Cultivating an insight for the unrivaled novice real estate professional in the social world of tweeting + blogging.

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Saying that I am new to blogging and tweeting would be a lie. I have been tweeting for a few years know, mainly as just a casual tweeter. I like to tweet mainly because of the content that I happen to come across on twitter. I am not one to care if it is relevant content or not, but I do have some friends that manage twitter accounts on corporate levels that live in Pittsburgh so it is interesting to see the content they are generating for the company that they work for. As far as blogging, I do use tumblr here and there and I can say that some of the content on there is well not really really appropriate for the professional world and I cannot even remember ever sharing anything off of there for that reason. I really do not post any original content on their and mainly just like re-blogging memes, homes, and #trendy things.

Some things to keep in mind when tweeting to best optimize your tweets:

  • Keep them short ( you don’t have to use the whole 140 allotted characters)
  • Use visuals in your tweets
  • Incorporate relevant hashtags
  • Ask questions and run polls
  • Curat and connect with retweets and replies (Business.Twitter.com).

Employing all 5 of these steps when sharing content and even listings opens up a bigger gateway to fellow tweeters, consumers, and other individuals that are seeking content.

The real estate industry does practice some of these in addition to adding there own spin on things. Real estate professionals can utilize twitter to generate leads and drive traffic back to their websites. With the help of geo-targeting agents are able to reach thousands of potential buyers in their area and twitters targeting features allow for targeting bases on location and interest (29doors.com, 2015). For agents in bigger cities, I do not doubt in the least that this is very effective. Since I live about 2 hours outside of Pittsburgh, I have found this not be an effective way to utilize Twitter. The median age is much higher and the percentage of people using twitter let alone that even know what twitter is is skewed much lower. Search have began to index public tweets into their database meaning that quality tweets can help to boost your search engine ranking (29doors.com, 2015).

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is one of those things that goes hand it hand with blogging and tweeting. Blogs are a really great way for business to generate organic traffic and supply information that people are actively weekly (Ling, 2014).

8 ways that you are able to overall improve your business’s blog traffic organically on various search engine results pages are:

  • Post quality content rather than a lot of content that is non-relevant and enticing.
    • Keep the 80/20 rule in mind.
    • 80% of content should be there to help and ultimately educate the reader.
    •  20% of content should be helping to promote the brand or business.
  • Make sure you are still posting and/or blogging frequently.
    • Recent, relevant content will attract more readers.
    • Be careful not to over oversaturate your blog/website.
  • Use keywords that you know you want your business to rank for in search results.
    • Use keywords relative your product or service.
  • Keep URL’s short, simple and to the point.
    • If there are multiple keywords, use a hyphen in your domain name.
  • Tag your meta-tags accordingly.
    • These are helpful in generating user-click through rates rather than search engine rankings.
    • Make sure they are interesting and unique.
  • Be sure to make sure you are  recognizable.
    • Google+ has a variety of tools that are useful that can help you connect with readers and people who are searching for content that you are posting or blogging about.
  • Have your social media accounts linked to your blog/website.
    • Utilize social media to aid in your content being shared and re-shared over different social media channels that you know your specific audience is using.
  • Be responsible for social sharing.
    • Inbound and outbound linking can help you content be shared across the web (Ling, 2014).

There are just a few ways to help you understand and put in perspective  how a social media platform like twitter and the optimization of a blog can help generate organic traffic to help your business or you personally as a real estate professional. This information can help everyone and then can you it to make it their own with some fine-tuning because everyones needs are different.

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References

Create your Twitter content strategy. Business.twitter.com. N.d. Retrieved July 17, 2016 from https://business.twitter.com/en/basics/what-to-tweet.html.

How Real Estate Agents use Twitter to Generate Leads. 29doors.com. 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2016 from http://www.29doors.com/real-estate-agents-use-twitter-generate-leads/.

Ling, Stephanie. SEO Starter Guide: 10 Blogging Best Practices. Poweredbysearch.com 2014. Retrieved July 18th from http://www.poweredbysearch.com/blog/seo-starter-guide-10-blogging-best-practices/.

 

Real Estate. Who is Branding Who?

It really is a two way street in the Real Estate Industry. You are ultimately branding yourself  if you are a real estate professional or a realtor®… or are the potential homebuyers and sellers branding you?

People may only know you because of the brokerage you work for but in reality people are calling you directly and bypassing calling your brokerage all together if they want you and only you. As I had talked about in my previous posts, social media has really been a gateway for me personally in generating leads just from people that I have known or have met over the course of the past couple years.

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One of the main challenges I foresee in taking a brand social is them not really having a focus or solid grasp on who their target audience is in conjunction with them not knowing what they really want from social media. Real Estate is one of those industries where you and you office are continually in the public eye and making lasting impressions and personal connections is what is going to help both you and the office thrive  (Bushery, n.d.).  For businesses I think one important piece of information I feel that will really help then expand their presence in social media world is branching off of your main brand’s website. Websites that are highly-optimized, are easy to navigate and that entice the consumer to keep reading through is a huge step that easily allows for links and/or buttons to the brands social media channels (Bushery, n.d).

