Buying Buddy Real Estate CRM with IDX: How to Get Rid of Feast and Famine Cycles and Create a Predictable Real Estate Business
The biggest hardship in the real estate industry is dealing with the unpredictable ups and downs that come with the job. One minute an agent is flooded with business opportunities, then the next minute there’s nothing on their plate. Real estate is a real roller coaster ride!
Mary fell in love with real estate when she and her husband purchased their first home. She dreamed of leaving her administrative job to help people find their perfect home, and to create a thriving career for herself. A few years later, Mary took steps to follow her dream by signing up for a prep class and then passing her exam on the first try.
Excited to start with a boutique real estate brokerage, she threw herself into work. But after three years, she found herself exhausted and stressed. Mary spent most of her time feeling like she was treading water, caught in a constant cycle of feast and famine. Real estate sales would be great for a little while until her buyers and sellers dried up for the next few months. The same thing would happen over and over again. On top of it all, Mary was working 70 hour weeks and struggling to maintain her personal life – this wasn’t the career she had dreamed of so long ago.
Buying Buddy was designed for people like Mary: real estate agents looking to eliminate ups and downs and make their sales more predictable. With our combined real estate CRM and IDX tool, agents can climb out of feast and famine cycles and reclaim their personal lives. Our all-in-one solution helps agents to attract and retain more leads, automatically nurture and grow relationships over the long term, and to convert these opportunities into sales.
How can a real estate CRM with IDX smooth out those bumps on this roller coaster ride and make a real estate agents’ business more predictable? That’s the secret behind Buying Buddy.
The Secret of a Real Estate CRM
Buying Buddy understands that agents have limited time for sales and marketing. Their focus will always be on the closings that are happening right now.
Unless agents are working with their own marketing department, the nurturing of leads to create future business is put on hold. Typically, they focus on the immediate issue of closing a deal and earning commission.
When balancing all the tasks an agent has to perform, today’s opportunities will always get the most attention. Future opportunities will then be left on the back burner.
Buying Buddy Solves This Problem
The secret of Buying Buddy is that it helps agents with this balancing act.
Buying Buddy is designed to engage with an agent’s existing clients and prospects as well as long term future leads, all in one place.
With Buying Buddy, you will automatically develop and nurture long term leads. This can help to build relationships until leads and prospects are ready to convert.
Buying Buddy is different. Unlike other real estate CRM systems, Buying Buddy incorporates properties and home search services. This incorporation helps agents attract, capture and incubate all their leads much earlier in the leads buying process, long before other agents even get a chance. While other CRM systems may be helping agents with a follow-up plan for today’s business, Buying Buddy is automating follow-up and building a consistent long-term future sales pipeline that agents can rely upon.
How Buying Buddy Makes Real Estate More Predictable
Buying Buddy incubates real estate leads and prospects over the medium and long-term. It does this by targeting each lead with meaningful property information, all in the context of the leads’ individual property interests.
The integration of properties with the CRM means that Buying Buddy’s tools can more effectively nurture all the agents’ prospects and leads until they are ready to convert, in ways that other real estate CRMs can’t.
Our combination of relevant property-based communication builds relationships. This, along with the ability to capture leads earlier with high-value home search services, grows a loyal and fully-engaged prospect base, essentially blocking competition.
A fully engaged prospect base is the agents’ portfolio of future business opportunities. It is the most valuable asset they have – it is their future sales pipeline. Buying Buddy’s CRM integration with IDX and MLS data means that these future business opportunities can be automatically nurtured until they convert. This eliminates feast and famine cycles and makes future business and income more predictable and consistent, allowing agents to relax and get back valuable time.
How does Buying Buddy work?
No matter where leads or inquiries come from, whether it is from an agent’s sphere, farm area, list of past clients, or even new leads, Buying Buddy gives agents the tools they need to capture, incubate, and convert those leads into sales. This is because of our unique real estate CRM solution that is combined with IDX.
You see, the magic of IDX emerges when it’s combined with a CRM. IDX is not just about ‘search’. IDX is your entire local MLS. And when the MLS database is deeply integrated with a CRM, this is the cornerstone for creating a sales pipeline of leads for short, medium and long term business that other real estate agents can’t pick off.
As we know, the process of researching to buy or sell a property can stretch out for months or years before the actual transaction. At such an early stage, although agents might receive these initial research inquiries (leads) from their website, or other sources such as Zillow or Realtor.com, the agents’ focus will naturally be elsewhere. Instead, they’ll be taking care of the clients and prospects that are looking to buy now. Regardless of where leads come from, agents have a perfect opportunity to capture these leads. Then they can add them to their CRM in Buying Buddy many months or years before a closing occurs.
Contextual Marketing with a Real Estate CRM with IDX
Most real estate agents only send their leads traditional, generic emails and texts using CRM systems that don’t include properties. A real estate CRM that is integrated with IDX can send these traditional messages, too. But, when combined with IDX there is a secret superpower: contextual marketing and predictable sales.
