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Archive for social media marketing for real estate

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!

Time Management Tips for Busy Realtors®

Time Management for Realtors

If there’s one thing I know we all wish we had, it’s more time. Realtors® have a ton of demands on their time – farming, answering inquiries, marketing listings, keeping up on social media, running clients to showings, managing their budget, and keeping their important partnerships intact. No one I know thinks real estate is a 9 – 5 job. But they still find it worth the work.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make time management easier. Here are four. Take a look at these and see what you can implement next week – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!

Automate Your Lead Follow-up

If you’ve read many of my blog posts, you know I’m a huge advocate of marketing automation. That’s because before I implemented it, I was losing 70% of my leads because I simply didn’t have time to follow up with everyone. Now that I’ve automated my follow-up, I lose ZERO leads. The transformation has been amazing.

Automated follow-up sounds very impersonal, but it’s not. I use Infusionsoft, and couldn’t be more in love with its versatility. You can customize not only the emails – which can include the customer name and other personalization – but the actual flow of email itself. Based on what the reader clicks, you can trigger different email paths. It’s the ultimate in reacting to each customer individually.

I wrote a post that gives far more details about this a few months ago, called “How to Have a Full-Time Marketing Assistant for $199/month”. Take a look if you’re interested!

Be Choosy with Social Media

I hear so many Realtors® say “You have to be everywhere on social media,” and it makes me cringe. You DON’T have to be everywhere. You simply can’t!! Instead, be choosy. Select 1 – 3 social media platforms that make the most sense for your business demographic and neighborhood. Then, do the absolute best you can with these. It’s far better to have a great presence on a few sites than an inconsistent presence on many.

Like all marketing and relationship building, consistency is the key to success. No Realtor® or real estate office can be consistent on every social media platform in existence. Instead, choose 1 – 3 and focus on building those relationships. You’ll end up with far better marketing results in far less time.

Consider Hiring a Virtual Assistant

In today’s world, you no longer need to have an on-site full time administrative assistant unless you want one. If you’re in a position where you could use the help, but can’t afford a full-time employee, consider hiring a virtual assistant, or VA. A VA is a contract employee that you simply pay an hourly fee. You are not responsible for office space, benefits, or anything else.

A general VA can do basic office work, filter email, answer the phone, mail outreach material, and more. This can make a world of difference in how much time you have available. If you need more specific real estate help, there are also real estate VAs available. These people are often former Realtors®, and can help with more specific real estate paperwork, deal with banks and inspectors, and much more. In either case, a VA is a great solution for an overworked Realtor®.

Systematize Your Prospect Outreach

A lot of us put a TON of thought into what we are going to send our prospects each month/week. We all know that we need a ton of “touches” before we’re going to make a sale, but often we panic because we don’t know what to say. But what if you created a system?

Decide on how many “touches” you want to do, and designate specific content for each one. Touch #1 could be a specific welcome email you write in advance. Touch #2 could be a newsletter. Touch #33 could be a Buyer FAQ. Whatever it is, decide and create it in advance. Then, when a new prospect comes in, they just go into the system. No more deciding what to send – just send the next item on the list. How much easier is that?!

There are tons of ways you can plan your day and organize your time. These four tips are actionable, solid approaches that will dramatically reduce the amount of time certain tasks require. If you put them into practice, you’ll be less harried and more able to focus on what you love – helping people buy and sell homes.

What do you do to focus your time? Share in the comments!

People Go To Facebook To Play, People Go To Google To Get Stuff Done

Have you been ignoring Google+ as one of you social media marketing outlets?  We have.  We get a D+ at best for our “Google+ game” and I’m calling us out! It hit me hard as I listened to this webinar given by Active Rain, featuring Realtor.com’s Social Media Manager, Eric Pfoulx.  I have a huge appreciation for people who know what they’re talking about and Eric had my full attention when he said “People go to Facebook to play, they go to Google when they’re looking for something, like a Realtor®“. Can you say….”Light bulb moment”!!  This webinar moved Google+ right up to the front burner as a top priority for search and social media, it opened my eyes to what we’ve been missing out on…more traffic!  Not only more traffic, but more qualified, higher quality traffic.

It may seem obvious, but Google+ is an extension of Google, the biggest search engine in the world.  This real estate marketing website is “fed” by Google.  Google makes up 74% of the daily traffic to Real Estate Marketing Magazine and we are missing out on tremendous traffic opportunities by not paying better attention to the “hand that feeds us”. Google (Google+) DUH!!!!  It’s such a huge duh for anyone concerned with search engine marketing and SEO.

I want to challenge you to watch the webinar below by Active Rain, “call yourself out” if you are ignoring Google+, and get yourself active on Google+ as soon as possible.  Once you create your Google+ profile and start connecting with people, please connect with me and with the Real Estate Marketing Magazine Google+ page.  You can check in on us to make sure we’re practicing what we preach and taking our own challenges.

Please say “hi” and let us know what your biggest challenges are as a Realtor® when it comes to your real estate marketing.

This webinar is a really…really…really good use of time to better understand Google+, why you need it and why you shouldn’t be ignoring the 100 Million+ users who are actively using Google+.  If you don’t have time to watch the video, play it on your smart phone and listen to it while you’re driving (stress on the word listen…do not watch it while driving).

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