Posts in Real Estate Marketing (page 68)

Tips, tools and gadgets to help you market your properties online.

Are Property Websites Affordable?

With all their rich features and professional looking interface, you would think that property websites would be expensive and only suitable for top-performing realtors. But property websites are actually very affordable, and can easily be employed as an online marketing tool by every real estate agent, across all their listings.

With all their rich features and professional looking interface, you would think that property websites would be expensive and only suitable for top-performing realtors. But property websites are actually very affordable, and can easily be employed as an online marketing tool by every real estate agent, across all their listings.

A professional-looking property website, filled with unlimited images, text, audio, video and more, costs just $60 for an entire year. There are no monthly fees, no hidden costs of any kind, and the website stays up – and serves as a great testimonial to the agent’s marketing abilities – for a full year. The top-level domain name makes it easy for buyers to find the site, and makes sellers extremely happy, and more likely to recommend their agent to future clients. Since, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, referrals are the top way for people to find a real estate agent, making sellers happy is of course a big priority.

Another major plus is that each Listing Domains single property website includes a custom sign rider for the property, so agents who use single property sites don’t have to order those separately. The combination of the sign rider and the property website works beautifully to market the home. The property’s URL is clearly depicted on the lawn sign rider located at the property itself. Homebuyers can drive by a property they like, then go directly to the URL listed on the rider to find a wealth of information about the home prior to scheduling a private tour. Yard signs remain an important real estate marketing method that complements online marketing. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 82% percent of sellers in 2009 used a yard sign.

The ROI on single property websites is high not only because agents pay a one-time fee that includes a sign rider. Property websites also pay them dividends in the form of gaining them new clients, who see the sites they’ve created, whether through links on the agent’s main site or through friends and acquaintances, and want the same marketing for their own home. Existing property websites provide valuable long-term positioning for real estate professionals as tech-savvy marketers and demonstrate their marketing capabilities to potential clients.

How Property Websites Help Agents Win Listings

A large majority of homebuyers are now using the Internet to search for homes. People EXPECT to find property information online. The easier it is for them to find that information, the more willing they are to consider a property seriously.

In recent years, real estate professionals have had to quickly adjust to major shifts in the way the real estate market behaves. A large majority of homebuyers are now using the Internet to search for homes. People EXPECT to find property information online. The easier it is for them to find that information, the more willing they are to consider a property seriously.

Sellers know that the real estate market has become a high-tech market, and that effectively marketing their property must include online marketing. When sellers see that an agent is willing to go above and beyond and create a full website for their property, they are always impressed (of course, they don’t know how easy it actually is to set up a single property website!).

Marketing Real Estate
Methods Real Estate Agent Used to Market Home

Methods-Used-Market-blog

Single property website providers such as Listing Domains are now allowing agents to create free demo sites as an excellent way to impress potential customers and secure listings. Demo websites allow agents to create a website for prospects prior to getting the listing. Just like a live property website, the demo website can be filled with unlimited photos and documents and can feature music, a voice over, a video and more. Agents can then email prospects a link to the demo site, or demo the site live at the listing presentation. Once an agent gets the listing, they can purchase the property website.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, in 2009 the Internet was the third most common way for buyers to find an agent. Since Listing Domains property websites stay live for a full year, even after the property has been sold, they become a great way for real estate professionals to showcase their work for previous clients and to establish themselves as savvy realtors who are experts at all aspects of real estate online marketing. This helps them attract future clients who have seen their work, are impressed by it, and want the same for their own home.

Green Marketing for a Green Home

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Building a green home includes a careful focus on conservation. A “green” Realtor is making conservation a key focus of her green homemarketing plan. Laura Reedy Stukel, an EcoBroker Certified sales agent, is the listing agent for 250 N. Myrtle Avenue in Elmhurst, Illinois. A first-of-its-kind in Elmhurst, the home was built using the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) checklist. Stukel developed a green marketing plan to compliment the green building plan.

“Why rely on paper to promote and sell a green home?” says the builder Linda Marick of LINDAM Property Group, Inc. Instead, the program uses digital tools including a custom website, a blog and the text messaging and photo functions on a cell phone. Other unique activities include digital staging and a series of educational open houses promoted via social media.

Stukel believes the unique package of online tools will attract the right buyer, and make it easier when it comes time to write a contract. Digital files encourage online sharing, can be referenced later, do not get lost, and eliminate at least one round of printing when making an offer.

The program will use 94% less paper than Stukel’s previous marketing plan. A double-sided postcard serves as the entire marketing brochure. The postcard provides room sizes and photos and directs buyers to the website for details. It replaces both a double-sided flyer in a flyer box outside the home and an eight-page brochure inside.

Themarketing program is designed to appeal to buyers regardless of what content delivery method they prefer: a website featuring the property’s address as the URL for basic details, a custom blog for full details and a mobile text-back service for instant information. Both the website and the text-back service are provided by ListingDomains.com at www.250NMyrtle.com. The blog is hosted by WordPress at www.250nmyrtle.wordpress.com. Disclosure forms and the home’s latest LEED checklist are hosted in the local multiple listing service byMidwest Real Estate Data.

