Real Estate Webmasters report on the industry.
Provider: Real Estate Webmasters
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We're launching something new!
I still remember 15 years ago when an online real estate business was a NEW way to gain national exposure, drive leads, and build a highly competitive real estate business.
Who remembers logging into the backend of their website, or watching their web traffic convert to actual customers for the first time? I do!
Dominating the web, search engines, and content was a skill that was talked about on forums and blogs, and as a community.
Real Estate Webmasters in particular was the frontline of education and shared knowledge around SEO, lead generation, digital marketing, great web design, and staying ahead of the curve.
Today, it's a rare individual who has the mastery to dominate the web.
Those who do... dominate traffic, have solid leads, and blow their competition out of the way. And now, it's more important that ever.
But only a few teach and share these skills to agents and brokers.
REW does—and now we're expanding.
We're introducing the official REW Partners Program!
We're bringing together a network of highly qualified partners to help bring out the best education, tools, and products to help others reach the top 1% in the industry.
REW Partners are the rockstars of the real estate industry. The trend-setters. The change agents. The no-BS straight-shooter types.
Connected, we want to help our network of agents, teams, and brokerages reach top status.
Experienced, we know the best way to do that is with outstanding, award-winning websites, digital and social marketing, and brand and lead generation strategies.
It pays to have friends.
At REW, our business is much like yours: built on repeat business, referrals, and word-of-mouth marketing.
Our clients and partners have helped build what REW is today—partners like Gary Ashton, Justin Havre, and Fredrik Eklund, to name a few.
Today, we are formalizing our referral program. With generous incentives and perks, as an REW Partner, you'll earn the most generous referral fees in the real estate industry.
We have a mission:
To provide a year-round program dedicated to giving back to the individual agent making big moves as a rising star, to the broker or team leader growing a team or branching out independently, or to the large brokerage dedicated to their agent core—helping them embrace solid web strategies and tools to optimize lead gen and productivity.
REW Partners will help lead this mission.
And we'll have some real fun doing it!
Events, promotions, retreats, REW Summit, and some amazing income opportunities are in store.
While brokerages are fighting for more market share and vetting an ever-growing flood of new tools and business models—it's VITALLY important for the individual agent to refocus on their online brand, the content they own, and all of their distribution channels to drive revenue generating leads and results.
Name recognition and dominating a piece of the web is what will future proof a real estate business. Agents can't afford to just hang out where every agent is on the web (on Facebook).
From luxury marketing, to niche marketing, to lifestyle marketing, your real estate brand matters.
REW will be the foundation for those making the right investment to be top in their market.
Interest ed in learning more?
Check out our REW Partners page for all the details. And by all means: if you have a referral, now is the time to be rewarded!
05/01/2019 01:00 PM
If you want success in real estate, you need to be constantly nurturing your leads. But you already knew that.
How to perfect lead follow-up? That's the million dollar question...
Calling, emailing, meeting face-to-face—these are all vital parts of the lead nurturing process, but what other tools and strategies are there to add to your arsenal? What new, cutting-edge technology is next on the horizon?
That's right. If you've already been texting your leads, keep it up. If you haven't been, now's the time to start.
The Benefits of Texting Your Leads
Here's why you should adopt texting your leads as part of your follow-up strategy:
Texting is direct.
People carry their phones around with them all the time. When they receive a text, they'll know about it right away.
Texting is a fast and efficient way to put yourself right where your lead is.
Texting is engaging.
People ignore calls and delete emails, but nearly everyone actually reads their texts, and they do so almost immediately.
A recent Dynmark report found that SMS messages have a whopping 98% open rate (compared to 20-30% for emails), with 90% of texts being read within 3 seconds!
You can't beat numbers like that.
Texting is convenient.
Texting allows you to send information in a way that doesn't feel pushy or overly intrusive.
It's also easier to send engaging content. People tend to trust texted links - so they get a much higher click-through rate.
Texting is personal.
An increasing number of people prefer to text as their primary way of communication, and it's how they choose to communicate with friends and family.
Having access to a channel that's direct and familiar is a great way to build rapport with your leads.
