By Tiana Baur
Chatbots and new tech are barreling towards the industry. Everything is moving to a cloud environment. And now, Compass is coming for your market share.
The CEO of Compass, Robert Reffkin, recently announced a 2020 by 2020 plan to the company. What does that mean, you ask? A plan to expand into 10 new markets in the U.S. by 2020, and to grab 20 percent of the market share in the 20 largest U.S. cities. Casual, right? The cities they’re expanding to are: Seattle, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Compass has now raised a whopping $325 million in capital and their success feels imminent, especially since they’re already the #4 largest brokerage in NYC, #3 in DC, and #2 in Cambridge. Not only that, but their agent count is up 500% over the past two years, now at 2,000 agents and gaining more traction every day. They have the capital to buy agents with massive signing bonuses and the funds to invest in an entirely new CRM and targeted marketing tools designed just for their agents. By the end of this year, they are projected to do 16,000 transactions, $14 billion in sales volume and $350 million in revenue, annually.
An obvious question is: Will they have a durable and lasting impact? What happens to aggressive brokerages, such as Compass, when the value proposition of a big signing bonus isn’t attractive enough for agents to make the move? Meaning, what if their culture doesn’t align with what an agent wants out of their brokerage? Pockets are deep, but might never be deep enough for the many that love the brokerage they currently call home.
In the shadow of Compass’s other recent announcement that they’re also considering an IPO, lies a sad-looking Redfin, whose stock dropped over 5% that day. The waters are rough out there right now and it’s obvious many brokerages won’t make it out of the impending storm. The reality is, few are safe. Fewer are “too big to fail.” When tech and industry are changing at such a rapid rate, it’s impossible to predict the future of winners and losers. Whether Compass is successful or becomes another Redfin, remains to be seen.
Looking to future-proof your brokerage for these massive industry changes? This is a good starting point. An open platform allows your brokerage to combat the massive technology budget Compass has with your very own unique suite of tools, in an affordable way. 2018 is right around the corner – start it off on the right foot.
By Tiana Baur
We recently added another best-in-class tool to the Moxi Cloud! CallAction instantly responds, engages, and tracks all inbound leads for agents. With CallAction, agents never have to miss another call or email lead ever again.
CallAction is the only marketing automation service that can be used with your offline or online lead generation efforts to respond to inquiries from phone calls, emails and texts. Their powerful integrations bridge the gap between agents’ top of the funnel lead generation and their existing lead nurturing CRM systems for increased productivity.
Here is how it works:
Answer every call
Agents no longer need to worry about rushing to the phone or nervously watching a call come in during a meeting they can’t step out of. With CallAction, agents can ensure they keep ALL of their inbound leads engaged with automated responses through SMS and email.
Building agent databases
Every inbound call is saved to a secure cloud-hosted database and appended in real-time with caller information aggregated from the world’s largest consumer profile databases. It is also passed into Moxi Engage, so the leads go directly into their sales flow. From there, they can nurture the lead and show their new prospect why they are the best in the business.
Track every inbound call
Agents can instantly create a local or toll-free phone number for each of their marketing channels to automatically track every inbound call that is seamlessly routed to their phone.
“50% of buyers choose the vendor or service that responds first, according to the InsideSales.com 2014 Lead Response Report,” mentioned Mike McHenry, VP of Channels and Partnerships at MoxiWorks. “In a perfect world, every call is answered right away, the first time a lead calls an agent. But with CallAction, all missed calls are automatically responded to with CallAction’s SMS responses to guarantee the lead stays engaged. All the responses are fully customizable so the agent can keep their own voice and style.”
We’re super excited to have this company in the Moxi Cloud! When we say we only let the best-in-class tools and services into the Moxi Cloud, we mean it.
For more information on CallAction, visit callaction.co.
By Andrew Eberting
Fact: The average person is exposed to as many as 5,000 ads per day (Source: Media Dynamics, Inc.). The ability to cut through the noise and compete for people’s attention is growing more precious with each passing minute.
Blanket, unimaginative marketing efforts like sending out a yearly calendar isn’t enough nowadays and likely isn’t moving the needle or making your brand standout as a real estate agent. Alternatively, to put it another way: marketing like this today is the equivalent of the old Publishers Clearing House mailers or getting yet another invite to Play Candy Crush – people tune it out.
