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Real Estate Porn and Floor Plans
What are buyers really looking for online these days, and where are they searching for it? These stats may surprise you. There are a whole lot of things to look at on the internet these days. Recently, GrowthBadger put the number of active blogs at somewhere around 600 million, with another 1.7 trillion websites indexed by Google. Of those, I'd wager that a hefty percentage are devoted to food. When Twitter and Instagram first became a thing, everyone used to joke that "No one wants to see what you had for breakfast." At last count, I follow 37 Instagrammers who only post pictures of food. So I'd argue that there are a lot of people who do, actually, want to see what's for breakfast. In fact, Brandwatch named food as one of the biggest online search trends of the last decade. But we are heading into 2021, and there is an even bigger trend than food. These days, it's all about real estate porn. Like almost every other adult I know, I am more than a little addicted to looking at other people's houses. Given the opportunity, I could easily burn a couple of hours dreaming about that NYC loft, that stone cottage, or that mid-mod houseboat, à la Sleepless in Seattle. I know I am not alone in this obsession, because look: Or A quick search will find you hundreds of similar messages. And those websites mentioned are just a few of the sites that offer a visual buffet of gorgeous kitchens, bedrooms, and gift wrapping rooms. Gift-wrapping rooms, y'all. Can you imagine? While I do love me a good real estate website, I also spend a considerable amount of time on that other amazing invention: Pinterest. Boasting over 322 million monthly users, Pinterest is as popular with Millennials as Instagram, according to Sprout Social. Not to mention, over 5% of all referral traffic to all websites comes from Pinterest. That's an insane stat. Not just for wedding planning or recipes, Pinterest also has a plethora of real estate related content. Best of all, there are floor plans. Floor plans are the holy grail of real estate porn. Not only can you drool over the photos, you can actually go so far as to mentally move in your furniture. Or, in my case, mentally ditch all your old furniture and buy new. I am not alone in my love of floor plans. Rightmove released a study that suggests that real estate buyers consider floor plans not just a nice extra, but essential. One in five said they would ignore a property without a floor plan. They also rated floor plans as more important than photos and the description of the property. On the flip side, when sellers consider hiring a real estate agent, Rightmove found that 42% wouldn't hire an agent who didn't offer a floor plan. And before you say, "Yeah, but that is the UK and maybe they are funny over there. After all, they like cricket!" check this out. In the NAR 2019 Home Buyers & Sellers Generational Trends Report, floor plans were ranked third in terms of buyer requests, ranking higher than virtual tours, sold properties, and even agent contact info. In fact, adding a floor plan to a real estate listing can increase click-throughs from buyers by 52%. That's twice as many eyeballs, folks. The problem is that most real estate agents aren't placing the value on floor plans that they should be. Common excuses for not offering floor plans include cost, hassle, and liability issues. The reality is that floor plans are not difficult to get and they aren't as expensive as you might think. Sources like iGUIDE make it super easy and economical to give buyers that mental move-in experience. In this day and age, it's not just about getting your customer's attention. It's about keeping it. Each and every second of attention spent on your marketing matters, whether you are using social media or a search portal. Want to drive more traffic to your listings? Go the extra mile and give us real estate porn stalkers what we want: floor plans. (And more gift-wrapping rooms.) To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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8 Ways for REALTORS to Get Home Safely
The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is at the forefront of promoting agent safety in the real estate industry every day. Each September, NAR shines a spotlight on agent safety and well-being and its tenets of REALTOR®Safety: knowledge, awareness, and empowerment.
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Why Do Good Agents Get Bad Reviews?
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Are You Unknowingly Encouraging Sellers to List as FSBOs?
A recent Facebook post by a top-producing agent read: "I recommend that all sellers try for sale by owner." I couldn't believe it when I read it, so I read it twice. Yep, that's what it said alright. It just didn't use those words. Here's what it did say: "Congratulations to my clients who received six offers in eight hours. The real estate market is HOT, HOT, HOT!" Potential home sellers might interpret this post as, "Why do I need to pay an agent if the market is so 'HOT, HOT, HOT?' Maybe I should try to sell by myself."
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Dominate Your Market via Facebook Groups
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5 Branding Secrets Every Real Estate Pro Should Know
Big companies have massive budgets to fuel their brands. Why would major corporations be spending money on branding--doesn't everyone already know who they are? They advertise because they know that effective branding is the key to their success. In a 2019 study from Interbrand, Apple, Google and Amazon were named the three best global brands. These three companies alone spend more than $8 BILLION each year to make sure each of us will consider their products when we're on the hunt for an answer, a new laptop, or literally anything you could ever want to buy, from a Nintendo Switch to tonight's dinner. The truth is, you probably encounter these brands every single day. Sometimes it happens without even recognizing it. Amazon knows they need to be the first thing you think about when you're ready to make a purchase. Google has dominated online search so completely that "googling" something has a permanent spot in the lexicon. And Apple? They've turned their brand into a status symbol, something consumers crave. Sure, with a massive budget at their fingertips, big brands have access to data and sophisticated advertising techniques that may seem out of reach to the average real estate agent. However, as we'll discover in this post, anyone can achieve similar results on a localized scale in a very affordable way. Want to run with the big dogs when it comes to your branding? Well you're in luck! Here we reveal the five key secrets to successful brand advertising.
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Applying RPR Learning to Today's Revamped Market
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Secrets to Lead Generation Success
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 11:00 AM PDT Frustrated with your current lead generation? It's not uncommon for agents and brokers to be frustrated with their online lead generation, questioning the quality of the leads and/or not recognizing the type of ROI to justify the expenditure. To add to the frustration, these same agents and brokers are surrounded by friends and colleagues who are recognizing tremendous success with the very same solutions causing frustration! Sound familiar?! If you're not making money, you're not doing it right. But, no worries—that's why you should attend this webinar! Over the course of one hour, industry pros Frank Chimento, Bondilyn Jolly and Marilyn Wilson will debunk the fallacies surrounding online lead generation and provide tips, tricks and insights garnered from working with top agents and brokers across the U.S. Discussion topics include: Lead Generation: Debunking Fallacies Tips, Tricks and Strategies of Top Performers The Life Cycle of the Real Estate Lead Top Online Marketing Tools for Organic Lead Gen Search-based vs. Interruption-based Marketing Lead Nurturing Strategies Register now!
