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Proactive Tips for Protecting Yourself as a Real Estate Agent
As an agent, you work diligently to make sure that your real estate business is doing its very best. Part of growing a real estate business is working with people you are not familiar with. Usually working with new people is an exciting perk of a real estate career, but you should always be aware of the potential dangers involved with meeting strangers. Your safety should play an integral role in your career. Whether you're doing a showing, traveling in the car, or just beginning the paperwork for the sale or purchase of a home, you should consider how you can protect yourself should the situation call for it. Open Houses When working an open house, you will be going into home to show it to potential buyers. Prior to hosting the open house, tell a coworker or your broker where you'll be and how long you'll be there. One option to make sure everyone knows where you will be is to set a calendar invite and share it with your colleagues, making sure to include the date, time, and location of where you will be. Also, when you host an open house, pay close attention to those who enter and leave the home. Before you lock up at the end of the open house, go through the house to make sure that everyone has left. When checking the home to make sure that everyone has left, you should make sure to do this safely. You can try leaving the blinds fully open to the home or maybe go through the home with a colleague on the phone with you. In the Car As a real estate agent, you likely spend large quantities of time in your car. Make sure you stay safe by taking regular precautions to avoid any breakdowns. Take your car in for regular maintenance as needed so that your car is able to perform at its very best. And, as a general rule of thumb, make sure that you keep the fuel in your car at least half full. Identification and Meeting Someone New Identity theft is alive and well, especially in the real estate world. When it comes to filling out important paperwork, or even just meeting a new client, make sure you verify the identification of the potential client. Ask for at least two forms of identification when there are major documents that need to be signed. When it comes to meeting someone new for the first time, take the extra step to meet the new client in a public place such as a local coffee shop or your office. Taking this step to vet the potential client can help ensure that the person is who they say they are and that they are truly interested in a home. Staying safe as an agent is incredibly important for you. You will be working with many new faces and showing many homes for sale. Take time to be cautious and stay safe out there! To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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Turning Renters to Buyers: Dispelling 5 Key Myths
More so than ever, misconceptions about the buying process keep renters from exploring the possibility of buying a home. Still, seasoned Realtors know that knowledge is power -- a gentle, educational nudge can go a long way in turning would-be renters into first-time homebuyers. Many highly qualified renters see homeownership as out of reach, citing barriers like a minimum 20% down payment, economic uncertainty, or a shortage of inventory as barriers to entry. At the same time, historically low mortgage rates make buying a home more attractive than ever. Renters need not sit on the sidelines and wait out today's uncertain housing market. Realtors can help them navigate the home buying process, establishing long-lasting relationships by pointing them to the right resources and helping them navigate both the decision to buy and a resale transaction. Millennials Making the Move According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials have surpassed boomers as the largest segment of today's homebuyers. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Green Street Advisors – Advisory & Consulting Group At the same time, millennials represent roughly 65% of all renters. As the consumer segment hardest hit by macro-economic events, including the Great Recession and the global pandemic, Millennials had been significantly behind both baby boomers and Gen Xers in their rate of homeownership. However, Millennial earnings are on the rise. In a recent study, Harvard's Joint Center for Housing recorded a 157% increase in rental households making more than $150,000 per year, meaning more millennials are ready to buy homes today. Three out of eight millennial renters believe they'll rent for life. Yet millennials are aware of the drawbacks of renting, including missed tax break opportunities, the inevitability of rent hikes, and the inability to build equity. As such, 62% of younger millennials and 68% of older millennials plan to buy within five years. As a Realtor, you can help turn renters into home buyers by dispelling these five common myths: Dispelling Five Common Myths Among Renters 1. "I done make enough money." Income is necessary, but the amount of money someone earns plays a less significant role in getting a mortgage than many might think. Lenders consider much more than just a paycheck when evaluating would-be homebuyers. Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratios and one's ability to make mortgage payments are more heavily considered than how much one makes. Lenders look at the whole picture, including credit scores and and the amount a borrower has for a down payment. First-time homebuyers may need to pay down debt and organize their spending before entering the market. Realtors working in this segment take their time with these clients, placing them in rentals (and earning commissions) while helping them address these factors. Additionally, rates for 30-year loans, 15-year loans, and 5-year ARMs are historically cheap, lowering the monthly cost of owning a home. 2. "I don't have enough for a down payment." / "I don't think I'll get approved." Most renters believe you need 20% down to purchase a house. To buy a $300,000 home, you'd need $60,000 on hand—an overwhelming amount for most renters. Many first-time buyers close on a house with almost nothing down. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a 100% financing mortgage. The program, formerly known as a Section 502 mortgage, but more commonly referred to as a "Rural Housing Loan" or "USDA loan," is not just a rural loan—it's available to buyers in suburban neighborhoods, too. With a USDA loan, there's no down payment requirement, no maximum home purchase price, and eligible home repairs and improvements can be included Additionally, the upfront guarantee fee can be an add-on to the loan balance at closing. FHA-insured loans allow for down payments as low as 3.5% in all U.S. markets and come with guidelines with a liberal approach to both down payments and credit scores. The FHA will insure home loans for borrowers with low credit scores, provided there is a reasonable explanation. Additionally, a down payment on an FHA-insured loan can come entirely from down payment assistance, including gifted funds. Low-down payments are also available from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac via the Conventional 97 program. Down payments are 3%, and it's less expensive for many buyers than an FHA-insured mortgage. Loans are currently capped at $548,250 and can only be used for fixed-rate mortgages on single-unit dwellings. In addition, the Conventional 97 program doesn't enforce a specific minimum credit score beyond those for a conventional home loan, and the entire 3% down payment can come from gifted funds from a spouse, partner, guardian, or family member. The Veteran's Administration administers a no-money-down program available to members of the U.S. military and surviving spouses, with straightforward qualifications; and local municipalities often offer various levels of down payment assistance, 3. "There's nothing in my price range." Once your rental client is pre-approved, they have a good sense of their target price range. However, in today's resale inventory-constrained environment, they often find themselves up against an increasingly competitive market. Here's where Realtors can demonstrate their value. Experienced Realtors can leverage their hyper-local expertise to guide first-time homebuyers into neighborhoods with homes in their target range and find hidden gems—properties not quite move-in ready yet in a preferred neighborhood and within their client's price range. 4. "I might move in a few years." Renting rather than buying is prudent over a short term—say a few months to a year, but it makes more sense to buy when staying for at least five years, and, in some cases, buying can even offer value when planning to stay for as few as two years. It boils down to math. Renters considering buying should calculate how long they need to live in a purchased home before the cost of buying outweighs the costs of renting. The New YorkTimes provides a Rent vs. Buy Calculator that takes the most important costs associated with buying a house, including mortgage details, growth rates, taxes, and closing costs, with computing equivalent monthly rents. 5. "I'll wait until I find the perfect house." Renters new to the home buying market may have unrealistic expectations about the inevitable pros and cons proffered by every property. No resale home is perfect, and a first-time purchase will likely require a few concessions. Good houses go fast! Renters looking to buy should be ready to act. Would-be buyers often need to make an offer right after a showing, so have reasonable criteria in mind beforehand. Closing a deal will involve some trade-offs, but the accomplishment of homeownership almost certainly offset them. More so than ever, there's value in working with renters, and while converting renters to buyers takes a little strategy and a lot of chutzpah, it's one of the most proven and cost-effective ways for Realtors to grow their book of business. To view the original article, visit the Rental Beast blog.
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Generating and Keeping Clients with Cloud CMA + Homebeat
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3 Zoom Tips to Look 10x More Professional
Last week, you read 3 Tips to Master Your Gmail Inbox. Those tips, once mastered, will help you save time every day. These next three tips on how to use Zoom will help you look even more like the professional that you are. You will learn how to add a virtual background, how to change your name, and what your camera angle should be. Zoom Tip #1: How to add a virtual background This is excellent, but not a requirement for your Zoom meeting. Having a virtual background can look both good and bad. Before I get into the good, the bad, and the better, let's talk about the "how." During a Zoom call, click the little up arrow ^ to the right of the start video button. Then select Choose Virtual Background. This will bring up the Settings. You can either choose an already existing virtual background, or you can upload a new one using the plus sign (+) on the right of the image. Voilà! Now you should have a virtual background. If selecting a virtual background is not an option for you, then your account settings have to be changed. For how to turn those settings on, I will refer you to this how-to article written by Zoom. Now for the good, the bad, and the ugly. As you can see from my image above, I selected an image of Earth. Which is fine, BUT that doesn't help tell my story. So, our recommendation is for you to create a background using a product like Canva. This helps to create something that has your company's logo in the top left or right corner and the rest of the image follows your company's branding. You might think creating your own image is scary, but it is not. Companies such as Canva now make it extremely easy for people to create their own images. Now for the bad. You may have noticed during your Zoom calls there is a distracting line around people when they have a virtual background. This can be very distracting to those in the meeting. If your background image looks like this you might want to question if a virtual background is right for you. This is where we get to the good stuff. The better. To make a virtual background look really good, use a green screen. This does not have to be expensive or troublesome. It really is just a green sheet that is stretched out flat behind you. When you select a virtual background, you would then also select the option that you are using a green screen. This will make your virtual background look professional and awesome. Zoom Tip #2: How to change your name I don't know about you, but I can be working in one of four different Zoom accounts. A problem that I come across all the time is no one knows who I am until I change my name. First, select Participants. Then, select More next to your name. Click on Rename. Change your name, select Rename again. And you are good to go! Changing your name so people know who you are is essential. I have been on hundreds of Zoom calls with both WAV Group and RE Technology and too often there are people that I don't know on the call. This helps the host know exactly who is there. BONUS TIP: If you are meeting new people, add the name of your business after your name, like this: "Michael Nash | RE Technology." This helps people not just know who you are, but also which company you are with. Zoom Tip #3: Pay attention to the camera angle I've saved the best for last. Pay attention to the camera angle. Many of us today use laptops. This causes the camera to be looking up at us. What do the people you are talking with see? Mostly up your nose! You don't want people looking up there! Instead, position the camera so it is at eye level, or slightly higher, like the image below. This angle is much better for others on the call with you and definitely makes you look more professional. Now it is your turn My homework for you today is to spend the next 15 minutes trying out each of these Zoom tips. They will help you look more professional during your Zoom meetings with clients, your broker or other professionals. Come back next week for an article on how to think, train, and eat for your business. I will be talking about Stu Mittleman's book, Slow Burn, and how it applies to your business. If you have any questions about these Zoom tips or have suggestions for more, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or on LinkedIn.
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The 5 Best PDF Hacks for Agents
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Stay on Top of Your SOI All Year Long
Who can tell me what a real estate agent's best source of free referral business is? Exactly, your Sphere of Influence (SOI)! And who can tell me the best ways to keep the well full and the fountain flowing? There are actually a number of ways to stay on top of your SOI, and we'll explore some of them today. But the single trick you most want to remember when it comes to keeping in touch with your SOI is: Recurrence! For the uninitiated, your SOI is the group of people you already know whom can contribute an almost limitless number of contacts and networking to help you find clients. There is an innumerable list of people that can make up an SOI. Anyone from former teachers, your spouse, your fraternity brothers, coworkers at an old job, the guy who runs the landscaping service you use, the person who stages your sellers' homes, your extended family, and so many more in between. The trick can be keeping those various plates spinning at the same time; a dropped plate could mean a missed opportunity. Not everyone is ready to buy or sell a house today—right now. And you aren't always going to be top-of-mind for your SOI when the time comes when someone they know is ready to purchase or unload. Scheduling a sphere of influence marketing campaign can ensure you are automatically staying in touch with them all year long. It's recommended that you keep your SOI list right around 150 people. This ensures you can maintain meaningful relationships with these people. Some companies will even guarantee extra closings if you consistently send real estate mailers to your sphere every month. Planning ahead can be as simple as understanding who makes up your SOI and figuring out the best ways to stay in front of them. Sometimes it's a conversation at the coffee spot, or attending HOA meetings in amazing neighborhoods, or just taking the time to answer a question from someone who's "thinking" about selling, but not ready yet. But the absolute key is to stay in front of them, making your contact with them predictable and commitment-free—and by all means wash, rinse and repeat. ProspectsPLUS! knows the power of repetition. That's why recurring outreach is critical and will ensure your SOI knows you're their go-to for real estate referrals (and rewards). Learn more about their 3 Extra Closings Guarantee here.
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Achieve Omnipresence and Master Your Hyperlocal Branding
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Keep That Pipeline Pumping! Prospect with RPR
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 9:00 AM PDT Are you ready to dial-in your prospecting with RPR? Use RPR to dig for leads. In this 45-minute webinar, you'll see examples and step-by-by step instructions on how to effectively farm for prospects by: Hear how other REALTORS are using RPR Explore searching and saving popular search types See how to research any property and its history Review the detailed reports and how to customize them for your clients Register now!
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Why You Should Target First-time Sellers
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What's the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?
Kenneth Jones, an award-winning real estate broker and appraiser, shares the key differences between marketing and advertising. It's important agents understand the difference between these two in order to implement a succesful marketing strategy for their real estate business. Here's Kenneth: The difference between marketing and advertising is... I don't want to seem like I'm prolonging what should be a simple answer, but I really want you to UNDERSTAND this—not just THINK you understand this. We've all heard the words "marketing" and "advertising." And, while we all "hear" those words almost everyday of our lives, most people see them as meaning the same thing—a distinction without a difference. Well, they'd be wrong. Let me explain the differences. What Marketing Is MARKETING is the process of building a familiarity between a company, or a product, and the general public. It's the development of a relationship with the public, rather than trying to get someone to buy their product or service at that moment. Marketing serves a far broader purpose than advertising. But marketing also includes advertising. Think about it: without advertising, how else would anyone know that the company, product, or service exists? But the big difference between ads that are developed for "marketing" purposes and the ads developed for "straight advertising" are that marketing ads are only to make you aware of the company, their product, or their service. Marketing ads are not intended for you to do something or buy something now. Another characteristic of marketing is that this relationship building occurs through a variety of different events. The pre-planned series of marketing events is commonly known as a "marketing program." An example of a marketing program is a company sponsoring a special TV program, or a continual series of programs, or a major sporting event such as the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament. In real estate brokerage, when I refer to creating a marketing program for a property that my company is trying to sell, I'm talking about making other real estate agents and the general public familiar with the property. One example of a real estate related marketing event is holding a broker's open house where I invite other active agents to a semi-social event at the home being sold. The purpose is for them to become familiar with the property so they can match it up with one of their buyers. Another example of marketing is when a company buys the right to place their name on a sports arena, such as the Prudential Arena—a.k.a. The Rock—home of the New Jersey Devils NHL hockey team in Newark, New Jersey. The name of this arena represents the Newark-based Prudential Insurance Company. Some argue that "marketing" and "branding" are the same thing. And while they do overlap, "branding" is intended to make the public aware of the visual identity of a company, specifically their logo graphic. To see an example of "branding" vs. "marketing," let's go back to the Prudential Insurance Company. While putting their name on the sports arena is an example of "marketing," their logo, which is on the side of the arena building, is an example of "branding." So, when you see that graphic of a blue rock in that circular pattern and you think of Prudential Insurance, you've just experienced "branding." That's because this image is "branded" in your brain. So when you see this logo, you automatically associate it with Prudential Insurance. Now that you have an idea of the difference between marketing and branding, let me tell you the distinct difference between marketing and advertising. What Advertising Is ADVERTISING is intended to get someone to do something or buy something NOW. The best examples that distinguish advertising from marketing would be things like those supermarket ads. They're telling their prospective customers, "Here's the price you can buy this item for until 'x' day." The implied message is, "If you don't buy it by 'x' day, the price is going to change." The greater implication of the message is that the price will go up, So you'd better buy it NOW! In real estate, when a home advertisement is also intended for a prospective buyer to act NOW, commonly used terms are "Don't miss this opportunity," and "See it before it's gone" in order to try to motivate prospective buyers to see the home being offered. In the end, the difference between marketing and advertising is that while marketing simply says, "This is who we are and this is what we do," advertising stresses a sense of urgency—do something NOW before you miss the opportunity. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Dotloop Mobile App Training
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Desktop vs. Mobile: Can You REALLY Complete a Whole Transaction from Your Phone?
Here's a statistic that's truly a sign of the times: More Realtors use their smartphone daily than their laptop or desktop computer, according to NAR. That shouldn't come as too much of a surprise—smartphones are far more convenient for real estate agents who are constantly on the go, and today's mobile devices pack the power of a computer in the palm of your hand. On top of that, agents can use smartphones in ways they can't use a computer, like opening lockboxes with Bluetooth, getting directions while on the road, creating and sharing property reports during a showing, and even using their phone as a safety device. But as convenient as a phone is for all those activities, the transaction remains the most crucial part of your real estate business. That means the million-dollar question is, Can you complete an entire transaction from contract to close solely from your mobile device? To find out, we took a deep dive into the mobile app of one of the top-rated transaction platforms in the industry, dotloop. With an advanced set of features, dotloop's mobile app is at the leading edge of what a transaction app can do, and here we'll use it as an example through which to explore this question. (If you use a different transaction platform, that app may have similar features, but check with your provider to be sure.) Below, you'll find the features that are exclusive to a transaction management mobile app, which features can be found on both desktop and mobile, and which tasks can only be accomplished from your computer. Mobile Exclusive Features Your phone's built-in camera and texting capabilities means your transaction management's mobile app can do things that the desktop version can't, such as: Scan Documents Using Your Device's Camera Once upon a time, scanning a document meant using a large piece of hardware hooked up to your computer. Thanks to ever-advancing mobile camera technology, now you can just snap a photo of a document and add it to a transaction. In dotloop, this is as simple as tapping Scan document within the Docs section of a transaction and snapping a photo. (You can also simply import a document photo from your camera's photo roll.) From there, you can add more pages, edit the photo as needed, and convert it into a signable PDF. Keep the Transaction Moving via Text Messaging Today's real estate market moves quickly. Keep your clients on top of everything by leaning on your smartphone's text messaging capabilities. Dotloop allows agents to send documents for signing via text, and clients can sign directly from their own phones to keep the transaction moving at a competitive pace. Texts can be sent to individuals or groups, and all communications can be tracked or exported. Here's what that looks like in dotloop: Manage Tasks and Signings with Push Notifications Need to stay on top of important tasks? Does your client need help staying on top of crucial document signings? Your mobile phone's push notifications will instantly alert you, your team members, and your clients to tasks, document updates and more to keep the transaction on track. Overlap: What Both Desktop and Mobile Can Accomplish Your transaction management's mobile and desktop versions have plenty of capabilities in common, including: Creating a transaction Adding documents to a transaction eSigning documents Submitting documents for review Modifying document permissions Adding or completing transaction tasks Admin acting on behalf of an agent Features That Are Desktop Only While the vast majority of transaction tasks can be completed on mobile alone, there are a couple things that you'll need your regular computer for. For example, if you have duplicate transactions, you'll need to log in to dotloop's desktop platform to merge them. Likewise, you'll need your computer to submit to Greensheet/TRACS/Homebase. Other times you may need your desktop boils down to whether you have an iOS or Android phone. For example, you can remove a person from a transaction on iOS, but not on Android. In that case, Android users will have to use their computer to remove a person. On the flip side, both Android and iPhone users can submit documents for review, but only brokers using Android will be able to approve and return documents on mobile. iPhone-using brokers will have to use their laptop or desktop computer to complete this task. Learn more about the differences between dotloop's desktop and mobile versions here: iOS, Android. In Conclusion So what did we learn? Can you complete a transaction entirely on mobile? For the majority of agents, the answer is Yes. When you use a mobile app like dotloop, you can execute everything from your phone or tablet all the way from texting a new client a buyer's or seller's agreement to sending the final documents for eSigning and approval. How much of the transaction you want to accomplish on mobile is, of course, up to you. To learn more about dotloop's mobile app or to read reviews, visit the App Store or Google Play.
