3 Ways to Become the GO TO Agent in Your Neighborhood without Leaving Your House!

HomeActions™ President, Albert Clark, co-hosted a “Coffee Chat” with RETechnology to discuss strategies that will benefit agents as the business of real estate process becomes increasingly virtual.


As originally posted on RETechnologyCLICK HERE for the original article.


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 HomeActions joined 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.

Watch the recording below to learn more:

If you would like to learn more about HomeActions, you can contact Albert Clark at aclark@HomesActions.net.


HomeActions is also working to help agents thrive as the real estate process becomes more virtual. Catch our next webinar session to learn more about the benefits of HomeActions. 


We’re Helping You Stay Connected During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the wake of shelter-in-place measures to stop the coronavirus, our team is here to help our clients leverage informative content and timely digital communications.


Here is what some of our clients had to say about us…


“Thank you and your team for all you do to help us and our clients especially with pertinent communications during the COVID-19 pandemic!”

Michele E.


“Thank you for your reminders about the available coronavirus-related content and all of your ongoing help. I’ve been very pleased with my decision to move over to your company.”

A Client


“Thank you for the reminder and all of your ongoing help. I’ve been very pleased with my decision to move over to your company. Stay healthy and safe!”

Del R.


 

“I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know what a great support team you have. With current events happening, we have issued two OnTarget [single message] launches in the past week, and we expect to launch more in the coming weeks. [Your support team] did a wonderful job allowing us to quickly get important information out to our clients. The OnTarget feature is amazing, and we will definitely be utilizing it more often as things develop regarding the changes in business practices due to COVID-19. It gives me great peace of mind knowing your support team is there to help out with these emergency short notice launches. You have a great team!”

Cheri G.


“Thank you so much for suggesting your service to us. Seriously, if we were using Checkpoint I would be going insane today. The best decision we have made as a firm. I appreciate you being persistent with me and showing me the way. No one sees value in the newsletter until they have to use it in times like this. I’m very thankful for your honesty and a truly great product. We have recently sent seven targeted emails and the people that we have reached are about four times more than the clients we sent it to as they share it. Our phones have been off the hook for the last two weeks, partly because of the content. Truly if we didn’t have the IN service we would have never been able to reach out to them in the first place.”

Alba H.


 

Want to hear more from our satisfied clients?

CLICK HERE to see what other HomeActions clients had to say about our service.

Your Guide To A Cleaner Marketing Database

Marketing database maintenance can be a chore, but taking the time to tidy up is vital.

Deliverability is determined by algorithms using a wide variety of signals to determine if an email list gets through. When your subscribers open your emails, click through on email content or have some other positive responses to your messages, this helps your deliverability.

If readers simply delete your emails without opening them or mark them as spam, they are sending negative signals that can hurt your deliverability.

Here is your guide to help you keep a squeaky-clean marketing database and improve your deliverability.


Suppress Or Fix Bad Email Addresses In Your Marketing Database


A bad email is marked as such by ISPs because it has one of the following errors:

Bad Format – A format error could indicate that an email address is missing a period, contains a misspelling, or has other incorrect or duplicated characters in the email address. This type of error could simply be a typo that needs to be fixed. When the format error is obvious, like a double period, this can be corrected by making a small adjustment to the email address in your subscriber record.

Bad Domain – Sometimes domain names are changed, merged with other companies or simply deleted. When this happens, it renders the domain portion of your email (or everything after the @ sign) ineffective. Watch out for company name changes, mergers, email service provider domain name changes and other domain name issues in order to avoid bad domain issues in your database.

Bad Account – When an employee leaves a company, their email often becomes invalid after a certain period of time. For example jsmith@abccompany.net may have retired. In the case of professional office environments, staff emails might be forwarded to a third party for a period of time before they are rendered invalid. When this occurs, there are often autoresponder emails sent out asking you to delete or update a former employee’s contact information. Pay attention to these autoresponder messages and take action to update information in order to avoid bad account issues.

