In The News September 13, 2018

Real Estate Technology: 32 Leaders on the Biggest Trends

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE. These leaders told us about a wide spectrum of innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, 3D Cameras & Augmented Reality, Chatbots, Social Media, Mobile Technology, CRM and so on. Each of these elements has multiple applications that are enabling residential and commercial real estate professionals and their clients to achieve their goals faster.

Sphere Marketing September 13, 2018

Client Milestones: Find out When Your Clients Might Be Ready to Move

client milestones header imageLife isn’t like a crystal ball where you instantly see all of the answers. It’s more like a magic eight ball that we’re all constantly shaking until we get the answer we’re hoping will appear. Frankly, it’s kind of like how we’re always reaching out to our spheres, hoping someone will stick their hand up and say they’re ready to buy or list their home with us. It takes endless amounts of effort and can grow discouraging rather quickly.

But, what if there was a way you could at least get pointed in the right direction? Something to tell you when someone in your sphere is getting ready to move for a variety of life reasons. Well, it exists. It’s called Moxi Insights and here’s what it will tell you:

Below are a variety of client milestones that will appear as badges in your Moxi Engage CRM when you have a Moxi Insights subscription, next to anyone and everyone that they apply to. How? Moxi Engage has the technology to pull in loads of public data and make it digestible for users that opt into Moxi Insights. It’s basically information we could all go out and research or pay for and eventually find, since it is public, but it would take days, weeks, months, even years to gather it all up. Moxi Insights does it for your entire sphere within minutes.

Let’s go over the milestones:

Starting a Family

Baby on the way? Chances are, people are looking to either get their first home, or might be looking to upgrade if they have more little ones than rooms. When one of the hundreds of people in your sphere are growing their family (that has to be quite a few people in one year’s time, right?), you’ll see it right in your CRM. That’s right – you’ll see a bright colored badge next to every person this applies to. Use it as an opportunity to reach out, check in, and remind them you got their back.

Graduation

What does graduation mean? You guessed it – downsizing! When the little ones leave the nest, the nest wants to get smaller. Write them and remind them that you’re around when they feel they’re ready to sell said nest – especially because selling a home with that many memories in it can be tough. Tell them you’re there for them and, if they confirm their kids are leaving for college, send the kid a graduation present. It might go farther than you think! Aka that kid might use you as their agent when they’re ready to get into homeownership.

Living “Below Their Means”

Plot twist: not a client milestone per say, but something you should know nonetheless. When someone is living well below their means it could be because they’ve been saving up to purchase that dream home or they’re looking at getting a vacation home or cabin somewhere. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to help them move locally, but also get that referral fee if they buy out of city or out of state.

Throw down the magic eight ball and stop driving yourself crazy over guessing when people may or may not be looking to move. Real estate is based off many life events and knowing when someone in your sphere is going through one can make all the difference in the world. Not only will it look like you genuinely care and are keeping up with them, it also places you at the top-of-mind peak at the most opportune time.

Find out more about this insane tool here. 

In The News September 12, 2018

Streamlining Real Estate to Elevate Agents and Alleviate Workloads

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE. Edward Tull, director of Technology and Process Management at JB Goodwin REALTORS® in San Antonio, Texas, has worked in the industry for the past 10 years, a career based around his commitment to help people above all else. To truly support his agent base, Tull sought out technology products that could solve the brokerage’s most debilitating challenges: a lack of automation, nonexistent user experience, and slow or unreliable connectivity.

Sphere Marketing September 10, 2018

The Do’s and Don’ts of Agent Marketing

By Maddie Jostol, Marketing Manager

agent marketing header image

With new marketing tools hitting the market daily, it’s up to you to navigate the changing market, putting in place a marketing strategy that works for you. There are so many marketing trends buzzing – Snapchat, live video, search engine optimization, hyper-local, drones, and more. Drones? Yes, drones. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2020, the real estate industry will account for approximately 22% of commercial drone use (source). That’s right, crazy things are happening. Regardless of what’s trendy at the moment, we’ve outlined the do’s and don’ts of agent marketing to help guide your strategy.

Do:

1. Use video

It’s all about video right now, and video isn’t going anywhere. It’s become the easiest way for consumers to consume content and gives marketers the opportunity to engage with their audience on an entirely new level. As an agent, video is a major opportunity for you. With the outstanding quality of smartphone cameras and the simple online tools offered inexpensively, it’s easy for anyone to create video content without high production costs or know-how.