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How to Capture Leads with Your Real Estate Website
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Friday Freebie: Buyer's Cheat Sheet to Winning in Low Inventory Markets
Your home buyer clients have probably heard the term "seller's market" in the news, but do they really know what it means? It's more than simple difficulty in finding a home--buying in a seller's market means being outbid, needing to act quickly and assertively… and preparing for potential heartbreak. What that means for you, as the buyer's agent, is managing your client's expectations and preparing them to compete in today's market. That's easier said than done, however, and that's why we're highlighting a cheat sheet for helping your buyers win in a low inventory market. Read on to learn how to claim this free download. Free copy of How to Win in Low-inventory Markets: The Buyer's Cheat Sheet, courtesy of Zurple Stressed-out buyers mean a stressed-out buyer's agent—and nobody wants that! Help soothe your buyers' frustrations in today's market with this free cheat sheet from Zurple. Here's what you'll find inside: Explanations for what's causing the current seller's market Advice for preparing your buyer for a competitive market How to develop a competitive-advantage offer strategy What NOT to do with your buyer Buyer's agent scripts Bonus tips for helping your buyer and finding more inventory And more! Ready to help your buyers get a leg-up in today's market? Download your FREE copy of How to Win in Low-inventory Markets: The Buyer's Cheat Sheet now!
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In the Wild: Deliver Results from Anywhere with RPR Mobile
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Take Control: 3 Tips to Master Your Gmail Inbox
Have you ever wondered how assistants can get so much done? Wonder no more! These three tips will increase your productivity by controlling your Gmail inbox. You will learn how to send, archive, and delete emails without taking your fingers off the keyboard. Also, keep your eyes out for the bonus tip! Tip #1: How to quickly send emails The most impactful keyboard shortcut to save time in your inbox is how to send an email without moving your hands away from the keyboard. By simply typing CMD + Enter (Windows: Ctrl + Enter), your email will magically send. No more having to grab your mouse and search for your cursor and then find the Send button. You will be amazed by how much time is saved by using this shortcut. If you are like me and send hundreds of emails a day, you will use this tip more often than not. Don't forget, for any of these shortcuts to work you must turn on keyboard shortcuts in your Gmail account. For instructions on how to turn on the shortcuts, keep reading. Tip #2: Archiving your emails when you no longer need them Many people choose to delete their emails when they (think) are done with them. However, often a week or even a month later, you are looking for that email you deleted and you end up having to ask your client for that attachment or information again. This can be incredibly embarrassing and shows your lack of organization. The power of archiving your emails will come in handy with today's Bonus Tip. To archive an email, just select which you want to archive and hit the letter E. And it is gone! Tip #3: Deleting those emails you will NEVER need Calendar invites have a way of blowing up one's inbox to scary proportions. One meeting with a dozen people can make your unread email count jump up so fast that it can send you into a panic. No worries, select the emails that you want to delete and simply press # and they will be gone! Today's Bonus Tip: Finding emails Arguably the most powerful feature of using a Gmail inbox is the search functionality. Google made the super smart decision of adding a search bar into your inbox. Simply pressing / (forward slash) will give you the option to search for ANY email in your inbox (except spam). This is where the power of archiving your emails comes in very handy. Turn on Keyboard Shortcuts in Gmail To turn on keyboard shortcuts, select settings in the top right corner. Click See all settings. Scroll down until you see Keyboard shortcuts. Select Keyboard shortcuts on and then hit Save! You are now ready to master your Gmail inbox. Now it is your turn Now that you have learned three tips that the pros use to master their inbox, it is now time for you to practice. By purposely taking the next 15 minutes to enable keyboard shortcuts and practice each of these tips, you will truly understand the power of each one. Come back next week for tips on how to "Zoom like a pro." If you have any questions about these keyboard shortcuts or would like to see more, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or on LinkedIn.
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Stop Losing Business Because You're Busy
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How to Successfully Navigate a Listing Shortage
In a business where supply and demand can have your stomach in knots, the last thing a real estate agent wants to deal with is a choke point of supply. We have to have an inventory of homes to help our clients sell, buy, and even to test the market at times ("Let's just put it on the market and see what happens"). May 2020 reported an average inventory of available homes at around 4.8 months. Due to the dreadful impact of COVID and the pandemic that gripped the nation with lockdowns, Zoom meetings, and the newfound need to move, that supply dwindled to around 1.9 months by December 2020. There was a severe problem for many real estate agents. There were, however, a certain set of determined folks who were able to make lemonade from lemons, and these are three listing shortage best practices you can also take advantage of (pandemic or not!). 1. Be Proactive You know the best neighborhoods in your market. You also know what the comps are, and how to take advantage of that information. Don't leave a listing to chance. You never know if someone who isn't currently posting a For Sale sign in their yard has a price in their head they'd be willing to talk about. By proactively reaching out to homeowners, you're a step ahead. By being prepared with specific, curiosity-generating information, and an approach that implies the need for a seller to operate with a sense of urgency, you can quickly find yourself on the inside, looking out. 2. Coddle YOUR Sphere of Influence We've talked about this before – your SOI is the hands-down best source of free referrals and "ear to the ground" information you're going to have. The very nature of your business model is built around establishing, nurturing, and capitalizing on your relationships. Ensure your SOI is tuned into your business, but in a way that benefits them. That's tricky at times, yes, because your goal is to get listings and sales; their goal is to be as helpful to you as possible without feeling like they're being used. To prevent that from happening, you have to make it worth their while. Understand how the individuals in your SOI like to be rewarded or recognized. I'm speaking specifically about those people who are (or have been) the most impactful in identifying new business and inserting you into new social networks. If an introduction by them of their friend or coworker or whatever to you turns into a sale, the first thing you should do is find an appropriate and thoughtful way to recognize their contribution. Be it a monthly SOI direct mail campaign, a gift card, a big old hug, etc., let them know that without their support, you wouldn't have been successful. In the second quarter of 2021, the medium home price was $374,900. Just 1% of that sales price is more than enough to find an inexpensive and meaningful way to ensure your SOI is the gift that keeps on giving. 3. Think Outside the Box How many times have you "creatively" described an ugly bathroom, or a cramped kitchen, or a jungle of a back yard? Listings don't have to elusive if you commit to looking in places you might not conventionally have considered. A great option is rental listings. Why? As a great example, in this topsy-turvy job market where homeowners have the ability to swim upstream to a better position and salary, that doesn't always mean they'll be able to continue working from home in their pajamas. And for those folks who need to relocate very quickly, one of their best options is to rent their home for a short period of time before they can concentrate on the full selling process. That works the same for those who quickly need to find a home to rent but aren't necessarily in the position to buy right now. The listing shortage is far from over. Although it continues to improve each month, consistently staying top of mind each month by sending get listings postcards will make you the first agent they think of. [NOTE: We continue to watch the increase in those contracting the Delta variant of the COVID virus, and any ensuing fallout, thereof, as it relates to inventory volumes.] Successful agents will weather this storm. Successful agents who take note of these best practices (and more) will do even better.
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The Best Ways to Avoid Zoom Gloom
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Dotloop Advanced Agent Training
Multiple dates Experienced looper? Join our advanced training session to learn about popular features that will help you streamline transactions even further. How to create form templates How to create task lists How to create an "Easy-Offer" link How to link to a listing with offers How to create a loop via email How to email into templates Register now!
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The Real Estate Marketing Materials Every Agent Needs
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14 Benefits of Virtual 360 Tours for Real Estate Sales and Marketing, Part 2
We're back this week with the second half of our list of the top benefits of virtual 360 tours for real estate (see Part 1 here). Below are the final seven key benefits of virtual tours in sales and marketing according to some of the best agents in the industry. 8. Better qualified buyers Attract more motivated, qualified buyers with a 24/7 open house. First of all, aren't you tired of tire kickers or next door neighbors coming to the open house and wasting your time? Secondly how many people can you run through an open house on the weekend? Virtual 360° tours allow everyone to have what they expect. The buyers can browse through hundreds of properties without leaving their home. Agents get only qualified buyers that have already seen the property and are ready for a final showing. How good is that? You can finally focus on negotiating the price with the right customers. According to Morris Short of REMAX Xtra, using a virtual 360° tour can get even 120 people doing a showing in one day! Can you beat that in any other way? Of course not—the times have changed and your life as an agent can be much easier. 9. Sell to anywhere in the world Sell properties from anywhere and to anyone in the world. International or interstate customers are buying properties in Sydney and New York without even flying there. Brandon Read, Ray White Cairns, Australia just confirms this as they sold a million dollar property using a virtual tour without the buyer flying in to Cairns. They only viewed the property using a virtual 360° tour. Even single agents creating virtual tours sell properties to interstate buyers. After COVID, remote work allows many people to leave expensive metro areas and follow their dream of living in a more affordable suburban or rural location. These buyers or tenants expect to see their options without having to travel. 10. Significantly shorter showings Agents can enjoy quicker showings as potential buyers have already seen the property online and all of its features. Agents using virtual reality tours to sell real estate are reporting that their time spent on showing houses has dramatically decreased as buyers have seen the properties beforehand. They have inspected every corner of the house, they have discussed it with their family and friends simply by sending them the link to the virtual tour. When they arrive, the kids run straight to their already chosen bedrooms. Everyone is happy as there is no unnecessary time wasted on either side. As mentioned previously, sellers don't have to leave the house for as long. 11. Save time on traveling Save your time on driving to open houses that nobody comes to. How many times have you driven to your Saturday open house for 20-30 minutes just to have nobody come to see your property? You could have been having drinks with your friends or watching your kids play football! If you pre-qualify buyers and they confirm their presence, you will save a lot of driving time. Agents that have been in the real estate industry for almost 20 years tell us they are tired of such exercises and would rather use virtual 360° tours to present the properties. Moreover, agents using VR tours report they do four instead of eight showings per week, thanks to virtual 360° tours. 12. Incredible convenience and transparency for buyers Allow buyers to revisit the property again and again without you having to accompany them. Buying a home is never a single person decision, and if one person came to see your property, they have to go back home and explain to their family how the property looks like and what is so exciting about it. The regular photos don't do it justice, but a virtual 360° tour delivers full transparency. 13. Easier quotes for renovations Allow buyers to discuss potential renovations to the property by showing 360° tours to their contractors. Buyers can consult the renovation specialists and get some idea on what can or can not be changed inside of a property, e.g., if the kitchen can be extended or if a small wall can be removed and how much such a renovation may cost. Moreover, a virtual 360° tour can be virtually renovated so that the buyers can have a preview of what it might look like. 14. Virtually transfer buyers to the property Present all properties you can't access to buyers in your office by using VR goggles. Each virtual tour can be viewed in a VR headset, which allows buyers to feel like they are really standing inside of the property. Agents like Jo Mooney have been sending cardboard VR goggles to potential buyers so they can just insert their mobile phone into them and immerse themselves in the space they are considering. That's how she successfully sells sight unseen! Learn how you can create unique virtual tours in under 15 minutes for less than $3. Book a free information call here. To view the original article, visit the Virtual Tours Creator blog.
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How to Create a Killer Real Estate Content Calendar
Are you the agent that plans all of your social media and blog posts, or are you the agent that just posts spur of the moment content based on your mood? Everything in your business needs to be planned in order to be successful and your real estate content posts are NO exception to this rule. In order to maximize reach on your real estate content, it is important to put together a marketing content calendar. Here are four tips to help you maximize your real estate content strategy: Research Spend a few hours researching some of the latest trends in the real estate industry or in real estate industry news. Use this time to cultivate a list of articles that you have found and want to share with your fans and followers, or a list of topics that you are going to start writing about yourself. You should be setting aside a few hours every week to do this so that your content stays fresh. Of course you are going to stumble across content that is share-worthy from a few months, or even years ago, which is fine, but keep in mind that current content is often more relevant. If you are going to use old content, try to rewrite something and put a current-day/relevant spin on it. Pro Tip: For those spontaneous agents that want to find content the day of a post, doing a bit of daily research can help you be a planner and spontaneous at the same time! Consolidate all of your calendars into one First things first—if you have multiple calendars to look at everyday, get rid of all of them except one of them. With multiple places to find information, there is a really good chance that you will have a hard time staying organized. Put everything on one calendar so that all of your deadlines are in one place. If you want to go above and beyond, color coding is a great way to make your information easy to find. This also eliminates issues of your colleagues or assistants not being able to find information that they need in order to successfully assist you. Pro Tip: If you are color coding your calendars, make sure that you have a key so that you don't ever have to question what things mean. Set reminders Remind yourself when you need to be posting your content if you don't have an automated posting tool to pre-schedule your posts ahead of time. Sometimes you can get stretched a little bit too thin at work, and tasks fall through the cracks. Don't let posting engaging real estate content be one of the items that fall through the cracks. Once you have a reminder, whether it's a daily or weekly reminder, you will find yourself falling into a routine and not feeling overwhelmed with the fact that you are being reminded to complete a task. Pro Tip: Don't cancel your reminder even if you are able to remember your posting schedule. There could be a day in the future where you are going to need that extra reminder. Better safe than sorry, right? Share your content Share your content on as many platforms as your heart desires. With the abundance of social media platforms available today, you have a lot of choices. You also have your personal website, emails to your clients/potential clients. Your sharing ability is pretty limitless these days. The more platforms that you share your content on, the more impressive your reach will be. Your business is only as well known as you make it, and creating a real estate content marketing calendar can help your business grow while keeping you organized. Get your content marketing calendar started today so that you can get ahead of the game. Are you ready to get your content marketing calendar started? To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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RPR Reports: Easy to Create, Hard to Duplicate
Reports are RPR's bread and butter--professionally designed deliverables that are easy for consumers to understand and that you can send to your clients in minutes (if not seconds). They're also a chance for you to communicate your unique message and your brand to every prospect and client. Agents who use RPR reports: Instantly respond to client needs with real estate reports that matter Create reports with as much or as little information as the client needs Brand each RPR report with their name, photo, logo and contact information Customize reports to include biographies, testimonials, and marketing tools Colorful, Client-friendly Real Estate Reports for Every Facet of Your Business Seller's ReportA review of the subject property that shows local market conditions, comparable properties, recommends pricing strategies and estimated seller proceeds. Property ReportA summary of property characteristics, such as values, foreclosure activity, market statistics, demographics, history, taxes and school information, as well as before-and-after photos. Mini Property ReportA slimmed down version of the Property Report that includes the property's estimated value; home facts like bedrooms, baths and square footage; and photos. Property FlyerA quick glance at a property, including a photo, property information, a map, and your contact information and branding. Valuation WorkbookAn in-depth value of a property used as backup material for a lender or client. Market Activity ReportA profile of market changes based on listing information and MLS data, including active, pending, sold, expired and distressed properties. Neighborhood ReportA summary of economic, housing, demographic and quality of life information about an area. School ReportThis report summarizes student populations, testing outcomes, parental reviews, ratings, and contact information about a public or private school and will even display homes for sale in that school district. How to run Your RPR Report Log in to narrpr.com Type in the property address and enter The RPR Property Details page appears Select the Create Report button Click " + " to select which datasets to include Personalize the report with the recipient's name and a message Choose a delivery method (Display now or email) Select Run Report Pro Tip: Report Customizations You'll Want to Know About To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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It's All in the Details: Florida Agent Kaisen Mitchell on Standing Out in Today's Hot Market
With its beautiful beaches and endless sunshine, Sarasota remains one of the most competitive housing markets in the country. This means that having an excellent real estate agent is more important than ever. Sarasota agent Kaisen Mitchell shares tips on how to win offers and secure more listing clients. Mitchell says that most houses in his market are getting 5+ offers—one even received 12 offers in just a few hours of being listed! He also adds that the highest offer doesn't always win and encourages agents and buyers to do the following when submitting an offer: "Think outside the box" - While many people are waiving contingencies and appraisals, offering a short inspection period better protects the buyer and often yields the same result. Reach out to the listing agent - Ask what the seller is looking for and what's going to help them during the transition. Figure out what's important to the seller and then cater to that. Set realistic expectations with buyers - If houses in their preferred area are receiving multiple offers above the listing price, prepare them to bid accordingly and be aware that they might have to make up the difference if the house appraises below the selling price. Know your market and be prepared to act quickly - It's critical to be aware of what's happening in your market and be prepared to immediately go see a property and alert your clients. Stay in touch with everyone - Constantly communicate with your clients and agents. Provide your clients with frequent updates, and let other agents know what listings are coming up or what type of properties your clients are interested in. Use tools to help you stand out from the competition - Mitchell uses smart presentation platform HighNote and believes it helped him beat out 37 other offers in a recent property bidding war. He used the Offer Template that HighNote provides and included a video of himself presenting highlights of the offer. He was able to view the analytics and knew that the agent/sellers were reviewing the offer. And, even though his clients didn't have the highest bid, they still won the deal. Mitchell uses HighNote for sellers as well. When a seller contacts him, he sends out a presentation that includes information about him, the power of his brokerage, stats and what they've recently sold in the area, and a marketing timeline that he created from another HighNote template (HighNote offers a variety of free sample presentation templates and marketing tools). He also sends a sample of the professionally-produced video that they do for every listing. Finally, he includes sample marketing pieces. "HighNote is an extremely powerful tool. I use it every single day now," says Mitchell. "Thanks to the analytics, I can see when someone is opening the presentation, and what they're looking at. So I know I'm not just throwing it out into the wind and hoping for something to happen." Be sure to check out Kaisen's brokerage, Nest Group with Coldwell Banker Realty, and follow them on Facebook. And if you're a real estate agent looking to take your business to the next level, click here to get started with HighNote!
