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Stressed About Low Inventory? Read This.
The current state of the housing market is leaving everyone in and adjacent to real estate feeling uneasy at times. But it doesn't have to completely knock you off your rocker. With low housing inventory and high interest rates, the time to buy or sell can seem unpredictable to prospective clients. This is where you come in. You know it's more complex than that, and that investments in real estate, even in a tricky market, can pan out successfully in the short- and long-term. Clients need a real estate pro to guide them through this, and someone they can trust. But with low inventory and a ton of competition, how can you cut through the noise? We have a few solutions. The Issue at Hand Low inventory isn't just a cause for concern for aspiring homebuyers — it adds plenty of pressure to real estate pros, too. With low inventory comes an increase in competition for listings. It's not to knock the wind out of your sails, it's just an indicator for you to get with the times and maximize how clever, comprehensive and well-rounded you are in your approach to your clients. Ways to Ease the Tensions Caused by Low Inventory Thankfully, there are ways to help ease the issues low inventory is causing so you can offer a stellar experience for clients and get one step closer to closing. Harnessing Your Technology Platform Leaning on technology as a key part of your real estate business's arsenal is more critical than ever before. To help ease the pressure low inventory is putting on us all, tap into your tech stack. Make the most of online lead generation by posting and advertising on social media. This gets more eyes on your brand, as well as engagement with you as a real estate professional. When you purchase ads on social media platforms to promote your business, you also have an opportunity to tap into previously-unreachable audiences. You'll also want to ensure you're well-positioned on real estate websites. Make sure your MLS feed is hooked into each one so your listings are seen, as well as ensuring your headshot, bio, and contact information are up-to-date across all major sites. As you start to grow momentum with online ads, social media, and the big players of the real estate portals, make sure your real estate CRM is on point. This is the hub where you track prospects and their activities, as well as automating key elements of your follow-ups, like emails and text messages. It's also the central place to nurture your relationships and monitor every step of the journey you're guiding your clients through. With help from your CRM, you can also develop and send targeted email campaigns. Take advantage of list segmentation to send personalized, relevant emails to subsets of your database. For example, a set of prospective buyers in your ZIP code are going to want to hear more about listings and mortgage rate updates, while prospective sellers will want to get notices about market changes that could favor them in their home sale. Always seek to share relevant, customized, helpful information your clients will actually want to read. Lastly, break into the art of virtual tours for your listings. Not only does this save time by allowing your prospective clients to self-serve their walkthrough, it also illustrates your commitment to new marketing methods — a great way to stand out from your competitors. Embrace Direct Mail Marketing Going hand-in-hand with the power of tech is embracing more classic approaches. Integrate direct mail marketing into your outreach plans to really stand out from the crowd. It adds a personal touch, which can help leave a lasting impression. With a similar formula to your online approach, you want to use targeted prospect lists specific to your market, or even your niche in real estate. When you're creating your marketing materials to send out, make sure they're compelling and eye-catching. You'll also want to be consistent in how often you send direct mail, so you can help get prospects to the point where they're anticipating your promo materials and know your name and face. As you start to ramp up your outreach and generate interest, you can track and measure how many prospects came your way from your direct mail marketing throughout your early conversations. Nurturing Relationships with a Personal Touch Another great way to nurture relationships and maintain a strong personal connection? Getting involved in your neighborhood. By volunteering, sponsoring, hosting, or simply networking, you can quickly become a fixture in your community. Aim to get to know the people in your neighborhood and forge personal connections; you don't have to hit them hard with real estate from the very start. By building relationships first, your ability to guide them and provide your expertise can unfold naturally. As your connections progress, both online and offline, add personal touches to your communication plans, like handwritten notes or specified educational content that adds elements of the neighborhood, like local guides or your top recommendations. By adding more of a human element to your marketing, follow-up, and communication planning, you can cut through the noise, beat out the competition, and make it crystal clear to prospects they need to partner with you. Want more insight into why this type of approach truly matters? Check out this article: Why Agents Should Prioritize Meaningful Outreach. To view the original article, visit the Inside Real Estate blog. Related reading Low Inventory Got You Down? 5 Tips for Finding More Homes for Sale Protect Your Real Estate Business with These 6 Foundational Principles Low Inventory? No Problem! 3 Digital Ad Campaigns for Finding Seller
