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Social Media – Do I Have To?

Short answer is probably Yes 🙂

Ugh, you’re thinking. My job is real estate and I don’t have TIME to play around on Facebook. But let’s think of it differently. If your job is helping people and growing a network, then you can see how communicating with as many people as possible is very helpful.

Social Media (you know, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc.) is just one piece of your marketing mix, but it is an important piece. If you’re already engaging, good for you! But if you’re not playing in the social media playground yet, you really should be using these free tools for real estate marketing. Try not to think of it as a drag or a task, but a conversation. These are simply tools to start a communication, display a tidbit of local information, let everyone know about an open house, and share your listings.

real estate information shared on social media

Here is a link to some facts and figures of the most popular platforms, however the best information we want to share with you is:

  • Be sincere
  • Be positive
  • Show your personality and strengths
  • Have some fun
  • Link back to your website—such as your bio, a listing or a search, or CMA lead gather form
  • BUT, remember to post for the good of your customer, not (solely) to tout your brand.

Spend about an hour a day sharing information, starting or joining discussions and your network will grow.

Low-Cost Lead Generation Activities for Real Estate

Published: 07/17/2016

Posted by: RET Staff
By Kyle Strohschein on The Paperless Agent blog

Last week, we talked about the three different types of leads:

  • Low Cost / Low Intent
  • Medium Cost / Medium Intent
  • High Cost / High Intent

And we also asked you to find out how much website traffic you’re currently getting. Why? Because according to research done by Google, only 2-3% of people who visit your website will convert (take some sort of action and give you their contact information).

Which means, to capture a significant number of leads, we need a lot of monthly visitors to our website:

pa_low-cost-lead-gen_1

Most of us can’t get the number of visitors we need from organic traffic alone (people who find your website through a search portal or other referral). We need other ways to drive people to our websites, get in front of people actively looking for a home, or generate leads from our networks.

So today, we’re going to give you some campaigns you can use to find leads of each type. These are campaigns we use in our brokerage, GoodLife Realty, and the ad examples you see are from ads we’ve used and tested.

Low Intent / Low Cost: Home Search PPC Campaign on Facebook

When someone is looking for a home, what are they interested in seeing? Homes for sale! This campaign promotes the home search feature of our website to potential buyers.

Facebook Ads are one of the most effective ways to get in front of buyers. With Facebook Ads, you can target people likely to move in the zip codes or areas you focus on. Here’s an example:

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This ad then takes them to page on your website where visitors can search for properties:

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These lead are generally going to fall into the “Low Cost, Low Intent” category. They’re only giving you their contact information so they can get more information or browse homes on your website, so follow up accordingly.

Low Intent / Low Cost: Home Value PPC Campaign on Facebook

This campaign is similar to the Home Search campaign, but targets potential sellers. If someone is thinking of selling their home–even just toying with the idea–they are going to want to know how much their home is worth. With this campaign, we use Facebook Ads to find people who 1) Own a home and 2) Are likely to move, and then offers them a free estimate for their home.

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The ad sends them to a landing page where people can enter their address and contact information in exchange for a free report that provides a brief home valuation.

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We use a “What’s My Home Worth?” tool to provide an automated report. If you’re interested in that route, there are many services that offer this feature. However, you can also just produce a quick CMA yourself and send it to people who request a home value analysis!

Remember, with both the Home Search and Home Value campaigns, you want a system for following up with individuals who take action. You need to to establish a relationship and build trust over time so that when they become a high intent lead, you’re the agent they work with.

Immediately after someone takes action, you should follow-up with an automated email that introduces yourself, lets them know you are available, and then provides value.

And then you need to stay in touch. After the initial email, shift to sending information that buyers or sellers would be interested in. We start with a 12 point email sequence for both buyers and sellers that delivers information about the buying or selling process.

Medium Intent / Medium Cost: Just Listed Campaign

One way to attract the Medium Intent / Medium type of website viewer is with a Just Listed campaign.

The basic principles of this campaign work just like the Just Listed campaigns we all know, just updated for the digital age. By using digital marketing, you can get your listings in front of the right people at the right time, making your Just Listed campaign more timely, targeted, and ultimately effective.

Here’s how it works: You use Facebook Ads targeting features to find people who are likely to buy a home. The ad promotes the property:

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The Facebook Ads drive people back to a property page on your website.

