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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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Real Estate Agents: Beware of Offer Letters as Emotional Bait
Emotions run high when you put a seller's house for sale. To them, it's not just a house, not just some brick and mortar sitting on a piece of dirt somewhere in the city or municipality. Whether your seller has lived in their house for one year or 50, it is a home filled with memories and paid for with a good portion of their annual income. So the next time you list a property for sale, consider the journey the seller has been on and how you can ease their separation anxiety. Is encouraging a buyer to write a personal home purchase offer letter to the seller a good idea? Being an agent often requires more than just great real estate marketing ideas, complete with virtual tours and interactive floor plans. You are the consumer's connection to the current market, an expert in your field, and the facilitator of the sale. Statistics show that a personal offer letter written by a potential buyer can affect the seller's decision to accept one offer to purchase in real estate over another. This type of correspondence is often referred to as a "love letter" with the intent of tugging at the owner's heartstrings in order to stand out among competing offers. The humanizing factor can help ease some of the emotional anxiety the seller experiences, but there are other ways to keep your seller's personal memories intact without endorsing what may be seen as discrimination. Separation anxiety Real estate transactions are about traversing the path alongside your seller to help with the sale and the unexpected emotions that often accompany the separation of loving homeowners and their abode. A buyer's home purchase offer letter may allow the seller a small glimpse into the life of the new owner, but it won't take the seller down memory lane. Easing the seller's separation anxiety is difficult, but a great way to help them keep those memories is by using 3D virtual tours and accurately detailed floor plans of their existing home. Not only are these prop-tech tools excellent for marketing a residence, but they can help your seller when making the decision to sign away their home to a stranger. A permanent file filled with real estate photos, virtual tours, and interactive floor plans will allow the seller to reminisce in the years to come. The buyer benefits by having accurate measurements and the tools to perform any upcoming renovations they may want to perform. Competition and multiple offers In a seemingly unstoppable real estate market, properties continue to receive multiple offers. Some homes are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars over the asking price. Competition is high and emotions are even higher. How can you help your buyer compete when listings are seeing all the offers to purchase that real estate agents can handle? Ultimately, the seller wants to get the best price for their home and with the least amount of hassle. An almost sure way to win the bid is to submit an offer well above the listed price after thoroughly examining the virtual tours and floor plans. If you lose out to a higher bidder, you have followed procedure to the letter. Speaking of which, would an offer letter have swayed the seller to choose your purchase contract over the winning one? Perhaps, but submitting a personally written letter from the buyer along with the contract could open you up to not-so-loving letters of reprimand from your local real estate board or, worse, a discrimination lawsuit. Love, letters, liability The buyer's home purchase offer letter is a passionate attempt to grab the seller's attention. A sort of coercing the seller to "pick me" as the new owner of a property. Of course, the intent behind the letter is to introduce the buyer to the seller in hopes they will "approve" the new owner of their home. But you have to consider there is a fair amount of liability involved with these so-called "love letters." It is never a good idea for you to include a letter like this along with an offer. It can be seen as an unfair method under the Fair Housing Act that discriminates against other potential buyers. Of course, you cannot prevent the buyer from taking the matter into their own hands and submitting the story of their wanton desire for the seller's home. In any case, it is not so much buyer beware, but buyer's agent beware. Connect and protect As a real estate agent, it is up to you to perform your fiduciary duties including reasonable care, confidentiality, and loyalty to protect the interests of both the seller and buyer. These duties include offering the best possible way to get a property sold by providing accurate information included in your real estate marketing plan. Connecting with buyers can be done using the proptech tools at your disposal. 3D video tours and precise square footage measurements are a must and are some of the best ways to help a buyer form an emotional attachment to a property. When it is a connection to the seller they are seeking, there is no better way than to make a fair offer to purchase real estate based on the factual information that affects the value of the property. Homebuyers will likely still want to engage in writing personal love letters to try to win a bidding war in one of the hottest real estate markets in years. As a Realtor, playing matchmaker is your role when introducing buyers to sellers' properties—but perhaps leave the flirtatious correspondence out of negotiations.
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Are Virtual Tours Only for Luxury Properties?
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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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5 Reasons Why Virtual Tours Are a Must for Your Marketing Plan
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The Dos and Don'ts of Social Media in Real Estate
Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 11:00 AM PDT Social media is all about top of mind awareness and one of the most effective ways to achieve that is to tell the story of your brand, your company, what you stand for. Learn how to prepare, execute and engage your followers and these influencer pro-tips. Register now!
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9 Automation Tricks that Will Rock Your Real Estate Business
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The Best Eco-Friendly High-Tech Home Products
At the recent International Builders Show, companies from around the world assembled (virtually, of course) to showcase their latest innovations in home products and technology. Many of these products weren't just fancy and fun to look at — they were designed to be environmentally friendly, too. Let's take a look at some of these eco-friendly standout products. Mighty Buildings 3D-Printed Home The construction technology firm Mighty Buildings showed how it can fully 3D-print a 350-square-foot house in less than 24 hours. Using its own composite building material and by applying state-of-the-art automation, the firm said it can produce structures twice as fast as conventional builders with 95% fewer labor hours and with 10 times less waste. Company spokesperson Helen Wong highlighted that the system can build everything from small backyard alternative dwelling units to entire subdivisions. Source: mightybuildings.com It's also worth mentioning that the company, in conjunction with the Palari development group, also recently announced its first-ever community of 3D-printed houses. The 15 eco-friendly homes are set for a five-acre site in Rancho Mirage, California. "This will be the first on-the-ground actualization of our vision for the future of housing," said CEO Alexey Dubov. Kohler Smart Faucet Kitchen appliances and fixtures made strong appearances at this year's show, including Kohler's voice-activated smart faucet. The unit dispenses measured amounts of water at your spoken command; just say the words to turn the water on, fill a container to a preset level or dispense a specific quantity. The faucet also features a motion sensor that can turn the water on and off at the wave of a hand, reducing water waste (and your utility bill!). Source: us.kohler.com If commanding water flow isn't just plain spiffy enough, the faucet also connects with the Kohler Konnect app so it can alert you to your water usage and detect if there's any unusual water flow. (RELATED: How Has COVID-19 Impacted Use of Smart Home Products?) Beko French Door Refrigerator Beko, a company consistently awarded for its energy-efficient products, showcased an eco-friendly 36-inch French 3-Door refrigerator. With what it calls its "EverFresh" and "Active Fresh Blue Light technology" for meticulous temperature management and precise humidity control, this refrigerator keeps food fresh up to 30% longer than an average unit – up to 30 days. Source: beko.com According to the company's website, this technology simulates natural light conditions, extending the photosynthesis process, and thus maintaining freshness and nutritional value of your food while reducing food waste. Lasso Loop Recycling Center Still in prototype, but an eco-friendly problem solver nonetheless (when you consider that a whopping 91% of all plastic is actually not recycled), Lasso Loop's in-home recycling center is a clever, dishwasher-sized appliance that works in tandem with an app to maximize recyclability. While shopping, your app can scan container barcodes to determine if the packaging is recyclable before you buy it. If so, the unit can clean, shred, and compress the metal, glass or plastic materials into an onboard container. Source: lassoloop.com According to their website, "Plastic, metals and glass are broken down separately, reducing [them] to a fraction of their size and maintaining valuable purity throughout," making them viable for closed-loop recycling. Once the bin is full, all you have to do is schedule a pickup from your app or a drop-off at an approved facility. LG Studio WashTower Another eco-friendly award winner at the show, LG's Studio WashTower makes laundry day easier with a series of sensors that detect fabric texture and load size, and then automatically select the optimum controls, washing and drying temperatures, and speed settings for the most efficient laundry experience on the market. Source: prnewswire.com According to LG's website, "The LG STUDIO model offers the platform's largest capacity with a 5.0-cubic- foot ENERGY STAR certified front-load washer – large enough to tackle king size bedding – below a 7.4-cubic-foot ENERGY STAR dryer so you can get more done in fewer loads." Paired with the LG app, you can start or stop the units at will and check for the remaining cycle time. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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Building a Winning Real Estate Team
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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 Digital Marketing Tips of 2021
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New to RPR? Start Here to Boost Your Business
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at 9:00 AM PDT Are you getting started with RPR? This is the class for you! In this 45 minute webinar, you'll learn some RPR basics, such as how to: Quickly conduct property searches Prepare for listing presentations Generate CMAs Efficiently prospect neighborhoods Share reports via email, text or on social media And so much more! Stop running around to find what you need... our one-stop-shop will help you save time and improve productivity. RPR is a NAR member benefit and is included in your annual dues to the National Association of REALTORS®, so there is nothing to buy. No subscription fees, no renewals. Register now!
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Top Negotiation Tactics for Buyers in a Red-Hot Market
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3 Massive Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Photographer
The best real estate agents know when it's time to call in an expert. Done right, a good real estate photographer makes your business more efficient, so you can focus on what you do best. Property listing photos are almost always better handled by a professional. Why? It makes a difference to buyers: More than nine out of 10 buyers in 2020 ranked photos as the most valuable feature of websites in the search for a home, according to the National Association of Realtors. Keep reading to learn more about the three best perks of working with a real estate photographer. You save loads of time and money Maybe you've already thought about investing in your photography equipment. If you want to take this approach, you should know what to expect. The cost of doing it yourself is more than the dollar amount you might pay for equipment. All photographers have to learn that taking good photos is a skill that takes time to build. You have to dig into complicated photography techniques to achieve a professional look. As the technology improves—and it always does—the uphill battle to keep up with trends and learning curves only gets steeper. If you think there's nothing a little Photoshop can't fix, remember that editing photos requires an entirely different set of skills. There is no magical piece of technology that replaces the input and decision-making skills of a trained real estate photographer. You could spend hours of your time fussing over which buttons to press and when. Would doing any of that make you a better real estate agent? Probably not—your time is most efficiently spent elsewhere. HomeJab real estate photo packages are priced at a fraction of what it might cost you to purchase your own equipment. Our team of photographers can be at the property within 24-48 hours of the moment you send us a request. You can expect optimized photos for use online and in print just 24 hours after the shoot is done. You get spectacular images of the property, and more freedom to improve your business right away. You attract more high-value buyers Professional quality photos make the difference in how quickly a home receives bids, and how close—or how much higher—offers are to the original listing price. Professional photography adds more value than repairing, painting, and landscaping a property: 73% of real estate agents ranked it as a top home improvement item. In virtual real estate, you're often communicating without ever saying a word. Fine-tuning how your online listing looks is like dressing the part in real estate: It influences the way people feel about you and think about your business. Most impressively, photos can be the deciding factor in someone buying a house sight unseen. The team at HomeJab knows that no two properties are the same, so we offer different photography packages: Standard and Luxury. What's the difference? In a Standard photo package, viewers have all of the information they need to get a basic sense of what the house is like. This is an effective way to list a property when you're on a budget, or the property has few to no natural light features. However, Standard photo packages aren't the best choice for properties with large windows, skylights and tall ceilings with natural light. That's because cameras only capture one subject and its light source at a time. Our Luxury photo packages address this problem with a different approach. In a Luxury photo package, we use a technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR) bracketing. To put it simply, HDR bracketing blends multiple takes of the same image into one. This creates one photo that's as true-to-life as possible, with all of the vivid colors that the naked eye can see. It's the perfect choice for capturing the inside and outside of a room—especially one with a view. As an added bonus, all Luxury packages include a virtual dusk shot, which is always an instant favorite for clients. A virtual dusk photograph shows the glow and warmth you can see from the outside of a home, blanketed by a dazzling twilight sky. This can make the difference between a property that sits and one that sells. Looking at your photos is as close as some buyers will get to a viewing without actually being there. Not only will you get more prospective buyers—their offers will be more competitive. You age-proof your business for the long run People contact real estate agents for guidance and representation in a busy market that's full of surprises—for better or worse. One of the only things that has not changed about this industry is high trust in a real estate agent. Your level of professionalism, experience, and tech-savvy real estate resources will resonate with new buyers and sellers for years to come. Effective communication as a real estate agent means understanding the housing market and guiding hopeful people through it. The preferences of buyers and sellers may change, but for now—and for the foreseeable future—people want to work with people. Your real estate clients need you for a lot more than taking photos of a property and listing it. When you can provide a good experience as a real estate agent, referrals to the local "proactive agent with a great photographer" can expand limitlessly. You may even re-write the handbook for successful real estate agents. Work With a HomeJab Real Estate Photographer Forget what you think you can save doing it all yourself, because you have so much more to gain as a real estate agent. With the help of a trusted real estate photographer, you may never run into a lack of opportunities and leads again. It's better to work with a real estate photographer whose priority is to deliver you high-quality photos at the most reasonable price. Contact HomeJab now for real estate photography expertise as soon as you need it. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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Dotloop Advanced Agent Training
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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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How to Create a Social Media Manifesto
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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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How to Increase Your Income as a Real Estate Agent
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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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How to Create the Perfect Email Address for Real Estate Agents
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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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Friday Freebie: Open House Guide to Getting More Offers
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Online Home Buying: A New Beginning for the Home Buying Process
Consumer goods are being sold online at record paces. Ever since the launch of platforms like Amazon, eBay and Shopify, sales are booming for e-commerce businesses. You can purchase everything from clothing and household goods to big-ticket items like vehicles. The ease and speed at which these transactions occur is one reason online buying is so popular, but what about buying real estate online? Purchasing a home is a little more complicated than reading a couple of reviews and clicking on the top-rated item. Influencing factors Several things have influenced the way consumers purchase a home. It's no news that online buying has skyrocketed in the past year and a half. With the pandemic driving prop-tech trends by increasing the demand for socially distanced open houses, virtual tours and drone footage, these home buying tools have now become the norm. Online property purchases are happening through platforms like "Zoom" and "Google Meet" because your buyer is comfortable using video conferencing as an everyday way to communicate. Then there is time. Homes are selling fast, leaving many buyers scrambling to make an offer quickly before there are multiple competing offers. To save time, you are compelled to complete the purchase contract as quickly as possible to secure your buyer's offer and the fastest way to do that is to submit documents online. When the home seller wants to know "how to sell my home fast," you use everything at your disposal to facilitate the process from start to finish. You are no stranger to employing proptech tools like virtual tours and interactive floor plans to help sell a home. Contracts and brochures are transmitted regularly through email, DocuSign, and a host of other online methods. Selling a home quickly at the best possible price is the goal for your seller and you can do it all online without any physical contact with the property or in-person meetings with the buyer. Technology has made it easier for buying real estate online—but the question is, has it made it faster? Online home buying – faster or not? "How can I sell my home fast?" is one of the first things every home seller asks their Realtor. The answer may seem simple. List the home at a competitive price, make sure it is clean and tidy, and advertise the home's features using virtual tours. But you know it is not quite as easy as one, two, three. Selling a home online quickly requires prop-tech tools that have led to a dramatic increase in agents using virtual tours. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the typical home seller is 56 years old, has been living in their home for about 10 years and an overwhelming majority want a real estate agent who uses virtual tours. You are a master at providing 3D tours, interactive floorplans, and digital brochures to capture the eye of potential buyers. Getting that online offer happens quickly. But there is more to the entire process than a few digital signatures. Most homebuyers need about four months to complete all the stages of the purchase. From initial inquiries to mortgage qualification, house hunting, offer and closing, some things just can't be rushed. But buying real estate online has certainly made things easier in terms of access. You will not likely find a buyer who views a property, makes an offer, and completes the entire transaction from start to finish all in a day or two. It just can't be done. This is not Amazon. There are processes and protocols involved. Online transactions certainly make things more convenient, but not necessarily faster. You can help the buyer "save" time by looking at properties digitally and making an online purchase, but you cannot speed up time. There are a lot of steps involved in buying a home. Additional steps in the home buying process You are successful in living up to your seller's wishes of "how to sell my home fast" by using virtual tours, interactive floorplans and real estate marketing tools to showcase the property's layout. However, the process does not stop at the purchase contract. Your buyer will be required to follow through and obtain credit approvals, home inspections and property appraisals, and hire a lawyer to complete closing documents required for property registration. There are other necessities like real property reports/survey certificates, insurance, and discharging liens and encumbrances that may be registered against the title. Into the future What lies ahead of you requires adaptation and the ability to manage the changing landscape of buying real estate online. When it comes to closing time, proptech will continue to drive the way consumers buy and sell homes—because, as Dan Wilson contemplated, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." Of course, you never know when the next shock wave will hit the world, so it's best to be prepared and use the tools available now. The only thing about buying a home online is that the return policy is not like Amazon. You can't simply send it back if you don't like it once you see it. Buyer beware caveat emptor.
