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How to Use Real Estate CRM to Maximize Your Outcome
When you first started selling real estate, it's likely you didn't have systems set up or defined processes in place. In fact, you were probably -- and maybe still are -- using a spreadsheet to keep all your contacts organized and their information documented. But as your business starts to grow, you'll need to grow out of your spreadsheets too. It's time for a customer relationship management system. A customer relationship management system (CRM) can help empower and organize your work while defining and streamlining your processes, giving you more time to dedicate to your business. You might have preconceived negative connotations with a real estate CRM, thinking they can be too time-consuming or that the Excel sheet process you have works just as well. But through this blog, you'll learn how and why areal estate CRM can actually improve your efficiency, enable you to land clients better and faster, and allow you to spend more time working on your business instead of in it.
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Tips to Reduce Your Chances of Getting Sued as an Agent
Lawsuits are a concern for many professionals, and real estate agents are no expectation. Lawsuits quickly become very costly, and even if you are found to have not committed any fault, they can still harm your business. So taking some tips to reduce your chances of getting sued as an agent could end up saving your reputation, as well as thousands of dollars.
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Spotlight On: Dotloop + BoomTown
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5 Steps to Build Out Your Real Estate Mobile and Text Message Marketing Strategy
Marketing is getting tougher and tougher--there's no doubting that. One strategy you can consider is SMS marketing, the process of sending short text messages to your ideal customers in an attempt to engage them with your campaign and get them to convert. Even though average open rates for SMS messages beat email by a whopping 28%, your real estate company sells homes for a large price—unlike small-ticket items that can be purchased on a lunch break. So, how can you make text message marketing your biggest driver of website traffic, leads and sales? Here are the five steps you'll need to build out your mobile real estate marketing strategy, as well as two brands who are already killing it with their text messages.
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Introduction to RPR Commercial
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Lead Generation 'Secret Sauce' - How to stand out from the crowd, build a successful pipeline, and drive conversions
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 11:00 AM PDT What's the "secret sauce" for successful lead generation? Tune into this 1 1/2-hr webinar with Elevate Lead Generation Specialist Stephanie Alfonso and VP of Marketing Bondilyn Jolly as they deep dive into strategies to stand out from the crowd, build (and nurture) a successful pipeline, and drive higher conversions. Bondilyn will share her marketing strategy for capturing and engaging 1,000s of leads a month, while Stephanie will share how Elevate's lead generation technology does 90% of the work for busy real estate professionals, along with a special lead generation offer to jumpstart your online lead generation. You won't want to miss this information-packed conversation! Limited Space. Register Today. Register now!
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How to Use Video to Increase Conversions: 4 Templates for Real Estate Agents
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Are Electronic Signatures Safe?
Yes, electronic signatures are safe, and in this post, we'll cover why an e-signature is more secure than a wet signature, how e-signatures work and the features that help keep them safe. Why an e-signature is more secure than a wet signature A common question people have is, "Can my digital signature be forged, misused or copied?" The reality is, wet signatures can easily be forged and tampered with, while electronic signatures have many layers of security and authentication built into them, along with court-admissible proof of transaction.
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Introducing Seller's Marketplace
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Social Media Marketing 101 Guide [FREE Download]
It's no secret: human beings crave connection and collaboration, and these "COVID times" are creating a distinct void when it comes to personal interaction and a sense of community. More than ever, people are turning to social media to help fill that void. Digital social interaction allows friends, family and business colleagues to stay entertained, connected and informed. Netflix is reporting record streams. Facebook is reporting record engagement times and logins, and more and more business is being won in the "virtual" world than the "real" one at this moment. As a real estate professional, it's critical for you to consistently interact with a large number of people, but if you are one of the many that struggles with how exactly to use social media for your business, you might be feeling more overwhelmed than ever before. No worries. No worries. We're here to help! The marketing professionals at Elevate have created an all-inclusive guide to all things "social media," including a four-month content marketing calendar to help you give your online marketing the kickstart it needs! Ever wonder what are the best days of the week and times of day to post on different social media channels? This guide tells you! Looking for ideas about the different types of content that your online audience wants to view? This guide tells you! Tips from pros in the industry? Yep. How many times a week you should post on a social channel? We cover that, too. And, at the end of your guide, you'll receive some special offers for additional marketing assistance, including a FREE review of your current social media with an Elevate Success Coach, where to register to receive FREE daily marketing tips direct to your inbox, and how brokers can request a FREE gap analysis to look at what's missing in their marketing and technology offering. ------------------------------------------- CLICK HERE to download your FREE Social Media Marketing 101 Guide. ------------------------------------------- Why is social media so important for your real estate business? Four out of 5 U.S. homebuyers use an online resource at some point in their search. (Zillow) 90% of Millennials, 78% of Gen-X, and 48% of Baby Boomers are active on social media (NAR) 65% of homebuyers say they are influenced by friends' home buying posts on Facebook or Instagram (Inman) 73% of homebuyers say they're more likely to list with an agent offering to do listing videos (NAR) Facebook. The cure for the COVID blues? Over 70% of Facebook users login a minimum of six to ten times per day, and those numbers have only climbed during the past several months. Don't think of Facebook as something that's only designed for arguing politics, looking at cute sloth videos, and connecting with old friends from high school. Business professionals are networking, sharing and collaborating more than ever before using a channel that already draws such a large audience every day. So how often should YOU be posting on Facebook alone? Our guide recommends a minimum of two to three posts per week, and provides ideas for the types of content you should be sharing. YouTube. A billion users and counting! It's time to stop being intimidated by creating video! Online audiences are more likely to engage with a video than most any other form of content, and YouTube is the "King Daddy" of them all. YouTube offers you the opportunity to present virtual listing tours, showcase client testimonials, demonstrate your expertise with educational Vlogs (video blogs), and more. Looking for ideas on the types of content you can create for YouTube? Download our guide! Instagram. Perfect for real estate. Instagram is all about keeping it short, sweet and very visual. On this platform, photos and videos rule—with text taking a backseat. Great content ideas for real estate are showcasing your day-to-day activities around communities you represent, virtual house tours, happy clients, and featuring local businesses, people and feel-good stories. Want more great social media tips, tricks and strategies? Of course you do! That's why you should download your FREE Social Media Marketing 101 Guide. You'll receive 17 pages of awesome content to help you and your real estate business. All you need to do is stop binging on Netflix long enough to read it!
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Free Time? Grow Your Real Estate Business with These Best Practices
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8 Winning Features of a Great Agent Website
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 11:00 AM PDT So, your website is up. It has all the basic elements: home search, about you page, contact information, etc. Now you sit back and wait for the leads to come in. Except they don't. What's going on? Your website's success is a combination of many factors, some of which you may be "on-the-money" with already but others you may be falling short on. In this webinar we discuss 8 features of a winning agent website and more! *Be sure to grab your seat quickly for this popular webinar topic. Attend live to get access to a free download and a promo code for new IDX subscribers. Register now!
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Want More Listings? Call Your Database and Ask These 4 Questions
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75% of Real Estate Agents Optimistic About the Market Despite Pandemic
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, 75% of real estate agents feel confident about the future of the market, according to a Homes.com survey of nearly 700 agents and brokers. The survey highlights the ongoing strength of the real estate sector, even as other industries continue to suffer losses from coronavirus-related shutdowns. Though real estate professionals were initially uncertain of how the market would respond to pandemic restrictions, the survey found that over 41% of agents have since experienced the same or greater listing activity compared to a typical year. In fact, 66% said they had no listing cancellations since the outbreak began, and of those who have, 88% have had less than five. The 2020 real estate market has been a strong seller's market for most locales, but the Homes.com study still found signs of seller apprehension; 81% of agents indicated they have gained less than five new listings since the pandemic began. "This survey shows how well agents and brokers were able to pivot during the pandemic," said Homes.com president, David Mele. "Their expertise in the real estate process is invaluable which makes them indispensable to buyers and sellers now more than ever." Among the additional findings: 59% of agents have utilized at least one method of online home viewing when working with clients. With 44% of the votes, video tours have been the most popular method, followed closely by virtual tours at 43% and virtual open houses at 19%. 31% of agents indicated that virtual home viewings helped to close a sale, while 23% said that they were able to close on a home sale without a traditional, in-person viewing. The confluence of a pandemic and strong seller's market seems to have, at least for the time being, tampered consumers' needs for in-person viewings and highlighted the growing importance of virtual content for buyers. 77% of agents indicated positive news regarding their clients' homebuying budgets, with 63% saying budgets remained the same and 14% saying their clients' budgets actually increased. Twenty-three percent said budgets have decreased. In line with buyer budgets, 59% of agents said that low mortgage rates have helped them gain business. "Overall, 60% of agents said that, despite the pandemic, business is the same or stronger than before its onset," Mele said. "While the remainder of this year remains uncertain, these findings show how adaptable the industry is, and that agents will do whatever it takes to help consumers in their buying and selling endeavors."
