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!

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/

REALTORS: Don’t let the Winter months catch you napping!

beanieIt’s the holidays at last; for many that means time to turn off the cell phone and put business aside to focus on other things. And while that is certainly true, the holidays and these colder months do tend to be slower months for real estate, so there’s no reason to just toss away productivity altogether.

It’s a good time to make the most of some extra down time in order to get a running start on Spring. If you make the most of the available time you may be surprised to find you’ve already gotten a jump on making sure the coming year is a prosperous one. Here’s some ideas:

Rejuvenate and Re-evaluate.
Take some of that time for you. No,REALLY. By not taking care of yourself you only make it harder to find the strength and motivation to do the things you must. It’s also good to take time to reflect on the current state of your business as well as where you want it to go. Give some thought towards what you can DO to make those things happen.

Clean out the cobwebs.
The ones in your contact database. We know we know! UGH! Contact management. Yeah, it’s tedious, but having an updated and current list of valid contact will only help you focus your marketing efforts more efficiently. It wouldn’t hurt to take the time once your list is clean to go ahead and get a spring time or new years mailer ready to go as well. Don’t just throw out old leads – in many cases buying cycles come back around, so even if they’re not buying now they may be in the future, or looking to sell.

Spin Some NEW Webs.
When was the last time you looked at your own real estate website? When was the last time you edited or added anything to it? Block in some time to take a look at your website and review the information there to make sure it is current and geared towards your target audience.

Go Prospecting!
No, not for gold…although, maybe of a different kind.Holiday prospecting isn’t limited to Christmas cards! With SO many networking and social events going on this time of year it would be crazy not to get out and make the most of at least a few of them! You may be surprised to hear this from a tech company but face to face time is still one of the most powerful methods of gaining referrals and making new clients around. If nothing else it’s generally a way to get some great free food and beverage!

Lay the groundwork for the coming year.
Do you google yourself? Admit it.
If you don’t you probably should. Better yet, do that first then google your competition. Study and follow and learn. Take what is good from what they are doing and combine it with whatever it already successful for you. It may be a good time to start learning some of those social media marketing skills that you’ve been putting off – it’s only going to become more important next year.

Write your 2014 business plan. On paper. With a pen.
Take your ideas and desires for the coming year and write them down on paper. This tactile experience allows you to let your imagination go wild – sketch, draw, doodle – take the ideas in your head and just get them all out in ink. Now take the best of those and put them in bullet points to be your goals. Put these plans and goals some place near where you work to keep them in mind. They can be as simple as “get an updated wardrobe for meeting with clients” or as big as “be a million dollar producer”. Think about what you want, SEE it in your mind, and then build the things you need to make it happen.

If your plans for the new year include a new real estate website – or even revamping your old one – we’d love to talk to you!

REALTOR Marketing: Content is (still) king!

Content Marketing for Real Estate
The rules for SEO change. The trends in social media come and go; the networks themselves are constantly changing their formats. One thing that has not changed is that your website visitors want good content – noGREAT content. And if you are actively providing relevant, interesting content chances are you are not only going to see more traffic but also more visitor engagement. Enter Content Marketing.

Content marketing is not a new thing, in fact, in it’s most simple form it has been around as long as there have been people online with whom to interact. There should be no doubt then that it is not a fad; as consumers gain more and more control over what they choose to take in their appetite for straight hard sell marketing is waining. Just like the way DVR has given the end user the ability to simply fast forward through commercials, so too the web offers surfers the ability to turn off ads or to simply unfollow sites and pages which are too ad-heavy.

Creating great content is more than just regergitating what others have written, and it’s more than just becoming your own personal press. It will never (thankfully) be as easy as copy/paste; seeing real results from this marketing technique not only requires time to build momentum but also effort to run the long race. More than just creating content, you need to provide the answers to the questions your customers are asking. This is especially true in the real estate industry as there are literally millions of websites – including big name national brands – where people can search and find homes. The content you create may very well be the thing that sets you apart and seals the sale.

Here are some statistics to consider:

90% of all home buyers use the internet to find homes.

78% prefer getting to know an agent rather than know their ads.

70% believe companies providing quality content have more to offer.

Effective content marketing provides 3 times as many leads as paid search.

