Posts Tagged as real estate agents (page 2)

Make It Easy to Market Your Listings by Video

Part Time / Full Time Agents the Bias is Real

Looking Down On Part Timers
Looking Down On Part Timers

What’s the deal with real estate selling part-time agents getting a bad rap from full-timers? Is it unfounded? While the bias is real, the reality is a bit more sticky and a bit less straight-forward than you might expect.

Is perception reality?
Perceived – and real – drawbacks of part-timers include:

  • Scheduling conflicts.
    Being busy with something else other than addressing clients can put a cramp in your business and reputation, especially if scheduling issues are perceived as being responsible for missed offers.
  • Commitment.
    Because they have other employment/responsibilities, the dedication of part-timers are often seen as less dedicated. Worse, if an agent does a poor job, they’re often assumed to be part-time.
  • A lack of market knowledge.
    An essential ingredient in pricing/paying for homes.

A hidden benefits package
Part-timing may not be all bad, however…

  • Less pressure.
    Clients not in a rush to sell, who prefer time to consider offers, may fare better with a part-timer.

A mixed bag
Like most situations in life, the quality of both full and part-time real estate agents is a mixed bag. You must look at why the part-time agent is in the business, and what they’re bringing to the table….

  • Perhaps they’re starting out their careers.
  • Maybe they like the freedom and perks of being an agent, but need a steady base income due to dependents/financial needs.
  • Perhaps they’re interested in realty solely as a means to building their investment property portfolio.

The takeaway
Whether full or part-time, real estate selling bias should boil down to work ethic. The ability of an agent to get things done – not how many hours logged in the office.

Not feeling the love? Properties Online can help! Contact us and find out more about the tools you need for a rousing realty reputation today.

The Dos and Don’ts of Sharing Your Listings on Facebook

You know the saying, “change is the only constant in life?” Greek philosopher Heraclitus was not talking about social media when he wrote it, but it definitely applies. Facebook, in particular, has released multiple updates that ultimately change our user experience and how we market listings and our real estate business. Essentially, Facebook is currently implementing plans to improve users’ News Feeds by reducing the organic reach of posts that are too promotional, or seemingly irrelevant to the user. Before you throw your hands up and say you don’t want to play anymore, take note: Facebook drives HALF of all referral traffic to property websites. Don’t panic; just follow our Dos and Don’ts for sharing your listings on Facebook. Your goal should be developing personal relevance for your Facebook audience.

You know the saying, “change is the only constant in life?” Greek philosopher Heraclitus was not talking about social media when he wrote it, but it definitely applies. Facebook, in particular, has released multiple updates that ultimately change our user experience and how we market listings and our real estate business. Essentially, Facebook is currently implementing plans to improve users’ News Feeds by reducing the organic reach of posts that are too promotional, or seemingly irrelevant to the user. Before you throw your hands up and say you don’t want to play anymore, take note: Facebook drives HALF of all referral traffic to property websites. Don’t panic; just follow our Dos and Don’ts for sharing your listings on Facebook. Your goal should be developing personal relevance for your Facebook audience.

When best practices are followed, Facebook can be a valuable real estate tool, producing a substantial return on your investment in the form of likes, shares and comments—the currency of influence on Facebook. After all, 82% of people think Facebook is a good place to interact with brands according to research by Lab42. Each like, share or comment your Facebook business page elicits increases your circle of influence, spreading your marketing reach and generating more leads. Facebook provides daily opportunities to keep your name in front of former and potential clients, and cement your reputation as the go-to real estate expert in your community.

If poorly used, Facebook can also be a huge time drain providing little return on investment. As a real estate professional, your Facebook interactions should be more personal than transactional. Understanding how people use Facebook and what makes them take a moment to like, share or comment on a post is the trick to using this social media tool to build your real estate business.

In analyzing more than a million posts to the top 10,000 Facebook pages, social media guru Dan Zarella has collated hard data that provides a foundation for our new set of …

Posting your Listings on Facebook – Best Practices for Real Estate

The DOs:

  • Share your listings in an engaging way, such as: “Mr. and Mrs. Kline have just listed their beautiful 3-bedroom in Bennett Valley. Please stop by our Open House this Sunday!” Include a link to the property website.
  • Tag the home seller or buyer – so they will see, like and share your post.
  • Reveal some of your thoughts or what you like best about the listing. Share a unique feature or tell what the sellers fell in love with when they originally purchased the home.
  • Engage your Facebook community with questions and ask for feedback. Question posts have 92% higher comment rates than non-question posts. Posts that have a question located at the end have a 15% higher overall interaction rate and a 2x higher comment rate than those with a question asked in the middle of a post.
  • Short, pithy statements of about 25 characters (half a tweet) receive the most likes. Posts with fewer than 80 characters received 66% more engagement than lengthier counterparts. But posts around 450 characters get the most shares.
  • Ask yourself if your post is relevant, helpful, or entertaining. If the answer is yes, post it!
  • Use photos and videos to increase interaction on your page.
  • Let your personality shine through.
  • Consider paying to promote your most important posts. Sometimes this can provide a big win and it is worth testing in your real estate business.

