You are viewing our site as an Agent, Switch Your View:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default
How to Inject Creative Life Into Your Emails
We all need fresh inspiration from time to time in our lives. Whether it's in our personal lives or our professional responsibilities, sometimes the monotony of routine can start to wear on you. The same goes for a marketing strategy, with email being the one marketing channel that can sometimes feel like a complete hit or miss. Far too often, marketing plans get stuck in a set-it-and-forget-it template and start to grow stagnant – and your ROI starts to suffer. Here are three areas in your email marketing where you can get creative as a real estate agent and inject your personality into how you communicate. 1. Throw a party Let's face it – everyone loves a party, even more so when they aren't the ones hosting it. Client appreciation events do exactly what their name entails; they are for you to appreciate your clientele – while also looking to deepen your existing relationships. Hosting a party has all the makings of a creative angle for promoting it. Make sure you give yourself enough lead up time to let people know about your event, planning it and building your guest list. This allows for a series of emails to go out in a drip campaign hyping it up, and reminder emails as well. Hint: Suggest that they "bring a friend," which will then allow you to add them to your database and expand your referral numbers for future follow-up. Hey – the more the merrier! 2. Celebrate an Anniversary Personalized email marketing is the trick to cutting through an overloaded inbox. Whether it was a prospect you met two years ago, or a lifelong friend, people LOVE when they are remembered. The trick to doing this is to jot down any and every key point you had from their last conversation. Pick up on birthdays, wedding anniversaries, graduations and move-in anniversaries to log them into your CRM. It is truly unbelievable how far follow-up on key dates like this can go, because it shows that you care and that you pay attention to the smaller details in their life. It's also an easy and mighty way to stay top of mind when they're in the market for a real estate professional. 3. Host a Fundraiser This pairs well with the party aspect, because people like to rally behind a fundraiser in their community that supports a great local cause. You could: Host a BBQ as a fundraiser and request attendees to donate old clothes. Design a road hockey tournament with proceeds going towards sponsoring a youth sports team or club. Volunteer you time serving at a local restaurant, with proceeds going to your preferred local charity. Host a food truck event to raise money. Plan a community bake sale to bring together the neighborhood. All proceeds from the baked goods going to charity. How to make your emails stand out Now that we've outlined three ideas on what to base your email campaigns around, it's time to breathe life into these emails. When looking to inject personality into your email marketing strategy, remember that it's important to know your audience and tailor your content and messaging towards their proper segment. For instance, the email copy for a 25-year-old prospect won't be the same as a 60-year-old newly retired couple – the message has to meet the demographic. This is why having a real estate CRM is crucial because it allows you to segment these different personas and design drip campaigns to cater to the respective siloes. Here are some tips to help make your message pierce through the screen: Use GIFs GIFs, or Graphics Interchange Format, are image files that support both animated and static images. GIFs are easy to consume, they catch your eye, and they have an emotional impact. Everyone has seen enough cat GIFs flooding their social media—but, remember, this type of media really resonates with the Millennial generation and could be hit or miss with an older demographic. It's good to try new things – but make sure you know your audience will actually consume it. More Visuals, Less Text Let your visuals tell the story and feed all of the information through them. Remember, visual content generates up to 94% more views on your posts – take advantage of what that statistic is telling you. Film it While video has long been seen as an expensive and time-consuming marketing practice, the truth is that is doesn't have to be. With BombBomb, you can easily record videos and insert them into your emails by filming with the video recorder. Try this: instead of typing everything you want to convey into an email, write it out as a script for yourself and film yourself on your computer! It's a much more intimate and compelling way to personalize your message, and helps put a face behind your message. No matter how creative you choose to get with your emails, all roads lead back to having a high-powered CRM to help you launch the campaign and measure its effectiveness. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
MORE >
97% of Cold Calling is a Waste of Time
Let's warm up those cold tactics with some new insights into increasing your lead generation abilities. A good start is the idea of a hiring a person that is dedicated to making those outbound efforts. Inside Sales Agents, or ISAs, have long been considered a crucial role on successful real estate teams. Hiring an Inside Sales Agent in Real Estate As your business grows, you can quickly begin to feel stretched. You and your team may have difficulties finding time to prospect or responding fast enough to leads, so your pipeline and conversion rates can suffer. Hiring an ISA ensures a dedicated person is generating and converting leads in the office while you and your agents are running the rest of your business. This hire allows you and your team members to focus on your core roles, and they are typically charged with uploading all of the contact information and conversation notes into your database. This frees your team up from most admin tasks, so for example, buyer's agents don't have to worry with anything administrative other than writing up a contract. The ISA role can vary with experience and job expectations. There are countless pay structures and compensation models to match each unique ISA role. However, the first thing you need to do before hiring is calculate the ROI. It doesn't make sense to hire an ISA for cold-calling purposes if you aren't generating more deals (i.e., money). Here's a handy cost breakdown guide for your real estate business: Again, this is just a model. Lots of real estate businesses employ and pay ISAs differently. The main objective of this is to ensure positive revenue from hiring an Inside Sales Agent. Turn Cold Calling into Smart Prospecting Let's flip that terrible stat. Here's how to turn 97% wastefulness into 80% productivity. Taking a good look at your communication strategies can do some real good for your success rate. It's critical to be informed about your leads, their interests, and to hit them with timely and relevant information. Imagine the following message from a real estate agent: Hi, my name is Chad and I'm calling to see if you're interested in buying a house. How likely are you to respond with anything else than, "No, I'm not interested," or with "I'm just looking." Not only are success rates of cold calls low, but they typically cost your business 60% more. Now, let's examine a more tailored approach: Hi Susie! I noticed you were looking at homes in downtown Charleston, and if you have a free moment this week, I can show you a couple houses of interest. What do you say? Two things changed in this scenario. First, the real estate agent is addressing the lead by name. He knows who he is calling. Second, he knows what Susie is looking for. By tailoring your message to the interests and behavior of your leads, you increase your chances of a positive sale. In fact, you're 51% more likely to achieve your sales numbers and 80% more productive. Using a Real Estate CRM for Smart Prospecting It's critical to have information about your leads at your fingertips. This means utilizing powerful software and the latest technology to make your prospecting so much more effective. By compiling a list of who the leads are, what areas/price points they're looking at and their timeline, you immediately have a "warm" list of leads to call. You know where to start the conversation and your sales effectiveness rises. This means you can easily create tailored messages to large groups of leads for smarter outreach. Talk about productivity!  