Blog

Top Real Estate Hashtags for Social Media

hashtag-1120301_1920

Why are hashtags important? 

*From SEOPerson.net
The term hashtag has entered the general lexicon, and is a very popular way to promote a service or product. People search using hashtags on websites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and they can be an effective way for people to search for content which is specific to their original query.

Hashtags can also be a powerful research tool and enable website developers interested in search engine optimization to see what is trending and making waves on social networking websites.

The importance of hashtags in promoting an event

Hashtags can also be effectively used to promote an event for business purposes and allow website owners to garner a new customer base. Hashtags should be short and contain natural keywords and phrases in order to improve their visibility in search engine rankings. It’s also useful to create a short but pithy phrase which will catch on and hopefully trend, whilst promoting the services of a company at the same time.

The PAAR Marketing Center has compiled a list of some of the most popular and effective real estate hashtags to use in your social media endeavors!

  1. #realestate
  2. #realtor
  3. #justlisted
  4. #broker
  5. #forsale
  6. #homesale
  7. #newhome
  8. #househunting
  9. #dreamhome
  10. #properties
  11. #milliondollarlisting
  12. #oldhousecharm
  13. #home
  14. #listing
  15. #homesforsale
  16. #property
  17. #investment
  18. #housing
  19. #mortgage
  20. #homesforsale
  21. #openhouse
  22. #homeinspection
  23. #creditreport
  24. #cashcow
  25. #creditscore
  26. #homesweethome
  27. #thereisnoplacelikehome
  28. #shortsale
  29. #emptynest
  30. #renovated
  31. #justlisted
  32. #citylife
  33. #countrylife
  34. #fixandflip
  35. #brokeragename
  36. #officeorteamname
  37. #wanttomove
  38. #localschooldistrict
  39. #realestatelife
  40. #realtors
  41. #getlistings
  42. #homesales
  43. #housesales
  44. #mortgage
  45. #realestatetricks
  46. #sold
  47. #buying
  48. #selling
  49. #standout
  50. #luxuryliving
  51. #househunt
  52. #agents
  53. #homesearch
  54. #renovation
  55. #realestateexperts
  56. #beautifulhomes
  57. #condolife
  58. #modernhouses
  59. #townhomes
  60. #curbappeal
  61. #realestatetips
  62. #realestateteam
  63. #realestatetraining
  64. #realestategoals
  65. #justsoldit
  66. #pool
  67. #yard
  68. #instahome
  69. #modelhome
  70. #landscape
  71. #besthouse
  72. #megahome
  73. #development
  74. #houseportrait
  75. #communitydevelopment

April 20 Central IL Homes Guide – Online!

Spring is finally springing to life with this beautiful cover property. Be sure to check out all of the other gorgeous properties showcased in the April 20 Central Illinois Homes Guide, before it hits stands this Friday!

Layout 1

Using Pinterest for Real Estate Business

pinterest-793051_1920

*from Honey Bar Media

In this article, you will learn all the benefits of using Pinterest for real estate business – including the best way to use Pinterest for real estate: Traffic.

THE BIGGEST MYTHS ABOUT PINTEREST

MYTH #1: PINTEREST IS JUST FOR CRAFTS AND RECIPES

It may seem this way from the outside, but when used correctly, Pinterest is a traffic goldmine for anyone who produces consistent content. – Especially real estate agents who blog.

And since so many people are still under the impression that Pinterest is for kids and creatives, it means that the people who actually do put in the effort are seeing great results. Here’s the bottom line, if you’re not on Pinterest, your competition will be, and they’ll be getting the traffic instead.

MYTH #2: PINTEREST IS A SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM

Pinterest often gets lumped into other social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook – Which can skew a real estate agent’s Pinterest strategy in the wrong direction. But Pinterest is far from being just a social media platform. Pinterest is actually a search engine – Just like Google. But it has better images – And that’s a Realtor’s heaven.

Since Pinterest is a search engine, you need to use it like one. You may have heard the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Well, Pinterest has its own form of SEO, and once we learned how to optimize our pins correctly, Pinterest has been our number one source of website traffic to date. Pretty cool, right?

