Top 4 Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents In 2014

Mobile marketing

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The world has gone mobile. Yes, that's quickly turning into a cliché, but the truth is that according to a recent study "85 percent of buyers used a mobile device during the home buying process, with the majority of buyers (70 percent) accessing the Internet from their smart phones and 15 percent accessing it from their tablets."

Make sure your website is optimized for mobile use. This allows users to easily navigate your website on a mobile device. If the site is hard to navigate, slow-loading and gives errors, users will most likely click out and go a competitor's page. It's also important to optimize your real estate website due to Google search ranking penalties for websites that are not mobile-friendly.

You can make connections by having potential clients sign up for text messaging, or have your own mobile app developed to allow you to send notifications and interact with the clients to send them information and alerts.


 

An Introduction To Real Estate Video Marketing

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Video is one of the most effective marketing features a real estate agent can use. Agents can create websites, blogs and social media accounts to spread their marketing videos and gain audiences of viewers, as well as numerous leads and sales. But there is more to making an effective real estate marketing video than just holding a camera and shooting scenes. Videos must be professional, relevant and informative or it will just be ignored. There are many factors that can figure into the making of real estate marketing videos and in this article, we will take a look at some of the best practices and methods that ambitious real estate agents can utilize in order to increase their leads and sales.

Video Type

The first thing a real estate agent must decide is what type of video to use for the video marketing. Do you want to create videos that are instructional and "How-Tos?" Or perhaps you want to create a testimonial video by getting comments from past satisfied clients, or a promotional video showcasing your current listings. Or perhaps you want to make a combination of any of the above ideas. 

Be Professional

No matter what type of video you are ready to create, it should have a professional feel to it. That doesn't mean it has to be 100% business, feel free to throw in a little relevant humor and have fun, but maintain professional quality and try to imagine yourself seeing the video from a potential homebuyer's eyes.

Use the highest quality video that is available to you. HD video cameras are extremely affordable these days and you may even have HD recording on your phone.

Watch other real estate videos if you need some ideas. If you are highlighting a single property, you may wish to start your video from the driveway and slowly walk the property as if you were seeing it for the first time. You can narrate the video yourself, or have someone narrate it for you if you don't think your voice is professional enough.

Social Media

Social media marketing is extremely effective for real estate agents because it connects agents with an unlimited supply of potential homebuyers, investors and other real estate agents. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn are goldmines containing thousands of potential clients. Facebook and Twitter can be used to reach the largest amount of people possible, while LinkedIn can be used more effectively to connect with relevant users. YouTube can be used to create a channel for your real estate business, where you can gain a virtually unlimited amount of viewers based on the creativity and informational value in your videos.

Frequent Updates

Don't just make one video and try to survive from its success. You should create new videos frequently, especially for social media and blog purposes. You can even make a series of instructional or informational videos to keep viewers interested, and create discussions whenever possible to keep viewers talking about your videos.

Search Engine Optimization

Frequently updated video marketing will boost your SEO rankings as well. Google penalizes sites that do not show updated activity, but it rewards sites that are frequently updated with photos, videos, relevant content, proper keyword use and backlinks. While video are just one piece of the huge SEO system, it is a very effective piece.


 

Top 3 Tech Trends For Real Estate Agents

Social media

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Social media trends, led by Twitter and Facebook, have been on the rise for several years. As more people and companies are understanding the powerful marketing features of social media, it is becoming more prevalent among real estate agents.

A Twitter account has the potential to reach an unlimited amount of users by utilizing the "Retweet" feature. By posting relevant and interesting tweets, you may start seeing a high number of your tweets retweeted. And from there, they can be retweeted over and over again. But the tweets must be informative and interesting with a catchy headline.

A Facebook account is the next-best marketing strategy to Twitter. While Facebook does have over 1 billion users, it also makes users pay to reach all of their followers or friends. So if you have 10,000 followers, you can expect about 1,000 of them to see your posts unless you pay Facebook extra money. It's still a very effective marketing method, especially if you are willing to shell out the extra money to have your post seen by thousands of people.


Mobile

Mobile trends have exploded in recent years with the introduction of smartphones and tablets to real estate agents. More efficient apps have been developed which add to the surge. Mobile has allowed real estate agents to toss the office life and go remote. With the rising use of tablets among real estate agents, more work can be completed away from the office, allowing much more freedom and flexibility. Combined with cloud computing, it also allows agents to go completely paperless. 

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing trends have possibly had the most effect on the real estate industry. Combined with mobile and social media trends, cloud computing has changed the real estate market forever. The advantages of cloud services such as Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive and more have practically revolutionized the industry.

