Tips for New Real Estate Agents

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Just starting out in a new career can be a little daunting!
It’s an exploration into unknown territory, and quite honestly there is a lot at stake, but it can be exciting too! New things to do, new challenges and the potential of course for success. How you define your success is up to you – whether it be the number of sales you make, or the number of lives you touch – but regardless of how you envision it we’ve put together some tips to help those of you who are just starting out in real estate.

Find the Right Company
Just like Link found out: It’s dangerous to go alone. By pooling resources with other experienced agents you are much more likely to find success, and to do so more easily. Talk to other agents you know to see where they’re at and what they like about their brokerage. Consider all the options and benefits they offer to make an informed decisions – and of course listen to your heart.

Seek Out a Mentor
Obi-wan had Qui-Gon Jinn, Luke had Yoda…great teachers can make great students and it really does help to have someone to help guide you along the way. The value of the knowledge you’ll gain from working with a more experienced agent can not be underestimated. Finding a mentor is similar to the same process your potential clients must go through: look for someone that matches your personality, has a proven track record of success, and who is knowledgeable in the areas you want to grow towards.

Be Realistic
Everyone wants to be a success and to do well but the fact is, you’re not going to be a Top Producer in the first month. Likely not even in the first year.  Before you even graduate from your continuing education classes start building a business plan for your career that includes realistic goals and obtainable milestones. Also be realistic in your strategies, as a new agent it’s not likely you’ll need to spend thousands of dollars on personal branding right up front. Take some time, learn the ropes, and when the time is right go big.

Get Out There
One of the easiest ways to make new clients and to hit the ground running is to get out in the community. Be sure and tell friends and family about your new career path, get involved in civic and community events where you can sponsor a table or hand out promotional materials. Hold a bake sale. Volunteer to run your offices open houses ( yes we’re serious ). Anything that will get you connected to the area you serve and put your name out there in a positive way is a great start.

Never Stop Learning
This is key to success on any path, whether it be real estate or any other industry. Don’t rest on your laurels. Stay up to date not only on the latest laws but also the latest trends that effect your client base. Take extra courses if your brokerage offers them, attend local seminars from marketing companies to sharpen your sales game – for those who are determined to improve themselves there is never an obstacle too large to overcome.

Puzzled? Feeling lost? Not even sure where to start?
If you’re a new agent – or even an old one! – we would love the opportunity to talk with you about your plans for success and how we can help you achieve them. The websites we provide are just one tool of many that you will want to put to use in order to generate business and serve your clients.

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Real Estate: The Secret to More Leads

It’s a common misconception: If you build it, they will come. Unfortunately that field of dreams ideal doesn’t work when it comes to the world of websites; truly it hasn’t worked for some time. Years ago, when the web was new, there were relatively few people actively using the internet and thereby fairly low competition. These days all but the most behind the times brokerages have at least a nominal online presence and the competition has gotten FIERCE – to have any hope of getting your share of this lions market you need to be online and bringing your A game.

One of the best ways to do that is by using social media and channeling all of your traffic to the best place for it to go – Your Website.
So how do you make that happen?

You Gotta Work It!
You could be the best REALTOR® in the world and if you don’t tell anyone about it they will never know. The same can be said for your website. It’s out there on the web with a billion other websites, all trying to be number one in the search engines. Your best bet to eliminate some of that noise is to refer real live people you know to your website from the get-go. Tell all your friends, tell your family, look up old high school buddies – shout it from the mountain tops! However you choose to do it, whether it be social media, coffee meet ups, or even print marketing – you’ve got to let people know you have a site if you want them to use it. The website that works the best is the one you promote the most.

More Traffic. More Leads.
It’s really that simple. It comes down to numbers. If your site isn’t getting traffic you won’t be getting leads. If your site is already getting traffic and you’re still not getting leads that tells you there may be problems in what visitors are finding – or not finding! – when they hit the site itself. So how does one get more traffic? Start by telling people about your site as mentioned above, from there get active in local community events to find sponsorship opportunities, put out door hangers, post local classified ads, and leverage social media. Make sure you include your website address on every piece of advertising you create, whether it be printed or digital. Focus your online efforts by stopping posting links to the big box real estate sites to show your listings; send those links to your website instead.

Be Active and Helpful.
Whether it be on Facebook through answering questions or making insightful posts in groups on a regular basis ( you ARE active in local Facebook Groups, aren’t you?! ), or publishing articles on LinkedIn you should do whatever you can to establish yourself as a resource to the people you’re connected to. Become an authority in your field by creating useful information and helping those you engage with to accomplish their goals and overcome challenges – you will gain more trust and a better reputation through being of service to others than through any spammy or self-serving methods. At some point someone who is thankful may want to “pay you back” for being so helpful; rather than ask for money or coffee just politely ask them to leave you a kind review or to keep supporting your online efforts by liking or interacting with your posts.