Texting is different.
Your clients are used to being "marketed to" on other channels, while texting has remained a somewhat untouched space.
As a real estate agent, you have the opportunity to connect with your leads in a way that most other businesses can't.
Texting is efficient.
Compared to calling, or emailing, it's much easier to text a lot of people in a short timeframe.
This is especially true if you have built-in texting capabilities in your CRM. REW Text for example, an add-on to REW CRM, allows you to text any of your leads directly from your website backend.
So, by integrating texting into your lead nurturing process, you have the potential to boost engagement AND save time. It's not often that you actually get more for less.
8 Keys to an Effective Texting Strategy
Now that you're sold on the value of texting your leads, there's still the question of how to craft a winning texting strategy.
Here are some quick tips on how to make it happen...
- Keep it simple: Texting isn't quite a conversation, and it's not like a letter campaign. So, keep it short, keep it simple, keep it direct.
- Have a clear purpose in mind: Are you following up on an email? Looking for a click-through to a listing? Gear your texting strategy towards achieving that specific goal.
- Include a question: For maximized engagement, a good text will prompt some kind of reply. Including a question is a great way to do this... isn't it?
- Avoid spam: Blanket, impersonal, unsolicited, or redundant texts that don't add value are less likely to work, and are more likely to drive leads away. So this bears repeating: Always add value.
- Be prompt: Because that's what people tend to expect
with texting. But not too prompt - that might seem suspiciously automated or pushy.
- Adapt your tone: Adapt your language and style to the rapport you have with the lead. This'll probably correspond to where you have them in your sales process and on your preceding interactions.
- Integrate texting into a complete strategy: Keep up with your calls, emails, and meetings. The high rate of reply on texts means that no reply is probably a good signal that the lead isn't interested right now - or does it mean you should just try a different approach? A dynamic, responsive strategy is key.
- Get the right tools: To maximize speed and efficiency, invest in a CRM that lets you text your leads directly from your workspace.
Trust your instincts.
If this is all new to you, or you'd feel more comfortable with a good-ol'-fashioned telephone call, you may still have some questions about how to text your leads.
After all, each lead is different, and "best practices" can give way to guesswork pretty quickly.
For example, when preparing to send a text, what's the right timing? Or tone? What kind of text messages "offer value" and create engagement?
Ultimately, if you're new to texting leads, you're going to have to trust your sales instincts, or learn what works as you go.
We didn't say it would all be easy. But what you should be certain of is that texting is a proven method for generating high engagement numbers in a cost-effective and flexible way, and modern technologies are making this process even quicker and easier.
About REW Text
Bouncing back and forth between your CRM and your phone can be clunky. That's why we built REW Text.
REW Text is an REW CRM add-on that lets you text leads directly from the backend of your website.
With this helpful add-on, you can text message your leads straight from the lead details screen in one click. This makes it incredibly convenient to text clients as part of your follow-up process without ever leaving REW CRM.
To add REW Text to your website, contact us now or speak to your Product Consultant.
04/21/2019 12:00 PM
The Real Estate Webmasters team is thrilled to announce the first new platform release of Spring 2019.
The new update rollout process will begin on Thursday, April 18th for all eligible REW CRM clients. Clients will be notified when their site has been patched.
Discover & Vision Performance Optimization
A faster page load speed on your website leads to a better customer experience and can improve your search engine rankings. That’s why page speed has always been one of our top priorities.
While Discover and Vision were already fast, this latest update makes them even faster. We’ve improved the speed on listing details pages, community pages, 360 cover photos, and more on both mobile and desktop.
Keep in mind, there are many variables that can affect web performance. This can include your computer’s specifications, Wi-Fi connection, network quality, or the device you’re connecting on. We will continue to make page speed a top priority with each release.
Community pages on both Discover and Vision now load faster than ever
Updated Facebook Social Connect
Facebook Social Connect (also known as Facebook IDX connect) allows website visitors to register as a lead on your site using their Facebook login, often with one button click. It’s a foolproof way to easily boost registrations!
Over the past year, Facebook has made significant changes to how login permissions are managed.
