Sunday, September 23, 2018

how to get hyper-local with your real estate blog posts
Rank Higher in Search & Get More Traffic

Ok, are you ready for the “duh” remark of the year?

Real estate is local.

Sure, it’s a well-known fact, but reading through some agents’ websites and blog posts, it seems as if many in the industry have forgotten this fact.

If you hope to compete against the “big guns” to reach the first page of Google, you need to get hyper-local. And, we happen to have three easy tips to get you started.

 Help out your SEO with local titles

We recently read an article about SEO on a website that sells IDX sites to agents. The author suggested teasing your blog posts on your homepage – adding snippets of several to get folks to hop over to your blog to read more.

Good suggestion. The example he showed, however, included titles such as “When is the right time to sell?” and “6 tips for first-time homebuyers.”

Really? Not only are neither of these titles compelling, they lack a local focus. At the very least the agent should have included the name of her town in the titles: “When is the right time to sell your Anytown condo?” “6 tips for first-time homebuyers in Anytown.”Neighborhood Update Agent update Homes for sale and sold

Don’t just toss out national statistics

Here’s an example of a recent post we read on an agent’s site about spring home maintenance.

“This time of year tends to have more rainfall than any other season. Did you know that for every one-inch of rainfall on a 1,000 square foot roof, you will collect 600 gallons of water? That is why so many homeowners across the U.S. have chosen to install rain barrels to take advantage of this great resource and use it for their landscaping.”

Although there’s some great information in this post, the agent has blown the perfect opportunity to stand out by offering hyper-local information. There is nothing in that passage that speaks to the reader who lives in this guy’s market.

Don’t just grab and use national statistics; take some extra time to localize them to your area. For example, the aforementioned agent works in the Rochester, NY area. He would serve his readers so much better had he taken an additional five minutes to research his local area’s rainfall average.

We did, and we learned that Rochester gets about 11.5 inches of rain each spring, on average. So, the new and improved section would read:

“Get ready to take advantage of those spring showers. Did you know that every 1-inch of rainfall on a 1,000 square-foot roof results in 600 gallons of water? Here in Rochester, with our average 11.5 inches of rain in the spring, that means you could collect 6,900 gallons of water each spring.

Smart homeowners across Rochester are realizing this and installing rain barrels to tap into this amazing, free resource to use on their landscaping. You can purchase your barrels at Joe’s Hardware (123 Main St.), Home Depot (3000 No Name Ave.) and even online at Amazon.com.”

Not only did we localize the statistics, but we added local places to buy the rain barrels. His readers won’t find that information on Zillow.

Photos matter too

The occasional stock image on your site is fine, but when it’s completely filled with them, and little local photography, your site becomes anonymous. Even if you take the photos yourself, use as many easily-identified landmarks as possible.

Then, ensure that the images are optimized with ALT attributes for local search. Describe what the image is and “include relevant keywords,” suggests Shane Barker at BrightLocal.

“For local SEO, you should include the city/locality/region you’re targeting when creating the ALT attributes,” he continues. Here’s an example of what Barker is referring to:

img alt=”Anytown Mulberry Hill Homes for Sale”

Just as real estate is local, so goes search, at least if you hope to rank in the search engines. The more local you get on your site, the better your chances.Free Report agent opt in tool.

Another way to serve the traffic landing on your Blog is to offer a Free Report such as, 5 Facts That Drive a Successful Home Sale”  in exchange for their email address.
Order this Report today so you have some on hand for open houses, listing presentations and more.
Stand out from the crowd and show them YOU’RE the expert!

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero (BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too, now that’s what I’m talking about)!

Realtor Marketing with Football Schedules
Achieve Four Months of Marketing – In One Shot.

Marketing is all about exposure, but more importantly, repeated exposure – over time.

And there are oh so many ways to do this now. What a wonderful world we live in chock-full of limitless marketing options.

And new ways to market seem to materialize continuously (yippy!).

Or maybe not.

Because often with good things come bad, every yin (upside) has its yang (downside). So what are the yins and yangs of endless marketing opportunities?

