Here’s the deal: 65% of the Real Trends top brokerages know one big idea and they’re acting on it. Which means, if you’re not in that 65% – chances are you’re doing something wrong or you’re going to quickly fall behind. With brokerage dollars shrinking and agent adoption of technology tools at all-time lows, what are the most productive brokerages in the industry doing better than everyone else?
The one big idea
The top brokerages are consolidating technology tools and focusing on increasing agent productivity, while getting industry leading CMA and CRM tools. And, they’re doing it by having visibility into their business at the brokerage level.
These top brokerages are using the only true open platform in the industry. Not sure what that means quite yet? You’ll find out below. The point is, those not future-proofing their brokerages with open platforms are not going to exist on the top Real Trends list for many more years.
Picture this. Your brokerage: Being differentiated from competitors. Increasing technology adoption. Improving recruiting and retention. And a major productivity rise. All this, just by employing a system that provides best-in-class tools and services you already know and love, and swapping out tools that are no longer performing. Plus, agent adoption rates well over 80% and up to a 43% increase with seller-side and buyer-side transactions.
This is what an open platform can give you. All your data in one place. Your agent roster, property data from your MLS, brokerage assets, brokerage data, consumer data, agent CRM contacts, and an API that allows any tools you want to plug in and play nicely with all the rest of your tools and everything we just mentioned. This is what our Moxi Cloud open platform looks like for reference:
Technology is becoming more segmented for agents and evolving at warped speed. That and brokerage dollars are shrinking, the talent pool for recruiting is getting tighter, and creating business efficiencies are more critical now than ever. If there’s a time to get your brokerage ducks in a row, it’s now. Because eventually, it’ll be too late. If you embrace it now, the future of your brokerage will be much, much smoother.
Find out more about Moxi Works and open platforms here. Don’t feel like exploring? Watch the video below.
We have a new company to add to our best-in-class tools and services list! This time, the goal in mind is to help agents retain more of their hard-earned cash. QuickBooks Self-Employed puts the power back into the independent contractor’s pockets!
QuickBooks Self-Employed helps freelancers and independent contractors stay prepped for tax time––from separating business and personal expenses, to identifying Schedule C deductions. York Baur, CEO of Moxi Works said, “Moxi Works is all about helping brokerages and their agents make their business more profitable. Intuits QuickBooks Self-Employed is proven to save agents thousands of dollars on taxes, so this partnership will put a lot of money back into agents’ pockets.”
According to Intuit, 77% of all real estate agents don’t feel extremely confident about managing their finances. Today, agents are burdened by a variety of pain points, such as:
- Taxes: Quarterly and annual tax obligations
- Time: It’s the only thing agent’s control, and they want to save as much of it as possible, while using it wisely
- Thought Leaders: Agents are becoming more digitally savvy & are looking for brokers who are just as updated
- Cash flow: Inconsistent income but consistent expenses
- Visibility: Agents want an easy solution to know how much they really made after each sale
- Growth: Agents straddle the line between consumer & small business
QuickBooks Self-Employed includes a variety of exciting and extremely useful features, including Money Insights, Mileage Tracker, Receipt Snap, and Auto Expense. Here’s what they look like:
Money insights organizes accounts to show the agent’s income and expenses. This connects all accounts to organize the agent’s business finances in one place. QuickBooks Self-Employed automatically tracks and categorizes transactions as they come in. Agents can instantly see a complete picture of their business finances so they can plan for what’s next.
Mileage tracker automatically tracks mileage and allows users easy categorization — creating an increase in potential mileage deductions. Agents’ mileage will be automatically tracked and trips can be categorized as business or personal with a swipe. QuickBooks Self-Employed automatically tracks their mileage whenever they begin driving. Every mile they log increases their potential yearly mileage deductions.
Receipt snap allows users to snap a photo of a receipt from the Self-Employed mobile phone app and automatically create a transaction with the receipt attached. If a transaction already exists, receipt snap will automatically attach the receipt to the transaction. Receipt data is auto-extracted and an expense transaction is created for the user. No more sifting through piles of receipts!
Auto-categorization learns how agents runs their business, recommends categories, and allows users to accept transactions with a swipe. Agents can download all of their expenses, and with a swipe can accept them into their books. QuickBooks Self-Employed learns from past actions and automatically recommends categories. Transactions are organized based on IRS categories to save users extra work.