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14 Benefits of Virtual 360 Tours for Real Estate Sales and Marketing, Part 1
Did you know that, according to Zillow.com, listings with 360 virtual tours sold 10% faster and were 22% more likely to sell within 30 days than listings without. Unless you have been living under a rock, you saw the whole industry change because of the global pandemic. Here are the key benefits of virtual tours in sales and marketing according to some of the best agents in the industry. 1. Put your online presence on steroids Ninety percent of buyers are looking for properties online first and virtual tours definitely help you improve your visual appeal and Google positioning. If you think your letter drops are doing the work and getting you leads, that's fine—but in the post-COVID era, being digitally present and having some sort of Google search position is now more important than ever before. Sellers and buyers both take advice from the internet. If your face or your brand is not there on top of the search, you may soon be hurting for business. 2. Online showings 24/7 Buyers simply don't have time to do open houses every weekend, so give them a chance to inspect a property from the comfort of their own home and from any device. Virtual tours are a win-win situation for agents, sellers and buyers according to Lora Bladow, REMAX Excel agency owner from Schofield, Wisconsin. For agents, they save time on driving multiple times to open the door to a property. On the other hand, buyers don't have the time or even the opportunity to visit 35 homes in one weekend. A virtual 360° tour allows all to have a showing whenever they want to. And last but not least are the sellers that will not have to leave their house every weekend for a few hours to vacate the property for potential buyers. Virtual reality is a tool that allows you to have an outstanding marketing package. 3. Stand out from the crowd All listings look the same—they have photos, videos or even drone videos. But that's not exactly what your customers want. According to research, more than 70% of buyers would love to see a virtual tour of the house they found online before making a decision to go to the open house. 4. Reduce time of property on the market Agents using virtual 360° tours can reduce the time a property spends on the market because they can efficiently present the property to a much wider audience of not only local but interstate and international buyers. In rural areas, our customers managed to get DOM down from 160 days to two to three weeks. According to Lora Bladow, REMAX Excel, her listings not only sold faster but also at higher prices as there was more competition amongst buyers. 5. Win more listings Win listings by blowing sellers' minds away. Only 3-5% of agents worldwide are able to make their own virtual tours, so if you want to stand out from the crowd, follow the advice of Edgar Natolo, Nat Group owner, Gold Coast, Australia and beat your competition hands-down by offering virtual 360° tours in your marketing package. Some sellers are desperately waiting for you to come in and save them from other agents who can't present their property in the most efficient way. 6. Create your own brand Create your own unique, personal brand that stands out from the crowd and makes people take notice. If you improve your marketing and services with the latest and greatest solutions that are available on the market, like virtual 360 tours, you will undoubtedly be noticed and talked about in your local area. Using such technology can easily get you access to the local news and will definitely build up your image in the local community. And this, my friends, is GOLD ! 7. Never lose a listing again Win sellers by impressing them with your immersive technology and impressive marketing mix. Agents using DIY 360° technology say that many times they have been able to secure listings as they did the virtual 360° tour on the spot during the listing presentation. It's not what you normally do, as you should have the house prepared and staged for the photos. But if the owner wants to test you, you can take out your camera or your iPhone and do a demo virtual tour for them on the spot on your mobile device. This will knock them off their feet, make you the best person for selling their house, and win you their trust. Read more in Part 2... To view the original article, visit the Virtual Tours Creator blog.
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4 Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make with Personal Relationships
Building and maintaining relationships is essential to living a happy life. It is even more important for real estate agents who rely on these relationships for future clients and referrals. Through my personal experience with friends who happen to be real estate agents, there are a few mistakes that I've seen that can lead to some awkward moments or loss of future business. 1. Being a Real Estate Agent First It is a good practice to keep reminding people that you are in the real estate industry. If you don't talk about it, then people might forget you are still an agent. Be that as it may, there are certain times when soliciting your services can be inappropriate and turn off future prospects. Sometimes it can make sense to just have a simple conversation to catch up with your friends—without putting them in an awkward situation where they have to say "no" to your services because they have no need for them (or don't know anybody who is looking). When somebody posts, "I need an agent!" on Facebook, they'll be more likely to recommend one of their FRIENDS that is an agent—instead of a real estate agent on their Friends List. Be a friend first. 2. Not Keeping in Touch I'm guilty of having a large friend list on Facebook, and a few thousand followers on Instagram and TikTok. It's hard to stay in touch with each individual person. However, that is what is needed to maintain a personal connection. This is the same as having a CRM full of leads, but never following up with any of them. Some real estate leads will need to be nurtured for months before they are transaction ready. This is the same with personal relationships. You can't expect for somebody to want to work with you if you haven't spoken to them in over a year. Imagine that guy from highschool you had mutual friends with trying to sell you solar panels out of nowhere—it's the same situation. 3. Using Social Media Only to Advertise People who are doing social media wrong are only posting about themselves and focusing on what type of content they are going to publish. People who work social media effectively might not even ever have to post—instead they are liking, commenting, and sharing posts from people within their network. Maybe even sometimes they will slide into their inbox with a question about a recent post. These types of interactions will make a stronger connection with your friends online, and will make a stronger impact on your business. 4. Bad Timing of Life Changes I'm adding this one here from personal experiences. There are major life changes that can signal a change in one's living situation. Marriage, divorce, and parenthood are good examples. I've had some great interactions with agents that congratulated me on my wedding and let me know they are there for me if we ever decide to upgrade to a new home. I appreciate that, because those are friends. Then there are some that find out we are expecting a baby—but I haven't spoken to them in years, they don't ask questions about how we are doing, solicit their services—and the baby isn't even born yet. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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How Direct Marketing Can Still Impact Your Real Estate Business
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How to Leverage Social Proof as a Real Estate Agent
"Smart marketers know that social proof is the marketing tactic for easing the minds of worried customers." Social proof is the new cornerstone to a focused marketing campaign, because it's the type of collateral that connects happy customers to prospective customers -- and with the bombardment of modern marketing messages, this will strike a chord faster. According to a Nielson report, 83% of consumers in 60 countries say they trust recommendations from friends or family over any other form of advertising. Why Social Proof Is the Driving Force of Your Marketing Plan Before we get too far ahead of ourselves here – what exactly is social proof? Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where an incredibly strong force influences our behaviors. It's where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation—people around you condition you. Why is this so you ask? People trust other people. And they trust people they can relate to. This influential form of marketing is effective because it hits close to home. For instance, developing a case study or gathering testimonials from happy clients in your neighborhood and using it to nurture prospects will go a lot farther than telling them why you're a perfect fit for them. The mentality of a client is, "Well if they did that well for our neighbors, what will that mean for me?" Which is why you show, rather than tell. How to Arm Your Social Proof Arsenal In the real estate world, upwards of 60-80% of your business can come from referrals, making your Sphere of Influence (SOI) the lifeblood of your livelihood. Which is why it's important to build the foundation of your core network and start squeezing positive marketing collateral from them. Here's how to get started. Listen on Social Media In this digital arena, there are conversations going on all around you. When you receive a positive comment from a happy client, be sure to send them your thanks and ask if they would agree to you using their comment as a testimonial. Survey Clients After You Close When the moment is still fresh, and you've had a successful working relationship, ask if they would provide a quote, or be willing to use this experience as you develop a case study. Don't wait until a few months later to ask – jump on it when the emotions are at their peak! Go Local You can also have what they call in the marketing world "celebrity social proof," which is when a prominent figure vouches on behalf of your brand or product and you can use this for your own benefit. Now you don't have to have Denzel Washington speaking up for your brand, but rather look locally if newspapers or business associations have given you praise. For example, "See why The Globe and Mail chose us as the top real estate brokerage for the Toronto area!" It can add a lot of weight when a reputable publication writes about you, so be sure to highlight that testimonial and company logo across all of your platforms. Just Ask! Simply put, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. The worst thing that can happen when you reach out to a client for a testimonial is they will politely decline. Where to Use This Social Influence Strategically So we understand the why and the how – now it's time to discuss where to use this powerful artillery of social proof. The short answer is that you can use this on every digital touch point of your brand. There is a full range of areas where you can showcase this social proof: Client testimonials are snackable quotes that can be used everywhere Develop a full case study story on the end-to-end work you did for a client Have it prominently displayed on your website in the "upper fold" Take advantage of a compelling quote in your email signature Use quotes on your social media cover photos. Stories really connect with consumers because we remember how we felt when we heard a story. They are more persuasive and trustworthy than statistics because numbers get thrown around far too often and it's hard keeping track. Key Takeaways This is the peer-to-peer revolution where the consumer takes back control and uses information as power when evaluating a real estate professional to work with. This is a new digital age where people have a sea of data to research while doing their homework before executing on a decision. The conversations are happening all around you, and it's wise to corral some of these positive interactions to start using them strategically and sharing them with your prospects! Store and use this social proof interchangeably all in one place with a high-powered real estate CRM and be able to call on them in a moments' notice. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Trending Now: Smart Technology, Smart Marketing, Smart Realtors
Real estate technology in 2021 is giving you ways to shape your future. Whether you are focused primarily on residential or commercial property, you can't ignore the changing landscape of your industry. Now is your time to take advantage of proptech trends to boost your brand, increase buyer awareness, grow your leads, and keep those referrals coming. As threatening as the word sounds, technology is your friend and it can influence the way you do business and the way the consumer judges your competency. The popularity of smart devices, social media, and video streaming are reasons to take note and implement these tools into your real estate marketing plans. Get social Not a day goes by without someone discussing something happening on their social media feed. According to a recent NAR survey, social media is one of the most valuable proptech tools for real estate agents. With buyers and sellers checking out Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube regularly, these channels are places where you can share one of the best proptech trends 2021 has to offer: the virtual tour. You have been using 3D videos and virtual tours throughout the past several months to offer a way for the consumer to easily navigate a property. But now you can allow the user more control using interactive floor plans with 360° panoramic visuals. The best part is you can share it all on your social media channels, websites, or even host a live tour where you can interact in real-time with your clients. Added value Everyone wants an upgrade and, in real estate, there are ways to provide added value to your clients by giving them the benefit of an immersive floor plan with the accurate square footage of a property. Measurements are important especially when communicating value to the consumer. Complimenting a virtual tour with an interactive floor plan allows for seamless navigation throughout every space within the property. When using real estate technology in 2021, be sure to include advanced measurements to assist the buyer when making important decisions for renovations, insurance claims, or placement of furniture. BIG data One of the most useful proptech trends 2021 has to offer real estate agents is data. Bigger is better when it comes to analyzing all the important facts and figures in the industry. How does big data affect your day-to-day business? The consumer is looking for ways to compare and analyze potential homes to target their individual specifications. Big data allows you to provide insight into all the statistics you need to help the buyer on their journey. Everything from neighbourhood demographic information to walk scores, crime rates and the all-important selling and buying trends allow for better decisions based on analytics. Real estate agents can use analytics to track the success of marketing campaigns by using big data to compile user feedback, interest in a property, and the overall performance of every transaction. Easy to share with 5G Yes, big data is important but without the ability to share all that information you could be left waiting for long periods of time before you see results. Enter the power of 5G networks to support all the real estate technology in 2021. Transmission speed helps you get information to the consumer in a timely manner. 5G helps you connect all your virtual tours, interactive floor plans and communication tools quickly and less costly. High definition imagery, connection to cameras, virtual reality and massive data transmissions can happen instantly with the power of 5G. When you are looking to increase buyer awareness amongst millennials, their predecessors and successors, you need speed. Instant gratification is key when capturing the attention of a potential client. Lose the fear One of the biggest challenges facing real estate agents is the fear of proptech trends in 2021 and beyond. Let's face it, technology can be difficult to keep up with. But once you get past the fear of the changing landscape of the real estate industry you will embrace the trends and welcome newer and better innovative proptech. According to Realtor® Magazine, 84% of consumers want to see virtual tours of homes. Before the pandemic hit, you may not have considered using virtual tours as part of your marketing plan. But now immersive 3D tours and interactive floor plans with reliable square footage are the best way to market a property, increase leads, and get properties sold quickly. Technology gives you the ideal way to attract qualified buyers while providing a safe, unintrusive method of presenting a seller's home. Considering what is trending now and where real estate technology in 2021 has taken you. There is a whole lot more coming at you in the not-so-distant future. A reshaping of the real estate industry through proptech innovations is well underway, so if you want to stay in shape you need to be informed and embrace technology like your best friend.
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Please Join Us in Donating to REALTORS for Relief from Hurricane Ida in Louisiana
Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 hurricane, delivered 150 mile per hour winds and set a path of destruction that killed four and left 1,000,000 without power in Louisiana. Hurricane Ida's winds were 30 MPH stronger than those of Hurricane Katrina. The Realtors of the Northshore Area Board of REALTORS®, New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®, Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® and Greater Southern MLS as well as Realtors in Mississippi felt the brunt of this natural disaster. The extraordinarily high winds literally made the Mississippi River flow upstream. Realtors are in desperate need of our help to get their families to safety and then to begin the expensive and arduous task of rebuilding their homes and their businesses. With the hottest real estate market in history, many Realtors and clients have lost thousands of potential transactions and billions of dollars in value. Please join us in donating to the Louisiana REALTOR® Relief Program and the Hurricane Ida fund in the KWCares program. If you haven't seen the devastation yet, take a minute to watch the following video HERE. If you would like to help, there are several opportunities for you to donate: 1. Louisiana REALTORS® Relief Fund Louisiana REALTORS® has set up a disaster relief fund that will provide much needed funding for victims of hurricanes and other natural disasters. The Louisiana REALTORS® Relief Fund was established in 2005 as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to providing financial assistance to Realtor members and the consumers they serve in times of natural or man-made disasters. The Fund has provided indispensable assistance to the Realtor community since its implementation following the catastrophic effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Those who have suffered extensive damages due to the occurrence of natural disasters can rely on the relief fund to assist in their recovery and rebuilding efforts. The funds delivered ensure property owners can once again enjoy the pride of ownership, Realtors are able to practice their trade, and communities are revitalized and strengthened. Now the Louisiana REALTORS® Relief Fund are now going to be used to help Realtors recover from Hurricane Laura. Please join us in making a donation to help your fellow Realtors in their time of need. Donate HERE to Help Realtors 2. KWCares.org KW Cares grants provide much-needed assistance for Keller Williams associates and their families with financial hardship due to sudden emergencies such as: accidents, house fires, medical emergencies and unaffordable funeral and burial expenses. They also respond swiftly to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and floods, by providing funds for food, lodging, and transportation and by deploying generators, water and other disaster relief supplies. They are up and ready to help Hurricane Ida victims. You can donate HERE To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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4 Reasons Why the End of Forbearance Will Not Lead to a Wave of Foreclosures
With forbearance plans about to come to an end, many are concerned the housing market will experience a wave of foreclosures like what happened after the housing bubble 15 years ago. Here are four reasons why that won't happen. 1. There are fewer homeowners in trouble this time After the last housing crash, about 9.3 million households lost their home to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they simply gave it back to the bank. As stay-at-home orders were issued early last year, the overwhelming fear was the pandemic would decimate the housing industry in a similar way. Many experts projected 30% of all mortgage holders would enter the forbearance program. Only 8.5% actually did, and that number is now down to 3.5%. As of last Friday, the total number of mortgages still in forbearance stood at 1,863,000. That's definitely a large number, but nowhere near 9.3 million. 2. Most of the 1.86M in forbearance have enough equity to sell their home Of the 1.86 million homeowners currently in forbearance, 87% have at least 10% equity in their homes. The 10% equity number is important because it enables homeowners to sell their houses and pay the related expenses instead of facing the hit on their credit that a foreclosure or short sale would create. The remaining 13% might not all have the option to sell, so if the entire 13% of the 1.86M homes went into foreclosure, that would total 241,800 mortgages. To give that number context, here are the annual foreclosure numbers of the three years leading up to the pandemic: 2017: 314,220 2018: 279,040 2019: 277,520 The probable number of foreclosures coming out of the forbearance program is nowhere near the number of foreclosures coming out of the housing crash 15 years ago. The number does, however, draw a similar comparison to the three years prior to the pandemic. 3. The current market can absorb any listings coming to the market When foreclosures hit the market in 2008, there was an excess supply of homes for sale. The situation is exactly the opposite today. In 2008, there was a nine-month supply of listings for sale. Today, that number stands at less than three months of inventory on the market. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains when addressing potential foreclosures emerging from the forbearance program: "Any foreclosure increases will likely be quickly absorbed by the market. It will not lead to any price declines." 4. Those in power will do whatever is necessary to prevent a wave of foreclosures Last month, the White House released a fact sheet explaining how homeowners with government-backed mortgages will be given further options to enable them to keep their homes when exiting forbearance. Here are two examples mentioned in the release: "For homeowners who can resume their pre-pandemic monthly mortgage payment and where agencies have the authority, agencies will continue requiring mortgage servicers to offer options that allow borrowers to move missed payments to the end of the mortgage at no additional cost to the borrower." "The new steps the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are announcing will aim to provide homeowners with a roughly 25% reduction in borrowers' monthly principal and interest (P&I) payments to ensure they can afford to remain in their homes and build equity long-term. This brings options for homeowners with mortgages backed by HUD, USDA, and VA closer in alignment with options for homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." When evaluating the four reasons above, it's clear there won't be a flood of foreclosures coming to the market as the forbearance program winds down. Bottom Line "The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent." To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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How to Calm Frazzled Buyers and Sellers Amidst the Delta Variant
In this edition of "Ask the Industry," we ask real estate professionals their thoughts about timely topics related to the real estate industry. Today's post features: Katie Lance, CEO and Founder at Katie Lance Consulting Stephanie Vitacco, Broker and Realtor with Keller Williams Realty Inc. Ali Sherbach, Agent with Sherbach Team with Compass With the Delta variant renewing fears about the pandemic and forcing some companies to delay plans to bring workers back, what is your advice for agents to help calm buyers and sellers who may be reluctant to wade into the market at this time? Being mindful and respectful of different comfort levels is of the utmost importance Ali Sherbach, Agent, Sherbach Team with Compass, Brooklyn, NY "I think the best way to calm anyone feeling a bit frazzled is to ask lots of questions so you can get to the source of their anxiety. For sellers, if their fear is being exposed to the Delta variant, ask if it would be helpful if we had a strict protocol in place for showing their home.That could mean requiring proof of vaccination, masks being worn during appointments, showing the home by appointment only, or even having a virtual tour be the first step before an in person showing. For buyers, if their fear is job loss should we need to quarantine again, ask if it would be helpful if they had a mortgage contingency in their offer. Meaning if their mortgage fell through because they were no longer employed, they would be able to walk away from the purchase without penalty. Being mindful and respectful of everyone's level of comfort is of the utmost importance right now. And as real estate agents, we all need to remember that our level of comfort may be different from our clients', so we need to make sure we fully understand what makes them feel as safe as possible and act accordingly." Utilize social media to host virtual open houses Katie Lance, CEO and Founder, Katie Lance Consulting, Pleasanton, CA "I think it's important for real estate agents and brokers to meet buyers and sellers where they are and understand that everyone has a different level of comfort when it comes to the variants. I highly recommend agents and brokers become familiar with how to host virtual open houses for their sellers. Offer this as an option to help control the number of people through a home. Also, virtual open houses can help to generate great quality leads who are genuinely interested and qualified. Second, for buyers – if you are representing a buyer – I recommend you get familiar with some of the tools available to preview homes for your clients. One of the easiest ways to do this is through Facebook Live – but you can set your settings to just go live to you and your client. One reason to do this versus a traditional video is that video files can be massive and tough to send back and forth to your clients. A Facebook Live is quick and it's a recorded video that they can refer back to." Buyers and sellers will weather the storm Stephanie Vitacco, CEO of Team Vitacco and Realtor, Keller Williams Realty Inc., Los Angeles, CA "On the buying side, if a buyer is concerned or frazzled about getting into the market, it is important to know that interest rates are at a historically low point. If you are planning on being in a property for five to seven years, you will weather any storm. Buying is also much better than paying rent. If you take the amount of rent you pay over five to seven years and then compare it against what that would look like if you purchased — it usually always makes sense. On the selling side, there really are not a lot of frazzled sellers because it is such a strong market." To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Friday Freebie: Virtual Listing Presentation Template
Here's the truth: people DO judge books by their covers, and companies by their websites--and you can bet real estate consumers are judging agents by how they present themselves. How are they judging you? More specifically, how are sellers judging you when you try to get them to list with you? Sellers are a sought-after source of business, and if you're not putting your best foot forward, you could lose that potential commission source. That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. Today, we're highlighting a professionally designed listing presentation template that can help you shine in front of homeowners. Free download of the 2021 Virtual Listing Presentation Template, courtesy of Zurple Put a bit of polish on your listing presentation with this digital template. The template is fully editable and brandable, and is available as a PowerPoint file that you can share digitally or print out and take with you. This free download includes sample scripts for connecting with sellers and instructions for editing your template. The listing presentation template itself includes the following pages: Cover page 'About me' and 'My experience' slides My recent home sales Testimonials The Home Selling Process Comps for recent sales and active listings Pricing strategy info Listing price proposal Marketing strategy and marketing samples Why you should work with me Next steps Ready to give your listing presentation an upgrade? Download the 2021 Virtual Listing Presentation Template now!
