With the economy on the brink of a potential recession and headwinds heading our way, now is as good of a time as any to evaluate how you can save money in your budget for 2022 and start planning for 2023. Some of the biggest expenses real estate brokerages face are with their online technology and digital marketing. With more than seven years of experience helping real estate firms consolidate their technology budgets, I'd like to share my experience on where to start this process.
First and foremost: recognize where you still need to spend. The worst thing you can do when evaluating where to make cuts is jeopardize your future growth. I have always been fond of the analogy: stepping over a dollar to chase pennies. I have seen brokerages make one huge mistake over and over again when looking to save money quickly. That mistake: cutting SEO/digital marketing expenses.
One area where Delta Media Group® specializes is search engine optimization. SEO is the most cost-effective long-term strategy to keep your brand visible in search engines and generate qualified leads online. Many brokerages fail to realize that SEO is not a silver bullet that grants immediate results. It typically takes three-to-six months to get an effective SEO campaign started. Think of it as getting a snowball ready and starting to push it down a hill. Once the ball rolls downhill, it accumulates more snow and gets bigger and bigger. SEO is the same way; the longer you do it correctly, the more Google rewards your domain and begins to feature it more often in the search results.
The problem that many brokerages don't realize is that you can't just stop doing SEO and expect those results to stay the same. If you've been conducting an effective SEO strategy for years and believe you can simply stop that spending without impacting your results and lead generation, you would be dead wrong. As I said, SEO is like a snowball, and the longer you do it effectively, the better your rewards will be in traffic and leads. Once you stop doing SEO effectively, Google is quick to slow down their crawling of your site, impacting site visibility, traffic, and leads. We have seen time and time again companies who spent tens of thousands of dollars for years on SEO simply stop doing it to tighten up budgets. Once that decision is made, the website domain loses all the traction they've spent years earning in as quickly as one month.
One example, I recently saw a brokerage of ours that was on our platform for more than five years. This company had tens of thousands of pages indexed in Google (which effectively means those were all pages Google had crawled and ranked, allowing people to find their website domain through Google's search engine). Within 30 days of stopping SEO services, their number of pages in Google's index had dropped to less than 3,600 pages. That is an 86% decrease in site visibility. For this particular brokerage, more than 60% of all leads generated on their website were attributed to organic traffic through SEO. This is a massive blow to the new listing and buyer lead opportunities that will no longer hit their site.
Another example is a brokerage partner of ours who ceased SEO in 2019. In early 2021 he shared with me that he could directly track more than $400,000 in lost GCI that he would've had if he had continued his SEO spend with us. He lost more than $400,000 in an effort to save money (his total spend was $2,000/month). I would spend $24,000 to make $400,000 every day of the week. This is a prime example of stepping over a dollar to chase pennies.
Another area you absolutely need to keep in mind when figuring out which expenses to keep versus cut is your CRM/online advertising. One of the first things I do when consulting with real estate brokerages to either make a switch to our platform or evaluate their existing package with us is to run a usage report to find out which tools are actually being used by their agents. Finding out which tools are being used versus which are not is the first step in recognizing what to cut or keep.
A major trend I'm seeing more and more in the real estate world is brokerages choosing what technology services to provide for their agents versus which tools the agents should be paying for themselves. For example, you may want to provide every single agent in your organization with a website + CRM solution. You can do that fairly affordably, but it may not make sense for your organization to provide every agent with a full suite of marketing tools that less than 30% of them use daily. There are options and packages available on the market today that would allow a brokerage to provide agents with a baseline technology package. It would also allow the agents to enter their own credit cards to purchase these additional technology services/offerings for themselves. The brokerage saves money, and the agents, who actually want to use these tools, can pay for it themselves. In this model, many brokerages will provide their top producers with the technology stack for free based on production.
Now let's talk about where to start looking to consolidate. I'll be the first to challenge the industry consultants who are continuing to push brokerages more and more towards a "best in class" type technology stack where companies are going out and purchasing premium products that are really just a feature. I believe some brokerages in the real estate vertical have been steered down a dangerous path over the last two years out of fear that has been conjured up by industry consultants looking to get as many technology vendors integrated with a real estate brokerage as possible. You don't need five different companies implemented to service your CRM, email marketing, website, property search, or listing notifications. It's an exorbitant expense to try and get five different vendors integrated and working together to do the work that any all-in-one platform could accomplish for a fraction of the price.
I will say it again. The all-in-one technology model is by far the most effective way to get a polished technology platform that will do everything you need it to do. The reality is technology platforms like the DeltaNET® can be both all-in-one and best in class. I know many brokerages fear "putting all the eggs in one basket" due to major technology acquisitions in the last decade. Look at Booj's acquisition by Re/Max, Compass acquiring Contactually, or, more recently, Propertybase getting acquired by LoneWolf. The simple fact of the matter is there are truly independent technology providers in the marketplace that have survived economic uncertainty and even have a guarantee to remain independent. In every Delta Media Group contract, there is a guarantee that CEO Michael Minard will remain the sole owner and operator of Delta, with protections for our clients that we will not sell.
Particularly in the last two years, I have seen many technology vendors enter the marketplace that do "just one thing really well." Premium email marketing companies or premium CRM services that charge an extremely high per-user fee should be some of the first vendors you evaluate cutting when looking to shore up budgets. Why spend $40/month for a stand-alone CRM product when other services on the marketplace can accomplish nearly the exact same functionality for a fraction of the cost? I have seen direct examples of brokerages that are spending more than $150 per agent per month on technology solutions that could be provided in an all-in-one platform like the DeltaNET for less than $30 per user per month.
It's not just CRM services, either. True "all-in-one" providers should be able to give you everything your business needs to run effectively. For example, you may not need to pay for a stand-alone "Automated Valuation Service" to be integrated into your website. For some companies, it's a product to sell. For true all-in-one providers like Delta Media Group, it's simply a feature built into our website services.
Another example of an area to look at when consolidating is CMA products. While many boards across the country offer a free CMA product included in their dues, there are also many markets where agencies are forced to go out and purchase their own CMA products. True all-in-one providers offer that as a feature of their services. We recently launched Delta Pitch, which is marketed as the industry's easiest-to-use CMA builder on the market. Customers on digital marketing packages with Delta Media Group received this CMA builder as a free add-on to their services, allowing them to save money by cutting other third-party CMA products.
One of the biggest expenses brokerages face is social media content. Making their brand and their agents look good on social media isn't cheap. There are entire companies whose sole focus is curating real estate content and publishing it to social channels. Within the DeltaNET, our brokerage partners receive automated social media postings to all their social channels included in our all-in-one package. It's not only "just listed" or "just sold" content, either. Our digital marketing team adds more than a dozen articles to our "My Customer for Life" newsletter platform each month. That content includes buyer, seller, and home improvement articles, which can automatically be shared to all of your agent's social media accounts. This is true content running to their channels at no additional expense.
Other areas to look at are open house management apps, learning management systems, automated listing videos/virtual tours, and enterprise file storage platforms. Within our all-in-one environment, we feature built-in services like Open House Connector, DeltaNET Academy, Properties in Motion, and Cloud Delta, all as integrated services bundled in with our digital marketing packages to save our customers money. If you were to piecemeal just these services, you would be spending more than $60 per user just for these four products. With an all-in-one provider, you get all of that and more.