Yins (pros): We now have so many incredible and diverse ways of putting our marketing message out into the world. This also allows us the ability to bundle our message and layer it, so the same people are getting exposed to us through different mediums.

Yangs (cons): That dawg gone “shiny object syndrome”. These endless marketing avenues can have us chasing shiny objects until the “cows come home” (sorry, I’m from Wisconsin). And cost us a fortune as we spread our marketing budgets thinner and thinner to capture every possible new opportunity, often with little to no ROI in return.

So we have to be smart marketers and use these dollars wisely, yet still get as much as possible in the way of exposure and ROI. We have to be on the lookout for the right opportunity to engage in.

Well the right opportunity is here

During this time of the year, you have the ability to get a four-month front row seat inside your audience’s homes and for minimal marketing dollars – time to run, not walk, and knock over any cows that get in your way (that’s called cow tipping btw).

Yeap, every year agents are able to take advantage of a beloved American past time that’s almost 150 years old – AMERICAN FOOTBALL!

Did you know?
  • 103 million viewers watched the Super Bowl last year.
  • 43% of American Households were tuned in (according to Statistica).
  • NFL Sunday Night Football ranked the second highest-rated tv series in 2017 (Nielson ratings).
  • 64% of 30 to 49-year-olds watch football.
  • 58% of 50 years and older watch football.

Enough said?

Tail Wind Marketing

One of the smartest forms of marketing is what I refer to as “Tailwind Marketing”. Its when you find a way to catch the tailwind of something huge that is already loved and accepted.

Well, that’s what Football Schedule Postcards are. You are putting your face, name, contact info, and offers right next to one of the most loved past-times in the U.S. – American football.great fall realtor marketing

In addition, if you get the magnetic backed Football Schedule Postcards, now you are going to be stuck on the FRONT of another one of our American’s most loved things – THE REFRIGERATOR.

Talk about psychological reinforcement.

Every time someone grabs a beer, a glass of water, something to eat or excitedly checks the upcoming football game schedule, they see your face smiling back at them.

It’s like the famous “Pavlov’s dog” experiment, soon you become associated with their happy thoughts. What a superb trust builder and warming exercise.

And I saved the best part for last…the cost

You can get 100 Football Schedule Panoramic Postcards mailed to your specified mailing list for about $110.

Or get 100 Magnetic Panoramic Football Schedules sent to your delivery address for you to hand out personally for about $205. What a great excuse to get face-to-face with your audience. This is you, “Hey, it’s (your name) just dropping off your football schedule” (big smile). 

Or get 100 Football Schedule Panoramic Postcards shipped to you for you to give out all over town. Hand them out at your open houses, listing appointments, community events, local coffee shops, and local businesses, for about $49.00.

Hey, and don’t forget about social media. Once you get your Football Schedule Postcards in the mail, post a photo on all of your social media sites. Offer to mail one to anyone who didn’t get one from you yet and would like to be added to your mailing list (very clever).perfect fall realtor marketing

So, Go, NOW…and get your Football Schedule postcards ordered and out! There are only four more weeks until game time.
Which means only four more weeks to take your position on your audience’s refrigerator, for your four-month stay! (you’re such a smart marketer).

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638. We love helping you!

Give Them the Facts

We are a nation of DIYers and fixer-uppers (or folks who think they are). We’re also a thrifty bunch, looking for any possible way to save a buck on purchases.

Put these two characteristics together and we end up with the real estate consumer seeking a bargain in the form of a fixer.

As an agent, you know which of your clients can take on all the work and money that a fixer might require.

“A fixer can be a perfect solution when your clients have long lists with a lot of requirements and if they’re willing to do the work,” David Bailey with Keller Williams, Beverly Hills tells HGTV.

So, yes, sometimes suggesting purchasing one is wise.

But it’s up to you to determine if it’s right for each client that hopes to buy one and then how to help that client make the decision.

Guess who likes fixers? Yeap the Millennials

 The National Association of Realtors conducted a study a while back and discovered, in their efforts to avoid “cookie cutter” homes, Millennials were interested in fixers.