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How to Master Local SEO for Real Estate Success
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Why Real Estate Agent Websites Need a Privacy Policy
If you work in real estate, you have probably experienced the satisfaction of helping clients navigate the various challenges of finding a new home or putting one up for sale. To be successful, it is critical to not only build relationships of trust and understanding with clients, but also assure your clients that you have the expertise to fulfill their needs. It is likely the case that you did not expect privacy compliance to be a major concern for your business. Nevertheless, this is a reality for not just those working in the real estate industry, but for businesses of all kinds.
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5 Ways to Lose a Lead Real Quick
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Think Inside the Box: Visualizing Inside a Home with Floorplanner
The world is always trying to get everyone to think outside the box. Yes, getting the wheels spinning with new advancements in real estate technology makes interacting with consumers faster and easier. There are accurate ways to provide square footage calculations, offer detailed room dimensions, and create 3D videos and floor plans. Working with sellers and buyers has never been more cyber friendly. But real estate marketing is more than signing listings and for sale signs, it's about creating connections. Using virtual staging turns the seller's house into the buyer's home. Give your buyer a way to imagine their new home as more than just a shelter from the storm. The year is 2020 and it's time you started focusing your sights inside the box. A House Is Just a House Every house is like an intricate box carefully constructed from a floor plan. The structure is built on a foundation framed to reflect accurate square footage calculations with varying room dimensions. But how and when does that house become a 'Home'? As a Realtor, you must help the consumer feel emotionally attached to every room so they can visualize what life would be like in the house. Buyers' interest in virtual tours has increased by 50% in recent weeks. Bring the buyer's imagination to life by implementing a fun way of integrating a detailed iGUIDE floor plan with the ability to add furniture, lighting, and finishings by using Floorplanner. The house becomes a 'Home' when the consumer can picture living there with their family and visualize their personal belongings, knowing everything fits perfectly even before the moving day. A Chair Is Just a Chair Help with your real estate marketing plan by introducing a cost effective way to virtually stage a home for your seller. The user-friendly Floorplanner application impresses your seller and helps to prequalify buyers. Sure, the seller has some great furnishings but their favourite easy chair may not be exactly what an interested buyer has in mind for décor. A listing can be presented using virtual staging techniques that allow the buyer to place optional images of chattels similar to the ones they currently own. Replace the seller's comfy chair with a chaise lounge or sofa to see how the buyer's personal choices work with the layout and the actual room dimensions. Allowing them to visualize their coveted pieces in each room creates emotional connections with the home. The picture they create is worth more than a thousand words and a half dozen visits. Time After Time So why would your seller want you to use Floorplanner to help showcase their property? Time. Once the real estate photographer has completed shooting the 360° tours and 3D videos, you want prospective buyers to spend as much time interacting with a home as possible. Allow the buyer to take advantage of visualizing the property the way they want to see it. By using the virtual options to recreate each room setting, the buyer connects by seeing the space as their own. Full floor plans with virtual setups can be shared with friends and family. Save time for your seller by limiting multiple visits from a buyer considering some renovations. Answer questions like, "What is the square footage calculation of the living room?" or "What are the room dimensions of the kitchen?" simply by having a floor plan and 3D tour. Ideas can be shared with their contractor or interior designer to find the perfect fit. Time saved by the seller is time well spent by the buyer interacting with the property. Plan A or Plan B Use the accurate square footage calculations to showcase the multiple possibilities of a property. Sometimes best-laid plans can go to waste, but not with Floorplanner. If the child's bedroom in plan A does not appear suitable for the work from home office, try virtually rearranging the furniture to make the room ideal for morning Zoom meetings. Integrated features can show how natural lighting affects each room depending on the time of day. Help the buyer visualize what their life would look like by providing real estate technology tools at the tip of their finger or a click of a mouse. Plan B never looked so good. Adults Playing (with Their) House Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." With extrapolated measurements from iGUIDE floor plans integrated with Floorplanner, your buyer gets both. Knowledge in the form of accurate square footage and individual room dimensions along with the freedom to use their imagination to play with their new house. With the right amount of chemistry and a little help from some great real estate technology, you can present the dream. Showcase your listings from a unique perspective that allows the buyer to play before they pay. Your real estate marketing plan is an ever-evolving way to connect with consumers. By simulating real-life settings, you offer both sellers and buyers the opportunity to visualize the future. Truly what matters most is on the inside when it comes to making a connection. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Foreign Real Estate Investing: How Much Do You Know?
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The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Lead Ads for Realtors
Ever wonder how your colleagues and competitors are scooping up warm leads in the digital world? One answer is Facebook lead ads. This article will break down the ad type, with step by step instructions.
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What I Wish I Knew Then: Top Agents Share Their Advice on Making It in Real Estate
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How to Draw a Floor Plan without a Laser Measure
Did you know that one in five buyers would ignore a property listing completely if it didn't include a floor plan? That means you could be missing out on 20% of your inquiries with potential buyers scrolling right past your listing. But don't panic! We're going to show you the easiest and fastest way to create a floor plan without using a measuring tape or laser measure.
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6 Real Estate Video Production Resources for Agents
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5 Shocking Yet True Real Estate Statistics
An article published by The Close highlights 57 real estate statistics that help real estate agents and those in the industry understand their market better. Understanding and leveraging these statistics to your benefit is the goal of this blog post. We have highlighted five of the statistics in the article that we feel is the most crucial to your real estate career. To learn more, please continue reading:
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Social Media Ideas Certain to Bring Love to Your Website
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The Importance of Down Payment Assistance Programs in a Pandemic
Economists agree that the real estate business has recovered faster than expected during the pandemic. A continued lack of inventory, low mortgage rates, and pent-up demand are all contributing factors to a robust market. The good news for homebuyers is that down payment assistance is still available, with many program providers offering online and virtual support/education. With an average benefit of $13,000, these programs can help make the difference in achieving homeownership when competition is fierce.
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Are Your Listing Photos Costing You Leads?
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Get Your Calendar Under Control: Time Management Strategies to Reclaim Your Day
If you feel like you're constantly running but never getting anything done, you may have a problem with time management. Take some time now to figure out where your time is being wasted and where it's being well-spent. If you find a lot of time being ill-spent, try out some of the time management strategies outlined below.
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How to Choose the Best CRM for Your Real Estate Business
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Why the Census Counts: RPR and REALTORS Rely on Accurate Data
With everything going on in our country right now, it's easy to understand why filling out the Census form may slip your mind. However, it's a crucial process that can potentially affect everyone in the U.S. RPR uses Census data every day, and every REALTOR does, too. Access to accurate, up-to-date data about population and geographies is key to the real estate industry and real estate professionals.
