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.


 

Top 4 Real Estate Trends For 2014

Virtual office

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Many real estate agents have already switched to the virtual office and this number should increase in 2014. The ability to work remotely is greatly increasing efficiency and productivity. It's also a huge reduction in cost as real estate agents no longer have the costs of office space rental, storage, expensive hardware, etc. Communication can be broadcast via cloud services and video messaging. Document management can be enhanced via cloud services such as Google Drive. Transaction management can be performed using cloud services such as Basecamp. Files and documents can be scanned and stored in cloud services such as Box and Dropbox. And all of this can be accomplished from any location that has internet access.


 

Staying Connected In Real Estate

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Staying connected in real estate is essential for productivity. As cloud computing, mobile and social trends have changed the way real estate agents handle their business, the entire industry has taken notice of the many benefits the trends have brought. Now it's not uncommon at all to hear of real estate agents with virtual offices- working from wherever they are, working from home and handling all of their business on the go. Here are the top 3 trends for real estate and how they are affecting real estate agents.



 

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 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 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.



 

How To Get Relevant Real Estate News And Info On The Competition In Your Inbox


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How do you get news to your computer or mobile device? Do you just sign up for various real estate news and blogs sites? Subscribe to forums? Follow sites on Twitter and Facebook? These are all great ideas and there is certainly nothing wrong with any of them except that you may get overwhelmed with hundreds of emails to look through every day. But there are other ways to get more specific, more relevant news to your inbox and it's completely free. 


Google Alerts for news and tracking the competition

If you're skilled at SEO, you will be great at getting what you want from Google Alerts. It's a simple process- you simply input a specific keyword and you will get alerts any time web content is published that contains your specific keyword. So if you want to know as soon as homes come on the market in Phoenix, you might put something like "home for sale phoenix" or any mix of words that are commonly used in sales ads. This way, you get the news delivered to your inbox every day and you can look through the emails on your own time. You can sign up for multiple keywords so you can get news articles, home listings or any other specifics delivered directly to your inbox. You can even keep up with what your competition is up to by creating keywords with the name of their real estate business, personal name or other information.

If you want to check out your competition's ads, now you can have them delivered straight to your inbox. Want to see their social media and forum posts? It can be delivered straight to you. Or if you just want information on any other current real estate events or happenings, a simple relevant keyword will deliver the results directly to your inbox.