Articles

Free Real Estate Marketing Strategies
Real estate marketing takes a lot of effort, time, energy and money. To make it a little bit easier for you, here you can find a couple of ways you can do it for free and still see great results. At the end of the day, real estate lead generation is mostly about human connection, which can be both easy and free if you do it the right way.
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A Guide: How to Become a Real Estate Agent
So, you've heard you can make a good living as a real estate agent, and you think you have a decent sense of the real estate agent job description. But how do you get in on the agent life? Taking clients around to find their dream house may be a highlight of the job, there's a lot more to the role! As an agent, you'll need to know how to review property values and sale prices. You'll need to make recommendations for listing prices and bids. You'll need to learn to estimate your own real estate salary according to expected commissions and plan your finances accordingly. You'll need to be ready to work through negotiations, which can get thorny and drawn out. You'll need to know neighborhoods and cities — not just the perks of living there, but also any laws and regulations related to residential real estate, too. No wonder the job requires a real estate license! There's a lot to learn, but the job is ultimately a rewarding one. Here are eight important steps for how to become a real estate agent:
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Why You Shouldn't Fear Calling Tech Support
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How the Right Real Estate CRM Will Save You Time
Real estate agents are busy, and efficiency is a huge priority. Not managing your time wisely can greatly reduce your productivity and ultimately harm your business. An investment in time management is an investment in productivity. One of the best tools to help you with this is a real estate CRM, known in full as customer relationship management software. We know that this software can help save us money by organizing our contacts and marketing efforts. But did you ever think about how it can save you time? In a busy industry, the right CRM functions more like a productivity tool. Here are five ways a great real estate CRM will save you time — just make sure you select the right one!
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Products

Showcase (SM) Listing Enhancements by realtor.com®
The complete marketing solution for listings, buyers, social and mobile. Expose Your Listings on THREE Dominant Sites Get exposure on the entire realtor.com® network that includes the award-winning realtor.com® mobile apps and top search sites MSN and AOL Real Estate.  Engage SERIOUS Buyers Serious buyers prefer realtor.com® over other national listing sites2, and Showcase(SM) Listing Enhancements help them find your listings first.  Connect with International Buyers and Investors Showcase(SM) Listing Enhancements powers up your listings on realtor.com® AND realtor.com® International, so you’ll be able to deliver your listings to more international buyers and investors.  Keep Sellers Informed Maintain a professional dialogue with your sellers with listing-specific insights and buyer engagement information via detailed client reporting.  Master Social media marketing User the Social Connections App for Facebook to generateconversations AND leads from the king of social media.  QR Code mobile marketing System Get a complete listing package that includes a property-specific mobile website, QR code, lead-gen and lead capture AND a set of property specific flyers and
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Lone Wolf Hosting
Have access to your back office from any office or place! Lone Wolf hosted servers ensure brokers and agents have access to their back office from anywhere, anytime. Hosting will provide your brokerage with:  Easy access to your brokerWOLF system with remote log-in Safe and reliable backup and storage of your data Eliminating the need to maintain costly hardware It is so simple, with Lone Wolf Hosting all you need is an internet
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Connection (SM) for Co-Brokerage
