Big-name listing portals continue to bring controversy. In light of recent announcements, the debate over their role in the industry isn’t going away.
One of the most contentious topics over the years has been the portals’ use and resale of brokers’ listing data. As portals now make even more overt moves into the transaction and brokerage, many now act as listing brokers, often leaning on “iBuying” as the foot in the door. Brokers and agents wonder what they can do to cut the cord and establish a level of independence.
The good news is, strong brokerages are not going anywhere in real estate. They will change and adjust, but they won’t be rooted out overnight by the shift in a portal’s strategy. Instead, they shore up a cohesive online strategy and embrace strong technology partnerships with the right players in the space to facilitate those smart strategies.
In working with over 250,000 agents across thousands of top brokerages, we’ve had a chance to see what really separates the smartest strategies on the market. We’ve brought together the three top strategies that the smartest and most progressive brokers in real estate employ to ensure strong independance online.
1) Smart corporate, team and agent online lead programs
Many brokerages are surprised at how much of the big portal traffic actually comes from paid lead programs. Pair that with programs like iBuying initiatives (face value is buying homes, but a large portion of the real value there is seller leads), and you find that, in reality, it may make up a major portion of the true source of their lead business.
For brokerages looking to cut the cord from portals and develop independence, the right online lead-gen program is a vital component.
The smartest brokerages leverage every listing, every agent and every opportunity in their brokerage via targeted, fully integrated, and mostly automated, lead-gen funnels that drive fantastic volume with high intent, such as PropertyBoost by Inside Real Estate.
Additionally, they have fully-integrated Smart CRMs with intelligent lead routing and AI-driven follow-up, like kvCORE, that allow them to fine-tune the types of leads, sources, target markets, etc and deliver those in real time to the right agent or team, all while automating much of the follow-up, including behavior-tracking, in-context email, automated SMS, video and even phone calls.
Lastly, these brokerages run smart programs at the corporate level as well as empowering their top teams and agents with 1-click options to order their own, fully-automated programs that drive real, bottom-line results.
2) Enhanced corporate website strategy
The second strategy top brokerages use is their corporate website. It may feel to some brokerages that they are losing or have lost the online SEO battle. This couldn’t be further from the truth, but it is the message the portals would love you to believe.
The reality is, most of the website and tech solutions brokerages have been running for years have been wanting in terms of modern tech and SEO best practices.
Today, many of the smartest brokerages leverage modified WordPress websites, powered by proprietary architecture that gives them even more scale, speed, optimization, and online firepower.
One recent example is an independent brokerage with over 2,000 agents, who had been losing traffic to the tune of 25-30% year over year. As they moved to their new install of kvCORE + WordPress, they were able to see the trend turn and start picking up 20% YoY search and traffic increases.
3) Embracing the consumer across the entire lifecycle
Last, but certainly not least, all of the smartest brokerages think about the entire consumer lifecycle. They think about questions such as: “How do we meet the consumer?” “How do we provide immediate value?”, “How do we bring affiliated services into relationships more effectively?” and “How do we maintain fruitful relationships over many years?”
The fact is, brokers cannot answer these individually and alone. Some of the large portals are just that—large, with big budgets. It can feel intimidating to tackle these issues alone at the individual brokerage level.
So rather than leave brokers to compete alone, Inside Real Estate continues to pursue strategies that leverage the combined power of top brokerages to create new and exciting technology that allows the individual brokerage to leverage the combined power of the many. Then apply this technology for their brand, in their unique way.
This power of the masses, in a unique and applied ecosystem, allows brokerages to shore up their technology offerings, penetrate profitable affiliated services and provide more value to their agents—all while achieving their greatest goal of serving their clients with speed, value and efficiency.
As you head into 2021, examine your portal spending and business results. It’s time to take greater control of your online presence and your relationship with the consumer.
Learn more about kvCORE here.