Posts Tagged as branding

Transparency and You – What to Know About this Important Market Shift

Remember the days when availability, pricing, market trends, and histories used to be available almost exclusively to the professional real estate industry alone? In today’s real estate market, you are no longer ‘gatekeeper’ to this coveted ‘information key.’ In today’s real estate marketing tips, we’ll take a closer look at transparency in the industry, and how the Internet is changing the market.

Out of the Darkness
No longer in the dark, telling clients not to worry about the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes details of the MLS and other essential processes is not an option. The Internet has opened the eyes of clients to what previously went on behind the closed doors of the industry. Today, 80% of shoppers begin their real estate transaction online, where over the years previously coveted information has been compiled, offering today’s clients access to information that was once almost exclusively in the hands of real estate professionals.

Into the Light
With the Internet putting information in the hands of buyers, and the simplicity of the transfer of information to the MLS now well-known, informed buyers and sellers are begging the question, “Why do I need you?” For skilled agents, this is a boon in disguise, as less-than-stellar agents only willing to exert minimal effort for commissions are sure to be systemically cleansed from the industry, strengthening the profession.

Looking to the Future
As the real estate industry further jettisons into the coming “Era of Transparency,” those striving for real estate career success must come out of hiding, educating their clients on the ins and outs of transactions, and why they are uniquely skilled and valuable to clients in accomplishing transaction tasks. Those that do not will be sidestepped by clients in an era of alternatives that do not involve an agent.

Are you ready for the “Era of Transparency?” Take off your blinders, and step-up your game with real estate marketing tips and technology from Properties Online.

Is Flat Fee Real Estate Selling Coming to Your Market?

Flat Fee Real Estate Agent Pricing Arrives in the US Market

Real estate trends from abroad have now reached the U.S., as flat-fee agency Purplebricks expands overseas following successes in the U.K. and Australia. A $177-million investment from Euro media giant Axel Springer, who is acquiring 11.5% of the company, made the expansion possible.

Accelerated Growth in the U.S. Anticipated

$71-million of the $177-million in funds has been allocated for accelerating the company’s expansion into target markets. This will help bolster Purplebricks’ company infrastructure, ensuring adequate recruitment and training to fill essential positions, and ensure managerial depth.

Funds will also be used to support technological advancements, boost advertising and marketing, and expand the company’s service offerings. The added funds from Axel Springer are twice the money it’s used to fund its U.S. operation to-date.

Where is Purplebricks Building Up Business?

Trends have drawn the company to the L.A. market, with later expansion to Fresno, Sacramento, and San Diego. It was plotting a move to the New York market for June 2018, but thanks to the funds from Axel Springer, Purplebricks has pushed up their move to April, setting up regional headquarters in Manhattan.

How are Customers Reacting?

Purplebricks’ flat-fee platform was well-received in all California markets. Homeowners pay a flat fee of $3,200 for listing, regardless of home value, agreeing to pay the buyer’s agent commission on closing. Included in the fee is a dedicated ‘buying expert,’ home photography and 3-D touring video tech, and the ability to make/review/negotiate offers online anytime with the click of a button.

According to the company, a New York homeowner listing a $560,000 home can save $13,600 compared to the standard brokerage commission model. Purplebricks’ partnership with Axel Springer is expected to fuel not just its geographical growth, but reap the benefits of the company’s digital and IT development expertise, sharing innovative new offerings with customers.

Times are changing. Are you stuck on old-school real estate trends? Step-up your game with the help of PropertiesOnline.

Use Twitter to Build Your Brand Recognition

Don’t fool yourself. Even if you are a single agent, working for yourself, you still have a brand. Your brand is more than just your image – it is people’s perception of your image, of you, of your business, your credentials, your reputation – you get the idea. As social media takes a stronghold on the world of branding and marketing, we are learning newer and better ways to use it to our advantage. Let’s talk about how you can use Twitter to build your brand recognition.

You may want to sit down and map out a brand strategy. Do a bit of Google research or play around on HootSuite (after setting up a free account, of course), and work out ways other people are building brand awareness through social media. See what catches your eye and what you personally find attractive, endearing or smart. Twitter can also be a great platform to promote open houses and other home events.

Twitter can be instrumental in building brand recognition, because it operates in real time and has tremendous reach. You don’t have to be someone’s “friend” or “connection” to start a conversation. Using hashtags and Twitter Chat gives you – and anyone – the chance to be in on the conversation. This is where the real connections get made.

Make sure others will want to know you by updating your Twitter photo and bio. Be approachable, include an interesting fact or two about yourself or your business, say what you like to talk about, and use a great picture (don’t be the egg!).

Here a few tips to getting the most out of Twitter when you’re trying to build brand awareness:

Use photos and videos. Twitter stats show that tweets with images and videos get retweeted more often.

Use hashtags. Experts say to use three separate hashtags for each tweet to help your tweets rise above the masses. Mix them up, post the same content in different ways, using different hashtags. And absolutely use relevant trending hashtags – get involved in larger conversations for greater exposure.

Ride on the coattails of others. If you’re selling a fixer-upper with a ton of potential, try tweeting about it during episodes of Rehab Addict. Want to encourage buyers to use an agent? Tweet while they’re watching Love It or List It. Or use the Million Dollar Listing time slot to tweet about that gorgeous horse ranch you’ve just listed for a new client. Research shows that using relevant hashtags during a trending TV show can really boost your Twitter exposure.

Be yourself. As a real estate professional, your brand ultimately comes down to YOU. Make things personable and personal. Stick to what you know and what you like. Tweet things that interest or engage you. Retweet and comment often, when others tweet things that are important or interesting to you. Thank those who follow and retweet you.

4 Things Every Real Estate Agent Should Know About SEO

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by SEO (search engine optimization). Good SEO is what helps a website rank on the first page of Google, for instance. You want good SEO. High quality content, good, easy to navigate design – these things are in your control, and they are crucial to the SEO of your real estate websites. So today, I’ve pulled together four things that every real estate agent should know about SEO.

1. Content is the cream that rises to the top. Content should answer a need. It should tell a story. It should solve a problem. Content should be applicable, usable, shareable. It should resonate with your users. As a real estate professional, you know your market. You know the buyers and sellers you want to attract as clients. What do they need? How can you give it to them? This applies to your agent and single property websites and to your social media efforts. Before you throw up your hands in defeat, know this: none of this means you have to have tons of content or writing on your sites. But it does mean that what you do say and post needs to be relevant. This is one area where using a dedicated service like RealEsateSites.com or Listings Unlimited can be a huge help – your website will start with tested, high quality content, keywords and built-in SEO. You can build on a solid foundation put together by experts.

2. SEO is steadiest on a tripod. To have a solid SEO strategy, you need to focus on three separate areas – content, links and social media. They are separate, but also incredibly interconnected. And they’re all important. Link exchange is a great way to get legitimate links from other websites pointing to your site. Links increase your site’s authority and, therefore, its visibility in the search engines. Link building can be arduous to the inexperienced, but is often built in to quality website services. Social media is the vehicle that can take your site to the next level, by giving it the exposure it needs to appear valuable to search engines. At the end of the day, link building and social media connectedness and moot, without great content. Your content is incredibly important and must focus with precision on your visitors’ needs and your call to action.

3. Social media puts the ‘S’ in SEO (well, not literally). Google, in particular, gives more and more credit to social media when it comes to ranking. Likes, shares, comments, @mentions, etc. have become an incredibly important part of strong SEO. You want to make it easy for people to share and like your content. This, in turn, makes it easy for other people to find your content. Built-in social networking tools will save you time and money when it comes to this critical aspect of your real estate site or single property website’s SEO.

4. You must know your brand before you can optimize it. SEO is step two, after good branding. And the connection between good branding and SEO has been made easier and stronger since Google release Google Authorship. Google Authorship connects your content to your Google author profile, and the search engine gives more credit to recognized authors’ content. This is by no means an overnight fix, but it is a very worthy recipient of your time and strategy, with regard to SEO.

Building Your Brand as a Real Estate Agent

Building your brand as a real estate agent is a very important piece of your broader business development puzzle.

Often times as a small business owner or even part of a large real estate business team, we find it easy to look at business development, but hard to think about or prioritize personal development. But when it comes to a career as personal as real estate, personal brand development should not be ignored. Building your brand as a real estate agent is a very important piece of your broader business development puzzle.

Your personal brand is what draws people in – buyers and sellers alike. Unlike a huge corporation that spends thousands, if not millions, of dollars a year on highly targeted advertising that adapts based on intimate and personal information collected by each users online history, you only have yourself. The targeting and development has to come from your end.

Building Your Personal Brand Requires Focus

You cannot be all things to all people. It may be scary to narrow your focus as a real estate agent, especially if you’ve served a wide range of clients in the past. You don’t want to alienate past or future clients. Letting go off the rope is a real act of faith. Casting a wide net feels safer, but it is usually far less effective.

Focusing smaller and more targeted means you provide a better, swifter and more comprehensive service to people who then feel like they get exactly what they need. These clients are the ideal fit for your style, personality and skills. Work on building a deep emotional connection through your personal interactions, your social media interactions and any other communication. Developing a core target market will make you an influencer and an expert. This is lucrative.

Build your personal brand around who you really are – your passions, your history, your community, knowledge, values, family, belief systems. Working hard, providing great service, being knowledgeable and experienced – these things are important, but they aren’t points of difference. YOU are your biggest point of difference.

The other scary part about wading into real personal development is facing yourself, flaws and all. Do some deep thinking and write down three values or interests that you consider most important. Based on these values and interests, can you come up with a segment of the market that needs you? That would seek you out above other agents who choose to “do it all?”

Shared experience, values, history, interests – these things are attractive. They instill trust. Once you understand the things that make you tick, focus on them. Let your best you be the one fronting your real estate business. Take the risk, you’ll be glad you did.