Protect Yourself from Social Media Upheavals

Here at the Total Property Listing Engine, we often emphasize the need to create an interlinking set of real estate marketing strategies so that, together, their combined effect produces better results for each medium. My thanks goes to Steve Pacinelli at techsavvyagent.com for reminding me that there is an element of prudence in this rapidly changing and evolving internet environment. That is that the big, hyped up platforms like Twitter and Facebook can easily pull the rug from under you, leaving you floundering if much of your efforts were centred on one platform or another.

Email, Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, Google, SEM, SEO, phone calls, QR codes, texting and print (yes I said it) all need to be used in conjunction with one another to drive people to your home base, which is your self-hosted blog.  That is the only thing that you control!  If Twitter goes away tomorrow and you use other mediums to communicate with your audience, you will still be fine.  If email communication stops working because people are sick and tired of being “dripped on” you’ll be ok.  You cannot afford to put all of your eggs in one basket.  I know there are some really cool Facebook page creation programs out there that do some amazing things, but if your website doesn’t look and perform up to snuff, you need to start there first!  Mark Z[uckerburg]. can make any change he wants at anytime and this could negatively impact your business if you are running it off of your fanpage.

…Real estate is no longer a short term transactional game, but a long term relationship building process that relies on your web presence more than ever.  Your self hosted blog is the only thing that you can have almost 100% control over.  That is where your time needs to be spent first.

I agree 100% that your blog needs to be the foundation of your social media strategy. From it you can incorporate the current trends, while it has been proven flexible enough to incorporate future developments with ease.

Posted in Blogging, Facebook, Real Estate Marketing, Social Media, Twitter, Website | 1 Comment

Purpose of Realtor’s Blog

Objective number three of the Total Property Listing Engine is to “enhance your credibility” as a real estate agent. As a guest blogger on techsavvyagent.com, Eric Hempler elaborates quite nicely on the idea. He says:

They want a Real Estate Expert, not a sales pitch…The biggest thing I think a blog does is build credibility. A Realtor website alone is just a resume and it doesn’t tell the reader you know and understand market conditions. The advice articles you write on your blog along with your Real Estate experiences drive home the fact you’re a Real Estate Expert and can provide unparalleled advice.

When you see Eric’s own blog (http://www.erichempler.com/) you can see he has given much thought to the type of content he includes to satisfy the needs of buyers AND sellers, as well as how to keep people coming back. In summary, he includes:

  • Market Statistics
  • Popular Search Terms
  • Life as a Realtor
  • General Musings
  • Area Events
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Twitter and Real Estate: Match Made In Heaven?

Many Real Estate Leads Can Come From Twitter

I understand  – Twitter seems a little tedious. You aren’t the first person doing real estate to feel this way. However, there are two crucial components of Twitter marketing that many real estate agents forget about when creating an account.

One is community. If you’re trying to brand locally, Twitter gives you an excellent opportunity to connect with other businesses and collectives – and in turn, potential clients – in your town. Tweet about events, even events you’re putting together, and use Twitter to connect with people in your town.

The second is chat. Twitter is a great way to put a thought out there, and then respond to what someone else in your town or industry is saying. This is how you build connections and relationships with other professionals – and make your services known!

If you think the whole thing still sounds frivolous and a drain on your valuable time, take comfort in the fact that there are tools that can streamline the process and maximise the effect. Like so many social media outlets, there are best practices aimed at avoiding common pitfalls and leveraging your efforts to bring in those leads; after all that is the ultimate aim, right? These best practices are part of the real estate social media marketing training offered to members of Total Property Listing Engine. Come pay us a visit, or do a search on this blog for “Twitter” to find out more.

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Youtube as a Search Engine

Did you know what the biggest search engine after Google is? That’s right, Youtube. People all over the world, with their insatiable desire for video content, are recognizing that Youtube can be a major source of information in their lives.