Agents use Evernote for a variety of uses- from taking quick notes to creating checklists and to-do lists, audio clips and snapshots. Evernote has excellent tagging and searching features for agents to keep their notes, audio clips and photos organized by using keywords which are easily searchable. Skitch for Evernote allows agents to quickly take a screenshot of any web page and even allows users to select the portion of the web page they want a photo of. Evernote allows searching of text within photos so you can search for saved articles and web pages easily.

Google Drive is a mini-office all wrapped up in a single mouse click. Agents can use Google Drive to quickly create documents on the go, as well as edit existing documents. These documents can be stored and shared with recipients. Agents can create documents such as contracts or other legal documents, spreadsheets and presentations from their mobile device, laptop or computer. 



 

Why Real Estate Agents Should Have A LinkedIn Page


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As a real estate agent, you know that the more exposure you get, the better. But not just any exposure, you need exposure to relevant sources- homebuyers in your area, homebuyers looking to relocate to your area, other real estate agents, etc. Social media has been largely instrumental in gaining exposure through friends, followers, chats, groups and more. And one social network, LinkedIn, is specifically aimed at professionals. This gives real estate agents the chance to network with other real estate professionals, join real estate groups and find more relevant exposure.


LinkedIn is trusted by professionals

LinkedIn has established itself as the professional social networking site- built around professionals, for professionals. Professionals trust LinkedIn and are more apt to turn to it when searching for other professionals in their related field. 

LinkedIn can help you build your brand

Building your brand and reputation is an integral part of your real estate business. LinkedIn allows users to connect with other professionals that they have worked with to help build their reputation. By giving other users recommendations, LinkedIn actually builds reputations for real estate agents.

LinkedIn IS business

LinkedIn generates the most visitor-to-lead conversion rate, three times more than Twitter and Facebook. In 2012, more than 212 million business leads were generated through LinkedIn. By creating new business connections and maintaining existing connections, real estate agents can build their brand and continue to improve their company or brand. Creating a business profile will show other professionals that you are serious about your business, and it will give you ultimate exposure to a myriad of relevant users and sources. A LinkedIn profile could be your most profitable decision of the year.



 

How To Use Social Media To Attain Real Estate Success


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Real estate agents have been using social media in their business for years as it provides many benefits. Agents can reach out to hundreds, thousands or even millions of social media users, way more than they could ever imagine reaching without the internet. By using social media, agents are able to find prospective homebuyers, outsource work to other users, find information about real estate and share information about real estate.


Facebook

Facebook is one of the largest social media networks in the world. As a normal user, you will be able to add up to 5,000 friends. If you create a company page, you can have users "follow" you and can reach an unlimited amount of users. However, Facebook has made changes recently that only allow a certain percentage of your followers to actually see your posts in the news feed. For other users, they will have to actually go to your page in order to see the posts. This is not very effective as the percentage is usually between 12-25% of users that actually see your post. Facebook has a "promote" feature, which allows all followers to see a user's posts, but only for a fee.

Still, the immense popularity of Facebook is too great to ignore and is an extremely useful tool for reaching out to many users. Also, Facebook real estate groups can be joined to interact with other users that are in the real estate industry or users that are looking for homes to buy or invest in.

Twitter

Twitter is another popular social media network that enables users to reach a large number of other users. Unlike Facebook, Twitter allows you to reach an unlimited amount of users without having to pay to promote your posts. The retweet feature allows other users to send your post to all of their followers, which in turn can retweet to their followers and the process could continue until you reach thousands or even millions of users. Users can insert hashtags into their posts so users that are searching for specific types of posts will find their posts.

Google+

Google's social media network has many useful features. Besides allowing followers, much like Facebook and Twitter, Google+ also implemented hangouts, a video-chat feature for professionals which was quickly copied by Facebook. Google+ can be used to reach a more specific audience, and Google+ real estate groups can be joined in order to reach an audience that is specifically related to real estate.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social media network specifically designed for professionals. By using LinkedIn, users can create profiles and become friends with other users in their related fields. The LinkedIn groups are the most efficient of all social media groups for users that wish to interact with other professionals in the real estate industry.

LinkedIn also enables users to give other users recommendations based on their experiences working together. A high number of recommendations can help you excel to higher levels of success.