On occasion, it will be impossible to tell why an email was marked as bad. If you have attempted to remedy format, domain and account issues, and the email is still being marked as a bad email, it is time to suppress the contact record to ensure that future messages are not launched to the bad email address. Some platforms will automatically suppress bad emails for you.


Remove Generic Email Addresses 


When an email address is publicly available, it is able to be harvested by unethical list sellers. Because of this, generic email addresses are often heavily policed for spam. Unless you absolutely know that the person or people behind a generic email address expressly consent to receiving your messages, you should remove any of the following generic emails from your account:

  • accounts@
  • admin@
  • billing@
  • billings@
  • contact@
  • help@
  • info@
  • inquiries@
  • manager@
  • sales@
  • subscribe@
  • support@
  • webmaster@
  • welcome@

Additionally, generic emails often have low open rates and low engagement, which also negatively impacts your deliverability.


Remove Inactive Subscribers


To keep up to date with email deliverability best practices, we consult with some of the top delivery and anti-spam engineers from major mailbox providers, as well as senders that are like our company, in order to coordinate better ways to get wanted emails to the readers.

One of the most important email marketing best practice trends we identified is to track user engagement and remove inactive subscribers. Engagement means that your readers have opened, read and/or clicked a link in your email. The major mailbox providers such as Gmail, AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo all track how long a message is open and whether the links within it were clicked. They take note if a message was deleted without opening it. They also detect when messages are sent to accounts that no longer check email at all.

Clean Up Dead Weight

A common suggestion for cleaning an email list is to remove all disengaged or inactive subscribers. What this means is that you will be determining all the people who have not opened or clicked on one of your emails in a given period of time and simply removing them from your list.

Why Does This Help?

You may feel like it stings a bit to remove members from a list that you’ve worked hard to grow, but if they are sitting in your marketing database in an inactive or disengaged status, they are actually hurting your sending reputation. A bad sending reputation means you’ll be less likely to be successfully delivered to those who really want to hear from you.

Improve Your Reach

If there is no engagement for a large portion of your list, then it is more likely that your marketing emails will not reach a majority of your audience. To increase the chances of reaching inboxes and not getting filtered out, take steps to remove all list members who are not engaged.

Take a Tiered Approach

You can begin removing people in waves. First, remove those who have not clicked or opened in the past two years. Then change your email strategies to see whether you can boost engagement among your existing members. When you see open and click rates improving, take some time to do a second purge of all those who have still not engaged within the past year. You may also repeat this process as a last step, and look at all those who have not engaged within a six-month period as your final purge.

Purging long-term inactive subscribers also means you’re much less likely to end up in a spam trap. An extremely inactive list with long-term disengaged members can be “gravestoned” by ISPs. This means that ISPs will flag your messages as irrelevant or meaningless to your subscribers, thus negatively impacting your deliverability.

“Healing” Your Deliverability

Even though this process will cause the number of active list members in your database to go down, you will receive the benefit of better delivery rates among those recipients who enjoy your messages. When you view your metrics and reporting, you may notice that the number of opens and clicks will remain steady, but since fewer inactive email addresses are on your list, the open and click rate percentages will gradually increase as mailbox providers begin to recognize your improved sending reputation.

Over time, this process will result in more emails getting into the inboxes of your recipients, producing higher traction and engagement with fewer complaints and filtering issues. When the mailbox providers detect the higher percentage of recipients reading and clicking on links, they will tend to give those messages more favorable treatment by keeping them out of the spam folder. The absolute numbers of clicks and opens will likely go up as well, based on experience from testing this strategy with our existing customers.

 


 

Do you need help organizing your marketing database? We’ve got you covered.

CLICK HERE for more info about how HomeActions can help build your marketing database.

HomeActions™ Is Listed Among MoxiCloud Partners That Make Virtual Real Estate Business Easy

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’re pleased to have been recently recognized among MoxiWorks 5 MoxiCloud Partners That Make Virtual Real Estate Business Easy.

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.

How To Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Your Marketing Content

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
  • An infographic
  • 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.