If you are still marketing like this today, then you are losing potential clients and money with each calendar you send out. Utilize these three techniques to revamp your marketing and start branding yourself as someone potential prospects will want to work with vs. wanting to avoid.
Personalizing your marketing is the new Marketing 101, or, as it is more commonly referred to, one-to-one marketing. Simply speaking, each marketing touch you put out to the market should have a personal or targeted element to it.
With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the standard for where many of us go to catch up with news, friends, and share moments of our lives. Placing online advertisements on Facebook then only makes sense, as this is where all the eyeballs are.
Let’s say you won a new listing (yay!) and you want to promote this to people in your area. By creating a new listing advertisement for your client via Facebook, you can promote your new listing to people using criteria like:
- Geographic radius
- Age range
Why this is important: 93% of buying decisions are now influenced by Social Media.
(Source: Erik Qualman, Socialnomics)
These things can help to optimize your Facebook ad and get it in front of the types of individuals who are most likely to be interested in your new listing. This helps you spend your marketing dollars more effectively while making your client happy. Moxi Works now offers a native Facebook tool to help you jumpstart your marketing efforts; you can check it out here.
Direct Mail That Actually Works
Remember that calendar of yours I mentioned earlier? Well, it isn’t personable. However, as we head towards the holiday season, this is the perfect opportunity to share something personable from you to your past clients. Run down to Kinkos and put your favorite cookie, pie or other holiday dessert recipe onto a set of postcards along with a small description of why it is your favorite. It is okay to pull the curtain back a little bit, sincerity and authenticity go a long way. Mailing something like this out to clients is more memorable and thoughtful than a calendar ever will be.
Bonus tip: If you really want to make a lasting impression, measure out some of the dry ingredients in the recipe, put them in mailable bags or packaging, and also include that with the recipe card.
Confession: I am grossly addicted to Nextdoor, a social media network specific to the neighborhood you live. I have been able to network with people in my immediate and surrounding neighborhoods to find folks that are great gardeners, woodworkers, mechanics, and the list goes on. I cannot begin to quantify the number of posts from my neighbors asking for recommendations on a landscaper, painter, real estate agent, or someone else that can help them with something monetarily associated with the upkeep or value of their home. Whether it is the office or the neighborhood, every group needs a go-to person that specializes in something – why can’t the real estate pro in your neighborhood be you?
When it comes to one-to-one marketing, these tips, and techniques only scratch the surface, there is so much more out there that you can do.
Want to know how you can take your one-to-one marketing efforts even further? Check out this article from our August edition of Mile 62 magazine for more personalized marketing strategies that you can implement in your own market.
By Andrew Eberting
Fact: 70% of U.S. organizations are now utilizing cloud technology to run at least one application of their businesses. The growth of cloud technology adoption is on the rise as the business benefits have proven to be worth their weight in gold regarding profitability and efficiency standards.
Gone are the days of investing heavily in never ending hardware, and with good reason. The infrastructure of old limited growth of organizations in several key areas that we all have come to demand from our “on-the-go” lifestyles. Vendors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft Azure are the leaders in cloud computing space that run backend of many of businesses today. While each company offers their own competitive advantages for cloud technology, they all offer standardized benefits regardless of industry, size, or sophistication.
Like being able to get an email or watch Netflix on your phone, tablet, or watch from nearly anywhere in the world? Enter the cloud. The ability to get anything at any time while anywhere regardless of device used is by far the most tangible benefit each of us utilize of cloud computing each day.
Remember AOL CDs? Well, gone are the days of needing a new disc to update applications or programs in order to have the most current version for your business operations. The Cloud provides scalability at lightning speed to meet your brokerage’s everchanging needs. This gives you the power to keep yours happy with the latest and greatest tools while sunsetting those that have fallen out of favor.
With the burden of data transfer, storage, and throughput now shifted online, the need for fixed computing servers or other hardware and the demand of routinely updating them drastically decreases the technology costs required to stay competitive.
Another advantage of the cloud is capitalizing on the nonstop landscape of data safety and encryption advances. Along the same lines of affordability, cloud-based utilization by organizations keeps them in stride with how to best protect their digital currency – their data – vs. being landlocked to onsite systems that require dedicated personnel bandwidth to oversee and maintain a high level of both technical hardware operating efficiency but also protection of those systems.
