E-mail Tips for Real Estate Agents

Email can be a great marketing tool for realtors. Sure, our main focus these days is on the Internet, and this includes having a high quality agent website filled with valuable information, and on using social media tools to connect with clients and prospects and to establish yourself as a real estate expert. But you shouldn’t neglect email – it’s still an important communication tool for most people and can definitely help you market your real estate business.

Email can be a great marketing tool for realtors. Sure, our main focus these days is on the Internet, and this includes having a high quality agent website filled with valuable information, and on using social media tools to connect with clients and prospects and to establish yourself as a real estate expert. But you shouldn’t neglect email – it’s still an important communication tool for most people and can definitely help you market your real estate business.

A few email tips for realtors:

1. Add a link to your website and to your social networks to your email signature. You probably send out many emails per day. Each such email can serve to effortlessly market your agent site if you simply include a link in your email signature.

2. Use email to stay in touch with prospects and with clients. Having someone in your database is worthless if you never communicate with them. Send your contacts periodic updates on the real estate market, tips on home buying and selling, and even personal notes on birthdays and anniversaries.

3. Don’t overdo it. While staying in touch is important, you should remember that your clients and prospects are just as busy as you are and space out your communications with them so that they are never seen as spam. Keep your messages short and clear, avoid attachments, and write short, catchy email titles that will entice your recipients to click through and read your email.

4. Automate your email marketing. If your contact list contains more than a handful of emails, keeping in touch with all of them can be very time consuming. Invest in an affordable email drip marketing system that would enable you to effortlessly keep in touch and stay top of mind with your contacts.

Real Estate Market Update

Is now finally the time to buy a house? In many ways, and in many local markets, the answer seems to be a resounding yes. Home values in many markets have plummeted back to 2003 levels, fixed mortgage rates are near record lows, and the much anticipated economic recovery seems to be underway.

While now is generally a good time to enter the real estate market, unemployment rates are still high, and obviously it doesn’t make sense to take a mortgage unless you’re fairly certain that you are not going to be laid off. So the question of how secure your job is becomes a major factor.

In addition, it’s important to realize that although the housing bubble has burst in most US markets, there are still some local bubbles around the nation, so if you reside in one of them, it may still be prudent to keep waiting. A good way to determine whether your local real estate market is still in a bubble is to look at the rent ratio – the higher it is, the more cautious you should be.

The bottom line: the housing market is not detached from underlying economic factors such as growth in jobs, growth in output and rising consumer confidence. Watch for those, as well as for the rent ratio in your community, and take into account the stability of your own job. All of these factors should be considered before you decide whether now is a good time to enter the real estate market. From where we are, all of these numbers look positive – but the ultimate decision should of course be yours and based on your individual situation.

Home Staging Tips

Staging your home prior to showing it increases the likelihood of a sale, even in a buyers’ market. It reduces the time the home spends on the market, helps to justify the asking price and it can also prepare you to the move, because a big part of home staging is organizing and decluttering.

Whether you do it by yourself or hire a professional, here are a few simple home staging tips. These are basic tips – in a buyers’ market you may need to go through more trouble, including some basic remodeling.

1. The most important home staging tip is “look at your house through the eyes of a potential buyer.” Your beloved knick knacks will be no more than clutter to a buyer. A little grime in the bathroom? HUGE turnoff for a buyer. And that red dining room wall that you love so much? Remember that most buyers prefer neytral colors.

2. The exterior of the house needs to be staged too. This includes painting if needed, mowing the lawn, and in general making sure the house has great curb appeal.

3. Entryway needs to be open, well lighted and free of clutter. A simple way to immediately transform your entryway is to replace the worn welcome mat!

4. Clear the living room and dining room of family photos and personal items. These convey a message of “I live here, you don’t” – but you want buyers to be able to imagine themselves living in the house. If the room is too crowded, move some of the furniture into the garage. You want it to look spacious and inviting.

5. The kitchen and the bathrooms absolutely have to sparkle. Any hint of dirt or grime in these rooms is a huge – HUGE – turnoff. Make sure counters are completely bare except for a few decorative items. Place al personal items in drawers and place fresh plush towels and flowers on counters. If your bathroom fixtures are outdated, replace them with sleek and modern fixtures

6.  To make bedrooms appear spacious and comfortable, remove any furniture that clutters the room and most personal items such as photos and knick knacks; remove at least half of your clothes from the closets and pack them (you’ll need to do this soon anyway!) and make sure the bed is perfectly made with high-quality linens.

Generally, when staging a home, you need to keep these words in mind: VERY clean, uncluttered, well lighted, spacious and comfortable. If you can manage to do this in every room of the house, your chances of selling it quickly, for the asking price or more, will be significantly higher.

How to Keep in Touch with Past Clients

In the insanely competitive real estate space, landing a client once isn’t enough: you want to stay top of mind with that client even after you have finished working for them, so that they can return to you with their future real estate needs, and – just as important – refer their friends, neighbors and acquaintances.

Keeping in touch with former clients means, above all, being useful to them. You don’t want to nag, or to clog their inbox with annoying emails. You want to keep in touch in a way that makes you valuable, and your emails welcome. This usually means providing information such as real estate market info for their area, or useful tips for buying, selling and maintaining a home.

While phone calls and cards are certainly an option, email is definitely the easiest way to keep in touch with clients. But “easy” is a relative term, and for most real estate professionals, the problem is that they are so busy keeping up with their current clients, maintaining their website and blog and looking for new leads, that it’s very difficult for them to find the time to keep in touch with past clients.

The result: often, past clients fall through the cracks and eventually the connection is lost. When it’s time for them to recommend an agent, or to use a realtor, they simply don’t have you in mind – so they pick someone else.

In our experience as realtors, the best way to avoid these situations and to effectively and effortlessly keep in touch with past clients is to use an email drip marketing system, which automates your emails to clients and makes sure you can stay in touch and provide valuable info with minimal effort.

All you need to do is enter the client’s email address into the system, and the system does the rest automatically. Essentially, you are sending repeated, relevant messages to former clients until they are ready to use your services again, or to recommend you to a friend.

Make sure past clients are repeat clients. Stay in touch!

Listing Syndication – now a free feature with RealEstateSites.com

listing-syndication-blog

We are excited to tell you about a new feature upgrade for your agent website. We have just added Listing Syndication to our growing list of website features for our.

We have just completed beta testing our new Listing Syndication tool that will allow you to feed your listing data to the major property website portals like Trulia, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate and several others.

To take advantage of this free service, login to your account and click on the new “Syndication” tool located on the Main Menu. This is the page you see first when you login.