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The 3 Fundamental Focuses of Real Estate Marketing

3 Fundamentals of Real Estate Marketing

Do you feel like real estate marketing is complicated? Certainly there are a lot of various tactics, techniques, and activities involved in real estate marketing. But at its foundation, it’s simple.

There are actually only three fundamental focuses that make up real estate marketing. If you feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, consider taking just one step in each of these three areas.

#1: Print and Mail Marketing

Some Realtors® consider print and mail marketing “old school,” outdated, and too expensive to pursue. The truth is, direct mail still outperforms digital channels by a significant margin.

There’s so much less competition in the mailbox than the inbox it’s not even funny. You can’t afford to miss out. The return on your investment will be well worth it.

Here are a few ways to implement print and mail marketing:

  • Farming. Farming is still a crucial way to build up your reputation and brand in target neighborhoods. With Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) making it easy to target a community even without a mailing list, there’s no excuse not to farm!
  • Flyers and Brochures. Having flyers and brochures that you distribute is another way to help your community get to know you. Think outside the box – you can put up flyers at various commercial locations, hand out brochures at a 5K or charity event, and more!
  • Just Listed and Just Sold. By using a planned series of Just Listed and Just Sold postcards, you can build interest in listings, sell them quickly, and promote your success to new prospects. Win-win-win!

#2: Online Real Estate Marketing

Just like you can’t neglect print marketing, you can’t neglect online real estate marketing either. Buyer and sellers will both evaluate you based on your website and online reviews. You can’t be caught off guard.

Over 73% of all Americans go online on a daily basis, and 21% report being online “almost constantly.” Social media, email, and other online strategies are how you meet these prospects where they are – on the internet.

Here are a few ways to implement online real estate marketing:

  • A Community Page. Having a community page on your website is an excellent way to become a go-to destination for prospects in your target neighborhoods. By listing new developments, community news, public events, and more, you can become the online expert in your target area.
  • Create and Join Social Media Communities. Posting once in awhile on social media is fine, but it won’t move the needle on your business. Instead, make the most impact in the least amount of time by being part of targeted online communities. Is there a Facebook group dedicated to your city, state, or area? By joining and sharing regularly, you can build trust and find clients. If there isn’t, create one!
  • Use Video. Video is a technique that helps move people beyond their goldfish-style attention span and commands their attention. By combining images and words, and verbal communication with nonverbal, you get the best of all world. Consider videos that showcase listings, show behind-the-scenes of your work, showcase testimonials, and more!

#3: In-Person Real Estate Marketing

Real estate is a personal business, and the best real estate marketing is focused and personal as well. Sometimes, you just have to physically be there.

Being personally present in target neighborhoods helps you be more than just a face online or in a brochure. It helps people make meaningful personal connections with you, and it’s the fastest way to help people know, like, and trust you.

Here are some ways to take advantage of in-person real estate marketing:

  • Volunteer. It can be hard to authentically connect with people if they see you as a salesperson. Instead, get involved in volunteering and charity events so that you have a natural reason to spend time with people and get to know them. Sometimes moving outside the business bubble brings the best relationships.
  • Serve in Local Politics. Being active in local politics has two benefits. Not only are you able to build relationships with influencers in your city, but you’re also able to help make decisions that can be impactful to the real estate market in your area. By being active, you’re helping make a real difference.
  • Sponsor Charity Events. By hosting or sponsoring charity events, you gain exposure for your real estate business in a way that matters to everyone in your community. Help sponsor a 5K or pancake breakfast or hold a fundraiser for your favorite organization. Being someone who gives back helps you build relationships and encourages others to like and trust you.

If you’ve been in real estate for a while, this article might have seemed a little basic. Let me encourage you – sometimes it pays to step back and look at the basics.

Realtors® busy themselves with dozens and dozens of techniques, tactics, and strategies to build their business and gain clients. Many of these aren’t valuable. By looking at the very basics of real estate marketing, you can evaluate which of your strategies fit in and earn you money, and which you should let go.

Let 2017 be the year you get back to basics, simplify your business, and focus on the systems that bring new clients and new cash into your real estate practice!

Instagram for Real Estate Just Got Even Better!

Instagram for Real Estate

As you know, here at Printerbees we are all about helping you make your real estate marketing effective. We specialize in print marketing, and we know that a really great marketing strategies ties print marketing and digital marketing together into a whole.