In this latest product update, we’ve updated REW CRM to work seamlessly with Facebook’s new infrastructure.
"Sign In With Facebook" now complies with new Facebook API
New Spam Prevention Measures on Lead Forms
We’ve heard your feedback about an influx of spam/fake registrations coming through on some client websites. We know this presents a challenge for day-to-day lead assignment and follow-up activities, so we made this a top priority.
Our research uncovered that the majority of these spam leads were coming from automated bots crawling the internet looking for contact forms.
We have implemented new measures in REW CRM to help stem the influx of spam leads, filtering out leads submitted by these automated bots.
What’s New on Discover?
Here are all the latest Discover feature updates:
- The CMA Tool add-on is now available on Discover, giving agents the ability to provide home value estimates and comparable properties to capture valuable seller leads
- Listing office/agent now appear on all property details pages when required for MLS compliance
- Client-uploaded logos and CMS page cover photos are now fully responsive on all screen sizes
- 360 photos on Enhanced Listings are now fully interactive
- Leads are now automatically opted in for saved search when they opt in to receive emails
- Extra functionality added for multiple IDX feeds, including alternating feed disclaimers and multi-feed support on agent pages
We’ve also made several fixes to the Discover platform related to email verification, saved searches using polygons, and more.
The Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) Tool is now available to Discover clients
What’s New on REW CRM ?
And here’s what REW CRM clients can expect to find in the latest update:
- Time since a lead has registered now displays in more helpful units of time—in minutes, hours, days, or months
- Agents can now pre-set default lead search criteria
Thanks for tuning in!
Thank you for taking the time to learn about the latest product changes and we encourage you to check the REW blog regularly for the latest product releases, as well as tips and tricks to help you get the most from the REW platform.
Thank you for your continued feedback and support. We encourage you to send in your feedback and suggestions regularly to email@example.com!
04/17/2019 07:02 PM
I've just returned from Inman Disconnect and it was an absolutely amazing gathering of real estate's most brilliant and engaged minds. Our group was dynamic, passionate and driven to try to figure out what the future of our industry might look like (in the next 5 years).
One of the themes that was most prevalent in our discussions was change. Phrases like "we must adapt to new challenges," and "adjust our models to accommodate new competition," or "meet new expectations of our customers." Our customers in this case are agents, teams and brokers whether you are on the franchise side like RE/MAX or on the vendor side like Real Estate Webmasters Inc.
We talked a lot about listening to our customers (our agents) and responding to those things that were clearly pain points, or clear desires from a large group. It was quite a compelling meeting and I highly recommend it for executives considering it for next year (Thanks Brad!).
Change at Real Estate Webmasters Inc
The other big theme for me at Inman was the fact that we talk about this industry as "one thing" i.e. "The Real Estate Industry," however it is in fact many things. There are segments: Luxury, Starter homes, Flips, Distressed, Downsizes, Commercial, Rentals and all things in between.
Where an iBuyer might have a great chance to "disrupt" the distressed home, or life situation seller with urgency, they are likely never going to effect the luxury market. That sort of thing. And of course agents, teams and brokerages (and their models and needs) are also just as varied.
We have also been thinking about this at Real Estate Webmasters and have decided that it's time we not just address some of the important feedback we get from our customers, but also acknowledge that the needs of our customers are different based on their size and complexity.
Our CORE customers: Agents, Teams, Brokers, Enterprise
On our new company website (due to launch later this year) you will find that we have broken down our content into 4 distinct categories: Agents, Teams, Brokers & Enterprise. These are our core customer types.
Generally if you don't fit into one of these buckets, you are probably not a Real Estate Webmasters prospect. But as we dove deeper into these types we realized that there are really sub sets of these customers that we tend to attract, and that "some" of those sub sets work very well for our company and some do not. We also realized that in some cases there was overlap, for example: A top agent (say $100M+ producer) may have a similar marketing budget and need for customization just like a medium sized $100M team. Or a starting team may not need custom work just like a starting small brokerage might not. Both need to focus on platforms, systems, and be cost conscious.