A real estate CRM combined with IDX provides insights to each leads’ property interests and home search activity. That means it can send properties and customized listing alerts to prospects that they actually look forward to receiving!
Contextual communications not only ensure that messages are opened, but importantly, they encourage more clicks to view a property.
Every communication, email or property alert that is sent includes relevant property information. That means that when they engage, future clients come back time and again to their Client Portal in the real estate agents’ website (not to Zillow or any other site).
This flow ensures that prospects constantly see the agent’s own branding and contact information. This works to constantly re-enforce loyalty to the agent, developing the relationship further. Buying Buddy can automatically provide every lead with tailored property alerts, market reports and other property updates throughout the leads’ extended research period, perhaps for several years.
Why Contextual Marketing Works
Buying Buddy sends prospects relevant properties (courtesy of IDX) that they actually want to see, building and adding value to the relationship between prospects and the real estate agent.
A “value-based” service given to a consumer fosters loyalty to the real estate agent, blocks competition, converts prospects to clients, and generates sales. A virtuous marketing cycle is then created, based on loyalty to value and services, and other agents are unable to snatch leads away.
If agents only have a traditional CRM, then the opportunity to deliver engaging, long-term dialogue is limited to drip emails. But, integrating IDX with CRM will give agents a distinct advantage as messages will be perceived as relevant and useful – and won’t be ignored!
Long-term communication only works if the recipient sees value in the content being received. Buying Buddy’s unique approach of combining IDX and CRM solves this problem and helps create a significant sales pipeline – automatically.
Get a Financial Advantage With a Real Estate CRM and IDX
A CRM that is integrated with the MLS (i.e. IDX) can provide insights into every aspect of a lead’s home search activity. This includes information about specific property searches, favorited properties, last time online, viewing activities and interests, email open rates, etc.
General CRMs provide vague reports on whether or not marketing emails have been opened, which is only one data point of many to consider.
But with a CRM integrated with IDX, the insights go right to the heart of the prospect’s real estate needs. Not just data about what emails have been opened, but also about what properties have been looked at (and how many times). This, along with all the other property search criteria information, such as ‘city’ and ‘price range’ or even ‘master bedroom on main floor’, define the specific property interests of every lead.
Why a Real Estate CRM Integrated With IDX Can Give Insight
When everything is viewed in the context of a lead’s ultimate desire to buy or sell property, this insightful data can pinpoint their exact needs. In turn, this allows agents to neatly segment their sales and marketing strategy to fit those specifications.
An agent’s follow up sales call can be fine-tuned to be timely and highly specific, resulting in a much higher close rate.
Agents using other CRMs don’t stand a chance.
When IDX is connected to a CRM, agents can see a real financial advantage. Automated follow up and long term lead nurturing is now highly-relevant and more engaging. And, with a deeper understanding of a leads’ property interests, sales calls are now easier and more effective.
Inject Predictability Into Your Real Estate Business
There’s no end to the marketing possibilities available when using a real estate CRM with IDX marketing strategy for real estate, especially when agents take advantage of the insights and opportunities that Buying Buddy can provide.
Say goodbye to the roller coaster ride of grasping for leads the moment the next famine cycle begins. And say hello to the future with Buying Buddy, where agents experience the smooth-sailing of a predictable business cycle from lead to conversion.
The internet makes generating new real estate leads easy. It’s not hard to find or even buy leads online, but converting them into clients is what really matters. Getting new real estate clients from your online marketing efforts hinges on how effectively you nurture them. It doesn’t matter if an agent has a thousand leads if none of them make it to closing. Real estate agents need to send leads addictive content, remain in constant contact, and become a service center for their soon-to-be clients’ needs. Here are a few ways to start improving your online lead conversion rates.
1. Only Send Addicting Content
The number one mistake that agents make when they are they are trying to convert real estate leads is that they send the wrong kind of messages. Leads hate getting texts asking about their timeframe for moving, how much they have been pre-approved for, or if they can set up a phone call. All of these questions are putting pressure on leads to act and it makes them ignore requests.
Instead of asking tons of questions, agents should be sending would-be clients texts and emails they actually look forward to recieving. Leads should be excited about hearing from you. The best way to do this is by sending them exactly what they want – listings and helpful information. Leads are just looking to find the home that is best for them. The sooner agents help them do this, the faster they will see conversions.
It’s okay to ask questions to better serve your leads, but questions should only be asked after offering something of value.
Never do this:
“Hey Tracey, It’s Joe from Upstate Brokers. Can I call you this afternoon? I saw you wanted to a buy a house. Are you looking to move in the next 3-6 months or 6-12 months? Let’s talk today.”
Do this instead:
“Hey Tracey, check out these listings I found for you. Do you like the three or four bedroom homes better? I can send you homes that meet your needs as soon as they hit the market. – Joe, Upstate Brokers”
Calling a lead just to check in and see where they are at in the home buying/selling process is a missed opportunity. It also places your needs before your lead’s needs, and they can tell. Instead, make it a point to give online leads something of value like market reports or listings that match their home search history. Giving leads useful, relevant information establishes you as a real estate expert. This puts their needs front and center and it will make you stand out.