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How to Shoot Real Estate So It Attracts More Buyers
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Elevate's 'Monday Morning Mentor' offers marketing tips in small doses
There are a lot of moving parts and pieces to developing and executing a successful marketing strategy, and many real estate agents can easily get overwhelmed by a constantly revolving door of what you should—and shouldn't—be doing. Luckily, there's a great series from the marketing minds at Elevate designed to help you kick off your week with an easily consumable dose of marketing insight, led by one of Elevate's top trainers, Miles Greer. Streaming across Elevate's social channels, Monday Morning Mentor allows agents to dial in on Monday mornings for a 10-minute "brain dump" from Miles on a variety of topics like website SEO, email marketing, creating boosted posts on Facebook, virtual open houses, and much more. Not only does Miles speak in simple, laymen's terms (a.k.a., NO technical mumbo-jumbo), he also breaks things down into easily actionable steps to help you accomplish the goal of the week. With over 20,000 viewers a week on Facebook alone, it's clear that the Elevate Marketing Team is delivering much needed content to their real estate audience. Check out a few episodes: "Boosting Your Facebook Posts" "#Hashtags for Marketing" "What separates YOU from all of the other agents in your market?" Want more Monday Morning Mentor? Just pick your favorite social channel: YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn TryElevate.com.blog To learn more about Elevate's Marketing Services and CRM: Request a demo Visit TryElevate.com
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Selling Safely: Because It Can Happen To You
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How to Showcase Your Professionalism in a Virtual World
Working remotely is the new normal. Casual Friday had become a daily event for many. But real estate agents working from home need to keep up their professional appearance, as it's no longer uncommon for an initial client meeting to take place on Zoom. And that's one thing that hasn't changed: you still only have one chance to make a first impression. How do you make a great first impression – virtually? Here are some tips to looking – and acting – your best for your virtual meetings, whether you are going online to meet a client, host, or participate in a meeting. Avoid creating distractions: One of the reasons Zoom works well, particularly for those working from home, is its virtual background. Many people don't have a home office and are working out of a bedroom, dining room, or basement. If you do have a home office, great. But remember that any complex background can be distracting. Also, any movement behind you – pets, kids, or spouses – makes it hard for people to pay attention to what you say during a virtual meeting. A simple virtual background that mimics an office, home office, or meeting room works best. It helps make you look more professional in this setting. Think face-to-face: While it's impossible for a virtual meeting to connect with someone in the same way as in-person meetings, act as if you are meeting face-to-face. That means you need to look directly at the camera. It's not easy, but it appears to the other person that you are looking right at them. And listen carefully to the other person, and don't be distracted by your image. For virtual client meetings, make sure you have your meeting software set to show their face full screen, not yours. Don't dress - or look - differently: Agents have different dress codes, depending on what is customary in their market. For a virtual meeting, don't dress down. Dress as you would if you were attending a meeting in person. The same rule applies to your appearance. If you want to put your best foot forward, you may not have to wear shoes, but you better be dressed for the part. Remember, your visual image can have a more significant impact on forming a first impression than meeting someone face-to-face. During a Zoom call, you are telegraphing: you are what you wear. Don't be afraid to mute yourself: One of the advantages of a virtual meeting versus one in-person is you can hit the mute button. If you have to yawn or cough when your client is talking, hit the mute. As long as you are comfortable with the technology, please mute yourself when someone else is talking. If you are taking notes on your keyboard during the meeting, this will avoid the sound of clicking keys drowning out the person trying to talk. Be early to your meeting: If you are the host of the meeting, arrive 5 to 10 minutes early. Being early telegraphs that you care and are making the meeting a priority. It also suggests you are well organized and undoubtedly punctual. It's just another simple way to showcase your professionalism. Focus: One of the biggest challenges of any virtual meeting is for everyone to stay focused and pay attention. If you are looking at another screen and checking email during a conversation, it's akin to checking your phone when talking with someone face-to-face. It is considered rude and unprofessional. Be kind, be considerate, and always listen more than you speak. What's the easiest way to do that? Ask questions! Importance of electronic etiquette: Making a great first impression means you must have the technology that puts you in the best light – literally. Invest in a separate video camera, a unidirectional microphone, and a proper ring LED light. Avoid windows or bright lights directly behind you. A meeting can't be effective when a client can't hear or see you clearly. High-speed internet access is a must, and if you share a connection with others, ask them not to stream anything during your calls. Also, make sure you are not interrupted during your meeting and try to avoid distracting background noise. Restart and test: For any crucial meeting, restarting your computer 20 minutes before your appointment can help you avoid connection and other technical issues. Then test your mic, your camera, and your lighting to ensure everything is in working order. Have a Plan B: Stuff happens: your computer could die, you could lose power, or the internet goes down. Don't panic. Every major video call service offers a mobile app. Be sure you have the app installed on your phone, sign in, and test it. Have a stand ready to place your phone in should your computer call fall. That's what professional do – plan for the unexpected! Evaluate and refine: If you can record your meeting, do. Use the recording to do a self-assessment of how you did and what you can do next time to improve. Remember, when you attend a large virtual meeting today and look at the many faces on a Zoom call, you can instantly spot the ones who are professional and those who are not. So can your clients and prospects. If your MLS or association provides you free access to Tech Helpline, and you have any questions about setting up a virtual meeting or need to troubleshoot any video call tech issue, reach out for assistance! When you make a great first impression virtually, you can win over a new or existing client every time. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Win More Listing Appointments with Facebook Ads
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27 Real Estate Statistics You Should Know and Understand
Real estate is a data-driven industry. Many statistics and figures are used in daily conversation to describe shifts in the market. As an agent, you need to be familiar with this data. You need to be able to understand what they mean and interpret any changes. To help you get started, we'll review 27 real estate statistics that are essential to any real estate business.
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Proven Tactics of Real Estate Super Producers
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Your Survival Guide to Attending a Virtual Conference
The next real estate conference you are most likely to attend won't require you to drive or fly. You won't have to book a hotel or dinner reservations. Instead, you will go online via your computer or smartphone. Virtual conferences have rapidly taken to replacing major in-person meetings and conventions in every industry. Even the largest meeting of Realtors, the annual convention of the National Association of Realtors, has announced it will be virtual this fall. The NAR Annual Convention announced it will move from an in-person event that was set for New Orleans in early November to a fully virtual event online from November 13-16. Attending a conference or convention online sounds a lot easier, right? Be forewarned that attending a virtual convention for three or four days in a row can be as exhausting as attending one in person. But you can reduce the stress and strain that can come from attending a virtual meeting by following these tips before, during, and after an all online conference. Before a virtual conference Plan early: Block your calendar as if you are attending a real conference. Select your "must attend" events. And if technology fails during a must-attend session, have a "Plan B" alternative as a backup. Make sure you build in breaks – even if the schedulers appear to overlook this need – we are all learning how to adapt! Take a test drive: If you have never attended a virtual conference, before you block your schedule for three or four days, test out a half-day online event. There are many free conferences and meetings online locally and nationally that cover many industries, including real estate. Try out how it feels to attend a virtual conference – being online for four or more hours straight – you'll discover in advance if you need better equipment. You might find you need a more comfortable office chair or a large computer monitor. It's better to learn this in advance of attending a multi-day event. Be tech ready: Explore the website of the conference you are planning to attend to see if it offers a mobile app. The earlier you can download, install, and set up the app, the better. There are often built-in tools such as an event schedule calendar featuring alters, a list of attendees, and ways to connect with others. If you know the conference is going to use video, some browsers (Google Chrome, Windows) allow you to add features that can speed up video playback. Research and install these, and they might come in handy. Finally, test your viewing technology. If you are going to have interactive sessions where you can be seen and heard along with other participants, make sure you have the essentials for two-way participation. You need to make sure you have the right set up: a good video camera, proper lighting, and a microphone. While built-in cameras and mics may work fine, investing the dollars you are saving by attending virtually to better equipment can help you make a great impression. Remember to clean your screen: Smudges can make a laptop's camera blurry. Set your brightness level. Make sure everything is plugged in well in advance of your meeting. If you know you are using technology like Zoom, Webex or GoToMeeting, make sure you have the latest software installed well before you try to connect. During the virtual conference Breaks will save your back and your eyes: You need to stand and stretch – and often – when attending a virtual conference. You will not be getting up anytime soon to walk several blocks to your next session like you would at a regular convention. So, don't be stuck at your desk either. Walk around your room, and remember to exercise your eyes as well. Eye fatigue can give you headaches if you stare at a screen too long. You can learn about different ways to exercise your eyes here. Remember, breaks are vital to virtual conference endurance. Use a video playback speed hack: Most virtual conventions won't be completely live, as it takes too much bandwidth. While live sessions may be more common for smaller breakout panels and workshops, General Sessions are most likely going to be on video. There's a hack to speed up your viewing to squeeze out extra time to get all the content still but stay on top of your regular business responsibilities. The most common commercial video platform is Vimeo and YouTube for general videos. YouTube has a built-in speed adjustment found by clicking on the gear icon at the bottom of the YouTube video player. Microsoft Edge offers users a tool that adjusts YouTube playback as well. Vimeo Pro and Business accounts also have this feature built-in, but Google Chrome users can add a plugin that allows them to control Vimeo videos' speed. This can be a huge time saver when you have a presenter who speaks slow. While the average person speaks at a pace of 100-130 words per minute, our minds can fully comprehend speech at 180 words per