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The Personal Side of Real Estate Social Media

Personal Side of Real Estate Social Media

Are you someone who mixes their personal Facebook page with their business contacts? If so, you’re not alone. There are a lot of benefits to showing your personal side to prospective clients and helping them understand that you’re a real person too, not just a professional.

However, as with everything, it’s important to practice moderation.

Mixing Business With Pleasure: What NOT to Do

You know how they say that even in casual relationships it’s best to avoid the topics of politics, religion, and personal morality? The same is true for your personal social media accounts that you also use for business.

I get it. There’s a lot going on in the world, and you probably feel strongly about it. It’s normal to want to share your opinions. Unfortunately, it can cost you dearly if you do it in the wrong ways.

A real estate agent in Beverly Hills thought that she could post whatever she wanted on her personal Instagram account. After all, it’s her story, right? Well, yes – kind of.

The agent was reacting to a group called Black and Brown United for Change and she wasn’t a fan. As a result, she posted things like, “Get these thugs out of our country… we need a wall… are you kidding!!! Go Trump.” She also posted offensive comments about a black woman’s hairstyle and racist comments about Mexicans.

Instagram users alerted the agent’s brokerage and boss. The woman lost her job.

Now, most of us wouldn’t foolishly post racist comments in public. But remember, if you touch on sensitive subjects, you’re likely to offend someone, and it can cost you a client or even your position.

Should You Wall it Off?

As a result of incidents like this, some Realtors® think it’s better to simply not show their personal side on social media. They don’t want their personal opinions and beliefs to prevent someone from working with them. But that has its own drawbacks.

Maintaining two separate accounts – especially on multiple social media platforms – takes a lot of time, and if something falls short it will probably be your business accounts. If you use a social media posting program like Buffer, you have to be especially careful to post the correct information to the correct account.

It’s great to have a safe place to be fully yourself, rants and all. It’s nice to have your personal viewpoints not impact your professional relationships. But if you have separate accounts, you’ll miss out on the possibility of having your friends and family share your professional information with their networks.

The Verdict? It’s Up to You.

Internet marketing is a vital part of making yourself visible as a Realtor®. You have to interact on at least some social media accounts. You’ll need some online contact information to add to your business cards and postcards so people can check you out.

Whether you decide to carefully mix your personal and professional presence on a single account or keep two completely separate accounts is up to you. You know best how you handle touchy topics online.

I’d love to know – what’s your policy? Do you mix business with personal accounts? Or do you have two completely separate online identities?

How to Generate Leads from Your Real Estate Website

Real Estate Websites

Everyone in real estate understands how important it is to generate leads. Without new leads you have no one to pitch your services to, which means no buyers or sellers and no money.

There are dozens of ways to generate leads. Some Realtors® do cold calling, many farm neighborhoods with print marketing, and others do social media outreach. In all of these efforts, the real estate website can sometimes be overlooked.

Your real estate website is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You should make it one of your primary ambassadors. When you tie it in with your other marketing efforts, you can see your number of leads multiply quickly.

Here are some steps to take to generate leads from your real estate website.

Make Your Real Estate Website Your #1 Fan

When you create content for your website, you shouldn’t focus on yourself. You should focus on the outcomes your customers are most looking for and how you can help them achieve those goals.

That doesn’t mean that your website shouldn’t showcase how amazing you are. It’s just that those great kudos should come from someone else – preferably your previous customers.

I’ve talked recently about how important it is to get online reviews as well as customer referrals. Those online reviews belong on your real estate website.

Think of your real estate website as a huge party where everyone is talking about what a great Realtor® you are. You want prospects to go to that party!

Demonstrate Your Expertise

Have you ever noticed that there are people who talk about being great basketball players, but the really great ones don’t just talk – they actually do it?

In the same way, don’t use your website just to show what a great Realtor® you are. Use it to demonstrate that expertise as well.

Show your recently sold listings. Write articles that show you are knowledgeable about the neighborhoods your serve. Post videos that show you are technically savvy and know how to give a home its best showing. Share buying tips that help house hunters understand that you know what they’re looking for.

Use Your Real Estate Website to Capture Leads

The best real estate website in the world can’t capture leads for you if you don’t include easy ways to contact you. Having a variety of touchpoints is important because different people prefer different things.

You should have a form that allows people to enter their name, email address, and even their phone number to join your monthly newsletter or email list. You should also prominently list your business phone number.