Now, I know many people frown on the idea of video advertising – there’s definitely a little time and work involved. But if you learn how to use Youtube as a Search Engine for your real estate agency, you can get a lot accomplished.

Start by using key marketing terms – your city name, your name, your business – as the title and tags of your video. The more videos you create and the more you optimize your channel with great keywords, the better chances you have of getting to the top of Youtube for your real estate agency.

A big component of the Total Property Listing Engine training program is all about using video in various ways to drive leads – from buyers as well as sellers. It’s easier AND more powerful than you think.

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Facebook Paid Advertising For Realtors

The idea of paying for ads to pop up somewhere can seem a little daunting, but most real estate agents don’t bat an eye at doing print or television.

Did you know that Facebook has the world’s largest user database at its disposal? Ask yourself this – are people in your service area on Facebook? You know the answer is yes, and there’s nothing you have to lose except a few minutes of time and a small amount of money by using Facebook ads.

Facebook’s business model depends on sending targeted ads to its users. This means advertisers can specify their target demographic down to the level of gender, marital status, geographic location, interests, amongst others. Have a new home listed in Springfield, Montana and want an ad to appear in front of a Facebook user who is female, has children and lives in the area? No problem.

Facebook’s business model depends on sending targeted ads to its users. This means advertisers can specify their target demographic down to the level of gender, marital status, geographic location, interests, amongst others. Have a new home listed in Springfield, Montana and want an ad to appear in front of a Facebook user who is female, has children and lives in the area? No problem. Just $25 a week, $5 a day can be a testing minimum you can use to target your local area. It may be well worth a shot! And another thing; you only pay when a person clicks on your ad. This means only those who show an interest for themselves or for someone in their circle will trigger a cost to you. Imagine the high quality leads that can generate for an extremely modest cost.

All you need to get started is a Facebook profile of your own. Just scroll to the bottom of your Facebook profile page, scroll to the bottom and click the “Advertising”link.

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Which Social Media is Relevant to a Real Estate Agent?

As a real estate agent, getting out into the world of social media might seem a little difficult. There’s a ton to do, and so many engines to get started on. How can you leverage social media to best benefit your real estate business?

1 . Understand the purpose of social media in the property market

The number one mistak e real estate agents make when it comes to social media is expecting sales to increase immediately. You have to understand that direct sales are not the purpose of any social media campaign, regardless of your industry. The idea is to increase your brand profile – and by this, I mean you want to give people the opportunity to get to know you, your real estate business, and the value you provide beyond what your competitors can give clients.

By putting yourself out there, you’re giving people in your service area the opportunity to know you. Buying real estate is a huge decision, and they’re going to look at all the avenues to find out more about you and your reputation. The purpose of social media is to help a client understand more about you, and to know that you’re the best choice for buying property.

2 . Know your target demographic

Who are your customers, exactly? If you’re selling commercial property, a social media network like LinkedIn might be a better option for you. LinkedIn is a B2B network that will allow you to meet and make connections with business people. If you’re targeting residential buyers, Facebook pages might be better for you. Twitter can get you set up with a strong local presence.

There’s no perfect way of doing this, and many methods can work. You have to determine your target demographic, and figure out which engine they’re on.

3 . Show them what they want to see

Your social media presence should reflect whatever aspect of your professional self that your clients need to see. If your clients need to see you in a starched shirt and business suit, any pictures, videos, or branding materials you put out there should reflect this. If your clients are easy-going, reflect this. If you’re selling to families, consider putting pictures of your family on your site, or social media profiles. Give clients what you think they want to see, and they’ll respond by trusting you to deliver what they want to buy with a good experience and good service.

There is no one-size-fits-all social media strategy– you just need to understand how it can best benefit you and your real estate business, and how to leverage it in a way that builds a relationship of trust with clients.


Posted in Real Estate Marketing, Social Media | 1 Comment

Real Estate Blogs Outperform Static Websites

One of the central components of the Listing Engine we promote is the real estate blog. It is connected to all other components and provides a foundation for much of the content you will use as fuel for your engine.

