NEW REALTOR Craigslist Ad Looks

realtor craigslist adsWe’ve just launched four new color theme’s for our Realtor Craigslist ads!

These new looks come in four basic colors, feature a larger listing image, and still offer the great functionality as our original Craigslist ads by pulling listing remarks and details straight from the MLS.

Have Rental Listings in our system?
As many of you know Tour Real Estate offers the ability to enter your rental listings into your Client Toolbox for display on your site; with our latest release you can now advertise these rental listings with our Create Craigslist Ad function! It’s simple: just pick the look, add a subject, and choose the rental listing you want to advertise!

Not a Tour Real Estate REALTOR Website Customer?
You really are missing out on a virtual world of marketing functions and real estate tools that can help strengthen your online presence and move more real estate! We won’t stop that from letting us share this great tool with you; what many Idaho REALTORS don’t know is that EVERY agent in the IMLS has a minimal toolbox with us where they can use this Craigslist Ad function. That’s right, we’re practically giving away this useful marketing tool!

Don’t know where to find your toolbox? Ready to get serious about your REALTOR website? We can help! Contact us with any questions you may have – we’re glad to provide the best REALTOR website services online today! Click here to send us a message!

Post Craigslist Ads from TourRE

Realtor Website client can now post graphical Craigslist adsTourRE Real Estate Website Clients can now post graphical Craigslist ads right from their Toolbox!

Several graphical designs to choose from, and more to come, you can use these easy to create graphical Craigslist ads to promote a listing, or advertise your REALTOR services quickly and easily from your Client Toolbox with TourRE!

Just one more feature in our list of comprehensive web functions that allow Realtors to be in control of their online real estate marketing and get great results! Have questions ? Contact us at our main website for more details or to get info on using this great new feature! Stay tuned to TourRE for even more new exciting developments in the coming months!

Realtor Twitter Tips: How to Be a REAL (estate) Twit!

Realtor Social MarketingTwitter can be used for more than just letting anonymous people and friends know that you are at Costco looking for a 20 gallon tub of mayonnaise. If used properly it can be a powerful ally in marketing your main Realtor website, listings, or blog posts in order to increase traffic and generate leads. Who knew140 characters could be so powerful!

Naming Your Account
Pick a name that has some of your desired keywords in it, or at least that has something to do with your services. Why make your twitter URL twitter.com/hinsel when you could make it twitter.com/boiserealestate ? Getting keywords into your URL is a good thing for search engines and to help people know what you do right from the get-go.

Customize Your Profile
You won’t get many followers if you stick to the default profile avatar. Put in your photo, or at least some sort of interesting graphic to catch peoples eye. A lot of times you will get people to look at your profile just based on the fact that your little smiley face caught their attention. Beyond that Twitter also gives you space to include a short bio; use this space wisely to include keywords and relevant information. You can also customize your background image – use this space to display a nice graphic listing some of your services so that it is visible behind your profile body. Add your location so people know where you operate from and don’t forget to add your website link as well!

Do Not Protect Your Tweets
This is the Twitter equivalent of standing in your closet shouting. Nobody but the people you let in will be able to see your tweets, and that includes search engines (plus who wants to stand in a closet with a shouting person anyway?!)

Think Globally,Network Locally
It’s great to have thousands of followers all over the country, it makes you look impressive to others, but fact is it really won’t help you leverage Twitter as a effective real estate marketing tool unless those followers happen to be in areas that you gain a lot of relocation action from. Do some local searches and find others in the area that are in the business or who you know and start there.

Serve Your Users
The biggest mistake anyone can make in using Twitter is to fall prey to the repeating parrot syndrome. There is very little more annoying, or more counter-productive to good Twitter marketing than blabbing the same message constantly. Buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff. You want to market your listings and services but don’t be obnoxious about it. Chances are it will lose you more followers than gain any. Mix up your messages now and then, put in a joke or funny quote, let people know you are a real person typing into the box, not some automated program.