You may also want to include a contact form that allows someone to email you a question or inquiry. Finally, be sure to list your office location as well, because some people like face-to-face conversations.

Integrate Your Website with Other Marketing Efforts

Have you ever heard the phrase, “All dressed up with nowhere to go”? Unfortunately, that describes many real estate websites.

Some Realtors® cover all the steps listed here, and still don’t get leads from their website. The reason is that they aren’t getting any traffic to the site.

You have to integrate your website into your other marketing efforts so that your prospects become aware of it and visit you online. Here are some ideas:

  • List your website on your postcard marketing outreaches, and offer a free download of valuable information in exchange for their email address and phone number.
  • Share new listings from your website onto Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media.
  • Include links to new listings at the bottom of your email newsletters.
  • Promote your blog posts or website articles with a Facebook ad.

Your website should be your most tireless promoter. When you follow these steps, you’ll have a website that represents you at your best, is full of raving fans, and shows off your expertise. You’ll be able to capture new leads quickly and easily.

Ready to integrate your website into your print marketing campaigns? We’re here to help. Take a look at our templates today!

Transform Your Real Estate Marketing with Facebook Ads

Transform Real Estate Marketing with Facebook Ads

Are you using Facebook ads to their full potential? If you’re like 75% of respondents in a 2015 Inman survey, the answer is no.

That’s very unfortunate, because the leads you get from Facebook can be some of the best leads you get anywhere. They are highly targeted and, when done well, ready to buy.

If you’re ready to discover how to transform your real estate marketing with Facebook ads, you’re in the right place.

Go Beyond Geography

The #1 mistake that Realtors® make in using Facebook ads is that they geographically focus their ad, but that’s all.

The power of Facebook ads goes far beyond simple geography. Facebook now partners with major statistical organizations that collect data on thousands of consumer behaviors.

There’s even a focus category for “homeowners” who are “likely to move”!

You can target Facebook ads so powerfully that you should consider Facebook to be one of your most important sources of qualified leads.

Here are some other options in Facebook ad targeting that are helpful for Realtors®:

  • “Renters” as a home ownership option, and “likely to move” as a Behaviors option
  • Precise neighborhood or zip code options under Locations
  • Income levels
  • Specific job titles – great for targeting specific professionals, or even other brokers (more on that later!)
  • Age range

Essentially, you can use any demographics you like, along with the behavior modifier “likely to move”, and you’ll end up with a highly qualified list of prospects.

Treat Facebook Ads Like Farming

Remember that no one gets on Facebook to see your ads. They get on Facebook to interact with friends, family, and coworkers. As a result, if you’re going to get attention, you need to present something your audience wants to see.

Essentially, it’s like farming, but you’re farming to a specific audience that’s very likely to need your services in the near future.

With that in mind, create informative content on your website that you then share in Facebook ads to the targeted audience you want to engage with. When they click through to your site, they’ll see your content, your listings, and get to know more about who you are.

Here are some ideas for informative blog posts:

  • How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell
  • 3 Renovations That Add Top Dollar Value to Your Home
  • The Best Time to Sell a Home in XXX (City)
  • How to House-Hunt in the Fall (Or Current Season)
  • The Truth About Home Appraisals

Then, you’re ready for the next step in your strategy…

Use Retargeting for Lead Capture

“Retargeting” is much easier than it sounds. It simply involves putting a tracking pixel on the blog post(s) that you’re advertising.

When those readers return to Facebook, the pixel tells Facebook to serve up a different ad to them – an ad more focused on getting their contact information so you can continue to follow up.

Why?

Because they’ve qualified themselves. Not only are they part of your very focused target market, they were interested enough in what you had to say that they visited your site.

Now that they’ve gotten to know you and showed interest, you can offer more tools or advice and ask for their contact information in return.

When they click on the second ad, they should go to a landing page where they input their contact information in return for your report, e-book, or one-page cheat sheet.

This can be similar to, but slightly more in-depth than, the blog post topics listed above.

Here are some ideas for lead magnets you can use for lead capture:

  • The Quick and Dirty Guide to Prepping Your Home for Sale
  • 7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent
  • Sell Your Home This Winter – The Checklist
  • 5 Things Buyers Should Know Before Committing to a Home

The Fortune is in the Follow-up

What’s next? Following up! Once you have someone’s information, you know several things about them:

  • They are part of your target market
  • They are interested enough in your information to read your blog
  • They are even interested enough in your information to download your report
  • You should follow up right away!!