The final area I want to highlight is paid advertising strategies. In our decades of experience with online advertising, we have seen brokerages with budgets over $400,000/year for online ads. While Pay Per Click and social media advertising spending are certainly effective, they often aren't accomplishing quite as much as you'd think. While I certainly don't advocate cutting your paid online spending entirely, I would challenge you to consider where you spend your money for online ads. Spending $2,500 on Facebook Ads versus Google Pay Per Click advertising will yield entirely different results. In our experience, social advertising will greatly boost the total number of visitors to your site; however, it will have a minimal impact on lead generation.
On the other hand, spending that money on Google PPC will yield much less traffic to the site, but you're likely to generate significantly more leads. These leads will not be as qualified as organic traffic from SEO efforts; however, they are still leads nonetheless. If the goal is more brand impressions, then social advertising is the way to go. If the goal is immediate lead generation, you're better off spending the money on PPC. If the goal is a long-term quality lead strategy, you're better off putting that budget into SEO. Clients on our platform typically see an average cost per lead of $2.00-$10.00 from SEO strategies, while you may see an average of $20-$30 per paid lead with PPC strategies.
If you're looking for help or want to know how to analyze the technology products your brokerage has in place and consolidate those services to save money, please reach out to me through email@example.com or give us a call at 866-233-9833.
What is it about established, top-producing real estate agents that no matter what's happening in the real estate market – higher interest rates, lower inventory – they still thrive?
It comes down to how top producers approach their business. They often do things other real estate agents don't do when the market shifts. They also avoid doing things many agents are prone to do, especially when a great market tightens.
As a broker/owner, can you imagine what impact it could have on your business if you could harness the good habits of your top producers for more of your agents?
Let's look at four secrets to success that many top producers share:
1. Top producers have well-honed systems and processes. They execute a steady stream of actions and activities daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. Top producers embrace the adage, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
Planning out each day, creating and executing activities needed to achieve your goals each week, revisiting those goals monthly, and reviewing them annually to prepare for the next year are crucial to success. But most importantly, one of the most common traits among top producing agents is that they have a system. For most, it has taken them years, if not decades, to create, implement, and perfect.
But other agents have something available today that most top producers did not have when they started: a system instantly available to use. So, agents don't need to create a new system because we have already built it for them.
Today's all-in-one DeltaNET® platform can deliver the system agents need to become top producers. Most automated features take just minutes to "set and forget." The content and processes are available inside the DeltaNET platform. Once in place, these marketing campaigns automatically keep agents in front of their sphere.
Most importantly, agents don't need to maintain, improve, or add to their DeltaNET system; we do that for them.
Agents can adopt a platform that took tens of thousands of development hours and more than $40 million to create as their system.
A great example of how agents can use DeltaNET as their system comes from Key Realty in Toledo, OH. Donika was recruited from a small brokerage with a half-dozen agents early last year. During the first six months, she sold three listings.
In June 2021, Donika adopted the DeltaNET platform – white-labeled KeyWorld – embracing it entirely as her system. She first loaded 150 contacts into her CRM and started using the marketing tools built into the platform.
In the second half of 2021, Donika posted 37 more transactions. Remarkably, 30 of those deals, or 80% of her new business, came from DeltaNET marketing tools.
Donika is a "true believer" in DeltaNET – her top-producing system – and is now training others at Key Realty, sharing how she transformed her business with its marketing tools and ready-to-send content.
2. Top producers remain consistent. When the market turns, watch top producers' behavior and then look at what other agents are doing. When market conditions make it more challenging to generate new business, top producers never hunker down – they double down.
One of the first things that happens when a market tightens, other agents will start to cut costs. They are paralyzed and stop doing many of the things they did before. These agents mirror a self-fulfilling prophecy: the market is tough, so my business will drop. And guess what? It does!
Top producers put on blinders and ear plugs. They ignore herd instinct. By disregarding the noise around them, they continue to do what they have been doing. Top producers do those same things throughout every market change and type. And sometimes, they do even more. They understand that when everyone else is panicking, the ones who remain calm and steady are the ones who are going to thrive.
Consistency is easy to maintain when an agent fully uses the DeltaNET platform. Take our My Customer for Life (MCFL) campaign. All an agent needs to do to generate new business from this automated program is set it up once and continue to "feed the bear" by adding new contacts as they build their spheres.
Think about it. Using DeltaNET's MCFL campaign, a new agent can get an average open rate of over 60 percent! Most marketing emails are lucky to bring about a third of that. And that's just one program.
In DeltaNET, a single click can create new Delta Pitch CMAs. Agents can automate social media campaigns with Social Connector and benefit from powerful websites that are lead generation machines. At the core of DeltaNET is the most powerful and easiest-to-use CRM integrated into everything.
Leveraging all the features and benefits of DeltaNET makes it painless for agents to remain consistent throughout every real estate cycle.
Here may be the best part: with the work that Delta Media Group® tech developers are close to completing, every agent will benefit from more automation, more artificial intelligence, and more machine learning. That means more time spent face-to-face with clients and less time sitting in front of a screen.
3. Top producers measure and adjust. Gone are the days of using newspaper ads to promote listings as a "go-to" marketing tool. Top producing agents also know that recipe postcards are not the best way to stay in front of their clients. And leaving self-promotional flyers or business cards on a neighbor's doorknob or front porch is unlikely to win any business.
Yesterday's marketing tactics have one thing in common: they are nearly impossible to measure their effectiveness.
That's no longer true with digital marketing, which is the backbone of most top producers' marketing programs today. The best thing about digital marketing for real estate isn't that it works. It's that you can measure it.
And sometimes, like all types of advertising and promotion, digital marketing doesn't work. But unlike your old newspaper ads that didn't work either, you can track and see when digital marketing isn't working.
While top producers may have the luxury of having more marketing dollars to spend, they want to spend those dollars wisely. Of course, no one wants to throw good money after bad, but if you're not measuring – or can't measure – your marketing effectiveness, you may very well be.
DeltaNET automatically monitors and tracks agent digital marketing activity. That's the benefit of having an all-in-one, fully integrated platform: to see how things are going in real-time.
If you can measure your marketing, then you can adjust it, and that's what top producers often do. When something isn't working, they can replace it or tweak it until it does.
Most importantly, because DeltaNET shows you what works well, you can do more of that and less of what's not working. If you don't track and adjust your marketing efforts like a top producer, you may be throwing good money after bad – and not even know it!
4. Top producers respond quickly. Technology can be a mixed blessing when it comes to customer service. Many brokers and agents attempt to leverage technology to generate new leads. But the challenge remains industry-wide that too many leads go untouched.
Studies continue to find a disconnect between agents and lead responsiveness. Potential customers expect a rapid response. Yet several studies show that over 40% of internet-generated leads of potential customers never got a response.
When we live in an age where a customer expects a response in five minutes or less and most agents respond hours – or days – later, a great customer experience is lost. Top producers understand the short-term value and the long-term importance of a quick response. They see every inquiry as a potential opportunity to create future business. By treating everyone well today, they start the relationship off right and may have the chance to work with them tomorrow.
Every inquiry becomes a potential customer when you have a system that helps you generate and manage leads – like the DeltaNET platform. Every prospect can be added to your CRM database, allowing you to stay in touch with even the coldest leads. Top producers will tell you that if you incubate those cold leads, they will warm up and one day be a hot prospect.
One thing is certain: if you don't respond quickly, you will likely lose potential business, which is something top producers understand.
Turn more of your agents into top producers
Every agent has a go-to marketing tool or tactic that they rely on to maintain current connections and generate new ones. But when they embrace more tools and implement new tactics, they develop a lot more business.