Real Estate Communications during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Marketing and communications have never been more vital in the real estate industry than right now. Here’s how our team is providing timely updates and assistance with real estate communications during the COVID-19 outbreak.


REAL ESTATE COMMUNICATIONS


Our clients are relying on us to help them communicate the latest COVID-19 information as well as how they are responding internally for their own clients.

While other companies may fall silent during the coronavirus outbreak, it is important to us that our clients stay ahead of the pack and keep their digital communications in the forefront.

In recognition of the urgent need for mass communications, we have opened up free, unlimited single message launch capabilities for all of our clients for the duration of the pandemic. Although our newsletter feature has always offered unlimited sending capabilities, our OnTarget (single message launch) feature previously offered a maximum of 20,000 sends per month.

This has allowed our clients to quickly distribute important updates, such as:

  • Instructions with various ways to meet virtually
  • Locations or instructions for pick-up and drop-off of important documents
  • Best practices and recommendations during COVID-19

REAL ESTATE CONTENT


Our editorial team is hard at work delivering timely articles that our clients can use to quickly disseminate information related to the pandemic.

To date, our editorial team has produced 14 articles covering COVID-19 updates that our clients are using to keep their own clientele informed.


CLIENT CARE FOR OUR REAL ESTATE AGENTS


We value our clients, and we are proud to be part of their communication efforts while they juggle shifting priorities.

As a virtual office environment, our team is accustomed to working remotely. We are adept at the nuances of online workflow, and we have the experience necessary to help our clients navigate during this time.

Our customer support team is available 12 hours a day, and we are helping our clients format and launch important updates as needed.

What our clients are saying:

“I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know what a great support team you have. With current events happening, we have issued two OnTarget [single message] launches in the past week, and we expect to launch more in the coming weeks. [Your support team] did a wonderful job allowing us to quickly get important information out to our clients.

The OnTarget feature is amazing, and we will definitely be utilizing it more often as things develop regarding the changes in business practices due to COVID-19. It gives me great peace of mind knowing your support team is there to help out with these emergency short notice launches.

You have a great team!”

– Cheri G.


REAL ESTATE CONNECTIONS


Now is the time to increase your digital communications. It is essential to stay in front of your clients and prospects even when you can’t meet with them in-person.

Digital communications are the lifeblood of your real estate business while office locations are closed. Our team can help you provide updates and assistance with timely messaging you need.

If you need to improve your real estate communication strategies, don’t wait: get started today. Contact us to find out how our professionally written content integrated with smart email newsletter templates and single message launches will help you streamline your messaging during this imperative time.

3 Attention-Grabbing Strategies to Improve Your Email Marketing

We all know the problem: your readers are busy and their attention is hard to grab. People are multi-tasking, checking email on mobile devices, and powering through their days. What is the savvy marketer to do? Here are three tips to help.

1. Keep it Classy


Write relevant, quality content, and your readers are sure to respond. It may be easier said than done. However, when you take a close look at what your readers need to know, and respond by providing them with that information, you deliver on their needs. This cultivates brand awareness and helps generate leads.
You don’t have time to write? We get it… And we can help. Our digital marketing tools build professionally written content into your communications for you, saving you time. Learn more about our content.
To get an understanding of what your clients really want to read, interview them. Select several key clients and ask them what kind of information they would like to be receiving from your firm. Conversations with your clients may help you brainstorm multiple topics from a single point. This type of direct client feedback is a valuable asset to your content marketing.

2. Style It Up


Visual content helps boost the appeal of your articles and blog posts. Engaging images, infographics, formatting styles, graphs, charts and other visuals can add a pleasing aesthetic to your articles that help quickly and easily carry a reader through an article. It’s also a good idea to create a style guide for your writing so you can keep formatting elements consistent. Here’s a list of visual clues your readers eyes can follow to hold their interest and carry them through an article:
  • Formatting styles and changing typography
  • Linked text driving readers to learn more about key points
  • Quotation call-outs
  • Bullet points
  • Images that have a direct relationship with an article or point in an article
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Charts and graphs
  • Tables with comparative information
  • Summary sections
It may also help to keep articles between 300 to 500 words in length. Condensed snippets of information are easier to digest. Plus, this approach may also help you spread long-form articles out through a series of articles, maximizing your efforts.

