4 Ways Video Boosts Real Estate Marketing

4 Ways Video Boosts Real Estate Marketing

It is widely known in other industries that video is one of the fastest growing mediums from which people receive their information online. However, for some reason it is highly underutilized in real estate marketing strategies.

In order to help you get a leg up on your competition we have compiled the following list of 4 simple ways you can utilize video in your real estate marketing strategy.

1) Potential buyers love visual aids.

– Property Walkthroughs

Virtual slideshow tours are great and should definitely be used, but why not add a video walkthrough of your property? You can never have enough pictures or videos of the inside and outside of an available property, and potential buyers love having the ability to preview properties from the comfort of their own home. You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to create a great video walkthrough. While recording the video, tell the viewer some important facts about the home or some interesting features. Incorporating video walkthroughs with slideshows and still pictures will give your potential buyers some great visual aids in helping them make their decision.

– Neighborhood Tours

When buyers are deciding on potential properties, there is no argument that the surrounding neighborhood is a huge determining factor. How can you leverage the neighborhood’s best qualities? That’s right, with video! Drive to some of the local hotspots and take a few shots panning the area. Think about what makes that area unique, and go out and film it. This is especially useful for out of town buyers.

2) Word-of-mouth marketing is FREE.

One of the single most effective means for marketing in real estate is word of mouth. Potential buyers obviously need to build up a level of trust in you in order to help them feel more comfortable in their home buying experience. Contact some of your previous clients and ask them if they’d be willing to record a short 30 – 60 second video on how you helped them through their purchase. Give them 2 or 3 prompted questions, or simply let them ad-lib, whichever you think will portray you the best.

3) Be the expert.

In an industry with such a high amount of competition, it is very important that people view YOU as the expert. A great way to show people that you are the “go-to guy/gal” is to record short webinars. You can talk about anything you want, from home buying tips, to industry events, to addressing common questions… Anything that you think will help potential buyers and sellers.

4) Distribution is key.

Having a wide variety of well-planned real estate videos won’t do you any good unless you can effectively get people to watch them. YouTube is one of the best places to share your videos to potential buyers. You can set up your own YouTube channel that allows you to have all your videos hosted in one place. Be sure to link back to your videos on your other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can even grab the embed code of your videos and post them directly onto your website.

The ways in which you can utilize videos in your real estate marketing strategy is really only limited to your own creativity. What are some of the most creative uses of video in real estate marketing that you have seen?

4 Ways Content Marketing Boosts Your Real Estate Digital Marketing Strategy

4 Ways Content Marketing Boosts Your Real Estate Digital Marketing Strategy

Blogs are nothing new when it comes to effective real estate marketing strategies, yet many real estate professionals still aren’t using them as they should. For some, it’s because they can’t think of what to write on a consistent basis, or else they feel like nobody will read their blogs.

Whatever the reasons for lacking a blog, “content marketing” is essential to add to your site to set you apart from your competitors.

The following are 4 reasons you need to incorporate content marketing in your real estate marketing strategy:

1) It builds TRUST

It’s hard for potential home buyers to go an entire day without being bombarded with some type of advertisement to buy a new home. This has caused potential buyers to always have their guard up, wondering, “What’s the catch?” Providing consumers with helpful content shows that you are genuinely interested in helping them, and also allows them to find your content when THEY want it. If you write content based on what you know and what you are good at, the consumers will be able to see that you are a trusted resource instead of some greasy salesperson with malicious intentions.

2) Content Marketing is FREE

Not only is blogging a great real estate marketing technique, it also requires no monetary investment on your part. The only thing it will cost you is the time it takes you to research your desired topic and type it out. What’s better than effective marketing? FREE effective marketing.

3) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Blogging isn’t just a platform for you to get your opinions in front of potnetial buyers, it’s a way to boost your website’s search ranking as well. If you have already begun a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program, incorporate your target keywords into your blog posts at least a few times. Not only does this show the search engines what your article is about, it also helps you keep your content on-topic and relevant for your target market.

4) People like to share good content

By adding social media buttons to your blog posts, you allow people to share your content with their social networks as well. WordPress and many other blogging platforms automatically include these buttons in your blog posts in order to make it as easy as possible for others to share your quality content. A well written blog piece can take on a life of its own after people begin to share it!

When it all comes down to it, the best rule of thumb to remember in your new content marketing is to write about things that people want to hear, and stay focused on your target market. If you are a Real Estate Agent, writing articles on video games will likely fall on deaf ears. Keep the content interesting, unique, and beneficial, and you will see great results for your real estate marketing!

Trouble Finding a Joomla IDX Plugin for Your Website?