Use video to add variation to your website, to engage with followers on social media, to showcase your expertise of the local area, to make your CMAs more engaging, and to thank your clients. The possibilities are endless.

2. Make it personal

This is where you will stand out from the crowd. What makes you an outstanding agent in a sea of good agents is providing your clients with a personalized, exceptional experience. Begin this experience with your marketing. Your CMAs should be personally tailored, your follow-up with leads should be specific to their request, and your communications should be personalized. Think about ways in which you can add a personal touch to your existing process. Consider adding a welcome video to your presentations, sending a meaningful closing gift, and leveraging your tech tools to remember when clients’ house-versaries are so you can send a card.

3. Appeal to millennials

Millennials are now the largest group of home buyers in the US. While this doesn’t mean you should shift your strategy solely to attracting a millennial audience, it does mean you should keep your eyes peeled for trending strategies that appeal to those 37 and younger. Keep in mind millennials currently make up about 36% of home buyers, and 65% of those are first-time home buyers (NAR). Think about what resources you offer for first-time home buyers and how you could better attract them through sharable content and events.

 

Don’t:

1. Forget about old clients

Remember: your past clients are your core source for repeat and referral business. These are the keepers of the highest quality leads. Making sure they’re taken care of should be a primary strategy. While it’s easy to close a transaction, thank the clients, and move onto the next, that’s where many agents go wrong. It’s vital that you keep in touch with those clients in the long-run, staying top of mind so that whenever real estate is mentioned, you’re their go-to expert. Yes, this can be time-consuming, so our recommendation is to find ways to automate these touchpoints. Subscribe them to newsletters so you remain relevant, make sure they follow you on social media so you appear on their feeds, and thoroughly thank them for any referrals they send your way.

2. Think social media is overrated

Social media is still an important component of your digital marketing strategy. Instagram is a key platform for people to consume visual content. It’s gaining popularity, meaning Facebook isn’t the only platform you should be focused on anymore. Instagram is a great place for you to share pictures of your listings, walk-though videos, testimonials from happy clients, and day-in-the-life snapshots of being a real estate agent. Facebook is a great place for you to share blogs and other content from your website, and promote new listings by advertising them and sharing reports with clients.

3. Manually track your leads

Rely on a CRM. Now more than ever, we are expected to be on top of our game at all times, knowing exactly where we left off with every lead and client. Let a CRM do the heavy lifting. Save yourself time and effort so you can focus on the things that really matter.

Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind as you craft a marketing strategy that fits your business. While successful tactics vary by agent, there are some fundamentals that are universal. The life of a real estate agent is a busy one, so make sure your marketing efforts are truly impactful on your business.

Working at Moxi September 6, 2018

The Man Behind Our Technology

20 Questions with Mark Carlson, VP of Software Engineering at MoxiWorks

 

mark carlson header image

Picture Mark Carlson as the person we all strive to be: hardworking, kind, (tall), and somehow making it to the office before anyone else does, every single day. If you see him he’ll surely have coffee in hand, running off to build bada$$ technology for brokerages and agents across the nation.

Since he is the man behind the machine that is MoxiWorks and because he doesn’t get nearly enough of the credit he deserves (even though he’d rather not have it – sorry Mark!), we thought we’d shed some light on him and what makes him tick – besides coffee that is.

 

Here it goes:

1. How long have you been at MoxiWorks?

Almost 8 years.

2. How many employees do you manage?

43

3. What has been your favorite product to build and why?

Moxi Talent because we spent a lot of time talking to potential users and learning about the problems they face and came up with a really new and interesting way to help them do their jobs more effectively.

4. What’s your philosophy in life?

Shortcuts rarely are.

5. How do you take your coffee?

Black

6. What’s your favorite thing about MoxiWorks?

The culture.

7. What does the future hold for MoxiWorks’ tech?

Continued innovation in both our product and how we get work done.

8. You were just on vacation. Where did you go?

Scotland

9. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert

10. What keeps you at MoxiWorks?

The people, the culture, and the work.

11. Apple or android?

Apple, barely.

12. What’s your favorite part of the day?

Early morning.

13. What was your first job?

Worked at a Baskin Robbins ice cream store.

Edit: His favorite flavor was Jamoca Almond Fudge

14. What interested you about MoxiWorks in the first place?

I really wanted to work for a small, innovative, growing company.

15. What do you do when you’re not working?

I play golf as often as possible and hang out with my wife and kids.

16. Did you choose this career path, or did it choose you?

I chose it.

17. What is your biggest pet peeve with modern technology?

Passwords.

