Attract Millennial Home Buyers With Open Houses That Suck Less!

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Believe it or not one of the most effective means of advertising real estate services is still face-to-face interaction; one of the more common ways that agents make that happen is through an open house. Unfortunately, a lot of them are just lack-luster, and offer little appeal to the growing number of millennial home buyers that are entering the market.

We’ve put together a few ideas for you here that will not only help you draw in a younger demographic but will also help your open house experience be more effective overall.

Advertise It
This is where so many agents drop the ball. They wait til the day before the open house; maybe at most put up one post on Facebook. You’ve got to do better than that! Schedule these events at least two weeks out, make multiple posts hyping up the open house and post it on multiple platforms – it wouldn’t hurt to send out an email to your contacts as well. Remember: if no one knows about it no one can attend.

Make It An Event
Don’t think of it as just a way to kill a Saturday and catch up on paperwork. Make an actual “event” for the open house on Facebook. Work with some local vendors to put together gift packages or door prizes for attendees — you can even make signing up with their email address a means of registering to win, thus growing your contact list. Make sure you have plenty of good printed materials on hand as take-aways; you can even package them with a cookie or treat. Have a movie playing in the living room, invite people to stay and chat. Setup some simple kids activities or games to keep little ones busy and open up more room to talk with potential buyers.

Be Shelfish
No, not SHELL-fish…but rather a shelf for selfies – SHELFIES! Setup a space in the open house and fill it with interesting items or a party theme; encourage visitors to take “selfies” of themselves and post them on their social media profiles – this can be a great way to get your name out and bring attention to your next open house as well.

Stay Classy
Hey, spend a few dollars. This might mean great local organic tapas, or buying a few craft beers that are all the rage with the younger crowd. Good food can be a bring draw to get people in the door and keep them around as well. So, don’t be afraid to spend a few dollars on the good stuff – worse case scenario you’ve got some tasty leftovers for the game the next day.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you make your next open house a smashing success! Don’t give up! Rome wasn’t built in a day and it may take a few tries to get the momentum built up for you to host your very own HOUSEfort!

REALTORS: What’s Your Brand?

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What’s your brand?
Do you even know?
Have you distilled the very essence of your “you-ness” into a potion of concentrated awesome ready to hit the shelves?

No?
Why is that?
With market saturation at an all time high and only increasing the fact of the matter is that the consumer, your potential client, has their choice of where to find real estate these days.

Brand awareness is key to building a dedicated audience supporting your success and boosting your efforts beyond mediocrity. Fortunately social media allows you to build a unique presence for yourself from the ground up! Consider these tips to brand yourself!

Stand Out
There are more than 1 million real estate agents holding membership with the National Association of Realtors. What is it that’s going to make someone choose you?

Will it be a history of proven results, a familiarity with the area or market? Some special service or marketing plan? ALWAYS wearing purple? There are any number of ways to stand apart from the competition. Think about what you do that other agents don’t, then let your audience know about it.

Use Technology
Millennials are changing the face of real estate, and they were born to technology, molded by it…

Over 80% of potential home buyers “cyber-stalk” their agent long before they ever make contact. You need to be highly visible online, even if it’s only by ranking well for searches on your own name, or brokerage.

Beyond saving time, energy, and foot work, technology resources are tools of the trade that when used properly can have stunning effect. If you’re not using them, you need to be. If you’re not providing them for your clients, you should be.

You need to do more than simply have a website and forget about it; just because you are “online” doesn’t mean you have an active and viable presence. Obviously, a major part of that online presence includes central website you control; having a sub-par website, then letting it sit untouched, will actually do you ( and your visitors ) a disservice and may make you look unprofessional – damaging your brand.

Care About Your Community
Your community is a great place to find your client base, to do good for others, and also boost your brand awareness. With very little searching it’s generally not very hard to find any number of local civic or social groups of which you can be a part.

Get to know your community and how you can help the people there best. Despite the power of technology real world face-to-face referrals and interactions are still one of the surest ways to improve visibility for your services.

Be Consistent
Whether you are online or off, be consistent in how you represent yourself. Online this means evoking a familiar and identifiable style of content. Offline this might actually mean always wearing that purple hat, or simply by the manner in which you carry yourself or the type of events and organizations you associate with.

Increasing awareness for your brand increases the equity of trust people will place in your services, leading to a greater audience as well as an overall easier sales process when you connect with potential clients.