The smarter lead-gen solution that gives you buyer leads from local consumers. 42% of home buyers purchase a home the found online. The ConnectionSM for Co-Brokerage program lets you connect with these consumers, many times long before they’ve signed with another agent. Get Leads from SERIOUS Consumers Serious Consumers prefer to use realtor.com® over other national listing sites– and the ConnectionSM for Co-Brokerage program takes this deep engagement and turns it into local buyer leads delivered right to you. Get Buyers that are Specifically Looking at Active Homes for Sale Because realtor.com® focuses specifically on active homes for sale, the leads you get through the ConnectionSM for Co-Brokerage program are from people who are serious about looking at real homes for sale. Get a Head Start on Your First Conversation ConnectionSM for Co-Brokerage leads are delivered to you with loads of background information like the specifics of a home, so you’ll be armed with some consumer specific ammo before you follow-up. All the Inquiries are Yours, and Yours alone Every consumer inquiry you receive from the ConnectionSM for Co-Brokerage program is yours to keep. No other agent or company receives the same inquiry,
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SentriLock's BlueTooth® REALTOR® Lockbox
The SentriLock Bluetooth® REALTOR® lockbox helps make showing and selling properties safe and efficient. This video highlights system advantages and newest
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Industry News

Conversion Monster Wins futuRE Pitch Battle
SocialSurvey takes second and VlogEasy places third at real estate tech competition AUSTIN, TEXAS December 11 -- Keller Williams (KW), the world's largest real estate technology franchise by agent count and the U.S. leader in units and sales volume, announces Conversion Monster won the futuRE, an invitation-only real estate technology, pitch battle. Powered by Keller Williams, the futuRE pitch battle happened between 29 tech companies that competed for votes from agents to access their businesses operating within the Keller Williams ecosystem and the Keller Cloud, a proprietary, AI-fueled real estate cloud for Keller Williams agents. "We're excited to announce the top pitch battle and category winners will receive prioritized integration into the Keller Cloud, as a direct result of live agent votes this week," said Jeff Tamaru, head of corporate development, Keller Williams. "With futuRE, our aim was to empower our agents with best-in-class solutions to choose how they want to run their business within our platform." Announced also yesterday, SocialSurvey was the pitch battle second-place winner and VlogEasy won pitch battle third-place winner. The first-place winner received a $15,000 prize and second place received a $5,000 prize. Top pitch battle winners will be priority onboarded onto the Keller Cloud ahead of other category winners. The Top 10 futuRE Pitch Battle Category Winners include: Agent Operations – Follow Up Boss AI / Predictive Analytics / Automated Value – Likely Sellers Automation / Time Management – Conversion Monster Community / Sphere of Influence – Iovox Call Tracking Education / Learning – Keeper Tax – Tax Filing End-to-End Consumer Experience – MooveGuru Lead Generation – Taradel Property Marketing – APP (Automated Property Promotion) Search – SocialSurvey Social Media / Video – VlogEasy The futuRE event took place at the Aria hotel in Las Vegas on Dec. 9 and 10, 2019. More than 450 real estate leaders on-site voted together with agents in North America via livestream to select 10 finalists, one finalist per category, to prioritize and onboard into the Keller Cloud. The group of 29 tech companies was selected from an original list of more than 80 companies competing for access into the Keller Cloud during a weeklong voting process that happened in November 2019. KW collaborates with leading technology companies to enhance the operations of real estate businesses via the Keller Cloud. In 2019, KW released KW MarketPlace, an app store for KW agents to browse top software integrations made by non-KW developers, in beta. KW MarketPlace is currently available to agents through Command, KW's smart CRM-plus solution. Using a Keller Cloud application programming interface, or API, available for outside technology developers, Keller Williams enables the integration of additional top technology tools within an agent's Keller Cloud solutions. About Keller Williams Austin, Texas-based Keller Williams, the world's largest real estate technology franchise by agent count, has more than 1,040 offices and 185,000 associates. The franchise is also No. 1 in units and sales volume in the United States. In 2019, Fast Company named Keller Williams the No. 1 "Most Innovative Company" in real estate. In 2015, KW began its evolution into a technology company, now building the real estate platform that agents' buyers and sellers prefer. Since 1983, the company has cultivated an agent-centric, technology-driven and education-based culture that rewards agents as stakeholders. For more information, visit kw.com.