2. Stay in Constant Contact – Have a Solid CRM in Place
Many real estate agents use Client Relationship Managers (CRMs) to convert their leads on autopilot. That’s because CRMs are the most effective tool for converting high volumes of online leads. A good real estate CRM can automatically send leads listings that match their home search history, keep track of everything leads have ever talked to an agent about, remind agents when to call leads, send email drip campaigns to colder leads, import leads from any source, and much more.
Choosing a real estate-specific CRM is critical. And, using one that can manage all of your real estate leads (IDX, Zillow, Realtor.com, FaceBook, etc.) in one place is a must. But most of all, it’s important to pick one that will actually work by nurturing leads to conversion. CRMs like Buying Buddy offer free demos for real estate agents looking specifically to convert online leads.
Tips and Tricks:
Once your real estate CRM is set up, there are plenty of tricks for converting leads into clients quicker:
Make sure that leads are contacted immediately after they land in your CRM with either a text message or phone call. Timing is everything.
Send your leads CRM messages they’ll love with with tailored listings. IDX capture makes this possible by using leads’ online home search histories.
Only send emails that say “Sent from my iPhone” or “Sent from my Android” to create a personal touch. You may not see their email the moment it was sent, but it will look like you did.
Never spam leads; they will block you. Every time you contact a lead, you have to offer something of value. Whether it is news about mortgage rates, listings, or market reports – everything you send from your CRM needs to offer value.
Make sure all texts come from a personal call back number instead of spam number (e.g. 538-00).
Use the call function. So many agents miss out because they ignore the call scheduling function in their CRM. Using an hour or two of your week to call leads can improve conversion rates quickly.
3. Personalize Your Automation
One of the most powerful features of CRMs is their ability to set up drip marketing for every lead. Drip marketing is a strategy that many real estate agents use to send a steady flow of emails or text messages to their leads. These messages are usually written in advance (like scripts) and CRMs automatically send them on a routine schedule.
While most CRMs have automatic tools to insert the lead’s first name or other details, many messages still end up sounding generic. Leads don’t want to feel like they are just number 287 in your cue of 1,251 leads.
Here are some tips for personalizing your automated messages. Make sure every message:
Automatically includes the lead’s first name
Is written in your personalized voice – If a pre-loaded script sounds like it was written by a robot, change up the language so that it matches your brand and the way you talk to clients.
Includes personalized content – This could include market reports for the lead’s search area, new listings that match their home search history, or lists of local resources (inspectors, contractors, lawn services, etc).
Lets leads know when you’ll be reaching out next
Includes clear contact information so leads can easily reach you
Carefully tailored drip campaigns can go a long way toward making leads feel confident they’re in contact with a real person who is ready to help them.
4. Always Give Something Away
Real estate agents that listen and help their leads will see the most conversions. It all ties back into the idea of offering your leads exactly what they need – help finding their perfect home and getting to closing.
Before reaching out to a lead, agents should ask themselves:
What am I offering?Agents with the highest conversion rates always give something to their leads. This could be tailored listings, market reports, recommendations for sellers’ prep, or something else. But, the agent always gives the lead something. Know what you are going to give your lead and then give it to them right away.
How can I help? This is a question agents should ask themselves and their leads. Some real estate agents are so busy bragging about their sales from last quarter, that they miss out on conversions.
Here are some ideas of helpful content/information to give away to real estate leads:
Market reports for their search area
Seller recommendations for local contractors, photographers, inspectors, etc.
Property listings that match the lead’s home search history
Mortgage calculators and info
Home valuation data and projections
Information about new builds in their search radius
Staging and decor recommendations for sellers
Niche listing information (short term rentals, waterfront property, etc).
Agents with the highest conversions always give something to their leads.
5. Give Leads a Reason to Call You Back
Nothing is more powerful than curiosity. It’s in our nature, and real estate agents can take advantage of this when converting leads. Leaving your voicemails or email replies on a “cliffhanger” may be a powerful tool to motivate your leads to call you back.
For example, if a lead emails you with questions about both the master bathroom and the kitchen, you can reply with all the details about the bathroom and then use the kitchen as an opportunity to have a deeper conversation with your lead. Try something like:
“The bathroom has jack-and-jill sinks, a separate shower, and a jetted tub. Give me a call. I actually wanted to talk to you about the kitchen.”
It’s a subtle call to action. The lead must now call you back to find out what you needed to tell them. Of course, this is only effective if you have additional details to discuss, so be sure to document the exchange in your CRM, and be prepared to provide additional value when they call.
Converting Online Real Estate Leads into Clients
The challenges of walking online leads through the process of trusting you with one of the most important purchases of their lives can seem overwhelming. But by sending leads addicting content, using the right tools, and offering value, real estate agents can improve their conversion rates.