THE BENEFITS OF USING PINTEREST FOR REAL ESTATE BUSINESS

BENEFIT #1: WEBSITE TRAFFIC

Pinterest Marketing can drive lots of traffic to your blog. Again, Pinterest has its own form of SEO, and once you understand how the Pinterest algorithm works, you’ll be able to drive lots of qualified traffic to your website. Furthermore, the life of a pin – unlike some of the faster-moving platforms – has a really long lifespan. So if you take the time to pin something today, people could still be pinning it even years from now, which would mean a steady flow of traffic for years to come.

BENEFIT #2: BRANDING

In addition to providing a place to post great content, Pinterest also serves as an awesome place to brand your business. Since the platform is visual, you can easily showcase all of your happy buyers, sellers, and teammates. These photos will humanize your brand and build trust – which is essential for the sales process.

BENEFIT #3: SOCIAL PROOF

Pinterest Marketing is a way to showcase to the world that you are the local expert. You can get discovered on Pinterest and visually show the fact that you know the area better than anyone else. This is powerful social proof that could be a deciding factor among sellers, buyers, and referring agents who decide to work with you.

BENEFIT #4: LEADS

Pinterest Marketing is an opportunity for you to reach buyers who are relocating into your farm. The most current statistic is that 90% of buyers start online when they are looking for a new home. Well, Pinterest is a great way to show people what it’s like to live in your community.

BENEFIT #5: SALES

Pinterest is great for moving prospective buyers down your sales funnel. If you have them create a private Pinterest board, they can fill it with lots of homes that they like in the area. Not only will it show you exactly what type of home your client wants, it will also get the client thinking about real estate on a daily basis, and help them to narrow down their decision-making process.

BENEFIT #6: MARKET RESEARCH

If you’re ever stuck wondering what you should be blogging about, search Pinterest for ideas. Just type in the name of your community and see what comes up. A quick search for the keyword “Seattle” yields a jackpot of hyperlocal blog post ideas – Everything from “Seattle Hiking” to “Seattle Restaurants” to “Weird Homes In Seattle.” And there were dozens more. In most cities, you could write blog posts for an entire month, just from looking Pinterest suggestions in your feed

BENEFIT #7: REAL ESTATE FARMING

Gary Vaynerchuk once said that in this day and age, real estate agents need to be the “digital mayors” of their towns, and I couldn’t agree more.  If you want to be considered as the “go-to” Realtor in your community, you need to be providing consistent value to your farm on a regular basis.

In the past, real estate agents could mail out “just listed” and “just sold” postcards to their farm. And although that can still work, there are other ways to farm now that are less expensive and more effective. One of the best ways to become a digital mayor of your farm is to provide a carefully curated collection of Pinterest boards. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with lots of traffic, leads, sales, and referrals over time.

HOW TO USE PINTEREST FOR REAL ESTATE TO DRIVE TRAFFIC

STEP #1: CONVERT YOUR ACCOUNT

When you convert your account over to a business profile, you’ll have access to all of the juicy data. This includes your traffic, clicks, charts, and graphs! It even includes your demographic data, which is essential to getting a better understanding of your current client’s avatar and narrowing your future marketing efforts better.

STEP #2: ADD KEYWORDS TO YOUR NAME

Where are you located? What is your real estate niche? What are you best known for? Add 1-2 keywords after your name on Pinterest in order to make your profile more searchable – Remember Pinterest is a search engine.

STEP #3: BUILD YOUR BIO

Write a brief bio that says how you help people and how to contact you. Deep down, we as humans, are always secretly asking ourselves, “what’s in it for me?”

Most agents will create a profile that says something like,  “I live in California. I’m a Realtor, mother, and dog lover. Call me to list your home.” But this doesn’t share anything about what you have to offer to your potential Pinterest followers. Instead, craft a profile that focuses on them – your audience.

Here’s an easy example for you:

“I help home buyers find their dream home & homeowners sell for more. Thinking of buying or selling? Call or text me anytime! 555-555-555”

STEP #4: UPLOAD AN ON-BRAND, FRIENDLY PHOTO OF YOUR FACE.

