Top 5 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Acquire Mobile Leads

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Tech trends such as mobile have vastly improved the real estate industry overall. As the majority of internet searches for homes for sale come from mobile devices, real estate agents are finding themselves forced to embrace mobile in order to keep up with the changing times. Yet a recent study has shown that only 25% of all brands have a mobile strategy in place. With mobile use expected to bypass desktop use within the next year, real estate agents should have a complete mobile strategy for their brand. In this article, we will look at the top 5 ways real estate agents can gain sales through mobile use.


Marketing emails

The days of simply sending out mass emails to a list of contacts are long past. Marketing emails must be properly configured for mobile use as the majority of users will be using a mobile device to check their emails, especially if you send your emails during work hours. Your ultimate goal is to increase your leads, which, in turn, increases your sales. If your emails are not configured for mobile, it will simply be deleted or ignored...neither one of which is good for your real estate business. Email marketing can still be one of the best tools a real estate agent uses, even with technological advancements in website design, social media marketing and apps. 

Become the local "expert"

Many homebuyers are searching for the local expert in the area, someone who is "in the know" and has the inside scoop on the best deals. Be sure to include enough local information that touts you as being the expert that the homebuyers can trust. You also need to optimize your website with SEO that pushes your site toward the top of the rankings for local searches. This ensures that people find your site first, and since the vast majority of searchers don't ever click to the second page of Google results, it is in your best interest to be on the first page.

Ask clients to provide you with testimonials that you can post on your site, and create paid ads that promote you as the local expert in the area. 

Social networking

Social networks can help agents reach out to prospective homebuyers and investors quickly and efficiently. SEO can be used on these sites to increase your visibility. Social media groups that are geared towards real estate professionals, homebuyers and investors can greatly improve your visibility and reachability, as well as helping you connect with other real estate agents to share information and ideas. As the majority of social media users access social networks from mobile devices while they travel, or are at school or work, the better your chances become of gaining leads from social networks. 

Mobile web

Optimizing your real estate website for mobile use has many advantages. Not only does it help you gain an advantage with homebuyers that are searching the web on their mobile devices, but Google has recently announced that it will start penalizing websites that aren't properly configured for mobile use in the search rankings. So if your site isn't optimized correctly for mobile use, you may see your rankings drop, which can cost you visibility, which can cost you leads and sales. A misconfigured mobile website can cause web pages to load slowly or not at all, which will cause frustration for the users and they will likely move on to the next website.

Mobile backup

Mobile backup is extremely important for any real estate agent. A Symantec study shows that in 2012, web attacks increased by 30%, target attacks increased by 42%, while 32% of all mobile threats resulted in information security breaches. Phishing sites which steal usernames and passwords to gain unauthorized access to accounts increased 125%. A total of 415 new vulnerabilities were discovered in mobile operating systems.

In case your real estate website is targeted, or if one of your coworkers falls for a phishing scam, a mobile backup solution such as cloudHQ can help prevent any data loss from such attacks. CloudHQ backs up all data from cloud accounts, so if you keep your data stored in a cloud account, or back up your website to a cloud account, cloudHQ will keep a complete secondary copy of the data in a separate cloud account. If you fall prey to a phishing scam, or if a hacker gains access to your site and deletes data, you can simply log in to the secondary account and restore it within seconds. CloudHQ runs automatically and invisible to users, so that agents can work uninterrupted as cloudHQ continuously runs, silently backing up all changes or additions to the backup account.



 

Top 5 Ways To Improve Your Website Leads And Conversion


Distinguish yourself from the competition

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You must determine what sets you apart from other realtors and use that to your advantage. Do you have a special system using tech tools that helps you complete transactions faster? How about the ability to complete transactions remotely? You can use this in your social media posts, website content, listings and videos.


Become the local expert

One of the best ways to gain success is to be the best local agent you can be. Website content and listings, videos and social media are all extremely important, but you also need to be able to control your local market. Be sure to establish yourself as the local expert in the area, know the area and make your listings stand out with plenty of local content.

Show the value up front

Every buyer wants to know what the best value for their money is going to be. Many agents try to beat around the bush when it comes to value so they can get the most money possible out of the buyer. But many buyers and investors can see right through this smokescreen and it can quickly cost you the entire sale.

SEO your way to the top

In the past 4 years, real-estate-related searches on Google have grown by 253%. And according to Google, 94% of all Google searchers do not browse past the first page of results. So you are going to have to work to get to that first page. You don't necessarily have to have the top result (although obviously this is the best spot to be in) but you do need to reach that first page. You can achieve this by using a combination of backlinks, SEO keywords, and by making sure you keep your website or blog updated frequently with fresh, unique content.