8 Ways to Generate Real Estate Leads on a Budget
There are many ways to get clients. But no matter where you are in the process of building your business, it's always good to have a few extra tricks up your sleeve for generating real estate leads on a budget. Sometimes, you need these strategies because your marketing budget just isn't as robust as you'd like. But even in flush times, it's good to get leads for less, because the savings ultimately strengthens your bottom line. As you continue to build out your lead-generation toolbox, consider these eight ideas you can employ right away, without spending much (if any) money. 1. Start with your social sphere Your social sphere is a goldmine of potential clients who already have a level of trust and familiarity with you. Of course, it's critical to take a soft approach. Never push friends, family, or even acquaintances into doing business with you, and you never want to sacrifice a relationship for a transaction. Instead, stay attuned to the real estate needs of the people you know. Work to understand their aspirations and pain points, then use these insights to offer solutions. Over time, people will learn they can come to you for help with real estate matters. In all likelihood, some of them will turn to you when they are ready to buy or sell a home. 2. Build your social media presence For many people, using social media to generate real estate leads feels intimidating, because consistently producing content can be a challenge. The good news is that you don't have to make all that many posts to get leads. Start by engaging with other people's posts. Join Facebook groups and visit Reddit boards geared toward homebuyers. When people on these boards ask real estate questions, offer your expertise. Share relevant real estate insights, and occasionally promote your listings. This balanced approach enhances your visibility and positions you as a knowledgeable and approachable agent. Once you're ready to start creating your own content, you'll have a solid network of social media contacts who might be willing to share your posts and help increase your reach. The most important thing to remember about social media is that providing value is paramount. Post content like market updates, home maintenance tips, and resource lists. These resources don't have to be strictly related to real estate, either. Anything that could help a potential homebuyer, such as down payment assistance, is a value-add to your potential clients. Offering this sort of value not only informs and helps your potential clients, it also subtly reminds them of your expertise and services. That way, you're top-of-mind when real estate needs arise. 3. Take advantage of agent-to-agent referrals This sounds counterintuitive, but referring leads to fellow real estate agents is a great way to get leads yourself. If a client approaches you with needs that are outside your expertise, service area, or current bandwidth, it's more valuable in the long run if you refer them to a fellow Realtor rather than delivering subpar service. This strategic move underscores your dedication to serving the client's best interest. The client, as well as the Realtor who receives the referral, will remember it. This strategy rarely generates leads in the short term, but agents with complementary specializations will eventually return the favor, and you'll get more business in the long run. 4. Embrace cold calling Any good lead-generation strategy is a careful blend of multiple tactics, and cold calling typically takes a back seat to other, more modern tactics. However, cold calling is still an economical and effective option, especially if you are operating on a limited marketing budget. Cold calling is a simple way to target specific demographics, neighborhoods, or property types without learning any new technologies or tools. It's a straightforward way to contact potential leads that align with your real estate portfolio and expertise. Have a strategy with your cold calling, and be sure to offer some value to the person on the other end. With minimal investment in a good calling plan, and possibly CRM software, you can reach a wide audience and build a consistent stream of leads. 