The DeltaNET platform can help more of your agents become top producers. When agents do more within DeltaNET, they get more in return. Innovations in automation speed up their ability to work smarter, not harder. All agents have to do is just set something up once, and their DeltaNET system does the rest.
Real estate is an industry of perseverance and adaptability. Market trends can shift in what feels like an instant, leaving agents to sort out what comes next in both good and challenging times. The most successful agents know that there's always a rainbow waiting at the end of a storm for those willing to work for it and take proactive steps to bring about positive outcomes.
There are countless stories of agents adapting, meeting challenges head-on, and creating new opportunities even in difficult times. Here are five ways agents have spun tough times into gold and emerged with new tools for growing their businesses.
One temptation during tough times is to hunker down, cut back on expenses, and wait for things to change. While the idea of cutting back and saving can be a good one, your marketing budget is not the place to do it. In fact, one key way to thrive in tough times is to double down on marketing, open up new channels for lead generation, and diversify your marketing plan.
If your old marketing plan worked well enough in good times but isn't delivering the same results now, then it's time to try something new. If you relied primarily on traditional marketing in the past, now is the time to embrace digital marketing. If there are blind spots in your digital marketing plan, now is the time to fill them with proven tactics that work with a modern audience.
You don't have to throw out the marketing tactics that have served you well to this point, but you should always be looking for new opportunities for promoting your real estate brand. More marketing can help get you through tough times and provide more opportunities to maximize your success during the best of times.
Are you reaching the right people with the right message at the right time? It's a fundamental market question that becomes even more important when times are tough. Segmenting your sphere of influence can help you create a clearer picture of what each segment of your audience wants, how best to reach them, and how to convert more leads into clients.
Think about it similarly to how you would consider segmenting leads. Some are ready for action right now, some will require more nurturing before they're ready to make a decision, and some can safely be put on the back burner until they move closer to making a real estate transaction. Once you understand where each lead — or segment of your sphere — stands, it's so much easier to reach them with the right message at the right time.
Segmenting your sphere can also help you uncover opportunities that you may have missed when looking at the whole picture. This can prove especially valuable during tough times when every advantage you can create matters more than ever.
Real estate clients and prospects have more information at their fingertips than ever before, which can be both a blessing and a curse. It's great for them to be able to research data, trends, and information on their own, but not every so-called "fact" online is as true as it may seem. That's where you can enter the picture, add value for your audience, and make a real difference during tough times.
Your real estate expertise isn't just an asset in your day-to-day business interactions. It also allows you to create content that debunks the many myths and overblown headlines that your audience encounters. Even when a client comes to you with good information, you can provide context that no quick online news article or social media headline can match. Your expertise is great for helping individual clients and for your marketing as a whole. Leveraging your expertise to help clients endure tough times can boost your business when needed most.
It's easy to treat social media like just another item on your daily to-do list. Pop in, like a few posts, maybe share a link or two, then call it a day. Job done, on to the next task. It's not just common among agents. Brands and service providers of all types are prone to making the same mistakes and then wondering why social media isn't generating the business that it should. After all, they blocked out time, invested their 15 or 30 minutes per day, and made a token effort to connect with their followers.
Think about the brands and businesses that you follow on social. How many are memorable for the right reasons, and how many simply fade into the background of your busy newsfeed?
If you want better results on social media, then you need to use your time as wisely as the agents who make the most of their social influence. Invest more time participating in conversations, answering questions, and engaging with your audience directly. Rather than simply liking a few posts, jump into local groups and start building meaningful connections. Encourage your audience to ask questions that matter to them, and create content that provides answers to the most common questions. When you share content, follow it up with a conversation.
Generating engagement on social media requires effort, but the results are more than worth the time spent. The meaningful connections you build on social media can be an incredibly valuable source of leads and referrals in tough times.
Do you ever feel like all of the marketing you encounter looks the same? Same message, same template, same look, same value proposition. Now imagine being a seller in a competitive market, receiving countless postcards, emails, and online ads from local real estate agents making the same exact pitch to list your home with them. Try putting yourself in the position of a buyer who has indicated an interest in local listings and faced a similar marketing barrage.
Wouldn't you start to tune things out if you were in their shoes? Creativity matters in marketing, especially when trying to stand out in a crowded real estate market.
The suite of tools in DeltaNET® provides everything you need to get creative with your marketing and outreach. Leads not responding to emails? Try SMS text messaging for a quicker, more convenient communication option. Having trouble keeping up with leads long-term? Use our CRM to store the vital information you need to plan your marketing and use customizable eCards to reach out on meaningful days. Use email drip campaigns to keep leads warm over time and AI-driven newsletters to easily provide the market data that your audience wants to see.
DeltaNET is also packed with integrations that include dozens of marketing platforms, from big-name standards like YouTube to specialized real estate marketing tools. There's no end to how you can flex your creative marketing muscles, and creativity is one of your greatest assets for spinning tough times into success stories.
In Tough Times and Good Times, Never Stop Striving to be Your Best
There are many lessons to be taken from agents who have faced adversity head-on and spun tough times into gold. The first, most important lesson is that there's always hope for better outcomes, as long as you're willing to keep trying, innovating, and using creativity to overcome challenges. Tough times are ultimately what we make of them, and there are always silver linings if you're willing to search for them. Sometimes, you might even have to create those silver linings yourself.
Another valuable lesson to be taken from these experiences is that you don't have to wait for tough times to refresh your approach to attracting and retaining clients. Taking an honest, self-aware look at what's working, what's not, and what could be improved is something you can do at any time. No matter how successful your marketing and outreach may be in the best of times, there's always room to improve. That way, even when times are tough, you'll be ready to embrace the challenges, adapt, and continue to thrive.
When a real estate agent enters the field with a newly minted license, what's the first thing they do? Generally, before they set up a website, print business cards, or anything else, they start telling everyone they know — "I'm a real estate agent now!"
This approach is natural. After all, you start off with no connections besides the people you know. As the #1 second career in America, everyone comes to real estate with their own unique network and background. And strong relationships are the key to lasting success.
But there is one little way in which this time-honored tradition backfires: The average person doesn't just know one real estate agent. They know three or four.
How can they decide who gets their business once they're actually in the market? It might come down to their relationship with the individual or to their specialization. But whatever the case may be, you can't guarantee you'll get work even from people you know.
Now, extend that out to all the thousands of people in your community. Everyone knows real estate agents, and some have agents in their own families. Even if you have a foot in the door, the key to building and sustaining a relationship is maintaining your visibility. You can't meet in person with every lead or be on the phone all the time, so you need a variety of methods.
You Need Life-Long Customer Relationships, Not Business "Up for Grabs"
Even though the average client knows many real estate agents, they don't always use that knowledge. In fact, most clients only interview one agent. Usually, they've done online research on several — but in the end, the first person to get the call is the one who closes an agreement. What happens after that? Sadly, it's more bad news for the average agent.
Although 87% of people surveyed say they would be glad to use the same agent again, unfortunately, only a small percentage actually do. In part, that's because it may take anywhere from three to seven years for them to re-enter the market. During that time, they may have made plans to move far out of their original agent's service area. But more often, they've simply forgotten that person's name.
After a few years, who can blame them? So, no matter what stage you've reached in your business, you need to be a consistent presence — what industry experts call "staying top of mind." You know you're top of mind for someone if your name instantly comes to mind when they think about a real estate agent. That's a challenging process — but it's far from impossible. By combining the right techniques and technology, you can get there.
