Getting all your real estate contacts in order is the first crucial step toward consistently reaching your entire sphere of influence. Whether you’re a new or seasoned agent, your referral business is a vital portion of your pipeline.
You can only connect with your current clients, past clients, referral sources, and prospects if you have an organized central database of your contacts.
How Can Your Sphere of Influence Help You In Real Estate?
Your sphere of influence is a network of people you know on one level or another. Try grouping your real estate referrals into three categories: first-tier, second-tier, and third tier.
Your first-tier connections are those you know personally, such as a spouse or family member. A second-tier connection could be a colleague, and a third-tier connection might be a neighbor or acquaintance.
Why are these people important to your real estate business? Because they all offer some kind of opportunity for you. Someone in your sphere of influence could be moving or know someone who is moving. Your network offers an infinite amount of real estate referral business.
Who’s In Your Sphere of Influence?
Close family members
Your children’s teachers
Your spouse’s friends
Most agents know how important their sphere of influence is, but few are using it to its full advantage.
How to Organize Your Sphere of Influence to Get More Real Estate Referrals
The simplest way to get your contacts organized is to merge them all into a spreadsheet. Then you can start organizing by what level of connection they are to you: “client,” “prospect” and “referral source” may be a useful way to initially identify individuals. It is also important to include all contact information you have for each person in your spheres of influence, such as email addresses, complete physical addresses, and home, office, and cell phone numbers.
As time moves on, you may also decide to tag individuals with additional demographic information based on whether or not they are vacation home buyers, senior citizens, residents of certain trendy districts or neighborhoods, event attendees, or other information that will help you group segments of your contact list together.
The Best Ways to Connect With Your Sphere of Influence
The initial outreach can seem a bit daunting, but simple email marketing tools you can use to get started. One of the best ways to stay top of mind with home-buyers is through consistently reaching out with an email newsletter campaign. Providing e-newsletters featuring great content about real estate news and trends will give you an edge with home-buyers. Plus, some platforms (like HomeActions™) will even help build your real estate marketing database for you.
How To Ask For Referrals
When you ask someone in your sphere of influence for a referral, mention a recent article in your email newsletter about home prices, for example, and ask your contact if they know anyone who is moving and might be interested in current low home prices in your area. Always be on the lookout for ways to create new opportunities with the people you meet.
Visit HomeActions.net, and let us help you get organized with a real estate marketing database that we’ll build for you!
The real key to success with clients and prospects in the new year is staying “top of mind.” Your goal is to be the first person a client thinks about when making a referral. It sounds simple, but when you are working with current clients and managing your everyday business activities, it’s far more challenging to keep in touch (and stay in touch) with your ever-growing database.
Here are a few tips to consider when you are working to keep your company top of mind to gain referral business in the new year:
1. Give the Gift They Actually Want
When you’re competing in a sea of emails, it’s important to avoid being quickly deleted or ignored. Email smart. Include content that interests your target markets, and make sure your subject line is powerful. For newsletters, consider simply copying the title of your lead article into your subject line field. Some newsletter platforms, like ours, have an automated feature to help you easily set the first article title as your subject line by default. Clients are far more likely to open information that is targeted and relevant to them versus a generic mass email. This extra step will not only prove that you add value but will highlight that you are paying attention to both their needs and interests.
2. Keep Testimonials, Online Reviews and Case Studies in the Forefront
If you haven’t started sharing client testimonials, reviews and case studies in your email marketing, on your blog, and on social media, maybe it’s time to start. Begin interviewing clients who have had positive before and after experiences with your company. Turn these real life situations into stories that can be shared as content. Testimonials are a powerful reminder that your business is the go-to company for new prospects or referral opportunities.
3. Maximize Social Media
Use content from your email newsletters, blog posts and other online resources to share social media updates on a regular basis to gain referrals. Consistent posting will help you engage your social followers, and it is one of the best ways to keep your company fresh in the news feeds of your followers. Various social media management tools offer free or affordable options to help you schedule out posts days in advance to help you easily manage multiple social channels.
4. Take a Multi-channel Approach To Getting Referrals
When it comes to staying top of mind, content is king. Remember that your email newsletters, blog posts, social media reviews, client case studies and testimonials all offer content that can be shared via email and on social media. Maximize your content resources by posting them to all your relevant online avenues and you’ll always be the first thought when referral opportunities pop up.
>> CLICK HERE to Check Out Some More of HomeActions Lead Generation Tools
We’re all trying to figure out what our next normal looks like. The truth is that there are solid business disciplines that have always worked and may even work BETTER as the real estate sales process becomes more virtual.