One of our favorite digital platforms we encourage Realtors® to use is Instagram. We’ve written a few posts about it before, but there’s new breaking news!

You can now add links to Instagram Stories, allowing you to direct prospects to your real estate website!!

Here’s how to capitalize on this new development.

Take Advantage of Instagram for Real Estate

Instagram is a great tool for real estate digital marketing. We’ve talked about how to use Instagram effectively, as well as how to best use hashtags.

If you’re not using Instagram for real estate because your digital marketing is already maxed out, I understand. However, if you are curious about how to use Instagram to boost your marketing, here are some quick tips:

  • Showcase your desired farm community on Instagram. Followers will enjoy you highlighting the neighborhood, and will share your content with each other!
  • Show “behind the scenes” shots of your work. People are curious who the real you is!
  • Use Instagram to connect with other Realtors® who may have buyers looking in your area. Showcase your listings!
  • Make sure each post has a call to action. What do you want the viewer to do? Like, share, and click through to your website are all great ideas.

Remember that having a consistent presence is vital on social media. Post regularly to maintain your following!

Take Advantage of Cool Instagram Features

Instagram continues to make updates that make the platform better and better to use for real estate marketing. Here are some to think about!

URL Links in Stories

Instagram has a “stories” feature similar to Snapchat, which allows you to take temporary videos or photos and string them together to form a story.

Now, you can add a button within your image that, when tapped, takes the viewer to a webpage of your choice. It’s a great way to create a story that features a listing, and then include a link to the listing on your website.

You can also create a story about your farm neighborhood or a local event, and include links that take people to your contact page. That way they can call or email you for more information about working with you!

You do have to have a verified Instagram account to use this feature, but you should have that anyway as a professional.

Mentions

Mentions are a great way to give shout-outs to other users. If you have been interacting with someone and feel you have a listing they would appreciate, you can now add an @mention of them to a story.

This is also helpful if you know other Realtors® who might have clients looking to move into a neighborhood you have a listing for, or if you have a buyer and want to reach out to Realtors® with listings on Instagram.

Boomerang

Finally, you can now add boomerangs, which are one-second video loops, to stories without having to use the separate Boomerang app. You can use this to add levity to stories, show a quick looping scan of the front of a home instead of a still photo, and more.

Right now, you can only do this within Instagram for stories. If you want to add a boomerang as an image in your feed, you’ll still have to use the stand-alone Boomerang app.

If you’re a Realtor® who already uses Instagram for real estate, these new changes are exciting for you. If you don’t use Instagram, you might consider doing so. It’s a great visual platform with millions of users.

Don’t forget to integrate your digital marketing with your print marketing campaign. You can list Instagram as one of the ways to follow you when you send out your holiday postcards. Let us help – we have dozens of customizable templates!

How Real Estate Websites Get Noticed – Get More Leads

Real Estate Websites - Get More Leads

Is your website making you money, or costing you money? The sad truth is too many real estate websites are there because the Realtor® knows they need one, but it actually shows no return on investment.

In reality, a well-designed website should be a lead generation machine. It should be one of your strongest sales tools.

If you’re not getting leads from your site, the good news is you can tweak your site to optimize it, without having to tear it down and building it again. Just a fixer-upper.

Here are a few things you can do to help your website build your business.

Keep Your Contact Information on Every page

This is probably the biggest lead optimization fault of any website, not just real estate websites.

Don’t make it hard for people to contact you. Keep your contact information on every page of your site, so you’re never more than a click or quick call away.

“With search engines being such an important driver of inbound website traffic, you can’t always predict where people are going to enter your website,” notes Jonathan Bentz, marketing manager, Netrepid, a provider of professional services.

“Having your contact info on every page of your website increases the likelihood that people will contact you.”

Lead Capture Forms Help Real Estate Websites

If someone doesn’t want to use your contact information, they should just be able to enter a bit of info on the side of any page to reach you.

I know we’re in the business of qualifying our leads, but try not to ask for too much information in this form. Full name, email address and a question is usually quite enough.

An average 5% dip in conversion rate by including a phone number field. Unless your business is based on post-click sales calls, avoid this field at all cost. Not many people like to have someone call them (unless it’s critical to their personal success). said Conversion guru, Oli Gardner.