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Redfin Report: Bidding Wars Remain at 10-Year Low in November
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Curious Case: A U.S. Housing Market No One Saw Coming
November inventory drops 9.5 percent year-over-year; homes priced below $200,000 decreased by a substantial 16.5 percent SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 9, 2019 -- What a difference a year makes. In November 2018, higher mortgage rates and increasing inventory characterized the U.S. housing market. This November, the number of homes for sale fell nearly 10 percent year-over-year in a market where low interest rates are spurring increased demand, according to the November 2019 Housing Trends report released today by realtor.com®. "As millennials -- the largest cohort of buyers in U.S. history -- embrace homeownership and take advantage of this year's unexpectedly low mortgage rates, demand is outstripping supply, causing inventory to vanish," according to realtor.com senior economist, George Ratiu. "The housing shortage is felt acutely at the entry-level of the market, where most millennials are looking to break into the market for their first home." Ratiu added, "The issue is further compounded by the fact that sellers tend to be more reluctant to list during the colder time of year when the market typically makes a seasonal slowdown." Based on realtor.com's listing data, the shortage of available homes for sale is accelerating. Overall, inventory declined 9.5 percent in November, compared to October's drop of 6.9 percent. November's inventory declines amounted to a loss of 131,000 listings nationwide, compared to this time last year. In the nation's 50 largest metros, inventory declined by 8.8 percent year-over-year. Additionally, the volume of new listings hitting the market has decreased by 7.7 percent since last year, adding to the nation's inventory woes. Finding an affordable home still remains one of the largest obstacles to homebuyers, and is predicted to continue to be a problem for many buyers heading into 2020. The inventory of homes priced below $200,000 decreased by a substantial 16.5 percent year-over-year in November, up from the 15.2 percent decrease seen in October. Inventory decreases were the norm across all price points in November. Mid-tier inventory priced between $200,000 and $750,000 also decreased by 7.4 percent year-over-year compared to October's year-over-year drop of 4.3 percent, while high-end inventory priced above $1 million decreased by 1.7 percent year-over-year, compared to October's year-over-year increase of 1.3 percent. "The inventory decreases seen across all value ranges could in part be attributed to a spill-over effect, as the lack of inventory has pushed buyers up the price chain to stretch their budgets and search for homes above their initial price target," Ratiu noted. The metros with the sharpest drops in inventory were San Diego (-28.1 percent); Phoenix (-24.1 percent); and Rochester, N.Y. (-22.4 percent). Only four of the 50 largest metros saw inventory increase year-over-year. The largest inventory increases were in Las Vegas (+14.4 percent); Minneapolis (+11.5 percent); and San Antonio, Texas (+7.2 percent). Facing even fewer options than last year, eager buyers are acting quickly to close on the few homes that are currently available. During November, home sold in an average of 70 days nationally, two days more quickly than last year. Raleigh, N.C.; Hartford, Conn.; and Birmingham, Ala.; saw the largest declines in days on market with properties spending 10, 10, and 9, fewer days on the market than last year, respectively. Conversely, properties in some of metros found homes sitting on the market longer. Homes in Los Angeles; San Jose, Calif. and Las Vegas sold 20, 12, and 10 days more slowly than last year, respectively. Meanwhile, the national median home price has yet to adjust to the recent inventory declines after a multi-month run up in inventory earlier this year. The median U.S. listing price grew by only 3.6 percent year-over-year, to $309,000 in November, which is less than the 4.3 percent year-over-year increase seen last month. However, of the 50 largest U.S. metros, 43 saw year-over-year gains in median listing prices. Los Angeles (+16.6 percent); Rochester, N.Y. (+12.8 percent); and Birmingham, Ala. (+12.3 percent); saw the highest year-over-year median list price growth in November. Conversely, the steepest price declines were seen in Louisville, Ky. (-4.0 percent); Minneapolis (-2.0 percent); and Houston (-1.6 percent). Metros Seeing the Largest Declines in Inventory   About realtor.com® Realtor.com®, The Home of Home Search, offers the most MLS-listed for-sale listings among national real estate portals, and access to information, tools and professional expertise that help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. Through its Opcity platform, realtor.com® uses data science and machine learning to connect consumers with a real estate professional based on their specific buying and selling needs. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate 20 years ago, and today is a trusted resource for home buyers, sellers and dreamers by making all things home simple, efficient and enjoyable. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS®. For more information, visit realtor.com.
