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.

Real Estate Leads: The Importance of Quick Follow Up

Our goal is to capture as many real estate leads for you as we can. This means that just about every page on your agent website will come with a lead generator. Your clients can request additional information about a listing, request a CMA, sign up for free listing updates, download a report or check out the recent home sales in their neighborhood – ALL of which require them to enter their contact information.

Once you have captured a real estate web lead, it is crucial that you immediately follow up on that lead if you want to close a transaction. Many real estate professionals find that with good online real estate marketing campaigns, lead generation is not that hard anymore, but you still face the challenge of turning those leads into lifelong customers.

The most important thing you can do to turn real estate leads into customers is to follow up, and the sooner, the better. Imagine being able to contact a lead while they are still browsing your real estate site – that would be the ultimate in capturing leads!

Our Real Estate Sites enable you to do just that. When you use our agent site, you receive instant leads by a text message. With our LEADS2TEXT service, you can have your website leads sent immediately to your text-enabled cell phone.

If someone fills out a form on your website, our program will convert their message to text and transmit it to your cell phone, so you can follow up while your prospect is still viewing your website! This is one of the best ways to turn such a prospect into a customer, so make sure you take advantage of this free service.

Drive More Traffic to your Listing Website with Online Classifieds

New craigslist flyers

We’ve already discussed the importance of marketing and promoting your single property websites after you have created them.

We also said that as real estate professionals, we are very aware of how busy you are and so have made it our goal to include as many useful tools and features as possible in our listing websites in order to make the important task of marketing your website significantly easier.

One of the best features we have included in our property websites is providing you with an html snippet of your website. This html snippet enables you to easily cut and paste your data into online classified sites such as the very popular Craigslist, Backpage or Ebay.

Don’t forget to take advantage of this free service. Craigslist can be a powerful tool for generating free traffic to your property website. It is one of the most popular websites in the world, with millions of daily visitors.

Regularly posting relevant Craigslist classifieds that point to your listings and include a link to your property websites have the potential of driving significant amounts of highly targeted traffic to your property websites. Get in the habit of using our handy html snippet for each listing and you can see a real difference in the amount of traffic your site receives.

New Online Classified Flyers

Great news! We just released our new flyer builder that will allow you to post your listings (in style) on craigslist.org!

The new and improved flyer builder allows you to:

  • Choose your photos
  • Choose your layout
  • Choose your color scheme
  • Choose a graphic header
  • Track your results — see how many times the flyer was viewed and clicked!

You can use the html code that is generated to also post your flyer on your blog or anywhere that allows html posting. The craigslist flyers are just the tip of the iceberg! Be on the look out for our new Agent Announce service that will send these flyers to agents in your area alerting them of new listings, price updates, or status changes. You will be able to send out 1,000 e-flyers using our database of agents for as low as $10.00. In addition to agent announce, we are improving our professionally printed products as well. Soon, in addition to our line of Just Listed, and Just Sold postcards, you will be able to order beautifully designed flyers to match your website and brand identity.

Our new craigslist flyer builder program is available FREE of charge to all Listing Domains users —  And coming soon for Real Estate Site users.