minute. Ask questions and engage whenever possible: A virtual conference can't replace the energy one gets from being in a room with other people. Keep the Chat Box open and do your best to ask questions. Use the Chat Box to read and comment to all – or directly to others – when you have a thought to share. Being engaged online can help you get more out of a virtual conference. If you get the opportunity to participate in a live two-way session, make sure you look directly at the camera, frame your face correctly, and avoid backlighting so you can look your best. After the virtual conference Recorded sessions: If you know for sure you'll have access to all or some recorded sessions soon after the virtual conference, take advantage of it. Look at the convention schedule for potential conflicts of overlapping sessions you want to attend. If you know one session will be available for playback later, visit the one that won't be viewable. It's great when you can "attend" a virtual meeting you would have certainly missed in person. Electronic handouts: Often, a speaker will mention that they will make their PowerPoint presentation or other material available after the meeting. Send yourself a reminder to follow up to collect these items if you don't automatically receive them as promised. This often saves you a lot of time taking notes – or trying to capture a screenshot. Post-conference networking: While we can't attend a major real estate convention in person, we can try to take advantage of the fact that more people than ever are likely to participate in a virtual meeting of the Florida Realtors or the National Association of Realtors. That means a shared experience with more people whom you know. And while you may not be physically sitting next to them, think about how you might follow up with them afterward to discuss. Perhaps even hold a Zoom meeting post-conference to share what you learned and discover what others learned. The great thing about virtual conferences is that it is hard to beat the ROI — return on investment — it offers versus an in-person meet. The downside is that even the most creative attempts at hosting a virtual Happy Hour can't replace having a drink in the lobby bar with a colleague or friend. The good news is you can get a lot out of a virtual convention if you get organized, stay focused by taking breaks and creating ways to stay engaged. You still might need a vacation afterwards. And if you have any issues with your technology, remember you can always contact Tech Helpline. Your tech support team available as a member benefit at no additional cost. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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5 of the Best Real Estate Coaches in the Business
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5 RPR Report Customizations You May Not Be Using
Reports are one of RPR's most popular features. From the Market Activity Report that gives your sellers a snapshot of recent market trends and activity, to helping your buyers hone-in by using RPR Mobile to create a Buyer Tour Report. Sending reports such as these to your clients via email or text are only gaining in popularity due the current virtual presentation demands. However, you might not be taking advantage or even aware of all the report customizations you can apply to strengthen your communications. RPR allows REALTORS® to tailor each report according to client needs and expectations, starting with these five useful report customizations:
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How Can Agents Compete in a Hot Market? Tried and Tested Tips to Get Noticed in a Crowded Marketplace
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Real Estate Essentials for New Agents
You are a new real estate agent. You are just starting out in the field and have no sense of direction. Yes, you learned a lot while getting your real estate license. However, common sense things such as what to bring, what to have with you at all times, or what to do before you get out there wasn't really explained to you. You've just come from a 9-5 office job and do not know what this entails. We've put together a quick list of a few things that could help you out when you are getting out there. These real estate essentials will surely get you off on the right foot.
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8 Tips for an Agent Safety Month Unlike Any Other
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Effective Real Estate Marketing in the COVID Era
COVID getting you down? This blog post gives you real estate marketing ideas to keep your sales numbers up and make this unique time work for you. P.S. Make sure to read 'til the end as there is a free giveaway! Use your smartphone to take amazing photos Sure, nothing might ever truly beat a professional real estate photographer, but when time, budget, and restrictions are holding you back, there are options. You can get creative and try some DIY tricks that will deliver high quality imagery that sells. Get your tenants, your staff, or even yourself involved, as there's no experience necessary to achieve great photos, just some know-how. Use this handy Pre-Photography Checklist to make sure the home is as ready as possible for the shoot, and so that less item removal and photo editing is necessary. You can then take photos with a smartphone using a HDR bracketing app to get shots that closely match DSLR. Follow these step-by-step instructions. Use HDR image enhancement editing to finalise shots that sell a home. Trial new furnishings Filling your home with stylish furniture first catches attention and then allows buyers to visualise themselves in a home. Virtual Staging is a fraction of the cost of physical staging and will sell your property 75% faster than if left empty or with unappealing furniture. If you've got a fixer-upper, you can also show the potential of a property with Virtual Renovation. The ethics of managing buyers' expectations are not forgotten. There is the capability to watermark Virtual Staging and Virtual Renovation images naming the edits undertaken, whilst showing off options, giving your property a virtual makeover. Refresh your advertising with a new angle If your home has been on the market for a while, refresh your listing. Add some new photos. If you can't get to the property, or don't want to pay your photographer for new snaps, the owner or tenants can take photos as detailed above. Even rotating the photo order can help. Try a different hero shot, as that first showcase image might need a tweak. Put a different exterior image through a Day to Dusk twilight conversion edit and test what generates interest. Try virtual staging for free BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 30. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit.
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3 Easy Ways to Help Your Clients Get Comfortable with eSigning
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SEO for Real Estate 101: Link Building
People who don't know your website's URL will often search for your name, real estate agents, or homes for sale in your area in order to find the information they seek. If you want to show up in the search results for these people, you have to optimize your website for search engines. This is also known as search engine optimization, or SEO. A big part of a successful SEO strategy is link building.
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Restream for Real Estate: How to take a home showing live everywhere
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16 of the Best Real Estate Memes of All Time
In the age of interactive technology and augmented reality, memes depend on only two things: A low-quality image and bold text! And there we are, a moment of amusement with a touch of bitter reality. Real estate agents and bloggers are no strangers to memes. There are so many facts (and often pet peeves) about the working life of an agent or a Realtor. To express them, only a meme can do justice. Let's review some of the best real estate memes of all time—those that did real estate professionals some justice, one way or another:
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
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Are You Working Too Hard to Get Easy Leads?
Are you uncomfortable asking people you know for leads? You're not alone! The most convertible leads come from people who know, like and trust you. Warm referrals at the time of highest need are the easiest and often most successful type of referral. The trick is to help your raving fans keep you top of mind when someone expresses their plans to buy or sell real estate. How can you help them help you?
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of August
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5 Resources for Realtor Safety Month
The year was 2011, and Ashley Oakland was a 27-year-old REALTOR in Des Moines, Iowa. She had been an agent for Century 21 since 2010 and was working inside a Des Moines model townhouse on Friday, April 8. A home builder employee heard a commotion inside the townhouse Ashley was showing to a potential buyer. The employee rushed to the scene and found Ashley on the floor, having been shot twice by her assailant. Ashley's killer has never been found.
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3 Things Today's Consumers Expect from Real Estate Agents
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How to Sell a Property in 7 Days
"I recently virtually staged a home that was on the market for six months. It sold in seven days this time!" These are the ecstatic words of Brittiny Howard from Brittiny Howard of EXP Realty, who was thrilled with how virtual staging helped her sell a property that was stuck on the market. Like Brittiny, many other real estate agents are employing virtual staging within their business and are seeing higher sale prices and faster selling times for their listings. But What Exactly Is Virtual Staging? Virtual staging is the process of digitally adding furniture to an empty room. Professionally staged rooms are more attractive to the eye and help buyers visualize the space better. So How Will Virtual Staging Benefit Me? In today's technology-driven world, 90 percent of buyers start looking online, where you only have a few moments to catch their interest. Virtual staging can help you represent your listing more professionally and generate more interest. In fact: 83 percent of staged properties sell for the asking price or above Homes that are staged sell 75 percent faster than those that are not It's a fraction of the price of traditional staging You can virtually stage indoors or outdoors! But What Happens When My Client Shows Up to an Empty Property? Oh no! Your client is expecting this beautifully staged property and they show up to an empty property. Well, you got them there. Now for the next part… What a lot of real estate agents have had success with is printing out a brochure that shows the virtually-staged images. This provides the client with both perspectives of the property: furnished and unfurnished. Some agents even do the reverse. They list the pictures of an empty property online then print out the staged images to show the client when they arrive at the property. What's the Best Way for Me to Virtually Stage a Property? BoxBrownie.com offers professional virtual staging at extremely competitive rates (only $32 per image). Our outputs are photorealistic, so you won't be able to tell the difference if the property was physically staged or not. Turnaround times are super quick as well: less than 48 hours for virtual staging, which is perfect for getting your listing up ASAP. We also offer unlimited changes (if required) to the image at no extra charge. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 18, 2020. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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Lead Nurture Basics for Real Estate Agents
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Delta Media Makes a Case for a CRM that More Agents Will Use
"The best CRM is the one an agent will use," says Michael Minard, CEO and owner of Delta Media Group. Michael said this in an announcement last week about Delta giving individual agents and teams access to its platform for the first time. After spending the greater part of the last 25 years working directly with real estate agents, few words resonate more truth with me about the decades-long battle to get all real estate agents to use a CRM actively. That's what makes the Delta Media Group announcement exciting to those who have seen the DeltaNET 6 platform. Its most outstanding value is its built-in CRM. More importantly, it does the heavy-lifting that prevents many agents from ever using a CRM.