"Top of Mind" in the Digital Age
It wasn't all that long ago when real estate agents who wanted to stay top of mind used giveaways like branded pens or refrigerator magnets. The idea was that, as you used or saw these objects daily, they acted as built-in reminders about the professionals in your community.
Nowadays, branded merchandise is quickly lost. Although most brokerages issue business cards for all of their agents and brokers, a declining percentage of customers have a dedicated space to keep them. No single touchpoint or piece of memorabilia can do the whole job of staying top of mind. Instead, you need to make your own positive imprint on your community.
When you raise your community profile, the people whose lives you've impacted will help do the work of marketing and advertising for you. More people will know who you are, what you do, and whom you serve, ensuring that they point the way to your brand when others need you.
Likewise, a strategic effort to raise your community profile means people you've worked with in the past have more opportunities to become re-acquainted with you, even years later, and are less likely to forget about you. Combined with a customer retention plan, you'll grow your business faster.
Staying top of mind is much easier with the right technology in your corner. A modern Customer Relationship Management platform provides a sound foundation to build your entire approach.
Even so, that's only the beginning. When you decide to elevate your community profile, you yourself are your greatest marketing asset. You're giving people the opportunity to meet you and learn all about the unique value you can provide – but it's crucial to do that in a sustainable and scalable way.
Get Familiar With All the Features of DeltaNET®
One of the most challenging parts of presenting your brand to the community is finding the right way to manage all the different aspects of marketing your services. With so many options to choose from, real estate agents need something that can cut through the clutter and illuminate opportunities. The DeltaNET real estate CRM does just that.
By providing an AI-driven, all-in-one center of excellence for marketing and advertising, it helps you maintain complete visibility into your network. You'll always know who your prospects, leads, and customers are, where they stand in any pending transactions, and when to follow up.
With information unified in one place, it's much easier to develop approaches that make a winning difference. DeltaNET enables you to plan, fine-tune, and execute marketing campaigns in a matter of minutes. They can run one time or continue for months with minimal oversight. That ensures consistent, targeted communication to everyone in your community.
Here are some approaches that have worked for real estate professionals just like you:
1. Flyers for Sponsorships and Events
A community's most prominent real estate brands often build their reputation on involvement in events and causes that make a difference in the local area. Whether it's a holiday soup kitchen or an annual 5K run for cancer research, every location has events that make up the unique texture of its culture.
Whether you'll be sponsoring an event or planning your own, DeltaNET can help you with the digital and print materials you'll need. Not only can you publicize your events through email, social media, and more, but you can also collect registration details on attendees and "no shows" for future follow-up.
2. Local Content and Collateral
Any community presents countless opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration. The more you know about local restaurants, clubs, theaters, and other amenities, the easier it is to cross-promote. A real estate agent can also make a positive difference in high school sports and other organizations.
When someone is contemplating a big move, they're not just choosing a piece of property. They're also making an important choice about the community, amenities, and people who will shape their future. A local expert like you can help them make an informed decision by developing targeted content.
3. Neighborhood Newsletters
When it's time to get granular, DeltaNET is there for you. Whether you specialize in buying or selling, a common tool used by many real estate agents is the Neighborhood Report. Sellers need it to know how a home should be priced, while buyers use it to understand their options.
Designing, researching, and writing a neighborhood report is traditionally a major undertaking that can soak up several days of work — and by the time you finish, your data might be out of date. But with a white label Market Watch Report, it generates directly from DeltaNET.
4. Automated, Event-Driven Social Updates
Of all the different professionals posting on social media today, it's undeniable that real estate agents have the biggest opportunity to yield consistent sales and revenue from their activity. Still, efficiency counts; you don't want to spend hour after hour on Instagram or Facebook.
Luckily, you don't have to. With DeltaNET, you can send instant hands-off updates to your social media feed regarding important events. When listings go live, details change, or there is an upcoming open house, your audience will know.
A sterling community reputation as a real estate agent may take years to earn. But the best time to start is always now, and you don't have to do all the legwork yourself. The right technology will save you time and effort.
At its heart, real estate is about relationships. It's a marketing occupation. Agents are tasked with communicating the facts, supporting informed decisions, and ultimately, stirring customers to action.
Not all agents are "born marketers." Real estate consistently ranks as the #1 second career in the United States. People join from all walks of life, but each is tasked with the same challenge: learn how to get through to their customers and motivate and inspire them.
It should come as no surprise that most agents have a few tried-and-true marketing methods they go back to time and time again. These methods usually represent the first few things that worked for them when they were new to the industry.
At the very beginning, some agents are anxious about marketing their services. Others aren't but consistently find other priorities to focus on. That means agents can proceed far into a career without developing a versatile base of marketing tools.
Getting Agents to Adopt New Marketing Tools Can be a Matter of Perspective
There's always something new to learn in real estate. And once someone has plenty of leads, active transactions, and former customers to stay in touch with, they need to prioritize that all.
Under these conditions, many agents leave marketing on the backburner. But marketing isn't a "nice-to-have," it's a must-have. It extends a brand's reach in the community and helps ensure the people you help understand just what you can do for them.
Ideally, all agents within a brokerage would be contributing to the marketing strategy in some way. But that doesn't mean that every agent needs to embrace all the bits and pieces of marketing. On the contrary, it simply means they should expand their existing specialization – taking one step out of their comfort zone.
After all, marketing is most effective when it's consistent. If an agent tries something new but doesn't stick with it, it won't make a dent. They won't have opportunities to see real results, and that time is as good as wasted. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Marketing automation technology makes the whole prospect easier. Even agents who've been stuck in a rut when it comes to their marketing endeavors can turn over a new leaf when they see just how easy automated real estate marketing can be.
With the right technology in play, you never have to worry about starting from scratch with marketing. Something that seems complex, like email or social media marketing, can be distilled into simple steps that take only minutes a day rather than hours.
Plus, once you've begun to experiment, it's much easier to see what's working and what's not. Digital marketing provides you with the powerful advantage of clear, comprehensible data that always tells you what resonates with your audience. That helps you make the most of your valuable time.
Modern Real Estate Marketing Automation is Straightforward and Approachable
Your real estate agents are already doing their best to manage their time and optimize their efforts. To get them excited about new marketing approaches, you need to offer them a new perspective – one they've never considered before. That's precisely what Delta Media Group® technology does for you.
Combining thousands of hours of work with input from agents and brokers all over the United States, Delta Media Group designed the world's first Customer Relationship Management suite built entirely around the unique needs of the real estate industry.
Customer Relationship Management aims to provide full visibility into your network, including leads, customers, and past customers who might use your services again. But our solution goes a step further by incorporating artificial intelligence for marketing automation.
With marketing automation, it only takes about an hour to set up an all-new marketing campaign using a method you might never have attempted before. After that, ongoing monitoring of your efforts could take as little as a few minutes a day, preventing marketing from becoming a time sink.
Even agents who don't consider themselves technologically savvy can extend their marketing reach and incorporate new techniques. The end result is more leads, more first-time appointments, and ultimately, more satisfied customers. Plus, the DeltaNET® CRM even supports your customer retention strategy. Let's take a closer look at some of the most popular marketing approaches DeltaNET has packed in:
Email is one of the most efficient and cost-effective real estate marketing tactics, providing more than $30 in ROI for every dollar. Yet, many agents and brokers don't take advantage of it. Worries about data privacy rules and other potential complications hold them back.
With My Customer for Life, you can remain in constant contact with subscribers, sending each one helpful and informative articles based on their interests. That deepens your brand relationship and helps establish credibility, which is essential for those who have not yet reached out to you.
When closing day arrives, My Customer for Life continues to deliver value. Past customers can enter their own "segment" on your email list, learn about home improvement and interior design, and get the most from their investment until they are ready to buy again.
Market research is the foundation of any agent's local expertise. It's crucial to know your comps whenever you're looking at a new property for sale. Yet, compiling all this information takes hours of effort. By the time you have the facts, they can be well on their way to changing.
With Market Watch Reports, you get all the market information you need in one accurate, timely package. They fully illuminate the latest sales activity in an area, from a single street or block to a large metroplex. It takes only seconds to produce the report, and it's always based on accurate intelligence.
Market Watch Reports provide a powerful asset for pricing customer properties, but that's only one use. They can be fully white-labeled and presented to leads or customers at any stage of the journey. One of these reports is often the perfect incentive to join your email marketing list.
Social media has immense power, but it also brings its perils. There's no doubt that professionals in real estate get more bottom-line revenue opportunities from social media than anyone else online. But that hardly makes a difference if it takes hours and hours to derive those benefits. Instead of spending hours on social media, Social Media Ad Wizard can condense your investment to just a few minutes per day. You can plan, perfect, and monitor Facebook social media advertising for all of your most promising properties. It all happens within a single, convenient view.
Even if you've never used digital advertising before, Social Media Ad Wizard will have you off to a running start in a fraction of the time. You'll see exactly which ads are performing and how you can improve them to get even better results, potentially cutting weeks off your timeline to attract buyers.
Reduce the Learning Curve and Make Modern Digital Marketing Part of Your "Go-To" Toolkit
Any method becomes a "go-to" when you know it works. At one time or another, every one of those methods was still unfamiliar. With a willingness to learn, any team member can master all-new ideas that will make them more successful.
Digital marketing doesn't need to be intimidating. Any agent, at any stage in their career, can benefit. The key is having the right tools, support, and motivation. We provide the first two, and you can light the spark for the last when you engage your team members with their marketing opportunities.
Doing something new doesn't mean you need to give up on what's worked well in the past. Digital marketing automation saves so much time that new and old methods can co-exist seamlessly. Pursue one new idea for a quarter, and you'll see it gain traction and begin to produce real results.
It's never too late to try something new with your real estate marketing, but the best time to begin is always right now. Instead of starting from scratch or reinventing the wheel, use the right technology to accelerate your results – and keep you on the steady path until you get the ROI you want.
What does a real estate firm have in common with the greatest hockey player to ever lace up a pair of skates? More than you might think. In sports, your opponent rarely cooperates with your best-laid plans, and more often than not, success requires innovating on the fly. In real estate, so much of what we do is dictated by both market and broader economic trends. What works one month may be outdated the next, and what works in one type of market may fall flat in another. So how do you get ahead when there's so much inherent uncertainty to contend with within the industry?
Wayne Gretzky said it best: "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."
Anticipate, adapt, and thrive. Think one step ahead of what your opponent – or the market – is doing right now, and gain advantages that others miss. In challenging markets, the best aren't satisfied with the status quo. They discover ways to adapt and thrive while others are busy burying their heads in the sand.
When your competition is clinging to the way things have always been or sticking only to the strategies that worked in the past, you have a natural opening to innovate. A willingness to try new things, adapt to shifts in the market and reexamine the effectiveness of old habits gives you a substantial advantage over competitors who aren't willing to do those things.
But if it were as easy as "skating to where the puck will be," why doesn't everyone do it? One reason is that you run the risk of being wrong. But is that really so scary? After all, even Gretzky sometimes missed the mark. The occasional miss is simply the cost of doing business and staying one step ahead of the competition.
You can keep going to where the puck was and get the same results. Or you can skate to where the puck is going, dictate what happens next, and unlock opportunities that your competitors don't even see.
The Time to Innovate is Right Now
If you look at a challenging market as an opportunity, you will see possibilities where others see roadblocks. Before you can innovate, however, it's wise to take stock of how things are right now. One easy place to start is with your marketing. Which marketing activities are generating the most qualified leads? How well are you segmenting leads, and what steps are you taking to convert leads at varying stages of their real estate journey? Are you taking advantage of all of the modern marketing channels available to reach new clients?
These questions are always worth asking, no matter what the market looks like. Discovering what tactics are and aren't working is the first step toward adapting to what comes next. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as doing more of what works and less of what doesn't. At other times, success is all about embracing new ideas.
Here are a few adaptable marketing tactics and tools that every agent should have in their toolkit:
The right real estate CRM makes life much easier for your agents and their clients. You want a CRM that provides easy access to all of the modern marketing tools that agents need to connect with clients and prospects. Of course, you also want your agents to take advantage of everything your CRM offers. This may require some training for less tech-savvy agents or experimentation for agents who are already more comfortable with technology. When agents see the value that the CRM has for marketing, easily accessing client information, and maintaining strong relationships, they should be happy to integrate it into their daily workflow.
Just like with real estate markets, trends with social media can change quite quickly. One thing that doesn't change is how valuable social is for connecting with modern real estate prospects and clients. There are so many effective platforms for social media marketing, which makes it easier for agents to find a platform that suits both their needs and the needs of their clients. If your agents aren't making the most of social media marketing, now is the time to change that and reap the benefits.
What do you do with the prospects who aren't quite ready to make a real estate transaction right now but seem primed to need your services in the relatively near future? Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch, stay top of mind, and be ready to convert when the time is right. Email drip campaigns make it easy to stay in touch through informative, automated email marketing tailored to each client. AI-driven newsletters are ideal for keeping clients up to date on market trends and helping prospects see when the time is right to plan their next move.
A high-quality, feature-rich real estate website is the essential tool that you have for connecting with the vast majority of clients who start their search for real estate services online. It's where people go to search listings, consume your content, learn about your team, and discover all that you have to offer. If you feel like your website could use a "fresh coat of paint," now is the time to get a website that helps your brand stand out from the competition.
People aren't just searching for real estate agents, firms, and listings online. More than ever, they expect to be able to tour a listing in-depth from the comfort of their favorite devices. Virtual open houses, showings, and tours make it easy for buyers to fall in love with homes and for sellers to maximize the marketing impact of their listings.
Providing Your Agents With the Tools and Skills to Thrive
Just like with your business, your agents should be asking themselves questions about what works, what doesn't, and what could be improved. Every agent has strengths, and every agent has some things that they would probably like to do better. Of course, agents shouldn't be alone in their pursuit for improvement, or for new agents, their adjustment to the real estate industry as a whole.
Providing the necessary training, resources, and continuing education for your agents should always be a priority. If you want agents who adapt, you need to give them the tools to do so. The right training can make all the difference for new agents who are trying to gain a foothold in the industry. Continuing education keeps experienced agents fresh while allowing them to adapt more easily to the ever-changing nature of the real estate industry.
It's important to note that training doesn't just apply to agents' day-to-day actions to serve their clients. All the marketing tools mentioned above become much more valuable when agents are trained in how to use them and shown how each tool can help them attract new business. The best agents never stop learning, and the most successful real estate firms provide them with the tools to do just that.
Making Your Investments Work For You
Anticipation isn't the only thing that separates once-in-a-lifetime athletes like Wayne Gretzky from their peers. The most successful people in any field tend to invest in themselves and work hard to maximize the value of every investment that they make. In sports, that may mean investing in the latest tools to keep their bodies in great shape and the best trainers to help them hone their already sharp skills.
