Inman Real Estate News for Realtors and Brokers 2019-10-18T00:20:33Z https://www.inman.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Pat Hiban <![CDATA[How to turn real estate rookies into sales superstars]]> https://www.inman.com/?p=758125 2019-10-17T22:44:46Z 2019-10-18T09:55:43Z As a real estate team grows, the broker’s responsibilities and work requirements grow along with it. Finding the right person for the job, teaching the right skills and leading by example all matter to a new agent’s future success.

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Broker and team lead Wilson Leung has a great track record when it comes to turning brand-new agents into highly successful salespeople. Two of his agents have won Rookie of the Year awards, and one recently made NAR’s prestigious 30 Under 30 list.

Wilson Leung

Part of his success is surely due to making smart hires, but there’s also something to be said about his refreshing approach to training and agent mentorship.

To find out exactly how Leung transforms rookie agents into sales superstars, listen to my podcast interview with him below. For tips on selecting the right people for sales positions and giving the guidance needed to ensure their success, read on.

 

Hire the right people

All of Leung’s prospective agents go through a thorough evaluation to determine their suitability for sales and for Leung’s team. Part of this process includes the DISC assessment.

For sales agents, Leung looks for two DISC personality types in particular: the DI (dominant and influence) and the IS (influence and steadiness).

DI personality types are enthusiastic, outgoing and open to new opportunities. Because of this, they’re typically quick to make progress when it comes to sales skills.

The IS personalities, people who’re influenced largely by empathy and sympathy, also make great agents. In fact, many of Leung’s best agents are IS personality types. Not only are they great with clients, but they’re also receptive to Leung’s training methods and help to build a supportive work environment.

Hone the skills that matter most

For a new agent to make quick progress, they must master the skills that matter most.

New agents must gain competence with contracts and negotiations while becoming market experts; that’s a given. But this alone won’t set them up for success. To truly succeed as a new agent, it’s vital to develop sales skills.

To hone new agents’ sales skills, Leung has them prospect a minimum of two hours per day. During these two hours, new agents are not allowed to call their sphere. Instead, they’re required to call new leads, to door-knock and to host open houses.

Here’s why:

Leung got his start in real estate at age 23. As a young guy living in San Francisco, one of the nation’s most expensive real estate markets, he didn’t have many friends who were able to buy or sell property. Most of Leung’s new agents are in this same position.

Besides, by forcing new agents to get out there and to have those uncomfortable conversations with people they’ve never met, he forces them to grow as salespeople. Plus, putting these new agents out there is the best way to help them overcome the fear of rejection — a fear that hinders growth and often prevents new agents from achieving any real success.

Lead by example

You’ve probably seen the cartoons and infographics illustrating the differences between a boss and a leader. The major takeaway from these is that a boss demands results while a leader inspires performance.

Leung inspires performance from new agents by doing all of the tasks that he asks of them. While new agents are prospecting, for instance, he’s in the same room knocking out his daily two-hour prospecting session right there with them.

As a real estate team grows, the broker’s responsibilities and work requirements grow along with it. Still, a team lead should never neglect to work alongside new agents. A good leader, one who brings out the best in their team, leads by example.

To hear more about giving new agents the training and guidance needed to succeed, listen to Wilson Leung’s podcast interview.

Pat Hiban sold more than 7,000 homes over the course of his 25-year career in real estate. Now, he dedicates his time to helping others succeed as agents and investors. As host of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Pat interviews real estate experts to explore what works in today’s markets. He also founded Rebus University, an online training platform for real estate agents and sales professionals.

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Erica Ramus http://schuylkillrealestate.com <![CDATA[How to make sure your agents follow up on internet leads]]> https://www.inman.com/?p=758152 2019-10-18T00:20:33Z 2019-10-18T09:18:52Z Agents often think of internet leads as inferior and let them fall by the wayside. Here's how you can stop that from happening.

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Erica Ramus is an indie broker and a tech geek in Pennsylvania. Her regular monthly column publishes on Thursdays and covers and array of topics including recruiting, independent brokerage, technology and social issues.

