Benefits of Info-graphics on Your Website

Info-graphic or Information graphic, are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends. The process of creating info-graphics can be referred to as data visualization,information design, or information architecture………Sounds boring doesn’t it?  Of course it does, but it can actually stand to make your website more exciting. To put the above paragraph in simpler terms an info-graphic takes data (usually numerical, statistics, ratios, etc.) and puts it into a fun and easy to understand picture.  Here is an example of an info graphic depicting Social Media use as it relates to the Real Estate industry.

 

social-media-marketing-for-real-estate-infographic-02

Simple, to the point, and most of all it’s interesting! What took me an entire page of text to explain can be done in seconds with a simple picture. We live in world of instant gratification. People want you to get to the point immediately or they’ll lose interest. Placing an info-graphic on your website will not only help you organize your information into an easy to understand format but it will also help you keep the reader’s attention.  Chances are the info-graphic in the center of the page is the first thing you looked at and from there you decided to read the text. As a Realtor you should use this to your advantage.

So how can you as a Realtor use info-graphics? Any way you want to. I’ve seen them used to announce new listings, community updates, and used to chart a certain Realtors success for the past few years. The uses are only limited to your imagination.  Here are a few sites that will help you design an info-graphic quickly. Each has its own unique graphic generator but all create quality info-graphic. Try all and see which one you like the best!

-> Infogr.am

-> Visual.ly

-> Piktochart

 

 

Use Social Media Analytics to Improve Your Real Estate Efficiency

As I’m sure you all know by now Social Media is an extremely effective and affordable marketing tool; one that every business in every industry should be utilizing. The use of Social media turns us into our own public relations or marketing firm. However, while Realtors may acknowledge the potential of these tools, they often fail to go further and see what is or  isn’t effective. This is where analytics comes in. To put it simply, the analytics of your Social Media sites are the cold hard data which come from the number of clicks, views, likes, etc. WordPress has a simple version of this on the black bar at the top of the page (for those of you who use WordPress and are logged in). Although it may seem boring, knowing the statistics of your different sites is extremely important if you want to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign. As a Realtor you need to know who is responding to the promotions you publish, whether or not they are sharing it (which means they’re excited about it), the amount of people who are actually engaged in your links, etc. All of these things can help you tailor your message toward a specific demographic or geographic, which as a Realtor, is one of the most valuable abilities to possess. Research what Buyers and Sellers like to view, replicate it, and toss of what they don’t.

So how can you get a quality analysis of your social media sites? I’ve compiled a list of what I think are the 3 best analytic programs:

Google Analytics:  Allows you measure sales and conversions, as well as gives you fresh insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, and how you can keep them coming back. It includes Analysis tools, content analysis, social analysis, advertising analysis, etc.

 Radian 6: Social media monitoring tools, social media engagement software and social marketing

 Hootsuite: A better view of your social campaigns with powerful analytics tools and customizable reports that gives you a complete and comprehensive picture of your participation in social spaces. HootSuite Social Analytics closes the loop between social and digital with real-time views into campaign results.

 Each program has its own unique benefit but all provide you with valuable data that can lead you to closing more deals in a shorter amount of time. On top of that, they are very user-friendly and easy to link up to any current social media site that you may have. If you’re a Realtor and you are marketing through social media there is no reason for you not be analyzing your data on your own when these sites practically do it for you. Happy Hunting!

Real Estate Tech Trends : Part – II

Last month I gave you guys a list of trends relating to technology and how buyers and sellers use it to find a their agents. So today I’m gonna give you a few more statistics for you to use in your daily hustle and bustle.

Why Buyers choose their Agent:

24% Say they chose a Buyer who is honest and trustworthy.

21% Say they chose a Buyer based on their reputation.

15% Say they used an agent that was a friend or family member.

12% Say they chose an agent based on their knowledge of the neighbor.

9% Say they chose an agent because they thought the agent had a caring personality.

6% Say they chose the agent because they received a timely response.

5% Say it was the Prestige of the firm.

4% other.

Expected Response time <VS> Actual Response Time:

SELLERS:

77% of seller expect a response from their agent within 30 minutes of an inquiry.

45% of sellers expect an instant reply from their agents after an inquiry.

Only 24% of Agents respond to sellers within 30 minutes of initial contact.

BUYERS:

88% of buyers expect a reply within 1 hour of inquiry.

42% of buyers expect to be contacted instantly.

Only 30% of Agents respond to Buyers within 1 hour of inquiry. 

Response Time importance:

6% of buyers say response time is somewhat important when selecting their agents.