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RPR's 10 Best Real Estate Apps for 2021
Tech is no stranger to the real estate business. Nowadays you can perform a laundry list of tasks by just using your phone. Not to mention market yourself, post to social media, manage relationships, generate leads, create content and so much more. However, sometimes all that technology can get a bit overwhelming and it's tough to keep up with all the tech tools available to you. Perhaps you just need a quick list of helpful tools, in the form of digital applications, that can make you a more proficient and efficient agent. RPR's annual "Best of Apps" article's got you covered! Read on to see how your tech stack stacks up to our 2021 list. 1. RPR (Realtors Property Resource) Topline: Property data, tools and reports that will "wow" your clients and help you close more deals. Summary: Well, of course we're going to include RPR in our list of "favorite apps." But first one on the list? Bold! As a REALTOR®, RPR is your exclusive NAR member benefit. And with it, you can perform transactions, service your clients and build your business by: Researching properties for up-to-date data and information Creating Property Reports, Neighborhoods Reports, School Reports, Market Activity Reports and more Viewing recent activity and local market conditions around you Accessing tax, mortgage, historical and distressed data, and flood zones Searching for schools within an area or school district Adding photos, text and audio notes to any property Using geographic farming techniques to prospect for leads Utilizing maps to discover travel times and traffic counts Building bullet-proof CMAs and listing presentations Using the RPR app to respond to clients in seconds when you're in the field And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how much RPR can do for you and your real estate business. Get your app downloaded today: RPR from Apple App Store, and RPR from Google Play. Cost: Free! RPR is included in your National Association of REALTORS® dues as a member benefit. 2. Magisto Topline: An AI-powered, computerized video editor that makes video storytelling super easy. Summary: Magisto is an offering from Vimeo, who obviously have major video cred. This app (along with a desktop software version) helps its users create high quality video content, and do it quickly. Users edit the photos they want to include, then select stock templates, then add a title and select a music bed. Then the real fun starts! Magisto's AI program puts it all together into an eye-catching version which the user can edit or use as-is. For real estate agents, it's perfect for video home tours or promoting a highlight reel of yourself on social media or via email. Cost: $10, $20 or $70 per month 3. Sentrilock Topline: Offers the first and only combined lockbox, showing service, and experience management solution. Summary: SentriLock, which is owned by NAR, is an industry-leading electronic lockbox manufacturer and provider of property access solutions. SentriLock prides itself on being easy to use, reliable and secure. And of course, it has a digital application, called SentriConnect®, which allows REALTORS® to easily manage home access, showings, and client communication – all from their phone or tablet. In addition, REALTORS® using SentriKey Real Estate® have one-click access to property data via the RPR app on their iOS or Android devices—an integration that will prove highly valuable to REALTORS® who want to present on-the-spot data and reports to their clients. (Click here for details). Cost: For REALTORS®: $137.80 per month, plus a $50 one-time activation fee. 4. Forewarn Topline: Safety! Forewarn allows agents to work safer and smarter by instantly verifying a prospect's identity and potential risks prior to a face-to-face meeting. Summary: By nature, the business of real estate can sometimes involve talking and meeting with strangers. 99.99% of the time everything is perfectly fine and safe, but you can never be too careful. With the Forewarn app, agents can properly and safely plan for showings with a higher level of confidence. In seconds, with as little information as a phone number or a name, agents can verify a prospect's identity, criminal records, bankruptcies, liens, judgments, address history, and property records all in one place, leading to safer and more productive interactions. Basically, find out if people are who they say they are and do a little extra digging for good measure. Cost: $20/month with an annual agreement for individual agents. However, discounts are available for brokerages and associations purchasing licenses in volume. 5. Clicky Topline: Clicky tracks website traffic and behavior to help you improve user experience. Summary: Clicky helps you track important data on how your website is used by your visitors. It works very much the same way as Google Analytics, but several reviewers say Clicky's interface is more user-friendly. It offers metrics and heat maps that track individual website navigation. In other words, you can see what areas of your website visitors are clicking on and engaging with most, and conversely, what areas need improvement. Cost: Free, limited to one site with a maximum of 3,000 daily page views. Premium plans also available starting at $10 per month. 6. Stride Topline: Easily track your mileage, expenses and more. Summary: As a self employed, independent contractor, REALTORS® need to keep track of business expenses for tax purposes. The Stride app puts you on cruise control when it comes to keeping track of mileage by automatically uploading your miles. It's got some other nifty write-off features too, such as allowing users to import expenses from their bank account and keep track of receipts. And as a bonus, it also suggests deduction options, integrates with tax preparation software, and offers an IRS-ready tax summary. Cost: It's free! 7. TurboScan (Apple)/ TurboScan (Google) Topline: Make high quality scans of any hard copy document from your phone. Summary: TurboScan (Apple) / TurboScan (Google) turns your smartphone into a full-featured and powerful multipage scanner for documents, receipts, notes, whiteboards, photos, and various other everyday hard copies. However, you're not just snapping a pic and converting it to a PDF or JPEG. TurboScan uses advanced technology (algorithms) to accurately detect document edges, straighten out and correct perspective, eliminate shadows and set a perfect black and white contrast. Crisp, clear, scanned docs and the price is right! Cost: One-time $6 fee 8. Follow Up Boss Topline: An entire CRM in your pocket that streamlines sales activities for real estate agents, teams and brokerages to help them better manage their leads. Summary: If you're looking for an all-in-one customer relationship management software tool, Follow Up Boss sits proudly in the corner office. This well-reviewed real estate CRM is designed to help sales agents follow up faster and more often, with the people most likely to turn into deals. Notable features include auto-send for emails, inbound and outbound call management, drip emails, and automated text messaging in one streamlined interface. Another huge benefit of Follow Up Boss is that it integrates with tons of lead sources including Zillow, Realtor.com, Homes.com, Ylopo, Facebook and many more. And its list of business-building features is never-ending with categories including basic CRM, Marketing, Reporting, Lead Providers and Integrations. Check out their site for full details. Cost: Free trial for 14 days, then $69 per month, with price increases depending on the number of users. There's a reason Follow Up Boss is pricey—it packs a performance punch and should be looked at as an investment vs. an expense. 9. Mojo Dialer Topline: Dialing system and lead generation platform. Summary: If you're not familiar with auto dialing systems, here's how they work: you make an outbound call from your phone through the Mojo platform. Once you connect, the system begins dialing the numbers in your list. When a lead answers, you hear them immediately. As you progress through the list, Mojo knows what phone numbers to dial next. Users don't even hear the ringing, which makes long prospecting sessions a breeze. Numbers that ring busy, are disconnected or don't get picked up, roll over to the next number automatically without manual input. And if you run into an answering machine, you will be able to leave pre-recorded messages. One last thing: this app is the mobile companion app for the Mojo Dialer, which means you can untether from your desk and make your calls from anywhere. If you're an old school prospect dialer, Mojo might be for you. Get yours on! Cost: $99 for a single user, per month 10. Cloze Topline: A smart CRM and AI assistant in one that automatically keeps track of your email, phone calls, text messages, meetings, documents, and social media. Summary: Besides being one the best-named apps we've ever seen, Cloze is also the hassle-free way to manage everything about your business in one place. When you need client information fast, the Cloze app syncs and pulls data automatically from your most used platforms to provide you with every detail needed to stay on top of client relations. And data entry? A thing of the past with this app. It also compiles your communication history with a client, including emails, calls, and exchanged files. And their proactive artificial intelligence prompts you to keep in-touch, with the right message at the right time. Cost: From $17-$42 per month And that's a wrap on our best of apps for 2021! To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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A High Offer Isn't Everything: How Buyers Can Sweeten the Deal in Other Ways
Palm Beach County, Florida remains one of the strongest real estate markets in the country due to great weather, lack of income tax, low inventory, and reasonable home prices. Jeff Lichtenstein of Echo Fine Properties says that buyers need to think beyond price when they find themselves in a bidding war. Lichtenstein says that the highest offer doesn't always win, and offers some tips on being prepared in competitive situations: Educate buyers on the market, and stay in control of the situation. Agents must have a plan and a schedule. Find out what the seller wants. Sellers hold most of the cards right now, so it's critical to understand what their wants and needs are, and act accordingly. Speed is a major factor. Clients can't sleep on it overnight and think about whether or not they want to buy it. Include short periods of acceptance. If your clients see a house at 10 am, write up the offer and give the sellers until 5 pm to respond. Try to get the earliest appointment possible to view a home. Use an escalation clause. Include in the contract that if someone matches the buyer's offer in 24 hours, your buyer will match it and go up by $1,000. Escalation clauses can be used for other things besides money. Agree to be flexible if the seller wants to shift the closing date or lease the property back. Make a big deposit. In the past, 10% was always a good deposit, but offers with larger deposits (25%+) are being taken more seriously. Use a local lender. Local banks can usually close more quickly than a big national bank. Having good communication and always acting/looking professional is also key, and Lichtenstein uses HighNote (a smart presentation platform) as a cornerstone of his communications efforts. He and his brokerage use the tool in multiple ways—introducing their agents and brokerage, showcasing their home selling process, agent onboarding and recruiting, etc. Several of his agents use it to send out a schedule of activities to their clients that includes links to developments and homes they'll be viewing on a particular day. "We can communicate better with HighNote than if we just write and send a generic email without the pretty pictures. People absorb the information faster that way, by seeing the photos and the writing that's next to it—whether you're putting in a .pdf, video, link, a picture, or even a Word document," Lichtenstein explains. "Plus, the analytics lets us know if they've opened it up—if they're looking at it for a long time, we know they're an interested party. Or if they haven't opened it, then we can call and ask if they've seen what we've sent. We love that feature," he says. You can follow Jeff and the entire ECHO Fine Properties team on Facebook and Instagram, and learn more about HighNote at highnote.io.
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How to Optimize Your Real Estate Video Marketing
Video isn't the next hot thing--it has been the hottest for a while now. What's changed during the past few years is how videos are created, marketed and consumed by viewers. You no longer need professional-grade equipment and expensive editing software to produce engaging content. Low barriers to entry is one reason there's been a boom in new content. And this accessibility is exactly why real estate video marketing needs to be among your top priorities this year. More importantly, consumers are watching videos at a higher rate than ever before. Currently, Americans average 18 hours of video-watching per week, which is two hours more than a year ago. It's increasingly the go-to method for learning about a product or service, with more than two-thirds of people preferring videos to text or other types of content. If you're ready to put more fuel into your real estate video marketing, then read on. We'll discuss techniques for maximizing video and leveraging the right platforms to promote it. Three Tips for Better Videos Although consumers are gobbling up video hours like candy, it's just as easy to flip to the next shiny object if the content isn't interesting. So, how do you maximize your precious video time? Keeps these three main points in mind when you're creating your real estate video to ensure it's as engaging as possible. This goes for listing videos (e.g. walkthroughs) as well as brand awareness/promotion (e.g., an intro to you and your services). 1. Keep it short When people are browsing social media, their attention span is limited. The interesting thing is that the length of time they are willing to watch a video differs by platform. This mostly has to do with expectations. For example, people go to YouTube specifically looking for video content, so they expect it to be more in-depth and are willing to watch longer. On social media, on the other hand, consumers are only willing to spend so much time per post before moving onto the next. Here are ideal video lengths by platform that HubSpot's research uncovered: Instagram: 30 seconds Twitter: 45 seconds Facebook: 1 minute YouTube: 2 minutes The takeaway here is that you need to get your message across as quickly as possible and cut out any fluff that lengthens your video but isn't engaging. Front-load your videos with need-to-know content at the beginning in order to both hook watchers to stick around longer and ensure they learn the most important points before exiting the screen. You can and should publish longer versions with your MLS listings or on your real estate website. Buyers browsing those spaces are similar to YouTubers in that they are expecting and want to watch an in-depth video. 2. Include audio and subtitles A majority of people don't turn up their volume to listen to audio (hence the "volume up" and "sound on" emojis and stickers that appear on many videos). While you should include audio for those who do want it, you must also include subtitles for everybody else. It's the only way for you to provide context or important details if they aren't listening in. Many programs will be able to intelligently apply subtitles for you, but just make sure that the text is accurate and well-spaced throughout your video. If not, go in and make edits to ensure you're publishing high-quality, accurate content. 3. Be visually engaging You may think "easier said than done," but that's not true. Your best judgement will guide you in the right direction. Chances are you also enjoy watching videos, so you will instinctively know whether the video you make is snooze-worthy or worth watching. There are a few things you can keep in mind that will help you ensure you're keeping it visually engaging. First, make sure the rooms are well-lit. Don't shoot at night, and when you record during the day, open all the windows and let natural light flood the space. Use indoor lighting when you don't have a window to open or if the level of sunlight is too low. Second, don't move the camera too fast or too slow. If you're doing a walkthrough, you don't want to speed through a room so quickly that you force viewers to pause or rewind. Move too slowly and you'll lose viewers, especially those who have their audio off. Finally, ensure there is an interesting focal point in all shots. For example, if you are doing a walkthrough and there isn't staging furniture set up, don't pause on a wall as you describe the room. Keep panning the camera or move to another room so you keep viewers interested in learning what's behind the next door. One last step When you've finished your video, share it with close friends or colleagues who can give you honest feedback. You won't need to do this forever—you can sign off on the video yourself once you become more accustomed to real estate video marketing. Where to Promote Your Videos Too many real estate agents fall victim to publishing their videos with the MLS property listing and stopping there. You did the work, so you should promote it far and wide! Here are a few locations across the web where you can reach interested buyers and sellers. 1. Social media If you already have a following on specific social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, then you should definitely share your video natively so your fans can interact with your content. It's also important to invest some of your advertising budget in your real estate video marketing. Push it out to those who don't already follow your business pages but are in your sphere and target audience. When your sphere sees your ads, it's a reminder that you work in real estate (so many people forget!). By promoting your content to your target audience, you are widening your sphere of influence by introducing yourself to new potential leads and improving your brand awareness each time they see your ad. Homesnap can help you set up and target your video ads on Facebook and Instagram in just a few clicks, and you get to choose everything from the dynamic design to the lead form to the daily budget. Check out our video ads for real estate agents for yourself. 2. Your Google business profile No matter what type of video you create—whether brand-focused or a walkthrough of a listing—you should publish it to your Google business profile's media section. This is just another piece of content that will help leads and prospects get to know you better and see you in action. If you don't already have a Google business profile, now is the time to claim your space and get started. In addition to being a key place to extend your real estate video marketing, it's integral for branding and establishing credibility. 3. Homesnap Buyers and sellers browse Homesnap daily, looking at new listings, comparables and, of course, agents and their real estate profile. If your listing videos are already in the MLS, they will automatically be attached to your property listing in Homesnap. But you can take it one step further and create unique content just for buyers and sellers who check you out in Homesnap. Homesnap Pro agents can add a Story (similar to those on Instagram and Facebook) to each of their MLS listings. You'll record content and add text, graphics, filters and more right inside the Homesnap Story creator. Your completed Story will be available to those who look at your individual listings, as well as your public profile in Homesnap. See how easy it is to get started! You can also promote your Homesnap Story as a targeted ad on Facebook and Instagram just by selecting the boost story option. A final thought If you aren't already creating marketing videos for your real estate business, today is the best day to start. Don't forget: Practice makes perfect. The more often you produce content, the more natural it feels to be in front of and behind the camera. After you see for yourself the high level of engagement that videos get, you'll be wondering why you didn't start making them sooner! To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Add Infographics to Your Real Estate Marketing Strategy
Although the marketing world is constantly in flux, one thing is for sure--we are more visual than ever before. These days, we prefer to consume information in graphical ways that are easily digestible and shareable across different channels, which explains why infographics have become such a popular content marketing tool. In fact, according to HubSpot, an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than pure text. Real estate infographics, in particular, are a powerful and persuasive way to repurpose old content, generate new leads, draw referrals, and inform your audience. Here are Different Infographics Real Estate Agents Can Share: Market Reports Since real estate agents should have information about their communities readily available to their leads already, that data can be easily converted into a visual display that both buyers and sellers will find helpful. Lists By their very nature, lists lend themselves easily to infographics. But the goal is to make them more eye-catching by incorporating more visual elements. For example, icons can replace bullet points and various fonts and colors can be used make each line stand out. Community Information An informational infographic template is the best choice for clearly communicating a specialized concept and a great way to show off your understanding of your local markets. Typically, this type of infographic is divided into sections that include descriptive headers with numbered sections that help the design flow. Statistics Real estate data pulled from multiple sources are best represented via statistical infographics. They can make otherwise uninteresting presentations and statistics more palatable to your audience. Plus, you can use the layout and visuals to help you tell the story behind your data. Storytelling devices include icons, pie charts, graphs, timelines, hierarchies, images, and fonts. Common Buyer and Seller Questions There are certain questions that homebuyers and homeowners will inevitably ask you. What are common mistakes that sellers make? Is it better to buy or rent? These questions can all be answered with an inforaphic. If you include these infographics in your email or social media marketing campaigns, you can save time by answering the question before it's even asked! As technology continues to evolve and advance, visual content should be at the forefront of your marketing strategy. Infographics have grown to be an indispensable part of a modern content marketing. In order to stay ahead of the competition, be sure to maximize your real estate branding efforts by highlighting key data points and keeping your infographic design simple and clean, and the text useful and valuable. Here is a FREE video infographic for you to download: Click to download the Seller Mistakes Video Infographic. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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How Rookie Real Estate Agents Can Survive in Any Market
Starting out as a real estate agent is difficult, no matter what market you're kick starting your career in. You want to hit the ground running and establish yourself as an industry professional -- while keeping the long-term goals in mind. It's like any rookie professional athlete starting out in the big leagues going against veterans who have years of experience under their belt – and how to properly play the game. Here is a roadmap for rookie real estate agents to thrive in a competitive market.