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The Unexpected Benefits of Form Simplicity for Agents
When America locked down, real estate agents already using a digital transaction management program had an immediate advantage. As working remotely became the new normal for months, having every document, every email, and every text associated with each transaction located in one place, online and accessible 24-7, was a priceless timesaver. Overnight, transaction management software became the new "must-have" for every active real estate agent. For Form Simplicity from the Florida Realtors®, product training classes went online and were packed. As a result, a record number of agents attended training provided virtually by Form Simplicity in 2020. By mid-year, attendance exceeded all training provided the entire prior year. These were some of the unexpected consequences of the pandemic. As agents clamored to solutions that helped them work better remotely, real estate technology software saw record adoption rates as more agents went digital and paperless. Form Simplicity's growth accelerated over the last 18 months. From Alabama to Oregon, Georgia to Missouri, Form Simplicity continues to expand its presence nationwide. As one of the real estate industry's most popular and advanced digital transaction management solutions, Form Simplicity recently began providing services to nearly 100,000 Realtor members, including Missouri REALTORS, Georgia REALTORS, and Alabama REALTORS, and subscribers of Oregon Real Estate Forms (owned by the Eugene Association of Realtors and the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors). Unexpected agent benefits Support When real estate agents begin using Form Simplicity, they discover benefits they were unaware of before going digital. At the top of the list is the unparalleled support they receive from Tech Helpline, the No. 1 tech support service in real estate, with the exceptional customer service and rapid response times provided by all departments. Training Since its redesign, Form Simplicity has become one of the most intuitive, easy-to-use transaction management solutions that new agents pick up instantly. That reduces agent workflow disruption as brokers need to provide less training and avoid pulling agents out of their sales cycle. For agents who need extra help, Form Simplicity also offers outstanding training support for association staff and members to help maximize all the features it provides. Specialized Smart Forms Smart forms are at the heart of Form Simplicity – forms that allows agents to enter property data once and then automatically populate that information wherever it appears on other forms. The power of autofill in Form Simplicity is something agents covet as it reduces risk. Forms are programmed to perform calculations, conditional fields, custom mapping and more. In addition, agents no longer have to enter the same information repeatedly, which is a waste of their time and talents. It's why Form Simplicity spends so much time behind the scenes refining its technology to make sure its streamlined form programming process is unmatched in the industry. As a result, we can take custom forms an association has and turn them into Specialized Smart Forms, offering them as part of Form Simplicity – another huge benefit for agents. More than just convenient Security Turning a paper-intensive business into a digitally-driven process creates more than convenience. Having safe and highly secure (bank-grade) access to all your files in a single place online increases the productivity of every agent. Collaboration Collaboration is key to success in real estate. Unique to our business, competing agents must rely on each other to create a successful transaction. Embedded into Form Simplicity are features that enable a highly collaborative process – in real-time. Some agents want a clean document and to make sure everything is in place before sending it out for signatures. Form Simplicity's built-in collaboration feature allows an agent to share a form with another agent involved in the transaction to capture negotiated points accurately before sending out for signing. Customizable Email Signatures Another unexpected benefit Form Simplicity offers agents is offering an email signature that automatically populates. It takes just a few seconds to set up, and the agent's name and contact information are at the end of every email sent from within Form Simplicity. FREE Assistant Accounts Brokers benefit from the ability to create an "Assistant" account to help them manage forms. Also, Form Simplicity allows brokers to set specific permissions, giving them the ability to designate access for an office or a particular agent. Switch User The "switch user" feature that Form Simplicity offers helps keep busy brokers on task. For example, suppose a broker or their designated office assistant needs to take a quick look at an agent's transaction. In that case, the switch user function allows them to access the transaction, assist or provide an answer to the agent, and switch back to their Broker View. This feature is in addition to the more comprehensive Broker Review process, designed solely to allow brokers to respond quickly to urgent questions or agent needs. Is Form Simplicity for you? The final "unexpected benefit" that Form Simplicity offers both agents and brokers is an invisible feature. Form Simplicity is industry-run, operated by the Florida Realtors, the nation's largest state association. Unlike other leading transaction management software offerings, there is no influence from Wall Street or venture capital investors. At Florida Realtors, serving the needs of the real estate community and homeowners comes first, period. Associations/MLSs/brokerages can rest assured that our pricing model is fair and not inflated. Our pricing is also very straight forward unlike other companies on the market, making it easier for clients to get a very clear picture of what the pricing is, without having to account for multiple add-ons. Mobile compatibility, broker tools, and support are examples of this. Some 68 brokers from 16 Florida communities came together in 1916 to mark the beginning of the Florida Realtors. Today, Florida Realtors, now more than 205,000 members strong, continues unaltered in its mission to meet the needs of its members. That's why Form Simplicity and its sister firm Tech Helpline offer agents and brokers additional peace of mind, knowing that agents, brokers, and the Florida Realtor are always working together. To learn more about Form Simplicity, go to formsimplicity.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Keeping Your Facebook Strategy Up-to-Date in a Social Media World
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Why Real Estate Agents Should Build an Email List
Being a real estate agent requires that you be social during almost every opportunity you are around people. However, what if you are not around people? What are you to do if there is nobody around? With social media, you can casually converse with your community--but most of them won't be ready to buy or sell. Instead, you must commit to building yourself an email list. These are the reasons real estate agents NEED an email list: Emails Ignore Algorithms The great thing about emails is that there are no complicated formulas that determine whether a person receives your real estate marketing emails or not. They are displayed to users in chronological order, and are only filtered out if they come up as spam. With email, you don't have to worry about catering to an algorithm—instead you can cater to your real estate leads. Social Media Channels Might Fail Do you remember Vine? Or Google+? Or MySpace? Some might even argue that Facebook is not as popular as it used to be, especially with emerging home buying demographics. As platforms become less relevant overtime, you can always count on being future proofed with emails. Emails Can Be Scheduled Ahead of Time If you talk to a prospective homebuyer that is not from the area, you can write a follow-up message to be sent the week before they are in town. Or perhaps you can add them to a drip marketing campaign to send out relevant information that pertains to their home ownership goals. If you really want to go above and beyond, utilizing intelligent software that responds to your leads based on their behavior is the way to go. Emails Can Be More Personal Another advantage that email offers over social media is that you are having a one-on-one conversation with your leads. With social media, you are always broadcasting to a large population of people. This is great to spread the word about your business to thousands of people at a time—but it is not so great at building those personal relationships that are pertinent to having a stranger from the internet trust you. You Control the Experience The reason people go back to Netflix regularly is because they know how to give their customers a good experience. They recommend new movies to their viewers based on their recently viewed and searched for movies. You can do the same thing with email based on the search criteria of your leads. Even better, there are no ads or competitors clamoring for their business. With email, it's more about providing value and building a connection with your leads. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Monitor Market Movement for Your Clients and Prospects
When you want to update your geographic farm area on all the latest real estate market trends and movement, reach for the RPR's Market Activity Report. This handy deliverable is a snapshot of all the changes in a local real estate market. And it's the perfect way to keep clients up to speed, and a surefire way to impress prospects. The Market Activity Report includes a list of active, pending, sold, expired and distressed properties, including recent price changes. You can choose to go back a few days or weeks, and even up to six months. Perhaps best of all, the Market Activity Report can be run on your custom map areas. Meaning they can be run for your geographic farm area. Check out this video on RPR Maps to take a guided walk through on how to define and save custom areas on the map. How to Run an RPR Market Activity Search To run your Market Activity search, select Research from the upper right area of the navigation bar on the home page. Then select Residential Market Activity Search. You'll be directed to the Market Activity Search page. Next, enter in the location you want to search. On the right, you can add additional search filters, including For Sale and/or For Lease. Then select which statuses you want included and whether properties show changes in the last three days to the last six months. Choose which property types appear and a price range. To refine your search further, select the Filters icon for advanced search options. Keep this in mind when you select the advanced search filters: you can view the amount of properties your search results will include. This is a smart way to narrow down your results before you run your search. Select the orange magnifying glass or the Update and Search button to run your search. From this list view, see how many properties show recent changes in the last three months, last week or last three days. This gives a good overview of the local real estate market in your particular area. Change your view to a photo grid or map view on the top right of your list results. Click to Create and Customize Now the fun part! Click Create Report to run your report. Verify that Market Activity is selected, and then click the plus "+" icon to omit or include specific sections of the report. Make sure to check your cover page elements as well (you'll see them to the right). Personalize your report if you are emailing to a client, choose your delivery method, and click Run Report. Another good way to leverage the Market Activity Report is to share it out to your social media circles, such as Facebook. This is a highly visible way to send out monthly or even quarterly updates for those homeowners who aren't ready to sell, but would like to stay up to speed on how the market is doing near their home. Market Activity Reports are a keen deliverable—create one today and share it with clients and hopefully, soon-to-be-clients. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Real Estate 3D Virtual Tours vs. Videos: Which One Should You Use?
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Staycation Activities for Every Season
Real estate is a fantastic business, but everyone needs a break from time to time. Vacationing is back on the menu for many Americans, but if you're more comfortable sticking close to home, you should still take some time off to relax and unwind. Here are some fun ways to spend your time off in any season without straying too far from home! Summer Turn a kiddie pool into a mini-tropical paradise. Challenge your friends, extended family, or neighbors to do the same and share the picture on social media! Start an herb garden. Go fishing or kayaking. Fall Create your own outdoor movie theatre. Build your dream theatre with a projector, screen, and some comfy outdoor furniture. Plant some low-maintenance plants. Go camping in your backyard. Winter Spruce up your firepit. Add some string lights or nice seating around a firepit. Consider adding an outdoor bar or drink station for added relaxation potential. Get inspired by building a gingerbread house (or gingerbread village). Learn a new hobby online. Spring Start a vegetable garden. Go for a drive in the countryside. Take a bike ride. Any Time! Catch up on a TV series. Host a game night via Zoom. Go geo-caching. Take a virtual vacation by touring a zoo or museum. Whenever you choose to schedule your time off, remember that while you're away, Homes.com has your back. Visit profile.homes.com to create your free account. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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The REAL Problem with Buying Online Leads that No One Wants to Talk About
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5 Reasons You Should Use a Showing Service
Let's face it: being a real estate professional is not for the faint of heart. As an agent, you're juggling many of the responsibilities and tasks across the buying/selling continuum -- from lead generation to post-closing follow-up. It takes a lot of time, effort, and sheer grit to successfully navigate all the moving parts that go into building a flourishing real estate career. Having the proper focus and the right tools to manage your business can make all the difference. Here are five ways a showing service – a software application that coordinates and schedules residential showing appointments – can streamline your efforts and make you more successful. No. 5: A showing service creates a better work/life balance. So many people enter real estate because they want to be their own boss. The challenge is that clients are demanding and expect you to be at their beck and call. You're in a service business with little boundary between work hours and personal hours. If you want to be successful, especially in today's competitive market, you have to be available to proactively guide your clients' journey and accommodate their needs. This on-call situation makes it extremely difficult to set healthy boundaries between work life and home life. A showing service can give you more time back in your day by automating tedious and time-consuming tasks such as scheduling, confirming, canceling, and rescheduling appointments. This alone makes a showing service worth using, because it allows you to step away from your laptop or mobile device and really focus when you're spending time with family and friends. Knowing that your business is being managed for you when you're "off the clock" can give you real peace of mind—and the healthier work/life balance that you deserve. No. 4: A showing service makes scheduling and conducting showings less complicated. Getting ready to head to a showing but have to print out or download all the details for your busy day? Need to schedule four appointments for a client on one day? Need to plot your driving directions for that client's multi-showing route? These tasks can all be done within a showing service solution. Besides the obvious benefit of automated scheduling, a showing service integrates seamlessly with the MLS so you can access listing details from wherever you are. All the information you need – property notifications, alarm codes, and special instructions for entering properties – is available on your mobile device. And, it can get you from point A to points B, C, and D by letting you build a daily itinerary for each client, complete with driving directions. It's a simple and stress-free way to uncomplicate your business. No. 3: A showing service helps you stay organized. So much of the real estate process is manual, time-consuming, and conducted on the go, with change being the only constant. Even the most organized real estate professional can become overwhelmed and have difficulty keeping track of all the moving pieces. At any given time, you may be relying on six or more different technologies and systems. So, how can a showing service help? A cloud-based, at-a-glance showing service calendar is key to helping you stay on track, especially if it's available to your office team and team members, too. Likewise, built-in CSM functions help you manage your client roster, track client feedback and activity, and more. It's like having an efficient personal assistant with you at all times. No. 2: A showing service gives you the power to wow your buyers and sellers at the moment of truth. It's easy to get so caught up in the tasks of keeping your business moving forward that the bigger picture – delivering a great client experience – can take a back seat to what's calling for your immediate attention. Yet, your clients' satisfaction is the most important deliverable. Happy clients means more referrals, which ultimately means more sales. The expertise and care you bring to the showing process set you apart and establishes your credibility and reputation in your community. A showing service solution supports your efforts and streamlines tasks for you, including client communication, feedback, and activities. This enables you to focus on guiding your buyers and sellers through one of their biggest personal and financial decisions. Current market data available in the showing service that makes you more knowledgeable and proactive – and better able to address your clients' next moves in a timely way, eliminating some of the possibility of them second-guessing your advice. Facts are facts. This data positions you as a knowledgeable and trusted professional, and gives you and your clients the competitive advantage in a fierce market. And the No. 1 reason to use a showing service... No. 1: A showing service helps you sell more homes. "Time is money." –Benjamin Franklin While this adage is true for everyone, it's quite literally the reality for real estate sales professionals. Everything you do, or may not have the time to do, impacts whether you earn a commission. It doesn't get more real than that. Time, talent, technology and—okay—a little luck, can make the difference between being a top producer or an average one. Leveraging a showing service that helps you manage your client roster, find perfect properties, send them to clients, schedule and reschedule showings, build a daily itinerary, plan your driving route, review the properties' listing details, view showing instructions, provide client feedback, and so much more is the key to more time – and more home sales. To view the original article, visit the SentriLock blog.
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RPR Property Search Primer in 1.5 Minutes
It happens all the time: a client puts you on the spot with a question about a property and you're not 100% sure of the answer. However, with RPR at your fingertips or a click away, you're poised to reply immediately with accuracy and confidence. That's what a property search in RPR is all about: quick, effective, and up to date information. Here are some tips on how to dig a little deeper and how to narrow down your search results even further by making you aware of the "Advanced Search" filter. This property search pointer session will show how to: Locate the search bar, toggle between residential and commercial, type in an address, choose property status and click the search button for results Find out where the location field for searches is and how to narrow down your search with basic filter checks (type/status, etc.) Check out advanced filters (it's the funnel icon to the right!) to expand your filters and see more advanced filter options Get a running tally of search results you're generating before you click "search." It's the "Results using these filters: __" area that changes in real time with your filter clicks. This can really come in handy when you're searching areas and neighborhoods, and not individual properties Watch this 1.5 minute video to see all of the above in action: To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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How to Build the Perfect Real Estate Instagram Marketing Strategy
The most important rule in advertising is: Place your ads where your target audience will see them. Seems obvious, right? But so many real estate agents still rely on outdated tactics that simply don't have the reach that newer, digital spaces do. If your goal is to grow your business and reach new prospects, then social media is the place to be. These platforms are a gold mine for advertisers. Instagram alone has 140 million adult users across the country, which accounts for two-thirds of U.S. adults. Six in 10 of those users log in daily, spending an average of 30 minutes per day on the platform — with 42% of users opening the app multiple times throughout the day, giving advertisers even more opportunities to reach them. With stats like that, it's easy to see why this social network is the third most-popular, behind YouTube and Facebook. Audience reach and engagement are compelling reasons for making Instagram an essential part of your real estate marketing strategy. So if you hadn't planned on advertising there, think again. Here's when it's best to use Instagram ads and how to optimize your ROI when you do. When to advertise on Instagram Instagram is a visual platform. Although you can create Post Ads or Stories Ads with text, a majority of the content is made up of photos, animations, and videos. That's what users log in to see, and why Instagram is ideal for those beautiful new listing photos and walk-through videos you just commissioned. This is also a platform that attracts a younger user base. Fifty-five percent of Instagrammers are between 18-34 years old, and another 18% account for those who are 35-44. If your target audience is empty nesters or retirees, this won't be your ideal place to advertise. As such, it's best to use Instagram ads when you… have a new listing are promoting an open house want to reach first-time homebuyers are trying to attract a younger audience Ad formats on Instagram Instagram may not have 20 different types of ad units, but the few that it does offer work really well with its engaged audience. One reason is because ads are naturally interspersed among native content as users scroll their Feed or flip through Stories. That makes users more inclined to look at and engage with your ad. To give you a better sense of your options, take a look at these attention-grabbing ad formats—all of which support both photos and videos. Post Ad This ad type appears in users' Feeds (that's the one people scroll through vertically). You can publish just a single photo or video or include up to 10 images in a carousel. Keep in mind that these will be cropped to a square, so choose your content wisely. All Post Ads include a caption, where you can write a description about the listing, and a call-to-action (CTA) link that will redirect anyone who clicks on it to your property listing page. Stories Ad Users access their Stories at the top of Instagram and scroll horizontally to see new Stories posted by the accounts they follow. Stories Ads won't appear in this scrollable list, but they will be seamlessly interspersed between Stories as they play, so as not to interrupt the user's experience. These ads are more immersive because of their full-screen, vertical format. They can play for up to 45 seconds, which is perfect for a home walk-through. Just like Post Ads, you can also include a CTA that links to a page of your choosing, such as a property listing, lead generation page, or your real estate website. Tips for maximizing ROI on Instagram Now that you have a better sense of when to advertise on Instagram and the creative options you have available, let's discuss a few ways to maximize ROI for those ads. We said it once, but we'll say it again: Instagram is a visual platform. Your photos and videos need to be high quality. That doesn't mean they have to be taken by a professional, but they need to be attractive enough to be scroll-stopping. Make sure your photos and videos are: Crisp and clear (i.e., not pixelated) Well-lit to bring out the detail and beauty of the space The right size for the format you're using (i.e. vertical for Stories and square for Posts) Keep in mind these dos and don'ts that are specific to videos: Do not shake the camera or make sudden, sharp movements. Do talk to your audience. Sixty percent of Stories are viewed with sound on. Do keep moving through the property. You may lose viewers if you stop too long while talking. Finally, consider your audience when setting up your real estate Instagram marketing strategy. You can — and should — target geographically, but you'd also be wise to take advantage of the custom audience option. This targeting capability allows you to upload your own list of leads, prospects you're nurturing, or your sphere of influence. Instagram will match the email addresses and phone numbers that you provide to its user base and show your ads to anyone on your list who is also on the platform. That's ad targeting at its best! To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Everything You Need to Know About Real Estate Listing Videos
According to Wyzowl, over 80% of marketers have increased traffic to their websites by incorporating video content in their marketing campaigns. They've also reported more user dwell-time across their web pages and an influx of qualified leads to drive sales. With these stats, it's no wonder real estate listing videos have become increasingly popular over the past few years! In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about video content for real estate and take you on a journey of the home-buying process as seen through the lens of a video camera. Why create real estate listing videos? According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 73% of sellers prefer to work with a real estate agent who can market the property with a video listing. What's more, the NAR's 2021 Homebuyers and Sellers Generational Trends report showed that real estate videos are steadily climbing up the list of top resources that homebuyers consider "very useful" on an agent's website. The rise of real estate listing videos is also outperforming virtual open houses: So, if you're a property agent or homeowner who hasn't yet jumped on the real estate video production bandwagon, you do yourself no favors. Skip the FOMO and schedule your video listing today! What does a high-quality real estate video look like? A great real estate video is made manifest with top-notch equipment. Think full-frame DSLR cameras. Motion control gears (a.k.a. video camera stabilizers). Adequate tripod heads for extra stability and streamlined panning. Also, you might opt for a wide-angle lens to capture more depth in the room. Then, there's post-production to consider. Is the sound crystal clear? Does the music add value to the experience or does it detract from it? How's the editing? Do the shots and scenes flow sensibly from the very beginning of the real estate video to the end? These are important questions to keep in mind when producing real estate listing videos that will engage and delight the viewer. And we get it — not everyone has the time to ask and answer them! This is where HomeJab comes in. Keep your inner Spielberg contained and let us produce high-quality real estate video content for you. How long should a real estate listing video be? The average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to a mere eight seconds today (yikes!). In light of this information, it's good to remember that an optimal real estate video will highlight the property's best features in a relatively short amount of time. Two to three minutes should do. Within this time span, you can offer the viewer a taste of the home vicariously through the lens of a video camera. This includes an exciting journey through the front door, kitchen, living room, bedrooms, bathrooms, and then out to the yard (if the property has one). A well-produced and successful real estate listing video will impel the viewer to contact you for an in-person tour. Or better yet, to purchase the home! Granted, an 8,000 to 10,000 square foot property requires a bit more screen time than a standard two-bedroom house. But no matter how large the property or estate is, try not to go past seven minutes. Remember, the human attention span is a fickle thing! Types of real estate listing videos When you think about real estate video content, what comes to mind? More often than not, a property video listing will present itself as a walkthrough of the home, such as the "front door → kitchen → living room" flow mentioned above. Alternatively, a real estate listing video can focus exclusively on the neighborhood where the home is being sold. After all, they don't say "location, location, location" for nothing! In fact, a survey conducted by the NAR found that 78% of prospective homebuyers preferred neighborhood quality over the size of the home. And a survey completed by Trulia reported that 84% of millennials were willing to forego key home features to live in their ideal neighborhood. At HomeJab, we offer a neighborhood package to ensure that your real estate listing video stands out from the rest of the crowd. This way, you can feature the best schools, amenities and outdoor activities that your neighborhood has to offer. Lastly, if you're looking to pull out all the stops with engaging real estate video content, our elite package will help you gain maximum exposure while enhancing your personal branding. The elite service is essentially a mini feature film that focuses solely on your listing and helps your prospective buyers envision themselves living in your home as they watch! Should you use drone photography in your real estate listing video? Drone photography is an excellent way to show off your property's exterior features that a camera simply won't be able to capture from the ground. Aerial footage of your home can also be a compelling opening shot to your real estate video — one that hooks in more viewers, like this one: Furthermore, if you're dealing with some serious acreage or photographing an estate, real estate drone photography can do wonders for your listing video. But it could also come in handy even if the property's much smaller. For instance, real estate drones can capture the dock of your lakeside house from an optimal angle by hovering above the water. They could also photograph your brand new roof much better than a handheld camera. And if you have a lovely gazebo in your yard, a 360-degree aerial sweep of it can make it look even more striking. When booking HomeJab's drone photography services, you leave the nuances of piloting these compact gadgets to us. That way, you can focus your time and efforts on planning your next open house, contacting prospective buyers, and crossing off more important items from your to-do list. To learn more about drone photography — including its evolution from a reconnaissance tool in wartime to a lightweight, easy-to-fly gadget — check out our post, "A Brief History of Real Estate Drones." Should you make a cameo in your real estate video listing? Real estate video listings can be a great opportunity to introduce yourself to prospective homebuyers and engage viewers with your unique personality. As a matter of fact, some real estate agents create video listings that feature more of themselves than the actual home. And this isn't a gimmick — the role of personality in sales can shape the buyer's views and feelings towards the home. If the buyer doesn't like you — or even worse, if the buyer doesn't trust you — it could affect their perception of the home and compromise the deal. So, to break the ice and get a head start on building rapport and trust, consider filming a real estate listing video that you can showcase as evergreen content on your website or include in your email marketing campaigns. Funny Real Estate Videos Our final thought on real estate listing videos? Have fun! At HomeJab, we've gathered the best funny real estate videos for your viewing pleasure. And if you want even more hilarious real estate video content, we've got you covered. All that said, are you ready to scale your real estate business and create professional real estate listing videos? If so, let's ready the clapperboard and yell, "Action!" To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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6 Tools for Finding Your Right Virtual and In-person Mix
The pandemic forced many real estate agents "go virtual" when it came to showing properties and engaging with potential buyers and sellers. Even though agents and clients are beginning to meet in person again, the following virtual tools still make sense to help win over buyers and sellers. 1. Virtual Tours Virtual tours were gaining popularity pre-pandemic, and they've now become the primary "initial" way of viewing a home. Be sure to include versions that allow for 3D viewing and 360° movement – to enable prospects to view a property as if they were inside. 2. Aerial Drones Drone footage can give a bird's eye view of what it's like to live in a certain neighborhood and provides a more holistic view of an area, including features beyond the property. Does the nearby school create a street parking issue? What amenities are nearby? Et cetera. 3. Video Meetings Not every virtual solution needs to be super fancy. Holding a Zoom meeting or walking through a home and FaceTiming is still perfectly acceptable – and sometimes more convenient! We've all become experts at online meetings and viewings, and buyers will appreciate having you there, as they can make individual requests. Maybe they'll want you to point the camera out the window so they can see the view from the master bedroom, or maybe they'll ask you to count the number of steps it takes to walk from one side of the backyard to the other. Don't underestimate the power of this simple tool! 4. Virtual Open House In many areas, the market is so hot that homes are sold before the first open house. Live streaming an open house is a great idea, as it allows multiple buyers to tune in and you don't need to schedule individual appointments unless a buyer is really interested in the property. You can speak about the house beforehand, give a live tour, and take live questions as well. If you decide to host a virtual open house, just be sure to market it well in the days leading up to it. You want to make sure people know about it and have the link to the live stream far in advance! 5. Social Media How many times have you ignored a message that came through on Facebook or Instagram? Make sure you're active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and be sure to write back immediately to anyone who is interested in using you as an agent. Otherwise, you'll lose out to someone who did answer the message. 6. HighNote If you're unfamiliar with HighNote, it's time to get familiar with it, because it can make your life so much easier and help win over buyers and sellers. Instead of sending an email with multiple attachments, HighNote's smart presentation platform embeds those attachments into a beautifully displayed presentation. Best of all, you then get real-time results telling you when the recipient opened the presentation and what they clicked on. You can then tailor follow-up communications based on their activity. Finding the right mix of digital and in-person interactions with prospects and clients is real estate's new normal. It's simply important to remember that how you connect is not as important as the strength of your connection!
