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Trends in Online Marketing and Lead Generation
Online marketing and lead generation is a constantly evolving science. In the early days of the internet, simply putting a property online with text was a big chore that required agents (or their development partners) to have HTML programming skills. The next big evolution happened around 1999 when the industry launched the first Internet Display program called IDX. This allowed agents and brokers to publish all of the listings from the multiple listing service on their websites and enable consumers to search. This was quickly followed by the emergence of national property advertising portals like Realtor.com, MSN, Yahoo! and others. IDX and listing portals delivered a great savings to the real estate industry, which was focused on newspaper and magazine advertising at the time. It was not uncommon for listing agents or brokerages to spend between as little as $300 or well over $1,500 in the marketing of a property. Online home search grew in popularity among homebuyers as access to internet connected computers grew. The next huge growth in this category came along with the consumer adoption of internet connected mobile phones and tablets. Today, more than 50 percent of all property searches happens on a mobile device. Nearly concurrent with the adoption of mobile, popular social media sites have became conduits for accessing real estate information including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and now Instagram and Snapchat. The options consumers have today for looking at property is almost absurd. There are millions of agent websites, hundreds of thousands of brokerage websites, and hundreds of property portals. The abundance of these options has created some interesting consolidation. It is estimated that the top 10 real estate portals in America are visited more than 500 million times a month. Given that there are only about 5.5 million transactions a year in America, it makes you wonder what all of those people are doing. Agents and brokerages are recognizing that digital marketing and advertising is changing from "spray and pray" to highly focused and localized marketing. To accomplish this, solutions have emerged that support real estate marketers with geotargeting to a particular house, neighborhood, polygon, or Zip Code. Within those geographies, real estate marketers can tune their marketing for attributes like age, renter vs. homeowner, or any number of filters that narrow the audience. Another major development is the connection between customer management solutions and online marketing. There is an appreciation that one goal of online marketing is to help build a database of potential customers. This famous sales strategy of collecting contacts and staying in touch was famously dramatized in The Wolf of Wall Street where Leonardo DiCaprio encourages his sales team to stay in touch with the customer until they buy or die. Some research has emerged that provides some good guidelines for real estate agents who hope to develop a digital marketing farm. A good target is to focus your efforts on a group of 2,000 to 2,500 households. With a steady focus of targeted digital marketing, agents should be able to develop a sales funnel that will yield about two trades a month. The important ingredient to developing this volume of units from this number of transactions is the frequency and quality of your marketing and lead conversion efforts. Always remember that digital marketing only works if you respond inside of five minutes to an inquiry—or ideally inside of one minute. Consumers expect you to be ready to serve them right away. Want to learn more about online marketing and lead generation? Download our latest Success Guide today!    
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Don't Miss This: Rick Haase on Transaction Fee Brokerage Models
WAV Group will be hosting a free informational webinar Monday, July 9. The most rapid growth in real estate brokerage has happened with 100 percent commission firms, otherwise known as transaction fee brokerages. According to Real Trends, these alternative commission models have claimed three out of the top 11 spots on the Real Trends 500 list. Firms ablaze with growth include the likes of United Real Estate, HomeSmart, EXP Realty, Realty One Group, NextHome, and others. In this webinar, WAV Group invites Rick Haase to share his experience with positioning brokerages for success as traditional brokerage models, and transaction fee brokerages. He is one of the few industry executives who have enterprise experience with firms that have scaled these businesses to support over 3,000 agents and many thousands in units sold. You will take away strategies for fortifying your traditional brokerage model, and gain insights on the paths to launch or enter transaction fee brokerages. Regardless of your strategy, you will gain practical, real world knowledge that will help you to remain competitive in today's complex and disruptive environment. Be sure to register for the webinar here! Panel:
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This Thursday: Learn How to Serve the New Generation of Home Buyers
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Friday Freebie: The Complete Open House Productivity Package from realtor.com®
April is Open House Month, and realtor.com® is offering tools to help real estate professionals prepare open houses that convert visitors into sales. Read on for more about this week's Friday Freebie. The Complete Open House Productivity Package from realtor.com® According to NAR's 2012 Survey to Home Buyers and Sellers, almost 45% of home purchasers used open houses as a key part of their home search. In fact, open houses top the list of ways consumers find their agent! A strong open house can turn listings into sales, or even bring you new clients. Realtor.com®'s free open house productivity package shows you how to create effective open houses. The package includes: Instructions on how to post an open house on realtor.com® Free e-newsletter to offer their open house guests so they'll be more likely to sign in and leave good contact information Downloadable sign-in sheet for the newsletter so that agents can follow-up afterwards Open house flyers with information provided from their listing on realtor.com® and a QR code offering more information A mobile website so consumers can learn more about the home from their mobile device A free downloadable "Home Buyer's Guide" that agents can use to engender good will and build rapport Click here to learn more about this free benefit from realtor.com®.