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If possible, you should host the property page on your website. That way, you get the benefit of the traffic to your website, people seeing your brand, people browsing your website, and so on!

This campaign is incredibly cost effective, as well. We spend around $50 or $60 per listing (just a couple dollars a day).

High Cost, High Intent: Marketing to your Network on a Regular Basis

When you look at hard costs, marketing to your network isn’t that expensive. However, when you consider how much your time is worth, and then you think about everything that goes into building your network and keeping in touch–meeting these individuals, building the relationship, calling, creating marketing materials to stay in touch–the cost adds up.

To simplify the process of marketing to your network, we use a digital monthly campaign that looks like this:

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We begin by writing a blog post on a topic useful to homeowners, buyers, or sellers, such as amplifying the value of your home. The information should be highly relevant, and something your network would be interested in. We also promote the blog post across our various social media platforms to get more traction from it.

We then take the information from the blog post and have it designed in a PDF report. Studies show that people perceive designed PDFs to be of more value than a simple blog post.

After we have the PDF, we email it to our network. It’s a relatively easy was to keep up with your network without bugging them.

Additionally, you’ll be providing your network with an arsenal of tools they can use to promote you. When someone in your network comes across referral opportunity, they are going to have a lot of resources they can use to refer you. Sending information like this also gives you something to talk about when you pick up the phone to call your past clients.

Now that you have some campaigns to start generating traffic and leads, tomorrow we’ll focus on how to follow-up, nurture, and convert the leads you generate!

Five Super Easy Tips for Success!

Every once in a while, we’ll get off our WEBSITE WEBSITE WEBSITE horses and throw you a curveball 🙂 In today’s tech saturated, information overloaded, super busy world it’s easy to forget there are still some ways to slow down and be more healthy, happy, and successful.

First: SMILE!

successful real estate agent smiling at client
Slow down a tad, smile, and build rapport!

Fake it if you have to; even a fake smile can alter your emotional state and reduce stress. Pretty soon, your body will return the favor and you’ll feel great. Smiling while you’re on the phone is proven to make your voice sound more pleasant and engaging. And smiles are contagious when interacting with your clients.

Second: Follow up

Are you keeping in touch with your past client base? Past clients, especially when they are happy with your work can be your most beneficial lead source. Send them a personal birthday or home anniversary card, give them a call to see how they are settling it, or send emails about upcoming events that are in their territory. Just a touch of personalization can continue to build a great rapport.

Third: Exercise

Nope, chasing leads is not exercise – sorry! Fun ways to get this done without going to the gym (although the gym and Spin classes can be a great networking area) are simply walking around your neighborhood, climb stairs in your home or business for 5-10 minutes, or jog in place/do jumping jacks while watching Property Brothers. Get that blood pumping, and both your body and brain will benefit.

 

Fourth: Save

There can certainly be some lean months in the business. You are the controller of your own business, so make sure you’re saving money during your busy season to help you sail through the slower months without worry.

And Last: REST!

“Rest? I’m on this job 24/7!!” Make sure you take time to recharge yourself and prevent burnout. Take time on your days off to explore your territory, and to enjoy YOUR hobbies and interests. A rested, well-rounded real estate agent is a lot more pleasant to do business with than a tired, rushed one!

 

We all know it’s easy to throw out some of these steps because of the lack of time, but to be a more successful real estate agent with a more sustainable business, make all these tips part of your daily routine.

Millenials and Real Estate

There has been a lot of discussion lately about how to market to Millenials. Who are these mysterious people? You may even be one! Here’s a definition from a Google Search–“There are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.” So we know some Millenials have reached adulthood and are ready to find a home of their own.

group of friends having outdoor barbecue laughing with beers

But do they rent? Do they buy? And what do “they” like and want out of a home? Three bullet points (that bode well for our St. Pete area in general) are:

  • They value community, neighborhood quality, and convenience to their workplace.
  • They tend to want older homes. The “HGTV era” has given lots of good ideas to people looking for an affordable single family home. They are willing to put in the time and work older houses require. Think DIY and fixer uppers!
  • They are interested in moving to either suburbs with a core downtown, or moving to places that have easy access to shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.