Use a Call to Action That Gets People Moving

Sometimes a would-be client is on your site, and they leave without contacting you. Why did this happen? Maybe because you haven’t given them a clear and compelling next step or call-to-action.

Say someone is looking at one of your listings. Your first instinct may be to end the page with something like “For more information on this home, click here.” That doesn’t really entice the browsers. Consider a more active, “Click here to get a tour of this home.” It’s what most browsers want. So give it to them right away.

And use different CTAs, because not every page will have the same logical next step.

“If you use the exact same CTA on every page, you are likely leaving leads on the table. While it is certainly easier to use the same call to action everywhere, it’s not the most prudent way to generate new leads,” said ConversionVoodoo.com.

“As your website visitors move around your site, their desires and their needs often change. If you are presenting your calls to action correctly, you even want their needs to change.”

These are just 3 little things you can likely implement tomorrow on your real estate website. You may just have to move things around a bit to get your contact info on every page, add a lead form or shorten the one you have. You can also easily add new CTAs to each page.

PS: In addition to your website, how are your business cards and postcards? If you need to update your print materials, you can easily get customized real estate business cards and postcards to make sure you’re getting the most for your dollar.

How Real Estate Websites Get Noticed – Build a Better Blog

Real Estate Websites

Want a website that performs better than the other guys’ real estate websites? Start by building a better blog than them.

The numbers prove that blogging drives success and performance. According to Hubspot:

  • Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website
  • Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information

The good news is there are countless Realtors® out there blogging on real estate websites, but only a small percentage of them are doing it correctly.

Here’s how to separate yourself from the pack.

Focus on the Headline

It very literally starts here. It’s the first thing people see on real estate websites, and what they use to determine if your blog is worth their time and their click. It’s the “bait” that gets people to stop scrolling through their newsfeed on Facebook and read your story.

Be creative, be engaging and be funny to earn people’s attention. “The City’s New Bylaws Explained” is boring and not really click-worthy. But a headline like “Will the New City Bylaws Cost You Thousands?” will spark people’s interest and create a sense of urgency.

A few other tips on headlines:

  • Let your personality shine through
  • Keep them short and sharable
  • Try to work keywords into them, but don’t force them in
  • Mistakes and myths play well. For example, “5 Myths About Home Inspections” or “3 Mistakes Nearly All First-time Buyers Make” would be great headlines!

Write and Publish on a Schedule

Schedules are good because they make your blog predictable, while keeping you on task. So get yourself in the routine of writing the blog Monday and publishing on Wednesday, or something like that.

What’s the best day to publish on real estate websites? Experts have a ton of data and metrics that can make an argument for Monday right through until the weekend. The bottom line is you want to publish your blog and share it socially when your would-be customers are online. That can be any number of times.

An attainable and repeatable routine is more important than locking yourself into a steadfast day of the week based on someone else’s numbers.

Mix Things Up

Being predictable doesn’t mean being boring. There are lots of different types of blogs you can publish:

  • How to Guide or Q&A: Always popular and you get to showcase your expertise
  • Newsjacking: A term that describes responding to something that’s trending or making headlines and providing your own spin
  • Guest posts: Run a piece from a guest writer like a local mortgage broker or home inspector

You should also try a bit of gated content. This would be something like a whitepaper or a how-to-guide. It’s called a gated asset because your reader will have to provide you their name and email address to download it. This helps you capture more leads and build your mailing list.

Most Realtors® don’t do these things, and neither do bloggers from most any sector. Most will use the first headline that comes to mind, write and publish when they have time, and offer up the same stale meal every week. But now you know better, and can stand out from other real estate websites.

While you’re revisiting your digital advertising, how does your print marketing look? Is it time for new business cards or postcards?  If you need new materials, you can easily create your own design online, and give your branding a quick refresh.

Real Estate Websites: Rock Your Online Property

Real Estate Websites

Realtors® are masters of showcasing properties, but it’s ironic that so many struggle with showcasing themselves.

Think of your website as a property you’re trying to sell. You need to hold it to the same standards that you would ask your clients to. If something is great, sell it. If something is holding you back, fix it or eliminate it.

Here’s how to make your online property – your real estate website – as amazing as your sold properties.

Your Real Estate Website’s Curb Appeal

Your website’s first impression is as vital as any home’s facade. So make sure your homepage is the first place you start impressing people.

