Balance, developed by Baird & Warner, is an online business services hub for its agents. The intent is to offer an array of in-house business support needs, such as marketing campaign development and transaction management.
Are you receiving Inman’s Agent Edge? Make sure you’re subscribed here for the latest on real estate technology from Inman’s expert Craig Rowe.
Balance by Baird & Warner is an agent sales and marketing productivity suite.
Platforms: Browser, mobile-forward
Ideal for: Agents, teams within Baird & Warner
Top selling points:
- Contract Care for transactions
- Fast, simple service ordering
- Tiered social media packages
- Clear cost structure
This service empowers Baird & Warner staff to execute marketing tasks on behalf of agents and offices using software partners. I fear that outsourcing marketing tasks will further remove agents from the desired result.
Does trained staff share reports and metrics? Do the agents know why certain marketing efforts don’t work? I’d like to see this addressed.
What you should know
Balance, developed by influential Chicago indy Baird & Warner, is an online business services hub for its agents. The intent is to offer an array of in-house business support needs, such as marketing campaign development and transaction management.
The value is many-fold, but it primarily allows agents to delegate nonrevenue-producing and critical business tasks to trained staff.
Balance is a marketplace of business services for Baird & Warner agents. Users order a la carte using a web portal and are charged per engagement.
The most critical need Balance is filling for its agents — beyond giving them more time to have a life — is Contract Care. This outsourced, in-house transaction oversight offering hands off all aspects of document management, stakeholder coordination, calendar items, tasks, and all other nuts and bolts required to assemble a clean closing.
Fully trained Baird & Warner employees leverage provided technology and company best practices to make sure everyone is up to speed on times, dates and dollars owed. Agents using Contract Care can be (mostly) free of the mental and emotional drama that accompanies closings while being copied when necessary on deal communications.
Baird & Warner told me that this year, the Contract Care team will handle more than 1,000 transactions throughout its 27 offices.
Balance also offers Listing Launch, which develops and runs marketing campaigns for new listings using kvCORE, Baird & Warner’s enterprise technology partner.
In-house Marketing Services team members will design announcement ads, email templates, brochures and landing pages, for example, earn agent approval, and then send them off into the market. There’s also a Listing Launch for luxury homes, and it too requires a one-time payment upon order.
Get Social works in the same way, giving agents a way to promote themselves on multiple networks without having to do the heavy lifting and selfie-posting. Baird & Warner’s team will help agents with existing accounts enhance what’s working and fix what’s not. The service is tiered, meaning agents pay based on the degree of online presence they need.
When important activities require licensed assistance, the B&W brokers can use Balance to call on their Broker Support Team, an on-call group of ready and willing agents capable of all kinds of important business dealings.
While a lot of marketing work doesn’t require staff to have an active real estate license, representing the company at a closing does, as do inspections, walkthroughs and showings. (This all depends on state laws.)
A call to the Broker Support Team goes out to all eligible (and registered) agents to claim. Details are shared and once completed, project assignments go straight to accounting for monthly payouts. All duties assigned and handled through the Broker Support portal are tracked, and feedback can be given by both the assignor and assignee.
What Baird & Warner has built for its large network of agents, teams and brokers is a model akin to what’s being seen industrywide. Side is doing it. Compass is doing it. Place is doing it, and even those in the mortgage world are doing it: vertical consolidation of services.
Whether its for agents or consumers (agents often are the customers), major real estate players are finding ways to reduce industry fragmentation by becoming the entire source of the transaction. Baird & Warner is simply applying the model to its agents as customers, which is a smart way to give them the bandwidth to offer more value to the market.
The company called it “Balance” because it wants its agents to spend less time on what doesn’t make them money — and more time on themselves. While I believe company execs in Chicago are sincere in their wanting their agents to have a better work-life balance, it’s not in most agents’ DNA.
Balance will do more for its agents’ abilities to spend more time with clients as well as help them find new ones.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.