Text Me!

As a REALTOR® you need to be accessible to your current and potential client base. A great way to do that is to provide your clients with permission to text you. Texting can be equally as professional and less time consuming than phone calls, especially if the client only has a quick question.

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The majority of Americans prefer texting over talking. In fact, texting has become the primary way Americans under the age of 50 communicate and 78 percent of people actually wish they could have text conversations with businesses. It can even help to increase good perceptions about you and your business. According to a report, 77 percent of consumers ages 18-34 and 64 percent of all consumers are more likely to have a positive impression of a company that offers texting. Plus, the response rate of a text message is over 200 percent greater than that of a phone call, Facebook ad or email.

 

As a society, we are always looking for ways to make our daily tasks more convenient and texting has been a huge help in accomplishing this goal. Being able to communicate directly with a business without going through operators and being put on hold is more appealing and convenient for consumers. They no longer have to carve a block of time out of their day to plan a phone call with a business. They can simply send a text when it’s convenient for them and have an ongoing conversation without disrupting their work.

 

Texting is also seen as a more personal form of communication than phone calls. Consumers feel more important knowing they are communicating directly with their intended party instead of having to fight through channels and being assigned a number in a line of awaiting callers. They want to feel as though they are getting personalized, individual attention and texting creates that virtual connection.

 

In a customer service focused career like real estate, you want to make sure you are doing everything you can to provide your clients with the best service possible. With the majority of consumers preferring texting over any other form of communication, implementing it could really elevate your business to the next level.

Tips for Increased Engagement on Social Media

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We’ve mentioned in previous blog posts how important it is to maintain social media accounts to engage with your clients, but it’s not enough to simply have the accounts, you need to create and grow relationships with your followers. Here are a few simple tips to increase your engagement on social media.

  1. Be Visual
    • They say pictures are worth a thousand words, and that statement couldn’t be truer when it comes to social media. Most people won’t take the time to read long posts, but they’ll stop and look at a picture. Be visually engaging with your followers. They don’t want to just read about you and what you are doing, they want to see it, too. Post pictures, graphics, gifs, videos or charts to get your posts in front of the eyes of more viewers.

 

  1. Be Interactive
    • In order to get comments, you need to post something that is comment inducing. Post polls, questions or mini quizzes for followers to answer. This interaction will foster dynamic relationships between you and your followers.

 

  1. Be Real
    • Like mentioned before in previous blogs, people don’t just want to see the same old business focused posts all the time. Switch it up with fun photos of you and your clients or your beloved pet. Followers want to know that there is a real person behind the profile. At the end of the day, they are hiring you, the person, so make sure they know who that is.

 

  1. Be Responsive
    • It’s not enough to just be interactive with your followers, you need to be responsive. When followers comment on something you have posted, like or comment back! Responding will encourage more and more people to comment because they won’t feel ignored. It’s not necessary to respond to every single person, but if you can hit around 50 percent, that is enough to keep the comments rolling in.

Facebook Live

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Facebook Live is a video streaming service provided by Facebook that was rolled out to the masses in April of 2016. This tool can be a great asset for increasing your social media presence. Here are a few ways that you can incorporate Facebook Live into your everyday marketing plans.

Open Houses

Before the in-person open house, whether it’s a few days or a few hours beforehand, take some time to create a virtual open house event on Facebook. During the event, do a video walk-through of the house and talk about the different features and important information. Start outside and work your way inside, just like a buyer would. Make sure you feature the entire house and point out the property’s best qualities. At the end of the video, tell the viewers the date and time of the physical open house and invite them to come talk to you or see it in person.

Sneak Peaks

Have you been contracted to sell a house that hasn’t been listed or marketed yet? This is a great chance to do a sneak peak live video. Choose one interesting detail of the house and create a live video about it, teasing viewers about the next amazing property that is about to come on the market. Consumers feel special when they believe they are the first ones to know new information so this entices them to share the insight with friends.

