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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A New Site Isn’t The Answer

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It’s a story we hear from time to time having worked in real estate technology for over a decade: an agent who has had a website for some time calls to complain about a lack of leads or to cancel their service just because they “aren’t getting anything out of the website”. There are even others still who are happy with their website overall but are easily lured astray by fast talking salesman with an arsenal of buzzwords and pockets full of urgency. While we’re glad to real estate professionals in whatever direction they are seeking success but it’s hard not to ask them out right: “Well, what have you been putting INTO your website?”.

See, it’s easy to complain about a lack of results from the work you didn’t do, and unfortunately more times than not the thing not working…is the website owner. You see simply having a site and just being online isn’t enough – it never really was – and just having a site that no one knows about ( that you’re also not actively telling people about ) is the surest way to get lost in the online noise.

We understand agents want to be selling real estate, not pushing buttons all day, but as a website owner and businessperson having at least some nominal involvement with your digital presence is a must. There are any number of systems that promise “set it and forget it” solutions to automate your advertising – but their quality is sub-par to say the least. And while there are any number of things you can and should be doing to promote yourself online the topic we want to touch on here is some of the reasons you may have not thought about in regards to switching your website to a new provider.

Change of Branding
Let’s change their coffee to brand x and see if they notice….oh believe me, they’ll notice! A sudden change in look or layout can be a real shock to website visitors who have visited your site lately, and for long term users of your site a change in the functions that they’ve come to depend on can also be a big disappointment. If you’re changing web systems make sure to keep your brand looking as consistent as possible – this is no problem if you’re migrating to TourRE as we offer excellent custom real estate web design to accommodate any need.

Loss of SEO
The age of your domain, and it’s contents play a large role in your search engine visibility. Sudden changes to your content, loss of data or meta-info, changes in link structures and other technical items in the code that makes up your website itself can really knock your SEO for a loop. If you’re changing web providers be prepared to not only disappear from the radar for a short time but possibly even having to start from square one in gaining good position in search results. This is even more true if you change the actual URL of your site.

Learning Curve
Even if you are fairly tech savvy there will always be a learning curve when you switch to a new system. No matter how intuitive a website is there is always a little down time involved in learning how to use the new tools you’ve acquired. Things that were once fairly easy to do like adding custom pages or links may now be unfamiliar.

Over-promising and Under Delivering
So you’re excited about your new site, you’re learning how to use it….three or four months go by…and the honeymoon is over…and you’ve got this great new site that you’re still sort of excited about, that may or may not do what your old site did, and may or may not cost as much or more than your old site — and! it’s performing just as poorly as your old site. What gives?! Well, in some cases you bought the sizzle instead of the steak and the new website simply does not do what the nice salesman promised – in other cases it’s the unfortunate fact that: you get out what you put in.

You’ve got to work the market for your marketing to work for you – let us help!
It may seem like strange to hear us not yell from the mountain tops “OUR WEBSITE’S ARE THE BEST!!!” ( and we believe they are ) but at the end of the day the website that does the best is the website you use and promote the most.  We’ve seen basic html websites outrank sites that people have thrown thousands of dollars at and it all comes down to how much promotion the website receives. Ready to get started? We’d love to talk with you about your ideas!

 

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!

Uncan Your Real Estate Website!

When home buyers go looking for a new place online they have their choice of websites these days. You’ve got to stand out to make a difference and capture your share of this lions market; there is no easier, more affordable way to do that than with a dynamic website branded to you.

We realize not everyone can afford an elaborate custom website; that’s why we provide some of the most customizable real estate web sites online today. Unlike other set it and forget it systems that don’t offer much beyond a picture and a paragraph nearly every piece of content on our websites can be edited to make the website your very own.

Whether you already have a site that just isn’t performing or you are a new agent ready to make a name for themselves we invite you to put the experience we’ve gathered over the last decade to work for you!

Attract Millennial Home Buyers With Open Houses That Suck Less!

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Believe it or not one of the most effective means of advertising real estate services is still face-to-face interaction; one of the more common ways that agents make that happen is through an open house. Unfortunately, a lot of them are just lack-luster, and offer little appeal to the growing number of millennial home buyers that are entering the market.

We’ve put together a few ideas for you here that will not only help you draw in a younger demographic but will also help your open house experience be more effective overall.

Advertise It
This is where so many agents drop the ball. They wait til the day before the open house; maybe at most put up one post on Facebook. You’ve got to do better than that! Schedule these events at least two weeks out, make multiple posts hyping up the open house and post it on multiple platforms – it wouldn’t hurt to send out an email to your contacts as well. Remember: if no one knows about it no one can attend.

