Changes in the real estate industry appear to be reaching a breakneck speed at the moment. Almost every day, we are reading about a major acquisition of a real estate brokerage, MLS, or tech company. Change can be good or bad, but it always brings opportunity.

As a result, many MLSs, associations, and brokerages are having to re-think or re-shop the tech tools and software solutions bought from the company that was acquired. Firms are discovering that what they thought they purchased may not be the service they initially thought it was. It could be a culture change or something more significant: the motives of the acquiring company are incongruent with their own organization’s goals and objectives.

At Florida Realtors, we get it. Finding the right company to partner with today has never been more crucial in light of these acquisitions. When there are changes in ownership to essential software that helps agents and brokers run their businesses – such as their customer relationship management (CRM) or transaction management solution – it is time to reassess.

What do you do?

How do you select the right transaction management solution, for example, if you find yourself reconsidering what you have because of change?

At Florida Realtors, we own and operate Form Simplicity, used by more than a hundred thousand Realtors in Florida and hundreds of thousands of Realtors nationwide. Form Simplicity is a fantastic solution to help run a real estate business. Most importantly, it is now the only transaction management software solution that was created by Realtors for Realtors and is still owned by Realtors.

That provides significant value to an agent’s business because of how Form Simplicity is designed: with the Realtor in mind. Looking for the right transaction management solution isn’t just about features and benefits. When you compare the top five transaction management solutions side-by-side overall, you will see small differences.

How do you choose?

It comes down to how your members or agents and brokers adopt, embrace, and use a transaction management solution as a core function of their daily businesses. Gaining their trust is key. Partnering with Form Simplicity, owned by Florida Realtors, checks the trust box. They know that they are working with an organization that will always have their best interests at heart. Trust is essential to winning over and keeping agents and brokers happy today—and tomorrow.

Another critical factor in selecting the right transaction management solution is how well it can be integrated into your systems and deployed to your members or team. This is where Form Simplicity excels: talk to our customers about our rollout process and the personalized training we provide. We also have a seasoned team that excels at superior customer service. You will love our people and so will your agents and brokers.

Finally, buying any technology solution for the long run comes down to how excellent their tech support is. Fortunately for agents and brokers who use Form Simplicity, they are supported by the No. 1 tech support company in the real estate industry, Tech Helpline.

Will they be there when you need them?

Tech Helpline, like its sister service Form Simplicity, was created by Realtors for Realtors and remains owned by the Florida Realtors. No other tech support firm in real estate better understands how agents and brokers work. Tech Helpline also knows what they need in terms of kind, considerate, and thoughtful tech support.

Form Simplicity users get the best of the best: a US-based (Orlando) crew of top tech analysts offering support in both English and Spanish. Tech Helpline analysts have a combined 300+ years of tech support experience. They work with brokers and agents every day and make sure every question that comes in on a call or online is a positive and memorable experience for those reaching out for help.

The bottom line is every brokerage, MLS, and association today has many choices available for a transaction management solution. If you are reconsidering your decision—or making a selection for the first time—we ask that you look at Form Simplicity. It is the only industry provided solution that is owned and operated by Realtors for Realtors. Once you consider all the essential factors that can impact your business today and tomorrow, we are confident you’ll select Form Simplicity as your transaction management solution.

One of the real estate industry’s most popular and advanced paperless transaction management solutions, Form Simplicity, recently released its newly redesigned application to more than 200,000 REALTORS® nationwide.

 

The update to Form Simplicity is more than just a designed facelift. The changes improve transaction productivity and speed up agent and broker workflow.

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Did you realize that a dozen states allow or are testing a digital driver’s license? That’s right: no more fumbling in your purse or wallet to show your vital ID. It is digital, and all you need is your smartphone.

 

You don’t even need a paper passport at many ports of entry into the U.S. today with the Mobile Passport app. This is not a fad; it’s our future as experts predict that it’s just a matter of time that all IDs will be digitized.

 

The world is undergoing a digital transformation. Whether you like it or not, it’s a reality that for your business is worth embracing. Why? Because it will increase your productivity and that can be a big bump to your earnings, personal time, or both.