Q&A

As a REALTOR®, you probably get the same questions frequently in your dealings with clients. One thing you can do to address these common inquiries is to do a live Q&A session with Facebook Live. During a Facebook Live session, people can comment in real time with questions and then you can answer them. Start the video with a list of predetermined questions that you’ve been asked previously. Soon the questions should be rolling in and you can respond during the session as they are asked.

For instructions and tips on how to use Facebook Live, you can visit the following sites:

How to Use Facebook Live – HubSpot

Go Live on Facebook – live.fb

Tips for Using Facebook Live – Facebook

Here’s How to Go Live… – DigitalTrends

What’s in a Name?

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Sometimes one of the best parts of being active on social media is creating your online profile. You get to choose a great photo, come up with a catchy username and write an interesting bio about yourself. But, as a professional looking to engage with clients, there are a few things you should consider.

In a recent blog, we discussed the importance of using multiple social media outlets to market to your audience. In order to do that effectively, you need to keep your profile consistent and recognizable. Keep the same username, profile photo and bio for each platform. That way, clients will recognize you and be more likely to follow.

Username: Try to keep your username simple. It will be hard for clients to find you if they are searching for John Doe, but your username is ILovePizza72. It’s best to stick to basics and have your username be your first and last name. This includes refraining from using your middle name. It’s a popular trend to use your first and middle name for your profile, but your clients don’t know your middle name – they know your first and last. You can even go as far as adding a career designation to your profile. For example, instead of just @JohnDoe, you could make it @JohnDoe_REALTOR® or @JDoe_Homesale. Clients won’t want to spend a lot of time searching for you so the simpler you can make it for them to find you the better.

Photo: As a professional looking to engage with clients, the best photo you could use is an up-to-date photo of just you. It could be a professionally taken photo, a selfie or one that someone else took of you. As long as it is recent and clearly you, it doesn’t matter who took it. If you really want your profile photo to be you and your spouse or you and your kids, that’s fine. The bottom line is that you should be in the photo and clearly visible. You want to make sure that your clients can tell it’s your profile at a glance.

Bio: Online profile bios can be as short or as long as the character limit allows. The two most important things you should include in your bio is your occupation and your area of service. For example, the bio for John Doe could be something like this:

REALTOR® – Hanover, PA – Pizza Lover – Dad – Go EAGLES!

Final Tips: Make sure whenever you update one profile, you update them all. Another thing you can consider if you want more freedom to personalize your online profile, is to set up two different accounts; one personal and one professional. You can make your personal one any username, photo and bio you want while still keeping the professional one to interact with clients. The choice is yours!

5 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Approach

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1. Focus on People

Real estate is about promoting properties, but social media is for connecting with people. Use these platforms as a way to build & nourish your relationships with clients. This type of prospecting is the key to finding success with social media, therefore it should take up about 80% of your social media time.

2. Produce Content on a Regular Basis

One of the first things clients do when they hear your name is search it on Google, which then leads them to your social media accounts. By having fresh content available on these pages, you show them that you’re both informed and engaged. You don’t need to post every day, just enough to show you’re current. Think of producing content as about 20% of your social media activity.

3. Treat Each Outlet as its Own Platform

From Facebook to newspapers and everywhere in between, each social media platform is beneficial in its own way. Spending X amount of dollars on Facebook will translate very differently when spent on ads in your local newspaper. Invest your finances based on the results they will produce.

4. Implement a Strategy for Time Management

Posting frequently is important, but it doesn’t mean you can’t cheat a little. By utilizing the scheduling function on Facebook & using tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, you can schedule posts in advance. Try and schedule weekly so that you save time, but still share current information.

5. Make a Plan & Stick to it

Your social media approach should be rooted in strategy. Develop goals you’d like to accomplish and make it happen. Try creating a schedule to ensure you don’t duplicate posts, remember the best hashtags to use, and keep up with events that mean a lot to you and your clients.