In real estate, that investment comes in the form of the many marketing tools that we've mentioned so far and the educational resources that you provide to your team to help them maximize their skills. The ability to adapt, adjust, and go where the puck is going doesn't come about by accident. It's a result of the investments you make in your team and the investments that each team member makes in developing their own real estate skills.
This time around, instead of offering some advice or action items related to running a real estate business (I'm hardly an expert in that regard, anyway), I wanted to explore some of what goes into developing new functionality in the DeltaNET®. Specifically, we run into hurdles when designing the functionality before any technical ones even come into play.
We love to build out new functionality based on customer feedback and requests. After all, our customers are the ones actually using the platform and working in the industry it's meant to support, so they are the ones most likely to see its shortcomings or where the opportunities for growth lie. However, some challenges to this software development approach weren't immediately obvious to me as my role at Delta Media Group® changed from one related to support and training to one that is more deeply ingrained in the direction of the DeltaNET itself. Simply put, "you don't know what you don't know."
My time in technical support has made me deeply familiar with the concept overall. If you really don't know anything about an issue or a process that's having a problem, you don't even know what questions to ask to troubleshoot it. It turns out that the same concept applies to designing new functionality. For example, if I wanted to design software that simulates the flight path of paper airplanes, but I knew nothing about paper airplane flight mechanics, I wouldn't know what the software should take into account when creating the simulation. This is where the research begins.
If there is some existing software out there that does something similar to what I'm trying to do, I can start my research there. Not to make my own version of what they're doing (because what would be the point?) but to gain some insight into the context of the problem I want my software to solve. This isn't always an option, though. Sometimes, you are designing something completely novel, so there's nothing in existence with which you can compare. In that case, you move straight to the next step, and you consult an expert.
Software developers are experts in developing software, not necessarily the industry where that software is meant to be used. Therefore, they need to rely on the expertise of people that work in that field to know what to build and how to build it. It sounds straightforward enough, but in practice, that's where some interesting issues come up. It turns out that, in addition to not knowing what you don't know, when you're an expert on some subject matter, you often don't know what you do know either.
To stick with our paper airplane example (because who doesn't love a good paper airplane?), if you're out there designing and flying paper airplanes every day, much of what you do to make one fly well has become automatic to you. Suppose someone came to you and asked, what are the most important elements to consider when designing a new model? In that case, you might be able to point out the shape of the wing and the weight distribution from the folds in the paper immediately, but you've been folding in the tip of the airplane on every model for so long that it's become second nature. You then leave out that detail because it's just so obvious to you that it doesn't come to mind. This leads to version 1 of the software leaving it out, too, so nothing flies quite right. This is why it's so important to think through every element of a feature in as much detail as possible when designing something new.
Try as you might, but you'll never think of everything the first time around. That's why it's important to create things with as much flexibility as possible. And even if you do manage to think of everything the first time around when designing new functionality, times change. Maybe a few years down the road, a new kind of paper will hit the market that turns the whole paper airplane-making convention right on its head (it's a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea). We need to be able to account for those kinds of changes.
Even though many of our features and revisions come from customer feedback, unfortunately, not everything can make the cut. Keep in mind that something that sounds like a good idea on paper might either not work or not be particularly useful in practice. More commonly, ideas will come in that just lack insight into the bigger picture. It's a great idea by itself, but when it comes to implementing it into the larger platform, it either doesn't make sense or just doesn't make sense exactly as presented. In an ideal world, everyone would get exactly what they want, but when it comes down to it, leaving out some things will result in a more reliable and well-rounded system overall, to the benefit of everyone using it.
We have to make this tradeoff to have the best overall platform. So just remember, if you're one of those customers sending us your feedback and good ideas, even if we don't implement your idea, that doesn't mean there isn't value in it. Elements of your idea influence the platform and how we think about what we add to it. Also, consider it an idea that might not be a good fit today but could still become one in the future. We may never find perfection, but we'll never stop striving for it, either. And every idea, suggestion, or bit of feedback gets us closer. So, keep them coming.
We all admire forward thinkers: people who envision what others are incapable of seeing.
When I think of forward thinkers, I think of people like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and Elon Musk, just to name a few. I still remember back in 1997 when Steve Jobs put an end to the Newton. I loved the Newton but didn't like how it had to be docked to a computer to synchronize all the data. Later on, when Steve Jobs opened up about why he put an end to the Newton, which was very popular at the time, he said that it was because he envisioned a device that could be connected wirelessly and synchronize wirelessly in real-time. And, since the Newton couldn't do this, it didn't make sense to him. That sounds funny today, but in 1997 it was crazy thinking, and Steve Jobs got blasted for getting rid of the Newton. We now know that he was envisioning something much bigger. That something ultimately turned out to be the iPod and then the iPhone. It was certainly forward thinking in 1997.
So, what does forward thinking mean to you and me?
For me, forward thinking is about all aspects of my business, including the products we develop and the market we serve. For you, I want to focus on forward thinking about our market: the general real estate market.
I recently had a conversation with someone I know that's in the real estate business, and we discussed how he believes that home ownership has dramatically changed for Baby Boomers. We also talked about how it will have big effects on the real estate market for the next 10 years because of all the conveniences available today. Think about someone in their 70s or 80s. Just five years ago, if they couldn't get around very well, they would most likely sell their home and move into some sort of assisted living facility. However, today, with the ability to have groceries delivered, see the doctor virtually, have medication delivered, meals delivered, etc., their lives are very different, and they have choices they didn't have just three or four years ago.
So much has changed in how people live, and those changes have lasting effects on the real estate industry.
I used to joke a few years ago that I'm not sure that homes will continue to need garages because of self-driving technology. Someday, I'm not sure exactly when, but someday when self-driving technology gets mature enough, many people will choose to no longer own vehicles because there will be ride-share services with self-driving cars. So, when this day comes, does it mean that the average suburban home no longer has a three-car garage and only has a one-car garage for the "classic" non-self-driving weekend vehicle? Will the homes have more living space?
Who would have considered that people would become interested in homes with two offices two years ago? Yet today, it's quite common for people to want a home with one formal office and another room (usually an unused bedroom) that acts as the second home office. This is because two people now work remotely instead of from office buildings.
I could continue giving examples, but what you and I need to do is look at all the changes going on around us and think about how these changes can affect the real estate market. Even though you may not be able to predict the future, just thinking about it on a regular basis makes you more prepared for the changes when they come.
To close out my thoughts, I challenge you to envision home ownership in the year 2030. What features does the home have? What services do the homeowners want? At what age are people buying and selling homes? Envision all aspects of home ownership in 2030, then envision what kind of business you need to have to serve the real estate market and how this may change the scope of your business.
One thing is certain: things are changing.
Assisting buyers and sellers from Northport to Stony Brook to Garden City, Coach Realtors has been providing luxury on Long Island for nearly 70 years.
In 1954, two friends who met during World War II created a small one-office firm called Coach Realtors. Around 1980, Coach Realtors merged with another small firm, Northport Realty, owned by Lawrence and Georgianna Finn. Now led by Lawrence and Georgianna's children, Whitney Finn-LaCosta and Lawrence P. (LP) Finn, Coach Realtors lies on a foundation of both friendship and family.
Coach Realtors has come a long way since the merger. Today they have 19 offices throughout Long Island and more than 700 high-performing agents. They also have luxury partnerships with a number of organizations, including LeadingRE®, Mayfair International Realty®, Luxury Portfolio International®, Christie's International Real Estate®, and Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate®.
Innovation in Recruiting
A major factor in the growth of Coach Realtors has been their ability to recruit the right people in the right way.
