At HomeLight, our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying. Therefore, we promote strict editorial integrity in each of our posts.
At HomeLight, we help home buyers and sellers find real estate agents with the most relevant experience to meet their needs. Unlike other real estate sites, we connect customers and real estate agents based purely on an agent’s objective performance metrics—things like prior transactions, history with HomeLight customers, and client reviews. We don’t sell ads, and we’ll never ask you for a credit card.
HomeLight’s emphasis on performance metrics puts agents in the driver’s seat of their experience with us. You have the chance to show us what makes you a great agent and earn referrals based on merit, which ultimately benefits the consumer. And we get it… small features like smart calendars and vacation time outs mean we won’t send you a referral at 3 in the morning or pester you when you’re in the Caribbean taking a much-needed break.
We’ve heard from agents who want to know how to make the most of their HomeLight set up—and we’re here to help. Truly, there’s so much you can do to leverage HomeLight more effectively that we decided to package up this guide chock-full of tips, tricks, and insights on the topic!
So that you can see just how easy it is to work with us if you’re willing to put in the effort, we’ll cover:
- Different ways you can surface your accomplishments
- How to enhance the quality of your profile
- How to speed up your referral response times
We center our development on creating the best agent experience and every step we take is inspired by your feedback, so let us know how we can help.
1. Provide us with your transaction data to make sure that we represent you properly
Your transaction history is the most quantifiable way to show a client you are a top-performing agent who can close deals left and right. The HomeLight team will do our best to ensure your profile displays an accurate representation of your past closed transactions, but we need your help. You’re empowered to provide us with your full transaction history so that we can represent your experience to our clients as fully and up-to-date as possible.
2. Customize your HomeLight agent profile to highlight your strengths and track record
When it comes to showing clients how you’re best-suited to serve their needs, data only tells half the story. Agents can highlight their strengths and assets in a way that numbers can’t always explain. That way, you can share what will make you stand out from any other top-performing agent. Here are a few items that we suggest agents include in their profile:
- Location preferences:
Select and deselect the ZIP codes where you’d like to receive referrals under the location preferences of your profile. However, in order to access this option, your profile must have at least 15 verified transactions from the past two years. This helps us determine which client referrals to send you, which will make the process easier on both you and the client.
- Which languages you speak:
Maximize the pool of clients who will appreciate your multilingual communication abilities.
- Do you work in a team structure or are you an independent agent:
Explain your business model and show how that will serve the client’s best interest. For example, if you’re part of a team, let clients know that they’ll receive attention from multiple people who will make sure that they don’t miss a single step of the transaction. Or, if you’re a solo agent, relay how clients will receive personalized service and undivided attention.
- Your main selling points:
What’s going to make a client choose you over another agent match? Is it your expert photography, access to drone video content, or your multi-step marketing program? Show off your best assets that will differentiate you from the rest.
3. Improve your success rate with faster referral response times
Our data shows that the faster you respond to clients, the more likely you’ll connect with them and have the opportunity to work with them. In fact, the statistics are staggering: you’re 100 times more likely to connect with a HomeLight referral if you call within the first 5 minutes compared to an hour later. Keep us in the loop and speak with your HomeLight account executive about whether you’re able to respond in time (use the vacation setting as needed—more on that below!), so that you can start building a solid track record.
4. Download HomeLight’s mobile app to update your referral pipeline on the go
HomeLight’s mobile app is built to help agents accept and work with referrals in the most efficient way possible. The app has notifications to alert agents when they receive new referrals and allows them to connect with clients directly through the app.
With the mobile app, you also can:
- Update the status of your new and existing referrals from anywhere.
We’ve made it easy for agents to manage their referrals, whenever and wherever. With the tap of a finger it takes less than 30 seconds to update the status of a referral. Did the client decide to move forward with you as their agent? Or, has another client moved to escrow? You can indicate where you are in the pipeline and bada bing, bada boom—you’re up to date and there’s no need to make any status changes until you hit another progression milestone.
- More effectively connect with potential clients while they’re live on the phone.
The mobile app is also the best and fastest way to get connected to a customer while they’re already on the phone—a process we call warm transfer. When a warm transfer opportunity arises, you’ll get real-time notifications on the app, making it the most efficient method to catch the referral, and be able to immediately connect with customers. Contact them immediately, and improve your chances of working with them.Warm transfer is currently active in about half of the country and will be available nationwide likely by the end of the April 2019. We’ll email you when the update is available via email and also provide a handy tutorial on how to use the warm transfer feature, which you can access through the agent portal on your desktop computer.
- Skip the PIN hassle.
We’ve heard that it’s often challenging to juggle your phone, client info, and type in the PIN every time you call a referral for the first time. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. The HomeLight app automatically dials the PIN for you (this is not the case with text message referrals), so you don’t have to test your memory skills or scramble to find a pen and paper.
5. Stop the flow of referrals when you’re on vacation
Going on vacation? No problem. We all need a break sometimes. That is why we created a vacation setting that allows you to stop the flow of referrals whenever you’re away (or are just too busy). The bottom line is we don’t penalize you for going on vacation or declining a referral.
Plus, we also only send referrals between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time (customized to your time zone), so you don’t always have to be on call.
- Under account settings, click on Vacation Settings.
- Click “Yes” next to “On Vacation.”
- Then, use the calendar toggle to indicate when you’d like to start receiving referrals again.
It’s that quick and easy! You can access the setting via mobile app or desktop. Once vacation mode is activated, your profile will still be visible, but you won’t show up as a quiz match and clients will know you are away.