A good example of this is the main Howard Hanna website. If you take a look at the brands website you can see how they have optimized their main page. They have utilized the white space, links to various social media channels and have other links that are easily accessible with so much readily available information that is available to the first time homebuyer or seller (HowardHanna.com, n.d.). P.s. You can check out my listings here.

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Different social media media platforms each have their own unique was of resonating with the the consumer if utilized correctly. Below are some examples of how these different channels will help with taking a brand into the social media spotlight.

  • Facebook: allows for targeting preferences which lead to more exposure.
  • Twitter:  allows communication by posing questions limited to 140 character count which can pushes the brand and consumer to be more creative.
  • Google+: allows for “live” hangouts for leads to who want to ask specific questions related to real estate.
  • Instagram: good for generating content and raising awareness for open houses (Bushery, n.d.).

 

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The second biggest challenge real estate professional face in the industry for themselves and their offices is time. Unless you are in the business, you have no clue what goes into it. Opening a door and showing a house is 1 out of the 1oo steps it takes to closing on a house.

For example, my co-worker and I work closely and as a team sometimes and yesterday we did 4 open houses from 11am-6pm and then went on a listing appointment 30 minutes outside of town after we got back from a hour drive the opposite direction doing a 2 hour open house in a gated community in the middle of the woods. This morning, my mom and I (she sells real estate with me) did open houses from 11am-2pm. The first one no one showed up to and the other one 7 people showed up. A lot of agents feel open houses are a waste of time…. are they?  I have been able to pick up buyers from them but at the same time agents feel like they need to do open houses because they have been sitting on the market and they are not selling because they are priced to high or because of the location. Ultimately is it the sellers choice what they want to list the the home and if the get no showings after a extended period of time, price is the ultimate factor.

Statistics show that 85% of agents do not have have the time to produce engaging content, while the other 10% do not possess the knowledge to utilize social media effectively. This leave the remaining 5% without knowing or understanding how to measure the effectiveness of the content that they are posting (Falvo, 2015).This kind of go hand in hand with last weeks topics of CRM, how and when it should be used, and it is being used effectively. My coworker and I feel strongly about CRM while others in our office are a little old school and do not feel to strongly about it.

 

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References

Bushery, Matthew. How To Take Your Real Estate Social Media Strategy to the Next Level. Placester.com. N.d. Retrieved July 17th from https://placester.com/real-estate-marketing-academy/increasing-real-estate-social-media-engagement-ideas/.

Falvo, Anthony. Top 3 Challenges Real Estate Agents Face when using Social Media? infograph. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-3-challenges-real-estate-agents-face-when-using-social-falvo.

HowardHanna. HowardHanna.com. n.d. Retrieved July 17th from http://www.howardhanna.com.

 

Mobile Must-Haves in The Real Estate Industry.

zillow-mobile.jpgLast week I talked about what social media platform(s) realtors® or real estate professionals should be using in the industry. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are good ways to reach the potential homebuyer and/or seller and each brokerage is able to find their niche in their own markets and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Some say that it is not necessary to use a real estate agent in the home buying or selling process these day. People who have never gone through the process of buying or selling home probably does not anything about contingencies, different loan programs, and what the whole process entails. The internet and social media  has definitely played a role as in making it easier for consumers to search for homes.

With increases in mobile technology along with the number of people using smartphones to access various social media platforms companies have been able to develop their own mobile applications or apps reach their target markets. Zillow, one of the most popular real estate search engine databases out there is not only marketing to be people online but roughly two-thirds of their traffic is from some sort of mobile device (Greenpatton.com 2015).  In 2015, Millennial’s were the largest group of homebuyers. Zillow has had just such success with their mobile app(s) that if they were to shut down their website completely , they would still remain the largest real estate database that consumers use to shop for homes.

Zillow currently has four mobile apps that made their made onto potential homebuyers home screens of their mobile and smartphones. Zillow Real Estate lets you search for homes, see whats recently been sold, and shows their Zestimate of a specific property while Zillow Rentals allows you to search for rental properties and condos (Rahner, 2015). One of of the most worrisome steps of the home buying process is figuring how which type of financing will work for you specifically. There are various conventional loan programs, FHA, and first time home buying programs that your local lenders should be able to provide you with more information with.

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Luckily, Zillow also has a mobile app for that. Zillow Mortgages will let you calculate a rush estimate of what you are able to afford, what your mortgage payment will roughly look like and even help you to figure out what the payments would be when refinancing. Overall, this app is a useful tool for home buyers to get a rough idea of what they can afford without being pre-approved. I would still strongly suggest getting pre-approved so the home buyer knows what their buying power is if they do not plan on paying cash (Rahner, 2015).
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For those who are into interior and exterior decorating and are Pinterest fanatics, Zillow Digs is where its at. This mobile app is a designers and house flippers dream come to true and and it also serves an an app of inspiration. This particular app gives project estimates for bathroom renovations, kitchen renovations,etc. on top of letting you search for images based on style and cost.

