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Stacy_StatehamIn the following interview, Stacy Stateham, VP of Marketing and Branding with BloomTree Realty in Prescott, Ariz., discusses growth, training, and customer service.

You recently put together a technology package for your agents. How long has this been in the works, and what prompted you to initiate this?
It’s been on our minds since our company launch in August 2014; however, it was the most challenging piece of the core concept behind the company because there were so many moving parts involved.

What growth potential does this bring on the individual agent level?
As far as our agents go, it’s not just a production thing; it’s a productivity thing. Before we started choosing which systems to incorporate into the firm, we surveyed our agents. At the time, we had about 130 agents, and less than 20 had a dedicated CRM practice in their business system that they used daily. Now that we’ve incorporated Top Producer into the mix, we’re seeing more leads coming through the system, increased lead follow-up, and less leads dropping.

How will you support this and train your agents?
For training on this specific product, we relied on the Top Producer team. As far as leveraging everything together and showing our agents how Top Producer ties to their new agent website, that training we’re doing in-house.

Do your agents pay a fee?
They do, but it’s under $100 per month. If they were to buy each piece on their own, it would cost close to $600 per month, so it’s a phenomenal value.

What results are you expecting from the lead distribution component?
From a brokerage perspective, we have two concerns, the first of which involves making sure our internal leads are being taken care of and that we follow through. The Top Producer system gives us that. We’re also concerned about how well our agents are doing, whether it’s a company-generated lead or not. We want to know that when a consumer contacts our agents, they get outstanding service.

How does the CRM integrate into your longer-term lead-to-customer strategy?
What often happens with leads is that agents have a very short attention span. If the lead doesn’t convert, they move on and forget the maybes. We try to teach our agents about why they need to keep in touch, and not just with their sphere of influence, but with the leads that aren’t ready yet. The CRM side of this was really critical. When we’re talking about lead nurturing, it’s a combo of staying in touch and building a relationship. They need to be able to cross-channel between Top Producer, social media and email.

How does this affect your brand and reputation?
We’re very focused on making sure the client is taken care of. We want to serve clients the absolute best we can, so we have to bring in and grow the best agents to do that job. Our new package fits perfectly with this initiative.

Are your agents excited?
They’re very anxious and excited. Because there are so many moving parts, some of which are challenging for those who’ve never used a CRM before, we’ve been doing a scaled roll-in. We announced the launch in January, and we’ve been putting together bits and pieces at a time—TourFactory first, then RealSatisfied, then Top Producer and FiveStreet. The agents understand that each piece is a sum of the whole, and have been very anxious about getting their websites.

Did you get help from the Top Producer folks?
They were a godsend. They kept us on track, they told us what they needed by when, and they really took the ball and ran with it.

How can agents add content to the infrastructure you set up to expand their overall reach?
They have full reign. Their website is a BloomTree-branded template, but they can add and edit their own pages, or even do a blog if they want. It’s fully-functioning and each one is stand-alone. We aren’t forcing them into a company system. They can do their own email marketing. Top Producer has a lot of great templates for that.

How will you measure success?
Productive agents. It’s still very early, so we’ll be watching our production-per-agent. We train a lot of new agents, so we’re splitting the agent base to see how the seasoned agents are doing versus how fast the new ones are coming up.

To learn more about these technologies and ways to implement them for success, visit www.marketing.realtor.com.

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