"As far as bringing on agents, I always said that we brought in more agents to our company because of the good agents we already had," says Whitney. "We have really wonderful people that work for our company and like attracts like."
First-time agents at Coach have had immense success in starting their careers. Coach Realtors is a mentor company: they take in new people and help them develop their real estate careers. Many of their recruits have now been in the business a long time.
"We've been very good at taking in new people and developing a real estate career they've had for a very long time," says Whitney. "And we've had people that have been very successful in our company, started their careers here and been with us for 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 30 years plus."
To attract new agents, Coach Realtors recently set up their very own recruitment website, Join Coach, through Delta Media Group®. This site allows potential agents to get a sense of Coach's culture and the resources that would be available to them as an agent. It also gives them an easy way to get in touch with the leadership team.
Time to Teach
Over the years, Coach Realtors' leadership team has taught and mentored hundreds of sales agents. This comes as no surprise considering the company's core values and background in education.
"My mother was a teacher, and I was a teacher. So, the importance of education runs deep throughout our company," says Whitney.
As soon as an agent signs on, the training process begins. Coach Realtors has a comprehensive two-week program to get agents integrated into the company, the technology, and the real estate industry.
"We have a professional start program that we call Pro Start," says LP. "It's about a two-week program for when agents first join the company, and it's to get them associated with Coach and start to understand social media marketing, the DeltaNET®, and those aspects of the business. Then we also go into tips and tricks for listing presentations and how to prospect for business, so it encompasses a lot."
Although Pro Start ends after two weeks, the education at Coach never does. Whether achieved through mentoring, weekly training sessions, or bringing in top-level speakers and panelists, there are endless opportunities for agents to continue learning.
"The training in our industry is never-ending, and it has to be consistent and ongoing," says LP. "There's always an opportunity to learn and grow in our business if you've been in it for two days or you've been in it for 20 years."
"The Best Work Comes From the Heart"
The motto at Coach Realtors is "The Best Work Comes From the Heart." The staff has used this saying to create an environment based on unparalleled positivity and support. The team not only believes in providing this for their customers but for each other as well.
"I always say the company and office environment should be an environment where when you have your worst days, you should be able to walk in and they pick you up, and they dust you off and help you get back out there." Whitney continues, "And when you have your best days and your biggest successes, they should be clapping and championing you and championing those successes."
In an industry like real estate, where there are endless obstacles to overcome, optimism can be hard to come by. But Coach Realtors understands that it is much easier to have a positive outlook when you feel supported.
"I think that positivity is when you have support, and you feel supported, and you know that there's someone there at any level no matter what you need, may it be from marketing, technology, your CRM," says Whitney.
At Coach Realtors, they aren't just selling homes. They're selling luxury. And that means more than just showing a well-appointed home. This sense of luxury also includes how they treat their customers, the experience they give them, and how they make them feel. It's a whole package. This level of care remains the same no matter the property's price.
"We do have some high price points on Long Island, but it's important to realize that no matter what home someone's selling, whatever home anybody is buying, that is usually the top of what they can afford," LP says. "And they deserve to have that luxury experience, no matter the property price."
Along with providing a high level of customer service, selling luxury is also about selling something special. That's why every house Coach Realtors sells comes with a story.
Whitney says, "We make sure that we deliver a story, something unique that talks about the property and talks to the potential buyer, tells them why that property is special."
Delivering Through Delta
To assist them with their technological and marketing efforts, Coach Realtors has been working with Delta Media Group since 2018. They chose Delta for several reasons and feel that they made the right decision with the company's future in mind. What initially drove them to Delta was that, unlike other tech firms, everything they needed was all in one organized place.
"A lot of the service providers out there are like an ugly ball of clay, just kind of bolting stuff on, and you have this big bumpy, lumpy mess at the end," LP says. "The ecosystem Delta has created is all in one spot. It's a nice, small, clean round ball that plays well. There's no need to keep bolting things on."
Not only are they satisfied with the product and find it easy to use, but they are also fond of Delta's leadership and how they are always looking out for their business and their agents.
"It has to do with the leadership of Delta too, their willingness to listen to what the needs of the companies are and then to create new products or make changes," says Whitney. "And it's about the agent and what the agent needs to make their business better. And I think that Delta has a really good understanding of that."
The Coach Realtors team is also pleased with Delta's responsiveness and ability to both accept and implement feedback.
Coach Realtors' Communications Director Shannon Heyman says, "I've worked with a lot of different types of technology platforms, but Delta Media Group is the first company I've worked with that is so responsive and encourages feedback. And they not only accept the feedback, but they make the changes that the feedback is requesting. At Coach, we also put focus on listening to our agents' wants and needs, and we try to make the necessary changes to accommodate those requests. I think that is why our partnership with Delta Media Group works so well. Both companies prioritize the customer and agent."
A Vision for the Future
With a proactive approach, Coach Realtors constantly uses new technology and innovation to think ahead and plan for their future. From the very beginning, Lawrence and Georgianna Finn had a vision for the company's future.
"My parents always had good focus and a good vision for what they wanted to happen," says Whitney.
Coach Realtors has recently used their "vision" to launch Coach Video Studio. The studio is run by professional videographers who work with their agents. To create it, they converted one of their conference rooms and added backdrops and props.
Delta Media Group assisted with this recent development by creating the Coach Video Studio website, where agents can sign up for appointment times with videographers. So far, the video studio has been a huge success and proven beneficial for Coach agents in their marketing efforts.
"We understand the importance of video, and that's really where a lot of marketing, especially in real estate, is going," says Shannon.
Ideas like this are what sets Coach Realtors apart and ensures the company will be prepared for the industry's future. If you have a vision for where things are going, you can never get lost.
"Coach has been around for quite some time, but a large part of our continued success is the ability to see where the industry is going, the marketing needed to get there, and then acting quickly to provide our agents with the necessary tools to adapt and continue to grow their business," says Shannon. "This part of who we are is something we're really proud of."
Serving Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and beyond, every agent and customer at RealtyMark is treated like a VIP.
Looking to change up the real estate game, Ramon (Ray) Gaber founded RealtyMark in 2010. After starting in the Philadelphia area, the business quickly grew to New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. RealtyMark is now licensed in New York and expects to be approved soon in Georgia before expanding to Florida and California.
Gaber founded the company with the goal of making the lives of real estate agents better. At RealtyMark, agents earn 100% commission, and their transaction fee is $275, capped at $2,750 annually. The base fee to be an agent at RealtyMark is $100 a month; however, the first year is free. Plus, if you bring a new agent to the company, you get an additional free year for recruiting that agent.
"I always say there are only two ways to have more money in the world: make more or spend less," says Ray. We give them [agents] both at RealtyMark because we allow them to earn more money, we teach them how to earn more, and we let them keep it."
The Agent Experience
Not only is it possible to earn more money as a RealtyMark agent, but there are many other enticing incentives for them to succeed. For example, there's an annual RealtyMark cruise offered to agents who do between six and 12 transactions per year. The cruise is usually between seven and 10 nights. Last February, they went on a nine-night Royal Caribbean Cruise that stopped in Haiti, Labadee, St. Martin, and Puerto Rico. An eight-night Royal Caribbean cruise will be available next year.
"It's good camaraderie for the agents to be able to not just see someone in the office," says Ray. "They're at the pool. They're at the beach. They're at dinners, lunches, breakfast, shows. It's more of a social atmosphere. A lot of our agents have become really close friends because of the cruise. So, it's a little different than a normal office atmosphere."