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People are likely to tell everyone they know about a bad experience with a business, and they’re usually thrilled to pass on information about good experiences, too. And that’s what word-of-mouth marketing is all about.

The home buying and selling processes are ones in which you become intimately familiar with your clients, and vice versa. This is a prime opportunity to get these clients to spread the word about your services.

 

  • Focus on creating an amazing client experience.

To create client experiences that people brag about, go above and beyond with customer service gestures for all of your clients. Customer service that goes beyond your client’s expectations involves everything from your response time to your level of transparency throughout the process.

Homebuyers and sellers, especially first-time buyers and sellers, will appreciate it if you create a map that boils down the process into easy-to-follow steps that make everything less daunting.

Another great way to stay top-of-mind when it comes to word-of-mouth referrals is by being timely with updates, responses, and alerts. Take the time to stay in touch with clients so they feel like their needs are your priority.

 

  • Use social media as a referral channel.

Sharing your clients’ social posts and creating photo ops for milestone moments that they will want to share on social media are excellent ways to get your clients to talk about you to their friends and family.

For example, say you take a photo of your clients with their new home in the background, keys proudly displayed in their hand as they smile at the camera, and you post it on your Instagram or Facebook account.

From here, clients have the photos you took highlighting their experience readily available for them to share and tell their family and friends about with the touch of a button.

 

 

  • Streamline the referral process.

Your clients shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to refer your services. Make the referral process as seamless as possible by taking steps like pre-printing referral cards to give to happy clients, or creating a templated email survey or testimonial request.

However, the most important part of streamlining the referral process is timing, timing, timing.

Make sure you’re capitalizing on the referral process while you’re still top of mind. You shouldn’t wait longer than a few weeks to ask for a referral. Conversely, you shouldn’t ask too soon either, or you’ll risk making a bad impression.

 

 

  • Ask for reviews/ratings/referrals.

Many agents don’t think to ask, but planting the seed in your clients’ heads is sometimes half the battle. Sometimes the most obvious way to get your clients to brag about how great of an experience they shared with you is by simply asking them!

It can even be something as simple as:  “I’m so pleased you had a great experience! Let me know if I can ever help you with anything else, and if you have any family, friends, or colleagues who need help buying or selling a home, please let them know about my services.”

 

 

  • Offer incentives.

Lastly, you can also incentivize your clients to spread the word to friends and family by offering them things like thank you notes, bottles of wine for their new home, and even tickets to events in their new area.

When the client uses the gift you give them, they’ll think of you and how great the home buying or home selling experience with you was. If they’re sharing the wine you got them with friends and their friends ask where they bought it, you and your services will immediately become the subject of the conversation.

Remember that getting referrals involves happy clients, so make customer service your top priority and you’re sure to have clients who are more than happy to spread the word. Happy selling!

Millennials have become the largest share of homebuyers. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) research department, as of 2018, millennials are 36 percent of homebuyers, with 65 percent of those also being first-time home buyers.

The question now becomes: how do you reach this tech-savvy swath of homebuyers?

A majority (59 percent) of Millennials are active Instagram users. While Facebook is still the most used social network among millennials, that figure is declining. Instagram on the other hand, is increasing its market share amongst millennials.

 

Using Instagram to Reach Millennial Homebuyers:

 

Create a professional page

The first step to creating a successful Instagram that will help you reach the Millennial market is creating a professional Instagram page. If you look at some of the agents that have found success on Instagram, they all have one thing in common, their pages are professional and reflect their brand cohesively.

Although posting photos of your past and current listings is a great first step, don’t forget to incorporate the aspects that highlight what makes the neighborhood that your listing are in so special.

Another good tip is to always stay authentic and approachable. Posting a mix of professional photos of listings with behind-the-scenes content of you at listings or with clients is a great way to put a personal touch on your social media.

 

 

Post engaging content

When it comes to Instagram, there’s a variety of content types to choose from. There are posts you can share to your newsfeed, story posts, and live video. You also have a number of mediums in which you can post content, like videos, photos, boomerangs, and carousel posts.