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Homesnap Introduces Integration with Facebook Marketplace
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Companies

Homes.com
Homes.com, a division of Dominion Enterprises, is a leading provider of real estate marketing and media services, including brand advertising, property listing exposure and syndication, search engine marketing and instant response lead generation. Over 12 million homebuyers visit Homes.com each month to search nearly 3 million properties for sale or rent, to locate real estate agents in their area and to find useful home buying tips. Homes.com provides premier advertising solutions for real estate professionals reaching active homebuyers. For more information, visit
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VirtualTourCafe
VirtualTourCafe embarked on a journey to completely redesign and redevelop the online software to meet the needs of today’s real estate industry as well as the new “Web 3.0” graphical and responsive designed websites. Eight thousand hours of developing later, VirtualTourCafe 3.0 was launched on June 1 st , 2016. The new and improved service offers many new features and benefits for the real estate agent, but more importantly positions VirtualTourCafe for the future! The VirtualTourCafe difference: An integrated easy-to-use modern solution for every real estate agent! Today we are still a small but growing company based in Pleasanton, CA with a small staff and lots of help from our friends, family and business partners. We work with independent contractors, photographers and virtual partners around the world. We are proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time with loyal customers who have been with us from the beginning! We have been able to maintain our values and moral compass pointed in the right direction, while always treating our customers, employees and associates as if they are family, and living life full of love and gratitude, one day at a
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realtor.com®
realtor.com®, where the world shops for real estate online, is operated by Move, Inc., (Nasdaq: MOVE) and is the official Web site of the National Association of REALTORS®., realtor.com® currently offers potential homebuyers access to nearly four million property listings, as well as the most brokers and agents. It also provides REALTORS® and the home sellers they represent with the Internet's largest real estate marketplace, where real estate consumers spend more time searching than any other comparable real estate site. Agents and companies have the power to customize realtor.com® resources to maximize their brand and
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RE Technology Inc.
Take a strategically targeted, vertical reach deep into the agent/broker audience across the country, with one campaign across the RETechnology.com MLS Platform! Nearly 75% of all REALTORS® now have access to RETechnology.com Position your company in front of thousands of agents and brokers on a daily basis. RETechnology.com is integrated inside the MLS systems across the country as an ongoing resource for technology news, articles, and product
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Webinars

WATCH: Do You Fear Anonymous Reviews? Take Back Control
The experience of buying or selling a home carries a lot of emotional weight for consumers. Sometimes these strong emotions come out in online reviews in both positive and negative ways. Whatever the tone or the of the reviews you receive, one thing is certain: online reviews of your service or going to happen whether you like it or not. So how can you stay in control of your online reputation? That's a discussion we had during a recent webinar with a panel of active Realtors and industry professionals. Watch the recorded webinar below to find out how you can take advantage of online reviews—and ensure that only real reviews from your real clients impact your professional reputation. Webinar Guests Ashley Young, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty Laurie Davis, Broker/Owner of BHGRE Lifestyle Property Partners, VP of Industry Relations at RateMyAgent Mark Armstrong, CEO and Co-founder of RateMyAgent Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, Co-founder and President, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Marilyn Wilson introduces the topic and panelists. 2:15 - Marilyn shares a WAV Group real estate consumer survey on the importance of online ratings. 4:42 - Mark Armstrong takes over and talks about how emotional buying/selling a home is for consumers. He shows us a negative agent review and the agent's response to it. 8:05 - Next, Mark displays a review from a consumer that "loves" their agent. 8:50 - Mark demonstrates how RateMyAgent takes your agent reviews and links it to the real estate transaction so that you can use those reviews as a marketing tool. 11:27 - Ideas on how you can leverage reviews reviews from your clients—on social media, in email marketing or in digital ads. 12:06 - What is RateMyAgent? 13:55 - First in a series of questions for panelists Ashley Young and Laurie Davis. Do you fear reviews? How has your opinion of reviews changed in the last three years? 22:40 - What are you doing with your reviews after you've collected them? 32:08 - What are the elements that make up a marketable or portable review? 41:25 - What results have you gotten from promoting verified reviews? 50:04 - How do you prepare clients for receiving a request for a review to get a better response rate? 54:00 - Question and answer segment. Next Steps Learn more about RateMyAgent on their website Register for our next webinar, Growing the real estate client relationship: Connecting opportunity, community and reality capture
