3 Myths In Real Estate That Could Be Hurting Your Business

Real estate marketing in the digital world can be confusing at best. Most agents try everything and anything they read and or hear about to find their way through this social craze and online exploration we call the digital consumer. One thing is for sure. Myths seem to find their way into our business practice nearly every day. I am always surprised when agents tell me they heard this or they heard that about the online marketing world. You might be surprised yourself to learn the 3 biggest Myths I learned about this last year. these very Myths are misleading you down the wrong path and one filled with frustration. No worries. I am here to set you straight and get you on the path to success again.

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Whether you are new to digital marketing and just getting started or perhaps you are a seasoned pro, you may have tried a variety of organizational and marketing tasks hoping to arrive at the perfect system that helps put your digital tasks on autopilot to let you do what you do best: SELL! The Front Porch Report is an awesome “Do It For You” marketing system that takes the challenge of understanding the when, how and why out of your daily tasks, I strongly believe agents should empower assistance and or hire marketing platforms that do it for them. Stop wasting money (Which we all know time is money) on tasks below your “Pay Scale”

Myth #1: CRMs don’t work

We know that NAR states that 40-50% of real estate leads come from referrals from people you know or from repeat clients. I’ve implemented plenty of CRM (contact relationship management) systems in my day. I think it is absolutely mandatory you understand and use a digital CRM platform vs. the old system (email, sticky notes, excel spreadsheets, etc.). This is not to say that a handwritten note once in awhile almost always seals the relationship and takes it to another level.  Having said that, the system that you may have selected may not be the best or easiest system to use. It may not be the best for your industry, your mind type.

Fact #1

CRM systems DO WORK if they are well selected and implemented. Today’s CRMs are not the same as even a few years ago. The evolving nature of automated drip campaigns as really elevated the value of CRMS into a must-have in order to NOT let any your leads or referrals sources get lost in your digital ecosystem and automatically helps keep you top of mind while you’re out selling, selling, selling. There are many options to choose from and it’s imperative to find the right CRM for you, the way you work, what reports you want and what workflow processes match the way you manage your day-to-day business. After you pick the right one, to get the value out of the software you selected, you must COMMIT to using it and it alone for all your contact data and communication needs. This paradigm shift can take a good 30 days so make sure you give it the time it needs to be successful and you feel really comfortable with using your new software. Trust me when I tell you, you will not be disappointed.

Fact #2

In almost all CRM eFarming drip campaign newsletter providers I see the same thing. Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate! Yes you read right. Stop sending your client’s all real estate related material. The occasional market update is fine but everything you send them should not be real estate related. Why companies can’t figure this out is beyond me. Let’s take The Front Porch Report Daily Posts and Weekly Email as an example. We focus on three primary subjects, Home, Health and Wealth. These three topics are proven winners for engagement in the social world of marketing. This means more people will like your posts and click through to the stories if they involve their lifestyle. Nutrition, fitness, recipes, inspiration, travel, good eats, decor, design etc are all hot topics that create engagement with your consumer. Real Estate related stories are advertising. This advertising should be sprinkled in between the articles. When done right. Magic happens. Your sphere grows, and referrals happen.

Myth #2: I’ve tried Facebook and it doesn’t work

I love it when I hear this. There are so many questions I ask following hearing this response. like “what did you try?” and “why do you say it didn’t work?” The responses I hear are typically “I have a Facebook and I post on it but I never get leads from it.” Implementing HOW you can make it work for you takes time and knowledge. The sad part is that as SOON as you think you’ve mastered Facebook for business, it changes. Facebook is one of the fastest evolving advertising platforms around. That’s right, I said advertising. After tasting the sweet fruit of organic and free traffic / visibility / connectivity on Facebook, they have flipped the script and are making businesses pay for reach (not new news / not surprising).

