Buying Buddy Real Estate CRM with IDX: How to Get Rid of Feast and Famine Cycles and Create a Predictable Real Estate Business
The biggest hardship in the real estate industry is dealing with the unpredictable ups and downs that come with the job. One minute an agent is flooded with business opportunities, then the next minute there’s nothing on their plate. Real estate is a real roller coaster ride!
Mary fell in love with real estate when she and her husband purchased their first home. She dreamed of leaving her administrative job to help people find their perfect home, and to create a thriving career for herself. A few years later, Mary took steps to follow her dream by signing up for a prep class and then passing her exam on the first try.
Excited to start with a boutique real estate brokerage, she threw herself into work. But after three years, she found herself exhausted and stressed. Mary spent most of her time feeling like she was treading water, caught in a constant cycle of feast and famine. Real estate sales would be great for a little while until her buyers and sellers dried up for the next few months. The same thing would happen over and over again. On top of it all, Mary was working 70 hour weeks and struggling to maintain her personal life – this wasn’t the career she had dreamed of so long ago.
Buying Buddy was designed for people like Mary: real estate agents looking to eliminate ups and downs and make their sales more predictable. With our combined real estate CRM and IDX tool, agents can climb out of feast and famine cycles and reclaim their personal lives. Our all-in-one solution helps agents to attract and retain more leads, automatically nurture and grow relationships over the long term, and to convert these opportunities into sales.
How can a real estate CRM with IDX smooth out those bumps on this roller coaster ride and make a real estate agents’ business more predictable? That’s the secret behind Buying Buddy.
The Secret of a Real Estate CRM
Buying Buddy understands that agents have limited time for sales and marketing. Their focus will always be on the closings that are happening right now.
Unless agents are working with their own marketing department, the nurturing of leads to create future business is put on hold. Typically, they focus on the immediate issue of closing a deal and earning commission.
When balancing all the tasks an agent has to perform, today’s opportunities will always get the most attention. Future opportunities will then be left on the back burner.
Buying Buddy Solves This Problem
The secret of Buying Buddy is that it helps agents with this balancing act.
Buying Buddy is designed to engage with an agent’s existing clients and prospects as well as long term future leads, all in one place.
With Buying Buddy, you will automatically develop and nurture long term leads. This can help to build relationships until leads and prospects are ready to convert.
Buying Buddy is different. Unlike other real estate CRM systems, Buying Buddy incorporates properties and home search services. This incorporation helps agents attract, capture and incubate all their leads much earlier in the leads buying process, long before other agents even get a chance. While other CRM systems may be helping agents with a follow-up plan for today’s business, Buying Buddy is automating follow-up and building a consistent long-term future sales pipeline that agents can rely upon.
How Buying Buddy Makes Real Estate More Predictable
Buying Buddy incubates real estate leads and prospects over the medium and long-term. It does this by targeting each lead with meaningful property information, all in the context of the leads’ individual property interests.
The integration of properties with the CRM means that Buying Buddy’s tools can more effectively nurture all the agents’ prospects and leads until they are ready to convert, in ways that other real estate CRMs can’t.
Our combination of relevant property-based communication builds relationships. This, along with the ability to capture leads earlier with high-value home search services, grows a loyal and fully-engaged prospect base, essentially blocking competition.
A fully engaged prospect base is the agents’ portfolio of future business opportunities. It is the most valuable asset they have – it is their future sales pipeline. Buying Buddy’s CRM integration with IDX and MLS data means that these future business opportunities can be automatically nurtured until they convert. This eliminates feast and famine cycles and makes future business and income more predictable and consistent, allowing agents to relax and get back valuable time.
How does Buying Buddy work?
No matter where leads or inquiries come from, whether it is from an agent’s sphere, farm area, list of past clients, or even new leads, Buying Buddy gives agents the tools they need to capture, incubate, and convert those leads into sales. This is because of our unique real estate CRM solution that is combined with IDX.
You see, the magic of IDX emerges when it’s combined with a CRM. IDX is not just about ‘search’. IDX is your entire local MLS. And when the MLS database is deeply integrated with a CRM, this is the cornerstone for creating a sales pipeline of leads for short, medium and long term business that other real estate agents can’t pick off.