 

Tech-Savvy Real Estate Agents Are Getting The Results


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Home-buyers are letting their real estate agents know one thing clearly- we want agents who are tech-savvy and knowledgeable on the latest technology. Home-buying is no longer the elongated process of getting an agent and following them around from house-to-house until you find one you like. Successful agents have web sites complete with listings or links to listings, videos, social media accounts and more. Why? Because that's where home-buyers start looking now. With advances in internet technology and real estate technology, social selling is becoming more prevalent than ever. If a real estate agent doesn't have a web site or social media account, they are not going to be as successful as they could be.


Faster processing gets faster results

Home-buyers, whether they are investors or looking for somewhere to live, are not usually very patient. Selling a home is already a long, drawn-out process that can take months at times. These buyers are not looking for agents that are not on top of their game. They want to be able to find what they are looking for, at the price they want, in a hurry. Driving people around all over town is great if they are not in a hurry and have already told you what they are looking for. But it's a waste of gas, time and money, as the buyers should be able to search online, find what they are looking for and have the agent give them additional information about the property and take them to see it when they are ready.

There is no magic fairy dust that can make buyers purchase your property, even when it sounds exactly like what they are looking for. But with the right combination of website listings, social media accounts, videos and informative posts, you can get a leg up on the competition as long as you are fast, efficient and technically sound.



 

The Cloud for Real Estate Agents


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The real state agent that has decided to go paperless has the entire real estate world at their fingertips. There is no need to have an office anymore; the open road is all you need. If you wish to have an office to keep up appearances, that’s fine, but the necessity is no longer there. The need for big bulky file cabinets is no longer there because the cloud gives you everything you need to fulfill your storage needs. The need for a large desktop computer is no longer needed; practically all aspects of real estate transactions can be performed directly from a laptop or tablet.


Printing and legally signing documents

Need to print documents? No problem, they can be printed directly from your tablet or smartphone using cloud printing software such as Google Cloud Print. If your client lives far away and you need them to sign documents- no problem, send it to them through a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive and have them sign it using Docusign. Docusign can be used to legally sign documents.

Collaboration with clients

If you need to collaborate over documents with your clients, it's simple. You can have them drive to your office or home and sit down and talk with them. Or you can get on a cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive, chat with them and both of you can revise the document simultaneously.

Advantages of being a paperless real estate agent

  • You can create and maintain websites and listings from your home computer, laptop or mobile device.
  • You can make or answer phone calls from your cell phone.
  • You can create video chats to speak with clients over your home computer, laptop or mobile device.
  • You can create and maintain social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn from your home computer, laptop or mobile device.
  • You can create videos of properties and post them online so clients can see the property before they actually visit it.
  • You can create, print and legally sign documents using cloud services.
  • You can share documents and photos using cloud file-sharing services.
  • You can store all your documents in the cloud for easy accessibility at any time, anywhere.
  • You can work remotely, without any centralized office location.

Protecting your files with a secure cloud backup plan

Going paperless obviously has many advantages. But when you store all these files in the cloud, wouldn't it be great to know that they were being automatically backed up to a backup cloud account? Just in case data loss was to occur, or perhaps you or a coworker accidentally delete some files or even if a hacker gets into your account and deletes files just for fun. This is where cloudHQ comes in. This leading cloud backup service provides a secure backup of whatever files or documents you wish to backup. It also runs in the background so while you are working, it doesn't interrupt you as it performs the backups. All backups are instantaneous so you never have to worry about losing any data- there are no daily, weekly or monthly backups, everything is replicated as it is created. If you add a file to the cloud it is instantly replicated. If you make revisions to a document in the cloud, it is instantly replicated. This gives you protection of all your files and documents no matter what happens.

What if your main cloud account goes offline for maintenance or other issues? Simple, you just switch to the backup cloud account and continue working uninterrupted. As soon as your main cloud service comes back online, the two accounts will sync and everything will be back to normal with no interruptions to your work. CloudHQ offers a free trial so real estate agents can see the benefits of having complete security and ease-of-mind without paying anything for 15 days. Going paperless brings you the benefits to save you time and money while cloudHQ gives you cloud protection and security.



 

How To Effectively Drive Traffic To Your Real Estate Website


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You may have one of the flashiest, most informative websites in the real estate industry but it won't help you a bit unless you get traffic to your page. If people can't see your site, how will it help you? You need relevant traffic and lots of it. You need homebuyers and sellers that are ready to deal with someone they can trust. The right traffic is better than a rush of useless traffic. 


Know your competition

You know who your competition to beat is. You just have to go to Google and type in the keywords that best describe your business. If you live in Topeka, you can type in "real estate Topeka" and see where you rank. You can also see who the big boys are at the top of the search results because they are the ones that are stealing your sales.

