Do’s and don’ts for social media in today’s market

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There has rightly been a lot of focus on social media marketing among real estate professionals in recent years. It’s relatively simple to use and a great way to connect with potential clients, so agents love it. However, industry experts also caution that there are some ways to go overboard when it comes to social marketing, and these missteps are best avoided.

As every agent knows, there are only so many hours in the day, and while it may not feel as though using social media throughout their work hours takes a lot of time, the minutes spent on it can really add up, according to a report from marketing firm Howard Barker. In a lot of ways, the social media process for real estate agents should be something akin to “set it and forget it.” That is to say, agents would be wise to spend plenty of time up front making sure their pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms look as good as possible. But after those initial efforts, keeping social use to a minimum is probably a good idea.

Overcoming temptation?
When using social media, it can be tempting to scroll a timeline for a few minutes here and there. And while doing so can sometimes be valuable – especially when agents follow industry experts who provide important tips and tricks – there are still other things to attend to at work. As such, it’s important to take some key marketing ideas and move along. For instance, some experts recommend paying nominal fees for targeted advertising that will reach the most interested parties, but agents may find their mileage varies when it comes to converting those ads to real estate sales.

In general, when marketing on social media, experts say it’s wise to make sure all posts have attractive pictures for listings, and links back to an agency’s social page or website. It might be easier to spend a few hours each week creating these postings and scheduling them to be sent out rather than trying to create engaging messages individually over the course of a few days.

Know your audience
The misstep some real estate agents make on social media is assuming that everyone using the site is a millennial. It can be easy to pitch all marketing on Facebook, for example, to a younger audience, but agents should keep in mind that pretty much everyone is on some form of social media nowadays. Some platforms are more popular with certain demographics than others, but almost every demographic group uses Facebook.

With this in mind, it might also be wise to market to older people on these sites, according to Buildium. Typically, reaching baby boomers or late Gen Xers means marketing in the traditional way and having a plan to do so via social. In addition, it would be wise for agents to make sure they know what older people tend to want in homes – security, smaller sizes, etc. – and market those features in certain listings. In addition, it’s also vital to consider that LinkedIn is extremely popular among older social users, so reaching them through that platform is a good idea as well.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Highlighting benefits of selling with a real estate professional can convert FSBO’s

shutterstock_52831720Data suggests an increasing number of people who want to sell their homes are going the “for sale by owner” route. After all, they think the market so significantly benefits sellers that real estate sales basically push themselves through. Of course, long-time real estate professionals know better, but it’s not always easy to get FSBO sellers to see the other side of the story.

Given the growing popularity of FSBO efforts these days, it might be wise for real estate agents to shift their strategies when it comes to reaching property owners as a means of helping both themselves and those hopeful sellers.  Often, the decision to go FSBO comes because consumers don’t fully understand the value – even in today’s seller-friendly market – of having an experienced agent to lean on throughout the sales process.

How to get them onboard
With this new reality in mind, showing off why working with an agent is beneficial should be job No. 1 for any agent trying to cut into the number of FSBOs in their areas. Perhaps the biggest solution here is that agents know what consumers often don’t: How to properly price and market a home. While owners may feel properties sell themselves, they might not know where to actually begin when it comes to setting an asking price or getting the word out that a property is up for sale. That’s where an agent’s years of experience can go a long way.

Further, agents can often highlight their value by letting owners know exactly how many homes they’ve helped sell in the past year or six months, which can be especially important when agents aided in sales of homes similar to what FSBOs are trying to put on the market. That kind of effort may show sellers that agents know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to properties with similar features.

Show off potential issues FSBOs face
Meanwhile, if homeowners think selling their properties is easy, pros may also want to highlight how working with an agent pays for itself in terms of peace of mind, let alone dollars and cents, according to long-time real estate professional Sharon Harkness. For example, sellers simply may not think about how they’re going to have to wade through oceans of paperwork or how much they will have to do to properly market a home in the first place. And even if they can connect with prospective buyers through things like online listings, actually dealing with those shoppers can come with a lot of ups and downs.

Showing off the fact that when it comes to these issues, owners often just don’t know what they’re getting themselves into, can help to dissuade them from going the FSBO route. An agent’s job in selling a home is hard work, and owners typically not only benefit from it in terms of not putting in hundreds of hours of work, but also when it comes to saving money on marketing their properties and getting higher sales prices.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Help your first-time homebuyers de-stress

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Real estate agents do more than provide homebuying and selling help, they offer friendship as well. It’s easy to form a bond that turns into a long-term friendship when you’re helping first-time homebuyers.