Choosing a good mix of these types of content outreach strategies will allow you to keep your audience interested in what you have to say and show. Whether it’d be tying back to your specific area of real estate expertise or the actual neighborhood that you have listings in, try to have a cohesive theme throughout all of your content that ties back to what you want your audience to remember about you.

Some examples of great content that Millennials will undoubtedly pick up on include photos and video of local coffee shops, restaurants, and unique things to do that are iconic to the neighborhood you’re listings are in.

 

 

Don’t just post — engage!

In a time when consumers and clients look for personal connections to the brands, causes, and professionals they choose, the best approach isn’t always marketing to people, but engaging with them.

Building a community of people who know and trust you requires you to have conversations with them, especially on a platform that can turn as impersonal as Instagram.

Commenting back to those who take time out of their busy lives to comment on your content gives you the opportunity to reveal your personality to your audience. It also communicates that there’s a real person behind the pictures and videos.

Conversely, go out of your way to find other agent’s Instagram profiles and engage with them! You never know what kind of professional bonds and referrals you might get from simply commenting on other real estate agent’s content.

The most important thing to remember about engaging on Instagram to build relationships with your audience is that it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be patient and constantly engage in order to reap the benefits of engaging on Instagram.

 

 

Use hashtags effectively

Remember how I mentioned finding other agents and engaging with them on Instagram is a great way to network on social media? Well, hashtags are how you find other agents and how they find you! Not to mention, people looking for listings will be searching these hashtags as well.

Using hashtags helps you increase your exposure and searchability. Instagram allows 30 hashtags, so make sure that you’re using the full 30 for maximum visibility!

Use hashtags like: newly sold, newly listed, your specific neighborhood or location, amenities, the brokerage you work for, and various other trending real estate related hashtags. Placing the hashtags in a comment on your post as opposed to in the actual caption of the post allows you to keep the caption clean and easy to read.

In the end, reaching a Millennial audience isn’t rocket science. Simply be authentic in everything you do and highlight all of the great aspects of working with you as an agent and you’ll be building your Instagram reputation with Millennials in no time.

As online home buying and selling web tools advance, real estate agents have started fearing that clients will believe their commission isn’t justifiable with the services they provide. Creating value for clients by showing them how much easier the home buying and selling process is with a real estate agent is the best way to earn referrals and get past clients to want to do business with you again.

Here are a few of the most effective ways to create value for potential clients.

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So you finally have your real estate license and you’re ready to kickstart your new career as a real estate agent. What do you do now?

While launching a career in real estate can be daunting, the following are a few ways to ensure you position yourself for long-term success in the industry.

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September was officially REALTOR® Safety Month, and there was an abundance of news stories, blogs and social media posts filled with tips and tactics to help keep brokers and agents safe.

But let’s face it: agent safety is something that’s vital all 365 days a year. So here is a collection of the best resources we found to help keep you safe year-round.

 

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When real estate agents think of social media marketing, the sites that come to mind most often are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, a recent study shows that, while sites like Instagram and Facebook are great for getting your audience to get to know your business, LinkedIn is the proven king of lead generation.

Coming in at a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.74 percent, LinkedIn has a conversion rate that is three times higher than both Twitter and Facebook.

The reason LinkedIn works is because you are reminding your circle of your professional expertise.  You are showcasing to your friends, family and acquaintances your knowledge in a way that is not pushy or overbearing.

This doesn’t mean that you should abandon your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter efforts; it means that you should be actively nurturing your LinkedIn presence in addition to the other social sites in your lead generation mix. Today we’ll be showing you how to make the most of your LinkedIn page, so you can maximize lead generation and get more clients.

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After what seemed like an endless amount of time, you and your client have finally reached the finish line – your client’s home closing day. Closing gifts are a great opportunity to show your client how much of a pleasure it has been working with them throughout the entire home purchasing process.

 

Closing gifts are also the perfect way for your client to remember you fondly after the home closing and hopefully refer you to friends or even hire you as their Realtor again sometime in the future.

Below we’ve gathered a few gift ideas for you.

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