“Serving as your company’s virtual front door, this page is generally responsible for drawing in a majority of your website’s traffic. And despite its prominence, many businesses struggle to optimize it properly,” wrote Hubspot’s Lindsay Kolowich.

Make sure your website has a nice, clean and professional homepage, without any clutter.

Your Website’s “Feng Shui”

Everything inside the home needs to be positioned for optimal flow, and this is also true of your website.

People should be able to flow and click through and find exactly what they want right away. People getting confused by your navigation is akin to homebuyers having to step over junk during a tour. It makes for an awkward experience and turns people off.

“If you can go from point A to B directly why take a detour that will just add to the time you take to reach your destination? Makes sense doesn’t it? Now juxtapose this thinking to the design of your site. Still makes sense,” wrote Suraj Kumar, the Founder & CEO of CloudBooks.

Everything should flow beautifully. Make sure that when you send people to your site from your business card or printed materials, they get a smooth experience. And once they’re on your site, it should be easy to browse listings and get in touch with you at any point, from any page.

Fix What’s Broken Before People See it

You would never show people a house with a leaky sink, or a garage door hanging by a hinge and say, “We’re going to fix this later.” You would tell your sellers that they need to fix this before you stage the home. Be sure to apply the same logic to your website.

Dead links, broken images, Under Construction signs, and empty blogs all hurt you. And it’s easy to let these things go when you launch your site and say, “We’ll fix that down the road.”

If you can’t fix a page right now, change your settings to hide it until you can fix it. But once it’s out of sight, make sure it’s not out of mind and you do fix the problem.

Stage Things Professionally

Most people aren’t professional home stagers, so they get one to set up their home. You’re not a professional web designer, so consider getting one to your site.

With the rise of free website building tools, it’s now easier than ever to DIY your own site. That doesn’t make it a good idea for a professional.

You might be able to use their templates to make something that you think looks good. But you’re not an expert on what your users will think looks good. Web designers are. Work with one and trust their expertise to build an amazing website with a seamless user experience.

Yes, using templates alone may be cheap, or even free. But just like spending money on a home staging makes your clients more money down the road, spending the money on a professional website leads to more sales down the road for you.

Using your real estate website to draw clients to you isn’t all that different from getting a home ready to sell at top dollar. Pay attention to curb appeal and flow. Fix what’s broken. Stage things professionally. You’ll be glad you did when your clients find you more easily and quickly!

If you need help getting great print materials to compliment your beautiful website, we’re here to help! Check out our real estate marketing fliers, postcards, and more today!

The Top 3 Ways to Advertise Houses for Sale

House for Sale

We all know how important it is for the houses you list to sell quickly. And not only do you want them to sell quickly, but you’d like them to also sell for top dollar.

However, when it comes to figuring out the best ways to advertise your various houses for sale, the whole process of trial-and-error can take quite a long time – time that you don’t necessarily have.

So…are there any tried and true advertising tips that seem to work better than others right from the beginning?

To help answer this question, we’ve put together a list of our top 3 ways to advertise houses for sale – take a look through and give these ideas a try today!

List Your Houses for Sale on Various Real Estate Platforms

While this may seem obvious, it is really important. More and more people are searching for real estate online.  In fact, in a recent study done by the National Association of Realtors, it was discovered that approximately 92% of home buyers house hunt via the Internet. That’s a lot of people – you’d be crazy not to try and tap into the potential leads available online.

Plus, with so many various platforms available for real estate promotion online, the possibilities are quite endless. Some sites you should definitely consider include the popular ones like Zillow and Trulia, but don’t just limit yourself to traditional websites. If you’ve built up a following on any social media platforms – such as Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram – don’t forget to list your houses for sale there as well. Doing so will allow you to reach a whole new potential audience – one that’s likely different than who you would reach via traditional advertising methods or even through regular websites.

Invest in Great Interior and Exterior Pictures of Your Houses for Sale

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the world of real estate, a great picture can be worth much more – it can be that last deciding factor, or “tipping point,” that really puts the icing on the cake and gets your listings sold quickly.

We’re all visual people, and because of this we respond better (and more quickly) to images than we do to plain text. Take advantage of this fact by investing in and utilizing awesome photographs to showcase your listings in the best light possible.