In considering both concepts (type & sub-type) of customer, we have broken our new structure into 5 categories. These categories are meant to address one of 5 types of customer that we would like to attract at Real Estate Webmasters and provide the level of service they require with as little friction as possible, at a cost that is competitive for the product & service.
5 new plans for 5 customer types:
Enterprise: Our fastest growing segment by % of revenue. Enterprise customers are generally multi hundred to multi thousand agent organizations. Sometimes this is a large broker like a Realty Austin or a Daniel Gale and sometimes this is an entire franchise such as CENTURY 21 Canada. The true distinction between enterprise and other groups is that they are purchasing a platform and providing services for a large % of their organization.
We see enterprise as having one of the toughest battles to fight with new franchises like EXP and Homesmart crushing it, Keller and RE/MAX investing hundreds of millions in their own platforms, and Redfin and Zillow continuing to threaten from many sides. We feel the strongest franchises and enterprise players will sur
vive, but only those that are willing to change, and adapt to a new, far more competitive landscape.
Build, Buy or Partner: This is the challenge of enterprise. You can either build it (and we here at REW feel that "in real estate" we are truly the only firm large enough and with enough true market knowledge to build custom enterprise platforms) you can buy it and try to integrate (this is the route Compass and RE/MAX have taken which means tens or hundreds of millions of investment and then change management) or you can partner with various providers which generally happens on the lower end where margins are tight and you need an offering but can't afford a truly custom solution.
New Enterprise Pricing: Custom build included!
What is different in REW's newest enterprise offering? Custom work is included! For one low $20 per member monthly fee (our current retail rate) we are now offering the services of our custom group "included" for organizations of 300 agents or more.
The amount of customization provided through our retainer program actually auto scales based on the size of your organization and your level of committed users. Here is a few examples:
At 1,000 Agents we would provide you with up to $324,000 USD in custom work "included" in your 36 month package.
At 5,000 agents we would provide you with up to $1.75 million USD in custom work "included" in your 36 month package.
At 10,000 agents we would provide you with up to $3.6 million USD in custom work "included" in your 36 month package.
And keeping in mind, not only are we the ONLY large custom agency in the entire space that can even offer this level of customization, we are doing it for a price of only $20 per user, which is lower than several of our competitors.
The other major change for enterprise is that you no longer must commit to 100% of your organization. As long as you are purchasing at least 300 users then you qualify for these credits, even if 300 users is not 100% of your organization.
So for example, you may not want to purchase websites, CRM & Apps for 1,000 of your users but would for 400. You would still get $108,000 in monthly retainer on a 36 month term. You would just only be adding 400 of our 1,000 to the system (and of course you can always add more later).
This is a pretty big change for us, as in the past we only accepted 100% of organizations which meant we were at a competitive disadvantage structure wise to our competition who was more flexible with minimums. We have listened to the feedback, and are happy to offer this new change.
And one more thing! Your first 300? We are giving you a deal on that too! 300 x $20 rate = $6,000 USD. We are coming to market with a special price of 300 users for only $5,000 USD per month and that still includes up to a $72,000 USD credit over 36 months in custom services.
Pretty awesome right? You now have custom work available not just for your build. But also for maintenance of your custom projects and future projects for the term of the agreement.
Confused as to what you might get? Check out this really cool calculator it will give you an idea on how much per year we will contribute to your custom project: https://www.realestatewebmasters.com/enterprise-calculator/
Not quite at Enterprise level? Try REW Custom
REW Custom: For those that have the need for a true "custom" build, but are not yet at the enterprise level, perhaps a medium to large brokerage. Or they may have custom needs as high as some enterprise groups, but just don't have a high user count.
REW custom includes the following:
Framework install (Discover or Vision): Retail $5,000 USD setup. Your price. No Setup
3 MLS feeds: Retail $999 install per MLS & $300 per month. Your price: Included at no extra cost
Custom work (retainer): 15 hours per month for 12 months retail $ 36,000 USD. Your cost $0
Up to 150 users: Retail $3,000 your cost $3,000 (additional users $20 per month).
That's right, you get all this value for just $3,000 USD per month. It's perfect for a brokerage (or a large team) who really want to stand out, and want to have that "custom" look and feel to truly differentiate their brand.
