By Lynn Minnick
As a certified international property specialist (or CIPS), I was able to participate in a really fantastic webinar session offered by the National Association of REALTORS®’ Global division. The webinar was presented by NAR Director of Digital Engagement Nobu Hata, who offered very helpful ideas for developing marketing with a global customer base in mind. As a result, here are the items that I am considering implementing to attain a more global reach:
- Photos - They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case it pronounces them in all languages. Go strong with well-composed, well-lit, well-staged photos. Use a professional photographer if the situation requires it. International buyers are visual buyers, too.
- Responsive Design – Does your Web site work well on all platforms? Because it has to. With so many buyers using their mobile devices to search for homes, especially those visiting from abroad, you need to be sure your site works on phones and tablets. Take the time to check. Continue reading »
By Melissa Krchnak
Sounds silly and yet I’m serious. Have you Googled your listing yet? I bet the person who wants to buy it has. They’ve map searched it, checked its walkability and researched the school district. Have you?
See, you can make a big impact by thinking local. Real local. Whatever that new home owner would want to know about the home — from the cable provider to the nearest dog park — you should be giving it to them. They want to know what you know… and some of what you don’t. So, go through your current listings and start blogging (and all other forms of social media) about that which you’d want to know. Important stuff, like where’s the nearest Pinkberry?
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.
By Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz
It seems there’s a new hyped technology in real estate every week. Old favorites include Facebook, Craigslist, Twitter, Blogging, YouTube, and LinkedIn. But what about those sites that were so popular so fast and now we never hear about them anymore? Remember Posterous, Postlets, and now Pinterest? Real estate agents tend to kill technology quickly.
With so much to do every day to keep your business going, the biggest of which is lead generation, do you really have time to learn every new platform that suddenly emerges? Probably not. Should you? Probably not. As an agent who built my business on technology, I have a few suggestions for those of you who feel like you’re drowning in new technology and don’t know where to start, or where to find the time:
1. Figure out what works with your schedule: You can’t be the master of all trades, but you can master just a few. Some things take more of a commitment to make it work, ex. Twitter and Facebook are daily commitments for most. Other platforms may just an as-needed thing, like Postlets for advertising listings or Craigslist (if you don’t use Craigslist for lead generation).
2. Don’t waste time learning every new technology. I haven’t spent a single minute on Pinterest. I see Facebook friends posting wedding ideas or baby shower themes on there — don’t kill this by inundating useless real estate information on it. Don’t force a round peg in a square hole just because someone told you to.
3. Learn something so you’re comfortable with it, then use it as part of your lead generation. Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
No more blogging excuses! Tumblr is a simple, easy-to-use platform that is perfect for everyone, from blogging beginners to multimedia aficionados. “One click to posting happiness,” is what I like to call it. This tutorial will walk you through the ins and outs of posting on Tumblr with a dashboard overview to get you started. Don’t forget to visit www.tumblr.com.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Malvern, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.
By Dave Robison
Ever had that friend that whenever your phone rang, you looked at the caller ID and cringed? You simply subconsciously wanted to call them your friend because at one time they were, but for some reason they crossed the line into a category that none of us dare say to their face that they are now apart of. It’s the “What are they selling now?” category. Many REALTORS® are in that category, especially during the downturn as they have jumped to selling their clients other products, cell phones, or even pyramid schemes.
For me, I hated getting calls from that friend. For that reason I built my company so that I didn’t have to beg for business. I could focus on being a friend instead of a beggar.
How am I getting referrals without asking for referrals? I’m having fun and growing a tribe.
First: Facebook has stats on fan pages and I can see how effective I’m being. I can tell if my tribe is growing and can gauge interaction with people. If likes are growing and interaction and comments are growing my referrals will grow as well. Secret weapon to getting referrals without asking is my fan page
Second: The blogging of house listings and market conditions are dead. Blogging is all about interacting. We started a theme called “Dig it or Ditch it” where we post a picture of a room inside a house. Comments soared. Add a contest where people ‘”share the post” on their profile and our likes grew too. We now are reaching our friends’ friends. On one of these posts we received 19 new fans who were friends with our friends. We didn’t have to call our friends and beg them for business and we gained access to 19 of their friends without throwing a house warming party or sending out postcards. We just posted a pic of a room in a house. Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
If you are reading this post and are still active in real estate, congratulations! You have survived a year of many challenges. You can pat yourself on the back remember how hard your worked. Feel a sense of accomplishment and embrace every challenge that was put in front of you.
