The House Hunting Checklist

house-hunting

Keep your buyer clients organized while shopping for properties by using The RE/MAX Gold House Hunting Checklist.

This helpful checklist makes it easy for your clients to keep track and make notes about their thoughts on potential homes. With questions regarding both the home and neighborhood, The House Hunting Checklist is a great way to note why the property will or won’t work.

We recommend printing a few copies before the house hunting trip takes place. Prior to visiting a property, write the address and MLS information down for your clients. Once you arrive, share The House Hunting Checklist with your buyers and tell them to have fun! Don’t forget a clip board and a pen!

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Socially Connected: Tips for Mastering the Art of Instagram

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Creating and implementing a consistent social media strategy is vital for REALTORS® looking to cultivate online leads while maintaining current relationships. Social media has re-shaped the way business is conducted, both nationally and globally, across all industries. For real estate agents wanting to reach every type of buyer possible, social media is a resource you can’t go without, or else money will be left on the table and marketshare will surely decrease.

For agents merely tolerating social media or for newbies wanting to dip their toe into the pool, Facebook is probably still the number one place to start. But if you want to target a younger, savvy audience, one with an itchy trigger finger, Instagram should be your new best friend. Instagram can help you connect with the millennials and first-time buyers that your business may be lacking. Though trite, the ol’ saying still rings true: “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” With Instagram’s photo and video sharing capabilities, you can easily share the unique amenities your listings have to offer, while also display snapshots of your own life to help buyers and sellers get to know you, building trust.

Keep in mind that out of its 500 million users, 70 percent check Instagram at least once a day , with half of those checking multiple times per day. Get in front of these prospective leads with these tips:

#Hashtags
Sure, we cringe when people use hashtags in spoken dialogue (#worst, right?), but don’t let the informal culture of hashtags turn you off from their intended purpose: to organize, draw attention and promote. Using hashtags on your Instagram posts will help your target audience find you, and may even double your click-through rates, according to research from Buddy Media. Use hashtags on every Instagram post, if possible, such as #luxury, #kitchenremodel, #losangeles (insert your market here), #realestate, and #openhouse to help pinpoint your message and connect your post with other similar posts and the users browsing that topic. If you don’t use hashtags on Instagram, you might as well not use it at all (but spoiler alert: you should!).

Get in the gridGrid-iPhone
Using your phone’s grid feature will help you take much more attractive photos. Go into your smartphone’s camera settings and turn on the Grid feature. This splits your camera view into nine blocks (aka, into thirds). You can now abide by photography’s Rule of Thirds by aligning the subject of your photo with the four guidelines and their intersection points. These intersecting points are the areas where the eye is naturally drawn to. The grid will help you get the perfect off-center shot of that waterfall feature tucked away in your new listing’s backyard. You may not be a professional photographer, but you can still post heaps of quality photos that will really wow your followers.

Edit before filtering
Ideally, you want to be aware of natural light when taking photos of homes. With the right natural lighting, a photo will need very little editing and filtering, hence, the #nofilter hashtag (go ahead and brag a little!) Also, be aware of how different artificial lights affect a photo. Some may give off a yellow-y glow.

If you want to improve a photo without drastically changing it, click “Edit” and adjust things like contrast, warmth, brightness and saturation first. Once your colors are popping just the way you want, click on “Filter” and fiddle around with different looks. Always opt for natural light first, if possible; otherwise, Instagram’s sharp editing and filtering features can help you polish your masterpiece.

Be consistent with how often you post…
As with other social media platforms, consistency is key. According to studies by Union Metrics, most major brands post an average of 1.5 times a day to Instagram. To start, try posting once a day. Once your routine is set, try expanding to twice a day. Reports also indicate that some popular brands that post as much as 10 times per day did not notice a sizable loss in engagement as long as quality was still present.

Instagram on iPhone 5…and also with what you post
Whether you’re a part of a large real estate franchise or a small boutique firm, consider what your own personal brand is. Are you known for luxury listings? Certain neighborhoods? Working with first-time buyers? Move-up buyers? Your Instagram feed should represent both who you are and how you operate. Prospective buyers and sellers should be able to get to know you (albeit, virtually) via social media. Instagram photos are a huge component to that.