Connect Your Tweets
You can connect your Twitter account to your cell phone to easily update your account via text message.This is a great way to Tweet on the go. At an open house? Tweet it! Be sure to also connect your Twitter to any other social platforms you are using for marketing like Facebook, WordPress, or Myspace – that way your tweets can pull double duty in more than one place. (Selective Tweets is a great app for doing this on Facebook as it allows you to choose which tweets go to Facebook by adding “#fb” to the end of the tweets you want to send out)

Learn the Twitter Commands
Using the @ symbol before someone’s username ( @tourre ) is a reply/mention and the user will receive notification that you were talking about them – this is great to get in touch with people or target specific “tweeps”. Using the # means it is tweet about a certain topic or event (#LAME is generally about things that are lame, etc). You also have the ability to send to tweeps that follow you and receive direct messages — these don’t show as a public tweet; these are great for asking specific questions you don’t want the world at large to see. RT or Retweet is a function that allows you to share something someone you follow has tweeted with all of your own followers; is great for sharing and making new connections with little effort.

Tweet It!
Got an open house? Tweet it! Got a new listing? Tweet it! Just had Tour Real Estate shoot a real estate virtual tour? TWEET IT! Seeing a pattern here? Any time you do something of import for your marketing, whether it be updating your site, writing a new blog post, or making a closing you should tweet about it! This can increase your follower base and help drive traffic to your main site or blog.

Search for Tweets
This is almost as important as tweeting itself if you really want to work this platform. Search for topics that might lead you to people you can help, like “looking for a home in boise” or even just “boise home” will likely pull up some people looking for a place to buy – contact them! ENGAGE others and interact through communication: it is what this entire website is really for!

Not sure where to start? Is your follower count weak? Try using Twitters advanced search function ( http://search.twitter.com/ ) to find tweets on specific topics or from specific areas. This is a great tool for seeing what is going on around you, meeting new tweeps, and getting the ball rolling. There are any number of other applications and sites that can further enhance your Twitter experience ( like Twipic for sending photos from your phone to your Twitter page, or Tweetdeck, or tinyurl for shortening web addresses ) but use these with some caution to keep from contracting repeating parrot disease. Keep it simple, Tweet relevant, informative,or humorous tweets often and you will be well on your way to being a effective Twitter marketer!

All in all Twitter isn’t going to make or break your marketing strategy but it can be a useful resource to keep in your marketing toolbox and is a quick and easy way to share information, drive traffic, and find leads. Want to learn more about Realtor Social Marketing? Or maybe you want to get a Realtor website that puts you in control of your content and search engine visibility? Contact Tour Real Estate today to find out more about how you can start moving more real estate!

Effective Realtor Social Marketing

More and more Realtors and real estate companies are finally getting on the social media bandwagon before it completely leaves town. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, and other user content driven platforms have been providing new opportunities to get your message out and reach new audiences for some time now; it’s good to see the real estate industry finally getting up to speed…well, sort of.

Sadly the same things that make social networking great – cheap/free, easy to use with no coding knowledge required, or graphic design skills, or costly printing – can also allow the average user to cleanly shoot themselves directly in the foot. Too often Realtors and other companies are using social media marketing without having an understanding of the best practices in using those platforms.

The result is a flood of marketing communication that falls short of it’s goals, doesn’t even reach it’s target market, or even worse, ends up causing the Realtor or brokerage to lose valuable leads.

The Cost of Social Media Misuse

Many people fall prey to the thinking that more is better. This is not always the case with social marketing. Neither is social marketing the silver bullet for all your marketing challenges – by having the familiar facebook, twitter, and other icons on your site (and even having accounts connected on those sites) will not magically make your traffic soar or have your phone ringing off the hook. Any time a Realtor or real estate company is the victim to any of these misconceptions the usual results is a lot of fap without much flap.

The negative implications that follow may include the following:

  • Wasting marketing, business, technical resources, or funds on low-value communication activities instead of on high-value ones.
  • Creating “noise” and causing target audiences to completely tune out.
  • Damaging your brand to any future marketing that may have actually gained results.

On average most Americans are exposed to between 600 and 3,000 advertising messages every day – perhaps the best reason that MORE advertising doesn’t necessarily equal EFFECTIVE advertising.

So what’s key? Not More Communication, but More Effective Communication!

Chances are your target audience doesn’t want any more advertising in front of them than they are already getting. Which makes it your job to not offer direct advertising but rather informational communication – you can’t just sell the sizzle anymore, if the client base is actually HUNGRY for steak. At the very least you should put more time and effort into creating quality communications that are well designed, attractive, or even humorous in order to keep your audience interested in what you have to say.

