Key Aspects to Look for in a Brokerage Platform

what to look for in a brokerage platform

By Maddie Jostol 

Many technology companies are calling themselves a platform. It’s becoming a loosely used buzzword, but what makes a true platform is a technology that serves as the base for all of your technology solutions. It’s the hub of your company’s technology.

As a brokerage owner, what should you be looking for when considering a platform for your business? Below are a few of the key things you absolutely must consider when vetting these technologies.

Make sure it’s open

An open platform is quite different from a closed platform. What makes a platform “open” is an open API, which allows other technologies to plug into the platform, integrating and sharing data. Asking whether or not a platform is truly open is key to knowing what potential the technology has in integrating your business. A closed platform limits your ability to leverage data, and doesn’t help your agents run their business.

Find a reliable partner

When it comes to onboarding a platform for your brokerage, you’ll want to work with a provider who serves as a true technology partner. A platform is the technology backbone of your business, it isn’t just some add-on tool. Because of this, your platform provider should serve as a trusted advisor, guiding you to the strongest technology ecosystem that effectively runs your business.

The beauty of an open platform is that you can make it your own – our brokerage clients have varying technology ecosystems based on which integrated tool and service providers they’ve decided to provide to their brokerage. Work with people who can guide you through this process, selecting the best technology services for your business. This brings us to our next tip…

Own your data

Data is more powerful than you might think. What kind of data are we talking about? MLS data, consumer data, agent data, and more. All of it should live in your brokerage platform, where it’s accessible and useful. Data can power other tools, lend valuable insights, improve productivity, and more. It’s time for all brokerages to own their data.

The value of integration

Integration adds value to your business, smoothing operations and increasing productivity. Agents don’t have to switch back and forth between technologies, attempting to remember dozens of passwords. It also gets rid of manual data entry. When data is shared across your tools, including your MLS, it negates manual data entry and the inevitable errors that comes with it.

Selecting and onboarding an open platform for your business can feel complicated, but it’s vital to staying ahead in this competitive market. Your brokerage needs an integrated technology ecosystem that offers flexibility, connects your business, and helps you be more profitable.

To learn more about the Moxi Cloud open platform and what sets it apart, click here.

Posted on January 3, 2018 at 4:42 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Open Platform | Tagged , , , , ,

Compass: What Goes Up, Must Come Down

compass + gravityBy York Baur, CEO of Moxi Works

If you’re reading this, you have no doubt seen the news about Softbank (the world’s largest tech investment fund) investing $450 Million into the tech brokerage Compass – emphasis on the brokerage. This morning I sent out a note to all of our employees here at Moxi Works, and have decided to share them here. As a true “techie,” I’m sure it surprises no one to learn that I have some opinions about this.

For starters, Compass is a brokerage, not a tech company. However, like Redfin (who has continually overpromised and undelivered), they’re being valued as a technology company, not a brokerage, which means it’s valued at several times the valuation of brokerages.

This fundamental disconnect will work for a while, but gravity is pervasive, and the valuation will fall back to earth soon enough, particularly when there is a real estate market correction.

In short – this is the Greater Fool Theory at work.

What does this all mean?

To quote Inman, “Compass touts itself as “the first modern real estate platform, which reduces the friction and frustration associated with selling, buying, or renting a property by providing real estate agents with a set of powerful tools to increase efficiency and sales volume.”

They have to pay off agents with large sums of money to consider leaving their current brokerage for Compass and their platform. Hence, they are a brokerage, not a technology company.

Here’s a fact: You don’t have to with a true open platform and the technology that embodies it.

There’s nothing Compass has that we don’t already have or that isn’t available today from our more than 35 partners. Our success, the success of the Moxi Cloud open platform isn’t a theory – we can prove that our stuff makes agents more productive and brokerages more profitable. To that end, their CEO Robert Reffkin said today that agents that come to Compass do 24.9% better the year after. We know that agents that adopt Moxi Engage do 39% better, and are happy to walk you through that data.

News like today’s strikes fear in the heart of brokerages, as it probably should. Like every problem, there is a solution. That solution is the Moxi Cloud, which takes Compass head on and gives agents exactly what they need to be more successful than their competition.

