REALTORS: Reasons Why Your Social Media Falls Flat

tools

Social media social media social media – boy it sure it a hot topic these days isn’t it?! Guru’s and mavens popping up left and right, all experts – as of this month – in the great unquantifiable thing that is the silver bullet to kill your marketing monster.

We apologize for all of them. Fact is though social media is one of the most cost effective ways for you to get the word out about your services – especially if you’re bold enough to take it on yourself. To help you towards your goals we’ve put together  a quick list of common mistakes for the medium; feel free to pass them along to your page manager, guru, samurai, jedi WHATEVER they call themselves as they are likely making the same mistakes.

Not having a goal.
It’s hard to hit the mark if you don’t even have a target. Make sure before you begin your journey in social networking, or hire a ‘professional’, that you have an actual goal in mind. Whether it be simply getting more visibility, getting more sales, or increasing traffic to your website. It’s a lot easier to know if you’re getting there if you have an idea where there is.

Not using social media.
Kind of mind blowing isn’t it?! But if you’re not actually USING the platform how can you expect it to DO anything? Go to the store, buy some eggs, take them home and put them on the counter – now sit there and stare them and berate them for not becoming an omelet. Let us know how that turns out – same thing in social media.

Not understanding likes don’t equal sales.
Visibility is GREAT! People liking your stuff makes you feel happy and fuzzy warm that you’re LIKED….but it doesn’t sell a single unit. And if you’re expecting it to, you may want to refocus your overall marketing plan. Social media advertising is NOT like the advertising agencies of old. Marketing here doesn’t always equal sales, but it can build the relationships that drive sales and improve customer service.

Not shutting up.
B-But…you…you said I needed to post a lot in one of those other blog entries! Actually, I said you need to post consistently; there is a difference, but that’s not the point to this item. The one most common mistake users of social media make is only talking about themselves or their product. People are hit with thousands of pieces of advertising every day. I can assure you not one single potential customer wakes up in the morning looking forward to being spammed or advertised to.

Be sure to diversify your content, don’t just make it about you or your product. Mix in other inspirational, humorous, or interesting information. Be absolutely certain you answer and interact with every single fan that takes THEIR time to engage with your digital presence. There are a billion faceless companies they can look up if they are wanting anything less.

Not being consistent.
Mentioned this above, so this point will be quick. Setting it and forgetting it only works if you’re using one of those rotating ovens. When you post consistently you not only can more easily target your audience but you also are creating momentum for better exposure.

Not focusing.
Trying to do it all is the best way to fail at everything. Pick the social media platforms that best fit your marketing plans and your ability to manage. There is no value to being on 100 social platforms if you are only actively updating two of them. Nothing is more embarrassing to a page owner or disappointing to a visitor than getting to a page or profile and seeing ” Last Updated June 2011″.

You guys are big meanies!
Well…I guess you might think that, but really we just want to help you build real success through social media. Nay-sayers and smoke blowers are killing the industry; many professionals are beginning to simply opt out of it all together. We think that’s a real missed opportunity! Have questions about social media, your real estate website, or how to best use them altogether? We’re glad to help!

Real Estate Social Media: Selling Versus Serving

vacuum_cleaner_sales

If you’ve been using social media for a while now ( with any success) you’ve likely already noticed that as an advertising platform it doesn’t quite work the same way as traditional mediums have in the past. Call it information overload, call it saturated with sales, call it what you will: your social media audience doesn’t want to be sold to.

…but how are we supposed to SELL anything?!

A wizened social media sage once said:

“Social media isn’t about selling to the people you’re connected with, it’s about connecting with the people you’re selling to.”

The secret, like in many things in life, is finding the balance. Your marketing efforts must serve your success, but to be effective online they must also serve your clients.

Chances are the people in your sphere of influence, your fans, already know you are in real estate . Those who are newly exposed to your digital presence likely won’t have a hard time figuring it out, especially if your social media portals are properly branded.

So why are you selling selling selling so hard? And if social media marketing isn’t for selling what GOOD is it?!

Increase Awareness
With so many major national portals out there, and most agents, offering basically the same search capability on their websites the content you create on your website and social media portals may be the only chance you get to stand out from the crowd.

Shouldn’t you then do your best to show them who you really are and why they should choose you over one of the other nameless thousands?

If you specialize in a particular niche market this is especially important to focus on as even if your audience knows you are in real estate generally they may not know you have a special expertise they could benefit from.

Establish Trust and Become an Authority
People trust others that they know and interact with more often. By creating a page that is interesting, informative, and relevant to your audience you are establishing yourself as a source for quality information and as an authority in your field. Encourage fans to ask you questions; use them as status updates or blog posts.

It’s never bad to look like you know what you are talking about.

Both of these things together can boost overall brand recognition and keep your name in the fore-front of past clients minds – who as we know in real estate can become return clients! – as well as in the periphery of new fans as well.

BUT HOW DO I SELL STUFF?!
Patience grasshopper. The path to enlightenment is wrought with dangers and distractions on all sides. It is good to feature your services or product from time to time, especially if you have something worth tooting your horn about.

For best results follow the hamburger rule of social media: 80/20. You want 80% of everything you post to be interesting, relevant, humorous, or related to your audience or your community – the 20% that’s left?  That’s for your harder marketing. Give this technique a try and see how it works for you!

Working in this industry we see the best and the worst of what’s being put out there on the web by real estate professionals. We’ve got to tell you, there is no surer way to cause your fans to become non-fans or  even worse to have them just zone out of your efforts altogether by creating a stream of posts that is nothing but pictures of your listings. Face it, it makes for REAL uninteresting reading. Every once in a while take a look at your own page from an objective viewpoint.

Keep these things in mind when evaluating your impact:

Would YOU want to read the things you post there?

Does your content feature local area events or interests?

Are you establishing yourself as a SOURCE for what your audience needs?…or just adding to the noise?

When you DO market are you be sure to drive traffic to your main hub?

We’d love to hear the things YOU are doing on social media to be different and to better serve your clients rather than just trying to SELL to them.

Real Estate Website Myths: BUSTED!

extraWith the return of real estate this past year there have been website companies popping up left and right all offering the “best real estate websites” online. Despite the success of the internet as an advertising platform many real estate professionals still have preconceived notions on what can and cannot be done – much less what should be done – and unfortunately this can cause a lot of myths to be created and a lot of relationships to be destroyed.

We here at Tour Real Estate have had a singular focus for over the last decade: providing great, effective, real estate websites. So before lending an ear to the myths you’ve been hearing, or straight up falling prey to some fast talking smoke blower, consider these top real estate website myths and allow us to put your fears at ease.

A Website is Going to Change Your Life.
Uh, no. We stress this strongly in order to be fully up-front with our potential customers. A website is a tool. Nothing less, nothing more. If you do not use that tool by customizing it to your market, and advertising it to your sphere it is still fully functional but you simply can not expect to see amazing results. Like much else in life you get out of your website what you put IN to your website – this also means leveraging the visibility of your website by social and real world networking.

You Are Stuck With the Search MLS Provides.
In many systems this is true. It comes in pre-canned, framed in, and fairly awkward. The way we do things here at TourRE is a little different: We take the raw feed from MLS, reformat it, optimize it, and push it out to your website in a dynamic fashion. This allows us to provide custom searches instantly for out clients like: Today’s New Listings, REO Homes, HUD Homes, Searches by City, and just about any other criteria you will find in MLS itself.

The Free Site from my Brokerage Is Just as Good.
Big no to that. The old adage of you get what you pay for is true! That’s not to say you can’t have a free site and possibly even get some use out of it. A simple, free website is certainly better than no website at all. However we generally caution people to just be aware of what they are (or aren’t) getting as part of that deal. Most freebie websites offer very little customization or control – meaning that to your visitors and to search engines you look exactly like a million other real estate sites out there. What incentive does that give potential client to choose YOU?

Having a Website Takes Too Much Time.
You’re not a geek, you want to be moving real estate, not punching buttons – we understand that. No website is ever going to be brilliantly effective if you just set it and forget it, but thankfully our websites are very easy to get setup with very minimal effort. Once there the functionality of the site largely takes care of itself – your listings, your offices listing, and the entire MLS is automatically pulled into your site without any effort from you. We still recommend using the large number of additional marketing tools we provide at least once a week; for those who are really interested into taking their online presence to the next level we can gladly provide guidance and consulting.

It’s a Nightmare to Get Help.
Most other web companies are from out of state, and then have call centers in other countries. To even change your name or contact info you could be waiting weeks to even hear back from a tech. Tour Real Estate is proudly located in Idaho’s beautiful Treasure Valley. Our system allows you to control most every piece of text on your website; if you don’t have the time, or just can’t figure it out our customer service can’t be beat. We reply quickly and resolve issues fast. When you call us you’ll be talking to a real live person who can generally get your request taken care of immediately.

We excel at what we do because we care. We excel because we’ve chosen to focus on doing one thing, and doing that one thing very well, for over the last decade. If you’re unhappy with your current real estate web presence – or don’t yet have one – we’d love the chance to talk with you in order to show you how we can help you. Visit our website, or check out any of our social media portals below to find out more!

