Consultant Jim Marks here has such a great vision for what real estate brokerages should be. This is exactly what I have been preaching about to my website clients for some time now.
I am a marketing consultant for other Realtors in my area. I have figured out a marketing system that allows me to provide something of value to the residents of my neighborhood by offering hyper-local content. I give of myself with no strings attached.
What the residents of my neighborhood have told me is they appreciate what I'm doing so much that they want the neighborhood expert to be me. They know I am genuine. And it works. It's a great relationship. And I now have a significant market share.
Visit my website and see what I mean... www.MyWestoverPark.com
It was built by marketing consulting company, Agent FarmSite. It's truly all about bringing community back to our neighborhoods. And to that end, building meaningful relationships.
In a LOT of ways... Its already here.
As an Internet marketing consultant who prides himself in debunking current thoughts on what actually works and doesnt? I invest a fair amount of time with my clients across the Country..
I travel a lot. I mean, a lot.
Because I visit different regions of the country, I get to hear first-hand not only what brokerages and agents are talking about, but also the public at large. Its amazing what you can learn in a Starbucks for 4 hours with 20 $5 cards and a clipboard of questions.
Here's what I can tell you: there has been much speculation these last two years, about what the real estate brokerage of the future will look like. What you may not know, is the brokerages of the future are already here. There are several firms across the country that are rethinking the old paradigm and boldly exploring new frontiers. Here is a one example of such a brokerage, located in Los Angeles, California.
"Well, a typical day here is a bit different than what you might find at other brokerages," says Dane Findley, Marketing Director at Partners Trust Real Estate Brokerage and Acquisitions. "We believe what real estate professionals really want most from their brokerage is cutting-edge coaching and education, and state-of-the-art technology tools, so you'll see that belief reflected in our culture. This is how we spend our time and energy."
At PT, a Social Media Tutorial is presented every Wednesday morning at Partners Trust, during which Associates learn inside tips on using digital media to provide value to their communities and motivate each other to work their social media campaigns. These tutorials include everything from effective blogging tips (each agent has his/her own hyper-local blog) to how to drive your existing clients onto your 2.0 tool set.
Thursdays is Press Room Day -- an editorial story meeting where Associates exchange story ideas for their blogs, offering each other support and constructive criticism. "Each Associate is encouraged to have at least one Social Object, which is a hobby or interest other than real estate, around which an ongoing series of hyperlocal features can be built," reports Findley. "Authenticity is essential. If you want to write about the best dog parks in Santa Monica, or record video segments about your never-ending search for the perfect cup of coffee in Brentwood -- as long as it feels real and interesting to you -- we run with it."
Also on Thursdays is Workshop, when the Founding Partners gather round with their laptops and smart phones to catch-up on their social media channels, conversing on Twitter and Facebook, and leaving comments on local blogs and online forums. "Of course, we spend an enormous amount of face-time out in the field, but it's also important to build into our schedule our journalistic endeavors and social media protocols," states Findley.
Friday mornings is reserved for Enrichment Series at Partners Trust. Currently running is a 13-week group called Think Rich, designed to help Associates explore their own inner-relationships with money. Explains President Nick Segal, "we find that prosperity loves enthusiasm, so we make sure to laugh a lot around here and have a good time." This forward-thinking brokerage invests in the happiness of its Associates, and it shows in the design of the interior office spaces -- replete with water features, textiles, and eco-chic colors and materials -- even the air quality and acoustics have been considered. "Since all Associates own a piece of this Brokerage, each one feels a sense of responsibility and connectedness to the team," says Segal. "When the Associate feels good, they, in turn, provide their clients with a premium level of service. What I mean is, you can't get away with having a boring, stale office and then ask your Associates to be dynamic sales people. It simply doesn't work that way."
As a consultant for Partners Trust, I have shadowed members of the team and I've realized that one of the keys to their success has been a deep commitment, from the top-down, to their social media program. Whether or not to participate in the program is the decision of individual Associate, but the company as whole is fully committed to providing relevant and useful (and often entertaining) information to their clients in between transactions. "Well, let me put it this way," explains Findley, "it's only 11:30am, and I've already filmed one video and posted two blog posts from Associates. Every single one of the Flip cams has already been checked-out from our Concierge Station. That means that my team is out there, bringing their neighborhoods to life by sharing stories and finding the best things to do in the communities of Los Angeles."
Yes, the Brokerage of the Future is a mind-set. A comitment to teach and encourage their agent to spread their wings and move toward new technology while embracing age old social strategies.
If your real estate brokerage is doing something different, or if you know of one that is, please share what they're doing in the comments section. I always welcome success stories of brokerages that are doing new and inventive things that work. (But I may check it out and blog about it, so beware!)
Meanwhile, in the video below, one of my clients shares with you some of our helpful tips for getting the most out of your marketing and lead-generation efforts: