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Posts Tagged Social Media

New Year’s Revolutions

by Rebecca Chandler

This is a picture i took for the Candy article.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a recent ATT ad, a young boy says that his New Year’s “Revolution” is to eat more jelly beans. “Not really a revolt,” says the adult, “but just more of you eating things that are bad for you.” Cute.

But, is a New Year’s “Revolution” really a bad thing? Did you make resolutions? Or are you planning a revolution? Against what would you revolt? This year, I’m revolting against this habit –

The “Making a Large Assumption Based on a Small Amount of Fact” Habit.

How many times have you been in a conversation and someone makes a large statement they assume to be true but is really only based on a tidbit of information? Why not get the full facts? We recently relaunched our print-on-demand and direct mail site, TREBStore.com and in looking at our product offering, determined that we were putting a lot of effort behind some that generated few orders and little revenue. Why? Because we’d heard that “a lot” of people wanted it. When we looked at the facts, we found that “a lot” was, in reality, “very few.”

As another example, you’ve probably heard buyers or sellers make statements about the market that they assume to be true because of something that happened to a friend, a fact they heard months ago, or a national stat that is not applicable to their specific area or housing niche. As a local real estate professional, you can provide specifically relevant and timely information that may alter their perceptions and tip the decision to buy or sell – and change that large assumption.

We should revolt against making assumptions and, instead, make fact-based decisions when we can. In marketing your business, tracking your leads and conversions will help you find your most effective advertising options. And, once you determine the most effective, then you have to determine how to increase the results from those sources. If your website generates high quality leads, how are you going to drive more traffic to it? If social media is a good source of business for you, how would you increase your sphere and engagement? If your yard signs are effective, how can you make them more effective?

Revolution? Maybe not, but making real fact-based decisions in 2014 could result in a revolutionary change in your business.

 

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Creating Content That Drives Business

By Brian Geick

Everybody wants to participate in the newly evolving world of social business. You’ve been told how important it is to your future success. I’ll bet you’ve even set up your accounts and taken your first steps to getting started on all the big social networks. So why haven’t you seen results? Where are your new leads and clients? You know they’re out there. Recent studies have shown that 67 percent of Internet users are on at least one social network, but they’re not following your business. Let me tell you why. It’s because they don’t care about anything you’re saying. Have you ever been stuck in a conversation that you found to be lifeless and boring? In real life yes, we all have, but on social media it doesn’t happen. There are too many simple and easy ways to avoid conversations that don’t interest you. What you post, whether it’s on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn, is everything. It’s your life, your business; it’s a little piece of you and your brand in every post.

This brings us to the million dollar question: What should you post to get more people to do business with you? Traditional marketing tells you to advertise and sell yourself, but people won’t like and share your ads. Well, what if you talk about how great you are at selling homes? Bragging about your skills on social media today can be as annoying as an Internet pop-up ad. If you went through this same thought process and came to the conclusion that there is absolutely nothing in the world to talk about, this next part may come as a bit of a shock.

It’s not about you. It’s about what you provide for your followers and fans. You need to aim for that sweet spot between your unique expertise and your client’s interests and needs.

It’s not a symbiotic relationship in the beginning. People are going to want information that you have and they are going to consume and keep consuming all of the information you put out there if it’s aligned with their interests and needs. What subject matter do you as a local real estate professional have authority and credibility on that is interesting to your current and future clients? The local community is a great one. This topic alone should provide you with an almost endless supply of content that sparks their interest. There’s interesting facts about the history of your neighborhood, great local restaurants, answers to frequently asked questions, unique local events and every other detail that differentiates your market from the surrounding area.

The other big topic you’re an expert on is real estate, of course. If you’ve mastered home staging, share the secret tricks you use to make homes look more charming. Are you more skillful with short sales? Then tell people how they can get started. If you’re an all-star investor, tell people in detail what they should be looking for in a property to get a good return. Something very interesting happens when you do this. The people taking in this information come to look at you as an expert on the topics you post about. Once you’ve established that credibility, they’re your client even if you haven’t done any business with them yet.

A common misconception about social media is that you only want to interact with people who are buying or selling a home right now, when in reality you should just be trying to establish that credibility with them regardless of where they are in the buying cycle so that when they are ready, they’ll come to you. Even if they’re not buying or selling a home they may know someone who is and we all know the importance of referrals. When they’re ready to do business, they’ll come to you.

If you’re just getting started on Facebook and you want to learn more about how to use Facebook in your marketing mix, check out HSA Home Warranty’s free, five-part series Winning Listings and Converting Buyers with Facebook.

Brian Geick is the Social Media Specialist at HSA Home Warranty.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.

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In Social Media for Real Estate, What Works Best?

In this 4 part series, we’ll discuss in depth the most effective and efficient marketing strategies to reach and engage local buyers and sellers.  To build your brand locally, to get more clients, and to close more sales.  Practical tips that you can implement yourself.  Now.

Question mark

Part 2 – In Social Media, What Works Best?

by Rebecca Chandler

Today, it seems we have so many choices, and so much information available to us, that it’s easy for us to go into data overload and analysis paralysis.