18. How would you describe your management style?

Helping people focus on the most important things first.

19. What do you think has been really innovative in real estate in the past 5 years?

Cross-product integration.

*Insert pitch for Moxi Cloud here.*

20. What is your biggest challenge right now?

Transforming MoxiWorks from a small to medium sized company while maintaining nimbleness and drive toward innovation.

 

Yes, Mark is a man of few words. Yes, he’s a genius. And yes, we approve of his favorite ice cream flavor. Agility and productivity are two must-haves in our world and we mean it when we say – Mark brings it. We can’t wait to see how he helps MoxiWorks continue to grow, evolve, and deliver the ultimate experience to our clients.

Meeting with Clients September 4, 2018

Buyers vs Sellers: What They Need and How to Adjust

By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator 

buyers vs sellers header imageIn case you aren’t already aware, you, the agents, are the real deal superheroes of the real estate market. Not only do your clients look to you for advice, guidance, and as someone to save the day when they get lost in the process, but they also expect you to seamlessly guide them into the next phase in their life (no pressure). In return, you look to your clients for clarity when it comes to what they are looking to gain from your relationship and what they are expecting from you specifically as their chosen agent. Clearly, real estate is one giant tango.

These expectations can vary greatly depending on whether your clients are in the process of buying a new home or selling their current one. Buyers, for instance, expect you to be a miracle worker, taking all of their Pinterest inspired must-have lists and miraculously finding the home they have been dreaming of, all for a price far below the budget they seem incapable of agreeing upon. Sellers, on the other hand, are focused on the cold, hard cash. They expect you to not only make their neglected home look like a million dollars (more like several million these days), but to also be the expert hardball negotiator that will pull the necessary strings in order to get them an offer that is well over the listing price you initially prepared them for.

These differences between buyers vs sellers require you to constantly adjust how you go about your role as an agent. Below are a few ideas for ensuring your sales strategy truly delivers on your client’s expectations.

 

When working with buyers:

Be helpful. The task of buying a home is clearly daunting enough as is, which is why buyers depend on you to provide them with information that will help them make the important decisions – not attempt to make decisions for them. Avoid applying too much pressure, and instead prioritize being a source for them to turn to for guidance. Keep in mind that the word “helpful” has been found to be a leading phrase found in 5 star agent reviews, and who doesn’t want one of those to tout?

Remain calm. The median home price in the US has risen to a record high of $206,300, although values are significantly higher in urban markets like San Jose, where the median home value is a whopping $1,171,800. Buyers are very aware that they are about to drop some serious cash, which understandably leads them to become stressed, indecisive, and severely sleep deprived. Even if you, yourself are eating copious amounts of ice cream to ease the stress, your communications with clients should reflect a state calm, cool, and collected. Put the ice cream aside, you’ve got this.

Be the fire extinguisher. Inventory has reportedly decreased by 10% in the last year, meaning competition between buyers is on the rise. If bidding wars are heating up, send them a bouquet of flowers or a certificate to a dinner out to put a smile on their face and reassure them that it will all work out.

Stay in touch. We know that your personal lives are important, but the last thing you want is to watch your clients dream home slip away in front of your eyes simply because your response time wasn’t up to par. This requires you to remain constantly available to them, as well as those selling the prospective homes. 94% of agents say they prefer to communicate with their clients through email. If that percentage includes you, make sure that your notifications are turned on to ensure that you don’t miss out on an opportunity to impress them with a quick response.

 

When working with sellers:

Show and tell. It is quite obvious in today’s market that sellers are in the driver’s seat, and you bet your clients will be fully aware of it. Remaining transparent with them throughout the process regarding your marketing efforts and outreach strategies will ensure that they remain confident in your determination to get them the highest price possible.

Know the right people. In most cases, sellers are motivated to do anything they can within reason (and budget) to increase the value of their homes. Taking initiative in providing them with suggestions and having trusted sources on hand to get the work done will let them know that you are knowledgeable and the person to look to for related advice.

Keep them in the loop. According to NAR, homes sold in 2017 were typically on the market for three weeks. That is likely three extremely stressful and life altering weeks for your sellers. As their agent, you should be sending them regular updates throughout regarding the status of prospective offers to keep worries minimal and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Go above and beyond. Sellers want to work with agents who they are confident will get them the best offer, period. That’s likely why 67% of sellers claim that they would use an agent that they previously worked with again in the future. This means celebrating the closing in a memorable way is a must and staying in touch even after the sale is long over should be an ongoing priority.