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What Are You Selling?
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4 Essentials of Branding For Real Estate Agents
We know that the thought of posting, and posting regularly, on social media can give make even the savviest agents start to sweat. Not everyone grew up on the internet or speaks fluent hashtag. Getting into the habit of posting and creating online profiles complete with a lot of awesome content is a lot of hard work. So we thought that we'd help you out. But before we jump in, we thought we'd start with some tips on branding. Social media activity is pretty useless unless it's targeted and branded. Here's why you should brand, and the four essential components of branding for real estate agents.
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Website SEO Tips
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Blog Writing Tips for Realtors
Many Realtors have their own blogs or have at least contemplated starting one up. It gives you the perfect platform to sound off on local issues, promote community events, and promote... yourself! A real estate blog can be a really smart way to market yourself by focusing on your experience and expert guidance. You can address topics that potential prospects are interested in, and provide local market insight. Basically, you can lay some tracks about your knowledge of real estate, and when the time comes around, you'll be top of mind for when buyers and sellers need an agent's help. This type of digital marketing can also certainly help you stand out from a crowded field.
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Consumer Smart Locks vs. Electronic Lockboxes
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How to Shoot Real Estate with Only an iPhone 11
It's no secret that as real estate agents or property managers, we are always trying to get ahead of the pack. Elevating your marketing above the rest could be the difference between securing your next sale or missing out to your competitor down the street. In this blog, we are going to prove you really can shoot real estate using just the iPhone 11. This latest release from Apple features an awesome wide-angle lens that is simply insane and, when paired with the CameraPixels PRO app and HDR Image Enhancement, it can really help set your property marketing apart from the rest. What Is Bracketing? Bracketing is used by photographers to take multiple shots of the same image at different exposures which can then be combined into the finished product. This process produces an HDR image or a High Dynamic Range image that can highlight important details of the property you're shooting, particularly homes with a fantastic outlook or view that you want to capture. Typically, the photographer will shoot approximately seven images at different exposures which can then be uploaded to BoxBrownie.com using the Image Enhancement edit. Our team of expert editors will then combine these shots into one image to create a fantastic, professionally finished product. You can find out more about how HDR bracketing works in this previous blog. How to Bracket on the iPhone To set up bracketing on your iPhone, you will need to download an app from the App Store called CameraPixels PRO. There is a free version of the app. However, the functionality is limited and we recommend you download CameraPixels PRO version (approximately $7) and enter the below settings: 1. Open up the CameraPixels PRO app Click on ISO and set to 20 (this is an important step) Click on Mode Click on Bracketing Click on Set 2. Under 'Image' Resolution: 12.2MP x 4032 x 3024 Crop: 4:3 Quality: 100% Stabilization: On 3. Under 'Bracket' Type: Exposure Image Count: 7 Images EV Step: 1.0 F-Stop Flash: Off 4. Under 'Intervalometer' Timer: 1 Sec Image Count: Single Lapse: 1 Sec Click Save As Preset Give the Preset a name Once these settings have been programmed, it's just a matter of preparing and shooting the property as you normally would. For some handy tips on preparing the home for photography, check out our FREE Pre-Photography Checklist. Each time you take a photo using the CameraPixels PRO app, the phone will automatically take seven shots. The most important tip is to make sure you always use a tripod when taking bracketed images as all the exposure images must align perfectly to produce a professional result. Comparing the Finished Results The examples below highlight the before and after results from shooting bracketed images using the iPhone 11 via the CameraPixels PRO app, and then uploading those images to our Image Enhancement edit. Kitchen Before and After This is a spectacular property and it has been beautifully prepared. However, the before image of the kitchen still appears quite dull and lifeless. This is in stark contrast to the bracketed and enhanced finished shot which truly showcase just how special this home is and is sure to attract the attention of potential buyers. Outdoor Living Area Before and After This is a great example of how impressive the wide-angle lens feature is on the iPhone 11. The amount of detail we are able to capture in frame is simply remarkable for a smartphone. When edited using our Image Enhancement edit, you really can produce a magazine-quality result. Bedroom Before and After As you can see with the final bedroom image, the detail is very clear and crisp not only internally but also with the view outside. This is a great way to highlight the flow of the home and draw the viewer's attention to the amazing outlook. Conclusion There's no doubt about it: with a few simple tips, you really can produce a professional result using the iPhone 11 with the wide-angle lens feature for your real estate photography. As we have shown, by using the CameraPixels PRO app and our HDR Image Enhancement, you can elevate your property marketing head-and-shoulders above the competition. If you'd like to give our Image Enhancement edit a try for yourself, click here or sign up for FREE at BoxBrownie.com today. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 18, 2020. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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Women in Real Estate: From Tours to Detours to 3D Tours
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The One Thing You're Not Doing to Boost the Performance of Your Google Ads
Advertising on Google is a no-brainer for agents. It's the most-widely used search engine in the nation and offers multiple ad placement opportunities. In a world where 95% of consumers use the internet during their home search, Google is the place to be and be seen. Just like any platform, when you advertise on Google Search, you need to make sure you're maximizing all opportunities and ensuring your budget is being well-spent. The problem is that the Google Ads management platform has become so complex that it's easy to miss a setting here and there while you're toying with bidding, keyword targeting and ad copy.
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Hacking, Scams, and Viruses: 4 Effective Ways to Work from Home More Safely
The new normal in real estate for most agents is to work from home. But cyber security experts warn that working from home increases exposure to hacking, scams, and viruses. How can you make sure you're not more vulnerable when working from home? Here are four simple steps you can take to reduce your risk to hacking, scams, and viruses:
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Friday Freebie: Virtual Staging + 4 Bonus Listing Photo Edits
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7 Huge Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make on YouTube
If a picture tells a thousand words, how much does a video tell? One minute of video tells 1.8 million words, says Dr. James McQuivey, the scientist behind the report, "How Video will take over the world." There's no reason why real estate agents can't get a piece of the action to generate leads and position yourself as a thought leader. Posting on YouTube is simple and relatively intuitive: get an account, film a video, edit with easy-to-use software like iMovie, and post away! But, don't be posting blind. Get ready to harness the power of video and start using YouTube effectively with these best practices from your friends at Rental Beast.
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3 for 3 Listings: What Makes This REALTOR Hit Home Runs
If Linda Fercodini played baseball, she'd be a top contender for the majors. Though, for now, she is one of the happiest and most productive REALTORS in western Connecticut. One week after taking her first swing at Realtors Property Resource (RPR), Linda hit it out of the park, scoring what we might call a perfect batting average in real estate--three for three listings in nearly seven days.
