Posts by Properties Online (page 90)

Twitter Best Practices for Real Estate Agents

Most consumers have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. They love the immediacy Twitter affords but are quickly annoyed when someone clogs their feed with spam-like tweets. When used effectively, Twitter can be a powerful communication and brand-building tool for real estate agents. On the flip site, real estate agents that tweet too frequently or fail to provide value in their tweets run the risk of alienating current and future clients. Opinions about the most effective way to use Twitter as a social media tool have been split fairly evenly between broadcasting and conversation, Twitter’s two most prominent uses; however, a study by social media scientist Dan Zarrella, tips the scales decidedly toward broadcasting.

In an analysis of actual Twitter usage posted to his blog, Zarrella found that broadcast tweets generated a higher re-tweet rate than conversation tweets. Zarrella equated higher re-tweet rates with superior ability to spread information and disseminate marketing messages. In his study, Zarrella discovered two interesting correlations that real estate agents should be considered Twitter Best Practices:

  1. Tweets that contain links have a noticeably higher re-tweet rate. Zarrella found that Twitter feeds with a 60% to 80% link percentage resulted in the highest re-tweet rates.
  2. Tweets that generate few replies also enjoy high re-tweet rates. Zarrella discovered that Twitter feeds with 0% to 10% reply rates enjoyed the highest re-tweet percentages.

Zarrella’s take-away: Broadcasting interesting and information-rich content is a more effective use of Twitter than conversation.

Twitter “conversations” appear to be a fad that is nearing the end of its 15 minutes of fame as Americans tire of the glut of trivial tweets that clog Twitter feeds. The ascendency of far more versatile smartphones as the nation’s go-to communication device has ensured the eventual demise of Twitter as a conversation medium. However, Twitter’s broadcast value still makes it an effective real estate tool. Sending out 2 to 3 information-rich tweets per day can help you build your brand and expand your client base.

For information on how Properties Online can help you optimize the use of social media to grow your real estate business, visit our website.

Top 5 Social Media Must Dos for Realtors

Are you using social media? Are you making the most out of it? If you don’t, you might find yourself behind the real estate professionals who do! Social media is a wonderful tool for reaching out to prospects and letting them know about your services and your expertise. It’s also a valuable tool for staying in touch with existing and former clients.

Are you using social media? Are you making the most out of it? If you don’t, you might find yourself behind the real estate professionals who do! Social media is a wonderful tool for reaching out to prospects and letting them know about your services and your expertise. It’s also a valuable tool for staying in touch with existing and former clients.

Here are our top five social media must-dos for realtors:

1. Create a business page on Facebook

It’s important to keep your professional social media presence separate from your personal account. A Facebook profile is appropriate for keeping in touch with your friends, but most of the information you post there will not be relevant, or interesting, to your clients and prospects. For example, your clients will not want to hear that you are going out drinking with your friends this weekend! By keeping these accounts separate, you can keep in touch with your friends AND with your clients, providing each group with the information they would actually like to get from you.

2. Don’t keep your social media presence a secret!

Include prominent links to your social media accounts on your agent website, in your email signature and on your print media. The more fans your Facebook page has, the more viral it will become and the more valuable it will be. Make it easy for people to find it.

3. Update your social media accounts regularly

A Facebook fan page should be updated about once a day – more than that could be an imposition on fans and could cause some of them to hide your messages, which is the last thing you want! A Twitter account can be updated multiple times each day. Include short updates on new and sold listings (Real Estate Sites automates this process), and general observations on the real estate market.

4. Be helpful and knowledgeable

Social media is about forming connections, having conversations and sharing information. It’s important to use social media to show your expertise and share tips and information with clients and prospects. A blog is the best tool for this, but writing regular notes on your Facebook page will work too.

5. Make it fun and worthwhile

Research consistently shows that one of the main motives for people to join a Facebook page is when you offer them an incentive. It’s a good idea to offer the occasional discount for new fans, or new blog subscribers, run contests, and include interactive tools on your agent site that make it fun for people to join.

Leveraging Social Media to Help Your Real Estate Business

Many of us were quite suspicious about social media at first, taking a “wait and see” approach, unwilling to invest the time and work needed to participate in social media. But it’s becoming very clear that social media is here to stay, and that not participating in social media is quite costly in terms of lost business opportunities. Here are a few tips to help you leverage social media to promote your real estate business.

Accept That You Need To Be There

The first step is accepting that you need to have a social media presence – that social media should be part of your marketing mix and is just as important as email marketing or printed brochures. The main reason you should be there is that a big part of your audience is there – more and more people are using social media, and many are using the Internet, including social media, during their search for a home.

