RESF is a relatively new real estate brokerage company that has achieved quick success in a short period of time. Jorge Guerra started RESF in 2005 and the firm now has 3 offices with over 300 agents. RESF’s rapid rise to a major Miami player in real estate has come through a lot of hard work. Jorge is only 36 and has taken a non-traditional approach to real estate by investing heavily in technology. He has been an early pioneer of virtual showings and all of RESF’s listings are videotaped and posted online and distributed through social media.
MU-How have virtual showings helped drive traffic and leads to RESF?
Jorge-The consumer is online and they are busy people. Showings take time, so we decided to make the home buying and rental process easier for everyone. With a virtual showing the consumer has a much better idea if they will like the property or not. It allows both the consumer and agent to more effectively targe desirable properties that will meet the end user’s needs.
MU-Is it true that you use actual clients in all your online advertising? How does this help market RESF?
Jorge-Yes, we have found this to be an extremely useful marketing tool. When we feature pictures of satisfied clients on our website they tend to share with their friends and it helps drive traffic to our website. It is also a personal endorsement that they had a positive experience working with RESF. It has been a great lead generator for us.
MU-Do you spend any money on print advertising? What percent of your marketing budget is spent online?
Jorge-We spend $0 on print advertising, 75% of marketing budget is spent online and 25% on promotional items.
MU-How do you feel about real estate aggregators like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com? Do these website help or hurt your business?
Jorge-Consumers are doing their research online before they decide to buy, sell or rent a home. I know many of my agents work with all three aggregators and they do receive many leads. Some of my agents do quite well using these websites. Consumers are gathering as much information as possible before they make the biggest purchase of their lives. Our agents need to be where the consumer is to help them make an informed decision and guide them through the home buying process.
MU-What percent of RESF leads are driven by technology?
Jorge-Immeasurable and more than we can handle… These days, everything revolves around technology…
MU-What type of non-techie, traditional things do you suggest your agents do to generate leads?
Jorge-One of the main things we promote our agents to do is network. Many of our agents are members of BNI and are able to get direct referrals from other professionals within their group. Networking can also be done within a social setting, events such as charities, sports related functions, and many other events around town. Another traditional approach is canvassing or door knocking where you go around and introduce yourself to new people . We also promote geographical farming, especially for those agents who live in an enclosed community or building.
MU-I’ve heard you mention that you need to generate leads from various sources. What are these sources?
Jorge-Utilizing your Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin) properly will generate the most referrals. For agents that want to get listings cold calling is the least expensive method available if they don’t have a marketing budget or a large social circle.
MU-What is RESF’s commission split?
Jorge-RESF offers agents as high as a 90% split of their commission with NO additional expenses for services such as transaction fee or desk fee, etc.