7 Ways to Promote an Open House Through Social Media

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.

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

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

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

Put Your Real Estate Goals in Writing

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

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

Quantify Your Real Estate Goals

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

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

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

Continually Read Over Your Real Estate Goals

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

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

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

Create Action Steps for All of Your Goals

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

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

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

Hold Yourself Accountable for Your Goals

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

Stay Organized and Connect with Your Sphere of Influence

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

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

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

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

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

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5 Digital Marketing Tips All Real Estate Agents Need to Know

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.

Hashtags

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 Ads

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.

Google AdWords

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.

Content Creation

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.

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Tips & Tricks for Inspired Marketing Articles

What will fill your marketing editorial calendar in the months ahead? It can be daunting to lay out writing assignments for your marketing efforts, but it does not have to be. With a bit of forethought and planning, you can tap into writing inspiration on a regular basis.

Focus your real estate newsletter writing.

Your first step should always be to consider your audience. To really craft meaningful lead-generating content, you need to focus on your target market. The goal is to keep your readers’ needs in mind while also keeping your business growth goals in mind when writing marketing content.

What are your goals?

Map out a hierarchy of what is most important to building you pipeline.

  • Are you trying to build up specialty areas, such as vacation properties or retirement properties?
  • Looking to generate more new opportunities overall?
  • Seeking to improve client retention and nurture existing relationships?
  • Want to stand out in a competitive marketplace?
  • Growing a base of referral sources?

Lead generating content has a pain/gain approach. It is important to consider your goals when you begin building lead-generating content. Your articles should provide a path toward solving a pain point so readers naturally follow that path to seek out your services.

Think about how your services could tie into an article and offer an obvious connection back to you for help. Focus on providing just enough relevant advice to give your prospects the confidence that you are the expert source who can address their real estate needs.

The next natural step for your readers should be to connect with your firm to solve their needs.

When you have key articles focused on generating new opportunities and leads integrated into your strategies, be sure you’re setting lead alerts so you can follow up on new warm prospects.

What should you write?

Inspiration can originate partly from preparation and partly from borrowing existing ideas. It’s always good to have a stockpile of starting-point themes to fall back on when writer’s block inevitably strikes.

“Inspired” Ideas for Your Next Article

  • Interviews
  • Case Studies
  • Client Features
  • Q&A – Or “Dear Abby” Approach
  • This vs. That Strategy Comparison

All of the ideas here could come from a single interview with a client. If you sat down and interviewed a client for just 30 minutes, you could get all the information you needed to create five articles with each of the above approaches. If you did this with just several clients, you could stagger that content out and have a full calendar of meaningful content for a year.

More Ideas to Inspire Creative Content:

  • Trending Topics Following Current Events
  • Common Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
  • Spotlight Your Team Members
  • Feature Events and Philanthropic Involvement

Don’t forget to invite a bit of the human element into your content marketing to help readers develop brand loyalty and keep your audience engaged. People stories for fun, and features focused on your staff members’ pets, babies and activities can be a delightful addition to your marketing.

Fun Topics to Consider:

  • A dog day at the office
  • Match the staff member with the baby photo
  • Birth announcements – tiny tee shirts with your brand logo on new babies
  • Take Your Child to Work Day
  • Holiday or seasonal themes
  • Office family picnic highlights
  • “Where’s Waldo” theme following staff members on vacation snapping a photo at a noteworthy spot with your company mascot

When does timing impact my writing?

You should be following deadlines and seasonal trends to develop an annual content calendar for your firm. Take note of holidays and changing seasons to inject timely, fun themes into your writing. Incorporate these strategies to keep your content marketing fresh and engaging.


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Triggering Real Estate Leads with Interactive Neighborhood Data

During an interview with ATTOM™ Data Solutions for their June edition of the Housing News Report, Barry Friedman, CEO at HomeActions, explained the different forms of lead-generating content in real estate marketing. Some content is created to provide information for the reader. While this type of content may not explicitly promote a brand, its intention is to stimulate interest in the brand’s products or services. There is also actionable content designed to trigger a response from a consumer, indicating a warm lead. Paired with an interactive neighborhood data feature called Neighborhood360, actionable, lead-generating content is designed to both help the consumer learn more about a desired area and produce a high-quality lead for a real estate professional.

Barry J. Friedman, CEO of HomeActions, LLC

Barry J. Friedman, CEO of HomeActions, LLC


1. What is your elevator pitch for HomeActions?

HomeActions is a cloud-based platform designed to help agents communicate more effectively with their sphere of influence: their clients, prospects and referral sources. We try to get agents connected to a potential customer as early into the buying cycle as possible, before the customer has decided to buy or sell. And we do that primarily through content marketing.

We provide the content in the newsletters, and we’ve developed unique systems to tell when a client or prospect has put their toe in the water, meaning they are ready for a real estate transaction.

We’ve found that content comes in different forms. There is just information, just designed to provide information, not to elicit a response. Then there is trigger content. We start all trigger articles out with “is this your situation?”. If this is not their situation, they are probably not going to read it. No matter what we say afterward, if someone clicks on that article in my mind it is a warm lead — someone you would want to go in your pipeline.

Another key type of content we use in our newsletters is an interactive article. There is special technology associated with it. What this is about is how do you build your pipeline so that eventually people come out of your pipeline and become clients?

