2019 Social Media Guide for Real Estate Agents

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.

Check out this tutorial on creating social videos for the first time.

Follow the 80/20 Rule

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.

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How Can REALTORS Market Themselves to Millennial Homebuyers?

Millennial homebuyers 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 homebuyers 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 see that as a time suck.

You even may want to change your working hours slightly to be available to answer questions after 5 p.m. Millennials are busy and work long hours. When they do find the time to connect with you, you want to be sure that you’re available to them.

Be Active on Social Media

Millennials are like no other generation in that they get 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 the perfect way to get in front of millennial homebuyers. Post about your listings, open houses, successes, goings-on in your office and more. Keep the content varied and interesting. Millennials will follow you. They are used to following the businesses they frequent, such as hair salons, restaurants and local bands.

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.

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 spend money on experiential learning, so give them just that. You can host events at your office or at a bar as a networking opportunity for newcomers to the area to get to know their local real estate agent. Or you can offer first-time homebuyer classes in person or online. Try offering a free webinar on buying a home and asking for a small donation or charging for any follow-up webinars. This gives your audience a taste for the kind of expert advice you can offer and will make them more apt to pay for this type of content the next time around.

Be Consistent With Your Real Estate Newsletter

One of the best ways to stay top of mind with homebuyers from every generation is through consistently reaching out with your email newsletter. Millennials in particular are used to this kind of communication from businesses. Chances are they subscribe to lots of newsletters from companies they value.

Providing bimonthly eNewsletters featuring great content about real estate news and trends will give you an edge with millennial homebuyers. If you don’t have your own real estate newsletter yet, read here for everything you need to get started.

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Is Your Elevator Pitch Everything It Should Be?

Take a second to go over your elevator pitch, and ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Is my pitch unique from those of other agents?
  2. Do I use more “you” pronouns than “I” pronouns?
  3. 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

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How to Handle Objections from Real Estate Clients

Are you unsure about how to handle objections from potential real estate clients? Sometimes certain questions can throw you off your game, but it’s important to deal with these situations head-on. These tactics will help you do just that.

You will find that these tips are actually quite simple but will have a lasting, positive effect on your real estate business.

Get (a Little) Scripted

Anyone in the real estate game knows that they will be faced with objections from clients. Since you know it’s coming, prepare yourself for some of the most common objections agents receive. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little scripted in your response. It’s much better than floundering in your answer and not coming across as confident when clients push back.

Take this common objection for example: I want to list the house myself and avoid paying commission fees to a seller’s agent. 

Your response can be something along the lines of: “I hear you. You want to save wherever you can. However, are you prepared to do all of the legal paperwork after the sale of the home? After the home is sold, there is a slew of legal legwork that the listing agent typically handles to make sure that the sale goes through. If you decide to sell the home on your own, you have to be OK with the fact that you could potentially be sued if you don’t file the paperwork correctly — even if it is just a simple mistake. Are you willing to take that risk?”

Also mention, “Consider the fact that it may be tricky to get a buyer’s agents to work with you. Many of them won’t even consider working with the homeowner directly because of the risk it poses to their own business.”

Know Your Worth

Realtors get faced with this request often: “Can you lower your commission fee?” The short answer should be, no, but you can present your response in a way that highlights the kind of value you offer and why agreeing to a lower fee would be a detriment to both parties.

If a client asks for a commission cut, lay out the marketing plan, your negotiation skills and your track record, and don’t waver. For example: “Let me take you through a breakdown of where that number comes from. Part of what you’re paying for with that fee is the marketing strategy I will put together to sell your house as quickly as possible for the best price. You’re also paying for my expertise. Perhaps there are agents out there who will settle for a lower fee, but they don’t have the same track record as I do when it comes to selling homes. And they definitely don’t have the same level of negotiating skills as I do. If I instantly gave in when you asked me to lower my fee, what does that say about how I’ll perform when we are negotiating the sale of your home?”

State the Facts

A client may reject your offer because they have a friend who is an agent who they promised to work with. While you should let them know that their loyalty is admirable, it may not be the wisest decision to work with a friend.

Remind them: “Have you ever given a task to a friend and weren’t 100% satisfied with the outcome? Is that a risk you’re willing to take on the sale of your home?”

