3 Ways To Use Your MLS for Real Estate Marketing

3 Ways To Use Your MLS for Real Estate Marketing

Grow Your Real Estate Business With Everyone Else’s Listings

Becoming an expert in the real estate industry isn’t easy, but it’s one of the best ways to grow your business. Sure, everyone knows that putting out yard signs and running email campaigns are time-tested ways to get your name out there, but what if you’re on the hunt for more creative and unique ways to illustrate your expertise and find more potential clients? That’s where the secret marketing superpower of MLS listings comes into play.

Agents typically overlook the biggest asset for real estate lead generation they already have at their disposal – their own MLS! Indeed, it is possible to leverage all of the listings on your MLS to your own marketing advantage by adding IDX to your real estate website. Even if every listing you feature is not your own, your MLS is a goldmine for content that can work to draw in organic search engine traffic and deliver highly-interested and specific leads to your doorstep, ready to be captured. 

Here are 3 ways you can use IDX (not for searching!), that utilize all the listings on the MLS, to help you position yourself as a real estate expert and turn your website into a more effective real estate marketing machine.

1. Build Authority with Hyperlocal Neighborhood Pages

Focusing on getting to know neighborhood markets is a proven strategy for generating real estate leads. One simple way to demonstrate your authority and knowledge is through the creation of hyperlocal neighborhood pages that attract organic search traffic. Hyperlocal neighborhood pages allow you to position yourself as an authority in your real estate market in order to generate and capture those niche leads looking for homes in a specific neighborhood. Your real estate website should not just be a way to advertise yourself and your homes – it is also a vital tool in helping you to build authority as a real estate agent and demonstrate your local knowledge and expertise to potential clients. 

Using an IDX plugin for your real estate website lets you create hyperlocal real estate neighborhood pages with live properties and real estate data, all blended with information on lifestyle, education, recreation, and other important details that would be useful to people thinking of moving to the area. Your IDX plugin should let you easily embed various exciting displays of MLS listings all across your web pages. The best IDX plugins make it easy to feature recent sales in the neighborhood, the newest listings, homes within a certain price range, or even homes with specific desirable features, like wraparound porches or lake access. 

Along with positioning yourself as a real estate marketing expert, hyperlocal neighborhood pages can also improve your SEO and ultimately, your Google ranking. No matter what type of market you’re targeting, rising to the top of the Google search results will bring in more organic traffic to your website and allow you to capture more leads, just by using your own MLS. Check out more tips to create hyperlocal neighborhood pages that empower your SEO.

2. Use the Magic of IDX to Demonstrate Legitimacy

IDX is marketing magic, and if you’re not utilizing MLS properties with an IDX plugin on your website, you are losing out on the opportunity to impress buyers and sellers with your knowledge and sales experience. Don’t have any active or sold listings to display? Not a problem. When you add an advanced IDX plugin to your WordPress, Squarespace, or other type of real estate website, the entire MLS is at your disposal, so showcase the active or sold listings from your office in the meantime.

The beauty of using IDX to combine the MLS with your own real estate website is that you can showcase any inventory you like – all to your own advantage, allowing you to look like a major player even if you just got your license recently! One of the main benefits of using an IDX plugin like Buying Buddy is that real estate agents can use IDX to create custom showcases and search criteria for neighborhood-specific and niche-specific homes with MLS data. 

For instance, say you wanted to target a luxury market in a ski area. You could create a page (perhaps even a hyperlocal neighborhood page as mentioned above) or a series of pages in an entire section of your site featuring a custom showcase of homes on the market with the coveted ‘ski in’ amenity, along with information about local ski areas and recreation available in the area. You can also add additional IDX widget components such as quick search links or search forms that solely search for ski in / ski out, making it easier for your traffic to navigate your site and find relevant properties, all delivered by the power of IDX. 

3. Create More Credible Content With MLS Listings

The power of content creation should never be underestimated when it comes to establishing credibility as an agent, and using MLS listings delivered by IDX to support your content is easier than ever. 

