WAV Group Research does a lot of consumer research on behalf of MLSs and Associations. We also do research for State Associations of REALTORS and the National Association of REALTORs. One of the best member benefits is the research that is provided to the real estate professional by these groups.
The National Association of REALTORS has a great research team. The data that they publish on consumer attitudes about Real Estate and the process of buying and selling homes using a REALTOR are awesome sources of education, training, and strategic development for your business.
One of my favorite ways to stay connected to this valued information is to subscribe to the Economic Outlook blog. Here is an article that explains how consumers choose their REALTOR. Not surprisingly, Referrals are the #1 source of business for real estate professionals. Why is this important to know?
One of areas where brokers and agents fail is in maintaining relationships with past clients. Sadly, this is among the easiest things for a professional to do today. Customer Relationship Management solutions are so inexpensive (some even free). Social Media is Free. Telephone calls are cheep or free. The barrier to success in real estate is not the cost of doing business. It is about the effort that a professional puts into becoming successful.
I have been at a number of events with Krisstina Wise, Principal and Broker of the Good Life Team in Austin, TX. Her company uses Salesforce.com for a contact management solution. Its custom. They have invested. The whole company is on it. Usage is required. Every customer in that data base is touched in some way every month. Every Month. They never disconnect from the customer. Repeat and Referral business is the backbone of success. They do the other stuff right too. Test them out. Visit their new website at http://www.goodlifeteam.com/ – inquire about a listing. I dare you.
Take a careful look at your own business. Are you staying in touch? Every time? Every month? Do you have a plan? Do you have the tools? Are you asking your customers how they would like to be contacted? Do you use a programs like NAR RPR, a local REALTOR benefit like 10K Research, or an MLS solution like RBI Intel to provide your clients with property value information?
At the recent Inman Conference in New York City, there was a lot of discussion about the new ways of real estate. I guess that the old ways of doing business are not very sexy anymore. There were not any sign companies in attendance. Did our industry forget about the power of a sign call?
I did see Imprev at the conference. They power the direct to consumer publications for most of the industry’s largest and most successful brands. Flyers and Postcards – delivered the old way or the new way are still producing excellent results. The Real Estate Book was there too, plodding along day by day generating phone calls and 40 website visits a day for their advertisers.
Before you spend a lot of energy learning the new ways – be sure that you are comfortable with the basics first. According to consumers (the #1 industry expert), they work the best.