As we know, the process of researching to buy or sell a property can stretch out for months or years before the actual transaction. At such an early stage, although agents might receive these initial research inquiries (leads) from their website, or other sources such as Zillow or Realtor.com, the agents’ focus will naturally be elsewhere. Instead, they’ll be taking care of the clients and prospects that are looking to buy now. Regardless of where leads come from, agents have a perfect opportunity to capture these leads. Then they can add them to their CRM in Buying Buddy many months or years before a closing occurs.
Contextual Marketing with a Real Estate CRM with IDX
Most real estate agents only send their leads traditional, generic emails and texts using CRM systems that don’t include properties. A real estate CRM that is integrated with IDX can send these traditional messages, too. But, when combined with IDX there is a secret superpower: contextual marketing and predictable sales.
A real estate CRM combined with IDX provides insights to each leads’ property interests and home search activity. That means it can send properties and customized listing alerts to prospects that they actually look forward to receiving!
Contextual communications not only ensure that messages are opened, but importantly, they encourage more clicks to view a property.
Every communication, email or property alert that is sent includes relevant property information. That means that when they engage, future clients come back time and again to their Client Portal in the real estate agents’ website (not to Zillow or any other site).
This flow ensures that prospects constantly see the agent’s own branding and contact information. This works to constantly re-enforce loyalty to the agent, developing the relationship further. Buying Buddy can automatically provide every lead with tailored property alerts, market reports and other property updates throughout the leads’ extended research period, perhaps for several years.
Why Contextual Marketing Works
Buying Buddy sends prospects relevant properties (courtesy of IDX) that they actually want to see, building and adding value to the relationship between prospects and the real estate agent.
A “value-based” service given to a consumer fosters loyalty to the real estate agent, blocks competition, converts prospects to clients, and generates sales. A virtuous marketing cycle is then created, based on loyalty to value and services, and other agents are unable to snatch leads away.
If agents only have a traditional CRM, then the opportunity to deliver engaging, long-term dialogue is limited to drip emails. But, integrating IDX with CRM will give agents a distinct advantage as messages will be perceived as relevant and useful – and won’t be ignored!
Long-term communication only works if the recipient sees value in the content being received. Buying Buddy’s unique approach of combining IDX and CRM solves this problem and helps create a significant sales pipeline – automatically.
Get a Financial Advantage With a Real Estate CRM and IDX
A CRM that is integrated with the MLS (i.e. IDX) can provide insights into every aspect of a lead’s home search activity. This includes information about specific property searches, favorited properties, last time online, viewing activities and interests, email open rates, etc.
General CRMs provide vague reports on whether or not marketing emails have been opened, which is only one data point of many to consider.
But with a CRM integrated with IDX, the insights go right to the heart of the prospect’s real estate needs. Not just data about what emails have been opened, but also about what properties have been looked at (and how many times). This, along with all the other property search criteria information, such as ‘city’ and ‘price range’ or even ‘master bedroom on main floor’, define the specific property interests of every lead.
Why a Real Estate CRM Integrated With IDX Can Give Insight
When everything is viewed in the context of a lead’s ultimate desire to buy or sell property, this insightful data can pinpoint their exact needs. In turn, this allows agents to neatly segment their sales and marketing strategy to fit those specifications.
An agent’s follow up sales call can be fine-tuned to be timely and highly specific, resulting in a much higher close rate.
Agents using other CRMs don’t stand a chance.
When IDX is connected to a CRM, agents can see a real financial advantage. Automated follow up and long term lead nurturing is now highly-relevant and more engaging. And, with a deeper understanding of a leads’ property interests, sales calls are now easier and more effective.
Inject Predictability Into Your Real Estate Business
There’s no end to the marketing possibilities available when using a real estate CRM with IDX marketing strategy for real estate, especially when agents take advantage of the insights and opportunities that Buying Buddy can provide.