The key to putting content marketing to work for your real estate strategy is simple: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. This should be no surprise as that is one of the keys to any effective marketing. It makes sense that the same content that appeals to Generation X and Y will not be interesting to retiree’s. Single’s won’t have the same interest as small families or baby boomers. So do your research; know who you are looking to work with and how to sell to them in the manner that they will most easily receive.

Once you’re on the path to content creating nirvana remember: it is essential to let people know about what you’ve written! If you are simply writing in your little box it won’t do you a lot of good – no matter how much your mom likes it! – so be sure to publish and distribute your articles on social media, your website, and other sites like stumbleupon. A little bit of cross platform sharing can go along way – now get out there and create!!

Effective Realtor Marketing Tips

10tipsBygone are the days when simply having a website and being online was enough to guarantee you not only a good flow of traffic but also a valid source of leads.

If you build it, you have to TELL them about it, they will not simply arrive at your door. Field of Dreams was a great movie, but it makes for a terrible marketing plan.

With millions of  real estate websites online – including major global brands like Zillow and Trulia – all competing for the front page of Google you’ll need all the leverage you can get if you want to capture the lions share of this rapidly moving, technologically driven, industry.

Here are a few good tips to get you started:

ONLINE
Create an easy to use, highly search engine friendly website.

Start a blog – write relevant and interesting content; write frequently for best results.

Offer value and incentive to your visitors; give them a reason to visit your website – this will help to build your reputation as an authoritative source.

Leverage social media – create accounts for your business face on the popular social networks; use them frequently for optimal returns.

OFFLINE
Establish yourself as a brand people will recognize. A good way to get your visibility up is to participate or create in local fundraisers and events.

Use print and other media – believe it or not, print, radio, and tv can still get your services in front of a large audience.

Word of mouth is a valuable tool! Get friends, family, and past clients involved by encouraging them to refer others your way.

Work open houses. Yes, they can drive you insane by having to spend your weekend playing Angry Birds, but fact is: most often at open houses you are not going to be selling the home you’re sitting in, you will actually be selling your services!

Here’s a great little infographic from MyProperty.ph to illustrate these quick tips!
And in the meantime if you have any questions about how a real estate website can help promote your services, or anything about REALTOR® marketing in general we are always glad to talk shop!

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Not All Website Templates Are Created Equal

housesUpWith the return of real estate we’ve seen an influx of up and coming fly by night website providers passing through the area – talking fast, blowing smoke; making big promises.

But fact is, we’ve seen the other templated real estate web designs out there; they simply don’t measure up.

When you have the same exact same website that a thousand other REALTORS® the search engines can tell; what’s worse your potential clients can too! Not all website templates are created equal! A picture and a paragraph won’t win you much visibility in searches, and while there are any number of cheap, or even free, website systems out there none of them offer the level of customization and content control that a real estate website from Tour Real Estate Inc. can offer.

We know the real estate industry – we’ve been working to help build it for over the last decade – and we know how important technology is for this industry because we’ve been part of it’s growth in prominence. We know agents don’t want to be pushing buttons, the want to be moving houses, and we strive to make technology something as approachable as possible.

All of our websites come with a powerful client side content management system that allows you to control nearly every piece of text on your website and to customize how search engines and clients will see you online. We invite you to talk with us about your website needs – whether you are looking just to get a template up quickly or have visions of a full custom design, we can help!

REALTORS: Getting Online Doesn’t Have to be Difficult!

holding_keysSmallFor most real estate agents, the understanding that you need to be online in today’s technologically focused market is a no-brainer. It’s a fact of being in business, much like having business cards, or yellow page ads once were. There are plenty of options out there, and while it may be a little biased of an opinion, we think our system is among the very best –  especially for those looking to get online quickly and without a lot of hassle.

In most cases we can have one of our templated real estate websites up and running within 24 hours!

What’s more with a real estate website from Tour Real Estate you get more than a set it and forget it web presence! Our website system actually consists of two site – one that the outside world see’s and a second Client Toolbox site that puts you in control of your content! Just some of our standard features include:

Automatic MLS updates of your listings and every property on the MLS.

Multiple ways to search the MLS.

Create an number of custom pages.

Create unlimited links to showcase partners and area vendors.

Multiple points of lead capture.

Social media link display…and much more!

Whether you are an agent new to the market, or an old pro who needs to get with the times, we can help you get online! More than just websites in a can, we provide you with a ready made toolbox of resources to create a dynamic website for your clients. Contact us today – or visit us on any of our social portals to get connected!!