When it comes to virtual solutions for real estate marketing and communications, HomeActions™ has been providing digital real estate marketing for over 15 years.
These are trying times, and our team is doing all we can to assist the real estate industry during the international coronavirus crisis. After all, we were made for times like these. We are a virtual company ourselves, and we have been from the start. We have long recognized the real estate industry’s need for online real estate marketing solutions. Our platform was built from the ground-up with the needs of this unique industry in mind.
We agree wholeheartedly with Krista Thomsen’s, Partner Manager, MoxiCloud Partnerships & Integrations, statement:
“We’re in this together. Each of us is having to face unusual circumstances — but we’re not facing it alone. A wise story-teller succinctly reminds us that we can face any challenge with teamwork. ‘In union, there is strength.’ – Aesop
The same is true for your technology. The MoxiCloud contains some pretty fantastic and adaptable products, but it also partners with more than 50 other industry-leading integrated technologies.”…Read More
As we face these challenges together, HomeActions™ recognizes that effective virtual real estate marketing tools can professionals thrive in a virtual office environment. That’s why we have chosen to partner with reputable organizations like MoxiWorks to deliver integrated virtual real estate technologies.
We understand that the real estate market may get worse before it gets better.
“The housing market is going to be stalled for the spring,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s Vice President of Research. “Buyers and sellers are not necessarily buying and purchasing right now unless they have to. They’re delaying the process for a couple of months. “ – REALTOR.com
That being said, the boom of recovery is on the horizon.
“Realtors do expect there will be a rebound,” says Lautz. “We’re going to see demand coming out of this.” – REALTOR.com
HomeActions™ is in a position to help agents stay in touch with their sphere of influence while they are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll make sure you’re top-of-mind when demand returns. Contact us to find out how our solutions can help your virtual real estate business thrive during these trying times.
If you are trying to make the most out of your content resources, check out these smart tips for getting the most bang out of the time and effort you invest in your marketing content.
Repurpose Existing Content Across Multiple Channels
If you think of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle campaign, you’ll have the inspiration you need to take a single marketing article and turn it into an email newsletter article, blog post, social media post and many other online resources. This strategy helps you maximize the exposure of your content while also stretching your resources.Repurposing content is a logical way to make your content marketing work smarter, not harder. Plus, when you drive social visitors back to your campaigns, and vice versa, you’re creating more opportunities for prospects to find your company.There are numerous ways you can maximize the life and exposure of your content. Consider a single email newsletter article, and imagine that it could find new life as:
A blog post
Multiple social media posts
A call-out quote that becomes a social media graphic
A chapter in an e-book
A video discussion or podcast
The sky is the limit. Be creative, and consider all the ways you can stretch the life of your content to consolidate your resources, be more efficient with your time and maximize the exposure of your key articles.
Be Selective When Choosing Social Networks
More is not necessarily better when it comes to social media. It pays to be choosy about which social networks your company decides to use. Consider your target market. What networks are your customers and prospects most likely to visit? Before you build a profile on the latest and hottest social network, take a look at the demographics of their typical users, and make sure you will find your audience on that network. You should also be sure you have the time and staff available to post consistently and respond to activity on any network you choose.
Use a Social Media Management Tool
Social media management tools and some email marketing platforms offer a simple way to post your email marketing content to multiple platforms or profiles at once. With these tools, you won’t need to log in and out of multiple social networks. Instead, you can post to multiple platforms simultaneously in one step. Use this time-saving tool to maximize your time while you’re looking to maximize the exposure of your content.
Create an Editorial Calendar and Instill a Weekly Routine of Scheduling Content for the Week Ahead
Block out a recurring time for yourself to set up your email content on your blog and schedule it out to various social media platforms. Follow a cross-channel content calendar to help you stay organized. This simple, effective habit allows you to get ahead of the game so you will never need to be concerned about a stagnant blog or a weak social media presence.
Start with these simple tips, then use your metrics and reporting tools to gauge the impact of your efforts. You’ll find that following these approaches helps you to maximize your content marketing impact with more productive, efficient strategies.