In fact, “about 30 percent of millennials surveyed say they prefer a ‘fixer-upper’ home rather than a home that needs only a few repairs,” according to RealtorMag.

Since Millennials make up the lion’s share of the first-time buyer pool, counseling and supplying facts will be your most important task when working with them.

To get your client thinking realistically, ask the following questions:
  • Does your client or his family or friends have carpentry, flooring, painting, plumbing, electrical skills? They can hire professionals, but doing some work will keep costs down.
  • Speaking of costs, does your client have rehab funds set aside or do they need to borrow the money?
  • Is your client willing to wait to move into the home (maybe six months)?

If your client becomes fixated on a home in need of work, yank her back to reality by helping her understand the scope of the work required.

Bring in a contractor to help them determine if it’s possible to bring the home up to standards and to get an estimate of the cost.

Not only does this offer a reality check, but it gives your client an idea of how much to offer for the home.

How to finance the purchase

Unlike in the past, homebuyers have some attractive options when it comes to financing a home that needs work.

“Future value” loans are the most popular. These loans aren’t based on current market value but on the future value (after rehab) of the home.

First-time buyers and those on a budget typically opt for a government-backed mortgage that wraps the cost of the rehab into the loan. These programs include the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation and the FHA 203(k) programs.Just Listed Just Sold Property Showcase Real Estate Postcards

If your client opts for one of these

These programs aren’t quick, easy or painless. If your client goes with the FHA 203(k) loan, he or she will need to come out of pocket to pay for a consultant.

The project must use the same contractor, from start to finish. If the client becomes dissatisfied with her choice, she’s stuck.

Then, the entire amount of money needed for the project is determined in advance and it’s a set amount. As one homeowner who used the FHA program notes “it is to the contractor’s benefit to do cheap work so they can pocket larger margins.”

Choosing a contractor will be one of your client’s biggest challenges.

Getting the loan

Rehab loans take far more time to complete than your typical residential purchase loan, so remind your client to get the loan process started as soon as possible.

You’ll have tasks to complete as well, such as helping your clients come up with a list of the work required and an estimate of cost. This will help you counsel them on how much to offer on the home.

You’ll need to structure the offer so that it’s subject to FHA 203(k) loan approval and the seller’s acceptance of any other HUD or lender-required improvements to the home.

Of course, FHA isn’t the only option for a client who falls in love with the idea of rehabbing a home to fit their lifestyle. Recommend that he or she meet with a lender and always consult their accountant.

Do you need to attract buyers interested in a fixer you have listed?

 Send a Property Series postcard with an offer for the Free Report, “Top Ten Renovations that Reap Returns”.
Extend the offer to your Facebook audience and on your website, as well.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero (BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too, now that’s what I’m talking about)!

Our Two Contest Winners For July are Revealed Below!

Thank you, everyone, for your feedback in July! We really appreciate the time you took to give us your thoughts. We continue to learn and enhance our products and services based on your shared responses.

Remember, if your name isn’t announced in this month’s contest, a new contest starts in August with new opportunities to win!

Our Winner of the $500 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card is  – Barbara Whiteside

Barbara shares her experiences using ProspectsPLUS! with the following feedback.

“ProspectsPLUS! is GREAT! Their customer service is EXCELLENT!!”

“I have received not only great feedback about the marketing pieces I’m sending out but also new leads and clients as a result!”

“Thank you for making my very busy agent life easier!

Barbara’s Latest Marketing Purchases – Just Listed, Now Pending, Upload Your Own Design

The Winner of Our $250 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card is – Shelly Smith Witherington

Shelly shares her experiences using ProspectsPLUS! with the following feedback.

“I feel like I struck GOLD when I found ProspectsPLUS!”

“I use your products often & it’s soooo easy. Not only that but also extremely effective. I’m not sure how I got along without you guys in my marketing arsenal.”

“I actually take about 30 minutes a day going through your website familiarizing myself with your products & watching the videos. Love Love Love what you bring to the table.

