Top Real Estate Hashtags for Social Media

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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

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.

IS YOUR REAL ESTATE BUSINESS MILLENNIAL SOCIAL OR ANTI-SOCIAL?

*From Delta Media Group

Why is social media such a powerful real estate marketing tool? Start with demographics. Real estate shoppers from every generation rely on social media, and for the large, ever-growing Millennial generation social media is simply a natural part of life. Millennials make up the largest generation of home buyers, so agents everywhere are working to connect with the Millennial generation through social media and other tech-friendly tools. Our team has the details on why social is so important, how to avoid being “anti-social,” and how to build a social media presence that resonates with the largest modern real estate demographic.

Why Your Real Estate Business Needs a Social Media Presence

Millennial shoppers love doing research online before making any major purchases, and that extends to researching the right real estate agent to help them buy a home. However, when it comes to finding a real estate agent, Millennial shoppers also strongly value the security that comes with first-hand knowledge of that agent. The relationship-building process is a huge factor in converting Millennial prospects, and social media—when done right—is the perfect platform for building those relationships.

  • While many agents already realize the power of social media, larger brokerages haven’t always embraced social with the same enthusiasm. That might mean no social presence at all or a simple, token social presence without an expert at the helm.
  • So being “anti-social” might mean passing on the benefits of social media altogether, but it can also mean using social platforms in a way that doesn’t help you connect with Millennials or other members of your target audience.
  • Mobile marketing is so important for reaching the modern real estate audience, and social is by far one of the most effective mobile marketing tools. You want people to be able to connect with your business, no matter where they are or what they’re doing.

Building a basic social presence is a great start to embracing the benefits of social media marketing, but it takes more than a shiny, new social page to truly be Millennial-Social:

  • It takes persistence! The biggest benefits of your social presence are realized over time, and finding the right voice for your business isn’t an overnight process.
  • However, expertise goes a long way. If you don’t have a social-savvy marketer on staff who can handle the daily social tasks, working with an experienced outside marketing team is a great way to become Millennial-Social.
  • That expertise will be used, in part, to engage with your real estate audience on a regular basis. That means answering questions, responding to comments, and looking for opportunities to connect with the people who visit your page.
  • If you want to give people something to talk about on your social pages, you’ll need to post more than just pretty listings. Your real estate content, from your blog, website, and other social sources, is key to keeping your audience coming back for more.

When you add up all the basics, being Millennial-Social comes down to action, engagement, and building relationships. Invest the necessary time in social each day, post fresh content, answer questions and look for every opportunity to connect with your audience. Given the popularity of the platform, doing social media right will help you connect with Millennials, and home buyers from every generation.

9 Social Media Best Practices for Real Estate Agents

*from RISMedia.com

The age of social media is upon us. Its adoption is a cultural phenomenon. In 2019, it is estimated that there will be 2.77 billion social media users around the globe.

Real estate agents who want to be successful today will not only need to leverage social media to meet the needs of buyers and sellers going forward, but also need to be very wise about creating and delivering relevant content for effective marketing and engagement.

It’s easy and cost-effective enough to open a social media account and be up and running quickly, but you’ll want to take in these 9 Social Media Best Practices to effectively send the right message to the right people at the right time.

1. Quality Content
Studies show consumers receive up to 10,000 brand messages each day! Your audience has a lot of options to spend their time on. Make sure to stand out from the crowd by delivering high-quality content that is compelling, interesting, and relevant. Find out what your audience likes by offering several kinds of content for them to choose from. Offer a mix of industry news, trends, polls, videos, local interest, even editorial (your own opinions and viewpoints). You can curate news you find yourself, or you can partner with service providers, (like the PAAR Marketing Center!) that produce real estate-focused and lifestyle articles you can use. Often, these services can post professionally-written content to your social media accounts automatically, providing a “set it and forget it,” hassle-free experience.

2. Frequency
It’s a numbers game. Shorter, more frequent messages are needed in today’s always-on world. Aim to publish a steady stream of usable information for your followers and create a plan to provide consistent news and updates. Statistics show that posting
frequently drives engagement. How frequent? Most experts recommend posting a minimum of several times a week, with many suggesting engaging on a daily basis. If you’re new to social media, make a habit of browsing the feeds of those you are
following each day and repost, like, or comment on their posts. In no time at all, you’ll get a feel for the pace that meets the needs of your audience.

3. Branding
You’ve invested a lot in your personal reputation and business brand; now, you’ll want to leverage every opportunity to elevate yourself and your message. Make use of the customization tools available within your accounts to keep your brand top-of-mind with your prospects and clients. Twitter and Facebook provide you the ability to add images to personalize your social media presence and present your unique value proposition. You can add your own profile picture, full contact information, a logo or even a photo of your real estate office and deliver a consistent look and feel to each and every post. There’s really no better way to let your viewers know who you are and that you’re open for business!