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The Pros and Cons of Real Estate Designations
Are those three letters that follow your name really that important? What benefits do they have? Are there any downsides? Let's take a closer look at what real estate designations have to offer. Here are the pros and cons of real estate designations: Cons They Cost Time and Money To take the classes, it will take some time out of your day. With good time management skills, this shouldn't be a big detractor from your business. It will need a financial and time commitment if you decide to pursue a designation. Consumers Might Not Know What They Are Do real estate agents even know what most of the designations are? Do you know what an RHT designation is? You probably don't because that one is made up. Consumers won't be able to tell the difference between an RHT and SRES designation unless you explain it to them. Pros Help with Google Ranking Did you know that it will benefit you in the long run to have a page dedicated to your designation on your website? For example, if you have the CRS designation you can have a page dedicated to what the means for your prospective real estate client. If you have the GREEN designation, the copy you write can help attract millennial homebuyers looking for an eco-friendly real estate agent. The Knowledge There is something that can never be taken away from you, and that is the knowledge you acquire from earning a real estate designation. You can always go out and learn anything yourself. There are plenty of resources available for self-learning. However, to follow a curiculum with concentrated information will be more effective. You don't have to waste time doing your own research, and learn from others who were once in your position. This knowledge directly benefits your real estate clients! The designation isn't for bragging rights, it's to improve the customer experience. You Can Increase Your Network Some designations will offer a community that you can tap into. For example, the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation will hold conferences. You also have access to a wide network of agents that can give you referrals because home buyers are always looking to relocate. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Paper Is Cancelled, Move Your Brochures Online
Tech tock... Paper is a thing of the past--it's time to recycle, review and revise your real estate marketing tools. Technology for real estate agents is moving transactions off paper and into the clouds. New-age tools and platforms are challenging the status quo and making it easier for the consumer to access information online. Are you still relying on old-school real estate marketing, paper brochures, and self-measurements? You need to be using current technology to adapt to the changing landscape and behaviors of home buyers and sellers. New Behavior The use of online marketing tools has seen a tremendous increase for both buyers and sellers with 97% of buyers using the internet to search for properties. According to Zillow, 40% of Millennials are comfortable buying a home online without ever stepping into it in person. Millennials love 3D tours and interactive floorplans because they have grown up using computers. Technology provides a sense of comfort and familiarity as well as trust. But what about the other generations of buyers? Buyers and sellers from the Boomer demographic and beyond also enjoy surfing the net and using digital tools available at their disposal. They may not be as relaxed about buying a home sight unseen but they certainly know how to examine the accurate square footage of a floorplan with an experienced eye. Floorplans have been around long before the internet, but now online availability and an ever-increasing demand for video tours has changed the way a property is viewed. Video has the power to grab people's attention, persuade decisions, and satisfy the need to know. The desire for instant access to online information has seen significant increases due to the pandemic and real estate tech trends like virtual tours are now the preferred way consumers desire to shop for a home. Technology Is Key It's time to leave the paper trail of contracts, flimsy brochures, and hardcopy real estate marketing ads in the past. Provide your clients with online collateral to prove your worth. Give your buyers the tools they need to make informed decisions about their purchase. Give your seller the gift of their home standing out among thousands of other listings. Give your full attention, your experience, and use the technology at your disposal. Engage the buyer through 3D tours for their instant gratification. Real estate tech trends provide information NOW. Can they see a home at 3 A.M.? Absolutely—virtual tours are available at any time day or night. Not just a tour, but an up close and personal look at every accurate square foot of the place. It's no secret that you hold the keys to a property listing (literally and figuratively), but the key that opens the door to a quick sale, for the best possible price, with the least amount of disruption for the consumer, is using new-age tools. Share Information Through Your Tech Technology for real estate agents abounds with the continued demands for better ways to market a home, manage clients, capture leads, and have paperless transactions. According to NAR, 70% of real estate brokers have their own websites. Websites invite, entertain, inform, and get the attention of buyers and sellers. Your real estate agent website can communicate information about listings by embedding 3D videos and interactive floor plans. Online platforms eliminate the need for paper flyers, brochures, and hard copy advertising material. Linking your social media channels improves lead capture across all forms of digital communication. Add in a social media management tool like HootSuite so all your news feeds and posts can be organized weeks or months in advance. A customer relationship management (CRM) tool helps you keep track of all your clients. Digital records of names, contact information, dates, and specific details of your clients are safely and precisely organized without the need for old-school paper day-timers. You can easily transmit online brochures, virtual tours, or professional real estate photos by sending these directly through an email platform like Mailchimp or tagging your followers in a social media post. Real Estate Tech Trends Are Here to Stay Expertise and technology are perfect partners. Buyers and sellers prefer to work with an agent because they want/need help with the entire transaction. From contracts to marketing, advice to time-saving tricks of the trade – a Realtor® knows best. Consumers want to be confident in the home buying/selling process and new technology reassures them through every step. Challenging the status quo gives you the upper hand and provides the consumer what they want: a clean transaction, with minimal interruption to their daily lives. It's time to burn the paper trail and advance towards a clearer path that allows the growth of newer and better ways to present and sell a listing. Ever-changing technology for real estate agents helps the industry prosper and an "adapt or die" philosophy is the way to success for your future. As Charles Darwin once said, "It's not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."
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5 Social Media Tips You Can't Overlook
The real estate industry is officially online. What used to be an industry that depended on cold calling and traditional marketing is now an industry that heavily relies on social media marketing. As a real estate professional, you understand how much of an impact social media has on building trust in your client base. Social media is a major lead generator, yet most real estate brands fail to maximize their efficiency online. It's simple to tweak your content strategy in order to achieve great results for your real estate brand. Amarki has scoured the internet and come up with these tips that will help you step up your real estate social media marketing. Tip #1: The Basics If you're already up and running on social media, then you probably already know the basics. For those that don't here it is: Facebook Facebook has over 2 billion ACTIVE monthly users, making it the most popular social platform available. Setting up a business page gives you access to useful features such as page analytics and the ability to promote posts to your audience. The best performing posts are ones that include images and video. Instagram Instagram has become a top social platform because it's a visual platform. A single post can include a series of images and video making it a great way to show off your listings. LinkedIn LinkedIn provides a great opportunity to network with other real estate agents, brokerages and connect with clients. Make sure you create a business page to advertise your services. Tip #2: Start Two-Way Conversations With 93% of millennial starting their search online, this creates an incredible opportunity to connect with them there—but do you understand their motivation? Potential homebuyers are searching for information, and they have questions, especially if they're first-time buyers. This can cause intimidation. Using social media allows you to walk everyone through the process and creates stronger bonds. Instead of posting endless self-promotional content (a one-way broadcast), you open and create a two-way conversation. Your audience becomes key contributors of the experience. Other great ways to start a two-way conversation are hosting a Q&A session, ask questions on your posts, create and promote surveys or even invite your audience to join a conversation. Tip #3: Wisely Choose Your Social Platforms Social media is fast-paced, chaotic and changes constantly. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of platforms available. Real estate agents feel pressure to "be everywhere" when you don't. You're already pressed for time and driving yourself crazy trying to maintain a presence on a dozen platforms doesn't help. The best results will come from focusing on just a few social platforms to start. Begin your journey on proven platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Unsure which deserves most of your focus? That will depend on your audience. The overall popularity of the platform is meaningless if you don't consider where your target market spends their time. Consider this, you wouldn't want to launch a TikTok campaign when trying to sell retirement condos—the demographics are simply too young. Tip #4: Strategically and Consistently Post Successful real estate agents know that consistent contact and interactions provide value and motivation for your audience to keep coming back. The goal is to create enough interaction for your audience to get to know you without overwhelming them to a point they tune out. Frequency is not the only factor, consider the content as well. Most content falls into three different types: Time-sensitive or Promotional "Evergreen" how-to or Informative Fun or Entertaining Remember, there's no need to create all of this content yourself. Supplement your own efforts by sharing, retweeting or linking to other great content. Your clients are also a great source of content—share a quote or testimonial or photo in their new home. Keep an eye on key social metrics like new or lost followers, engagements, people reached, etc. as this will tell you if you're heading in the right direction. If not, make adjustments as you go. Tip #5: Remember Your Past Clients Social media can help maintain relationships you've already developed. An interesting stat is that 70% of homeowners can't remember their real estate agents name one year after closing. Using social media allows you to easily maintain your relationships rather than having them slip away. This way, when clients are ready to move again or recommend a Realtor, you'll be the first person to come to mind. Your content doesn't need to focus on real estate alone. Now that your client has moved into their new home, they might be interested in learning about the community or new restaurants in the area. Social media is essential in every Realtor's marketing toolkit. Thankfully, using a tool like Amarki makes it less overwhelming. Learn more about Amarki and register for your account by clicking 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.
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The New Google Screened Badge is Changing Digital Advertising: Here's Why
Every real estate agent should make it a priority to get their Google Screened badge as soon as possible. Here, we'll cover the top questions real estate agents have about the Google Screened badge. Google has slowly been adjusting its search results pages – specifically the first page — over the last few years to make itself a bigger competitor for top-of-the-funnel advertising tactics. Instead of sending people away to other websites, Google wants its users to find the info they need without very much clicking or scrolling. Just take a look at how Google has evolved its strategy recently: First, you could only run a paid search ad that appeared at the top of search results. Then, Google introduced the Google business profile to give relevant businesses prime real estate at the top of Google. Then you could connect your search ad to your Google business profile to unlock a Google Maps ad. There have also been adjustments so searches are hyperlocal (two people across the country searching "top real estate agents" will see different results), and the introduction of "snippets" so searchers can instantly see answers to common questions related to their search without ever clicking into a website. Now, real estate agents can run Local Services Ads, which appear at the very top of the search results page — even above paid search ads — and deliver live phone call leads. They can also include a powerful endorsement from the search giant itself: the coveted Google Screened badge. Unlike a traditional ad, the Google Screened badge can't be obtained in just a couple clicks, and Google won't endorse just anyone. The badge is tougher to get because you have to go through a screening process, but it's worth it because Google rewards badge owners with more live phone call leads. This gives savvy digital advertisers a huge advantage, because they can unlock a clear path to better ROI without paying anything extra, except a tiny bit more of their time to push some digital paperwork through. If Google has taught us anything, it's that its users adapt fast to these interface and experience changes, and quickly alter their search behavior accordingly. As the Google Screened badge continues to expand into other industries, users will only grow more and more likely to call Google Screened businesses that are right at the top of the page. That's why, even though it takes a little effort, claiming your Google Screened badge right now is worth it. What is a Google Screened badge? The Google Screened badge is a green checkmark and designation applied to Google's new Local Services Ads. Right now, the badge is only available to a few professional service providers: those in law, financial planning, and real estate. Each ad prominently displays the advertiser's headshot, star rating, and review count, as well as a click-to-call feature that drives direct phone call leads to businesses. Not all Local Services Ads receive the badge, and that's because you need to apply for it and get approved. It's an involved process that requires agents to allow Google to conduct business-level and business-owner background checks. This is how Google does its due diligence to ensure that its most esteemed advertisers are, in fact, licensed real estate agents. Once the vetting process is complete, you'll automatically be ranked over every non-screened agent in your market. Why do I need a Google Screened badge? Google continues to adapt its platforms to give users the most relevant search results higher and higher on the page. You've seen traditional SEO continue to evolve (just look at the organic featured snippets and FAQs that now appear near the top of search results), and that's because users expect the best information to appear first. By placing its Local Services Ads at the very top — the most sought-after placement — Google is telling consumers that these are worth paying attention to. And, Google is telling advertisers that this is where it's investing its time and resources. As such, Local Services Ads provide one of the lowest-friction experiences available today. Its prime placement makes it easily seen and accessible, and it offers a hassle-free click-to-call feature. The addition of the Google Screened badge not only boosts trust in the eyes of consumers — like a digital referral — but Google really does prioritize vetted advertisers above those who do not have the badge. Local Services Ads combined with the Google Screened badge create a one-of-a-kind ad unit. It's essentially a combination of a top-of-the-funnel ad (when consumers first become aware of your business) and a bottom-of-the-funnel ad (when consumers are ready to take action). That's because someone could search for "real estate agents in Seattle" instead of a specific agent, get served a list of Google Screened results — seeing these specific agents and their five-star ratings for the first time — and then tap an ad to call one of the verified agents. Within a single search experience, you can be discovered for the first time and immediately contacted, thanks to the high level of trust that users have in Google to screen and recommend businesses. This new ad type presents real estate agents with a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of what will undoubtedly become an important and highly competitive advertising space across industries. How can a Google Screened badge help me get more live phone call leads than my competitors? The Google Screened badge is exclusive. Since you need to go through a traditional background check process to get approved, it puts you on a different level from other agents. This requires more effort, but it also gives you a competitive advantage when you're trying to win new business because Google sends more leads to agents with a Google Screened badge. Our data also show that the leads generated from Google's Local Services Ads are highly qualified. For instance, one in two leads is an actual buyer or seller, and one in 10 leads is a seller lead. Plus, you can dispute bad leads with Google and win that budget back, creating a more efficient advertising strategy and ROI than your competitors. Agents who get in early will outpace their competition, as they'll have a head start in building trust with Google. The company rewards advertisers who invest in its products and provide a good client experience. When you already have good reviews and a high star rating and then also earn the Google Screened badge, it's a signal to consumers that you are trustworthy, which Google knows will lead to more live phone calls. The more phone calls you answer, the happier Google is with the experience you're providing to consumers. As a result, the search giant will optimize your ad for more phone calls. This creates a merit-based system where agents control their own destiny, so other agents can't simply outbid you for exposure. If you get screened and earn a Google Screened badge, consistently get five-star Google reviews, and answer when those leads call, you'll quickly outpace your competition. How do I apply for a Google Screened badge? We mentioned earlier that the application process is more involved than any other advertising product on the market. But that should not deter you at all. As one of the only professional service sectors that can apply right now, real estate agents should be running—not walking—to earn the Google Screened badge. THIS is the ground floor if you act quickly, like buying Amazon stock decades ago for $10. Navigating the application process on your own can feel intimidating. Homesnap Concierge makes it easier for real estate agents as one of Google's only trusted third-party partners. When you work with us, you're assigned a dedicated success manager who will coach you through the process, letting you know what information to provide, which specific documents to submit, and when to take the next step. Your success manager will ensure you don't miss a beat and are able to earn the badge as soon as possible. Another important part of the process that real estate agents should be aware of is the requirement of having a verified Google business profile with at least one review. Details from your profile are linked to your Local Services Ads and badge, and Google also uses that information to determine when to serve your ad in search results. As a Google preferred partner, Homesnap Concierge is able to expedite Google business profile verification process for our agents — which can otherwise add weeks to the process. And finally, our Concierge specialists vet every phone call lead and dispute bad leads on your behalf — so you can be sure your ad budget is always being invested in quality leads. It's bound to be a hot summer for residential real estate. Home-buying demand remains strong and inventory could expand as states loosen COVID restrictions and give us a glimpse of a return to normal on the horizon. Now is the time to invest on an advertising strategy that will bring you high-intent, qualified leads by phone. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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8 Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Clients
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How to Use HighNote to Make Your Buyer's Offer Stand Out From the Crowd
In today's real estate world, the offer is everything. Bidding wars are commonplace, properties are receiving multiple offers as soon as they hit the market, and agents are having to find creative ways to make sure their buyers stand out from the crowd. One of the most important things to remember is that offers are about more than just money. Sellers want to know their needs will be met and there will be no surprises during escrow. That's why agents need an easy, organized, and simple way to show a seller that their buyer means business – and sending a HighNote offer presentation is a fabulous way to do exactly that. Here are the things that most sellers are looking for when they review an offer: Highest possible price Confidence that their needs will be met (for instance, maybe they need to rent back from the buyer or rush the closing date) A feeling of security that the deal will close without any problems Photo by Sean Dreilinger When these points aren't met, it's generally a recipe for rejection. However, there are exceptions to every rule. The highest offer doesn't always win. Sometimes the offer with the quickest closing time, the biggest deposit, or an escalation clause wins. It's important to speak with the listing agent before you submit an offer to understand the seller's needs and expectations so that you can meet them (for more information, check out our interview with Jeff Lichtenstein!). Sellers today are inundated with multiple offers, which is why it's important to stand out. When you send a HighNote, you're sending a professional presentation that sets your buyer apart from the rest. It's not handwritten or sloppy; it's organized and aesthetically pleasing. It reflects well on you and your buyer, and helps you get noticed in a sea of other offers. Sending a HighNote offer presentation allows agents to include pertinent information that many other agents aren't sending at all (such as lending pre-approval information and other relevant documentation), or might be sending in a series of messy email attachments which get overlooked. HighNote provides agents with analytics, letting them see what was opened and for how long. This knowledge is critical, and makes it easy for the buyer's agent to follow up with the listing agent. It also allows an agent to inform their buyers that their offer is being reviewed, which keeps them in the loop during the anxious waiting period following an offer submission. HighNote is a beautiful way to send that important information, thereby increasing the likelihood that your buyer's offer will be accepted. Here are some great things to include in your HighNote offer presentation: Summary: A letter or overview sheet that includes the highlights of the offer Buyer notes: What the buyer specifically likes about the house (this is not to be confused with a "love letter," which is frowned upon by the National Association of REALTORS®) Agent notes: What you think about the listing (well staged, how the property blends in nicely with the neighborhood). This is your opportunity to showcase your market knowledge and expertise Signed purchase agreement Proof of funds Lender/mortgage broker overview letter Loan approval letter Signed agent inspection disclosure If you're a real estate agent who wants to give your buyers the best chance possible at getting their offer accepted, then it's time to check out HighNote. Click here to take your business to the next level! To view the original article, visit the HightNote.io blog.