Marketing and communications have never been more vital in the real estate industry than right now. Here’s how our team is providing timely updates and assistance with real estate communications during the COVID-19 outbreak.
REAL ESTATE COMMUNICATIONS
Our clients are relying on us to help them communicate the latest COVID-19 information as well as how they are responding internally for their own clients.
While other companies may fall silent during the coronavirus outbreak, it is important to us that our clients stay ahead of the pack and keep their digital communications in the forefront.
In recognition of the urgent need for mass communications, we have opened up free, unlimited single message launch capabilities for all of our clients for the duration of the pandemic. Although our newsletter feature has always offered unlimited sending capabilities, our OnTarget (single message launch) feature previously offered a maximum of 20,000 sends per month.
This has allowed our clients to quickly distribute important updates, such as:
Instructions with various ways to meet virtually
Locations or instructions for pick-up and drop-off of important documents
Best practices and recommendations during COVID-19
REAL ESTATE CONTENT
Our editorial team is hard at work delivering timely articles that our clients can use to quickly disseminate information related to the pandemic.
To date, our editorial team has produced 14 articles covering COVID-19 updates that our clients are using to keep their own clientele informed.
CLIENT CARE FOR OUR REAL ESTATE AGENTS
We value our clients, and we are proud to be part of their communication efforts while they juggle shifting priorities.
As a virtual office environment, our team is accustomed to working remotely. We are adept at the nuances of online workflow, and we have the experience necessary to help our clients navigate during this time.
Our customer support team is available 12 hours a day, and we are helping our clients format and launch important updates as needed.
What our clients are saying:
“I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know what a great support team you have. With current events happening, we have issued two OnTarget [single message] launches in the past week, and we expect to launch more in the coming weeks. [Your support team] did a wonderful job allowing us to quickly get important information out to our clients.
The OnTarget feature is amazing, and we will definitely be utilizing it more often as things develop regarding the changes in business practices due to COVID-19. It gives me great peace of mind knowing your support team is there to help out with these emergency short notice launches.
You have a great team!”
– Cheri G.
REAL ESTATE CONNECTIONS
Now is the time to increase your digital communications. It is essential to stay in front of your clients and prospects even when you can’t meet with them in-person.
Digital communications are the lifeblood of your real estate business while office locations are closed. Our team can help you provide updates and assistance with timely messaging you need.
If you need to improve your real estate communication strategies, don’t wait: get started today. Contact us to find out how our professionally written content integrated with smart email newsletter templates and single message launches will help you streamline your messaging during this imperative time.
We all know the problem: your readers are busy and their attention is hard to grab. People are multi-tasking, checking email on mobile devices, and powering through their days.What is the savvy marketer to do? Here are three tips to help.
1. Keep it Classy
Write relevant, quality content, and your readers are sure to respond. It may be easier said than done. However, when you take a close look at what your readers need to know, and respond by providing them with that information, you deliver on their needs. This cultivates brand awareness and helps generate leads.
You don’t have time to write? We get it… And we can help.Our digital marketing tools build professionally written content into your communications for you, saving you time. Learn more about our content.
To get an understanding of what your clients really want to read, interview them. Select several key clients and ask them what kind of information they would like to be receiving from your firm. Conversations with your clients may help you brainstorm multiple topics from a single point. This type of direct client feedback is a valuable asset to your content marketing.
2. Style It Up
Visual content helps boost the appeal of your articles and blog posts. Engaging images, infographics, formatting styles, graphs, charts and other visuals can add a pleasing aesthetic to your articles that help quickly and easily carry a reader through an article.It’s also a good idea to create a style guide for your writing so you can keep formatting elements consistent.Here’s a list of visual clues your readers eyes can follow to hold their interest and carry them through an article:
Formatting styles and changing typography
Linked text driving readers to learn more about key points
Images that have a direct relationship with an article or point in an article
Charts and graphs
Tables with comparative information
It may also help to keep articles between 300 to 500 words in length. Condensed snippets of information are easier to digest. Plus, this approach may also help you spread long-form articles out through a series of articles, maximizing your efforts.