6 Ways to Use Instagram to Boost Your Real Estate Business

According to a 2017 report by the National Association of REALTORS®, the largest group of home buyers, at 34%, are under the age of 36. Pair this, with the fact that 59% of Instagram users are aged 18-29, it’s no wonder that real estate agents are using Instagram to connect with younger clients.

How can you use Instagram effectively to boost your leads and sales? 

1)  Use appealing visuals

Instagram is all about great visuals. It is important to create fabulous eye candy for your followers. Every photo or video you post should be clear and not blurry, well-lit and visually appealing. Use a smartphone, tablet or digital camera that produces high quality images.

For photos, make use of Instagram’s filters to create a mood or story about your particular style. It’s best to stick with one or two filters to keep your style consistent. However, don’t go too crazy with filters when you are posting listing photos. They should be close to actual color.

If you want to get creative with text and designs, check out these free design and photo editor apps: Canva, PicMonkey, Qwik or Studio.

Instagram videos are seeing significantly higher (over 2X) engagement than Instagram photos. Try creating videos that include your photo and contact information, as well as, company branding by using Videolicious. This app is easy to use, and makes professional-looking videos with music, narration, video, and slideshows of photos.

2) Share client testimonials

Great personal experiences are the cornerstone of your real estate business.  Since 88% of consumers trust online reviews, this will help you make a good first impression when prospective clients are deciding who they want as their REALTOR®.  Plus, millennials are significantly more likely than older generations to be influenced by their friends’ social media posts. Video testimonials enable your existing clients to share their story. Photos of significant moments in the sales process like receiving the keys at settlement, standing in front of their new house, and a thankful hug after putting up the Sold Sign (like this picture below) show that your clients are the center of your focus.

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3) Feature Your Listings and Open Houses

It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million.  Beautiful photos and compelling video of your new listings or open houses engage potential home buyers. Plus, you can add a location to your post, which makes it easier for mobile users to find the property. Always include key features, info, and maybe even a little humor like this post:

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4) Show the Real You

Instagram is social media. Millennials want authenticity. They enjoy seeing you playing with your kids or grandkids, going on vacation, or sharing activities you like to do outside of work. Infuse your Instagram with posts that show the real you. While you may be helping them to buy or sell a house, at heart, it’s YOU and your personality that sells. They want to know, like and trust you. Sharing your interests and finding things in common with you, helps them feel connected. So go ahead, share great images of you that reflect your personality! Funny? Show your humor. Athletic? Show yourself in action.  Giving? Share pics of you volunteering in the community. Family oriented?  Share family photos. Sports fan? Show that Penn State Pride:

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5) Be the Local Expert

Buyers moving into a new area want to know all the hot spots: restaurants, shopping, areas of interest, and places and events that only the locals know. Sharing pictures of your town, neighborhoods, local events and local areas of interest give buyers a glimpse into the community. Who better to be the expert in the area, than an agent that works and lives right there?

6) Use Hash Tags

Do you want to get noticed by those outside your circle? Hashtags are a powerful way to connect. Hashtags allow users to find you. Here are a few popular hashtags:

  • By Location –  #lancasterpa, #baltimore, #harrisburgpa
  • Listing characteristics – #luxuryliving #condo #fixerupper
  • Popular real estate hashtags: #realestate, #realestatelife, #listings, #openhouse, #homeforsale, #justsold
  • Generally popular hashtags: #love, #photooftheday, #beautiful, #smile, #instagood

These are just a few. Search GetHashtags to find more.

Caution: don’t include too many hashtags, as you might come across as spammy. Instagram allows up to thirty, but stick with just the ones that are appropriate for your post.

With a little bit of creativity and your own unique style, you can create a visual display of who you are, what you do, and how you can serve potential clients. Ultimately, Instagram can help you engage with younger buyers and sellers, resulting in a boost in your business.