REW Semi Custom:
A little bit smaller, but still have the need for a CRM, great platform, and a bit of custom work to get you started. Maybe you need a custom colour scheme, or some additional MLS fields added, or an API connection somewhere. REW Semi Custom might be for you.
Framework install (Discover or Vision): Retail $5,000 USD setup. Your price. No Setup
Custom work (retainer): 5 hours per month for 12 months retail $12,000 USD. Your cost $0
Up to 50 users $1,000 USD (additional users $20 per user)
Just add marketing to this $1,000 per month framework and you are done! Leads will be rolling in!
This is the same program as we sell today.
It's $5,000 setup for a Vision or Discover site and $499 per month SAAS.
It includes up to 25 users (additional users are $20 per user)
But now we are offering a free custom retainer included in your purchase. This means you will get 15 hours of retainer over 3 months (a $3,000 value) included in your purchase.
The number one complaint about the previous version of this offer was that often people just want one or two things to make it perfect for them (increase header size, add a couple of MLS fields etc) and felt "nickeled and dimed" a bit when they found out that was custom work (because it is custom work). Obviously for bigger custom asks, we need to bill for our time but we figure since you're making a big commitment and trusting us, we can make an investment as well in order to make your customer experience even better. We hear you. And thank you for the feedback on this one.
We have debated this for a long time. Is the more DIY non-custom customer our customer? The conclusion we have come to is yes. There are many agents who are great candidates for our larger programs in the future who are just starting out OR they just want a no hassle best of breed platform with free upgrades at a great price. REW Lite delivers this experience.
In REW Lite it's as simple as it can get.
No setup fee, no contracts, no custom work, no per user, just $300 per month.
You get our industry leading framework & platform (includes a Vision or Discover site which normally retails at $5,000 USD setup and $499 per month), you get our CRM, you get an IDX and you get access to support via email / Zendesk (our ticketing platform) 7 days per week.
Hire us to do your PPC and lead gen, hire a third party, or DIY. You can have leads generating the month after launch.
What you do not get:
You cannot add additional users.
You cannot order custom work
You do not get sub domains.
You do not get Company Controls, Agent Roster or Offices.
You do not get CSM support for install (it's truly DIY), however you can order high-touch CSM help if you need it for one time $2,500 USD if you're not web savvy. Then we'll set it up for you.
Later on down the line when you want to think about adding users, or doing custom work, we upgrade you to CORE. You pay the setup fee for CORE, change your SAAS bill and you unlock even more awesomeness.
So there you have it folks! REW's new pricing structure / plans.
We're planning on rolling this out May / June timeframe and in the meantime if you have questions, please reach out to me or post a comment below. I'm happy to discuss. And if you are enterprise, we are happy to offer this to you today.
We appreciate all the great feedback we have received from our customers and are excited to offer these new more targeted pricing plans for you.
We look forward to working with you.
Cheers< br> Morgan
*note: All credits are in USD. Assumes 36 month contract. Assumes purchase at retail. Custom work delivered 1/36 of stated credit per month as part of REW's custom retainer program. Additional custom work is $200 USD per hour. 30 day cancellation required for REW Lite.
04/11/2019 02:49 PM
It’s official: Real Estate Webmasters is celebrating our 15-year anniversary.
All month, we’ll be taking a trip down memory lane, highlighting 15 years of innovation, customer success, and being awesome.
We’re also excited to offer one of our biggest promotions ever (over $20,000 in free products). Be sure to check that out if you’re in the market for the latest real estate technology.
Editor's note: This promotion expired April 30, 2019.
A Big Thank You
But before we go anywhere, we want to thank you, our clients.
Whether you're new to REW or you've been around since the beginning, we owe everything to your willingness to push boundaries in the real estate industry.
We aren’t successful until you are (customer success is one of our core values), so your partnership means everything to us.
So from the bottom of our hearts: thank you.
REW Town Hall Meeting, February 2019
What was technology like back in 2004?
