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.

Market Leader Acquires KWKLY

Market Leader (NASDAQ: LEDR) ( www.MarketLeader.com : www.MarketLeader.com ), an innovator in online marketing and technology solutions for real estate professionals, has acquired kwkly, a mobile software-as-a-service lead generation platform.

Congratulations to Market Leader for their recent acquisition of KWKLY.

KIRKLAND, WA — (Marketwire) — 01/20/11 — Market Leader (NASDAQ: LEDR) ( www.MarketLeader.com : www.MarketLeader.com ), an innovator in online marketing and technology solutions for real estate professionals, has acquired kwkly, a mobile software-as-a-service lead generation platform. The innovative kwkly service has grown rapidly over the past two years and is now being used by some of the real estate industry’s largest and most prominent brokerage companies to successfully engage today’s tech-savvy home buyers and sellers.

kwkly provides home buyers with real-time access to detailed property information straight from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to their mobile phone. At the same time, kwkly connects real estate professionals with buyers immediately, giving them both the property information along with agent contact information for follow-up.

“kwkly is the most exciting tech tool I’ve seen for the industry, because of the speed, simplicity and value it brings both agents and the consumer,” said John Thompson, Executive Vice President of Intero Real Estate.

Market Leader’s acquisition of kwkly expands the offerings that the company can make available through its comprehensive business and marketing platform for real estate professionals. Kwkly has grown rapidly and brings customers associated with some of the real estate industry’s largest and most successful real estate franchise brands, including RE/MAX, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Baird & Warner, Century 21, Prudential, Intero Real Estate and more.

“kwkly is an innovative service that has become an important lead generation tool for some of the nation’s most prestigious brokerage companies,” said Ian Morris, CEO of Market Leader, Inc. “We look forward to introducing this leading edge mobility solution to an even broader audience while helping our customers to achieve even greater success.”

For more information about kwkly, please visit www.kwkly.com : www.kwkly.com . For more information on Market Leader and its products, visit www.MarketLeader.com : www.MarketLeader.com .

About Market Leader

Market Leader (NASDAQ: LEDR) provides real estate professionals with innovative marketing and technology solutions that enable them to grow and manage their business. Founded in 1999 by a second-generation real estate agent, Market Leader provides real estate agents, agent teams, and brokerage companies with subscription-based real estate marketing software : www.marketleader.com/ and advertising products that enable them to generate a steady stream of prospects, as well as the tools and training they need to convert these prospects into clients.

With a long history of innovation, Market Leader pioneered online lead generation for real estate professionals a decade ago and today is the leading marketing partner to the real estate industry. The company also provides consumers with free access to the information and tools they need throughout the home buying and selling process, such as determining house values by address : www.housevalues.com/ , and providing access to real estate listings : www.justlisted.com/ , through its national consumer real estate sites. These websites enable Market Leader to provide its customers with access to millions of future home buyers and sellers while providing these consumers with free access to the information they seek throughout the home buying and selling process.

For more information on Market Leader visit www.MarketLeader.com : www.MarketLeader.com .

Properties Online Incorporates QR Codes into their Website Builder Software

As QR Codes become an integral part of real estate marketing, Properties Online enables real estate agents to quickly and easily generate QR Codes for each listing.

Properties Online Incorporates QR Codes into their Website Builder Software

January 20, 2011 — As QR Codes become an integral part of real estate marketing, Properties Online enables real estate agents to quickly and easily generate QR Codes for each listing.

QR Codes, short for Quick Response Codes, have been quite a hit overseas for some time now but are just starting to make some noise in the US real estate marketing arena. A recent study by Morgan Stanley’s analysts believe that, based on the current rate of change and adoption, the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015. With mobile traffic on the rise and projected to surpass desktop browsing in less than 5 years, QR Codes are a quick & easy way for real estate professionals to drive mobile traffic to their website. Real estate professionals can take advantage of this free and innovative way to promote their listings by adding these codes to their business cards, flyers, newspaper ads and more. It takes only seconds for a smart phone to scan the code and redirect visitors to a website with additional details and photos of a property listed for sale.