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Tips for Staying Safe During Showings (and Beyond)
Real estate agent safety is an important topic that is often overlooked in many discussions. While no one plans to be in a dangerous situation, agents should be prepared for any possibility. In the most recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, "Don't Be a Statistic," Jay Thompson shares some of his best safety tips to help agents be more aware and create a safety plan. Entering the real estate industry in 2004, Thompson started out in the Phoenix, Arizona market. He worked three years as an agent before transitioning to open his own independent brokerage. In 2012, Thompson switched roles and began working for Zillow as their Directory of Industry Outreach, a position he held for seven years until his retirement. While Thompson jokes that he is "retired," he currently owns his own consulting business and shares his knowledge of real estate with weekly news articles. He prides himself for his role on the Beverly Carter Foundation's board of directors, whose purpose is to raise awareness about "lone worker" safety. Safety is all about awareness At the beginning of his webinar, Thompson shares that real estate agents are often called "lone workers," because they spend many of their working hours alone. Agents are often put in vulnerable situations, as they're showing homes to and hosting open houses for strangers. Thompsons mentions that they are most vulnerable when they are showing homes, as they're alone with a stranger at a property. While women in the real estate industry are targeted more often, many men are victims as well. Thompson stresses that, while most agents will not have an issue with their safety being compromised, it's better to be knowledgeable and prepared. He suggests that it may be useful to think about potential situations and rehearse a script of what you would say if ever faced with an off-putting client. Thompson likens this to agents preparing an objection script and says a similar idea could be applied. The reaction could come more naturally if you've prepared, as the muscle memory—both physical and mental—would be there. Go with your gut Overall, Thompson says that "awareness is the key" when preventing these types of situations. By understanding when and how these threats take place, agents can be more prepared and hopefully avoid these safety risks. One of Thompson's main points is, "if something doesn't feel right, there's a very good chance that it's not right." He also tells listeners to "trust your gut," because human instinct is usually right. He assures listeners that if they act on an instinct and they're wrong, the outcome is far better than if they didn't act and they were right. "It's far better to err on the side of safety and awareness than it is to fall victim to someone," Thompson comments. Be proactive rather than reactive It's important to be proactive rather than reactive. When you're reactive, you're already in that situation to begin with and need to find a way out. Thompson says it's better to pay attention to the warning signs in order to avoid the situation altogether. When you're at an open house, it's important to practice situational awareness. Situational awareness means being aware of the situation that you're in. Thompson gives an example of this by describing a training exercise in which a person enters a room for 15 seconds and is then asked to give details about the room. At an open house, for example, be aware of all the entrances, find out whether the neighbors will be home, and locate the closest police station. Beware of financial scammers While physical safety is a top concern, Thompson mentions agents should also consider their financial safety, especially for crimes like wire fraud. He uses the example of a scammer sending an email from what appears to be a title company asking buyers to send their banking information to complete their transaction. Agents should be screening their messages and keep in mind that almost every institution will never ask for secure information through text or email. Safety solutions Thompson offers a few different options for reactionary safety measures. However, he stresses that these options are still not foolproof and are not preventative measures. He says that they're better than nothing, but they aren't the best. Forewarn is a preventative app that offers an easy way to do a background check on a potential client. While Thompons encourages agents to set up an initial public meeting for a new client, he says that this app will use a client's phone number to check public databases to see whether the person has a criminal history. Real Safe Agent is another preventative app, but this one is community based. While it offers some basic background checks, its main feature is you can use it to send a message to agents near your location, asking someone close to check in and pretend they're previewing the listing. It also lets agents rank local clients and give information about their exchange history. Invisiwear is a wearable that comes in the form of jewelry. If an agent feels like they're in danger, they can squeeze the pendant and it will alert 911 that they need help. Wearsafe is another wearable and comes as a FOB that can be clipped onto a purse, belt, pocket, etc. It can also alert the police or a contact if a dangerous situation arises. Thompson mentions that there are many weapons options, including handguns, pepper spray, self-defense classes, etc. A concealed weapon is a potential safety solution, but agents have to practice with it and be prepared to use it. Thompson says that "you better train a lot and you better train frequently." However, he also reminds listeners that an assailant can take a weapon away and use it against you. He states that it's a tool, but it's not a guarantee of safety. Overall, agents should review safety protocols, trainings, and checklists to help prepare and become more aware of their safety. To learn more of Thompson's safety tips, you can join the Secrets of Top Selling Agents Facebook Group here. For more free real estate education, including best practices, visit the Secrets of Top Selling Agents website. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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6 Tips for Realtors to Generate Real Estate Leads Online
Ryan, a Realtor in Raleigh, North Carolina, offers agent advice about best ways to generate real estate leads online. Here's Ryan: Struggling to generate real estate leads? Generating leads takes a lot of time and effort, and you won't see immediate results. However if you stay with it, the results will pay off handsomely. How does a couple new leads per day sound? If you aren't already using these strategies for generating leads online, you should consider starting today. 6 Strategies for Generating Real Estate Leads Online 1. Start a hyperlocal real estate website If you're going to have any sort of success generating quality real estate leads online, you are going to need a website. Having a hyperlocal real estate website should be the center of everything you do online. Once you get your site up and running, you should constantly be sending people to your site as a way for them to search for local listings or to gather valuable real estate information from the articles you write on your blog. 2. Blog about everything real estate Providing your local buyers and sellers with monthly real estate market reports is a great way to engage with your audience. You can also write for people who might be moving to your area. We recently wrote an article for anyone moving to Raleigh so they could learn more about the city before relocating. The articles on your website will help you generate leads every day. 3. Leverage social media Staying top of mind is one of the most important ways for real estate agents to gather referral business. Communicating a valuable message wins over new business. When someone hears someone else say, "I'm thinking about buying a house or selling my home," they remember your Facebook article 10 Things Realtors Do to Sell Your Home or your helpful First Time Home Buyer's Guide. Providing value to your audience gives you an opportunity to earn more referral business. By communicating a value added message, you get people to share it with their friends! 4. Take advantage of Facebook ads Facebook ads are a great way to brand yourself and stay in front of consumers. People check Facebook multiple times a day and when they see your sponsored ad, they become familiar with you. Not only that, you can set up Facebook ads to be highly targeted. The customization options for your ad are incredible. 5. Build valuable relationships online One of the best things you can do is build relationships with everyone online. This means engaging your network with likes, comments and shares. People love to be noticed and liked. When you comment on a friend's picture, you are showing up on other people's newsfeeds and your friend will appreciate you staying in touch. That friend is also more likely to like your pictures when you post. By engaging in the comments section, you have an opportunity to interact with that friend's friends as well. 6. Give back to others One of the best things you can do to secure relationships, whether online or offline, is to give back to others. Think of how you can help others before you think about how others can help you. When you give back to others in your community or across the world, you're building a much stronger network. By giving back to others you will see fantastic results. Final thoughts Generating leads online doesn't have to be hard. It starts with a great website and utilizing the tips above. Thanks to being engaging and generous, you will have numerous people reaching out to you when they need a trusted real estate agent. It can be intimidating at first especially if it's new to you, and you're concerned with what people think about your articles. You can't grow unless you step outside your comfort zone. Give it a try! Learn more about Ryan on his website: raleighrealtyhomes.com. Here is a handy visual of all the tips above. Pin it away! To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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What Are the Most Requested Home Qualities that Buyers and Sellers Are Looking for?
Welcome to the latest installment of "Ask the Industry," where we ask real estate professionals their thoughts about timely topics related to the real estate industry. Today's post features: Marian Cooper, Realtor with Comey & Shepherd Randall Graham, Chief Marketing Officer with Michael Saunders & Company Stacey Burnett, Agent with RE/MAX Crossroads Properties What are the most frequently requested qualities that buyers and sellers are looking for in a home right now? Buyers want updated homes and turnkey properties Marian Cooper, Realtor, Comey & Shepherd, Greater Cincinnati, OH The most requested qualities my homebuyers are looking for right now include: 2+ bathrooms Finished basement Open floor plan Garage Swimming pool or enough space for a pool to eventually be added Also, overwhelmingly my buyers seem to prefer updated homes at the moment. They seem to be OK with some small cosmetic changes, but most of my clients right now want a turnkey property. Buyers are looking for homes with great outdoor spaces Randall Graham, Chief Marketing Officer, Michael Saunders & Company, Sarasota, FL At Michael Saunders & Company, we are seeing buyers on Southwest Florida's Gulf Coast looking for homes with great outdoor spaces and water views, which is the unique beauty of our area. We've also seen a shift from wanting turnkey properties to buyers returning to the idea of making updates as lumber and other building materials are becoming more available. Newer construction, privacy and safety remain our top requests as well. It's all about the location – Buyers are starting to look at areas that they may not normally look Stacey Burnett, Agent, RE/MAX Crossroads Properties, Cleveland, OH I would have to say that in the current market, the qualities a buyer is searching for most include an updated kitchen and bathroom, an open floor plan, and flex/bonus space for a possible office. Outdoor space is a plus as well for those fur babies. Since our inventory is so low, buyers are starting to look into areas that they may not normally look at but are just as nice. It's about the location! Last, but not least, is a garage! We are in Cleveland and this is a must-have for some buyers. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Best Images to Use for Your Real Estate Listings
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Friday Freebie: Cheat Sheet for Talking Sellers Off the Fence
There are a lot of reasons that homeowners today are reluctant to sell--they're afraid they won't find a new home to buy, they like their current mortgage rate, etc. How you respond to their objections could win you a shiny new listing. But what if you're unsure of your powers of persuasion? Lean on this week's Friday Freebie—a cheat sheet designed to help you talk reluctant sellers off the fence. Free Download of the 2021 Home Seller Cheat Sheet, courtesy of Zurple It's a great time to sell a home, and a great time to be a listing agent...if you can find a listing. People are staying in their current homes longer than ever and many are reluctant to sell. You may even be talking with homeowners who are toying with the idea of selling, but aren't quite convinced. How do you convince them? Zurple's 2021 Home Seller Cheat Sheet to the rescue! This free download offers information you can reference to help persuade homeowners to sell, including: Common seller objections and how to overcome them Statistics, information, and articles to motivate sellers off the fence Tactics for convincing owners to sell (like recommending contract contingencies) Processes and strategies for selling during COVID-19 And more! You can use this cheat while on the phone with a seller, on a Zoom call, or even keep it on your phone to reference anytime you need it. You'll always have the perfect comeback to any objection ready when you download the 2021 Home Seller Cheat Sheet!
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The Value of Virtual Tour Technology for Real Estate Agents in 2021
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7 Emails You Need to Send to Real Estate Leads
Consider the emails you're sending to your leads. Would you open them if they appeared in your inbox? More importantly, would you respond or visit a website? Prospects these days have an inbox full of info and offers, most of which they will consider "junk," and delete. This is why you have to follow the best practices to help your email outshine the rest. Readers don't delete emails that interest them. Easy as that. The seven emails below will help you earn your way into their inbox. 1. The Introduction Email We strongly suggest only emailing leads who have opted into communication with you. Otherwise, it can feel like an invasion of personal space. This first email serves as the "welcome mat" for the rest of your email communication. Don't overwhelm with too much information! Instead, quickly and casually introduce yourself and give a short snippet of what you can offer them. Start by asking yourself the questions below: Who are you? Why are you emailing them? What value are you providing to them? Introduction Email Example: Hi Cindy, I noticed you recently registered for e-Alerts on my website. I'm glad you signed up, as this is the quickest way to receive up-to-date information on listings in your area! Our website is refreshed every hour, so you will be the first to know when a home that fits your preferences hits the market. Over the past seven years, I have worked in the area selling homes and helping buyers find the perfect property. Buying a home is an exciting time and I am here to help you navigate through the process. Below I have linked to one of my blog posts about preparing to buy a home and how it is different this year over the others. Read More: How to Prepare Yourself to Buy a Home This Year Have a lovely day, Annie Agent 2. The "Establish Expectations" Email The Welcome Email should go out almost immediately after you receive their information or when they register on your site. The Establish Expectations Email should follow in the next day or two, and will answer the following: How frequently you will be in touch? What action should the lead take? Are you showing your value as an agent? Establish Expectations Email Example: Hi Cindy, I hope your home search is going well! As of now, you are set up to receive emails when your preferred listings come on the market. I'll keep you in the loop with any important market information that may help with your search as well. If you'd like to see a home, please don't hesitate to reach out at (###) ###-####. My door is always open at the office as well! Continue Searching For Homes I'll be in touch, Annie Agent This email reaffirms why you're reaching out, and then follows up with another call-to-action. These are important steps! Here are a few pointers for what you should be accomplishing with each email: Provide a valuable offer of information or service to your lead. Make it easy to take action with a clear link or button. Do NOT make it all about you. This completely defeats the purpose. Remember, you have to EARN your way into their Inbox. Just as any other business or service earns their way into your readership.  3. The Content Email Here is where we engage the lead through valuable information. You can send the Content Email in the form of a regularly scheduled newsletter, or save yourself some time and plug it into an email drip campaign. You want to provide value through content you aggregate or already have on your site. The best option is to combine the two! These emails allow you to establish yourself as the local expert. Consider including any of the following: Local Market Updates Average Days On Market Breakdown Seller Market Versus Buyer Market Explanation How to Buy a Home in the Current Market One of Your Sold Listings (if it is a seller lead) Area Events Calendar New Development Updates Fixer-Upper Average Costs Turning Your Home Into the Ultimate Investment Showcase all of the best content that you're sharing on your website, blog, and social media channels. The goal is to get the lead to interact with you, so it can be useful here to usher them to other channels where you share information. Link to one of your posts or events on Facebook and try to get them to "like" your page. Let them know if you're "going live," or connect them to a blog post through a Twitter or LinkedIn link. If you really want to up your game, sites such as Canva can help you create quick and easy, professional-looking images. People respond to visual stimuli! In the end, put yourself in their shoes: If you opened this email, does the content really add value? Nobody needs fluff. 4. The Testimonial Email Now we're really heading in the right direction. You want to have a nice mix of content emails, and more personal information. At the end of the day, you are trying to get this lead to convert! The testimonial emails really take your marketing email marketing efforts to the next level. Remember, testimonials are an incredibly valuable tool to prove YOU are the right person for the job. However, you don't want it to come across as too "in-your-face." Here are a few pointers for accomplishing that balance. Do: Include recent testimonials. Frame a story around the testimonial. Relate your testimonials to current market updates. Use them as a call to action. (Meaning, include a link to your website where they can read more, or a phone number to speak with you.) Don't: Only include testimonials in the email. Put a seller testimonial in a buyer's email drip campaign. Use an outdated or unrelated testimonial. Place testimonials in the email without any context. Testimonial Email Example: Hi Cindy, I hope you have been able to browse some of the market updates I sent over in my last email. If not, I have a blog post here explaining the current market and how to position yourself as the best buyer in the lot. In this market, it often comes down to negotiations between agents in order to close the deal on a home. And I wanted you to hear a few stories about how I've helped some locals find their perfect properties over the past few months. "Annie worked magic in a market where I never thought I would be able to afford my dream home. She managed the process from start to finish and my family and I could not be happier." -The Jones Family "My home search was full of ups and downs, but Annie never stopped in the search for our home. After helping us sell our current home and find the new place, we could not have asked for a better experience." -Matthew Trice Browse more testimonials on my website here. Starting the search is the first step in finding your perfect property, and I am here to help! Talk soon, Annie Agent 5. The "Get to Know You" Email This email is your opportunity to gather more information about your lead. Up to this point, you may have an email, home search preferences, or a phone number. If you have already spoken, then this email should be more specific to their wants and needs. But if you have not spoken to them yet, use this as your chance to figure out how to customize your value proposition. Try to drive a conversation. These "\Get to Know You emails should be sent within a few weeks of your Welcome email and will also help you to gather specific information about your target audience. According to the Content Marketing Institute: 86% of people skip TV commercials. 44% of direct mail is never opened. 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted into. Bottom line: let your readers be in control of their content! Get to Know You Email Example: Hi Cindy, I want to make sure I am sending along the right information to help you with your home-buying decisions. In order for me to show you the best homes available, I'd love to speak with you about your home search. My number is (###) ### – #### if you would like to give me a call. If it's easier, you can reach me at this email! The Ten Most Commonly Asked Questions in Home Buying The Homebuyer Checklist: Everything from Pre-approval to Post Purchase Taxes Please don't hesitate to reach out! Annie Agent 6. The Oh So Subtle "I-Haven't-Heard-From-You" Email We are all wired to get excited when someone likes a status on Facebook, or shares your post on Twitter. So when we don't hear back from leads it becomes frustrating fast. Keep in mind you are approaching strangers in very personal space: their inbox. If you have made it this far and they haven't unsubscribed or marked your emails as spam, then they are keeping you around for a reason. This email is your chance to really pique their interest. Consider including any of the following: Invitation or incentive to use at a local event. Reminder of the tools you have available on your site. Inspirational and recent testimonial. Inquiry into whether or not they still want to receive emails or e-alerts. First Example Hi Cindy, I hope all is well with you and you are seeing a few homes that pique your interest on the site. In case anything has changed, you can easily update your preferences in order to receive properties better catered to your search. Please reply to this email if you would like to be removed from e-alerts and I can do that for you! Change Your Preferences Here! Best, Second Example Hi Cindy, I hope all is well with you and you are seeing a few homes that pique your interest on the site. In other news, we will be at the Downtown Carnival Extravaganza this week running a raffle! We'll have an extra t-shirt waiting on you, so feel free to stop by our booth any time. [Insert Event Image Here] Hope to see you there! 7. The "Request-a-Review" Email Also known as the post-deal email, this is your chance to congratulate your client on their closed deal and inquire about a review. Keep in mind after your client either buys or sells their home the emails are not over. You should have a drip campaign ready to go in order to keep your name top of mind for the years to come. Until then though, you need to ask for a review. "Request-a-Review" Email Example: Hi Cindy, Congratulations! I am so excited for you about your home purchase. This is a big deal and you should be extremely proud of yourself for owning your first home. I will drop by a little gift from our company to you later this week, but until then I wanted to ask a quick favor. As you know, it always helps to have a few nice words to share with future clients. And if you would be so kind as to share a few words about your experience via email or online here, that would be wonderful! Let Us Know How We Did Here! And again, don't forget to submit your permanent residence application this month. We will be in touch to remind you when the date comes closer for that as well. Congratulations again! Agent Annie How to Order Your Email Drip Campaigns The number of emails and order of those emails in a drip campaign are specific to your audience. Leads who wanted to buy yesterday should receive emails more frequently, whereas casual browsers should receive at minimum a monthly check-in. No matter the email, always remember our three rules for all communications: Provide value Make it easy to take action Do NOT make it all about you Happy writing! To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Beg, Borrow and Ditch the Rent: Why Today's Sellers' Market Is Also Good for Buyers