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How to Evaluate Your Real Estate Business for Scaling and Growth Opportunities
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Take the 30-Day Digital Marketing Challenge
As a real estate agent, one of your most important roles is that of a marketer. You're constantly marketing yourself and your services, your client's properties and marketing your community to potential buyers. The difference between being average and being a top producer is how good you are at advertising yourself and your properties. Top producers know this means having a strong and consistent digital presence. Sixty-two percent of real estate agents said they devote at least an hour a day to marketing themselves and their listings. But what happens if you're not a digital marketing expert or unfamiliar with the best ways to do this? What are top producers doing? And how often are they doing it? Welcome to the Amarki 30-Day Digital Marketing Challenge. We encourage you to commit to the following for just 30 days and watch the results as you up your game in today's digital world. Email Campaigns Did you know email from a Realtor is the number one method buyers cite receiving information about properties? Task: Email all your clients looking for a home with a custom created flyer (IF it's a good fit for your buyer). Task: Create and send two emails (one email every other week) highlighting market trends showcasing your real estate expertise. Text Messaging Ninety-two percent of real estate professionals prefer to communicate with their clients through text messaging because it has an average open rate of 98 percent, and 90 percent of people open a text message within three minutes Task: Once per week, send out two text messages to your clients letting them know where you are going to be. A great example is to send a text message about your open house with the property address and time or an event you will be attending and a second reminder the day of. Social Posts Did you know that social media is cited as the best source for generating high quality leads? Task: Post one social post per day ensuring there is a good mix between: Your Personality – Let them get to know you and your personality by showing them a bit of your everyday life. Your Offering – Whether it's properties available, or you are an expert in each neighborhood, let them know! Digital Flyers Did you know digital flyers are the number one requested item from buyers looking for a quick overview of a property? Task: Create one digital flyer for each property you are looking to promote over your 30-day challenge. Google Ads Did you know 98 percent of millennials began their home search online? Task: Set up a Google Display or Google Search Ad with a small daily budget for 30 days. Focus on your geographic area to keep your name and your brand in front of people who are searching for properties. Take the Challenge The Amarki 30-Day Digital Marketing Challenge can be done by ANY agent regardless of experience or technical skill level. If you're looking to save time, sign up for an Amarki account to access your digital tools in one place, use templates for your everyday tasks and schedule campaigns in advance. Good luck! 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. Learn more about Amarki and register for your account by clicking here.
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How to Use the BRRRR Strategy to Your Advantage
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How Much is That Home Upgrade Worth?
The ability to accurately price a property for sale is arguably a listing agent's most valued skill. For that, REALTORS rely on their local know-how and experience, as well as a host of tools and software, including RPR's flexible CMA tool and RPR Seller's Reports. But when it comes to making tweaks and adjustments, how can you refine value based on upgrades made or repairs that need to be made? RPR's Refine Value Tool is the perfect solution. The RPR Refine Value Tool and Today's Market Today's market is beyond hot, coupled with a severe lack of inventory. While many sellers are still making upgrades and repairs for even more ROI, others know that homes are going above asking and that selling "as is" won't necessarily affect their marketability. Another tricky part of the equation is that during the height and onset of the pandemic, many people put money into projects (mostly exterior) and remodels (mostly kitchens), because they knew they'd be spending a lot of time at home! This made their already valuable homes even more desirable. As such, homeowners are sitting on gold mines and being pushed off the fence and into this heated seller's market. How can you accurately price a property with these factors in mind? RPR's Refine Value tool allows REALTORS® to determine the value of a home based on property characteristics, home improvements made (or not), and market conditions. Here's how it works: Refine Value: Adjust Basic Facts Sometimes public records are out of date and don't reflect the correct number of bedrooms or bathrooms. You can easily update public record basic facts to refine the value. If a field is empty or shows a value of zero, entering data will not change the value because there is no baseline available to refine. Sometimes changing a basic fact will decrease the value. For instance, adding a bedroom without increasing the square footage may be seen as a negative by the system, in turn decreasing the estimated value. Refine Value: Home Improvements Whether it's a simple "fix" like a new automatic garage door opener, or a major kitchen remodel, it's great to be able to show sellers what they can get back for their investment. Home improvement values are calculated by project and region and are amortized. Choose from a list of improvements or add your own custom home improvement. This data is provided by Zonda and is updated annually. Click on the downward arrow to open the first drop-down menu. Select an improvement from the list or click Other to add your own custom improvement. If you selected Other, enter a description in the box that appears. Click the downward arrows in the second and third drop-down menus to select a month and year that the home improvement was completed. Select the downward arrow in the last drop-down menu and enter the cost of the home improvement. Refine Value: Needed Improvements On the flip side of makeovers and rennos is repairs and improvements. With sellers currently in the driver's seat, many of these common fixes, such as replacing a roof or new flooring, are not getting done. And although that may not impact the final closing price, you still need to know how to bake it into your valuation. To decrease the estimated value and identify an issue with the property: Enter a needed improvement in the first field. Next, enter your own estimated cost to complete the improvement in the second field. Click the Add button when finished. The total cost that you entered will be deducted from the estimated value. Refine Value: Market and Home Conditions The temperature of the current market and the current condition of a property can certainly impact the price. RPR makes it easy to adjust for both with slider controls. Simply move the sliders to change the estimated value based on the local market and the condition of the subject property. Finely tuned valuations RPR's property pricing techniques, including the Refine Value tool, should be a part of every REALTOR's tool kit. The ability to adjust and fine-tune property pricing is key to presenting a winning listing presentation and proving your value to clients. Start refining home values with RPR today! To try it out or get started, visit narrpr.com. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Staying in Touch vs. Spamming Too Much
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Do You Own Your Real Estate Photos?
When a home's been listed for sale and arrangements have been made for a photoshoot, who owns the property photos once they've been taken? On the one hand, you have the professional real estate photographer who pushes the camera shutter button and takes the shots. On the other hand, you have the listing agent who's licensed by the state to handle real estate transactions and is ultimately responsible for the images. A professional photographer may be beholden to her artistic integrity and feel strongly about intellectual property laws and copyright ownership. But real estate agents owe a fiduciary obligation to the homeowners and brokerage companies they work with. Not only that, but the agent is most likely the one footing the bill for the property photos. So, the question as to who owns property photos is a polarizing one, to say the least, and many industry professionals have weighed in their opinions. There are legal complications to consider, too, but to present arguments for both the agent and the photographer, we'd rather stick to the guidelines that dictate how property photos get used before, during, and after a real estate sale. Who Owns Property Photos? Answer: it depends on the photo. Some photographers will negotiate the rights to property photos because of their resale values. But just as a car loses value the moment it gets driven off the dealership lot, property photos lose value as soon as the home is sold. For instance, MLS guidelines state that property photos mustn't be reused to market the same home for a future sale. In other words, images that are uploaded to the MLS need to be fresh and current and portray how the home looks today. This governing principle alone already throws a wrench in the photographer's case to own the property photos she takes. Moreover, uploading reused photos can be flagged as fraudulent by the MLS system, especially because aspects of the home may have changed over time. Depicting homes in their current state makes the listing more transparent and authentic. Not only is this an ethical way to do business, but it also helps speed up the sale of the home and protects the listing against "unruly activity" notices from MLS or other marketing platforms. Privacy Consider this: property photos depict someone's private home. The personal property depicted in the photos belongs to the homeowner. Thus, selling or distributing these photos outside of the sale of the home — unless the photographer has signed an agreement directly with the homeowner — infringes on the homeowner's privacy rights. This is yet another reason why real estate agents and homeowners should own the rights to property photos. Once the home is sold, it's up to the homeowner to decide how the photos will be used going forward. More often than not, homeowners will want pictures of their homes' interiors and exteriors taken down once the sale is completed. Every week, homeowners contact HomeJab and ask us to take down images of their homes for privacy reasons. And we happily comply. The Photographer's Portfolio Some photographers argue that owning property photos strengthens their portfolios and helps them attract new customers. This perspective further muddles the question as to who owns property photos. As we mentioned above, due to listings guidelines that devalue property photos once the home is sold and privacy concerns from the homeowner, owning the rights to property photos creates more liabilities for real estate agents and homeowners than it does for the photographer. So, does this mean that photographers can't use any of the photos they take during the shoot? Not necessarily! Copyrights of images in the public domain (i.e., neighborhood photos, points of interest, landmarks, historical buildings, statues, etc.) should absolutely remain with the photographer. For example, if a photographer captures a beautiful shot of a historic landmark from the balcony of the property, he could rightfully request ownership of that photo for reuse in other mediums. What's more, these types of photos could really beef up the photographer's portfolio and do wonders for procuring new clientele. It's become a common practice among real estate agents to demand ownership of all photos taken by the photographer. The agent may even request that the photographer sign away rights to all of their photos. But when it comes to images in the public domain, the photographer shouldn't have to sign off or give away the rights to them, especially because these images have a strong resale value. The photographer could even generate passive income through the reuse of these types of photos. Finally, if real estate agents want to own the rights to these kinds of photos, they should expect to pay a premium. For more info on real estate photography services and pricing, or to schedule a shoot, check us out here! To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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When Will U.S. Buyers See Relief From Skyrocketing Home Prices?
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Friday Freebie: Homebuyer Packet Template
It's a tough time to be a home buyer--and a buyer's agent. While you can't fix today's inventory problems, you can make the home buying process as smooth as possible for both your clients and yourself. In this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a homebuyer packet that you can use to educate buyers, qualify buyer leads, and more. Read on to learn how to claim your free download. 2021 Homebuyer Packet Templates, courtesy of Zurple Between record high home prices, cash buyers, and competition for scarce homes, you and your real estate buyers are going to need whatever advantage you can get. That's why Zurple is offering RE Technology readers a free homebuyer packet. Download it and share it with your clients and leads so everyone is as prepared as possible to face today's intense market. The packet consists of four editable documents, including: Homebuyer Timeline - Educate your buyers on the process of buying a home, all the way from mortgage pre-approval to the final walkthrough and beyond. Homebuyer Terminology - Buying a home involves a lot of legalese and jargon new buyers likely haven't heard before. Help them understand important concepts with this real estate glossary. Homebuyer Questionnaire - Your time is precious. Don't waste it on buyers who aren't a good fit. Give this questionnaire to buyer leads to qualify them before moving forward. Homebuyer Checklist - What does your buyer want in a home? Learn the particulars of their needs to save time on the home search process. Remember, information is power. By educating your buyers—and by learning as much as possible about their wants and circumstances—you place both of you in a position of strength. Download the 2021 Homebuyer Packet today!
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Top Tech Issues Every Real Estate Pro Faces
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Are iBuyers Good for Consumers?
The real estate industry has faced disruption before, but remains extraordinarily relevant. Why? Because the work of agents and brokers help individual sellers maximize the value of their homes at points of life transitions, and help individual buyers achieve the valuable goal of home ownership. An open, publicly accessible, and transparent market for residential real estate remains a cornerstone of financial self reliance and familial stability in America, now more than ever. But what should we do when we encounter an existential threat to home ownership? A threat that could also destroy the fabric of the real estate industry and its ability to help consumers? We read it in the news every day: For-Sale inventories are declining and prices are exploding. Cash-rich corporations are out-gunning desperate individual consumers with all cash offers to snap up more and more of the fewer and fewer homes available for sale. Voracious and insatiably hungry, these corporations are now increasingly soliciting sellers directly and buying homes before they ever reach the MLS. And increasingly these corporations are selling these homes to corporate landlords, off-MLS, and without ever making them available to families seeking homes to buy. Once these homes are converted to single family rentals, they rarely come back to the home ownership market. The end result: Home sellers are often denied the fair market value for their homes, and would-be home buyers are denied the opportunity to achieve home ownership. In the process, these corporations are undermining the listing agent, their broker, and the MLS. The resilient system of cooperation and compensation that has delivered unparalleled consumer access to homeownership for generations of Americans is at risk of being eliminated. Before we look at the numbers, let me address the most common responses. Corporate buyers offer home sellers fair value for their homes Perhaps, but when sophisticated corporations buy homes directly from individual sellers who are not represented by experienced listing agents and brokers, the power imbalance makes it very difficult for such sellers to negotiate a fair deal for their home. While the initial offer price may be fair, negotiating with a sophisticated corporation demanding large concessions after the offer is accepted can be very hard for most consumers. Think of an anxious consumer in need of fast cash and a certainty of sale, accepting a cash offer...which is then quickly followed by a demand for large concessions. Without representation by an experienced real estate professional, how likely are they to push back on the concession demands and negotiate a fair value for their home? The "bird in hand" psychology of loss aversion makes it very hard for an unrepresented consumer to walk away from a cash offer they have already accepted, and push back on a predatory demand to negotiate a fair deal with a sophisticated corporation. Traditional home buyers can successfully compete with corporate buyers and achieve home ownership When corporations buy homes directly from unrepresented sellers and sell them to corporate landlords, inventory levels of homes available to the public through the MLS shrink. How can would-be home buyers compete with all cash offers made by sophisticated corporate buyers, who reach sellers before they even talk to a listing agent or list the home on the MLS? While brokers and MLSs struggle to create and enforce pro-consumer policies, such as the Clear Cooperation policy, to eliminate pocket listings and improve social fairness in housing, the rapidly growing numbers of single family homes "pocketed" by corporate buyers can readily dwarf the number of listings "pocketed" by agents and brokers. The cost of so many homes never getting listed on the MLS is not "merely" the inequitable exposure to the select groups of home buyers, but the "locking out" of numerous consumers from the opportunity to achieve the American dream of homeownership. Now for some numbers. Almost one in four of all sales in Houston and San Antonio are iBuyers and other corporate buyers, according to a new Investor Mania 2.0 report. In Los Angeles, one in five homes were bought by institutional investors, and in Seattle and Nashville, it is nearly one in six. iBuyers may control as much as half of all home sales in markets like these within their buy box. iBuyers are driving the explosive volume of pre-MLS and off-MLS sales. Bloomberg reports that one investment firm managing 24,000 rentals bought 200 homes in the first quarter: 138 were from OpenDoor, 52 were from Zillow, and 28 from Offerpad. "The pipeline to Wall Street from Silicon Valley often means the homes never hit the open market," Bloomberg notes. iBuyer business methods are not just cutting out listing agents and denying consumers representation by a professional fiduciary; they are putting first-time home buyers on the endangered species list. During the Great Recession, institutional buyers bought the least desirable homes, often foreclosures in poor condition. Today they are buying the most marketable homes, those most sought by would be home buyers. Thousands of these homes are being turned into rentals, removing first-time home buyer inventory at a record pace. That's kicking first-time home buyers in the head as they are already lying on the ground, and all of this is happening in the name of serving consumers by arguing that fast cash is better than fair value for your home. Like off-MLS consumer purchasing, institutional purchasing also fuels systemic inequity in homeownership, but on a far more massive scale as large numbers of homes are not exposed in the MLS to everyone. (Read this column by Redfin's Glenn Kelman about what happens when listings skip the MLS.) Perhaps the greatest tragedy in this vicious cycle: taxpayers, through the Federal Reserve's low interest policies, are subsidizing the low-cost of capital that Wall Street is using to beat tax-paying consumers in the competition for homes. Social policies designed to help every day Americans get through the pandemic, are also supporting Wall Street firms as they out-compete home buyers and turn homes into single-family rentals and erode homeownership. The industry is in a fight for its life as these companies try to eliminate exposure in the MLS. As Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, told Bloomberg, "In that sense, the investors are an obstacle to the everyday buyer." This battle is just beginning. Bloomberg reports that JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s asset-management arm, Nuveen Real Estate and Brookfield Asset Management Inc., have committed "billions in new capital to single-family rentals since the pandemic began." The impact is widening. As Redfin's Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather observed, "Flush with cash, investors are able to snap up the homes that are available, and then turn around and rent them out to folks who can't find a home or are priced out of homeownership. This is likely making the housing shortage even worse, and also means that individual homeowners sometimes end up competing with investors in bidding wars." As more corporations buy pre-MLS and sell off-MLS, the value of the MLS itself – which is often woefully underestimated – is further eroded. There are many different views on the MLS, but it is hard to refute the consumer value the MLS industry creates by facilitating Broker Reciprocity – a massive "peer-to-peer" marketing platform for agents to market homes for sellers at very low cost. Sellers in most other countries must pay large fees to market their homes because they have no MLS. When corporate buyers cut out the listing agent, they create an unfair negotiating disadvantage for home sellers, but they also tear the fabric of Cooperation and Compensation – the low cost foundation of equitable access to homeownership. The BPP's mission is to help brokers and agents provide an exceptional consumer experience, and to do so, we must support the listing agents and brokers' ability to represent sellers and help them get fair value for their homes. We must also support the MLSs so they can continue to facilitate Broker Reciprocity and deliver fair and low cost access to homeownership. Brian Boero at 1000watt once told a story about how people may lose their business but can retire with dignity because they owned a home. In America, we believe in homeownership because it offers every person a path to self-reliance. That's why we put the tax breaks for real estate in place – not for Wall Street to exploit. Please share your comments and thoughts on this topic by sending us an email at [email protected] Alon Chaver, Chair of the BPP Board, is a serial entrepreneur, long-time industry tech executive and thought leader. Alon most recently served as the Chief Information Officer at HomeServices of America, following highly successful exits as Trulia's Vice President of Industry Services and iHomefinder's Chief Executive Officer.