Things to Note and Consider for More Impact

You should first create an effective marketing communications strategy by first choosing which social media platforms provide you with the largest potential client base, as well as the most features, to help you fulfill your communication objectives. By choosing platforms and ingredients strategically,with an eye to how they will complement one another, you will create much better results than using them simply because they have become available. There is nothing wrong with being on every social portal out there because very often they create good backlinks, but choose wisely where and how often you publish your content on those portals.

Less Can Be MORE
Jumping on the latest, greatest social bandwagon without first considering who your audience is and what platform is best for reaching them is the leading cause of ineffective Realtor marketing communications.  Social media being often cheap and easy to use is it’s biggest danger; even marketers who should know better are led astray by wanting to get on all available sites without consider if they will be more of a benefit than a waste of time.

And Then? And Then? AND THEN?
Another important thing to consider is the “funny commercial” scenario. You see a commercial on TV the first time and it’s hilarious, you laugh, even maybe tell your friends. You see it the second time, still funny, but not a gut-buster like it was at first. The next time it comes on during the same hour…well…you start loving your DVR. The internet doesn’t have a DVR option; if you are constantly putting out the same content, on 12 different social sites, how many times is someone going to look at it before they are wishing they had a fast forward button?

Offering audiences too many choices for communicating with them, or repetitive messages, can create noise and confusion for you as well as the customer. Did they write you on Facebook or should you be looking for those leads from your blog? While using multiple social forums is good for reaching larger audiences it is important not to be a repeating parrot, or to spread yourself too thin. At the very least make sure you have the point of contact and capture from those portals directed to a single location or limited number of locations – like your Realtor website.

A couple of great methods for boosting the things you are doing on social sites are Realtor eFlyers and lead capture web sites.

eFlyers / Newsletters: Ideal for consolidating information into one location. You can summarize important information, focus on a particular niche, and provide links to pages on your Realtor website or social page where complete information can be found. Give them just a taste in the email and they will follow the link to your site, thus driving up your traffic.

Realtor Lead Capture Sites: A GREAT way to make use of any extra, empty, or forwarded domain names you have laying around. A blank or forwarded domain does almost nothing for your search engine placement or your lead capturing ability. By having a Realtor lead capture website you have the ability to market these stand alone sites based on a specific topic (Foreclosure Homes List, Free Market Analysis etc) to reach a targetted market. They also function as one more backlink to your main website or social profile and best of all they capture leads you can turn into sales.

Ready to Get Started?

Tour Real Estate Inc is the premier Realtor Website and Realtor Marketing provider online today. More than just websites, we offer a wide range of online Realtor marketing and technology to help you move more real estate. Wanting to make more out of your digital presence? Contact TourRE today to find out how we can help you strengthen your online marketing strategy and sell more real estate!

Marketing YOUR Realtor Services Effectively

The internet has changed the game in real estate and for over the last decade Tour Real Estate has been a big part of that change. Honestly, did you ever think back in 1999 that more than 80% of all home sales would begin on the internet? Fact is, that day came long ago, yet still most of the real estate agent base continues to miss out on internet generated sales. This shows while new technology can be effective, like any other tool it must be used properly in order to gain the best results — after all you wouldn’t try to cut down a tree with a hammer, now would you?

So how can it be that over 80% of all home sales start online and yet 90% of all Realtors are unhappy with their online marketing results? Part of it comes down to the simple fact that many do not understand how to use these powerful tools effectively – they are trying to hammer nails with their saw instead of using it to cut wood. Another reason may be that many Realtors think that simply being online, just having a website and using it as a digital business card, is enough; this is a concept that went out the window over 5 years ago. Lastly, many are relying on the free websites and services provided to them by their brokerages to market themselves, instead of leveraging their own individual services via their own website; this can be a costly mistake.

Here’s a few things you need to know:

1. A Strong Brand Leads to Success
No, sorry. When there were only a few hundred available real estate websites online that may have been the case. And while having a good, recognizable brand is still good practice it’s not going to make or break your success – you simply will not be the next Nike of real estate, and even if you are it will not guarantee your online success. Never before has so much information been so available from so many different portals. What’s more with the downfall of so many big business companies, the consumer market is turning quickly to a preference to working with individuals rather than corporate entities. If you are still heavily marketing your corporate brand you’ve got to ask yourself: who is REALLY benefiting from it?