3. Invite Friends


Guest blog post or newsletter articles from business partners can provide you with thought leadership pieces that your team won’t need to write. This is often a simple strategy because guest writers are often thrilled for marketing opportunities that help them get in front of new audiences. Often, these collaborations also open up opportunities for reciprocity, allowing you to reach new markets as well. Guest contributors offering meaty content can grab your readers’ attention. Think about your connections from conferences, industry events, trade shows, seminars and community events. Even your clients and service partners may make ideal contributors to your content marketing calendar. Keep these three tips in mind when crafting content and you’ll catch more readers’ eyes and win the competition for their attention.

Top 10 Real Estate Articles of 2019

Check out our list of the top 10 real estate articles of 2020

Top Article #1

6 Landscaping Ideas to Avoid Like the Plague

Don’t ruin your yard with bad landscaping. Make sure to avoid these landscaping blunders. Check out these valuable tips on making sure your grounds are up to Downton Abbey standards.

Number of Click-Throughs: 28,273

Top Article #2

6 Home Design Concepts That Stand the Test of Time

You want to add items to your home that you won’t have to replace once the trend has died out. Since redecorating is such a hassle and expensive, you should add pieces to your home that you know will stand the test of time.

Number of Click-Throughs: 14,762

Top Article #3

6 Kitchen Renovation Trends

Is your kitchen the welcoming and inviting heart of your home? Or do you feel it needs an upgrade? If you need some renovation ideas, check out these current kitchen trends that will make over your space.

Number of Click-Throughs: 14,722

Top Article #4

Are You Making Any of These 5 Organizing Mistakes?

You might think you’re doing the right things to keep your home organized, but there are some bad habits that many people fall victim to that will keep your house from ever being clutter-free. Learn about five organization mistakes you could be making.

Number of Click-Throughs: 13,978

Top Article #5

Where to Splurge and Where to Save on Home Improvements

It’s hard to know where your dollars are best spent when it comes to improving your home. There are even conflicting opinions out there about what upgrades offer the best ROI.

Number of Click-Throughs: 12,803

Top Article #6

How to Marie Kondo Your Kitchen

You may have heard of the Marie Kondo method for organizing, and we’re here to tell you that it works. Learn how you can make simple changes to your kitchen that will fill the space with joy.

Number of Click-Throughs: 12,653

Top Article #7

5 Smart Home Upgrades Worth the Money

Do you think adding smart technology to your house would be worth the money? It may give you the house of the future, today!

Number of Click-Throughs: 12,032

Top Article #8

The Quickest Ways to Upgrade Your Bathroom

Your bathroom should be a place of peace and relaxation, but if the space has outdated features, it can make it hard to unwind. Here is the quickest ways to upgrade your bathroom.

Number of Click-Throughs: 10,004

Top Article #9

The Myth of the 20% Down Payment

Conventional wisdom holds that you should put down 20% to buy a house. But this is not always necessary, or even wise.

Number of Click-Throughs: 9,501

Top Article #10

Simplify and Downsize in Your House

You don’t have to sell your home and move into a postage stamp-sized house to take advantage of the downsizing trend. There are easier ways to “go small.”

Number of Click-Throughs: 9,472

As in past years, home improvement dominated the list, with just one financial story.

Want to hear more about our newsletter content? CLICK HERE to check out article samples and learn more about the content you recieve when using HomeActions.

5 Best Books for Real Estate Agents

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.

1. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

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.

2. Sell With Soul: Creating an Extraordinary Career in Real Estate Without Losing Your Friends, Your Principals or Your Self-Respect

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.

3. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

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.

4. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends Into Customers

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.

5. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

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.

Once you’ve made your way through this reading list, begin exploring ways to put your real estate goals into action by creating your own real estate newsletter with HomeActions. Click for everything you need to know to get started.

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