Then, state the facts. If you sold 80 homes in the past year, make sure they know it. If you’ve been in the business for 20 years, state that too. These are favorable attributes that should not go unnoticed.

You could even be so bold as to bring up their friend’s MLS listing and yours at the same time to compare, assuming that you know you have stronger stats than he or she does. That will really paint a lasting image in their minds!

Key Takeaways

Write yourself a rough script to answer the objections you get all the time.

Don’t waver on the commission fee —  explain where it comes from.

Reiterate your track record.

DON’T FORGET! HomeActions provides automated real estate newsletters for you to send out to your clients. We design the newsletter, write the content and send it out on your behalf so you can easily stay top of mind with your real estate clients.

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How to Set Goals and Reach Them as a Real Estate Agent

Successful real estate agents know the importance of setting goals for themselves. Since real estate agents are in large part responsible for their yearly earnings, setting realistic goals is part of ensuring that they can bring home the bacon. If you want to increase your real estate sales, you have to learn the right way to set goals and the appropriate action steps to complete them.

One of the biggest reasons real estate agents don’t achieve what they set out to do is because their objectives are too broad and they don’t know how to follow through. We’re here to help you narrow the focus of your goals and make sure that you reach them.

Put Your Real Estate Goals in Writing

Get your goals out of your head and onto the page. Use a notebook or Word document to write them down so they are not just floating in space. Writing down your goals sets them in stone so that they’re tangible objectives to shoot for.

Keep your goals realistic by thinking only one or two years ahead at first. Instead of writing down, Run a successful real estate business, narrow your focus to something you can achieve in six months or a year – for instance, Increase sales by 40% by 2019.

Quantify Your Real Estate Goals

Part of setting clear goals is assigning a numeric value to them so you know exactly what you’re reaching for.

Let’s use the last example, Increase sales by 40% by 2019.

Assigning numeric values to your goals allows you to reach higher success levels. If you simply write down, increase sales, that could be as easy as gaining one more sale than you did in the previous year. And that kind of goal setting will not make you satisfied. You will still be left wondering why your real estate business is not as successful as your competitors’.

Continually Read Over Your Real Estate Goals

Get in the habit of reading over your goals once you’ve written them down. It doesn’t do you any good to write them on a scrap of paper and place them in a drawer where they will be forgotten.

You should keep your goals in a place where you have to see them every day, such as sticky notes on your fridge, above your desk or on your computer’s desktop.

Looking at your goals daily will give you a sense of urgency and motivate you to take steps toward what you’ve set out to do.

Create Action Steps for All of Your Goals

Goals are useless if you don’t know what to do to achieve them. For each goal, write an action step or two to accomplish them. If your objective is to increase sales by 40% by 2019, here are a couple of action steps to take.

  • Reorganize my database of real estate leads.
  • Have two phone calls a day with new leads in my pipeline.

Once you act on your goals in these small ways, you’ll see some minor success and start to realize how the rest of your goal can come to fruition.

Hold Yourself Accountable for Your Goals

One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable for your goals is to share them with your team and/or colleagues. If you have other agents or an assistant on your team, let them know what your goals are. Making a public declaration of what you plan to do to grow your real estate business – or any business – has been shown to increase your chances of success because you now have people, besides yourself, who are counting on you. If you work in an office with other agents, spread the word about your 2019 goals – seek feedback and ask if they will help keep you on track.

Stay Organized and Connect with Your Sphere of Influence

Your real estate contacts should always be up to date and organized. If they aren’t, you will have a difficult time remembering who you have in your sphere of influence and at what stage of the moving processes they are in.

Maintaining your database of leads is a no-brainer if you want to increase sales or achieve other real estate goals.

HomeActions gathers all of your contacts from places like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo and more and creates a spreadsheet of everyone in your sphere of influence in alphabetical order by what platform they came from.

Not only will HomeActions jump-start this process for you, we will then send a bi-weekly email newsletter to your real estate contacts on your behalf, using our database of hundreds of real estate articles. Click the button below to read more about HomeActions services and how we can help you achieve all of your goals this year.

Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business.

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How To Post Your Email Newsletter Content To Blogs And Social Media

Do you have a great email article that is just begging to be shared on your social media business pages? You may be able to easily share your email articles directly from your marketing newsletter. Many email platforms allow you to post your email newsletter articles with just a few simple clicks.

