By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
Time to stop being afraid of change and start bringing in buckets of cash. More than ever before, a brokerage’s choice in their technology can significantly impact their profits. Technology can be the one thing standing between a brokerage’s success and survival, and severe failure.
There are obviously many steps to successfully switching brokerage CRMs, but we’ve boiled it down to ten. These are the most important steps in making the decision to switch and who to switch to:
1. Interview stakeholders and agents
Who in your company is going to be in on this process? Who has the final say? Who is actually going to use it? Hint: your agents are! That’s why it’s so important to set expectations and understand proprieties before going out and looking at products.
2. Define your goals
Based on the feedback you received from stakeholders and your agents, you can now define your goals. Make sure they’re clear and concise. Are you just looking for a shiny object? Chances are you’re looking for something that will have a tangible impact on your bottom line, as well as recruiting and retention efforts.
The fun part! Time to see what’s out there. Find out which options fit your brokerage model, what sets them apart, how their reviews are, and what industry influencers are saying about them. See if they have testimonials on their site to see what their clients have to say, watch videos, etc.
4. Assemble and analyze options
Not all CRMs are created equal. You need to identify the pros and cons because the cons tend to outweigh the pros in many scenarios. What CRM works for one brokerage, might not for yours; it’s not a one size fits all approach. Create a grid (or some way to visualize) and decide which ones you’d like to see in action.
5. Chat with vendors
Talk to the companies behind the products. Ask the right questions. Do they have data to back up their claims? What does their support look like? Will they serve as a partner to your brokerage? How often do they update their CRM? Do they integrate with your other tools? All these questions and more are essential to picking out the right diamond in the rough.
6. See it in action
Schedule demos and see what the CRM looks like and how it will work for your agents. See if it is intuitive enough for your agent audience and if they have the add-ons you’re looking for, whether that’s email marketing, just listed/just sold announcements, market data, etc. A good CRM will be more than just a CRM.
7. Do more research
Is training available? What does onboarding look like? Are they certified by any notable organizations? Think about the entire process from signing the dotted line to actually getting your agents to use it, to ensure you’ll see a solid ROI.
8. The integration factor
Chances are, you have a lot more tech tools being used at your brokerage than just a CRM. Make absolutely sure that your next CRM will integrate with your existing technology tools and share data, so it doesn’t end up making agents’ lives more complicated.
9. Get some feedback
Remember those stakeholders and users we were mentioning at the beginning? Show them what you’ve found and gauge how they feel about the options on the table. Show some agents a demo. Remember, a shiny object that agents won’t actually use is going to put you right back in the same situation you’re in now. Don’t want to have to switch brokerage CRMs again in 2019? Get some solid internal reactions.
10. Make your decision
If you’ve made it this far, you likely won’t regret this decision. Often brokerages regret their technology decisions because they didn’t ask all of the necessary questions and they didn’t clarify ambiguity. Which means if you have, when you put that pen to paper, you’ll be popping bottles rather than crossing your fingers.
Want to get some more advice on switching brokerage CRMs? Chat with someone from our extremely knowledgeable (and extremely friendly!) Business Development Team.
By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
#1 way to reap CRM benefits: Move people through your CRM sales flow!
The number one thing you can do with your CRM is to do what it was meant for: Convert, convert, convert, by moving people through that sales flow. It sounds like a no-brainer, but there are tons of agents out there that don’t even use a CRM.
Your sphere is everything. Not those cold leads you got from Zillow, not those contacts where you don’t even know how they got into your phone. Your repeats, your referrals, those that will all list with you at some point in the next ten years. Moving these gems through the sales flow is a sure bet to getting the job done and that contract signed.
If you don’t believe us, we’ll let the numbers speak for themselves. Those that actually did this, did 42% more business in 2017 – at least with our CRM, Moxi Engage.
#2 way to reap CRM benefits: Automation isn’t the enemy.
We’ve been hearing and reading some things that say auto-marketing isn’t the way to go. While the sentiment makes sense that auto-marketing is not enough by itself (and that’s true), it is still a vital touchpoint and there’s really no excuse to not take advantage of it. I mean, it’s automatic!