Establish a Routine – and Stick To It!
The biggest place any advertising efforts, particularly on social media, fail is in consistency. So post daily and interact often, the worst thing for people to see is a page that hasn’t been updated in years. While still not yet a major factor, one of the growing indicators of importance in search engines is incoming traffic numbers and one great way to boost that is by channeling your audience to your website. Do this by posting quality content and always, always, including a link to your main domain. It’s easy enough to do at first when you’re new to social media, it’s the sticking with it month after month that can be a challenge but it’s also what makes the effort pay off.

Do you currently have a real estate website that’s under performing? Maybe you’re just not satisfied with a page and a paragraph on your office site, or some freebie site from your national office, no matter what the reason we can help you step up your website game and move more real estate! We would love the opportunity to talk with you about what you’re currently doing and how it might be improved to help you get optimal visibility online. Contact us today to see how we can help!

The Magic Formula For Online Success

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Despite the internet being around for over 20 years many real estate agents are filled with misconceptions on how to best use it for their business.
This is in part due to their lack of fully embracing the technology as well as a ton of general misinformation online from an abundant number of “online gurus”, coupled with the fact that online marketing itself is a fast paced and constantly changing industry. Believe it or not there are a number of very simple things one can do to increase their online visibility and success – with the understanding that simple does not mean easy, neither does it mean the results will come over night.

We’re often asked what the secret is to getting more leads; we’re sorry to say there is no one silver bullet. Just because something is working for your competition doesn’t mean it will work for you; what works now may be obsolete in a few months. A very basic formula for figuring what kind of leads might look like Traffic X Conversions = Leads. Now, what you want to look at there is that more traffic itself doesn’t mean more leads, but it is a big part of the equation. So how do you get more traffic? Here’s a few ideas:

Social Media
Having your own website is still key to legitimizing yourself and establishing a brand presence, but without a means to reach out beyond your personal sphere you can find yourself doing little more than shouting in the closet; this is where social media comes in. Unfortunately, even the real estate professionals who are using social media are often using it poorly. Most social experts will tell you post post post post post…and that’s fine…posting is definitely a big part of what you’re there to do, but it’s only half the puzzle when it comes to social success. If you’re just starting out it’s perfectly fine to focus just on posting until you get your legs under you, so be sure to:

Post consistently on your business page – no this doesn’t mean posting an endless stream of houses, it means creating quality content.

Post in Facebook Groups – these are great, generally local or niche focused groups where you can touch a (hopefully) already interested audience.

Post on Instagram or Pinterest – if you’ve got a knack for images either of these platforms can be huge. Be sure your images are compelling and interesting.

Publish on LinkedIn – the new Publish feature is one of the few things that keep this platform relevant. Post in-depth content here to let people know your a real authority.

Use Craigslist – the quality of leads can be questioned but fact of the matter is posting here with a focused effort can lead to more traffic on your site.

You can get some more good REALTOR® Social Media Tips here >>

Niche Market Sites
Have a specific market you are focused on? Equestrian properties, or a specific part of town? Having a niche market to aim for can be a great way to stand apart from the general noise and also gain good search engine position. If you have extra domains you’ve purchased that are simply forwarding somewhere, or not being used at all, consider a simple one or two page “splash” site that caters to a specific market; drive the leads to your main web presence from there.

Just Do What Works – What Has Always Worked
Create relevant engaging content, publish it regularly and promote it adequately. This means putting in the time – or paying someone else to – to blog consistently about subjects that your audience actually cares about. Beyond just writing the blog make sure you’re sharing it on social media so that as many people can potentially see it as possible. Get out there in the real world and network – shake hands, put out door hangers, and attend community events to get your name out there. Drive traffic to your site by always including a link to your main website – not zillow, not trulia, not wherever your virtual tour is – to insure that you are channeling as much traffic to your main point of contact.

Trust the Process
That’s what your trainer tells you, what your life coach tells you, and even if all the rest of what they tell you is bunk they are right on this point. If you are doing all of these things and struggling to see results don’t quit! These things take time! Social media especially can take months of regular work before it begins to show any signs of return – so be patient. Do the things you know will bring results and stick with them, after all it’s the last key in the ring that most often fits the lock.

Real Estate Websites: Keeping Up!

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Today 9 out of 10 potential home buyers start their search for a home online. With the mega-budgets of big box real estate stores like Zillow and Trulia the individual agent – and even the larger agent real estate teams – struggle to compete and keep their heads above the waves, especially in regards to SEO and website visibility. The bad news: the search engines aren’t likely to stop playing favorites any time soon. The good news: there are things you can do to still remain viable and visible.