Trouble Finding a Joomla IDX Plugin for Your Website?

Finding a Joomla IDX plugin can be tricky.  For example, Florida MLS (MFRMLS) just updated their free IDX solution for their members, but it no longer works with Joomla. So, are real estate agents with Joomla out of luck? No, a Joomla IDX plugin like the one from Buying Buddy (MBB) works with Joomla, WordPress, Squarespace, and more.

IDX Joomla Standard Library of Widgets

Widgets that come with IDX plugins enable webmasters to create real estate websites that provide high value automated home- search services for customers and leads. Other functions you should find in high quality IDX plugins include:

  • Fully responsive, modern flexible design
  • Search forms, maps, and property alerts that utilize and allow selection based on all MLS criteria (not just a selection of ‘common’ fields)
  • Interactive map search displays
  • The ability to choose what homes display on your homepage or any subpage (including neighborhoods, featured listings, sold properties, and more)
  • Customizable searches, unlimited hot-sheets, unlimited display capabilities, custom lead-capture forms, widget functions and APIs.

If you would like help with an IDX plugin for your Joomla website, or more information about a one-stop fully integrated IDX CRM solution, contact us.

Are You Willing to Pay Online Gatekeepers for Real Estate Leads?

Are You Willing to Pay Online Gatekeepers for Real Estate Leads?

According to a recent report from Zillow, most people still find their agent through referral, but that trend is rapidly changing.  With the continued growth of a digital world, more and more people are finding Agents through online referral resources like Zillow, realtor.com and the like.  What is your plan to stay relevant, be found and grow your business through real estate leads?

When I was a kid we would play a game.  You could not pass the gatekeeper without paying a “fee”.  For us, that was usually a high-five. The gatekeeper trend in real estate is growing each year giving the online middleman a larger part to play in the buying and selling process as well as a bigger piece of the real estate leads profit pie.

The biggest gatekeepers we see are still Zillow, Realtor.com and Facebook.  However, there are some new players on the field like Nextdoor and, possibly coming soon, Amazon.  The gatekeeper role is very enticing because the money is big for real estate leads.  An ad for Facebook has more than quadrupled in price since 2014. As popular online hubs start offering advertising the price of acquiring real estate leads is going up.

Which should prompt you to ask, “What am I willing to pay the gatekeepers for access to online  Real Estate leads?”

The neighborhood online hangout Nextdoor recently added a real estate listing tool in several test markets.  This pay-to-play services might be one you’d carefully consider participating in as part of your niche marketing strategy.  Because of the structure of Nextdoor (participants must live in their associated neighborhoods), agents can play into their local knowledge.

Yes, traditional marketing still has its place in your marketing plan, but you cannot ignore the increasing pace of digital marketing in real estate.  If you don’t have a plan, you need to make one now.  Time is certainly of the essence because the cost is only going to keep rising in proportion to the continued growth of digital life.

Once you have figured out how to get some skin in the game, what do you do?  As one blogger for Inman recently stated, “Relationship maintenance may be the key to power.”  While there is no denying that larger teams and brokerages have an upper hand in the online real estate big budget arena, if they don’t have the capabilities to keep the client coming back, are they really that much ahead?

Nurture the Leads You Get

You can have the most real estate leads and best tools at your fingertips, but if you cannot use them to create a relationship with your leads it doesn’t matter. If you cannot become indispensable to your lead, you might end up throwing good money away because of bad follow through. According to the same Zillow report, mentioned earlier, only 8%-14% of buyers (depending on age group) report using the same agent or Realtor twice. That is scary because it means agents are not doing the relationship management they should be doing.

The follow through is just as important as getting the sale. To convert more Real Estate leads into sales and more sales into repeat customers you need to invest in a real estate specific IDX and CRM, like Buying Buddy.  Due to the ever-increasing lead volumes required to close deals and meet sales goals, you are going to need to manage that increase in an efficient and cost-effective way that ensures nothing gets through the cracks.  If you need help understanding how an IDX CRM can do that for you, contact us.

Don’t let the grass grow under your feet.  Figure out which gatekeepers are getting in front of your desired customers and figure out how that is going to fit into your real estate marketing plan.  Then make sure you do the follow through, and don’t just make the sale, make a repeat customer for life.

Agents and Brokers Who Enhance Their Skill Set with Technology Go Further

Agents and Brokers Who Enhance Their Skill Set with Technology Go Further

Don’t just give technology a handshake, embrace it because it is not going anywhere. The fear of new technology and industry disruptors among agents is real, but if you face that fear, you will find there is actually nothing to be afraid of. Beyond that, you will come to learn ways to provide an exceptional experience for your customers and set yourself apart from the competition.