For context of how far we've come, here's a brief snapshot of the state of consumer technology in 2004, when REW was founded:
- "Blogging" was Merriam-Webster’s word of the year
- Facebook was just being rolled out to its first college campuses
- YouTube didn’t exist yet (founded in 2005)
- Google Chrome was 4 years away
- iPods were at peak popularity (the iPhone was 3 years away)
- The Motorola Razr was the most popular cell phone on the market
- WiFi and Bluetooth were just taking off
- Internet usage surpassed TV viewing for the first time
A Brief History of Real Estate Webmasters (REW)
Real Estate Webmasters actually started as a forum—a discussion board for real estate agents to swap website and SEO tips.
We had several customers who we’d already helped dominate the search engines through our SEO practice, so the idea exchange was beneficial on both sides as it really helped us learn about the real estate.
The forum quickly grew to over 50,000 members, which highlighted a huge demand for high-performing real estate websites and marketing services.
The original Real Estate Webmasters Forum
We officially launched our first version of Real Estate Webmasters on April 9th, 2004 and never looked back.
Today, Real Estate Webmasters is on track for over 75,000 paid users by year’s end, approaching $150 million in aggregate revenues, and almost 150 in-house team members making us one of the most successful companies in real estate technology.
And it’s all thanks to you! Our amazing, long-time clients who have supported us every step of the way.
Our 15th Anniversary Offer
It wouldn’t be a birthday celebration without an amazing offer! Which is why I'm so excited to announce our special 15th Anniversary offer.
From April 1-30, anyone who purchases a Vision or Discover website platform on a 3-year SaaS contract will also receive 3 free years of:
- Branded REW IDX App for iOS and Android, including app SaaS ($15,800 retail) — Something I believe every agent team or brokerage should have
- REW Text ($1,800 retail)
- INRIX Drive Time ($1,800 retail)
- Get Local ($1,800 retail)
- CMA Tool ($720 retail)
And if you already have the REW IDX App or apps don’t fit your market ing, we'll substitute one REW Summit + Inman Connect Las Vegas Full-Access Ticket in its place (that’s right we’ll buy you an Inman and REW Summit Ticket for Las Vegas!).
All prices above are in USD. Terms and conditions apply.
Overall, that’s up to $21,920 USD total in retail value, all included with your website.
Editor's note: This promotion expired April 30, 2019.
Here's to another 15 years of success!
03/31/2019 03:00 PM
Real Estate Webmasters is excited to announce our first new platform release of 2019!
This latest update brings exciting new features to REW’s suite of mobile apps, aligning the user experience of iOS and Android versions. We’ve also added new features to help manage Google Maps usage and streamline the REW CRM. The roll out is set to begin tomorrow!
Keep in mind, clients who have completed extensive customizations on the front or backend of their site or app may require custom work to implement the framework update. You can get in touch with your Product Consultant for details.
Here’s a rundown of new features making their way to Vision.
More Options for Google Maps Display
Agents will now have more control than ever with how maps are displayed on property details pages.
We’ve added a lazy load feature to the dynamic maps displayed for properties, in addition to a manual click-to-view option and the ability to disable the map altogether.
Greater Control Over Map Defaults
For pages with IDX snippets, site administrators can now set the default maps setting on IDX snippets to open, closed, or hidden. Website visitors will see the option set by the administrator.
New Maps Lead-Capture Setting
There’s also a new lead-capture setting on both Vision and Discover where agents can require a visitor to register as a lead before being able to view the map on a property details page.
This offers another great way for you to capture lead information through property details pages.
Here’s what is coming down the pipe for Discover.
New Lead Capture Option for Maps
Similar to the Vision update, Discover site owners will also be able to require visitors to register as a lead before viewing the map on property details pages.
This feature provides yet another way to encourage leads to register on property details pages, the best place to capture leads.
The Middle Footer Column is Now Editable
We’ve heard your requests. Agents now have full control over the links in the footer’s center column.
Existing footer links won’t be altered, but you will now have the ability to customize these links whenever you like. Edit away my friends!
REW Leads iOS
Coming soon to a REW iOS Leads app near you.