3. Invite Friends
Guest blog post or newsletter articles from business partners can provide you with thought leadership pieces that your team won’t need to write. This is often a simple strategy because guest writers are often thrilled for marketing opportunities that help them get in front of new audiences. Often, these collaborations also open up opportunities for reciprocity, allowing you to reach new markets as well.Guest contributors offering meaty content can grab your readers’ attention. Think about your connections from conferences, industry events, trade shows, seminars and community events. Even your clients and service partners may make ideal contributors to your content marketing calendar.Keep these three tips in mind when crafting content and you’ll catch more readers’ eyes and win the competition for their attention.
A couple of oldies but goodies and some newer titles round out this reading list of the best books for Realtors. If you’re looking for better ways to connect with your clients and for advice from veterans in the real estate game, take a long weekend or your next vacation to read any of these fantastic books.
Writer Simon Sinek believes that success comes from asking why — not what, who, where or how. Why is the most powerful question you can ask yourself in order to be successful in business and in your personal life.
Sinek explores some of the most successful businesses in the world and explains that they are all connected by a common thread: They all put the why before everything else.
For Realtors, this is a powerful book that will help you change your mindset and focus on the right aspects of your real estate business in order to be more successful.
Author Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn has been in your shoes. She’s been in the real estate biz for years, and her tell-all book, “Sell with Soul,” is her gift to other agents so they can learn from her experiences and mistakes.
Allan-Hagedorn challenges the perception that all Realtors are money-hungry and don’t have the clients’ best interests in mind. She preaches the opposite by encouraging agents to put their clients’ needs first; the rest will follow.
Many of you have probably already read “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent,” but if you haven’t, put it at the top of your to-read list. Or if you haven’t read it in a long time, rereading it could do you well. The founder of Keller Williams Realty, Gary Keller, lays the groundwork for success in real estate and how to be a millionaire agent.
Scores of agents return to this book because of its resonance with both new and seasoned Realtors.
What we consider inbound marketing and targeted marketing today are at the core of Seth Godin’s book “Permission Marketing,” published in 1999. He advocates for marketing that is not disruptive and suggests a method in which you market to those who have already expressed an interest in you and your brand.
Realtors can learn exactly what it takes to get new leads into their funnel in a way that delights potential customers instead of using outdated, intrusive tactics.
We always want more out of our lives, but we’re usually at a loss for how to achieve it. Our lives seem littered with little hurdles that stand in the way of our success. Keller and Jay Papason offer a solution that encourages you to focus on one thing at a time to help you cut out distraction.
For any real estate agent, “The One Thing” will help you realize your personal and professional goals.
You will get varying opinions on the question: Should an agent ever fire a real estate client? The truth is, it’s not cut and dried. Some people will urge you to let go of a client if it’s not working out or if they’ve been blatantly disrespectful toward you. However, some hold on to the fact that once you sign the listing agreement, you owe it to the seller to stick it out until the home is sold.
Consider these factors if you are working with a difficult client and considering pulling the plug on the relationship.
Ask yourself these questions:
How did the listing presentation go?
Did the client seem enthusiastic about your strategy? How did they react when you told them about your great track record of selling homes? If the client is enthusiastic and supportive of the marketing plan to sell their home, you can be confident that going forward, the rest of the deal will go smoothly.
However, take note of any signs of hesitation or if they challenge your approach for selling the home. This could be a sign that you don’t see eye to eye on the sale of the home, which could lead to issues down the road.
Do they take your advice?
As your relationship progresses and you begin showing the house to potential buyers, how does your client react when you share your advice? If you’re staging their home for an open house, are they open to your suggestions to scale down flashy décor and let in some natural light? If your client is resistant to your recommendations, then they are prohibiting you from doing your job well. Remember, you’re the expert, and you know how to get their house sold for the best price in the quickest amount of time. If the client wants to be the only one to call the shots, this could spell disaster.