The DON’Ts:

  • Avoid “sales-y” words. Stay away from other promotional buzzwords, too (such as: like, buy, for sale or act now).
  • Be careful not to over post your listings. This is a sure fire way to lose engagement and have your “friends” hide your posts from their timeline. The number one reason 73% of social media users “unliked” a brand on Facebook was because the brand posted too frequently.
  • Don’t forget to include a comment. Posting your listing without including your opinion can be interpreted as spam.
  • Don’t ignore your audience. Anyone on your page is a potential client. Respond to comments promptly – it shows how you’re likely to handle things as their real estate agent.

Don’t forget that Facebook for Business offers a great Page posting tips and best practices page of their own, with great videos, tips, tricks and stats.

Real Estate Concierge: Should You Hire One?

This week I’m doing things a little differently, by sharing with you an interview I conducted with forward-thinking Northern California-based licensed real estate agent Jenna Evans. Jenna, in true entrepreneurial fashion, used her real estate license and vast experience in real estate to create a new career as a Real Estate Concierge.

This week I’m doing things a little differently, by sharing with you an interview I conducted with forward-thinking Northern California-based licensed real estate agent Jenna Evans. Jenna, in true entrepreneurial fashion, used her real estate license and vast experience in real estate to create a new career as a Real Estate Concierge. Without further ado …

Q: What is a Real Estate Concierge?
A: “When I think of a concierge I imagine being taken care of, someone I can go to for help when unfamiliar or overwhelmed. I coined the phrase Real Estate Concierge to evoke this feeling, as well as to showcase the versatility and breadth of services I provide to real estate professionals.”

Q: How can I find one?
A: “As far as I know, I am the only Real Estate Concierge there is, but I’m hoping that will change. One can find a virtual assistant through a variety of reputable online companies, but VAs typically do not have the real estate experience or the personal connection my company offers. For my local clients, I also provide in-depth knowledge of our area, which proves invaluable.”

Q: What do you get asked to do most?
A: “Most real estate agents and brokers need help in their marketing efforts, which generally ranges from brochures to social media, marketing packages, designing a website, optimizing a website and blogging. These are all important tools every real estate professional has to focus some of their energy on in order to properly market their listings. Unfortunately, most agents and brokers do not have the time to consistently maintain these marketing platforms.

“Preparing a home for a photo shoot and staging are also big on the list of needs. I have a long history in high end retail, interior design, and photography. I have a strong sense of what looks good in a shot and which image is going to be best for a brochure cover. There is a lot to be said for good photography in your marketing pieces. It is best to get it done right the first time!

“Overall, I can and do act as a silent licensed partner just waiting in the wings to take on whatever needs to be done. I represent my clients at property showings when they have conflicting appointments or are unavailable. This helps them meet the demands and expectations of their buyers and sellers. An agent can relax and be in two places at once, maximizing their time and money.”

Q: Who are your clients?
A: “Most of my clients are focused on residential sales, although I do represent a few clients that sell businesses, wineries and land.”

Q: Who can benefit most from using a Real Estate Concierge?
A: “Any realtor or broker who is looking to grow their business, someone who may be strong in all other aspects of their business but does not have an eye for reading a home for the market, someone who has a good client base but not enough hours in the day, or a realtor just starting out that needs a little help in marketing their services.”

Q: How is it cost effective?
A: “I think if you look at the overall cost of hiring a full time, licensed, assistant, and all the costs associated with one versus contracting me on an as needed basis you can see the cost effectiveness pretty easily. I think flexibility is important, and I offer my services by project, monthly retainer, or hourly. There are no commitments and no hidden costs.”

Q: What should I look for when hiring a Real Estate Concierge or VA?
A: “I think you need to make sure they are licensed, detailed, well informed, educated, meticulous, intelligent, know the region well, and have an obvious willingness to help you and your business grow. This is not just a job for me. I am personally invested in each and every one of my clients and work very hard to help them achieve their own success.”