Albert Clark of HomeActionsjoined me on a Coffee Chat last week to teach us how to support your clients with insightful and unique homeownership information and market data to become THE go-to agent in your neighborhood.
Here are three key takeaways for you:
1. A clean database is the basis for effective marketing
Without a consolidated, up-to-date and, ideally, even segmented database, it is really difficult to succeed at online marketing. Now is the time to look at all of the places you have customer and prospect information and consolidate it into one list on an Excel spreadsheet as a start. Then it can be uploaded into your client relationship management system and into direct marketing and social media solutions.
2. The days of ME, ME, ME advertising are OVER
If your advertising campaigns focus on all the ways that you are amazing and nothing about how you can help your clients, you’re wasting your money. Instead, share your insights about how the market is doing, political issues regarding homeownership, mortgage news, and the best ways to maximize the value of your home. You are not relevant. Period.
3. Consistency is key
You can be the best agent in the world and deliver amazing service during a transaction—but if you don’t stay top of mind, you are not likely to get the referral or the next listing. You need to find disciplined and, ideally, automated ways to contact your sphere at least every two weeks with information that MATTERS to them.
Are you trying to make the most of your content resources? Check out these smart tips for getting more from the effort you put into creating marketing content.
Repurpose existing marketing content across multiple channels.
Repurposing content is a logical way to make your content marketing work smarter, not harder. A single marketing article can turn it into multiple resources.Maximize the life and exposure of a single piece of marketing content by turning it into:
A blog post
A digital presentation
A LinkedIn article
A series of short social media posts
A call-out quote that becomes a social media graphic
A chapter in an e-book
A video discussion or podcast
A series of short video stories
An interactive quiz
A downloadable info sheet or whitepaper
A handout at your next conference or in-person event
Be creative, and consider all the ways you can stretch the life of your marketing content. As a result, you will consolidate your resources, be more efficient with your time, expand your digital footprint, and maximize the exposure of your key articles.
Utilize multiple social networks, but be selective.
More social media exposure is not necessarily better publicity. It pays to be choosy about which social networks your company decides to use. Consider your target markets. 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. Make sure you will find your target 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. Social media management platforms are excellent tools to help you manage your marketing content across multiple networks.
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. You need to rework your marketing strategies to appeal to distracted readers.
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 marketing strategies in mind when crafting content and you’ll catch more readers’ eyes and win the competition for their attention.
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™.
Real estate agents know the value of putting on a stellar open house. But how do you ensure that people show up? One of the best marketing strategies to promote an open house is through social media.
You can easily create quality social media posts to get the word out just by following these guidelines.
1. Post on Multiple Platforms
As an agent, you should have multiple social media platforms. In particular, you should have business accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. When you begin a campaign to promote an open house through social media, you should be posting across all your platforms.
2. Pick Images That Will Make People Show Up
Take good photos of the house. The quality of the photos you post will determine whether people show up. Here are some factors to keep in mind when you’re choosing photos:
Use pictures that highlight curb appeal.
Use images that capture the home’s best features, like a newly renovated kitchen.
Capture impressive views to entice buyers.
Here are some things to avoid in listing photos:
Dark or just plain bad lighting.
Bad aspect ratio of the photo.
Don’t show off bad décor, messy rooms or property flaws.
3. Don’t Forget Pinterest
It’s a common misconception that Pinterest is only for crafting and recipes. Many people use it as a search engine for the things they are looking to purchase. If they type “colonial-style home” into the search bar, they know Pinterest-quality photos will appear.
You should use this platform to set up a board specifically for your listing photos. You can link back to your Pinterest board of professional-quality photos when you tweet or post about your open house.
4. Write an Engaging Message
Employ good copywriting practices when you write your social media posts. You don’t need to become a copywriting wiz, just follow these simple tips and your posts will be instantly more engaging and make people click through.
Avoid using too many adjectives, like beautiful, cozy home. Verbs speak louder. Try, “Check out this historical home featuring all the amenities that the modern homeowner seeks. Stop by this Saturday to take in the amazing views/architecture.”
Speak to personal experience. The best way to hook people is to trigger an emotional response. Write about universal experiences when house hunting. People like to be reminded of things they are familiar with.
5. Consider Your Landing Page
The landing page is where you will direct people in your social media posts. At the bottom of your post, there should be a clear link to a page that offers more information about your open house.
You can drive traffic to a Facebook event page, LinkedIn event page, Pinterest board, your website or a blog post. Wherever you lead traffic, make sure that page has all the details about your open house and great pictures.
6. Create a Posting Schedule
Create a posting schedule to promote your open house on social media. If you come up with a couple of messages for each social platform, organize them into an Excel sheet and put the dates and times of when they should be deployed.