Squarespace has quickly become one of the easiest real estate website builders to use. Anthony Casalena, Founder of Squarespace, was frustrated with how hard it was to build a site for himself. That’s why he set out to make a website builder that was so simple anyone could use it. Squarespace doesn’t use tons of coding and includes web hosting. But is it any good for real estate websites? Agents who don’t have time to learn coding or don’t want to pay someone to maintain their sites are falling in love with the platform. Here are some of the top reasons why real estate agents are using Squarespace to build their websites. We’ve also included a list of example Squarespace real estate websites below.
The top reason agents are taking advantage of Squarespace is because it’s easy it is to use. Squarespace uses a simple drag and drop layout for building websites that is easier than learning CSS or HTML coding. Most agents don’t have time to learn web design and with Squarespace they don’t have to. If an agent can post on Facebook or use Gmail, then they have enough skills to manage a real estate website on Squarespace.
Easy IDX Integration
IDX isn’t just about tossing some listings up on a website. It’s a marketing powerhouse designed to attract buyers to your website, capture their information, and convert them into your clients. IDX plugins can also allow agents to see what type of homes their leads are looking at including price range, geographical area, property preferences, and more. It’s the best way to show off sold listings and featured listings, too. Adding IDX to a real estate website can transform it from a passive information page into a client generating tool.
Squarespace is great because they make it easy to add IDX to websites with plugins from brands like Buying Buddy. The plugins are easy to install, don’t use iframes, and work seamlessly with Squarespace.
Beautiful Looking Websites
The other thing agents like about Squarespace is their beautiful templates and layouts. When Anthony Casalena started Squarespace, he was bothered by how many ugly websites were online. “None of the products out there took style or design into account — which doesn’t work when you’re trying to build your personal identity online. Your website is where your ideas live. It reflects who you are,” he said. One of his top goals was to create gorgeous websites that flowed well – and he succeeded.
Here are some examples of real estate websites that use Squarespace:
HostGator, GoDaddy, BlueHost – if you’ve ever had a real estate website, chances are you’ve wasted a few hours of your life on the phone with your web host. And if your website just stopped working, it was probably because there was an issue between your web host and your website CMS (WordPress, Duda, etc.).
It takes time and money to make sure your website host stays current and connected to your website. Squarespace cuts out the middlemen by including web hosting with all of their websites. It’s just simple. No more billing multiple accounts or having to call multiple support hotlines.
Squarespace is also affordable, even for agents just starting out. It only costs $18/month for their yearly business plan. It includes unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, hosting, and domain migration. The platform also offers a free 14-day trial so you can try out the interface before deciding whether to commit.
It doesn’t matter how easy it is to build a website if no one ever sees it. Luckily, Squarespace websites often rank at the top of search engines. Their main strength is social media integration and sharing features which both Google and Bing take into account when ranking sites. The platform also includes all of the other bells and whistles agents need to be seen online:
SSL Certificates (HTTPS://)
Automatic Mobile Optimization
Built-in Meta Tags
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
Image Alt Tags
Squarespace for Real Estate Websites
There are many great website builders for real estate, but Squarespace has made it easy to create real estate websites. It’s the best real estate website builder for agents who don’t have a lot of technical skills and want to get their businesses online fast. The price point is very affordable and they’ve cut out the hosting middlemen, too.
Real Estate APIs are powerful tools for real estate web and software developers. In its simplest sense, an API (Application Programming Interface) is like a bridge for two seperate applications to share data. With an API, a real estate agent might share useful data on their website like listings, neighborhood statistics, or mortgage information. The right real estate API can increase the marketing power of any website or app. But, having an API with accurate data is key. Real estate market data changes minute-by-minute as new properties are listed, go under contract, and are sold. Mortgage rates are always fluctuating and public records don’t always match real property details. Not all real estate APIs have reliable data. So, we tracked down the best real estate APIs with the most accurate data.
Note: The APIs reviewed in this article are for real estate in the United States.
Best Property APIs
Data Rabbit API (RETS Rabbit)
Data Rabbit API combines all of the different sources of MLS data and puts them into one place with their RESO API. They are the one-stop API for real estate listings from Zillow, ListHub, Bridge, Trestle, Rapattoni, MLS Grid, and even any custom databases agents may want to integrate into their project. Data Rabbit’s API shines brightest when it is used for large brokerage apps and for nation-wide listing search engines like Zillow, Redfin, ListHub, etc.
The Easiest Way to Get MLS Listings on Your Website
There are many great real estate APIs to get property listings on websites, but most agents and web developers don’t want to deal with the complex challenges of working with an API. Luckily, there are real estate IDX plugins that will do all the work for agents and developers who want a much easier way to get MLS data on their websites.
Getting accurate, robust real estate listing data on a website is a lot easier using IDX than it is using a property API. IDX (Internet Data Exchange) is the agreement between real estate agents and brokerages to share MLS listings online. It predates most real estate web APIs and is the real estate industry standard for sharing listing data.
For developers that need to show MLS listings on websites and want to save time and money, IDX is the best option. It usually comes packaged as a plugin solution that is easy to install. And, because IDX is the industry standard, it’s widely compatible with different CMS platforms.
