Have you ever wondered how today’s top brokers are marketing these days? “Having a mobile-compatible site is essential, as more than 60 percent of our leads come from our mobile website,” says Matt Rand of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty. Read on as RISMedia’s John Voket interviews Rand about the company’s recent expansion, top marketing techniques and agent investment.
Region served: Westchester and The Hudson Valley in New York and Northern New Jersey
Years in real estate: 28
Number of offices: 28
Number of agents: 850
Tell us about your recent expansion.
We acquired two offices in New Jersey at the end of 2011 after establishing a strong foothold in New York’s Hudson Valley, marking our first out-of-state expansion. We were introduced to our New Jersey partners through the Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate franchise and development team. Their understanding of the market and our business values led them to identify the perfect partner: an independent firm in Northern New Jersey with an entrepreneurial edge and great reputation.
To what do you attribute your growth?
The Rand organization has always been focused on strategic growth. We joined Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate because we felt it gave us the best opportunity to grow. Since we joined in 2009, we’ve grown from 18 to 28 offices, 600 to 850 agents, and expanded into several additional counties in New York and now New Jersey. Key areas that we attribute to our growth include our family culture, our client-oriented service systems, innovative training programs and strategic marketing.
How do you invest in your agents?
We have excellent agent education and training programs both on a brokerage and brand level. As a client-oriented real estate company, we believe in providing premier service. Our coaches are hand selected to work with agents one-on-one on servicing and creative problem solving. From a brand level, virtual and in-person workshops are offered to help our agents plan for success, and they are provided proprietary prospecting and marketing tools that are unique to our firm. Our goal is for our agents to have the right tools and attitudes to help customers find the ideal property or help sell their home in a timely manner for a price that fits within local market trends.
Are there specific tips that you give to agents?
Every agent has a unique way of working with homebuyers and sellers, but we decided as a company that there should be some baseline consistencies for all of our agents. We created a five-part orientation guide broken out by pricing, listing, preparing a house for sale, marketing and contract, to help the client feel connected to their agent and understand the progression of one of the most important decisions of their lives.
What are your most impactful marketing techniques?
Having a mobile-compatible site is essential, as more than 60 percent of our leads come from our mobile website. We built our primary website in-house and constantly populate it with new content, whether it’s new listings, community photos, design and home improvement ideas or recent sales data.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to driving traffic to our website, www.randrealty.com. We also benefit from the national brand site, www.bhgrealestate.com, which is designed to hand off all area searches and leads directly to our broker site. As customers turn to real estate-dedicated websites for listings, we rebuilt our website to optimize its usage. Since our rebuild, which includes leveraging key phrases in all content, website traffic has increased 37 percent.