A New Site Is The Answer

In retrospect to our previous entry “A New Site Isn’t The Answer” we’d like to offer you insight into times when a new site is in fact the answer.

Not to contradict ourselves of course, we want you to understand all situations are different and some times not having a quality website can be at the core of your world wide woes. While just having a website on it’s own is no cure-all method for instant success the importance of a strong and highly visible central hub for your digital presence can not be denied.

If you’re not sure about if you’re in need of a new website here are some reasons you may want to consider:

Back In My Day
Yes, we know dancing animated gif houses and auto-playing midi music was all the rage back in 1997…but if it’s been more than a few years since you revisited your website design chances are it’s long overdue. Even without considering the obvious changes in design trends that effect how the visual aspects of your site are perceived the technical side of web design must be taken into consideration as techniques and functionality change often in the world of web development.

Not Mobile
50% of all online traffic is now on a mobile device; that’s HALF of all the potential clients in the world who may be trying to navigate your site. Don’t risk losing out on such a huge chunk of the market – especially millennials! – just because your site is out-of-date. Google has already begun penalizing non-mobile compliant websites by removing their visibility in mobile based searches, so if your site isn’t mobile chances are it’s already being found less often.

Brokerages Free Lunch
Got a page on your brokerages website? Maybe it’s even got your name as part of the address? They mean well, but sadly if it’s not a website you control, where the leads come to you directly, where you are the showcase agent on every page and listing, you’re missing out. A picture and a bio on your corporate site is better than nothing, but it’s not going to give potential clients the confidence to choose you as the agent for them.

Penny Pincher
We know Realtors have a reputation for being spend-thrifts, and hey, that’s fine, nobody likes paying more for something than they have to pay. If the cost of getting your own site seems a bit much just stop and think about what the value of that expense really is: the most cost-effective means of advertising your services available. You see your website, when used properly, is more than just a digital business card – it’s a sales employee working to market you online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

In relation to the average costs of being in the real estate business ( licensing, fees, memberships, desk costs, etc ) your website is in most cases one of the least expensive parts of the machine that makes your success; by comparison is a tiny fraction of what you stand to make from each client you serve.

In the end it’s up to you to decide if a new website is the right way to go for you; there are certainly any number of places to get one built these days. Regardless of who builds your site it’s important to understand that a site alone is not a complete solution but merely another tool to help build your success. It’s easy to play the role of the barber and tell you that you need a haircut, but the truth is not every situation is the same and sometimes a new site is not the answer. We’d love the opportunity to speak with you about your current real estate marketing plans and how we can help make them even more effective!

Social Media Tips For Realtors: Linking

frustratedSTOP WORKING FOR ZILLOW!
Start working for YOU!

Excited about that new listing?
Anxious to show it off to the world and get to work for your client?

Before you make that next post, ask yourself:
Why am I sending potential clients off to Zillow or Trulia where they will see ads from competing agents?

It’s a common mistake for real estate agents on social media – posting links to their tour provider, or to zillow, instead of their own website. ANY time you post on social media – especially if it’s one of your listings – be sure to include links to YOUR website. Linking to those big-box stores just makes them stronger…and is literally marketing for someone else!

Your website should be the central hub of all your online activities; it is through leveraging it’s connections from social media that you can see an increase in overall traffic, so include links to listings on YOUR real estate website. After all, they may not follow the link, but they don’t even have the option if it’s not in the post!

You Don’t Need A Website Anymore…

move more real estate
That’s right! You heard us!
You don’t need a website anymore….
You need 5 of them!

Did we have you going? Maybe even for a minute?

Fact is the rumor mills are alive with Z flag wavers broadly proclaiming that individual real estate agents and brokers should just throw in the towel when it comes to having an online presence…but is this true?

While big box websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com are powerhouses to fully be reckoned with – often dominating google search results even for local searches – does that honestly mean there’s no longer any reason to have your own website?

Don’t break out the kool-aid cups just yet! The answer is a resounding NO!

If anything it may be even more important now to not only have a website of your own but to also make sure that it stands out from the competition and positions you in a place to show the uniqueness of your own brand. It even makes sense to have multiple websites to increase your overall online footprint and capitalize on niche markets that the big box boys might have missed!

While the peanut gallery may say – and is right – that there are a million places where a potential client can search and find houses, that is not what your website should be all about. It never has been, and it never should have been. Your website not only serves as digital business card, lending legitimacy and credibility to your services, but also should function as a means for you to distinguish yourself from the myriad of agents in your area.