I encourage you to contact us – we’d be happy to answer any questions you have, whether it’s about Moxi Works are not. We’re here to help the brokerage.

Posted on December 7, 2017 at 8:49 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: News, Open Platform | Tagged , , , , ,

2018 Business Planning for Agents

 By Maddie Jostol

Real estate agents: Now is the time to start your 2018 business plan. The end of the year arrived quickly (as always), which has most of us reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the coming year. As an agent, what’s your plan for ensuring next year is even more successful than this one?

It’s time to start your business plan, set goals, and put the right tools in place that will get you headed in the right direction – towards financial success. Here are a few things you should be thinking about this time of year, including a handful of free resources to help you get a jump start.

Set your GCI goal

Goal setting is a key piece of the planning puzzle. It’s vital for you to know what you’re working towards in order to map all of your efforts towards meeting that goal. Your GCI (Gross Commissionable Income) goal is a cornerstone to your financial plan, so set it early on and create a plan to reach it.

For those of you who are Moxi Engage users, make sure you enter your GCI goal into your Moxi account. This will show you the progress you’ve made towards your goal throughout the year. This transparency allows you to manage your time and finances more effectively. Want to learn more about this? You can in our help center.

Get a system in place

Get all of your processes in place so you can start the year off on the right foot. This includes a reliable accounting system and a smooth process for tax filing. As independent contractors, agents face unique challenges in tracking their expenses and filing quarterly taxes. Make sure you know what tools to use and which deductions to look out for. Want some tips? Download our Agent’s Guide to Stress-Free Taxes.

Our recommendation for 2018 is QuickBooks Self-Employed, an accounting app built specifically for independent contractors. It’s the perfect solution for busy agents. QuickBooks Self-Employed automates expense tracking, mileage tracking, and digital receipt storage and categorization. All of this is done easily on your smartphone, while on-the-go.

To give you a head start, we’ve partnered with QuickBooks to offer you a full year of QuickBooks Self-Employed for 50% off.

Make a plan

Whether you’re already starting your plan, or you’ve never created a business plan before – now is the time.

Join us for a free webinar on Tuesday, December 19th. We’ll have experts including Eric Thompson, Co-Founder of Windermere Leadership Academy and President of Windermere Services CO, and Charlie Snyder, Real Estate Specialist at QuickBooks. You’ll learn about getting started on your business plan, goal setting, saving money on taxes as an independent contractor, and managing your finances and business expenses throughout the year. They’re ready to bring you tools, templates, methods, and tips to help you be financially successful in 2018.

Posted on December 7, 2017 at 4:16 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Productivity | Tagged , , , , , ,

Easy to Set Up Websites for Real Estate Agents

idx websites - moxi agent websitesThe home buying journey begins when someone takes a minute out of their day to conduct an online search. In fact, 90% of home buyers search online during the process, according to the National Association of Realtors. People are busy and they want to know every detail of a home before they take the time to go see it. That means agents need a mobile-friendly website that allows consumers to easily and efficiently get the information they need.

IDX websites are the new standard when it comes to real estate websites. If a website doesn’t have IDX, it’s more or less worthless. It sounds extreme, but it’s true. IDX search is the peanut butter to the website jelly.

What are IDX websites?

IDX stands for “Internet Data Exchange,” which simply allows agents and brokers to show MLS listings on their websites – a real estate website must. A key part of MoxiWorks productivity is the integration with your MLS. Now with over 200 MLSs, we have a dedicated team that works with MLSs to ensure we have the most up-to-date listing data. We believe agents deserve and need an easy to use website, no matter the level or extent of their tech savviness.

Your Website – Easy as One, Two, Three

In our never-ending efforts to make agent’s lives easier, we created a website tool – MoxiWorks Agent Websites – that makes it easy to drag and drop just about anything, anywhere on your site. Not only is it easy to set up, but it also has these key features:

1. Responsive Design

These agent websites are easy to navigate, look great, and work seamlessly on all sized screens. That means whether your future clients are looking on their iPhones, iPads, laptops, Androids, etc., your site will always look flawless.