Leverage MLS listings into credibility with your leads using IDX. Embed MLS listings into your content with IDX widgets to complement and support the articles, blog posts or pages that you create. Combining your content with MLS listings allows you to provide meaningful and relevant examples of properties that fall under the topic you’ve written about, enabling you to reach an even wider audience than you would with content creation alone, just by utilizing the power of IDX. 

For example, are you interested in a certain kind of architecture, like Victorian homes, in your area? When writing a blog post about this style of home, enhance your content by embedding specific Victorian homes into the post itself using an IDX widget from Buying Buddy. Wizards make it as easy as just copy and pasting shortcodes to display the relevant properties. Not only does this enrich your content, embedding specific properties from your MLS gives your traffic a better overview of the properties and allows them to see exactly which types of these homes are available on the market. 

Content like this can improve your site and its rankings on Google, allowing you to generate more leads while providing a valuable informational service to potential buyers. Most content created by real estate agents often doesn’t include any properties, but IDX plugins like Buying Buddy allow you to embed the latest real-time matching properties within or amongst your content, giving it much more credibility by providing real-life examples. When you include properties like this, not only do you create more credible content that appeals to your target market, you can also build a more meaningful relationship with leads long before they ever meet you in person. 

Use the Power of the MLS to Your Advantage

One of the most unique ways to grow your real estate business is to use the power of the MLS to your advantage to build authority in your market. Implementing IDX on your real estate website is your opportunity to harness the power of your MLS as content in your own marketing. Using IDX MLS listings like this will help you legitimize your business with authoritative content that gives you credibility straight out of the box.

When you combine MLS data with an IDX plugin on your real estate website, your marketing efforts will bear more fruit by allowing you to give your service more tangibility and exploding your rankings on Google with the rich, engaging content you’ll create, just by featuring specific properties you find on the MLS.

Don’t let this real estate marketing opportunity go to waste–use MLS listings with an IDX plugin to build authority and expertise, and your business will flourish.

Unplugging Yourself as a Realtor

Unplugging Yourself as a Realtor

As a realtor you spend a lot of time on your phone, on your computer, driving around and staying connected with your community. It can be a job that overtakes your personal life and at some point you will realize that it’s important for you to step back and unplug yourself as a realtor. Here are some ways that you can start to take those baby steps towards unplugging:

Stop Over Thinking

Stop thinking that every moment you are away from your email, social media, and your clients that it is all going to fall apart. It’s easy to think that for one second if you take time for yourself away from work that when you get back to it, it won’t exist anymore. Everybody feels this way at some point in their career, but rarely is this ever the case. Whether you have somebody working for you or you run your own business, it is going to take something major for everything to come crashing down. So take a deep breath and relax.

Develop a Plan

Develop a plan for when you HAVE to be connected and when you don’t have to be. By scheduling events and telling your clients when you will not be available you are going to eliminate those late night phone calls, early morning emails of panic and having clients that think you will work for them 24/7. When you plan a vacation make yourself unavailable during most of it, letting everyone know when you will be checking email and voicemail.

Embrace Silence

Turn your phone on silent. It is easy for you to hear your phone ring or a notification noise that you have new messages to pick up your phone and see what’s going on. If your phone is on silent you won’t hear any of those annoying sounds and you will be able to get your mind off of it. Although this might not be ideal when it is business hours, when you’re done for the day you should not have to worry about a client calling you and disrupting your dinner.

Work smarter, not harder.

Know how many hours you have each day dedicated to work and use that time as efficiently as possible. Make your priorities take longer and don’t waste time in areas that are not as important, whatever they may be. Time management is the key to unplugging yourself as a realtor.

Bottom Line

These four tips can help you to discover what is right for you to gain a balance of your work and personal life. To find that perfect balance might require a lot of adjustments to your daily life, but once you find the balance you are going to find yourself working more efficiently. Unplugging yourself as a realtor doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem.

How to Use Real Estate Infographics to Attract Leads + 25 Examples

Many real estate agents struggle to catch the attention of online leads. But few have tried one of the internet’s best kept secrets- real estate infographics. 

Infographics are images that present leads with easy-to-digest information. Leads like to use infographics to quickly learn and make decisions.

