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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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!

TourRE: New Virtual Videos

We here at Tour Real Estate Inc are constantly striving to provide our customers with the latest in new real estate technology. As many of you already know video is the big hot button item in the online world of marketing. With the advent of Google Glass and other technologies video is really becoming something you will want to make use of soon. As part of this coming trend we are looking to get your feedback on a new project we have begun. Watch the video below for more specific details and tell us what you think!

In short these new video style tours will allow you to take professionally shot photographs of your listing and turn them into a high quality video  – what’s more you’re not just showing the home, you’re showing off your services as well. Every buyer or seller wants to work with an agent or broker that is set to impress; this is one way to really wow your client.

A little camera shy? Just don’t have the time to get into the studio? We also will be able to provide stand-in actors and voice overs to help save you time or for your use in case you get lock-jaw when talking to a massive global video audience.

Once produced your finished video will be available for download to you so that you can place it anywhere you like – upload it to Youtube, embed it on your website, and distribute it on any of your social networks. We give you the video so that you can be in control of your own marketing.

Want to do video testimonials, or other buyer/seller advertising? Custom real estate video’s are available! Hype your own services, produce tips for new clientele, and wow them with commercial quality video for your message.

We’d love to get your feedback on this new concept! Comment below or contact us directly to let us know your thoughts or if you might be interested in getting your own video package started!

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.

Brokers: Get Connected

Interconnectivity is the key to unleashing the power of the internet. Search engine algorithms are mysterious and unpredictable, social media is yet too unproven for many to trust solely for return on investment. For those brokerages looking for a solution Tour Real Estate offers this simple example of how we can leverage the internet’s greatest strength to exponentially increase your traffic and digital exposure.

Build a Powerful Network
Despite algorithm changes authoritative incoming links  are still KEY to ranking well in search results.

We can connect each of your agent’s own highly optimized individual websites to your main office hub, using diverse keyword anchors to create a powerful flow of traffic.

Create and Optimize
Duplication is death. Automation, anti-productive. Search engines want fresh content  for the top sites they present and your visitors demand the best online tools and features. Neither will tolerate a website that is hard to use or that works poorly.

We can provide elegant eye catching designs to envelope the sleek technological functionality of your dynamic website with us and offer some of the most comprehensive marketing tools for real estate professionals available today.

Develop Your Digital Destiny
Regardless of if we like it or not, use it or not, social media has arrived and is one of the most powerful means of exposing your services and listings to a vast – and growing – audience. We believe taking part in the social conversation shouldn’t be something that has to be cumbersome;  offer extremely flexible strategies from simple consultation to full hands-on management.

We’d love the opportunity to talk with you about preparing an effective plan to help you grow towards a successful future in real estate online – contact us today in order to discuss your ideas.

UPDATED Realtor Website Function: Social Links

Due to your requests we’ve now updated our social links function in our client toolbox. Originally designed to allow our user agents to easily link out from their main websites to popular social networks, this function has quickly gained popularity among our more tech savvy users who know the importance of having everything connected.

So what’s new?
Our most recent available social networks are Google Plus and Pinterest. If you have active accounts there that you are using you can now link out to them by simply pasting your profile url into the toolbox in the proper place.

What is Google Plus?
While the jury is still out, many people jokingly refer to Google Plus as the social network that’s not there. Well, it may not be quite there YET but it is well on it’s way. With Google moving it’s “Places” function into Google Plus “Local” the search engine giants new social network will soon be playing an even bigger role on how consumers find things locally. Combine that with it’s AWESOME video chat functionality called “Hangouts” and no one can argue that Google Plus is well poised to begin a social takeover.

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is the hottest new social sharing site. Mainly consisting of images, video is also supported, this new network encourages users to find amazing things online and “pin” them to their own digital walls. As this network is almost solely visually driven it is not only extremely powerful ( if done right ) but also very easy to get lost in.

Are you a REALTOR® with questions about social media? Tour Real Estate can help you make sense of the online world, including today’s most popular social networks. With search engine rules changing every other day man experts are suggesting that a strong social presence may be the best way to insure a stable digital presence and maintain exceptional customer service online.