Blog :: 01-2014

Rebranding

In real estate there are essentially only three ways that you can boost your annual gross commission income:

1) You sell more homes.

2) You charge more for your services.

3) You sell homes in a higher price range.

However, when you really look closely at this list, the third option is really the only feasible one among the bunch if you are already working at your full capacity and if the market conditions are anything less than desirable.

To be more specific, unless you are only a part-time agent or you still have a lot of free time, the number of transactions that you can add to your annual work load is likely minimal. Your plate is probably already full with your current number of clients, right?

And, you cant likely charge a higher commission rate for your services because then potential clients would run in the opposite direction for the hundreds of agent offering their services at the going-rate, 5%.

So, that brings us back to #3. While we agree that it is difficult to move from a comfortable lower-end market where your client base is very familiar with you to a higher clientele that may be skeptical of your new proposed higher-end knowledge and services, we think it is still within reach. And, what this boils down to is rebranding.

We arent talking about a new suit, a slight revamp of your website or even new business cards and marketing materials we are talking about a complete rebrand. In fact, many large companies that appeal to the masses have tried to slightly rebrand, trying to hit a more affluent client base by changing their logo or even adding a new name, with limited success.

One recent example that comes to mind is Comcast. While they are a big player in the TV and Internet business, and everyone knows their name, a big name only gets you so far. So, what is their real image? The company must not have felt it was very positive among high-end markets, because they chose 11 upper markets (including Boston) and rebranded themselves as Xfinity, still coupled with the Comcast name, but adding higher prices.

Despite your opinion of Comcast, I think we can all agree that the new name in front is not likely going to erase public opinion (positive or negative) about Comcast and new markets probably wont open up their arms to this mainstream provider. They are still the same brand, are they not?

The same is true for your brand in real estate. If youve spent years in a particular market developing a name for yourself and an opinion of expertise, suddenly trying to take that brand and market it to a new audience will be met with a great deal of resistance.

Despite the fact that we cant completely role out resistance (you will still be you with the same resume, of course), a complete rebrand could be just the change of image you are looking for, and Andrew Mitchell & Company can help you do that. We can give you a high-end brand to stand in front of, as well as a brand new high-end web presence and a suite of great online and mobile search and information tools to impress your clients, which will, in turn, move you up the ladder in terms of your image and your success.

Nearly Half of All Online Leads Go Unanswered

We all know that the future of real estate is interwoven with the future of the internet, social media, mobile apps and the wealth of online information because that is where more than 90% of homebuyers are starting their searches.

But, the bigger question is, have real estate professionals, as a whole, stayed in sync and kept up with this quickly expanding trend? Not according to recent research published by the National Association of Realtors and conducted by PCMS Consulting in Atlanta and One Cavo in Denver that concluded that half of online leads go unanswered.

More specifically, the study examined 715 responses to Internet leads by real estate sales associates at 56 brokerages. Half of the leads were specific to a certain sales associate, and half were through IDX sites. About 50 percent of the sales didnt respond to the leads specific to them, and 46 percent of the IDX inquiries also went unanswered. And, about a quarter of the leads that did receive responses, those replies came on average 8 hours after they had initially inquired.

This should throw up a huge red flag for real estate agents everywhere. Why? Because we live in an instant gratification world where consumers are used to having instant access to property photos, information, maps, comparable properties, neighborhood information as well as the contact information for an agent that can help them in their buying process. Because of this, it becomes extremely important that agents complement this trend with quick responses, or the lead will just walk away and find another agent who will respond.

In fact the research even goes as far as to note that consumers have come to expect a response within a little as a couple of minutes. Now, you can definitely argue that crosses into a little bit of an unreasonable expectation, but you cant argue with the fact that in order to provide the best service and win the most clients, real estate agents need to follow consumer/client trends and shift their business in a way that moves with technology advancements and new trends.