You can accomplish this by doing things like making sure to have a page about yourself, reasons why you love the area, or even a local area resources page of links. Even a templated website can serve to set you apart if it allows you to control your content – the key is using it!

are they finding you?

No one can deny that new home buyers are using technology to handle the process of finding the home they want themselves it’s never been more important for agents to show themselves to be the authorities in their industries and areas.

Claim this position by leveraging social media, using extra domains you may have to work a niche market through lead capture pages, and get out there in the community itself to keep your ear to the heartbeat of the cities you serve.

Need help?
Ready to seize your digital destiny and start building equity in your own success? We’re here to make it happen!

REALTORS: Are You Winning?

REALTOR WEBSITES
With big players like Zillow and Trulia joining forces the competition in real estate has never been hotter. Combine that with the fact that there are more REALTORS and brokerages online than ever before and it can feel overwhelming just to keep up with what’s popular – much less what actually works.

With all the misinformation, hype, and down right myths going around the internet about the best practices of leveraging those tools even those with the motivation and determination to handle their own marketing strategies can feel lost. Worse still…some agents have all the tools, know how to use them, and still drop the ball.

The good news? It’s not a slope too slippery to climb back up.
Here are a few good tips to refocus your efforts and make the most of what you’re [hopefully] already doing online:

Tell Your Story
Don’t make your marketing just about selling. Yes, you need to showcase your listings and services, but be sure that you’re providing more value than just that. With everyone having a site, that in most cases all provide search functions and similar mls data, the things you share about yourself can be the defining difference in having a recognizable brand that stands out from the rest.

Do the Followup
With so much of a real estate agents long term business being return clients it’s shocking to learn that only bout 17% of them are rehired due to the fact that clients do not remember their agent’s name. Keep your contact close; followup at least a few times a year. It may seem trite but that “Don’t Forget to Set Your Clocks” email or card might be the thing that keeps your face fresh in people’s mind.

Go Real World
Despite being a tech company, and despite the fact that the internet drives so much of todays real estate industry, the face to face interactions you have may be where your biggest progress is made. Attend small business networking groups – or even create your own “Coffee With Your Realtor” events to make yourself visible and available to old clients and new. Don’t rely on technology alone to provide all of your potential leads.

These are broad brushes to pain the picture, so think about ways you can apply these ideas to what works for you. Ultimately it’s not following the trends that will lead to the greatest success but rather finding what resources will bring the most return to how you move real estate and also attract the right kind of clients for you.

Have questions about your real estate marketing?
We have plenty of answers and ideas to help!

Down Payment Resource Now Available!

Down Payment Resource

Down Payment Resource is a hot new feature that is being implemented in several MLS systems across the country; it is also now available for our Tour Real Estate website customers as well!

This resource is available on certain listed properties and when clicked will provide the user with information on down payment programs that the listing qualifies for.

To turn on this feature all you have to do is login to your TourRE Client Toolbox and go to the Edit Personal/Team/Office Settings wherein you will find a simple toggle button in the Miscellaneous Options section.

dproptinIt’s just that easy!
We here at Tour Real Estate strive to stay on top of the latest trends and features that are available for agents today.

Here are some of our newest functions that may also be of interest to you:
Create PDF Listing Flyers
Share Listings on Social Media
We Blog For You – for FREE!
Idaho Builder Websites
Mobile Responsive Realtor Websites

Mobile Responsive REALTOR® Websites

realtors, go mobile!
With more and more internet users logging in to social networks and the web via mobile devices it’s more important than ever to be online and to have a website that performs well. Some surveys suggest that as much as 40% of all web traffic is now created via a phone, tablet, or other mobile device.

While all of our websites function well on a variety of devices we’ve shifted our focus with industry trends and are now proud to offer a fully mobile responsive website template for our customers. In addition, if you’re looking to go custom we can provide some of the very best, most affordable, custom real estate web design in the industry.

Understand, this is not some cheap redirect, or forward to a mobile.yourwebsite trick – this is true 100% natively mobile fluid design.

Did you know that you could have a fully functional resource for your potential clients online 24/7, 365 days a year working for YOU — all for less than you’d pay each day for your morning cup of high-test coffee? IT’S TRUE!

Take a look at our latest designs, check out our Realtor websites, and be sure to visit our Facebook Fan Page to stay up on the latest developments and tips for seizing your digital destiny!

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!!