Brokerages currently face a real estate paradox: 90% of sellers and buyers say they would use their agent again, yet only about one in five home buyers and one in three sellers actually used the same agent a second time.
It's not because these "orphaned" clients are moving out of the market. On the contrary, Pew Research found that most Americans (57%) have never lived outside their home state, and more than one in three (37%) have never lived outside their hometown.
The fact is that when most people move, they don't move very far. So why aren't they using their original agent? And for those moving to another state, why aren't they getting a referral from their agent?
The most likely cause of lost repeat business is also the most avoidable: Agents are not staying in touch with their past clients.
To some extent, this is understandable. When you're a busy agent, it feels nearly impossible to find the time to fit in the tasks that will build new business when working a pipeline of active buyers and sellers. Closing transactions puts income in your bank account today. Reaching out to prospects does not.
However, over time, unless agents stay top-of-mind, clients will no longer feel connected to the original agent who helped them buy or sell a home. This makes clients open to another agent's direct solicitation of their business.
Automatically Staying Top-of-Mind
Today, agents no longer need to struggle to stay connected to past clients. When brokerages use DeltaNET® 6, agents benefit from a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform fully integrated with easy-to-use automated marketing programs.
Agents can select from an array of Delta-provided email and text drip campaigns that help them consistently stay in front of their sphere of clients, prospects, business acquaintances, family, and friends.
Delta's "My Customer for Life" newsletters are designed to keep agents connected with their client list so that when they are ready to buy or sell, they reach out to the agent they've worked with in the past. Other Delta Media Group® marketing tools, such as Social Connector, Market Watch Reports, HomeFinder Reports, and Seller Reports, also help keep agents top-of-mind.
Using Delta's automated listing videos is another way to streamline your marketing tasks to have more time to reach out to your sphere.
Staying in touch is crucial. According to the latest National Association of REALTORS® research, a stunning 77% of recent sellers contacted only one agent before finding the agent they eventually worked with to sell their home. And the percentage of buyers who interviewed only one agent during their home search? An astounding 73%.
But all client outreach starts with an up-to-date CRM.
CRM: Now More Important Than Ever
The most valuable and cost-effective source of new business for a real estate agent comes from their sphere. A study by Buffini & Company showed that 82% of all real estate transactions come from repeat and referral business.
The study also found that for one in four agents, half of their business comes from repeat clients. One in five agents gets more than half their business from past client referrals. So why do agents pay $200 or more for an online lead when there is a goldmine in their own database?
Real estate is and always will be a relationship-driven business. The critical tech tool that manages agent relationships is a CRM.
A CRM's value cannot be overstated. Many top-producing agents find that nine out of every 10 referrals come from their sphere of influence, including past clients, friends, and family. Moreover, agents who earn $100,000 or more in gross commission income are more than twice as likely to use a CRM than agents who earn less, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Agents potentially will be spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month on advertising and promotion to reach new prospects — but their most significant source of future business is the people they already know.
A Brokerage Provided CRM
Brokerages provide more technology than ever to their agents, yet almost every tech tool — from CRM software to transaction management programs — feels and looks the same, regardless of the brokerage.
Many brokerages struggle to showcase their character and individuality through their tech offerings, so when it comes to recruiting and retention, nothing really stands out. Non-franchise brokerages, meanwhile, are usually independently minded. They want to provide tech tools that differentiate them from their competitors while also helping their agents grow their business. Unfortunately, what's often missing from that approach are the tech tools that can set the brokerages apart.
All that changes with a CRM solution from Delta Media Group. Delta is offering an industry first: CRMs that can be customized for every brokerage. The color, style, look, and feel of the Delta-provided CRM makes it your own. It also draws in agents who are able to see a customized product that is unlike anything else in real estate. With tech that's one-of-a-kind, agents will be inspired to do one-of-a-kind work as well.
Automation = Adoption
Real estate brokerages know that the best CRM is one that an agent will use. Yet, adoption remains the single most challenging barrier towards universal CRM usage.
To accomplish universal CRM usage among their agents, brokerages need their CRM to do a lot more than it does now. That's why Delta is integrating the newest technology into our easy-to-use platform, providing one-stop-shop tech that offers everything from automation and artificial intelligence to machine learning.
Automation is what will drive universal adoption. Take out any unnecessary steps, free up agent schedules, and suddenly, it's easier than ever for those same agents to accomplish everything on their to-do list. And as intelligent marketing tools are integrated with the DeltaNET CRM, the benefits for agent adoption will be universally compelling.
There are two keys for a brokerage CRM to be successful. First, every custom CRM that Delta Media Group creates for a brokerage must be easy to use. Second, the CRM also must reflect the independent brand of the brokerage.
Delta-provided CRMs are at the core of every agent marketing activity. Future innovations will make them even more robust. And when an independent brokerage uses a customized CRM, it helps that brokerage differentiate its brands.