The Power of Texting vs. Calling Just a few years ago, InsideSales.com did a study revealing agents who called newly registered leads within five minutes were more likely to turn them into a closed deal. However, a troubling statistic shows that only 5-10% of people pick up the phone. Even with email, you can only expect a 20% open rate. However, with texting, 90% of people both open and respond to texts within five minutes. That is a serious game-changer! A Multi-Channel Strategy for Prospecting Using multiple forms of outreach in your marketing efforts can generate much more success in prospecting. The right CRM will let you implement plans that incorporate calls, texts, and emails, and every interaction will be automatically logged in the system so you can stay on top of to-dos and know exactly where each leads stands in the process. Here's a sample template for a basic smart prospecting plan: Call within the first five minutes if possible. This is important since you or your customer team could potentially speak with them while they are still on your site and explain further valuable search tools on the website. Answer: Ask the most important question. Doesn't Answer: Leave a voicemail (scroll down for suggestions). If the lead does not answer, you can send a text message (scroll down for suggestions) and continue to call at a steady, but subtle, rate over the next few weeks. If you have an email address, your lead also needs to be on a drip email plan. Touch Phone Call Example Scripts: This situation would occur if a lead registered on your site or a third-party site with at least their name and contact information. This example assumes you have basic information about what they are looking for. Questions: Hi, may I speak with [First Name]? How are you today? I received your contact info from your recent registration on my site, and I wanted to follow up with you quickly in case you had any questions about any of the homes you were browsing through. When are you looking to buy? I can set you up for eAlerts so you are the first to find out about new listings that fit your preferences. Even if you don't want to buy now, it's always good to see what's out there in your price range. Are you still interested in the [area name] around [price point of the home they were looking at]? If so, are you working with an agent already? I actually have an area expert for the neighborhood you are looking in. He/She can fill you in on the market for that area, can they give you a quick call later? Answers: Yes: Sounds good! Is this the best number to reach you? No: Is there a better time for me to reach you? No, don't call: Would you prefer email? I can arrange them so they only come as often as you like with the listings in your price range and area. No, don't contact me: I completely understand. Definitely take advantage of the site's search tools and if you see anything you want more information on in the future, we are here to help! First-touch Voicemail Script: Hi [first name], this is [your name] calling from [your company name]. I wanted to quickly check in and make sure you didn't have any further questions about the properties on our website. If so, I would love to help you get a temp of the area you are looking in. My number is [your number here], and I look forward to speaking with you soon. First-touch Text Script: If you don't receive an answer to the first phone call, it's always a good idea to send a follow-up text. Hey [first name]! Wanted to quickly follow-up with your visit to [your website name here] to see if you would be interested in chatting with our agent who has worked in that area for awhile. When are you looking to buy? Next Steps: Continue conversation with more qualifying questions and attempts to schedule a call. Alternative Tactic: Social Selling Hands down, people spend the majority of their time on social media — whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. These channels are windows into who your leads are, what they're interested in, and even what they're complaining about. This gives you an unfiltered view into what they need, and an easy opportunity to place yourself at the front of their consideration. With a quick message or response, you can easily spark a conversation that turns into a $300k home deal. Being Effective at Real Estate Lead Generation Cold calling is a waste of time. Personalized messages are king when it comes to selling. Keep in mind, the homebuyer (or seller) already has a ton of information at their disposal. They don't need to be sold on what they want — they already know what they want! They want to know that you're going to provide personalized service for them. Hence, smart prospecting. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
MORE >
FBI Negotiating Skills Every Real Estate Agent Should Know
MORE >
6 Ideas for Dealing with Unrealistic Real Estate Clients
You've met them before--homebuyers that have the taste for champagne, but the budget for beer. How can you effectively assist that client without telling them what they want is something they can't afford? 1. Show Them a Few Homes that Fit Their Criteria Nothing can be quite effective as a quick awakening by sticker shock. Don't beat around the bush; show them the homes that fit their criteria. Always be solution-oriented and share some homes that possess a few of the features they require. 2. Show Them a List of Homes that Fit Their Budget If you want to avoid the pain of ripping off a Band-aid, maybe just show them homes within their budget. They might be okay with missing out on one or two of their preferred features in order to live comfortably within their means. 3. Sit Down with Them and Show Them the MLS If they really don't believe you, you can show them what it's like from a real estate agent's point of view. Some real estate clients will appreciate a straight-forward and honest perspective. 4. Show Them Recently Sold Homes and Their Closing Prices Something that homebuyers and sellers can't do through a public search is see what homes recently sold for. Even more than that, they won't know why homes sold for that much. You being the expert at real estate can explain to them the nuances of why two three-bedroom homes on the same street sold for two different prices. 5. Give Them Options Always have a solution. Don't let your clients have buyer's remorse or, worse, give you a bad review for having to "settle" with a home that they are not big fans of. There are plenty of financial options like family loans, cashing in on 401Ks, etc. 6. Understand Their Wants and Needs The market might not support the criteria at the pricepoint they can afford, so to best help your client sit down with them. Find out what they want and need. By digging deeper, you can come to a good resolution. For example, maybe you'll uncover that the features they want are very important, but they can compromise on location. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
MORE >
3 Zoom Tips to Look 10x More Professional
MORE >
Friday Freebie: Buyer's Cheat Sheet to Winning in Low Inventory Markets
Your home buyer clients have probably heard the term "seller's market" in the news, but do they really know what it means? It's more than simple difficulty in finding a home--buying in a seller's market means being outbid, needing to act quickly and assertively… and preparing for potential heartbreak. What that means for you, as the buyer's agent, is managing your client's expectations and preparing them to compete in today's market. That's easier said than done, however, and that's why we're highlighting a cheat sheet for helping your buyers win in a low inventory market. Read on to learn how to claim this free download. Free copy of How to Win in Low-inventory Markets: The Buyer's Cheat Sheet, courtesy of Zurple Stressed-out buyers mean a stressed-out buyer's agent—and nobody wants that! Help soothe your buyers' frustrations in today's market with this free cheat sheet from Zurple. Here's what you'll find inside: Explanations for what's causing the current seller's market Advice for preparing your buyer for a competitive market How to develop a competitive-advantage offer strategy What NOT to do with your buyer Buyer's agent scripts Bonus tips for helping your buyer and finding more inventory And more! Ready to help your buyers get a leg-up in today's market? Download your FREE copy of How to Win in Low-inventory Markets: The Buyer's Cheat Sheet now!
MORE >
How to Create a Killer Real Estate Content Calendar
MORE >
Friday Freebie: Cheat Sheet for Talking Sellers Off the Fence
There are a lot of reasons that homeowners today are reluctant to sell--they're afraid they won't find a new home to buy, they like their current mortgage rate, etc. How you respond to their objections could win you a shiny new listing. But what if you're unsure of your powers of persuasion? Lean on this week's Friday Freebie—a cheat sheet designed to help you talk reluctant sellers off the fence. Free Download of the 2021 Home Seller Cheat Sheet, courtesy of Zurple It's a great time to sell a home, and a great time to be a listing agent...if you can find a listing. People are staying in their current homes longer than ever and many are reluctant to sell. You may even be talking with homeowners who are toying with the idea of selling, but aren't quite convinced. How do you convince them? Zurple's 2021 Home Seller Cheat Sheet to the rescue! This free download offers information you can reference to help persuade homeowners to sell, including: Common seller objections and how to overcome them Statistics, information, and articles to motivate sellers off the fence Tactics for convincing owners to sell (like recommending contract contingencies) Processes and strategies for selling during COVID-19 And more! You can use this cheat while on the phone with a seller, on a Zoom call, or even keep it on your phone to reference anytime you need it. You'll always have the perfect comeback to any objection ready when you download the 2021 Home Seller Cheat Sheet!
MORE >
7 Emails You Need to Send to Real Estate Leads
MORE >
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.
MORE >
Sharpen Up Your Real Estate Copy
MORE >
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.