Stay in touch

As part of your system, you should have a follow-up feature such as phone calls, direct mail, email or other contact methods. You can integrate this into your task scheduler or calendar so that you don't lapse. Days of the week to follow up are important also, as a study found that Tuesday is the worst day to contact people, nearly 50% worse than the best day- Thursday.



 

Using Video To Hook Real Estate Investors


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Video can be a real estate agent's most influential tool, especially when dealing with out-of-the-area home-buyers. These potential clients usually like to find out as much about a property as possible before they ever set foot on it. The reason for this is that travel is expensive and time-consuming, and they don't want to waste all their time looking at properties they aren't interested in. Especially if the potential client is an investor who looks at hundreds or even thousands of listings daily and simply doesn't have time to travel to each and every one of them.

And yet, a good deal is a good deal. An investor will be more apt to examine a listing more closely if it looks like a deal to him. He may even take the time to watch a video, and this is where you can hook them. A short video, packed with information, and displaying all the positive aspects of the property can be just enough to grab their attention so they want to see more about the property. 


Highlight amenities

Your video should start out showing the front of the property if possible. A narrator- you, or a female speaker if possible, should begin speaking about the property. Use the video to demonstrate the positive aspects of the property and highlight any natural amenities such as streams, ponds, fields or even man-made amenities such as fountains, swimming pools, Gazebos, etc.

Short videos work best

Keep your video short- no more than 2-3 minutes if you can help it. Remember these investors have many other listings to look through and won't hesitate to skip over yours if the video seems too long or bores them. But if you can convince them that this is a good deal in such a short video, you are well on your way to success.



 

Google Wants You To Be Mobile


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Everyone wants the coveted top spot in Google search rankings but it can be hard to achieve this goal, especially in areas and niches with high competition. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped many real estate agents reach this highly sought after top spot. But even if you can't get the top spot, just getting to the first page of Google results should be a goal. Less than 10% of all users that perform searches on Google actually click to the second page. This means you have a much higher chance of getting traffic to your page if you're on the first page and of course, the higher you are on that first page, the better of a chance you have of snagging traffic from searchers. With mobile and cloud trends on the rise, the majority of searches are coming from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 


Google announces changes in smartphone search results

Google has taken notice of all the mobile searches and released Googlebot-Mobile in 2011, a web crawler that browses and indexes websites as if it were coming from a mobile device. Of course this has led to much speculation about how Google is treating websites with and without mobile optimization. The main consensus has been that Google gives preference to sites with mobile optimization but the word didn't come from any official Google source until earlier this month on theGoogle Webmaster Central Blog which states "To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users."

Webmasters should be prepared for rising mobile trends

 The new policies state that not only should your site be optimized for mobile but the mobile site must be error-free. Otherwise, your site risks being demoted in the Google search rankings. These errors can include anything from faulty redirects to smartphone-only errors, but the message is clear: Google wants your site to be properly configured and optimized for mobile users. Mobile use is expected to overtake desktop computer use within the next year and Google is obviously attempting to persuade webmasters to prepare their sites as the online computing world turns to mobile and cloud for both individual and professional use.



 

How To Get It: A Source For Real Estate Agents


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Get it means just that- get it. In this article I will show you the top 4 ways to get it to help make your real estate work a bit more efficient. You want more leads, more traffic and more sales, right? There are many ways to accomplish your goals and in this article we will look at the best actions that you as a real estate agent can take to ensure that you get the sale. 


Get Local

You are probably already doing a lot to grab as much local business as possible. Flyers, signs and business cards can go a long way toward snagging local leads. But you can also market your business on real estate websites and forums, Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or other relevant sites where you can get local exposure.

Get Social

As mentioned above, you can use social networking sites to gain exposure and this exposure can be local and national. Social networks have the ability to reach hundreds, thousands or millions of potential homebuyers. If you use social networking properly, and put in the hard work required, you will find that the possibilities are endless. By the process of reposting, there is no limit to the amount of people that can potentially see your post.

Get Found

You may have a great website and you may have plenty of signs and flyers but without exposure none of this will help you. When you hang your signs, be sure they are eye level with drivers if possible. Pick intersections with a heavy flow of traffic and be sure your signs are located in places they can be seen by the drivers.

Market your website by using social media, SEO, real estate sites and forums, and any other methods that will help you gain exposure. 