2. Custom Pages

Custom pages allow agents to give their website a unique twist. Agents want to differentiate themselves & showcase their expertise. Show your in-depth knowledge of a specific neighborhood or area in your city, cater to the typical lifestyle of your clients with new restaurants, sporting events, school districts, and more. The options are endless and you can build out your pages however you’d like them to be.

3. Lead Capture

Just like an agent’s sphere, leads are an integral part to a real estate business. There are multiple ways a new visitor to an agent’s site can connect with the agent, & when they do, they show up in Moxi Engage as a new lead.

And guess what? Our very own moxiworks.com is built on the exact same tool as our agent websites. That’s right. We practice what we preach.

Below is a short video of how easy MoxiWorks Agent Websites are to set up! Watch us build a custom page:

 

 
Posted on August 9, 2017 at 4:41 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , , , , ,

New Service: Comprehensive Moving Concierge Now Available on Moxi Cloud

MoveEasyWe’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.

MoveEasy

 

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.

Posted on July 19, 2017 at 3:56 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Integration, Moxi Partners, Open Platform | Tagged , , , , ,

Using Neighborhood Recaps for Lead Generation

As a real estate agent, you’re always looking for lead generation tips that produce high-quality leads while remaining cost-effective. Staying relevant and reaching new audiences can be challenging. It’s easy to get caught up using the same methods, even if they aren’t working for you. So, why not mix it up and try something new?

Try this: Put together a thorough neighborhood recap and promote it via your go-to channels.

 

Listing Averages

 

Create a neighborhood recap of the transactions in a given area over the past quarter or year to date. The best part? This can all be done quickly and easily for those agents using Moxi Present. All you need to do is create a new presentation, fill in the parameters, and the MLS data will auto-fill. Select a handful of home sales that happened within your chosen area and timeframe to give a market snapshot, comparing properties and showing trends. This ease is what makes neighborhood recaps possible as an efficient lead generation source.

Check out this neighborhood recap presentation to get an idea of what you could include for your local area.

 

Price & Size

 

Be strategic about the area you choose as this recap positions you as an expert. Homeowners appreciate the feeling that their realtor knows their aimed neighborhood like the back of their hand. It’s a token of comfort in a taxing process.

Once you’ve created a robust neighborhood recap, it’s time to promote it through multiple channels for lead generation. The presentation can serve as its own landing page using Moxi Present, or you can post it to a blog post. Then drive traffic to it through social media (both organic and paid), paid search ads, and email marketing. Different agents prefer different channels, so select which ones work for you and your audience. Find where your strengths are and where you generate leads most effectively, and leverage those channels with the valuable piece of content you’ve created. If you like more traditional marketing methods, you could also choose a local printer to print a handful of presentations onto fine paper and mail out hard copies.

If someone looking for a home in an area sees your neighborhood recap online, finds it valuable, and learns from it, you instantly become a trusted advisor. You are then someone who can guide them through a thoughtful, educated decision making process because you’ve already proven that you have the know-how and expertise that they need.

It’s a perfect scenario: they’ve been thinking about making a move, are entering a new stage in life, or have been chatting with their spouse about moving, you present the information they need to move the conversation forward. Who should they contact if they want more information? You, of course. So, you meet up with them to discuss the market, the neighborhood, and ultimately, the opportunity for you to find them their dream home.

Posted on July 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: MoxiWorks, Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , , , , ,

Update: Moxi Present

Moxi PresentWe’re excited to announce that we’ve made some updates to Moxi Present, the presentation builder designed specifically for real estate agents. Moxi Present is unique in that it’s completely customizable and is integrated with the MLS, pulling property data directly into an agent’s presentation. It can be used to create any type of presentation, from CMAs, buyer presentations and open house presentations, to neighborhood tours and more.

 

This tool consistently earns high adoption rates, which is why making it available for all agents within client brokerages is of high importance to us. As of mid-December, we’ll be sun-setting the TouchCMA iPad app. Why? Because the web-based version of Moxi Present is completely responsive and even better. We’ve found it has a better user experience and better integrates with the other Moxi tools.