For more information about optimal times of the day to schedule social posts, check out this infographic from HubSpot.
7. Put It in a Real Estate Email Newsletter
If you have a real estate newsletter that goes out to your sphere of influence, make sure to include a shout-out to your open house. Whatever messages you post on social media should be reinforced in your newsletter.
If you don’t have a real estate newsletter yet, check out the HomeActions automated e-newsletter for real estate agents. A newsletter is one of the most effective ways to stay top of mind with your real estate contacts. Check us out today!
Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business.
It’s not just the real estate industry that’s going digital — almost every industry you can think of is taking the plunge. But digital marketing is especially essential for real estate agents because homebuyers are looking at websites like Zillow and Trulia as their first step toward finding a home.
They are also checking out social media to find inspiration for their dream home and recommendations for REALTORS®. That means you need to position yourself in front of these homebuyers online.
If you already have a real estate website and social media accounts, are you utilizing those spaces correctly in order to get leads? If you’re not keeping yourself abreast of how to improve your digital footprint, chances are you will get overlooked for agents that have a more robust online presence.
1. The Most Important Social Platforms for Real Estate
Some of the more important social platforms for real estate agents are Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you don’t already have a presence on these platforms, get on them today. Your potential clients use social media to find referrals for all kinds of services, including real estate agents.
Social media is also where you should showcase the best of the best when it comes to images and videos of your listings. Always post high-quality images that highlight the best features of the homes you’re selling. The standard for content is very high these days, so a few grainy images won’t cut it. You will get buried by competition using professional-looking photos.
When you post content on social media, make use of relevant hashtags. This will help you get recognized by more users and increase your followers. You can easily research hashtags by typing in some keywords into the search bar on Twitter — such as “open house” (#openhouse) or “real estate agent” (#realestateagent) — and see what popular posts come up and take note of other hashtags they’re using. Then you can incorporate those hashtags into your own social posts.
2. Paid Advertising to Promote Your Real Estate Business
Consider paid advertising using Facebook Ads or Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising.
Facebook makes it easy for you to “boost” a post, whereby you put a certain dollar amount behind a post. You choose your budget and the audience you want your post to target. For instance, you can target buyers or sellers based on location or demographics, or even their hobbies and behaviors.
Boosting a post on Facebook ensures that your message gets in front of the right people.
You should also consider Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for your real estate website. It’s a way of advertising your website on Google so that it appears at the top of the page when users search for different keywords, such as “homes for sale,” “local realtors” or “open house.” Every time someone clicks on your ad, leading them to your website, you pay Google a fee.
There are still things you want to do to get organic traffic to your site, which we’ll go over, but PPC is a way to bring in additional paid traffic through advertising.
3. Make People Come Back to Your Website
Make sure that your real estate website is easy to navigate and a place where users want to return. Start by making sure all your images look professional. If you have pictures of yourself or your business, these photos need to be high quality. First impressions matter, and potential clients will choose another Realtor over you if their website looks more professional.
Another way to keep people coming back to your site is to create content that interests them. You could post weekly blogs about the real estate industry or certain markets. You could also blog about open houses, listings, up-and-coming neighborhoods and more. Try mixing up the content with some charts, videos and infographics. Creating interesting content will keep users engaged.
4. Collect Emails
The purpose of your digital efforts is to get leads, so you need to give users the option to provide their email addresses. In marketing, a squeeze page or landing page is where you collect the email addresses of those who visit your website.
Make an Offer
A squeeze page should act as an offer to the user that requires them to input their email. This could be in the form of an e-book, e-newsletter or an estimate on the value of their home. Whatever the offer is, make sure it’s essential for them to give out their email in order to receive the special gift.
5. Use Website Analytics Tools
The only way to know whether your website is working is by tracking views and the behavior of users on your site. How long are they staying on your site? How many unique visitors are you getting a month? Are users visiting your site and then navigating away almost instantly? The easiest way to track this is with a tool like Google Analytics. Google makes it easy for new marketers to learn how to use their features, which you can read about here.
Once you understand some basics of website analytics, it’s simple to start developing your website around what users want to see. Perhaps your site isn’t user-friendly enough. Maybe your content isn’t as engaging as your competitors’ content. Tracking the analytics of your site will help you identify and fix these issues.
We always recommend making sure you have a digital footprint because most of your clients will hear about you through the web. A great way to get started is by following these guidelines and signing up for biweekly real estate email newsletters. We make it easy for you by writing email newsletter articles and sending them out to your sphere of influence on your behalf. Check us out today!
Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business.