These images are great at capturing leads’ attention, driving up SEO, generating new leads, and promoting viral sharing of an agent’s brand. 

The best part is that real estate agents can make real estate infographics easily, for free, online. We have created the ultimate guide to making real estate infographics from start to finish.

Real Estate Infographics are Great Because They Are:

Fast and Free

It’s easy to make beautiful and free real estate infographics using sites like:

  • Canva.com
  • Spark.Adobe.com
  • Pictochart.com
  • Visme.com

Attract Attention

  • 40% of marketers say that infographics drive the most engagement of any form of online content (Venngage)
  • Three days after viewing, people remember 65% of what they saw on an infographic versus only 10% of what they read. (J. Medina)
  • 41.5% of marketers say that graphics like infographics are the most valuable (Venngage)

Viral

  • Infographics are liked and shared on social media 3x more than any other type of content (NN Group)
  • Tweets with images like infographics receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images (HubSpot)

An SEO Goldmine

  • Infographics boost traffic to websites by 12% (Demand Gen Report)

The Easy Way to Make Real Estate Infographics

All of this may all sound great, but you may be wondering:

  • What would I even make my infographics about?
  • How much time will it take?
  • How can I get leads from infographics?

We put together a real estate agent’s guide for using infographics, that answers all of these questions and more. And best of all, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to create an infographic that can generate leads for years to come.

1. Pick a Topic

Picking a topic for your infographic shouldn’t be overwhelming. There are two easy ways to choose a topic:

  • Look at other real estate infographics that have already been created.
  • Use free tools to choose a topic specific to your market.

Both options are covered, below.

Look at Other Real Estate Infographics for Inspiration

If you are short on time, a great option is to look at real estate infographics other real estate pros have created. Choosing a similar topic like one of the examples below is a great way to get started. Here are 25 great real estate infographic examples:

You can can also use free tools online to pick a topic for your local market.

Use Free Tools to Choose a Infographic Topic

Free tools like Google Keyword Planner, Keywords Everywhere, Google Correlate, Wordtracker Scout, and Keyword Sh!tter let you research what topics local leads want to learn about.

Here is an example using Google Correlate

Google Correlate is a free tool that shows what related searches people are performing online. For instance, if I look up the keyword, “how to remove a popcorn ceiling” there is a high likelihood that I will also Google terms like “how much does it cost to remove popcorn ceilings” or “Home Depot near me”. 

Google Correlate identifies these overlapping/related search terms that people are looking up. The keywords are correlated.

Example:

Now, if my market is Denver, I can look at keywords like “houses for sale Denver” (see image above) and at what other searches leads are performing. It looks like people shopping for homes in Denver are also looking to get the best credit score possible for their home loans.

I could make an infographic about ways leads can improve their credit scores for a Denver home loan or I could make an infographic with a list of loan providers in the Denver area. 

2. Copy the Stats

After you choose your topic, it’s time to gather the stats (content) for your infographic. This usually only takes a few minutes. A simple Google search is usually all that it takes. And credible sources like the NAR are full of quick data.

3. Pick a Free Tool to Create Infographics

Next it’s time to choose a free tool to create your real estate infographics. There are tons of sites that can generate them in minutes. Some choices include:

  • Canva.com
  • Spark.Adobe.com
  • Pictochart.com
  • Visme.com

4. Add Your Brand & Contact Info

Make sure to upload your logo/branding to the infographic maker and brand every infographic you make. That way leads will always be pointed back to you. Include a call-to-action for leads to visit your website or email you. You can usually do this at the very top or bottom of the infographic.

A branded infographic with clear contact information has the ability to generate leads for years.

(INCLUDE EXAMPLE)

5. Share and Boost on Social Media

Share your real estate infographics on social media and your website. You can also boost visibility using social media marketing.

6. Get the most out of your Infographics with Lead Capture

Using infographics is free and easy and they are great for boosting SEO, too. Including branding and clear contact information helps generate leads. But, to generate even more leads, lead capture is where is at.

  • 49.7% of marketers say that web forms are their highest converting lead generation tool (Hubspot).

