Real Estate Agent & Trainer using the power of technology to achieve maximum productivity
I recently saw a question on a real estate website from a consumer who wanted to list her out-of-state property for sale (by owner) and was asking if it was safe to list the home for sale on Craigslist. I decided that the answer was one that could benefit more than just her, so I wanted to share it with you here.
One of the biggest scams going on right now is people stealing the pictures & addresses of homesPosting ads on Craigslist for sale and then posting a fake “For Rent” post with that info. They’ll usually seem very legitimate to the consumer at first, and then they ask for the first month’s rent and deposit to be mailed to a PO Box somewhere different – often out of state. One way to combat this is to add your phone number or email address to the picture by overlaying it in a way that the scammer couldn’t easily remove it. This can be done with very little skill required if you can use a program like PowerPoint. Simply insert the image to a blank slide and add a text box where you’ll put your information. Place the text so that it doesn’t obstruct the view of the home, and is still in a position that removing it would render the photo useless. I’m attaching a photo of some options I recommend (using stock photos).
Can you tell me whose information is shown below?
No, you can’t. Because the agent hasn’t changed anything. Since search engines see this EXACT same content on 60,000-70,000 websites, it’s similar to you receiving 60,000-70,000 emails with the same content. What do we call that? SPAM! Do you want your website to be considered SPAM?
Those of us who teach eEdge usually encourage agents to follow the KISS principle when launching touch campaigns. The problem is that we sometimes forget to tell you the why behind the what. Create a group named ”33-Touch,” select the 33-Touch campaign from the Design Gallery and give that campaign the name … hold onto your hats for this surprise twist … ”33-Touch.” Hopefully that shocker didn’t cause too much anxiety. This strategy does work great in a classroom setting and for agents whose attention span needs eEdge to shift automatically. Some of us, though, prefer the power and control of a stickshift, so allow me a moment and I’ll show you where the clutch is and how to throttle to higher speed when you are ready.
If you’re familiar with Top Producer, the eEdge ‘Group‘ field is basically the same as TP’s ‘Contact Type.’ You need a “33–Touch” group for contacts you want on your (brace yourself) 33-Touch program. Once you have that group set up and running, there may be subset groups you want to identify. For example, you may be a Starfleet Academy Devotee and alum, as are most of your ‘Advocates’ and many ‘Tier 1’ contacts. You may consider creating a “S.A.D.” group to make it easier when you get ready to send out the annual Starfleet Ensign’s game schedule. Lets face it, that would be a heck of a lot easier than trying to cross-reference for contacts whose address contains ”Mothers Basement” and whose company contains ”Radio Shack.” Maybe you’re farming an area with a vibrant community core, replete with spring flings and fall festivals. Perhaps they’re tight-knit enough to actually know the name of more than 4 people in the community. Create a group named “Kirkenwoodville” and add all of the residents of Kirkenwoodville. If you really get inspired, you might create a 12×12 to send out or to post on a domain you buy just for this purpose.
One thing I would highly recommend – in the way I recommend you be driving south if you’re on the southbound side of an interstate – is that you create your groups in advance of uploading your contacts. If, however, you already have your contacts in eEdge, its no big deal to create the group and add people to it. Its just easier to sort out your database into smaller groups and upload in chunks / groups. That method also makes it easier to clean up your database as you go and break the elephant into smaller bites (Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time.).
You’ve implemented touch plans. Market Leader / Imprev sends you an email in advance of your 33-Touch newsletter so you can edit and customize it. The only rub? It goes to your webmail and unless you happen to notice that little number beside “Webmail” on your dashboard, you may very well miss that 48-hour window to make it your own. And then there are the important notifications from Market Leader letting you know about updates and improvements to your account. How many of those back up before you notice that webmail count.
Resolution: Each database entry has three email address spaces. Since you’re already in your database (you are, right?) Open your contact record and add ‘email@example.com’ as your own secondary address and ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ as your third address. Now, when Imprev sends a notice that your touch is about to go out, it’ll come to you as an email alert just like an email from a client – and it’ll show up right there in the middle of your dashboard when you log in. The same goes for those Market Leader updates. Imagine! Now the product that was built to put you in control of your business & keep you informed ACTUALLY WILL!
Our office voted ‘No’ on eEdge because the information our ALC received was very cryptic & because they’re admittedly a bit of a skeptical group. The way it came across (before I got involved) was that KWRI was going to provide us with a product we hadn’t asked for, provided by companies they wouldn’t disclose, and charge us for it whether we liked it or not. That was no fault of KWRI or our technology team, it was just a breakdown in communications. Since I know the people involved in our tech group at KWRI, I knew that anything they did was going to be first-class, a tremendous value, and any providers thoroughly vetted.