Sharing is caring
Instagram should be one element of a larger social media plan. A cog in the wheel. Using Instagram’s Share feature, you can post your beautifully edited and filtered photos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Flickr. You can also email them or quickly copy a link. Connect your social worlds by posting photos on your other pages. This will widen your reach by helping your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, etc., find your page on Instagram, which in turn will fuel engagement across the board. In the end, it’s all about engagement.

Instagram is a unique and wildly addictive social media platform that allows agents to promote themselves in a creative way. With a little bit of time invested, agents can make new connections and start turning leads into dollar signs.

Original post by: Nick Caruso

Nick Caruso is RISMedia’s Senior Editor and caffeine junkie. When he’s 
not writing about the amenities (and absurdities) of celebrity real 
estate, he’s obsessing over “Survivor,” scrounging to find new music, 
skiing, and writing on his own entertainment blog. It is his firm belief 
that bacon and hot sauce make everything better.

 

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 _ _ _

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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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twitter

youtube

pinterest

Instagram

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

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RE/MAX Gold Listings Presentations

 Here you will find the most recent RE/MAX Gold listing presentations. Please note there are Powerpoint versions and PDF printable version. In order to edit these templated designs you will need to have Powerpoint installed on your computer and a basic understanding of how to use the program.

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2017 Listing Presentation Powerpoint Version

2017 Listing Presentation PDF Version Printable 8.5 x 11

Alternate Listings Presentation Powerpoint

Alternate Listing Presentation PDF Printable 8.5 x 11

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2016 Listings Presentation

How to Set up Facebook, Twitter and Every Other Major Social Media Profile

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Setting up social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook or any other social network can be a lot of work. And if you’re starting from scratch, it feels like a big impediment to overcome before using a new tool. We need to choose a photo or fill out a bio when all we want to do is start sharing content and engaging with friends.

Your social media profile is a window into your personality, your job, your interests—sure, but, if done correctly, it can be so much more than that. It can drive people to your website or other online assets; it can promote some of your best content; and it can lead to new clients and sales. When you reach out to a new contact or prospect, the first thing they’re going to do is look you up online. Your profile needs to be both impressive and discoverable.

With so much potential value in each social media profile, it’s worth investing the time and effort required to set them up properly. (Or, if you’ve neglected yours for an extended period of time, it can be just as important to give it a complete overhaul.) Here’s our complete guide on how to social media profiles.

Featured Social Media Platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn Profiles
  • LinkedIn Company Pages
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

General Rules

Bio/Description

Why is your bio so important? In addition to sharing basic information about yourself, adding your website and email address turns any social network bio into a potential source of referral traffic. Especially on company pages, the opportunity to describe your products and link out to an external website makes bios a powerful marketing and sales tool. Plus, including your Twitter handle or Google+ page in the personal information section of another social network is a simple form of cross-promotion that could help grow your social following across the board.

Social media bios should always be catered to the social network and the audienceof that particular profile. Your personal Facebook bio can be more fun and interesting than your LinkedIn bio, which should be very focused on professional skills and job history.

Though each profile bio will differ, your name or handle should be consistent across all networks. This allows people to find you more easily. If they see your Twitter handle, they can then enter that into Instagram and immediately find your personal or branded account. Online service know’em allows you to quickly check if a desired handle is available on almost every social network.

Finally, if you’re curious about which of your social networks need work, there’s any easy way to check: Google yourself.

Images

You should always strive to have photos fall within the dimensions recommendedfor a certain network. Why? A square is a square, right? Well, you never know when profile images will be reused elsewhere on a social network. Even though your giant headshot might look nice in the profile picture, it might look weird when appearing on a mobile device or in a home feed.

With profile images, simple is usually better. Don’t try and fit tons of information about your business or product into a cover photo. The cover photo’s job is to be eye-catching and reflect who you are, so focus on that. The profile picture should be of you, or of your logo, so people know who they’re following or talking to.

Finally, image consistency across social networks will help people connect with and trust you. If someone follows you on Twitter and seeks you out on Instagram, using the same profile photo will increase your chances of them finding the right account, and following you. Much like with account names, consistent imagery results in better discoverability and more immediate trust. It’s a very easy way to cross-promote your social accounts.