By no means are we suggesting “set and forget” auto-marketing is the only marketing you should be doing, but since you only have to sign everyone up one time and it can be extremely effective, it would be ridiculous not to take advantage of this kind of marketing.
Take Neighborhood News for example. This tool lets you send market snapshots to your sphere automagically AND it’s hyperlocal info, for whatever zip code you sign them up with (they can change the zip code themselves if they wish to). Utilize it, embrace it, love it.
#3 way to reap CRM benefits: Take lot of notes.
A contact database with no context is relatively useless. Even if it’s your own database, even if you have a great memory. Chances are, there are contacts in there like we mentioned above, and you have no idea whatsoever who they are. So, when you’re adding new people or learn new info or just have a spare minute waiting at the doctor’s office, update those notes! You might have a great memory, but we guarantee you won’t remember all of their birthdays or their favorite hobbies or drinks right off the top of your head. No one can remember everything. If you want to hear from a pro why this note taking is so important, look no further.
Psst – you’ll also notice if you click that link that a strong database is a priceless ticket to retirement. And by priceless, we mean it could actually be very lucrative if you’ve curated it diligently and thoughtfully, so the next owner of your book of business can use it properly.
So please, do yourselves a mega ultra-favor and take care of that CRM! Use it the way it was meant to be used, like the third arm you never had.
By Maddie Jostol
Marketing can feel like a necessary evil. It’s easy to get overly stressed, especially for new agents just getting into the real estate game. Being an agent is already a busy routine and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the endless options when it comes to marketing. Which strategies should you actually put effort into, and more importantly, how can you keep the cost down?
Here are five affordable ways to market yourself and your listings so you can continue to grow your business, without sacrificing a ton of cash.
1. Go digital
Don’t get us wrong, traditional practices such as hand-written notes can never be replaced. For your larger-scale marketing initiatives, however, keep your cost down by going digital. Leverage automation tools for sphere touches online rather than spending on printing and shipping, which can be very costly.
For example, when you create digital presentations for lead generation, it costs you nothing. Printing these presentations can get very costly (think $50-100 each), especially if you have them bound. Plus, if it’s digital, it’s always up to date and easy to edit.
2. Make your marketing efforts go further
Get more out of your marketing efforts through by targeting the right messages to the right people. When you have detailed insights about your contacts and you take care in updating your CRM, your life will be much easier come time to market.
This person likes to golf? Invite them to your charity tournament. That person prefers to communicate via email? Only use that medium. This group of contacts all have young children? Keep them in the loop with regards to family-related news and events in the neighborhood.
3. Leverage existing relationships
When you start your marketing efforts with those who already know you, it spurs word-of-mouth marketing. Those who know and trust you will keep you top of mind and are most likely to share your content and spread the word. We aren’t just saying this because we’re huge fans of the sphere marketing methodology, but because it’ll actually make your marketing dollars go further. When you market to someone in your sphere (invite them to an event, send them a piece of content, etc.), those efforts will be amplified as they go out and interact with people in their own sphere.
4. See what tools you already have
We know… you like to pick and choose your own tools. However, you end up training yourself and don’t have any integration between those tools. Consider the marketing tools your brokerage already offers you. You might be surprised at the tools you have at your fingertips that you never even knew about. They were hand selected for a reason, and you’re more likely to have access to resources and support if those tools are offered by your brokerage.
5. Reach the masses where it matters
Market to your audience in groups. For example, host casual community events, where you can connect with a large number of people in one fell swoop. This will keep your costs down and enable you to grow your sphere, all while positioning you as the real estate expert in your area.
If you’re looking to cast a wider net, try marketing on social media. Meet consumers where they already are. Get in the rhythm of advertising each new listing you win, then promote your business when you’re in need of some new leads. On social media, you can reach a massive audience with just a little spend.
For example, you might spend $79 to reach 3,000-4,000 people (depending on your audience and geographic area) on Facebook. Reaching that same audience with postcards would be very costly (think 10-20x the cost).