Qualifying for a home loan, ensuring the property is in good shape, filling out a number of forms and working toward closing can be a lot for a homebuying rookie to deal with. That’s where real estate agents can step in as friends and calm down stressed-out clients. Even homebuying veterans can start feeling the strain. Here are a few ways you can step in to offer relief to stressed homebuyers:

Remind them to keep an open mind
Often, first-time homebuyers are looking for their dream entry-level home, but that’s not always available. Real estate agents should remind clients that sometimes it’s necessary to make concessions. This is especially true of clients looking for their first homes, whose savings reflect a shorter tenure in the workforce and credit profiles are relatively thin. Keeping an open mind to compromise is necessary when buying a home for the first time, and it’s a real estate agent’s job to help make sure that happens.

Emphasize planning ahead
One way to ensure clients keep open minds is to start budgeting for the homebuying process right away. Planning ahead in this way helps first-time homebuyers visualize what purchasing looks like from a fiscal standpoint, and what their budgets can afford. Make sure that there is some financial cushion in case of unexpected events such as the loss of a job. This point in the conversation may be a good time to discuss the benefits of a home warranty and the potential savings a warranty can provide if a major system or appliance breaks.

This could take some time
First-time homebuyers may not yet understand how long it can sometimes take to go from initial discussions with a real estate agent to closing on a property. Be sure to make it clear that depending on the time of year and market, it could take a little while to get to closing.

Keep an ‘open-door’ policy
Someone buying a home for the first time is bound to have plenty of questions. Keep an open-door policy when it comes to curious or stressed-out homebuyers. All of this is new to them, and they’re going to be leaning on you as an experienced resource. This may be the most important step toward calming stressed out homebuyers – simply being there for them.

Real estate agents play a crucial role as a resource for relief during the homebuying process. When the going gets tough, the best real estate agents get going.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

4 Tips for Starting Your Real Estate Career Off Right

Real Estate Life

Working as a real estate agent isn’t like many other jobs, and people new to the role will need help kicking off their careers.

 

If you’re one of those individuals who is just starting out in real estate, don’t worry. This job requires hard work, but it’s also exciting and rewarding. To ensure success, though, there are a number of habits that new real estate agents should adopt. These will help you improve your planning and lead generation. If you’re interested in getting your real estate career started off the right way, you may want to consider taking up some of these habits:

  1. Block out lead generation time
    One way to ensure lead generation success is to block out time every day solely for that purpose. Don’t let anything break your lead generation bubble each day. This way, you can make sure you produce plenty of leads each day. Inman suggested scheduling this block each morning. This way you get it out of the way, and have the rest of the day to leverage your new leads.
  2. Be quick to communicate 
    Buying or selling a home can be a long, and sometimes complicated, process. One thing your clients definitely need is speedy communication. Being quick to respond shows your clients that you care, and earns their trust that you’ll be there when they need you. Once you are on the phone with your clients, be sure to take time to speak with them. Really investing time in their concerns will strengthen your relationships with clients and help you understand the home buying and selling processes from their perspective better.
  3. Hone in on open houses
    Early on in your real estate career, it will help to set up as many open houses as you can, according to Inman. One every weekend for at least two months – or even three or four – could set you up with a significant network of leads to begin working through. Open houses are a great way to meet prospective Buyers who may be planning to get into the real estate market, but haven’t taken the next step of enlisting the help of a real estate professional.
  4. Take advantage of tech tools
    Technology exists to make our lives easier, so why not use it to simplify your day-to-day real estate plan? There are plenty of apps out there that simplify lead generation, budgeting, planning and marketing, among other tasks. Taking advantage of available tech will help you cut costs, make processes more efficient and stay on top of your real estate business.

Starting out in real estate can be daunting, but adopting the habits above will help you get your career going more quickly. By generating leads and building a positive reputation as you’re starting out, you’ll set yourself up for long term success.

 

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

May Item of Value

May 14 IOV - EcardReach out to your clients by sending them the May “10 Reason’s to Hire a Real Estate Agent Item of Value.

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Are you Keeping Your Sellers Updated?

Calling your sellers to update them once a week is great, but, what if there were no showings or open houses?  Wouldn’t it be helpful if you could tell them how many virtual showings they had that week?

The DeltaNet’s Seller Stat Reports are a great way to show your sellers how many buyers have viewed their home on PrudentialHomesale.com.  You can automate these reports to go out on a weekly basis or generate and send one on-command from the system.  These reports could be used in combination with the OSA reports that provide stats on PrudentialRealEstate.com and PrudentialProperties.com.

Click Here for the Training Guide