Quick Tip: Create a Guest Record First

In order to produce links from your email articles to be used in social media marketing efforts, consider creating a “Guest” contact record. Use the first name “Guest” and the last name “Contact” (or something similar) and your info@ or contact@ email distribution to set this record up. Additionally, you may complete the record with your business address, phone number and any additional contact information you would like to share to route interested prospects to your company. This way, any links or articles you use from your email marketing on social media can be tied back to your guest database record and your business contact information. Another benefit of this practice is that any personalization you may have used in your email will simply display as “Hello, Guest!” or a similar generic greeting. This will add a universal appeal to your emails when you forward your newsletter to interested parties, post the latest edition to your website or share articles with your social fans and followers.

Next Step: Start Sharing

The social sharing function of an email article varies between platforms but is usually a straightforward process. To give you an idea how an article can be shared, here are the steps you would take if you posted an article from this newsletter to Facebook.

1. Click through to the full article. At the top of the article you will see a “Share” option. Click to share.

1. Click through to the full article.

2. Choose which social network you prefer. At the bottom of the social sharing tool window, you will see an option to share the article to one of the four major social networks. Click the icon of your preferred social network.

2. Choose which social network you prefer.

3. Choose whether you’d like to share to your personal or business page. In the Facebook example we’re showing here, you’ll have the option to share to your own timeline or to a page you manage.

3. Choose whether you'd like to share to your personal or business page.

4. If you manage multiple business pages, choose a business page. Pick from a possible list of business pages you manage, and then click the “Post to Facebook” button.

4. If you manage multiple business pages, choose a business page.

Success! Your post will now be on your social media site for all your fans and followers to read.

Success! You have now posted an email article to Facebook.

Using a social media management tool? Platforms like Hootsuite and others allow you to post to multiple social networks simultaneously, and also schedule out future posts. If you’re using a social media manager to schedule your posts, simply grab the URL from your full article (once you have clicked through to the full article view) and schedule your article to multiple networks as a link post.

Posting a Newsletter Article to Your Blog

Posting an article from your email newsletter to your blog can be as simple as copying and pasting the text from your article into your blog. You will need to take some additional steps to format the article to look appealing on your blog. You will also need to make sure you have the right to distribute any purchased content you may have bought for your email marketing on your blog and social media sites. HomeActions does allow our users unrestricted use of content on social media and blog sites, but each marketing provider differs in that respect.

Blogging TipsAdditionally, you can make your newsletter articles more SEO-friendly by changing 100 words of the article to be unique to your company’s blog. Google and other search engines will look at your content as original if you change a portion of it and put your own stamp on the article.

You should also add keywords to your blog post. In the first article of this newsletter, Is This Your Situation? “I Need To Get The Word Out About My Ancillary Services…”, we list four ways you can add relevant keywords to your blog posts to help get found in organic search results:

  1. Do some keyword research
  2. Add keywords to your blog’s title, URL and subheadings
  3. When using images, add keywords in the image file name and alt and title tags
  4. Also use links to outside resources in your posts to increase your likelihood of receiving backlinks in return

Don’t forget to connect blog readers with your email newsletter. Once your newsletter article is posted to your blog, add a closing call to action that says something to this effect: “Do you like what you see here? SIGN UP to receive more tips from us every two weeks. SUBSCRIBE NOW!” This will give organic blog visitors a chance to opt in to your email marketing program.

This marketing best practices strategy is an excellent way to repurpose content across multiple channels to maximize the value and life of your marketing articles. Stay consistent in your efforts. Set up a social media and blog schedule that follows your email launch schedule. With these simple steps, you will be well on your way to increasing the exposure of your email marketing content by sharing it to your blog and social media sites on a regular basis.

4 Freebie Websites with Stellar Stock Images

You need captivating images on your business’ website, blog or email newsletter, but like most of us, you’re not a professional photographer. Without visuals, it’s hard for readers to quickly gather a visual understanding of your content. But don’t fret! There are countless places on the web to get cheap, or even free, stock images to accompany your marketing content.

Here is our roundup of the 4 best websites for freebie stock images.