I recently watched a TED Talk recorded a few years ago.   In it, Psychologist Barry Schwartz surmises that the abundance of choice we have today puts the burden of choosing the best – on us.  After all, we have 175 choices of salad dressings on the grocery store aisles.  If we do not like the one we bought, it’s because we must have chosen poorly.  We did not have the skill set or intelligence to determine by the colorful labels and descriptions which would taste best.

So, it’s no surprise that in a recent report from the Social Media Examiner, the #1 question that marketers want answered (90%) is which tactics work best.  These are experienced marketers – whose job is to make these decisions.  For real estate professionals – whose job is to sell real estate – it’s even more confusing, given the large number of platforms available.

I think the answer is – fewer choices make choosing easier and you happier, so let’s narrow it down.

Top marketers all agreed that Facebook was their social platform of choice with 92% using it, and for business to consumer marketing (B2C), 67% found it to be the number one choice.  And, with over 1.1 billion monthly active users, it’s easy to see why and chances are, you may already be using Facebook – at least socially.

Blogging and Twitter were the second choices, but were distant second choices with 11% and 10% finding them essential to B2C marketing.

So, if you had to choose one social media platform on which to concentrate your personal efforts, it seems Facebook would be the platform of choice.

The second question most marketers wanted answered was the best way to engage their audience with social media.  To answer this, let’s think of the goals of your social strategy.

Maintain relationships with your sphere of influence

Keeping in contact with those with the ability and likelihood to do business with you or to refer business to you has always been paramount to successful real estate professionals.  If you have befriended this group on Facebook and positively interact with them on a regular basis, you’ve met this goal.

Expand your sphere of influence

Many agents have been coached to say something like “If you know of anyone interested in buying or selling real estate, please refer me.”  Very direct and to the point.  On Facebook, you have many ways to say that in ways that expand your sphere.  For example commenting and interacting with your friends allows their friends to see your comments and potentially creates new connections.  Looking for others with common interests expands your sphere.  What about the parents of your children’s friends?  The family members of your friends?  People with whom you do business in other areas?  Just as you would expand your social circle personally, your expanded Facebook circle means that more people know you are in real estate and may make them even more comfortable in calling on you when they have a real estate need.

Let them know you are in the real estate business

This one can be a little tricky.  Talk too much business and you’ve turned people who are uninterested at this moment in real estate off.  Talk too little and no one knows what you do for a living.  The key is to talk real estate in a way that is interesting regardless.  For example, instead of just posting your listings on your profile, post something interesting about the listing on your profile.

For example, “I think this is the most gorgeous pool area on my new listing” – with a photo.  Or – ask for help.  “Does anyone know a family looking for a 3/2 in the Collins Hill School District?”  Or – comment on something everyone in town is curious about.  “I just walked through the newly constructed townhouses on the village green.  You should see the view from the top!”   Think of the questions people ask you at social events and think of ways to answer those in an interesting way.

Let them get to know you – and be comfortable with you.

Let your personality shine through so that they are comfortable calling you when they have a need.  Connect with others based on common interests.  Like music?  Comment on others posts on music.  Have kids?  Connect with other parents.   Are you passionate about gardening?  Go ahead and show it.  Love photography?  People love to look at photos.

Top Do’s and Don’ts

Do – Engage, comment, post regularly

Don’t – Post your every waking moment.  It’s annoying.

Do – Send friend requests to people you know or meet.

Don’t – Blast out requests to strangers.  It’s creepy.

Do – Invite others to events – if they are relevant and local.

Don’t  — Invite your friends in Indianapolis to an event your company is sponsoring in Seattle.

Do – BE POSITIVE and approachable.

Don’t – Post negative remarks.  No one likes a whiner.

Do – Post about things that connect you with others.

Don’t – Post about things that are dividers – politics and religion, for example.

Go ahead and create a business page.

Facebook business pages are public facing mini websites.  You do not have to be your friend to see them, nor do you actually have to be logged on to see them.

Create it and then post your listings, stats about the market, links to articles about the community, testimonials, tips for selling, open houses – everything you do, business-wise, goes here.

Ask your friends to like it and then include it in your other marketing efforts to integrate your social with your advertising efforts.

Business pages take a little time to build audience, but can be very effective in allowing you to demonstrate your expertise in the market and to establish your credibility.

Create a Twitter account and link your page posts.

Once you’ve created a business page, go to Facebook.com/Twitter and link the two.  Every time you post on your page, your post is tweeted.  Set up mobile alerts in Twitter so you can track activity on your phone.  Follow those with common interests or who retweet you.

This is just too easy not to do.

Integrate your social with your other marketing

A social media strategy alone will not create enough business to sustain you.  Put your business page url and your Twitter handle (username) on your business card, in your advertising, etc.  Drive traffic to those through other avenues and you will see engagement increase.

For other marketing tips – Like our business page – Facebook.com/RealEstateBook

Next week – Part 3 – Mobile marketing.

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