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How to Create a Virtual Tour
They're increasingly popular and incredibly effective: virtual tours are changing the real estate landscape and the way potential buyers research properties. While there's no doubting their effectiveness, for many agents, the idea of creating a virtual tour can seem pretty daunting, time-consuming and expensive--but it doesn't have to be that way. Unsure of what we mean by virtual tour? Check out an example tour here. In this blog, we're going to walk you through how to create a virtual tour—from understanding which camera and tripod to buy to shooting the property, having the images edited and building the tour itself. And the best part? You don't have to be tech-savvy or spend a fortune on expensive equipment. So let's get started! Step 1: Which 360 Camera and Tripod to Buy While technology is constantly changing and new awesome products are continually being released, currently, we can't go past the Ricoh Theta Z1 camera for quality. If you're shopping on a budget or just want to dip your toe in the water, you could also try the Ricoh Theta V. When it comes to the tripod, we recommend the Neewer light stand, which will set you back just $40. This stand is sturdy and won't easily fall over unlike many more expensive monopods on the market today. We also use the Neewer ball-head attachment between the tripod and the 360° camera to make it easier to get the angle right when shooting on sloped surfaces. Step 2: Setting Up Your 360° Camera This step is going to vary depending on the camera you're using. However, there are some universal settings which we can get started with. The first step for all cameras will be to pair it with your smartphone using the dedicated app the camera comes with. Set your ISO to the lowest number possible. In the case of the Ricoh Theta Z1, this will be 100. Always avoid setting your ISO on high or leaving it on 'automatic' as this will likely produce a grainy image. As with the ISO, set your image size or resolution to the highest setting possible. Again, for the Ricoh, this is 6720 x 3360. Some cameras will give you the option to turn on the HDR function. This will make a massive difference to the detail and clarity of the shot. Step 3: How to Prepare the Property This might sound like a no-brainer, but it's amazing the difference these simple tricks can make to the final result. Always turn on all the lights, including the kitchen rangehood, and straighten the furniture and bed spreads. We recommend you open up all the doors, curtains and blinds to create a sense of space and flow in the shot. By removing any unnecessary clutter, you can help create a clean and inviting home. This can include things like bath mats, shampoo bottles and bins, etc. Less is always more when it comes to real estate photography. If you'd like to learn more about preparing a property to be shot, you can check out our FREE Pre-Photography Checklist. Step 4: How to Shoot a Property with a 360° Camera Now that the house is prepared, it's time to get to the fun part – shooting the property. We're all time-poor and efficiency is important, so to get started, place the camera in the center of the room making sure the tripod is sturdy. Hide out of frame and then use your phone to scan around the room and ensure the shot looks good and nothing is in the way. If you find the image is too bright or dark, simply adjust your exposure value accordingly so it looks good to the eye. Then press the shutter to take the photo. Important note: if you're new to 360° photography, just be aware the image looks stretched out compared to a conventional photo. This is completely normal. Once you've done the first room, repeat this process throughout the house. Be sure to capture key areas like the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and outdoor areas, but also don't forget the hallways. This helps to create a consistent flow in the virtual tour. Depending on the property, this process should only take roughly 20 minutes. If you'd like to learn more about capturing window detail and how to use bracketing in your virtual tours, you can visit our previous blog here. Step 5: Getting Your Images Edited Having the 360° images edited is not essential in the creation of a virtual tour, but it is highly recommended. From just $4 an image, BoxBrownie.com's team of professional editors can green up the grass, replace the skies and remove any unnecessary items. As you can see below, editing makes a huge difference to the finished product and can help showcase your listing in the best possible light. To have your images edited, you simply have to log in to BoxBrownie.com and choose '360° Image Enhancement.' Then upload your images and submit your job. The images will be edited by our team of professional editors and sent back to you within 24 hours. It's that simple. Step 6: Building Your Virtual Tour Now this is where the magic happens, but don't worry—we will handle all the hard work for you. Log in to BoxBrownie.com and select '360° Virtual Tours.' Upload your images and be sure to name each image with the area that is captured, i.e., kitchen. You also have the option to upload the property's floorplan which can show in the final product in the bottom left corner. Once you've uploaded all your images, simply select 'Submit' and you're done. Within 24 hours of submitting, you'll receive a link to your very own and completely interactive virtual tour. Your potential buyers can click from hotspot to hotspot while also having the option to spin around and virtually inspect each room. If you've also uploaded a floorplan, you can select to view it from the tour or you can jump from room to room based on the thumbnail images. You can share the link anywhere from social media to your email and, of course, your MLS or property portal. Conclusion And there you have it. It really is as simple as that. As we've shown you in this blog, creating a professional virtual tour for your listing doesn't have to be an expensive, time consuming or difficult task. In case you missed it earlier, here's an example of a completed tour to give you a feel for how your own tour could look. If you've never created a virtual tour before, why not get started at BoxBrownie.com? Or if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at [email protected] BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (worth $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer does expire on September 18, 2020. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie blog.
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Not All Reviews Sites Are Created Equal
There is no shortage of sites that accept consumer reviews. Google, Facebook, and Yelp are some of the most popular in the real estate industry. And you likely have a few static testimonials posted on your agent website, too. While it's important to have a presence around the web, when it comes to reviews, it pays to prioritize just one site: Google.
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Are your kids attending school from home? Safest ways to share your work computer
The persistence of the pandemic means working from home will continue for some time to come. With most of the nation's largest school districts announcing virtual learning plans for the fall, real estate agents, like many others, face additional work-life balance challenges. While some school districts are providing students the tech tools they'll need for remote learning -- from iPads to Chromebooks -- others are allowing families to use the tech resources they have. Kids today are more tech-savvy than ever. According to a 2019 Common Sense Media report, 95% of families with children now have smartphones, up from 63% in 2013, and 41% in 2011. Nearly half of children (42%) ages 0 to 8 have tablets, up from 7% four years prior. For agents suddenly saddled with several students connecting from their home, sharing your work computer might be a reality. But how can you share it safely? Here are some things you can do to protect your work – and share your computer with kids learning from home. Create Separate Accounts Whatever operating system you use – Windows or Mac – allows you to set up separate accounts. You should do this for everyone who shares your work computer. This will give them a personal login and protect your work files from being accessed. Just remember not to share your password so someone won't accidentally sign into your account. Set a Schedule If more than one person is sharing a single computer, you need to make sure you have access to it when you need it. Use a family calendar – such as Google Calendar – to block out the times that your kids need the computer for classes and homework, and when you need it for work. Employ Ground Rules You need to establish ground rules for computer use to make sure your kids know what is expected of them when using a shared computer. There are also ways to adjust your computer settings to have a "kid-safe" mode to protect your work computer better. Unplanned scheduling conflicts can emerge, so plan for it. Think about priorities and alternative options in advance. If something does come up, you can avoid panic and adapt to an unexpected change more easily by having rules already in place. Establish a Central Location Having your computer set up in a set location can make it easier for everyone. If you are using a laptop, it's still a good idea to establish one location. It will save time in connecting needed accessories for learning – such as an external monitor, mouse, a video conferencing light, and a microphone. It will save everyone time and avoid a scramble to connect everything at the last minute if your laptop is roaming your home. Make your computer kid-safe The most popular computing operating systems – and web browsers – have built-in settings that can restrict, for example, what your kids can see when they search online. Microsoft even offers a Family Safety Account. The point is you need to not only talk about how your work computer can be used, but also ways it should not be used. If you want an added layer of protection, there are software programs built to make nearly every digital device safer for your kids to use – and safer for your work computer. Protect your computer Windows 10 and Mac both offer exceptional built-in protection from computer viruses and malware. If you want to be extra safe and you don't already use a virus protection program, you can add one to protect your work computer and your files better, no matter who is using it. Everyone is experiencing more stress these days, so having an organized plan on how to share your work computer with your kids can make things a little less hectic. And remember, for the 60 percent of real estate agents in North America who have access to Tech Helpline, you can always reach out for help for any computer issue you are having at work – or home. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Creating a Listing Presentation: 5 Tips to Help You Prepare
A listing appointment is your last hurdle to jump before you achieve your goal of procuring a new client. You have put in hours of work discovering and warming up your lead. Now it's finally time to sign them on as a client--if they like what they hear from your listing presentation. So creating a listing presentation that is well thought-out and drives home the point that you are the best agent for the job is crucial to the growth of your business. To help you out with that, we have gathered some of the best tips on how to create a listing presentation that is sure to impress.
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7 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Use Facebook Groups
Have you ever thought about how real estate agents can use Facebook groups? You might already be part of a Facebook group for your high school graduating class or your favorite hobby, but think about adding a few groups for real estate agents to your roster! There's a whole bunch of Facebook groups dedicated to helping real estate agents succeed, get up to date with recent technology (and even reducing stress and generating some well-needed community). Scroll down to see seven ways real estate agents can use Facebook groups.