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Like the rest of your social media presence, your profiles should be regularly updated. Bios should be updated with the latest information or the latest content to ensure everything is accurate and fresh. Set yourself a reminder to check your profile information every couple of weeks, and don’t ignore it.

In the same vein, regularly changing cover photos keeps your profile interesting to existing followers and gives you an opportunity to re-engage people who weren’t impressed the first time. Meanwhile your static profile picture will help you maintain brand recognition and consistency across networks.

Facebook

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Your Facebook profile is one of the largest social media profiles on the web. Since Facebook is also the biggest social network on the planet, with 1.3 billion users, it’s important that people are able to quickly find you and connect.

Bio

Both your personal information or company information will fall under the “About” tab on your Facebook profile or page. For personal profiles, the About tab contains an overview on which you can update the following fields:

  • Job
  • Education
  • Location
  • Contact information
  • Website
  • And relationship status

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Each of these sections can be further expanded on in addition tabs within the About page. If you’re using your Facebook profile for public or professional purposes, we recommend keeping the relationship status out of your bio. People want to know where you work and how to contact you. That being said, you can change the reach of each piece of information in your bio by editing the audience setting so certain information can only be viewed by friends.

For Company Pages your about section offers the opportunity to include the following information:

  • Location
  • Products
  • Founding date
  • Release date
  • And contact information

Take the time to fill out these sections with care, as customers and prospects will turn to them frequently. You also have the opportunity to write a lengthy “About” description of your company. Use this space to show visitors who you are, what you do and why they should care.

Follow Facebook’s directions on how to update your bio info.

Images 

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  • Facebook profile picture: 180×180 pixels
  • Facebook cover photo: 851×315 pixels 

Your Facebook profile picture is the square photo on the left side of your profile. It’s the same photo that shows up on other people’s walls or homepages when you post. For that reason, your profile picture should be a headshot. If you’re creating a business page your profile image should be your logo. The image you choose for your profile picture should be square and should also be clear in small and large sizes.

Your Facebook cover photo is the large image that appears behind your profile picture. The larger size of this image offers opportunities for your to make an impression, sell your business or get creative.

Learn how to add or update your profile or cover photo here.

As Facebook image sizes will change with redesigns, you can stay up to date with their recommended image sizes here.

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Facebook photos you’ve added or have been tagged in will also figure prominently on your profile. Make sure you keep a close eye on photos you’re being tagged in so you can untag anything you don’t want others seeing on your page. To avoid this process you can also turn on Timeline review, which allows you to approve tags before they appear on your profile. 

Interest categories, from sports to music, can also appear on your profile if you so choose. If you’re using a profile for professional purposes, you may want to avoid these sections unless they are industry-relevant or they offer relevant insight to connections.

Twitter

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Whether it’s a personal or branded account, Twitter profiles are exactly the same for everyone. This should be an advantage, since you don’t need to learn different processes if you’re building a profile for you or your business. That isn’t to say these profiles don’t require effort. Just like the network’s approach to social media as a whole, Twitter profiles are a test in brevity. Have a look: 

Bio

Your Twitter bio is very minimal in comparison to networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. There are only five fields you can update:

  • name
  • bio
  • location
  • website
  • and theme color

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Each of these sections should be filled out but, with so little opportunity for customization, special attention should be paid to the bio field. In true Twitter fashion, your bio is limited to 160 characters, so you can’t go into much detail. Instead, focus on sharing insight into what you’ll be talking about on Twitter. This saves visitors the trouble of scrolling through your Tweets to see what they can expect from you. Your Twitter account is most likely about Real Estate, so you might want to state in your bio “Tweets about home improvements, home buying, market statistics, home values, how to sell a home in 21 days etc..” No gimmicks, but a strong incentive to follow for people who are after that information. 

To guide new followers effectively, your bio could cross-promote other relevant branded accounts as well. A agent might include in their bio,for example, “For immediate loan approval @lenderjoe.”

The bio writing process will be a test of your editing skills. If you’re having trouble, ask yourself ‘does this really need to be in here?’ for each section and work to trim the fat. Take your time and do it right. And if you’re stuck, look to the accounts of other industry leaders for inspiration.

Follow Twitter’s steps to update your bio information here.

