RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JUL 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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96 July 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE {Broker Best Practices} Converting and Closing Online Leads With a Proven System by Paige Tepping Todd Hetherington CEO CENTURY 21 New Millennium www.c21nm.com Alexandria, Va. Number of offices: 18 Number of agents: 875 No. 56 in sales volume in RISMedia's 2018 Power Broker Report Your company, including your agents, have committed to software solu- tions for converting and closing more customers. What made this a top priority? When it comes to those real estate professionals who are commit- ted to taking the business seriously and doing the job right, having a CRM is key. Lead conversion on the third-party relocation and tracking side stands at 58 percent, which is phenomenal, but our online lead conversion rate is currently between 2.5 - 3 percent, which I'd like to get closer to 8 - 9 percent. I'd also like to get more agents onboard and get them to use and appreciate the tools they have access to through realtor.com®. Another big expectation centers around getting one system in place. In the past, things have been so fragmented, so having a proven sys- tem that agents can rely on is key. For us, Top Producer—offered through realtor.com®— is the best. Getting our agents up and running with their tools is at the top of our priority list. How many have bought-in and pro- visioned themselves with your tech solution? We currently have 260 agents benefitting from the whole suite, which includes Top Producer, FiveStreet and Market Snapshot. This is a buy-in rate we've never seen before, and I think a lot of it has to do with the way in which we announced the bundled package of savings and backed it up with coaching. Verl Workman (founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems) and I tag-teamed the process, and he's done a great job pushing it company-wide. That's a high rate of usage. How have your agents come together on this? We're doing training on a variety of different fronts. In addition to Verl hosting webinars related to Top Producer and the entire technology suite, realtor.com® provides additional training and follow-up. One of the main reasons we chose Top Producer and the realtor.com® suite is because it goes hand-in-hand with the training and coaching that both myself and my agents receive from Verl. Do you have online leads coming in at the corporate level? Yes, and we have a team in place to handle them. However, we're currently work- ing on beefing up this process. In fact, we're getting ready to introduce a salaried agent model so that we can bring in an employee to be in charge of this on a full-time basis. How will this affect recruiting, retention and profitability? From a recruiting standpoint, we'll have a greater advantage as we can offer leads to those agents that want to participate. While online leads aren't for everyone, those who want them will have access to them, which will help when it comes to retention. As far as company profitability, that remains to be seen. In the end, it's important to remember that online leads are expensive to procure, and even more expensive to cultivate and scrub. The goal is to get the qualified lead (rather than just the name and/ or email address), as this is far more appreciated among agents. Did you get help from realtor.com® to implement? Everyone from the top down at realtor.com® rallied behind the effort. Whether it had to do with the bundling of services, pricing, packaging, implementation and training, it was a true group effort. For more information, please visit www.realtor.com/brokerwin. Future Focused: A United Approach by Paige Tepping Bonnie Mays Principal Broker, Lexington Broker/CEO, Louisville United Real Estate Lexington and Louisville Louisville, Ky. www.joinunitedrealestatelouisville. com Region served: Central Kentucky Years in real estate: 30 Number of offices: 3 Number of agents: 340 Please describe a current trend you're seeing in your market. Because we're in a low-inventory market, there's a lot of pressure on the various parties involved in any given real estate transaction. In fact, I recently heard a statistic related to this being the first time that there have been more agents than listings, so when you're representing a buyer and showing them multiple properties, it's not uncommon for many of their offers to be rejected because they weren't the highest bidder. While this trend isn't necessarily different, it's not one that I've experienced before.

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