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Successful Realtor Uses RPR to 'Wow' Her Clients and Answer the 'Why'
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Answering Your Questions About SEO and Your Real Estate Website
I have spent over 20 years helping a wide variety of companies grow their businesses on the Internet. Here are two of the most frequently asked questions I receive and their answers: What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Why does SEO need to be approached differently within the real estate industry? What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? First, let me define what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is from my perspective. SEO techniques are used on and off websites to make a site more appealing to search engines. The more search engines like a website, the more they visit to index its pages. The result of SEO work done correctly--search engines push your website higher in search results for specific key phrases associated with your products and/services. Traffic generated from SEO is called "organic traffic." SEO in the Early Days Over the years, SEO has evolved, but I'd argue the core fundamentals have not changed that much. Early on in the infancy stage of SEO, it was the Wild West (late 1990s). Many people resorted to keyword stuffing or paying link farms to create thousands of links back to a site. While this process resulted in short term gains for these companies, any advancement made was quickly replaced with penalties once search engines caught on to their spammy techniques. Even during these Wild West days, savvy developers and online marketers understood it was all about designing sites for the end user. Eventually, search engines started publishing best practices, many of which still apply today. SEO Best Practices You need to build a site that is easy to use and navigate. The website needs to be technically sound. It needs to perform well speed-wise. The website needs designing with the end-user in mind, not the search engines. It needs to have unique and engaging content. You need to research high authority 'complementary' sites and obtain links back to your site. It needs to be trustworthy Add on-page optimization and internal linking throughout your website to help search engines better understand what the site is about and to navigate it easier. This last point is evolving a bit as the search engines are becoming smarter and don't need as much assistance. There are different approaches to SEO if you are a B2B or B2C company, but at the end of the day, the goals for any SEO campaign should be to increase traffic and leads/sales. Why Is SEO for the Real Estate Industry Approached Differently? Within most other industries, whether you are B2B or B2C, you are dealing with information that does not change often. For example, if you are a carpet cleaning company, your services will not change much over time. Or if you have an online store, products are added or discontinued over time, but generally speaking, your offerings stay pretty consistent. The consistency in these two examples allows the marketer to focus more intently on specific products and/or services, building out valuable content and links over time around the core services or products. The most significant difference with a real estate website is the lack of consistency with the products: homes, buildings, land, etc. Each property has a unique SKU number, so to speak, so it makes things even more challenging; the properties are only online until they sell. In major markets, we are talking thousands of property listings turning over quickly. Instead of trying to optimize each listing individually, many marketers in the real estate industry will focus on areas--states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, school districts, subdivisions, etc. For example, if you are a real estate firm in Sarasota, Fla., you may create a landing page with listings for Sarasota. And from that page, you'll drill down and create additional pages for neighborhoods within Sarasota. Consequently, you would use SEO tactics on all of those pages. This process is a fairly common practice within the real estate industry. The downside to this approach is that you will be missing out on visitors searching for a specific home for sale. Surprisingly, we have found that single address property searches equate to a significant amount of monthly traffic. Some of our clients see nearly 50 percent of their traffic originating from single address property search--i.e., 123 Main Street, Sarasota. Moreover, when it comes to recruiting and retaining, a firm with real estate listings displayed on the first page of Google has a distinct advantage over local competitors who cannot. To stay ahead of the curve, you should review your current website from two different aspects. 1. Technical Aspect of SEO The technical aspects of SEO (the how and why behind search engines crawling and indexing a site) are even more important with real estate sites than other industries because of the sheer amount of data processed daily. Clear paths for search engines need to be created to crawl from page-to-page, gathering pertinent information throughout your site. I have found that many real estate websites struggle in this area. To determine if your site has technical issues, look at how many pages you have indexed in Google (example: type site: www.hpw.com into Google search). Based on the number of listings and other content throughout your site, if the number of indexed pages seems low, there may be underlying issues. 2. Content Aspect of SEO Within the real estate industry, content is essential given the industry's competitive nature and some of the previously mentioned challenges. Blogging is a popular way to grow your site's visibility in search engines. As a rule of thumb, blogs should support the site's overall SEO strategy. However, in many cases, blogs are the only area where SEO is leveraged. For example, if your website is not ranking for the markets you serve, a blog may be your only avenue to publish optimized content for better visibility. Unless you are willing to invest significantly in time and money to make an impact, this option may not be ideal for you. Some companies do it and are successful, but having a better understanding of the website's shortfalls and correcting them will save you time and money in the long run. Taking a Look at the Competition I also wanted to touch on the industry's competitive nature and attempt to set proper expectations if you are a local firm engaging in SEO. The real estate industry is competitive, REALLY competitive. You have portals led by Zillow, corporate franchises, and then all of the local firms all competing for the number one position within the search results. The more competitive the market is in general (e.g., Dallas or San Francisco), the bigger the hill is to climb because there are even more online competitors. Realistically speaking, most local firms are not going to outrank the portals or even corporate franchises for phrases like "Dallas real estate," for example. These sites have an enormous amount of content because they have a national presence and all of the listings and associated content to go along with it. That is a big deal and one that is tough to beat. It's not impossible to outrank bigger players because many of our clients do. The clients that do tend to be very large and have spent years investing in SEO and content strategies. A realistic approach is to focus on less competitive phrases and ensure that your listing shows up on the first page of results. Less competitive phrases revolve around neighborhoods, subdivisions, and school districts. If you are successful and climb to the top for these phrases, it generally produces better quality traffic and leads. Also, visitors using these types of search phrases have narrowed their focus and are a bit more qualified. With SEO, Patience Is a Virtue... Really! A word to the wise: SEO is a long-term play, meaning don't expect immediate results. My rule of thumb is that if you don't at least stick it out for a year, look to invest your marketing dollars elsewhere. We are fortunate that we can move the needle fairly quickly for most of our clients. However, we run into some cases where it takes a bit longer, and that requires patience. Many factors determine SEO success. Every market and every company is different even though we are all in the real estate industry. So be patient and look at it as a long term investment. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is Be cautious of companies making wild guarantees like: "We will get your site to the first position in Google for 'real estate.'" This sounds great to someone that is not too familiar with SEO, but realistically, most have no shot. When communicating with a potential partner, you need to feel like you can trust them, know what they are doing, and have your best interest at heart. If it doesn't seem logical or feel realistic, you should probably be concerned. Finally, just because a company claims "to do" SEO, be highly skeptical, especially in the real estate space. It's vital to understand precisely how these companies "do" SEO, and what success looks like based on data they have collected over time. Remember, SEO is about increasing traffic and leads. If they cannot provide you data on how they have helped other firms–run! It's also essential to understand the retention rate for the clients they currently serve. If they cannot retain clients, they are not providing value. So do your homework. Aaron Geh is a featured content contributor for Delta Media Group's industry magazine, Real Estate Marketing & Technology. Sign up today to receive your free subscription to Real Estate Marketing & Technology. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Is Now a Good Time to List? 5 Reasons to Give Concerned Sellers
