- Marketing automation, CRMs, and better consumer targeting are going to help agents step up their game.
NEW YORK — WAV Group, one of the real estate industry’s most well-known consulting firms, is plugged into the latest trends in the industry. Today at Inman Connect, founding partner Marilyn Wilson let us in on seven trends the firm is seeing through its own industry and consumer research:
1. Marketing excellence. There are companies out there that automate marketing for agents and brokers. “Instead of having to build your own, you can use templates. Or you can build your own,” Wilson said.
“A lot of times brokers are providing these to agents. [This means you] can focus on the things that are really going to generate more revenue for you.”
2. Wasting money on lead generation. “God love you if it’s working for you, but what we see a lot is people are putting a lot of things on top of the bucket and things are falling out the sides,” Wilson said.
Leads at the top of the sales funnel are often not the best quality leads and tend toward lookie-loos, she said. To deal with that issue, WAV Group is seeing agents and brokers — particularly top producers — adopt client relationship management systems (CRMs).
“[A CRM] enables you to have true sales rigor and true sales routine,” Wilson said.
“It’s a really important discipline that our industry is starting to really embrace. It’s not about the system, it’s about the discipline that using the system provides.”
3. Focus on the Familiar and Connected. Sometime people forget about those they are closest to, but those are the people that are most likely to bring you business, according to Wilson. To create an effective marketing campaign, agents should put all their contacts in one place, not have them scattered around their MLS, their website, or their email, she said.
4. Websites connected to the industry tend to get 2 to 5 times more leads. There’s “a really exciting program” coming to help agents take advantage of this, Wilson said. Consumers trust a website that comes from a multiple listing service, from a broker, from agents “because you have the good stuff,” she said.
5. Customer targeting. “What’s now available is the opportunity for you to actually target by email address,” Wilson said. This means agents can take their database and work with third parties — “at a very affordable rate” — so that every time someone is on the Internet, the agents’ ads follow them around.
This makes consumers think: “That agent’s everywhere. They know how to promote on the Internet,” Wilson said.
“Targeting on the Internet is getting much more exciting and much more specific,” she added.
6. Broker Public Portal. “That will not be its URL, I promise you,” Wilson said.
WAV Group is doing consulting work for this industry initiative to build the first national public-facing MLS website. Wilson laid out some of its top features: an easy-to-use design; no competing agents; no need to buy premium placements; no upsells; a mobile app and website with the mobile app taking the lead.
“It’s being sponsored by brokers and MLSs around the country that are coming together to make that happen for you,” Wilson said.
“This site isn’t just about selling advertising, it’s about selling houses. How about that?”
7. Crime Prevention. There are companies emerging to help agents avoid dangerous situations.
“Crimes against Realtors have gone up 600 percent,” Wilson said.
“I don’t want you to hit a panic button when you’re in trouble, I want to help you not get there in the first place.”