Then, the more you decide to spend, the wider net you cast – it’s that simple. Make sure you report back to your clients, that’s where the real value is. It’s an inexpensive way to exceed their expectations and show them you went above and beyond.
Choose wisely, and your brokerage could see agent productivity increase by 40%
As seen in Mile 62 Magazine – By Andrew Eberting
A CRM should be the epicenter of your customer and prospect data – and your brokerage. Not having the right one implemented at your brokerage, you cost yourself and your agents the #1 thing that matters most: Money.
If profitability and growing market share is not for you, no sweat. However, if you do want to own the competition in every possible competitive category, then keep reading.
1.) Ease of Use
For Your Agents: One of the biggest factors that impact agent adoption of your brokerage’s tools is its ease-of-use or lack thereof. The more approachable your offerings are, the barrier to resistance will also be lowered.
Agents want to do what they do best: create dreams for clients and win more listings. Give them something that accomplishes both, and your brokerage becomes the “it” place to be.
For You: If your current agents are excited about the tools that make their lives easier, think about the impact this can have on other areas of your business.
- New agent recruiting
- Current agent retention
- Growth in market share
If your brokerage platform offering is sound, it will result in the acquisition of more share of your local market. It is a dog-eat-dog world; which one are you going to be?
2.) Scalability and Integration/Single Point of Truth
For Your Agents: If an agent can navigate to a single point of truth for their entire workflow with their sphere, what kind of increase would that have not only with their productivity but also their quality of life?
- One place to see all their entire database
- Build a CMA powered by integration with your MLSs
- Email said CMA to their sphere
- Turnaround and start marketing current listings or themselves instantly to Facebook and other online channels
- Send automated closing gifts to clients based on transactional closing history
How much time would be saved each day to log in and find all their tools in one place vs. logging into multiple systems? How much is this time down costing your brokerage?
For You: Staying competitive also means needing to stay current with best-in-class tools. The ability to stay agile while meeting the demands of your brokerage platform (like being integrated across multiple areas of the agent’s daily life) plays a significant role in making you recession-proof the next time the industry retreats. Being able to turn on new tools or keep favorites for your agents, while sunsetting those that have fallen out of favor or compliance, also lowers your annual spend on technology.
3.) Client Success aka YOUR Success Experience
For Your Agents: It is inevitable; at one point or another we all get stuck. With this in mind, sometimes everyone needs a helping hand. Accessibility to success, training, and support is vital to getting back on the proverbial bike and keep going.
For You: A happy agent is a productive agent. Offering your agents a CRM solution that provides multiple channels and assets to help them overcome roadblocks can be gamechanger in their productivity.
70% of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) end users prefer searching for self-service help related to their issues (Zendesk), meaning an agent’s time-to-productivity can be directly impacted by their ability to resolve roadblocks.
Want to know what else to look for in a CRM for your brokerage?
Check out our latest joint white paper with Victor Lund of WAV Group:
How to Choose a Real Estate CRM
By Maddie Jostol
First of all… yes, you need a CRM. If you haven’t onboarded a standard agent CRM for your brokerage, then 2018 is the year to do so. A CRM (customer relationship management system) is where all of your agents keep and nurture their contacts, market to their sphere, manage their sales flow, track their goals, and much more. The CRM glues everything together.
What impact could a CRM have on your business? Here are a few quick facts:
- ” 74% of businesses using a CRM report improved customer relationships (Annuitas Group).
- ” Conversion rates can improve by 300% with a CRM in place (Cloudswave).
- ” Lead cost is reduced by 23% with a CRM in place (Cloudswave).
Vetting technologies can be challenging and complicated, especially a system as robust as a CRM. So, what should you be looking for in a CRM for your agents? Below are our recommendations for what you should consider when it comes to a CRM for your brokerage.
Your CRM should ‘understand’ the real estate business.