MORE >
The Ultimate Script for Reconnecting with Past Real Estate Clients
MORE >
Staying in Touch vs. Spamming Too Much
I do love Father's Day. These days, one of the greatest treats is spending time with family. I also got a few text messages from close friends--I sent a few, too. But this morning, my inbox was littered with "Happy Father's Day" greetings from CRMs. What do you think happened next? As I went through them, I noticed a few things. First of all, it seems like the most popular CRMs used by agents either only have one Father's Day greeting in the drip system, or it was just the most popular choice among agents. I had lots of duplicates of the same greeting; honestly, it made the entire thing seem insincere. I also noticed that there was nothing personal about it. None of the agents took the time to share anything about themselves – like a child's graduation or maybe summer activities that they are enjoying, etc. The greeting was nothing more than a form letter. Moreover, I am certain that I did not subscribe to their marketing campaign. After deleting a few emails, I changed my behavior and started hitting the unsubscribe button. I am sure that agents across America found a bunch of unsubscribe notices in their inbox this morning – depleted databases. The great unsolved challenge for real estate professionals is cracking the code to staying in touch with the people in their database. Every year, the National Association of REALTORS® publishes research that indicates that over 90% of consumers would use their Realtor in a future transaction. Only about 20% of consumers actually use their Realtor again. In addition, agents claim that about 50% of transactions comes from past clients and referrals. All of that research points to the leaky bucket of client retention. Here are a few areas of opportunity that may plug some of the holes: Use tags in CRM to indicate as many things as you know about this person. Develop customer personas. It is a lot of work, but it will make a difference because it will allow the right message to go to the right person, at the right time. Match and append the CRM database to keep it up to date. Services like Aidentified not only complete customer contact records, but they also monitor for life events. Send sincere messages to people that you know. The average agent has 397 people in their database. Sending a real note to 50 or 100 of them would be far better than spamming them all. If you do not know the person that well, tell them about what Father's day means to you and the traditions you have in your family – or favorite places to go in your community and things to do on Father's day. Do good. Give money to a charity in your local community that helps children who are fatherless. Use humor. Top 10 Father's Day disasters – you can easily find that stuff with a Google search. One friend sent me a text of a dad in a canoe with his young son. The dad was paddling, and the son was playing in the water. Then the son fell in the water and dad scooped him up and put him back in the boat and continued paddling as though it never happened. It was awesome. Another one showed a dad at the zoo with his son and daughter. The son was giving food to a giraffe who then picked the son up in the air because the boy did not let go of the leaf. The dad grabbed the son – amazing. Don't send the email. If you do not have the time or inspiration to send an email that is good enough, don't send it at all. All the agents who have me in their database that made this decision did not get their email address blocked. Sometimes that is a win. Happy Father's Day I had a great Father's Day weekend and I hope you did as well. Marilyn, Alexandra and I went to Lake Nacimiento. It is a reservoir and campground in northern San Luis Obispo County where we keep our boat. Alexandra invited a few friends up to join us. It reminded me that Father's Day is not so great for some kids; but in some way, I think they enjoyed joining our family. We had a good time and some of us got a little too much sun. Alexandra's wake surfing skills are getting pretty good. The water situation in California is real. The lake is down below 30% capacity and drops a foot or two every day. July 4th may be the last weekend on the boat this year – which is pretty sad. The boat and the camper were the things that allowed us all to keep our sanity during the COVID lockdown. We are going to need to find some new fun-filled family activities for late summer. Maybe an agent will send me a few inspiring ideas. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
MORE >
How to Write the Perfect Real Estate Agent Bio
MORE >
Texting: One of an Agent's Greatest Tools
It wasn't that long ago when most phone service providers enforced strict limits on text messages. Most users could send 500 or even just 100 a month. Now, such rules are unthinkable -- the average American sends and receives around 85 texts a day. With 96% of all U.S. adults owning a cell phone, virtually everyone sends and receives texts. What's more, the average text message is read within three minutes. Those facts are of great interest to relationship-driven industries like real estate. Seventy-five percent of consumers surveyed say they are okay with receiving texts from brands. With its astonishing 90% open rate, texting shows signs of giving email a run for its money as the marketing technique with the lowest costs and highest campaign ROI. If you're not using text marketing yet, it's not too late — but now's definitely the time to start! The Benefits of Texting for Real Estate Professionals Real estate is all about relationships. Once you incorporate it into your workflow, text marketing is a natural extension of that mindset. From leads to clients to former customers, all can benefit from and respond to texting. Let's consider some of the top advantages: 1. Texting is Personal The great majority of texts are legitimate, one-to-one communications from the people your leads genuinely want to hear from. When contacts opt in, they invite you into a much more casual and personal space than their email box. You, in turn, can speak to them with clarity and authenticity, making a real connection. 2. Texting is Responsive Real estate pros have long understood the faster you can respond to a lead's first attempt to reach out, the more likely you are to get an appointment scheduled. Texting allows you to answer others even faster than a phone call. Plus, you can do it without completely interrupting the flow of your busy workday. 3. Texting is Universal Consider the stats above — 96% of American adults have a cell phone. They don't need the latest fancy Apple smartphone to send and receive texts. Even the simplest phones with the most budget-friendly plans can generally receive unlimited texts. You never have to make any assumptions about your contact's technology. 4. Texting Uses Automation Effectively Some marketing techniques, like email, are a natural fit for automation. Others, like a phone call, had better be done manually. Text messaging falls somewhere between the extremes. While a personal text is often the best bet, you can automate certain "event-based" texts, and they will still feel perfectly natural. Text Message Marketing: From Beginner to Advanced If you use texts in your day-to-day life, you have skills that will serve you well in text marketing. For example: It is okay to use contractions, emojis, and even let a typo slip through if it fits your personal style Don't bombard your contacts with a lot of text messages without letting them get in a response Avoid texts late at night or before morning coffee unless it's an emergency for a current client Don't forget to check your own texts a few times a day — they are now part of your work life The key to text messaging is context. If you send messages only when it makes sense, you'll avoid having contacts opt out. Texting is a two-way street: your goal is to combine great timing with interesting content that will get recipients to respond more often. To do that, you need to know your clients well. Let's look at ideas for taking texting to the next level: Automate Your Initial Opt-In TextsTo stay on the right side of the law, it's crucial to ensure contacts affirmatively opt in for ongoing texts. You can automate this process using CRM data, ensuring that open house attendees and those who register for updates on your local listings receive an opt-in invitation right away — when they're most likely to consent. Make It Easy to Set Appointments by TextMany people prefer the convenience of text to the rigmarole of a phone call. Some people dodge phone calls to avoid high-pressure sales situations. By texting leads a link to a scheduling app, they can put themselves on your calendar in a low-friction environment. Ask Questions in Your TextsEvery time you get a response to a text, you open the door to extending that relationship. The best way to incorporate questions is to make them meaningful, like "What do you like most about the house you just toured?" Most recipients prefer to dash off an answer rather than risk seeming rude. DeltaNET customers have the opportunity to deploy text messaging campaigns with confidence from right within our high-performance, AI-driven real estate CRM. RE Technology readers can try it FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
MORE >
Real Estate Prospecting Letter Examples and Tips
MORE >
Discussing Flood Risk With Your Client Is More Important Than Ever. Here's How to Do It.
Most REALTORS® are rarely at a loss for words. Yet, when it comes to the complexity of flood risk and flood insurance, it's not unusual to get "tongue-tied." We've simplified it, allowing you to be more knowledgeable, confident, and comfortable in framing the discussion—one that is increasingly important in the current market. Here's a suggested WORKING DRAFT OF MESSAGES for your client: When looking at the total cost of ownership, we need to assess flood risk and the need for flood insurance—and include it into our search criteria. And given this market is hot, we are going to want to have a wide net of properties to look at—and with that is more risk overall. With more and more severe storms, every property is at risk now—it's just a matter of low, medium or high risk. "It's not just a coastal issue, it is projected all over," states this article. And given that this is one of the most important investments you will be making, it is important to assess the risk of a potential flood for today—and for tomorrow. There are four key steps we need to take: First: Let's learn the language and the facts. This eBook is a great FREE resource, and it demystifies the entire flood question. English | Spanish For example: Did you know that flood insurance is NOT covered in your homeowners insurance and it is its own, separate policy?! Second: Let's read up on the changes that are happening with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as of October 1, 2021 regarding how they price flood insurance risk. Third: For the properties you want to tour, let's take a CartoFront quote (available currently for Miami REALTORS®) so that we know accurately what flood zone a property is on, and estimated flood insurance options comparing NFIP and a private insurance carrier. Fourth: When we are ready to put an offer in, let's take the CartoFront quote to a licensed insurance agent knowledgeable in flood insurance and get a bindable insurance quote so we know the total cost of annual insurance premium. We want to plan for the best, yet prepare (and protect) for the worst. Having this discussion allows us to rule in / rule out options based on facts, risks, costs. If you are interested in learning more, access our free eBook: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Flood Insurance* (*But Were Afraid To Ask) Or, Join our weekly, free REALTOR® training on Tuesdays at noon EDT. Sign Up Here. Note: Tuesday, April 27 training in Spanish. Sign Up Here (Spanish) CartoFront is a technology services company that is simplifying flood insurance for REALTORS®, their clients, and insurance agents.
