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Retention Strategies for Real Estate Brokers in 2016

Broker Retention

Retention Strategies for 2016

 

 

The longer a sales agents remain with a brokerage, the less that brokerage has to spend on recruitment and training. Longevity also contributes to higher rates of homebuyer satisfaction, which leads to a higher rate of referrals. Retaining your agents is a strategy for growth, and it help will build a better environment for mentorship, learning, and better referrals. Finding the right talent that fits well with the company culture can be a huge investment of time and money, which makes retention all the more important. When you do it right, you can keep your top talent and see even better returns.

Retention Starts When You’re Recruiting

You will have a much better shot at keeping your talent when you know what kind of talent you are bringing in. Recruiting sales agents is a careful process that should take some thought, planning, and strategizing. You don’t want to take everyone who submits a resume. You don’t even want to take everyone with a massive track record of sales. You need someone who fits with your company culture, who is looking for opportunities to grow in their profession, and who will take ownership of their role within the brokerage. As you start the recruiting process, focus on those who you know will positively impact your business.

Culture is the Foundation of Retention

Can you define your company culture? If you can’t sum it up in just a few words, then chances are your agents aren’t going to recognize (or relate to) the culture either. Agents need to feel like they are part of the big picture. They need to see that big picture, too and understand how they fit in. This is your company culture. It maybe be one of education and growth. It could be one of  the regular challenges and friendly competition. It could be a lot of things… But what it always needs to be is honest and fair. When your agents feel like you’re treating them with respect and that they’re contributing to the success of the brokerage, they’ll be more likely to stick around. Define your culture and then strive to help everyone understand it.

Provide the Tools for Success

You can boost retention by providing the tools that help close business. As consumers continue to demand more and their expectations continue to rise, brokerages are under continual pressure to lower real estate commissions. This, of course, makes it difficult to hang on to your top performers if they’re not making as much as they expected. The most effective tradeoff, then, is to provide the tools and technology that will help them close more business. Most of your agents will realize that there is a cost for adding technology to the brokerage, but done right, they will be willing to trade commission split percentage for a system that actually works for them. Embrace the new opportunities that technology provides. This kind of investment can pay you back in many ways, including all the potential changes in how you charge clients for services and how you compensate agents. MarketBoost, for example, is specifically designed to attract new leads and increase the amount of engagement with homebuyers. This will allow your agents to easily keep in touch with contacts and provided automated listings content. It will even help them highlight their expertise in the local market. The franchise or large brokerage that first maximizes the technology currently available, will be a major force in the future of real estate. When you can provide a turnkey and technologically advanced office and marketing environment to agents, retention and production will be much higher.

Ongoing Training and Development

There’s always something to learn. Always something to improve. The minute your top agent thinks he or she has seen and learned it all is the minute they make room for someone else to take their place. The best agents understand this and always look for ways to improve their game. This means providing programs and processes that help agents identify the areas where they can make the most improvements, and then challenge them to develop their professional abilities. Training can be one-on-one, mentorship programs, offsite seminars, on-site training specialists, or even just teaming your junior agents with senior staff. All of these are great ways to build a culture of learning. Just remember, along with the training should be the expectations for agents to improve. Otherwise, you’re just bouncing words off a brick wall. Track their improvements, congratulate them on successes, and question if they understand and are incorporating the new strategies and techniques with each new lead.

Make the Time for Agents

If you don’t take the time to see your people face to face on a regular basis, chances are they won’t take the time to really be dedicated to helping the company grow. Talk to your people. Do it face to face on a regular basis (which is far more effective than an email or, perish the thought, a text). At the same time, you’ll know more about your company and what’s happening with it. You’ll have a better sense for how your agents are feeling – their general moods and impressions – and what they need in order to be more successful.

A Strategy for Growth

It is always far more effective to retain the agents who are the most productive than it is to constantly recruit and train new people. While there will always be a need to add new agents to the roster, the ones who can contribute to the long-term future of the brokerage are the ones that will also help attract the best referrals and help create a culture of success.