Twice this week, I had brokers call me to ask for advice on how to increase agent buy-in (follow up, speed to lead, etc.) for internet leads. When brokers generate leads — and pay for the internet marketing — they have a vested interest in contacting and converting those consumers.

Conversely, we frequently see agents dismiss those buyers as “lower quality” or further out in their purchase timeline, therefore, they might not make as aggressive efforts to work those leads, which in turn frustrates their brokers.

If this is your situation, here are a few ways to get your agents’ attention and increase their prospecting efforts.

1. Create an internet lead team

Larger brokers can create a subset of agents who specifically are trained to work the internet leads. This creates an exclusivity to those leads and a competitive environment for those who are privileged to work on the team.

Give the group a specific name, and require the agents who work the leads to complete detailed training on the platform. Agents who fail to complete the training should not be working these leads.

2. Hold agents accountable

Set out goals and rules for how leads will be handled (lead routing rules, procedures for contacting and communcation expectations). You should have a tracking system, which can be as simple as a shared spreadsheet to a more robust platform such as BoomTown or Real Estate WebMasters, which allow you to track agent log-ins and contact attempts.

Accountability is a key element to making sure your paid leads are really being worked by your agents. If you set rules and procedures and then do not follow through and track what the agents are doing, they will learn that the system has no teeth.

This can be worse than setting no goals or expectations at all. Agents who fail to log in or communicate regularly with leads should be coached to use the system or risk being cut from the group.

3. Follow through

Just as you expect your agents to do what they say they will do, as the broker or manager, you need to be accountable as well. In my office, if an agent does not follow the lead rules, we turn off their lead flow. If agents are not paying attention, you will know pretty quickly as they won’t even notice the leads are not dripping in anymore.

Take a proactive approach to this, and ask the agent when the last time he or she saw a lead come into his or her platform; it might produce a “lightbulb moment” and lead to a coaching opportunity.

If the agent is paying attention to lead flow and asks you directly what happened to the incoming leads, that is the time to have a formal sit-down. Have a conversation about the importance of following the group’s lead rules and communication procedures.

Find out why that agent hasn’t been logging in or reaching out to his or her leads regularly. I normally point out a few closings that came into the platform and closed with other agents on the team, as examples of how the system works. You should know pretty quickly if this is a one-off lapse or a more systemic problem with the agent being on the team.

4. Practice patience and persistence

An agent who cannot or will not adhere to the internet team rules needs to be removed. Internet-generated leads are not cheap, and they involve a different approach. Not all agents are ideally suited to work these buyer or seller prospects. They require patience and persistence. For example, we closed a buyer lead this month that came into our platform over three years ago.

One of our team members also closed two buyers in the past two months where another office member gave up too early on the prospect. The more seasoned agent gave the internet leads to one of the newcomers on the team, who worked it doggedly and finally closed on both of them. The agent with less patience lost out to the perseverance of the newer agent.

5. Give them skin in the game

Some brokers believe that agents who have no skin in the game will always tend to slack on the internet leads. Charging agents to be on the team or taking a referral fee or higher split for broker-generated internet leads are two ways to ensure your agents pay attention to the prospects coming into their pipelines.

As with all managing dilemmas, you can use the carrot, the stick or a combination of those approaches to help agents convert internet leads. Some brokers and agents might overlook these lead sources as too expensive or hard to close. Our office has had great success with generating and converting internet leads, but it’s not without hard work and effort.

Agents who don’t want to put the time in probably won’t be successful in this pillar of business. Those who take the time to learn the process, understand the mindset of the internet shopper and work the system faithfully will find another useful source of business.

Erica Ramus, MRE, is the broker/owner of RAMUS Real Estate. You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Byron Lazine http://oneandcompany.com <![CDATA[The Real Word: The beef over Compass’ tech company status]]> https://www.inman.com/?p=758303 2019-10-17T20:10:52Z 2019-10-18T09:01:11Z Watch Byron Lazine and Nicole White give a real estate agent’s perspective on industry-related topics. This week, the CEO of SoftBank, a funder of Opendoor and Compass, said he's "embarrassed" by his tech investments' results, which spurred quite the debate among Byron and colleagues.