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Friday Freebie: Voicemail Scripts that Convert
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NAR 2020 Member Profile: Realtors Used More Technology, Cited Inventory Constraints
Even before the real estate industry was confronted with the coronavirus pandemic, Realtors had already begun to make sizable increases in their use of technology and online tools in an effort to accommodate clients and advance their businesses. That is according to the National Association of Realtors' 2020 Member Profile, an annual report that outlines members' behaviors and characteristics over the preceding year. Research gathered for this particular report was obtained prior to the coronavirus outbreak and before subsequent nationwide stay-at-home orders were instituted. NAR's report revealed that more than nine in 10 members use a smartphone and a computer on a daily basis, while just about all members regularly email clients and the majority of members use social media apps to communicate with clients. Text messaging is the preferred means of communication for Realtors (94%), closely followed by email (91%) and telephone calls (89%). "As members have become more reliant on their smartphones and the internet to stay in touch with their clients, they've also found that some of these social media sites are another avenue to reach potential homebuyers and sellers," said Jessica Lautz, NAR's vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. Seventy percent of members said they have a website for business use, reporting they have typically had their site for five years. Agents were typically the most active on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Income of Realtors In 2019, 37% of Realtors were paid under a fixed commission split. Median gross income for Realtors was $49,700 in 2019, up from $41,800 in 2018. Income was generally proportionate with experience, as members who had worked 16 years or more in the industry earned a median gross income of $86,500 – up from $71,000 in 2018. The NAR report found that the total median business expenses for Realtors was $6,290 in 2019, up from $4,600 in 2018. Business Characteristics of Realtors The overwhelming majority of members are sales agents, who for the most part specialize in residential brokerage. On average, members have nine years of experience in the real estate industry. Seventeen percent of Realtors have less than one year of experience, continuing a downward trend (22% in 2018) and suggesting members are remaining with real estate as a career choice for a longer duration. The number of members with more than 25 years of experience was 17%, up marginally from 15% the previous year. Broker-owners, managers and appraisers had the most experience, while sales agents were generally the newest to the industry with a median of six years of experience. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed stated they have sales agent licenses, down from 68% in 2019. Twenty-two percent hold broker licenses, and 15% have their broker associate license. Seventy-three percent of members indicated they specialize in residential brokerage. Brokers generally work in business specialties including commercial brokerage and property management. Broker associates tend to primarily specialize in residential brokerage, while sales agents are more likely than other licensees to specialize in relocation. Eighty percent said they were certain they will remain active in the industry for two more years, consistent with responses from previous years. Business Activity of Realtors Insufficient inventory has hindered the real estate market in recent years, leading residential specialists to reference "difficulty in finding the right property" as the top reason why potential clients may not complete a given transaction. Still, the typical member recorded a higher sales volume in 2019, with a median of one additional transaction than in 2018. "Low inventory continues to be a problem," said Lautz. "Pre-pandemic, housing supply was the number one hurdle holding back potential buyers, but we continue to be faced with a great deal of pent-up demand but not enough homes." For the seventh consecutive year, difficulty finding the right home exceeded housing affordability as the greatest factor limiting potential clients from buying. Housing affordability continues to be the second-most important factor limiting potential clients. The typical member generated 15% of their business from past clients and customers, a marginal increase from 13% the previous year. More experienced members noted a greater share of repeat business from clients – a median of 39% for those with 16 years or more experience, compared to no repeat business activity for those with two years of experience or less. In general, Realtors earned 20% of their business from referrals, an increase from 17% last year. Referrals were the most common among agents with more experience – a median of 29% for those with 16 years or more experience, compared to no referrals for those with two years of experience or less. Office and Firm Affiliation of Realtors Realtors' office and firm affiliations changed little from the previous year. Fifty-two percent of members indicated they are affiliated with an independent company, while 87% said they are independent contractors at their respective firms. Forty-two percent of members worked at a one-office firm and 24% worked at a firm with two to four offices. The typical agent had been with their current firm for four years. Mergers and consolidations affected about one in 10 Realtors in 2019. Most members reported that they were independent contractors, with firm-provided benefits proving uncommon. Of agents receiving benefits from their firm, errors and omissions (liability insurance) was most commonly cited. Demographic Characteristics of Realtors The typical profile of a Realtor has not changed since NAR's last market survey, as members continue to come from a wide variety of demographic groups and career backgrounds. In most cases, Realtors previously held a career in management, business or finance (17%) or were employed in the sales or retail sector (17%). Members often are made up of the various age, ethnic, language, education and income characteristics that define their local communities. "Realtors are one of the most diverse collection of professionals in any industry in this country, and this survey shows that real estate continues to be a field that is welcoming of Americans from all backgrounds," said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, Calif. "While the industry and our members were hit tremendously hard by the coronavirus outbreak, hardworking Realtors are leading America's economic recovery as our nation slowly reopens and works to adjust to this new normal." The typical Realtor was a 55-year-old, White woman who attended college and was a homeowner. Sixty-four percent of all Realtors were women, a decline from 67% in 2018. Only 5% of members said real estate was their first career. Seventy-three percent said that real estate was their only occupation. Realtors' marital status was largely unchanged from the previous year, as 69% were married, while 16% were divorced and 10% were single or never married. The average member household had two adults and no children. Eighty percent of Realtors were White. Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 10%, followed by Blacks making up 6% and Asian/Pacific Islanders accounting for 5%. Among those who had two years of experience or less in real estate, 33% were minorities. Eighty-two percent of members said they were fluent only in English. This share has remained largely flat since 2003 when the question was introduced. Agents under 50 years old were most likely to be fluent in another language. Spanish was the most common second language for members. Among all Realtors, 13% said they were born outside of the United States. Survey Methodology In March 2020, NAR emailed a 93-question survey to a random sample of 169,038 Realtors. Using this method, a total of 12,464 responses were received. The survey had an adjusted response rate of 7.4%. The confidence interval at a 95% level of confidence is +/- 0.87% based on a population of 1.4 million members. Information about compensation, earnings, sales volume and number of transactions is characteristic of calendar year 2019, while all other data are representative of member characteristics in early 2020.
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How Is Your Business Doing During COVID-19? Share Your Thoughts to Win $100
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What Is Reputation Management and Why Does It Matter?
Your reputation is one of your most valuable assets as a real estate professional. Every satisfied client presents an opportunity to advertise yourself to potential future clients. Still, even the most satisfied clients may need a little nudge to offer a testimonial or online review. Once a client shares their feedback, it's up to you to make sure that new prospects can easily find that information. That's why sales associates and real estate firms need to take an active role in reputation management, both in acquiring feedback and sharing it for the world to see.
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5 Things Every Real Estate Website Should Have
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Real Estate Technology to the Rescue: iGUIDE Virtual Showing is a Free Tool to Assist with Physical Distancing
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, real estate has been considered essential in most areas. This has meant that real estate agents have had to adapt some of their regular practices to accommodate social distancing and less in-person contact. Technology has been a life-saver during these past few months where we have been encouraged to #stayhome – from work, from school and away from family and friends. Social media platform use has skyrocketed, video chatting software platforms have seen exponential growth, we are consuming more media and, at the very least, we are using text messaging and video chatting to keep in touch personally and professionally. On June 17, Planitar, maker of the iGUIDE, announced the release of a free feature called iGUIDE Virtual Showing to help those buying and selling homes stay safe in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is releasing a key partnership with floorplanner later next week, and virtual staging abilities were announced earlier this spring.   The company's iGUIDE technology already creates 3D tours of homes that buyers can tour virtually, without the risk of spreading germs. This new feature allows agents to guide homebuyers through the tour together as if they were conducting an in-person tour. This screen-sharing technology showcases the virtual tour smoothly, so there's no interruptions or confusion over which feature participants are discussing. Homebuyers will no longer have to choose between having the expert guidance of their agent and following safety protocols. Michael Vervena, VP of Sales and Marketing at iGUIDE, says this technology will help homebuyers move confidently in the homebuying process, and will also benefit real estate agents. "For a Realtor, showing a property means communicating the best and most relevant information about that property to prospective buyers or to other agents. iGUIDE Virtual Showing empowers Realtors to do that online. It connects people with the information they are looking for while maintaining the role and value of the Realtor to give guidance and advice," he said. Real estate agents can host the tour and invite their clients through text, email, or social media. In Ontario, iGUIDE can be imported directly into BrokerBay's online bookings through the MLS with participating brokerages. They can then guide the tour and talk to their client through a compatible voice client such as Zoom, Facebook, GoToMeeting or Google Meet. While the technology has obvious application during a pandemic, it has other uses as well. Home buyers have modified their wishlist for their next property purchase. With this guided virtual tour, those who can't easily visit the homes they intend to purchase in person can experience the home as if they are in it with their real estate agent before they make their final decision—COVID or no COVID. Provinces and states across North America are slowly re-opening (or closing again), so the only thing that is clear is that the future is uncertain. Regardless of what continues to unfold in the coming months, real estate has changed. Virtual showings are here to stay, along with many other key technologies that have helped us get through recent challenging circumstances and will help us get through whatever lies ahead. For more information, please visit goiguide.com/virtual-showing. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Zoom for Real Estate: 4 Hacks You Need to Know
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Close More Deals with These Email Marketing Tips
If you're completely new to email marketing, you will probably want to start by sending a monthly email newsletter to your contact list. It's a great way to build your brand, engage with your contacts and establish credibility. Once you have that up and running, the next email marketing strategy to consider is called "drip email." A drip email campaign is a series of marketing emails triggered automatically to leads and clients.
