In the media, you hear that Compass is a traditional brokerage driven by incredible technology that gives their agents an advantage in the marketplace. Frankly, I have registered for Compass’ website and mobile apps as a consumer and have not experienced anything extraordinary yet.
We will continue to watch how they evolve their technology. It takes a very long time to do this, especially if you are trying to keep up with the data integrations driven by their market growth. Compass has Ori Allon as their Founder and Chairman. He founded Orion (search algorithm company acquired by Google), and Julpan (a product that analyzes social information on social media, acquired by Twitter). We have not seen Compass reinvent real estate search or do anything that integrates advanced social integrations yet. But it is part of the founder’s DNA. I am looking forward to what they bring to market.
Compass is Really a Branding Agency for Agents
If you attended the Inman Connect San Francisco conference this year, you could not escape the Compass Diamond Sponsorship of the event. The big reveal for me was the big agent branding board that Compass set up. The board showed how the marketing department at Compass sits down with each agent to understand their brand. What makes that agent tick? What do they specialize in? Once they understand the agent, they build a brand around the agent that cascades onto their agent marketing. This is how Compass is disrupting real estate brokerages today.
Being agent focused is not new. Certainly RE/MAX and Keller Williams have long focused on developing the agent. RE/MAX focuses on top producing agents by giving them a disruptive compensation program. Keller Williams focuses on agent training and business building. Compass is focused on agent brand building.
For the most part, broker support for agent branding is defined by putting the agent’s headshot in the upper right- or left-hand corner of any marketing piece. Chase International blew the industry out of the water more than a decade ago when they built a theme around agent headshots. They are all taken by professional photographers, white background, and black shirt. It is probably the best example of innovation around cobranding agents and a brokerage. It looks sharp. Other brokerages have followed, and Compass focuses on this too.
Agent photos is just the tip of the spear for Chase. If you know the company, all of their their marketing is executed with a polished luster that is rarely seen anywhere in America.
Century 21 Hometown Realty has taken a stab at agent biographies. A few months ago, they launched an inhouse agency that includes photographers and copywriters that meet with their agents to develop their story.
Amy’s professional headshot appears on the search results page in the roster (I layered it into this screenshot and highlighted in blue). But when you get to her detail page, you see Amy’s story told by the photograph and the text curated by the copywriter. Take a second and go and read Amy’s bio.
What people know about Amy Gallagher is that she is the broker of record for the largest real estate brokerage on the central coast of California, which ranks the firm among the top Century 21 franchises by dollar volume in the world, and sets them somewhere in the middle of the Real Trends Top 500 brokerages an America. What you may know about Amy is that her family is the most important thing in her world, especially her daughter Bella.
The agent biography is so important in introducing an agent to a customer for the very first time. The bio also allows the agent to refine and expand their relationship with people that they already know.
Agent Website Themes
First of all, I absolutely hate the word template. It drives me insane when I hear a broker or a broker website vendor talk about their agent templates. There is not a single agent or broker in the world that wants their brand stuffed into a template.
We have 10 agent website templates for you to choose from….this sounds like Yuck!
We have developed designer themes that allow you to express your brand in the best possible way, with a concierge service to help you deploy your site.
BHHS Fox and Roach is deploying designer themes for their agents with the launch of their new digital marketing platform. Don’t visit their website yet, it’s not live. When it is, Fox and Roach will be able to deploy designer themes that allow each of their agents and teams to express their brand in the best possible way, with a marketing concierge service to support them. Like Compass, Fox and Roach agents will work with the marketing department to determine if their brand is based on their personality, lifestyle, farm & ranch, luxury, texture, waterfront, community, home and living, architecture, builder, mortgage, commercial, blog, or video.
Based upon the agent, Fox and Roach will be able to tailor a digital representation that allows the agent brand to connect with their customer. Sounds a lot like Compass, right?
How Will You Compete?
If you know WAV Group, brokers mentioned in this article work with us today or have worked with us in the past. The point here is that any broker that wants to dominate their market place needs to have a plan and put the sales agents in the center of that plan. The agent is the front line of consumer engagement. If you cannot get the agent set up to win, you will never accomplish your goals with the consumer. Too often, brokers have segregated broker and agent marketing. The broker does their thing and the agent does there. Imagine the power when the broker and agent are working together!
As a broker, you need to create some centers of excellence. You need to commit to establishing a beach head as being the best at something. There are an infinite number of areas in real estate where you can focus. If you need support to define your strategy for 2019, interview us.