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.
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.
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.
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™.
Getting all your real estate contacts in order is a 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. Plus, you’ll need to be routinely communicating them.
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. Think of it like LinkedIn – you have first, second and third-tier connections.
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 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 Quickly Organize Your Sphere of Influence
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 “refferal source” may be a useful way to initially identify individuals. It is also important to include any all contact information you have for each person in your sphere of influence, such as email address, 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 creat 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!
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.
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.