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Use Public Records to Find Commercial Prospects
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Busy Season Is Busier Than Ever
In May, we reported that consumer home-buying actions--which we defined as properties viewed, shared, and favorited--were on the rise, indicating that buyers were reentering the market following a COVID-19-induced lull in real estate activity in the early spring. What we didn't know at the time, though, is whether the data pointed to a delayed busy season—in which home-buying actions would be more spread out, extending into the latter half of the (usually slower) fall—or a condensed one, where a greater number of actions would take place during the typical summer busy period. Well, now, it seems we have our answer.
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Your Guide to Hosting Virtual Open Houses
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How to Electronically Sign a Word Document
Your or your clients can add an electronic signature to a contract or offer letter from a Word document in less than five minutes. It's easy to create an electronic signature on a Microsoft Word document without ever leaving the application. Electronic signatures create a binding and enforceable legal contract that is widely accepted throughout the industrialized world, and more secure than traditional paper-based signatures because they're less susceptible to forgery. Read on to discover how to do an electronic signature in Word in just a few steps with this easy guide.
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How to Make a Flyer in Google Slides
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Your Real Estate Blog: How to Turn It into a Lead Magnet
No matter where you live in the United States, most people will find your real estate business online. One of the best ways to take control of your real estate brand is by blogging. A blog is a gold standard for generating traffic, leads, and building relationships. Blogging keeps you top-of-mind with your readers while it positions you as an expert through helpful, informative content. Also, when you blog regularly, you benefit from an SEO standpoint. Google favors websites with relevant, unique, and engaging content.
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How to Run Instagram Ads for Your Real Estate Business
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The Power of a High Functioning Website
This is a digital age, where the minute a prospective buyer learns of your name, they rush to Google to plug your name in--and what comes up will ultimately determine their next steps. Eighty-four percent of homebuyers use the internet as part of their home search, and you only get one chance at a digital first impression. So if your website is representing you around the clock, are you making it count? Here are essential items to consider for an agent website that converts on its clicks.
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5 Fun and Easy Video Content Ideas to Try Today
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Do You Know How to Communicate with Gen Y?
My last article, "Are You Ready to Deal with Gen Y First-time Home Buyers?" discussed that many of our first-time homebuyers are 26 to 40 year olds and some are making unbelievable tech salaries. The possible problem for many real estate veterans is that the average age of a REALTOR, according to the National Association of REALTORS, is 53 years old. To communicate better with this demographic, let's look at where Gen Ys (also known as Millennials) hang out online. If you watch the news today, you often hear "the poll of polls" where they gather polling from many different sources, maybe even weight them based on how they were conducted, and then give you an average number. When it comes to social media and age groups, it's like that. Everybody might have an interest in promoting a platform over another, so I have what I call an "average of averages" for social media use. One thing I found is that Gen Ys are much more visual than other generations, and if you want to reach them through social media, you need the platforms they prefer. While on the subject of Gen Ys being visual, think about your current marketing and branding. Paragraphs of bio might bore them, while a YouTube bio might interest them. Flat pictures of a home would bore them and a virtual tour could interest them. My "average of averages" for Gen Ys shows how much this generation is visual. Just look at the platforms they use: YouTube: 90% Facebook: 61% Instagram: 57% SnapChat: 55% LinkedIn: 40% Pinterest: 32% Twitter: 28% The numbers listed above not only tell you how many users in Gen Y are using these platforms, but where are they spending their time. (Guess somebody smarter than me would need to come up with a mathematical equation to figure out your return on investment for using different platforms.) I found this information also interesting—for this list I had to do some converting of visits and time spent to come up with some sort of numbers to share with you. Disclaimer: I can't really state these numbers as facts, only my opinion. Here is an average of time spent on the following social media platforms each day for Gen Ys: Instagram: 53 minutes per day SnapChat: 50 minutes per day Facebook: 43 minutes per day YouTube: 40 minutes per day Pinterest: 14 minutes per day Twitter: 1 minute per day LinkedIn: 1 minute per day In reading all the different studies and reports, a couple things stood out. In every generation, the use of Facebook was declining—some say only about 60% of Gen Ys are now on Facebook, compared to Gen X with 79%. The other common point made by many is how many people are quitting permanently or taking a break from social media. Gen Ys are quitting Facebook or taking a break in large numbers. Not just Gen Ys, but all groups are starting to think about how much time they spend on social media. The four driving factors for slowing down or leaving social media is wasting time, the amount of negativity, privacy concerns and commercialization of the platforms. To wrap this article up, we are looking at reaching Gen Y, who are largely first-time homebuyers. Start by being active on the social media platforms where they spend time. Think visual platforms like Instagram, YouTube and SnapChat, use eye catching photos and art, cut back on the words and leave negativity and ugly stuff off of your social media platforms! Do all of this and you might get a text or a call with, "Hey dude, we want to see a house over on Elm Street." Good luck! Dick Betts is a REALTOR® in The Villages, Fla. for Touchstone Real Estate in Mount Dora. He's also a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com
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Real Estate App Makes Open House Profitable
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As Listings Increase, So Too Has Agent Confidence
According to the latest Homesnap Confidence Index Report, agent confidence in their local real estate market has reached its highest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Homesnap surveyed approximately 40,000 agents on whether they were more optimistic, less optimistic or had no change in feeling about the health of their market in May compared to April. The results, broken down by region, are as follows:
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Warm Up Cold Real Estate Leads with SMS Texting
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Relocate and Reinvent Your Business in Five Steps
If you're looking to reinvent the business of your dreams, take what you already know and expand it into a new market. This was the important message delivered by Shannon Williams King in the recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, "Reinventing Your Business from Scratch." Known as the "Real Estate Road Warrior," King has relocated six times as a result of her husband's military career. At each new location, King revamped and reinvented her business to cater to a new market. Based in Kailua, Hawai'i, King is celebrating 20 years working in real estate and has helped more than 1,000 families in multiple states with their real estate needs. In 2005, she was recognized in REALTOR® Magazine's "30 Under 30" and released a book in 2010 titled Real Estate Road Warrior: 101 Technology Tools for Business on the Go.
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Is TikTok a Good Social Media Platform for Realtors?
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The Importance of Google Reviews and Ratings and How to Get Them
Real estate agents appreciate word-of-mouth advertising as much as anyone. Most agents have at one time received a call from someone who heard about them through a friend. So real estate agents have seen firsthand the power of the positive word-of-mouth to produce leads. On the web, that word-of-mouth advertising is often in the form of online reviews and ratings. And, just like literal word-of-mouth, those online reviews and ratings can happen without your knowledge or input. They can also be a major generator of new business.
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Waze Is the Hottest Trend in Real Estate Marketing. Here's Why
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Are You Ready to Deal with Gen Y First-time Home Buyers?
I was recently involved in a real estate class and I noticed the ages of the attendees, from 18 years old to 70 years old, and thought about how the different generations communicate and absorb information. For a refresher, here is a quick breakdown of the generations: Baby Boomers: 56-76 years old Gen X: 41-55 years old Gen Y (Millennial): 26-40 years old Gen Z: 5-25 years old Today, I want to focus on Gen Y, the generation also known as Millennials, that are 26 to 40 years old.