I started a previous company called BizActions which was sold to Thomson Reuters in 2012. From 2012 I really got into HomeActions wanting to build it up. We think we are the largest in the real estate space delivering about 3.5 million newsletters every two weeks on behalf of our 5,000 Realtor clients. We help those clients put together their database. We learned you can’t have content marketing without a database. We de-dupe it and cleanse it to make sure the email addresses are as clean as possible.

2. How is HomeActions utilizing ATTOM Data Solutions?

Our interactive articles are what uses ATTOM data. It’s basically a know-yourneighborhood type of article. Or if you are looking for real estate, check out the neighborhood first. When they click that article, we provide some content about why this information is important. Then we ask for their name and phone number.

We ask “why are you interested in this content?”. You wouldn’t think people would answer that but they do. These are purpose questions, and there are six purpose questions. They check off the ones that apply. When they hit submit, we then go to ATTOM’s servers and grab that property and we deliver a URL to them that gives them all the property and neighborhood information.

We’ve kept certain things in and kept certain things out. We don’t include crime statistics. We used to include AVM (Automated Valuation Model) in there but we took that out and we made AVM a separate article. Some Realtors like the AVM component because if someone is looking for the value of a property that is a heck of lead.

We then deliver that neighborhood data to the client. And they are always happy about. They often check it for several properties. Then we send it over to the Realtor with the reason why they are looking for the information. Mr. Smith is looking to buy a house. That’s a heck of a warm lead.

3. How is the marketplace responding to HomeActions products/services?

Realtors are happy with having that type of local information. I would say that it has gone over well with the Realtors.

We kept on getting more and more interest in this information, and how we managed the information. We figured out a way to take your data and make it work in a lead generation environment.

We just came out with a new feature where you can add advertisements to your newsletter and there is a shared revenue component so you can share the revenue from that. We do all the work. We are sending out about 7 million newsletters every month. Let’s build the template of our newsletter in such a way where we can embed unobtrusive advertising, share the money with the Realtor, and that way we can make money off all these contacts. We already have 100-plus Realtors signed up.

4. Why did HomeActions decide to use ATTOM Data Solutions?

There were a few companies that had the data so it wasn’t like ATTOM was the only one. But I like the way they presented the data, and there was some flexibility so I could add some things and subtract some things. And the people were nice. I didn’t know if I could afford this. I didn’t know if people would like it or not. So we were able to start out with flexible pricing. That worked out really well for me because I could gauge whether my clients were interested or not, and we kept on getting more and more penetration. Then we decided to integrate into our overall product. And that’s when I went back to negotiate a fixed-price contract. And that is working out well.

5. What has been your experience with the data delivery?

We have had no problem. Maybe one little problem where the data was not updated promptly, but we got that fixed quickly.

6. What has been your experience with the data quality?

I’ve had no problem with data delivery or data quality with the exception that ATTOM hasn’t built an API that allows me to send information on Realtors so that when you present the neighborhood data you present it as branded with that Realtor. We haven’t been able to do that in an eloquent way.

7. What has been your experience with customer service?

Customer service has been fine. People have been very nice.


ATTOM Data Solutions is a leading provider of publicly recorded tax, deed, mortgage and foreclosure data along with proprietary neighborhood and parcel-level risk data for more than 155 million U.S. properties.

As published in the June 2018 issue of the Housing News Report Newsletter.

5 Power-packed Tips to Maximize Your Social Media Content in Minimum Time

You’re strapped for time, but you still have a social media presence to maintain. What is a savvy marketer to do? Here are five smart tips for getting the most bang out of the time and effort you invest in posting content to your social networks.

1. Repurpose Existing Content

Use content from your newsletter launches, blog posts, or other online resources to maximize its exposure and stretch your resources. Repurposing content is a logical way to make your social media marketing work smarter, not harder. Plus, when you drive social visitors back to your existing content, you’re creating more opportunities for prospects to find your company.

Beyond social media, there are a ton of ways you can maximize the life and exposure of your content. Consider a single 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.

2. 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 clients 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 man-power to post consistently and respond to activity on any network you choose.

3. Use a Social Media Management Tool

Social media managers, like Hootsuite, SocialOomph, TweetDeck, SocialPilot, and others, offer a simple way to post your 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. Plus, you’ll have the ability to schedule out future posts and monitor activity from one central hub.

4. Instill a Weekly Routine of Scheduling Posts for the Week Ahead

Block out roughly 30 to 45 minutes once per week as time devoted to setting up your social media posts for the week ahead. This simple, effective habit allows you to get ahead of the game so you;’re not worrying about updating your social networks on a daily basis.

5. Set Aside Specific Times Each Day for Quick Social Maintenance

You’ll want to respond to comments from followers and be aware of your social media interactions, but keep in mind that social media can be distracting. Instead of being bogged down in minute-to-minute monitoring, dedicate a specific time (or times) each day for monitoring and responding to social activity. Usually brief morning and lunch hour check-ins are sufficient. This process will help you minimize social interruptions and become more efficient with your social media time management.

Start with the five simple tips, then use your social metrics and reporting tools to gauge the impact of your efforts. You’ll find that following these simple tips helps you maximize your impact with more productive, efficient strategies.