Again, we don’t ever “punish” you for declining referrals. We do ask that if you do decline a referral (maybe it wasn’t the right property type or neighborhood) that you customize your preferences so we don’t send you a referral of a similar kind in the future.
6. Tailor client greetings for the best first impression
When HomeLight matches you with a client online, the client will receive a snapshot of your profile and a short introduction message written by the agent. To make a positive lasting impression, tailor your client greeting down to the comma and make sure clients are hooked from the first word. It’s also important that you mention you’ve been referred by HomeLight. That way our clients know why you’re reaching out.
We recommend using our custom greeting fields (client location = [location] and client first name = [client]) as part of your greeting so even though the message is auto-generated, it still feels personal.
Here’s an example of a strong client greeting:
“Hi Kim, I see that you’re trying to sell your single-family home in Phoenix. I was referred to you by HomeLight and have more than 15 years of experience selling homes in your neighborhood. I would love to chat with you about how I can help make your home sale successful. I am available Mon-Fri, from 9am to 4pm. Let me know of a good time to contact you!”
In your greeting, be sure to give the client some options for the best times to call you so they feel comfortable reaching out.
7. Stand out from the crowd with reviews and recommendations
HomeLight considers customer reviews to be a strong signal of quality when we make agent recommendations to clients. We also reward agents who collect the most reviews with a “Most Reviewed” badge that they can display on their profile.
Note that on the HomeLight platform, “reviews” and “recommendations” are split into two groupings. Reviews are those solicited directly from HomeLight clients, whereas recommendations are content that you bring in from external review sources such as your personal website.
To make sure you collect as many reviews as possible, you can copy and paste a special review URL from your profile which will take clients directly to a page where they can leave you a review. You can send this to clients on any platform and we encourage you to put the link in your email signature that says, “Leave me a review on my HomeLight profile!”
For recommendations, your account manager at HomeLight can transfer the body of what the clients have written from the other source to your HomeLight profile. You’ll also need to indicate what that other source is, whether it’s “Keller Williams” or “Zillow,” to complete the recommendation attribution field.
8. Display your ‘Best of HomeLight’ award on your HomeLight profile and personal websites
In January HomeLight announced the first annual Best of HomeLight awards to recognize agents who performed in the top 5% of their local area or at the national level. Agents were eligible to receive awards across five categories: Top Buyer’s Agent, Top Seller’s Agent, Top Negotiator, Sells for More, and Top Producer.
Real estate agents can’t pay to be advertised on our platform nor do they pay us for referrals. Our results are unbiased and never based on whether agents have worked with us in the past. The Best of HomeLight Awards are solely dependent on how well agents do their job.
So, when clients see these emblems on your HomeLight profile or other personal websites, they’ll know for sure that you’re a top performer in the area and nationwide.
If you’re an agent who recently won a HomeLight Award, congratulations! What you’re doing is working! Now, it’s time to show it all off on every platform possible, so that people know of your accomplishments. Not sure how to do that? Follow these steps:
- Login to your agent profile and scroll down to the awards section.
- Click “share this award” at the right side of the page next to the image of the award.
- Copy the embed code and paste it into your respective content management system that you use for your personal website.
- If you’re using WordPress, create a new post and paste the embed code in the “Text” tab.
Still having trouble with embedding your award? Contact email@example.com and someone will walk you through the whole process.
No awards yet on your profile? Don’t sweat it! Speak to our support team and an account manager can help to claim your profile, upload current transactions, and coach you on how to succeed as a top real estate agent with HomeLight. Winners are announced every January, so just keep closing home sales and doing what you do best.
9. Showcase any other awards, specializations, and certifications
Think of your HomeLight profile as an online resume—you want to showcase your accomplishments and skills, and attract clients to choose you for the job. That’s why we give you direct control over how to customize your profile.
So, in addition to your Best of HomeLight badge, you can add designations and certifications to show clients what you specialize in.
Are you a Waterfront Specialist, Luxury Expert, or have a Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation?
This part of the profile gives you the opportunity to display the additional education and training you’ve had to further show clients why you are the perfect agent to assist them in buying or selling a home.
10. Our Agent Success Managers are here to help
Our platform runs on data but we support agents with human-to-human communication and support. Most agents that partner with us have account executives who monitor their success and send them referrals over the phone. Think of them as your personal manager, counselor, and strategic partner.
Account executives coach you through anything HomeLight-related or any step of the real estate transaction and communication with your clients. They give you tips on how to speak with your clients during that initial introduction and also help manage your referrals on a daily basis, so that your pipeline and profile are up-to-date and you’re ready to accept more referrals.
You can find out who your account manager is by clicking on the “Need Help?” bubble at the bottom right corner of your profile. They’re the best resource and your direct contact for questions about HomeLight.
Bonus Tip: Create a plan with your team for handling HomeLight referrals
HomeLight will roll out improvements to our systems to allow for team structures soon but… in the meantime, to boost your chances of closing a HomeLight lead if you work with a team, there are a few things you can do:
First, even if you decide to reassign a referral to another team member, we recommend that the agent whose profile showed up as the result to a client always handle the initial call and then do a warm transfer to the other member of your team once you’ve had a conversation with the client.
Clients expect to work with the person HomeLight matches them with and passing them off like a hot potato without explanation creates confusion. In our experience, direct involvement with the original agent results in the best experience for the client.
Second, be sure to indicate whether you are an independent agent, team leader, or team member in your HomeLight profile job title.
Finally, make sure all members of your team have active agent profiles and maintain timely status updates for each referral. If your teammate has any questions about HomeLight or would like further coaching, you can put them in touch with your account manager.
Article Image Source: (Lara Far/ Unsplash)