Shelly’s Latest Marketing Purchases – Agent Introduction, Free Offer Series Postcards, Holiday Series Postcards

Take the lead from Barbara and Shelly and send at least 100 listing generating Postcards to an area where you want more listings.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

Create a Lead Generating Hour of Power

When you reach the end of your life, will you look back fondly on the five years (based on studies) you spent on social media?

Probably not. I mean, it’s when our time is up that we decide, darn it, we should’ve spent more time on the truly meaningful things in life. Unless, of course, you find social media truly meaningful.

…but meaningful enough to spend 2.25 hours every day on it?

Ok, so you do it for your business. But if you don’t have a social media strategy you may be wasting valuable business time as well.

If you find yourself trying out idea after idea, hoping that someday one of them will work, or if yours is the type of “strategy” that leads to reading and responding to every post, following links and, generally, wasting time, quit it!

The “why” behind your use of social media

Social media—at least some platforms—seem tailor-made for the real estate industry. Take Facebook, for example. The user-demographics align with the average real estate consumer, it’s easy to use and, if you don’t buy ads, it’s free.

To not be on Facebook is just plain silly. But, to avoid having it suck your time you need to understand how to best use it and then get clear on your goals.

Here are some agent goals we typically hear:

  • To keep in touch with your sphere. Staying top-of-mind isn’t easy but reaching out on Facebook makes it easier.
  • To reach potential clients. Unless you are doing this strategically, it may be a major time suck. Hoping your posts get shared isn’t a strategy.
  • To keep up-to-date on the industry. To do this typically requires joining groups. If you aren’t careful, activities in these Facebook groups can wipe out a good portion of the day (or night).
  • To drive traffic to your website.

Manage your time wisely

Consider scheduling social media time. Like blocks set aside for follow-up and lead generation, set aside a certain amount of time that you’ll spend on social media. Then, stick to the schedule. Use an alarm, if you must, to remind you when to stop.

At first, the amount of time you wasted will be painfully obvious. When the alarm sounds and all you’ve done is read posts, you may need some motivation to remain mindful of why you’re on the platform in the first place.

Create, don’t consume

“There are so many talented entrepreneurs out there who focus on just consuming all day long instead of creating,” laments Jason Sadler, founder of IWearYourShirt. 

Your first creation should be a social media strategy. Decide which platforms serve you best and let the others go, at least for now. For instance, Facebook is a must for agents who want to keep in touch with their sphere of influence and entice folks to visit their websites.

Instagram and Pinterest, on the other hand, don’t have the demographics that fit the average real estate buyer and seller and they are far more time-consuming than a quick, daily stop at Facebook.

Then, decide how much time you’ll devote to social media each week, set an alarm while visiting and leave when the time is up.

Skip the groups and communities, at least during work hours. They’re fine for garnering business advice and socializing with colleagues but save those visits for non-work hours.

Other strategies to consider:
  • Ditch the notifications. Do you really need the distraction of being alerted every time someone posts a comment on a post you’re following?
  • Use social media scheduling tools to automate the publishing of your content. Yes, there are cons to this as well as pros, but if you’re easily distracted and find yourself wasting a lot of time on social media, it’s a tool you may want to consider.

Take some tips from Laura Monroe, real estate marketing whiz, who explains her brilliant social media strategy.

She schedules her company’s social media posts the night before they will be posted. “ …  that way I’m not distracting myself from important tasks!”

During the day, she avoids additional distractions by turning off notifications “until I have all my important work-to-dos completed first.”

Around lunchtime, she takes “time to engage, respond to messages, and reach out to my network. More scheduling in the afternoon, and more engagement in the evenings when I’m planning the next day.”

It’s a strategically-planned social media schedule that allows her to remain engaged yet still attend to her important business tasks.

Social media can be a powerful way to generate leads and keep in touch with your Sphere. However, only if the time spent is managed wisely and not allowed to dominate your workday.

Another effective way to keep in touch with your Sphere is to send the popular Chill Out postcard from the Content Card Series.
It’s a fun and informative way to let your Sphere know you’re thinking about them this summer.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero (BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too, now that’s what I’m talking about)!