Don’t worry… the presentation builder you know and love isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s only improving.

If you currently have the app, it won’t be disrupted for the foreseeable future. The iPad app will still be available, but will no longer be updated or supported. Come December, the iPad app will no longer be available in the app store. This will inhibit any new downloads or updates, but will have no effect on existing installs.

For agents who currently use Moxi Present, they’ll still have the same Moxi Present tool, but only the web app version will be supported in the future. The tool is entirely responsive and can still be accessed on an iPad, but instead of having to download it through the App Store, agents can simply log in online.

Moxi Present Responsive

A few months ago, we officially changed the name of TouchCMA to Moxi Present. The product didn’t change, it just started coming in better packaging. Now, we’re streamlining the tool even further. In order to continue the necessary support and updates, it makes the most sense to focus on continuing to optimize the web-based app to be used by agents on any device.

It’s no secret that we’re committed to integration. These are just a few steps we’re taking to simplify and enhance the user experience for agents – making them more productive and successful.

Posted on July 17, 2017 at 4:07 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: MoxiWorks | Tagged , , , , ,

How Spacio Launched to a Major Broker in Two Days

At Moxi Works, we pride ourselves on providing the only true open platform the real estate industry has seen thus far, and having an impeccable platform integration system to go with it. We do this by providing these five key factors in our open platform, the Moxi Cloud:

Moxi Cloud: The Real Estate Industry's First True Open Platform 1. Property data
2. Brokerage and agent data
3. Consumer data
4. Integration with the cloud environment with Microsoft and Google
5. An API allowing other companies to integrate

All of these pieces of data and platform integrations work together, effortlessly, in one place. Our open API is the reason we’ve grown to include over 30 integrated tools and services this year and had seamless platform integration for each. Among these 30 partners are companies like DocuSign, Imprev Marketing, Loop & Tie, Offrs, Move Easy, Spacio, and many more. As an open platform provider, we strive to partner with leading companies to offer our clients a suite of best-in-class tools and services. Platform integrations range from single-sign-on (SSO) to data sharing and everything in-between. Brokerages and their agents benefit from a consistent, robust technology ecosystem and a streamlined, efficient workflow. 

Spacio Launches to Major Broker in Two Days with Our Platform Integration

Spacio Open HousesCurious about what it’s like to work with our team or what it would look like for your company? Spacio, for instance, was able to effortlessly and quickly take advantage of our platform integration with the Moxi Cloud, and deliver swiftly to their large brokerage client. What used to take many, many days, only took a short time and didn’t require any extra software development. We asked Melissa Kwan over at Spacio what her experience has been like working with Moxi Works – check out the video below to see what she had to say.

The Moxi Cloud is able to perform smooth platform integrations by having the data available in the cloud. This is what makes it all possible. We don’t pretend to be amazing at everything. We let our brokerages choose the best tools and services out there for their brokerage and integrate them into our platform. We want the power to stay in the brokerages hands, allowing them to curate the tools and services they think are best for their own agents. Every brokerage is unique and because of it, each needs a unique solution.

Interested in partnering with Moxi Works? Reach out to us!

Posted on July 14, 2017 at 4:33 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Moxi Partners, Open Platform | Tagged , , , , ,

Why You Must Use Video in Your Listing Presentations

With the rise of social media and digital marketing, video is becoming a consistently effective form of communication online. The real estate industry is buzzing with reasons why you shouldn’t skip video marketing, so how can you seamlessly add video to your current marketing routine? We decided to explore why and how agents can add video content to their listing presentations. Leveraging multimedia can create a much more engaging listing presentation and set you apart. Here are some listing presentation tips to get you started! 

 

Why should real estate agents be thinking about video?

85% of buyers & sellers want an agent who uses video marketing.
55% of people consume videos thoroughly – the highest of any content type.
43% of people want to see more video content in the future.

Agents are always looking for tips on how to make their listing presentations stand out. Differentiate the property by adding engaging video content highlighting the home’s unique selling features.