Fact #1

Facebook is simply The single most powerful tool in advertising right now. You can find exactly who you want to target (age, income, homeowner/not), where you want to target them (location, The ability to target and reach your intended audience is beyond amazing and is a marketing professional’s dream come true. Most business owners who want to use Facebook use as a blow horn to say “HEY, COME BUY FROM ME!” You have to understand the nature of today’s performing marketing practices is all about creating compelling value and authentic relationships. Then, you have to understand the Facebook platform and why people are there. They are on Facebook to connect and engage. If you are hitting COLD traffic with COME BUY FROM ME type of messaging, then don’t be surprised when you aren’t getting any clicks / leads. Advertising has evolved and you have to evolve with it or be left behind.

Fact #2

Facebook is the single most important platform you should be using. Think of your Facebook feed as a place to Datamine. This means sit in front of your computer or on your phone and look for opportunity to engage. Each and every opportunity is a chance to build on your relationship and get their commitment to use your services when the time comes.  Take it to another level. Don’t just “Like”, “Comment” or “Share” this engagement. Reach out. Grab a note card from your desk and send them a handwritten note congratulating them on their accomplishment and or event that has just taken place. I call this “eBuffini” them. Birthdays, anniversary’s that’s the easy stuff. Look for job changes, accomplishments, send notes about how a post made you feel good. This is the magic formula to building referrals from social media.

Myth #3: The more websites the better

NAR states that on average 9-10% of real estate leads come from organic searches. I don’t think I’ve talked to an agent/broker that has less than 5 website domain addresses. Many have upwards of 10+ with roughly 5 emails addresses they are managing. They’ve left various firms and joined others or opened their own. There was a time when owning “YourTownHomeForsale” made sense. Not anymore. Where is the consumer looking for homes? ZILLOW with 80+ million visitors a month. We only sell 5 million homes a year and yet 80 million visitors monthly are searching. That’s a lot of dead leads…

Fact #1

More is not always better! Google is one really smart search engine. He’s getting smarter every year. Google dominates search with 66% of the search market and when Bing and Yahoo, they collectively make up 32% of the search market. You might be operating off of old SEO (search engine optimization) information when you think that more domains are better. Google releases 2+ algorithm updates a year. He knows which websites are trying to game the SEO system to reach higher organic (free) SERP (search engine results page) rankings and dings them for it. Google local is a whole other animal and there are professionals and software system specifically dedicated to helping users get found in the Google local pack in the top right corner. Submitting your business to Google as a REALTOR with RE/MAX Gold is a sure way to get noticed and indexed fast.

Fact #2

Your name as a domain website is probably the most important website you can own. And really the only one you need to own. Unless you are a SEO wiz and creating website landing pages sound fun to you. Stick with your name. You might be surprised how easy it is to get your name as a domain. Even if you have a very common name. jim Smith. Instead of trying to get jimsmith.com which will not be available. try Jim-Smtih-Real-Estate.com Use hyphens to seperate the words. This really helps when people are searching for you. Consumers no longer call phone numbers. they search fro you on Google. The Google the address. Finding you is your end result. Think of how you type in to find someone online. You don’t type in jimsmith, you type Jim Smith. You use spaces. Hyphens tell Google and other search engines “Space” This creates more accurate searches.  Try it and watch your business grow.

Hopefully these three tips will clear up some misguidance you have received over the last year. I still strongly recommend you work towards having this whole marketing stuff done for you. Front Porch report does it for you for $100/monthly. Try it today.

Powerful Prospecting Activities

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Don't think of prospecting for leads as just another routine task. Instead, think of prospecting as a gateway to endless income possibilities and an essential part of growing a thriving real estate business.

To truly benefit from prospecting you must be willing to put yourself out there and try new things. If you're ready to make more money and prospect for leads in a whole new way, here are 117 lead generating activities you should try