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Suggested Twitter image dimensions
  • Twitter profile photo: 400×400 pixels
  • Twitter header image: 1,500×500 pixels

Your Twitter profile photo is the smaller, square image that appears on the top-left side your profile. Your photo should be clear and recognizable whether small or large, since the same photo you choose for your profile image will be used within other people’s streams, and in Twitter’s “Who to Follow” section on the right side of your feed.

Just like on Facebook, your Twitter header image is the much larger, rectangular photo that appears behind your profile photo and across the top of your profile page. This large photo is a great asset. It’s the first thing most people will notice when they visit your profile, and should therefore serve the purpose of piquing their interest right from the get-go.

Learn how to add or update your Twitter profile or header image here

Twitter profile image sizes may change with a redesign, so stay up to date on recommended image sizes here. 

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Earlier this year Twitter added the ability to pin a Tweet to your profile. This Tweet is one of the first things someone who lands on your profile will see. It’s is also an amazing opportunity to promote your content to new contacts. Choose a Tweet that promotes a strong piece of content you or your brand has created, and includes an image or video. Discover how to pin a Tweet here.

Google+

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Bio

Google+ offers several choices to customize what information appears in your profile bio. Make sure you go through every part to see what you want made public and what is better off private. g+PROFILE

The bio section of your Google+ profile can really be split into two parts. First, there is a small section under your profile picture containing some info about you. On personal profiles your work, school and location will appear in that position, while on business pages your website will appear there. While you may not want your school or workplace to appear on your profile, you should always have your website in that position if you run a business page. Users are drawn to your profile picture, so having your website right there is a great way to point followers back to your other online properties. 

Second, every profile has an About tab containing much more information about you or your brand. This tab can contain simple details like your job and education history as well as contact information. However, there are 3 sections worth focusing your attention on: 

  • People: This section shows how many people you’ve circled, and how many people have you in circles. People are more likely to follow you if they know you will probably follow them back. They’re also more likely to follow you if they see that lots of others do, since it adds credibility. As a result, you may want to keep this information private until these numbers are impressive to profile viewers.

PEOPLE

  • Links: Google+ has done us a favour by including cross-promotional opportunities from the get-go. Use this section to point to other social network profiles, all of your websites as well as blogs you’ve contributed to. The value of this section can’t be understated.

LINKS

  • Story: This section is where you have lots of flexibility to get creative. It is comprised of three different categories. Tagline is where you should offer people a quick sell of yourself. Who you are, what you do and why they should follow. Make sure it includes keywords you want associated with you in search. Introduction is where you can delve into a little more detail. If you’ve lured them in with your tagline, this section will be the next information they’re after. The Introduction could also include a call to action, like “Add us to your circles today!” The third section of your story is “bragging rights.” This is a section for awards and accomplishments. If you don’t have anything relevant, don’t force it.

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Follow Google’s instructions on how to edit your Google+ profile bio here. 

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Suggested Google+ image dimensions
  • Google+ profile picture: 120×120 pixels minimum
  • Google+ cover photo: 1080×608 pixels

Your Google+ profile picture, unlike Facebook and Twitter, will appear as a circle rather than a square. That being said, you still upload that picture as a square; you just need to be aware of what will be cut off when Google crops that photo.

Learn how to add or update your profile or cover photos, and stay up to date on Google+ recommended profile image sizes here.

Extras

Google+ also offers a variety of options to customize what information publically appears on your profile. You get to chose if photos, YouTube or other videos, +1s and reviews by you can be seen by profile visitors. When it comes to photos and videos you’ve produced, you likely want your audience to see them. They show off your content marketing efforts and offer a bigger picture of who you are and what you do. Public +1s and reviews may not be the best fit for professional profiles however. Consider each field carefully before deciding which to make public. 

LinkedIn

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LinkedIn’s personal and business pages are so different that each one needs its own section. We’ve broken them down separately below.