Buying Buddy IDX CRM
Buying Buddy IDX CRM is a great choice for agents and web developers that decide to forgo property APIs. It’s a plugin to share MLS listings on any real estate website. Buying Buddy IDX CRM has the ability to display listing data any way and offers endless customizable data fields. With hundreds of data points, this plugin features minute-by-minute updates and the ability to search for real estate listings based on price, size, neighborhood, price range, open house availability, and much more. Buying Buddy is compatible with WordPress, Weebly, HTML, Squarespace, Joomla, Duda, Drupal, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Webflow, and Adobe Muse.
Best City and Neighborhood Info APIs
Walk Score API
Walk Score is a useful real estate API that provides “walkability scores” for any property listing to major areas that have groceries, restaurants, etc. The API also features “public transit scores” for public transportation availability near any address, and a “travel time” API that allows anyone to calculate the distance between two addresses. Walk Score API is really useful for residential real estate websites and apps because it provides even deeper insights than MLS listings alone.
Neighborhood Scout API
Neighborhood Scout API is one of the best tools for sharing information about cities and neighborhoods. With 6 report categories, 600 data elements, and predictive analytics, this API provides accurate crime stats, demographic information, school information, real estate insights, and other area statistics. Real estate agents and brokerages like using this type of data on their neighborhood landing pages. Neighborhood Scout API also offers Scout Vision data, which allows real estate investors to see which neighborhoods will provide the greatest ROI.
This versatile API is completely customizable and can be used for both internal real estate projects and public facing projects. Another perk of Neighborhood Scout is their Sandbox API, which allows you to test your code against their free endpoint with a sample list of 120 properties.
Best Mortgage Calculator API
Realtor.com’s Realtor API boasts many features including real estate finance rates, mortgage calculators, school info, and property data. The data all comes from the National Association of REALTORS®, which sets the industry standard. Their finance rates and mortgage calculators are reliable and up-to-date. This API is a great addition to any brokerage or real estate agent’s website.
Best Property Valuation and Public Records APIs
Estated is one of the best real estate APIs for property valuations, owner history, deeds, sales, mortgage information, and more. With hundreds of data points, this API allows real estate agents to easily see the entire history of a home. The home valuation data is more accurate than many other APIs out there because of the sheer amount of historical data Estated has collected for each property. It’s also one of the easiest valuation APIs to work with because all data mapping is automated.
When it comes to home valuations, Zillow’s API has gotten a lot of criticism about its level of accuracy. Many real estate agents cringe about “Zestimates”, but Zillow has done a lot to improve its data accuracy over the last few years. Their API now claims to have less than a 4% margin of error, which is the industry standard for valuation. For a free API that’s commonly used, it’s worth considering.
Best Commercial Real Estate API
Real Massive DataQu
It’s now easy to get up-to-date commercial real estate data with Real Massive’s DataQu. With over 250 data points, this API lets users do property searches by area, year built, square footage, industry, sub-industry, acreage, land use, mortgage and lean information, tenancy, and more. Commercial real estate agents like this API because it allows them to find comparable properties instantly.
The best part is that Real Massive is offering web and software developers free access to their data. It is a great opportunity for those working on commercial real estate projects.
A real estate blog is a great way to drive up SEO, position real estate agents as local experts, and to make connections with new leads. But one of the biggest challenges is figuring out what to write about. Kick writer’s block to the curb with these 75 easy real estate blog ideas:
Compile a curated list of top real estate listings of the month
Write an article about the pros and cons of renting versus buying
Create a checklist for first-time homebuyers
Create a step-by-step checklist list for purchasing/closing on a home
Create a list of tips for buying a new build and some pitfalls to avoid
Create a list of some of the best home inspectors in your area
Make a list of some of the craziest/unique properties that have sold in your market
Make a VLOG walkthrough of a luxury property in your market
Make a definitive guide to all of the educational options in your market (public, private, and charter schools)
Make a list of house hunting tips for your market
Make a list comparing shopping for homes online versus in person
Write an article on the emotional stages of buying a home
Write an article on the emotional stages of selling a home
Create a list of the top industries/employers in your market and include job hunting links/tips
Do a Q&A with the questions you are most frequently asked as a Realtor
Make a checklist of how to improve your credit when applying for a home loan
Make an article about the best times of the year to buy in your market
Create a tip sheet for moving with pets
Create a tip sheet for preparing kids for a move
Write an article on home improvements with the greatest ROI
Write an article detailing what exactly a real estate agent does on behalf of buyers/sellers
Create a home staging guide for sellers
Compile a list of red flags when looking at homes in your market
Highlight a specific neighborhood in your market including schools, industry, recreation, etc.
Create a home inspection guide for buyers
Compile a list of things NOT to do when buying a home
Write an article about where you see the future of the real estate industry heading
Write an article about how you became a real estate agent (this can also be used to help beef up your bio section)
Write an article about buying a specific type of niche property in your market (i.e. waterfront, cabins, farmland, etc.)
