Friday, September 16, 2011

What's In It for You? Realtors Ask In Fear

FranklyMLS invites competing firms to join the site. Why?

Update: Don't Miss Peggy James' great comment on how she profits from FranklyMLS.

I offer several free services for Realtors in other firms. Easy to convince them because it is free? Nope, I spend a lot of time easing their fears & untrustingness (is that a word?).

So here I will list what Realtors from other firms can do with this site to help themselves and WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME.

Ways Realtors can benefit from

1) Join and get your free branded banner on FranklyMLS. Even if you "already have an IDX."
With the branded Version of FranklyMLS (Technically NOT a true IDX), the logos of my firm get dropped and replaced with your image and banner. All "request a showings" go to you. When your client signs up for email alerts you are notified and each alert has YOUR branding. Also you get a BCC of each email alert of your client.

Over 250 agents have joined. Many stopped paying their 2003 garbage $50/mo IDX and others have dropped even the "high tech and latest" IDXes.

Why do they ditch their IDX?
a) does so much more. I can't list them here, but recently an "I already have one"-type agent got the "oh mine doesn't do that" moment about 5 times and finally the lightbulb went off that this might actually help HER and her client.

b) Your clients are probably already using the site anyhow, so why not have your name on each page (and stop having them bug me instead of you, but I will get to my benefits later)

2) Contribute to the MLS Wiki (Rules). 200,000 Photos already added by buyer's agents!
Land free clients. No referral fees. A couple agents have closed $1M clients from this.
Buyer agents can add reviews (once your client decides not to buy it) and photo albums (this is why you should be taking buyer agent photo albums for your clients anyhow) to most MLS homes (about 95% of MRIS listings allow blogging/comments).

With these reviews a buyer agent can add photos from the buyer agent perspective. Add information about distance to a noisy highway or something the listing agent might have left out. This is REALLY killer for photoless REOS. This can even save a Realtor (and their client) a 1 hour drive if another buyer agent took 30 photos of a photoless listing (this happened to me once). Hum, imagine agents helping agents. A novel concept.

Agents get points for adding reviews (10 with photos) and top contributors get featured on the front page. With this service, many get more traffic than Google! And if a buyer is looking in a particular area and they keep seeing helpful comments (not annoying ads) they say "hum, maybe I should use that agent".

Also agents can LINK to all of their reviewed homes in 1 click. So people on your blog can see the areas you have recently visited and your comments.

3) Join the referral network. is a hugely trafficked site, but is a smaller firm. So having a network of agents in other areas, I can send clients your way.

Ok, finally, the big question. FRANK WHAT IS IN IT FOR YOU?

Again, I have no interest in stealing your client. It isn't some trick.

Benefits to ME:
1) Your clients are already using the site! So brand it & save me time.
It is kind of annoying to get a request for information on a home, for the user to say "I love my buyer agent Patrick." Ok great, so why did you contact us? It would be easier on me if Patrick had his branded FranklyMLS so I wouldn't waste time with a happily represented buyer. And yes this happens a lot. Recently at a [Large Real Estate Firm's] technology meeting it went like this: "Are you all noticing that half your clients are using FranklyMLS?"

2) A Branded Agent might start contributing to the WIKI.
The Free Branded Version of FranklyMLS is also the bait to come check out the site. Once agents get their bannered version of the site and give their custom link to their clients (that are wildly happy with the link see one non-Frankly agent's review). And even though the Wiki sends THEM tons of traffic, it helps build a better site for all to use. Having 200,000 MORE photos than ANY other MLS... that is valuable since photos are key. Why go anywhere else?

3) Expanded referral network
Those that I see contributing, are perfect candidates to send business their way. It lets me meet agents from areas I would never have reached out to.

4) Frankly brand respect amongst other agents.
Helping my full time agents have a respected brand to work under is huge.
By offering a free Branded Version of FranklyMLS to 250 agents, and helping other agents get a ton of free business, it helps build the brand. When my agent has a bidding war against 3 other no-name firms... it helps when the listing agent is like "Yeah I know about Frankly Real Estate, your company, you help other agents out." Or "Oh you guys only have the highest quality full time agents with gorgeous 30 photo listings 100% of the time" That is a big plus.
Come on, you know when you get a contract from a firm with a bad reputation, or all weekend warrior agents. You are like "darn, this might be a nightmare deal."

5) Recruiting.
AHA! Ok, everyone will now probably ignore all of the above and say "AHA". Well it isn't like that. While I have interest in growing Frankly Real Estate, I only want to do so SLOWLY and in select areas. Like maybe adding 1 great and high producing agent a year that is looking to upgrade from their "national brand" firm. (note that most firms recruit 20 agents to get 1 real producer). This site lets them get an introduction to Frankly and 1 in the 200 might join (I turn down many requests). But that is NOT my main motivation. Prove it? In 4 years of this free service, last month was the first time I emailed them in batch about an update to the site.

6) Doing Cool Stuff
I just love doing cool stuff. Like building the Frankly I Wish concept in 24 hours from idea to creation to Agent Genius featured story. And it is more fun to do stuff in a large scale with many agents. If I can come up with a way that helps everyone, then why not! And it does create indirect and unexpected benefits like winning the 2009 Inman News Innovator of the Year award. Couldn't have done it without everyone's cooperation.

Ok, so I hope you will join FranklyMLS and see what you are missing. It is free.

Thank you for your time, please report typos

Broker Better Technology, Better Agents

Photo Credit Fear

1 comment:

  1. Peggy James- Your Neighborhood RealtorSeptember 19, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    For any Realtors who stumbled on this post, I would like to share that their are many ways I use in my business.

    My name is Peggy James and I am a full time top producing agent in Woodbridge Virginia.

    I became a huge fan, a few years ago when I realized customers loved Frank's site.

    Since I know the Woodbridge area well and show homes in that area, I like being able to comment on homes on this site. Buyers love it too.

    Over the years, I have received many calls directly to my cell from buyers frustrated. They just wanted a good agent who knew the inventory and the area.

    Their was no referral fee.

    The highest sale has been $525,000 and then a few around $300,000.

    Users can also see I am a Top Contributor and the link sends them directly to my local real estate blog and most like that.

    The personalized IDX is wonderful. You can create custom searches for you blog posts, or links on your website and those links live forever. Always self-updating with current relative real time information.

    Here is a quick story: I was at a listing appointment a few weeks ago, and I had my iPad with me. I open the link to show them the FranklyMLS site and the seller said I love this site... this is one of the reason's I called you. I saw you were on the front page!

    Now this month , I am loving Frank's new feature "I Wish" ads. I have a buyer client who is looking for a home in Meadowbrook Woods in Manassas, however they do not like the homes currently available. I now have an ad posted on all listings in Meadowbrook Woods stating I have clients looking for a house in that neighborhood. Hopefully a prospective seller will call me.

    I have no problem working a FSBO if I can get my buyers what they want!

    I can't live without using this site...their is so much great information within a few clicks.

    Start with there FREE Personalized IDX that Frank offers. I think you will be hooked.