Although your experience has likely already proven the importance of these points to you already, it can be easy to get caught up in the fast-paced industry that is real estate and forget that sales strategies are not one-size-fits-all. The “tomato, tom(ah)to” mindset isn’t one that works well when it comes to buyers vs sellers, so be sure to constantly be reminding yourself of the differences!

In The News September 4, 2018

GeekWire 200 August update: Top startups juice real estate market with HQ moves

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.  The latest highlights and hottest startups from the GeekWire 200, our monthly ranking of Pacific Northwest tech companies. Click here for the full GeekWire 200 ranking.

News August 31, 2018

In Case You Missed It: August 2018

By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator & Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager 

virtual brokerages header imageSummer is coming to an end and I think most of us are excited for it to cool down (but also for the holidays, sweaters, and an excuse to go to bed a little bit earlier). August was another exciting month for all of us at MoxiWorks and for the industry as a whole. So as per usual, we wanted to sort through the weeds and deliver the most notable headline summaries for this month.

Here are the top five real estate news stories to know:

1. “Talk of the inventory drought easing up”

Pop a bottle of bubbly because apparently there’s some easing up on inventory shortages. However, on the unfortunate side of things, it’s mostly in the higher-priced tier of homes. According to RISMedia, “In July, the inventory of listings priced $350,000-plus was up 5.7 percent but inverted in the lower segment—dropping 15.6 percent at $200,000 and under. Inventory in the $200,000-$350,000 range slipped 0.6 percent.” Plus, they said that, “inventory is down 4 percent year-over-year, which is half the average 8 percent observed in the past year, and inventory in 16 of the largest markets has risen year-over-year.” That’s some good news.

2. “KW to launch virtual brokerages for expansion business owners”

Keller Williams is diving into virtual brokerages. When was this decided you ask? Keller Williams had a Mega Camp aka business retreat and announced it there. According to Inman, the “new business model will be available to 166 expansion businesses, representing 509 locations and 3,433 real estate agents.” Alright, alright, alright.

3. “NAHB: Affordability Hits Lowest in 10 Years”

In less thrilling news, things are getting seriously expensive and many of us can’t afford to hop into the housing market just yet. In fact, according to the National Association of Home Builders, affordability has hit its lowest in 10 years. And only “57 percent of homes sold in the second quarter were affordable based on income, down from roughly 62 percent in the first quarter.” #WhyTho

The most affordable major metro in the second quarter, based on income and local median price was Syracuse, New York.

4. “Deadly California Wildfires Claim Lives and Real Estate”

On a serious note, our heart goes out to all those in California who have had to deal with the wrath of the many fires burning, destroying, and devastating communities across the State. Just one fire in California alone burned “160,049 acres across Shasta and Trinity counties (at press time), as well as destroyed over 1,000 homes, 24 commercial buildings and 500 other structures.” To all the insanely brave firefighters out there, we salute you and thank you.

5. “Compass to acquire Pacific Union in blockbuster deal”

Compass is acquiring Pacific Union International Realty (who is based in San Fran and did a casual $14 billion in sales last year) and the announcement was a bit of a plot twist

P.S. In other random real estate news, there’s a Men of Real Estate shirtless swimsuit calendar featuring Keller Williams agents in Chicago. Did not see that one coming. 

Phew – what a month. Any guesses for the biggest headlines in September? Stay tuned for another #ICYMI!

Sphere Marketing August 28, 2018

5 Fun Ways to Engage with Your Sphere

By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator 

client relationships header imageSaying that client relationships are tricky is an understatement, everyone knows that. For you as an agent, relationships are more than just tricky – they are the foundation of your career, so keeping them strong and healthy is essential to your success.

If you’ve ever been one to miss an important event, an anniversary for example, it’s likely safe to say that you’ve found out (the hard way) the important role that timing plays in building said client relationships. Mediocre efforts to maintain them and get the timing right will cause you to fall short, meaning that you must go above and beyond to stay top-of-mind and wow your clients, constantly. Don’t stress – we’ve got you covered.

Enter: Moxi Insights. It gives you all the information about your clients that you need to do the right things at the right time, every time. Read on for ways to utilize these insights in order to maintain long term engagement with your sphere, and keep the business rolling in.

Do they have a pet?

We all have them – the clients that constantly talk about their dog, show you pictures of their dog, and refer to their dog as their “kid.” Those clients make the world a better place, so make them feel appreciated by sending them a BarkBox once a year to spoil their pup and acknowledge them in a personal way. Make sure to include a personalized note in it so they know it’s from you!