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How to Humanize Your Digital Business
"Silence, brand!" If you've spent much time on social media over the last few years, you've probably seen this answer to branded content. It's a snappy retort to what many see as the increasingly unctuous and unwelcome expansion of corporate narratives into social spaces, leaving us subject to advertising seemingly every minute of every day. To a growing number of people — including many of your future customers — the idea that Wendy's is our wisecracking hipster friend or we're "in this together" with Toyota or United Airlines isn't just unconvincing: it's downright nauseating. The more brands clamor to sound just like us, the more robotic and intrusive it all feels. Many internet users are covering their ears and averting their eyes rather than engage with it. Into this world of "corporate personhood" run amok steps the real estate agent or broker. It's a well-known fact that many real estate agents get a substantial quantity of their leads by promoting their listings on digital channels, especially social media. Some experts have estimated that out of all professional industries, real estate experts are the most active on social media. Going without a robust online presence simply isn't an option. The question, then, is how you can humanize your digital business. Luckily, you have some natural advantages that can serve you well. The Human Connection Just Comes Easier for Real Estate Agents Luckily, you have the potential to go right where so many others go wrong. Real estate professionals stand out from the pack online for a variety of reasons: Meaningful, one-to-one relationships are at the heart of all they do By practicing their skills, they help others to achieve life goals Their local knowledge, style, and passion are unique to them With all of this in mind, you should get excited about the huge potential the digital world holds in store. Your consistent, trustworthy online presence is an extension of your in-person relationship building. Over time, that online activity provides the momentum that brings a steady stream of leads to your door. That's crucial to building a lucrative, sustainable business that offers work-life balance. Let's look at some of the ways you can ensure your digital brand has the human touch: Prefer Your Face to Your Logo Whenever possible, show your face, not your logo. A logo can be anyone, but your face is yours alone. This is crucial when deciding on social media avatars, your header photos on Twitter and Facebook, and more. When someone visits your website home page, be sure they see smiling faces — either yours or your customers'. Share Stories from Actual Customers Customer success stories are the most important form of social proof. While many visitors will check out your reputation on third-party review sites, you should also include testimonials directly on your social media and real estate website. Written testimonials work well, but aspire to showcase your biggest wins on video. Be an Advocate for Your Community Your value as a real estate agent is inseparable from the community where you practice. Use your digital presence to become a trusted guide to what makes your area special. Producing content about local events, top restaurants, and other amenities shows that you truly care about the place where you do your work. Use Video Marketing to Build Rapport Video marketing is the next best thing to being there. It is a wise idea to record a video introducing yourself and your practice in your own words for your site's home page. Video tours of homes and neighborhoods are also very effective. This content helps newcomers feel like they already know you. Connect with Cards and Mementos Of course, no brand is digital alone — and what you do outside the confines of the internet can enrich both your business and your customers' lives. Following up with former customers is essential to referral business, so don't be afraid to invest time in a handwritten card or include a small, meaningful gift. Mark Special Occasions Holidays are the cultural touchstones we all share, while anniversaries are meaningful moments in an individual relationship. Honor both of them by producing tasteful seasonal content for your website and social media. At the same time, don't forget to acknowledge past customers on, for example, the anniversary of closing day. Consider Using Text Messages Text messaging is quickly developing into one of the most intimate ways to start conversations with leads. Asking a quick question can revive cold leads, but it's also a great way to let others know you're looking out for them. Marketing automation technology doesn't get in the way of relationships; it helps you manage and deepen them. RE Technology readers can try DeltaNET 6 FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Thinking of Joining a Real Estate Team? Consider the Pros and Cons
There are many different paths to take when you begin a career in the real estate world. One important decision you'll make is whether to go solo or join a team. Everyone has different priorities and goals when it comes to mapping out their career, so your decision is unique to you. For example, a rookie agent will want to look for a brokerage with high brand awareness or mentoring, while a veteran agent might be looking for new marketing tools or digital marketing training. In this article, you'll learn the pros and cons of joining a real estate team to help you decide if it's best for your growth as an agent. Pros of Joining a Real Estate Team 1. Great way to start new career You have a lot to learn as a new agent. The majority of your initial learning experience will come from your license exam, observation, and trial-and-error. By working with a team of like-minded individuals, you can learn from your colleagues' mistakes and successes, have opportunities to brainstorm new ideas, and practice role playing. Since you'll have an existing database to work with, a lot of your lead generation will be done on your behalf through your broker. Typically, this means you'll have to pay financial dues or a portion of your commission to the broker. 2. Receive training and support Most free online learning resources aren't comprehensive and require a fee for secret strategies that have a real impact. Having veteran agents to work with makes a huge difference at the start of your career. Many unexpected questions and scenarios will come up when you start as an agent, but fortunately a veteran agent can help you navigate. Even better, find a mentor that will take you under their wing, teach you the ins and outs, give you blunt feedback, and share their secrets of success. 3. Time off is easier Agents who fail on their own often find it harder to take a break. Being part of a real estate team allows you to enjoy flexibility a bit more. For example, if you are out of the office, someone will be there to take a message or help a client for you. 4. Business expenses are lower Shared expenses means less money out of pocket for you. Many of your fees can be split with the team as well as your office space. It's amazing how many fees agents are hit with throughout the year. Sharing these expenses can help your bottom line. 5. Available resources, tools, and scripts Most teams will provide marketing tools and educational material to help you be successful. For example, some teams provide templates and scripts for their agents to leverage to sharpen their skills. Many teams offer digital marketing tools like a website with a CRM. As a new agent, you will try new tactics, add your own flare, and keep the ones that resonate with you the most. 6. Established team branding If you don't have any personal branding, you should consider finding a team with quality branding in your market to bandwagon until you are more established. Do your research! Review their customer and employee testimonials, and their Google search ranking to help you determine which one will be best for you. Cons of Joining a Real Estate Team 1. You have less control of your branding For the creative and marketing minded agent, teams can often be a bit restrictive. You won't have individual control of you own branding and will only be able to market yourself under the team name and logo. 2. Commission is less Unlike a solo agent, you will have to share your commission with multiple members of the team. 3. You must mesh with team culture Just like any office, you are going to need to make sure that the team is the right fit for you. Fitting in with the team culture is extremely important for continued success. 4. A weak member can hurt the entire team The mistakes made by an individual greatly impact the team. They say "you are only as strong as your weakest link," and with a real estate team, this old adage holds true. 5. Cost-benefit of desk fees How much will it cost to have a desk in your team's office? Does the fee outweigh the benefits? Determine the monetary value of each benefit such as the factors listed above. If your desk fees are more than the benefits than that real estate team might not be worth your time. Don't get overwhelmed! Many agents change their teams for different reasons and you can always move to a different one. To help you choose the one that is right for you initially, consider the benefits that they offer such as mentoring, training, their branding, their resources, and fees. Most importantly—do your research and invest in a real estate team that is willing to invest in you. To view the original article, visit the TorchX blog.
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How to Drive Multiple Offers
Getting multiple offers on your listing is the ideal situation, but it is not as easy as just posting for sale and putting the sign in the front yard. Luckily, there are some things you can be doing (or that need to happen) to increase the chances of getting multiple offers on your listing. Seller's Market The biggest impact will be the market conditions the home sells in. Currently we are in a "seller's market" where there is limited inventory of houses for sale, but lots of buyers out looking and ready to purchase—so this part is already in place for us! Price It Right! Commonly, the largest mistake we at Amarki see most people make is pricing their listing incorrectly. It is difficult for sellers to separate the emotions of selling their home and determining its value. Added to that, most people feel pricing their home a bit higher so they can negotiate down to the price they really want is the way to go. In fact, the strategy is the complete opposite if you want multiple offers. The best tactic is to price your listing lower to get more people interested, which is the trigger to get them competing and driving up the price to more than what you were expecting! Show It Off This tip is easy and probably the most obvious, but make sure your listing is showing as nicely as it can—cleaned up, fresh paint, clutter removed. Follow that up with great photos showing off your listing and you are on the right track. Have ALL the Information Amarki suggests that having all the information a buyer may ask for ready in advance is key to ensuring there are no reasons to wait to submit an offer. This includes everything from the neighborhood, schools, taxes paid, etc. Some even do the inspection in advance so they can show potential buyers the results. Think ahead about what a buyer may ask and make sure you have the answer. Exposure, Exposure, Exposure! Lastly, and most importantly, ensure your listing is seen by everyone looking. In today's world, this means being everywhere on the internet by doing some digital marketing of the property. The more people that see it, the more people will come by and look at it—all leading to more interest and multiple offers. In today's world, you want to think about email campaigns, social posts, text campaigns—and even some Google ads. If this is new to you, don't worry. There are lots of tools out there, like Amarki, that can help you get started with little time or effort and for less than $10 a month. The more you market, the more interest you create. For more information, or to book a free marketing workshop with Amarki, book a time HERE. Or give Amarki a try and visit the website HERE. About Amarki: Amarki was built by real estate experts for brokerages and agents based on years of industry experience and firsthand feedback. We developed a marketing tool accessible to anyone, no matter the experience or marketing budget. By providing an intuitive tool that works "for" the agent, Amarki is able to remove the complexity of marketing tasks making agents more active. Check us out at HERE.
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BoxBrownie Releases Its 2021 Listing Visual Marketing Analysis
Here's a terrific report from BoxBrownie about the best ways to visually promote your listings for all ages. You can read an excerpt from the Preface below and then download the full report here. I have heard a lot of criticism of the National Association of Realtors over the past five years in the USA. Of the many countries I have travelled to, the NAR would have to be the organisation providing the greatest benefit to its members that I have ever seen. One of the most under-rated pieces of information the NAR dutifully release annually is the Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report. I cannot speak highly enough of the value of the data released in this report and I personally wished my home country had equivalent data available to agents in order to assist us in sculpting business direction. Staggeringly, I would estimate the members who would know about this report and understand its value to be in the minority. Since 2013, annually this report has shone a light on the website features a purchaser would want to see in their efforts to purchase a property (page 59). Even at the quickest glance, the report tells us a few things: 89% of all purchasers regardless of age wish to see Photos of a listing 67% of all purchasers regardless of age wish to see Floor Plans of a listing 58% of all purchasers regardless of age wish to see a Virtual Tour of a listing These three figures are slightly higher than they have been over the past years, which I could argue might be the influence of being in a year of lockdowns and more difficult access to properties for inspection. However, none of them are out of order with the previous five years and more worth of data this annual survey has collected. If you look at the entire list there are some categories that I have always found humorous, for example, "Real Estate Agent Contact Information." I would assume for this to be on the list, at number 4, there is conceivably some agents not handing out their information to purchasers? Where I come from that person is unlikely to be an agent for very long. A Marketing Plan Over a period of time, I took the NAR report and paraphrased page 59 to formulate a plan for agents to follow in order to maintain consistency or marketing/brand and to sell a property for more, faster. In order of priority, relating to what the purchaser wishes to see, it is our belief at BoxBrownie.com that "best practice" agents have a marketing plan that looks like this: Good imagery Copy with all essential detail A floor plan 360°/virtual tour Video footage The research conducted investigates only three of the above aspects of visual marketing for a listing; Good Imagery, Floor Plans, and 360°/Virtual Tours. This research report is not to point people to BoxBrownie.com’s services. However, through the services we offer, I believe we are best positioned to shine a light on these practices. And whilst it is true that we have a solution for some of these issues, other companies do as well. Our message to the agent, broker, franchise, association, and MLSs is that marketing matters· and our challenge to you is to improve your property marketing to better serve the purchasers and sellers within the industry you operate. So BoxBrownie.com, as a company, and I, as a bullish, inquisitive, now non-practising listing agent (genuinely interested in the USA property industry and equally in love with the fabric and people who make the industry be who it is) are excited to offer this first research report to the American property industry. It is a way of saying thank-you for the way you have accepted this Australian start-up (now scale-up) and the love and support you have shown us over the past four years. Download the full BoxBrownie.com 2021 Listing Visual Marketing Analysis report here.
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7 Things You've Probably Gotten Wrong About Real Estate Leads
1. "Online Leads Are Low Quality" 2010 called and they want their complaint back! But really, online leads are a lucrative part of nearly every top producer's database. You just have to understand how to create a system to work them from the top of the funnel all the way down to when they're ready to convert. How do I build a system to convert my leads? Partner with a real estate CRM that can help you qualify, categorize, sort, and work your leads effectively! It's all about being in the right place at the right time. 2. Always Be Prospecting Okay, okay. It is important to always be prospecting. However, it's more important to always be nurturing. New leads are awesome, but what percentage of new leads that come through the door convert to a closed deal? Your business will grow tenfold if you invest as much effort as you normally do into prospecting into your lead follow-up and nurture as well. Because your database is a goldmine! Remember this: Yesterday's "maybe" is tomorrow's "yes"! 3. "It's Difficult to Find Seller Leads" It may be more difficult to find seller leads than buyer leads in a market with record buyer demand and low inventory, but it's certainly not impossible! It's all about getting creative in order to unlock standing inventory out there. Need some inspiration? Here are 34 creative seller lead generation strategies to get you started. 4. "The More Leads the Better" This one is half true, half false. When it comes to the individual agent, you don't want to have more leads than you can comfortably handle! If you're a team leader, consider leveraging a Lead Pond Account or a tool like SharkTank to dispense leads evenly and effectively to your agents. As a business, "the more leads the better" is pretty accurate. In fact, there is a direct correlation between database size and production volume! BUT! A growing database will only be fruitful if you know how to scale. Learn how to systemize your business so it becomes rinse-repeat. 5. "I Can Handle Lead Follow-up on My Own" Ninety percent of real estate agents will give up on a lead after the first four touches, despite the fact that 70% of the time that lead will go on to buy a home within the year, just with a different agent (NAR). That stat is pretty shocking, right? Make sure you're not giving up on leads when they don't convert on the first try. Leverage automated nurture plans to continue engaging with leads, including e-Alerts (fresh, personalized listings!) and helpful market data, so that you stay top-of-mind even without lifting a finger. Did you know that responding instantly to inquiries can increase lead conversion rates by up to 391% (Zillow and MIT)? Yep, speed-to-lead is critical in real estate! Even with an ISA, it's impossible to handle effective, speedy lead engagement that services leads around the clock. Consider partnering with a Lead Concierge Service that can handle it for you, so you can rest assured your leads are engaged while you focus on your top-dollar activities. 6. "It's Hard to Qualify Online Leads" This is where technology is your friend. With an effective IDX website, you can leverage built-in qualifying questions that capture information when new leads register on your site. Things like: "What's your timeline for purchase?" "Are you pre-approved for a loan?" Even, "Do you have a home to sell?" (to capture potential seller leads!) Along the same trope that "online leads are trash," comes the myth that it's impossible to verify or qualify online leads. This may be difficult to do on your own, but if you are partnered with real estate technology, you may have the ability to verify your leads before they enter your database. PRO TIP! Don't ignore seemingly fake or "trash" leads. As long as you have one piece of real information (phone number or email address), you should still work the lead. Maybe offer a special prize for agents who can convert leads with names like Seymour Butz or NOTHANKS. 7. "Cost-Per-Lead" is Everything Here's the thing. As the consumer evolves, so to must the marketing practices. Here's why you should focus more on ROI and cost-per-conversion versus just cost-per-lead. First, cost-per-lead isn't fixed! It shifts with seasonal trends, market forces (out of your control), location, competition, and demand. And second, getting a lead through the door means nothing if they don't actually decide to work with you! To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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The Importance of Long-term Engagement
Most homeowners would be glad to work with their real estate agent again -- but they never do. It's true. The average homeowner will own three or four properties in a lifetime, with most purchases spaced out between three and seven years. But even when they are thrilled with the service their real estate agent offered, they often end up using a different one for every transaction. How can this be? Some of the reasons are purely logistical. If someone is moving across the country, odds are they connect with a real estate agent in their desired area as one of their first steps. But there is a bigger reason: traditional real estate marketing is focused on customer acquisition, not retention. Customer acquisition can be an all-consuming part of any real estate agent's first year on the job. After that, it's important to start building referral business. This means you can spend less time going after that next client and more time building the long-term assets you need for the kind of firm you really want. In the long run, retention is easier than acquisition, which can cost 25x more. Long-term engagement is the key. And it can start with the clients you have right now. Long-Term Engagement Turns Customers into Allies for the Life of Your Business According to research from 2018, real estate agents are among the least trusted professions in America. In fact, only 11% of respondents consider real estate agents trustworthy, placing them above only politicians and car salespeople. Responses varied by region, with those out west feeling most suspicion of the profession. That's bad news, of course. But it means that when someone finds a real estate agent they trust, they don't really want to start over again from scratch. By recognizing and working with that reality, you can create lasting loyalty. That, in turn, has the potential to multiply the value of every customer relationship you hold. Getting more transactions from a single customer is an obvious example. You could double or triple lifetime value from your customers if they keep coming back to you every time they're ready to buy a new property. But that's not all: you can also get dozens of referrals from each customer over the lifetime of your practice. From that perspective, having even a handful of strong relationships could drive your revenue goals for years. After all, long before you have the opportunity to meet a client-in-waiting, that same person is expressing their desire to buy a home. . . to their family, their friends, and to just about everyone they know other than you. Referral business is a hot ticket, letting you be the very first real estate agent to talk to any buyer or seller. That positions you to build trust and continue the cycle, helping more people while growing your business. Set the Stage for Long-Term Engagement with Digital Marketing and Smart Follow-Up Real estate digital marketing becomes easier than ever when you adopt the right technology. Good technology doesn't get in the way of relationships; it makes them easier — allowing you to check in with people in helpful, meaningful ways without wasting lots of time on data entry. Here's how you can strengthen client relationships into real bonds of trust: Have a Consistent Plan for Following Up Everyone has their own schedule when it comes to following up with happy clients. It's not unusual to follow up with clients four times in the 12 months after their transaction, including on their closing day anniversary and New Year's. Some agents aim to follow up once a month. Whatever suits you best, have a plan and stick to it. Share Content Related to Home Ownership A blog is one of the most crucial features of your real estate website. To give you topics to talk about with your clients after move-in, consider creating content around homeownership topics. Maintenance, DIY, decorating, and more are all on the table and mean you can send useful content to the right clients. Use a CRM to Make Things Easier on You The DeltaNET™ 6 all-in-one solution for real estate centralizes everything you know about your clients. It gives you access to your whole history at a glance, no matter if someone is a new lead, in progress toward closing, or a satisfied customer. This saves time and keeps your contacts relevant. Treat Customers to Pleasant Surprises Relationships between people are built on sharing pleasant experiences and learning more about each other over time. You can put a little brightness into a customer's day with a handwritten note, a small gift, a coupon, or many other surprises. If they've opted in, real estate text messaging can be effective, too. RE Technology readers can try DeltaNET 6 FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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How to Crush It on Pinterest for Real Estate