Don’t let leads fall through the cracks. If you don’t have a CRM or automated email system, get one right away. (My favorite is Infusionsoft.)

Get on the phone. Send them a letter. Do SOMETHING. You’ve got a hot lead!

When you use Facebook in this way – highly specific targeting, using blog posts for engagement, retargeting to capture a lead, and then following up promptly – your real estate marketing will improve dramatically.

When you combine these efforts with traditional farming, print marketing, and personal outreach, your real estate marketing will be revolutionized.

Don’t let anything hold you back – get started today. Facebook is ready for you, and we have dozens of postcard templates that can be customized to integrate to any campaign.

Let’s do it!

The Importance of a Personal Brand for Realtors®

Importance of a Personal Brand

Even if you don’t know exactly what a personal brand is, you know you want one. And you should.

Experts will forever debate the exact meaning of a brand. Is it a name? A logo? Something more, or something less?

Here’s the simplest version: when I say the name Nike®, the brand is everything that pops into your head next. It’s the swoosh logo, it’s Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, and the phrase “Just Do It.” These are all things Nike® has done to build their brand and create a clear difference between them Reebok® and Under Armour®.

You don’t have billions of dollars at your disposal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build your own brand. Here are a few reasons why successful Realtors® have a solid brand.

It Separates You From the Competition

Stand out from the competition by selling what makes you truly unique. But keep in mind, discovering what makes you truly unique is not easy.

Everyone else is selling themselves as trustworthy and an expert in your area. So what makes you better than them?

“In today’s real estate landscape, there is no room for being another face in the crowd. You have to separate yourself from the competition by being more appealing to your target audience. You can achieve that by creating a recognizable personal brand,” wrote Jarad Hull, CEO at Blueroof360.

“Before you begin, realize that you are the brand, for better or worse. The face you see in the mirror every morning is your starting point. Use this to your advantage — because nobody else can be you.”

It Helps You Own Your Online Presence

Once you have a brand, you have to own it. Figuratively and literally. That means you have to go out and buy the domain, and nab all the Twitter handles and other social media credentials to match it.

“Wouldn’t it be great if whenever someone Googles your name, the search engine immediately delivers everything about you: website, social media accounts, LinkedIn profile, etsy store, wherever you’re hanging out online, it’s all right there, and it’s well-crafted and professional,” wrote Social Media Strategist, Christina Berry.

“That’s an important part of personal branding.”

It Makes You Memorable

Take a look at some of the real estate brands listed here. They’re all very different, but it doesn’t matter if you’re positioning yourself as the Geeky Girls, or “The Skydiving Agent.” You need to define your brand, so people can find you online without having a business card, postcard, or brochure handy. People should be able to just Google something memorable like “geeky girls + real estate” to find you.

Are you the pet-friendly Realtor who knows all the best neighborhoods for dogs? Or the new family Realtor who helps people buy their first homes?

It’s up to you to find out what separates you, use the internet to sell the heck out of it and make you memorable in people’s minds.

It shows up in everything from your business card to your branded stationery. If you need to update your print materials, you can easily create your own design online, and make sure your brand resonates with customers.

10 Great Pinterest Board Ideas for Realtors

Pinterest for Realtors

Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be great ways to both connect with clients and generate new leads.

But…what about Pinterest?

When you think about Pinterest, some of the first things that come to mind may be recipes and DIY craft projects, but did you know that Pinterest can also be a great resource for Realtors®?

It’s true.

Pinterest for Realtors® looks a lot like creating fun boards (something that, let’s be honest, you probably already do!) and centering them on specific areas, interests or styles that might appeal to potential clients.

The end game?

Potential clients will find and follow your Pinterest boards for inspiration, and, since they’re most likely in the market for a home in your general area, will likely turn to you for their real estate needs.

Pinterest for Realtors® : 10 Ideas to Get You Started

Are you ready to start creating your own Pinterest board? Take a look at some of these great ideas below to start getting ideas!

  1. Dream Homes in _____

Create a board focused on dream homes in your specific area. The key here is the specific area – you don’t want to just create a general “dream homes” board. Instead, be super area specific and target your real estate area to get more local potential clients interested.

  1. Home Renovation Ideas

People who are looking for Pinterest boards about home renovation ideas are likely looking to improve the resale value of their home, which in turn could mean that they are getting close to being ready to sell. Provide them with a great Pinterest board to follow and you’ve already got a lead!