LinkedIn Personal Profile

Bio 

On LinkedIn, your bio is at the core of effectively using the social network. LinkedIn is a professional social network where you list your experience and expertise in order to attract potential employers, clients or connections. Being that your profile is so essential for this purpose, LinkedIn has made their profiles very substantive. In fact, there are no fewer than 21 sections to your LinkedIn profile. While almost all of these should be filled out, we’ve ranked them roughly in their order of importance and added a line about each one:

  • Name – First and last
  • Headline – Will default to your current job title, but you can customize for more punch and to include key terms for search
  • Summary – LinkedIn describes it as info “about your mission, accomplishments, and goals.”
  • Contact Info – Email, phone, IM, address, Twitter handle and websites.
  • Experience – Professional positions and experience, both jobs and volunteer work.
  • Recommendations – Professional recommendations displayed on your profile are a major asset while on the job hunt.
  • Skills & Endorsements – The skills you list should represent your real strengths, since your contacts will ideally be endorsing you for them. Spend time to make this section very representative of you and your abilities.
  • Industry – Choose from their drop-down menu
  • Location – Important to let people know where you work
  • Education – Where you went to school and what you studied
  • Certifications – Do you have a specific certification that would benefit your job?
  • Publications – Specifically relevant for marketers, writers and researchers
  • Projects – Have you worked on a noteworthy project that would impress connections or employers?
  • Languages – Being bilingual or trilingual can be a major career asset. Share your language skills.
  • Volunteer Experience & Causes – Organizations you support, causes you care about, and the types of volunteer opportunities you’re looking for.
  • Additional Information – If it isn’t professional, keep it out of this section. Your marital status isn’t particularly relevant on LinkedIn.
  • Honors & Awards – Keep these to large, noteworthy awards. Not your ‘most improved softball player’ trophy.
  • Organizations – Be careful of noting political organizations. They could influence hiring.
  • Courses – Only fill this out if your school courses are very relevant to your desired field.
  • Patents – Not very relevant for most of us, but a select few can benefit from this section
  • Test Scores – Generally, skip this. Unless you got a perfect score on the bar exam.

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As a general rule, your LinkedIn profile should be strictly professional. Avoid the humorous or quirky in favor of the straightforward. LinkedIn also favors profiles that are 100% complete, so put in the effort to check off all the boxes in the creation of your profile.

Follow LinkedIn’s instructions on how to update any of your profile sections here.

Gain insight on how to be found on LinkedIn.

Images

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uggested LinkedIn profile image dimensions
  • LinkedIn profile photo: 200×200 pixels minimum
  • LinkedIn custom background: 1400×425

LinkedIn profile photos should be square headshots. This is a standard that exists for a reason. You can also choose a custom background photo for your profile. Since it is LinkedIn, we recommend choosing a photo with some professional context, or something that speaks to your career.

Extras 

Last year LinkedIn made its publishing platform open to all users, a move that turned the social network into a veritable blogging platform. When you publish a post on LinkedIn, it will appear high up on your profile. This important real estate is a major incentive to start writing posts for your LinkedIn audience. It’s an easy way to extend your reach and impress profile visitors. Think of it like your own mini thought leadership program.

LinkedIn Company Page

Bio

LinkedIn Company Pages require a much smaller set of information than LinkedIn profiles.

  • Company name
  • Company size
  • Type
  • Website
  • Main industry
  • Operating status
  • Year founded
  • And location

These fields are all either self-explanatory or are chosen from a dropdown menu. This leaves only three sections that require effort to fill out.

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First, your company description should describe who you are and what you do, and appeal to both prospects and prospective hires. Include links to your website and careers page in this section. 

Next is your company specialties. In this section list key terms that someone who uses your product or service might search for. There are several slots open, so you can get very specific with these specialties. 

Finally, there is a featured groups section which is meant for LinkedIn groups that you participate actively in or are an administrator for. LinkedIn groups are a great way to make connections on the social network, so we recommend actively participating in them. If you see a void on a particular topic, starting a group is a great way for your company to be perceived as an authority or leader on that subject.

Follow LinkedIn’s instructions on how to edit your LinkedIn Company Page. 

Images

Your LinkedIn Business Page has three main images you should take time to optimize.

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Suggested LinkedIn Company Page image dimensions
  • LinkedIn standard logo: 100×60 pixels
  • LinkedIn banner image: 646×220
  • LinkedIn square logo: 50×50 

The first is your standard logo, the small icon that appears in a box on the top right of your page. This image will be reused in LinkedIn’s “Companies You Want to Follow” section, which is a great reason to make this image stand out. Make it clear and appealing, since it will be the first impression many LinkedIn users have of your brand. 