Adding a lead capture forms to your webpages with infographics can generate the highest percentage of leads.

That’s where integrated IDX comes in. It’s the perfect partner for real estate infographics. IDX captures the contact information of leads visiting an agent’s website. Adding a soft sign up form to a blog post with an infographic can more than double the amount of leads generated. It also turns those leads into loyal website visitors by recording their home search history and sending them tailored property listings.

To find out more about how fully integrated IDX can help you generate more leads and help you close more often, check out a Buying Buddy demo.

Real Estate Infographics

Real estate infographics are free and simple to make. They are great for real estate agents because of they capture leads’ attention, boost SEO, and have the capability to go viral. Real estate agents can make them in minutes and they have the evergreen potential to generate leads for years to come.

5 Ways Real Estate Agents Convert Their Online Leads Into Clients

5 Ways Real Estate Agents Convert Their Online Leads Into Clients

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.

A good real estate CRM can help you do this step on autopilot.

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
  • Neighborhood information
  • 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.

75 Easy Real Estate Blog Ideas

75 Easy Real Estate Blog Ideas

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:

  1. Compile a curated list of top real estate listings of the month
  2. Write an article about the pros and cons of renting versus buying
  3. Create a checklist for first-time homebuyers
  4. Create a step-by-step checklist list for purchasing/closing on a home
  5. Create a list of tips for buying a new build and some pitfalls to avoid
  6. Create a list of some of the best home inspectors in your area
  7. Make a list of some of the craziest/unique properties that have sold in your market
  8. Make a VLOG walkthrough of a luxury property in your market
  9. Make a definitive guide to all of the educational options in your market (public, private, and charter schools)
  10. Make a list of house hunting tips for your market
  11. Make a list comparing shopping for homes online versus in person
  12. Write an article on the emotional stages of buying a home
  13. Write an article on the emotional stages of selling a home
  14. Create a list of the top industries/employers in your market and include job hunting links/tips
  15. Do a Q&A with the questions you are most frequently asked as a Realtor
  16. Make a checklist of how to improve your credit when applying for a home loan
  17. Make an article about the best times of the year to buy in your market
  18. Create a tip sheet for moving with pets
  19. Create a tip sheet for preparing kids for a move
  20. Write an article on home improvements with the greatest ROI
  21. Write an article detailing what exactly a real estate agent does on behalf of buyers/sellers
  22. Create a home staging guide for sellers
  23. Compile a list of red flags when looking at homes in your market
  24. Highlight a specific neighborhood in your market including schools, industry, recreation, etc.
  25. Create a home inspection guide for buyers
  26. Compile a list of things NOT to do when buying a home
  27. Write an article about where you see the future of the real estate industry heading
  28. Write an article about how you became a real estate agent (this can also be used to help beef up your bio section)
  29. Write an article about buying a specific type of niche property in your market (i.e. waterfront, cabins, farmland, etc.)
  30. 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)
  31. Do a VLOG virtual walkthrough of a neighborhood using your cell phone.
  32. Write an article about how to tell if you are/are not ready to buy
  33. Write an article about how to get your home to sell faster (price reasonably, use an agent, staging, etc.)
  34. Explain the value of having a real estate agent
  35. Create a how-to guide for purchasing land in your market
  36. Interview a mortgage broker about how to get the best loan possible
  37. Share a local market update
  38. 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.
  39. Do a vlog for each listing you have on the market (listing agents)
  40. Write a “secret tips” article about getting deals on real estate
  41. Write an article on how to select Airbnb/rental properties in your market for real estate investors
  42. Make a guide about the pros and cons of buying a foreclosure
  43. Compile a list of the worst listings you have come across in your market
  44. Do a vlog explaining the process of selling a home
  45. Do a vlog explaining the process of buying a home
  46. Make of list of open houses this week
  47. Make a list of all the neighborhoods with amazing holiday displays
  48. Make a calendar and an article featuring all of the local festivals/events that happen annually in your market
  49. Create a vlog featuring one your past clients about how you helped them find or sell their home
  50. Do a monthly update of your favorite active listings
  51. Create a list of your favorite neighborhoods for niche markets like 55+
  52. Compile a list of the best local contractors for building homes on land purchases
  53. Interview a local contractor and explain the process of purchasing land and building in your market
  54. Write about how to get the best resale value on a seller’s home
  55. 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.
  56. 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.)
  57. Share a hyperlocal list of your favorite places to eat, drink, etc. and do it town by town.
  58. Do a profile on a neighborhood/subdivision including year built, popular models, home styles, strengths of the neighborhood, demographics, etc.
  59. Make an investors article about the neighborhoods that are set to have the greatest investment roi in the coming years.
  60. 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.
  61. Write an article about the best way to plan a move across the country
  62. Write an article about the best movers in your area
  63. Interview a local mover about the best tips for keeping possessions safe, secure, and well-packed during a move.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.)
  66. Write an article about how to tell if you are financially ready to buy a home
  67. Write an article about how to tell if you are financially ready to sell your home
  68. Write about selling options during foreclosure in your market
  69. Interview a contractor about renovations and flipping
  70. Compile a list of top contractors for renovations
  71. Write a pros and cons list of buying an older home versus a newer home in your market
  72. Make a list of the best historic listings on the market
  73. Write an article about the history of your market
  74. Write an article about the best value-adding changes you can make to the exterior/yard of a home
  75. 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.

