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Appraising Your Digital Property: Where Agents Should Be Online
Let's talk about property--digital property. These are virtual "places" like websites, social media and search portal profiles where prospects can find you online. Without a presence in the digital world, today's web savvy consumer will pass you by in favor of the competition. Buyers will never even know you exist. Sellers, on the other hand, will question why they should list with someone who can't even market themselves online. That doesn't mean you have to join every social network you can find, however, or run out and buy single property websites for each of your listings. When it comes to building an effective Internet presence, it's better to leverage a few web properties well. Here's a rundown of which are most important. Profiles on Property Search Portals According to a joint study by NAR and Google, over 90% of consumers start their home search online. Thanks to the way they dominate search results, property search portals like Zillow and Trulia are often the first place those consumers end up. That's why it's crucial that you claim your profile on each of the top three portals. If your brokerage or MLS sends listing data to portals, your name already appears on your listings. In the case of Trulia and Zillow, both display the listing agent's phone number and a link to their portal profile where consumers can see their other listings and read customer reviews. However, it's not uncommon for brokers that aren't meticulous about keeping track of their agents' contact info to send outdated phone numbers with their listing data. Claiming your portal profile will not only ensure that this information is accurate, it allows you to build a robust online property that's attractive to consumers. Be sure to add a recent headshot and solicit past clients for reviews for best results.
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First Look: HomeZada is the Antidote to Stale Closing Gifts
Agents looking for a new way to engage homeowners before, during, and after the sale need look no further than HomeZada. The "digital home management" platform lets agents upload important property documents and other information and then gift that trove of data to their clients upon the close of a transaction. The client then has free access to this information for a year, along with a home maintenance calendar and other features that are particularly helpful for first-time homeowners. Indeed, any agent wanting to connect with tech-savvy Millennials will find this a more effective closing gift than, say, a bottle of wine or a gift certificate. For listing agents, HomeZada serves as a marketing tool for offering exhaustive information about a property. The property profiles are so complete that agents may even want to consider replacing their single property websites with this service. As you may have guessed, HomeZada offers different features for buyer's agents and listing agents. Let's take a closer look at what each "flavor" of HomeZada offers. HomeZada for Buyer's Agents Sometimes called the "CARFAX of real estate," HomeZada offers a suite of features that allow the homeowner to manage and think about their home as a financial asset. Tools like record retention, asset inventory, and remodeling project management give owners a comprehensive overview of their property that's useful for insurance, estate planning, and even listing the home when the time comes to sell. HomeZada is easy for agents to set-up. Simply create a profile for the property and upload any documents, photos, or other information that may be useful to the homeowner.
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Online Marketing 101
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Best of 2013: Introducing WebsiteBox
Here it is--our top article of the year. For the first time ever, the number one spot goes to a product review. That reflects just how curious agents were to learn about WebsiteBox's unique pricing strategy after the company captured attention at Inman NY last year. Learn more in our overview below. See article #2 here. There are a plethora of real estate website solutions on the market today that are easy to set up. Tech companies have realized that most agents aren't technically minded, and that even those who are simply don't have the time to design and build a site. While this is great for agents (we don't have to tell you that a website is a necessity, do we?), narrowing down which vendor to use can be overwhelming. As one of the newest challengers in this increasingly crowded arena, WebsiteBox has differentiated themselves in a way that's hard to ignore--by appealing to agents' wallets. Their hook is powerful--for a one-time fee of $99, agents get a website, integrated IDX search, a CRM, hosting, and more--for life. Seem too good to be true? That's exactly what our readers have been wondering. Ever since WebsiteBox debuted at Inman in January, we've been fielding phone calls from RE Technology members who want to know, well, what we know. The truth is, we didn't know much until recently. We knew that WebsiteBox had created a tremendous buzz in a very short period of time, but we hadn't yet peeked under the hood to see how everything worked. Thankfully, CEO Peyman Aleagha gave us a tour of WebsiteBox and answered all of our questions. Now, we can answer all of yours! The Big Question Before we dive in, we'd first like to address what's on everyone's mind--is this for real? The skepticism is understandable. Too many companies draw consumers in with one price, only to tack on extra fees (we're looking at you, airlines). People are accustomed to looking for a catch.
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Best of 2013: 6 Web Properties You Need to Own Now
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How the New Craigslist Changes Affect Real Estate Ads
This post comes to us from the Properties Online blog: Craigslist has recently made changes to its posting guidelines, specifically around what HTML tags are allowed in their sales categories. These new rules, while not yet rolled out nationally, appear to be headed that way. The Craigslist changes are having a dramatic effect on the real estate industry, because images and links posted using HTML code or the use of images to link to external pages do not work post-change. Craigslist's new guidelines say: "Please note IMG, FONT, TABLE, DIV, and SPAN tags are no longer supported in the for sale categories. Please use CL image upload for images." What does this mean for you? It means that the beautifully designed flyer templates, rich in graphic content, will no longer work on Craigslist. Though photos and the formatting have had to be removed as a result of Craigslist's new guidelines, the new system is still a time saver for you as an agent. For now, we recommend uploading only one photo to encourage more clicks to the property site. It's been said that Craigslist has made this move that inconveniences so many in an effort to level the playing field for sellers. Although these changes many cause some some headaches as everyone adjusts, there is an upside. This is an opportunity to encourage quality. Having a professional landing page or individual property site to drive traffic to is more important than ever.