1. FreeImages.com

FreeImagesFree Images is exactly as it sounds. The site houses thousands of free images for you to download and use in your email marketing, on your website or blog, or in social media. All that is required is that you create an account. From there, you have access to their diverse range of quality images. You can search for images by typing a basic keyword search, or you can make use of the “Tags” tab, which takes you to a page full of commonly used words like “Business” or “Finance” that will direct you to images associated with those keywords.


2. Pexels.com

 

PEXELSThis site has some very impressive first-rate photos. Search for the type of image you need and click on the image you like. Then you can download images in a variety of sizes: original, large, medium, small, or you can choose the “custom” option and input your own dimensions. One feature unique to Pexels is their own Photoshop Plugin Subscription. It isn’t free, but it is super cheap at only $4 a month or $2 a month if you pay annually.


3. Pixabay.com

PixabayPixabay is another site with totally free images for you to use. Sign up with your email to start downloading images in a variety of sizes. Pixabay offers many high-quality photos as well as a large database of illustrations and vectors. If you’re only interested in illustrated images or vectors, you can click to browse only these types of images. You can also choose to explore “Editor’s Choice,” which offers the most sophisticated and quality photos. Furthermore, if you find several images that you like by the same photographer, you can choose to browse images only by this artist.


4. Unsplash.com

UnsplashThe selection on this site isn’t as varied as the others, but this is a very aesthetically pleasing site full of dramatic images. The images are big and the overall layout of Unspslash is very simple and elegant, giving you the opportunity to browse their beautiful database of images with ease. Downloading is so simple that you barely notice it. If you like an image, just click the download button in the bottom right corner of the photo and the image instantly pops up on a separate page. The site has an incredibly user-friendly download process, but it requires that you resize the image on your own if you need different dimensions. If that’s the case, just save the image in Paint (or another image editor) and change the dimensions to your liking. Make sure you take a look at Unsplash’s “Collections” tab where you can peruse photos from categories.


Other Image & Design Resources

Canva and BeFunkyOnce you have all these great photos in your inventory, take it one step further by checking out ways to edit those images and create new, original graphics. Sites like Canva.com and Befunky.com offer free design tools to edit images and create things like newsletter mastheads, invitations, collages, social media images and more. Stay tuned for my next post to get even more tips on how to utilize these free graphic design sites and create show-stopping images for your marketing projects.

Improving Your Open And Click Rates

Improving Your Open And Click RatesWhat Are Open And Click Rates?

The open rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered newsletters were opened by subscribers. The click rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered newsletters registered at least one click.

Why Open And Clicks Are Important

Open and click rates can give you a good idea of how your newsletters are performing with a particular list. If an open rate is strong, it usually means your subject lines resonate with your audience. If your click rates are good, the message content is relevant to subscribers who open the newsletter. So, how do you know if your rates are good?

According to a leading email delivery source, the average open rate for the Real Estate industry is 22%. The average HomeActions subscriber far surpass this rate with an average open rate of 30%. (based on 3 million e-newsletters sent per month). HomeActions knows Content is King.

How To Improve Open Rates

A low open rate generally indicates:

  • Your subject line is not relevant or interesting enough.
  • Your member list is outdated or contains a wide variety of subscribers unrelated to your target.
  • You may be sending too many or too few campaigns​.

Test Your Subject Line

The best way to know what resonates with your subscribers is to try different things. An effective subject line clearly describes what’s inside your campaign, but you’ll want to test a few variations to find out what works best for your list.

Draft two subject lines that differ slightly, for example, “News you can Use for {date}” and “Homeowner Tips for {date}”. We recommend only testing one variable at a time, in this case the subject line, so that your report data is clearly linked to just one change. Then send out your newsletter one time using that subject line, then the next launch, choose the other. Then compare what subject line delivered better open rates. Keep testing/modifying to your get the results expected.

How To Improve Click Rates

Your click rate essentially tells you how many of your subscribers find your newsletter content useful. To improve your click rate, you’ll need to create content that’s useful to more subscribers. Try these suggestions:

  • Embed more links – your newsletter offers 6 personal + 3 social media links, use them all.
  • Insert a Banner from our Library then embed the URL link to take your reader to an interesting site (example-“What’s Your Home Worth?)
  • Include articles on your Open Houses and New Listings – then set a Real-Time Alert to get warms leads right to your Inbox.

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