Delta is building even more innovative marketing tools that will be fully integrated into every CRM we provide. These new tools will drive more social media connections and deliver more highly targeted direct marketing, email, and text campaigns that offer the right message to the right audience at the right time.
Everything will connect to one's CRM, and once independent brokerages can provide a unique CRM from their competition, we will move closer to universal CRM use.
Your neighborhood is at the heart of your business and at the heart of each buyer's decision-making process when they're considering where to purchase a home. Whether the buyer is part of a family looking for excellent schools, a retired couple looking for the ideal place to spend their golden years, or a younger buyer who wants to be close to the best local attractions, every one of your clients is looking for specific things from their neighborhood. Becoming a neighborhood expert is ultimately key to your success as a real estate agent. It's a great place to focus your energy and put yourself in a position for success as we turn the page to 2022.
Become a Neighborhood Expert
Why become a neighborhood expert? It starts with smart business. If you work in a big city, then focusing on one neighborhood can help you become the go-to, most recognized resource for real estate needs in that area. If you're in a smaller community where you cover multiple neighborhoods, then knowing the ins and outs of each makes it easier to help buyers find the perfect neighborhood to live, while allowing you to market homes for sellers more effectively by showcasing the perks of the neighborhood where each home is located.
Becoming a neighborhood expert also makes it easier to develop and focus your marketing. Integrate local SEO based on your neighborhoods to help your brand stand out where it matters most, send newsletters concentrated on specific aspects of the community, showcase your expertise on social media, build connections with local businesses, and become the face of real estate in the area. And that's just the start! When you're ready to become a neighborhood expert, here's how to get the job done.
Learn Everything You Can About the Neighborhood
The first step to becoming an expert is learning everything you can about the neighborhood. Some of that will come from online research, which helps you form an overview of the neighborhood. The rest comes from visiting in-person to learn all about the people and places that make the neighborhood special.
• MLS Data and Demographic Research
Start with the basics, learning all about the types of homes in the neighborhood, the value of local homes, and how long properties spend on the market. Then move on to learning all about the demographic data of the neighborhood to discover who lives there, who might like to move there, and how to shape your marketing.
• Exploring the Neighborhood and Connecting with Residents
There's no substitute for exploring the neighborhood on your own, starting conversations with residents, learning about the neighborhood from people who live there, and letting them know what you do for a living. Listen carefully to what residents have to say, and learn what they love about the neighborhood.
• Building Relationships with Local Businesses
Connecting with local business owners is a great way to learn more about what the neighborhood has to offer, build mutually beneficial relationships, establish your real estate expertise, and eventually earn referrals from key members of the community.
• Getting to Know Local Attractions and Key Services
Buyers will want to know what they can do for fun in the neighborhood and where they can find all of the critical services that they'll need. Learn all about the local amenities, along with school districts, parks, and other locations that will be of interest to clients.
• HOA and Town Council Meetings
Suppose you're focused on selling homes in specific housing developments. In that case, attending HOA meetings can be a powerful way to build relationships and learn more about the things that matter most to each development. However, if your eyes are set on a larger neighborhood, then attending town council meetings can help you accomplish the same goals.
How to Showcase Your Neighborhood Expertise and Boost Your Marketing
Now that you've got a handle on what makes your neighborhood special, it's time to put all of that knowledge to good use! Your real estate website, social media, and online marketing are all places where you'll want to show off your neighborhood expertise.
Email Newsletters with Neighborhood Info
Keep your clients up to date on all of the latest neighborhood news by sending regular email newsletters. These newsletters can cover the latest real estate trends in the area, provide advice for local homeowners, or feature fun and lighthearted content focused on the latest neighborhood happenings.
Giving Back to the Community
Becoming part of the neighborhood also means giving back to the community. Hosting local events like barbecues or block parties is a great way to show your love while presenting plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your real estate expertise to residents. You can also set up food drives, toy drives, or other events to give back to community members in need.
Take the Plunge and Live in the Neighborhood Yourself
While you can undoubtedly learn tons about a neighborhood and make yourself a known, trusted face in the community even if you don't live there, calling that neighborhood home can really help you take things to the next level. Becoming part of the community is all about building relationships and making yourself recognizable, which is much easier to accomplish when people see your face every day.
For new agents, this might be as simple as focusing on the neighborhood that you already call home. If you're an experienced agent and you have your eye on a neighborhood that you want to "own" for your real estate business, then it might be time to move there full-time. When you live in a neighborhood, wear branded gear, start conversations, and make sure everyone knows what you do for a living, you can become the resource that everyone in the community trusts when they have real estate needs.
Set Yourself Up for Success in 2022 with Neighborhood Expertise
New year, new you... new neighborhood? Whether you're starting fresh with a new neighborhood where you'll focus your energy or redoubling your efforts in your current location, now is the time to formulate your plan for a successful 2022. With so many ways to become a neighborhood expert and so many benefits to doing so, the only thing left to decide is where you'll plant your flag this year.