Make It An Event
Don’t think of it as just a way to kill a Saturday and catch up on paperwork. Make an actual “event” for the open house on Facebook. Work with some local vendors to put together gift packages or door prizes for attendees — you can even make signing up with their email address a means of registering to win, thus growing your contact list. Make sure you have plenty of good printed materials on hand as take-aways; you can even package them with a cookie or treat. Have a movie playing in the living room, invite people to stay and chat. Setup some simple kids activities or games to keep little ones busy and open up more room to talk with potential buyers.

Be Shelfish
No, not SHELL-fish…but rather a shelf for selfies – SHELFIES! Setup a space in the open house and fill it with interesting items or a party theme; encourage visitors to take “selfies” of themselves and post them on their social media profiles – this can be a great way to get your name out and bring attention to your next open house as well.

Stay Classy
Hey, spend a few dollars. This might mean great local organic tapas, or buying a few craft beers that are all the rage with the younger crowd. Good food can be a bring draw to get people in the door and keep them around as well. So, don’t be afraid to spend a few dollars on the good stuff – worse case scenario you’ve got some tasty leftovers for the game the next day.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you make your next open house a smashing success! Don’t give up! Rome wasn’t built in a day and it may take a few tries to get the momentum built up for you to host your very own HOUSEfort!

Real Estate Social Media Myths: BUSTED!

Although slow on the take up the real estate industry is finally catching on to the fact that social media is not only a viable means of marketing but also one of growing importance. This has lead to an influx of agents and offices who “absolutely have to be on such-and-such book”, which has in turn lead to an absolute flood of abandoned profiles and page owners frustrated by a lack of results for their efforts.

We’ll make some enemies here, but: Don’t Blame The Network. Like the old adage says you can’t expect results from work you didn’t do.

To help combat some of this frustration we want to offer a quick dose of reality in order to dispel some of the most common pitfalls and aggravations most real estate professionals run into when they do decide to put in the effort to run their own social media profiles.

All I have to do is post listings.
No. There is rarely a more poor way to run your social media presence. Your audience is exposed to thousands of pieces of “buy my stuff” marketing every single day; when they are on Facebook they very likely aren’t there looking to be spammed.

If you’ve branded your page correctly visitors will already be able to tell you are in real estate, and while it is fine to feature your listings having an endless stream of house pictures on your page not only does nothing to encourage fans to visit your website (where you hopefully have those listings in more detail) but it also discourages fans from caring what is on your page in general.  Solution: Post content relevant to your area, your fan base, or to showcase who you are.

Everyone I Follow Will Follow Me Back.
No. While it is good to like others pages and to interact with posts as your own business page as frequently as possible it is no guaranteed win. People sometimes will follow you back just because you followed them ( especially on twitter ), sometimes they won’t. Don’t rely on this happening. This is like showing up at a party where you don’t know a single person and expecting everyone to stop what they are doing in order to come over and talk to just you. Solution: Interact with other pages beyond just liking their page once. Frequent interaction can increase engagement.

I Shouldn’t Share Other Peoples Stuff.
No. Isn’t this SOCIAL media? Isn’t it supposed to be all about being social and sharing the great things you find? More than just a like or a plus one, sharing other peoples posts can drop the spotlight on you as someone who might be an online ally. It also allows you to more easily diversify your own content; after all, what’s more boring than someone who only talks about themselves all the time? Solution: Share! Share often!

Automation Is the Best!
Definitely NO. While automation can save you time your quality will suffer. There are even any number of services that you can pay to post content on your behalf – the drawback? It’s the same content spewed out on a thousand other pages. It’s not effective. It doesn’t show that you care about what you are providing your fans and even if that wasn’t true, particularly on Facebook, posts that are auto-generated from third parties can receive as much as 60% less visibility. Solution: Schedule your posts if need be, even hire someone to post for you, but make sure quality is maintained.

Pass Me My Blanket, I’m a Guru.
And it only took two weeks!
Yeah. About that. Not going to happen.
The internet is full of self-proclaimed gurus who know all the right buzzwords ,and even what some of them mean, but nothing worthwhile ever came easy or over night. Consistent effort will bring results, but don’t expect to have a thousand fans in just a few days without buying them. Beyond knowing how to use the tools within the systems effectively, and being able to create great content, there really are no deep dark secrets to mind blowing success in social media. Solution: It takes time; you’ve got to put in the effort – or pay someone else to – in order to see real results.

book1The good news?
None of this has to be hard! We’re glad to talk shop and offer great free tips and training to our real estate website clients. If you’re just getting started, or aren’t even sure where to begin, you may enjoy our Social Media Primer: Seizing Your Digital Destiny. We’d love to send you a copy at no cost or obligation, just send us an email and let us know you’d like a copy.