Twitter For Real Estate Agents

Twitter for Real Estate agents Twitter is an important platform for sales and brand building in today’s real estate market. More millennials are becoming homeowners and involve social media in almost 90 percent of all purchases.  So, how does twitter use for real estate increase sales and branding?
  • Ability to engage with clients in real time
  • Post relevant information that would be helpful to your clients/potential clients. People love to be helped and if you create content that helps the person, they will trust you more.
  • Create brand awareness and loyalty
  • Increase SEO by using keywords, and relevant links
  • Understand what others are saying about you
  • Inform followers of open houses and other listings
Now with all the things you can do with twitter there are tactics you can use to optimize your use of twitter. Here are just four suggestions:
  • Provide links to website, blog or relevant information-- therefore providing a user-friendly experience
  • Use hashtags on trending topics and so people can find you
  • Share relatable, interesting and valuable information for your followers
  • Optimize each post with keywords focused on getting audience to act
As you optimize your twitter use you will see an improvement of sales. This process may take some time, but keep at it and listen to what others are saying about you and how you can improve. Real estate Twitter

Six ways to brand yourself as a Real Estate Agent

To be successful, there are many things you can do in your real estate market. We recommend doing six things to create your brand and make your mark in the world. Personalize your website Having a web presence is imperative for any real estate agent in the world today. Ninety-two percent of buyers use the internet in some way in their home search process and 50 percent of buyers use a mobile website or application in their home search. So what will make them pick you? Creating an interactive website with information potential home buyers want is an important key for success in attracting potential home buyers. Be interactive on social media Having a presence in social media is a must, especially if you are marketing to first-time home buyers. Millennials (ages 18-34) are a social generation and get most of their information on social media. In fact, the Deloitte report found that 47 percent of millennials are influenced in their purchases by social media, compared to 19 percent for all other age groups. Generate leads With so many potential ways to generate leads, how you can you know what the best bang is for your buck? Trusting professionals who know how to drive traffic to your website can be an effective outsourcing tool for generating leads. Other tools include PPC campaigns, Google AdWords, and Event Tracking tools to monitor site traffic. Be the answer Quality content on your social media and website outlets is a must. According to Lee Odden, CEO TopRank Marketing, “Effective digital marketing means being the best answer wherever your customers are looking.” That means learning where your demographics discover, consume and act on information. Ask the question, “What questions do my customers need answered and in what channels in order to buy?” Then inform them in an entertaining and engaging way. Create a media kit A media kit can be anything you about your brand that would identify you. A backgrounder, brochure and business card are great tools to start with. A media kit can be used to get a story in the news or as a pass along. Create different ways you can get your brand in the news, it’s free advertising and thousands of eyes can see you and your brand. Start a blog Blogging has grown tremendously the past 10 years, but why? People enjoy information that helps them make a decision or find value in an idea or product. If you can provide valuable insight on a specific trend, product, you can gain a loyal following. This does not mean only talking about your products or ideas, but really giving a person a way to make an informed decision. This following can be a great strength for your business and will grow as you make it relatable for others.   Brand yourself as Real Estate Agent

New! Site Activity Reports

You may have noticed your iHomefinder account is now sending you email reports with information about your site activity. If you have not received these new emails yet, you will receive them soon! The following activity information is provided in the reports, dependent upon the lead activity on your site. Most Active Leads Properties Saved Email Update Click-Thrus Saved Searches Total Searches  Total Properties Viewed Emails are sent daily by default as long as there is new data to show. You'll find options at the bottom of each email to change your delivery preference to weekly or monthly, or you can unsubscribe to stop receiving these emails. You can view these emails on all devices, and links are provided that login to your mobile-friendly account Control Panel, where you can access all lead information in your account. You can also email your most active leads right from the report, without having to login to your Control Panel.   siteactivity_post2 sample1   sample2a

Broker Plans Now Available in iHomefinder Optima OmniPress Websites

We have had an incredible response to our Optima OmniPress websites with IDX and we're excited to announce the addition of Broker plans, adding our popular broker features such as agent bio pages with listings, lead assignment, office information pages, agent roster pages, and more. Agent bio pages will automatically populate with an agent's own listings and can be customized with logos, images, YouTube and Vimeo videos, website links, and custom HTML. Each agent also gets their own Email Alert subscription service for their prospects, with the agent's own branding. Office pages are also customizable and include a Google map link to your office location. iHomefinder broker plans are designed to scale easily, so you can easily add Agent and Office pages to your account as your business grows. Broker Plan Features
  • Office Information Pages with Agent Rosters
  • Agent Bio Pages with Agents’ Listings
  • Office Pages and Agent Bio Pages for Mobile Devices (added to the Mobile IDX included with Broker plans)
  • Auto or Manual Lead Assignment Options
  • Geographical and Preferred Language Lead Assignment Options
  • Agent Log-In's for Lead Management
  • Email Alerts (new listing) Consumer Subscription Service with Agent Branding for Each Agent
OP Broker Img Edges   view-demo-button-v2

iHomefinder Optima IDX, Optima Express & Optima Social Now Available for Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS®

iHomefinder IDX is now available for members of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS®. Sanibel & Captiva are islands located on the Gulf coast of Florida right offshore from Fort Myers. In 2000, Sanibel had an estimated population of 6,064 people and Captiva had a total population of 379.