MORE >
Virtual Networking Ideas for Real Estate Agents
MORE >
5 Ways to Improve Cold Calling Real Estate Prospects
With the economy slowly opening back up, business is booming for many Realtors. Some may have used pandemic downtime as an opportunity to improve their online presence. Some may have used this to practice their cold calling skills. If you did not practice your phone skills, this article is for you. Here are five ways to improve cold calling real estate prospects:
MORE >
Asking: the Secret to Getting More Reviews
MORE >
Craft Great Email Subject Lines
Email marketing is essential to real estate success, and its importance is growing. According to the National Association of Realtors, Millennials are now the cohort most likely to be buying a home. A full 73% of those surveyed said that email is their preferred approach for business communication. Social media and text messaging are valuable methods, but email marketing remains the central pillar of relationship management. Real estate agents have learned to love email drip campaigns for two big reasons: Email combines automation with a personal touch to build relationships over weeks or even months You can reach thousands of contacts for pennies a month, giving email $42 ROI for each $1 spent Of all the things to know about email marketing, the best one to focus on is simple: The subject line. Why Email Subject Lines Are So Important You might spend more time on your email subject line than any other aspect of your message. Yes, every part of an email works together to reach your conversion goals. But it all relies on the effectiveness of your email subject line. Experts have found anywhere from 35% to 49% of email recipients open a message based on the subject line alone. Your subject line leads to the click, the read, and ultimately, the site visit. Luckily, you don't have to be Hemingway to craft email subject lines that work. Follow these best practices to get off to a strong start: Use Your Contact's First Name Here's a trick if you're emailing a specific client. Subject lines that include the reader's first name — first name personalization in marketer lingo — are more likely to be opened than those that don't. Just be sure your email list reflects the preferred name the contact uses in day-to-day life. Even if you collect last names, they're not necessary for your email subjects. Keep Subject Lines Short (Usually) About 46% of all emails will be opened on a mobile device, so it's a good idea to keep subject lines short: 5-7 words. When you are more comfortable writing subjects, you can bend this rule: Longer subject lines that trail off into the start of your email text can be enticing: "Bob, check out these homes that match your ..." Use Past Conversations to Your Advantage Your leads and clients will provide plenty of data you can use to write helpful, informative emails. But there are few things more powerful than referencing past conversations and showing insight into your reader's needs and preferences. "Sally, this home reminded me of you" is an exciting subject line – if it is accurate! Use (But Don't Overuse) Urgency Many leads will take months before they jump into a transaction, waiting for the best market conditions to come into focus. But we all know waiting too long is just as bad as jumping in too quickly. "These homes won't last long" or "Best mortgage interest rates in years" are subject lines that put this in perspective. Ask a Question Questions are the most natural way to generate curiosity about your email. They're especially effective when they bring to mind something the reader wants to know but has been afraid to ask: "Do you know what your neighbor's house is worth?" Or prompt a response: "What did you think of [address of recent open house]?" What to Avoid in Email Subject Lines Mass unsubscribes after an email are more likely to be caused by its subject line than any other factor. Scrap any subject line similar to these: "You forgot this" E-commerce brands in particular love "you forgot this" and variants as a way of getting people to return to their abandoned shopping carts. However, advice-centered professionals can be guilty of this one, too. Any subject line that implies a mistake or oversight on the reader's part is unlikely to make the right impression. "My lawyer wants to talk to you" Yes, this is a real subject line from a real drip campaign — the topic turned out to be some deal "so good it should be a crime." It should come as no surprise that even if this achieves a 100% open rate, stark terror is no way to prepare someone for your message. Bait and switch subject lines can lose subscribers fast. "[emoji] [emoji] [emoji]" Practically overnight, all popular email clients became capable of using emojis in subject lines. While some brands are using them to seem more relatable, the latest research suggests the opposite: Emojis "increase negative sentiment" and "do not increase the likelihood of an email being opened." DeltaNET customers harness the power of our all-in-one, AI-driven real estate CRM to automate email communications. Even the most sophisticated campaigns can be launched at the push of a button — and you'll get instant insights on how each email performs. Try it FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
MORE >
Integrating 'The Flood Discussion' into Your Real Estate Practice
MORE >
The Newest Tool for Your Real Estate Business: Clubhouse
Social media is always changing and with that, new social media channels are developing. Most recently, a new, open-conversation social media platform was created: Clubhouse. Clubhouse is not your standard social media platform and is purely conversational. Many popular real estate agents have already taken to the new social media platform to run open rooms with topics from navigating a tough market all the way to helping your clients understand the value in their home. After reading this, you should be ready to check out Clubhouse for yourself and use it in your business to gain some knowledge.
MORE >
Your Script to Cold Call Landlords During COVID
MORE >
5 Different Real Estate Emails to Schedule Ahead of Time
Do you ever wish you had more time on your hands? You can get more of this much needed resource by utilizing this time saving hack: scheduling emails. In this article, we list a few different emails you can schedule ahead of time to help ease your workload.
MORE >
Real Estate Content Marketing: 5 Easy Tips to Follow
MORE >
Direct Message Marketing on Social Media Is Wrong
If you are like me, you get direct messages on LinkedIn every day with offers to help you grow your business. Some of them are from people or companies that you know, and others are spam from people or companies that you do not know. The come in like this:
MORE >
[Best of 2020] Friday Freebie: Download a COVID-19 Postcard and Reach Out to Your Sphere
MORE >
[Best of 2020] 10 Thank You Notes That Will Generate Business
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in March and is #4 in our countdown. See #5 here. Amid non-stop e-mails and social media bombarding everyone each day, there is a powerful answer to help you stand out above the noise. How can you make an impact that is both remembered and generates additional business for you? It is the power of the handwritten "Thank You" card. Yes, Thank You via e-mail is so much easier. Yet, it is not the same. By setting up a system to send out handwritten Thank You cards, you will see a positive difference in your real estate business. The handwritten Thank You card is not something new and has been a tool for the success of many of the top agents in the country involved in real estate for decades.
MORE >
[Best of 2020] Are You Unknowingly Encouraging Sellers to List as FSBOs?
MORE >
Real Estate Scripts and How to Use Them
Scripts are essential for any client-facing business. They're used across industries and occupations, from sales to customer service. A tried-and-tested script boosts confidence when speaking, keeps messaging consistent, and helps the business respond faster and at scale. Every agent needs an arsenal of real estate scripts that cover the gamut of common situations, from reaching out to a new lead to asking a past client to write a Google review. If you don't already have a variety of go-to scripts, now is the time to get started.
MORE >
Lost in Translation: A Realtor's Guide to Working with Remote Clients
MORE >
Increase Your Online Success: Top Reasons to Have a Business Email Address
Your digital presence speaks loudly to how well you are perceived. As an entrepreneur and real estate professional, having a business email is part of the cost of operating your business. Many real estate agents will place their priorities on creating a website, brochures, direct mail pieces and business cards. Then, the momentum stops when it is time to include a paid business email address. A well thought-out business email address serves you in many ways. Your business email address can increase your credibility, as well as your email open and response rates. A business email address also improves brand recognition, decreases unsubscribes, and more easily passes through spam filters.
MORE >
Put the Power of Text Message Marketing to Work for You
MORE >
Test Your Tech Term Knowledge: 8 Terms Emerge with the COVID-19 Outbreak
The World Economic Forum and others have examined the intersection of technology and the coronavirus. Here are a few technologies -- and terms -- that have emerged or become more popularized with the onset of COVID-19. Test your knowledge on how well you know each of these:
MORE >
Discover the Dos and Don'ts of Text Marketing for Real Estate
MORE >
Use Storytelling to Build Your Real Estate Brand Online
When you tell a story, every detail matters. The more vibrant the portrait you paint, the more likely the story's receiver becomes invested in its outcome. This fact is true when you're telling a traditional story, and it's equally important in real estate storytelling. The story you tell through your blog, your real estate website, or social media channels is your best opportunity to help shoppers fall in love with your local markets and your business.
MORE >
5 Tips to Creating Calls-to-Action that Work!
MORE >
Navigating Today's Political Climate on Social Media as a Real Estate Agent
Woooo... to say the world has changed would be an understatement. Things that should not be a polarizing issue have had a clear line drawn between them. You want to join in on the conversation because you have strong feelings, but how do you go about doing it without getting "cancelled"? Here are some good practices to follow when it comes to posting on social media as a real estate agent.
MORE >
The Ultimate Zoom Playbook for Lead Generation
MORE >
Are You Unknowingly Encouraging Sellers to List as FSBOs?
A recent Facebook post by a top-producing agent read: "I recommend that all sellers try for sale by owner." I couldn't believe it when I read it, so I read it twice. Yep, that's what it said alright. It just didn't use those words. Here's what it did say: "Congratulations to my clients who received six offers in eight hours. The real estate market is HOT, HOT, HOT!" Potential home sellers might interpret this post as, "Why do I need to pay an agent if the market is so 'HOT, HOT, HOT?' Maybe I should try to sell by myself."