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Byron Lazine and Nicole White are two agents in Connecticut who give us their thoughts on the week’s news every Friday in “The Real Word,” a weekly video column on Inman.

Watch Byron Lazine and Nicole White give a real estate agent’s perspective on industry-related topics. This week, Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank, a funder of Opendoor and Compass, said he’s “embarrassed” by his tech investments’ results, which spurred quite the debate among Byron and colleagues. Listen in for more on the dispute.

Plus, will iRenting become a thing? Startup Doorstead bagged $3.3 million in funding to find out. IRenting is “a new class of risk-free property management … by providing landlords guaranteed rental income, regardless of occupancy,” according to the company.

Marketing highlight of the week

The Biebs. Justin Bieber went on an Instagram spree, putting it out there that he wants to sell his $8.5 million mansion. Needless to say, it’s gotten a bit of attention from the real estate community.

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Jotham ​Sederstrom <![CDATA[Inman News quiz: Think you’re on top of the week’s biggest stories?]]> https://www.inman.com/?p=758322 2019-10-17T21:16:21Z 2019-10-18T09:00:51Z The real estate industry threw some curveballs. Take Inman's real estate news quiz to demonstrate how strong your talking points and cocktail banter are this week.

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Teke Wiggin http://www.inman.com <![CDATA[Rent-to-own startup ZeroDown valued at $150M]]> https://www.inman.com/?p=758265 2019-10-17T21:37:50Z 2019-10-17T21:37:50Z ZeroDown, a San Francisco-based rent-to-buy startup, has clinched a $150 million valuation. For $10,000, the company will buy a home on behalf of a renter.

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ZeroDown, a San Francisco-based rent-to-buy startup, has clinched a $150 million valuation, TechCrunch reports.

In exchange for a $10,000 fee, ZeroDown will buy a home on behalf of a renter.

The renter then moves in and pays a monthly bill to ZeroDown that essentially includes funds for a future down payment. Rather than accumulate in a savings account owned by the renter, those funds earn the renter “purchase credits” from ZeroDown.

The renter can then put those purchase credits towards a down payment to buy the home from ZeroDown in the future — but only if the renter remains in the home for two years. Alternatively, the renter can move out and redeem their accumulated purchase credits for cash — but again, only if they stay in the home for at least two years.

ZeroDown currently only operates in the Bay Area, which has some of the highest housing prices in the country, meaning that even homebuyers that would be considered wealthy in other cities can’t necessarily afford homes here. And that’s who ZeroDown aims to serve.

Customers or households must earn more than $200,000 a year and have some savings to qualify for ZeroDown, and eligible homes have to be priced between $550,000 and $1.75 million.

People who rent homes from ZeroDown, whom ZeroDown calls “homeownership partners,” are responsible for paying for maintenance of the home. Property taxes, home insurance, and where applicable, HOA fees, are included in the monthly bill that renters pay to ZeroDown.

ZeroDown didn’t immediately respond when asked if the renter loses some or all of the money they paid to ZeroDown for purchase credits if they move out before two years have elapsed.

But while renters may not enjoy benefits offered by a traditional landlord, like included maintenance, if they rent from ZeroDown, they get to lock down a home they really would like to buy, but don’t feel they can yet afford.

The company has raised $30 million in equity financing and more than $110 million in debt, $100 million of which comes from Credit Suisse, the company announced in August.

ZeroDown pairs qualified applicants with partner real estate agents to find the home they want, and then splits the buy-side commission with those agents. As of June, the company had a partnership with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties.

“We prefer that you work with one of our partner agents, whom we’ve selected for their deep knowledge of the Bay Area housing market,” ZeroDown says on its website. “That said, we’re happy to partner with your agent if you’ve already been working with one and trust them.”

Email Teke Wiggin.