“The blog is such a great alternative to the in-house brochure,” states Stukel. “I have much more freedom to include descriptions, photos and manufacturer links to really tell the story of this home.”

GREENMARKETING FOR A GREEN HOME
Buyers can browse by categories, keyword tags and the search function. Stukel explains that this flexibility improves the experience for each visitor. “One buyer might hit the kitchen description because that’s where they like to start and it was first up in the queue of posts,” she explains. “Another might search for ‘Viking appliances’ and a third might use the category ‘green features’.” Stukel is partnering on the site and the digital marketing of the home with a lender offering green financing. Erin Griffin of CorbyMortgage is providing online links to green loan rates and a mortgage application. She is offering the unique Green Solutions Lending program on the home. The program rewards buyers with lower interest rates and discounted fees for purchasing a green home.The digital marketing is a natural fit for Griffin. “There are no paper files in my office right now. Not one!” she says. CorbyMortgage uses a combination of secure servers to offer the online application. Then once an application is started, the Corby team scans documents or uses a digital fax system to store them. Griffin copies client files to her computer and backs them up on another secure server. Stukel is also incorporating a new real estate technology tool: digital staging. Digital staging allows a single room to be viewed in several interior design options. Stukel used services from Virtually Staging Properties to showcase the front room as both a living room and a dining room. The service adds furniture digitally to stage a photo of a vacant room. “This is a case where trying to use fewer resources creates a bonus,” explains Marick. “The floorplan was designed to be flexible and digital staging allows a buyer to envision the option that suits them best. Digital staging is the only way to show off both options at once and really highlight what is special about this home.”

Additional social media activities have successfully drawn over 300 people to tour the home through special events. The main events were a series of open houses called “Green Reality Checks” to allow local residents to take a self-guided tour through the home and learn about green features from the local contractors who installed them. Stukel is hoping that making the home available beyond those who are actively shopping for a green home will make others aware of the unique features and could eventually lead to the right buyer. All the events were promoted using social media tools such as Stukel’s own blog, Evite for online invitations, Facebook, a local email distribution list for green-minded residents and local online calendars such as the ones offered by the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce and local newspapers.

The home was built by LINDAM Property Group. It is listed for sale at $829,900. Contact Stukel at 773-251-1631 or visit www.250NMyrtle.com for full details.

About Linda Marick/Lindam Property Group
Contact: 630-841-9439

About US Green Building Council
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System
See website for details

About Laura Reedy Stukel
Laura Reedy Stukel is an experienced Realtor ® at L.W. Reedy, carrying on the legacy her grandfather started nearly 60 years ago. She is an EcoBroker Certified ® agent with advanced understanding of the energy and environmental issues important to home buyers and sellers. Stukel created the proprietary Ready, Set, Green Homessm program to address a gap in green homes locally. The program encourages green building practices while remodeling homes. It also includes assistance with local green lending to help buyers secure better financing for green projects. And, it enables sellers to assist buyers in the process to secure green funding. Stukel blogs about local green real estate topics in a friendly and money-conscious manner at www.greenreedyhomes.com. She can be reached at 773/251-1631.

About L.W. Reedy Real Estate
Founded in 1951, the firm has expanded from a one man office to one with more than 75 sales associates. Maintaining a quality reputation for over 50 years, the company focuses on personal service, integrity and technology to gain the trust of clients. The company’s history dates back to Larry Reedy, Sr., known as the “Old Pro,” who used his unique charisma to bond with a family and match them with their dream home. It is a tradition that continues today. Its homepage is www.lwreedy.com. L.W. Reedy is located at 101 N. York Road in Elmhurst, Illinois.

About Erin Griffin, Corby Mortgage
Erin has worked in the financial and real estate sectors for nine years and has been with Corby Mortgage Services for five years. Having lived and experienced the beauty of Alaska forever made an impression on Erin. The environment is of the utmost importance at this critical time, and any progressive action to help should be rewarded! Erin has taken her passion for nature and created the “Green Solutions” Lending Program.
http://www.greenmortgagenews.com/

About Virtually Staging Properties
http://virtuallystagingproperties.com/about-virtual-staging.html
Contact: 630-841-9439

AboutWordpress
http://wordpress.org/about/

About Listing Domains
http://www.listingdomains.com/main/about.asp

Market Your Real Estate Website with Property Widgets

We have already discussed the importance of using social media in marketing real estate. Today we’d like to add that an important part of any real estate social media marketing campaign is using property widgets.

Property widgets are dynamic buttons that you can place online to showcase and promote your listings. A property widget is an excellent teaser – it shows just enough to entice people and make them want to click on the widget, which then takes them to your agent website.

At Real Estate Sites, we deeply believe in utilizing social media marketing as much as possible. Therefore, we automatically create an RSS feed for your listings. This enables you to build property widgets and post them to your blog, to micro blogging sites such as Twitter, and to social networking sites such as Facebook.

Because RSS is dynamic, and changes whenever you change your listings or add a new listing, your widget will automatically reflect that – the widget gets updated whenever you add or remove a listing.

By adding a property widget to your various social media outlets, you can create more awareness around your offerings, strengthen your brand, and drive highly targeted traffic to your agent website.