MORE >
Close More Real Estate Deals with Text Messages
MORE >
Is Now a Good Time to List? 5 Reasons to Give Concerned Sellers
Let's cut to the chase. Selling a home has changed dramatically over the past few months. It's no longer as simple as signing documents and getting the space ready for a photographer to grab awesome photos. The question on every seller's mind is, "Should I sell my house right now?" The answer may surprise them. Now may actually be a great time to sell a residence and here are some of the reasons why. Precautionary Measures in Place Real estate boards and associations across the nation have developed extensive checklists filled with new guidelines for real estate professionals to implement and discuss with the seller. Everything from recommending virtual tours and virtual open houses to written instruction on safety measures aims to avoid exposure to COVID-19. Rules and regulations are in place when it comes to protecting the seller's interests. Disclosure forms are available for potential buyers entering the home. These include questions about recent travel and exposure to the virus, as well as the mandatory requirements for sanitizers and facemasks during all showings. You can set healthy boundaries for those entering the house. Build trust by ensuring compliance with comprehensive safety protocols. Great Interest Rates! Did you know that mortgage interest rates are at an all-time low? Wow! Borrowing money to purchase a home has become more accessible and that means a whole new demographic of buyers are considering leaving their landlords in favour of owning their residence. Millennials are poised and ready to take the plunge into their first homes. Buyers are surfing the web for low-interest mortgages, visiting the online open house virtual tour options, and are excited to buy. Many lenders are now turning to 3D video tours and drive-by assessments to conduct an appraisal helping to reduce physical contact with the property. Ask and Thou Shalt Receive How can you safely attract a buyer to a property you listed? It starts with communication. An in-depth discussion with your prospective buyers will help them feel more comfortable when considering a property you listed. Make sure you list out the specifics regarding showings and open houses, like how many people are allowed at each viewing or ensuring sanitation of doorknobs and keeping other surfaces touch-free. Other things to discuss should include how you are using current technology such as virtual tours and 3D tours in order to ensure the safety of the buyer. Virtual tours are simply the best way to eliminate a host of on-site visitors to your property before they are pre-qualified. Allowing a buyer to view online floor plans and virtually examine every space means avoiding physical exposure until necessary. Think the property could use some updated furnishings to show it off a little better? Enhancing the space through virtual staging techniques can give that extra pop to highlight specific features and capture the eye of a potential buyer. When Selling Now Is the Only Option Unfortunately, there are circumstances when the time to sell a home is now because of a loss of income or change in personal circumstances such as divorce or illness. Fortunately, there are several things to help get your listing sold quickly. Buyers looking for a "deal" will be more inclined to offer a higher price when the property is presented well. So take advantage of technology tools to add 3D tours, virtual staging, and accurately measured floor plans to your listings. In-person showings and physical open houses continue to be avoided by the consumer. So when your clients are in a must-sell situation, you can make the most out of it by creating an up close and personal feel with virtual tours for your client's property. Statistics Say Something, But Sometimes the Answer Is Muted You keep reading monthly market statistics of how sales and listings are down. But guess what? The market is starting to rebound and that is good news for sellers. What you don't hear about is the growing number of buyers just waiting for your listing to pop up with a virtual tour, showcasing exactly what they are looking for. Whether they are beginning their buyer's journey or have been on the road for a while, buyers are house hunting. Offering an accurate floor plan and 3D tours along with outstanding photos from the real estate photographer will help get your listing added to the sold statistic for next month! To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
MORE >
Want More Listings? Call Your Database and Ask These 4 Questions
MORE >
Friday Freebie: Voicemail Scripts that Convert
You're a proactive agent--when a new lead comes in, you call them ASAP. But what if that hot lead sends you right to voicemail? The message you leave is the first impression you give a prospect. You've got to make it count in order to convert that lead into a new client. That's why in this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a new guide with sample voicemail scripts you can use to make you the Realtor that lead will want to work with. Free download of Voicemail Scripts that Convert, courtesy of Zurple The way you communicate with leads and clients is one crucial aspect of building your sales pipeline. Don't give up on leads just because they send you to voicemail. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to demonstrate your value via an effective message—and then by consistent follow-up. In this new guide from Zurple, you'll discover the basics of crafting voicemails for lead conversions, including: How body language can affect your message (yes, really!) The structure of outgoing and incoming voicemail messages A sample script for leaving a new lead a voicemail A sample script for incoming voicemail messages that convert (i.e., your phone's voicemail greeting) Download Voicemail Scripts that Convert and start winning conversations with hot real estate leads now! P.S. Learn all the components of building a thriving sales pipeline in this FREE upcoming webinar, Building a Growth Focused Pipeline, on July 21.
MORE >
Zoom for Real Estate: 4 Hacks You Need to Know
MORE >
Do You Know How to Communicate with Gen Y?
My last article, "Are You Ready to Deal with Gen Y First-time Home Buyers?" discussed that many of our first-time homebuyers are 26 to 40 year olds and some are making unbelievable tech salaries. The possible problem for many real estate veterans is that the average age of a REALTOR, according to the National Association of REALTORS, is 53 years old. To communicate better with this demographic, let's look at where Gen Ys (also known as Millennials) hang out online. If you watch the news today, you often hear "the poll of polls" where they gather polling from many different sources, maybe even weight them based on how they were conducted, and then give you an average number. When it comes to social media and age groups, it's like that. Everybody might have an interest in promoting a platform over another, so I have what I call an "average of averages" for social media use. One thing I found is that Gen Ys are much more visual than other generations, and if you want to reach them through social media, you need the platforms they prefer. While on the subject of Gen Ys being visual, think about your current marketing and branding. Paragraphs of bio might bore them, while a YouTube bio might interest them. Flat pictures of a home would bore them and a virtual tour could interest them. My "average of averages" for Gen Ys shows how much this generation is visual. Just look at the platforms they use: YouTube: 90% Facebook: 61% Instagram: 57% SnapChat: 55% LinkedIn: 40% Pinterest: 32% Twitter: 28% The numbers listed above not only tell you how many users in Gen Y are using these platforms, but where are they spending their time. (Guess somebody smarter than me would need to come up with a mathematical equation to figure out your return on investment for using different platforms.) I found this information also interesting—for this list I had to do some converting of visits and time spent to come up with some sort of numbers to share with you. Disclaimer: I can't really state these numbers as facts, only my opinion. Here is an average of time spent on the following social media platforms each day for Gen Ys: Instagram: 53 minutes per day SnapChat: 50 minutes per day Facebook: 43 minutes per day YouTube: 40 minutes per day Pinterest: 14 minutes per day Twitter: 1 minute per day LinkedIn: 1 minute per day In reading all the different studies and reports, a couple things stood out. In every generation, the use of Facebook was declining—some say only about 60% of Gen Ys are now on Facebook, compared to Gen X with 79%. The other common point made by many is how many people are quitting permanently or taking a break from social media. Gen Ys are quitting Facebook or taking a break in large numbers. Not just Gen Ys, but all groups are starting to think about how much time they spend on social media. The four driving factors for slowing down or leaving social media is wasting time, the amount of negativity, privacy concerns and commercialization of the platforms. To wrap this article up, we are looking at reaching Gen Y, who are largely first-time homebuyers. Start by being active on the social media platforms where they spend time. Think visual platforms like Instagram, YouTube and SnapChat, use eye catching photos and art, cut back on the words and leave negativity and ugly stuff off of your social media platforms! Do all of this and you might get a text or a call with, "Hey dude, we want to see a house over on Elm Street." Good luck! Dick Betts is a REALTOR® in The Villages, Fla. for Touchstone Real Estate in Mount Dora. He's also a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com
MORE >
Warm Up Cold Real Estate Leads with SMS Texting
MORE >
Back 2 Biz: Conducting Virtual Listing Presentations
The final piece of our "Back 2 Biz" series (see parts one, two and three) looks at how you can use RPR and virtual meeting tools in tandem to deliver stellar listing presentations to your sellers. While many businesses are ramping up or completely opened up, there's no doubt that things will take a bit of adjustment moving forward. Everyone's comfort level will be different, and as a REALTOR, you need to pivot and change speeds accordingly. Luckily, with RPR and a myriad of tech communication tools, you can prepare and present traditional things like your listing presentations with ease. Here's how.
MORE >
Use Live Video to Communicate with Real Estate Clients
MORE >
Agent Advice: How to Ask Clients for Online Reviews
Today's real estate agents have a lot of new tools at their disposal to help their businesses grow. Blog content, social media, and other online marketing tools have become indispensable. Still, one thing has not changed: prospective clients will always want to know what your previous clients think about your services. Reviews and testimonials are essential for growing your business. But why are they so important, and how do you get them? We're here to offer up some answers.
MORE >
The 5 Best Real Estate Cold Calling Tips
MORE >
Back 2 Biz: Social Media and Online Communication Tools
Article #2 in our "Back 2 Biz" series (see #1 here) is all about how you can stay connected and do business in the current climate. Obviously, things have changed and the rules of the game will continue to evolve. Fortunately, as a REALTOR, you have access to RPR as part of your membership dues. This article will focus on how you can use RPR to improve your social media presence and how you can pull it off with just a few taps in the RPR Mobile app. It's the ultimate communication tool to help you better serve your clients during this challenging time.
