Real estate industry is changing fast. There are multiple trends affecting the industry, including the economy, the real estate market, the new technologies and new consumer habits that are disrupting the way consumers buy and sell real estate. Each player in the real estate ecosystem has shifting need sand priorities and is creating solutions to survive and thrive in the new marketplace.
This post looks at the challenges that each player is facing and how the innovative players in the industry are creating solutions to impact their stakeholders. The Teamerage concept is gaining traction and is being implemented in different ways by brokers and real estate teams. The Keller Williams Evolution franchise in Beverly, MA implementation of the teamerage concept is a game-changer for the agents who partner with the franchise and can serve as a model for the industry as it seeks solutions to the shifting real estatemarket.
Every realtor wants their phone to ring off the hook with qualified leads who’re ready to pull the trigger, engage their service and pay fair fees for their hard work. Traditionally, realtors have focused on building their business through personal relationships and if they survived the initial lean years, the business would grow organically, and the phone would ring consistently with referrals and repeat business. But this way of doing business is changing rapidly by technology and new consumer habits.
Similar to other industries, the real estate customer is increasingly relying on technology to find a home. Property buyers and sellers are comfortable sharing their data online in exchange for information and access to better services and lower prices. Consumers are doing transactions first and building relationships later – if at all.
The companies that build the consumer websites and collect their information now control the consumer data and experience. These aggregators have the leverage, the resources and the data science behind them to control the information and deal flow. Their goal is to monetize the information they have collected and they are seeking reliable partners who can close deals. They prefer to partner with brokerages rather than individual agents to hold brokers accountable for their results.
Brokers want cappers. They want agents who produce consistent results year over year and stay with the franchise through business cycles and shifting markets. Smart brokers realize that the business is shifting and their agents may not learn fast enough how to operate and succeed in this environment. They are looking for ways to help their agents be productive in this new environment through new tools, technologies and partnerships. They are willing to invest their own financial resources and share the risk with their agents.
Each player has up to now operated separately, driven by their own priorities and financial prerogatives. This has left the real estate ecosystem fractured and competing within itself. The consumer is changing rapidly and the industry needs to not only keep up but proactively shape thec onsumer experience and how real estate market will operate in the coming decades.
What is the best model that will ensure win-win-win for all the players in the market?
In this environment, where both the market and the way we do business is rapidly shifting, it’s a tall order for any individual agent to adjust fast enough to have consistent business and support their families. The brokers that understand the new business imperatives will help the agents fast-track the new technologies and methods of business development. The brokers will become the enablers for the agent and provide both services and the accountability to help the agent succeed.
The brokerages now form a team with their agents in a teamerage framework to help the agents and boost their own profits. The best example I’ve seen is what the leadership team at KW Evolution (KWE) has built and rolled out to its partners.
Teamrage Evolution is a system of services that take the lead from the initial contact, to closing, to a post-closing relationship in a systematized, automated, predictable fashion that allow all stakeholders to accomplish their goals.
The system consists of three components: lead response services, broker digital strategy, and agent support services.
LEAD RESPONSE SERVICES FOR THE AGENT
The companies that collect and control leads, known as lead aggregators, have vast data collected over the years and predictive analytics to reward the high-performing agents. Until recently, they have worked with individual agents and are now looking for ways to increase agent productivity.
R.I.S.E is a “coaching and consulting company that coaches realtors on the data, science and algorithms that drive leads into your conversion engine from various platforms that are all over the USA and currently expanding into the Canadian market.” R.I.S.E. is the aggregator’s aggregator and they partner with each aggregator to help them grow their business. The individual lead aggregators prefer to work with RISE and partner with brokerswho can close. RISE does the heavy-lifting on broker communication & reporting and controls the analytics on lead flow.
OpCIty is a lead generation service with the “speed to lead”, “click to claim” approach for newer agents or those who like the process-driven workflow to generate leads.
With OpCity, you have to pay your dues first. The aggregators want to make sure that the agent is committed and will stay on the platform and serve the customer. The agents on OpCity start with rentals and once they do three rentals, they become eligible for purchase leads. The quality of the leads the agents receive increases as they prove their ability to close business. The leaders get three second lead time with each opportunity– the difference between a listing and wasted time.
This is a key factor that any agent who wants to be on this system must recognize. The aggregators track you, learn about you, and then predict your behavior; sometimes better than you can. The data doesn’t lie. If you want to be on the system, you need to do it well or quit.