Are they dragging down the rest of your business?
Does your client call you at all times of the day and night? Do they treat you less like an agent with years of experience and more like hired help? If your client is taking advantage of your time and/or being disrespectful, you should seriously consider whether or not to continue the partnership. If they are exhausting your resources, this makes you less available to other clients and can have a negative impact on your business overall.
Another thing that drags down your business? Negative reviews. If it’s not a match made in heaven, it isn’t your fault or the client’s, but you owe it to yourself to break off the relationship if it is not going well, because you run the risk of getting a bad review.
Other things you should consider:
You work for free until you sell their home
As you’re well aware, agents don’t make a dime until the home is sold. So, gauge the relationship. Do you see it ending in the seller taking the house off the market because you can’t agree on a successful plan of action to get the home sold? If there is a doubt in your mind that you won’t be able to sell the home because of “creative differences,” you might be better off getting out now so you don’t waste any more of your time working for free!
New agents might not have an option
If you are a new agent, keep in mind that you may not have a choice but to see this thing through to the end. Agents who are just starting out need to build their portfolio of homes sold. If you’re new to the game, you may not have other options than the client you’re currently working with because you’re still building your sphere of influence.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you come across a new real estate client, to measure whether the relationship will be successful. Also, make sure that you keep in touch with current and past clients by sending out scheduled newsletters that your sphere of influence will come to know and depend on. If you’re not set up with your own real estate newsletter yet, click to learn more.
The #RealtorLife is no joke. Working in real estate is a demanding profession, so you should take advantage of tools that are designed with your busy schedule in mind.
These 5 apps will allow you to get fast information about listings, make it easier to connect with clients and help you create amazing marketing content to share online. All of these apps have user-friendly interfaces, and the best part, they are 100% free!
Agents need simple ways to communicate on the go. That’s where SwiftKey comes in. SwiftKey lets you swipe your finger along your keyboard to the letters that spell out what you want to say. The smart technology will recognize the words you’re most likely trying to type. You will be amazed at how many times this app gets it right!
SwiftKey uses its intelligence to remember the types of words you use, emojis you like to send and even your unique slang!
You can also save tons of automated messages to quickly send to clients. If you’re getting the same question about a listing from multiple people, type out the answer once and send it easily to everyone who asks you. If you need your keyboard to be bigger or smaller, SwiftKey lets you customize that too.
SentriSmart is the app by SentriLock. SentriSmart allows you to open their lockboxes easily through your smartphone or tablet. You can assign the lockbox to certain properties or unassign them. SentriSmart is synced to Homesnap, RPR and HomeSpotter, so you can bring up data about listings for clients on the spot.
Video content is one of the most powerful tools to draw in new leads online. However, videos have to be quality to be impactful. The Adobe Premiere Clip app helps you create professional-looking videos using the clips you take with your phone. Load videos from your mobile device or tablet onto the app and let Adobe work its magic, or customize the video yourself and choose background music and other bells and whistles. Then, share your videos online and watch the likes and shares roll in.
Developed by the National Association of Realtors, RPR’s app is designed to help Realtors stay up to date on relevant data in the markets they serve. It organizes information about your listings, such as neighborhood data, mortgage history and local schools, in one convenient location. When a client texts or calls you with a question about a listing, you can pull up everything you need quickly and easily.
But it doesn’t stop there. You can generate reports on properties and send them to clients with your own branding. And you can add notes to properties and choose to keep this information private or share it with clients. When you’re out and about, use the location feature to bring up data about the area you’re in, such as local records, new listings, flood zones and more.
Canva is a graphic design tool that lets you create any kind of marketing materials you can think of with ease. Design your own letterhead, Pinterest graphic, Facebook post and more. You can upload your own images or choose from any of the stock images available on the app. Then, customize the dimensions, text and background color.
Use this app to create one-of-a-kind marketing images that will impress your clients and garner the attention of new prospects.