Next is your banner image. This appears on your business page under your logo and is the LinkedIn equivalent of a cover image. It’s a bigger, landscape image and should be used to capture people’s attention, while telling your company’s story.

Finally, your business page will need a square logo. It will be used when you post updates and when users search for you, so make it clickable.

Extras

LinkedIn is now an incredibly important part of hiring for many businesses. With that in mind, the social network offers an opportunity to highlight career opportunities on a separate tab within your Company Page. While not immediately visible, this tab would appear on your profile and is worth completing. 

 

Instagram

Bio

Instagram is likely the simplest social network you will deal with when it comes to your bio. Aside from your username and real name, the only information that appears on your public profile is your website and a short (maximum 150 characters) bio. For your bio, since you’re limited in terms of length, keep things straightforward, but not serious. Say who you are and what you will be sharing photos of, but don’t make it dry.

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For business accounts, (Real Estate) always include any branded hashtags you use. (#RealEstate, #Homes, #BuyAHouse, etc)This allows people to browse the hashtag and see what kind of content you produce and promote before they follow you. 

Follow Instagram’s instructions on how to edit your Instagram bio.

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Suggested Instagram image dimensions
  • Instagram profile picture: 180×180 

Instagram is unique in the sense that you’ll likely be setting up your profile on mobile first, with only secondary considerations about the web version. Most people use Instagram on mobile, but you can’t ignore the fact that some people will view your profile on their desktop browser. As a result, with Instagram it’s always a good idea touse higher resolution images with greater resolution than required for mobile. 

Your Instagram profile picture will be cropped into a circle on the app, so make sure you choose an image that will look good in that shape. Though the profile picture will be 110 pixels in diameter on the mobile app, it is recommended that you choose a larger square image since it will appear larger on the web.

Learn how to change your Instagram profile photo.

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It’s worth noting that your Instagram profile will showcase your latest Instagram photos. As a result, every photo you take will potentially take a prominent place on your profile and be the first thing a visitor sees. This is a big reason to take time and share only the best photos, especially if the profile is a professional or branded one. You may be tempted to share a mediocre or low-quality photo because it was taken in a specific context, or features people you want to recognize. However, visitors to your profile won’t understand the context. All they’ll see is a bad photo, and they almost surely won’t follow you.

Consider sticking to a certain style of image, keeping to a specific set of filters or one style of cropping. Doing so will give your Instagram feed a specific brand, making it more recognizable to followers and more consistent to new profile visitors.

YouTube

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In 2014 YouTube became known as the second largest search engine on the planet. With 6 billion hours of video viewed every month and 100 hours of video uploaded every minute, it’s certainly a force to be reckoned with. All the evidence suggests that video is becoming the medium of choice for those seeking both entertainment and information on the web, with statistics and studies consistently pointing towards higher click through rates, engagement and sales leads as a result of video marketing drives.

Hosting videos on your website is all very well and good, but leveraging YouTube is essential if you really want to get your content noticed. Creating a YouTube channel is an essential part of this process as it allows you to put all your content in one place, so people can browse it. Think of it as a website within a website. In that sense, the same rules apply when it comes to getting people to stay and browse your content.

Below are my tips on optimising your videos for YouTube, as well as Google’s search engine, and how to go about creating the perfect YouTube channel.

Video SEO

It’s important to remember that YouTube is a search engine just like Google, and as such, your channel and the content that sits on it should be fully optimised to make it as discoverable as it can be. What’s more, Google’s integration with YouTube means that well- optimised video content is far more likely to show up in the search results pages of Google, as well as on YouTube searches. Beyond the address of the property and beyond videos of properties for sale are hundreds of other ideas and opportunities for videos. Homes values, neighborhood, events, market statistics, how-to’s etc. Be the expert guide in all things real estate. Find stories to tell and share the stuff your posting as articles should be turned into videos.  For those of you brave enough to tackle this media below are some pointers.