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Home Buyers: What do they want? What do they really, really want
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How to Use RPR and Canva to Make Shareable Market Charts for Social Media
There's much more to RPR than working with buyers, nailing listing presentations, and creating an investment analysis. In fact, REALTORS who want to up their game when it comes to social media marketing can quickly adapt RPR data and charts into a campaign that will draw attention from your network. There's a lot of eyeballs in social media, and it's easier than ever to grab them! It all starts with using RPR to share market trends about your marketplace on Facebook or Instagram. Here, we offer a few examples showing how RPR reports can be leveraged to create a social media campaign that will attract prospects. Below are examples of using RPR reports and Canva to create attention-getting, data-packed graphic posts. At the end of this article, you'll know how to do this yourself!
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Tech Challenge: Try Tech Helpline just once in the next 30 days
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Converting FSBOs to Clients: 4 Tips
Homeowners who attempt to sell their homes on their own (FSBOs) may seem like lost causes. They often have many objections to listing with an agent, with the forerunner being the cost of commission is too high. Truthfully though, they are an underestimated potential client base, and converting FSBOs to clients could just push you over your sales goals this year. It is difficult to build a relationship with someone who wants nothing to do with your services, but that needs to be your focus. FSBOs will not be easy to recruit, so building a meaningful, trusting relationship with them over time is your best bet to successfully convert them to a client. Follow the tips below in order to learn how to foster these necessary relationships, and eventually make them profitable.
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3 Tips to Show Your Clients Gratitude During this Time
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Let Listing Pictures and Video Do the Talking on Instagram
Are you searching for a new and exciting way to connect with potential buyers in your market? Instagram is a perfect resource for real estate agents and brokerages. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Instagram is a treasure chest. Imagine showing your target market every delightful property in your portfolio without seeming intrusive or overly "sales-y." Sharing great listing images on Instagram isn't difficult. In fact, developing this type of content and seamlessly integrating it into your current marketing strategy is easier than you'd believe.
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It's Not About Luck: 6 Ways to Maximize Leads and Entice Buyers
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COVID-19 Listing Cancellations: Don't Panic, Just Do This
Barbara Betts sold real estate through the great recession, but this is truly an unprecedented time. We have to remember that everything was different in 2008; housing led that recession – it was on very unstable ground. Homeowners were being irresponsible; we were overbuilding. Therefore the 2008 recession was a housing recession. We already had a housing shortage going into 2020, and we will have another little shortage through this, but Betts is confident that in Q3 things will start to look up again. In the meantime, during this uncertainty, agents may be asking themselves, "How am I going to get through this? Am I ever going to sell real estate again?" The answer to that is Yes, you will! If you are in real estate, you have to be active; now is not the time to give up. You control your attitude and your activities.
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Top Real Estate Website Issues and How to Fix Them
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Worth the Upgrade: How to go fully digital with the Ultimate Edition of Form Simplicity
When the vast majority of agents in America found themselves working exclusively from home, a new reality took hold. The more you could do digitally, the more likely you would remain successful throughout our health crisis. Agents and brokers who had been using a transaction management solution like Form Simplicity have stayed on top. They've been able to keep their business going by managing their transactions digitally, from listing to closing. As real estate begins its rebound, agents and brokers are looking for ways to work better remotely. For top producing brokers and agents, that means a robust, digital transaction management program. It also means using it every day. The Form Simplicity solution A transaction management program needs to be the cornerstone of going digital. But you also need to make sure you exploit all the benefits that it can provide you and your clients remotely. Form Simplicity, a leading digital transaction management solution owned and operated by Florida Realtors, is used nationwide by associations, MLSs, and brokerages. Beyond the ability to help you fully manage transactions remotely, Form Simplicity is the only leading transaction management solution created for real estate pros by real estate pros. Knowing what you need to improve your workflow and offer more remote services to your clients is what Form Simplicity does best. Every version of Form Simplicity – Starter, Professional, and Ultimate – provides these core features to help every agent work better – and faster – remotely: Everything is in the cloud and mobile-friendly: You can create, edit and store transactions online, on any device, and access anytime. Auto-populate feature – enter once: You no longer have to input the same information repeatedly on multiple forms. Get rid of clutter: Stop searching through stacks of paper files. You can find every transaction form instantly. Ditch your calculator: Eliminate math mistakes, as these smart forms do the calculations for you. Reduce your risk: All forms are always up to date, approved by the association, and are technically accurate. You won't make the mistake of using the wrong form. Do everything on your mobile phone: The newest update allows you to create and edit transactions on your smartphone or tablet, giving you total control from anywhere you are. Unmatched training and tech support: You get free and unlimited access to live and on-demand webinars along with an online library of how-to videos that walk you step-by-step through the most common tasks. If you ever need help, tech support is provided by the best in the business: Tech Helpline, also owned and operated by Florida Realtors. Tech Helpline is real estate's No. 1 tech support service, staffed by a team of the industry's most friendly, patient, and knowledgeable tech analysts who work with agents and brokers every day. The Professional Edition of Form Simplicity helps busy agents manage even more transactions remotely, providing them with up to 50 MB of online storage. And both the Professional and Ultimate Editions allow agents and brokers to do more with these additional features: Organizes even the disorganized: No more searching through countless emails and sticky notes for transaction details. Find what you need immediately. No more time spent downloading and uploading documents: Every email, text, and attachment goes directly to the right transaction, ready to view at any time. Collaborate online: You can engage clients and third parties in real-time, with comments online, again, all organized within the right transaction folder. Work in teams by giving read/write access to specific transactions to people you choose in your office. Tools for Brokers: Includes Broker Review—the ability to review, comment on and approve all forms digitally submitted by your agents. Create customizable checklists for agents to use when submitting their transactions' documentation for review. This allows your team to remain compliant. Visibility into each agent's transaction activity including email and SMS history. Ability to showcase your brand by adding your company logo to the forms your agents use in your transactions. And much more. But to go fully digital, you need the Ultimate Edition of Form Simplicity. The Ultimate Edition gives you unlimited electronic signing and unlimited online storage. For most agents, this upgrade is less than 20 cents a day. The Ultimate Edition of Form Simplicity: Solves your signature problems: No more driving around or hunting someone down to sign. Electronic signatures mean signing remotely, from anywhere, helping you close your deals on time. Bank-grade electronics signature features: It has all the security bells and whistles that makes digital signing safe. It uses advanced password protection, uses a Certificate of Authenticity (tracks date, time, email, and IP address), creates an Audit Log, and ensures every signature is legal and binding. Never worry about running out of space: Because every electronic signature session you send comes back as files that you need to store; you get unlimited storage. You also won't have to delete files to make way for new ones with unlimited document storage. You can retrieve any older file at any time. The popularity of esigning has never been higher. By investing a little more with an upgrade to Form Simplicity Ultimate Edition, agents can solve one of their most significant challenges – and time killers – when working remotely. Upgrading to the Ultimate Edition is the easiest way to go fully digital. Going digital is no longer an option; it's what your clients need – and expect. If your association, MLS or brokerage does not offer a transaction management solution, ask them to contact Form Simplicity today through our website at formsimplicity.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Back 2 Biz: Conducting Virtual Listing Presentations
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Shifting Population Due to Working Remotely
The COVID-19 pandemic could cause a major shift in where many people live. This week, I had a conversation with a friend who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area. He is one of the estimated 400,000 high-tech workers living in the region. Our discussion turned to the idea of coming to Florida and working remotely and getting a three-hour head start on his coworkers due to the time zone change. This made me to start thinking about possible opportunities. I have two family members that have worked from home since March. Both live in major metropolitan areas and have expensive commutes, and are also thinking of other opportunities. If I can live anywhere and work remotely, where do I want to live? Why wait until I retire to locate to my dream home?
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How to Build an Income-Producing Referral Business
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Use Live Video to Communicate with Real Estate Clients
Strengthen Your Real Estate Brand on Social Media with Video With recent world events, customer communication has become even more important. Keeping in touch with past clients, leads, and supporters is essential given recent world events. These audiences are attuned to live video. With live video on social media, you can speak to hundreds and maintain the personal touch. Savvy real estate agents often use multiple social platforms. Each has its own features that help you showcase your value. Likewise, each one has enabled experts like you to reach the world through shareable video. Let's look at today's three main social video platforms:
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Are Your Real Estate Photos Enticing Buyers?