When the announcement came through that eEdge had been approved, I began looking at the service partners and realized that an individual agent would pay $20/month to sign up for DotLoop. Obviously a full office would get it for a bulk price that would break down to a significantly lower per-agent cost, but that didn’t help my cause – so I didn’t bring it up. Seeing the DotLoop price and knowing how ‘green’ the agents in my office are (plastic & aluminum recycling bins, paper recycling, etc.), I met with our leadership and informed them that we were going to position eEdge in this way:
“You, as agents, wanted to go paperless. It’s good for the earth, it’ll save you on printing, copying, & faxing, and it will save you time scanning and emailing documents. No more running around at the last minute because the lender needs an amendment. The cost for this service is $20 per agent per month. HOWEVER, KWRI has leveraged our agent count with DotLoop and gotten them to reduce it to $15 for you. You’ll save more than that not having to deal with the paper issues, and we can save money on our E&O insurance. Now, *if* you are interested in a customer relationship manager (CRM) that handles your touch programs with very little effort, KWRI has gotten that for you for free from Market Leader. *If* you are interested in some professionally-designed marketing pieces, they’ve also secured a relationship with Imprev at no cost to you. You can choose to take advantage of the services Market Leader and Imprev provide if you choose, or ignore them if you want, even though we believe you’ll definitely like what you see. The only thing that will be required to keep the office on the same platform is the $15/month for DotLoop.”
You’d be surprised how attitudes changed with this new positioning. It’s all about finding what is important to our ‘clients,’ in this case internal clients. If you’ve met any resistance due to lack of technical skills or any other reason, how did you overcome it?
If you are ‘old-school’ and don’t really use a lot of technology in your touch programs, and you don’t necessarily want to drive traffic to an impressive, informational website, you should probably save the money and use it for stamps and stationery.
However, if you want to leverage technology in your touch programs, and you want your leads and clients to see your website as the only source they need for the information they need to find the right house, you should definitely consider the professional edition.
(Full disclosure: I’m a geek. I do not get any type of benefit from you choosing one option over the other. I simply want to convey why I chose to go with the Professional Edition.)
When I first activated my eEdge account, I went with the basic account. While I was assisting another agent who had gone pro, I quickly noticed the visible difference. There are many things that aren’t visible from the public’s perspective, but the things that are visible definitely stand out. As for the visible difference on the website, consider these two property listings, with the changes that I can see bordered in gold:
Allow me to translate “marketing-speak” to “agent speak.” I’m using Market Leader’s information, and interpreting the best I can, so please forgive me if I’ve misread something. The changes they highlight are as follows:
Have you discovered any other differences that I’ve missed? Let me know.
Between now and utopia, however, we need to do a couple things that may not be highly intuitive. For example:
Until all of the IDX agreements are in place, the only functional IDX is KWLS. All of your listings should be in KWLS anyway, so this is a good start. I was not aware that we had a “KWLS MLS ID,” but Market Leader Tech Support provided me with my code, which I then tracked back to correspond with my ‘Associate ID” in my KW White Pages profile, as shown below:
Once you have your Associate ID, you will need to add it to your eEdge profile. Do this by accessing eEdge (which can be done by clicking on “New Listings” or any other eEdge-related hyperlink at the top of MyKW). Once at the dashboard, select ‘Website,’ located under ‘Admin’ in the left column. Now click on ‘Profile Info’ and your information should be displayed. You may notice the “Agent MLS ID” label, but it is not very prominent until you click the ‘Edit’ button at the bottom of the page.
Once you click the ‘Edit’ button, you will see the link to ‘Add Agent MLS ID’
When you click on the link, a pop-up box will appear with a drop-down list of available MLS’s. For now, select KWLS. Once the IDX agreements are in place for you, come back and repeat this process to enter the ID or ID’s used to log in to the MLS in your area.
Click ‘Save’ and once your Associate ID appears correctly, you will need to click ‘Save’ at the bottom of this page to fully apply your changes.
Why do you need to do this? In a test display of properties active in KWLS, I stumbled upon one property where the agent had put – in the middle of the comments – “Lockbox code is 1234.” At present, KWLS information is available for everyone to see and, unless you audit your comments, anyone in the world can go to the house, use lockbox code 1234 and enter this house. PLEASE be sure to review the information shown in KWLS to make sure it is compliant with all laws and regulations and does not include confidential remarks.
Especially for those agents in states (like Georgia) which have regulations that the broker’s information be as large or larger than the agent’s information, you need to add your broker’s logo. Even if you don’t have to add the logo and you – for some reason – choose not to, you will need to add something in this box or it will continue to show “No Image Available” at the top of your eEdge website. To add the logo, access the eEdge Website Admin dashboard (instructions above), and click on ‘Site Images.’ Although the box for ‘Site Banner’ states that there is no existing image, it is, in fact, the roofline shown at the header of your existing page. Under ‘Agency Logo,’ click the ‘Edit’ button. A pop-up box will appear and there are 4 generic Keller Williams logos to choose from, or you may upload your own image (with or without your office name). The specifications are as follows: “Image must be a .jpg or .png saved in landscape orientation with a fieldsize no more then 500kb. The maximum size allowed is: 230 width by 140 height.” After you have added or selected your logo, simply click ‘Save’ to apply your changes.
Check back regularly for additional information as we progress together. Please email me or comment below with a link to your blog if you have additional information that will benefit the masses. Remember “Teamwork: Together Everyone Achieves More!”