By Maria Patterson
RISMEDIA, January 25, 2011—Like many brokers across the country, business these days is flat year-over-year for Coldwell Banker United’s Jeff Wheeler. But, unlike many brokers, Wheeler is using this time very wisely. In anticipation of the market’s return, he is shrewdly focused on where dollars should be cut…and where they should be reinvested.
“We’ve done the right things in reducing our fixed costs so we can improve marketshare when the market starts to turn back,” explains the president and COO of the Carolinas region for the 70-office firm. “Real estate companies have to provide an office environment for those agents who want a physical location but also provide a mobile platform for those agents of the future. So we’ve gotten rid of some of the fixed costs of bricks and mortar offices, and we’ve moved our computer technology to Microsoft’s Cloud; now, everything we do is Internet-based and information and updates flow into all our computers at the same time.”
With this realistic assessment and forward-thinking approach to technology, Wheeler looks to vendor partners who will help bridge elements of Coldwell Banker United’s value proposition and offer solutions that will help agents build their business. “We’ve looked at where we’re investing our dollars and we need to put more money back into supporting our biggest asset—our sales associates,” says Wheeler. “The key going forward in this business is how we will manage relationships with our customers.”
That’s why Wheeler implemented SharperAgent’s “Success Marketing Program,” a marketing system designed to generate more leads by creating a strong online presence for agents and facilitating a highly targeted client follow-up system.
According to Wheeler, the Success Marketing Program is “more of a relationship-management tool that allows agents to segment their customer base into different groups in order to create more narrow communities; this allows agents to then implement targeted demographic, psychographic and geographic farming. This program allows you to customize your communications and personalize your contact management system.”
ShaperAgent President Brian Wildermuth worked with Coldwell Banker United to create a customized workbook and training program that details exactly how the firm’s agents can implement and utilize the Success Marketing Program—and it all begins with creating a business plan.
Creating a business plan, complete with specific sales and income goals, says Wheeler, is truly at the heart of success. “The fundamental failure in our industry today is the failure to plan,” he claims. “If you
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