With so many benefits it can be naive to think that migrating to cloud is an easy task to administer. The Cloud just like anything else can be challenging to get right unless the correct systems are in place to connect everything together.
Open Platform to the Rescue – Cloud Migration
Like clockwork every year heading into the holiday season, it seems like the amount of lights and other powered decorations we need to plug into a power strip seems to grow. Enter Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or, simply put, an open platform.
Think of all your different brokerage data sources, vendor apps, etc. as all those holiday lights, inflatable snow globes, and everything else you put up in front of the house each year. An open platform, or, brokerage “power strip”, enables you to plug all of those different things together into one common place so that they all work together at the same time. The Moxi Cloud is that power strip.
As an open platform, the Moxi Cloud empowers brokerages to capitalize on the many benefits of the cloud in one common place without all the headache of hooking everything up by itself with no ability to get everything working together. Quite the opposite, utilizing our open platform permits you to turn on and off parts of those “decorations” or swap them out for something else entirely if you feel like it. Your brokerage, your business, your way.
Want to learn more about how an open platform can save you money while also growing your profits? Click here to watch the video.
By Maddie Jostol
It’s no secret that Keller Williams is investing heavily in technology. With the unveiling of the Keller Cloud earlier this year followed by a recent announcement that they’re setting aside $1 billion to invest in technology development, they’re generating a lot of hype in the industry. As a brokerage with over 800 offices and 150,000+ associates worldwide, it’s hard not to be intimidated by these numbers.
The truth is, you don’t need $1 billion in spare cash to keep up. At the end of the day, it isn’t about having a fancy proprietary solution, it’s about investing in your agents, delivering a competitive experience, and meeting consumer expectations.
Consumer expectations are changing – they now expect agents to deliver fast, accurate information. Agents need an organized, integrated database in order to deliver on these expectations. It enables you to elevate your consumer experience in a scalable way.
Technology is woven into almost every part of an agent’s day-to-day life. They need tools that will enable them to work faster and smarter, so they can stay competitive while enjoying a healthy work/life balance. When you invest in your agents and their success, it rolls up into your brokerages’ success.
Keller Williams happens to be doing this through a platform, where the brokerage can run its entire business. We agree they’re onto something here as they’re jumping onboard with an important trend. The open platform is where the entire industry is heading as it helps brokerages integrate technologies across the entire organization, increasing efficiency and profits.
You need best-in-class tools to compete. You need a power strip to plug-and-play. But you don’t necessarily need to build this in-house. There are ways to keep up with the competition, even if you don’t have a spare $1B. After all, you are real estate experts, not a tech firm. That’s why MoxiWorks strives to complement brokerages, offering a comprehensive open platform, the Moxi Cloud, which integrates all their brokerages’ technology. We take care of your tech so you can place your focus on real estate. An open platform is the ecosystem for your brokerage technology. It’s where all of your tech tools live, sharing data and integrating your entire organization. You have the flexibility to change along with the industry. In fact, the beauty of the Moxi Cloud open platform is that you aren’t limited to MoxiWorks tools, but can plug and play the tech tools and services that best fit your brokerages’ culture and needs.
How does this help you compete? You can do everything they can do, and you don’t have to invest $1 billion to do it.
Our open platform, the Moxi Cloud, is very excited to welcome AskAvenue to the team! AskAvenue is a mobile chat tool that integrates with agent’s websites, leveraging the power of one-on-one communication. AskAvenue lets agents engage with online visitors and chat with them directly from their Apple or Android phone, in real-time.
Agents can capture the attention of online visitors by proactively contacting them with real-time online chat invites and respond conveniently from their mobile phones.
Chat with and qualify prospects in real-time. Agents now can talk to their prospects live about their unique buying and selling needs, providing a higher grade of customer service.
Connect, Converse, Convert
AskAvenue helps agents convert more of their website visitors to leads and receive exclusive chat requests from their very own listings. Leads then go directly into their Moxi Engage account, providing efficient integration. From there, leads go into the agent’s pipeline and agents are prompted to continue the lead conversion process.
“The AskAvenue chat tool gives agents the ability to follow up with visitors on their website right away. We live in a mobile world and potential homebuyers expect answers in real-time. AskAvenue allows agents to accomplish this,”
said Mike McHenry, VP of Channels and Partnerships ay Moxi Works.
