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.

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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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 _ _ _

skyslope

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PART SEVEN: Sending a Private Message Through Gold Connect

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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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Adding the Cloud CMA Home Value Page To Your RE/MAX Website

Now that many of our agents are using Cloud CMA I want to share with you one of the best tools available with your Cloud CMA Subscription. Cloud CMA is so much more than a Comparative Market Analysis tool for your listing presentations. Don’t get me wrong, its greatest feature is the CMA. However, there are many more uses this product is good for. One of them is generating home value leads. The market is hot and home values are on the top of every consumers mind. Using the Cloud CMA Home Value API Key is a sure way you can start getting seller leads today on your website.

Below I will give you each step for setting this up on your website. First take a peek at how it looks and how it works. Click on the photo below and go visit the site yourself.

Click here to visit the site and see this live

Step 1: Log on to your Cloud CMA Account. (If you are a RE/MAX Gold Agent you can activate a new account right now by going here: https://cloudcma.com/signup/plans/REMAX_NORCAL_GOLD) Once logged in, select the setting tab along the top.

Cloud CMA Home Page

Step 2: Select the API link on the setting page.

Cloud CMA API Link

Step 3: Scroll to the bottom of the Cloud CMA API Page to where it say “API BUTTONS”. As a side note, you can click on the social icons and actually post this home value page to your Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest page right from here as well. Pretty Cool! What I want you to do is cut and past the “URL” link in the box into a new open browser tab on your computer. Cloud CMA API Page

Step 4: Once you have pasted the link into a new browser you should see this page.

Cloud CMA Home Value Page

Step 5: Now you need to log on to your remax.net MainStreet home page and select “MY Leads” Which is a short cut link to LeadStreet.RE/MAX MainStreet Home Page

 

Step 6: Once in LeadStreet, you need to click on “Site Builder” link from the top navigation.RE/MAX LeadStreet Home Page

Step 7: When you open the “Site Builder tab, it should default to the “Pages” tab. If not, select the “Pages” tab.RE/MAX LeadStreet, Site Builder, Page

Step 8: Scroll to the bottom of this page till you see “Add New – Main Navigation Button. Click on this link.RE/MAX LeadStreet, Site Builder, Pages Tab

Step 9: This will open a box that looks like this. In the “Button Text” box add the following text “Home Values” .RE/MAX Site Builder, Navigation Link Page

Step 10: In the same screen, put the number 3 in the “Sort Value Box”. This tells the website where along the navigation bar to put the button. Three is a good value as it will make the link the second or third  in line. RE/MAX Site Builder, Navigation Link Edited Screen

Step 11: In the same screen select “Custom URL” buttonRE/MAX Site Builder, Navihgation, URL Box

Step 12: You now need to go back to your Cloud CMA Home Value Page and coy the URL link. Cloud CMA Home Value Page

 

Step 13: Now go back to the RE/MAX LeadStreet, Site Builder, Navigation editing box and paste the URL into this box.RE/MAX Site Builder, Navigation Editing Page

Step 14: Click on the “Add Navigation Button”RE/MAX Site Builder, Navigation Editing Page Submit Button

Step 15: This will take you back to the main Site Builder page inside LeadStreet. Now just click on “View Website” and you will now see your Home Value Link on the Top Navigation of your website. RE/MAX LeadStreet, Site Builder Page

Your final page should look like this. Or somewhat different given you might be using a different template design and your site will look very different. The results will be the same in that the button should show up.  Don McDonald RE/MAX Gold Marketing Director Website

I hope this helps you grow your business and generate seller leads.  If there are other topics and or tools you would like to learn about, leave a comment below. I do my best to share the many way RE/MAX and RE/MAX Gold work hard at providing the tools and resources for you to grow and develop your business.  Cheers!

New Call To Action Button on Facebook

New for Facebook Pages: Calls to Action

Facebook has recently announced a new feature available on their business page that we agents can take a huge advantage of. CALL TO ACTION!  This tiny little button that runs along the bottom edge of the Timeline Cover will unlock unlimited potential when it comes to driving traffic to your website, landing page or…
Here’s what Facebook released:
Pages are an important destination for people on Facebook, and we’re building new ways for people to interact with businesses through them. Today, we’re announcing a new call-to-action feature that will help Pages drive business objectives.
Designed to bring a business’s most important objective to the forefront of its Facebook presence, call-to-action buttons link to any destination on or off Facebook that aligns with a business’s goals.
fb_call_to_action_screen_shot
In the sample page above you can see that by simply designing a Timeline Cover as the billboard ad to drive the message, in this case asking the consumer to sign up for email alerts for property search. You could also do home values, featured properties, visit my website, Open House, you name it.
The Call To Action Button is limited to the following selections only.

—  The seven calls to action available are:
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch Video

To set your Business Page with a Call To Action Button I have provided a link to a step by step tutorial to get you started. Click here As for designing a custom Timeline Cover to go with your Call To Action. We can do that for you. It’s a $100.00 flat fee per cover design.  Call or email us for complete details.

RE/MAX Offers FREE Single Property Websites For Your Listings

Looking for ways to promote your new listing. RE/MAX offers FREE Single Property Websites for your listings. Here I will show you how to access this feature in 6 easy clicks…

Click 1: Open your MainStreet Account and Click on LeadStreet.

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Click Two: Click on the Listings Tab.

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Click Three: Click on the Listing you wish to create a single property website with..

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Click Four: Click on Design Center Tab.

step 4

 

Click Five: Click on Single Property Website Tab.

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Click 6: Click on the “Select” link to begin creating your FREE Single Property Website.