We faced many challenges. We had good times and bad times. From all of it, I hoped you’ve learned something!
Now, let’s look ahead. Here are some things you should be doing in 2011:
Send out quarterly/yearly market updates to your clients. Market updates allow you to share accurate information based on factual data within your local area. I do this in an e-mail to my clients. Thank goodness for 10K Marketing’s “The Thing.” It’s one of my favorite tools to use to share local real estate information with clients.
If you read an article or hear a news story, share and comment on it. Post on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. Use your expertise to expand or argue the story. It’s also a great way to combat negative media attention.
Share your own success stories. I came across a blog that had pictures of their clients in front of their new home they just closed on. I thought it was a pretty neat idea. Continue reading »
By Jessica Hickok
Nothing is more frustrating than when you can’t find the inspiration to update your social media statuses or knock out that blog post. I have spent many nights staring at a blank computer screen trying to search deep within myself to write something engaging for my blog readers. That’s because I’m a REALTOR®, not a writer.
But everyone says that blogging is so important for your real estate career and that it’s “so easy to do.” While I do agree with the first part of that, I believe the second part I can only partially agree with.
However, I do have some tips for finding that blogging inspiration you need:
1.) Scan your RSS feed reader headlines as if they are questions. Write your post as a response to the article you just read. This also creates great link juice for that original article you read.
2.) Flip open a magazine and scan the table of contents. Take a magazine headline and replace it with your own. For example: a magazine article reads “Computer Help 911”. Change it to “Short Sale Help 911.” Use it to write about how you are working a short sale transaction and share the tips you use to save a dying deal. Continue reading »
By Jeremy Williams
In a series I am teaching on social media to a group of agents at the Keller Williams Realty NE office in Kingwood, Texas, I have emphasized that social media should just be one of many components in an agents tool kit for lead generation. With all the new social media sites online, it can be overwhelming and it is easy to slip into the mindset of “I must be on all social media sites.” Are you experiencing these feelings? Are you spending more time on social media sites than with people? Have you become an addict?
Here is a 12 step program for REALTORS® to remedy your situation:
1. We admit we are powerless over Facebook, Twitter, Linked, WordPress and YouTube – that our lives have become unmanageable after staying up until 2 in the morning to monitor status updates.
2. Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, including lead generating using more archaic methods such as dialing a phone number or shaking a real, “not virtual,” hand.
3. Made a decision to turn off our computers thus stop sharing our personal photos of us in bathing suits at the lake and return to sharing our experiences in person. Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
I’m consistently reminded by my peers “you’re online too much,” “you can’t possibly get any work done,” or “you must not have a life to do what all you do.” Every time, my blood boils inside, and I find myself breathing harder to calm down and smile kindly. My response is then, “Yeah, I manage,” then I simply shut up.
What most of my fellow-market-REALTORS® don’t know is that while they are paying $0.25 to $0.45 for postage, spending hours of time fishing in an abyss of non-measurables and spending hours chasing potential, I’m sitting back every day with free leads coming through my door with no money spent and minimal hours worked. Why? I know how to capture my bloggable moments.
Posterous, iPhones, and quick boot laptops have made our efficiency soar in the recent years. I can work any time in those gaps in my days. What are the bloggable moments you are missing or not even noticing in your own business?
Being chauffeured. I’m writing this entry while riding in a shuttle from a Canadian airport. While not all of us travel a lot, if you’re stomach can handle it, you’ve likely got a 30 minute ride when you arrive somewhere on business. Turn that idle time into productivity.
Waiting on healthcare. Doctors, pharmacies, and health providers are notorious for being behind schedule. If you simply plan ahead to bring a keyboard device, you can turn that inconvenience into a victory. You don’t Internet connection there? Big deal. Open a Word (or like product) document and start typing. The joy of the cut and copy lives forever. Continue reading »