Don’t forget! HomeActions sends out real estate newsletters on your behalf so you can stay top of mind with your clients. Learn more about how to get started today.
By now, most real estate agents know that social media is a powerful tool to attract leads on a regular basis. How to do it is the next question. As we approach 2019, it requires more than a Facebook and Twitter account that you sometimes post on to have a successful online presence.
In order to be a competitive real estate agent in today’s market, you must implement some tricks of the trade when it comes to social media.
You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to apply good social media tactics once you get started — and delighted when you start seeing more leads roll in.
Don’t Ignore Instagram
Instagram might be something you shied away from in the past because it felt more obscure and less impactful to your audience compared with Facebook or Twitter. That’s no longer the case. Over 100 million people in the U.S. use Instagram, and that number is growing.
As a mobile platform, Instagram is extremely accessible. Users can open it easily on their phones and browse the accounts they follow at leisure. This increased accessibility leads to more likes and engagement on Instagram content, which can ultimately convert to leads.
Also, people are responding more to visual content these days. Instagram is the visual content leader. Every post should feature a high-quality photograph or video. Use this tutorial on how to take Instagram-worthy photos.
Realtors can use Instagram to post breathtaking listing photos, appealing images of the areas you serve and videos and photos from trade shows.
Get on the Video Bandwagon
Video content has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you want to continue to improve the number and quality of leads you receive, look into creating video content. Videos can feature new listings, contests, home-buying webinars — the possibilities are endless. Get creative with the ways you use video and consider the types of content your audience wants to see. This will assist you in making more meaningful connections with new and existing clients.
The 80/20 concept has been around for a while, but now that we’re approaching 2019, it’s more important than ever to adhere to this rule if you want to be successful in your social media efforts.
What you post on social media should be 80% content that benefits your audience, such as blog posts about buying and selling, infographics, etc., and 20% content about your real estate business, such as certain milestones and marketing your services.
Since you’re delivering useful information that will help people navigate the housing market, they will be more apt to engage with promotional items from you when you post them.
Hook Yourself Up With a Social Scheduling Tool
Consistency is key to creating a social media strategy that will increase leads in 2019. You cannot post daily for a month and then drop off the face of the earth the following month when things get busy. Nor should you put out all your content for the entire week on one day. That’s a good way to make sure your content gets lost in the shuffle.
If you don’t have time to write new social posts daily, no problem. There are many social media scheduling tools out there that let you write a batch of social posts ahead of time, and the scheduling tool sends them out when you tell it to.
Popular options on the market are Hootsuite, Hubspot and Sproutsocial
Social media is becoming more nuanced but also more powerful. To continue to attract leads through social media, you need to adapt, just a little, to the ways that it’s changing.
Don’t forget! HomeActions sends out real estate newsletters on your behalf so you can stay top of mind with your clients. Learn more about how to get started today.
Millennial home-buyers are a big part of the home-buying market. While they’ve gotten a late start in homeownership compared to previous generations, there is now a significant uptick in the number of house hunters who identify as millennials.
This new group of home-buyers requires unique tactics when it comes to marketing yourself to them as a REALTOR®. If you’ve been in the biz for a long time, your old tricks might not work on millennials.
Use these tips to market yourself as a real estate resource to millennial homebuyers.
Be Comfortable Texting During Off-Hours
Millennial house hunters are going to expect you to use text as a means of communication. That doesn’t mean that calling is out the window, but millennials prefer texting to get quick information at their convenience. Not every question requires a long conversation — millennials may see phone calls in response to quick questions as time-wasters.
It also makes sense to anticipate the typical evening and weekend contact from millennials you would typically expect from someone working a job in a standard workweek. Millennials may also be attending college courses in order to advance their careers or chance vocations altogether, so be prepared to work around busy schedules.