1 Open houses
2 Floor duty
3 Door knocking
4 Pop by’s (individual & business)
5 Direct mail
6 Newsletters
7 E-Newsletter
8 Phone calls
9 Face-to-face meetings &
appointments
10 Hand written notes
11 FSBO’s
12 Expireds & Withdrawns
13 Client Appreciation Party
14 Volunteer
15 Networking Events
16 Coach your kid’s soccer team, etc.
17 Annual updates (CMA’s)
18 Circle prospecting (5x5’s)
19 Meetings w/Human Resource Directors
20 Relocation opportunities/tours
21 Print advertising (newspaper or magazines) 22
Social media—pulling & pushing info
23 Blogging
24 Hand out business cards
25 Email drip campaigns
26 8x8 campaigns
27 REO/HUD/bank listings
28 Attend the public trustee sale
29 Send notes to homes “for rent” as possible
listings
30 Trade shows/homes shows
31 Host an informational seminar/talk
32 Network with affiliate providers
(CPA’s, attorneys, insurance agent)
33 Put your nametag on or logowear and
go somewhere where there are people to talk to!34
Preview properties (know the
inventory) — leave your business card
for the Seller
35 Work short sales and pre-foreclosure properties
36 Enroll in a class or a new hobby to meet people
37 Join a book club
38 Target renters (non-owner occupied)
39 Mail home anniversary cards
40 Send letters to out of town rental owners to
check up on their property (take photos) & do a
CMA
41 Write an informational article for the newspaper
43 Bus benches, grocery carts, and billboards (can
be expensive)
44 Create and hand out a personal brochure
45 Radio campaigns—see if you can be a guest on a
talk show
46 Attend a “meet-up” (meetup.com)
47 Give your vendors your business cards
to hand out (hair dresser, nail salon)
48 Learn a new part of this business
(commercial, vacant land, new construction) —
look for referral opportunities with other agents in
attendance & share business leads

50 Interview people you want to meet to broaden
your sphere of influence
51 Go to charity events and meet new people
52 Mail sports cards/calendars
53 Do a drawing to capture names
54 Create and maintain your website profile;
create a customized website
55 Capture and follow up with internet leads
(follow-up is the key!)
56 Host a networking group yourself (lunch for
eight concept)
57 Maintain your mailing list — always look for
who you can legitimately add to your list!
58 Farm a neighborhood
59 Work out of state referrals
60 Take care of your current clients—ask them
for referrals
61 MySite (automated search program through
MLS) for everyone!
62 Schedule a public speaking opportunity at a
service club
63 Adopt a school—take them treats and pop
by’s, volunteer
64 Prospect in laundromats—usually tenants are
“hanging out” there!
65 Wedding announcements — are they
interested in buying a home?
66 Baby announcements—do they need more
room?
67 Work with attorneys to prospect for divorce
and estate transactions
68 Send holiday cards (not just the “usual” ones
— do “odd” ones)
69 Get a wrap or magnetic sign for your car
(mobile advertisement)
70 Create videos — use to highlight the area or
yourself (link to internet)
71 Host a “house warming” party for your client
after closing — get their friends’ names for your
sphere list
81 Give your business card to your waitress when
you eat out (tip well)
83 Work with people who are retiring or
downsizing (investment advisor or assisted living
facility)
84 Pay for the person behind you at the drive
through—give them your card
85 Sponsor something and ask if you can attend
or have a table at the event!
86 Visit with marriage counselors— perhaps they
have clients who can’t reconcile and need to sell?
87 Make a float and participate in the 4th of July
or Christmas parade
88 Host an educational/information session (i.e.
redecorating tips,landscaping ideas, etc.)—”show
& tell” for your clients
89 Walk a neighborhood and put up door hangers

90 Send out a time change postcard
91 Send a Just Listed postcard to a move up
neighborhood (if you don’t have a listing, “borrow
one!”)
92 Facebook ads
93 Target a niche — condo buyers, horse
property, veterans, 1st time home buyers, etc.
94 Hand out notepads or other “schwag” at a
large open air event like the Arts
Picnic or Farmer’s Market
95 Ask for referrals!
96 Gather testimonials & send to your clients
97 Ask a “busy” agent if you can put your rider on
one of their signs or advertising some of their
listings
98 Buyer “needs” — send postcard to the area
asking for listings
99 Call out-of-area listing agents and see if they
would like some showing help for a referral fee
100 Send “Just Solds” postcard (multiple homes)
to an area to solicit listings
101 Get names from the Chamber and send an erelocation
guide
102 Work garage sales (they’re cleaning up, do
they want to move?)
103 Purchase tickets to an event & offer to your
clients
104 Host a tour of homes (multiple open houses)
105 Teach a class on buying rental property with
a property management company
106 Target kiddie-condo investors @ UNC/
CSU/CU
107 Call capture programs (800 numbers)
108 Craigslist leads
109 Talk to car dealers—people qualifying to buy
a car may also qualify to buy a home!
110 Contact HOA management companies for
potential leads
111 Visit with new construction representatives—
sometimes they don’t want to take listings
112 Courts could be a place to prospect—
evictions, probate, divorce, tax liens, and code
violations
113 Partner with a local business and send a
coupon to your sphere of influence
114 Put up information on bulletin boards at
coffee shops or grocery stores
115 Talk to your newspaper or postal carriers
about vacant homes
116 Work in a coffee shop and put up a tent card
that you’ll buy customers a cup of coffee!
117 Meet other Realtors at classes or conventions
and ask for their referrals

