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 _ _ _

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PART SEVEN: Sending a Private Message Through Gold Connect

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Three Google tools that can make you a better agent

Connect with clients and increase productivitycrop_Google

Just found this great article on Breakthroughbroker.com You’re probably aware of a few of the many fantastic free features Google offers to its users, but I thought I’d share three of my favorites and explain how they can be particularly useful to real estate professionals. These three tools can help you form better relationships with your clients and allow you to increase your productivity.

Google Forms

A Google form is webpage that you can build for free through Google Docs(more recently known as Google Drive). This webpage allows the page viewer to fill out fields or answer questions online, and the information is then automatically sent to a spreadsheet that you, the page creator, can view. Online surveys, questionnaires, and applications are good examples of items you can build with a Google form.

The fantastic thing about these forms is that they are free, easy to create, and can be used in an endless variety or ways. We’re going to cover two ways you can use them for your real estate business.

Post-Closing Survey

This is one of the best ways to use Google forms. Agents should always be collecting feedback from our customers, both past and present. With a Google form like this one you can survey all your clients as soon as you close.

New Buyer Questionnaire

According to NAR, one of the biggest complaints home buyers have is that they feel like their agent doesn’t listen to their needs. If you were to send your new buyers a questionnaire they will know you are serious about understanding them. This also creates an opportunity for couples to get on the same page by answering important questions together. You can also do the survey with them in person for a more personal experience. Here is an example of a Buyer Needs survey.

If you want to learn how to create Google forms, here is a great step-by-step guide.

Canned Responses

Canned responses are prewritten emails that are easily created within your Gmail account. They can save you a ton of time, and they have some pretty creative uses.

A showing on your listing

Ever wanted to share all of the great features of a listing with the agent who is about to show it, but don’t have a lot of time to put together a well-written email? With Gmail canned responses you can send an email every time you are notified of a showing on one of your listings. It would look like this (click for full size):

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The best part of canned responses is that you can create and modify them easily. If you wanted to get fancy you could even embed links to shared online Google documents, links to videos, or pictures related to the home. Encourage the buyer’s agent to share the email with the buyers, thus giving them tools to help them sell your listing.

Note: Canned Responses must be enabled by going to the settings, and then the labs, in Gmail. To learn how to create canned responses check out this post.

Google Calendar

Simply put, I believe Google is leading the pack when it comes to calendars and calendar sharing. Something as simple as an online calendar was a tricky thing to share with other people unless you had an exchange server or some other now-obscure technology. Google calendar lets you easily share calendars with business partners, spouses, or—best yet—your client.

A buyer under contract

When asked about the experience of buying a house, many buyers say they felt they had no idea what was going on throughout the process. Now you can keep them informed with a Google calendar. By loading in all of the dates and deadlines and then sending them the link to the calendar, they will have a real time view of what is happening. With Google calendars you can easily create new calendars and share them with anyone you choose.

If your client has Gmail you simply share the dates and deadlines calendar with their Gmail account and you are done. If they do not have Gmail there are a couple easy steps. Click here for a how-to guide for sharing with non-Gmail users.