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Friday Freebie: Online Lead Conversion Guide from realtor.com
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Holiday Deal: IMSD Training Program
The holiday season is winding to a rapid close, but we're highlighting one last deal before 2012 ends! If you've made New Year's resolutions about your real estate career, consider making one more. Want to double your online leads in 2013? IMSD can teach you how to do just that. They're offering $200 off a full year of training when you sign up by January 8 with promo code DOUBLE. IMSD classes boost your knowledge of Craigslist, blogging, social media, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, and other prime online marketing areas for real estate agents. Members get access to live and recorded classes, homework assignments, ad copy, scripts, and more. Learn how to find, capture, and convert inexpensive online leads. IMSD's content is split into three series of classes: Systems, Social, and Search. 2013 training kicks off on January 8 with the Systems class series. Visit IMSD's website to learn more.
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Holiday Deal: Merge for Brokers and MLSs
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Holiday Deal: Win a Kindle Fire HD from REI Wise
REI Wise wants to build a more connected Commercial Real Estate community this holiday season. To accomplish this, the company is giving away a Kindle Fire HD tablet to one lucky Twitter follower. This contest is intended as a way to help CRE professionals better learn how to use Twitter for business development and grow relationships. To enter the contest, simply tweet and retweet updates containing the hashtag #12DaysofCRE. Each tweet with that hashtag equals one contest entry, so tweet early and tweet often! The 12 Days of CRE starts today Monday, December 10 and continues through Friday, December 21 at 5pm EST. REI Wise will tally the total number of tweets and one entry will be chosen at random and awarded a Kindle Fire HD. Winner will be contacted via Twitter. Click through to the next page to see the official rules.
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The Easiest Guide EVER To Open House Announcements (Seriously!)
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Fun and Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Guest contributor Rick Bengson says: In the past, I've suggested a few creative and fun real estate agent marketing ideas that you can use to draw in more clients and promote your brand offline. I'm sure you've noticed after awhile it can get a bit stale using the same traditional methods of sending flyers and emails; although, these methods can be very effective, so I thought perhaps now would be a good time to mention a couple more fun and unique REALTOR® marketing ideas:
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Looking to Reduce Your Number of Lost Online Leads?
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Trying to Stay Ahead? Consider a High-speed, Compact Scanner!
Guest contributor Veneeta Eason says: The "agent of the future" will be more successful being as efficient as possible and staying ahead of time consuming processes.  Closing on real estate is paper intensive and can slow you down. Scanning documents allows you to get documents to banks, other REALTORS®, respond to clients, get and stay organized and put an end to office clutter.  All of which helps you save time and money, and stay ahead your day. How can you get ahead? Some REALTORS® utilize their office or home for scanning.  But in today's world of REOs and the increasingly heavy document load that contracts, appraisals and other transaction paperwork places on agents, scanning multi-page documents page-by-page eats up a lot of your time. Have you ever had to fax a contract to the bank, only to have it rejected because the image quality was so poor?  Worse yet, you try to scan with your All-in-One, realize that the process is going too slowly and then end up driving to the office to use a high-speed scanner?  It’s not the best use of your time.
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Looking for a Lead Generation Tool for 50% Off?
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Excuse Me, I Have a Question...
Yesterday I read a post about an interesting feature that is available on Trulia and Zillow – but oddly, not at all available on any broker website. For some reason, the blog did not mention Ask a REALTOR® from Realtor.com – but I will include them in my thoughts. The feature is Ask A REALTOR® (http://www.realtor.com/blogs/category/ask-a-realtor/), Zillow Advise (http://www.zillow.com/advice/) or Trulia Voice Q&A (http://www.trulia.com/voices/qa/). All of these services have a common feature set that benefits the site owner, the consumer and the agent.
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Looking for Easy Ways to Get More Eyeballs on Your Listings?
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RBI - Real Estate Business Intelligence
MRIS and RBI are pleased to announce the launch of the data analytics company, RealEstate Business Intelligence, and its new website, www.rbintel.com.  RBI is a wholly owned subsidiary of MRIS, the nation’s largest MLS provider to agents and brokers. Agents, brokers, appraisers and other real estate professionals can now receive the most reliable housing market data in the Mid-Atlantic region via www.rbintel.com - empowering them to make more educated decisions for their clients.
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Home Closings Made Easy
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Try Homefeedback - 6 Months Free!
For a limited time, Showing Suite, Inc., and Homefeedback will be offering a free 6-month demo of the new Homefeedback system for brokers. They have a patent pending on this system that automatically turns the tedious task of contacting the showing agent into hands-free, by syncing with your electronic lock boxes. Showing Suite has the leading national average of 71% on the return rate!
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Previsite Launches a New Product for Brokers!
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