Some things to consider:

  • Be sure your photos are shot in the best possible light.
  • When shooting exterior shots, make sure the lawn is mowed and the landscaping looks well-maintained.
  • Pay attention to detail – if the home has a unique feature, be sure to highlight it in the photographs.
  • Stage the interior of the home appropriately and remove anything unsightly like trash cans and clutter.
  • Always shoot “long” and try your best to make tight spaces look bigger.

Remember, photos can make or break a property, so don’t skimp – it’s worth investing in quality images.

Use “Just Listed” Flyers and Other Print Marketing

And finally, no matter the popularity of the Internet and digital marketing, there’s just something about traditional print marketing that always boosts your results. If you’ve never tried print marketing before, you definitely need to – it’ll make a huge difference in your advertising and marketing efforts.

For example, to ensure that the houses you have listed for sale are sold quickly, you should use “Just Listed” flyers in targeted areas. You can pass these flyers out in areas that you think would be interested, or even have them on hand to give to potential clients/buyer you meet while out and about during your day. Be sure to highlight the best features of the home on the flyers, and don’t forget to include some of the awesome photographs you just took of both the interior and exterior of the home!

To sum it up, it takes a lot of work to ensure that your houses for sale sell quickly. However, by following the above tips, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful closing in no time at all!

How to Create a Real Estate Website That Works

Real Estate Website that Works

The perfect Realtor® marketing attack is a triple-threat that includes your print materials, signage/ advertising, and your website.

You may worry that every other Realtor has a website, so they aren’t very effective. But the good news is very few of them are running it the right way. Creating a top quality online presence is easier than you think and a few simple tweaks can separate you from the rest.

Here’s how to make your website really work for you.

Stay Social

You can do your website a lot of good by keeping up a strong and active social presence. This will only cost you your time, and it’s time very well spent.

“If you haven’t noticed lately, Google is putting a lot of emphasis on social sharing,” wrote real estate strategist, Andrew Molz.

“It’s a good idea to get out there and get active if you want to rank in your city for a particular keyword phrase. Best of all, the social media pages are absolutely free, so you’re not paying out of pocket for any charges.”

Don’t Confuse Flash with Function

You may get discouraged by a rival’s website. It’s cool looking, has all the bells and whistles, and cost them a fortune. Good for them, but that doesn’t guarantee success.

Many Realtors® will recruit a web design firm, a photographer, and a copywriter to work on their website. That’s all wonderful, but not a prerequisite.

Professional headshots are essential, and high-end graphics are wonderful, but they don’t make up for a bad user experience.

True, you want to impress the site’s users. But you don’t want to confuse them. A busy and flashy website runs the risk of information overload. That’s bad. That causes people to visit the site and give up without contacting you.

Make it Really Easy to Contact You

Remember, your website alone doesn’t sell houses. You do.

You should never be more than a click away. Your site should show people your listings, then get them in contact with you in as few clicks as humanly possible.

So make sure your contact information is always in the footer of every page. And strategically place your “Want to know more” lead form on the side of every listing.

Know What Keywords to Target

There are a few great ways to find the keywords you should target for free. “Houses for sale + your site” is an obvious one. Now take it a step further.

Enter words you think you need to target into Google and see what it autocompletes after the phrase. The words that pop up next are often searched for, so keep them in mind.

Also, Google a series of words you think you should target, like “Realtor + your city.” Now scroll to the bottom and look at the “Searches related to” section. Those terms are also phrases you should target.

Know the Right and Wrong Ways to Use Keywords

Be mindful of keywords, but don’t overstuff them into your website’s writing. This can really hurt the flow for your readers. Remember, write for human beings, not search engines.

That said, you do want to use them where you can. Remember optimum keyword density (the number of times you use a keyword per page) is only about 1.5%. So you only need to use a keyword three times in 200 words. That should happen pretty organically, without the need to force it.

Be a Blogger

Blogging takes time, but it’s worth your while to get really good at it. This really helps you own your local market.

Remember, Realtors® need to offer real value in their blogs.

“The good news is, even though we know how important content is, most real estate professionals still are not providing fresh and useful information on their websites,” wrote RealtorMag.org’s Stephanie Hahn.

“Focus on the neighborhoods you work in (or want to work in) often. Talk about the local market statistics or events around town, spotlight a business, try a ‘man on the street’ interview, or just showcase a subdivision or a section of a neighborhood.”

