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!

3 TIps For Lead Generation

You can be a closing Champion but if you don’t have the deals to close in the first place, then you’re no Champ at all. Farming (lead generation) will always be a necessary part of the Realtors profession, period! Generating leads online can be tough, especially with non-conventional forms of communication that come with the introduction of social media. Here are three simple tips to enhance your online lead generation.

Manage Awareness: In order to establish a relationship, the person must first know who you are, or be aware of you. This is where web 2.0 comes in. You can improve your online presence through the use of things like Social Media, Blogs, SEO, or even online press releases. These all great ways to start, the goal is to make sure that your name comes up when someone searches the keyword “Realtor” online.

Manage Consideration: Now that people know who you are online you have to give them a reason to consider you. First impressions are important so make sure whatever they first come into contact with is quality. You can try listing some legitimate positive testimonials on your webpage. This will give the consumer a little glimpse as to how you conduct business. Provide consumers opportunities to inquire about your service by Email subscription. You now have their name and point of contact to market to.

Manage Action: Now that you have names and emails you can follow through. It may seem like a lot of work but sending a semi-personalized email to each prospect can go a long way. No one likes to be spammed so do whatever you can to make it not seem like a huge email blast. It can mean the difference between retaining a prospect or being blocked forever.

4 Tips to Drive Traffic Through Social Media

By now we are (or should be) aware that Social Media is a great way to drive business. However, you may not know that these social media venues have unique attributes that can help you hone in on the exact person you want to push your product toward. Make sure you reach your target market with these four tips.

Link content back to your own site. It goes without saying but this is a common mistake. All info put out from your page should have a link back to your site. You never know when someone might find it interesting and want to see what else you have to offer.

Add a URL to the status description if possible. Linking the update  to the article directly or to a related story not only makes it easier for the reader to access, but it also makes you the go to source for anyone looking for news worthy content.

Use keyword rich descriptions (Hashtags). This makes it easier for sites like twitter and Facebook to deliver your content to those who are interested or those who are investing their time into related content. Facebook and Twitter compile massive amounts of data on every user and sell it to major corporations…You might as well cash in too!

Try and relate content to popular or trending topics. This puts your content out on a national/global field. Anyone searching or reading updates related to that topic will see your update! Use caution (or common sense) when doing this. Recently some major corporations have dropped the ball when they tried to relate their products to disasters that were “trending” on twitter.

3 Features That Your Realtor Branded App Should Have

Todays’ technology makes it easy for Realtors to work remotely but having and maintaining a mobile application can be a little frustrating.

It can get overwhelming when deciding what features your personalized agent branded app should have.  While many apps have great features, some may have too many which can leave a buyer confused and disoriented.

The more features your app has the more places it has to glitch up and crash. The key to preventing your app from constantly crashing, confusing a user, and preventing you from having a constant headache is to simplify with these 3 features.

Mobile MLS Mapping – Most applications have this as a standard feature. When building your own app this is a must have. This feature allows the user to search for property from a “Google Maps” platform. It’s extremely user-friendly and anyone who has a smart phone (if they don’t they’ve got bigger issues) can use it.

Agent Branding –  This seems like a no brainer but you’d be surprised as to how many apps do this incorrectly. Agent Branding is simply making sure the app is clearly about you. You should have features that allow the user to contact you (by phone or email) regarding a property they find on the app directly from the app. This also leaves no room for another agent to get your client!

Home Spotter – I put this on the list simply because I think it’s extremely cool! This home Spotter feature allows the user to hold his/her smart phone or tablet up to a property (as if they were taking a video or picture) and get all the info for that property. Price, listing agent, how many rooms, everything is virtually displayed over the property! This feature is just for bragging rights. You can bet the other agent doesn’t have it on his/her app and it will definitely impress your clients.

 

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.

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.

 

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!