11 Ways to Promote Social Engagement on Your Facebook Page

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Have you noticed a drop in your Facebook engagement?

Wondering how you can better engage with your fans?

Making small changes to what and how you post can help your Facebook updates generate clicks, likes, and comments. In this article, you’ll discover 11 tips for boosting Facebook engagement.

#1: Pose a Question

One of the simplest and most effective ways to kickstart a dialogue with your Facebook fans is to ask them a question. Basically, you’re inviting a response. If fans can relate to the question and you find a way to leverage people’s interests or needs, they’ll find it hard not to answer.

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Here are some questions to ask:

  • Specific: What’s your favorite…?
  • Tips: How do you…?
  • Experiences: What’s your favorite moment from experience/memory…?
  • Edgy: Do you think…? (controversial question)
  • Direct: Why do you…?
  • Events: Who is going/Who attended…?
  • Timely: Today is…, so what are you…?

#2: Share Relevant Images

A picture can say a lot more than a text post. A visually striking image can bring the rapid thumb-scroller to a halt. Images have proven time and again to improve engagement, especially when they tell a story or connect with the audience on a personal or emotional level.

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According to BuzzSumo, Facebook posts with images see more than double the engagement of basic text posts.

Use relevant, colorful, and high-quality images. If you want to spice up your photos but don’t have Photoshop-level skills, try free tools like Canva and Adobe Spark.

#3: Crowdsource Feedback

People love giving feedback. When you ask for input the right way, your audience will jump on board and be quick to respond. The added benefit is you can uncover opportunities to improve your business and delight your customers.

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Imagine the potential boost to customer loyalty (and future engagement) if you make changes to your business based on the input you receive? Give this tactic a try. It’s a much more personal approach than surveys and you can respond to people directly to address their feedback.

#4: Include a Call to Action

The standing rule for any kind of marketing is that if you want your audience to do something, you have to tell them to do it. Use a call to action in every post, whether it’s to prompt a comment, share, opt in, like, RSVP, or any other action.

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Always tell your audience what you want them to do to encourage engagement.

#5: Boost Your Best Posts

If you have a Open House or a New Listing, post it to your Facebook page and boost that post. You don’t need to throw hundreds of dollars at it; give it a modest boost of $25 – $50 and target the people in the city you do business in and who like your page and their friends.

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You won’t necessarily see thousands of shares, but a boosted post can help get your best content in front of your target audience and spark some engagement. The more people engage, the greater the organic reach to their networks. This tactic can be especially effective with Open Houses and sharing the results with the owners. Often this method is far less expensive than advertising in the newspaper.

#6: Share Industry News and Hot Topics

Even your most loyal fans are interested in more than just your business. Sharing big news from your industry will show your fans that you’re not focused solely on promoting your business; you want to keep them informed about current topics. They’ll appreciate and respond to that.

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Curate industry news from a trusted source and ask your fans what they think. Ask people to contribute their thoughts and share the post. I often share resources from other marketing sources in order to ensure our agents have every opportunity to thrive! Sharing news, articles of interest from other trusted sources to your sphere makes you more credible and likable!

#7: Adjust Your Post Frequency

If your Facebook engagement is slipping, it might have something to do with your post frequency. Posting too little (say a few times a week) won’t help you establish relevance with Facebook’s algorithm and you’ll be fighting for space in your audience’s feed.