So now we know what the average Millenial is looking for, how will they find that perfect home? The number one thing to keep in mind is they are multi-taskers who value their time. They prefer to search online as opposed to attending countless open houses, and they thrive on information. To connect with this generation:

  • Use mobile-friendly websites and tablet applications to provide easy property searches.
  • Provide details, pictures, and virtual tours.
  • Provide your expert help in navigating the home-buying process. Use your website blog to supply infographics that walk them through home-buying processes, loan qualifying tips, and lists frequently asked questions by first-time buyers.

Set yourself up as the Real Estate Expert in your client’s eyes. Let PROTECH be your website expert. 

New .Homes Website Domains Now Available to Real Estate Pros

web-address-urlIs the .com domain name you really want already taken? Never fear, there’s a new domain extension in town, and it’s full of SEO potential for real estate practitioners.

The sunrise registration period opened just last Monday for the new.Homes top-level domain. “Sunrise” registration is a limited window of time that allows trademark holders to purchase .Homes domains that match their marks before registration is opened to the general public. That means if you’ve trademarked the name of your real estate team or practice–Central Coast Realty™, for example–you can now reserve CentralCoastRealty.Homes so that your company’s name isn’t taken by somebody else. The Sunrise period runs through May 6. You can learn more here.

However, the domain names with the highest SEO potential are up for grabs on May 12, when open registration starts. Because registration will then no longer be restricted to trademark holders, agents and brokers can buy names that reflect their area, like Boston.Homes. The reason a domain like this has so much SEO potential is because it matches the phrases that consumers are likely to search for, e.g. Boston homes or Boston homes for sale.

.Homes domain names are only available to professionals who serve the residential real estate industry. This includes agents, brokers, mortgage professionals, appraisers, property managers, builders, home insurers, MLSs, and associations. Dominion Enterprises, the operator of Homes.com, is the exclusive registrar of .Homes domain names. To learn more, visit domains.homes.

Other Domain Extensions for Real Estate Pros

.Homes isn’t the only real estate related domain extension out there. In October 2014, the .REALTOR domain extension became available to members of the National Association of Realtors and the Canadian Real Estate Association. Realtors can snag their first year’s registration of .REALTOR domains for free through the end of 2016. You can claim your .REALTOR domain here.

As for other domain extensions… well, there are quite a few that may interest agents and brokers. Here’s a sampling:

  • .apartments
  • .broker
  • .condos
  • .community
  • .estate
  • .forsale
  • .house
  • .land
  • .luxury
  • .properties
  • .property
  • .rent
  • .rentals
  • .sale

Dot com alternatives are a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition. And with a well chosen domain name in play, you can potentially earn your website a lot of welcome SEO juice. Is a .Homes, .REALTOR, or other alternative domain something you’d consider for your business? Let us know in the comments below!

By Kelly J. Phelan, RET Content Editor
(Courtesy of retechnology.com)

SEO and Social Media Glossary

Have you ever wondered what the newest social media app is and what it means/does? As the web and social media communication evolve, new buzz words are added to the dictionary and new services are available to all of us. It doesn’t matter if you’re a total newbie or even if you’ve played in the Facebook and Twitter world a bit, you might not know how these social media services work for you to get your message (and listings) out into the world— we can dive deeper in a future post.  

For now, what do all these new buzz words even mean?  We’ve made it easy for you with the list below. Get out your SEO/Social Media “flashcards” and enjoy!

Thanks to Website Magazine for providing the following…

A

Aggregator – a Web-based tool or application that gathers and displays content from a variety of sources to an end-user.

Avatar – the primary image associated with a social network member’s account.


B

Board – a Pinterest feature that allows users to organize the content they have “pinned.”

Bolt – an Instagram offshoot, Bolt is a messaging app that lets users take and send photos to friends.


C

Check-In – an action that connects a person to a physical location. People can “check in” to locations on social networks like Facebook and Foursquare.

Circles – a Google+ feature that allows users to put people together into specified groups. Through this feature, Google+ users have the ability to share updates with specific groups of people in pre-defined “circles.”

Comment – a public response to a status update or other piece of content.

Community – a feature on Google+ that allows members to create niche groups where people with similar interests can interact. Communities can be made public or kept private.

Connection – people who are part of a LinkedIn user’s personal network. Similar to a Facebook “friend” or a Twitter “follower.”

CrowdPost – a proximity-based iOS social media app that connects users based on their location.


D

Dashboard – an administrative interface that typically allows users to monitor social network activity as well as take actions like sharing content.

Direct Message (DM) – a private conversation between two users on Twitter.


