I’m excited to share another #InnovatorsRE post with you! Each month we will be featuring companies in real estate – brokerages, franchises and technology companies who are ‘shaking things up;’ not just providing great technology solutions – but providing great customer and agent experiences.
I recently reached out to Stacie Staub, a dear friend of mine and Director of Marketing at Live Urban Real Estate in Denver, CO and asked her to share how their brokerage is raising the bar, staying true to their brand and keeping things fun in real estate. I have been a fan of Live Urban and the brand they have built, and was excited to feature them here as a true innovator in real estate.
Q: How did Live Urban get started? Talk a little bit about the growth you’ve had and why you think that has happened.
A: We focus on making Live Urban a fun, successful workplace, and the founders/owners often say they created a company where they wanted to work.
Creating a cooperative, not competitive, environment for our employees has been one of our top priorities since starting the company nearly ten years ago, and believe it makes us unique in the real estate industry.
A strong attitude of teamwork and collaboration is promoted, which is demonstrated from the management team. We work with brokers to set achievable sales goals for themselves, and provide support and training to help them meet and exceed those goals.
We’re not out to be the largest brokerage in the Denver area, not by a long-shot, but we have grown to over 70 agents over the last several years. We hire strategically and thoughtfully, and strive to provide our team with everything they need to be as successful as they want to be, whatever that might mean to each individual.
Q: How does technology play a role in the day-to-day life of your agents? Are there certain tech tools that all of your agents use (i.e. apps, portals, CRMs, email tools, social tools, etc.)
A: Technology is the glue that connects all of our employees. Although we have a brick and mortar office, in many ways, we’re a virtual company. Working offsite is not only allowed, but encouraged.
We have several platforms that help us stay connected, including a private Facebook group for our agents and an inclusive email system that agents use to collaborate and crowd-source solutions and resources.
Live Urban is also proud to partner with Rezora as our e-mail marketing and online ad retargeting solution. Rezora is an innovative Colorado-based firm that works closely with our marketing department to deliver cutting-edge content on behalf of our agents.
Our website, LiveUrbanDenver.com, was developed by Real Estate Webmasters, which also provides a custom website for each of our agents, as well as a robust backend and lead generation and management that has been very successful for us.
We also recently started using Brandfolder to manage all of our assets and collateral. This password-protected resource keeps everything our agents need in an organized and constantly updated space where they can easily download the latest versions of Buyer and Listing Presentations, marketing materials, and even their own head shots and logos, as well as easily order custom pieces (flyers, brochures, graphics, signs, etc) which are created by our in-house design team.
Q: How are your agents and your company utilizing social media to build your team and build your brand?
A: We’re active social media users and have professional staff dedicated to our social media efforts. We believe this is a critical component of our branding and marketing efforts.
Social media generates business for the firm, provides outreach to existing clients, and helps recruit new employees. We’re particularly proud of our Facebook efforts, where we have over 4500 likes, more than any other real estate office in metro Denver!
We also continue to organically grow our follower base on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest – the combination of which create an opportunity for us to reach new people as well as existing Live Urban fans in the format and space where they like to hang out online, in the format that they enjoy and appreciate.
We work hard to stay on top of algorithm and trend changes on each of these platforms and remain flexible in order to stay in compliance and on the forefront of these technologies.
Q: Why do you think you you’ve had the success you’ve had so far? What are the one or two things that you can point to that have helped?
A: Live Urban brokers have a voice in how the company is run, and the management team regularly encourages input and feedback. Many of our most successful initiatives have been suggestions from employees, including our recent client Harvest Party, benefitting Urbiculture Farms, and Race To Your Next Place, benefitting Habitat for Humanity of Colorado.
Not only do these events provide opportunities for the employees to give back to the community, they are fun events for them and their families. Of course, in addition, we provide a generous compensation packages, recruitment bonuses, and non-salary perks to retain and reward employees.
As a foundation for our ongoing training initiative, our twice-monthly staff meetings always include an educational component. We’ve also created a series of monthly Skill Builder sessions, which are small group training classes on a variety of cutting-edge topics that help agents improve their professional skills. Our commitment on education backs up our belief that Live Urban brokers are some of the smartest in the business.
Most importantly, we’ve created a unique mentor program for newly-licensed brokers. This program teams new agents with seasoned industry professionals, who provide intimate one-on-one training to launch their career. The two-year program provides valuable guidance and support for those new to real estate, greatly improving their chance of long-term success.
Q: What’s next for Live Urban?
A: In addition to managing another year that is on track to increase Live Urban’s overall sales volume, and continuing to hire agents who embrace our unique culture, we’re really excited about an event we are producing in April – The Real Hustle Conference.
We saw a real lack of accessible agent education in the Real Estate vertical, and decided to fill it with a day of education and motivation from some of the most innovative Real Estate agents in North America. You can see the lineup and find out more about this event at RealHustleConference.com.
Q: Can you share how technology and/or social media has increased the bottom line? Has it increased the type of agents or the type of clients you work with?
A: We measure our Source of Business on a constant basis, so it’s easy for us to track ROI on marketing and other investments. Like most Real Estate companies, the largest percentage of our business comes from agents’ existing spheres and repeat clients as well as personal referrals, which is why we invest so much in our follow-up programs, making it easy for agents to stay in touch with and prospect with people they have already connected with.
The next biggest percentage of our business comes from online registrations on our website. We have developed a successful program for connecting these leads immediately with an agent, who reaches out as quickly as possible and then follows a proven and systematic approach for converting these first conversations to meetings and eventually closings.
When agents who want to work at Live Urban contact us, the first thing we ask them to do is fill out a comprehensive inquiry form, which not only asks them about their experience, history, etc., but also requests that they provide links to all of their social media profiles. This makes it fairly easy to see if they might be a good fit for Live Urban. We definitely turn away more agents than we hire, because we are so protective of our team, our environment, and the collaborative culture we’ve created.
Q: What makes LIVE Urban a great place to work?
A: The people make Live Urban a great place to work. The management team has focused on hiring the best and brightest brokers, who demonstrate a willingness to join a company with collaboration, teamwork and achievement as guiding principles.
We’ve brought together a group of real estate professionals who are like-minded and working towards a common goal: Providing excellent real estate services which reward our clients, our brokers, and the community.
Here is a video which gives a sneak peek into our culture!
Thank you so much Stacie and the Live Urban team for sharing your insights!
Do you have a question for Stacie or would like to recommend another innovator in real estate to be recognized? Leave me a comment below or send me a tweet!