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How Realtors® Can Grow their Brand with Social Media

shutterstock_226760296By Rachel Collar

Social media can be a very useful tool for Realtors® looking to make the most of their listings while creating a brand for themselves. Current statistics tell us that 80% of potential buyers are looking online! With high demands for quality detailed photos and accurate information, homebuyers’ expectations are to feel connected to the agent before they ever meet in person. In order to impact productivity with social media, consistency and frequency of posting is ideal. Though there are dozens of sites to choose from, we have listed the essential few that are guaranteed to be packed with your target market.

Quick Tip: Always practice the 80/20 concept. Content should be primarily (about 80%) focused on your customer’s lifestyle and interest, with roughly 20% of posts pertaining directly to your company and listings.

Facebook:

With 1.49 billion users, Facebook continues to be the leading social media destination. This media hotspot is full of potential homebuyers who want to connect by seeing listings and stories about other buyers, who you have helped find their dream home. Post about local events, decorating and home articles and local real estate development. Every post should have a photo or visual aid. Sponsored and boosted ads provide an inexpensive way to broaden your audience.

Pinterest:

Create boards about decor, home maintenance tips and communities. In turn, your followers with common interests will find your pins and expand your followers for you. Photos can be re-pinned from other users or be posted as originals. Also, this media site will connect you to an industry network and bring you closer to marketing opportunities. For more great tips on Pinterest, check out: http://socialmarketingwriting.com/19-pinterest-statistics-you-probably-dont-know-but-should-infographic/.

Quick Tip: Social media is all about photos! This means you need to invest in a smartphone that takes great pictures and has enough memory to host all of the apps necessary to become a one man/woman marketing team.

Twitter:

With 284 million users, Twitter can help Realtors® broaden the target audience by using keywords and hashtags that pertain to the customer interest. Hashtagging is simply listing out the phrase or word preceded by a hashtag symbol. Example: #dreamhouse. Not only is tweeting effective, hashtags can be used on other social sites to tie the post back into a Twitter account.

Quick Tip: Always reply or acknowledge your audience and follower comments! To do this, you must set up notifications on your phone and computer to keep up with the comments in real time.

YouTube:

Though a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. At least when it comes to online home tours. Use this site to post video of current listings or events, and consider featuring tutorials on decorating or another home-related topic that can be linked to your other social sites.

 

Sources: www.zephoria.com, www.crackerjackscribe.com, www.wishpond.com,

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Texting: No. 1 for Business-to-Millennial Communication

According to a recent survey of US millennials, SMS, or text messaging, is the obvious choice for customer engagement, with texting cited as the most preferred communication channel for receiving notifications from businesses. While 72 percent of millennials note they text 10 or more times a day and 31 percent cite they text more than 50 times a day, the leading factor in millennials’ preferences for texting is its ability for two-way communication with businesses, an aspect which provides convenience, speed, and ease of use.

textingOpenMarket, a leader in enterprise mobile engagement, polled 500 US millennials, ages 18-34, on their use of SMS communications with businesses, with a focus on two-way texting capabilities. The research aimed to understand not only what communication method millennials prefer—SMS—but also why and how they’re utilizing the channel with businesses. The results revealed that the mobile-friendly age group is highly accessible to businesses through SMS, with over 83 percent of millennials polled citing they open a text within 90 seconds of receiving it. In addition, 60 percent of millennials want to be able to text their preferred businesses, but currently they’re only receiving five or fewer messages a week from companies, with 20 percent noting they don’t receive any texts from business at all.

The survey also reveals key customer engagement opportunities for companies to leverage with SMS. Nearly 50 percent of millennials polled said they would like to receive fraud alerts from their financial service providers (only 19 percent currently are). When it comes to real-time communication, 80 percent of millennials would prefer to text a company’s 1-800 customer service line versus dialing direct and waiting on hold.

“The goal of this survey was to dive deeper into the mobile-millennial mindset and learn not only why this age group prefers text messaging as their main communication tool for business interactions, but at what level they are looking to engage,” says Jay Emmet, general manager for OpenMarket. “These results show that the capabilities of SMS are very prevalent with millennials, who desire more opportunities to communicate through texting, including more personal two-way interactions. Businesses need to further harness the ubiquity of SMS to realize better overall engagement and customer loyalty with the millennial generation.”

Other key findings from OpenMarket’s survey include:

  • Texting is the No. 1 preferred channel of notifications from businesses, with email coming in a close second, and voice a distant third.
  • Millennials prefer to receive texts from businesses for appointment reminders (62 percent), delivery notifications (59 percent) and payment reminders (48 percent).
  • Currently, less than half of millennials actually receive appointment and payment reminders from business—signaling an engagement opportunity for companies.
  • Millennials desire a combination of both one-word responses (yes, no, help, info, etc.) and natural language feedback capabilities when it comes to the level of two-way communication with businesses.

Source: www.openmarket.com

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

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Six Simple Ways to Host a Successful Open House

By Danielle Harling

shutterstock_261842273Hosting an open house can be both an exciting and stressful feat. In order to eliminate some of that stress, focus on putting on the best open house possible. From a deep cleaning to a Pinterest-worthy food and drink spread, these six tips will help you accomplish just that.

Have the Home Professionally Decorated

While most people may be inclined to believe that their home decorating skills are on par with the best of the best, some things are just better off left to the professionals. Why risk scaring away potential buyers with your questionable home decorating skills, when you can recruit the help of an interior designer for a few hours? Thankfully, most interior designers are able to work with what you already have, so there’s no need to spend added money on new pieces.

Promote On Social Media

Promoting your open house to your Facebook friends is a great way to spread the word via digital word of mouth. You can also use social media to reach out to those who are in the market for a new home.

Provide An Inviting Array Of Food & Drinks

While wine and cheese are still worthy options for an open house, incorporating a handful of creative culinary options can prove worthwhile. Instead of merely red or white wine, opt for a seasonal sangria or a refreshing wine spritzer. A kitchen island topped with small bites like smoked salmon-topped cucumbers or prosciutto-wrapped fruit will have potential homebuyers eager to put in their bids.

Craft A Creative Open House Sign

To bring in even more potential homebuyers, and to also ensure that those already planning to attend your open house are easily able to spot your home, create a crafty open house sign. Bright, though not obnoxious, colors usually do the trick. If you’re feeling extra crafty, create an open house, yard sign by using painted, wooden letters

Call in A Cleaning Crew

When hosting your open house, a spotless home is an absolute must. Dust bunnies or a scattering of once-hidden crumbs can easily turn off a potential homebuyer. Given that we’re so accustomed to cleaning our own homes, the nooks and crannies are sometimes easily overlooked. By calling a professional cleaning team, you can feel confident that it will be squeaky clean by the time your open house guests arrive.

Be Prepared

As the host of an open house, be prepared to be bombarded with a variety of questions about your home. While you may not be able to answer every single question, it would be great to be as knowledgeable as possible on the ins and outs of your home. Also, be sure to have contact information on hand in case you aren’t able to speak with attendees directly.

Good luck and have a wonderful open house!

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