2. Trust your corporate IT department for the best results.
Uhm, no. The corporate IT department is hired by the company, not you, thereby while maintaining your website might fall under their responsibilities insuring the success of your website does not. A website that is designed to be successful for YOU by marketing YOUR listings and services will logically benefit you, not the corporation and thusly it may be a good idea to manage that yourself or hire a company that is your advocate online rather than your brokerages. Corporate has different goals than you do. Corporate isn’t looking to protect your marketplace for you, they are looking to protect your marketplace for them. Use whatever website or marketing your office provides for you, but by all means don’t rely on that alone – by controlling and marketing your own individual Realtor services you can very often out-perform the big business brokerages all on your own.

3. Getting all the technology you can guarantees success.
USING the technology you have is the best method, and even then success is not guaranteed. Regardless of your marketing, your technology, or anything else the fact remains that good Realtors sell houses, nothing else. In the end it will always come down to face to face time and how you help your clients achieve their goals. The technology and marketing can help you find them, bring them in, and make them clients but YOU and you alone will be the biggest selling factor.

You can have video, $50,000 websites, designers bleeding you of thousands of dollars each month, lead management systems, and more — and fail completely. Why? Because all that is worthless if you have no leads or don’t know how to manage them! Most Realtor websites do not provide users with a way to capture leads, much less manage them the way a Tour Real Estate Realtor website does. Agents are tired of fruitless efforts to make their online marketing work and more often, they are simply hiring someone else to do that for them rather than taking their digital presence in hand themselves. It is vitally important that YOU have some level of control over your website, its marketing, and what gets done with the leads that come from it – you can not depend on your company to bring in the leads for you and no amount of technology will do it for you as effectively as you yourself may be able to with some guidance from REAL online marketing experts.

The internet has leveled the playing field and as such you should embrace it and use all the valuable tools it can provide to leverage your Realtor services. In this day and age the individual agent is no longer the little guy, but has the real ability to compete with the big names – provided they have the website and technology that allows them to do so, and the motivation to put in the effort any successful task requires.

Online marketing success comes down to a few things:

  • Maintain a good marketing platform with information available to the consumer upon request; provide them with the information and tools they require.
  • Make certain that people searching the web for homes can find your site. Make sure once they get there they can find what they want easily.
  • Drive traffic through effective online marketing and convert visitors to your site into registrations – and follow up on those leads personally.

There are any number of ways to achieve these tasks above, and we are glad to assist our Realtor Website customers in understanding those methods.  The first step is to use a Realtor website system that puts you in control of your content, search engine visibility, and lead management like the ones provided by Tour Real Estate Inc. Even if you already have a corporate provided website, or a freebie website with some other company, the benefits of having a powerful Realtor website from TourRe as your main marketing portal are too numerous to mention here briefly and we encourage you to visit our website for more details on the numerous services we offer.

Get in control of your digital presence, learn from the experts at TourRE how to best market your services online and before long your broker may be coming to you asking for advice on how they can see results like you have!

Get Connected to the Leader in Online Realtor Solutions :

Realtor Websites | Email Marketing | Lead Capture Websites | Our Portfolio

Order Photos / Virtual Tour | Our Blog | Follow Us on Twitter | Join Us on Facebook

Facebook Tips for Realtors

boise social network management for realtorsBy now most Realtors are using Facebook, either personally or for business, and while it can be a little overwhelming at first this social network really does offer alot in the way of marketing your services and brand — but it’s not in Farmville, so close that now!

That being said one of the biggest flaws (if you can call it that) is that once you’re part of it, it’s easy to forget you can (and should) be using it for strengthening your digital presence. Therefore it’s important to budget out your daily FB time for maximum effectiveness. Make your digital presence management part of your morning ritual. It only takes about 15 minutes to get the ball rolling – the key is sticking to it and using those 15 minutes wisely, and hey, if you add in an extra 5 minutes to see who needs to be whacked on Mafia Wars, it’ll be our little secret.

Update your status – this is the daily mantra. It’s the easiest thing to do and takes the least time. Tell everyone what you are going to be doing today, share an inspirational or witty quote, or pose a question. Status updates are especially key to your Fan Page as that indexable text can count towards your search engine placement. (consequently, Fan Page text is indexed by search engines, groups and other types of pages are not) Do NOT constantly bombard people with real estate this, real estate that, overhyping is one of the surest ways to lose friends and make enemies.

