William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance is taking its campaign to do business on the go one step further than offering mobile software and investing in social media: providing its management team with mobile hardware.
In what the Shelton, Conn.-based brokerage says is a first in the industry, William Raveis has provided each of its 80 managers and four associate managers a 32-gigabyte Apple iPad 3 tablet. The tablets cost $759 each, and the managers and associate managers have to contribute half of the cost, a brokerage spokeswoman told Inman News.
"By providing all of our managers with what is arguably the best tablet on the market, we are leading a top-down culture shift from the traditional brick and mortar real estate model to a mobile, seamless experience," said Bill Raveis, chairman and CEO of William Raveis Real Estate, in a statement.
"It is not only enhancing our business and contributing to growth, but creating a more effortless internal communications environment."
Regular meetings with William Raveis’ management team from across the Northeast are now more interactive, "as technology concepts discussed can be tested with iPads," the brokerage said.
The brokerage added that this current initiative was a continuation of its leadership regarding technology shifts, pointing to when it armed 1,200 agents with laptops in the 1990s.
William Raveis won an Inman News Innovator Award for most innovative brokerage or franchise last year in large part due to the launch of its customized, mobile customer relationship management platform, Agent Dashboard, in early 2011.
As part of a strong push toward mobile, the company said it is moving from a traditional cubicle layout in offices to a "more sophisticated, clean look" with docks for charging mobile devices and presentation rooms that allow affiliates to conduct presentations from tablets.
Raveis said the brokerage has also begun a marketing campaign called "mobilizing real estate" to inform consumers "how we intend on conducting business." The campaign includes "constant activity" on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, Raveis said.
According to data compiled by Real Trends, William Raveis’ company-owned brokerages ranked 25th in the nation by closed transaction sides in 2011, and eighth in the nation by closed sales volume.
William Raveis has 2,700 real estate agents in 80 company-owned and affiliate offices in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The brokerage has added at least 12 offices in the past two years.