Added Support for All the Latest Mobile Devices
We’re happy to announce that we’ve added full support for the following iOS devices:
- iOS 12.1
- iPad Pro 12.9” (2018)
- iPad Pro 11” (2018)
REW now supports all of the most recent Apple devices!
REW IDX App
Stay tuned for some exciting new features coming to both iOS and Android versions of the REW IDX app.
Listing Directions (iOS)
Guide potential leads right to your doorstep (or your listing). Your branded IDX app will seamlessly open your device’s default Apple Maps app and display directions from a lead’s current position to any listing.
New Save Search Prompt (iOS)
We’ve added a new save search prompt that will encourage leads to save their current search at an opportune moment. This will keep your clients coming back to the app time and time again.
New Android Features
Android users rejoice! We’ve added three new features that iOS users have had ample time to enjoy:
- Property images now appear in push notifications for listing updates
- Leads can now add and edit their own notes on property listings, which remain private to their device< /li>
- The mortgage calculator now matches iOS functionality and is accessible from listing details
Here are a few new features coming to the REW CRM this month:
- Cleaner, simpler, and easier-to-read dashboard labels on mobile
- Improved server performance for images
- Better Zillow integration. When leads are re-assigned in the CRM, it now syncs with Zillow
- Improved lead sort options for filtering leads by agent, and number of searches
All REW CRM clients will be notified by e-mail when their site has been updated.
We encourage you to check on the REW blog regularly to get updates on the latest product releases, as well as tips and tricks on how to get the most from your website!
Thank you for your continued support and feedback. Keep those suggestions coming.
03/06/2019 10:46 PM
If you had any doubt before, it should be gone now: The Platform Wars Are Here
Last week Gary Keller announced that KW Command was ready for prime time and that Keller Williams had a clear advantage over the competition when it came to “end-to-end” platforms provided by franchise to brokers & agents. I was given a tour of the platform and it is clearly not ready for prime time yet. I was also not a big fan of the hyperbole and the way Gary Keller oversells his platform. Granted it’s coming along, and it is better than what they have now, but it certainly isn’t the best of breed (and it’s not done).
RE/MAX has announced that they are looking to release their Booj acquired platform in Q2 according to Adam Contos as announced at R4. Admittedly I have only reviewed the platform as it exists for non-RE/MAX clients and have not seen the innovations / changes made specifically for RE/MAX so I cannot comment on that. But what I will say is this, next to Real Estate Webmasters (REW), Booj was probably the best available customizable enterprise platform in real estate. So if they kept the good engineers, innovators and designers at Booj in place and let them do what they do best, I am expecting to see something quite competitive from LLC later this year.
My main questions on the RE/MAX LLC platform are:
- Can they execute on a roll out in a reasonable amount of time to 600 or so MLSs and 54,000 agents?
- Have they built a platform for scale (and will it hold up)?
- And of course, what happens to all those independent Booj customers that were on the platform when they were acquired?
-Are they going to benefit from all this new tech as well?
- Will RE/MAX & Booj give them the same amount of attention and priority as RE/MAX brokers?
If I’m RE/MAX and I’m investing in a competitive advantage for MY brokers, I’m not sharing it with the competition. But that’s just me.
Keeping the non RE/MAX customers long term has honestly never made sense to me from a RE/MAX perspective, nor does it make any sense at all for Independents to stay on a platform owned by RE/MAX given all the noise / concerns in the marketplace around data & privacy.
I’d love to hear from Booj customers now as to where they are on this and has their experience changed since the platform was first acquired. Did Booj and RE/MAX make good on their commitments? Please leave me a comment below.
And now onto this week's big news: Compass Buys Contactually
Before I comment on the acquisition, I am going to state my position on Compass; I feel it’s important for context.
So here goes: I am NOT a fan of Compass and I think they will fail.
Compass thinks they can buy their way into an industry and when they hit the scene they had almost as much false bravado is my good buddy Gary K (or Gary V, take your pick). Time has shown that for all their big talk about being innovative and this amazing tech company, they really have not succeeded in bringing anything transformative to the marketplace. Anyone remember Leonard Steinberg confidently informing us that Compass single-handedly invented technology? It was right after they invented yard sign.