MORE >
Friday Freebie: Handle Objections Better with These Brochures
MORE >
Best Practices: How to Hold a Virtual Meeting
With COVID-19 affecting the way real estate professionals can do business, virtual meetings have taken off. Google, Microsoft, and Apple all offer ways to hold a quick virtual meeting, and services from GotoMeeting to Zoom offer other free solutions as well, as we have written about earlier. But for many agents, all of this is very new, and many have questions. How do you hold a virtual meeting? Let's start with what you need, go over the steps to set up a virtual meeting, including the best way to invite people to your meeting, and some best practices to hold a great virtual meeting.
MORE >
10 Things to Do When you Receive a Referral
MORE >
Friday Freebie: Download a COVID-19 Postcard and Reach Out to Your Sphere
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live--and the way we need to communicate. Gone are the days, for example, when agents could send their contacts a calendar of local events (what events, right?). So how do we communicate in this new era while remaining sensitive to changing norms and our sphere's changing needs? Find out for yourself in this week's Friday Freebie. We're introducing you to a series of coronavirus-related postcards that hit just the right note for reaching out to those who matter most to your real estate business. Free download from the COVID-19 postcard series by ProspectsPLUS! What kind of postcard messaging strikes the right tone during the coronavirus era? That depends on the type of real estate agent YOU are. Whether humorous, helpful or nurturing, there's a postcard with a voice that matches yours in today's Friday Freebie. RE Technology readers can download one free postcard from a library of 115 different postcards designs in eight content categories, courtesy of ProspectsPLUS! Here's a look at the types of postcard you can send to your sphere: Animals: Use humor to connect with clients with funny animal postcards. At Home: Offer helpful at-home advice for how clients can fill their downtime. Comfort Foods: Strike a nurturing tone with recipes for making comfort food. Content Cards: Remind clients you're the helpful home expert with home maintenance tips and more. Definitions: Gently stay top of mind with these trendy outreach cards. Inspiration Cards: Remind your sphere that brighter days are ahead with motivational designs. Looking for Listings: The market is still active! Remind homeowners that now is still a great time to sell. Virtual Marketing: Are you a tech wizard who knows how to thrive in these times? Show off your virtual tour capabilities, remote meeting skills and more! Download any COVID-19 series postcard for free with promo code FREECARD. Your postcard includes your choice of design on the front and your customized contact information on the back. Print your postcard at home or share it on social media, via email, and on your website. Download your FREE postcard today with promo code FREECARD at checkout!
MORE >
Leigh Brown's Tips to Rebranding Yourself During Challenging Times
MORE >
Real Estate: The Virtual Way
Say goodbye to "in-person" for a while, and hello to "through-the-screen." The times are unprecedented. We've never experienced anything like it before. None of us quite knows what to do or how to handle it. And these are precisely the types of situations that fuel innovation. Sure, webinars, video calls and virtual home tours are not new. What is new, however, is the seemingly overnight widespread industry use of these and many more online tools. The real estate sector has undertaken a profound shift. Perhaps for good.
MORE >
How to Set Up Facebook Instant Replies to Convert Real Estate Leads
MORE >
The 5 Best Real Estate Cold Calling Tips
Let's be honest, cold calling is probably not your favorite thing to do, and no one can blame you. Constantly being rejected quickly becomes exhausting, and discouraging. After a while you may start to think that it would be better to just give up on the method. Many experienced real estate agents consider cold calling an essential part of lead generation, though, and for good reason. Cold calling has repeatedly proven to be a successful method of procuring business, even it takes 200 calls before someone bites. Using quality cold calling scripts, and real estate cold calling tips, helps you to stay on message. It also helps you achieve the goal of scheduling an in-person meeting, and effectively converting a lead into a client.
MORE >
How to Write a Strong Call-to-Action and Convert More Real Estate Leads
MORE >
What You Need to Know About Virtual Meetings
Unprecedented times crave innovation. Virtual meeting technology has been around for a long time: the name "webinar" became a trademark in 1998. But for many real estate agents and brokers, hosting a virtual meeting with several different parties participating from different locations is a new experience. Sure, you probably have used Facetime on your iPhone to talk to your clients – and family – but it's not as easy to host a virtual meeting on your phone as it is on your desktop. That’s why virtual meeting tech like Zoom, GoToMeeting and Google Hangouts is soaring in popularity, as most people find themselves working remotely from home. The best news: if you have decent internet speed, today’s virtual meeting technology is straightforward and simple to install and use. Virtual Meeting Options Some of the most popular meeting services today are Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts or Google Duo, Apple Group Facetime, and Join.me. There are others, but for agents, any of these services should work great for your virtual meeting needs. Zoom has soared in popularity as they made some of their service free to schools. The benefits of a free Zoom account will work for most meetings. You can host up to 100 people, get access to HD video and voice features, and even join through a regular telephone. The downside is that group meeting calls have a 40-minute limit—more advanced plans start at $14.99 a month for a host. The software is free for all users to use and it's available for just about every mobile and computer that's less than five years old. GoToMeeting by LogMeIn is one of the most established and popular virtual meeting firms among small and large businesses. Its popularity has been a double-edged sword, as new demand has stressed its system. It, too, has offered K-12 schools some of its services for free. Their plans start at $12 a month with up to 150 participants, $16 for a business plan hosting up to 250 people and also includes many more features, such as recording your meeting for later playback. For a real estate team, it offers co-organizers who also have control over the meetings. Google Hangouts is a free service for anyone with a Gmail account that can be added to any Chrome browser, and you can invite up to 10 people to share photos, presentations, and more. A paid version called Google Hangouts Meet, which is part of Google's G Suite business offering. G Suite powers business emails through its Gmail platform and comes with a big list of Google extras from Google Drive with Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and more. Plans begin at $6 a month, and that includes up to 100 participants on Google Hangouts Meet, which is remarkably mobile friendly. Meet also can be integrated with a business Microsoft Skype account. Most importantly, Meet also provides a dial-in phone number to help connect folks who have to call in from a regular telephone. Google Duo is another free option from Google for smaller virtual meetings. A video calling app for your mobile phone, tablet, and computer, it is designed for video calls, but can handle a virtual meeting of eight people or fewer by reaching out to participants in advance to connect them. Google Duo is available for both Android from Google Play and iPhones in the Apple App Store. Apple has a similar feature built into Facetime. If you have an iPhone, a Group Facetime call can add up to 32 people. You can originate a Group Facetime call from Apple iPads and Mac computers. Join.me, like Zoom, is a modern solution for virtual meetings. It works exceptionally well for those holding frequent meetings and who want to call a quick virtual meeting. It takes just one click to share a screen and switch presenters and provides a personal link, so it's easy for your people to know they are meeting with you. Plans start at $10 a month for five participants for each meeting, unlimited meeting length, and includes a dial-in phone number. For $20 a month, Join.me offers virtual meetings and webinars for up to 250 participants per meeting and 10 video webcam streams. The best news is right now, all these video services are offering a free trial period – most are for 14 days – so you can check out which one is best for you and your clients. Getting connected – what you need All the primary virtual meeting services provide free access for your clients with software that they can quickly download and install on their computer and their smartphone. It is a remarkably easy process to get set up, and each virtual meeting service does provide different forms of tech support. And for the 650,000 agents and brokers across North America who have access to Tech Helpline, our analysts can help you get set up. Tech Helpline analysts also can troubleshoot virtual meeting issues. Most smartphones and computers less than five years old work with all of these virtual meeting services. Zoom, for example, supports a wide variety of browsers (including Windows IE 11, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari) and recommends a minimum connection speed of 1.2 Mbps – 1.8 Mbps (up/down) for high-quality video. Google gets a bit more specific, recommending at least 3.2 Mbps for five participants, 4.0 Mbps for 10 people. You can get away with standard definition video with 2 Mbps for 10 participants. A headset is not required, as the services will allow you to use the built-in microphone and speakers on your computer, but headphones or a headset with a mic is highly recommended. This will keep background noise to a minimum. As a presenter, you don't want to drown out your voice with the sounds of a keyboard if you try to take notes during your meetings. Finding a smaller, quiet room that reduces echoes also is beneficial. Again, background noise can be remarkably distracting during a virtual meeting. Fortunately, all of these services allow users to self-mute and, when required, enable the moderator to mute everyone. Finally, think about your background. What are folks going to be looking at behind you when you share your smiling face? Find a background that is not a distraction (without motion). Some of these services do provide a virtual background, but be careful knowing the same rules apply: you want people to focus on what is being said, not trying to figure out what is going on in the background. If you have virtual meeting tips, please share them with us by sending your ideas to us at [email protected] And if your association, board or MLS wishes to provide Tech Helpline service to your members, contact [email protected] Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
MORE >
10 Thank You Notes That Will Generate Business
MORE >
Your Complete Guide to Real Estate Scripts
There is a huge chance that you've heard the word "scripts" thousands of times. It's like a real estate urban legend that newbie real estate agents hear about all the time. Everyone has an opinion about it and no one can agree on it. Some say scripts are just a shallow representation of a natural conversation between the real estate agent and the client. Others claim that it's a very helpful tool—especially for a less experienced real estate agent—and scripts may help them overcome many unexpected situations. Well, we think there is a grain of truth in both of these statements and we should examine the scripts case more carefully.