Let's cut to the chase. Selling a home has changed dramatically over the past few months. It's no longer as simple as signing documents and getting the space ready for a photographer to grab awesome photos. The question on every seller's mind is, "Should I sell my house right now?" The answer may surprise them. Now may actually be a great time to sell a residence and here are some of the reasons why. Precautionary Measures in Place Real estate boards and associations across the nation have developed extensive checklists filled with new guidelines for real estate professionals to implement and discuss with the seller. Everything from recommending virtual tours and virtual open houses to written instruction on safety measures aims to avoid exposure to COVID-19. Rules and regulations are in place when it comes to protecting the seller's interests. Disclosure forms are available for potential buyers entering the home. These include questions about recent travel and exposure to the virus, as well as the mandatory requirements for sanitizers and facemasks during all showings. You can set healthy boundaries for those entering the house. Build trust by ensuring compliance with comprehensive safety protocols. Great Interest Rates! Did you know that mortgage interest rates are at an all-time low? Wow! Borrowing money to purchase a home has become more accessible and that means a whole new demographic of buyers are considering leaving their landlords in favour of owning their residence. Millennials are poised and ready to take the plunge into their first homes. Buyers are surfing the web for low-interest mortgages, visiting the online open house virtual tour options, and are excited to buy. Many lenders are now turning to 3D video tours and drive-by assessments to conduct an appraisal helping to reduce physical contact with the property. Ask and Thou Shalt Receive How can you safely attract a buyer to a property you listed? It starts with communication. An in-depth discussion with your prospective buyers will help them feel more comfortable when considering a property you listed. Make sure you list out the specifics regarding showings and open houses, like how many people are allowed at each viewing or ensuring sanitation of doorknobs and keeping other surfaces touch-free. Other things to discuss should include how you are using current technology such as virtual tours and 3D tours in order to ensure the safety of the buyer. Virtual tours are simply the best way to eliminate a host of on-site visitors to your property before they are pre-qualified. Allowing a buyer to view online floor plans and virtually examine every space means avoiding physical exposure until necessary. Think the property could use some updated furnishings to show it off a little better? Enhancing the space through virtual staging techniques can give that extra pop to highlight specific features and capture the eye of a potential buyer. When Selling Now Is the Only Option Unfortunately, there are circumstances when the time to sell a home is now because of a loss of income or change in personal circumstances such as divorce or illness. Fortunately, there are several things to help get your listing sold quickly. Buyers looking for a "deal" will be more inclined to offer a higher price when the property is presented well. So take advantage of technology tools to add 3D tours, virtual staging, and accurately measured floor plans to your listings. In-person showings and physical open houses continue to be avoided by the consumer. So when your clients are in a must-sell situation, you can make the most out of it by creating an up close and personal feel with virtual tours for your client's property. Statistics Say Something, But Sometimes the Answer Is Muted You keep reading monthly market statistics of how sales and listings are down. But guess what? The market is starting to rebound and that is good news for sellers. What you don't hear about is the growing number of buyers just waiting for your listing to pop up with a virtual tour, showcasing exactly what they are looking for. Whether they are beginning their buyer's journey or have been on the road for a while, buyers are house hunting. Offering an accurate floor plan and 3D tours along with outstanding photos from the real estate photographer will help get your listing added to the sold statistic for next month! To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Open House Attendance Down? 6 Ways to Attract Interested Homebuyers
The number of in-person open houses hosted by agents continued to climb in July, rising 5.8% from June and nearly 145% since May, according to Homesnap internal data. Yet, attendance hasn't appeared to recover at the same rate. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 35% of surveyed would-be open house attendees plan to hold off on attending in-person open houses. Fifteen percent indicated they would not attend unless a viable COVID-19 vaccine or treatment became available, and 20% indicated they would do so only if local medical or government authorities assured them there was no imminent threat to their health.
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Friday Freebie: Lead Generation and Marketing Budget Calculator Tool
Has your real estate sales funnel been derailed by COVID-19? How about your budget? Everyone's been thrown a bit off by the pandemic, and most of us need to reevaluate the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. If you need help getting back on track, this week's Friday Freebie is for you! Free Lead Generation + Marketing Budget Calculator tool, courtesy of Zurple We've said it before, and we'll repeat it again: A goal without a plan is just a wish. And to create a solid plan, you need to crunch some numbers. Or, in this case of today's Friday Freebie, let this free budget and lead generation calculator do it for you. Zurple is offering RE Technology readers a free tool that lets you set your desired gross commission income goal, and then see how many leads and closings you'll need to reach that goal. This tool also calculates the marketing budget you'll need to meet your goal, factoring in various individual lead generation sources, like your website, digital ads, referrals, email, social media, and more. Zurple's Lead Generation and Marketing Budget tool helps you: Estimate the amount of leads and closing required to hit your Gross Commission Income (GCI) goal based on the national average and your historical conversion rates. Projects your marketing expenses based on your conversion rates so you can budget appropriately. Track your lead generation results so you can compare them to your goals. Ready to get your 2020 goals back on track? Download Zurple's FREE Lead Generation + Marketing Budget Calculator tool now!
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How to Use Real Estate CRM to Maximize Your Outcome
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Tips to Reduce Your Chances of Getting Sued as an Agent
Lawsuits are a concern for many professionals, and real estate agents are no expectation. Lawsuits quickly become very costly, and even if you are found to have not committed any fault, they can still harm your business. So taking some tips to reduce your chances of getting sued as an agent could end up saving your reputation, as well as thousands of dollars.
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5 Steps to Build Out Your Real Estate Mobile and Text Message Marketing Strategy
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How to Use Video to Increase Conversions: 4 Templates for Real Estate Agents
According to Cisco, 82% of internet traffic will be video by 2022 and 90% of consumers state that video helped them make purchasing decisions. In fact, people watch one billion hours of YouTube videos every day, which is more than Netflix and Facebook video combined. If we take this into consideration when talking video marketing, YouTube videos are the best thing for your real estate business. The next big question is how to produce the kind of content that will not only drive your leads to action, but help you generate new leads. There are a few tested and approved methods for video marketing that could be freely used for real estate services.
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Social Media Marketing 101 Guide [FREE Download]
It's no secret: human beings crave connection and collaboration, and these "COVID times" are creating a distinct void when it comes to personal interaction and a sense of community. More than ever, people are turning to social media to help fill that void. Digital social interaction allows friends, family and business colleagues to stay entertained, connected and informed. Netflix is reporting record streams. Facebook is reporting record engagement times and logins, and more and more business is being won in the "virtual" world than the "real" one at this moment. As a real estate professional, it's critical for you to consistently interact with a large number of people, but if you are one of the many that struggles with how exactly to use social media for your business, you might be feeling more overwhelmed than ever before. No worries. No worries. We're here to help! The marketing professionals at Elevate have created an all-inclusive guide to all things "social media," including a four-month content marketing calendar to help you give your online marketing the kickstart it needs! Ever wonder what are the best days of the week and times of day to post on different social media channels? This guide tells you! Looking for ideas about the different types of content that your online audience wants to view? This guide tells you! Tips from pros in the industry? Yep. How many times a week you should post on a social channel? We cover that, too. And, at the end of your guide, you'll receive some special offers for additional marketing assistance, including a FREE review of your current social media with an Elevate Success Coach, where to register to receive FREE daily marketing tips direct to your inbox, and how brokers can request a FREE gap analysis to look at what's missing in their marketing and technology offering. ------------------------------------------- CLICK HERE to download your FREE Social Media Marketing 101 Guide. ------------------------------------------- Why is social media so important for your real estate business? Four out of 5 U.S. homebuyers use an online resource at some point in their search. (Zillow) 90% of Millennials, 78% of Gen-X, and 48% of Baby Boomers are active on social media (NAR) 65% of homebuyers say they are influenced by friends' home buying posts on Facebook or Instagram (Inman) 73% of homebuyers say they're more likely to list with an agent offering to do listing videos (NAR) Facebook. The cure for the COVID blues? Over 70% of Facebook users login a minimum of six to ten times per day, and those numbers have only climbed during the past several months. Don't think of Facebook as something that's only designed for arguing politics, looking at cute sloth videos, and connecting with old friends from high school. Business professionals are networking, sharing and collaborating more than ever before using a channel that already draws such a large audience every day. So how often should YOU be posting on Facebook alone? Our guide recommends a minimum of two to three posts per week, and provides ideas for the types of content you should be sharing. YouTube. A billion users and counting! It's time to stop being intimidated by creating video! Online audiences are more likely to engage with a video than most any other form of content, and YouTube is the "King Daddy" of them all. YouTube offers you the opportunity to present virtual listing tours, showcase client testimonials, demonstrate your expertise with educational Vlogs (video blogs), and more. Looking for ideas on the types of content you can create for YouTube? Download our guide! Instagram. Perfect for real estate. Instagram is all about keeping it short, sweet and very visual. On this platform, photos and videos rule—with text taking a backseat. Great content ideas for real estate are showcasing your day-to-day activities around communities you represent, virtual house tours, happy clients, and featuring local businesses, people and feel-good stories. Want more great social media tips, tricks and strategies? Of course you do! That's why you should download your FREE Social Media Marketing 101 Guide. You'll receive 17 pages of awesome content to help you and your real estate business. All you need to do is stop binging on Netflix long enough to read it!