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Friday Freebie: Mobile Listing Builder from realtor.com®
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Friday Freebie: Home Zone Real Estate Marketing System
There are a lot of things you can do to market your listings online. The problem? Sometimes there's too much. Too many marketing tools to choose from, and none that work together in a way that simplifies your life. If you're overwhelmed by all the choices available to you, consider a single integrated marketing solution, like this week's Friday Freebie! Free 30-day trial of the Home Zone Real Estate Marketing System The Home Zone Real Estate Marketing System is an all-in-one marketing solution that lets you consolidate all your online marketing efforts in one place. The platform is fully mobile compatible and is available to agents, teams and offices. Here's a look at some of the features that work together to create cohesive marketing campaigns for your listings: Narrated tours and property videos Listing and mobile agent websites Text/QR code lead generation and capture Statistics and seller reports Social networking National syndication Print materials Social networking and more! To sign-up for a free 30-day trial, call Home Zone at (888) 882-1259.
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The Value of Mobile-optimized Single Property Websites
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Product Review: WebsiteBox
There are a plethora of real estate website solutions on the market today that are easy to set up. Tech companies have realized that most agents aren't technically minded, and that even those who are simply don't have the time to design and build a site. While this is great for agents (we don't have to tell you that a website is a necessity, do we?), narrowing down which vendor to use can be overwhelming. As one of the newest challengers in this increasingly crowded arena, WebsiteBox has differentiated themselves in a way that's hard to ignore--by appealing to agents' wallets. Their hook is powerful--for a one-time fee of $99, agents get a website, integrated IDX search, a CRM, hosting, and more--for life. Seem too good to be true? That's exactly what our readers have been wondering. Ever since WebsiteBox debuted at Inman in January, we've been fielding phone calls from RE Technology members who want to know, well, what we know. The truth is, we didn't know much until recently. We knew that WebsiteBox had created a tremendous buzz in a very short period of time, but we hadn't yet peeked under the hood to see how everything worked. Thankfully, CEO Peyman Aleagha gave us a tour of WebsiteBox and answered all of our questions. Now, we can answer all of yours! The Big Question Before we dive in, we'd first like to address what's on everyone's mind--is this for real? The skepticism is understandable. Too many companies draw consumers in with one price, only to tack on extra fees (we're looking at you, airlines). People are accustomed to looking for a catch.
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Product Review: WebsiteBox
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Why Craigslist is Your Ticket to Home Sale Leads
Guest contributor Properties Online says: For all the attention given to Zillow and Trulia, the fact of the matter is that even if you combine their power, Craigslist still drives more traffic to single property websites. Craigslist's sheer size, volume and community offer a landmine to real estate agents online. This is why Craigslist is your ticket to home sale leads. Seasoned agents know the truth – when you place a listing on Craigslist, it gets you more traffic and leads than any other real estate portal. Craigslist> was started in 1995 by Craig Newmark with the modest goal of helping people find affordable housing in San Francisco. It is now the most popular online classifieds website in the world, with over 10 million monthly visitors. "Agents can take advantage of this huge traffic by posting free ads and by scanning 'seeking homes' ads and answering them," says Amanda Cornelius, cofounder and CEO of Properties Online. Craigslist is free to use in most locations, making it a valuable, affordable lead-generating machine. Create single ads for specific properties, or an ad listing all your available properties for an area, with no coding design or HTML knowledge necessary.
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The Benefits of Individual Property Websites
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Product Review: ListingsUnlimited from Properties Online
Single property websites are one of the best tools for marketing your listings. Whereas your personal agent website is all about you and the services you offer, single property websites serve as an exhaustive source of information on a single listing. Not only is it good for your main site's SEO, but because it's a website solely dedicated to marketing their property, it's a potent way to impress sellers--and even win listings. Today, we're taking a look at a single property website solution that's very potent. ListingsUnlimited from Properties Online is more than just a website provider--it's a full-on marketing suite that makes attracting buyers a breeze. Getting Started Your single property website is home base for all your marketing activities for a listing, so we'll begin by taking a look at the process of creating a website within ListingsUnlimited. The driving idea behind ListingsUnlimited is that creating a website should be simple. By removing the need to know code or do any heavy technical lifting, ListingsUnlimited frees you up to spend more time marketing your listings. This emphasis on ease of use is reflected in the Control Panel. Everything is laid out and categorized clearly with icons that make it simple to find what you're looking for.