Testimonial Video

Here are four listing presentation tips for how to incorporate video:

1. Home Tour / Listing Videos

Create a listing video to add visual interest to your presentation. Focus on the property features and unique selling points of the house. If you don’t have a professional camera, no problem. Most smartphones have cameras that will produce videos with high enough quality and resolution for your presentation. You can add a voiceover, narrate the video, or edit it to play to music.

2. Neighborhood Tour

Consider that your clients aren’t just buying a house, they’re joining a community. A neighborhood tour video can put the neighborhood on display in an engaging, personal way. Talk about local businesses, local activities and events, and community amenities. Buying a house is an emotional decision, so giving clients a taste of what it will be like to live in their new neighborhood can add a lot of value to your listing presentation.

3. Testimonials (Client Interviews)

Use video to put a new spin on testimonials. Show client interviews, with clips of them talking about what it was like to work with you and what their experience was like. Hearing a testimonial straight from a past client can be incredibly valuable.

4. ‘About Me’ Introduction Video

Instead of a generic ‘about me’ overview or a list of bullet points, try out a bio video to add a personal touch. Introduce yourself and talk about what your process is like and what it’s like to work with you. It’s an opportunity to not only show off your experience, but also let your personality shine through.

These listing presentation tips for adding video are just the beginning. Video can be leveraged in buyer presentations, open house presentations, CMAs, and more. What type of video will you try out in your next presentation?

Moxi Present allows agents to include video, along with other rich media, into their presentations. Adding a little visual interest, personality and emotion helps agents win more business.

Posted on July 13, 2017 at 4:09 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Meeting with Clients, MoxiWorks | Tagged , , ,

Why You Should Use Open House Presentations Every. Single. Time.

Open house presentations are the new standard. Gone are the days when you could put out a plate of cookies, sit back, and reap the benefits. Markets are crazier than ever and the competition couldn’t be vaster. Stepping up your open house game will ensure success and help beat out the competition.

Here’s why you need to use open house presentations moving forward:

 

Better Chances of Converting

Open house presentations allow you to have a better chance of converting a buyer for your listing. How come? With automated marketing sending out your presentations to open house guests, you’re reminding them of the house they saw, and why they loved it.

Since home buying is the largest and most emotional purchase in a client’s lifetime, chances are they’re going to need constant cues and reassurance of why they should take the leap. Open house presentations remind them it’s there and allows them to fall in love with the home over and over again.

Check this page out for open house presentation samples so you can get an idea of what agents are providing to potential buyers.

Open House Presentation Sample

Lead Generation

There’s a new way to “Open House” and it involves killer lead generation, tying into buyer conversion. Spacio is a lead catcher tool that allows agents to host paperless open houses and turns them into powerful sales opportunities. They do this with a few simple strategies.

Spacio, a Moxi Cloud integrated tool for paperless open houses.

Simple and Paperless Lead Capture: A modern and inviting sign-in form collects visitor information and leaves them with an unforgettable first impression. Spacio verifies the accuracy of visitors’ contact information so agents can focus their efforts on the highest quality leads.

Follow Up: Spacio automatically sends a follow-up email to prospects after they sign in. Through our CMA tool, Moxi Present, the follow-up email can include agent’s customized interactive presentations for the listing. Spacio also gives agents access to all the open house leads in their Moxi Engage CRM.

Get Insights on Your Most Likely Customers: Spacio gathers social insights on visitors and surfaces the most likely customers based on the agent’s Ideal Customer Profile. Lead Quality Scores are based on the agent’s preferences and a variety of factors, including how visitors answer questions on the sign-in form and public data available on leads.

Learn more about Spacio and how they’re changing the game.

 

Millennials

If those aren’t good enough reasons to convince you why open house presentations are a must, then how about this. Millennials, who are now the largest generation buying homes, are a different animal. In fact, millennials represented 45% of all purchase loans in 2016.

They’re not the only ones that expect more from real estate agents these days either. With articles like this coming out all the time, it’s getting more and more vital for agents to have an indisputable value proposition. Older, tech savvy generations expect more now as well, and you can make your worth obvious with your expert open house. But still, don’t forget the cookies.

Posted on July 5, 2017 at 5:48 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: MoxiWorks, Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , , , , ,