Posts by Properties Online (page 89)

Proximity Marketing Is Tailor-Made for Real Estate Professionals

For busy real estate agents, proximity marketing apps are the next best thing to standing in front of a house and handing out flyers to everyone who drives past — but with significant advantages. Proximity apps require no physical presence, work for you 24/7/365, and don’t actually require home buyers to stop at the curb in front of the home. Home buyers merely have to enter the area or access information about the area for your home listing to pop up.

The exponential growth of smart phone use over the past year and significant advances in mobile communication technology have made proximity marketing this year’s hottest real estate marketing tool. Proximity marketing, also called location-based marketing, uses mobile technology apps such as FourSquare, Facebook Places and Yelp to alert interested home buyers to available properties as they enter a neighborhood. As soon as a prospective home buyer drives into a new area, he receives an alert notifying him of any homes for sale that meet his search criteria. Proximity apps provide addresses and can link to agent mobile websites and listing domains, allowing home buyers to drive by the home and/or access additional listing information.

For busy real estate agents, proximity marketing apps are the next best thing to standing in front of a house and handing out flyers to everyone who drives past — but with significant advantages. Proximity apps require no physical presence, work for you 24/7/365, and don’t actually require home buyers to stop at the curb in front of the home. Home buyers merely have to enter the area or access information about the area for your home listing to pop up.

To reap the greatest rewards from proximity marketing, real estate agents must take the time to create geo-fences around each of their listing properties. Proximity alerts are generated when consumers cross a geo-fence. Creating geo-fences around individual properties as well as around neighborhoods where you have listings will increase the number of alerts sent out. It’s equally important to key your geo-fences to amenities that house hunters enter in their housing preferences. Proximity alerts can be triggered not just by location but by matches to buyers’ search criteria.

Take into account the many methods home buyers use to find homes in a certain location and the many things they consider when shopping for a home, such as zip code, square footage, number of bedrooms, school districts, pet friendliness, etc. To make the best use of proximity apps, design your geo-fences to trigger as many buyer search criteria as possible.

Facebook Best Practices for Real Estate Professionals

Facebook business pages have become a marketing necessity for real estate agents. A Facebook presence puts your brand and your product where home buyers, home sellers and other real estate industry professionals are most likely to see them. According to a 2011 Nielsen Social Media Report, U.S. internet users spend more time on Facebook than on any other website. The average Facebook user spends 14 minutes a day on Facebook, or about 7 hours a month; that’s nearly a full business day!

Facebook Business Page

According to the Nielsen report, in January 2010, Facebook users averaged 55 Facebook visits per month during which they visited 90 domains and logged 2,621 page views — and the numbers keep increasing! Facebook is a potential marketing gold mine for real estate agents, put it’s also easy to get lost in the roar of the crowd. To get the best return on investment from your Facebook business page, real estate professionals should follow these Facebook best practices:

  • Items posted on the weekend draw the most user activity and are shared more often than items posted on weekdays. However, Thursday morning is the best time to post new listing domains. Posting new listings just before the weekend generates buyer excitement and allows time to schedule weekend home tours.
  • Facebook posts made at the beginning of the work day, between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., generate the most Facebook user traffic, likes and sharing. Posts made at 6 p.m. also ranked high with Facebook users and another, smaller user spike occurs from 10 p.m. to midnight.
  • Facebook users are quickly annoyed by overactive posters. For greatest traction, limit Facebook posts to every other day.
  • Positive posts track 4 times higher than negative posts. Use positive language when writing posts and creating downloadable information.
  • Facebook users are also drawn to useful information. Linking Facebook posts to real estate website tools such as mortgage and closing cost calculators or to helpful downloads such as home selling checklists, home buying tips and house staging tips attracts Facebook users.

Tips for Designing Dynamic Real Estate eFlyers

eFlyers are an easy way to send information to large numbers of clients and other real estate agents, but they can also be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your real estate website. The key to using eFlyers to boost real estate site traffic is search engine optimization. By applying the same keywords, linking strategies and search engine optimization techniques used to drive traffic to your website, Facebook page, listing domains, YouTube videos and blog, your eFlyers become an integrated part of your total web presence and an additional tool for increasing your search rankings on Google, Bing and Yahoo.

keller williams craigslist flyer

Follow these tips to improve the search engine optimization of your real estate eFlyers:

  • Include keyword links to website landing pages, real estate videos and listing domains.
  • Keep your layout visually clean. You’ll garner the greatest response with short bold headlines, short copy blocks and a few crisp photos. Use links, embedded videos and QR codes to direct flyer recipients to more detailed information.
  • Prominently display your contact information in the top-right quarter of the page. Studies have shown that when viewing a webpage or document, the human eye goes first to the top right quadrant. With your contact information, include one-click links to your website, Facebook page, blog, Twitter feed, etc.

