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.



 

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Real Estate Website


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Your real estate website can be the lifeblood of your business as most potential buyers use the internet when searching for a home. You need a website that will reach out and connect with relevant people that could turn into clients and hopefully will lead to a transaction. In this article we will examine the benefits of a real estate website and how to best utilize it for more efficient real estate business.


Keep your home page simple but informative

This may seem basic, but be sure to have contact information where it is plainly visible on all website pages. Be sure to include your name, phone and email address, as well as any links to your social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

You should absolutely have an "About" page that describes a brief summary of your business, how it's gotten to where it's at or your vision of where it's going if you're just starting out. You should add anything that sets you apart from other realtors in the area, what do you do different that should make homebuyers come to you?

Your home page should be simple and yet catchy, just enough to make the homebuyer want to see more. Keep a few of your best listings on the homepage, and have clearly labeled links so the homebuyer knows where to click to see more listings once the few listings on the home page have him interested. You can add other information such as interesting news, informative links and more to your home page, just don't overdo it. If it has a "spammy" look to it, homebuyers will more than likely go to a more professional page.

Be sure to include seller and buyer information. Let them both know exactly what you can do for them- go into detail about the list of services you will provide for them during the entire transaction. 

Photos can sell your property before the buyer even sets foot on it

Photos are one of the most important aspects of the marketing process. A listing with no photos stands very little chance of gaining interest. A listing with poor photos also won't fare too well. A listing with high-quality, close-up photos will garner much more interest and the more photos, the better. Prospective buyers want to see everything before they actually go "see" it in person and photos or even high-quality video are the perfect way to showcase a home. Slide-shows are a great way to save space on your page and show off multiple photos of the property.

Be sure to speak (and type) with confidence, make sure your client sees you as an expert in your field and very knowledgeable about the area and property you are trying to sell. Every time you sell a home, ask the buyer to give you a testimonial so your website will be full of raving reviews from previous buyers. Photos of your customers standing in front of their newly-purchased home just adds a bit more and if you can get in the photo with a smiling customer, even better.

Keep your site updated with fresh content. A blog is perfect for this, just keep updated content coming in and your site will rise through the search rankings. Be sure to check your site for expired/broken links and eliminate them. Don't pack your pages with too much information, keep it simple but keep enough information to keep people interested and wanting to see more.



 

Top 3 Real Estate Technology Trends


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Technology has changed the way many realtors perform their real estate business. Advances in mobile technology, cloud computing, communication methods and many other useful features have helped make real estate agents' work easier and much more efficient.

Technology trends for the real estate agent

  • Cloud computing helps real estate agents by cutting costs in many areas such as storage, hardware costs, office space, etc. With documents stored on cloud servers, there is no need for those big, clunky file cabinets that take up so much space. There is no need for a huge paper cost as many documents can be created and even legally signed on an electronic device such as a computer laptop, tablet or smartphone.


  • Mobile technology has practically created real estate agents on the go. There is no longer even a need for an office, many agents work directly out of their homes. With devices such as smartphones and tablets, real estate agents can complete all aspects of a transaction wherever they may be. Documents can be created, edited, collaborated on, shared and legally signed directly from mobile devices. This eliminates time and travel costs of numerous trips to and from an office.


  • Communication methods such as social networking has helped in real estate marketing and in spreading  information. Facebook and Twitter have been proven to be effective methods for marketing real estate listings, as well as being a wealth of information and sources for real estate agents. The more views a listing receives, the bigger chance it has of garnering interest and being sold quickly.


As technology continues to improve, the real estate agent on the go is the agent in charge of his or her future. Less time spent on one transaction means more time spent on other transactions (for increased sales and revenue) and more time to spend with family and friends, as work no longer consumes every part of the day.

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Real Estate Agent's Guide To Online Success


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A real estate agent must maintain a professional reputation online at all times. To be successful, a variety of online tools can be used to maintain this reputation and get the word out. A good website, frequent usage of social media and much more can be used to accomplish this. The competition is stiff in the online real estate market so agents must be prepared to be a little bit better, go a little bit farther and do a little bit more than the competitors. Hard work pays off but it can slip away if the reputation you build up is neglected and not consistently maintained.


Building your online reputation

Ask yourself questions to determine what you want your real estate business to be known for and what you can do better than your competitors, then start building your online reputation based on the results of those questions. This is the beginning of your online persona and this is what your reputation will be built on.

Create accounts on a variety of social media and networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. You may want to use other services such as image services like Photobucket, Flickr and Picasa. For video, you can use YouTube or Vimeo. To create a blog, there is WordPress, Weebly, Blogger, Tumblr, etc. Make the most out of the online services that are available. While it's true that he more accounts you create, the more work it will be to maintain them, but the results will be worth it once you realize you can reach more people.

If you really want to look professional, create a landing page. This page can provide all the information about you, about your business and can have links to every online account you are a part of. You can create a landing page by utilizing the services of WordPress, about.me, dooid.me, flavors.me or you can have a copywriter create your page for extra zing. You should use a domain name, it can be anything you wish, such as joesrealestateblog.com, or any name you can come up with that relates to your site. Be as creative as possible.

Spread the word!

Create links to your social media sites on your landing page and create links to your landing page on all your social media accounts. You should also create links on your business cards, flyers, brochures, etc. Be sure to keep your accounts updated with fresh content on a constant basis. This will keep people coming to your blog, your landing page and your website to check out your new content. More people to your site means more potential clients.

Maintain your sites

As noted above, frequent fresh content will keep people visiting your sites. Google Analytics can be used to keep up with how many people visit your site, where they are coming from, etc. Every so often you should search your name and your real estate name to check for comments or posts on social media sites or forums. If you see negative comments about you or your business it would be wise to respond and attempt to rectify the situation. You want to keep your online reputation as clean as possible.