Write an article highlighting the best types of properties for a specific type of lead (i.e. the best type of properties for young families in your market or the best neighborhoods for millennials in your market)
Do a VLOG virtual walkthrough of a neighborhood using your cell phone.
Write an article about how to tell if you are/are not ready to buy
Write an article about how to get your home to sell faster (price reasonably, use an agent, staging, etc.)
Explain the value of having a real estate agent
Create a how-to guide for purchasing land in your market
Interview a mortgage broker about how to get the best loan possible
Share a local market update
Write an article featuring the house that sold the fastest in your market in the past year and the listing that has been on the market the longest. Compare and contrast what made one sell quickly, and why the other isn’t selling.
Do a vlog for each listing you have on the market (listing agents)
Write a “secret tips” article about getting deals on real estate
Write an article on how to select Airbnb/rental properties in your market for real estate investors
Make a guide about the pros and cons of buying a foreclosure
Compile a list of the worst listings you have come across in your market
Do a vlog explaining the process of selling a home
Do a vlog explaining the process of buying a home
Make of list of open houses this week
Make a list of all the neighborhoods with amazing holiday displays
Make a calendar and an article featuring all of the local festivals/events that happen annually in your market
Create a vlog featuring one your past clients about how you helped them find or sell their home
Do a monthly update of your favorite active listings
Create a list of your favorite neighborhoods for niche markets like 55+
Compile a list of the best local contractors for building homes on land purchases
Interview a local contractor and explain the process of purchasing land and building in your market
Write about how to get the best resale value on a seller’s home
Share an updating blog about the step-by-step process of helping one of your clients buy or sell their home. Share on social as well.
Compile a list of the best ways to market a home; include examples of things you do to market homes (Matterport, Single Property Sites, listing videos, curbside, etc.)
Share a hyperlocal list of your favorite places to eat, drink, etc. and do it town by town.
Do a profile on a neighborhood/subdivision including year built, popular models, home styles, strengths of the neighborhood, demographics, etc.
Make an investors article about the neighborhoods that are set to have the greatest investment roi in the coming years.
Write an article on a neighborhood that is headed for gentrification, discuss why it is changing, and why it is a good time to buy into that area.
Write an article about the best way to plan a move across the country
Write an article about the best movers in your area
Interview a local mover about the best tips for keeping possessions safe, secure, and well-packed during a move.
Create a VLOG about showing off the differences between shopping online for a home and how it stacks up to shopping in person. Select a listing that may be deceptive online and compare it to a real walkthrough.
Write an article about the top issues to look out for with homes in your area (i.e. flooding, poor clay/soil, mold, radon, etc.)
Write an article about how to tell if you are financially ready to buy a home
Write an article about how to tell if you are financially ready to sell your home
Write about selling options during foreclosure in your market
Interview a contractor about renovations and flipping
Compile a list of top contractors for renovations
Write a pros and cons list of buying an older home versus a newer home in your market
Make a list of the best historic listings on the market
Write an article about the history of your market
Write an article about the best value-adding changes you can make to the exterior/yard of a home
Make a list of the best real estate lawyers in your market
Real Estate Blog Ideas
The best real estate blog ideas are easy to write and drive up SEO. But most importantly, they should help leads. These articles are often compiled in list format, like how-to guides or feature reviews, and should not take very long to create. Each article should help leads feel a little more confident and knowledgeable about buying/selling in your market. Best of all, they can be the first point of connection between you and future clients.
Buying Buddy IDX CRM real estate lead capture and customer relationship management (CRM) platform is now available for Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABOR) real estate agents and teams.
Buying Buddy IDX CRM is designed to make real estate agents’ businesses more predictable. With Buying Buddy, agents can get rid of sales gaps by attracting and capturing new real estate leads, building relationships with leads using specialized property alerts, and managing customer relationships from any source.
The Buying Buddy IDX CRM suite is compatible with any ABOR real estate agent’s business website. The software can be used on any website as a plugin for WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly, Joomla, Drupal, PHP, or as a fully built IDX-ready real estate website. Each option provides full MLS search and property display capabilities for the Austin Board of REALTORS® and the ACTRIS MLS system.
“We are extremely excited to have integrated with ABOR,” said Paul Eastwood, Founder of the Buying Buddy IDX CRM suite. “We are always striving to forge new relationships with MLSs across the country and our integration with ABOR will provide a whole new added benefit for real estate agents, teams, and offices.”
The life of a real estate agent is sometimes hectic. It’s all about the little victories and making life easier whether you’re in the office or out with clients. We are breaking down the best life hacks for agents to make your life easier and help you get ahead.
Lock Fix: Open Every Tricky Lock
Locks and lock boxes are the worst. The good news is this life hack for Realtors has two methods for unsticking any lock. The first is pretty simple; if a lock is frozen because of the cold, use any hand-sanitizer and apply it to the lock. It will instantly thaw. For locks that are jammed use a tiny dab of silicone thread lubricant on the lock and key. It will open right away and the bottle is so small you can toss it in your purse or car and forget about it.