Properties Online’s easy-to-use email builder allows real estate professionals to craft dynamic eFlyers with just a few mouse clicks. A handy real estate tool built into the Properties Online platform, Agent Announce allows real estate agents to quickly design professional-looking eFlyers and send out 1,000 to 10,000 flyers at a time in targeted or broad-spectrum email blasts. Time-saving and cost-efficient, our email builder is an excellent way to alert clients and agents to new listings, status changes and price updates. Statistic tracking allows Realtors to measure the effectiveness of eFlyer campaigns as both a real estate marketing and communication tool. With prices starting at just $10, eFlyers are a fast, easy and affordable way to send information to large groups of people. Want to try it? For a limited time, real estate professionals can get their first email blast of up to 1,000 emails free on Properties Online.

Google Plus Could Outshine Facebook as Real Estate Marketing Tool

Despite uncertainty over who will emerge victorious from the Google-Facebook smackdown, real estate agents have little to lose and much to gain by getting in on the ground floor and setting up a Google business page now. There is a basic difference in the way Google and Facebook business pages process visitor interaction for search engine consumption that makes Google’s method more real estate-friendly.

Google Plus is the new kid on the social media block, but first impressions indicate that real estate agents may find it a better “friend” than Facebook. Google’s Facebook challenger has the potential to be a social marketing game-changer for the real estate industry — if it catches on. And that is just one of several “ifs” that Google Plus will have to overcome to wrest the commercial advertising market from Facebook’s grasp.

Despite uncertainty over who will emerge victorious from the Google-Facebook smackdown, real estate agents have little to lose and much to gain by getting in on the ground floor and setting up a Google business page now. There is a basic difference in the way Google and Facebook business pages process visitor interaction for search engine consumption that makes Google’s method more real estate-friendly.

On Facebook, constant interaction between your business page and Facebook fans is required to attract search engine attention. Unfortunately, real estate clients are notorious for being fair-weather friends. Most people only visit real estate sites when they are actively engaged in buying or selling a home. Months, even years can elapse between client interactions with your Facebook business page. Without fresh interaction, Facebook quickly “drops” unresponsive friends; and you fall off the search engine radar.

Google business pages can influence search results for years with only minimal client interaction IF — and this is key — the visitor becomes a member of your circle. In Google Plus, circles are the equivalent of Facebook friends. Different language; same concept: your circle of friends. With Google you have the advantage of being able to organize friends into different circles, or groups. This can be a handy marketing advantage for real estate agents, allowing them to target specific client groups. But the real plus in Google Plus is searchability. When a site visitor joins your Google circle, every time they initiate a search using “real estate” or similar key words, Google search will find your Google business page at shoot it to the top of the organic search results, keeping you constantly on clients’ radar — a definite plus!

Mobile Tech Tools Boost Real Estate Sales

High Country Realty of Blue Ridge, Georgia reported an astonishing 49% annual increase in housing sales at the end of 2011, a remarkable feat given the current economy. In an interview with RISMedia.com, the Caldwell Banker agency attributed its success to mobile information technology.

“Today’s real estate consumer has demonstrated they have a strong desire to work with real estate firms that are willing and able to supply real time information about real estate,” said High Country broker/owner June Slusser. “We took the stance we were going to be the company that provided more knowledge to consumers than anyone else.”

High Country accomplished its goal by focusing on mobile tools that allowed agents to respond to seller questions and buyer queries immediately and provide maximum information instantly via smart phone. Real estate customers responded enthusiastically both to the convenience of mobile communication and to the depth of information they were able to tap into via mobile real estate tools.

The exponential growth in the popularity of smart phones is making mobile real estate tools an essential addition to the modern Realtor’s tool bag. Mobile technology offers real estate agents and their clients speed and flexibility not available on any other marketing platform. Here’s a rundown on some of the most popular real estate mobile tools:

  • Mobile listing domains allow customers to access listing domain pages from their iPhone or Droid.
  • A mobile version of your real estate sites allows your customers to access all of the information available on your website via their smart phone. Mobile websites are specially formatted for mobile access to ensure easy of use and connectivity.
  • QR Codes allow consumers to obtain information with a wave of their smart phone. Using QR codes, real estate agents can provide clients with detailed listing information, documentation and virtual video tours of their listings.
  • Mobile GPS apps can be used to send clients reliable directions to property sites.

If you have yet to take advantage of the significant benefits mobile technology offers members of the real estate community, Properties Online can bring you up to speed.