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Patrick Kearns <![CDATA[CRMLS strikes a deal with BoxMLS to offer open platform]]> https://www.inman.com/?p=758267 2019-10-17T21:54:25Z 2019-10-17T19:28:39Z California Regional Multiple Listing Service announced Thursday it struck a deal with real estate startup BoxMLS to grant its more than 98,000 agents access to modern MLS search tools, branded MLS-compliant virtual office websites and branded mobile apps.

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California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS) announced Thursday it struck a deal with BoxMLS, a real estate startup that offers branded search platforms for agents and consumers. Through the deal, CRMLS’s more than 98,000 agents will get access to modern MLS search tools, branded MLS-compliant virtual office websites and branded mobile apps.

“CRMLS has made a vital step towards making its platform as open as possible,” CRMLS CEO Art Carter said in a statement. “This agreement marks a major milestone in implementing a technology that is vast and lucrative for our users.”

BoxMLS also provides brokers and agents with a listing management tool through the new partnership. All of the benefits come to CRMLS users at no additional cost. The solution is expected to available to brokers and agents in the first quarter of 2020.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the nation’s largest MLS,” BoxMLS CEO Kevin Hughes said in a statement. “Real estate professionals in California need MLS solutions that are modern, powerful, user-friendly and effective. BoxMLS checks all those boxes.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story made reference to the September 2018 partnership between BoxMLS and CoreLogic. Both Parties have since mutually agreed to terminate the partnership, according to BoxMLS CEO Kevin Hughes. 

Email Patrick Kearns

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Jim Dalrymple II <![CDATA[Here’s how to get your listings in the news]]> https://www.inman.com/?p=758225 2019-10-17T21:17:29Z 2019-10-17T19:28:11Z Real estate publicity expert Audie Chamberlain advised agents to focus on their sold properties and identify a compelling story they can tell.

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Earlier this year, a sprawling San Diego-area estate that had been owned by weight loss guru Jenny Craig was about to close for $22 million. And Audie Chamberlain, founder of public relations firm Lion & Orb, was tasked with spreading the word.

Chamberlain, an expert in real estate publicity, opted for a press-centric strategy. Shortly before the deal closed, he recounted Wednesday at Inman Luxury Connect, he reached out to the real estate desk at the Los Angeles Times. Chamberlain promised the Times that they could have the scoop, on the condition that they didn’t report on the sale until it became public information — a common practice in the media known as having an embargo.

The Times agreed and when the time came, the story went live in the paper. From there, Chamberlain said, it was picked up by other outlets including TMZ. Before long, he continued, the news had reached 3.3 million consumers via various media outlets.

“Once you get it our there then everyone starts talking about the property,” Chamberlain said. “We did that in minutes.”

The case highlights how a successful media strategy can significantly boost the profile of a property and, perhaps more significantly, an agent. And of course a higher profile should translate into more business.

Audie Chamberlain at Inman Luxury Connect Wednesday | Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic

Chamberlain said there were several takeaways for agents from the Jenny Craig estate sale. First, he advised agents who want to generate publicity to focus on the properties that are sold or about to close.

“The more you maximize your sold [properties] the more listing opportunities you’re going to get,” he said.

Focusing on sold properties may not drum up new buyers for those specific listings, but it helps broadcast to other people — both in real estate and not — that an agent can close deals and handle high-end transactions. It’s a credibility boost.

Chamberlain also encouraged agents to think critically about when to time their publicity pushes — media embargoes can be useful for that — and to do their research on the outlets they want to get into. Know who covers what, he explained, and the kinds of stories they might be interested in picking up.

“You’re going to reach out to your local paper, the person who covers real estate,” he added. “So look at the last three articles they wrote.”

During his presentation, Chamberlain also asked how many agents in the packed room thought they had a newsworthy listing at the moment. Only a few hands went up.

It was an understandable response, given that Chamberlain’s example had been the flashy coastal estate of a public figure.

But he also argued that press-worthy listings are not limited to famous homes or those that sell for massive fortunes. Instead, relatively modest homes can sometimes attract significant attention if agents figure out how to frame a compelling narrative about them. The key, he said, is figuring out an interesting angle and going with it.

