CEO Update – August 2017

RPR Releases Version 1.63

On August 15, 2017, RPR® released version 1.63, marking the 63rd product release since the launch of the Residential Platform in September 2010. This month’s product update includes great news for RPR Mobile™ users. The app now includes Comps Analysis Express, a new feature that allows users to create a comparative analysis from the RPR Property Details page by way of a simple, four-step process. The end result is a detailed, comprehensive Seller’s Report, branded with the REALTOR’S® information.

RPR has also made several visual enhancements to the Platform’s charts, including Sales and Financing in Refined Value, Walkability in Neighborhoods, Commercial’s Best Retail Business, and the new Educational Levels of Population on Neighborhood Details. RPR also made refinements to the home energy consumption data display, and added the ability to show or hide a password during account creation or reset. To read more on the August 2017 release, visit the RPR Customer Support site.

    Chatbots: 24/7 Engagement for Real Estate

    If you are looking for a way to increase engagement with consumers, improve customer service, and expand lead generation strategies, chatbots may be the answer. At this month’s Inman Connect in San Francisco, California, a panel titled, Chatbots: The good, the bad and the branded, discussed what a chatbot is, and how it can benefit an agent’s workflow and lead generation efforts. Panelist Nate Joens explained that “a chatbot is an application that can live within any platform such as Facebook Messenger, a live-chat widget, SMS, etc. Often involved in the process is artificial intelligence, which can learn from data and experiences.”

    Lead generating organization, Structurely offers an A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) driven sales agent by the name of Holmes which, according to its website, will “instantly follow up with all of your online leads, ask qualifying questions and answer lead questions using relevant MLS data.”

    Also on the panel was Daniel Ahmadizadeh of Riley, Inc. Their chatbot, Riley, utilizes concierges to qualify leads 24/7 using real people — exclusively through text messages — then hands off the transaction at organic points in the conversation.

    Another recent article in Real Estate Tech News, Build-a-Bot: Tools For Real Estate Chatbots, presented seven cutting edge applications leveraging chatbot technology. Companies highlighted include X.AI, Facebook, Apartment Ocean, and Chatfuel. Their value to the real estate industry ranges from handling basic inquiries from consumers to acting as an assistant for meeting and schedule planning.

    RPR began utilizing chatbots by way of Facebook Messenger. Through RPR’s Facebook page we often receive the same questions, such as “How do I get started with RPR?” and “What do RPR reports look like?” followed by “What training opportunities are available?” Our simplistic Bot offers immediate answers to these questions with a reply and linked resources when available. When questions are outside of the scope of the Bot, an RPR staff member will provide one to one assistance on the specific issue or question.

    Survey finds REALTORS® Plan to Spend More Time, Money on Digital Marketing Initiatives

    A recent study by Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®), How REALTORS® use social and digital media to build their businesses, reports that 94 percent of 265 REALTORS® surveyed use Facebook as a critical component of their marketing strategy, yet less than half report measurable responses. Somewhat expected, of that 94 percent, nearly 75 percent cited “generating awareness”as their top motivation for implementing social media marketing.

    According to RPR’s report, more than 60 percent of survey respondents said they will significantly increase the amount of time and money spent on social media in the next fiscal year. Currently, 76 percent commit four or fewer hours to the effort and 85 percent spend up to $500 a month on social media. To read more about this research, visit the RPR blog and download the full report.

    Downsizing to Downtown: Boomers Hitting the Road

    Direct from the recent Swanepoel T3 Group study, Commercial Real Estate ALERT: Analysis of the Latest Emerging Risks and Trends, Boomers are actively seeking rental apartment units no different than Millennials or, in some cases, purchasing condominiums in downtown areas. “Both desire to live in loft and high-rise buildings, and are competing for the same pool of rental housing and supply that is still trying to catch up with demand in most markets.”

    Since affordability is a differentiator for these generations, investors, developers and REALTORS® are once again turning to a more robust analysis of demographic and economic patterns to determine how to improve communities to accommodate specific interests and budgets.

    So how do REALTORS® discover the right locations to accommodate the needs of this large demographic? Read this recent post on the RPR blog to learn how.

    MyRPR Story

    August proved to be an exciting month for RPR Mobile with the addition of the app’s new Comps Analysis Express. As a result, I would like to share some of our favorite REALTOR® stories involving the app, and how agents are using to it impress prospects, clients, and customers. For instance, Gregg Center from Sarasota, Florida, leveraged the RPR app to engage a few buyer prospects visiting his open house. Claire Chesnoff, a REALTOR® from Staten Island, New York, has been able to establish relationships in her geographic farm area by meeting people on their sidewalks and in their living rooms. She uses the RPR app to reveal each home in the area, along with relevant facts to make their conversations productive. Visit the RPR blog for the complete post, “Why use the RPR app? Hear from these seven REALTORS®.”


    Sincerely,

    Dale L. Ross
    Chief Executive Officer
    Realtors Property Resource®, LLC
    Chicago, IL

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