Check the Birthdays – Facebook lists your friends who have birthdays coming up right on your landing page. Wouldn’t it be nice to drop them a pleasant birthday wish? It might not count for much, but it will keep your name circulating around (and on their wall), which in turn leads to more clicks to your profile. Want to get personal? Check Facebook Phonebook to see if they have their phone number listed, you can even go that extra mile and wish them happy birthday by voice to really stand out.

Comment on Status Updates – read through the latest updates from your friends and connections, engage them in conversation, state your sympathy, speak your opposing view, or even just make a witty reply. Social networking is ALL about interacting and interconnectivity, if you aren’t using it to communicate and stay in touch so that your name it out there, you may as well not be using it at all.

Use Twitter – Yes, technically thats not a “facebook tip”, but well, it kind of is. You can link Twitter to Facebook in a number of ways so that you can tweet from your phone and update your Facebook status at the same time.You can also use different Facebook applications to show your Twitter feed on your profile sidebar.

Take Care of Your W’sWhere, Why, and What. You should fill out as much information as possible under your Info tab. In addition to that it likely wouldn’t hurt to write a note or two describing a bit about yourself. YES, let people know WHERE you are in your state, let them know WHY you got into real estate, and tell them WHAT you do and what services you offer — a Fan Page is a GREAT extension of this idea; works in conjunction with your existing profile. If they know, they won’t have to guess; this combined with keeping your name highly visible can in turn lead to more returns.

Ask Questions – ENGAGE your friends and followers. Ask questions that stimulate conversation. Be current, be provocative, don’t be afraid! Try not to step on any toes religiously or politically, but a little controversy CAN drive alot of traffic if used correctly. Post a question about music for instance, “Do you know where the lyrics from Don McCleans song ‘American Pie’ came from?”, or “Can you name the 50 states only using the titles from songs?” etc…

Keep an Eye on Events – Facebook allows others to send you invites for upcoming events in your community. It never hurts to check in on these and keep up with whats going on. Facebook even allows you to RSVP so that if you can’t make it to the event, or simply aren’t interested you can reply with a “NO” to the invite with an added message like “Sorry I couldn’t make it to your event, I have an open house this weekend”. Better yet, use the Events function to announce your own open houses and events to help encourage others to connect!

Facebook isn’t the last word in social networking, but it is a great site that offers alot of ways for you to interact, make new leads, and generate business. Fact is most social sites these days have followed Facebooks lead and offer status updates and many of the same features – so these tips apply for those social sites as well, it’s up to you to use them!

Still a little confused? Just not getting this ‘social networking’ mumbo jumbo? Tour Real Estate can help demystify the net! We have guides to help you optimize your website for search engines, help you setup social network accounts, and drive traffic to your website or blog. Our tech experts have the skills and knowledge that can help you get the most out of your online real estate presence. Contact TourRE today to find out more about the best Realtor websites and Realtor marketing available today!

Add Youtube Videos to your HomePage

Tour Real Estate Inc provides powerful Realtor websites that put you in control of your content and search engine optimization. Our modular websites support a number of premade or custom created “modules” that can be edited, moved, or deleted at will allowing you to rearrange your home page with new information and tools as you see fit. One of the great features of these modules is the ability to insert widgets and even videos. This quick guide will cover the necessary steps to create a custom home page module with a video from Youtube!

HOW TO ADD YOUTUBE VIDEOS AS A HOMEPAGE MODULE

Go to the Youtube page that has the video you want to feature:

Click the EMBED box. Copy the little code that shows up in the window.

Login to your toolbox:

Click Customize Homepage Content

If you are adding this video as a NEW module click Create Custom Homepage Module at the top of the page.

On the page that opens, name your module and paste the code from Youtube into the Text/Script box. You will likely need to change the size settings. Our modules are generally about 250 pixels wide and a Youtube video tends to run 480 pixels. So anywhere you see the width and height defined adjust them accordingly…a good average is 250 pixels wide and 201 pixels high. There should be TWO places in their embed code to change this size. Once you are done hit submit.

The new video will appear on your front page as a module. You can adjust it’s placement on your landing page by moving it up and down or left and right from the main Customize Your Homepage Content section.

Realtor Websites from TourRE give you control over your digital presence in ways that no other website system can. Our property details and other internal pages are search engine friendly and easily indexed. We track listings, virtual tour, and lead capture emails to keep you constantly informed about your website performance. Don’t settle for a pre-canned website that has the same content as thousands of other Realtors, get a website that helps you move more real estate, get a Realtor website from TourRE!