Uncan Your Real Estate Website!

When home buyers go looking for a new place online they have their choice of websites these days. You’ve got to stand out to make a difference and capture your share of this lions market; there is no easier, more affordable way to do that than with a dynamic website branded to you.

We realize not everyone can afford an elaborate custom website; that’s why we provide some of the most customizable real estate web sites online today. Unlike other set it and forget it systems that don’t offer much beyond a picture and a paragraph nearly every piece of content on our websites can be edited to make the website your very own.

Whether you already have a site that just isn’t performing or you are a new agent ready to make a name for themselves we invite you to put the experience we’ve gathered over the last decade to work for you!

Make Your Listing Photos Count!

idaho real estate tours

The internet is a very visual medium; it should come as no surprise then that images play a very important role in online visibility — this is even more true in real estate where potential buyers may be viewing the property from out of town. A picture is literally worth a thousand words – that’s like almost 8 tweets!

Because of the importance in quality images when presenting a listing it always surprises us to see agents almost consider this part of their strategy as an after thought. Blurry, dark photos taken from a phone in haste, these are all telling signs of an inexperienced agent. We understand, professional photos cost money, and so it’s important to make sure you’re getting your monies worth! With over a decade in the virtual tour industry we’ve put together some quick tips to help you make your listing shoot as good as it can be — even if you DO decide to shoot them yourself.

Tuck those laundry baskets in the closet, or around the corner. Clear out the floor space. If you have to move things around during the photo shoot do so, it’s better to take the few seconds to move the kids toys out of the room and back then to look like you’re running a clandestine day care.

Not Planning
Find out when the photographer is coming or set aside a time to shoot your own photos. The key element here is to plan. Make sure it’s a good time of day for light and to minimize traffic through the home.

Sequester Them In The West Wing
Speaking of traffic, kick the kids out. Don’t invite friends over to have coffee during the middle of the shoot. It will be a lot easier for your photographer, or yourself, to get in and get the photos they need without people wandering through their shots.

Do Some Light Staging
We realize you may not have fresh chrysanthemums delivered to your parlor daily, but even just adding a vase of fresh flowers in the kitchen, or doing some other light staging can really make your photos better. Take time to really show case your home, polish up those counter tops, lay out a few magazines in a tasteful arrangement. A little light home staging can help make your home photos feel more personable.

Have questions?
Just don’t have the time to take your own listing photos?
Our professional photographers are experienced in the industry and ready to help! We providing real estate photography services for all of Southern Idaho and also create a virtual tour link and upload photos to the MLS as part of our services.

Attract Millennial Home Buyers With Open Houses That Suck Less!


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?

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?

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!!


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?