Kyle Hiscock, a top real estate agent in Pittsford New York, shares tips on how real estate agents can leverage Pinterest to grow their business. Here's Kyle: Here's How to Use Pinterest for Real Estate: A Realtor's Guide to Pinterest If you're in the real estate industry, you've probably heard the buzz surrounding social media. Real estate agents are killing it on many platforms. With the abundance of real estate marketing techniques to choose from, it's important that real estate professionals put their eggs in the right baskets. Here's how agents can use Pinterest to increase their online presence. Create Catchy Graphics In order to get your real estate brand recognized on Pinterest, you'll need catchy graphics. Pinterest is all visual. Graphics that are poorly designed or easily forgettable will result in poor results and a quick exit from Pinterest. It's vital to your real estate success on Pinterest that you create at least 2-3 memorable graphics relating to the topic you're writing about. There are several user friendly websites and programs that are available that make it easy to create great, eye-catching graphics. One website I use to create graphics for my content is Canva. Canva is a free website that allows users to create graphics of all sizes and also purchase photos for their graphics for as little as a $1. As a rule of thumb, the longer the graphic, the better it will perform on Pinterest. All of my articles are accompanied by at least three graphics that are 800px by 1200px. Here's an example of an article I wrote discussing why Realtors® ask for a pre-approval letter and matching graphics. These three graphics have been pinned almost 1,000 times, which is almost half of the 2,100+ shares. It's important to use only photos you have the rights too (either royalty free photos, or those you paid for). There are a handful of websites that allow you to get royalty free graphics and others that offer graphics as cheap as a couple dollars, such as Canva. Think Local Pinterest provides real estate agents the opportunity to showcase their local communities. Agents can easily gain a strong online reputation amongst community members by focusing on topics relevant to them. As one of the top real estate agents in Rochester NY, Pinterest has allowed me to show off not only the city of Rochester, but also the surrounding communities that I do business in. Pinning attractive photos of local establishments, landmarks, and other points of interest is social proof that you're in tune with your local community and further proves you're the local expert. Create Local Boards Your local boards shouldn't only be filled with your greatest and latest listing. These local boards should provide people who are interested in learning about your communities with some helpful information. On my Greater Rochester NY Pinterest board, I've pinned graphics regarding the local dog parks in Rochester, local real estate market reports, information for people who are moving to Rochester, Rochester landmarks, and other helpful Rochester related pins. In most cities, there are many surrounding towns, villages, and neighborhoods which you can also create seperate boards for. Join Group Boards One of the best ways to effectively use Pinterest in real estate is to join powerful group boards. There are dozens of excellent real estate group boards on Pinterest. Group boards are essential to Pinterest success, because the group boards expand the audience of pins. For example, if a group board has 10,000 followers, any pin you share with the group board will now have the ability to reach these 10,000 followers. Follow Other Agents Regardless of your reason for using Pinterest, all agents should follow other real estate professionals. This will not only help build your real estate brand, but also provide you with great ideas. There are several resources and articles that discuss who the best real estate professionals on Pinterest are. As you discover these real estate professionals on Pinterest, evaluate how they are using Pinterest. In most cases, these professionals are more than happy to answer questions you may have about Pinterest. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em'" is a great saying to keep in mind as you're building your Pinterest presence. Don't Be a Super Sharer One of the most common reasons why real estate professionals don't succeed at Pinterest is because they are a super sharer. You're asking yourself, what is a super sharer? A super sharer is someone who pins content to one of their boards, shares it everywhere, then never shares it again. A super sharer on Pinterest will pin their graphics on their own boards and all of the group boards they belong to at once. This is a huge missed opportunity to reach the a large portion of the potential followers of these boards. Unless these group board followers happen to log in to their Pinterest account in the near future, your pin will likely go unseen by them in notifications. A great tip for Pinterest in real estate is to sprinkle your pins over a long period of time. For example, once I publish an article, I'll share one of my graphics on a couple group boards immediately. For the next several days, I'll share the same pin to a couple different group boards, keeping in mind to space the pins apart a few hours. This greatly improves the chances that more people will see my graphics, which will hopefully result in them pinning my graphics to their own boards. Some Final Advice Successfully leveraging Pinterest can be a game changer for your real estate brand. Building a strong Pinterest presence isn't exactly rocket science, but it does take time and effort. Good luck pinning! For the original post and more from Kyle, visit his blog at RochesterRealEstateBlog.com. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Why Digital Marketing Isn't as Intimidating as You Think
In our digital age, there is so much to learn and keep up with as technology evolves. Between Facebook's regular modifications to its advertising capabilities, Apple's privacy policy updates, and Google's impending changes to cookies, you might long for the simpler days of phone book ads. We understand. But, we're also here to tell you that digital marketing isn't as intimidating as you think. In fact, it's how you think about it that will help you excel. To start, clear your mind of any preconceptions you have about digital marketing tactics, specifically social media ads and Google. They are, in fact, even better versions of the traditional marketing tactics you may be used to — here's why. Facebook as the neighborhood flyers Think of Facebook ads as the "everywhere ads." Sure, they only appear within Facebook, but users of the platform — including prospective buyers and sellers — scroll their feed more than a dozen times throughout the day, from the bus stop to Starbucks to work and back home (or, simply, while sitting on the couch). In some ways, Facebook ads are the modern-day equivalent of flyers — taped to poles, posted inside cafes, and slipped into mailboxes around the neighborhood, in hopes that prospects will see them while going about their day. People aren't paying much attention to flyers anymore, though. Instead, they're scrolling Facebook everywhere they go, and your ad could be shown to them every time they log in. Much like a flyer, that Facebook ad is a good prompt and reminder that you're a prominent real estate agent. Waze as a billboard Although billboards haven't gone the way of the dinosaur, they aren't very effective for promoting specific properties or signaling to drivers that there's an open house nearby. It's a missed opportunity to capture a prospect's attention while they are out and about, but there is a digital option: Waze, the wildly popular navigation app, is the perfect digital billboard. Think of Waze like a billboard — or better yet, a for-sale sign — that pops up on someone's phone when they are close to your listing or open house. Ads on Waze are shown to drivers in three formats: as a pin on the map, promoted at the top of search results, and as a digital billboard that appears in the app when drivers are at zero speed. Waze users don't just drive by your sign and forget about it. Your digital ads are displayed prominently in the app, and drivers need only be nearby the property to see an ad — not right in front of the house or even on the same street. Waze, therefore, is great for promoting open houses and alerting those who regularly drive through the neighborhood to new listings. Instagram as a TV commercial Similar to Facebook, Instagrammers are in the app a lot — 42% of daily users report logging in multiple times each day. The biggest difference between Facebook and Instagram, though, is that Instagram is a very visual platform. Native, user-generated content as well as digital ad units are formatted for photo and video sharing. This makes Instagram akin to TV commercials. People go on Instagram expecting an immersive and entertaining experience, not to read news or status updates. That's why it's the perfect advertising space for sharing your new, gorgeous listing photos and video walk-throughs. When users see them between posts or stories, it's like social media's version of a TV commercial. Google as the Yellow Pages Just as people used to use a phone book to find a plumber, real estate agent, or the phone number of the local car wash, they now turn to Google to search for the exact same things. Google has been adjusting its content over the years to give users a search experience that is more and more localized, just like the Yellow Pages used to do. The Google business profile is a perfect example of a localized search result. This is the profile box that appears in the top-right of the screen on Google Search, shows up to the side of Google Maps, and at the top in mobile after you search for a business. It's sort of like a digital business card or, better yet, an ad within the Yellow Pages. When you search for a steakhouse, dentist, or real estate agent, Google will serve a local Google business profile adjacent to the search results that it believes is most relevant to your search. It's a fantastic placement, especially considering that 80% of home buyers use Google during their real estate journey. Want to really stand out on Google? Opt for Google's Local Services Ads and its new Google Screened badge, the equivalent of that alphabetically-first spot in the phone book that gets more eyes and calls than anyone else. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Friday Freebie: Home Seller's Guide Template
Seller leads: they're a wonderful and profitable thing… if you can get them. But here's the thing we know about sellers: 77% contact only one agent before choosing a Realtor to sell their home (NAR). How can you be the first agent a homeowner thinks of when they're ready to list? That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. We're highlighting a brandable Home Seller's Guide that's full of the helpful information that homeowners are searching for before they decide to list their home. Use it to attract seller leads, educate seller clients—and ensure you're top of mind when a homeowner is ready to sell. Free download of the 2021 Home Seller's Guide template, courtesy of Zurple Selling a home is an involved and complicated process. When consumers are beginning to consider selling, they first research what they should know before diving in. Zurple's 2021 Home Seller's Guide template is a comprehensive resource of everything a potential home seller needs to know: Common real estate terms The timeline of selling a home How to hire an agent How to price a home How to prepare a home for sale How to evaluate an offer The ins and outs of closing a sale What to know about moving day And more! You can share this guide on social media, on your website, in person, via email, and more. Put it behind a lead capture form on your website to ensure you get the contact information of potential parties. The guide is brandable, with space not only for your contact information and logo, but it also concludes with a page featuring your bio and a call-to-action. You can link that page to your email or a CMA request landing page to acquire even more leads. Ready to get started finding more seller leads? Download the 2021 Seller's Guide template now!
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Sharpen Up Your Real Estate Copy
As a real estate agent, odds are you didn't pick this career so you could write the next great American novel. But, just like marketing, writing is a skill that virtually all real estate professionals need to develop. In fact, you could find yourself writing several hundred words every month depending on your goals. Don't worry — that's nowhere near as much as a full-time writer, who may need to put out 50,000 words a week to meet deadlines. But it is substantial enough that sharpening your writing skills will make a difference. After all, your ability to craft your real estate listings with the right words is one of the things that makes them so appealing. You have the opportunity to dazzle your visitors, capture attention, and engage all of their senses. Often, this is the necessary first step before someone books a tour or registers with an open house. Whatever the case, you don't need to have straight As in high school English to be an effective real estate writer. Even if you snoozed through Rhetoric & Composition in college, you can still bring your skills up to snuff. After all, you won't be writing five-paragraph essays in real estate. Instead, you'll be conveying in words what you already understand about your ideal clients. If you know their interests, wants, and needs, you can reflect those in your word choices. The same is true of anything you write about your brand and virtually any other topic. The question is this: how can you accelerate that learning process if you've never written actively before? Getting Ready to Write: Tips to Put You in a Writing Mindset Write with Your Purpose in Mind Copy is writing with the purpose to persuade. When you create copy, you are trying to guide your leads from wherever they are now to the next step in buying or listing a home. With that in mind, the first thing to do is define your purpose. What do you need your reader to do next? Choose every word to further that goal. Tell a Story About Your Listings What makes a listing special? What details about its history, location, or features can you weave together to make someone say, "This is the one"? You might find yourself writing about what it's like to walk down the tree-lined street in the neighborhood or relax by the in-ground pool. All these details add panache to your story. Include Sensory Details Real estate is highly visual, thanks to all the wonderful photography. As a writer, you can also appeal to other senses. If a listing has a big yard, it might call to mind the crackling of meat on the grill, the smell of barbecue, or the sound of songbirds playing in the trees. This fires up leads' imaginations to make them think of home! Technology Tools for Real Estate Agents to Up Their Writing Game Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are not exactly the most interesting subjects. Even the vast majority of pro writers don't get energized thinking about them. They are simply a framework to help you communicate your ideas clearly. If any one of them is missing, it makes your copy harder to understand at a glance. Once you have an idea, you need to execute it. These tools can help: Grammarly is a writing coach that goes beyond the spelling and grammar check of a tool like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. It identifies many common issues, like wordiness and passive voice, that are easy to overlook. It also explains why something is incorrect, enabling you to learn as you go. GrammarLookup bills itself as a free alternative to Grammarly. In addition to its full-featured punctuation and grammar database, it uses AI to learn continuously. It can be used through your favorite browser and does not even require registration. All you have to do is copy and paste your text. ProWritingAid comes in the form of a free browser extension or a paid desktop version. In addition to grammar and spelling, it works as a style editor that helps you ensure your writing is right for your audience. Packed with 20 in-depth writing reports; its goal is to make you a better writer fast. Ginger is a popular spelling and grammar checker that can interface easily with your social media, email client, and many website editors, including WordPress. It even has fully featured mobile versions that will sync up between platforms. Terrific if you need to tap out social media posts or email replies on your phone! Writing can seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Simply imagine that you're talking to a client face-to-face and you can go far. To learn more about using the latest digital marketing technology, contact us. RE Technology readers can try DeltaNET 6 (and its marketing technology) FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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9 Automation Tricks that Will Rock Your Real Estate Business
Time is money, and the more time you can free up, the more money you can put in your pocket. Maximum efficiency is the name of the time-reclaiming game, and the first step toward that goal is to examine what's costing you valuable productivity. Where can your processes improve? Which redundant activities are holding you back? Surprisingly, the answer could lie in the very thing that's supposed to make you more efficient—the technology you use. The average brokerage provides its agents 12 different pieces of technology, according to consulting firm T3 Sixty. If those applications aren't talking to each other, you're looking at not only having to input the same client contact information into multiple systems, but you also risk leads falling through the cracks or missing out on automated post-transaction outreach that drives a customer-for-life strategy. Fortunately, many real estate platforms today can integrate with one another directly, or through third-party services like Zapier or API Nation. These integrations can help you automate tasks that you may be doing manually—or skipping altogether. To help you understand the many time-saving automations that can take your business to the next level, here we're highlighting nine handy examples of real estate integrations. Because the transaction is at the heart of any real estate business, the smartest move is to use your transaction management platform as the hub of your integration efforts. To help us illustrate this point, we're using transaction management platform dotloop in these examples. With over 75 integration partners, dotloop is one of the best-integrated technologies in the industry, and they offer two-way integrations, which means data can flow both in and out of their platform to your other applications. Learn more here. Ready to dive in? Here are nine automations that will rock your real estate business: 1. Start a new transaction right from your CRM or lead management tool. Did that lead you've been nurturing finally convert to a client? Save time by starting a new transaction right from your CRM. Dotloop integrates with both BoomTown and Zurple (and many more), enabling you to not only start a transaction from a contact's profile, but also view the status of a transaction and which tasks still need to be completed, all without leaving your CRM. 2. Streamline the earnest money process. Digital management of earnest money is one the best real estate innovations of recent times. Not only is it more secure, but it makes things far easier. The good news is, it can get easier still. Dotloop's integration with Earnnest lets you request earnest money right from the transaction platform itself. In turn, the customer can pay money directly to the escrow holder digitally via Earnnest, which processes the funds using a bank-level encrypted digital transfer. No more worrying about identity theft that could accompany mailing checks or wire-fraud. 3. Sync your email contacts with your transaction management platform. Transactions require a lot of back and forth between you and your client. Make sure you don't miss a step thanks to incorrect or hard-to-find contact information by syncing your email app with your transaction app. Dotloop integrates with both Outlook and Gmail. For a deeper Gmail integration that lets you start a transaction from your email, check out this Google Chrome plug-in. 4. Never miss a task or appointment with calendar integration. Speaking of Google, if you use Google Calendar to stay on top of your to-dos, integrating your transaction management solution with your calendar will automatically add important transaction dates to Google so you never miss a beat. 5. Digitally notarize documents with synced data. Skip the double data entry by syncing your transaction data to your digital notary platform. Notarize and dotloop work together so you can import transaction data from dotloop into Notarize for a streamlined process—and your clients can review, sign and notarize real estate documents faster. 6. Automatically send an anniversary message one year after a sale. The best way to keep a client for life is to stay in frequent contact. Celebrate your client's one-year home purchase anniversary by sending an automated message. BombBomb's integration with dotloop syncs close dates so that BombBomb automatically knows when to send the message. See what else this integration can do here. 7. Back up your transaction data to Google Drive or Dropbox. You know what never hurts? Backing up your data. Sync your transaction data to third-party services like Dropbox or Google Drive to give yourself a little peace of mind. 8. Keep your clients up-to-date on the transaction in Slack. Slack, a communications app, is all the rage in Silicon Valley. Many tech-forward Realtors have also taken to using it to keep internal communications about a transaction in one convenient place. If you're among them, connecting Slack to your transaction management platform means that you can automatically send or post Slack messages when, for example, a new document has been uploaded. See what the full integration with dotloop does here. 9. Stay in the loop on transactions from your franchise software platform. Last but not least, dotloop integrates with many of the major brokerage franchise's software platforms. That means you can start and access transactions right from your brokerage platform. Here's a list of franchises that integrate with dotloop. For more information or support, talk to your broker. EXIT Realty Realty Executives Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Century 21 Coldwell Banker ERA Real Estate Keller Williams To learn about more ways dotloop can streamline your business, visit dotloop.com.