As it stands, 50% of agents save their receipts or use a spreadsheet to track expenses, leading to manual errors and loss of deductions as well as savings. We all know an agent that saves receipts in an old shoe box. The most shocking statistic is that 16% don’t track their expenses at all.
QuickBooks Self-Employed aims to eliminate these pain points, allowing agents to run their finances properly, while saving them precious time and money. Want to try it out? Click here.
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.
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.
We’re happy to announce another service that has been added to our open platform ecosystem! MoveEasy is a comprehensive moving concierge service offered to clients directly from your website while saving you valuable time on researching post transaction tasks for them. Basically, MoveEasy does all the legwork while the agent can focus on creating happy memories for their client.
York Baur, CEO of Moxi Works said, “We’re delighted to have MoveEasy on the Moxi Cloud. They provide a unique solution to a common problem in the industry. It’s not an agent productivity app, but rather, a great app for agents to extend to their sphere of influence – keeping the agent in-flow and valued.”
How It Works
1. Help organize the move. Clients can organize their move with a personalized moving dashboard, assign tasks, and get weekly email reminders, with your branding included!
2. Assist in completing moving tasks. From updating utilities and changing their address, to finding storage options and shipping their car. They manage this all in the same place!
3. Connect them with your favorite vendors. Add all your preferred cleaners, painters, and other vendors that you know will get the job done. Clients can find them easily without having to call you. Everything is accessible from the unique dashboard.
4. Stay on top of your client’s mind throughout the entire move. With the entire service branded for you, it’s easy to stay top of mind, even after the transaction has closed.
Moxi Engage CRM Integration
MoveEasy is integrated into the Moxi Engage CRM. When a transaction moves from active to pending, MoveEasy pulls all the necessary details from Moxi Engage into the MoveEasy dashboard. The client can access the dashboard and keep up to date with everything going on and organize schedules for tasks. Everything done on the dashboard is sent back to Moxi Engage, within the activity section.
While the client can access everything on the MoveEasy dashboard, the agent can access everything they need right in their CRM.
Venkatesh Ganapathy, CEO of MoveEasy said, “We are extremely excited to be part of the Moxi Cloud. With so many different tools available for the real estate agents to help their clients, they have to constantly keep learning different systems. Our integration allows agents to continue using Moxi Engage CRM as they normally would, while MoveEasy operates in the background, guiding their clients through the stressful moving process.”
Discover more from MoveEasy and how it can keep your agents consistently top of mind, while saving them precious time when they need it most, by clicking here.
With over 30 integrated vendors and growing fast, Moxi Works is very excited to announce our new addition to the Moxi Cloud: QuantumDigital.
QuantumDigital is renowned in the world of direct mail, digital, and email marketing for real estate. It’s hard to beat solutions that generate revenue, all while having a 24-hour turnaround time for postcards and all print marketing.
The Moxi Cloud open platform is an entire system built specifically for brokerages and agents to make their lives more efficient. This new vendor will be integrated into the Moxi Cloud through our sphere marketing system powered by Moxi Engage CRM.
“QuantumDigital has great relationships in the real estate industry and we’re jazzed to be partnered with them. Integrated in the Moxi Cloud, together we bring a seamless print, digital, and email experience to our broker and agent customers. We’re looking forward to innovating with the Quantum Digital team,” said Mike McHenry, VP of Channels and Partnerships.
Jim Damman founded QuantumDigital in the 80’s to provide a simple way for agents to generate leads, while freeing up their time to meet clients face-to-face. He pioneered the concept of targeted direct mail and created a postcard marketing service that was fast and easy. Since then, they have paved the way for real estate marketing.
Agents can utilize their offerings by choosing from hundreds of online marketing services or the classic and effective direct mail solution. Some direct mail postcard marketing options include Just Listed postcards, farming, and buyer follow-up.
With agents in mind, QuantumDigital created easy ordering tools that store agents’ photos, company logo, and other details to save agents time in the ordering and checkout process. Their suite of products and services was truly created to make direct mail simple and fast for real estate agents. After all, they’ve been doing it for over 30 years in the industry!
Learn more about QuantumDigital and their deep roots in real estate below: