Technology has rapidly changed the process for listing and buying homes, and the general public is taking note and adjusting their expectations of what a real estate broker should be.
The public is demanding a broker that offers the same cost savings and efficiencies in the real estate market that they receive everywhere else. Other areas of commerce have rushed to provide that demand, but real estate brokers have been reluctant to innovate and rock the boat that has been steady for so long.
Many economists are predicting low mortgage rates for an extended period of time which will keep the red-hot seller’s market intact indefinitely. With that in mind, home sellers are racing to the market and searching for ways to pay lower commissions to list their properties that they are confident will sell quickly.
Today, both sellers and buyers expect to handle a majority of the process online. For the well-prepared real estate brokerages, this holds a promising future.
The fusion of technology, quick sales and incredible demand from the public have created a tsunami of discount-based brokerages trying to fill that public demand. But in order to thrive, brokers have to figure out how to do all of the following:
- Increase agent transactions
- Increase agent profit
- Reduce or eliminate tasks agents find undesirable, such as cold calling
- Maintain a high level of customer service and satisfaction
If a volume-based discount brokerage cannot do all of these things, it may fail due to an inability to retain or recruit agents, lack of profitability, and poor customer service ratings.
Louisiana-based real estate brokerage 1 Percent Lists takes an innovative, cost-effective approach to selling homes, and it is now franchising that model at an aggressive price to quickly open in markets throughout the country.
The company offers complete real estate services for only 1% commission on the listing side. Its services include professional photography, no upfront fees, all negotiations, pricing, staging advice, showing monitoring and more for a flat 1% fee.
The real estate brokerage has experienced rapid growth, doubling in sales three years in a row, from 2017 through 2019. With hundreds of homes sold, each sale offers a standard commission to the buyer’s agent and only 1 percent to the listing broker.
Due to the company’s value proposition, the agents at 1 Percent Lists spend less time on lead generation than their counterparts and more time listing a larger volume of homes. That large volume of listings is then used to create real buyer clients organically. Over the last five years, 1 Percent Lists’ agent retention level has been close to 100%, as agents at 1 Percent Lists are able to stop paying for leads, list more houses and generate buyers from its large pool of listings.
The brokerage’s virtual work environment allows it to cut unnecessary overhead, offer more aggressive agent commission splits and allow agents to leverage technology to increase market exposure for their buyers and sellers.
“Our agents no longer have to focus on overwhelming lead generation requirements to do business or purchasing expensive dead end buyer leads,” said Grant Clayton, owner of 1 Percent Lists. “Our agents focus on branding our unique value proposition which has clients pursuing them. When you charge the same fee as thousands of other agents, you have to spend countless hours convincing the public you are somehow better than everyone else. We simply have to convince the world we exist and then the business pursues us. That is a much easier task to accomplish.”
New way to market brokers
In today’s competitive real estate environment, there are many ways for brokers and agents to market themselves. Social media alone has become a popular platform with 77% of real estate agents actively using it to advertise their services. And while certain marketing methods are effective, others could end up wasting time and resources.
1 Percent Lists works hand-in-hand with One Click SEO, a ROI-driven SEO and digital marketing agency. The founder of One Click SEO, Dean Cacioppo, has been involved in real estate for 20 years, predominantly focusing on real estate technology.
This partnership enhanced the real estate brokerage’s visibility, and a big focal point for the company is to organically rank at the top of Google nationwide using real estate SEO. Not only does this high ranking benefit the company but it also ensures agents and their listings get as much online visibility as possible.
“Our partnership with One Click SEO has made it so our franchisees and agents can get world-class digital marketing campaigns put in place for them for about one-fifth of what they would normally pay,” Clayton said. “This means my agents and franchisees have a lot more of their money go to proven marketing strategies rather than management fees. Our goal is to provide high quality and, most importantly, cost-effective strategies so agents can focus on what agents like to do: Lots of real estate deals.”
Since branding is an important part of real estate marketing, 1 Percent Lists recently brought on a graphic design team that all of its franchises and agents can use free of charge. With this in place, agents won’t have to worry about making design decisions and can focus on what they do best: Selling.
“At the corporate level our goal is to create a system which allows our brokers to focus on real estate related tasks,” Clayton said. “Every moment that my brokers and agents waste on non-real estate related items like designing graphics, digital marketing, and accounting is time wasted. To the extent possible these tasks need to be handled for them or made incredibly easy so they can focus on growing their business.”
In the last few months, 1 Percent Lists has experienced a great deal of growth as many of its own top producers are becoming franchisees. This speaks volumes about agents’ confidence in the company, Clayton said. The recent success has allowed the brokerage to expand to multiple states around the country.
1 Percent Lists currently has nine franchises open with another 11 commitments preparing to open in Louisiana, Tennessee, Maryland, Mississippi, California, Florida and North Carolina and forecast having up to 100 franchises open by the end of 2021.
“Our franchise requests come from a wide range of people,” Clayton said. “Some of them are small traditional 6% brokers looking to try something new. Some of them are discount brokers who haven’t figured out how to scale it and make it boom.
Believe it or not, some of them come from brokers of big-box companies who see this coming and would rather be disrupting their market than be disrupted. Either way, it’s becoming clear the public demand for this type of product is driving agent and broker demand to find an effective solution for offering it.”
For more information on a 1 Percent Lists Discount Real Estate Franchise click here.