No one is going to feel a deep personal connection to an old listing photo or business logo. And personal connections are everything when marketing on social media. People want to work with those that they know, like, trust and remember. So post a current headshot that’s professional, but also vibrant, stylish, and friendly. It will give people a glimpse of who you really are as a person.

STEP #5: CREATE 15 PINTEREST BOARDS ABOUT YOUR REAL ESTATE FARM OR NICHE

Think of your Pinterest boards as you would your blog.  Your blog probably has a list of categories — things that you write about on a regular basis, which are all tied to your overarching niche.

If your farm is located in Los Angeles, would you blog about Minneapolis? Probably not. Likewise, if your blog’s niche is “horse properties,” would you have a category for “condos”? Definitely not. Or if your business is selling luxury homes, would you give the homeowner a credit repair guide? I hope not.

Instead, you’ve probably chosen a specific geo-farm area or niche because you know it will attract your ideal audience. Well, now it’s time to apply this same principle to your Pinterest account.

Your boards are your categories on Pinterest. So all of your photos should be something that your ideal client would be interested in and searching for. By doing this, you’re going to attract your ideal client to your Pinterest account and give them plenty of content to keep them around (and eventually contacting you to buy or sell a home!).

The best way to order your Pinterest Boards is by popularity. And the best way to categorize your Pinterest Boards are by keyword. So instead of naming your board “Santa Monica,” you could name it “Santa Monica Pier” or “Things To Do In Santa Monica.”

STEP #6: ONLY USE REAL ESTATE PINTEREST BOARDS

Yes, go through your Pinterest account and delete any of the images that aren’t attracting the right people. Remember, by focusing your photos on relevant topics, you’ll be attracting lots more of the right people (i.e. potential clients)!

If you have important recipes or makeup tips that you don’t want to delete, then make the board “secret” so your clients can’t see it.

STEP #7: ALWAYS INCLUDE ONE PINNABLE IMAGE FOR EACH BLOG POST

As a REALTOR, you have access to some of the most beautiful photos in town – Literally. You just have to post them on your blog and pin them on Pinterest. For images of your neighborhood, you can also use your phone, but just be sure to use your camera’s built-in filters or an app that will make your photos shine.

But don’t upload just any old photo. Remember that you’re running a business, and if you upload anything less than the best, it won’t compliment your brand.

So create beautiful images – Ideally, images that are 735 x 1102. To do this, you can use a tool like Canva. It comes with tons of professionally designed templates already installed. All you have to do is swap out your photos, fonts, and colors. It’s super simple.

HOW TO STAND OUT IN THE PINTEREST FEED

Again, one of the most critical things that you should know about Pinterest is the fact that it’s a search engine. But make no mistake, Pinterest isn’t Google.

Google provides results based on words and text, while Pinterest provides results based on images and pictures. So when you type something into Google, your search results include lots of words, allowing you to choose which article you want to read.

Of course, Pinterest has this functionality as well, but the biggest difference between Pinterest and Google is that Pinterest relies much more on heavily on imagery. So what does that mean for you? Well, it means that in order for you to succeed as a real estate agent on Pinterest, you’ve gotta have great images. Here’s how…

MAKING CONNECTIONS ON PINTEREST

So who should you be connecting with on Pinterest? After all, the entire point of this whole venture is to get leads, right? These are the people that you should be following:

  1. Past clients
  2. Current clients
  3. Potential clients
  4. Local business owners
  5. Local charities
  6. Home improvement sites
  7. Local power pinners

 

Springtime Tips To Attract More Real Estate Clients

*from Delta Media Group

When the sun starts shining and the flowers start blooming, you know that the busiest time of the year for real estate agents is here. There’s so much to do during selling season, and it may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to get done. But that doesn’t mean you should focus only on current business during selling season because this is also a great time to bring new, long-term clients aboard while so many are looking to buy and sell homes. Our team is here to help with marketing tips that will help you add new real estate clients during the spring season.

