Whether it was an astronaut, a ballerina, or a firefighter, every child has dreams and aspirations of what they would like to become when they grow up. As we get older, we come to the unfortunate realization that space travel, tutus, and shiny red trucks aren’t in everyone’s future. Maybe you knew all along, or maybe you simply found it at the end of your path, but one way or another you found your feet planted firmly in the real estate industry, and what an industry it is! There are nearly 110,000 real estate professionals in Canada meaning that one in every 245 Canadians over the age of 19 actively sells real estate. Not to be outdone by those north of the border, the United States has over 2 million real estate licensees and between both countries, we are all operating under one common misconception. Real Estate is not simply an “industry” as it is commonly referred to as. Rather, it is a community of hardworking, dedicated, and results driven individuals working to help people all over the world find a place to call home. So, what happens when over 2,000 of these community leaders, along with 100+ speakers, and the best and brightest in real estate technology meet? Below are the top takeaways from some of our RE/MAX INTEGRA leaders who attended this year’s Real Estate Connect in San Francisco:
Michelle Hoyt | Training Specialist
RE/MAX INTEGRA Midwest Region
This was my first Inman Connect event and it met all my expectations and more. Three main themes resonated with me most:
1. Video Marketing and Distribution: Video is not only one of the most underutilized tools out there, but it is necessary for a sustainable future in real estate. The panels covered the platforms to tackle video as well as how to choose the right one for you.
2. Creating an Environment for Clients: Creating a space for your clients to engage with you, especially on social media, has become increasingly important. Often times, we all fall into a routine where we define our value to our clients rather than allowing them to let us know what they are looking for.
3. Leads: Finally, the last overall main takeaway for me was the general perception of “leads” in the industry, specifically online leads. It was stated on stage by Jeff Lobb, Spark Tank Realty, that “most agents don’t take leads seriously.” In my opinion, every lead is a good lead. It is through the nurturing process that you can make a lead turn into a client. Two other impactful points made last week were that “lead follow up is NOT lead conversion” and “you can buy leads, but you can’t buy conversion.” All agents need to ask themselves if they truly know their conversion numbers and remember that they need to be tracking them. The best of the best on stage last week tracked their conversions and could recite them by memory. I encourage everyone out there to know exactly what your ROE is…Return On Efforts.
Andrew Fogliato | Training Specialist
RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Region
Inman Connect in San Francisco was probably the best Real Estate event I have been to in a long time in terms of professional development. I had two main takeaways from the event that people should consider going forward in their business. The first is to stop worrying about number of leads you can generate and more about converting the leads you are already getting. An American brokerage that tracks it for all their salespeople said that average agents convert 10% of online leads but the good ones convert 16-20% of their online leads.
The second takeaway is not just the importance of video but the importance of using video to tell a story. Agents need to stop thinking as tour operators of homes and more like a creative Ad Agency. Planning the video, story boarding ahead of time, and then having a 60 day promotion plan are the most important aspects of the video.
Chrissy Roeglin| Training Specialist
RE/MAX INTEGRA Midwest Region
“Technology is not our business; it is a portion that helps us be more efficient.” While innovation and technology were a big focus at the Inman Connect conference in San Francisco, there was definitely a strong presence of the tried and true basics of providing exceptional service. Sometimes we get so focused on technology that we either lose sight of, or don’t have enough time left for the personal touches that help differentiate us by “WOWing” our customers. A WOW’d customer is the best marketing source to promote your business. In the days of online reviews, instant access to information and strong connections, nothing will make you stand out more! Remember, when you deliver an experience instead of a transaction, you create a relationship that will generate repeat customers and referrals to maximize your business growth.
Dan Levine| Training Specialist
RE/MAX INTEGRA New England
For the past four years, I have been going to numerous Inman and other technology/marketing conferences, and the constant message has always been about lead generation. Every speaker was always talking about “how you can use [technology x] to generate leads” or “utilize [strategy y] to generate leads;” however, this year was different. It turns out that the industry “moons” have aligned along the mentality that maybe – just maybe – people are getting enough leads…or, to quote Jeff Lobb from SparkTank Media, “maybe it’s not the leads, maybe you have a conversion problem.” Now, while that may be a little more blunt than I would like to word it, I found it refreshing to see the brighter minds of the industry talk about lead conversion and not lead generation.
Lobb went on to discuss a situation in which a real estate firm hired a group of college kids to call some “dead leads” for them over twelve hours (3 hours/day for 4 days). In total, they called over 700 leads that were previously qualified as “dead,” yet somehow scheduled 57 new appointments – a conversion rate of about 8%. Imagine having an 8% conversion rate on ALL your means of marketing!!! Sounds good, doesn’t it?
That being said, there is a bountiful amount of strategies and technologies that can help with that lead conversion to prevent leads from becoming “dead” or “weak;” probably the most popular of which was utilizing video. From Videolicious to Animoto to my personal favorite, BombBomb, video is no longer just for people who want to hire a film crew and create a personal branding (or testimonial video).
Essentially, consumers want to know about the community more than they want to know about you as a person or agent. According to a recent survey, only 3% of agents are utilizing video for their marketing which indicates hugeroom for opportunity. After spending a week at the Inman conference in San Francisco, it is very evident that the influencers in the industry have bought into lead conversion – especially through video…are you in?
After three full days of discovering, debating, and discussing the latest in real estate technology, our RE/MAX INTEGRA Training Specialists took away many great game changing highlights that will benefit our real estate community in the coming year. Do you have questions about their takeaways from Inman Real Estate Connect in San Francisco? Leave your questions and comments below!