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How to Electronically Sign Documents in Google Docs
You can add your electronic signature to a contract, offer letter or non disclosure agreement from a Google Doc in less than five minutes. It's easy to create an electronic signature on a Google Doc without ever leaving the application. Electronic signatures create a binding and enforceable legal contract that is widely accepted throughout the industrialized world, and more secure than traditional paper-based signatures because they're less susceptible to forgery. Read on to discover how to do an electronic signature in Google Docs in just a few steps with this easy guide.
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Build Your Real Estate CRM Database with 4 Easy Steps
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I Can't Quite Picture It: Why virtual staging has taken the real estate world by storm
We've all seen those HGTV show--the ones where the perky designers turn a total dump into a shiplap palace, complete with cozy furniture, crackling fire, and tray of cupcakes on the counter. Recently, thanks to some Realtor friends who shall remain nameless, I have learned a few things about how those shows really work. Spoiler alert – they don't get to keep the furniture. In fact, they don't get to keep anything other than the house itself. In real estate talk, those homes are staged, y'all. In the biz, staging means that furniture, art, rugs, and lamps have been added to make the empty house feel like a home. And you know what? It works. According to the National Association of REALTORS, 83% of buyers' agents say staging makes it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Not only that, but one-quarter of buyer's agents say that staging a home increases the dollar value offered between one and five percent, compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged. The downside of staging is that it can be pricey, with costs ranging in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Not to mention, you have to move the actual furniture in and out. Ugh. (Anyone else remembering the couch moving episode from Friends? PIVOT!) But there is another option. Virtual staging has become a big business in recent years, and has grown from cheap cut-and-paste jobs to gorgeous, realistic renderings that are highly appealing to buyers. Take this property, for example. Before virtual staging: After virtual staging: Photos courtesy Tiffany Kjellander, Better Homes & Gardens Porchlight Properties Tiffany Kjellander, of New Jersey based Better Homes & Gardens Porchlight Properties, uses virtual staging whenever she lists a home. "Virtual staging is a big differentiator for me," she says. "It's an absolute must on every home I help to sell – no matter the price point. We've had clients even use virtual staging for foreclosures to help investors see the possible end result." According to Stacie Staub of West + Main homes in Denver, CO, "Virtual staging has made all of the difference for listings that we knew wouldn't stay on the market long enough to make traditional staging worth the time or investment. This technology has come such a long way since the days of amateurish furniture photoshopped on top of vacant rooms." And it's not just about marketing. Many buyers suffer from an acute lack of imagination when it comes to mentally moving into a home. Buyers are constantly asking, "Where will my furniture go and how will I use this room?" (Random fact: some people are actually unable to picture things in their heads. Aphantasia is a real thing!) "Virtual staging has had a huge impact on many of my listings, especially ones with really odd layouts," says Katie Clancy of The Cape House at William Raevis Real Estate. "When a buyer can't picture what to do with a space, the virtual staging solves the problem. Once the buyer can visualize the potential function of a space, they are one step closer to making it theirs." One of the biggest draws of virtual staging? The price. It runs a fraction of the cost of actual staging, and requires no actual lugging of couches or beds into or out of the home. "Organizing and staging a home with furnishings and accessories isn't always convenient or cost effective," Heather Elias, of LoCo Real Estate in Virginia says. "Virtual staging gives potential buyers a glimpse into how it would look with furniture and accessories, but without the time and financial investment of physically staging each space." As a cost effective and easy way to make a buyer feel at home, one thing is for sure – virtual staging is definitely here to stay. There is one small downside, however. Just like on those HGTV shows, you don't get to keep the furniture. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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8 Great Facebook and Instagram Hacks
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[Free Download] What NOT to Do Before Closing
You've either heard of or worked with homebuyers who found a home they loved, got approved for a loan, got their offer accepted, and then made a big purchase, quit their job, or otherwise jeopardized their home purchase. Make sure your clients know what not to do if they don't want to lose their loan at the last minute. Share this brandable flyer with your clients to let them know six important guidelines to make sure they make it to the closing table. Click below to download.
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Back 2 Biz: Working with Buyers Virtually
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Smart Homes Need Smart REALTORS
A year ago, I wrote an article about smart homes and went into detail to help all of us understand consumers' attraction to smart homes. You can put most smart devices into five categories: energy efficiency, security, entertainment, mood and, of course, FUN! I am on a personal journey to smarten up my home slowly as I replace needed appliances and devices. I started with my wi-fi enabled garage door opener, which alerts me if the garage door opens after 11pm (plus, Amazon is offering a service to open the garage and place packages inside). I can open or close, or even check if it's closed, from anywhere in the world. Next, I put up Bluetooth Christmas lights, with which I can chose from 140 colors and effects—that would be for fun. I also have a Nest thermostat and can check the temperature and change it from anywhere, even remotely. While at it, I bought a wi-fi camera to use when I am away for an extended length of time. What else? I'm redoing irrigation system with a new wi-fi controller to notify me of a problem or control from anywhere. I have a new smart refrigerator coming in a few weeks with all kinds of features including, alerting me if door is ajar. Smart door locks are on my shortlist, but it all cost money! Which leads me to why all REALTORS® need to be smart about smart homes. All these upgrades cost money and should be considered when selling a home. Smart Homes for REALTORS® 101 The National Association (NAR) released a report a few years back, Smart Homes and REALTORS®. When I compare the NAR report with newer studies, it looks like things are about the same. I am going to call this Smart Homes for REALTORS® 101. While you should be somewhat knowledgeable in these areas, PLEASE know you are not expected to be an expert, just understand the basics. So what is on the shopping list of today's homeowners and what is important in a smart home? Locks, cameras and video doorbells, as security is at the top of the list, followed by temperature control, which makes sense as an energy saving device plus comfort. The next area of interest is what I call "mood," which includes lighting and entertainment, whether sound or some sort of video. You can start at about $15 for a smart plug to control one light, to big dollars for more advanced equipment. So how much of that equipment is not included when listing a home? Door locks and mounted devices are one thing, but plug-in equipment is another, so do your homework. Appliances are also an area to consider. Realtors should understand the features and energy savings, plus the fact that smart appliances can cost 30% to 50% more than regular appliances. Preparing for this post, I read many reports and articles, one of which offered a step-by-step road map for turning your dumb house into a smart house. By the time I finished the article, we were talking about $15,000 worth of upgrades to make a house smart! As smart home technology continues to grow and homeowners and homebuyers increase what they have or want, it becomes more apparent that REALTORS® need to understand the technology. I spent a few hours reading and taking notes, and if the next buyer or seller wants to discuss smart homes with me, I am better prepared. You need to do the same! I found it all very interesting, but then again, I am a geek! Dick Betts is a REALTOR® in The Villages, Fla. for Touchstone Real Estate in Mount Dora. He's also a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com
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Ad Science: Ads with Faces Eleven Times More Likely to Get Noticed
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Top 8 Eco-Friendly Home Features in Demand
Designing a new home or redesigning an existing one has undergone some major changes over the years. What was once deemed important to a relatively small segment of the population is now seen as both contemporary and necessary to today's home buyers. Home builders and contractors have seen the change in the preferences for living spaces in today's fast paced world. What many buyers and homeowners are demanding are comfortable spaces and reduced home energy costs. Let us explore what is emerging as must-haves that are also considered "eco-friendly" (in harmony with the environment), chic and smart! Here are the top eight features according to several of the leading, innovative architects and designers today.
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12 Tips for Marketing to Buyer's Agents
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More First-time Homebuyers Are Entering the Market
The share of first-time homebuyers rose to 36% in April 2020, up from 32% a year ago, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). There are several factors motivating this trend: A desire to move out of city dwellings and into more suburban/rural ones following COVID-19 A lack of a need to sell a property prior to purchasing one Record-low mortgage rates A lack of competition from investors scooping up properties
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Agent Advice: How to Ask Clients for Online Reviews
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The 5 Best Real Estate Cold Calling Tips
If you're like most real estate agents, cold calling is one of your most dreaded tasks in any given day. It can be intimidating and uncomfortable, but with the right tools and guidelines you have the capability to turn this once-daunting job into a pleasant one that reaps great results.