Say goodbye to the roller coaster ride of grasping for leads the moment the next famine cycle begins. And say hello to the future with Buying Buddy, where agents experience the smooth-sailing of a predictable business cycle from lead to conversion.
Hearing the dreaded word “no” can be discouraging, especially for newer Realtors® and real estate agents. However, attempting to overcome buyer objections with rapid-fire “come backs” will only breakdown rapport and hurt the relationship. By providing buyers with helpful information that addresses their concerns you will be able to nurture the relationship, move it forward, and overcome the “no”.
People don’t want to be “sold to”
Objections to talking with Realtors are kind of like excuses for missing work. They are frequently the same and used by everyone. At work, the excuses range from “I’m sick” to “I glued my eye shut because I thought the super glue bottle was eye drops”. In real estate we frequently hear, “I am not at the point where I want to talk to an agent yet”, “I’m not ready to buy”, or “I already have an aunt who is an agent”.
People don’t want to be “sold to”, and that is one of the main reasons people come up with objections to talking with agents. Being “sold to” is the main goal of nurturing a lead. Conversely, building a relationship in real estate focuses on the needs of the buyer. If you market to your leads the right way, they will convert as you build the relationship.
Moving a relationship forward does not always mean a sale now
While some objections might be unfounded and born out of fear, some objections are real. A lead may need to repair their credit, they may be waiting on a new job, or have another good reason why they are not ready to move yet. Giving the buyer information that will help them get to a place where they can overcome legitimate objections means building a relationship. And, while the process might be slower than you would like, you are moving the lead forward. Being the expert means having the answers and being found when the buyer is in need and looking for you. Continued communication and relationship building keeps you at the top of the list when it is time to take the next step.
Whether your lead is ready now or you have to overcome objections (both unfounded and actual) it is important to manage that lead correctly using a Real Estate specific IDX and CRM. Comprehensive lead profiling, lead follow-up, sales management and sales support tools help agents better serve their clients and grow their relationships. If you want more information about how you can use an IDX CRM to grow relationships and overcome the “no”, contact us.
According to a recent report from Zillow, most people still find their agent through referral, but that trend is rapidly changing. With the continued growth of a digital world, more and more people are finding Agents through online referral resources like Zillow, realtor.com and the like. What is your plan to stay relevant, be found and grow your business through real estate leads?
When I was a kid we would play a game. You could not pass the gatekeeper without paying a “fee”. For us, that was usually a high-five. The gatekeeper trend in real estate is growing each year giving the online middleman a larger part to play in the buying and selling process as well as a bigger piece of the real estate leads profit pie.
The biggest gatekeepers we see are still Zillow, Realtor.com and Facebook. However, there are some new players on the field like Nextdoor and, possibly coming soon, Amazon. The gatekeeper role is very enticing because the money is big for real estate leads. An ad for Facebook has more than quadrupled in price since 2014. As popular online hubs start offering advertising the price of acquiring real estate leads is going up.
Which should prompt you to ask, “What am I willing to pay the gatekeepers for access to online Real Estate leads?”
The neighborhood online hangout Nextdoor recently added a real estate listing tool in several test markets. This pay-to-play services might be one you’d carefully consider participating in as part of your niche marketing strategy. Because of the structure of Nextdoor (participants must live in their associated neighborhoods), agents can play into their local knowledge.
Yes, traditional marketing still has its place in your marketing plan, but you cannot ignore the increasing pace of digital marketing in real estate. If you don’t have a plan, you need to make one now. Time is certainly of the essence because the cost is only going to keep rising in proportion to the continued growth of digital life.
Once you have figured out how to get some skin in the game, what do you do? As one blogger for Inman recently stated, “Relationship maintenance may be the key to power.” While there is no denying that larger teams and brokerages have an upper hand in the online real estate big budget arena, if they don’t have the capabilities to keep the client coming back, are they really that much ahead?
Nurture the Leads You Get
You can have the most real estate leads and best tools at your fingertips, but if you cannot use them to create a relationship with your leads it doesn’t matter. If you cannot become indispensable to your lead, you might end up throwing good money away because of bad follow through. According to the same Zillow report, mentioned earlier, only 8%-14% of buyers (depending on age group) report using the same agent or Realtor twice. That is scary because it means agents are not doing the relationship management they should be doing.