Social Media Tips for REALTORS®

frustrated-computer-guyThe world of social media can be a daunting place. It’s hard to know who to believe, or even what works from what you research on your own. The way is wrought with fast talkers and smoke blowers ready to promise you the moon and stars – and hopefully you’ve not had your taste for social media spoiled by them. If you’ve heard the hype and seen the success stories and are ready to start making use of social media we’ve got a few tips to help you get on the fast track.

First, let it be stated that social media is not the silver bullet for all your website ails. It is merely another tool to apply to your overall digital strategy. It is not guaranteed to boost sales, traffic, or leads; at it’s very core is merely another advertising medium.

Social media isn’t marketing. It’s prospecting. It’s putting yourself out there. It’s making yourself known, and available. Social media allows your potential customer to find you and interact in a conversational way rather than via a promotional one. So it’s important to: Be Interesting. Be Relevant. Be Rememberable!

Not sure what to say to get the conversation part of things going? Listen first! Keep an eye on what topics are trending in your industry, locally, or across the country. Listen to what your customers are interested in, then get to work. Otherwise, you are just shooting in the dark.

Be Persistent. Social media success is made up of the things you do every day. Every day. That means you need to be in there posting, working the system, nurturing followers on a daily basis to see the best results. Considering many systems have algorithms in place to limit your visibility to fans post frequently is often the best way to insure your posts get seen.

Don’t make it all about real estate. Yes, you are REALTORS® yes, it is part of your job to advertise listings – BUT – one of the biggest mistakes we see real estate professionals doing in social media is posting nothing but links to their listings. Sure, it’s fine to link to that Just Listed property, but look at it from a potential fan (who may not even currently be in the buyers market)…are they going to be interested in seeing 15 posts a day that just advertise your listings…or would they rather enjoy more diverse content that might include local event info, home fix-it tips, or other information…? EXACTLY. So, make your content about more than just hyping that next listing.

Use pictures. Social media is a very visual platform, because we as humans are very visual creatures. Text based information posts are great but be sure to mix it up with some good visual content as well. Now, that doesn’t mean just post pictures – unless you are on Pinterest – but be sure to include pictures now and again, with some good “hook” language to describe the image.

Social media isn’t about selling to the people you’re connected with, it’s about connecting with the people you’re selling to. Keep the relevancy of your content focused on the interests of your fan base to see the most success; be sure to keep at it!

Lead Capture Counts: New Counted Logins!

countedAs you may already know, your Tour Real Estate website comes pre-built with a few different login options: None, Soft (which allows users to skip registering), and Hard (which forces visitors to register). Each of these allows you to control how strict your registration access is when a visitor goes to view listing details.

Now you have one more option to choose from! Counted Logins! This great new feature acts as an in between for our other great choices. Basically it allows visitors to view up to 4 listing details pages before it forces them to register to view more. This is a great option to allow visitors time to navigate around your site before they must provide their contact details.

One more powerful tool added to your online arsenal to give you greater control over your website and it’s lead capture abilities — all at NO extra cost to you!

REALTORS: Does Your Website Need Help?

Our Websites Come in One Flavor: AWESOME!

We don’t fast talk or up-sell you with pricey packages you don’t need. We don’t lock you in to long costly contracts. We JUST deliver results.

For over the last decade Tour Real Estate has consistently provided the very best real estate websites and marketing tools available online. ALL of our websites are highly search engine friendly; come backed by powerful dynamic code which allows you to control your search engine visibility.

For less than the cost of a single print ad, or a few months of unreliable pay per click advertising you could have your own website online 24 hours a day 365 days a year showcasing your listings and services.


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

( that’s like 7.148 tweets if you’re counting! )

We founded our company on virtual tours; we still offer some of the best and most affordable real estate photography services in the area.

Better Photos = Better Sales. It’s as simple as that.

A REALTOR.COM survey showed that homes marketed with professional quality photographs sold for nearly 12% more than homes with bad or no images.

 

We Move Real Estate – and Our Office!


We’ve Moved!

Update your address books – we’re in a brand new office here in Meridian, Idaho!  Same amazing real estate technology services in a great new location!

For over a decade Tour Real Estate has provided the very best online marketing for real estate agents in the Northwest; we continue that vision today.

We have many great developments in the works for the coming year and want to thank all of our customers who have enjoyed our sterling services so far – you have helped make us great!


For payments and meeting arrangements our NEW office is located at:

Tour Real Estate Inc.
1406 N. Main St. Suite 109
Meridian, Idaho 83642

Not a Tour Real Estate customer yet? Why not!?
We provide some of the best, most dynamic real estate websites available on the planet! More than just templated websites we also specialize in custom REALTOR® websites for individual agents and brokerages. Connected Socially? So are we! We love helping real estate professionals make the most of today’s popular social networks – visit our website today to get just a taste of what we have available.