Aside from that,search engines favour blogs over static websites when regular, high quality content is pumped in. In his recent article on real estate blogs, Jim Kimmon* says,

Blogs do better SEO-wise than static websites. I’m talking about blogs and sites for real estate when you haven’t paid a fortune to some SEO guru to optimize them for you. Doing this for a static site only works for a while anyway, then Google’s algorithm changes and your position in searches changes with it. No, there’s no point in arguing, as it’s been proven many times over that the regular addition of new content builds clout with Google and other search engines. This is especially true when the blog posts exploit the key phrases that you want visitors to use to come to your site.

The important thing to remember is that your blog should serve to complement and supplement your marketing efforts, not merely duplicate what your regular website is doing. The blog should have a domain that is more general to the real estate market you operate in so it appears more independent. You will gain credibility as a real estate expert in the area, rather than just another realtor spruiking his or her services.

The blog is about answering common questions or solving problems for people buying or selling. Do that, and you will be top of mind when they’re ready to enter into a transaction later on. Search engines will drive people to the blog more that websites because it sees them as an information source, rather than a commercial site.

Best practice and effective strategies for establishing a successful website is one of the core modules members of the Total Property Listing Engine receive.

* Jim Kimmons has 16 years experience as a real estate agent and broker in three states, and serves as a consultant to other real estate professionals on using technology to improve their marketing and office management.

Posted in Blogging, Real Estate Marketing, Website | 1 Comment

Real Estate Website Tune Up

Thanks to the folks at Realitybizcoach.com for reminding busy agents not to neglect their trusty website. They highlight the following areas for possible tune-up. For the full low-down, please visit them at the link provided.

  1. IDX maximized and leveraged. Gone are the days of just one link to search properties and forcing the visitor to do a cumbersome search each time they visit…
  2. Reflecting and specialized areas. If your area of specialization is the Alpharetta area of the Atlanta, GA market, then you must have a page about Alpharetta that includes information about…
  3. Visible contact information.
  4. Check links and eliminate where needed.
  5. Social media tools. … Have clickable sections to your Facebook business page, your LinkedIn profile and your Twitter account so others can share your message.
  6. Niche area and trending opportunities. Is there a niche market that you could accentuate on your site to show you are the expert? …
  7. Offline and online promotion. Fifty percent of your website’s success depends on how well you promote it offline…

 

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Ultimate Real Estate Marketing Objectives

For all the time, energy and expense that follows serious marketing efforts, clear objectives should be in place to measure their success. It should be no surprise what the ultimate marketing objective should be for real estate agents and agencies, because it is the same for all commercial enterprises: more income (agents) and more profits (agencies).

So that is the simple answer. But let’s dig deeper to define marketing value and therefore determine if your marketing efforts are generating that value. If you are spending your valuable time on a Facebook page that has only a couple dozen fans, with no strategy to increase engagement, you wasting time propping it up because it is not delivering on the ultimate marketing objective ($$$).

At  this point it is worth breaking down the ultimate objective into smaller, more usable objectives. Objectives that need to focused on whenever considering any new marketing strategy. You need to satisfy yourself that all of your marketing efforts, online and offline, are working to achieve one or more of these objectives:

  1. Lead generation
  2. Win more listings
  3. Enhance you credibility
  4. Expand your profile
  5. Asset appreciation
  6. Faster property sales

As you look closely at this list you will see there is overlap between some objectives and all of them lead to the ultimate objective: more cash in the bank. You can that the earlier case of a Facebook page with few followers meets none of the objectives. Not only is it unhelpful, it can in fact be detrimental. Potential clients may visit your Facebook page, see that it offers little to engage users and so form the conclusion you haven’t the social media skills needed in the modern market help sell their house.

The Objectives for Real Estate Marketing page will give you a deeper look at each of these objectives.

 

 

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