brand and business needs. An open platform works like this: pick and choose, or, “plug and play” from a wide range of options to provide the types of solutions that best fit your needs. Just like a power strip, you can connect the things you want at your brokerage, and not the other stuff.
Competitive Advantage #1 of an Open Platform: Customization. Tools and services come and go all the time. With an open platform, choose the right combination of CRM, CMA, Leads Management, Print, Intranet, etc. that works best for you and your agents. In other words, keep the products that are used most plugged and sunset or unplug those that have fallen out of favor. The ability to customize your platform as needed empowers you to continuously providing best-in-class to your agents.
Competitive Advantage #2 of an Open Platform: Continuity. The power of having all of your tools plugged in and able to talk to one another in real-time should not be underestimated. If your agents know that their listing information will be shared and viewable from their CMA, to the CRM, and even to digital advertising solutions like Facebook advertisements, how much more productive does that make your agent’s time?
Competitive Advantage #3 of an Open Platform: Your Data. Why is data important? Think of brokerage data like digital currency; the more you have, the richer the intelligence and value proposition of your brokerage. If you can articulate both historical and current information data across property, brokerage, agent and consumers across all levels of your brokerage, the ability to identify new areas of business opportunity can be yours for the taking. Seriously.
Need help in determining your current brokerage proposition to agents? The first place to start: figure out which type of brokerage platform do you have.
York Baur – CEO, Moxi Works
Redfin went public last week, raising well over $100M at a valuation of $1.5B. That’s what all the media is focused on, but what does it mean to you the brokerage owner?
The bad news is that you should be concerned. Redfin has deep pockets, deep technology, and now has access to the public markets to raise more capital as needed to grow further. They invest tens of millions of dollars in their technology annually, have a great website, and spend lots of time and money driving traffic to it. Like it or not, they’ll be a factor, and they’re going to put pressure on you to deliver better technology and a slicker experience for both your agents and their consumers.
The good news is that you have everything you need available to you to compete successfully. How can I be so sure? Because Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate has had Redfin operating in its home market of Seattle for 12 years with $200M of capital, and despite all the hype, tech and money, Redfin still has only 2.6% market share compared to Windermere’s 21%. Even more important, Windermere did 38% more transactions last year than 5 years ago in the tightest inventory market we’ve seen in a long time.
How can Windermere continue to dominate in the face of Redfin? And Zillow for that matter (also based in Seattle’s tech-centric market), supposedly siphoning away business by selling leads to the highest bidder? And how can you do what they’re doing? The answer is:
- Continue to focus on agent’s sphere of influence – the people that already know, like, and trust their agents. Sound obvious? It is, but I’ll bet you’re not doing it enough. We talk to brokerages across the country every day who are distracted by chasing a lead generation battle that they can’t win. How are you seriously going to compete with the billions of dollars of capital that Redfin, Zillow, and Realtor.com spend every year driving consumers to their sites? You can’t. Period. Lead gen will continue to be a small piece of your business, but that’s it – a small piece. The biggest piece of your business is the core business, which is transactions coming from consumers an agent already has a trust relationship with.
- Quit focusing on buyer leads. Every realtor and broker wants a seller, not a buyer if they have the choice. Redfin generates buyer leads. Zillow generates buyer leads. What’s the overwhelming source of seller leads? It’s an agent’s sphere. Control the inventory in your market by concentrating agents on their sphere, and you make money. There are only around five million homes transacted every year no matter how many buyer leads are generated – don’t you want to control the seller side of that equation?
- Control and centralize your data. Windermere decided years ago to put an open platform in place. It’s like a power strip where they can plug in all their agent tools and have them work together. How? By putting all their property data, agent and brokerage data, and consumer data in one place. Windermere currently has over 2.6M consumer names in that platform, allowing agents and the brokerage to market to those consumers to generate listings, using dozens of tools in various markets to do so. Do you have a centralized database of your agent’s contacts? What are you doing to help them stay in front of their sphere of influence?
- Quit creating islands of data and technology. Windermere has taken the platform concept to heart, and has solved the problems of tools that don’t work together, redundant data entry, and not being able to get a comprehensive view of their business. A technology platform allows them to save millions of dollars annually in office staff time, custom software development, and management overhead. This is in sharp contrast to most brokers, who don’t have a technology strategy. They buy the latest shiny technology object, and don’t even ask the question of how it works with the other technology they have now or might use in the future. Agents are demanding a better experience, and that means not having to start over from scratch with every new tool you provide them, upload their database for the 17th time, or having to rekey data.
- Training, coaching and sales discipline. Redfin has made much out of the fact that they hire agents and support staff as full-time employees, not contractors. But that’s not the big difference – we hire contractors in the tech world all the time, and they contribute just as much as our employees do. So what’s the difference? It’s not the person, it’s how they’re trained, coached, and held to a standard of how to do business. That means having a training program, providing good coaching (which means training your coaches), and having a technology (specifically a CRM system) that reinforces the sales discipline every day as agents do business. Windermere has trained over two-thirds of their agents in the Windermere sales discipline (heavily influenced by Larry Kendall’s Ninja Selling), puts an emphasis on managers doing agent coaching, and has built their discipline into their CRM to provide ongoing reinforcement.