4. Video
It’s been proven that people are more likely to respond to video content by a factor of three. It’s never been easier to take advantage of this format and post interactive content to fully engage your audience. Many social media platforms have made it very simple to add short video clips or animated images to your postings, including linking to existing content from other sites. For example, if your company or team produces videos on its website, consider linking those within your own posts. Additionally, your smartphone can be used as a mini video studio available anywhere you go. Use your phone to create your very own virtual tours or walk-throughs, and add descriptive information about each of the properties you list to entice buyers to contact you.

5. Trusted Resource
Just as in real life, building long-term relationships with your prospects and customers should be one of your goals with social media. The best way to do that is to follow key referrals and contacts and build your list of constituents for each stage of your buyer’s or seller’s cycle. Do you partner with a local mover, electrician, or plumber? What about bankers or lawyers? Perhaps you know about a newcomers club, daycare facility, or a reasonably-priced dry cleaner in your area that you can recommend to home-buyers moving into their new neighborhood. Make a list of people and service providers in your network, and follow them on their social media accounts so you can make easy referrals with the click of a button. You’ll quickly become an indispensable resource to your clients and their contacts for years to come.

6. Be Timely
Topical and timely posts are a must if you want to keep your audience engaged. One of the best ways to do that is to provide the latest news and trends that appeal directly to your home-buyers or sellers. This means going well beyond the recent property listing or sale and including content they can use throughout the year, such as the latest mortgage interest rates, trends in home prices, or home improvements that have the greatest ROI. Sprinkle in homeowner-related content, like spring cleaning tips or driveway maintenance 101. Sharing groundbreaking industry survey results and infographics can really get your message across quickly and in a memorable and engaging way that will keep your audience coming back for more.

7. Mobile
Social media provides new and innovative ways for you to deliver your unique brand of customer service in a world that demands an immediate response. Fortunately, top social media platforms all have mobile applications that allow you to stay connected with your audience while you’re on the move. By setting alerts and notifications, you’ll be available from anywhere at any time when home-buyers and sellers want to reach out and inquire about your services or local inventory. With the power of social media in the palm of your hand, you can get more done in your day while keeping your prospects and customers fully engaged and satisfied.

8. Be Social
Don’t forget: Social media works best when the engagement is bidirectional. If you want people to respond to you and your content, take proactive and deliberate steps to reach out and like, follow, up-vote, and share the posts of those that are in your sphere. Ask them questions about the vacation pictures or special events they post. Take a genuine interest in the stories they tell. Consider starting and leading an online group about a topic that’s important to the people who share like-minded interests and watch your community grow! Many social media platforms enable you to post your own polls, allowing you to quickly capture valuable insights about the sentiments and preferences of your potential business opportunities.

9. Automation
So much social media, so little time! Are you a power user that needs to manage several accounts? Or maybe you’re just getting started and feel a bit overwhelmed? In either case, you may want to consider automating your social media content delivery. There are a couple of third-party tools that can help you manage your social media account, like Buffer or Hootsuite, which provide scheduling and the ability to post across all of your accounts, but you still need to create the content and the post yourself. If you’re looking for true automation, consider the PAAR Marketing Center, which will connect engaging and innovative content to your social media accounts and publish it on your behalf.

Why You Need To Get Testimonials From Your Clients

Why You Need to Get Testimonials from Your Clients

When you’re considering using a business, do you put more weight on advertising, or on reviews from people who have bused their services before? Most consumers rely significantly on word-of-mouth referrals when searching for new businesses. Customer testimonials have been a popular, effective marketing tool since long before the digital age. Today, it’s easier than ever to get testimonials from your customers, integrate them with your online marketing, and reap the benefits. We’ve got more details on why testimonials are important and how you can use them to grow your business.

Why Customer Testimonials and Social Proof Are Crucial for Real Estate Business

Customer testimonials are among the oldest, most proven marketing tools. We still rely on them today because consumers of all types place significant weight on the opinion of others. In the digital age, word of mouth is synonymous with the concept of social proof, which means that consumers rely heavily on feedback from their favorite social channels when making purchasing decisions.