Market your real estate website

Visit online forums and learn how to best market your site. I recommend Digital Point and Warrior Forum as a great place to start. You can also find top-notch copywriters at these forums that can help you if you get overwhelmed or would just rather pay someone else to help produce a site that will attract the right kind of traffic.

Your domain name can be your brand name or a generic name, but if you can get a few keywords thrown in this can help with SEO. Create social networking accounts that directly relate to your real estate business. You can attract hundreds, thousands or even millions of followers on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn is a professional networking site that can help you gain more relevant traffic to your site. On real estate forums, you can create posts containing a link to your site. Be sure to check the forum rules to ensure that you aren't spamming when you do this.

Backlinks

Create backlinks if possible. That's a long subject but you can read more about it here. It's worth becoming knowledgeable on the subject because quality backlinks help boost your site's ranking much more efficiently than a mass of random Backlinks.



 

Top 4 Ways To Track Your Competition


Sign up for emails, blogs, etc.

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Your competitors more than likely have their own email lists, blogs, newsletters or other digital communications that allow users to sign up and receive information from the company. You can use this to your advantage by signing up for them and keeping up with all their blog posts and emails. Anything new that your competitor has come out with will be listed in these postings and you can keep up with it. They are most likely doing the same to your newsletters and blogs in order to ensure that you don't outdo them as well.


Google Alerts

Google Alerts is the ultimate way to keep up with anyone that uses the internet. Any time a blog post, forum post, website article or other posting is made containing the keywords you enter, you will receive an email informing you of this. You can choose to receive the emails daily so that you get a complete list of all postings containing the keywords. In this case, the keywords can be your competitor's name or brand that you wish to keep up with. You can create multiple alerts in order to keep up with multiple keywords. 

Analytics

Analytics are generally meant for you to keep track of your own site's stats and traffic, but it can be used to keep track of your competitor's stats and traffic as well. This gives you clues as to where their traffic is coming from and what's bringing them there. This way, you can change your methods if necessary in order to more closely compete with your competitor.

Social Media

Anyone who wants to be successful is using some form of social media- whether it's Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or other social networks. The benefits and probabilities of success are far too great to ignore. If your competitor is on any of these social networks, you need to follow them or befriend them in order to keep up with their posts.



 

The Secret To Being A Highly Successful Real Estate Agent


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In the highly competitive real estate market, it can be hard to become a successful real estate agent. The secret to becoming successful is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of hard work. Websites must be packed full of high quality content including listings with photos and videos. Websites, listings and blogs should be kept updated on a regular basis. Social networking should be used to market your listings and your website data should be securely backed up to prevent data loss. Here are the top tips to becoming a successful real estate agent.


Website enhancement

To get the most out of your real estate website, it should be optimized with prime keywords to help homebuyers searching the internet find your site and your listings.

Your listings should be high quality, with plenty of information packed into a short description. Homebuyers searching the internet may have searched through hundreds of listings before getting to yours. They are probably not going to read a description that is over a few paragraphs long.

Visual marketing

Photos included in your listings should be of the highest quality available, and there should be plenty of them. Homebuyers scouring the internet for the right home do not want to waste their time looking at grainy photos or listings that don't have photos of the complete property.

Listings should include photos that show several different angles of each room on the interior of the home, as well as outside shots of the property and any exterior buildings such as an unattached garage, storage building or other structure. Be sure to take photos of any amenities such as streams, fruit trees, flower gardens and more. Anything that will catch the potential homebuyer's eye and make them want to see more.

A video of the property is even better. Once the photos have piqued the homebuyer's interest, they will want to see more. A video is perfect for this as it allows the homebuyer to be as close to actually walking the property without stepping foot on it. By the time they've watched the video, they will have made up their mind as to whether they would like to visit the property in person.

Social networking and community groups

Social networking is the ultimate marketing tool. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn can be used to spread the word about your listings by creating "followers." You will be able to reach these social network users by posting information related to your website and your listings. It's best to also post other generalized information about real estate just to keep your followers interested in your page.

There is a number of local community groups related to real estate that you can join or create. By getting members into these groups, you will have a community of real estate enthusiasts that can share knowledge and information. Other real estate agents can share their information to the group while potential homebuyers can join the group and check out the listings you have to offer.

Protect your website data with secure backup

Your client's information is confidential and should be treated as sensitive data. Your website also contains all the data from your listings such as descriptions, photos and videos. These files can be hard (or impossible) to replace if something happens to your data so you should employ a competent backup service such as cloudHQ. The cloudHQ service provides a backup of all your website data to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, etc. This way, you always have access to your data no matter what happens.