E

Engagement – a vague term that describes participation with a brand’s content on social networks. Typically, brands take fan and follower actions such as likes, retweets, shares and comments into consideration when measuring engagement.


F

Facebook – the world’s largest social network, with 1.23 billion monthly active users.

Facebook Audience Network – a mobile ad network that targets users in other apps using Facebooks demographic information.

Fan – a Facebook user who follows a brand or business Page.

Favorite – an action that represents a user’s approval of a piece of content on Twitter.

Filter – an image customization tool which users can leverage to change the tone and look of their photo.

Flickr – a photo sharing community that allows both amateurs and professionals to post images they have taken and receive comments and even negotiate purchases with those who are interested in the photos.

Follower – someone who has chosen to receive your tweets in their Twitter timeline.

Foursquare – a location-based social network that enables users to discover new locations and check-in, share and save places they have visited.

Friend – a Facebook connection between two people.  Both parties must agree to become “friends” before a connection is made.


G

Google+ – a social network created by Google where users can share content and connect with other members. Businesses can add photos, contact information and more that will appear in Google’s search engine result pages.

Group – this feature is available on both LinkedIn and Facebook. It enables users to create a niche community where people with similar interests can communicate with each other. Similar to Google+ Communities.


H

Hangout – a feature available on Google+ that allows a group of people to have conversations and share content with each other. Users also have the ability to start video hangouts with up to 10 friends.

Hashtag – an interactive feature that allows social network users to relate a status update to a broader topic.

Handle – the name a Twitter member chooses to represent themselves. To interact with another Twitter member, users must address them with the @ symbol and the person’s handle, such as @WebsiteMagazine.


I

Influencer – a brand’s most valuable audience members. Typically, influencers are active in the social community and have the ability to sway the opinions of their followers.

Instagram – an online photo-sharing social network where users can share filtered photos and videos. Instagram is owned by Facebook.

Instagram Direct – a communication method that allows Instagram users to send photos and videos privately to another user.

Instagram Explore – a new tab that helps users discover new content that is relevant to their interests.


L

Like – an action that social network users can take to show their approval of a status update. In addition, Facebook users can “Like” pages in order to receive the Page’s status updates in their newsfeeds.

LinkedIn – a social network for professionals, users are able to post their job experience and skills, find personal and professional contacts, search for jobs, blog and much more.

LinkedIn Ads – a self-service advertising solution that allows its users to create and place ads on the LinkedIn.com website.

Lists – a curated group of Twitter users.


M

Meme – a generally recognized piece of content that typically pokes fun of a person, place or situation. Typically, memes are shared by many people and quickly go viral.

Message – a private communication method between two or more users on Facebook.

Messenger – an app to which Facebook transferred all of its messaging power. Users are able to chat with their friends in a similar manner to text messaging.


N

Newsfeed – the homepage of a social network that is continuously refreshed with activity updates from a user’s friends or followers.


P

Page – a Facebook profile for a business or a brand. Facebook users can “like” pages but they cannot be friends with pages.

Pinterest – a pinboard-style social network where users can share content and create theme-based collections.

Pin – a piece of content shared by Pinterest users.

Poke – a Facebook action that allows one user to interact with another user through a virtual “poke.”

Profile – the Web page of a social network user that displays any content that the user has shared.

Promoted Content – a way to increase the reach of a profile or a specific piece of content on social networks. Promoted content is paid for and thus an advertisement.


R

Reddit – the so-called “front page of the Internet” has hundreds of subpages (called subreddits) for various topics from Space Jam to Astronomy and Politics where users can submit posts and comments to drive discussion.

Retweet – an action that allows users to share another user’s content on Twitter.

Rich Pin – pins that feature extra content, such as a map, product pricing, recipe details and more. There are multiple types of Rich Pins, including Place Pins, Article Pins, Product Pins, Recipe Pins and Movie Pins.


S

Sentiment – the implied attitude behind user comments. Social media monitoring tools can help brands measure sentiment in order to gauge the overall perception of a company or specific marketing promotions.

Share – an action that allows someone to publish content from another source. The content is  “shared” to that user’s personal social network.

Snapchat – a photo messaging mobile app that allows user to take photos or record videos and send them to selected friends. Each piece of content sent has a time limit (1-10 seconds) for viewing. After the content has been viewed it is not able to be seen again unless it is part of a Snapchat Story.