Do they have a special occasion coming up?

Sending clients cards to celebrate birthdays, graduations and anniversaries are great, but you don’t want them to end up in piles along with the rest of their forgotten mail. This means you need to put that extra bit of effort to exceed their expectations and make your efforts unforgettable. If you are sending a card, make it pop. If you are sending them a gift, make it personal. Either way, make sure to send it ahead of time!

It’s almost Fall already?

Keeping up with which holidays are celebrated by which clients can add stress to an already stressful attempt to maintain relationships. This is just one of many reasons why celebrating seasons can be a safer and more enjoyable alternative. If summer is approaching, send them a card that contains a schedule of nearby outdoor movies. If it’s winter that’s looming, send them a list of places to go for the best cup of hot cocoa. Not only will it show them you are thinking about them, but it will keep you top of mind year-round. Consider downloading one of these apps to stay up-to-date with potential events and activities to send their way.

Do they need a bit of (guide)ance?

You want to be your client’s go-to consultant, so why not provide them with guides they need to get them through sticky times in their life? It will be a fun project for you, and the insights provided by Moxi Insights will help you feel confident that you are providing them the information when they need it most. For example, if they have kids that are graduating, send them your “Guide to Downsizing.” 

Do they have kids?

If you’ve spent time around kids you’ve probably noticed two things. One – they are pretty ease to please. Two – if they think you’re cool, they will let everyone on the planet know. Giving clients tickets to go to the local state fair or out to a movie with their families will likely be something they won’t forget and provides an easy way to become a familiar name.

Building client relationships is sort of like learning how to run. Its awkward and confusing at first, but over time it gets easier and you never want to stop – at least that’s what runners say. Anyway, it’s something that will take work, but will become what you depend on to build a strong business over time. There’s no better time than the present to get started!

Productivity August 23, 2018

The Power Your Mindset Has on Your Business

By Maddie Jostol, Marketing Manager

business mindset header imageHow you think on a daily basis could be having a profound influence on the results your business is generating. Having a positive mindset can help you thrive in your life and business, and ultimately, make you more money. Your mindset affects your health, well-being, relationships, success, and income – so we highly recommend you start paying attention to what kind of head space you’re in. Here are a few ways in which leveraging a healthy, positive business mindset can make you a stronger agent.

Thinking Positively

There has been extensive research supporting the power of positive thinking on a person’s health. The thoughts running through your head have a strong influence on the state of your mental and physical health, undoubtedly affecting your work life. When you think positively, you’re better able to realize those thoughts, bringing your goals and dreams into reality.

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi

In addition, positivity is infectious. Those around you, including your clients, colleagues, friends, and family, will take to your energy and feed it.

Increasing Productivity

Having a clear mindset could very well increase how much you’re able to achieve in a day. Improve your productivity by getting clear on what your priorities are and getting realistic about what you’re able to take on. Managing these expectations with yourself will allow you to better manage your workload, ensuring you get done what you need to, while leaving time for your life outside of work.

We hear a lot about the importance of work/life balance, but it can be tough to achieve as a real estate agent. After all, you generally work out of your home, car, and cell phone, so it’s difficult to “turn off” work when it’s time to focus on your personal life. When you have clearer focus while “on,” it’ll be easier for you to turn off, while still meeting your goals.

Embracing Change

Change is inevitable. In order to move your business forward, you need to be willing to embrace change.

One way to think about this is to consider the difference between having a “growth” mindset and a “fixed” mindset. According to Harvard Business Review, “Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning.” People who tend to have fixed mindsets get stuck in their ways and tend to be change-averse. When you remain flexible, however, you open up windows of opportunity that might’ve otherwise been closed off.

Setting Goals

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” – Mark Victor Hansen

Keeping your eye on the ball will ensure you get where you want to go. Many people embark on a new year with little sense of direction. By setting goals for yourself, you’re giving yourself a vision for where you want to go, which sends you in the right direction towards your desired success. Start every year by setting your GCI goal. It’s a simple, easy step that can make all the difference. Second, believe in yourself and your own success. Then, work towards it and watch it come to fruition.

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” – Andrew Carnegie

Our final piece of advice is to work for a company you believe in. Choose a brokerage that shares your values – you’ll feel significantly more fulfilled at the end of every day. Remember why you joined your brokerage and why you feel accomplished every time you sell a home. These thoughts will contribute to a positive, balanced mind. Leverage the power of your mindset to propel your business forward and reach toward your goals.