The Modesto – Our Latest Mobile Responsive Real Estate Template

We hate to brag, but our latest template THE MODESTO is pretty great!
Mobile responsive and currently available in 4 different color themes this elegant, modern real estate website design is sure to please.

We’ve made sure to include all the features you want like easy searching, intuitive navigation, and great images combined with all the things the search engines love like fast load time and data rich content.

Even our templates stand out from the crowd! Get in the game and show them you mean business – seize your digital destiny and move more real estate!!

busted

Real Estate Social Media Myths: BUSTED!

Although slow on the take up the real estate industry is finally catching on to the fact that social media is not only a viable means of marketing but also one of growing importance. This has lead to an influx of agents and offices who “absolutely have to be on such-and-such book”, which has in turn lead to an absolute flood of abandoned profiles and page owners frustrated by a lack of results for their efforts.

We’ll make some enemies here, but: Don’t Blame The Network. Like the old adage says you can’t expect results from work you didn’t do.

To help combat some of this frustration we want to offer a quick dose of reality in order to dispel some of the most common pitfalls and aggravations most real estate professionals run into when they do decide to put in the effort to run their own social media profiles.

All I have to do is post listings.
No. There is rarely a more poor way to run your social media presence. Your audience is exposed to thousands of pieces of “buy my stuff” marketing every single day; when they are on Facebook they very likely aren’t there looking to be spammed.

If you’ve branded your page correctly visitors will already be able to tell you are in real estate, and while it is fine to feature your listings having an endless stream of house pictures on your page not only does nothing to encourage fans to visit your website (where you hopefully have those listings in more detail) but it also discourages fans from caring what is on your page in general.  Solution: Post content relevant to your area, your fan base, or to showcase who you are.

Everyone I Follow Will Follow Me Back.
No. While it is good to like others pages and to interact with posts as your own business page as frequently as possible it is no guaranteed win. People sometimes will follow you back just because you followed them ( especially on twitter ), sometimes they won’t. Don’t rely on this happening. This is like showing up at a party where you don’t know a single person and expecting everyone to stop what they are doing in order to come over and talk to just you. Solution: Interact with other pages beyond just liking their page once. Frequent interaction can increase engagement.

I Shouldn’t Share Other Peoples Stuff.
No. Isn’t this SOCIAL media? Isn’t it supposed to be all about being social and sharing the great things you find? More than just a like or a plus one, sharing other peoples posts can drop the spotlight on you as someone who might be an online ally. It also allows you to more easily diversify your own content; after all, what’s more boring than someone who only talks about themselves all the time? Solution: Share! Share often!

Automation Is the Best!
Definitely NO. While automation can save you time your quality will suffer. There are even any number of services that you can pay to post content on your behalf – the drawback? It’s the same content spewed out on a thousand other pages. It’s not effective. It doesn’t show that you care about what you are providing your fans and even if that wasn’t true, particularly on Facebook, posts that are auto-generated from third parties can receive as much as 60% less visibility. Solution: Schedule your posts if need be, even hire someone to post for you, but make sure quality is maintained.

Pass Me My Blanket, I’m a Guru.
And it only took two weeks!
Yeah. About that. Not going to happen.
The internet is full of self-proclaimed gurus who know all the right buzzwords ,and even what some of them mean, but nothing worthwhile ever came easy or over night. Consistent effort will bring results, but don’t expect to have a thousand fans in just a few days without buying them. Beyond knowing how to use the tools within the systems effectively, and being able to create great content, there really are no deep dark secrets to mind blowing success in social media. Solution: It takes time; you’ve got to put in the effort – or pay someone else to – in order to see real results.

book1The good news?
None of this has to be hard! We’re glad to talk shop and offer great free tips and training to our real estate website clients. If you’re just getting started, or aren’t even sure where to begin, you may enjoy our Social Media Primer: Seizing Your Digital Destiny. We’d love to send you a copy at no cost or obligation, just send us an email and let us know you’d like a copy.

realtor social management

Facebook as a Real Estate Tool?

realtor social managementMany real estate professionals are finally catching on that social media is not a trend, but even those who use it regularly may not understand it’s potential as a real marketing tool. Knowing how to use the platform – or hiring someone that does – will soon become even more important as recently Facebook announced progress on it’s graph search. This is just one signal that the social media giant is turning it’s head and beginning to listen to what a growing portion of it’s user base – business owners – are asking for.