Get It Done

Get it done means just that- get it done. Stay focused and do what you need to do. Don't try, just get it done. if your marketing routine is taking up too much of your time, outsource it. If you can't keep all the social networks updated on a constant basis, outsource it. Same with signs and flyers. Do what you must do to be successful. Keep a positive outlook, work hard and get it done. The rewards are well-worth it.



 

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.



 

SEO Tips For Real Estate Agents


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It's hard to achieve real traffic results for your real estate website. The number one way to get visitors to your site is for your site to rank highly in search ranking results for specific keywords. If you want to compete with other real estate sites, you're going to have to learn how to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to improve your sites ranking in the results.

If you are located in Topeka, Kanas, you will want to rank highly in the search results when homebuyers search for keywords such as "real estate Topeka" or "Topeka real estate agent."


Keyword optimization

The first thing you want to do is optimize your site. Be sure to use the keywords that will benefit you the most and use them on your site. Site pages and blog articles should use these keywords but not too much. Google seems to favor sites that use keywords that comprise about 1-3% of the page or article.

Backlinks

Backlinks are one of the most important factors in SEO. It can be hard to get good backlinks on quality sites. Google rewards sites that have links linking back to their site from high-ranking related sites. So you will need to find sites related to real estate that will place a link to your site on their site. You can usually find real estate forums where you can include your link in your signature or post it to the group. Just be careful of spamming, always check the rules on posting links before you do or you may find your posts deleted quickly.



 

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.



 

How To Make The Most Out Of Social Media


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Social media has taken marketing to a whole new level. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the perfect outlet to showcase your business and your listings. The key to marketing through social networks is to produce quality content and update it frequently. As 90% of all homebuyers use the internet when searching for homes, a social network is a great way to reach out to many potential clients.


Formulate a plan

The first step is to make an outline and create a plan. You need to determine the type of friends and followers you want to attract, how much time you can spend maintaining the sites and determining what makes you different from other realtors. 

Make informative posts

When posting updates, your posts should be informative and provide a unique look at interesting content. Don't just post links to your listings but also other real estate-related posts containing information about real estate transactions that buyers are interested in reading, even posts that have a little light humor to them. Anything that is engaging to your readers and keeps them returning to your page to read more.

Interact and expand

Interact with your followers by replying to their posts, answering any questions they may post on your page, replying to comments they may leave on your posts and replying to and sending direct messages. Expand your social network to include local community groups and professional real estate groups on the social networking sites. This can help you spread information and increase your reputation.

Build up a local reputation

Be sure to build up your reputation in your local area. By joining local community real estate groups you can meet others who are interested in real estate, whether they are selling or buying homes. This enables you to grow your contacts- other real estate agents can provide you with information, photographers that can help with your listings, inspectors that can help with your transactions and homebuyers that may become your clients.



 

Most Popular Real Estate Keywords For SEO


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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for real estate agents is important because you must utilize the keywords that homebuyers are searching for in order to ensure that your listings are seen. And, since a recent study showed that 90% of all homebuyers use the internet when searching for a home, it becomes even more important.

Point2Homes recently performed a study to find out what most popular keywords are being used in order to sell homes most efficiently. The study was performed using 300,000 property listings in the United States. The most popular buzzwords for descriptions included words like "spacious," "beautiful," "stainless steel appliances" and "hardwood floors."


Most popular 2012 SEO keywords for real estate

Keywords seem to vary depending on the price of the home. For instance, "beautiful" is the top-ranking keyword for homes listed under $1 million. Homes that are listed between $1-5 million saw better exposure from keywords such as "stainless steel appliances," "pool," and "hardwood floors." Homes listed above $5 million saw top keywords such as "private," "guest house" and "wall of windows."

Keywords varied by region as well. Homebuyers on the East Coast searched for homes using keywords such as "move-in ready" and "renovated." Homebuyers on the West Coast were more swayed by words such as "mountain view," "ocean view" and "beautiful."

In NYC, homebuyers searched for "city view," "sunny," soaking tub," "closet space," "oversized windows" and "open kitchen." By utilizing keywords related to amenities that are hard to find in NYC, such as space, light and city view, real estate agents were able to sell homes much faster than the 180 day average that most homes are on the market for.

Mentioning top brand names also had a favorable effect as many homebuyers looking to buy upper-end homes are concerned about the quality of appliances and fixtures. Here, names such as Viking, Sub Zero and Miele gained favorable reactions from wealthy homebuyers.