General Data Protection Regulation

You may have heard about the General Data Protection Regulation recently through broker newsletters or other real estate news sources.

While it’s always good to be aware of valid security concerns, many view this as a bit of a ‘chicken little’ attitude that has arisen from the fallout of Facebooks recent snafu with it’s user data.

In specific this regulation largely only applies if the “data subjects”, are in the EU when the data is collected. However, this regulation makes it your responsibility to handle this potential situation.

Despite the fact that our system, and your website with us is based in America and is likely not largely used by people outside of the United States these global regulations are something everyone who does business needs to be aware of as it puts a larger onus on the business owner themselves ( REALTOR® or otherwise) to handle secure storage, access, and deletion of this sort of data on their own personal machines and printed files outside of their website systems.

Regardless, the deadline for compliance is not a hard set date; the extent to which small business, and businesses with no European branches will be pursued for penalty, while not currently clear, is unlikely to be extreme.

Fortunately, as a Tour Real Estate Inc customer you are already largely compliant with these rules. Furthermore we will be updating existing systems to be compliant with these regulations in the upcoming weeks.

Should you have any questions about our services, or your data please feel free to contact us!

HOT Real Estate Marketing Ideas!

marketing-board-strategySizzle sizzle Summer time is coming!

The real estate market in Idaho is already getting H O T – HOT! And for those agents not so busy moving real estate that they don’t have time to think about marketing it’s life on easy street, but what about everyone else? Well, if you’re not riding around with the Rockefellers showing off mansions you gotta work it – and that means marketing!

To help you navigate this fiercely competitive marketing we’ve put together some quick marketing ideas to jump start your Summer season!

Make It Stick
Don’t just give your friends, family, or potential clients business cards – give them business card magnets! Maybe it’s because people need something to stick notes to their refrigerator with, maybe it’s just because they are different, but for whatever reason these seem to hang around longer than regular business cards. Find ways to mention your work during conversation when you’re shopping or even just getting coffee – this opens an opportunity to give out a card or magnet. Word of mouth is powerful; after all if you don’t tell anyone you’re a REALTOR® how will they know?

Write Something
You know that blog you had setup two years ago and have never posted on? Yeah, you should post something.  A couple great ideas might be something like “Fun things to do in my town” or “10 reasons I love my town”, anything that is positive and highlights your local area is fine. Don’t make it about selling anything, just write about something you enjoy and wand to share. If you get reall inspired it may be even better yet write an article and submit it to Buzzfeed – a popular technique for food bloggers looking to get traffic. ( read more on how to do that here )

Be A Sponsor
Work with area charities to find out about local community events and offer to sponsor and setup a coffee or snack stand. You may be surprised to find how often you get powerful results from getting your face and branding out there in the real world where people can see it.

Show Appreciation
Previously clients can make up as much as 40% of your return business – this is even more true in real estate where repeat clients count for as much as 25% of all business. You should treat these people like gold, because they are! A great way to do this, and drum up good hype, is to stay in touch. Whether this is a small gift at closing and then following up with seasonal cards throughout the year or even holding a special event just for clients, you do not want to ignore the importance of your past clients.

Launch a Campaign
Hit the streets and take your camera with you! Make your day on the town visiting shops, eating, or hitting the market into a day of images; post them on your social media accounts throughout the day. This allows you to showcase your location in a fun way and also makes great easy content for posting. Focus on a different part of town or activity each week and be sure to link to your website whenever you post a new image.

These are just a few quick ways to get your name out there and make the most of an absolutely hopping real estate market!
Get creative and let us know about it – we’d love to hear about your challenges and success stories as you move more real estate in 2016!!

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?

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!

Update: Featured Listing Slideshow

Tour Real Estate Inc has just made one of our old features even better! Our standard featured listing slideshow is now even more functional! We listened to your suggestions and have now made the image a more standard size so that it will re size any image pulled from MLS and display it without cropping problems.

This slideshow update also allows users to watch the slides uninterrupted or quickly skip through them. If you have more than one listing featured in the slideshow (by entering it in your toolbox) your website will choose a random listing to display each time the site is visited – presenting your prospective clients with new images to keep their interest peaked!

We here at TourRE are constantly striving to provide you with the very best real estate technology online today. Part of that is listening to what our customers tell us is important to them; this update is just one example.

There are numerous updates in the works for several of our other standard web functions as well as great new features coming down the line even as we speak! Stay tuned to this blog (you can subscribe on the right) or LIKE our Facebook Fan Page to stay up on the latest real estate market news and our own development info.

Plus One Your Realtor Website

plus your realtor websiteTour Real Estate’s Social Links Function Just Got Better!
Our already popular social links function and homepage module is now even better as we’ve added the ability to include Google’s new +1 button to your list of social networking profiles!

Available in your client toolbox under the Social Links link you can add the urls to your favorite major social networks like Facebook and Twitter and now you can also add this great new social recommendation button as well.

Google+1 can be used by visitors who have an active google or gmail account to recommend your site and is a powerful way to show others that you are a preferred website among your visitors. The new Google+1 button also makes a great blog post or status update! Encourage your friends and followers to visit your site and give you the +1!

Just one more great development in our expansive set of REALTOR marketing tools. Stay tuned to our blog for the latest news and functionality from your source for the best REALTOR websites online today – Tour Real Estate!

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!