At it’s most basic Graph Search is a new search feature that makes it possible to perform specific searches based on what your friends are posting, including their likes, shares, and comments. It also allows you to find references to threads you may have long lost or stopped following, making it a potentially amazing tool for not only seeing what possible friend-clients may be interested in but also for searching the archives of the net for important past campaigns.

Here are a few of the benefits of Facebook’s Graph Search:

  • Target Your Niche – Graph Search allows you to research and connect with people who may be in your niche (i.e., people living in a specific community or town).
  • Search by City – Location location location. Local based searches will be the future of seo and being able to direct your marketing effectively towards a specific geographic region on social media is powerful.
  • Discover Local Favorites – Use the Graph Search to find local favorites like restaurants, bars, entertainment venues. Connect with those places and explore partnership opportunities there. After all you’ve got to go where the clients are.

It’s interesting to see Facebook let a wider audience sip some of the magical big data juice that the platform has plugged into it. As Facebook begins to see the greater resale value of the information it gathers expect to see more and more of this kool-aid to trickle down to the thirsty masses of marketers!

Want to try it out now?
http://search.fb.com/

winter

Ready for Winter? Is your business?

Winter has always been a little bit slower paced for real estate. People are generally busy getting ready for the holidays and budgets tend to run a little tighter. Rather than sit it out practicing your Maytag Man impersonation the slower months in Winter are an ideal time to keep your game sharp.

Here’s some tips on making that happen:

Play Catchup.
Organize files, clean that bottom drawer, comb the database, unsubscribe to spam, defrag your hard drive…Sounds like a blast doesn’t it?! Fact is these are all day to day drudgeries we put off that tend to build up and kill productivity – so take the time.

Get In Touch.
Get in touch with past clients – hey, the holidays are all about cards from people you haven’t talked to all year, so make one of them yours! Get in touch with your market too – review data and study trends. Get in touch with your media – if you’re going to be spending all that time crushing candy on Facebook you could just as easily be engaging your audience and building a following to help jump start your Spring.

Update All the Things!
This means that agent photo you took when you passed CE. This also means updating old text on your bios and taking a look at your website as well. Chances are there have been some new features or tools released that you can make use of to leverage a better position online.

Play Price is Right.
Winter time sales can be tough, so it’s all about nailing that right price and making things perfect for prospective buyers. Take a little more time, or even expense, and get listings looking great – even consider house staging to help seal the deal.

Plan to Be Awesome.
Being amazing doesn’t just happen. If you do nothing else spend some time taking a look at this past years success, focus only on the good, and then put that down as part of your plan for the coming year. Planning is essential to success, so make sure you take the time to look forward and decide where you want your path to lead.

You Don’t Need A Website Anymore…

move more real estate
That’s right! You heard us!
You don’t need a website anymore….
You need 5 of them!

Did we have you going? Maybe even for a minute?

Fact is the rumor mills are alive with Z flag wavers broadly proclaiming that individual real estate agents and brokers should just throw in the towel when it comes to having an online presence…but is this true?

While big box websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com are powerhouses to fully be reckoned with – often dominating google search results even for local searches – does that honestly mean there’s no longer any reason to have your own website?

Don’t break out the kool-aid cups just yet! The answer is a resounding NO!

If anything it may be even more important now to not only have a website of your own but to also make sure that it stands out from the competition and positions you in a place to show the uniqueness of your own brand. It even makes sense to have multiple websites to increase your overall online footprint and capitalize on niche markets that the big box boys might have missed!

While the peanut gallery may say – and is right – that there are a million places where a potential client can search and find houses, that is not what your website should be all about. It never has been, and it never should have been. Your website not only serves as digital business card, lending legitimacy and credibility to your services, but also should function as a means for you to distinguish yourself from the myriad of agents in your area.

You can accomplish this by doing things like making sure to have a page about yourself, reasons why you love the area, or even a local area resources page of links. Even a templated website can serve to set you apart if it allows you to control your content – the key is using it!

are they finding you?

No one can deny that new home buyers are using technology to handle the process of finding the home they want themselves it’s never been more important for agents to show themselves to be the authorities in their industries and areas.

Claim this position by leveraging social media, using extra domains you may have to work a niche market through lead capture pages, and get out there in the community itself to keep your ear to the heartbeat of the cities you serve.

Need help?
Ready to seize your digital destiny and start building equity in your own success? We’re here to make it happen!