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Now don’t be afraid to build this site. It only takes a couple of click and perhaps a little revising of the wording and images that the program merges over from your listing.  It’s very simple and the program will walk you through each phase of creation. In as little as 5 minutes you will be up and running with your FREE Single Property Website from RE/MAX.

Don’t forget to buy a custom domain for your FREE Single Property Website. Go to Godaddy.com and buy the address of the property. (Example” www.19-OakDrive.com) This way you can add a Rider to the sign with the web address and put the address on your flyers and emails that you send out to market the property.

I hope this was helpful and useful for you and it ads value to you being a RE/MAX Agent. Remember, “Through Your Success, We Succeed.” 

Changes To Facebook’s News Feed Make It Harder To Promote Your new listing

Will recent changes to FACEBOOK’s news feed policy make it harder for real estate agents to promote listings, open houses and stay in touch with their client’s?

Perhaps, according to a recent announcement from Facebook“Want to promote something on FACEBOOK? Buy an ad. That’s the logical conclusion for businesses after the social network said it will reduce the number of ‘promotional’ messages showing up in users’ information streams, known as News Feeds. Companies that previously sent advertisements from their free FACEBOOK Pages now face a harder time reaching fans.”

This means your posting for a open house this Sunday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm will have less chance of actually showing up on your Fans News Feed after January. FACEBOOK announced a new policy designed to clean up users News Feeds last week. They wrote, “One of the main reasons people come to FACEBOOK is to see what’s happening in their News Feeds. Our goal with News Feed has always been to show people the things they want to see. That’s why we often look to people on FACEBOOK to tell us how we can improve. As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.

“We dug further into the data to better understand this feedback. What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads. This may seem counterintuitive but it actually makes sense: News Feed has controls for the number of ads a person sees and for the quality of those ads (based on engagement, hiding ads, etc.), but those same controls haven’t been as closely monitored for promotional Page posts. Now we’re bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.

“Beginning in JANUARY 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. As we’ve said before, News Feed is already a competitive place – as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”

Example of a FREE Posting for a New Listing on FACEBOOKNew_listing_Posting

Above you see an example of a posting from FACEBOOK promoting a new listing. We see these kinds of posts all the time. this is advertising. And now FACEBOOK is changing how your fans will see these kinds of posts. People don’t want to be sold in their News Feed, they want to feel welcome. They crave content they relate to, content that engages them or makes them laugh. How do you use your own FACEBOOK Page? Doesn’t it annoy you seeing some agent or a small business posting nothing but sales…

We have to continue to find the balance between what’s just advertising and what’s conversation. I live by the 75% – 25% rule. I post 75% about life, fun, my hobbies, interest and activities and 25% about the business I am in. It’s okay to post and talk about the market, interesting challenges in a transaction, or for that matter even share your open house information. Just remember FACEBOOK wants you to share more personal than business. You should be safe in the 25% rule.

On the other hand, advertising on FACEBOOK is one of the most effective ways to generate business. Either through direct leads like a Home value request or a new listing or price reduction. Think about how you are going about your business now. many agents are spending $300.00 per house, per week on a newspaper “Open house” ad. ThiS is a huge expense. On FACEBOOK I can spend $60.00 and run the ad below for three days and reach 14,000 people. With this type of “Boosted” ad, FACEBOOK guarantees it will keep my post at the top of consumers News Feed’s until it has been seen by at least 5,000 consumers over the three day period. facebook_ads

This is the hard part. Many of you simply don’t know how to “Boost” your post, or create a “Pay-Per-Click” campaign for social media. Most of us are barley figuring out how to post the open house, let alone advertise it.  Take a deep breath, relax… FACEBOOK teaches us how to do this in this easy to understand video. “How to Boost a Post on FACEBOOK”

I do this daily and I generate lost of business for agents all over.  Feel free to comment and or reach out to me and let’s find a better way to communicate our success and grow our business.

7 Steps to build your RE/MAX Community Page

Below are instructions on how to build a unique community page you can use on your website, as a stand alone webpage and to email to your database. It’s a great way to connect with the consumer and share local community information.

Click on image to visit live community site page

Click on image to visit live community site page

 

Step 1:  Login to your Mainstreet accout at www.remax.net. Click on “My Leads”

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Step 2: Click on “Site Builder” on the Top Level navigation Links

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Step 3:  Now click on “Search” Link in Second Level Navigation

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Step 4: Scroll to bottom of page and click on “Create a SEO Community Page”

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Step 5: Here you will need to fill out each field. Start with the name of your community page. In this example “Fairfield Community” is used. Make this as specific as you can. IN the Custom URL field you will need to use the same name but with no spaces in between words. Then select “Community – User Specific Content Coming soon” Link in the Page Builder Content Box.  Make sure you choose the correct Zip Code for the community you are creating. In the Meta, Description and Keyword boxes, you will need to fill these out with information that will be contained in your page. Finally scroll down and click “Update”.

Step 5

Step 5

 

Step 6: Your page has been built and now it’s time to see it in action. Once your page has updated from the clicking of the “Update” button you will need to click on the “Search” link in the Second Level Navigation line above and scroll to the bottom where is says “Create a SEO Community Page” and look for your page. Click the “Manage” button for options.

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Step 7: From this page you have a few options. You can Preview, Edit and Delete the page from here. What you want is the unique URL (Domain Name) This is the link you will use to market this site. Go ahead and cut and paste the link into your browser.

Step 7

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There are many ways you can use this site to promote yourself and business. Post it throughout social media, host it as a stand alone website page. You can buy a custom domain from GoDaddy.com and mask the original URL by forwarding one that is very easy to use.  This is another reason why RE/MAX Agent continue to lead the industry in sales and customer satisfaction. Better Tools & Resources translates into more business for you.  Enjoy and feel free to comment below.