Create Value

As Realtors we are in the industry of servicing our clients, understanding their needs, and delivering impeccable service, PERIOD! With the advancement of technology and so many new apps being created hourly, it’s no wonder why we get sidetracked and distracted over the best tools to help us run our business and generate more leads. More often than not, we find a few tools for our clients as well, tell them to download the app, and leave them to their own defenses.

Technology is only one component to being a top producing Realtor. It helps us put our marketing on autopilot, track our sales, advertise our accomplishments and allows our foot in the door of people that don’t know who we are yet. But how does this help our clients? How is this better serving their need to purchase or lease Real Estate? Fundamental sales skill sets are a larger component to building rapport with your client and what we all hope to get in return… repeat business and/or referrals!

Be a resource for your client on any and all of their needs. If you don’t know the answer, be candid in telling them that and find someone who does have the answer. Your client will be more appreciative of the fact that you are working for them and not giving them the run around. Solve the problem for your client and act as if you are the ultimate think tank for them! Your client expects that you will go to bat for them in all aspects of the transaction. Going the extra mile and showing them different scenarios to resolve any objection creates value in their eyes. When you decide on some cool apps to have them download, make sure you walk them through it and how it will benefit what their goal is.

“Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken”

How many Realtors have you come across that sound and look like everyone else?  Their website is generic, their business card is no different from the next and their marketing pieces say the same message as their competitors.  In a world run by technology and where the cost is so minimal in giving your business a specific look and feel, it’s a wonder why a lot of Realtors have not taken advantage of the vast array of tools out there.

Let’s face it, the way business is conducted in our industry is ever changing and constantly evolving to incorporate technology and how we inform and interact with our clientele. In fact, I challenge you while you’re out on your next lunch break, to ask a few strangers how they choose a Realtor and why.  I would bet that referrals play role as well as consistent marketing.  Rarely have I come across someone that says, “I chose my Realtor because I heard they are with ‘X’ brokerage.”

On that note, why help brand a franchise or a larger company when you could brand yourself as the number one Realtor in your marketplace and the person with a wealth of information and connections on any Real Estate matters?  To be an elite Realtor, one must remember that your business relies solely on your efforts, not the efforts of your colleagues.  Knowing directly what works each time in getting a property sold and keeping your pipeline full of new business is what separates those who choose Real Estate as a hobby and those who make it a career.  So be yourself, build your brand and cultivate what it is that makes clients want to work with you, regardless of what company you are affiliated with!

Take Your Real Estate Marketing Online

A lot of Realtors consider themselves to be “Old Skool” (yes that’s school with a k). I’ve had many Realtors express concerns about the effectiveness of online lead generation.  The question they ask is, “Can we compete in our market without implementing an online or web 2.0 campaign?”

Of course it’s “Possible”. However, as you continue the practices that you’re used to, you can be sure that your competitors are venturing in areas that you are not. As I’ve mentioned in earlier post, most people searching for a new property start by searching online. Here are two statistics for you to think about when considering taking your marketing campaign online.

  • According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 90% of home buyers searched online during their home buying process. Real estate-related searches on Google.com have grown 253%  over the past four years.
  • NAR studies show that 52% of buyers turn to the Web as their first step in the home buying process.

So what does this information tell us? It tells us that almost all home buyers went online at some point in their home buying process, and over half did so before they even turned to a broker. The majority of people buying homes today spend time searching, learning and taking information online before they even think about speaking with a broker.  This alone is enough to consider expanding your marketing efforts online.

Use QR Codes and Make it Easier for Buyers and Sellers

By now we all know that the easier you make it on a Buyer or Seller, the more business you’ll get. However, some Realtors are not aware of how easy you can make it. With today’s web 2.0 technology almost all the information a person could need  about a property is at their fingertips. Most of us do our research before visiting an open house or commercial property (most of us). But what about those who just happen to be interested when walking or driving by but are too lazy to go in? Put the information in their hands with a QR code or SnapTag. One of these slapped on a Real Estate sign makes it easy for someone to scan and visit your site or information right from their mobile device.