On the other hand, posting too often can hurt you, too. Facebook tries to show users the most interesting and relevant content from everyone they follow. If you’re posting a half-dozen times each day over a short period, expect a lot of your content to be missed.

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To find a sweet spot, try posting a few times each day at the times your fans are most likely to engage. Check out Facebook Insights for specific audience data you can use to target your fans.

#8: Give People a Giggle

We all love a good laugh in our news feed. Lighten the mood for your fans and show them that you have some personality. Don’t overthink it; just do something to give your fans a chuckle. Keep their interests in mind and make sure the humor is relevant to your audience.

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obviously make sure no one knows the people or who’s home you are giggling over. We work in one of the best industries for finding things to laugh at. A great source for Bad MLS Photos etc is this awesome Facebook Group “Really Bad MLS Photos” https://www.facebook.com/groups/146553387152 Join the group and prepare for a laugh.

#9: Respond to Everyone

If you receive comments from your fans but fail to respond or acknowledge them, they’ll notice and stop engaging with you. It only takes a few minutes throughout the day to monitor your social activity and make a few quick or witty responses to fans who comment.

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Consistent responses make fans feel valued and they’ll be more likely to engage with future posts from your page.

#10: Make an Emotional Connection

If you want to elicit a big response from your fans, publish a post that appeals to your audience on an emotional level. Share content and tell stories that pull at people’s interests, emotions, fears, and even their dislikes. Brand loyalty doesn’t come from a product; it comes from a customer’s joy at experiencing a shared sentiment or finding a solution that works.

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Emotion drives loyalty and engagement. It’s why millions of people couldn’t help but share the “Thank You, Mama” P&G commercials, making them the most shared Olympics ad at the time.

#11: Provide Value

Anytime you share or post content to your Facebook page, ask yourself what kind of value you’re providing to your fans. The best way to get their attention is to make sure there’s a takeaway or something in it for them. At the very least, give them a good chuckle. At best,teach people how to do something, inspire them to take action, and add value to their life.

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This exhaustive list of ideas should help you fill your calendar with a good mix of content types that are likely to promote engagement among your Facebook followers. Keep your Facebook posts short for maximum effect. The ideal character count is about 50 or fewer.

Also keep in mind that if you want engagement, you need to post and respond to your fans every day. While Front Porch Report is an awesome tool to automate the lifestyle articles for your social network.  Go for the human connection and provide value, and you’ll see your engagement rise.

Was this helpful? If so, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

 

APPetite For Success – Summer MEC Series

This is a 7 part series of all the slides used for the APPetite For Success MEC’s with Don McDonald. Please right click and download the ones you wish to review. If you do not have Powerpoint installed on your computer you can download the Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer for FREE and watch all these presentations. I hope you enjoy these and as always feel free to post a comment and tell us what tool you are using to grow your business.

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PART ONE: Using Cloud CMA as a Home Value Landing Page and Generating Leads

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Right click this image to download the presentation

PART TWO: Boosting Your Cloud CMA Post on Facebook

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PART THREE: Using Cloud CMA at Your Next Open House

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PART FOUR: Getting Your Business On Google

Getting on Google

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PART FIVE: Using Tweet Deck to Generate FREE Leads

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PART SIX: Using SkySlope to Protect Your _ _ _

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PART SEVEN: Sending a Private Message Through Gold Connect

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How To Effectively Use Social Media Grow your Sphere and Build Referrals

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From time to time I get asked about all the various platforms agents can conduct business on and build their sphere. Social Media has quickly become “A Must Use” in real estate if agents are to remain successful and wish to grow their business. The challenge is where to start? which platforms should you use? How often should you post, share, comment, like, wink, send, receive, upload, pass, create, play, email etc… The list is endless when it comes to the many different ways you can engage. The key word here is “Engage”!