How is your website performing? Let us know your frustrations and triumphs in the comments below.

How to Create Effective Local Real Estate Marketing

Local Real Estate Marketing

You know that marketing your real estate business is critical to success – but what about local marketing? How should you go about marketing within your local neighborhoods? And does local marketing even really matter?

According to the statistics, it does matter.

  • It’s been reported that 18% of local searches done via a mobile phone lead to a completed sale within the day.
  • Local searches are what drive 50% of mobile users to visit a particular store or business within one day of the search.
  • When searching for local products, 97% of consumers use the Internet to search, as oppose to a phone book.

If you haven’t thought about investing in local marketing efforts for your real estate business, it’s time to start considering the facts – local is the way of the future (and the present for that matter).

So how do you do it? How can you create an effective local marketing strategy? Take a look at these 5 tips below and give them a try within your own business:

  1. List Your Business on Google

With the majority of web searches happening on Google and an increasing number of people using the Internet as a method for finding local businesses, it’s more important than ever before to get your business listed on Google locally. It’s actually a really simple process – all you have to do is follow these instructions for verifying a local business on Google, and you’re home free.

  1. Blog About Your Local Neighborhoods

The content you put on your blog and the keywords you choose to target matter a great deal, so be sure to choose wisely. For your local real estate blog, it would be a great idea to target specific neighborhoods and areas that you serve within your community by creating individual blogs posts about each one. For example, if you serve the greater area of Dallas, Texas, but you want to drive business in a specific suburb, write a blog post using that suburb as a keyword. Discuss all the fun things to do in that neighborhood and detail why someone might want to move to that area. If you target your keyword correctly and bring up lots of interesting facts, people will be much more likely to choose you when looking to buy or sell a home in that specific area.

  1. Use Local Mailing, Including EDDM

EDDM, or Every Door Direct Mail, is an incredible way to blanket an entire local area with information about your services. The cost is very affordable, you don’t need a special mailing permit, and you can mail oversized postcards that get immediate attention. You don’t need a mailing list, either – you can simply choose a postal route and every address on that route will receive your mailing. With so many people focusing exclusively on digital marketing, there’s less competition in the mailbox than ever. EDDM mailings are a slam-dunk for local marketing.

  1. Connect with Local Service Providers

You probably already have a network of local service providers in your area that you call on when you need work done at a house you’re selling. If so, then you’re already a step ahead of the game. Reach out to these providers and interview them about their services. Write up a review of their business on your website, including the location of their services. For example – this way, if people are looking for a general contractor in your local area, they might just stumble upon your website when doing a Google search. And while they might not need your services right away, if you can provide them with a good referral, they’ll be much more likely to come back when the time is right for them to buy or sell.

  1. Optimize Your Website for a Specific Location

If you haven’t already listed your address and the surrounding areas that you serve somewhere on your website, you should definitely do this as soon as possible. Not only will this help your website pull up in local searches, but potential clients will be much more likely to use your real estate services if they know exactly where you are located. Win-win, really.

In conclusion, local marketing is extremely important to your real estate business, and it’s really not too difficult to implement. Give some of the above ideas a try today and watch your local business start to improve!

Your Facebook Page Doesn’t Count – The Case for Realtor® Websites

Realtor Website

Do you have a Realtor® website as the home base for your web presence? If not, you’ll want to read this article carefully. Unfortunately far too many Realtors® rely on a social media site – often Facebook – as their primary online platform. I’m here to give you some honest marketing feedback. Your Facebook page doesn’t count. Here are three reasons you really need a Realtor® website.

A Website Allows You to Make the Rules

You may not realize this, but when you use a social media platform, you are bound by their terms of service (TOS). The TOS is designed to be beneficial for the service owners, not necessarily you or your business. If you have a Realtor® website as the base of your business, you get to make the rules – you can do what you like, and not risk having your account restricted.

What does this mean, in practice? It means you can link or embed videos from YouTube without having your reach limited. (Facebook punishes any video that isn’t uploaded directly to the platform). You can run contests without fearing repercussions from the social media site. (Every social media TOS has rules and restrictions regarding contests). And you can create ads and promotions you want, rather than ones that abide by the strict advertising rules of Facebook or other platforms.