Extra Open Houses
Spring and summer are the ideal seasons for staging open houses, which allow you to both market the homes you’re currently selling and come into contact with loads of potential clients. Be sure to notify clients ahead of time through your website and social media pages, as well as your traditional marketing. Make it easier for clients to show up by scheduling two times for each showing, and always have marketing materials on hand so that they remember who you are when they move on to the next open house.

Set the Stage & Consider Curb Appeal
While every client is unique, they all want an agent who can help get their home sold. Learning how to stage homes for the season is a great way to show clients that you care about the little details, and will also go a long way toward helping your open houses shine. Indoors, focus on clearing clutter, letting in natural light, placing fresh flowers, and staging rooms. It’s also important to consider curb appeal outdoors, by trimming trees/shrubs, keeping the lawn cut, cleaning patios, applying a fresh coat of paint where needed, and adding colorful landscaping for the spring season.

Get Social to Increase Awareness
Your social media pages are an excellent place to show off all the hard work that you’re doing for clients during selling season, and share your expertise so that new clients can see what you have to offer. Make it a point to log into your social pages regularly, share new content, engage your audience, and begin building relationships. This is also a great time to share attractive real estate photos, which draws attention to your business and gives new clients an idea of what you have to offer. Even 15 or 30 minutes a day spent on your social media pages can add up to make a big difference over time.

Springtime Real Estate Content
You’ll have a much easier time earning new clients in the spring through social media if you take the time to produce great real estate content. Spring is a fantastic time for content creation because there are so many topics to cover that matter to your audience. Your content can include spring maintenance tips, home improvement ideas, buyer/seller advice for the spring market, and anything else that you think will capture the attention of your audience. Your springtime real estate content will draw more eyes to your website, and provide you with plenty of great stuff to share on your real estate social media pages.

A Common Mistake Most Agents Make on Facebook

*from Keeping Current Matters

Worrying Too Much About Likes

How many people “like” your page and also how many likes each of your posts get are both artificial engagement metrics. Having a lot of page likes actually means practically nothing if they’re aren’t high quality. If you have a ton of page likes because you asked family, friends, in-laws, and everyone else you know to like your page, but no one actually engages, is that really a success?

Not to mention, if you ever go to advertise on Facebook and you target your page likes, Facebook will knock you if you have a low engagement rate among your fans. And let’s face it,people who only liked your page because you begged them and will never actually buy or sell with you, they’re not likely to engage with your posts or ads.

On the page post side of things, if you post a link for example, and it gets 10 clicks but no likes, does that mean it was a failure? Not if one of those people who is now on your website turns into a lead and that lead turns into a client. Additionally, sometimes just the presence of certain posts on your page can help you even if no one directly engages
with them. When a prospective client looks you up on Facebook, and trust us, they’re going to check you out online, it’s important that they see helpful, relevant content on your page. These people are very unlikely to comment or like anything, but the type of content you’re sharing will matter to them nonetheless.

HOW TO AVOID THIS MISTAKE:
1.) Focus on building an audience of qualified page likes – don’t worry about your total number of likes and getting everyone and their brother to like your page. Run a page like ad campaign targeting homeowners who live in your town, possibly limiting to a certain age range or income level depending on your ideal target market. Page likes can
be acquired at a very reasonable rate (sometimes less than $0.40 per like), and Facebook advertising allows you to pinpoint exactly the right type of person to like your page. Forget asking friends, family, or coworkers – unless they are specific people you know are likely to use you as their agent in the future.

2) Do not, under any circumstance, ever buy page likes – unless it’s via Facebook advertising, that’s a different type of buying likes. If you see someone offering a ton of likes for a very low price (such as Fiverr or similar), do not do it. These likes will not do anything to benefit your page or business, and you do NOT need them.

3) Focus on sharing content that’s helpful and relevant for your audience. If you share links to articles, look at how many CLICKS you get. If you share a link to a free home evaluation that asks for contact information, look at how many LEADS you get. Don’t worry about whether or not the post gets any likes, and for that matter, don’t worry if it
doesn’t get any comments.