In general, CRMs should be intuitive. The system’s sales flow, prompts, and coaching should align with your business process. The home sales process is a unique one compared to other businesses. When considering an agent CRM, make sure the system makes sense for this sales process, taking into consideration sphere marketing, a long sales cycle, GCI goals, the transaction process, etc.
It must support your sphere-selling efforts.
The sphere-selling methodology is the way of the future. When agents strategically leverage their spheres of influence, their businesses grow in a sustainable way. In a competitive landscape, where all markets are thirsty for leads, an agent’s sphere is their power.
If you’ve invested in training and coaching to encourage your agents to leverage sphere-selling, they should be using a CRM that supports those efforts. What’s this look like? It means having your CRM integrated with your other contact databases, relevant segmentation options, and aggregated public data to keep up with the people in your sphere.
Integration will power your business.
Integration powers your business. In a sea of ad hoc tools, we’re all left attempting to remember passwords and experiencing tool fatigue. Select technology solutions for your brokerage that integrate with each other. This means that an agent can use all of their tools with a single sign-on and a cohesive flow.
Take lead generation, for example. When leads are generated – whether they’re from the agent’s website, or purchased from a lead provider, they should immediately appear in the agent’s CRM, and the agent should be prompted to follow up. This is bare minimum for a CRM. When it comes to sales enablement, guiding an agent through the necessary tasks from lead generation all the way through closing is key.
Integration goes far beyond lead generation. With Moxi Engage CRM, for example, an agents’ leads flow straight into their CRM, but they can also purchase client gifts, advertise on Facebook, execute print marketing campaigns, manage transactions, and much more, directly from their Engage account.
It must have live MLS data.
When it comes to a CRM in real estate, MLS integration is a must-have. When agents win listings, those listings automatically with their CRM, enabling them to truly manage the transaction from start to finish. It means agents never have to manually enter property data, saving time, and negating errors.
It should improve agent productivity.
When we talk about CRMs, we often talk about “tasks” and “actions” which, for some, can feel like the system is adding work. That’s just not true. The tasks that your CRM prompts should be actions that agents are already taking (and if they aren’t, then it’s even more reason to get a system in place). What the CRM does is streamline these tasks and remind the agent, so they don’t miss a beat.
Logging into your CRM and seeing everything you need to accomplish that day will change an agent’s workflow for the better. They always know what they need to do in order to reach their goals. They’ll be able to see who in their sphere they should reach out to, and be reminded to follow up with that one lead they talked to last week. They’ll be able to look back and see when they last spoke with so-and-so, and be reminded to send Mr. and Mrs. Smith a gift for their house-versary.
This increase in productivity all comes back to your business. Agents are not only able to accomplish more, closing more deals, but they also find better work/life balance, improving retention at your brokerage. Improved productivity adds up to revenue, having a nice effect on your business’ bottom line.
It’s a component of your open platform.
Your agent CRM is a (vital) piece of a larger puzzle. Your brokerage platform is the ecosystem where all of your technology tools and services live, integrate, and share data. Powering that is the CRM, hosting agent databases, consumer data, property data, and driving business results.
To learn more about the Moxi Engage CRM and the Moxi Cloud open platform, reach out to us to talk to a member of our team.
An agent’s sphere is the lifeblood of their business, but staying on top of hundreds of clients and leads can be exhausting and time consuming. Wouldn’t it be great to immediately know details about their sphere and know when they are likely to list their homes? Public data can make all the difference.
Enter Moxi Insights
Moxi Insights is a newly released feature of our Moxi Engage CRM and is no doubt changing the game for sphere marketing with the help of public data. Moxi Insights gives quick and organized client information to agents through their CRM, from general demographics, housing info, lifestyle choices, financials, and hobbies to where clients/prospects donate and invest their money. Agents can potentially see if their clients have pets, certain cars, or if they’re a value shopper.
Notifications and badges let you see when people in your sphere are looking to downsize or could afford a larger home, and if they’re highly likely to buy or sell. All to make it easier for agents to maintain control of their sphere, and of course, save them some precious time.
The public data is there, but how are you going to take full advantage of it?