 

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Quick Response Code (QR) – Got their start in the automotive industry by making it extremely easy for shops to identify vehicles. The usefulness of these bar codes quickly caught the business worlds eye and now they can be found in almost every industry. The appeal of the QR code is obvious. These guys can be encoded with almost anything  and link you to  just about everything with a URL attached

 

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SnapTag – You either love it or hate it. The idea behind SnapTag is to encode a logo with any data that can be encoded into a QR code. Its main premise is that QR codes can be ugly and what better way to promote your business than with your own logo. Simple enough. However, the technology hasn’t exactly caught on and some critics say the tech doesn’t work as well as it should.

 

The benefits of these codes are simple. They make it easier for the Buyer or Seller to access your information, in turn, increasing your chances of nailing that listing or selling that property. As for which one to use? I’ll let you try them both out and you can be the judge.

 

A New Social Real Estate Platform

A while back I got wind of a new Real Estate Social Media app that was considerably different from the others.  So, I decided to check it out and I must say it’s pretty good.  It’s called DreamPro and it makes communicating with Buyers and Sellers very easy.  It provides a clean sleek way of presenting properties to clients by sending them an E-Postcard.  When agents come across an image or property that they feel a client might like, they can use the DreamCards, a feature of the DreamPro app, to write text over the full-screen image and send it to clients.  They can send these through email, phone number, or any client that the agent has registered on the application.  The app will send messages to prospects that have already signed up on DreamPro’s sister app DreamHouse (for Buyers).  This makes it easier for the agent to manage “mobile farms” — the community of consumers they’ve signed up on the DreamCommerce system (the database).  All in all, it’s a simple app that can have a huge effect your efficiency and the satisfaction of your clients.  A satisfied client generates more leads, so it’s worth trying out. Happy Hunting!

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.

 

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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

 

 

Real Estate makes its way to Google Glass

Image representing Trulia as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

With the premier of Google’s new futuristic wearable computer, Google Glass, industries have been trying to figure out how they can capitalize on the many  uses of the device. The Real Estate industry is no exception. With features like photo/video capture, Google Map navigation, live video sharing, etc. the Real Estate industry stands to gain the most from this invention.

Imagine being able to share the video, photos, layout, price, and listing agent of a property just by looking at it? Talk about streamlining a process?! That’s exactly what Real Estate social media company Trulia plans on doing. Trulia has recently announced that it is developing an application for Google Glass. The app will allow the user to not only get photo/video of the property, but it will also give directions to the property as well as allow the user to call the listing agent directly from his/her device. I’m sure as this device becomes more common in society, so will the need for Realtors to make thier listings Glass compatable.

A Quality Virtual Tour can Win You Your Next Listing!

I guess you can think of it as building your Portfolio. We all know that building a quality virtual tour online can have buyers banging down your door, but what about the next property? As realtor you must always keep one ear to the ground. Anticipating and plotting on how your going to win that next exclusive listing. Consider this: Use the quality of your virtual tours to build an online portfolio. We’ve all come into contact with that one seller who has the perfect property, in the perfect location, and is selling it for a REASONABLE price. You “have to have” that listing exclusively! So how do you convince the seller that your worthy? Give them a resume that is simple, elegant, and easy to understand. Organizing your Virtual tours into an easily accessible, and easy to navigate format will allow the seller to get an idea of what you can do for them. Remember sellers are people, this means they don’t like to haggle and they don’t want to have to think very hard when making decisions. Doing this takes the pressure off them as well as you.

It goes without saying that your Virtual tour should be of “QUALITY”. I’ve been using that word loosely so let me elaborate. The photo’s should be clear and Crisp, Hi Def if at all possible. Know when and how to get those wide-angle shots, and lastly make sure the virtual tour program you’re using is simple and WORKS. You don’t want fall flat on your face when you’re in the middle of your pitch and the site isn’t working. MyVisualListings.com is one that like to use personally. It’s easy to set up and easy to use.