Open House Hack: Fight Smelly Fridges with Oats
Get rid of nasty smells at your open house with oats. Plain oats absorb and neutralize odors from stinky fridges. Just pick up any container of oats and leave the unopened jar inside the fridge an hour or two before your open house.
Staging Technique: White Out the Bathroom
Bathrooms are an important part of the house; nothing turns off buyers quicker than a nasty bathroom. Clean white towels will make the bathroom look a lot cleaner and entice buyers. This tactic has been used by hotels for years. Color psychology shows that people naturally associate the color white with purity and cleanliness.
Open House Hack: Flip Every Switch
One of the quickest ways to add the illusion of square footage is by flipping on the lights and opening the blinds. Light has also been shown to put people in a better mood. All the lights should be switched on and drapes opened at every open house or showing.
Get More Online Leads: Put IDX and a CRM on Your Website
CRMs are everywhere these days. But, for agents, a super easy hack is to kill two birds with one stone by choosing a CRM with integrated IDX. Integrated IDX allows you to capture leads on your website and start converting them into clients automatically.
This type of CRM can import and manage all of your leads from Zillow, Realtor.com, Facebook, etc. but will also give you better a quailty of leads from your own websites.
IDX leads are imported with detailed home search histories. Agents can see right off the bat if the lead is looking for a 2 bd/1 ba in the city or a 4 bd/2 ba in a particular suburb. Starting the conversation by showing knowledge about the type of home they are looking for and offering the listings that are tailored to the lead’s search history, makes the relationship move from lead to client in a snap.
Open House Hack: Get Rid of Wood Scratches Quick
If you have an almond or crayons on hand, you can get rid of knicks and cuts in any wood surface. If you use an almond, simply cut it in half and rub the inside (meat) of the almond into the scratch. This will rehydrate the wood with the oil of the almond and hide nicks and dings.
For crayons, it is helpful to keep a couple of browns, whites, and blacks on hand. Simply match the surface to the crayon color and fill it in. The wax will come off easily with warm water and a paper towel.
Open House Hack: Use Mirrors and Psychology
You already know you need to get sellers to take their personal photos down. But did you know subbing art and photos out for mirrors may put the odds in your favor? Mirrors work better than art because they reflect light, create the illusion of bigger spaces, and subtly help buyers imagine themselves in a new home using their own reflection.
Open House Hack: Roll Up the Rugs
Rugs should be removed from the house. They create an impression of dirt and rooms seem cleaner and bigger without them. This is really one of the easiest life hacks for Realtors to remember- toss out the rug. The only exception to this rule is when the floor is damaged, stained, or peeling. Then, you should pick a light colored rug thats been thoroughly cleaned.
Make a Difference and Connect: Volunteer in Community Projects and Charities
These events allow you to connect with your community, give back, and provide a great networking platform to meet new clients. They also position you a neighborhood expert. Community projects and charities present opportunities to partner with other organizations and businesses. If the area you farm does not have any projects or charities, then start one.
Open House Hack: Decorative Pillows and Covers
Most people spend a third of their lifetime sleeping. Bedrooms are one of the primary places of interest for homebuyers. Decorative pillowscan help create a relaxing space and create the illusion of larger space. Smaller, decorative pillows make rooms look bigger than they really are.
Open House Hack: Add a Metallic Touch
A few metallic accessories added to a room can make it feel luxurious and contemporary. A silver leather throw pillow, copper tray, a garden stool or bronze side table will suffice. Metallic artifacts may not be colorful but add a lot of glamour and visual appeal.
Build Relationships in Person: Give Workshops and Q&A Sessions
Market workshops can be used to grow your network. Invite people to come and hear about the real estate industry. Even simple question and answer sessions about the market can be helpful for buyers, sellers, and other professionals. These types of events position you as an industry expert, introduce you to new leads, and allow you to connect to the community. These opportunities work great on Facebook Live and Instagram, too.
Life Hacks for Real Estate Agents
Do you have a secret trick or hack that makes your life run more smoothly? Tell us about your life hacks for Realtors in the comments below.
There are few things more annoying than scrambling for keys during a showing. KeyMe is great because all you have to do is take a picture of a key on your phone and then bring it to a KeyMe kiosk to print. Are you part of a team that needs multiple copies? Don’t have time to print them all at once? KeyMe has you covered; in order to print more keys, all you need is the one photo.
Docusign is an oldie, but a goodie. The great thing about this app is that it’s constantly updated and many clients are now familiar with it. Plans specifically for Realtors are available in the app with a starting point of $10/mo. Advanced features like commenting, reminders, and notifications make the contract process go so much more quickly.
Okay, MatterPort is seriously cool. The virtual tour company is taking 3D tours into the future. With out-of-area buyers wanting to check out homes online, Matterport is perfect. Matterport essentially scans an entire property and creates a seamless 3D environment out of the whole property. With stats like 95% of viewers being more likely to call and 300% more listing engagement, it’s no wonder these tours are taking real estate tech into the future.