One of the most successful agents on the platform at KWEvolution is a former call center employee. The skill that he brings to the table is adherence to process and relentlessly picking up the phone. He has closed nine listings in a few short months and is now considered a top agen twho gets lead time from OpCity.
OpCity provides an app and training to help agents be successful. The broker has a dashboard that they can monitor and control which of their agents remain on the system. The underperforming agents get terminated– and so do the brokers if they don’t meet certain benchmarks. It is in the broker’s best interest to help the agents who perform.
Ojo serves more experienced agents who they prescreen based on the number of closed listings in the past. Ojo is a service that connects buyers and sellers with the agents in their network and connects the agent on the platform to a live lead.
72SOLD is an innovative program for listings and requires licensing and membership with the company to use the program. Keller Williams has negotiated an exclusive partnership with 72SOLD which will give KW agents an initial advantage in using the program and boosting their sales in the new year.
Inside sales support
The two inside sales services are a true differentiator for the KWE Teamerage. The inside sales staff will do the advance work of contacting and qualifying the lead and connect them with an agent if they’re motivated and ready to do business.
NurtureWorq is an inside sales service that will pickup the phone for the agent and deliver a call to the agent that can lead to an appointment much faster.
Follow Up Boss is a real estate CRM system that will “Instantly assign lead to agents, respond to new leads and send notifications and reminders to agents” to help you keep track of leads in your system and not let leads skip through the cracks.
BROKER DIGITAL STRATEGY
KW Evolution, with the help from Union StreetMedia, is building a website for the franchise where each partner will have a profile alongside the Evolution brand. The SEO lift that the increased traffic will give to the website will be key to the franchise visibility and click-through from the online searches. By elevating the franchise brand, the broker is giving his team more clout than each individual agent ever could.
Witly is an online ad service and provides automated marketing support to agents. With this service, agents are able to reach more customers in a more timely, consistent manner without spending their precious time posting on social media.
BROKER PARTNER SERVICES
KW Evolution has created an ecosystem of service providers to serve the various needs of the agents outside of real estate but that are equally important to the agent’s business and life.
SimplifyR provides transaction coordination, marketing and bookkeeping services to agents to simplify their lives, spend less time on mundane tasks and more time with their clients.
IntroLend is the KW Evolution lending partner allowing the lenders to compete for the clients’ business and deliver the best rates and services to the buyers.
Archer Insurance provides property and casualty insurance to the agents’ clients and additional stream of income for the agents who are licensed to sell insurance.
Queenvest is a financial planning and coaching firm helping agents build their own financial security. Queenvest specializes in realtors and assists agents with the organization and management of their business and personal finances.
Greenwood Real estate provides training and continuing education services to the agents.
In exchange for a financial investment into the system, the broker splits the commission with the agent on the platform. The broker’s investment covers the following services:
· Lead referral fees
· Transaction coordination
· ISA fees
· Platform fees
· Follow-up programs
The agent’s trades commission for predictable business flow and a process-driven work flow that the agent can control and manage. The agent essentially trades time with money and focuses on transactions rather than the slower pace of relationship-building and the traditional labor- intensive marketing that they agents are accustomed to.
Why is this system so powerful and impactful? The teamerage combines the strengths of all the players in today’s real estate ecosystem and helps them work together to accomplish their mutual goals.
There are five main benefits to the KWE Teamerage:
1. The agents are able to control their time and focus their business development efforts on transactions that are more likely to close in the near future. They leverage new skills and new technologies to promote their brand and grow their business in a more automated, systematic fashion.
2. The brokers are able to encourage and reward the agent who will learn new skills, follow a process and close transactions. They will become more profitable and, in turn, reinvest profits in new ways to help the agents succeed.
3. The technology providers get a return on the irinvestment and are able to provide better services to consumers hungry for change.
4. The have their needs met by high-quality professionals dedicated to providing excellent customer service and serving the customer on their terms.
5. The real estate market operates in a more efficient manner with skilled professionals serving customers and meeting their real estate needs
The bottom line
The teamarage concept is evolving and there will be many implementations driven by innovation, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. The early adopters will have an edge because they will iterate quicker and learn faster. Eventually, everyone’s business will be better in the new world.
In a shifting market, those who adapt will survive and thrive. This market will not be “fair” to all, but rather have a “K-shape” trajectory that will separate the true professional from the agent who was in the right place at the right time.
Which end of the “K” each broker and agent will end up on is entirely up to them. It’ll be easier to stay at the top with research, innovation, and teamwork.