The follow through is just as important as getting the sale. To convert more Real Estate leads into sales and more sales into repeat customers you need to invest in a real estate specific IDX and CRM, like Buying Buddy. Due to the ever-increasing lead volumes required to close deals and meet sales goals, you are going to need to manage that increase in an efficient and cost-effective way that ensures nothing gets through the cracks. If you need help understanding how an IDX CRM can do that for you, contact us.
Don’t let the grass grow under your feet. Figure out which gatekeepers are getting in front of your desired customers and figure out how that is going to fit into your real estate marketing plan. Then make sure you do the follow through, and don’t just make the sale, make a repeat customer for life.
If you blinked then you might have missed Amazon’s placeholder page for a new real estate referral services offering. It was up and then quickly removed last week. This move has agents and brokers who saw the page wondering what the end game is for the online giant, and while it might not be clear there is lots of speculation.
The page was listed among the other services offered to Amazon users under the “Home & Business Services” tab on their services page. Many view this move as a natural extension of their other service offerings like home inspectors, interior designers, and a multitude of home repair and installation specialists. However, others see it as a direct challenge to existing companies in this space like Zillow, Realtor.com and Redfin, and point to the fall of Zillow’s stock by 4% on July 12th as evidence.
From what we (the My Buying Buddy team) can tell, the real estate referral services offering would work like it does for other professional services. Agents, Realtors and brokers would pay Amazon referral fees. Additionally, an unnamed source said that an upfront fee would be required to qualify and receive leads through Amazon’s professional services marketplace.
With the entrance of smart home tools, including Amazon’s Echo device, Amazon has not only extended services to its users through third parties but has also quietly entered the space itself. Many are comparing it to Best Buy’s “Geek Squad”. It is speculated that Amazon’s move into real estate services could be a part of a broader push to create its own service-provider business.
The predictions and rumors swirl as Amazon “disrupts” yet another industry. So do we all cue up the articles we used to reserve for Zillow? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Technology and online service provider marketplaces aren’t going anywhere, so this is not one more step towards “the end” but rather a continuation of the evolution of our industry. Whichever way this news goes, and wherever your leads come from, we will be ready. If you need help managing your leads now with a Real Estate ready IDX CRM, contact us.
Ok gym buffs, that analogy might not resonate with you. But, many will understand the comparison. We buy things or sign up for things and have the best intentions to use them, but then for, whatever reason, we don’t follow through. Your customer relationship management solution (CRM), like an unused gym membership, will not yield results. So how can you best leverage your IDX CRM to get results?
Embrace Your IDX CRM
First, you and your team have to embrace the purpose of a CRM. It is not just a database. It does exactly what its name says, and because real estate is a business of relationships, it should be viewed as a tool that will help you manage your customer relationships. A real estate specific IDX CRM, like Buying Buddy, goes a step further. An industry specific CRM is designed for Realtors and brokers and is specifically made to help you build the best and strongest relationship you can (make sure your CRM IDX feed is SSL secure).
Next, do your due diligence to ensure you have the best IDX CRM. The best CRM is the one that will meet your needs now and will scale to meet your needs in the future. Most solutions aren’t perfect right out of the box, so be sure it has some flexibility and can be tweaked with customization. The best CRM is also the one that your team will actually use. If there is too much of a learning curve or there is too much back and forth between systems, then it might not be the one for you. Enthusiastic adoption is everything.
Now for the most important part – building your leads and contacts and cultivating those relationships. By leveraging your IDX CRM to engage clients you will find that you are able to manage your time more efficiently. You will also free yourself up to do more networking, work on your marketing, or get involved in other activities that lead to more contacts and referrals.
Finally, a good CRM should help you track your results, and provide team managers with specific insight into team and individual performance. A recent study by Harvard Business Review found an 18% difference in revenue growth between companies with a formalized sales process and those who don’t a process. For real estate that means, brokers and agents that have a formalized sales process tracked through an IDX CRM will drive their business more effectively and have an increased ability to grow their revenue.