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Bad Advice You Hear from Other Real Estate Agents Online
The internet is a great source for information. You can teach yourself new skills and uncover new knowledge for topics you care deeply about. The dark side of that, though, is you need to sift through a lot of misinformation. This misinformation then gets amplified in an echo chamber by people who are trying to validate their bias. This is how fake news spreads, but it is also how bad advice is accepted by a mass population of people. These are the pieces of advice you should avoid from other real estate agents online: 1. Make Your Own Website Anybody can make a website. The hypothetical "13 year old nephew that can do it better" illustrates the perception some agents have about how easy it really is. Creating a website, and creating a real estate website that generates results are two different things. Companies like Zurple exist to alleviate your stress and provide the website for you. There is no reason to take your attention away from your real estate business to learn how to code the IDX data from your MLS to appear on your site and communicate with your email campaigns. 2. You Should Never Pay for Leads Nothing is ever free. And while we agree you shouldn't pay for leads, that doesn't mean you shouldn't spend marketing dollars on Facebook or Google Ads. Or if you are not the most knowledgable in the subject of online ads, it would make sense to outsource that to a company that knows the ins and outs. In a similar bad piece of advice, they will tell you to do ads yourself. These are agents that took the time to learn how to monitor their own ads. Not every agent has that time, though. So in this case, it might be best to hire a professional. 3. ______ Doesn't Work There will always be another real estate agent that claims a certain product, technique, or company doesn't work. There will also be another agent that claims the exact opposite. Some agents will still fervently deny the viability of social media because getting face to face with their consumer is what they think is most effective. Then there are some agents that will say nobody wants to be bothered and will not pick up a phone or answer their door, so they get in front of them by being online. Agents will tell you it doesn't work, but what they really mean is that it doesn't work for them. 4. Internet Leads Stink Most agents will agree that you must be online to stay in front of home buyers and sellers. However many agents will also tell you that most of their online leads are bad leads. This is advice you should never listen to. In one of Zurple's recent webinars, many agents said they believe internet leads are only worth it if they transact within 28 days. However, with online leads just starting their home buying journey, you are capturing them at the top of the sales funnel. They have a few months of research left before they are ready to speak to an agent. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Top Negotiation Tactics for Buyers in a Red-Hot Market
Even as so much changed in the last year, one thing stayed pretty consistent: high demand and low inventory in the residential real estate market. It's great news for the sellers who are ready to list (though on the flip side, many sellers are simultaneously looking to buy), but it's created a battle for buyers as prices soar amid record competition. Buyer's agents need to be at the top of their game to win for their clients. Now is the time to brush up on real estate negotiation tactics to ensure you can expertly make your buyers' offers stand out. Improve your negotiation skills with these four tips. 1. Include an escalation clause An escalation clause is an absolute necessity in this market, where more than a dozen buyers might be vying for the same property. If you're not familiar with it, it's a statement that tells the seller that your client is willing to raise their offer above the highest bidder by a specific amount. You can also add an upper limit in case the highest offer is well above what your buyers are willing to pay or can afford. In a bidding war situation, which is common in a hot real estate market, an escalation clause will give your clients the best chance of winning. Here is an example of what to write: [Name], referred to as The Buyer, offers to pay $[initial offer] for the property at [address]. Should the seller receive a bona fide offer exceeding $[initial offer], The Buyer will increase their offer by $[additional amount] above the highest bona fide offer, not to exceed $[upper limit offer]. 2. Take a win-win approach Although you may be inclined to take an aggressive, hardline approach to "go to battle" for your buyers, it's in your best interest to maintain a win-win perspective instead. Be the real estate agent who other agents want to work with, not the nightmare agent everyone dreads. When you focus on solutions and ask what the other party needs — such as seller terms, fast close, etc. — the deal will not only go more smoothly, but your positive attitude could actually be the deciding factor in the seller selecting your clients' offer over another. 3. Be flexible Similar to taking a win-win approach, flexibility is one of the real estate negotiation tactics that can prove to tip the scale in your clients' favor. Consider this: Most sellers will also become buyers if they aren't already searching for a new home. As they juggle buying and selling simultaneously, less-flexible offers or buyers who are more aggressive about needing the property ASAP may be easily dismissed. Find out what the sellers' ideal timeline is and what other needs they have, and then talk to your client to see if they'd be willing to accommodate to help their offer stand out. 4. Make it a point to meet the sellers in person With the current state of the pandemic in the US, people are increasingly comfortable meeting others face-to-face again. Encourage your buyers to join you at a meeting with the sellers and listing agent. Doing this provides an opportunity for your clients to create an emotional connection with the sellers and hopefully discover a few shared interests. In a bidding war situation where the sellers are comparing offers based solely on price, yours will be the one that has an additional reason to stand out. Final thoughts These aren't the only real estate negotiation tactics to consider, of course. But keeping them top of mind in a hot real estate market will help differentiate you and your clients from the competition. Ensure you're providing a good experience for the sellers — stay flexible, be solution-oriented, and meet their requests when possible — and take actions that will help elevate your buyers' offer. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Prepare Your Clients for a Natural Disaster
After selling a new home, you encourage your clients to care for their new investments. You might suggest that they buy security systems and ensure they have the right homeowners insurance. But what about preparing for natural disasters? This is a growing concern for homeowners, especially with coastal flood-prone properties. From floods and earthquakes to wildfires and hurricanes, natural disasters can do costly damage to homes and belongings. In fact, natural disasters rack up an annual average of over $162.5 billion in damages. And while home insurance helps, it may not cover everything. Before the next disaster hits, make sure your clients aren't left in the dark (literally and figuratively). Stay informed on what most people overlook when preparing for a natural disaster, and help your customers keep their belongings safe. Here's a list to get you started. 1. Have a Plan for Your Pets Most homeowners have a plan for how they'll move themselves and their families out of disaster zone, but not everyone plans ahead for their pets. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says it's imperative that pet owners follow evacuation orders and bring their pets with them in a disaster situation. The best way to protect four-legged friends is to build an emergency pet plan. Your Local Security has a detailed pet emergency resource page full of sample pet-specific disaster preparedness plans, guidelines for caring for a pet throughout a disaster, and pet supply kit lists.  2. Backup Electronic Data From tablets to TVs to smartphones, Americans have dozens of electronic items that could be destroyed if exposed to the elements during a natural disaster. Though you can encourage your clients to store electronic items off the ground and plug them in to surge protectors, there's little guarantee that sensitive gadgets will be able to weather a storm securely. Fortunately, most electronics are replaceable. What can't be as easily replaced is the data they contain. The general rule is to make three copies of data, store it in at least two different formats, and make sure one copy is stored somewhere safe. How-To Geek has a handy guide for handling data in natural disasters, which you can pass on to any clients who work with a lot of digital information. 3. Take or Safely Store Irreplaceable Goods One-of-a-kind items valued for family significance will be impossible to replace if destroyed in a natural disaster, as will antique collectibles. Fortunately, experts at the Smithsonian have an entire Cultural Rescue Initiative, a global effort to protect and preserve cultural artifacts in disaster-ridden areas. The Smithsonian also shares tips on how to prepare these valuable heirlooms for an emergency. Make sure your clients are apprised of the resources available for heirloom care before and after a disaster. The National Heritage Responders are a team of conservators that offer 24/7 advice and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has various tip sheets for salvaging flood- and fire-damaged family keepsakes. 4. Take Inventory of Specialty Items and Valuables Custom woodworking tools, a studio stocked with photography equipment, or a library of antique books — these types of prized possessions are often incredibly valuable and expensive. They can also be the most difficult to secure in the event of a natural disaster. While your clients may not be able to guarantee the safety of their specialty goods during a severe weather event, they can take steps to ensure easier replacement after the event is over. Advise your buyers to take an excellent inventory of every item, including pictures and serial numbers. They should also talk to an insurance professional about the possibility of putting an additional rider on their home insurance policy to cover high-value items. 5. Important Documents In an emergency situation, few people remember to take care of important documents like birth certificates or property deeds. While some documents may seem inconsequential, the process of replacing official records and licenses can be taxing and time consuming. FEMA has a great resource detailing which documents should be protected. With the right organization and prep work, it's relatively easy to save paperwork from disaster. They just need to be electronically copied and then stored in a safe container—like a waterproof bag, fireproof safe, or a safe-deposit box. Passing Disaster-Preparedness Tips Along to Clients You sold your clients their homes—now help them protect their investments. You can be a valuable resource to your buyers by sharing emergency preparedness tips with them. Use this email template and checklist to encourage your clients to take disaster preparedness seriously: Dear [Client Name], You've invested a lot in making your house a home, and we want to help you keep that investment safe from natural disasters. Attached is a checklist of 15 things to consider as you prepare for a severe weather event. Best, [Your Name] With a real estate CRM, you can easily segment leads into lists (e.g., for those who will be/have been impacted by a storm) and email them with mass communication tools. For more details on how to do this, schedule a demo with us today. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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3 Stand-out Video Hacks: Making Videos that Get Clicks!
You probably have heard that video is one of the most powerful and persuasive forms of communication. The statistics for the impact of YouTube alone are staggering: 2 billion monthly users, 74% of US adults use YouTube, and it's the world's second-most visited website, right after Google, which owns YouTube. On Facebook, the popularity of video is equally stunning. More than 4 billion views occur on Facebook daily, totaling 100 million hours of viewing. Facebook also wants your videos posted directly to Facebook, as they get 478% more shares on Facebook than videos linked from other sources, like YouTube. A Forrester Research analyst estimates that a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words, equal to more than 3,500 web pages. Most importantly, research by the National Association of Realtors found that 85 percent of all buyers prefer to work with an agent who uses video. However, NAR says fewer than half of all agents rarely or never use video. While many agents may use video in their marketing and promotional activities, even then, their efforts often fall short. Video tours have long been the primary type of video agents create. However, most video tours yield only a handful of views. While some video tours may generate hundreds and sometimes thousands of viewers, those are the exception, not the rule for video tours. How can you get more clicks when using videos? Here are three hacks to help you generate more viewers and engagement when you upload and promote your videos on both YouTube and Facebook: Create community tours: When someone buys a home, they are not just buying a property; they are buying into a community and the lifestyle their local area offers. What the internet often fails to do is visually showcase local communities with video tours. You can stand out from other agents by being the local expert and capturing tours of what people want to see: the local stores, parks, community centers, schools, restaurants, hiking, or biking trails – whatever makes your community unique and livable. Creating videos that showcase the area where they are buying will gain many viewers and perhaps more deals for you. Local Market Updates: Being the local expert also means you know what is happening in your marketplace. The internet is filled with big picture real estate statistics, but often misses the local picture. With video, you can share what's happening down to the local neighborhood level: how many homes sold, their first offer price and final sales price, how fast homes are selling, new developments planned, and more. Giving context to local trends – year-over-year and month-to-month changes – helps communicate your expertise and trustworthiness. Market update videos are great to share with both prospects and past clients as a way to stay both in touch and top of mind. Top 5 videos: One of the greatest challenges that agents face is figuring out what to share that people will be interested in reading or watching. Creating fresh and engaging content isn't easy. But there is a tried-and-true formula that has worked for many agents who create videos that grab a lot of eyeballs. The concept makes it easy to figure out video content you can create that others will be interested in watching. It's highlighting the "Top 5" in your community. Being a local expert, you know more about your community than just the real estate market. You know the best places to shop, dine, relax, and explore. You can capture and share that knowledge on video. Top 5 videos can include the Top 5 places to eat, Top 5 parks, Top 5 hiking trails, Top 5 places to shop, and you can even get more specific, such as the Top 5 pizzas. If you are in a market with seasons, you can create the Top 5 things to do in the winter/spring/summer/fall, or feature the Top 5 community events. There are many ways to create fresh and exciting videos around this theme. Most importantly, these types of videos can help solidify your position as the go-to local expert. As you can see, the one thing all these types of videos have in common is they have a local focus. Connecting your brand as the local expert by creating local videos helps you stand apart from other agents. By making video a key component of your marketing and promotional efforts, you can expand your reach significantly, reminding prospects and past clients about you and your real estate business. And remember, if you ever have general tech questions, a Tech Helpline expert is only a call or click away! To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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Clever Ways to Use Text Message Marketing for Real Estate
As a real estate professional, many things you do are time-sensitive. It's possible that you can lose out on a deal simply because you were waiting for a buyer to listen to the voicemail or check their email and they acted too slow. Text messaging allows agents to provide updates to buyers and sellers that are quicker and more immediate than email. Communication in real estate is critical. Text messaging or SMS (short message service) gives agents, Realtors, and brokers a valuable channel where prospective buyers can easily contact them, allowing them to increase sales. If you didn't already know, text message marketing in real estate is a powerful tool when used right. Let's consider the following statistics: 93% of real estate professionals prefer to communicate with their clients through text messages Text messaging as a whole has an open rate of 98% 90% of text messages are opened within three minutes compared with 20% of people who open an email Text messages have a response rate of 45% compared to email's 6% 68% of buyers would rather receive property info via text messages And even more telling, people respond to a text message within 90 seconds—by contrast, they respond to emails within 90 minutes. There are many benefits to leveraging text message marketing in real estate. Text messages can be a great way to send important reminders to your current clients. In Amarki, you can schedule and deploy automated text messages to remind clients of any important dates. One example is to set up an open house reminder text message that will send two days prior to the open house and then the morning of. It's cost-effective and generally less expensive than other forms of marketing, such as direct mail. Text messages create a far more personal touch to your marketing efforts. It's easy for clients to miss your emails in the sea of other messages they receive in their inbox. As people don't typically get as many text messages, they will at least see your SMS message. You can even launch mass text message marketing campaigns, but before you do this, you should ask your contacts how they would like to hear from you. While millennials may prefer texts, older generations might prefer email or even a phone call. Automated text messages can also be a great way to stay in touch after your clients have closed on their home. Here are just a few examples of text message templates you can consider setting up: Two weeks after close check-in: How is everything going? Are you getting settled? One year anniversary after close: Can you believe it's been a year since you bought your home? Congrats! On the client's birthday: Happy Birthday, [name]! You may not realize it, but sometimes even the smallest touch can have a big impact. Incorporate text messages as one more touch in your marketing strategy. Using the right tool or platform is a big investment in your bulk text message marketing strategy. It will empower you to reach potential buyers effortlessly and save you time and money. Here is how you can benefit from a perfectly chosen text message tool: Initiate a personalized, one-on-one text conversation with clients or prospects Increase attendance and engagement by scheduling important reminders Entice new clients with special keywords and calls-to-action So, do not limit your clients to just calling or emailing. Make your new home listings, price drop alerts, and links to real estate video tours available for them by choosing the right tool or platform, like Amarki. About Amarki: Amarki was built by real estate experts for Brokerages and Agents based on years of industry experience and firsthand feedback. We developed a marketing tool accessible to anyone, no matter the experience or marketing budget. By providing an intuitive tool that works "for" the agent, Amarki is able to remove the complexity of marketing tasks making agents more active. Check us out by clicking here.
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Find Sellers Now! Farming for Prospects with RPR
If you know anything about real estate right now, you know that inventory is tight. In this market, you simply can't wait for sellers to come to you. You've got to go find them! And you find them by farming for prospects. Geographic farming is one of the most tried and true techniques when it comes to an agent's long term success. You need to find the right neighborhoods, crunch data to determine if they're ripe, and effectively market yourself to the homeowners in the area over a sustained period. Not sure where to start? RPR is here to map out your path to success... You build a farm—then harvest it for leads! If you're not familiar with geographical farming, here's a simplified explanation: a farm is an area, usually a neighborhood, that you identify as having great potential to market yourself to in order to find prospects and clients. RPR can help you with both. Find your farm and dig So how do you figure out if a neighborhood is worth targeting? Turnover rate is one of the most important factors to consider. Turnover is a percentage of how many homes have sold in a defined area in a year. For example, if an area has one hundred homes, and 10 are sold in a year, the turnover rate is 10%. A good rule of thumb is that your farm area must have at least a 5% turnover rate for you to invest in targeting it. Another important thing to look for when doing this research is to see if a market is dominated by one agent already. If one agent already has 25% or more of the listings in an area, you might want to look elsewhere. This agent has beaten you to it and has obviously already invested their time, resources, etc. We're not saying you can't do it or that it is impossible, but it's more difficult to establish yourself in a market that's already been fished. Or farmed, in this case. Market yourself to your farm After you've found your area and done your homework to make sure it's a fertile farm, you need to market yourself to those homeowners. You'll need to apply a mix of marketing tactics, over at least a one year period, including email, social media posts, phone calls, door knocking (post-COVID, of course), and perhaps most importantly, direct mail. RPR adds tons of value by giving REALTORS® the ability to easily create mailing labels, up to 2,000 per month. (Watch this video: Create Your Own Mailing Labels In RPR: A How-To Video for details.) Pro Tip: How to Target Specific Homeowners - This RPR Shortcut will guide you through an example of how to search for Owner Occupied homeowners that have owned the property for between 5-15 years. Try it now! Farming for prospects: one webinar that can change your entire marketing strategy We know what you're thinking, "This sounds very complicated and requires a lot of effort. And there's math?!" Okay, it will require work on your part and you will have to put in some time. (Kind of a given, right?) However, it's not as difficult as it sounds and RPR has simplified it for you. Learn more by saving your spot in this upcoming webinar, "Finding Sellers for Today and Tomorrow: Real Estate Farming is Your Key to Success." Attend this special webinar and you'll see how easy it is to start farming for prospects in RPR. We show you each step, where to click, how to use the maps to uncover data, how to determine if one agent is getting all the listings, and even how to create mailing labels for your direct mail campaigns. Finding sellers and getting listings should be the top priority for every practicing REALTOR®. Get started and farm for prospects today to have listings tomorrow. If you want to dig even deeper and sharpen your farming skills further, be sure to check out: RPR's Ultimate Guide to Geographic Farming. It goes in depth to explain every last detail to help get you up and running. Good luck, farmer! To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Remote Working in Post-COVID America: What's Next?
Since 2005, working from home has grown more than 11 times faster than the rest of the workforce and 54 times faster than the self-employed population. Before the pandemic, only 9% of employers offered remote working on an ad hoc basis to at least some employees. Fast forward to the first week of June 2021, 72.5 million American families had adults working from home. During the height of the pandemic, 51% of the workforce was working remotely, though the option to work from home varied significantly by industry. More than 80% of workers in banking and finance could telework, while only 16% of retail, trade, and transportation workers could, and one-third of health care and social services providers could. Remote Working Isn't Going Away Many employers have found that remote working options are attractive employee benefits as the pandemic winds down. In a recent survey of 2,000 workers by Morning Consult for Prudential Financial, 87% of workers who have been working remotely during the pandemic want to continue doing so at least one day a week. Nearly half of current remote workers in the survey (42%) said if their current company doesn't continue to offer remote-work options long term, they will look for a job elsewhere. Global Workplace Analytics, a forecaster of workplace trends, estimates that the average employer of 500 workers would save $1.9 million annually by reducing office space, $1.3 million in absenteeism, and gain more than $7 million in increased productivity. And it seems employers are taking note; in March 2021, LaSalle Network, a national recruiting firm, surveyed top executives at 350 companies and found three out of four (77%) are planning to offer a hybrid model with a portion working in-office and a portion working from home. A recent Gallup survey found that 26% of workers who are teleworking because of the pandemic will continue to do so, while Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021. The Draw of Remote Working A December 2020 Homes.com survey found that nearly half of respondents (45%) said they would move if given a chance to work remotely, with 20% indicating that remote working was why they moved within the last year. Additionally, the survey found that 40% of those who moved or planned to move had set their sights on locales more than 100 miles away. Among that group, half of them sought locations more than 500 miles away. Many of these workers are drawn to remote working because of its financial benefits. By working at home 2-3 days a week, employees can save between $600 and $6,000 per year, due to reduced travel, parking, and food costs. They could also save the equivalent of 11 workdays in annual commuting time. According to the latest government data, 90% of commuters report driving to work at a median cost of $11 per day, or $2,782 per year. Nine percent of the commuters surveyed took public transportation at a median annual cost of $1,612. Where Do Remote Workers Want to Live? In 2020, vacation home sales jumped 57.2% over 2019, more than twice as much as the 20% year-over-year growth in total existing-home sales. Many believe this increase has been affected by remote workers. "With many businesses and employers still extending an option to work remotely to workers, vacation housing and second homes will remain a popular choice among buyers," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. "The enduring opportunity for remote work will continue to raise the already high demand for property in these counties, particularly in those counties with reliable broadband internet service." Still, for most hybrid remote workers, vacation destinations are too far from their home offices to make commuting even a few days a week a viable option. As more employers introduce remote working options, many workers have either moved to, or are considering moving to, an exurb or rural county where prices are more affordable. While the cost and time to commute two or three days a week from a more distant location could equal or exceed commuting costs before the move, these workers know they'd still enjoy lower costs of living overall. Rural America is Attracting Remote Workers Rural areas across the country are experiencing a wave of remote workers. By August 2020, brokers in Lake Tahoe and nearby Truckee, California, were running out of inventory due to an influx of remote workers. Overall, Truckee saw a 23% increase in real estate transactions. On the other side of the country, Winhall, Vermont welcomed so many new residents in 2020 that its high school saw a 25% increase in enrollments last September. Vermont is one of several states and smaller cities offering incentives to attract remote workers. Others include: "The Shoals" region of Alabama Alaska Maine Tulsa, Oklahoma Topeka, Kansas Newton, Iowa New Richland, Minnesota Natchez, Mississippi The West Virginia areas of Morgantown, Lewisburg, and Shepherdstown Livability.com recently partnered with Fourth Economy to compile a list of the "10 Best Remote-Ready Cities in the U.S." Categories and amenities included broadband access, availability of remote work, affordability, a robust regional economy, and quality of life. Six of the ten were small cities: Grand Rapids, Michigan Bellingham, Washington Oak Park, Illinois Fort Collins, Colorado Frederick, Maryland Duluth, Minnesota Bad News for Cities, But is it Permanent? The explosion in remote working has simply not been good news for cities. Since the start of the pandemic, thousands of people have moved away from urban centers, with cities like San Francisco and New York City experiencing the most significant losses and their nearby suburbs experiencing the greatest gains. "This upsurge in working from home is largely here to stay, and I see a longer-run decline in city centers," said William D. Eberle, Professor of Economics in Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences and a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEP). However, some studies are showing that the urban flight might not be as prevalent as previously though. A recent study by Unacast, a leading generator of mobility data, found that in January and February of this year, the declining population growth in New York City actually reversed over 2019 levels. With remote working becoming more normalized across industries, cities are left with a two-pronged problem solve: first, how to stop the exodus of those who are leaving for literal greener pastures, and second, how to entice residents back in. As more people get vaccinated and businesses continue opening up, it could help curb the urban flight by creating new jobs or opening up positions that shut down for the pandemic. But jobs aren't enough. Unless city centers are revitalized with more suburban and rural amenities to justify the cost of urban living, they may face a substantial uphill battle. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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