MORE >
Building Your Value Through Conversation
MORE >
Using Slack to Help Run Your Real Estate Business
I am a big fan of using the apps that come on your smartphone, but we all need a few extra things to help us be efficient and productive. If you have been following my recent articles on getting the most out of the apps preloaded on the smartphone, you know I love the calendar, contact, reminders and notes available from Apple and Android. But sometimes we need more, and I want to share a few apps over the next few articles that I think can help change the way you do business. Let's start with Slack. I used Slack for about three years and loved it! Slack allows you to have one-on-one conversations or group conversations. Slack, Microsoft Team, Rocket Chat and Mattermost are all communication programs that accomplish about the same task.
MORE >
To Call or Text? The Value of a Hybrid Approach
MORE >
Is Your Listing Description Turning Consumers Off?
Imagine if you had a magic power to know exactly how readers would react to the description text that you write about your new listing. "This lovely two-bedroom fixer-upper..." According to research from ForSaleByOwner.com, the word "fixer-upper" is a horrible term. In fact, even buyers who say that they want to buy a fixer-upper are not likely to react positively about a property being called a fixer-upper. The study found that for consumers over the age of 45, "turnkey" is the most desired feature they seek out in their next home. That is probably a good word to use in your property descriptions. Now think a bit further about how you are going to market the property. Think first about the age of the likely homebuyer. If they are between 45-64, they are probably juggling kids in high school or college, have been promoted to the most stressful job of their career, and have little time for anything other than family and saving for retirement. They do not want homes that require a lot of work or maintenance. Great schools are also a key priority, not surprisingly. Instead of hesitating to share school information, do the work to verify what school district your property falls under. It's also ideal to share not only the district, but the specific schools that children will attend. Districts can have great variations in the quality of schools. The research also revealed that men and women have different priorities when choosing a home. Men are most interested in a property that their partner loves and that provides an easy commute and great schools. Women, on the other hand, are interested in a turnkey home in move-in condition. Men and women share strong interest in a close commute and great schools. If you would like to download the entire study, you can click here.
MORE >
Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone Using Video Conferencing
MORE >
Run Your Real Estate Business with an Android Phone using Email, Messenger and Text
I am going to take a different outlook on how we should keep in touch with family, friends, past clients, clients and leads versus the way most Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems advocate. When it comes to communicating with people, we use many different platforms to keep in touch. We use phone calls, text, email, Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp, and maybe even Snapchat as a means of communication.
MORE >
Run Your Real Estate Business with an iPhone Using Email, Messenger and Text
MORE >
[Best of 2019] 5 Things an Agent Should Never Say to Leads and Past Clients
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in October and is #3 in our countdown. See #4 here. Do you ever look back on a conversation and wish you had said something differently? It happens to the best of us. When you're communicating with real estate leads and past clients, it can be challenging to handle every conversation perfectly. But being aware of what you're saying (or not saying) can help you begin to have conversations that lead to more leads, more clients, and more commissions! Here are five things an agent should never say to leads, and what you should say instead.
MORE >
[Best of 2019] 10 Real Estate Email Subject Lines and Why They Work
MORE >
How to Ask Your Clients for a Referral
The best time to ask for a referral from your clients is when you're working with them on a transaction. Your current clients are the best advocates for your business. Think about it — they're excited about closing on their home purchase or sale and are talking about it with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances. Additionally, everyone is asking your clients about their experience — how it's going, when do they get to move in, etc. Since you're also in frequent contact with your clients on the phone or via text or email, you have many opportunities to ask for referrals. However, many agents are nervous about asking for a referral because they don't want to seem pushy. They assume that their clients will automatically refer them so they don't ask. Don't assume your clients know to refer you; like everyone at one point or another, they need a reminder. We developed the Referral Dialogue to make it easier for agents to ask for a referral. It makes the asking part feel more natural so you don't feel like you're being pushy. The beauty of the Referral Dialogue is it explains how you're different from your competition, the concept of working by referral and why their referrals help drive your business. First, you'll educate your client about how the traditional real estate business works: "Most people spend the majority of their time and resources prospecting for new business—things like cold calling, door knocking, advertising, etc." Then, you'll explain how you work: "I don't do any of that. I devote myself to serving the needs of my clients before, during and after each transaction. All I ask is that while I'm working for you, I would like you to refer me to people of comparable quality to yourself, who are thinking of the type of service I provide, and who would appreciate this same level of attention." Finally, you'll explain how working by referral benefits them as clients: "You see, as long as you and my other clients keep referring me, I don't have to go out prospecting like everyone else and I can do an even better job working for you. Does that make sense?" Practice this dialogue often so you can refer to it whenever you speak to your clients, especially early on in your relationship with them. It also helps to gently remind them to refer you at the end of your communications with them, whether it's written at the end of an email or at the bottom of the cover letter that you send with your flyer. You might even say it before you hang up the phone. Use this dialogue to remind your clients to refer you: "Oh, by the way… if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me with their name and contact information. I'll be happy to follow up and take great care of them." Another great way to generate referrals is by mailing monthly items of value to your clients — these can be anything that teaches them something new or provides them with useful information to apply right away. By doing this, keep your service top-of-the-line, making clients even more excited to refer you to others. Referral Maker PRO is a monthly marketing kit that can take care of the entire process for you. Each month, members receive Items of Value, eReports, notecards and many more helpful materials. Give it a try and download your free marketing materials today to get started!
MORE >
Top 4 Ways to Answer Commission Questions
MORE >
Apple Users: Let's Set Up Notes to the Max!
First things first: Android users, I promise to update Google Keep often, and please don't feel slighted as I dedicate these tips to Apple users! Now, let's talk how we can maximize Notes on our iPhones and iPads. Many of the features I have covered in this series depends on having all your Apple devices connected to the iCloud. Before you panic about storage space and having to spend money buying more iCloud storage, we can talk about ways to use your iCloud storage wisely later (that's another article).
MORE >
Dictation, One of the Most Underused Features in Apple Notes and Google Keep!
MORE >
5 Things an Agent Should Never Say to Leads and Past Clients
Do you ever look back on a conversation and wish you had said something differently? It happens to the best of us. When you're communicating with real estate leads and past clients, it can be challenging to handle every conversation perfectly. But being aware of what you're saying (or not saying) can help you begin to have conversations that lead to more leads, more clients, and more commissions! Here are five things an agent should never say to leads, and what you should say instead.