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Finally, Seller Lead Generation that Actually Produces Listings
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25 Real Estate Video Marketing Ideas
Lights, camera, action! Today's article is a simple one. We give you 25 ideas to give your on-camera personality some inspiration. We have also included a free download of our Guide to Online Video for Real Estate Agents. We discuss video editing, video platforms, camera options, and everything you need to get started. Here are 25 video marketing ideas for real estate agents: About You Introduce yourself to your leads Explain any specialties or niche markets you focus on Reveal three traits that help you stand out from other agents Read some of your client testimonials Explain any unique marketing or real estate services you provide About the Community Provide a visual tour of local hotspots in your neighborhood Discuss highlights of the community Highlight independently owned small businesses in the area Explain why your town is worth living in compared to others nearby Discuss benefits of each neighborhood in your area in detail Have an interview with long-time residents Illustrate popular architectural styles in your area Discuss median cost and advise buyers on where to look for properties that fit their budget Explain market trends and provide timing advice Create seasonal videos to highlight the best events and places to visit throughout the year Videos About Real Estate Provide tips and best practices for first-time home buyers or sellers Announce an upcoming open house and highlight features of the property Offer advice to leads considering selling on what home improvements provide the best ROI Do a video walk-through of a newly listed property Ask past clients to submit questions and explain the answers in your videos Discuss mortgage prequalification and home loan opportunities Offer advice on how to identify serious issues vs. cosmetic damage on home tours Talk about the foreclosure market in your area Discuss the timeline of a traditional sale Provide advice on how to prioritize needs to land on the perfect neighborhood (school district vs. commute time, etc.) Need advice on online video marketing? Download our guide for real estate agents! To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Time is of the Essence for First-Time Home Buyers and Fresh Listings
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What Should My Real Estate Marketing Budget Be?
If you ask ten different agents, "How much do real estate agents spend on marketing?" you will likely get ten different answers -- but the method to calculate that sought-after number might be the same. That's because the general rule of thumb across industries is to base your marketing budget on your total revenue. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends allocating 7-8% of your revenue to marketing if you do less than $5 million in sales for the year. Although this is a general recommendation that isn't specific to the real estate industry, it's consistent with the way many agents determine their marketing budget. It's common for real estate agents to allocate approximately 10% of their gross commission income to marketing activities. How much real estate agents spend on marketing will differ by each individual or team and must also take their goals into account and how their current transaction activity aligns with those goals. For instance, an agent might decide to pivot their 2021 strategy and double-down on "Just Sold" and "Coming Soon" digital ads to reach more seller leads if listings are flying off the shelves in their market without any digital advertising. The calculation is the easy part: The more difficult part is deciding where to invest each dollar for maximum return. What marketing activities should my budget cover? You could spend all day, every day, carrying out marketing activities. There's always another email to write, lead to follow up on, digital ad to publish, focus group to talk to, and newspaper reporter to pitch. Real estate agents don't have time for every promotional activity under the sun. There are a handful of tried-and-true tactics that should be on every agent's list, however, whether you're a seasoned vet or just starting to dabble in marketing your business. Email Marketing Emails aren't optional, and Gmail isn't an option (or AOL, Yahoo, etc.). Real estate agents are running a business, and that business needs the ability to set up automated workflows that nurture leads and send market updates, e-newsletters, open house schedules, and other valuable, local market content to their sphere. Cloud-based email marketing software isn't very expensive (unless you're managing many thousands of contacts). Likely, you will pay less than $1,000/year for your email service. Before you sign up, compare competitors and their plans. Many offer a free base level that could sustain you for several months as you build a rich email program. Then you may consider upgrading to access additional tools or add more contacts that exceed your current limits. Here are a few established brands to give you a sense of service costs (rates are valid as of April 2021): MailChimp is a go-to option for small businesses across industries. Its pricing plans range from free for a basic plan to $299 per month for a premium subscription (with up to 500 contacts). More than likely, you'll start at the free plan and upgrade to the mid-range $9.99/month or $14.99/month plan when you need to activate more features. ConvertKit is another popular option with monthly pricing, as well as yearly rates that will give you a two-month-free discount. The baseline plans allow for up to 1,000 contacts and include a free tier and two paid tiers ($29/month and $59/month). And though it isn't a full automation system, agents should know that contacts they invite to Homesnap will be automatically signed up to receive a branded newsletter — all free to Homesnap Pro agents, so you don't have to work this extra into your budget. Plan to spend up to 15% of your real estate marketing budget on email marketing activities. Online Presence If leads and prospects can't find you online, do you really exist? To most digital-savvy buyers and sellers, who rely heavily on the Internet, the answer is a resounding "no." Think about it: If you looked up the local Italian restaurant to see its menu and it didn't show up in search results, wouldn't you wonder if it had closed? The same is true for your real estate business. You need a robust online presence to prove that you're an active, successful agent and to build trust with those who are considering working with you. With so many agents in the industry, you don't want to be unfindable online. The two best marketing activities to build your online presence are website maintenance and Google Business Profile management. All real estate agents should have a website that is modern and responsive across devices, has engaging and valuable content for buyers and sellers, and hosts lead capture pages for all your active listings. Make sure your website is optimized for search engines so that it shows up near the top of results when someone Googles your name. Another top tool to improve your online presence is the Google Business Profile. This profile takes up the right column on the Google search results page. It contains your business contact information (including a link to your website), your business's bio, photos, content posts, and, arguably most important, your star rating and online reviews. However, you cannot just set up your profile and leave it be. It's imperative that you keep it updated and active on a weekly basis. This helps improve SEO and the odds that your profile will appear in search results for a wider range of search terms, such as "real estate agents near me." Compare these popular options that will help you boost your online presence (rates are valid as of April 2021): Homesnap Pro+ is a bundle of upgraded benefits designed just for real estate agents, for just $99 for the first year (regular price is $599). A premium version of the free Homesnap Pro account, this membership includes additional features like a Google Business Profile (verification, assembly, and management), a custom responsive real estate website with a unique domain, advanced MLS search capabilities and custom lead pages for every one of your listings. Placester is only a website creation and hosting platform, and therefore doesn't offer Google Business Profile services (we aren't aware of any other marketing platforms that combine the two). There are three plans—$100/month, $190/month or $200/month—that include a responsive website, unlimited pages and posts, lead capture, and IDX listing display tools that may incur an additional fee. Plan to spend up to 15% of your real estate marketing budget on building a robust online presence. Digital Ads There are many benefits to running digital ads on platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram and Waze. These include: expanding your reach, building brand awareness, generating leads and promoting your listings (active and coming soon), open houses, price cuts and closed sales. Digital ads should be a core part of how much real estate agents spend on marketing. As such, your all-in costs could be as much as 50% of your available budget. This will include actual advertising fees, as well as costs from designers and lead qualification services, if you plan to outsource those functions. Advertising fees can fluctuate month to month, making the cost of this marketing activity a bit less predictable than the other tactics we covered. One way to keep costs flat and consistent is to work with a trusted marketing partner, like Homesnap Pro Ads or Concierge. These ads services will manage everything from design and copy to optimizing the settings and spend throughout each ad's run. Concierge goes a step further and also includes live, direct phone call leads from high-intent leads via Google's Local Services Ads. Plan to spend up to 50% of your real estate marketing budget on digital ads. Final Thoughts You'll notice that our calculations leave 20% of your budget remaining for other activities. This could be spent on things like branded freebies, postcard prospecting, newspaper ads, etc. It can also be reallocated to the tactics we already mentioned if you need a boost in one of those areas in a given month or year. Keep in mind that there is no silver bullet that will generate overnight success, and the same is true for your marketing. The return on investment will be high when you're able to maintain the activities over months and years. Choose your tactics, budget, and third-party partners carefully, and then stick with your plan to see results. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Why Builders Can't Keep Up with Home Sales
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Win Clients with Real Estate Photography and These 6 Features on Facebook and Instagram
In real estate, buyers and sellers hope that the perfect home is out there—ideally, it's within an arm's reach. In 2020, 76 percent of home buyers initially viewed the homes they purchased online using a mobile device. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Pew Research says seven in 10 Americans consider using Facebook as a part of their daily routine. Knowing this, it's no wonder real estate agents cited social media as the best source for high-quality leads, followed by MLS websites. Now the question is no longer "should" you use social media for your real estate listings. Instead, it's "How do you use social media to portray your experience and personality in one shot?" For most real estate agents, the secret to a professional social media presence is using extraordinary photography. Done right, it gets high-value clients to envision working with you by bringing their thumbs to a screeching halt. From there, your job is to move the conversation into the real world. In this post, you'll learn how to use features of Facebook and Instagram to captivate serious buyers and sellers. It's a good idea to save this page now, so you can refer back to it as you learn the ropes of social media. Why Are Facebook and Instagram the Best Platforms for Real Estate Agents? Facebook and Instagram are two of the most widely-used social media platforms. There's a good reason for this: Here, content creation is user-friendly, versatile, and appeals to multiple generations of buyers and sellers. Research shows that people on both platforms, young and old, are more likely to interact with visual content like photos and videos. More importantly, people remember information better when it's paired with relevant images. That means people will remember the way a stunning house listing made them feel—days after the first impression. Facebook and Instagram both use multiple computer learning models, or algorithms, to personalize what people see on their news feeds. In other words, these social media platforms distribute your content based on how viewers interact with it—or don't. Social media success doesn't always come easy, but using professional real estate photography can help you conquer algorithms and delight homebuyers. For social media to be a worthwhile investment, you must know who your ideal client is, and what they're looking for as a buyer or seller. The visual component simply gives your hard work the credibility it deserves. 3 Features for Success with Real Estate Photos on Facebook Facebook is an enormous network—only second in the country to YouTube—with a user base of mostly adults between 30 and over 65 according to Pew Research. It's the most popular social network for older folks, and its steady growth means it's not going away any time soon. As a real estate agent, you need to create a Facebook Business Page. This is separate from the personal profile you might use to share family pictures, vacation photos, and information unrelated to your work. What People Like to See on Facebook People like Facebook for its informative approach to community development. There is more room for text, links, and smaller images. You should use Facebook to influence existing communities where your potential buyers and sellers are already active. According to the social media pros at Buffer, Facebook users want to see content that is immediately relevant to them, so it makes sense that the current algorithm for posts looks like this for most people: Family and friends Subscribed pages and groups Suggested pages and groups Paid advertising When using Facebook to promote property listings and other content, keep these features in mind: Facebook Reactions: Post extraordinary photos to influence emotions Facebook Groups: Connect with local enthusiasts Share Links, Multimedia: Create your business page experience 1. Facebook Reactions: Post Extraordinary Photos to Influence Emotions Scrolling through Facebook updates can be an emotional roller coaster. People enjoy aimlessly scrolling because the ups and downs of emotional reactions are seriously entertaining. Facebook users can react to posts and comments with a full slate of emotions — Like, Love, Care, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. The more emotional reactions you get, the more favorably your content is sorted by the algorithm. Few things evoke emotion like stand-out photography! Aim to flaunt the "stunning curb appeal" of your listings by opting for professional real estate photos that stand out with color, perspective, and a dynamic composition. The concept of Facebook emotions seems silly, but it drives decision-making in the real world. It only takes one 'Wow' or 'Love' reaction to influence the high-quality leads of serious buyers. Other ways to get more emotional reactions with real estate photos: Write your brand story: Share advice, industry tips, and lessons learned as a real estate agent. Use photos from previous listings, or re-share posts from years past to celebrate new milestones, memorable properties, and advice for best practices 2. Facebook Groups: Connect with Local Enthusiasts When you manage a Facebook Business Page, all of your home listings and regular updates about work should be posted there. You can take your Page a step further by using it to join Groups of people with shared interests, locations, and careers—to name a few. The example shared here is from "Fairfax County Realtor Forum," a public Group with 5.4k members interested in what real estate agents have to say about the housing market there. Regular Facebook users can join these groups too. You should use your Business Page—not your personal profile—to join or start professional groups. This way, people interested in working with you have an appropriate place to contact you. In using social media, a little good judgement goes a long way. Some Facebook Groups are specifically made for networking, and others have strict rules against soliciting or self-advertising. You can still build a positive reputation and gain followers by joining conversations that aren't directly about buying and selling homes. This is a great way to ensure your page following keeps expanding. Learning more about your community can also give you good insight on what people are looking for in a home. You can learn to anticipate who's moving in, who's moving out, and the problems folks encounter along the way. One common problem for sellers doesn't appear until their items are long gone from the property. It's harder to generate interest in homes that aren't staged with furniture. It's easy to see why a buyer would hesitate to pass on an online listing where the function and feel of a space just aren't there. You can use virtual staging to show buyers how the rooms in a property will effectively end their search. A couple of Florida-bound retirees will be looking for a completely different layout from a young professional who needs a home office. At HomeJab, our team can take the lead on virtual staging, or real estate agents can choose some particular pieces or styles of furniture and decor from an online catalog. More tips for interacting with Groups: Use photo posts as conversation starters: Asking open-ended questions gets your followers sharing their ideas with you, and chatting with one another. Start a new group where one doesn't exist yet, if you see the need and the opportunity. Tag the people, businesses, and locations where relevant and appropriate: This can help grow your network of followers. Your clients get the satisfaction of sharing official updates for things like buying or selling a home, while you get an instant referral for like-minded friends, family members, and acquaintances that are seeking a good realty experience. 3. Share Links, Multimedia: Create Your Business Page Experience Stunning aerial views of this unique property are worth a double-take. The real estate agent here includes multiple photos, and links to different resources with information that Facebook users will appreciate. Another great way to expand your Facebook Business Page audience is to spend as much time sharing useful information and posts from other relevant accounts as you spend creating your own content. Link sharing is one BIG advantage Facebook has over Instagram. When you share links on Facebook, it is formatted with the information, pictures, and headlines you want to share. Sharing links directly to your Page gives people a reason to keep following you. It diversifies the type of content people see from you, making your Page more useful to your followers, and more favorable for the algorithm. That's why HomeJab introduced Property Pages to help real estate agents drive traffic to one convenient branded profile. Sharing this link on your Page gives your followers a way to share home listing information with their network—without the hassle, distractions, and tediously retracing steps. One of the best perks of having a Business Page on Facebook is the Insights tools, where you can get a clear picture of your social media performance. At the same time, you can keep an eye on the Facebook Business Pages of competitors to quickly compare your data with theirs. And it's not a bad idea to occasionally share the news updates and personable posts from your competitors. Doing this can actually boost your reach—the number of people who engage with your content. Plus, watching and learning from other successful Pages—especially ones that are successful in your niche—is a great way to inspire and re-shape what you do. It's an easy way to assess your audience's interest without completely straying from your social media strategy. More on sharing likable links: Multimedia content is key – A healthy mix of text posts, images, and interactive content is best for a better algorithm. That means sharing a blend of links to your home listings, albums of home walkthroughs, and video content will keep you cycling in more feeds. Experiment with the built-in features like Facebook Marketplace and Targeted Ads when your strategy allows. Video Engages Audiences – When you upload videos of home listings directly to Facebook, your engagement can skyrocket. Videos should be between 3-5 minutes for a favorable algorithm treatment. Remember that Facebook is all about effectively sharing information worth revisiting later. Managing a Facebook business page should enable your clients to keep you in the loop, and contact you as seamlessly as possible. 3 Features for Success with Real Estate Photos on Instagram The Instagram user base is largely made up of younger adults aged 18-29, and older adults are significantly less active on this platform in general. It's considered more of a niche platform, but don't underestimate the value of it—millions of people are on Instagram at any given moment. What People Like to See on Instagram Importantly, the Instagram algorithm does not favor timeliness, so creating relationships is as important as creating content. The Instagram algorithm is determined by these factors: Interest – General topics, themes, and lifestyle trends that users follow. Recency – How often a user is on Instagram, relative to the accounts they follow. Relationship – This is measured by the number of comments, tags, and shares between accounts. Less frequent users will simply get a brief "greatest hits" feed with just a few posts that are relative to the factors above. Use Instagram to share your all-time favorite photos, and aim to foster an intimate audience connection. On this platform, you can share photography with minimal distractions. The interface is best suited for mobile devices, where graphics take up the majority of the screen. Here are some features to keep in mind when posting real estate listings to Instagram: Explore Feed: color welcomes viewers to your listings Carousels: More images, more fun Link in Bio: Inspire with your call-to-action 1. Explore Feed: Color Welcomes Viewers to Your Listings Each user on Instagram has an Explore feed. Find yours by tapping the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your home feed. This feature looks like a digital quilt of posts from other accounts you may be interested in following. Here, it's the sunny blue skies or hazy purple at twilight that will lure curious homebuyers to your posts. The professional photographers at HomeJab can take care of the color grading for you with a virtual dusk treatment that highlights the property, and maintains its real-life features. HomeJab has digital photo processing down to a science, so you'll receive a package of photos ready for posting. Consistently using professional photography in your real estate listings means you don't need to worry about getting the filter right. More ideas for showing up in the Explore feed: Follow and interact with accounts like yours, and the clients you want to attract. Pay attention to the hashtags folks in your niche are using, and cycle through them with your own posts. The Instagram algorithm favors posts that use hashtags relevant to the text in the post Celebrate Social Media Holidays – It's the best place to make vibrant, thematic posts celebrating social media holidays like #NationalHomeownersDay 2. Carousels: More Images, More Fun When you post multiple images—up to 10 at once—you can encourage users to thumb through them with the carousel feature. Seeing a home online is always going to be different than seeing it in person, but convincing people to take that step is vital! You can get creative with the strategy behind using a carousel to inspire action. One of the most difficult things to do on Instagram is to entice people to interact with you beyond the platform. Imagine seeing the first few images of a stunning virtual tour or an upcoming open house—swiping through a carousel of photos that show just the outside of a beautiful home could be what convinces someone to seek a full walkthrough. Here are more ways to play up the interactive elements of Carousels: When you make Carousel posts, re-share them in the app with Stories. This is another great way to link your followers directly from their home feed to your profile. If you have a wide-angle photograph that doesn't quite fit into one Instagram slide alone, split it up into multiple images for one carousel post. The easiest way to do this is by going into your photos and saving the original image to your phone three or four times. Make a Carousel to progressively show the wide angle photo. Oddly satisfying—right? Add minimal graphics that give details about the listing. The 'Just Listed' digital sticker here subtly adds to the impact of the photo. Canva is a free and simple graphic design tool. 3. Link in Bio: Inspire with Your Call-to-Action If you don't see the level of engagement that you want from Instagram, consider rewording your messages to ask for it. It can be tough to convince people to navigate away from Instagram because there aren't many ways to share direct links. That's why having a consistently updated and relevant link in your Instagram profile—your *link in bio*— message is so important. If you're ever worried about the ephemeral nature of social media, you're not alone. But that investment of time and resources doesn't have to be wasted just because a home listing goes off the market. From there, it becomes useful for your branding and portfolio as a real estate agent. That's why it's important to—as often as possible—plan and create 'evergreen' content in bulk. This kind of content is always going to be relevant to your audience's needs, and it's always going to be worth sharing as a part of your brand story. Good evergreen social media content can include photos from your successful sales, like the example used here. This is an effective way to throw in a personal anecdote, a quote, or experience that represents your philosophy on the industry. Here are more ways to make the most of your bio link: You can make the bio link more dynamic with other free services like Linktree. This is an effective way to link relevant new listings, news and market data, links to your contact information, and your other social media profiles. Or, skip the separate link service, and routinely update the link in your bio with a limited-time feature. Of course, this means planning out the details behind posting and removing a link when it's time, but it's one way of pressing the urgency of clicking the link to a limited-time offer, like an event page for an open house. These are just a few of the features on Instagram that naturally attract high-value homebuyers and sellers seeking representation. You can use Instagram to help others envision what a dream home looks like. Remember: Time + Consistency = Success How long will it take to be successful with Facebook and Instagram? Your success depends on the quality of posts on your platform, and how closely you tailor a strategy to use it. Use professional real estate photos consistently to build your following from the ground up, whether you're revamping an old business profile or starting from zero followers. You will always benefit from learning the ropes of real estate and communication in the online market. Choose a social media platform, and explore all of the built-in features to make your profile stronger. Over time, you'll enjoy the free or low-cost marketing opportunities social media brings. Contact HomeJab for Picture-Perfect Real Estate Listings At HomeJab, we know that one snapshot can completely change the first impression you make on clients. Social media is a free or low-cost tool you can use to exponentially grow your marketing audience. Hardly anything compares to the reach and convenience of a strong social media presence. Our team will set you up for success in representing buyers and sellers by raising the bar for professionalism in real estate. Contact HomeJab to learn more about what captivates serious homebuyers who are searching for that picture-perfect home. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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Sealing the Deal With the Follow-up Presentation
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Friday Freebie: 2021 Referral Lead Strategy Guide
Inventory these days is looking a little lean, but commission checks are fatter than ever. Business is booming--if you can get it. Seller leads are hard to come by, and so are buyers that can compete against today's cash offers. So what's an agent to do? In times like these, it's best to turn to what—or in this case, who—you know. Your friends, neighbors and business associates are rich sources of referral leads. In this FREE referral strategy guide, you'll get the recipe for turning those leads into closings. Download the 2021 Referral Lead Strategy Guide, courtesy of Zurple In Zurple's free guide, you'll learn everything about referrals—from customer service to hosting in-person events, and even how to choose the closing gift. Download the guide today to discover: The basics of starting a referral program A calendar of monthly referral event ideas Referral lead strategies for social media Neighborhood lead generation techniques How to earn referrals via business partners Closing gift ideas and more! Plump up your bottom line this summer with a solid lead generation strategy. Download Zurple's 2021 Referral Lead Strategy Guide today to get started!