  1. Dream Kitchen

Everyone wants a dream kitchen – it’s often one of the first rooms that people look at when home shopping. Create a Pinterest board centered on dream kitchens to spark inspiration and also leads by including images of actual kitchens in homes for sale in your area.

  1. Family-Friendly Home Ideas

Family-friendly homes are very important to many people. Make things easier for them during the home search process by creating a Pinterest board full of ideas. And if you have a listing that is particularly family-friendly, include photos on your board.

  1. Ideas for Staging Your Home

Again, if someone is looking for advice on staging a home, they are likely looking to sell the home they are currently in and buy a new one. By creating a board of staging ideas, you’re setting yourself up to get a lot of leads that are motivated and ready to sell/buy.

  1. Condos/Townhouses/Luxury Homes in _____

Pictures are worth a thousand words, literally. You can describe a home in great detail, but pictures are usually what cause a potential buyer to become interested. In order to capitalize on this, try creating a board that’s all about condos, townhouses, homes, etc. for sale in your specific area – and be sure to include pictures!

  1. Parks, Recreation, and Trails in _____

Sometimes it’s not so much the home that sells, but the area surrounding the home. If your region has great parks, recreation activities or trails, create a Pinterest board focused on those activities. You may just get someone interested in the area, which could turn into a real estate lead.

  1. Curb Appeal for Homes

Looking to improve curb appeal is another sure sign that someone is looking to sell a home. Create a board with curb appeal ideas to help them in the process and you may just land yourself another hot lead that is ready to sell very soon.

  1. Easy Home Organizational Ideas

People are always looking for new ways to organize their homes. If you’ve come across some good ideas for doing so, be sure to pin them on a specific Pinterest board. With the high number of searches, potential leads are bound to stumble across your board.

  1. Summer/Winter Activities in _____

Similar to parks and recreation, if your area has specific summer or winter activities that are really amazing – great beaches, mountains for hiking of skiing, lakes for boating, etc. – be sure to promote them, as this could help draw in more potential home buyers.

So, now that you have some ideas, it’s your turn! Start creating your very own real estate Pinterest boards today!

Don’t forget about your print marketing as well – get postcards, thank you cards and more here today

Your Real Estate Marketing Materials Checklist

Real Estate Marketing Materials Checklist

Today’s Realtor® needs to master both new-school and old-school forms of advertising. More importantly, it’s crucial that both forms play off of and complement each other.

To truly reach the most people possible, you need to work both online and off. So in an effort to help you plan your media attack, here is a checklist of marketing materials that all Realtors® need.

Offline

Post Cards

Real estate postcard marketing is tried and true. A postcard campaign that is targeted for the neighborhood you want to dominate remains near the top of the list of strategies for several reasons. Postcards:

  • Are affordable
  • Give you lots of space to work with
  • Reach a wide, but specific audience
  • Can work in tandem with any other campaigns

Make sure your postcards are customized with your specific message, personality, and graphics. There’s far less competition in the mailbox than ever before, so don’t overlook this medium!

Business Cards

At the least, make sure your business cards are professional with a clean look. But maybe try something new too – like a custom design.

“Have you ever made a really great professional contact and they don’t have a card to give you? Sure you can give them your card but then you’re dependent on them getting back to you,” wrote marketing blogger, Michael Cusden.

It can be a good idea to carry blank business cards with you, and when you meet someone without a card pull out a pen and one of your blanks and say something personal and witty. They’ll never forget you.

Seminars

Target a specific market (downsizers, new parents, etc) with a seminar and give them valuable advice.

Your costs are basically the cost of the venue (keep it low. Maybe even host it at your home with wine and cheese) and your time.

You will spread your name, establish yourself as an expert, and meet directly with people who will work with you, refer you, or both.

Billboard and Transit Ads

These are amazing, but you have to be ready to act fast.

If space becomes available in your neighborhood, act on it. These advertisers typically have a list of people in waiting. If you don’t answer when they’re ready for you, they will simply move on to the next name

Online

Website

Your website should be more than the bare minimum when it comes to online advertising. More than just your listings. It’s the portal that sends people to you.

All your online and offline advertising efforts need to send people here. So make sure when they’re on your website, your phone or inbox is never more than a click away for them.

White Papers

Take a seminar idea and turn it into a 5-10 page research paper, also known as a white paper. Or have someone interview you and write it up for you.

The topic and content of this piece will win you more clicks than the design. The design simply needs to be good and professional. The headline needs to address a pain-point or question your customers have AND actually provide value.

