Make Your Listing Photos Count!

idaho real estate tours

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!!

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/

Ready for Winter? Is your business?

Winter has always been a little bit slower paced for real estate. People are generally busy getting ready for the holidays and budgets tend to run a little tighter. Rather than sit it out practicing your Maytag Man impersonation the slower months in Winter are an ideal time to keep your game sharp.

Here’s some tips on making that happen:

Play Catchup.
Organize files, clean that bottom drawer, comb the database, unsubscribe to spam, defrag your hard drive…Sounds like a blast doesn’t it?! Fact is these are all day to day drudgeries we put off that tend to build up and kill productivity – so take the time.

Get In Touch.
Get in touch with past clients – hey, the holidays are all about cards from people you haven’t talked to all year, so make one of them yours! Get in touch with your market too – review data and study trends. Get in touch with your media – if you’re going to be spending all that time crushing candy on Facebook you could just as easily be engaging your audience and building a following to help jump start your Spring.

Update All the Things!
This means that agent photo you took when you passed CE. This also means updating old text on your bios and taking a look at your website as well. Chances are there have been some new features or tools released that you can make use of to leverage a better position online.

Play Price is Right.
Winter time sales can be tough, so it’s all about nailing that right price and making things perfect for prospective buyers. Take a little more time, or even expense, and get listings looking great – even consider house staging to help seal the deal.

Plan to Be Awesome.
Being amazing doesn’t just happen. If you do nothing else spend some time taking a look at this past years success, focus only on the good, and then put that down as part of your plan for the coming year. Planning is essential to success, so make sure you take the time to look forward and decide where you want your path to lead.

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!

Should You Start a Real Estate Team?

Real Estate Team

It’s not rocket science, it’s simple math: the sum of the parts are greater than the whole. This logic applies to real estate too! But, does that mean it’s a good idea to team up with other agents?

There are definite pro’s and con’s to consider, and real estate professionals who are just starting out or who are struggling to find enough hours in the day to get everything done will definitely find the idea tempting.

Reasons to consider forming a team include:
Having more clients than you can handle

Not having enough clients

Difficulty meeting deadlines

Just not enough time

A lack of important skills or experience

Advantages
Pooling talents and resources can lead to greater reach and exposure.

Working with others may allow you to free up more time for things…like eating. And that thing they call “sleep”.

It can be more impressive to clients to have a group of professionals working with them.

You can designate clients to the agents best suited to their personality.

In some cases team branding can save on marketing costs.

Disadvantages
It only takes one sour apple to ruin the bunch.

Too many cooks can spoil the meal.

Every link in the communication chain can be a potential point for miscommunication.

If things go South you could be left holding the expense of team branding.

So as you can see there are good things and bad things about teaming up. Overall the most important thing is to build your team correctly from the ground floor. Consider agents you have a good past repertoire with already. More often than not it is personal conflict coming into the business relationship that ends up turning a good team into a bad one.

If you’re ready to make the move and get your own real estate team started we are glad to help! Besides offering the best in individual agent and brokerage websites we can also create great team sites that will feature the listings of all your team members! Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your team get on the scoreboard!

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