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WATCH: Data Driven Tips to Generate, Convert and Close Your Leads
Pop quiz! A buyer is interested in a home. Who is going to convert them? Is it: The listing agent The website the consumer found the home on The first agent they hear from The data points to "C." According NAR research, 68% of buyers only interview one real estate agent. So what does that mean for you? "We know that speed is critical, but this data here shows that you need to be fast and you need to be first," said Joe Sesso, author of the books Secrets of Top Selling Agents and The Foreclosure Revolution, as well as a Realtor, real estate investor, national speaker and trainer. Joe was our guest during a recent webinar—a special "Secrets of Top Selling Agents" event for RE Technology readers. He not only shared techniques, tips, and tricks to beat your competition to the first contact, but he also outlined some of the new lead generation models—like iBuyers and referral networks—that are pushing their way onto the real estate scene. Webinar attendees got in-depth insight into three resources and strategies for leveling the playing field and generating your own leads. Want to get these insights for yourself? Watch the recorded webinar below! Webinar Guests Joe Sesso, Executive Director of Sales at Homes.com, Realtor, real estate author, speaker, trainer, and investor Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, Co-founder and President, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Marilyn Wilson introduces the topic and panelists. 1:25 - Joe Sesso talks about how "speed to lead" is critical to lead conversion. 3:25 - Joe offers an overview of the Referral Network lead gen model. 5:40 - Joe outlines the iBuyer lead gen model. 8:19 - Three ways to own your leads. 11:56 - Resource #1: Lead generation sources 22:38 - Resource #2: Lead conversion strategy 35:07 - Resource #3: Your website 53:35 - The keys to beating your competition every time. 54:15 - How to fill your pipeline with more leads from other peoples' listings. 55:50 - How to get a free SEO website audit from Homes.com. 56:35 - Question and answer segment. Next Steps Learn more about Homes.com Local Connect Claim your free website SEO audit by contacting [email protected] Register for our next webinar, Do you fear anonymous reviews? Take back control of your online profile today.
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WATCH: Growing Your Brand with a Real Estate CRM
There are a lot of misconceptions about what a brand is. For starters, it's not your logo or your website design. So what is a personal real estate brand and your can you build yours? That's what we explored in a webinar last week. A brand is, first and foremost, all about how you can serve your clients and sphere of influence. "The more you have a regular, consistent flow of communication, education, insight, counsel that you provide to your sphere, the better your own personal brand becomes," says webinar moderator Marilyn Wilson. "[Your] CRM can become a guide to helping your create your own brand." That's right—your CRM can be an important tool in building your visibility and influence with your sphere. In this webinar, Rich Gaasenbeek of IXACT Contact shows us how your CRM and marketing automation system can help you build your brand through regular, consistent communication across multiple marketing channels. Watch the recorded webinar below to find out more (and how to claim an exclusive FREE offer from IXACT Contact)!
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WATCH: Win Over Sellers and Close More Listings with This Tech Tool
From wowing sellers during listing presentations, to increasing sight-unseen offers, to increasing your speed to market, there's a marketing technology that can turbocharge essential aspects of your business. We're talking about 3D virtual tours--and during a recent webinar, we took an exhaustive look at all they have to offer. We were joined by representatives from Amy Kite Realty, who gave us first-hand insight into how their business is winning new clients and closing deals faster, thanks to Matterport. If you missed the webinar, no worries. We recorded it for you! Check out the video (and our notes) below:
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WATCH: Build the Business of Your Dreams with a Next-Gen CRM
What are your income goals for 2019? It's one thing to wish for more commissions in the year ahead, but it's an entirely different thing to have a course of action laid out for achieving those goals. In a recent webinar, we saw a live demo of a tool that can help. Real estate CRM IXACT Contact overhauled their interface this year, and one of the new features of the program is a goal setting module where agents can set their income goals, and the system will tell them exactly how many transactions they need to close every month, how many leads they need to win, how many past clients they should reach out to, and more. Of course, that's just a small part of how IXACT Contact can help you manage—and grow—your business. Want to see how else it can prepare you for a kick-ass year ahead? Check out the webinar recording below—and don't forget to scroll to the end of this article to find out how you can claim an extended free trial of IXACT Contact.
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