Take your 10,000 Foot View to Ground Level
This is a bird’s eye view of how to leverage an IDX CRM. You don’t have to get the most expensive CRM like a Boomtown or Commissions Inc. That might be the right fit for some, but don’t get caught-up in the hype of tools and services you don’t need. Determine what your real life looks like, and contact us to learn how a powerful and robust SSL secure real estate IDX CRM solution can help you increase your revenue.
For quite a while now, niche marketing has been a buzzword in real estate. However, for many real estate companies, it has moved from buzzword/trend to a “way of life”, as they look to uses niche marketing to beat syndicates. They are beginning to realize that to beat them they have to go local- they have to go “niche”.
For The Gerardi Group @ Coldwell Banker Town & Country niche marketing was already a strategy, but having the right tools to execute on that strategy was a challenge- until now. Recently they chose Buying Buddy IDX CRM as the solution that would take their marketing and online presence to the next level. The Gerardi Group understands that a successful future is dependent on their ability to provide the same services and features as big syndicates, but with a local flavor and feel.
Previously, The Gerardi Group was using Top Producer®. Unfortunately, it was too cumbersome for every day use and they found they had better success using Act!™ as their daily CRM tool. Sam Gerardi, owner and Broker at the Gerardi Group, knew there was a better way, and decided 2016 was the year he would discover the solution and make a change. After performing his due diligence of examining multiple solutions like IDX Broker, Realty Back Office, and others, he selected the Buying Buddy application.
Gerardi’s vision was to take their current niche marketing strategy and transform it into a way of life for his team.
In order to make Geradi’s vision a reality, they needed tools that would support the requirements of niche marketing. Gerardi found that Buying Buddy is a highly functional and scalable tool that has long term value. It seamlessly integrates the process of taking leads from the MLS search on their website, through to their CRM system.
“The Buying Buddy tool is comprehensive,” said Sam Gerardi, owner and Broker at The Gerardi Group @ Coldwell Banker Town & Country. “The seamless integration works like magic to bring in leads and drive them through the sales funnel. Everything in one system is wonderful, including the tools that make your website an SEO winner.”
The Gerardi Group fully implemented the Buying Buddy IDX CRM system without the use of consultants or an on-staff IT person. Since they do not have an internal IT resource, they needed a system that was simple to install and easy to use. Buying Buddy met the requirement, and ultimately, Gerardi connected the system to their website himself using easy-to-use widgets.
The Gerardi Group is on the right path with the right tools and motivated to meet their marketing goals.
Ease of use: From simple set up, to daily use, and maintenance
The ability to display any information they want: Buying Buddy has all of the data fields from the MLS, this means that the Gerardi Group can slice and dice the data any way they want to execute on their niche marketing plan
Currently, they have their map tools, details search, office listings, and my listing pages set up for SEO optimization with the community and front property page on deck next. They can now drive traffic to one place, which will allow them to increase sign-up conversions. Gerardi is working on enhancing the site by adding more specific landing pages that will increase conversion as well as their SEO. “We are using specialty pages to rank for our long-term SEO goals which will ultimately give us better leads and help decrease our advertising spend,” said Gerardi. Once Gerardi builds and launches the remaining pages, they will be able to buy more specific keywords and really zero in on their target audiences.
We will follow-up with the Gerardi Group and let you know about their continued success. If you want to see a demo of how Buying Buddy works click here. If want to learn how you can transform your online presence, marketing and advertising, contact us.
Using marketing and sales technology to gain an edge in customer service has become the gold standard, but do you know where to start? The information you gather to support your customer service efforts is directly pulled from your marketing intelligence. The way you manage your sales and marketing machine says everything about the way you do business and take care of clients.
As we entered the twenty first century, it became clear that technology was going to become a central part of business as well as our everyday life. With the advent of the smartphone and tablet, the “always on” lifestyle has truly taken root. And, while we cannot personally be there to answer clients’ and leads’ questions, provide information and collect data every moment, we do have the tools that can. These tools will help your organization stay connected, provide better customer service, reach customers you may have previously missed (including tech-savvy millennials) and help you gain a competitive edge over your competition.