Q: What questions should I ask?
A: “How long have you been licensed? What do you know about my location? What steps have you taken to educate yourself on my business? I would like to see a few samples of marketing packages you have done, brochures, blogs you have written and social media posts.”

Q: How do I know if I need a Real Estate Concierge?
A: “If you are not 100% happy with your income vs. workload, you should look into hiring a Real Estate Concierge (REC). RECs can help with your time burdens and increase your income at the same time. If you find yourself spending over 50% of your time in the office shuffling paperwork or learning how to post your latest sale on multiple platforms rather than out showing property, you can benefit from concierge services.”

Q: Does a Real Estate Concierge have to be local or can he/she be virtual?
A: “I think it depends on the project or scope of work the Realtor is looking for help with. Ideally, hiring an REC service professional in your area would be best because they would be familiar with some of the key professionals, events, advertising opportunities and real estate market. But a virtual REC service professional can accomplish quite a lot on marketing packages, brochures, websites, social media, blogging, mailings, etc. I think it ultimately depends on the services required at time of hire, and you’ll want to weigh that when looking for the right person. If it’s something that doesn’t require a local body, you’ve just opened yourself to a much wider base.”

Q: Where can I find out more information?
A: Check out: http://www.evansrealestateconcierge.com/

Do you know someone who would make a great interview for the Properties Online blog? Let me know; I’d love to talk to them!

.REALTOR Domain Coming Soon

NAR secures new top level domain with .REALTOR.

There are approximately 22 URL suffixes [ICANN generic top-level domains (gTLDs)], and you’re no doubt familiar with several, from the most popular .com to .gov, .edu, .net, and more. In early 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers—which oversees policies dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable, and interoperable—approved an expansion of the number of top-level domains. What’s more, they decided to allow companies and organizations to create domains for their brands. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has done just that, and will be making the new .REALTOR domain available to NAR and CREA members from October 23rd, 2014.

“This is truly an exciting time for NAR members to be on the cutting edge of Internet technology. When consumers visit a .REALTOR website they will know that they have reached a source of comprehensive and accurate real estate information, NAR President Steve Brown told media.

ICANN is currently in the process of reviewing hundreds, if not thousands, of potential new gTLDs. As part of this process, NAR applied for and secured the .REALTOR domain to showcase its real estate professionals in a “crowded online space”.

The first 500,000 NAR members and 10,000 CREA members to sign up will receive their .REALTOR domain address free for the first year.

Promote Yourself by Video to Increase Exposure and Sales

Mobile Technology for Real Estate Agents

Mobile technology is particularly exciting for real estate, because it allows the agent or broker to operate in real time, providing top notch service and response.

Real estate professionals have never been, as a whole, early adopters of technology, despite proven benefits. But falling behind when it comes to applicable technology can cost you money, and a lot of it. Mobile technology for real estate agents is a hot, growing field. What do you know about it?

The average real estate agent is in his or her mid-50s (57, to be exact). This is a contributing factor to the prevalent use of outdated technology in the business. But realtors are adopting mobile technology. Smartphones are commonplace. Tablets and iPads are growing in popularity. These devices enable location aware applications at very reasonable price points, designed for use on systems most people are already familiar with. It’s win-win-win-win!

Mobile technology is particularly exciting for real estate, because it allows the agent or broker to operate in real time, providing top notch service and response.

Handy SMS mobile tools like Smart Lead Capture allow real estate professionals to market their listings and capture leads over mobile devices. With smart lead capture, agents and brokers can capture leads by offering their clients the ability to “text for more information” about a property listed for sale or rent. The system stores and displays all of the property information and displays it to the prospects in a manner that best fits the user’s mobile phone. Information can be sent as a text message or over the internet via a mobile browser.

You can also ensure you never miss a text lead by setting up SMS Auto-Responder technology. Similar to email auto-responders, SMS Auto-Responders allow you to send an automated response via text message as soon as a prospect utilizes your text for information service provided by Smart Lead Capture. You can write custom messages for each of your listings, and they’ll be sent automatically.

Over half of prospects (56%) expect to be contacted within 30 minutes of expressing interest in a property, according to NAR statistics. This kind of high expectation leaves no margin for error. Taking advantage of the many affordable mobile technology tools now available to real estate professionals helps you close the gap, more and more.

Mobile applications like Lead Alert send instant leads via SMS (text) message, so that follow-up can happen in real time. Respond while a prospective buyer’s interest is at its peak – while they’re standing in front of the property or clicking through its individual property website.

We could spend weeks covering mobile technology for real estate professionals (and maybe we will!), but this is a great place to start. There is no shortage of awesome applications and new developments. Just a little investment will take you and your real estate business a long way.