Your Reach Will Be FAR Better

Have you noticed that your posts aren’t going as far as they used to – especially on Facebook? You may be surprised to find out that only a very small percentage of your Facebook fans see any given post. Facebook claims this is because there’s “too much information” to share with people on their feeds, but the reality is that Facebook and other social media platforms are moving toward a paid-ad driven business model. If you want reach now, you have to pay for it.

On the other hand, when you have your own Realtor® website, you can keep all the fans and visitors you have – without anyone restricting the flow. The work you do to build visibility and reach won’t be throttled by someone else trying to make a buck off of you. The benefit of having your own platform when it comes to getting eyes on your message can’t be overstated.

You Can Control Graphics and Design on Your Website

Do you ever wish that you could show visitors a beautiful slideshow of your current listings, recently sold homes, and happy clients? With your own website, you can. In fact, you can create whatever you want to create. If web design is not your strong point, that’s not a problem – there are many freelance designers or web management companies that can help you set up a WordPress site and keep it up to date for you. I love Outstanding Setup personally – they are very affordable and very responsive when you need changes.

On the other hand, social media sites are designed by someone else, and not with your business in mind. On some platforms, it’s hard to display very many pictures. On others, there’s very little room for text. When you don’t have choices, you can find that your message gets garbled. When you have your own Realtor® website, you can choose a template that displays exactly what you want to show your prospects.

Having your own website doesn’t have to mean hours of coding and learning how to be a web designer. You can easily and affordably outsource the technical work. However, having your own platform allows you to make the rules, maintain your reach, and control your own layout. These three things make it very worthwhile to create a Realtor® website.

What’s your favorite thing about having a Realtor® website? Share in the comments!

Three Ways Realtors® Can Market in Social Media Without Going Nuts

Realtor Social Media Marketing

Real estate marketing isn’t easy. It’s a simple fact – although you want to spend time on helping others buy and sell houses, you have to spend a significant amount of time standing out making sure people know you’re available.

When you throw social media into the marketing mix, it can get pretty overwhelming. Social media requires a lot of time and there’s a lot of pressure to be on EVERY platform. Unfortunately, this usually backfires – you end up with a poorly-maintained presence online, and are too stressed to give great service to the clients you do get.

So, here are three ways that Realtors® can make good choices in social media marketing without losing their minds.

Be Choosy

The first, most simple technique is this: DON’T be on everything. Choose 1 – 3 social media platforms that make the most sense for your business. What do people in your farm area use most? What do people looking to enter your area use most? By being fully present on the social media that your customers are active on, you’ll get great return for your effort.

In addition to choosing where your customers currently are, look at social media options that will allow you to get a leg up in the market. Periscope is a great example of a new platform where Realtors® can establish their expertise by being one of the first to share important real estate information. In addition, some social media options allow you to change how you do things, such as using Skype to communicate with distant clients face-to-face and using Periscope to host a safer, more efficient open house.

Create a Routine

All marketing efforts require consistency, including social media. You can’t post 3 times one day and then not post for two weeks and expect things to work out. Give social media the same routine consistency you give your other outreach efforts. Create a schedule and stick to it.

In creating a routine, mix automated interaction with real-time interaction. Use tools like BufferApp to schedule certain posts in advance, so they happen while you’re doing something else. Then, schedule one or two specific times to be online and do real-time chatting with your followers. By doing this, you can build a very consistent social media presence.

Know the Best Practices of the Platform

No matter what social media outlets you choose, you’ll be most effective if you know the best practices. Let’s say you chose Twitter, Facebook, and Periscope. If those are your choices, ignore articles about using Pinterest, Instagram, or other platforms. However, study closely the tips and tricks of Twitter, Facebook, and Periscope. Remember, you can’t do it all!

If you find that despite implementing the best practices, you’re not getting a good result from a specific social media outlet, don’t be afraid to shift to something else. Mind you, I didn’t say add something. Just shift. You can only do a few things well, so if after a few months you aren’t getting a following or results, you may need to try something new.

All of the new social media platforms can drive you crazy if you try to use them all at once. Instead, maximize your social media marketing using the three tips above: be choosy, create a routine, and know the best practices. Don’t be afraid to be flexible if things aren’t working after a good period of time. You can use social media without going nuts. Now you know how!

How do you make good use of social media without getting overwhelmed? Share in the comments!