The Best Life Hacks For Real Estate Agents

The Best Life Hacks For Real Estate Agents

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.

Top 10 Real Estate Apps and Software for Realtors

With a new year right around the corner, it’s time to break down the best real estate apps and software for real estate agents.

KeyMe: Copy & Share Keys

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: Digital Signatures

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.

MatterPort: 3D Tours

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.

Buying Buddy: IDX and CRM

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: Keeping Teams Connected

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: Market Reports

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: Real Estate Office Management

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.

Single Property Sites: Listing Websites

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.

Buffer: Social Media Manager

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.

Review and Improve Your Processes to Grow Your Real Estate Business

Review and Improve Your Processes to Grow Your Real Estate Business

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.

Should You Consider Adding Haunted House Hunters to Your Niche Marketing Plan?

Should You Consider Adding Haunted House Hunters to Your Niche Marketing Plan?


A recent article from realtor.com® reveals a niche market Agents and Realtors® might not have considered yet; haunted house hunters.  It is that time of year when all the ghosts and goblins come out on the streets in search of candy.  However, there are some houses that have ghosts hanging out year round.  Believe it or not, there is an actual market for these houses.

Haunted house Buyers are a real niche market

In a recent blog on “Niche Marketing- Taking it From Theory to Reality” we identified some types of Buyers to include as specific interests like distressed properties, fixer-uppers and FSBOs.  Also included were life stages like married, single, empty nesters and so on.  A third type of Buyer can be identified by house specific identifiers.  For example, eco-friendly, walkable neighborhoods and urban farming homes.  However according to the new report from realtor.com and others, between 33% and 58% of Buyers said they wouldn’t mind living with a ghost.

This time of year it is fun to talk about this kind of thing, but in reality, it is an actual business avenue for Agents and Realtors.   For Agents that have a “special history” surrounding their listing, it is something to consider.  It should also encourage you to never dismiss a listing just because it is said to be “haunted”.  It could be an opportunity to get into a new niche and help a struggling Buyer or Seller.

A stigmatized property, a property that someone has died in or is haunted, could be a way for a Buyer to get into a neighborhood they might otherwise not be able to.  It could also be a way for them to get a larger home or property or possibly use it as a tool to negotiate a lower price.  On the other hand, the same survey revealed that some people would like to live in a haunted house with 8% saying they would not require any special perks to buy the home.

Use your IDX CRM to manage all Buyers, including haunted house hunters

So, there you have it.  Go out and create your drip campaigns for those haunted house hunters.  Be sure that you manage them in the same way you do your other Buyers and Sellers by using your Real Estate Specific IDX CRM system. If you would like more information on how you can use an industry-specific IDX CRM to market to haunted house Buyers or any other type of niche buyer, contact us.