“Think about the different stories you can tell,” he concluded.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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Jim Dalrymple II <![CDATA[Succeeding in luxury means consistently investing in yourself]]> https://www.inman.com/?p=758261 2019-10-17T22:27:09Z 2019-10-17T19:03:37Z When Branden Williams started out in real estate, he had no money, a single suit and no experience. Today, Branden and his wife, Rayni, work in the highly exclusive Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills. At Inman Luxury Connect Thursday, the power couple explained that one of the keys to their success was consistently investing in their own business.

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When Branden Williams started out in real estate he had no money, a single suit, and no experience. He decided to get into the business after seeing a friend’s check for $70,000, which was “the most money I had ever seen on a check,” but otherwise thought “my life was over and I was going to be terrible at this job.”

But today, Williams and his wife Rayni Williams are the co-founders of Williams & Williams Estates Group and work in the highly exclusive Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills. In short, they’ve made it.

At Inman Luxury Connect Thursday the power couple explained that one of the keys to their success was consistently investing in their own business.

Branden recalled, for example, a time when they were eating at the Beverly Hills Hotel just months after beginning their real estate careers. They were seated in the “cheap seats,” he said, where they sell “hot dogs and hamburgers.” But while they were eating, they heard a man at a table nearby complaining that he had just lost a bid on a house.

Branden, who had been visiting as many houses as he could while trying to understand the market, was familiar with the home and struck up a conversation with the man. Soon, they were talking about another house that was coming on the market, and Branden offered to show it to him.

“I didn’t even know his name,” Branden said of the sudden potential client.

But the man ultimately took the couple up on their offer and, Branden said, “all of a sudden we did a $6 million sale.”

The episode highlights the importance of playing on the field where you want to work. Branden said (with a laugh) that he wasn’t too happy at the time about paying $15 for a hamburger at the Beverly Hills Hotel. But Rayni said it was important for them to be in a place where luxury clients might eat, adding that if you want to do luxury real estate you have to spend the money to be in the right places at the right times.

“If you want to be in the luxury market you have to be in the luxurious world,” she explained.

This has been a pattern throughout the Williams’ careers. Early on, for example, Rayni bought a used Range Rover because, she said, projecting the right image matters.

“Sellers really want to work with successful people,” she argued.

Later, the couple opted to take out an ad in the Los Angeles Times, which cost $2,000 at the time. The cost was a hard pill to swallow and represented a significant percentage of the couple’s most recent commission, but they pressed forward on the assumption that spending some money in the short term would lead to greater rewards down the road.

“We just kept believing in ourselves,” Branden said.

“You’ve got to spend money on things that enhance your business,” Rayni added.

There are, of course, other keys to the Williams’ success. Rayni said that they focused on a specific geographic area because agents need to be experts, and “it’s very hard to do that if you cover a vast area.”

And she said that its vital that agents are passionate about what they’re doing.

“If you’re not obsessed with what you do,” she said, “you’ll be average.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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Jim Dalrymple II <![CDATA[Young new-money buyers find agents on blogs and Yelp]]> https://www.inman.com/?p=758230 2019-10-17T22:36:51Z 2019-10-17T18:03:18Z Younger buyers who have made fortunes in technology have brought a complete "180 on the infrastructure of what our business is made up," Compass agent and "Listing Impossible" star Aaron Kirman argued during Luxury Connect.

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Tech millionaires are a type: They’re stereotypically young. They wear hoodies. And they don’t care about doing things the way their parents might have.

And that’s especially true when it comes to real estate, according to several high-powered agents who spoke Thursday at Inman Luxury Connect. In fact, younger people who have made fortunes in technology have actually brought a complete “180 on the infrastructure of what our business is made up,” Compass agent and Listing Impossible star Aaron Kirman argued.

Mark Choey, the San Francisco-based co-founder of Climb Real Estate, agree, saying Thursday that these changes have specifically altered the way younger, wealthier buyers find their agents. Unlike older buyers with old money, who might have connected with agents through lawyers or wealth managers, younger people with money “find you in the most random places.”