References

Rahner, Meg. Home home buying is going mobile with Zillow. Mobilefomo.com. 2015. Retrieved July 13th, 2016 from http://mobilefomo.com/2015/02/home-buying-mobile-zillow/.

Zillow claims that mobile-device usage represents two-thirds of its traffic. Greenpatton.com. 2015. Retrieved July 13th from http://www.greenpatton.com/blog/2015/07/10/zillow-claims-that-mobile-device-usage-represents-two-thirds-of-its-traffic/.

Real Estate + Social Media. What platform you should be using in the industry.

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The real estate industry is continuously changing just as rapidly as social media trends are.  Real estate is is all about who you know and what you know; how knowledgeable you are about the local market, practices and financing options is what is going to help you succeed. Social media has been able to help in the aspect of engaging with people you do not talk to on a regular basis and really connect with them literally at your fingertips.

Previously, I wrote about how Facebook and Twitter and how they have helped me tremendously get and maintain clientele.  Improving your presence in the digital or online world starts with effectively using and understanding which social media outlets your target audience is using and responding to. Facebook is ideal for the real estate industry solely because of the amount of people you can reach at a fast rate. Relevant, engaging content is what people like to see.  When talking real estate, just posting a picture of a house that for sale really doesn’t do a whole lot of good. I have been working with my coworker who manages our offices Facebook page and who  has no experience in marketing/advertising to make some adjustments as to how, what, and when the type of content that is being posted.  We have managed to turn posts into getting no reach/engagement at all into over a few hundred simply by typing a brief description in what the property has to offer and by adding the price into the post since our software allows use to directly post to Facebook from the MLS we use.

More importantly, different social media platforms are more active at different times and depending on when they are can really weigh into if you are getting the response you want and/or need from your campaign or simply just posting content. By taking a look at the chart below we can see the different  times each commonly used social media platform is active. Taking this into consideration as well as keeping an eye to when the most action is taking place on what your are posting can be very effective in terms of response and engagements rates.

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Millions of people are accessing Facebook on both laptop computer,desktops, and mobile devices. Research shows that engagement rates tend to be 18% higher on Thursdays and Friday and during the weekdays from 1-4p.m. (Kolowich, 2016).  Click-through rates also show to be higher during these windows and Facebook usage tends to be 10% on Friday. Furthermore, posting on the weekends before 8 a.m. and after 8p.m. are the worst times to be posting any type of content to Facebook.

 

References

Kolowich, Lindsay. The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Other Social Media Sites: Infographic. Blog.hubspot.com 2016. Retrieve July 18th from http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/best-times-post-pin-tweet-social-media-infographic#sm.0001cq22scbiuff2qov27s5wpx4xh.

Social Media Tools for the Lofty Listing Agent.

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Social media has took a turn in the past decade or so and it has shed new light in the way people connect but also how different industries have utilized it to grow their businesses and companies. There are numerous social media networks that have swept across the United States and that the masses have failed to succumb to.

The Real Estate business is a fast-moving one. Not only are potential homebuyers or sellers using social media networks and platforms to help in the process but agents and brokers are using these various platforms to help with lead-generation and various other things. With laptops, tablets and mobile phones being at the fingertips of these consumers it it has assisted not only consumers but agents and brokers within brokerages in the marketing of properties and their businesses.

Two social media tools I have found to very useful are Facebook and Twitter. I really like Facebook when it comes to real estate because I share all of our office listing on my own personal Facebook page as well as  write a quick overview of what the property has to offer. Probably 1-2 times a day I am sharing something real-estate related. Every real estate agent/broker is looking for that next lead, and I think some have forgotten that leads are right under our noses. Simply sharing a home on Facebook grabs the attention of people who just want to be nosy and see what the inside of peoples homes look like. I personally have gotten so much business from people I know messaging me through Facebook Messenger saying they need do not know the first thing about buying a home, they need and want help, and they simply feel more comfortable working with someone simply because they know them personally.

Twitter on the other hand is more informal and there is more useful information readily available in terms of financing information and market trends. Potential home-buyers who have never bought a home before probably do not know much about financing options and even when they go to their local lenders; from my own personal experience they are not able to properly inform them of different loan options. Whether it be a Conventional loan, FHA, VA, Rural Housing, or some sort of Renovation Loan; loan options are out their. There are even loan options for people who have absolutely no money to put down.

Twitter has millions of users and there is so much information and content being shared by the minute that you could literally get lost in it. Pictures of luxury housing to pictures, tips and ideas for staging are copiously across the social media platform. Thankfully, the hashtag has been able to help aid those in search of  #trending topics or such simply for just searching a topic of interest. Twitter’s 140 character line max gives users the power to be that much more experimental when composing their tweets. Marketing-Essentials.png