Secure backup of all online data

With all the data that real estate brokers can pile up, you need somewhere to store it. Online cloud storage is the optimal solution but because of the risk of data loss, you simply must have a secure data backup plan. There are great cloud backup services out there such as cloudHQ. The cloudHQ service provides a continuous replication of all data that you store on a cloud server. So if you use Evernote for creating, editing and storing real estate transaction documents, you can have all this data backed up securely to Dropbox, Box, etc. This way if data loss was to happen, you will still have a secure copy of all data on your backup account and this can be especially critical when dealing with confidential and sensitive transaction documents and information.



 

Online Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents


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The real estate industry has changed over the years and the majority of transactions are completed because people find what they are looking for online. Here are some of the best tips we could find to help you create eye-catching listings and how to market them to the right people.


Top 4 Online marketing tips for real estate agents

Photography: This tip is the first because it is one of the most important. If a potential buyer can't see photos of the house when he is checking out your listing, there is a high probability that he will move on to the next listing. Plain photos can have the same effect. Photos should clearly show all interior rooms of the house, the exterior of the house and the yard. Photos of basements and attics can be skipped unless they appear to be aesthetically pleasing to potential buyers. Photos need to be of the highest quality possible and there are programs such as Adobe Photoshop that can really bring out vibrant colors and detail to help make your listing the standout listing you need.

Websites and Forums: there are many forums and websites where you can submit your listings. The more you submit your listings to, the better chance they will have of being seen. Make sure you use tags if possible, so potential buyers searching for homes in the area where the home is located will have a better chance of finding your listing.

USPS Every Door Direct Mail: Okay so this one doesn't pertain to online marketing, but I feel the need to throw it in here. By utilizing this service, listings can be mailed to every home within a specific area or zip code. This is a good way to get your listing out to everyone local to the area where the home is located.

Social Media: Facebook and Twitter are two of the premier social media marketing services. By building an online Facebook group, keeping up with real estate groups through Twitter, and sending your listing out to hundreds or thousands of potential buyers, social media can be one of the most powerful marketing tools in the world.



 

Top 10 Apps For Real Estate Agents


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Real estate agents are constantly looking for new apps or tools that can help increase their productivity and sales. We have compiled a list of the top 10 apps for real estate agents. Some of these tools can be used by themselves to handle specific tasks while others can be used in conjunction with other apps in order to best achieve the needed efficiency. From document creation, signing and storage, these apps will help real estate agents in their bid to be able to handle their work without unnecessary trips back and forth from the office, unnecessary hardware, software and storage costs and much more.


Top 10 real estate apps

  • Evernote and Dropbox: Evernote is one of the best friends a real estate agent can have. It works best when used with Dropbox as Dropbox provides storage and easy file sharing while Evernote provides document creation and editing. Snapshots can be attached to documents, audio clips as well. The Evernote web clipper easily allows articles or web pages to be saved to Evernote. The tagging feature allows documents and photographs to be tagged with keywords for simple searching. Pretty much all aspects of a transaction can be handled within Evernote and Dropbox

  • Trulia: Trulia is a well-known real estate website and the free mobile app is just as great. It allows real estate agents to search by area, check out detailed listings and monitor the property history. 

  • Docusign: This app can be used to legally sign documents which can help immensely in situations where the real estate agent or client are mobile and can't travel to a specific location to sign documents.

  • NearBuy: This free app allows real estate agents to search listings by area, bookmark listings and even color code listings for easy access at a later time.

  • Dragon Dictation: This app can help when speech is needed and typing is not an option- for instance, when driving in a car. Ideas can be forgotten if not jotted down immediately and this free app provides an option for real estate agents to be able to take notes anytime, anywhere. 

  • Zillow: This free app allows real estate agents to search by location, price information estimates, price changes, sales, tax- all kinds of information is provided by this useful app. 

  • PowerOne Financial Calculator: This app is not free but it provides a valuable service. It allows real estate agents to determine mortgage payments, investment income, mathematical equations and compound interest. 

  • Around Me: This free app provides a wealth of information about local areas. For real estate agents that are creating a listing, this app provides much needed information such as banks, restaurants, coffee shops, schools, etc.

  • Social media apps: Social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter can be used to help spread information to multiple people simultaneously. Listings and information about homes for sale can be sent out among many potential clients.



 

Twitter For Real Estate Agents


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In the world of internet marketing tools, one of the most effective is Twitter. One main reason for this is the amount of people in the world that use Twitter. The other is that the Twitter posting process allows for practically an unlimited number of users to see your tweets. When you post a tweet, it is automatically sent to all of your followers. But say a few of them retweet your post. It is then sent to all of their followers. If a few of them retweet it, it is then sent to all of their followers and the process continues. This creates the possibility of hundreds, thousands or even millions of users seeing your tweet. This is the process that makes Twitter one of the most powerful internet marketing tools in the world.


Twitter for real estate is a powerful tool

Twitter can also be used as a powerful resource tool. By following real estate sources, Twitter can be an invaluable database of information that can be used for more efficient productivity in the real estate business. Many large real estate companies post regularly on Twitter, as do many independent real estate agents. The knowledgebase of information that Twitter can be is practically unmatched if you follow the right resources.

Many potential clients post on Twitter when they are searching for a new home. This gives even more options for real estate agents as this gives them information clients that are looking for homes in specific areas.

Continuous posting of real estate material, using good keywords, and providing good information will ensure that your tweets reach the maximum number of people possible and each one of these is a potential client. There are many social networking tools that can help real estate agents in their work, but Twitter may just be the most invaluable tool of all.