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Remember, as I have said in previous MEC events. Using Social Media as a way to mine for engagement is the key to success. Finding ways on social platforms to engage is how you should be using social media at all times. It’s important you balance work and play. Sharing your personal information is far more engaging than sharing your work related stuff. Your sphere is more excited about the day your having with friends, sharing food, playing a game, visiting a city etc.,  than they are about your new listing. Go with the 75/25 Rule. 75% of everything you post should be about you, your life, the things you enjoy, your hobbies, special interests, etc. Mix in inspiring quotes, funny posts, a cat or two and BAM! You are going to find people liking your posts over and over. (I am kidding about the alltwitter-social-media-signpost cat or two part). 25% should be about your business. Do not post things like “Just listed, 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in the Roaring Springs subdivision, if you know of someone interested in buying call me” This is boring and will illicit ZERO engagement. Instead post things like ” New listing, Roaring Springs, you have to see this kitchen.. Simply amazing. (Then attach a spectacular photo of the kitchen and link it to the homes single page website). Now you have a strong call to action that will not only find a buyer, but get you noticed since more people are interested in seeing this “Amazing Kitchen” than just buyers looking for homes. Those in your sphere that are not in the market will still click the link and want to see what it is you are so excited about. This drives traffic and when you print your analytical report for the home owners you look like a ROCK STAR!

Finding Ways To Engage: What you should be spending most of your time on Social Media doing is looking for ways to build relationships and get referrals.  You do this by scanning your wall for reasons to reach out to your sphere. Let’s say Janice is in your sphere and you sold her and John a house three years ago. It’s Saturday and Janice just posted a picture of her daughter Alyssa kicking in a field goal for her soccer team. Janice is excited and posts the picture to Facebook with the description “Woot, woot, Alyssa’s first field goal for her soccer team… Go Alyssa” You see this post and like most in Social-Media-EngagementJanice’s sphere you like it, you might even be savvy enough to comment on the post.  However, the real ROCK STAR Agent goes one step further. You pull out a note card, you write a hand written message that reads “Congrats on your first field goal Alyssa, we at RE/MAX are all super proud of your accomplishments” The  you mail it to Janice and Alyssa. Now who do you think Janice cares more, those who liked an commented or the one person who just took time to recognize a special moment in her life? This is what I talk about all the time. You have to spend time finding ways to connect, not just like, share or comment but a reason to send a note, pop by, Buffini them!

Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s talk Best Practices. Below is a one sheet you can use as a reference tool for setting up any social media platform as well as a mini guide an how to best use the particular social platform for success. If you have suggestion bring them on. Leave them in the comments box below and happy mining…

Social One Sheets. Right Click and save or print.

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Here’s a special one-sheet on Best Practices when it comes to posting.

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Scheduling Posts Through Pagemodo

Here are basic instructions that will help kick start your postings. Follw these steps to post to pages you manage.

Step 1: Connect Pagemodo through Facebook

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Step 2: In the left side box search for the Business Page you wish to post on behalf. Use the search box to enter the page name.

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Step 3: Once you find the page, select it.

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Step 4: Once the page opens look to the left on the Dashboard and select “Posts”

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Step 5: Once in the posting page, select the “Create Post” button

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Step 6: You have opened the page to post your link into.

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Step 7: Paste your link in the box and wait for the story and images to populate.

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Step 8: Once you see the pictures, select the one you want to share with the story.

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Step 9: Now click the “Post Now” or the “Add To Queue” Button.

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Step 10: Verify the post.

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Step 11: Use the top navigation to see how many scheduled posts remain as well as to click on see them or edit them.

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That’s it!  I Hope you enjoyed this quick reference to posting through Pagemodo

Custom Branded RE/MAX Memorial day Timeline Covers

Here are four custom branded Timeline Covers to be used over Memorial Day weekend. This is a great way to brand yourself and stay fresh to your sphere. Changing out your Timeline cover from time to time reminds your sphere who you are. It also celebrates an occasion and or event. I hope you enjoy these and have a great holiday weekend.

To use: Simply right click on image, then save to your device. Then upload to your Facebook Page you wish to change.  Enjoy!

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Need help on changing the cover out? Watch this video to see how easy it is.

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Leads, Leads, Leads, MEC Event for 1st Quarter – Region Three

Here is the Powerpoint presentation used at the first quarter MEC Event for 2016 Region Three Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Marin and Yolo County RE/MAX Gold Agents. Click to download.

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