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.