Blog

Some good blog topics include happenings in your local area, reviews of area restaurants and attractions, home tips, decorating tips, and seasonal information. Of course, throw in a post or two about listing or buying a home!

Pay-per-click

Pay-per-click involves setting up an ad campaign for Google searches. The strength of pay-per-click (PPC) is being able to measure your results and make quick adjustments to what is or isn’t working.

“Unlike other forms of marketing like radio, TV, SEO, shopping carts, billboards and social media, pay per click (PPC) advertising provides an easily measurable way for Realtors to determine the effectiveness of their marketing dollar spend,” wrote real estate blogger, Louis Cammarosano.

“If done properly, real estate agents should be able to show a profitable return on investment (ROI) from their PPC campaigns.”

So don’t give up after your first effort. Take it seriously for a long period of time and watch for progress.

Testimonials

Create a video interviewing your satisfied customers in their beautiful new home for your website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel.

You can also use still pictures of this interview in your offline advertising as well.

 

What forms of advertising do you swear by, and what have you given up on? Let us know in the comments below.

3 Essential Marketing Truths for Real Estate

Three Truths of Real Estate Marketing

When you get into this business, it can be very overwhelming. You can feel like you’ve got tons of tactics, rumors, and ideas about marketing flying around your head, but you don’t know what to grab on to. As a result, many new agents get paralyzed and do very little.

Even Realtors® who have been in this business a long time are susceptible to similar overload. The online marketplace has brought dozens of new platforms and “must do” marketing tactics. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and either ignore online marketing or do a little bit, and badly.

Obviously, neither of these scenarios is a path to success. Many times it helps to step back and remember the principles that transcend platforms, technology, or rumors. Here are the three essential marketing truths for real estate.

Inconsistent Follow-up DOESN’T WORK

This is absolutely true ALL of the time, whether you’re talking about door-knocking, email, or social media. If you’re not consistent in your marketing, you’re not going to win the sale. Prospects need to see your face over and over before they feel the sense of trust needed to work with you on the biggest investment they’ll probably ever make.

In the book Millionaire Real Estate Agent, the Gary Keller advocates 33 touches per year for prospects in your database. He writes that for every 12 people you touch 33 times, you can expect two sales. How many people have you had 33 contacts with in the last year?

Keeping your follow-up consistent can be time consuming. That’s why I advocate marketing automation so often. I personally use Infusionsoft, and I’ve seen revenues increase 472% without increasing staff headcount at all.

Personalized Follow-up Matters

When I tout the benefits of automation, don’t get confused and think I mean “depersonalized follow-up”. In fact, personalized follow-up is essential in any marketing, especially real estate.

Buyers and sellers want to know that they, specifically, are important to you. If you treat them like a number, they’ll treat you like a number – and demand more for less. But if you treat them like a person, providing full-service real estate assistance, they won’t worry about the numbers – they’ll be so impressed by your professionalism that they’ll be happy to pay your commission.

When using marketing automation, personalizing your responses is important. That means a lot more than just making sure the email includes their name. It also means that you build systems that send different responses based on how your prospects act: whether they click a link, download a report, or don’t do anything at all. If that sounds complex, consider a service like GetUSales, who has specific automation packages for real estate agents where all of your systems are built for you. It makes it simple to implement marketing automation straight out of the box.

Combining Multiple Platforms Brings the Best Results

Too many people get hung up on the newest marketing platform. Unfortunately, that means that their other marketing efforts get abandoned. It’s not worth it to chase the new, shiny social media outlet – they never end! Instead, focus on your best platforms and stay consistent.

The best mix of platforms include in-person, traditional mail, and online outreaches. Taking advantage of open-house visitors, participating in community events, and hosting holiday parties are great in-person ideas. Traditional postcards and Every Door Direct Mail are great ways to farm an area – when done consistently, of course. And online, there are a host of social media platforms. Focus on one or two, as your time allows.

Successful Realtors® know that it takes multiple types of outreach to bring good results in real estate marketing, but they don’t allow themselves to get bogged down by doing too much. Instead, they choose a simple mix of online and offline efforts that allow them to maximize their time and return on investment.

With all the excitement, rumors, new platforms, and new marketing ideas that come out each day, it can be helpful to remember the basics. The three essential marketing truths of real estate are: 1) Inconsistent follow-up doesn’t work. 2) Personalized follow-up matters, and 3) Combining multiple platforms brings the best results.

How are you going to put those truths to work for you today? Share in the comments!