By John Voket
Tony Stephens, chief information officer at Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage, has been in the real estate business since 2001. Prior to entering the industry, Stephens worked as a marketing professional, leading the IT Department and heading up Membership & Marketing for the Georgia MLS. So when he sees a marketing system that works—like real estate portal, Homes.com—not only does he stick with it, he goes to great lengths to ensure his entire team knows how to use it.
“I had a really good feel for Homes.com’s products and services from my time with Georgia MLS, and they offer a solid platform for our agents,” says Stephens, who immediately initiated a partnership with Homes.com upon joining Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage.
The brokerage, which has grown tremendously, became a high profile local brand in 2009. “We went from one office and 85 agents to five offices and about 500 agents,” says Stephens, who notes that the team has found great success with Homes.com’s Broker Preferred Listings Package.
“Each REALTOR® has access to the Homes.com Connect Dashboard, and we have our branding on every listing,” says Stephens. “While we’re only about three months into our partnership with Homes.com, our agents find the entire platform very easy to use. And more importantly, they’re gaining leads.”
His agents have also found the Homes.com Lead Gator system to be a competitive differentiator in today’s challenging market. Easily accessible through the dashboard, the system brings in listings from international portals like Trulia and Zillow.
“Any leads that come into these portals will be directed to the agent’s dashboard,” says Stephens, who goes on to say that since the products are mobile-friendly, agents can pull the leads up anywhere, at any time. “If the REALTOR® is spending money on these portals, they can see the leads come in, and they are aggregated into one single place. They can also add additional photos to the 25 allowed through the MLS feed, which goes a long way toward positioning their listing higher in search engines.”
Stephens even sees the benefits associated with offering Homes.com to prospective agents as a recruiting and retention tool. “We put it in our marketing and we provide it at no extra charge to our agents,” says Stephens.
As the greater Atlanta market continues to improve, Stephens is already anticipating a possible expansion of his brokerage’s use of the tools provided through Homes.com, specifically CMAzing and a buyer’s tour integration.
When it comes to the bottom line, however, Stephens says that the reason Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage sticks with Homes.com is plain and simple. “They’ve been around for a while, they’re cost feasible, user-friendly and effective.”
For more information, visit http://connect.homes.com.