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New iOS 14 Update: What Does It Mean for Your Real Estate Facebook and Instagram Ads?
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Tech and Mental Health: It's been a long pandemic
Do you remember the moment you went into pandemic lockdown? No one had any idea how long it would last. A few weeks? A couple of months? In Florida, the first detection of the coronavirus came on March 1. Soon, Disney World announced that that it would close on March 15. Bars and nightclubs started closing two days later, and by April 1, the Sunshine State was under statewide stay-at-home orders. After more than a year, the impact on our mental health is undoubtedly on many Realtors' minds. Many are parents, and the effect of the pandemic on their kids and remote learning certainly is taking the spotlight as students finally return to part-time and full-time in-person classes. While tech stress and Zoom gloom are real, some positive tech improvements have emerged related to mental health. The National Institute of Mental Health notes that mobile devices have provided a new gateway for doctors and researchers. Mobile mental health support rapidly emerged during the pandemic, providing better and swifter access to health support. New mobile apps appeared to allow Telehealth medical appointments, monitor physical activity, track dietary consumption, digitally record weight changes with smart scales, and more. This is the upside of technology during the pandemic. Today, anyone needing mental health support can send a text message to contact a crisis center. New apps are promising to improve memory and thinking skills. Apps even use built-in sensors to collect information on our behavior patterns. All of this new technology brings pros and cons, which need individual evaluation. New Telehealth tools increase access and convenience to medical care and mental health support. For those who put off seeing a medical professional – such as a real estate agent with an insanely busy schedule – using an app might help overcome that hurdle. With more than 10,000 mobile medical apps in the market, the biggest concern with these new apps is their effectiveness. Obtaining supporting science takes time, and how well they work and whom they work best for are questions that loom. Privacy is another primary concern, as these apps tap into highly sensitive and personal information. Yet, the mobile medical movement is creating new partnerships between clinicians and engineers. Apps based on science and powered by exceptional technology are emerging that can help someone stop smoking or assist with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For real estate agents who thrive on face-to-face interaction, the pandemic has been particularly brutal. Reducing stress levels has become more crucial than ever, and there are some great apps to help agents do just that. Here's a link to more than a dozen. One of the most popular stress management apps is Calm, available in the App Store and Google Play. With 100 million downloads and 1.5 million 5-star reviews, it has become the top-ranked app for mediation, relaxation, and sleep. Calm features music and the sounds of nature to help you "focus, relax, and sleep." Video lessons focus on movement and stretching. Masterclass audio programs help strengthen mental fitness, addressing topics including stress, depression, insomnia and anxiety. The prevalence of Telehealth also has soared in use during the COVID outbreak. With more and more doctors and therapists offering Telehealth appointments, accessibility has never been greater. Telehealth also is making care more affordable. Offering live, highly secure (no Zoom bombing issues here) video conferencing, getting an appointment with your doctor for consultations and treatment is more accessible and often faster than scheduling an in-person meeting. New technology is extending the benefits of Telehealth with remote patient monitoring. RPM tools electronically record personal health and medical data and send it digitally and securely to your health professional. With these new tech tools do come new tech challenges. Fortunately, if your association or MLS provides Tech Helpline as a member benefit, analysts are available to help you with your technology challenges – even non-real estate related ones! If you are trying to set up one of these new apps and need assistance in trying to figure out how to install it or configure your settings, you can call, click or text to reach a Tech Helpline analyst for support. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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How to Get More Seller Clients and Win Every Listing Appointment
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How Are Sellers in the Current Market REALLY Doing?
We've all heard about the on-fire housing market and how it's positioned sellers to ask for much while conceding little. But just how much are sellers in the current market really reaping hefty benefits? How are they feeling about the selling process? What desired outcomes are guiding their selling decisions? Homes.com surveyed 1,600 respondents from across the country to find out. Survey Findings Snapshot The current market is paying hefty dividends for sellers, prompting many homeowners to put their homes up for sale sooner than planned to take advantage of market conditions. Our survey found that 82% of homeowners who sold in the last six months accepted offers at listing price (33%) or above (49%), nearly half of them sold in less than a month, and a quarter of them had five or fewer showings before finding a buyer — reflecting both the low supply of available homes and the rush to buy when new listings hit the market. Shortage? What Inventory Shortage? One of the major hesitancies homeowners have in today's market is a concern about low inventory — and for good reason! Who wants to sell their home without the guarantee of finding another home to buy? But, as our survey found out, this wasn't as big a problem as might be expected. Significantly, of the sellers we surveyed who intended to sell and immediately buy a new home to move into, 86% were able to do just that, despite limited inventory. The rest cited a move into rentership while continuing to house shop. Of the sellers who didn't have any plans to buy after selling, 24% said they moved into their secondary home, 19% had already purchased a new home build and rented while waiting for construction to complete, 11% began renting simply because they wanted to, and 9% decided to move in with family or friends. Smooth Sailing Sellers haven't just enjoyed the success of buying new property; they've also reaped the benefits of smooth selling processes. Looking at finances, our survey found that 49% sold above listing price, while 33% of sellers sold at their original listing price. In fact, 27% wound up accepting offers $10,000, even $20,000+ higher than their requested sale price. Cha-ching! Glancing at the process between listing and offer acceptance, 27% of sellers said they had five or fewer in-person showings before selling, while 26% had between six and ten. Amazingly, nearly 10% had no in-person showings at all. But, this is perhaps not as surprising as it might be in previous years; thanks to the growing prevalence of virtual tours, there's been an upward trend in buyers' openness to purchase a home sight unseen. We also found a strong correlation between the number of showings sellers' homes had, and the number of offers they received. A third of sellers said they sold their homes within the first five offers received, and nearly two-thirds wound up selling within the first 10. This roughly correlates to the number of showings, indicating that sellers received bids after virtually every walkthrough. It also offers a glance into why homes are flying so quickly off the market so soon after being listed! If you've been helping clients on the hunt for a new home, you've likely encountered this scenario: your buyers find a home they love, you schedule a tour for as soon as you can, but by the time you get there, the home has already been sold. You're in good company; this blink-and-you-miss-it issue has been plaguing buyers across the country for months, and doesn't show signs of slowing down! When we asked sellers how long their homes were listed before they sold, 22% said the process took less than two weeks, 25% were on the market between two and four weeks, and 27% for between one and two months. In other words, only less than a third of sellers' listings were on the market for longer than two months. Calling the Shots Another story dominating headlines in the real estate sphere lately has been just how much power sellers have over the purchase process. A mix of sharp demand and low inventory have left sellers holding all the cards, and our survey found they're using them to their full advantage! Many of the sellers surveyed indicated they refused consideration of contingencies and other strings-attached offers; 28% of them required all-cash payments, no contingencies and/or less than 30 days to close, while 14% opted for selling their homes completely "as is," leaving buyers without the flexibility available in less competitive markets. Interestingly, we found that they were more amenable to making repairs requested after showings or home inspections, with 56% agreeing to perform repairs, upgrades or replacement requested by buyers as a condition of sale. Of those who made those adjustments, 34% spent $10,000 or more, but one in four were able to recoup those costs by selling for $10,000 or more over listing price. Why Did They Sell in the First Place? As if the initial adjustments to pandemic life weren't stressful enough, our survey found that COVID-19 challenges were major drivers for homeowners deciding to sell; 43% cited financial impacts from the pandemic as their primary reason for selling. Other reasons included job relocation (14%), upsizing or downsizing needs (14%), a desire to move to another neighborhood (8%), retirement (4%) or a transition to remote working providing the option to relocate (4%). For many sellers, the market itself was influential in their process, with one in three entering the market only because they saw the opportunity to sell quickly and profitably. Twenty-three percent said their local market opportunities sped up their planned timeline to sell, while a surprising 11% actually hadn't planned to sell at all, but changed their minds in hopes of cashing in on the booming demand. And yes, this did happen; 5% actually received unsolicited offers on their homes, and they wound up selling them! What Can We Expect Moving Forward? It's not likely we'll see immediate relief from this blistering market any time soon; however, Homes.com will continue this survey series with a focus on homeowners who are planning to sell in the coming months. What types of homes will they be listing? At what price will their homes be listed? Will they be more willing to negotiate terms? Stay tuned to find out! To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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How to Write the Perfect Real Estate Agent Bio
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Want to Win More Listings? Learn the Art of the Pre-listing Presentation
Successful real estate agents work hard, hustle, network and pursue all leads. All of those things are great, and extremely necessary. But when you're trying to "wow" a potential client, you have to stand out from the crowd. Winning a listing is a multi-step sales process. There's the introduction, the meeting (in person or remotely), seeing the property, and the follow-up. Sending a pre-listing presentation ahead of your first meeting acts as a "door opener," and is your opportunity to set the stage and make a great first impression. Before we dig into the details of the pre-listing presentation, take a moment to imagine yourself in the shoes of a buyer or seller. They're looking for an agent who will represent them in the best way possible. Someone who will answer their questions, negotiate on their behalf, and be their advocate in today's cut-throat real estate market. They're bombarded with information about real estate agents in their area, most of whom have great reviews. So how do they choose the best person for the job? Enter the pre-listing presentation. It's a way to deliver the information that every seller wants to know. It's a way to introduce yourself and establish credibility. You can be as creative as you like, but here are the sections that you should definitely include: Information about you and your team – This should include your professional credentials and experience, as well as some personal information to show who you are outside of work. Do you like hiking on the weekends? Is your dog your best friend? Do you go crazy for Taco Tuesday? Include those facts in your pre-listing presentation! Testimonials and awards – It's okay (and necessary) to brag about yourself, but potential clients also want to hear from buyers and sellers who have used you as their agent in the past. And don't be shy about sharing any real estate or business awards you've won! Video of you and your team – If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video is worth a million! Show potential clients that you're a real person who is personable, professional, and can get the job done. Sales and marketing process – Sellers want to know how hard you'll work to make sure their property sells for the best possible price. Share your entire process with them, from your online marketing tactics to postcard mailers and beyond. Additional services – If you go above and beyond for your clients, let them know! For instance, if you stage every home so they can look their absolute best, share that information. Include anything you offer that other agents don't. Sample listing – There's no better way to show a seller how you market a property than by providing them with a sample listing. This can showcase the great photography and videos you use, as well as 3D tours, staging, and other "wow factors." The pre-listing presentation is an invaluable tool that can make all the difference when it comes to winning a listing. Need inspiration? Check out this HighNote pre-listing presentation example!Ready to take the plunge? Click here to start making beautiful pre-listing presentations with HighNote.
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Why Real Estate Photography Is Important In A Seller's Market
It's a hot seller's market! Real estate listings are scarce. Meanwhile, buyers are lining up around the corner, ready to make an offer on their dream homes. With homes flying off the shelves, real estate agents may be tempted to forego professional real estate photography altogether. They figure that the home will sell itself. "I can skip a few steps," the agent says. "I don't need photos." But just because homes are selling like hotcakes doesn't mean that agents should ignore a crucial marketing step: To include high-quality real estate photography in their listings. To prove our point, below are five solid reasons why real estate photos are super important, even in an aggressive seller's market. The Stats According to Realtor.org, 92% of homebuyers surfed the internet while searching for a home. Not only that, but a 2017 study by the National Association of Realtors found that among buyers who used the internet to search for homes, 89% thought that clicking through property photos was useful. Moreover, listings that featured just one photo averaged 70 days on the market compared to the 32-day average of listings with over 20 images. These stats show that professional real estate photography can help sell homes faster no matter the state of the market — whether it favors the buyer or the seller. Get More Listings A listing without professional photos is like a waffle cone without ice cream. One feels incomplete without the other. So, to set yourself apart from other agents, ensure that your listings are loaded with high-quality real estate photos. Not only will this bode well for your brand image, but it could also expand your sphere of influence among prospective buyers and help you score more listings! After all, when sellers research you online (and they will), they'll expect to see quality media. If the listing is between you and another agent, you can emerge victorious by making sure that your listings are packed with superb real estate photography. But don't stop there: if you really want to sweep the seller off her feet, you can include real estate video content, 3D tours, and exciting aerial drone footage in your listings. Take that, Other Agent! Get More Leads Want to rank higher in Google? You'll need to host exclusive, high-quality, and eye-grabbing media that'll generate more clicks and drive more traffic to your site. To optimize your presence in Google search results, you'll also need to apply some SEO best practices. For starters, edit the image filename so that it's searchable and SEO-friendly. Be descriptive without going overboard. For example, instead of a filename titled "IMG_001.jpg," try "2-story-townhouse-Boise-Idaho," if that's what you're going for. The latter has a nice (clickable) ring to it, don't you think? Also, make sure that your Alt Tags are optimized for SEO so that the image can define itself to web crawlers and appear more relevant against search queries: Classic townhouse with modern gourmet kitchen Boise Idaho. Lastly, why spend money on paid social and Google Ads when you can generate organic traffic using impeccable real estate photos that convert leads into customers? Virtual Open Houses In today's tech-driven world, hosting a virtual open house, or offering 3D real estate tours, can help sell the property even faster. Better yet, a virtual tour can take the legwork out of showing the property in person, especially when a potential buyer sends you a last-minute request to view it. Thus, the advent of the virtual tour allows you to work more efficiently. For example, you can send the prospective homebuyer a link to the tour to sustain their interest in the property while sorting out your schedule behind the scenes. What's more, some sellers may not be comfortable with the thought of others visiting their homes post-pandemic, which is why a virtual tour comes in extra handy. At HomeJab, our virtual tour services can offer seamless 3D real estate experiences for your customers. Homeowners Deserve the Best When asked why he hustled on plays that had little effect on a game's outcome or on his team's standing, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio said, "Because there's always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time… "I owe him my best." At HomeJab, we believe that homeowners also deserve the best, no matter the size of their homes. Although a lower-end home might be a small deal for the agent, it's nonetheless a big financial investment for the homeowner. Therefore, it deserves as much energy and hard work as one would pour into a higher-end home. And there you have it — five solid reasons why professional real estate photography matters in a seller's market. Ready to schedule your shoot? To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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What's the Big Deal about Google Local Services Ads?