5. Maintain a healthy blog Similar to cold calling, some people believe blogs have been replaced by more modern digital marketing tools. But blogs are still a great way to generate a consistent stream of inbound leads. Your blog is more than a mere collection of articles. It's a dynamic tool that showcases your expertise and offers value to potential clients. Additionally, just like cold calling, a blog requires very little financial investment. You don't even have to produce a large amount of content, as long as you produce content consistently. If you post a new blog article once a week, or even once every two weeks, over time you'll have a good stockpile of articles that attract leads. Additionally, your incoming leads will likely come with fewer basic questions, because they already got answers from your blog. 6. Work with real estate investors There are over three million real estate licensees in the United States, but a relatively small portion of these agents market their services to real estate investors. For starters, this means you'll have less competition. Additionally, investors are in the business of buying and selling properties consistently. Unlike residential buyers, their need for real estate is continuous, which gives you a steady stream of transactions and, therefore, commissions. Even more, investors typically have a wider network compared to residential buyers. Once you've closed a few investment deals, satisfied investors are likely to refer you within their network, opening doors to new clients. Since investors often collaborate with one another, a single recommendation can significantly bolster your credibility and start a flood of incoming referral leads. 7. Mine FSBO listings for primed leads For-sale-by-owner (FSBO) listings can offer a wealth of leads, as long as you take the right approach. If an FSBO listing has been up for a long time, or expired without producing a sale, the seller is likely willing to accept some help. Once the seller gets to this point, a good tactic is to start by offering advice, or even a few free services. The seller started with an FSBO listing in the first place because they wanted to avoid the Realtor commission. They may not appreciate it if you begin your contact by offering to be their agent. At worst, the listing sells well after you offer your advice, the seller has your contact information, and they might come to you if they need real estate help in the future. Or they might refer you to someone they know. At best, the seller realizes they are in over their head and you get the opportunity to make a sale that generates a commission. Either way, FSBO listings are an easy way to find people who have a property to sell and need professional help selling it. There's very little downside in reaching out and offering help. 8. Use personal outreach to get value from your contact list As you develop your business, you'll build up a substantial contact list. Your contact list is a huge asset. Don't underestimate the value of personalized communication. Take advantage of any opportunity to stay in touch with people. Reach out with birthday wishes, congratulate them on significant life events (social media is a great way to see when these events happen), or simply check in periodically. These gestures, though small, fortify your relationships, making it more likely for them to consider or refer you when real estate needs surface. Go forth and get leads for less Generating leads without spending a lot of money will never go out of style. If you master even just a few of these lead-generation tactics, you'll have tools in your toolbox that will carry you through whatever the housing market throws at you. So pick up your phone, hop on social media, or grab your keyboard, and get out there to pick up more leads. To view the original article, visit the Wise Agent
Easy Hacks for Prospecting and Marketing Automation Success
Have you ever wished you could connect RPR (Realtors Property Resource®) to your CRM, or maybe directly to Canva for prospecting and farming? Well, we're not quite there yet, however there are a few things you can do to "hack" the system and be on your way to prospecting and automation success. Before we jump in, if you're just getting started in real estate or want to give your database a boost, be sure to check out this previous article: How to Build your Neighborhood Database From Scratch. Think of it as some prerequisite reading to this article. You'll get an understanding of what datasets are available to you from RPR and all the info you need on RPR's Mailing Labels. Now you have an understanding of how to set up your CRM and how you can export RPR Mailing Labels. Here's where we take it a step further, beyond pre-formatted labels and right into marketing automation territory: the ability to export raw data via a CSV export. In this article, we're going to take the next step and strategically filter for specific types of prospects. Automate your marketing and targets prospects with these "Recipes" Below are a few "recipes," based on real world scenarios, that you can use with the RPR Advanced Search feature to help you spot target prospects with ease. To drill down and identify Current Renters/Potential Homeowners, follow these steps: Step #1: Click "Research" Step #2: Click "Map Search" Step #3: Search your target area (hint: you can search