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Free Time? Grow Your Real Estate Business with These Best Practices
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Want More Listings? Call Your Database and Ask These 4 Questions
Why do some agents get all the listing clients, while others have to settle for buyers? It all boils to one simple truth. "The people that get all the listings talk to more people," says real estate coach Tom Ferry. "Period. End of story." That's pretty unequivocal advice. But if you're not used to cold calling, you may not know where to start. That's okay, because in the video above, Tom offers four simple questions you can ask your database to spark a conversation that gets homeowners thinking about selling: Are you living in your ideal or dream home right now? Have you had any thoughts on selling? At what price would you be motivated to sell? Do you know anyone who's thinking about selling? Watch the video above to learn how to expand on these questions... and turn your conversations into commissions!
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75% of Real Estate Agents Optimistic About the Market Despite Pandemic
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How to Master Local SEO for Real Estate Success
Local SEO has long been a key ingredient of a successful online marketing mix for real estate agents, and it has only become more important with COVID-19 precautions changing the way that the industry does business. When someone is interested in buying or selling a home in your market areas, they will typically trust their favorite search engine. They might be looking for an agent, searching for listings, or seeking virtual open houses to tour properties from a distance. No matter what local real estate topic they're searching for, local SEO helps your personal brand stand out from the pack.
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Why Real Estate Agent Websites Need a Privacy Policy
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5 Ways to Lose a Lead Real Quick
Leads are the lifeblood of any business. Period. Whether you are communicating to a lead or client, both should be given the same amount of attention. If a prospect was recommended to you, found you online or heard about you by way of word of mouth, the clock has started for you to make them feel comfortable in helping them with this major transition in their life. You might think that mishandling a new lead is a short term problem, but if it's consistent, putting a band-aid on it will only make the same issues persist down the road – damaging your reputation and your business referrals.
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Think Inside the Box: Visualizing Inside a Home with Floorplanner
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Foreign Real Estate Investing: How Much Do You Know?
I hear so much about foreign investors in the real estate industry; some agents run scared, some agents embrace foreign investors and most just don't have a clue and don't understand that part of the business. I am one of those who had no clue about foreign investors, visas, the IRS and many other questions. Where I live in Central Florida is apparently a hot bed for foreign investors, so I decided to look around for help so all of us understand more about foreign investors and what opportunities a Realtor might have.
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The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Lead Ads for Realtors
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What I Wish I Knew Then: Top Agents Share Their Advice on Making It in Real Estate
Recently, Homesnap asked several top-performing agents to reflect on the early years of their career and to share advice, wisdom and lessons learned with those who may just be starting out or who might need a dash of inspiration. Here's what they had to say.
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How to Draw a Floor Plan without a Laser Measure
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6 Real Estate Video Production Resources for Agents
It's true you can spend a lot on video production if you have the budget for it, but many real estate businesses are producing their own video content cost effectively without hiring professionals. Some of the services discussed below cost less per month than a daily cup of coffee! These services are also very easy to use and you will quickly discover you don't have to have a background in design or video to produce effective videos.
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5 Shocking Yet True Real Estate Statistics
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Social Media Ideas Certain to Bring Love to Your Website
Social media marketing is one of the leading ways to connect with your community as a sales associate. Studies have shown that experts in real estate are consistently among the most active professionals on most social media platforms. Used correctly, social media is an unbeatable tool for driving traffic to your website and turning those visitors into leads. It also helps you cultivate long-term relationships with current clients, past clients, and future referrals within their network. The right social media can show people to your website right when they need you.
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The Importance of Down Payment Assistance Programs in a Pandemic
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Are Your Listing Photos Costing You Leads?
NAR reports that, in 2019, a whopping 93% of home buyers and sellers turned to the internet to help with their home search. With so many potential prospects looking at your listings and digital ads, there's no room for error in how you present properties. Above all else, consumers are taking a critical eye to each property photo. Buyers are determining whether your listing is worth their next step, while sellers are assessing your marketing abilities based on how you present your active listings and how attractive your listing ads are.
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Get Your Calendar Under Control: Time Management Strategies to Reclaim Your Day
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How to Choose the Best CRM for Your Real Estate Business
Today, we are being bombarded by so many tools and information that it can be a bit overwhelming. Many offer free trials, and you may think about trying each one before deciding. That may make you even more crazy. Instead, write down those features that are most important to you right now and for the vision you have for your business. Don't get caught up with all the bells and whistles if you don't have the time to use the majority of them. To be conservative, consider looking for a CRM where you will be utilizing at least 60% of the features.
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Why the Census Counts: RPR and REALTORS Rely on Accurate Data
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Friday Freebie: Voicemail Scripts that Convert
You're a proactive agent--when a new lead comes in, you call them ASAP. But what if that hot lead sends you right to voicemail? The message you leave is the first impression you give a prospect. You've got to make it count in order to convert that lead into a new client. That's why in this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a new guide with sample voicemail scripts you can use to make you the Realtor that lead will want to work with. Free download of Voicemail Scripts that Convert, courtesy of Zurple The way you communicate with leads and clients is one crucial aspect of building your sales pipeline. Don't give up on leads just because they send you to voicemail. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to demonstrate your value via an effective message—and then by consistent follow-up. In this new guide from Zurple, you'll discover the basics of crafting voicemails for lead conversions, including: How body language can affect your message (yes, really!) The structure of outgoing and incoming voicemail messages A sample script for leaving a new lead a voicemail A sample script for incoming voicemail messages that convert (i.e., your phone's voicemail greeting) Download Voicemail Scripts that Convert and start winning conversations with hot real estate leads now! P.S. Learn all the components of building a thriving sales pipeline in this FREE upcoming webinar, Building a Growth Focused Pipeline, on July 21.
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NAR 2020 Member Profile: Realtors Used More Technology, Cited Inventory Constraints
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How Is Your Business Doing During COVID-19? Share Your Thoughts to Win $100
What's happening in the real estate market? If someone wants to know, it's best to ask a real estate agent. That's exactly what Homes.com is doing a new, nationwide survey of real estate agents. And they want YOUR opinion—and in exchange, you could win a $100 Amazon gift card! It's been four months since the start of the COVID-19 shutdowns. How has the pandemic affected your real estate business? Take the survey to to share your experiences and opinions on: New listings and listing cancellations Changing buyer wants, needs, and budgets The impact of low mortgage rates on buyers Using real estate tech during the pandemic Your feelings on the current and future housing markets And more! Take the Business Sentiment Survey for Real Estate Professionals from Homes.com today for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card!
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What Is Reputation Management and Why Does It Matter?
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5 Things Every Real Estate Website Should Have
There are a lot of elements that must be in place for your real estate website to generate leads. Your SEO needs to be on point. Your site should be easy to use, but above all else, you need to have the right content.
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Real Estate Technology to the Rescue: iGUIDE Virtual Showing is a Free Tool to Assist with Physical Distancing
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Zoom for Real Estate: 4 Hacks You Need to Know
More than 300 million people have participated in Zoom, the live video conference technology. Zoom has become a new real estate go-to tool for communications with millions of Americans working from home and attending online classes. As with all new technology, the more you become familiar with it, the more features you uncover. Once turned on, some hidden features give real estate professionals more ways to use this communication platform to engage clients and prospects.
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Close More Deals with These Email Marketing Tips
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Use Public Records to Find Commercial Prospects
To be a successful commercial real estate practitioner, you obviously need clients and listings. And you probably get quite a few through repeat and referral business. However, some signs are pointing to the commercial market tightening up in the near future, which means now might be a great time to brush up on your prospecting skills. Lead generation can play a key role in having a strong year versus a weak one.
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