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The Newest Tool for Your Virtual Real Estate Business: Facebook Messenger Rooms
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Don't Be a "Me Too" Agent
For 20 years, I have taught REALTORS to not be a "Me Too" agent when speaking with a homeowner about selling their home. Today, most people have become much more educated about the real estate process--which works great for REALTORs. A true professional is not worried about an educated consumer and should welcome the opportunity. So what is a "Me Too" agent? Let's say the homeowner is educated about how selling their home works using a REALTOR and they decide to interview four or five agents to list the home. The homeowner makes a list of which services the first agent outlines they can do. The second agent shows up and the homeowner brings up what they have learned plus benefits the first agent shared. Here we go:
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Back 2 Biz: Social Media and Online Communication Tools
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Friday Freebie: Handle Objections Better with These Brochures
"Your commission is too high!" "My home is priced too low!" "I don't think now is a good time to buy/sell a home." Objections. If you've been practicing real estate for any amount of time, you've surely heard more than your fair share. For some clients, patient explanation is all that's needed to gently nudge them along. As for others? Well, sometimes you need a little more. That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. Today, we're highlighting three brochures made to counter the most common objections you'll hear from real estate clients. Free objection handling brochure of your choice, courtesy of ProspectsPLUS! Building trust isn't the only obstacle you face with new clients. Even after you win them over, there are plenty of things they may object to. To help you overcome these objections, ProspectsPLUS! is offering RE Technology readers a free, customizable brochure that you can leave with clients when a face-to-face conversation doesn't quite cut it. Choose your favorite from these three options: What You Don't Know About Real Estate Commissions Can Cost You Plenty (for sellers) 6 Pitfalls of Overpricing Your Home (for sellers) When Is the Best Time to Start Enjoying What You Really Want? (for fence-sitters) You can leave these brochures with clients so that they can contemplate why, for example, a too-high listing price is a poor sales strategy. Or head off problems from the start and give these to clients at the beginning of your relationship so that you're both on the same page. Download your FREE objection handling brochure today! Use promo code FREEBROCHURE at checkout.
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When Should You Use Instagram for Your Real Estate Marketing?
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3 Ways to Make Open Houses One of Your Most Valuable Marketing Tools
Open houses have always been a powerful marketing tool, but they are evolving in new and exciting ways to help you succeed. Aaron Kardell, CEO of Homespotter, joined me on a Coffee Chat to share some simple, but powerful, insights about the best ways to take open houses to the next level. Here are three key takeaways: 1. Open House by Appointment Instead of pushing for a ton of people to attend your open house, focus on quality, not quantity. You can do this by setting specific 15 to 30 minute appointments for potential buyers after pre-qualifying them and understanding the seriousness of their interest in the property. Setting appointments allows you to spend quality time with each of the prospects, explaining all of the most positive features of the home and giving them the personal attention they need to answer their questions thoroughly. Spending time with each visitor also allows you to provide specific feedback to the seller to help improve curb appeal, remove clutter, gain pricing feedback, etc. 2. Capture Info on Virtual Open Houses by Replacing the "sign-in" sheet When scheduling a virtual open house, make sure the system you're using requires every visitor to register so you can capture them for follow-up afterwards. While Facebook Live is a nice format, for example, it is much more anonymous. Tools like GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts and others are better at capturing information for those that register and those that attend live. Tools like Spacio, for example, allow you to capture visitor information and then automatically load the information into CRM tools like Contactually and Follow-Up Boss so you can begin a dialogue with consumers you met at live or virtual open houses. 3. Promote Virtual Open Houses on Social Media Today, there are tools that make it easy for you to automatically post new listings online. These tools, like Boost from Homespotter, have expanded to allow you to promote live virtual open houses as well. You can promote virtual open houses on Facebook, Instagram and even Waze now. Just think how many people you can attract to a listing if you can use the power of social media to accomplish it! Also, virtual open houses will encourage consumers to look at more houses virtually and then narrow their requests for live showings only to those homes that are most interesting to them! It's a great way to save time and money for agents and their clients. Don't Miss These Upcoming Coffee Chats! Friday, June 5 What Are the Likely Effects of COVID-19 on the Rental Market? with Cameron Paine of Apartments.com If you would like us to sign you up for all upcoming coffee chats, email [email protected] and she will get you signed up. If you would like to get notifications every time a Coffee Chat recording is published, subscribe to our YouTube channel, RETechnologyInc. Then hit the bell next to the Subscribe button and receive notifications every time we publish new educational videos. Get Recordings of All Coffee Chats If you would like to binge watch all of the Coffee Chat recordings, click here. If you would like a FREE 3-month trial of RE Technology, go to retechnology.com, click Create Account and then use one of these coupon codes: COVID-19A COVID-19B COVID-19M
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4 Strategies for Smarter Virtual Selling with Your Property Tax Data Tools
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Simple, Proven Tips for Breaking through with Virtual Open Houses
Virtual open houses are here to stay! They provide a great way for consumers to view a whole slew of houses before they decide which ones they would like to see in person. A virtual open house allows an agent to demonstrate their selling skills and highlight every strong feature of the property they are representing. And a virtual open houses even helps the environment and keeps homeowners and potential buyers safer—win, win all the way around! Patty McNease, VP of Marketing at Homes.com, shared some simple, but effective ways to make your virtual open houses the best they can be during a recent Coffee Chat. Here are three key takeaways to help you become an expert at virtual open houses: 1. Get high quality, yet affordable equipment Patty recommends investing in some core photography equipment that will make your life a whole lot easier: Tripod – They make it a lot easier to hold the camera steady and avoid the jumpiness you sometimes see in videos. She recommends the UBeesize Tripod S, available on Amazon for $21.99. Microphone – Patty also recommends a lavalier microphone you can attach to your clothing to keep your hands free, also available at Amazon here for $25.99. 2. Tips for better virtual tours Create a shot list Angles matter Start outside or at the home's best feature Natural viewpoints Lighting Time of day Lights on/off Stage furniture/objects Show off outside spaces Clean! Conform to MLS rules for branding 3. Tips for virtual open houses Test software before you go live or host a tour Practice (your route in the house, etc.) Create a story Prepare questions to answer about the home Dress the part Open all doors prior to starting Open the platform a minimum of five minutes before start time Start at the best feature OR on the outside of the house with the door open Walk slowly and talk clearly If on Facebook, use a public setting If possible, record the event Watch the full recording here: Don't Miss These Upcoming Coffee Chats! Monday, June 8 Learn all about the new Virtual Real Estate Certification with Verl Workman of Workman Success Systems Tuesday, June 9 Virtual Listing Presentations with the New Cloud CMA Live with Greg Robertson of W+R Studios Wednesday, June 10 How to Become a Listing Boss with Hoss Pratt Thursday, June 11 Communication: The 'OneKey' to a Successful Launch with Jim Speer of OneKey MLS Friday, June 12 The Shift: Leaning into Technology and Data to Market-Proof Your Business with Sheldon Rapoza of Market Leader If you would like us to sign you up for all upcoming coffee chats, email [email protected] and she will get you signed up. If you would like to get notifications every time a Coffee Chat recording is published, subscribe to our YouTube channel, RETechnologyInc. Then hit the bell next to the Subscribe button and receive notifications every time we publish new educational videos. Get Recordings of All Coffee Chats If you would like to binge watch all of the Coffee Chat recordings, click here. If you would like a FREE 3-month trial of RE Technology, go to retechnology.com, click Create Account and then use one of these coupon codes: COVID-19A COVID-19B COVID-19M
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Selling a Property Online? Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Tours
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Selling Secrets from Top Sales Associates
Top sales associates know that when you're selling a home it means going the extra mile when prepping and marketing it. The end results are so worth the effort with a signed purchase offer. Here's how these real estate professionals are making it happen for their clients.