MORE >
Don't Make These Mistakes with Your Market Reports
MORE >
Top Pros and Cons of Verbal Real Estate Offers
What are the pros and cons of verbal real estate offers? Today we bring them to you. Pro #1 As the listing agent, you get to call the seller who is anxiously awaiting to get an offer. That is the only pro for listing agents. Yet, don't let it backfire on you. Read below to learn more. Pro #2 As the buyer's agent, writing up an offer can be a time-consuming process (there is the initial contract along with the addendums), especially when the buyer wants to offer a price much lower than you think the seller may accept. After all your hard work, the seller may balk at the offer and not accept it. So, you may think, "Why not just ask the listing agent before writing up the offer?" Sounds a lot better than wasting your time, right? Think again. Buyers mostly focus on price at first when making their initial offer with the seller. Most of the time, it is not just about the price. The purchase offer often encompasses terms and conditions that may or may not be acceptable to the seller. It's a complicated legal document. Many rounds of discussions may take place, and then nothing may become of it. When it is in writing, you can keep clearer track of all the elements of the transaction, whether it results in a sale or not. Example One: A real estate listing agent received a text for a property she had on the market in North Miami Beach, Florida. The text from the buyer's agent read, "My client wants to offer _____ cash on the above property. Please advise." The answer from the listing agent was, "Please put it in writing and show proof of funds." Did she ever hear back from the buyer's agent? The answer is NO. When the listing agent followed up with the buyer's agent, he said that he could not reach the buyer, which is why he never responded back. The buyer had disappeared. He had ghosted. The term may be familiar to those who are dating—yet isn't working with buyers also a form of courtship until the transaction is completed? Imagine if the listing agent had made the verbal offer to the seller and the seller said okay, only to find out that the buyer disappeared. Think they would be happy? Example Two: A week later, the same listing agent for the above property received a text from another buyer's agent. The text read, "Buyer just saw unit and is thinking about renovation costs and would like to offer your seller ____. I do not want to waste my time and yours. Please present this verbal offer to seller to get the process started." The listing agent's answer was still the same: "I don't accept verbal offers. If your client is interested, please present a written offer." Then the listing agent did what's a growing rarity in the real estate business: she picked up the phone and explained how it would benefit all parties to present the offer in writing, and the buyer's agent agreed. The offer was presented AND accepted by the seller. Who wants to waste their time? No one. Especially in today's world. That's why presenting written offers is a vital part of the real estate business. 6 Cons to Accepting a Verbal Offer as the Listing Agent Con #1 With no written offer, there is no proof that the buyer did make an offer. If the listing expires, and the same buyer makes an offer on the property, the protection period in the agreement may not protect your commission. Remember, there are cases when buyers try to go behind the listing agent and present an offer directly to the seller when it is no longer listed. The normal protection period in a listing agreement is up to 180 days (may vary by state). Without a written offer, if the buyer makes an offer months later, you may not receive any commission for all your hard work. Con #2 If the seller verbally agrees to a price, the buyer may re-think the offer and submit a lower offer. The thinking process sometimes goes like this: "If they accepted my first offer so quickly, maybe they will accept this one, which is a little less." The buyers threw in the initial bait hook and are now fishing again. Con #3 The verbal offer gets accepted and the seller is elated. Then…nothing happens. The buyer changes their mind and loses nothing because there is no written contract and no deposit. Con #4 When the written offer does not follow the verbal offer, the seller may begin to doubt the legitimacy of the offer. If the seller has any doubts about your efforts to sell their property, this will solidify it. And if the listing is set to expire soon, they may think it is a ploy for you to keep the listing. Also, if a seller is uncomfortable with you in any way, this may set them off to fire you. Con #5 Verbal offers usually don't consider all the important details as noted in the contract. Price is just one of the important elements of a contract. The type of contract being presented is important, as well as the following terms and conditions: inspection period, earnest money deposits, whether it is subject to appraisal, closing date and much more. All terms and conditions can be clearly defined when the agreement is placed in writing. Con #6 It is crucial to keep in mind that verbal agreements to sell real estate aren't legally binding. To be legally enforceable, a contract to buy real estate must be in writing, agreed to, and signed by both buyer and seller. Bottom line The advantages of a verbal offer are very small. The seller is at a disadvantage with verbal offers, as well as the real estate agents involved in the transaction. Be sure to consult a real estate attorney to make sure you have a binding contract or ask any other legal questions you may have. Yes, there are many demands made on your time as real estate agents each day. But remember, without a written offer and deposit from your buyer, there is no skin in the game. Stay fresh, focused and professional by following the above tips. 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.
MORE >
Top 10 Seller Objections to Staging and How to Overcome Them!
MORE >
The Generational Cheat Sheet: Best Ways to Communicate with Each One
We live in an age of ever-changing ways to communicate: social media, email, text (SMS) and telephone. Which one is the preferred method for your clients? In an industry like real estate, it's vital to know the best way to communicate with your buyers, sellers, peers and just about everyone. What makes this fascinating is how communication styles can differ by generation. Right now, there are six generations that comprise our society. Every one of these six generations plays a role in the real estate marketplace. And today we bring you the best ways to communicate with each generation. So keep this cheat sheet handy!
MORE >
RU Getting the Most Out of Txting?
MORE >
Facebook Messenger Bots: How to Automate Conversations to Qualify Leads and Stay Top of Mind
One of the most important lessons you can internalize about growing your business in the digital age is that you have to "meet your customers where they are." That used to be simple: postcards in their mail, emails in their inbox, calls to their phones. But if you've been solely relying on traditional communication methods like these, then you've likely noticed a decline in interactions. It's just harder to get in touch with people that way these days. So if you want to keep your business strong, then you need to find another channel. And boy, do we have just the channel for you!
MORE >
How to Create the Perfect Neighborhood Guide for Your Real Estate Website
MORE >
Turn Your Listing Descriptions into Sales
Think back to 2006. You may remember hearing about the launch of a new social media platform, Twitter. You most likely didn't, because it had little fanfare. Posts to the social media platform were dubbed "tweets" and tweeters were limited to only 140 characters. Jack Dorsey, one of the platform's founder, claims they chose the word Twitter, because it was "perfect," defined as "a short burst of inconsequential information." Today, tweeters are allowed to use 280 characters to tweet out their inconsequential information, but the majority use only 33 characters, according to Sarah Perez, at TechCrunch.com. Remind you of anything?
MORE >
Cheat Sheet: Photo Editing Terms for Real Estate Agents
MORE >
4 Ways You Can Reach New Leads Faster
It's 2019 and buyers and sellers expect instant access to the information and services they're looking for. Your best chance of converting your leads is to reach them in the first five-minute window after they call or fill out a request form. There are a lot of ways you can respond to new leads more quickly. Find some ideas below.
MORE >
Tips and Tricks for Hosting the Perfect Real Estate Webinar
MORE >
5 Strategies to Generate Seller Leads and Build Better Relationships
It's no secret that seller leads represent an enormous opportunity for your business. But are you struggling to attract and convert them? Just like with buyer leads, generating and converting seller leads is all about relationship building. The internet and digital media have drastically altered the way we interact with prospects, but the need to build relationships is as important to real estate as it ever was—it's only the way we build relationships that's changed. The best way to build relationships with seller leads is to increase your visibility, provide a strong value prop, and stay in consistent communication. We compiled a step-by-step process of proven strategies top agents use to attract and build relationships with seller leads.
MORE >
5 Tips for Building Trust with Clients
MORE >
Learn These 7 Meeting Skills to Land More Real Estate Clients
It doesn't matter how effective your Facebook advertising campaigns are: if your meeting skills are weak, you will constantly struggle to land new clients. It's a hard pill to swallow, but it's the truth. In the age of digital marketing, it's easy to forget the art of the "face-to-face" meeting. Every real estate transaction requires some sort of interaction between an agent and a client. If you are looking to increase your sales, focus on your meeting skills. Yes, some agents are naturally more charismatic than others, but everyone has the ability to increase their interpersonal abilities. If you are interested in becoming the local real estate leader of your city, you need to become an effective communicator. If you can master these seven skills, your meeting conversion rates will skyrocket through the roof!
MORE >
How to Create the Very Best Generic Autoreply Emails
MORE >
How to Handle Tough Conversations with Clients
As agents, you know there are going to be tough conversations with clients. The home buying and selling processes can be emotional, and for many clients, this is the biggest and most stressful financial decision they've ever made. Unexpected issues can crop up along the way: Bad news comes up during an inspection. A deal falls through. Your buyer's offer isn't chosen. You don't want a client to forego working with you again or sending a referral because of tough conversations that could have been avoided or handled more smoothly. In fact, by handling those difficult conversations well, you might earn a strong Google review for your transparent, honest approach. Getting through the challenges can require some difficult talks with clients, but here are some ways you can help them through it:
MORE >
Dealing with Squatters: How to Ask Them to Leave
MORE >
5 Tips to Get Your Emails Read
Email marketing is a very vital tactic for businesses of all sizes – when executed correctly. In fact, it's actually the preferred way clients want you to communicate with them, with 91 percent of U.S. adults suggesting they would like to receive emails from companies they do business with. While it's a highly effective and low-cost marketing solution, many people keep making the same mistakes.
MORE >
Elevate Your Content with High-Converting Guides
MORE >
10 Real Estate Email Subject Lines and Why They Work
The average user sends and receives over 100 emails every day. The odds that they will open every email they receive are slim, especially if they're wary of unknown senders. So, how can you ensure that your audience is opening and reading your carefully crafted emails? The answer lies in the simple, unassuming subject line. While most email subject headlines are less than one or two sentences long, they can spell the difference between a read message and another junk email. About 80 percent of readers never make it past the headline, or in this case, the subject line. Here's how you change that. Here are ten real estate email subject lines to help you master the art of the email.
MORE >