Here are a few quick pointers to get you starting to think about optimisation:

  • Be sure to conduct thorough keyword research before you begin this process. Tools like Google’s keyword planner tool are as useful to the process of video SEO as they are to website SEO. The process is essentially the same.
  • Always use your keywords in your video’s title, as this won’t only help users work out what your videos are about, but will help YouTube’s algorithm rank them properly as well.
  • Write a clear and detailed video description and use your keywords throughout, but avoid keyword stuffing (aim to get the keyword in about 3 to 4 times and at least once in the first 25 words).
  • Use words and phrases that accurately describe the video, but which are also popular Google search terms. These include terms like ‘how-to’, ‘review’ and ‘setting up’, which tend to well in search results pages.
  • Make sure you use your chosen keyword in the filename when uploading your video.

This is only a very brief introduction to YouTube SEO, but it will get you thinking in the right way. For more comprehensive information on YouTube SEO tactics, I’ve found Brian Dean’s in-depth guide on Search Engine Watch to be one of the best out there (it also contains a fantastic infographic on YouTube ranking factors).

Channel structure

The beauty of YouTube is that anyone can put together a do-it-yourself video marketing campaign by creating a channel, and then hosting all their videos on it under individual sections. One of the first mistakes people make on this front, though, is in failing to give their channel any structure at all. Many people simply don’t appreciate the huge importance channel structure can have to viewer retention and ultimately how you project your brand.

Below are some DOs and DON’Ts of YouTube channel structuring:

  • When users come to your channel, you want them to be able to find the best content you have, and easily. Don’t, therefore, feel like you have to put every piece of video content you’ve ever created on your channel. Chances are, a lot of it won’t be of interest to your average YouTube user. If it’s low quality or outdated, then leave it out. Your channel needs to showcase the best about your business.
  • Don’t mix your consumer content with your corporate content. This is another classic mistake and presupposes that people can tell the difference. You have to think of your audience at all times, and make sure that your videos are grouped together thematically in a logical manner. If you have homes for sale videos that follow through each room and showcase the home, don’t mix them with the market update videos. Keep separate categories for each grouping of videos
  • Don’t order your content by popularity. Your YouTube channel is a marketing tool, and as such, you need to use it to push the kind of content that is currently most relevant to your business. That hugely popular video you made three years ago might have got a lot of views, but it doesn’t make it relevant today (as tempting as it is to show it off).
  • Don’t order your channel by recent content either. Your latest in-depth video might be relevant to people visiting your website but that does not make it relevant to the kind of people visiting your YouTube channel. Learn to tell the difference and give people what they want.
  • Keep it up to date. This might seem like one of the oldest gripes out there, but people really do pick up on this kind of thing. If your content is old and your channel isn’t updated regularly, then people won’t want to come back to it. If you are constantly creating and uploading new and exciting content, then people will be more likely to come back to see what’s new.

YouTube attracts a phenomenal amount of visitors every day, but it also hosts a phenomenal amount of content. With very low click rates (less than 1%) from video to websites, it’s better to see YouTube as a final destination and not a driver of traffic to your business. That is why it’s not good enough just to create excellent videos and host them on YouTube. Optimising each video for maximum discoverability in conjunction with creating a well- structured and easily navigable YouTube channel is essential if you want to project your brand effectively and to as many relevant people as possible.

 

If you have a Social Outlet we didn’t feature here and what some insights on it. Shoot us a text, email or leave it in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slides from Business Growth and Development Presentation MEC Events

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This is the Powerpoint presentation used for the regional MEC Events for Business Growth and Planning. Please note you will need to have Powerpoint Viewer installed to view this presentation. Simply click the image above to start the download.

Napa Valley Housing Market for September 2015

Summer Home Selling Season Ending Strong

Students are back in school‚ summer is behind us‚ football season has kicked off‚ and sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes are right around the corner. With this new season beginning‚ I wanted to take a moment to share the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report with you. To review the full report‚ click here.

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If you’d like to discuss the value of your home or receive an update on our local market – please reach out to me at 707.495.0774. Always here to serve.

Sincerely‚

RE/MAX Gold Listing Presentation – Gold Edition

This listing presentation focuses more on you and the many benefits you bring to the deal. It is fully customize-able in that every slide can be modified. Check with your manager as he/she will be able to assist in editing the presentation for you. Microsoft Powerpoint Download is needed to edit.

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