Adding the AskAvenue chat tool to the Moxi Cloud was a no brainer. Now agents can provide better, more meaningful communication to their prospects! Find out more about AskAvenue and their chat tool here.
By the way – the Moxi Cloud has almost 40 tools and services on it now! Check out more here.
By Maddie Jostol
You need to determine where chatbots fit within your business. That’s right, not “if” but “where.” Eighty percent of businesses already use or plan to use chatbots by 2020, according to a survey by Oracle. Some are even predicting that chatbots will be the new way for companies to monetize the mobile experience, where smartphone apps are losing steam. It may sound intimidating, but like it or not, chatbots are the new must-have thing for businesses in all industries to keep up with changing technology. Is this the case for the real estate world as well? We dug a little deeper and here’s what we found.
First things first: What is a chatbot?
“A chatbot is a computer program that maintains a conversation with a user in natural language, understands the intent of the user, and sends a response based on business rules and data of the organization,” as defined by Chatbots Magazine. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a chat function backed by AI (artificial intelligence). Typically, a person would interact with a chatbot through an online messenger such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, text messaging, or a website, and AI is embedded in the messenger to hold the conversation. Currently, customer service and online shopping are common applications for chatbots.
The rise of artificial intelligence
One example of the rising popularity of AI for the everyday American is AI through voice enablement, which has become common and readily available through devices such as the Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Google Home. In 2017, 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month, as reported by eMarketer. This trend goes beyond home automation, as companies across industries from banking to consumer products have AI solutions in the works. Americans have gained familiarity with the task-oriented format of voice enablement devices such as Amazon’s Echo. What chatbots accomplish is creating a more conversational transaction leveraging AI.
We’re claiming 2018 as the year of the bot for several reasons, including the changing expectations of consumers, investment in AI, and consumer familiarity with online messaging. Consumers are now comfortable using messaging services – texting for daily communications, Facebook Messanger for social purposes, and Slack at work, to name a few. On the other hand, AI is becoming more accessible and familiar for the average person. When you marry the two, you get chatbots.
Look out, real estate
51% of people expect a business to be available 24/7, according to Venture Beat. You better believe a process as stressful as buying or selling a home is no exception. Chatbots are breaking communication barriers between companies and consumers. There are countless applications for chatbots in the real estate world. Think about having a chatbot answering all of the basic introductory questions from a new lead, then handing the lead off to the agent when they’re ready. Imagine a chatbot that takes over the frustrating back-and-forth that inevitably happens when agents attempt to schedule a meeting. Communication is a dominant piece to the home sale process and chatbots are making their way in to deliver on consumer expectations, save agents time, and smooth brokerage business process.
In addition, the platform is already there. Facebook is the core of digital marketing in the real estate world, and Facebook happens to be one of the key players in the chatbot space. Industry players will be attentive to what path Facebook is paving and likely follow suit.
The future of brokerage technology
As companies continue to implement chatbots over the next year, they’ll become even more commonplace. Their powerfulness to brokerages, agents, and consumers is highly relevant to the current needs of the industry. For example, chatbots are particularly relevant for mobile users as messaging is key to mobile device use. Agents are always on-the-go, which means chatbots could fit into their existing workflow well. As we make our way into 2018, we’ll see a growing divide in productivity, agent retention, and profitability between the brokerages that have embraced chatbots and those that have not.
So, how can brokerages prepare for the rise of chatbots? The key is remaining agile. If you put technology in place that has the potential to integrate with innovations such as chatbots, you’re in a much better position to remain competitive. It all stems from data. Artificial intelligence, and, more specifically, chatbots, run on data. When you own your data and partner with companies that help you manage your data, you gain the opportunity to shift with the industry, adopting new technologies such as chatbots.
Chatbots become even more powerful when they’re integrated with an organization’s other systems. When technologies share data across a company, that brokerage benefits from high efficiency and data accuracy. This is familiar territory for us at Moxi Works as our Moxi Cloud open platform is designed to integrate technologies across an entire brokerage – it’s the ecosystem where all of your tech tools live and share data.