Snapcash – Snapchat users are able to send and receive money from Snapchat friends after entering their debit card information.

Snapchat Ads – Snapchat introduced its first ad in Oct. 2014. Users are able to view ads in the Stories section of the app.

Snapchat Chat – Chat enables users to have a private conversation with friends via text, snaps and previously saved videos and images.

Snapchat Discover – a storytelling feature where users are able to find Stories from a variety of sources including CNN, Comedy Central and Food Network.

Snapchat Story – Snapchat users can put content into a “story” for 24-hour viewing. Typically, stories are made up of a string of content that creates a narrative.

Social Listening – a tool that enables users to monitor and measure what is being said about a brand on social networks.

Social Login – a sign-in form which allows users to leverage their social media credentials on a third-party website instead of having to create separate login credentials.

Status Update – a piece of content shared by a social network member.

StumbleUpon – a social discovery engine that helps users discover new and unique things from across the Web through recommendations.

Subreddit – a community subpage on reddit like r/pics and r/tech that discuss relevant topics to the community.

Swarm – a social meetup app spawned from parent Foursquare that lets users check in wherever they are.

Syndicated Promoted Tweet – a promoted Tweet that can be seen off of Twitter.


T

Timeline – Facebook’s newest profile layout that display’s a user’s collection of shared content.

Trending Topic – the most popular topics currently being discussed on a social network.

Tumblr – a microblogging platform owned by Yahoo. Currently, Tumblr has more than 172 million blogs on its platform.

Tweet – a Twitter status update.

Twitter – a popular social network that allows users to post 140-character status updates.

Twitter Discover – the Discover tab enables users to find new hashtags which may be of interest to them.


U

URL Shortener – a tool that converts a long URL into a shortened version that is easier to share, especially on social networks.


V

Vine – a mobile app owned by Twitter that allows users to share short videos that play in a continuous loop.

Viral – a piece of content that is rapidly and organically shared.


W

WhatsApp – acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp is a mobile messaging app.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing – an unpaid form of promotion by a customer on behalf of a brand.


Y

YouTube – a video-sharing platform owned by Google.

YouTube Kids – specifically designed for kids, YouTube Kids has a variety of videos for kids to learn from and parental control settings to make sure kids watch only age appropriate videos.


See More At: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2015/03/25/2015-social-media-glossary.aspx

Effective Tips for Marketing Homes

marketing-plan-photo-resizedThere are multiple ways to market homes and some are more effective than others. Your marketing plan needs to include various approaches to make sure you bring in those valuable leads.

 

Let’s take a look at the various methods of effective advertising and communication:

Professional Photography – This should be your first step in marketing a home. A photo says a thousand words and it is worth your money to invest in getting great photos taken either by a professional photographer or by taking photos yourself (if you have a high quality camera). Prospective buyers want to see the front of the house and various exterior photos of the house that highlight additional features such as a pool, size of the yard, etc. Interior photos are essential, buyers want to see exactly what the home has to offer. 

Email Marketing – you can use services such as www.ConstantContact.com and www.Mailchimp.com to email prospective clients. But, the open rate on emails averages at around 20%. Not exactly the most effective way to reach clients. You can’t dismiss email marketing though, there is still that 20% of people that might just see that email. 

Direct Mail – Postcards. We have heard from many of our website clients that postcards have been proven to be very effective. Its important to get creative with postcards. For example, you could focus on a target area by listing the upcoming events and make sure to include your Brokerage/Agent information. People are more likely to look at a postcard that gives them information of entertainment and things to do that are in their local area. Postcards that focus on a featured property are also effective. The biggest thing to realize is that people look at postcards before they toss them out. At least they take a look at your postcard (this beats the 20% open rate of email).  

Google Adwords – Market a home by targeting specific keywords people search for on Google. This type of marketing can get time consuming and expensive. But, with a bit of work and targeting of specific areas your Google Adwords Online Ads can show up in both Google Searches and also seen on the Content Network of Google Adsense Publishers. 

Websites – every Realtor should have a website to feature their properties. You need a home base for communication with your clients. Having your own website is an essential tool in completing the circle of marketing. Additionally, creating one-off websites for featured properties is an effective way to focus a consumer on just one property. 

If you are interested in getting a website created to help market your properties, please consider contacting us at 727-216-3008 or click here to view our website packages.  


For more tips on marketing your home: 
click here.