I think you’ll fail because:
You can’t buy people’s loyalty (and buy market share). You can’t. It’s not a long term strategy.
You claim that you are amazing at technology devel opment. My opinion is there are far more qualified and capable technology vendors already in the space, and you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of taking us on while executing against your growth goals.
Your model has not been tested in the deep waters of a changing market. Anyone can make money in a good market. Let’s see how well you pivot in a downturn.
You’ve lost your momentum. I heard Robert say on stage at Inman New York that Compass is slowing down and focusing in the markets they have made investments in and would likely not be expanding (ie buying their way in) to additional markets the same way they had done in the past.
I think you’ll run out of money before you succeed. You are VC funded and the markets are changing. If things keep going the way they have been (just my opinion), the kind of money it would take to continue your stated expansion simply won’t be there and you’ll far short of the target. Just my 2 cents on that, take it or leave it. I’m no expert on VC’s or markets…. I just hope I’m right.
If everyone else also has “the greatest tech platform on the planet” you have no pitch! You’re just like everyone else. Except you don’t have anywhere near the depth of real estate knowledge of most of your competition.
So now because all the best companies have realized it takes a platform to be competitive, you’re running a real estate business like everyone else.
And guess what? My money is on the brokers with generations of experience in the deep waters who understand that there is more to this business than just buying people with bonuses thinking you’ll figure it out as you go.
They are smart, they are LOCAL, they have a smaller market footprint (and thus can be far more agile in development and rollout for a lot less money). They aren’t so arrogant as to think they can be all things. The best brokerages know they should focus on building great real estate businesses and hire the experts (technology, marketing, training) to bring in the value they need to complete their offering.
So that’s where I stand on Compass: I hope they lose. I really do. There are too many great brokers out there who have worked to hard and earned their spot. This is their space. They will win.
And now for the Contactually acquisition.
First let me say this: Zvi Band is truly one of the nicest, smartest and most genuine guys I have ever met. He is one of the “good guys” and a wonderful family man. I love and respect him, and for him to have made this decision, I know that he did so to do right by his family and his employees. Zvi, I am happy for you my man. You deserve this exit and I am proud of the company and product you have built.
Nothing but love.
As for Contactually and Compass.
I hate to say it (I really do) but in my humble opinion Compass just took the #1 spot for best CRMs owned by a real estate franchise. Contactually is a very good product, built by very smart people (it is WAY better than what I have seen in Command) and it is even competitive with the top tech vendors who are not franchise owned (REW, FUB, BT, CINC etc).
Of all the CRMs you could have purchased, you bought the best one.
You’re still not end to end (as far as I know you still don’t have a front end offering, TM, Accounting, Lead Gen etc.) but if you keep buying and integrating companies like contactually, you might not ever be a great real estate company or have great culture, but you’ll be one hell of a tech company.
As for those of us not owned or controlled by “the competition,” well, I can only speak on my own behalf really.
I look forward to having some worthy competition. We’ll double down, triple down, whatever it takes to make sure that our customers (the TRUE real estate companies) are not only competitive with Compass from a technology and marketing perspec tive, we’re going to help take back any market share that you “bought.”
We’re about to release the next version of our CRM into Beta group with the planned full release date to coincide with REW Summit + Inman this July.
We cannot wait to start incorporating it into our customers' websites so that they have even more reason to be able to capture the market share that they deserve.
Screenshot of new REW CRM 2.0
REW (Real Estate Webmaster Inc) is 100% privately owned by one person (that would be me) and I LOVE what I do. I love this industry, and most of all, I love our amazing customers. We work for them (the real estate broker) and their customers. We have no shareholders, we have no VC investors and we have no pressure from outside sources to exit and we are completely self funded & profitable (we always have been). We are also celebrating our 15th year in this industry this way and are NOT built to sell.
We we are built for is partnering with amazing brokerage firms to work to build them a customizable solution to compete with ANY VC backed startup or franchise funded projects. We’re fast, agile, and the most experienced firm on the planet.
If you’d like to take a closer look at what we do. Let me know, I’d be happy to take you on a tour.
03/01/2019 02:45 AM