Be Mobile
As of April 21, 2015 Google announced that websites that were not mobile compliant would begin to be penalized — especially in mobile search results. Since over 45% of all website traffic these days comes from phones or mobile devices it is especially important to not only have a website that is visually pleasing but also easy to use on the mobile platform.

Tour Real Estate Inc offers several fully mobile responsive templates and we’re converting more of our classic designs every day; we also offer exceptional mobile responsive custom website design as well.

Be Visual
Humans are naturally visual creatures and it’s common knowledge that people online simply do not pay the same attention to text as they do images or video. So be sure to include plenty of eye-catching images in your marketing efforts both on your website as well as in your social media content. Videos are another great way to catch the eye; sites that make use of video tend to have longer “on site” times for visitors overall. Having a consistent and interesting youtube channel is an excellent idea also as it can give a healthy boost to visibility in general when done correctly.

Tour Real Estate Inc understands good design; we’ve been working in the real estate industry for over a decade. We can help you create a stunning custom look that will help you stand out from the competition.

Go Local
Again and again we have agents tell us “I want to be on the first page for Boise Idaho Real Estate” – which of course is the highest competition keyword on google – but what they really should be asking is: “What are my potential clients searching for?”. Optimize your website for local, lower competition keywords for better success. Fact is, unless you work with investors your potential clients aren’t likely to be searching for “Idaho MLS”, they will be searching for more common things that are relevant to them – maybe “affordable homes in Boise” or something along those lines. Be active in your local community also! For all the importance people put on social media one of the more powerful way to connect and get leads is still in the face-to-face world — so get involved in rotary, kiwanis or other local groups where you can shake hands and show your face.

Tour Real Estate Inc optimizes all of our websites from the moment they are launched, give you unparalleled content control,  and are glad to take extra time to talk with you about your specific goals and needs.

All is not lost! And while you may not have the budget to compete with the larger companies you can still claim your fair share of this market. It takes work and persistence but through using your website as the powerful tool it needs to be you can see results. Interested in standing out from the crowd and getting into the game? Let us help you create a dynamic online presence you can be proud of – contact TourRE today!

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!

Make Your Listing Photos Count!

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The internet is a very visual medium; it should come as no surprise then that images play a very important role in online visibility — this is even more true in real estate where potential buyers may be viewing the property from out of town. A picture is literally worth a thousand words – that’s like almost 8 tweets!

Because of the importance in quality images when presenting a listing it always surprises us to see agents almost consider this part of their strategy as an after thought. Blurry, dark photos taken from a phone in haste, these are all telling signs of an inexperienced agent. We understand, professional photos cost money, and so it’s important to make sure you’re getting your monies worth! With over a decade in the virtual tour industry we’ve put together some quick tips to help you make your listing shoot as good as it can be — even if you DO decide to shoot them yourself.

De-Clutter
Tuck those laundry baskets in the closet, or around the corner. Clear out the floor space. If you have to move things around during the photo shoot do so, it’s better to take the few seconds to move the kids toys out of the room and back then to look like you’re running a clandestine day care.

Not Planning
Find out when the photographer is coming or set aside a time to shoot your own photos. The key element here is to plan. Make sure it’s a good time of day for light and to minimize traffic through the home.

Sequester Them In The West Wing
Speaking of traffic, kick the kids out. Don’t invite friends over to have coffee during the middle of the shoot. It will be a lot easier for your photographer, or yourself, to get in and get the photos they need without people wandering through their shots.

Do Some Light Staging
We realize you may not have fresh chrysanthemums delivered to your parlor daily, but even just adding a vase of fresh flowers in the kitchen, or doing some other light staging can really make your photos better. Take time to really show case your home, polish up those counter tops, lay out a few magazines in a tasteful arrangement. A little light home staging can help make your home photos feel more personable.

Have questions?
Just don’t have the time to take your own listing photos?
Our professional photographers are experienced in the industry and ready to help! We providing real estate photography services for all of Southern Idaho and also create a virtual tour link and upload photos to the MLS as part of our services.

The Modesto – Our Latest Mobile Responsive Real Estate Template

We hate to brag, but our latest template THE MODESTO is pretty great!
Mobile responsive and currently available in 4 different color themes this elegant, modern real estate website design is sure to please.

We’ve made sure to include all the features you want like easy searching, intuitive navigation, and great images combined with all the things the search engines love like fast load time and data rich content.

Even our templates stand out from the crowd! Get in the game and show them you mean business – seize your digital destiny and move more real estate!!