Moxi Works is in talks with chatbot providers regarding their application in the real estate industry. Why? Because we want to stay ahead of the game so we can serve not only as a technology provider, but also as a consultant to our brokerage partners. At the end of the day, we want to make our client brokerages be more profitable, which means taking part in technology movements such as chatbots.
By Tiana Baur
The Moxi Cloud officially has a new service provider! Moving Offers powered by MooveGuru. MooveGuru connects consumers to the marketer they need, when they need it. What’s that mean though?
Moving Offers powered by MooveGuru have been developed with a proprietary program designed to deliver exclusive discounts to movers for goods in a timeframe that they are mostly like to make a purchase. Fun fact: This was sparked by a study done at the University of Colorado in 2008.
Once the transaction of a home sale is entered into Moxi Cloud, Moving Offers becomes available. When activated through the Moxi Cloud checklist, Moving Offers sends automated discounts based on exactly what they’ll need in that specific phase of their move. For example, Moving Offers will provide a coupon for a junk removal service when the homeowners are getting ready to pack and move. Or when they client is all moved into their next place, but everything is in boxes, they deliver a coupon for pizza. Genius, right?
Brian Friemel, President of MooveGuru said, “We are very excited to partner with a great company like Moxi Works. Moxi Cloud is the industry leader in real estate technology integration. Their commitment to brokerage automation and customer engagement makes Moxi Works a perfect match for MooveGuru.”
When the Moving Offers are sent to an agent’s clients, they are notified of it within their Moxi Engage CRM and are able to see the progress of their client’s move. When the client receives the discounts, they are branded from the agent and their brokerage, not MooveGuru. This allows agents to continue their relationships post-sale, offering value coming branded from the consumer’s trusted advisor.
Mike McHenry, VP of Channels and Partnerships at Moxi Works said, “Moving Offers powered by MooveGuru are genius. It allows agents to maintain their relationship with their clients far beyond the sale of the home, cementing their role as the trusted advisor. It’s one more way agents can prove their value and get more repeat and referral business.”
We love Moving Offers and we know all of the hungry, packed up families out there will as well. Find out more at mooveguru.com.
Welcome to the Moxi Cloud, MooveGuru!
By Tiana Baur
Keller Williams recently announced that they have a one-billion-dollar budget to set aside for their technology. You read that correctly, a BILLION. The idea that a smaller brokerage could be able to invest that kind of money to create and maintain their own technology is absurd. Not every brokerage is a Keller Williams and we bet that billion they’re investing in their technology is just the beginning. How does any other brokerage compete with that? You can’t, not at this level of investment. However, you don’t have to sit back and let them bring you to a slow and painful death either.
What is the Keller Cloud?
The Keller Cloud is a fully-integrated cloud solution. That means it is a single platform for agents to run their entire business. Like most brokerages, they felt their agents were getting fatigue from constantly having to switch tools, so they took matters into their own hands. The Keller Cloud integrates all of their tools, CRM, lead generation, transaction management, etc. streamlining work for their agents. They have truly made technology their number one investment. If you’re curious or terrified (which you should be) or both, you can find out more about the Keller Cloud here.
Recruiting & Market Share
If you’ve been following Keller Williams at all lately then you also know they are growing their agent count like crazy by focusing a lot of their efforts on recruiting. In fact, we encourage you to look at the market share in your area. Chances are they have more than the last time you looked. Like a quiet cougar sneaking up on their prey. It’s really quite impressive what they’ve accomplished and the moves they continue to make in our industry. They get it, they embrace technology and change, and are better for it.
How you survive and thrive – open platform integration
So, how do you compete with this? How do you compete with their level of investment and their striking growth rate? Easy. You can future-proof your brokerage with an open platform.
The Moxi Cloud, for instance, is also a fully-integrated solution that can be modified to fit your unique brokerage, all for a much smaller price. The Moxi Cloud open platform keeps all your tools in one place, including data from 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. Your CRM, lead generation, transaction management, literally everything.
There is so much change in our industry and the rate at which change occurs is only going to speed up. It’s the open platform integration that gives a brokerage business the flexibility to evolve and live on. Brokerages that ignore it or choose to go a traditional route won’t survive beyond 2020. Let the technology geeks handle the technology, stay competitive, and don’t let the Keller Cloud kill you.
It’s quite simple really, embrace the change and become stronger for it, or drown in a sea of tech-savvy brokerages.