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Secure Listings with Single Property Websites
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Product Review: ListingsUnlimited by Properties Online
Single property websites are one of the best tools for marketing your listings. Whereas your personal agent website is all about you and the services you offer, single property websites serve as an exhaustive source of information on a single listing. Not only is it good for your main site's SEO, but because it's a website solely dedicated to marketing their property, it's a potent way to impress sellers--and even win listings. Today, we're taking a look at a single property website solution that's very potent. ListingsUnlimited from Properties Online is more than just a website provider--it's a full-on marketing suite that makes attracting buyers a breeze. Getting Started Your single property website is home base for all your marketing activities for a listing, so we'll begin by taking a look at the process of creating a website within ListingsUnlimited. The driving idea behind ListingsUnlimited is that creating a website should be simple. By removing the need to know code or do any heavy technical lifting, ListingsUnlimited frees you up to spend more time marketing your listings. This emphasis on ease of use is reflected in the Control Panel. Everything is laid out and categorized clearly with icons that make it simple to find what you're looking for.
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A Sneak Peek at the New RE/MAX Design Center Upgrade
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6 Web Properties You Need to Own Now
You know all about real estate, but what do you know about digital property? When it comes to building an effective internet presence, there are a handful of online "places" that you must leverage. Your "web properties" are online points of contact, like websites, blogs, and social media profiles. In our overview below, we list the different types of property you need, according to their importance. CRITICAL The following web properties are absolutely crucial to your online success. If you don't have them, you could seriously be hurting your business. Website - Don't have an agent website? Stop. Red light. Without one, you're making yourself invisible to the 90% of homebuyers who use the internet during their home buying search. At minimum, your site should have IDX property search capabilities, neighborhood information, contact info, your listings, and links to your other digital properties. Explore real estate website providers here. Facebook - Surprised to see Facebook on the "Critical" list? Don't be. With over 500 million active Facebook users, if you're not on this social network, you're invisible to potential clients. Agents with a weak (or no) website can use a strong Facebook presence to fill the gap by adding listing information, photos, open house announcements, and posting updates on local events.
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Best of 2012: 3 Unique Things You Should Always Bring to the Listing Presentation
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Friday Freebie: Point2 Agent
30-day Free Trial of Point2 Agent Today, we're featuring web marketing suite Point2 Agent. Point2 is offering a free 30-day trial that includes: Customizable agent website 1 single property site Listing syndication to over 50 property search sites Targeted advertising to other real estate websites in your area 1 email account
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The HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Teaches Agents How to Revamp Their Business
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How Single Property Websites Benefit the Seller and YOU
HomeFinder.com recently released a series of terrific videos on real estate marketing. One, in particular, on the benefits of single property websites, caught our eye. We knew our readers could benefit from the video's great information, so we diligently took notes and have summarized it here. To view the full video, visit HomeFinder's blog. Why Clients Love Single Property Websites As an agent, you probably spend a lot of time promoting your business. You likely have an agent website, social media profiles, and maybe even a blog. In today's digital world, it's very likely that your online efforts have helped potential clients find you. But once they've found you, sellers want to know one thing--that you, their agent, are dedicated to promoting and selling their home. By being all about the listing, a single property website does just that. In addition to basic details like price and square footage, you can display photos, virtual tours, open house times, and more. A single property website should be a thorough information source for the home and its surrounding community. A single property website can be a great way to win a listing, too. Imagine how impressed sellers will be when you tell them that you've created a site that's all about their property!
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3 Unique Things You Should Always Bring to the Listing Presentation
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Product Review: ePropertySites Property Marketing Tools
ePropertySites describes their goal in their mission statement: "Perfecting the art of property marketing online and on site." For this reason, we've focused this review on several of their tools focused on marketing individual properties. However, their robust array of products also helps real estate professionals with personal marketing and much more. There are a few key strategic objectives that agents and brokers can accomplish with ePropertySites: Building a property website before the listing presentation enhances your ability to secure the listing Leveraging your iPad to exude your technical expertise and marketing savvy Highlight your seller's property with a single listing website Enhance your search engine optimization effectiveness Convey far more information to the buyer than what is offered through IDX property search The Basics ePropertySites offers several different pricing plans for their services. Each of the tools we're going to discuss here is included in every plan. For a better understanding of options and pricing, visit ePropertySites.com. Step One: Earn the Listing Property marketing cannot begin until the seller selects you as their agent. For this reason, ePropertySites offers their Flipshows for listing presentations. These "flipshows" or "flip books" combine your custom images and text. ePropertySites offers an iPad-friendly version of their Flipshows, recognizing that the iPad has become a favorite listing presentation tool. You can check out an example of a listing presentation Flipshow here.
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