4) Prioritize quality over quantity – as long as your deeper engagement metrics are getting some traction and you’re building your page with quality likes, you’ll be in a good spot to generate real results.

How Much Does Direct Mail Marketing Cost?

*from Mediaspace Solutions

Did you hear the news? Print is dead. Did you hear the other news? The idea of print being dead is completely bogus.

Data continuously shows that consumers respond favorably to direct mail. And here are some stats to back that up:

  • 59% of U.S. respondents and 65% of Canadian respondents agreed with the following statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”
  • An International Communications Research survey found that 73% of consumers actually prefer snail mail over other advertising methods.
  • 40% of consumers try new businesses after receiving direct mail.

What do these numbers indicate? When done strategically, direct mail is a fantastic way to increase revenue for your business.

Before we discuss costs, let’s figure out which type of direct mail piece will be the most effective for your brand. While research from the Data and Marketing Association suggests that the response rate is typically highest for oversized envelopes (as opposed to, say, a letter-sized mailer), you’ll still want to determine what will work be best for your campaign goals.

Which is right for you is going to depend on a few different things:

  1. What’s your budget? – Oversized mailers and catalogs are more expensive to design, print and ship (because they are heavier).
  2. What are you selling? – If you sell a more serious product, like insurance for instance, you most likely will want to send a traditional letter. If your offer is more fun, you can create a colorful and eye-catching postcard.
  3. Who is your campaign targeting? – If you’re nurturing past customers who already know what you’re about, you won’t need to give them so much information. A letter or postcard will do. If you’re targeting cold leads, you might need to send a bigger brochure so they can learn more about you.

If you’re interested in the more expensive direct mail pieces, it’s a good idea to do a test run on a smaller group so you can measure how well it converts before going wider with it.

Direct Mail Costs

Direct mail pieces can cost anywhere from 30 cents to more than $10 per person, depending on how much you spend on design, marketing copy, mailing lists, printing, and distribution. Some organizations do much of this inhouse and wind up only paying for printing and mailing.

Let’s break down these individual cost factors:

Design Costs ($0 – $100)

When it comes to designing your direct mail piece, you have a few different options:

  • DIY – If you only require something very basic, like a renewal letter, you should be able to create something suitable in Microsoft Word.
  • Use a template – You can find numerous online sites that sell templates that cost around $10 on average.
  • Hire a professional – If you need help in the creativity department, your best bet is to pay a professional print designer. You may use someone local in your area, or find a freelancer online on sites like UpWork.

Marketing Copy Costs ($0 – $100)

If you have a very small budget, you may have no other choice but to write your own marketing copy. However, if you have a bit to spend, we always suggest clients hire a professional copywriter. This copy has got to be persuasive and there is an art to getting it just right. Copywriters, good ones anyway, are trained to write content that hooks the reader and gets them to buy.

Mailing Lists Costs ($0 – $0.30 / record)

Free mailing lists can be had by either gathering data you already have on your current customers, or by doing a trade of your info with another business in your industry.

If neither of these options is possible, you’ll end up paying anywhere between .02-.30 cents per record. The cost will vary based on the quality of the data, how many records you buy, and how many times you can send to the list (make sure you’re clear on that last part).

Printing Costs ($0.03 – $2.00 / person)

Printing costs will vary based on the following:

  1. Black and white vs. color
  2. Paper quality
  3. Paper size
  4. 1 sided vs. 2 sided
  5. Number of pages
  6. Quantity

Visit any online printing business to find out exact printing costs for your campaign.

Distribution Costs ($0.25 – $2.00 / piece)

Of course, the final cost you will have to consider is mailing costs. Prices fluctuate and are dependent on the current postage rate, the amount of mail you send, and how much all of that mail weighs. Remember, the bigger the pieces, the heavier the order, and the more you’re going to pay.

Direct mail, if done right, is both an effective and cost-effective way to market your business.

5 Reasons WHY to Sell this Spring!

kcm

*from KCM, Keeping Current Matters

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this spring makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory has declined year over year for the last 32 months and is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in their home was six but has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 45 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.8% over the next year according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.