If you're in the real estate business, there's a good chance you've been hearing a lot about Google Local Services Ads, or Google LSA. The industry has been buzzing with talk about how this new seller lead source can generate a lot of inexpensive ready-to-transact leads and even produce inbound "come-list-me" calls. The question is -- is this lead source actually worth it? What Is Google LSA? Let's start off with the basics. What is Google LSA and why should you care? Google LSA is a resource provided by Google that allows users to use Google to search for service providers that Google essentially prescreens and then recommends to the user. For example, you could go to Google right now and search for "plumber in Santa Monica" and immediately Google will show you three prescreened and "Google Guaranteed" plumbers in Santa Monica. These prescreened companies pop up right at the top of the search results page (even above the pay-per-click advertisements) and are usually accompanied by numerous positive reviews featured front and center. Google LSA has been around for quite some time for other industries, but just in the last couple of months it has become available for real estate. So, why should you care? If you were looking for a real estate agent in your area, wouldn't you most likely pick one of the three real estate agents Google recommended who had already been prescreened and showcased excellent reviews? It seems like a no-brainer, and the fact is, it's already working. What Are the Benefits of Using Google LSA? There are a few key benefits to using Google LSA that you're not going to get with other lead source providers in the real estate industry. The most important benefits are that you receive high quality leads at a low cost. 1. High Quality Leads Google LSA leads primarily come in the form of inbound phone calls. That means no more chasing leads! The leads coming in are high intent prospects with short transactional timeframes. Google LSA leads are primarily sellers and out of town buyers. 2. Low Costing Leads With Google LSA, you only pay for inbound phone calls that last longer than 30 seconds. Google refunds you for any irrelevant and out-of-area calls so you're only paying for legitimate leads. The per-lead costs are inexpensive. How Does Google LSA Generate More Seller Leads? So you might be asking yourself, "How does this lead source generate mostly seller leads?" The answer is simple. Google is doing it organically. Typically, people who are local and looking to buy a house are not searching online for a real estate agent. Usually buyers will look for homes for sale in their local area straightaway. The only people who are really searching for real estate agents off-the-bat are people looking to sell their homes, people who are from out of town looking to relocate, or other out of town real estate agents trying to refer clients. All of these scenarios are highly desirable for lead generation. Okay, What's the Catch? At this point you're probably wondering, "Okay, so what's the catch with Google LSA?" While there isn't really a "catch" per se, there are a few key things you will need to do to be successful with this lead source. 1. Forty percent of the leads will be irrelevant. That number might seem high, but keep in mind that this means 60% of the leads coming in through Google LSA are relevant and have high intention to transact quickly. 2. You need to pick up your phone. With Google LSA, your ranking is controlled by a Google algorithm and how often you answer incoming calls from Google LSA is a major influence on how far up on the list you appear as a Google recommended provider. 3. You need to have an optimized Google My Business page. Ninety percent of Google LSA profiles are linked to a Google My Business (GMB) page. Your GMB page should be complete with an accurate address, hours of operation, and any other required profile information. 4. You need to have business reviews. Another really important influence on the algorithm that determines your Google ranking and ultimately how many leads you receive with LSA per month is reviews. For perspective, a real estate agent with 10 reviews will get less than six lead calls per month, whereas an agent who has 100 reviews will get upwards of 20 lead calls per month. That's a Lot to Take in. Feeling Overwhelmed? If you're starting to feel like you're in over your head, you'll be happy to hear that you can get help setting up your Google LSA and GMB page with Ylopo. Ylopo has set up over 800 clients on Google LSA already and can help you get rolling with LSA fast. Here are some of the things Ylopo can do to help you get started with Google LSA: Ylopo automates the process of getting you credited for irrelevant leads. As a client, you can take advantage of Ylopo's Instant Response Call Center that will pick up the phone for you so you don't have to worry about missing any inbound calls from LSA (something that would normally negatively impact your Google ranking). Ylopo provides a Google LSA integration that links directly to your CRM so you can seamlessly get your Google LSA leads funneled right into the system you use daily to manage leads. Ylopo provides direct assistance with optimizing your Google My Business Page so you can improve your rankings on Google LSA faster. Ylopo automates the review collection process for you, helping you to quickly and effortlessly get your well-deserved reviews (something that also positively impacts your ranking on Google). Still on the Fence? If you're still on the fence about getting your business set up with Google Local Services Ads, here's some advice. Start by getting your Google My Business page set up and then head over to Google and search for real estate agents in your area to see which of your competitors is already taking advantage of Google LSA. It might be just what you need to see to get on board. To learn more about Google LSA and the other seller tools Ylopo has to offer, check out www.ylopo.com/seller.
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Top 10 Tips for Attention-Grabbing Listings
In this fast-paced world of online searches, you have mere seconds to grab the attention of a potential buyer or seller, but you don't have to be a professional writer to get the results you want. Start with the following tips for crafting your listings and watch the online visibility you receive expand! 1. Spend Time Crafting Your Headline An attention-grabbing headline is the first introduction to your audience. If they don't like the headline, they won't read further. But great headlines don't fall from the sky. You need to spend time crafting and testing them to determine which ones work best. Start by writing out five to 10 headlines and testing them. Once you discover which headlines get you the highest open rate, you can use them as templates to accommodate other properties you are looking to promote. You can use these headlines repeatedly with just a little tweak depending on the property you are selling. 2. Learn from Headlines That Get Results Learn from what works. Currently, attention-grabbing headlines tend to use a couple of descriptive adjectives to highlight the home or a feature of the property. They also may showcase price and location. They are short, with fewer than 10 words and fewer than 50 characters. And, they may target people's FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Here are some examples: Homes for Sale in ___________ Under ___________ Waterfront Homes for Sale in ____________ Lowest Prices for Sale in __________________ Luxury Homes You Don't Want to Miss! Just Came on the Market…Don't Miss Out! Enjoy This Resort Lifestyle with Water Views Lowest Priced One of a Kind Home in __________ Gorgeous Residence Selling Below Bank Valuation Designer Renovated Home in Outstanding Location 2021 Renovated Floor Plan for Working at Home Private Couryard with Landscape Views in ________ Corner Family Home on a Sunny Block Smart, Energy-Efficient Designer Home Demolish, Re-Build or Rent – This Bargain Could Be Yours! Iconic Waterfront Home in High Demand Community Quick tip – Avoid using all uppercase caps on your headlines. Rather, capitalize the first letter of each word. This includes the copy in the description also. Using all caps in your entire description gives the impression that you are screaming and is off-putting to readers. 3. Stand Out from the Crowd Review similar homes for sale being advertised in your MLS. You can also check out what the top real estate agents in your area are doing. The idea is to not be identical or blend in. Put your own individual style to it and stand out. 4. Use Photos That Wow Property photos are an important feature along with the headline and listing copy. The featured first photo is the most important. It is what will draw prospects in to learn more about the home. Consider using a professional photographer to best showcase the home. Homes that have professional photos taken can sell faster, as photographers take the time to capture the entire room along with lighting that amplifies the features of the home. You can have the greatest home to sell. If the property photos are not sized correctly, well-lit, or feature only a part of the home, it can put your seller at a huge disadvantaged. Real estate is a visual art, and now more than ever, people are searching online before ever reaching out to you. 5. Describe the Property with Love Instead of just listing features and amenities, give the property some personality. When possible, ask the seller(s) what they love about the home. This can give you an idea of what to write. Use adjectives to create a feeling and continue with the specifics that make your property stand out. Remember to speak to your target audience as you describe it. 6. And Don't Beat Around the Bush Although you do want to give the property personality, you don't need to write a fiction novel. Get straight to the point in the first few lines. Keep the important information on top. Then go on to describe the amenities (if any), location and benefits of living there. 7. Write a Longer vs. Shorter Description When writing the listing features and description, make it a couple of paragraphs long. Show your audience that you care. Especially in a sellers' market, if you want to get the highest price or above market value for your client, write a detailed description which includes the primary features (the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, inside square footage, lot size, extras such as pool, garden, dog park, beach, etc.), recent renovations, unique characteristics such as the material used to construct the home, energy efficient features, views, nearby amenities and of course location. Write about all the positives of the property. 8. Proofread Your Writing Before pressing the post button, make sure you have proofread every word of the listing. It is so easy to overlook an error, especially when spending so much time looking at your screen. To assist you also, consider using an app on your computer that will automatically suggest grammar changes. There are free ones available. Remember that these are not 100% accurate. Sometimes it's best to take a break and go back to it and review it a few minutes later or print it and read it out loud word-by-word. 9. Share Your Listing on Social Media Platforms, Website and Email Every time you get a listing or sell a property, it is a great time to promote it on at least three platforms. It's an opportunity to not only market the property, but also market yourself. Use those platforms that you feel most comfortable with using. Create a list of all your clients and people in your database with whom you would like to share the information and share it with them. This is another great way to become known in your market area and have people reach out to you to learn more about services you provide. 10. Measure Your Open Rates Currently, do you track the open rates of your listings on the various real estate websites, including your own? If you are also sending out the listings via email and social media, it is important to track which sites are getting you the most results. The idea is not to waste time or money on places that do not get you the best results. Janice Zaltman is a Realtor, LEED AP, marketing coach and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields. To view the original article, visit the Form Simplicity blog.
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Open House Ideas That Bring in Leads
With Memorial Day behind us and the country easing back to normalcy following more than a year of shutdowns and social distancing, open houses are set to be a big--and we mean big--part of the summer of 2021. You're probably gearing up to host plenty of them in the near future, so why not make sure you're taking every opportunity to delight prospective buyers and win as much future business as possible? Leverage Waze in Your Open House Marketing More than a year since the pandemic began, many people are still opting to use their cars over public transportation and ride-sharing services. So like any good marketing strategy, go where your audience is. Think of Waze — the largest community-run navigation app, with more than 140 million monthly active users — as the digital equivalent of roadside billboards and top-of-neighborhood yard signs. Just as those are intended to lure in passing drivers, so too is Waze. Only Waze has a much, much broader reach—meaning you'll attract far more interested prospects to your open house. In short, it's a much more efficient use of your marketing spend. It works like this: You advertise your open house on Waze during open house hours. As drivers use Waze to navigate around town and monitor traffic patterns, they'll get a notification to attend the open house when they pass within a specified radius of your advertised property. If interested, they can click on the advertisement and get step-by-step directions to the open house. Read this article for a more in-depth look at setting up a Waze advertising campaign. Optimize Your Open House Sign-in Sheet We covered this topic in a previous post, which we encourage you to read to get a more thorough account of what an optimized open house sign-in sheet looks like, but here's the general gist: Too many agents throw a piece of lined notebook paper on an end table and hope it's enough to farm potential prospects. But, it's not. Every open house sign-in sheet should include the following: Address Ask a question Leave a comment or provide feedback to the agent and/or seller What do you like most and least about this home? Real estate needs: Want to buy ASAP Want to buy within the next 12 months Want to sell Just looking Are you working with a real estate agent? What type of property are you interested in? __ beds __ bathrooms Single-family home Condo/Townhouse Specific features: ___ Have you been pre-approved for a loan? Would you like me to send you a free home evaluation for your home? If yes, home address: ____ Do you want to receive a free market report to learn about homes in this area? If yes, zip codes of interest: ____ Make Instagram and Facebook Stories of Your Open House If 2020 taught us anything, it's that we were all pretty efficient at switching to digital equivalents of in-person events. Even as we try to put the pandemic in the rearview, a proportion of prospective buyers remain reluctant to attend open houses. So why leave them out? Why not give them the opportunity to see what happened virtually? With Homesnap Stories, you can add unique, engaging marketing content right to your active listings through the Homesnap Pro app. Add text, emojis, and even use augmented reality to create one-of-a-kind marketing content that you can also share on Facebook and Instagram. Record a voiceover or add music to personalize your Stories even more. Then, once complete, you can push these stories directly to your Facebook and Instagram. Want to get more exposure? Put a little ad spend behind either type of Story on Instagram or Facebook easily with Homesnap Pro Ads. Use Video Ads to Generate Buzz About Your Listing You can also take those video tours and walkthroughs and turn them into Video Ads on Facebook and Instagram. This is a great way to gin up buzz for your open house, show your listing in a more interactive light, and give prospects a taste of your personality. Uploading your videos from your computer or phone and turning them into Video Ads just takes a few minutes. Or, Stream Your Open House Live If you'd rather host a virtual open house live rather than after the fact, it's possible with Homesnap. Using the Homesnap platform, you can promote video tours of a property and schedule and host open houses virtually, much in the same way you would an in-person one. Once complete, scheduled virtual open houses will appear as a purple-colored pin within Homesnap's map view, and property card banners will display the date and time of the virtual open house. Potential buyers can simply click to attend. Read more about how to set up a virtual open house here. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Friday Freebie: 200 Real Estate Flyer Templates
You know how people like to say, "Less is more"? Well, throw that out the window (just for now), because in this week's Friday Freebie, more is definitely more. We're sharing with you a whopping 200 flyer templates that you can download, customize, and market with to your heart's content. Read on to learn more. 200 Real Estate Flyer Templates, courtesy of TORCHx Listing inventory is low, so agents can use all the help they can get in drumming up new seller leads. TORCHx is offering RE Technology readers 200 free flyer templates that you can print and mail or share online. You get: 50 For Sale Flyer templates 50 Just Sold Flyer templates 50 Recently Sold Homes Flyer templates 50 Testimonial Flyer templates All flyers are beautifully and professionally designed and 100% customizable. Add your name, contact info, listing photos and other custom fields for a flyer that is perfectly suited to your marketing needs. Flyers are available as PowerPoint files and come with full instructions on how to customize and edit the templates. Ready to dive in? Download 200 FREE real estate flyer templates here!
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A Review of the Zillow 3D App
Recently, one of HomeJab's real estate photographers had an eye-opening experience using the Zillow 3D app. The events that unfolded during the photographer's interactions with the app and Zillow's customer support team led to this review. From lack of content control to flaws with the 3D view, read on to determine whether or not the Zillow 3D app is best for your real estate business needs. Source Files Are Not Yours Last week, we held a photoshoot in Olympia, Wash., near Zillow's headquarters in Seattle. The photographer accidentally used the Zillow 3D app to capture 360° images instead of using the app that the customer requested. Upon realizing his mistake, the photographer contacted Zillow asking for the 360° files (these aren't saved to the camera when using Zillow's 3D app.) He wanted to use the files on another software platform. But Zillow denied his request, refusing to send him the source files. As a result, we had to reschedule the photoshoot, and the photographer then had to drive an extra 100 miles out of his way. Content Control Because Zillow feeds off of content to survive, they'll want to control it every time an agent uses their 3D app. Therefore, while using the Zillow 3D app, the real estate agent or photographer should know that there's a point of no return: Once files are sent to Zillow, whether accidentally or not, Zillow owns them. What's more, Zillow has primed their website to be the only place where content submitted to them can be viewed. As a real estate agent or photographer, surrendering control of your content can be detrimental to your business. For instance, to gain a better sense of the agent's listings portfolio, customers might want to browse the agent's transaction history, real estate photos, virtual tours, etc. If these are not readily available on the agent's website, the customer might want to browse elsewhere. 3D Flaws Allow us to point out that "Zillow 3D" is a misnomer. That's to say, there's no 3D view (whoops!). Indeed, no 3D models will see the light of day from Zillow's app. Instead, Zillow 3D organizes panoramic images into a "virtual tour." On a different note, Zillow's newest iBuyer platform, "Zillow Offers," is yet another service that claims ownership of your content. And by marketing directly to the consumer, Zillow Offers positions itself more like a competitor than a support system. That said, at HomeJab we agree that's there's nothing wrong with publishing the basic listing data on Zillow through MLS. But if buyers wish to access an agent's virtual tour, which is critical these days when time is money, then they should be able to access it on the listing agent's website. This is why it's crucial to keep exclusive control of your content rather than handing it over to Zillow 3D or other top competitors in the business. A Solution to the iBuyer Problem Despite these bad tidings, there's a practical solution to the Zillow 3D app and the larger iBuyer problem: You should use a platform of independent content creators where you, the real estate agent and business professional, keep exclusive ownership and control over your content. Out of the myriad virtual tour providers out there, many offer free software and hosting services (emphasis on the word "FREE"). At HomeJab, our customers hire (and trust) us to capture the images and produce a seamless 3D real estate tour. When all's said and done, every single file belongs to the listing agent. The agent can then download the individual source files and use them on any other software platform of their choosing. Not only that, but the agent can control where the tour is hosted and viewed, which, in turn, will maximize their leads! Last but not least, there's free lifetime hosting to boot! (Check out our FAQs section for more on our services.) Growing your business freely and exponentially while thwarting Big Tech's hostile takeover of the real estate industry means that you'll have to keep outwitting Zillow 3D and other iBuyer models that aren't keeping your best interests at heart. This might seem like a great feat to accomplish, but fret not — HomeJab's got you covered! To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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10 Secrets of Success for Single Agents and Small Teams
Whoever said that being on a large team is the best way to be successful in real estate might have missed the memo about these powerful single-agent and small team success strategies. If you're a single agent or on a small team and you feel like you've been spinning your wheels in this challenging market, you're in the right place. In this article we will outline the top 10 success strategies of some of the fastest growing single agents and small teams in the country—and the good news is each strategy is something you can take and implement for yourself for your own unique business and in your own unique market. Let's jump in. Secret #1: Level the Playing Field The first thing you need to do as a single agent or small team in order to be successful is find ways to compete with the big guys. Large and mega teams might have more marketing dollars, more agents, and more aggressive strategies, but you can compete by: leveraging the power of your digital marketing technology having the flexibility to quickly change as the market does having the personal touch with clients that the big guys can't achieve More on numbers two and three later; let's focus on number one. If you have a digital marketing company that can provide you with dynamic advertising, customized reports, artificial ISA intelligence, and other smart tools that optimize your customer experience, you'll be shocked at how fast the big guys stop feeling like a threat. Secret #2: Don't Get Overwhelmed With as many hats as you're likely wearing every day to keep your business afloat, not getting overwhelmed might seem like a laughable concept, but it's super important and totally avoidable. The idea is to start slow. Pick just one thing to implement at a time and allow yourself time to get comfortable with each new thing before you incorporate something else. Creating a new habit can take about two weeks, so plan on a buffer time of about two weeks between each new thing you implement. The other way you can avoid becoming overwhelmed is to reassess your business. Eliminate unnecessary activities, automate as much as you can, and then delegate tasks are left over that you don't enjoy doing yourself. You might be surprised with how much more time you win back. Finally, make sure you are time blocking on your calendar and being productive during those time blocks. This time blocking is a great way to hold yourself accountable when you're working as your own boss. Secret #3: Know Your Numbers This secret is key and very simply stated. Successful single agents know their numbers and review their numbers at least once per week. Every night when you get into bed, you should know what your lead generation numbers look like, what your lead conversion numbers like, and know what contracts are closing. Secret #4: Focus on the Three Rs As a single agent, it's vital that you focus on the three Rs: relationships, referrals and reviews. You don't have the organic exposure that a lot of the bigger and more well-known teams have, so you need to focus on providing elevated personalized service—something that the big guys can't compete with. The biggest focus for you should be relationships. If you put your time and energy towards nurturing the relationships you have with your clients, your friends and the community, business will naturally happen for you. If you continue to focus on building your client relationship throughout the entire transaction and beyond, referrals often happen organically. Reviews, on the other hand, usually have to be manually requested. Regarding reviews, there are three really important things to remember. First, never be afraid to ask for reviews. Second, always ask for a review in the moment when your client is the most happy and excited about you or the service you're providing; you don't have to wait to be at the closing table to ask for a review. Third, give them easy options for submitting reviews like email, text, or video. If you focus on making the review submission process for your clients as simple and convenient as possible, they will be more likely to do it. Secret #5: Get Involved Next, it's time to put your best foot forward and get involved in your community. As a single real estate agent, you know from the last secret that you need to focus on the three Rs. Being actively involved in your community makes up a big part of that. Your goal is to be the person that everyone in your community thinks about first when they have any real estate related need. How can you achieve this? There are many ways you can be at the forefront of your community as the local real estate expert, but the most effective way of achieving this is to be present. Make sure you're at local events, socializing, donating your time or money to local charities, talking with neighbors, and even heading up local social groups like a running club or dog walking group. The more you're around, the more people in your community will know you, like you, respect you, trust you and ultimately refer you. Secret #6: Advertise Locally Make sure you're advertising in your local area. Right now, the best two options for local advertising in real estate are with Google. First, create your Google My Business page. This is where prospective clients will land when they put your name into the Google search engine, so you want this page to be as complete and accurate as possible. One pro tip is to set your business hours as "open 24/7." Most agents will set their business hours to be from 9AM-5PM and all of the people with real estate inquiries after 5PM will be calling you instead of the competition. Don't forget to build out your reviews here as well. Reviews are the first thing people will see when coming to your Google My Business Page and will greatly impact your ranking with Google. The next way to execute local advertising is to invest in Google Local Services Ads (Google LSA). Google LSA is the highest performing and most cost effective lead source in real estate at the moment. Learn more about what Google LSA is and how it works here. Secret #7: Don't Overlook SEO Don't neglect looking at some of the finer and more hidden aspects of internet marketing, specifically SEO. By focusing on your SEO, you can quickly repair and boost your Google rankings. There are many things that go into SEO and we recommend having a professional help you out if you're unfamiliar—but for starters, make sure you don't have any dead links associated with your business' website. A common way you might end up with dead links associated with your website is if you use a professional photographer to help you take pictures and create landing pages for active listings and once the listings sell, the landing pages end up being deleted. When a web page is deleted, the web address to that page still exists but leads to a dead site. That dead website is still backlinked to your active business site and will be actively hurting your online ranking. You can fix this common problem by making sure that the links to all web pages that have ever been associated with your business remain active and properly backlinked to your website. Another thing you can do is make sure all of the photos on your website are properly geotagged. For example, if you have a professional photographer take your headshot photos and their office is located somewhere else, there's a good chance that the location tied to your headshot photo doesn't match your physical business address. If the address on your website and the geotagged location of your associated photos don't match, Google's algorithm will see this mismatch and it will negatively impact your ranking. Secret #8: Create Your Own Inventory As a smaller scale real estate business, you may need to get creative and find ways to create your own inventory, specifically by finding "shadow inventory." The best way to find shadow inventory is to look for listings that expired over six months ago and try to revive those opportunities. By digging into these particular opportunities, there's a good chance that you'll find someone who tried to sell their home a year ago, failed with another agent, and is willing to give it another shot with you. For more reading about ways to create your own inventory, check out this other article. Secret #9: Change with the Market One of your main superpowers as a single agent or small team is that you're nimble and you can move quickly. A lot of the bigger teams have to move much slower and have a harder time adapting to fast-shifting market conditions. Always be aware of what is working for you at any given time and what isn't and then don't be afraid to change as needed. A year ago, a successful single agent may have found the best opportunities to be with buyer clients and new construction. As the pandemic emerged, that agent would have seen that line of business quickly drying up and moving towards a hyper seller-focused market. Proactively seeing this trend, a single agent is able to quickly shift their strategy and immediately start putting their efforts towards gaining more seller clients and listings without missing a beat. Bigger teams, on the other hand, have various bureaucracies to overcome before even thinking about implementing a shift in strategy. Secret #10: Challenge = Opportunity The final secret is to remember that each challenge you face will always equal a new opportunity. It's easy to be negative and get stuck on ideas like, "There's no inventory" or "The pandemic is preventing me from doing business like I used to." While both of these statements might be true, they are short-sighted and hold you back from success. Instead, try to focus on the potential that each new challenge provides. Try to keep a positive mindset and spend time thinking of ways you can use each unique challenge to reform yourself or your business. You may come out on the other side of it in an even stronger position. One Last Piece of Advice Make sure you implement systems and processes into your business. This advice applies to big teams, small teams, and single agents alike. If you don't have consistent ways of working, organizing, and running your business, you're setting yourself up for failure from the start. If you're open to leveraging technology, you'll only make your life easier in the long run. Most importantly, whatever systems you choose to apply, make sure the tools and features make sense and are functional for your business. Your systems should be straightforward enough to be something that you will commit to using every single day. Ensure this by determining what your core business priorities are first and then make sure that whatever powerful system you choose wholly supports your core priorities, goals, and principles. To get more great advice for single agents and small teams, check out this video.