94% of buyers say that response time is Very Important when selecting their agents.

All Say that Response Time was important.

Repeat Business:

74% of buyers say that they would definitely use an agent that was recommended to them by others.

15% of buyers say that would probably use an agent recommended by others.

5% of buyers say that they would probably not use an agent recommended by others.

4% of buyers say that they would definitely not use an agent recommended by others.

2% of buyers said they don’t know.

Only 10% of buyers actually used agents they had previously used.

This is only Part II of Real Estate and Tech Trends. Part III will be coming soon and focuses on how Buyers & Sellers use and respond to both new and traditional marketing tactics!

Make Your Real Estate Platforms Mobile Friendly

u.s. share of time spent by device-1

So as we all know by now Social Media is the way to go. Many of the major companies have figured out the same. I recently read an article that focused on how companies are making their ads more user-friendly. Native ads are ads that are embedded into the page itself (Facebook news feed ad, Twitter’s promoted tweets) as opposed to the traditional banners, pop ups, etc.. When I read this, it occurred to me that this type of ad not only allows the company to swindle its way into the reader’s focus, but it also allows the ad to be seamlessly applied to mobile applications as well. How many promoted tweets or ads have we seen on our mobile devices that we didn’t know about?

As a Realtor,  I instantly noticed that I should not only be taking advantage of these “Native ads”, but that I should also make sure that all my web-based platforms are mobile friendly. Social media usage is increasing drastically on mobile devices. Sites such as 4Square and Instagram are already at 99% mobile usage. Twitter is at 70% and Facebook recently reported that a little over half  (51%) of its users are mobile users. This trend seems to be increasing as application UI (user interface) gets better each year. As a Realtor, you need stay on top of all emerging technology, including tech trends. If you see that more and more people are using the web from their mobile devices then it would behoove you to make sure that all of your real estate pages, virtual tours, YouTube pages, etc. are mobile enabled or mobile friendly.  As a Realtor, service your Buyers and Sellers better by making things easier for them by having sites that are simple to navigate and easily accessible on any platform.

 Fortunately, there are a few sites that can help you do this for free. Dudamobile is a website that will convert your website into a mobile friendly format and you can customize it as you see fit. Mobify and Gomobi are two other notable mentions. These are only a few choices of sites that will make your websites mobile friendly.  As a side note, most social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are already optimized for mobile use. So get cracking and browse through your sites to see which ones need to be mobile friendly!  Be accessible on all platforms and watch your followers and conversion rates double!

 

How to Design A Better Real Estate Website

Although this is titled how to build a better ‘Real Estate’ website, the tips that I’m about to give you can be applied to any website. As I’ve said before realtors have to be well versed in a wide variety of skills, web design is one you should add to your repertoire. Most of us are already using the multitude of web 2.0 applications and free websites that are available (if you’re not you should be). However, you’re doing yourself and/or your company a great disservice if this website is poorly designed.  There is an acronym that I came across a few years ago that has helped me design all my webpages, blogs, etc. –C.R.A.P.   ironic isn’t it? How can CRAP help me build a better website, I’ll tell you!

C.R.A.P. stands for Contrast. Repetition. Alignment. & Proximity

Contrast:   The concept of contrast is to avoid elements  that are visually similar. Most often this refers to color, but can also include  size, line thickness, shape etc. Make sure the background color of your webpage doesn’t clash with the copy. Try and make things like your headings, text, sub headings etc a little different. This allows the reader to visually understand ‘what is what’ without actually having to read(people are lazy). Sometimes the smallest change can make all the difference. Contrast is going to be the most visually effect tool your going to use.

Repetition: Many people get confused when trying to adhere to both repetition and contrast. The goal of this is repeat visual elements of the design throughout the piece. Categorize your subjects and stick to it. You should keep the same font size & font for all subtext, the same font size & font  for all main headings and so on. This helps develop the organization and will give you an overall theme to your webpage.

Alignment: Nothing should be placed on the page arbitrarily. Every element should have some visual connection with another element on the page. This gives your page a clean, organized, and professional look. If the main copy is aligned left then the rest of the page should be as well.

Proximity: Items on your webpage that relate to each other should be grouped close together. When several items are in close proximity to each other, they become one visual unit rather than several separate units. Much like alignment this helps organize information and reduces clutter.

Naturally these aren’t strict rules. There are going to be some exceptions that may work depending on its purpose. However for the realtor that is looking to bring themselves into the 21st century these are some pretty solid guidelines to adhere to. Don’t try to overdo it, simple is often the best way to go. The presentation of the property should be your main focus, anything else might take away from that.