“Yelp, Zillow, your blog,” Choey said. “The blog is a place where agents can be honest.”

Mark Choey speaking at Inman Luxury Connect Thursday in Beverly Hills. Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic

Choey said that this is especially true for people who have made their money through a company going public — which regularly mints new fortunes in Silicon Valley — or an acquisition. Buyers who find themselves with money after these events may not have the same deep connections to wealth that old money buyers have, and may not have any experience at all with real estate. So despite their vast resources, they also end up approaching real estate much in the same way as young buyers in lower price points.

“It’s all through these unconventional means,” Choey said of the way wealthy young people find agents, “and typically the same as a first-time buyer.”

Kirman, who recalled recently meeting with a 26-year-old billionaire, agreed that younger people with fortunes are driving changes in the real estate industry, and said that agents who want to succeed need to adapt to those changes.

“Agents that are embracing the new ways are the ones that are getting these tech billionaires,” he said.

Aaron Kirman at Inman Luxury Connect Thursday. Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic

However, while the real estate industry is currently seeing major changes, Kirman also said there are some constants. Most buyers today, he argued, actually want the same kinds of properties regardless of their age or the source of their money. He recalled, for example, talking with a martini-loving 80-year-old woman who revealed that she actually wanted to buy a modern house with a view — or the same kind of thing many of those younger buyers are looking for.

“I wouldn’t have imagined that that’s what she wanted,” Kirman said. “What people want, and where they are going, all seems to be very similar.”

Kirman also said that it can be challenging to work with wealthy clients, particularly tech billionaires and company founders who are used to getting everything they want. But ultimately, he said, the same rules apply for those clients as they do for everyone else.

“At the end of the day, we are in sales,” Kirman said, “and the most important thing in sales is try to understand the buyer.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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Craig C. Rowe <![CDATA[Kleard and Adwerx partner to target unrepresented buyers]]> https://www.inman.com/?p=758194 2019-10-17T16:24:31Z 2019-10-17T16:24:31Z Buyer-identity verification software company Kleard has partnered with online advertising provider Adwerx to target unrepresented homebuyers.

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Kleard, a solution for ensuring the identity of prospective buyers at showings and open houses, has partnered with digital advertising company Adwerx to target unrepresented homeshoppers with online campaigns.

Adwerx was one of the first companies to introduce online advertising and retargeting technology to the real estate industry, allowing agents to launch listing-awareness and brand-building advertisements across some of the internet’s most trafficked websites.

Retargeting is what allows a brand’s ads to “follow” users around the web.

Consumers who register for an open house via a Kleard interface and indicate that they are not represented will be entered into the listing agent’s “sphere of influence” database within Adwerx.

This feature requires only an email address to become part of an agent’s online ad audience.

In a press release on the relationship, Adwerx CEO Jed Carlson said it overlaps clearly with his company’s goal of finding more ways to help small businesses advertise online.

“This integration with Kleard is yet another step to making marketing solutions that are usually only available to large companies more widely accessible,” he said.

Agents will need to create accounts for both services to take advantage of the feature.

The value of open houses remain an issue of debate within the industry, and the hassle of follow-up and database entry of guests is often a reason cited by those who aren’t fans of the time-honored sales tactic.

Partnerships like this can render that argument moot, enabling agents to quickly repurpose the open house into an effective online ad campaign.

From an advertising psychology perspective, buyers seeing a recently visited home, and its agent, advertised on a common website could be enticed by the prospect of the home’s apparent popularity.

Such a technologically connected marketing effort should impress sellers, as well.

“Hosting open houses with Kleard allows agents to become much more productive and efficient, and the integration with Adwerx will give them further opportunity to grow their business,” said Jonathan Martis, CEO of Kleard, in the release.

Both Kleard and Adwerx were NAR REach companies, meaning they were selected as part of the organization’s technology acceleration program. Kleard was selected in 2019, Adwerx in 2017.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

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