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Ask the Industry: What Are Your Top Negotiation Strategies?
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Real Estate Leads Exposed: Inside the Mind of Today's Home Shopper
When it comes to making a purchasing decision, consumers go through a process, coined by inbound marketing company Hubspot as "The Buyer's Journey." In this article, we're going to take a look at each stage of the buyer's journey, discuss how it impacts the home buying process and your real estate leads, and provide ideas on how you can use each phase as a guide to help you maximize your effectiveness in generating and converting new buyer leads online. This journey is made up of three stages: Awareness Stage Consideration Stage Decision Stage 1. Awareness Stage In the awareness stage, the buyer has realized and expressed symptoms of a problem or opportunity. A. What your leads are thinking... Think of this stage as a symptomatic stage. Let's say, for example, a potential homebuyer has realized that paying high rent is becoming increasingly frustrating. They are at a point in life when making an investment with the potential to build equity is starting to become a priority. Perhaps they have recently gotten married, or are coming up on the end of a lease and are going to have to make a decision on what their next move will be within the next few weeks or months. B. What your leads are looking for... At this point, leads are looking for basic information that correlates to their specific situation. An example would be looking up benefits of renting versus buying or investigating whether or not it's statistically beneficial to buy a property when relocating to a new city. C. How you can help attract leads at the Awareness Stage... In the awareness stage, your lead is nowhere near ready to choose an agent. In fact, they haven't even decided if it makes sense to commit to buying yet. But you still have an opportunity to be helpful and influential by providing information someone in this situation would be searching for – whether it's tips on a successful relocation or information on home equity vs. other types of equity. This type of content is great in blog format. When you publish these types of posts, known as "top of funnel" content, use keyword-rich copy to gain visibility and drive the right type of leads. 2. Consideration Stage In the consideration stage, the buyer has clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity. A. What your leads are thinking... Now, your lead has decided that purchasing a property is almost definitely in their future, but they still aren't ready to pick up the phone and call an agent. At this point, they are working on making critical decisions on location and are looking for information on how to get started with the process. They may also be mulling over what their life would look like in different areas – considering things like how their commute would be impacted, whether they want to be a city-dweller or suburbanite and whether they would prefer a condo or single family home. B. What your leads are looking for... Now that your lead is committed to the idea of purchasing a home, they want to understand what all of their viable options are. At this point, your lead may be looking for mortgage calculators that will help them clearly define a budget or they may be doing research on interest rates and what types of financing are available. Furthermore, they will be looking for data that will help them start to hone in on more specific details regarding location and housing preferences – searching things like "city vs. suburbs" and "condos vs. single family homes." C. How you can help engage leads at the consideration stage... Once again, you can attract the right types of leads by serving as a valuable resource and community expert. Consider putting together comparative data on different local areas that will help potential homebuyers decide between city A and city B, write a blog post that provides details and statistics on local schools in your area, or offer content that helps buyers choose which financial options make the most sense for their current situation. 3. Decision Stage In the decision stage, the buyer has defined their solution strategy, method or approach. A. What your leads are thinking... Now your lead is fully aware of the viable options and is ready to start digging deep and making some serious decisions. They have narrowed their search to a couple of specific areas, have a budget in mind and are settled on what type of property they'd like. Homebuyers are unique because even as they near a decision point, they may still take several weeks or months to search and collect information on their own in order to get a good feel for the market prior to bringing in a third party (A.K.A., an agent) for help. It pays to be patient during this time – be helpful where you can be, but don't push. B. What your leads are looking for... Your lead is searching for a specific type of property in a specific price range in a specific part of town. At this point, your local market knowledge really comes into play as a valuable asset to their journey. C. How you can help convert leads at the decision stage... At this point, you should be providing local market snapshots, details on available properties that match your lead's search criteria and data on average closing costs, property taxes and mortgage payments for your area. The goal at this point is to prove that you are the best, most knowledgeable agent in your area in the hopes that your lead will come to you and ask you to represent them in the home buying process. Relevance is directly correlated with effectiveness, so keep these stages in mind when developing your real estate marketing strategy for better results and bigger payoffs. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Delivering a Perfect Client Experience in Today's Real Estate Market
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6 Tips for Strong Real Estate Marketing Email Campaigns
Being a successful real estate professional is all about maintaining and growing your client base. Whether you're at an open house, a meeting, a social event or even a dinner party, you know you've got to make your brand known. But how can you possibly nurture relationships with everyone you meet along the way? Email marketing for real estate is the answer. A study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® about real estate in the digital age showed that 92% of Realtors prefer to communicate with their clients via email, with 93% using it every day. In fact, 63% of real estate email marketing campaigns receive a positive engagement. These are stats we simply can't ignore! Amarki will explore the varieties of email marketing tips real estate agents can use to convert leads, nurture prospects, and earn continued business from past clients. 1. The Actionable Welcome Email Probably the most important email is your "Welcome" email. Your welcome email is a great way to introduce both cold and warm leads to your services and yourself. Your leads may have come from an open house, your website, or, better yet, directly through a referral. Regardless of how you connected, Amarki recommends sending your welcome email after your first contact. Your welcome email will thank subscribers for opting in and give them two critical pieces of information: What kinds of emails to expect from you in the future; and, Why you're the best agent to help them buy or sell their home Your welcome email guarantees to give you a jumpstart on your competition. And, with nearly two million active real estate agents across the U.S., we know there's no time to waste in positioning your brand for success. 2. Use Newsletters to Add Value Your leads and clients want to know that you're the expert. There's no better way to prove this than in an email newsletter packed full of relevant and insightful information. Not only will newsletters highlight your expertise, but they will keep you front of mind when deciding how and with whom to move forward with. Newsletters also keep you connected with your past clients – and as we know happy clients are the best advertisements that money can't buy! A positive impact left on leads and clients with your informative newsletters will increase your chances of conversion. Amarki suggests sharing: Recent or upcoming events New homes listed or sold Open houses Focus on local restaurants and/or businesses Mortgage news and advice You'll be sure to capture their attention and be a resource they'll turn to time and time again. Just remember, your newsletter is a marketing device, so it's okay to softly sell your services, just don't make it the focus of your newsletter. 3. Nurture Your Buyers It's important to make sure you're connecting with potential buyers to keep them updated with the most recent listings in their desired neighborhoods through weekly or more frequent email blasts. Although they may have signed up to receive email alerts from your website, you should also follow up with them personally to see if anything they've seen in the market has caught their eye. As you know, buying a house is a major decision and often requires you to nurture your leads for quite some time before they're ready to take the next step in their buying journey. 4. Captivate Interested Seller with Emails Home buyers are one side of real estate, but we can't forget about the sellers. Amarki noted that 70% of home sellers interview just one agent before signing a contract. That means you have to put your best foot forward and showcase your knowledge and expertise. Sellers want to know what their house is worth and if you're the right person to sell it. It's important that you're able to address both of these concerns via email to prompt them into action. Offering a comparative market analysis of their home and neighborhood will help you to stand out from the crowd and form a meaningful relationship with the seller. Your end goal is to meet your client in person to discuss their needs, so all emails should be leading them to this with a good call to action. 5. Care for Your Past Clients Referrals are another important avenue for growing your real estate business. Real estate referrals can come from current and past clients and from colleagues, friends, family and suppliers. Consider the following: 25% of real estate agents generate more than 50% of their annual business entirely through referrals 88% of buyers claim they would use the same agent or refer them The average real estate agent earns 42% of their business through referrals 82% of ALL real estate transactions are from REFERRALS! You need to plan carefully when marketing to past clients. Instead of sending them current market updates, Amarki recommends including newsletters relevant to them focusing on DIY projects, local events or home and landscaping trends. Sending personalized emails for holidays or the anniversary of their move will let them know you value their relationship beyond just the close. 6. Use Automation Maintaining connections with your leads and clients is critical to move your business forward. Adding an automated email system triggered by customer behaviors, or adding a tool that allows for scheduling, will free up your time to focus on growing your business. Use automation where possible, but always remember, personalization is the key to more conversions and can increase the return on investment of your email marketing campaigns. Bonus Tip: Leveraging a tool like Amarki will keep all your marketing in one place allowing you to create, schedule and deploy all your marketing campaigns in three easy steps! Learn more about Amarki and register for your account by clicking here.
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3 Problems and Solutions Trending in the New Housing Market
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Spot-on CMAs
As a REALTOR, your clients hire you for many reasons: your experience and expertise, educated guidance and advice, your local market knowledge, and help guiding them through the process. One other big reason is your ability to price a property. That's where knowing how to put together a solid CMA comes in. A CMA (comparative market analysis) is a process agents use to establish home values and set listing prices. You create CMAs by looking at comps (short for comparable properties). These comps are similar properties, mostly in the same neighborhood, and tend to have the same square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, features, upgrades, etc. You want to compare things that are equal, or at least as equal as possible, to help price your listing. Creating a spot-on CMA is crucial to your skills and success. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do it in RPR. How to Create a CMA Start at the RPR homepage by visiting narrpr.com. Then switch the toggle to "Residential" and type the address of your subject property. If you don't have that, RPR will also search by APN. Once you've executed your search, you'll arrive on the Property Details page. Under the property map/photos, you'll see the Realtor Valuation Model® (RVM®). The RVM estimates displayed in RPR are the product of multiple Automated Valuation Models, each uses proprietary algorithms and arrives at its own estimate. The analytic goes beyond the traditional automated value by incorporating listing and sales data into the equation. The RVM can be a great starting point for pricing discussions with clients. The RVM is accompanied by a 5-star Confidence Score. A confidence score of 5 indicates that the different automated valuation models yield similar estimates for this property. Building Your CMA Now let's move on to the CMA to further determine the price. From the Property Details page, click Create CMA. You'll arrive at the CMA tab with a 5-step wizard to guide you through the process. In the first step, press the blue Confirm Facts link on the CMA page. This is where you'll confirm the basic property characteristics for your subject property such as living area and number of rooms. These characteristics will also be used in the search for comparable properties in the next step. The facts you change are highlighted in blue. Once you've made your changes, select Confirm Facts & Close. A checkmark and confirmation will appear where you've completed the first step. Searching for Comparable Properties Otherwise, select the second radio button, Search an area for several properties, to enter the search criteria for our comparable properties. You'll notice the criteria auto-populates based upon the subject property's characteristics, but you can easily change it to meet your needs. Narrow your search based on sales timeframe, property status (active listing, off-market, recently sold), distressed status, beds, and baths or living area, and many other parameters to really fine-tune your search. To add geographic search restrictions, use the search tools directly above the map, such as Use a Custom Area or Use a Geography. After choosing Search, the results will be displayed below the map. Comps returned in this search that were also used in the RVM® calculation are flagged with a blue star, but are not weighted differently than any other comparable property. Now check each of the properties you want to include in your analysis. As you select each comparable property, it will be added to the list of selected comps in the sidebar. Once you are satisfied with your comp selection, choose Update Valuation and Close. The average price of your comps will appear at Step 2, with the ability to edit if you want to make any changes to your comp selection. Make Adjustments to the CMA Next we'll adjust the comparable properties as they relate to the subject property. Here the comps you selected are presented in a grid. Specify which order you'd like them to appear in your reports. Choose from the dropdown to change the order. These sliders allow you to rate each comp relative to the subject property. Decide whether the property is worse, the same, or better than your subject property. Your changes are previewed on this page, so you can see their effect before you complete them. Select Update Valuation and Close once you are done with your adjustments. Your adjustments will now show on Step 3, with the ability to edit this result, if you choose. The final step before generating the Seller's Report is to review the results of your analysis. If needed, you can override the supplied valuation. To do that, simply enter your own value or round the suggested price up or down. Also, choose to keep the value range, or edit/remove altogether. If you bypass this step, the comp analysis result from step three will appear in your report. The result will also appear on the Summary tab of the Property Details page. If you complete step 4, the new value and range will appear in those locations. Create Your Seller Report Now you're ready to generate the Seller's Report. Select Create Report to be directed to the Reports Generation page. The Seller's Report showcases the subject property, condition of the local market, comparable properties, and pricing strategy. Select the "+" symbol to expand the report details section. Now choose which elements to include or omit in the report based on your seller's specific needs. For example, you may choose to suppress the estimated value for the subject property and/or the estimated value for the comparable properties. Next, on the right side of the page, choose which cover page elements to include. Now personalize your report if you intend to send this directly to your client. Choose your delivery method and select Run Report. Now you have a perfectly priced property with the best deliverable to send to your client! As you can see, RPR can really help you in determining property valuations and creating killer CMAs. Watch the Video! Pricing a property with RPR To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Texting: One of an Agent's Greatest Tools
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How to Blog: What to Write About
Creating and maintaining a blog is a lot of work, but there are still a lot of busy real estate agents who take the time to hash out new content each week. Have you ever wondered why? It's because of leads. Blog content is an ideal way to work relevant local keywords, backlinks, and other content search engines can pick up on into your website so that you can show up in search results. Blog content is also a helpful way to provide buyers and sellers in your area with information demonstrating you are the local expert. So, yes, blogging is important. But what should you write about? Real Estate Content As a real estate agent, real estate content is obviously going to be very important on your blog. Just remember to balance it out with other types of content rather than relying on it as your main content type. When choosing real estate relevant topics, think about the kind of information that will help buyers and sellers get ready transact. Buyers may enjoy information about improving their credit, different types of loans, and tools to help them figure out how much they can afford to pay for a home. Popular seller topics may include information about getting their home ready to sell, staging, and what to expect from the home selling process. Neighborhood value trends and information highlighting recent sales and pricing trends in your area are also great information to share with buyers and sellers. Local Content Adding fresh, unique local content to your website is one of the best moves you can make if you want to improve your rankings in search results and attract more leads. Information about local news and events, upcoming roadwork, area attractions, school information, restaurant recommendations, and things to do are all popular subjects that can position you as the local expert and attract potential buyers and sellers to your blog. Try to make local content a fairly large part of your content calendar to attract more top of funnel real estate leads. As they get used to accessing your content for their day-to-day information needs, your blog will become the obvious source of information when they start thinking about buying or selling a home. General Content To get the best results from your blog, you'll want to keep past clients in mind when you prepare content. DIY projects, home-improvement ideas, and maintenance schedules are a great way to keep your past clients coming back to your blog so you can capitalize on any referrals and repeat business they have to offer. You can also include ideas about activities, projects, and hobbies in with your content to provide more interesting content topics. Holiday/Occasion Content Holidays and special occasions generate a lot of web searches around the time of the occasion. You can capitalize on those searches to pull more traffic to your blog and social channels. Some occasions like graduations, weddings, or the birth of a child may signal possible interest in making a move or buying a home while holidays like Christmas, Mother's Day, and New Years can generate massive traffic opportunities if you create the right hook. Whatever the holiday or occasion, be sure to promote your content on social media to help it attract attention at the right time. Free Resources Consistently posting fresh, original content on your blog is a great way to attract new readers, but whether they visit from a link on your social channels, search results, or because you told someone about the blog and they decided to check it out, you're dependent on them choosing to come to your blog. However, you can take charge and take initiative to reach out to your audience if you get their email addresses. That's where free resources come in. People like free things. Offer special guides, checklists, and other downloads to people who sign up to receive your newsletter or emails. You can find a large variety of personalizable consumer guides you can add your information to in the Homes.com Consumer Resources library, or you can create and share your own guides. While you're checking out the free consumer guide, you may also want to grab your free copy of 300 Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels. It has specific holiday, real estate, and general topic ideas for your blog and social networks. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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