as small as a neighborhood) Step #4: Click "More Filters" for advanced searching Step #5: Change the search to "Public Records" (you'll want to target less than 500) Step #6: Scroll down to "Miscellaneous Fields" and make sure "Absentee Owner" is selected Step #7: Make sure "Time Owned" is selected to the 5-10 and 10-15 year groupings Step #8: Click "Update and Search" Step #9: Click "Mailing Labels" Step #10: Select "CSV" Step #11: Make sure the "Address Type:" is "Property" Step #12: Change the "Addressed To:" field to "Current Resident" or to "Custom Name" and fill it out with something like "Future Homeowner" Step #13: Select "Absentee Owner" as the "Occupancy Type" Step #14: Run full list, or narrow records to export Target: Potential Home Sellers Follow steps 1-5 from above, then continue with: Step #6: Scroll down to "Miscellaneous Fields" and make sure "Owner Occupied" is selected Step #7: Make sure "Time Owned" is selected to the 5-10 and 10-15 year groupings Step #8: Click "Update and Search" Step #9: Click "Mailing Labels" Step #10: Select "CSV" Step #11: Make sure the "Address Type:" is "Property" Step #12: Change the "Addressed To:" field to "Owner Name" Step #13: Select "Owner Occupied" as the "Occupancy Type" Step #14: Run full list, or narrow records to export Need Help? Take a step-by-step guided tour of the two examples above. From here, you can take these lists and add additional columns to your sheet that would match your CRM (ie: "Status" and then set it to say "Prospect-Buyer" or "Prospect-Seller,") this can work with Google Sheets or your CRM of choice. If you're working with a CRM, instead of additional columns, when you're importing your contacts, simply apply flags or categories directly within your platform to help keep your contacts organized. But, let's not stop there, let's set up an automation that can do all of that for you… Making automations and RPR work for you The beauty of this workflow is the ability to essentially take this data right from RPR and apply it directly to your CRM or Google Sheets contact list. Then using preset triggers with tools such as IFTTT, Zapier and Canva, you can create a multitude of marketing automations that will cut down the manual labor of simple marketing tasks. In this next example, we're going to show you how to take the exports above and connect them directly to Canva to complete a postcard that you've prepped with the most current Market Trends Data and then print it with all of your prospect's data added to it. To get started, head over to RPR's Resource Center and choose a Canva postcard template that you'd like to work from. Be sure to select "Use template for new design" to get started. Next, add your photo and update your information for both sides of the postcard–you don't want to accidentally send your mailing out with filler text. Write a compelling introduction of yourself and why it's a good time to buy; better yet, read on and we'll show you how to let our Market Trends ScriptWriter powered by ChatGPT help you craft the perfect message! Before we add our contact data, let's update the Market Trends information with the latest stats. When you're in RPR, head up to Research, then click Residential Market Trends and search for the geography that you executed for your export. This ensures that the data matches the postcard template with the month and the correct data points. Now we're ready to add our prospect's info to the Canva doc! PRO TIP: Looking for the perfect copy to go with your postcard? Click "Create Script" to give our AI-powered Market Trends ScriptWriter a try. You can easily generate Metric Analyses and Social campaigns, and the copy generated can easily flow into to your postcard. From the left side navigation menu, go to "Apps," and go down to "More from Canva" and select "Bulk create." Maybe in the future, there'll be a "Bulk create from RPR," but for now, select "Bulk create." You essentially have two options here, you can manually enter your data or upload a CSV file. Let's click "Upload CSV" select your list, and all of your fields will be listed by the column headers. PRO TIP: Before you upload your list, open it up and delete any extra fields that you think won't be necessary. Since we are prospecting to potential buyers, we won't be needing the owner's information that by default comes with the export. Next, we're going to connect our data to text fields. So, add a few text fields to the backside of the postcard template. For the greeting, make it fun, since you don't know the person who is renting the property, you could address it to "Future Homeowner." For the next text field, right click it and select "Connect Data." Canva will then present you the list of all your data fields, select "Property Full Address," or whichever combination of fields that you need to complete your mailing. After you have set up your data and added all of your personal information and market data, click "Continue." This will take your data and merge it into a new Canva Doc that you can now send out for print. Pretty cool, huh?! To view the original article, visit the RPR