Using the right technology will help you and your company better understand your market segment, capture lead information, and keep prospects and clients engaged them through the entire buying process. Tools like Buying Buddy IDX CRM enable you to gather all the data you need to provide the buying experience clients expect from today’s real estate professionals. This data can help you come alongside your client and to give them the best customer service from the moment they enter your website, begin their home search process, and ultimately become a client.
The real estate industry has always had to keep up with technology, but as more and more products enter the marketplace, it is important to evaluate each one and determine which ones will provide you with the greatest benefits, and help you to gain an edge in customer service. Professionals must go above and beyond to reach customers with traditional methods, find ways to put a new twist on time-tested approaches, and reach out in new ways.
An article in the September 2016 issue ofReal Estate Magazine highlights how brokers nationwide have taken the tried and true store front listing approach up ten notches with the use of backlit LED window display panels. In the same way, you can take your customer service to that next level by utilizing new marketing and sales technology to better understand your audience and meet your need for multigenerational marketing. Good agents and brokerages have the traditional methods down to a science, but now is the time to utilize new technology including CRM-based systems alongside those methods.
“Now is the time to utilize new technology including CRM-based systems alongside traditional methods.”
In today’s ultra-competitive real estate market, you must make your marketing a showpiece not only through your brick and mortar storefront but also through your online presence. If you are ready to take the next step and “up” your competitive edge, or even if you’re not ready but know you need to, contact us and let us show you how the right tools can be implemented easily with little to no learning curve.
When it comes to leads, it all comes down to conversions.
While a 5% conversion rate is considered a great conversion rate within the real estate industry, many industry professionals see numbers closer to 1%.
So the question then becomes, how do you reduce lousy leads and increase quality ones? A quality CRM may be the answer.
According to a statistic from Annuitas, those business that nurture prospects through the use of marketing automation experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.
When using a quality CRM, one of the benefits is that you can optimize your leads
Here are 4 ways a CRM can effectively increase your quality leads to assist in conversion rates:
#1: Response Time A quick turnaround in your response time (under an hour), can help further contact with prospects by 7 times. By automating your leads, you can send an initial response automatically to help increase conversion.
#2: Follow-up CRMs can automate emails, and keep leads organized with easy-to-use filters based on location, demographics, and more. This will allow you to stay consistent and remain on your prospects radar.
#3: Targeting the Market A CRM manages leads so that you can update information instantly across the platform. It provides an easy way to see what clients and leads need, making conversions effortless.
#4: Integration Using a CRM/IDX integration or social media integration can be a very effective way to improve lead generation.
A CRM system can automatically pull all sorts of information on a new lead for you, including full names, contact info, pictures, and more, offering you a solid lead with increased insight. And with IDX integration you can see exactly what type of properties leads are looking for, including price range, geographical area, and property style.
Did you know that 90% of homebuyers turn to the Internet first when it comes to home buying? In today’s world, consumers have become more tech savvy than ever and know exactly what they want in their searches.
As a real estate professional, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is one of the most valuable systems that you can implement to help enhance your marketing efforts and produce more sales.
With Buying Buddy, you can offer site visitors access to all local listings while improving your ability to obtain and maintain first contact with your prospective clients real estate transaction.
Recent studies show that companies with a fully utilized CRM system can increase sales by 29%, though it is important to keep in mind that any system is only as valuable as the information that goes into it.
What really differentiates Buying Buddy is the fact that it is a complete IDX solution that integrates to a complete CRM. Benefits of an our integration include:
Fully automated lead engagement and follow-up
The ability to create relevant real estate content for niche markets through the use of nearly all the MLS data fields which are commonly left out with other systems
Easy to install and setup widgets in new or existing sites
No frames or subdomains. Our widgets are on YOUR site and are incredibly SEO friendly
Easy to customize. The use of numerous APIs allows you to use MLS data in ways that were once not possible
If you are ready to take charge of your business and achieve results, take a look at how Buying Buddy works today!