We would be remiss if we didn’t add Buying Buddy IDX and CRM to the list. We’re constantly updating our fully integrated IDX and CRM. The Buying Buddy CRM gathers all your leads from your website, Zillow, Realtor.com, social media, and any source you can imagine and puts them together in one place. We focus on hyper-personalized lead nurturing to turn every online lead into a forever client. The IDX plug-in allows you to create hyper-localized niche landing pages to capture even more leads.
Slack is a perfect tool for real estate teams. The work chat app is perfect for communication on the go. It uses “streams” which allow for team members to jump into dedicated chats for marketing, contracts, showings, admin, social media, and anything else teams can think up. With agents being constantly on the go, this tech tool is perfect for keeping everyone up to speed and focused on the gains ahead.
Area Pulse is the easiest, one-stop shop for market reports. Say goodbye to hours wasted drawing up market reports for clients. The part that clients like best is that the reports look slick and are easy to understand. These reports are classy. The hyper-local capabilities allow agents to drill down deep for super personalized reports.
Broker Sumo is the easiest way to manage any real estate office. The software covers all office accounting, reporting, commision tracking and disbursements, agent billing, agent onboarding, ACH transfers, and transactions in one place. If you work on a team, Broker Sumo is a major time-saver.
Listing agents will love Single Property Sites because it’s an all-in-one listing marketing tool that’s easy-to-use. Create glossy listing websites in seconds with photos, virtual tours, listing videos, open house and virtual open house info, agent contact details, and more. The best part? It’s free to set up.
There is no doubt that online marketing more important than ever. But, it’s a huge pain to create posts for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. Buffer lets you push out all your social media posts from one app. It is absolutely free to set up an account that manages three social media channels (FaceBook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.). And, if you want to purchase more, the fees are pretty small. Simply schedule all of your social media posts in one sitting and then forget it for the rest of the week.
We are rounding that corner into the holiday season, which means we are also coming to the time-honored year in review process. Real estate agents and Realtors® are looking back this year to see where they made gains and where they still need improvement. Before you look at making changes to your business, be sure you look closely at your current processes to grow your real estate business. Remember the old adage “there’s always room for improvement”.
Examine Your Current Process
Where do your leads come from? Even though your listings and the marketing you do for your listings remain one of the best avenues for Realtors to secure new business, they are not the only place.
Paid Advertising- Whether you use Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads or Yahoo Advertising you are spending a lot of money for placement. Do you know what your ROI is or if you are getting the most from your investment? Here is a place you might look for improvement to grow your Real Estate business in 2018.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- This is an area that should be examined annually if not more frequently. Search engine algorithms are changed frequently, sometimes in part and sometimes by a complete overhaul. This can wreak havoc on your niche marketing strategy. For more info read our Active Rain blog Google algorithms, and be sure you look at your SEO strategy to grow your Real Estate business in 2018.
Zillow, Realtor.com and maybe Amazon – Paying a fee for leads passed along to you. There is not much room for negotiation here, but make sure lead follow-up is airtight. You have to be sure that you get the ROI from leads purchased. If you find any leaks, be sure to seal them to grow your Real Estate business in 2018.
Social Media- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat to name a few. Where is your audience? As millennials move beyond “young” people they are changing the face of where Realtors and Agents need to be hanging out socially online. Be sure you are where you need to be online to grow your Real Estate business in 2018.
Places You Might Not Have Thought Of – There are places that, believe it or not, still remain greatly untapped. A few examples are Google My Business, LinkedIn, and Nextdoor. Agents can do a land grab on some valuable online Real Estate (pun intended). For more information about these untapped online bastions that can help you grow your Real Estate Business in 2018, check out this article on Inman.
You have the leads, now what?
There is a study that revealed how important your follow-up process is. Once a contact is identified it is very important for Agents to follow- up within 5 minutes if possible. After one hour, your chances of converting that contact to a qualified Lead drops drastically (by around 82%). If broken down even further, the number of conversions decreases even more dramatically between 5 and 10 minutes (between 80-81%).
When you get a notice that a new contact has been identified, regardless of where it came from, how do you handle it? This area will most likely have room for improvement.
Evaluate the Tools You Use
If you have real estate marketing tools, make sure you are fully utilizing their functionality. Many agents and brokers invest in CRM systems but then do not fully deploy their features. Sometimes they also end up finding that the system they use is not designed to meet the specific needs of the real estate industry. You can improve your conversion and lead incubation by better understanding your business solutions. Improvement here will increase your ROI and help you grow your real estate business.
Occasionally, an agent will realize that they need help to improve one or more of these areas. There are highly specialized resources available to help you grow your real estate business in 2018. If you find that you need help with customer relationship management because you don’t have a Real Estate Specific IDX CRM or you have a system that was not designed for real estate, contact us.
We have been helping real estate professionals with IDX based solutions since 2002. Our Buying Buddy IDX CRM suite (MBB) is designed to help you excel at Real Estate marketing with an IDX based CRM suite. We can help you grow your real estate business in the new year.