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The economic activity on Sanibel and Captiva is centered around tourism. These narrow islands that offers its residents and tourists with  incredibly diverse ecosystems within a very small area.  The area boasts the best shelling beaches in North America, great biking and hiking trails and many acres of wildlife sanctuaries.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® can now benefit from iHomefinder enhancements like the new Interactive Map Search and Facebook Apps. Members can also get started today with Optima IDX for Custom Sites, Optima Express IDX for WordPress or Optima Social. For more information, resellers can view Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® paperwork instructions or email us at resellers@ihomefinder.com with additional questions. Members of this Association can email info@ihomefinder.com or contact your iHomefinder reseller.

iHomefinder Optima IDX, Optima Express, Optima Social & More Available in Chautauqua County Board of REALTORS®

iHomefinder IDX is now available for members of the Chautauqua County Board of REALTORS®. Chautauqua County is located in the far western part of New York State, and is a resort area around Chautauqua Lake. The western border of this county is Lake Erie. This county is 70 miles southwest of Buffalo, NY and 50 miles northeast of Erie, PA.
Image from Wallace, Roberts and Todd

As of the 2010 census, the population of Chautauqua County was 134,905. Its county seat is Mayville, and its largest city is Jamestown.  The County is located within 3 hours of 10.8 million people because of its proximity to Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Toronto, Ontario. The county's economic has a diverse set of  businesses including retail, manufacturing, services, agriculture and tourism based industries.

Members of the Chautauqua County Board of REALTORS® can benefit from iHomefinder enhancements like the new Interactive Map Search and Facebook Apps. Members can also get started today with Optima IDX for Custom Sites, Optima Express IDX for WordPress or Optima Social.

For more information, resellers can view Chautauqua County Board of REALTORS® paperwork instructions or email us at resellers@ihomefinder.com with additional questions. Members of this Association can email info@ihomefinder.com or contact your iHomefinder reseller.

Agents Start Your Blogs: Connect and Expand Your Reach

Often real estate agents and brokers ask us or our reseller partners for surefire ways to increase their website's ranking with the search engines (e.g. Google and Yahoo).  While we have built Search Engine Optimization (SEO) right into our iSearch Optima IDX platform, we also stress to our clients and partners the importance of creating fresh content that will both delight their clients and prospects, and allow the search engines to index their website. You may have seen our post back in October 2010 on 101 Things for Real Estate Agents to Blog About.  We still think this is a great list, and we took one topic to create a sample post that we could share with you for possible inspiration on content for your blog. Number 3 on our list of things to blog about is Local market trends & statistics.  We selected the city of Kensington, CA as our subject for our post, and wrote up a post as if we were an agent or broker in Kensington creating content for their WordPress blog. See below for our sample blog post: ---------- Home Prices Holding Steady in Kensington Recently, I reviewed the statistical information for the area and found that the Kensington real estate market is holding its own compared to other sectors of the Bay area. Per square foot, the average price of a home in this community has only risen a token 0.7% in the past year. Although some agents are pricing homes 7% or more above last year’s average listing amount in the hopes of profiting from a naive buyer, savvy consumers aren’t biting. The actual sales prices aren’t showing the same type of increase, but it’s only a matter of time before we see an upward trend. What does this mean for my clients? If you’re in the market to buy, you can find a bargain in Kensington. In addition to stable home prices, this exclusive region of Contra Costa County features charming properties with great schools, exceptionally low crime rates, and expansive views of the San Francisco Bay. Whether you’re looking for a home you can really settle into and put down some roots or a lucrative investment property, you can’t go wrong with purchasing a property in this area before the prices finally start going up. If you’re in the market for a new home, you can’t afford to overlook this area. While the highly-acclaimed school system is one of the first things that draw buyers to the area, the Bay views are often the deal maker. If you’d like to see what Kensington has to offer, give me a call today to schedule a viewing. ---------- There are many great sources for inspiration on blogging out there.  Books like Content Rules and other resources like the Content Marketing Institute that publishes great articles like "10 Ways to Write Like A Content Marketing Jedi." Happy blogging, folks! Share with us really interesting blog posts that you've written or found from others out there.  Let's get creative about communicating with our clients and prospects.