RealtyMark's agents also have the opportunity to be racecar drivers. All they have to do is bring in sponsors.
"NASCAR is the second most-watched sport in America," says Ray. "So, we have race cars on the street that look like NASCAR. And we have programs where if an agent can bring some sponsors in, they can get their own free car to drive around."
Aside from these awesome benefits, RealtyMark agents can work from wherever they choose. While live training sessions are hosted several times a week or even multiple times a day, all of them are held virtually over Zoom. Agents are never obligated to come into the office if they don't want to.
"Everything can be remote," says Ray. "If they want to come in, great, we have offices all over. But a lot of them never come in at all."
Another perk of being a RealtyMark agent is having the RealtyMark Concierge Team at your disposal. This special team does all the agents' paperwork for them, so they don't have to. The concierge team is available seven days a week and will have a client's paperwork ready to sign that day.
"I created this about two years ago, the RealtyMark Concierge Team." Ray continues, "I say besides creating RealtyMark and my two children, it's the best creation I ever made. The agent can be inside the house, and if the client says 'we want to put in an offer,' they can pull out their phone, go onto our site, enter between 10 and 15 items, and within the hour, all the paperwork is sent back to the agent ready to DocuSign."
RealtyMark also provides constant support for their agents, and that includes having a 24/7 broker hotline they can call to ask for help. And no matter what time of day or how big or small your issue is, they will pick up the phone and answer your question.
"At any time of the day or night, they can call and talk to a real estate broker," says Ray. "And basically, we always say, there are no dumb questions. We'd rather they ask the question first instead of getting in trouble."
At RealtyMark, it's not just the agents who get treated like royalty — it's the customers too. While, of course, they provide excellent customer service and care, they also offer some unique programs clients love.
First, through RealtyMark's Closing Protection Program, clients have peace of mind not only throughout the selling process but also right up until the very end.
"If, for any reason, our clients do not go to settlement on time, and it's no fault of their own, RealtyMark will put them up in the hotel or motel of their choice for up to three nights," says Ray. "A lot of times, they say, well, why would that happen? Well, if we're representing the seller, all their stuff is in a moving van, and then something happens with the people that are buying their house, and now they have nowhere to sleep except on the floor. It's a nice extra touch to be able to do that."
Also, since at RealtyMark "Everyone's a VIP," if the client needs a ride to the closing, RealtyMark will send a limousine to pick them up for free.
"We send limousines for our clients; we own the cars. We send them free of charge to bring the clients to and from the closing because everyone's a VIP at RealtyMark," says Ray.
RealtyMark gives out free cars to their customers to keep. If a buyer uses a RealtyMark agent that's also the listing agent of the property, they can get a free car leased for up to three years.
"We give cars away if the buyer uses our listing agent," says Ray. "So, if we're the listing and they buy the house directly from the listing agent through a dual agency, we'll offer them a free car relative to the value of the home."
They also do some exciting promotions, such as if you buy your new house with RealtyMark, they will list your old house for free.
"We do promotions like buy your next house with me, and we'll sell your house for free," says Ray. "So, a lot of crazy stuff."
Live on TV!
Like any successful brokerage, RealtyMark has some excellent strategies for digital marketing. While they still use the essentials like social media and email marketing, they also have something far more unique: a TV show!
For nine years running, RealtyMark has had their own show, RealtyMark Showcase of Homes, which airs every Sunday at 9 a.m. EST on PHL17. PHL17 is a popular local station that shows events, including Phillies games, Philadelphia Union soccer games, and the Mummers Parade — which, if you aren't familiar, is a famous Philly tradition that takes place every year on New Year's Day. Airing in 40 different counties throughout four states, many homes have been sold to viewers who watched the show and saw their dream home listed.
"We've sold hundreds and hundreds of homes just because people saw it on TV," says Ray.
Knowing that their house will be shown on the show also makes sellers more interested in listing with a RealtyMark agent.
"It's a listing tool because if you lined up 10 agents that you were thinking about listing your property with," Ray continues, "And if we said, 'well if you list it with me, we'll put it on TV,' my agent's probably going to win out over the other nine."
Plus, while television ads tend to be very pricey, RealtyMark agents can feature their listings for free on the show. So, it not only gives them a great way to advertise their listings to a wide audience, but it saves them money too.
"A lot of work and many hours go into it every week," says Ray. "And I think it separates us because our agents can put their listings on for free. If they were to just buy commercial time anywhere to put their house on TV, it would be thousands and thousands of dollars. It's one of the benefits of coming to RealtyMark."
Another nice thing about the show for both agents and clients is that there's a chance for their kids to be cast in the show. Instead of bringing in talent from elsewhere, RealtyMark gives kids in their own network the chance to have their television debut.
"We put a lot of the agents' or the clients' kids on TV; we call them bumpers, and they're in between the houses for sale," says Ray. "We'll have little kids say, 'RealtyMark, don't make a move without us,' or they'll say, 'RealtyMark is selling America, one home at a time.' We give them different things to say, and obviously, the parents have to sign the video release because they're under 18. So, that's a cool thing, and a lot of our agents' kids are on TV."
Talking About Tech
It wasn't until 2021 that RealtyMark partnered with Delta Media Group®, which was recommended to them after their previous provider discontinued its website product.
The first step in working with Delta was custom designing their new website — which they did with half premade templates and half custom design.
Dimitri Yarbrough, RealtyMark's Operations Manager, says, "Delta was really efficient and helpful in making a custom website that fit our image."
Once the website was up and running, they introduced their agents to the DeltaNET®. With agents of various levels of interest and understanding of technology, they liked the fact that it was something everyone could use. Aside from being easy to navigate, it was efficient and equated with industry standards. It was a "well-rounded solution."
"It [DeltaNET] gives them the software they need for marketing, and the agents need their websites, and it's hands-off as well," says Dimitri. "It's pretty easy to use. It helps our agents, especially those who aren't interested in actually engaging in technology. They can just click the button, and they have what the industry standard is. You need that stuff these days."
Dimitri believes that it's important to have products like DeltaNET that cater to the older generations and those that aren't as adept at using technology. Otherwise, those people will get left behind — and they shouldn't. While traditional print marketing and community outreach are still viable options for some, it's not where the industry or the future is headed.
"In the near future, it seems like there's going to be a big divide between the technology cans and the technology cant's," says Dimitri. "There's going to be a divide between those two groups of people, so I think what we try to do is get the happiest medium because you can't just abandon those people."
RealtyMark is the Future
RealtyMark's slogan is "The Future of Real Estate." They feel that they are the industry's future because they not only look toward the future but are consistently coming up with innovative ideas that haven't been developed yet.
"We're definitely outside-the-box, not your normal vanilla company," says Ray.
They aren't looking to be like their competitors. Instead, they strive to be something different and offer something other brokerages don't. RealtyMark always has a new idea waiting to be unveiled, even with all the creative initiatives they already have in place.
"We have a lot of cool stuff on deck that we're about to launch because our industry's changing every day," says Ray. "Every time they raise interest rates that will slow the market, there are fewer houses, so the more creative ones get the listings, and that's what we teach our people: how to beat out the others because that's what's going to make them survive instead of giving up."
RealtyMark is extremely fast-growing, amassing thousands of agents in just under 12 years of business. And as they expand to new parts of the country, they're looking to double their numbers. If they continue to provide high-quality service and use their creativity to change the industry, there's no way they won't succeed.
To learn more about RealtyMark, visit realtymarkllc.com