“QR Codes are a great way to drive mobile traffic to our users’ websites.” says Amanda Cornelius, President and CEO of Properties Online, LLC. “With our new system we can save our users time by creating the QR Codes for them. All the agent has to do is save the QR Code and incorporate it into their print marketing efforts.”

The QR code creation process is very simple. When a Properties Online user creates a Listing Domain website or adds a listing to their agent website, a QR code is automatically created for that listing. Properties Online takes the QR code one step further with a built in tracking system that allows users to track and quantify the number of visitors each QR code has driven to their website.

Some companies are charging a monthly fee for this service but Properties Online has chosen to offer this as an added value service to their over 20,000 users. In February the company plans to print the QR Codes on their Domain Rider signs for a nominal fee. Also in February Properties Online will be releasing a new flyer builder program allowing real estate professionals to create print quality PDF brochures for each listing complete with QR code. Because not everyone has a smart phone, it is important for agents and brokers to include the direct URL of the property, i.e. 555MainStreet.com or 555Main.KimAgent.com. Properties Online includes Property Specific URLs with their Listing and Agent website products.

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About Properties Online:
Properties Online is dedicated to helping real estate professionals grow their business by offering innovative and invaluable technology tools with a smile. With a user base of over 20,000 real estate professionals, Properties Online products and services empower agents to efficiently expand their business while generating more traffic and leads. Their web-based software is extremely easy to use and makes creating a website, a flyer or a video simple and fun!

Why Realtors Need a Facebook Business Page

With 500 million users and growing, Facebook is the place to be these days. The potential reach is amazing, and not tapping into it would be a mistake. It’s true for any business, and it’s true for real estate agents as well – if your target market uses a social media tool, you should be using it too.

You may be thinking, well, this might be true, but I already am on Facebook! I have a profile page and I use it daily. Why do I need to create a business page too?

The main issue with using your personal profile page on Facebook for business is that it’s simply not very professional to do so. Most profiles on Facebook are highly personal, and include personal photos, random updates, fun games and all kinds of material that is great, but is not appropriate for a business account.

Do your client and prospects really need to see those photos of you hiking with your kids, or read your personal rants and updates? Do you want them to get notified whenever you play Mafia Wars?

It’s not that a Facebook business page should be dry and boring. On the contrary, it’s good to add the occasional personal update to make it more personable. But a Facebook business page should be much “cleaner” than a Facebook profile, and should have a greater focus on the topic of real estate. After all, that’s what your clients are interested in.

While having an additional presence on Facebook may seem like a lot of work, keep in mind that regularly updating your Facebook business page can be almost fully automated by having a real estate site that includes built-in social media tools. You should still issue the occasional personal update, but the vast majority if the work can happen automatically, saving you time and money.

Single Property Website

QR Codes for Real Estate Pros

A QR code is a barcode that can be read by a user’s smartphone and used to take them to a landing page on a website that’s optimized for viewing on a mobile device. For real estate, QR Codes are an easy way for consumers to access a property web page from their mobile phone, and for companies to direct consumers to a specific landing page — optimized for mobile viewing.

QR Codes for Real Estate – How’ their being used:

1. Agents are adding QR codes to their print media. This enables homebuyers who pick a flyer to quickly get to a website filled with rich information and color photos of the house. The idea is that instead of typing a long web address into their phone, the prospect can quickly and easily get to the same place and get all the information they need. QR codes beautifully connect offline with online, making the most of what modern technology has to offer, and – most importantly – engaging leads.

2. A really cool thing to do is to add a QR code to your lawn signs. Typically, the prospect sees the home and the sign, and while they’re still there, they can quickly access the property site, chock full of information about the house, including a link to the agent’s email. It’s a great way to capture a lead that otherwise might have just moved on and forgotten about the house.

With more and more people using smartphones, real estate professionals simply cannot ignore the huge potential that the mobile Internet, and the various tools it offers – such as QR codes – has for capturing and engaging leads, and turning them into clients.