Be Active on Social Media
Millennials, like no other generation before them, are getting the bulk of their news online — even through social media. These days, you can follow all kinds of news outlets to get quick updates about what’s going on in the world. Being active on social media is a great way to get in front of millennial home-buyers. Be sure to post about your listings, share what sold, feature open houses and give other real estate updates. Also keep your social media content varied by sharing interesting tid-bits related to home-ownership. Millennials will follow the businesses they frequent in order to stay connected with ongoing events.
Provide Reliable Reviews
Since the internet is inundated with reviews, millennials know they can’t trust all of them. That’s why you need to provide reviews in more than just a written format. If you can get a past client to submit a video testimonial, it will come off as much more authentic than a written review that could have been faked easily.
Not only that, but make sure your business website as well as your Facebook and LinkedIn pages have verifiable reviews. Facebook is now following the online review trend, offering review posting to its users.
Be an Educational Resource
A great way to promote yourself to millennials is to be a real estate resource for them; position yourself as a voice of authority in the industry to increase your clout and gain their trust.
Millennials will engage through experiential learning, so give them just that. You can host events at your office or at a local restaurant or pub as a networking opportunity for newcomers to the area to get to know their local real estate agent. Or you can offer first-time home-buyer classes in person or online. Sessions like these give your audience a taste for the kind of expert advice you can offer.
Be Consistent With Your Real Estate Newsletter
One of the best ways to stay top-of-mind with home-buyers from every generation is through consistently reaching out with your email newsletter. Millennials in particular are accustomed to this kind of communication from businesses dealings, and they typically subscribe to a variety of email newsletters as a means of accessing deals or keeping up with offerings from their favorite businesses.
Providing bimonthly e-newsletters featuring great content about real estate news and trends will give you an edge with millennial home-buyers. If you don't have your own real estate email newsletter yet, click here to get started with HomeActions™.
Take a second to go over your elevator pitch, and ask yourself these three questions:
Is my pitch unique from those of other agents?
Do I use more “you” pronouns than “I” pronouns?
Does my pitch end with a CTA (call to action)?
If the answer is no to any of these questions, chances are your 30-second real estate pitch may need some fine-tuning. It’s crucial that when someone asks you what you do, you give them an answer that highlights your successes while also speaking to their personal needs. Let’s examine the questions from above and discover why they are important.
Is My Pitch Unique?
Don’t tell them you’re a real estate agent
We’re not suggesting you lie, rather that you do more than state the obvious.
You have to find a way to stand out from other real estate agents. If someone asks what you do and you reply that you’re a Realtor, you are instantly painting a picture in their minds of what a real estate agent does, and you want to point out that you’re more than that. An effective elevator pitch will speak to your particular niche. Consider your strengths and design your pitch around what sets you apart from other agents.
Do I Use More “You” Pronouns Than “I” Pronouns?
Address them on a personal level
The first thing you should do is identify a problem that lots of people face when it comes to real estate. For instance, “You know how buying in a seller’s market makes it nearly impossible to get a good deal?” After you address a problem that lots of people have, dazzle ‘em with your solution. “Well I help homebuyers like you get the most home for their money, no matter the housing climate.”
The use of the “you“ pronoun personalizes the message and makes your audience feel like you are speaking to their experiences and not delivering a speech.
When you sell yourself in this way, people are much more likely to refer you to someone they know who just happens to be having bad luck finding the right home in their budget.
Bonus: After you hook them, follow up with some proof: “In fact, I helped more than 40 homebuyers so far this year buy homes well within their budget.”
Does It End With a CTA?
Give them something to do next
The best way to end an elevator pitch is with action steps for your audience to take next. Invite them to follow you on social media, ask them to sign up for your eNewsletter, tell them to check out your website — anything that will prompt them to take a step toward using your services.
Business cards are fine, but it’s even better if you can show them your Facebook or Twitter and get them to hit follow right then and there. Or get them to sign up for your email newsletter to receive routine communication from you. If you’re not set up with your own real estate newsletter to send to clients, click here.
Don’t get locked into a stock image of what people think of when you say you’re a real estate agent or Realtor — make them think of your profession in a way they’ve never considered