Eureka moments come at peculiar times. Often, the information literally jumping off the page at you is invisible through the lens sitting between your brain and Google Analytics.
When real estate websites came into play for the industry’s brokers, firms built them mainly to allow consumers to search for properties. It was more efficient for a broker to build a broker website to display their listings rather than build a website for each agent.
Broker Rethink #1 – Give every agent (and team) in your company the tools they need to service the digital consumer.
Almost every large broker I know already does this. Agent websites are the “children” of the parent site. It is a hub and spoke network of websites that support each other. Agent websites are table stakes for brokers, so perhaps it is not a rethink per se. But it is foundational to a key purpose of the broker. Give agents the digital tools that allow them to serve consumers. An agent website is a buyer’s tool and an agent profile marketing tool. It is a launch pad for them to serve new and existing customers (everything herein needs to apply to team websites).
With this understanding in mind, go look at the websites you provide to your agents with the following questions in mind.
- Are your agent websites better than all of your competitors?
- Do agents want to join your firm because of the quality of the website you provide?
- Do customers use agent websites?
- Do agents have a mobile app for serving clients
- Do agents have a mobile CRM and lead management tool?
- Do agents have a mobile app for transaction management?
- Do agents have tools to stay connected with past clients to drive repeat and referral business?
- Do agents have automated marketing solutions for virtual tours, flyers, and other basic market functions (i.e. Imprev or Amarki)
Broker Rethink #2 – Promote your listings on your website.
Somewhere, somehow, brokers started promoting every listing in the MLS and not their own listings. Ten years ago, every broker website displayed their listings with strategic prejudice. The role of the listing firm is to market property on behalf of the seller. Where is the Company Listing tab?
I am going to channel my inner Ken Jenny. Ken is a real estate consultant who coaches brokers on selling their listings. “When you go to BMWUSA.com, do they provide you with a search bar to search for cars from their competitors?”
I frequently exemplify FoxRoach.com’s digital strategy excellence. WAV Group has collaborated with their team for years. In this case, I am going to use them as an example of what the industry is doing wrong. Brokers either have no Company Listings tab, or it is buried somewhere in the menu. In the case of FoxRoach.com, the Company Listings tab is 10 items deep under the Find a Home tab. I mentioned this to them in the process of writing this article.
Broker Rethink #3 – Promote your agents and teams!
Brokers do not sell real estate. Agents and teams sell real estate. Aside from marketing your company listings to honor your obligation to your sellers, brokers need to market their agents to fulfill the firm’s obligation to develop their success.
Have you looked at agent and team profiles on broker websites? WAV Group looks at these pages during our digital effectiveness audits for brokers. They are mostly horrible, and I get mad about it. It’s impossible to conceive a broker posting an agent to their website without a decent headshot (Grey Skull) and curated bio (so many agents are missing bios all together).
Here I need to give a shout out to Compass who is developing a center of excellence around agent and team profiles– they are growing so fast that they are having a hard time keeping up, but they are nailing the strategy. Compass insists on a professional headshot, and professional writers create the biographies. Check out this agent biography page of Compass agent Tamara Abir.
- Experience based on revenue, awards, press, and testimonials
- Spotlight listings
- Agent listings
- Sold transactions
Curating the profile of your agents and teams should be as important as collecting listing information. It needs to be done perfectly by the brokerage.
In summary, the three key objectives of delivering integrated tools to agents, highlighting company listings, and marketing agents on the broker website are paramount to success, far outweighing the importance of lead generation on the broker website. Frankly, if you do these things effectively, you should expect an increase in lead quality and lead quantity. Connect consumers to your firm first and your IDX search second.
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