Choose Your Social Media Channels

There are lots of ways to connect and interact with prospects, including a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare and more. But you don’t have to be everywhere. We think that a blog and a Facebook page are a must. All the rest are optional, and you can experiment with them as you go along and see if they work for you.

Why You Need a Blog

A blog is great for helping your search engine rankings, especially if you make sure you optimize your blog posts for search engines – figure out your main keywords, the words that people will use to find your agent site, and sprinkle them throughout your blog posts, but don’t overdo it! Always make sure your text reads naturally. In addition to being great for SEO, a blog is also a wonderful way to build your brand, show your expertise and establish credibility.

Why We Love Facebook

Facebook is such a rich social network, no wonder people are putting up with its less-than-stellar customer service.  You can create a personal Facebook portfolio, or start a Facebook page for your business. In either case, you can fill your Facebook page with notes, photos, videos, comments, and lots more – there are tons of Facebook apps that make this platform an amazing tool for showcasing your expertise and for interacting with others.

Do it Gradually

Social media can be overwhelming at first. Our advice is to enter this space gradually, starting with just one channel, and adding more channels to the mix only after you have mastered the previous social media channel.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Our last tip is perhaps the most important one. Social media can be a huge time suck – it’s very easy to spend hours writing your blog, adding plugins and tweaking with your blog’s theme, and the same is true for Facebook.  But you have a business to run after all, so make sure that you limit the time you spend on social media activities each day. We recommend spending no more than an hour each day doing social media activities.

How to Drive More Traffic to Your Listings

Drive Traffic to your Listings

In two words: use technology!

While flyers are still an integral part of running a real estate business and promoting new listings, and lawn signs are also a great way to let local prospects know a home is available, technology can help drive more traffic to your listings and allow you to reach an audience that is far bigger than the audience you could reach using traditional marketing methods.

Here are a few ways you can take advantage of modern tools to blast your listings in ways that were not available to agents just a few short years ago:

Promote them on your agent website

An agent website is your digital business card. But it is so much more than that. It can be so rich in content, in articles, blog posts, photos and testimonials, that it beautifully demonstrates your knowledge, your expertise, and the value you will bring to clients. Use software such as Real Estate Sites to make building the site a snap and to include important features and tools to make it search engine friendly and to highlight and publicize each new listing.

Create Single Property Sites

A single property site is usually the first Google result that someone will get when they search for a listing’s address on the Web. It’s one of the best, fastest, most cost-effective ways to drive more traffic to a single listing.

Get Social

Social media allows you to reach out to prospects in real time, telling them about an exciting new listing and encouraging the to share it with their friends. Social media is inherently viral – postings of interest are reposted, shared and re-tweeted and so are exposed to a large audience.

Get Visual

Creating a video for each of your listings maximizes the “fun” and “cool” aspect of modern technology. Post the video on your site or on your blog, share the link in social media, and people will love watching the videos – and sharing them with their friends.

Get Mobile

Make the most of the mobile trend and drive more traffic to your listings. Make sure people can easily access your listings from their smartphones by including a QR code on your lawn signs and on your print media, and make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Technology is giving you the tools to drive serious traffic to your listings. Are you making the most of it?

Must have iphone App for Agents

I’m not a big Apple computer guy, but I love my iPhone.  I’m from the school that says you don’t need a bunch of technology to be tech savvy in real estate.  But you do need a couple of key pieces of tech to be on the team and an iPhone is one of them.  I’m probably going to get a bunch of flack from Droid and BlackBerry users for that and admittedly the bear minimum is some sort of Smartphone.  But the truth is that the iPhone is a game-changing piece of technology for people in real estate.  And it’s not just the vast quantity of apps that are available but the quality and functionality of those apps.

For example: there is an app called Zosh that allows you to fill-in pdf forms.  Say you get an email with an attached pdf of a form that you need to fill out and send back to your transaction coordinator or broker to complete your file.  You know; that 1-page transaction profile form for all the vital info about your deal, the “get-paid” form as my colleague Leslie in Lake County likes to put it.  Now traditionally you would print this, fill it out, and then hand it or even fax it in.  If you were a real techie, you would figure out a way to fill it out on your computer and email it back, which would probably cost you a pretty penny on either some software or a tablet.  With Zosh you can fill it out, email it back, and even sign it if you so needed right from your iPhone.

There are a couple of hitches but they aren’t big ones from what I’ve found so far.  For one, it costs $3 but what’s that, we folks in real estate blow $3 pulling out of the driveway.  For the other, the interface is easy once you get use to it but it might become a little tedious if the form is really long.  One nice little feature it has, however,  is a “shortcuts” button where you will find info that you have typed before so you can just select and insert it into the document rather then retyping the whole thing.  A definite timesaver on forms you fill out regularly like all those “get-paid” forms for the escrows you’ll be closing because your technology has opened up more time for you to put more deals together.