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Get More Listings: Pursue Absentee Owners
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June 5G Update
We are almost halfway through 2020, and it's time to evaluate where we are with 5G. This is my third article about 5G, and if you want to become the office geek on 5G, there is much you need to know. Before we get into the nuts and bolts of what is happening with 5G, let's take a moment and think about how technology and telecommunications have changed since February. In my last article, I discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and live. Record numbers of users on Zoom and other videoconferencing services, virtual tours of homes on the market are almost required, and the sheer amount of e-commerce is mind blowing. I am happy to say our communication infrastructure held up during probably the highest demand for service to date. In my article, I discussed the fact many of the changes made due to the virus have now become a normal function in life, as many had their technology skills upgraded—your grandparents on Zoom; who would have thought? What a great lead-in to discuss 5G and how the need is becoming greater for speed, capacity and latency. Not sure what all that means? Here is a review: Speed This is a big one all the phone carriers will be talking about because we consumers can relate to how long it takes to download and use our mobile devices. True 5G is billed as 100 times faster than 4G—let me give you an example. You want to download a full-length movie? 4G would take about 48 minutes, and 5G about seven minutes. As you can see, the time saved would be 41 minutes. Think about how much time you currently spend on your phone using apps, visiting websites and email. A few seconds saved every minute will add up! Capacity This one you might have experienced and will love the change. 5G will give us more capacity, which can be called bandwidth. Here's a visual: take the busy road you drive on and change it from two lanes to 100 lanes. In the real world, you are attending a sporting event, concert and trying to share a Facebook Live or Instagram to brag about where you are. With 4G, you have no service or it's very slow. 5G will be very noticeable when you have thousands of people trying to use the internet. Today even smaller groups can tax the network depending on the bandwidth. Latency The word "latency" you will be hear a lot as being one of the biggest advantages to 5G. With 5G, some of us might notice a slight difference when it comes to latency. If you are a gamer or use virtual reality—oh, your world will change with 5G. To understand latency, it's the time between your request for data to a server and the amount of time the data is returned to you. Before I share facts, you need to understand what a millisecond is—1/1000th of a second. To give you a reference, a blink of an eye is 100-150 milliseconds. Let's start with 3G, which was introduced in 2003. Latency is 100-500 milliseconds. 4G was released in 2010; latency is 50-100 milliseconds. 5G latency is 1-10 milliseconds. To you and I, these improvements will be noticed but really won't change the way we use our mobile devices. When we are away from Wi-Fi, most of the time the difference can hardly be noticed, so when we enter a 5G area, we might see the benefits of speed, capacity and latency if we plan to download a full-length movie in seven minutes. The biggest benefit to 5G is artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and many changes in the way we live and work. It is predicted that by 2035, 5G will be responsible for over $3.5 trillion in economic output and more than 22 million jobs. Remember that since December I have advised to hold off buying anything? Turns out due to a recent merger, some phone users who bought a 5G phone will not work on the new merged system—told you so! I found a complicated rating system done by an independent resource that grades the carriers based on three factors: coverage, speed and devices, all weighted equally with a perfect score of 100%—not naming names, as of May we have 40%, 49% and 60%. What does all the mean? WAIT to buy; your 4G phone is just fine for now! For the geeks in the room and those wanting more details, I will attempt to explain the three bands—low, middle and high—next month. Now there is exciting news! Dick Betts is a REALTOR® in The Villages, Fla. for Touchstone Real Estate in Mount Dora. He's also a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com
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Rebuilding Your Real Estate Business After COVID-19
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Creating Targeted Mailing Lists and Campaigns
Right around the time quarantine started, we launched a Friday Freebie series focused on using technology-powered direct mail to stay in touch with your sphere. RE Technology readers were able to claim 150 free 'Just Listed' and 'Just Sold' postcards, a free COVID-19 postcard, and download six free reports. While we hope those samples demonstrated the power of direct mail, perhaps some of you were left wondering who to target with those mailings. That's why today, we're highlighting a free guide that will bring it all together by helping you understand how to create targeted mailing lists. Free Guide to Real Estate Mailing Lists, courtesy of ProspectsPLUS! The "spray and pray" approach to direct mail hasn't been a valid strategy since… well, maybe ever. Datedness aside, sending out mailings with little thought of what you're sending and to whom is a great way to burn through your marketing budget with little return. This free guide to real estate mailing lists will help you identify your target market and launch successful direct mail campaigns. It offers a peek at the types of targeted mailing lists you can build with ProspectsPLUS! and the ideal content you can send to each demographic. The guide provides information on targeting groups like: Baby Boomers Empty Nesters Investors Lifestyle Interests High-Income Renters Move-Up Markets And more! And if you're wondering which groups are most prevalent in your area, don't worry—this guide has you covered! The guide offers a breakdown of how many consumers match the target groups above in the major metros in every state. (Miami, for example, has 32,171 high-income renters while Atlanta has 163,026 Baby Boomer and seniors.) Ready to check it out? Download your Real Estate Mailing List Guide for FREE now!
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Be the Agent Consumers Are Looking For
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Best Practices for Video Tours
With millions of people working remotely during these uncertain times, the real estate industry is rapidly adapting digitally to connect agents with consumers. One marketing tool that has become vital for agents now more than ever are video home tours. According to a study by Realtor.com, listings that come with a video tour gain 87% more views than listings without video tours. Even before the pandemic, research from the National Association of Realtors said that half of all home buyers find video tours influential in deciding on a home. Today, with nearly all home shoppers starting their search online, here are some of the best practices to make your best first impression. Create a video plan Professional videographers create a video treatment and a storyboard. These documents help to map out precisely what they will shoot and how they will shoot it. You don't need to be that elaborate. You should create a video outline document that lists the order of your shots and what you are going to say to develop your script for both on and off-camera. Also include what time of day is best to shoot inside and outside shots, and what you will focus on: the most marketable features of your listing. Think of your audience first as you develop your plan. Video script Even though authenticity works better in a video than a stilted script or narration, you need to know what you are going to say and the keywords you want to emphasize. Every home has a story, and doing a video tour as if you are telling a story will help you to write down what you want to say. Remember: with the average attention span being just eight seconds, shorter is better. Research shows YouTube video views decrease sharply once a minute has passed – with average engagement dropping 70% when they exceed two minutes. Video recording If you have a newer smartphone, you have the right video camera to do the job. Today's top smartphone can shoot the highest quality videos and have pretty good built-in recording capabilities. Proper lighting Most videos fail when poor lighting is present. It gives your video a grainy look. Crystal-clear high-resolution video recording typically requires bright light. Avoid standing in front of any area that provides backlighting: windows or lamps behind you will make you appear like a dark shadow. A detachable selfie light can help overcome backlighting issues if backlighting is unavoidable. Great audio is vital Believe it or not, the sound is more important than video image quality. When you have both – great audio and excellent video image quality – your video has a far greater chance of engagement. People will tolerate a video that is less than perfect, but if the audio is difficult to understand – too soft, too much echo, feedback or background noise – the people you are trying to reach will click away. Deliver perspective One of the biggest mistakes in video tours of a home is shooting too much up close. What home shoppers want is perspective: where does the house sit on the lot, not just a closeup of the front door or framing just the house in your shot. They want to see more of the yard and wide shots of the yard or yards. The same applies inside – wider shots give more perspective of the home's floor plan. It's one of the reasons why interactive 3D digital tours from firms like Matterport, while admittedly more expensive, are popular with consumers, as they offer an exceptional perspective throughout the home. Bonus tip – add captions to your video Did you know that when you upload your video to YouTube, you can select automatic captions? YouTube's built-in AI capabilities will write captions for you. But it's recommended you go into the settings and fix any mistakes, as its accuracy varies. Video captions are great because it expands your reach to a vast population that includes those with impaired hearing. Video captions also help your audience watch a video during those times when they don't disturb others. Creating the perfect video tour to showcase a home can be a challenge, but with the right tools and tips, you can connect digitally with potential buyers who are interested in your listings. By following through with these best practices, you'll also be able to expand your video's reach and engagement with your target audience. If you have any challenges or inquiries technology as you create your video tour – and your MLS, association or brokerage offers Tech Helpline – reach out with an email, go online for chat, or call in for tech support! Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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