We’ve put together a list of the top 10 ways to use Moxi Insights to its fullest:
1. Send investment opportunities to investors.
2. Invite all your sports fans to a night out at the ballpark. Buy ’em a ticket, a beer and a hotdog. Save some money by taking them to a minor-league game (which are typically very fun and engaging BTW).
3. Send all the highly-likely-to-sell people your “How to list your home” guide. Moxi Insights lets you know when someone is highly-likely-to-sell.
4. Send about to be empty nesters your “Downsizing tips from the pros” guide. Moxi Insights informs you when people are probably thinking of downsizing.
5. Send invitations to the local gallery walk night to all the art fans. Do a meetup with them. Offer to buy them a glass of vino.
6. Got a boat and a bunch of boating fans? Invite them to a meet up on the lake. Have everyone tie up together and do a barbeque on your boat.
7. Quickly and easily learn more info about the internet leads you receive.
8. Learn the interests of your client or almost-client to buy them the perfect “thank you”, “happy birthday”, or closing gift.
9. Got a bunch of literature fans? Invite ’em to a local bookstore with a cafe and offer to buy ’em coffee and a scone.
10. If anyone has a badge, send an unsolicited CMA, a handwritten note, text or Facebook message them for a coffee date just to chat and catch up. Spend extra time with them – not necessarily talking about anything on the Insights report, but reconnecting with them at the perfect time.
The goal is to keep it real and find the human connection when you are working to engage and convert new leads or keep in touch with your sphere. Moxi Insights helps you do just that with the use of public data.
Here’s another look at Moxi Insights:
Like all Moxi Works products, Moxi Insights is mobile optimized through the Moxi Engage CRM and can be accessed on any handheld device, laptop, or tablet.
Find out more about Moxi Insights, our other products, and what the Moxi Cloud is all about right here.
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty has launched a powerful combination of the latest in agent productivity technology. Through the Moxi Cloud, our open platform, agents now have access to our Moxi Engage™ CRM, which is fully integrated into an advanced automated marketing platform from teammate, Imprev, Inc.
“There’s a great technology race in real estate that has brokerages scrambling to add the latest innovations to gain a competitive edge and attract new agents,” says Matthew Rand, managing partner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, which operates 26 offices with 1000 agents. “But agents are suffering from tool fatigue: There are too many disconnected apps and tools offered to agents without a focused plan from the broker to tie them all together,” he continues.
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, which is the premier real estate broker in New York City’s northern suburbs, closes more than $2.1 billion in real estate sales every year in Westchester, the Hudson Valley, and Northern New Jersey. The Rand organization is well-known for its regional technology leadership. It was the first company to put its listings online, the first to offer mapping and directions, and now the they’re the first to provide a fully mobile environment for home sellers and buyers.
“Combining two best-in-class technologies that are fully integrated helps make Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty agents’ lives simpler and their businesses more successful,” Rand says. He adds, “The streamlined experience will also be a powerful offering in our recruiting strategy.”
Renwick Congdon, CEO of Imprev, a company known for its advanced automated marketing services, explains how the Moxi Works and Imprev integration creates a unique value proposition. “Providing compelling, timely, and relevant content to buyers and sellers helps agents build relationships and trust,” Congdon shares. “Delivering the right marketing to the client consistently and automatically can help an agent gain a client for life.”
“We’re making sure agents do the right thing at the right time, which we’ve seen dramatically increases their new, repeat, and referral business,” says York Baur, CEO at Seattle-based Moxi Works. “The technology that BHGRE Rand Realty is providing to its agents will provide a workflow that will be the envy of its competitors.”
Both listing and contact information for each Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty agent will be synchronized with their CRM and marketing platforms. The streamlined workflow dramatically increases agent efficiency and improves data quality by eliminating the need to enter listing and contact information in multiple systems. The integration also enables the automatic creation of marketing content for a wide range of marketing activities – from promoting a new listing to keeping in contact with an agent’s leads and sphere of influence – all without requiring the agent to lift a finger.