With Redfin beating its chest on Wall Street, you need a response for your agents and your consumers – now. Do nothing and you’ll lose agents, because they won’t tolerate inaction. And don’t forget the Millennial agent who isn’t just comfortable with tech, they demand it as a necessary tool for doing business. But despite all the hype and money spent, Windermere did eight times as many transactions in the greater Seattle market last year than Redfin did. With performance like that, we’d all be well served to look at what they’re doing right.
Find out more about brokerage open platforms and how they work by clicking here.
Day-to-day life for a real estate agent is hectic to say the very least. Work/life balance is a hard thing to come by when you decide to plunge into the world of real estate and start your own sphere-based business. Having to juggle clients, leads, business growth, family, friends, and often children, means real estate agents could use a few more minutes in the day, everyday. Agent marketing automation can get those minutes back. Here are some easy ways to go about using agent marketing automation.
Marketing automation comes in various shapes and sizes. It can be something as simple as planning and scheduling out your social posts for the week or a monthly postcard you pre-planned at the beginning of the season or year. But wait, it can be even simpler. You can click a button that allows you to stay in flow with all of your clients and leads every month. Yes, all you have to do hit the (easy) button one time, and your clients are forever in flow.
Do you use Moxi Engage CRM? Then you’re in luck. Neighborhood News sends automated market snapshots and overviews, personalized for each subscribed contact in an agent’s Moxi Engage account. These monthly emails keep your sphere up-to-date on market happenings in their neck of the woods – or wherever they’d like updates for. Clients can even change the area they get each month by putting in a new zip code. You can even see when they make these changes as well. #Winning.
Just Listed/Just Sold
Gently let your sphere and prospects know when you list and sell. Just-Listed & Just-Sold is another Moxi Engage feature that automates notifications to select members of your sphere to keep them in the loop. Automated email updates as you close transactions are a great way to keep your sphere (or those you want) in the loop. Manage all of the subscriptions directly in Moxi Engage CRM.
Besides saving extremely valuable time, these are some other key benefits of exercising agent marketing automation:
Be more effective. Having an email that your clients can expect and look forward to each month is much more effective than emailing them something random when you find the time to do so. Consider the market snapshot, you “checking in” with them, while providing them valuable content.
Know exactly when to call. If someone changes the zip code on their market emails, chances are they’re thinking of moving. Looks like it’s time to pick of the phone!
Automatically follow-up with leads. A study on the Harvard Business Review suggests that you’re 60x more likely to qualify a lead if you follow up within one hour, compared to waiting 24 hours. Set it up so all of your leads are instantly signed up to Neighborhood News.
Agent marketing automation is one of the easiest, most effective way for real estate agents to have a little extra time, with a lot less stress weighing them down.
With 1.94 billion active users on Facebook, it’s not hard to believe that 93% of buying decisions are influenced by social media. Facebook is only growing, which means more and more clients and leads will take action from things they see on their feeds. In fact, five new profiles are created every single minute. But how familiar are you with Facebook Ads or Facebook in general? Do you have a Facebook Business Page or have you stuck with your personal profile? How do you take advantage of the largest social network in the entire world?
Social media advertising has become a major player in real estate marketing, especially given how visual of an industry it is. Since the system was built for digital marketers, a significant number of agents find social media marketing intimidating and cumbersome, and therefore never get around to trying it. Although they are expected to be doing great and consistent social media marketing, rarely do they find time in their busy days to do so.
The other problem is that although many agents want to run ads, they can’t do so because ads can only be created from a Facebook business page, not a profile. Real estate is emotional. And very personal. People feel fear and excitement all at once when making such a large transaction. That’s why many agents use their personal profiles as opposed to pages for their business and why many brokerages advise their agents to do just that.
So, although smart agents desperately want to get in the Facebook Ads game, there’s a large barrier to entry and even when they have the time and gather the information needed, they might not feel like a Facebook Page is in the best interest of their clients.
This needed to be fixed. That’s why Moxi Works stepped in.
Advertise Your Listing Allows Agents to Create Facebook Ads in Under Five Minutes
Advertise Your Listing allows agents who just won a listing to create a Facebook ad for said listing with ease. The best part? Agents do not need a Facebook Page to run ads. Agents can keep their personal profiles to stay on that intimate level with clients or never have to create a profile at all. Agents can start reaching more of the 1.94 billion people on Facebook and impress their clients at the same time starting today!
Not only that, but Advertise Your Listing sends reports directly to their clients with the click of a button. These reports help in showcasing agents as the trusted advisors they are and doesn’t take up more hours of their day.
Find out more about Advertise Your Listing, other products, and the Moxi Work’s open platform known as the Moxi Cloud.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE Moxi Works has added yet another partner to their ever-growing open platform. iTOUR lets real estate agents create and edit videos, and through their partnership with Facebook, makes it easy for agents to reach their target audience.
Now with the help of iTOUR, agents can create visually compelling short videos and push them straight to Facebook all with one app. Perks like iTOUR’s optimized social schedule allows you to push and boost posts based on the most optimal time of day.