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!

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.

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.

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!

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!