  • Reading Reviews – When was the last time you bought a new product from a major online retailer without checking the reviews first? Whether you’re shopping for a new home or a new washing machine, there’s a good chance you’ll want to see feedback from shoppers who have been in your shoes before. Consumers place significant weight on the opinions of other consumers, so earning positive reviews is a great way to grow your business online.
  • Social Proof – Your social media pages aren’t just a place for you to talk about your business. They’re also a great place to get customers talking about you! Visit the social page of any brand that maintains an active presence, and you’re likely to find a wealth of customer testimonials. Many consumers, especially from younger generations, rely heavily on social customer testimonials when making purchasing decisions.
  • Names and Faces – An anonymous quote has value, but your audience is more likely to trust a testimonial that comes with a name and face attached. They want to know that the testimonial came from a real person which is another reason why social and video testimonials have so much marketing value.
  • Connecting with Current Customers – In addition to the potential marketing benefits for new customers, asking your current customers for testimonials is a great way to keep those relationships strong. Customers value the opportunity to provide feedback for their peers, and will often jump at the chance if you’re willing to ask.
  • A Reliable Source of Referrals – Word-of-mouth referrals are more valuable than ever in the marketing world, so making it easy to find customer testimonials is a great way to earn more referrals for your real estate business. Your testimonials are working to grow your business, whenever someone visits your website, reads a review, or engages with your social presence.

Earning customer testimonials is often easier than you might think because in many cases all you really have to do is ask. Maintaining an active online marketing presence is also crucial because it allows customers to leave testimonials at their own leisure. By encouraging customers to provide testimonials, you’re showing that you value their feedback while also earning a powerful marketing tool for your real estate business.

Why Are So Many Marketers Ignoring The Power Of Print?

* From Jenna Bruce, mediaspacesolutions.com, 1/15/18

What makes a good print marketing campaign?

Here are a few things I will never understand:

  • The ending to “The Matrix Reloaded.”
  • Why people like baked beans.
  • Why so many marketers are still throwing their entire marketing budgets at digital channels like social media and mobile marketing, while completely ignoring the power of print.

While digital channels definitely have their place, they simply can’t do what print does: deliver tangible content that lives within trusted publications. Print marketing is more personal in nature and studies have shown that quality print campaigns can absolutely influence purchasing decision.

And since we’re on the subject, what is it exactly that makes a good print marketing campaign? I’m glad you asked, because I happen to have compiled some of the key elements.

Knowing Your Goals

Solid print campaigns aren’t slapped together willy-nilly; they are crafted around very specific business goals. Before you create and launch a campaign, you’ll first need to determine your goal. What is it you want this particular campaign to achieve? You may want to generate new leads or build your email subscriber list by 10%. Be specific. How will you measure your campaign’s success? What sort of campaign milestones or markers will you put in place? The more specific you are, the better able you’ll be to create a campaign that reaches its goals.

Set a Realistic Budget

Most campaigns fail because not enough ad spend was allocated in the first place. That’s like trying to drive from Detroit to Newark on only half a tank of gas. You’ll get to a destination, it just won’t be the one you were hoping for.

Know Thy Customers!

You need to know as much as you can about who you are targeting with your print campaign.  What is their age, income, and gender? What sorts of hobbies do they have, and what are their purchasing habits? Remember, the success of your campaign depends on your ability to engage and convert these people.

Keep It Simple Sally

When it comes to having your offer be heard, less is more. Stick to just one clear, compelling message within your campaign. Readers won’t take the time to figure out a convoluted message – they’ll just move on. One goal – one message – that’s it.

Lead with Benefits

Customers want to know what’s in it for them. They don’t really care about the features of your product or service, so much as HOW those features will benefit their lives. Don’t list features in your ad, and certainly don’t tell your audience how long you’ve been in business, trust me, they really don’t care. Craft copy that focuses on how you can help THEM.

Frequency

In order for your ad to make an impression, it needs to run frequently enough. Consumers will generally need to see an ad at least three times before they become aware of your ad and offer.

Track Your Results

As I mentioned a bit ago, it’s important that you know exactly how you are going to track your campaign’s performance. You could use unique phone numbers, QR codes, special URL addresses, or printed coupons. All of these will help you determine which messages and channels are performing best.

These key ingredients will ensure your print campaigns deliver the ROI you intend. And, to be clear, you certainly don’t have to abandon digital marketing. In fact, print and digital can make powerful allies.

Thinking of Selling? The Perfect Time Is NOW!

It is common knowledge that a great number of homes sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their homes on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year.

The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed the months in which most people listed their homes for sale in 2017. Here is a graphic showing the results:

Thinking of Selling? Now is the Perfect Time | Keeping Current Matters

The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,680,000.

That number spiked to 1,970,000 by May!

What does this mean to you?

With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring; they are out looking for homes right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition amongst buyers.

Bottom Line

It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home today.

*From KEEPING CURRENT MATTERS