Friday’s Idea Exchange Council for Brokers was jam packed with practical ideas the audience members could take home and implement in their own firms. Chaired by Florida’s REALTOR® of the Year 2015 Sherri Meadows, the fast paced discussion centered on the major hot points identified by NAR’s Broker Idea Exchange Council members at meetings throughout the year.
Educator Adorna Carroll introduced the topic of tech tips in managing teams. She asked the group what kinds of programs the audience uses to share information in the office. There is no one size fits all solution. Carroll uses Skyslope. I personally use Docusign Transaction Room, and found it fits the needs of my small independent brokerage. I also backup files to Google Drive and agents share listing photos and files there. Asana, Dotloop, Back Agent, and Transaction Desk were also mentioned as worth looking at. Followupboss is a great CRM and lead funnel for brokers to use with teams. Michigan broker Mike Bowler recommended showingtime.com as a great time saver in scheduling appointments and coordinating calls, eliminating the need to wait for a return call from a busy agent.
Problems with social media was led by Veronica Mullenix, who asked how participants monitor their agents use online. One broker monitors her agents online and has alerts set up. A social media policy and procedures manual is recommended. A Montana broker discusses social media once a month with her agents and emphasizes they are not to post details of current transaction details online. Social media should be about promoting the community, and agents need to spend time listening to their online friends about what is going on in their lives—a marriage, new baby, or new job for example. Sherri emphasized you need to be consistent and think long term when it comes to social media.
A discussion on Pocket listings and “coming soon” was led by Nick Solis. He explained the difference between the two terms and how his firm uses the time between getting the listing and preparing the home for sale to present the home in the best light and make the seller happy. Pocket listings are self serving for the agent. The coming soon listing is intended to go on the MLS, but the agent needs time to order professional photos and the seller needs to declutter, make repairs and get it showing ready. Solis sees selling the house as a marketing job, and tries to build up demand for a home quickly. There is no national ban or consistent practice among states or MLS groups for how to handle this right now, according to NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson.
Best practices for starting a new construction program were presented by Tracy Kasper. The Boise Idaho REALTOR® concentrates on new construction which she says is coming back again. She talked about building an in-house team that works with builders. She recommended going to builder association meetings and getting to know the players in your market. This is a niche market you can use to supplement your business.