Traditional real estate disruptors like Zillow and Redfin could soon look like small potatoes in comparison to a disruption caused by Amazon, and judging by recent events, this type of disruption might just be on the horizon.  But don’t panic. The robots can only “take over so far”.  They will never be able to replace the Realtor, agent, and broker because there are personal skills they will never be able to replicate.

Providing a Concierge Experience

People have the ability to make other people feel important. An app or a website can have the most sophisticated interface, but it still does not possess that skill.  However, people can take that technology and use it to let other people (leads and customers) know how important they are.  Using tools provided by technology, like automated email responses and customized drip campaigns, can demonstrate to the client how important they are.

Think of it like online shopping versus brick and mortar shopping. The online shopping experience follows a formula across every website regardless of product or brand.  From Louis Vuitton to Walmart the process is: select item, add to cart, pay and leave the site. However, if there is a question or issue, what do you have to do?  Talk to a human.

Here you will begin to see a difference in how important one person can make another person feel.  Differentiation in levels of customer service become evident. It’s important to note when taking the communication from technology to personal, the interaction is typically still through a technology.  A seller will often use services like online chat or email to enhance the customer experience.

The same is true for real estate.  There will always be aspects of customer service that technology cannot replicate or replace like experience, knowledge (especially niche neighborhood knowledge), personalization and personality.

Understanding the magnitude and emotional gravity of buying a home (especially for first-time buyers)

Cars and homes are usually the two largest purchases a person makes during their lifetime.  It is a choice that has lasting consequences (good and bad) that, once made, cannot be reversed just by presenting a receipt. Often Realtors are more than just a “Realtor” and find themselves playing therapist, life coach, referee and even tie breaker. Whether it’s a couple who want different things or someone who is nervous about the commitment, you are there to guide them through the process with care, concern, and respect.  These attributes and personal investment are things that machines or software cannot bring to the table.

Providing Expert Guidance

Technology can run an algorithm and give a specific response.  However, the only way it can do this is by looking at checked boxes from provided options.  It doesn’t know why it has come to the conclusion it has, it just followed a set of rules.  It is a data-in data-out relationship.  Like the emotional responses that come with the home buying experience, the journey is not a strictly data-in data out-process.

Buyers rely on agents to give good advice and be their guide.  They expect their agent to have their best interests at heart and represent them in that way. A good agent knows how to take the connection made by technology into the real world, and give advice based on professional experience, market knowledge, and inside knowledge (like pocket listing and personal connections).

The technology disruptions in the news today will soon be forgotten because another disruptor will come along.  Understanding this fact, and that no amount of petition signing will stop technological progress, will help you move on to acceptance and finally (hopefully) an embrace of technology.

As you begin to embrace technology you will be able to see how you can use it to enhance your skill set and give you benefits instead of headaches. CRM solutions are a proven technology that has been around for a while and are not going anywhere. In fact, they continue to improve. Their track record makes them a great place to start a relationship with technology. While there are many to choose from, the ideal CRM for real estate is an IDX solution that is centered around the real estate industry, like the Buying Buddy IDX CRM solution.  When you are ready to stop fighting and start embracing technology, contact us.

Keep an Eye on our Changelog

Keep an Eye on our Changelog

Changelog

The Buying Buddy – LAC changelog is now viewable on our support site.

See the changelog

The changelog is a great way to find out about recent Buying Buddy changes and updates.

For a complete view of all changes please log in to your Leads and Contacts account.

Track Real Estate Leads with Google Analytics

Track Real Estate Leads with Google Analytics

We have integrated MBB activity and tracking with Google Analytics.

This is done using Google Eventswhich is different to the traditional approach of creating a “completion” or “success” page and monitoring traffic to that success page.

Because Buying Buddy widgets use JavaScript and AJAX we need to use ‘events’ in order to track the flow and use of the Buying Buddy widgets. When considering how to track ‘conversion rates’ and create ‘goals’ it’s important to familiarize yourself with the way Google Events work so that you can create goals using events. Concepts such as a ‘thank you / confirmation’ page are not used.

-Paul Eastwood, Founder, Buying Buddy IDX CRM

6 Best Ways to Leverage Technology in 2016

6 Best Ways to Leverage Technology in 2016

For a business to keep up within their industry, they need to have a solid understanding of how to best use technology, and as you may have guessed, mobile plays a large and critical role in this.

Here are six ways to help you best leverage technology for your real estate business this year:

  • Optimize for mobile: As mentioned, mobile plays a critical role in technology and business. This year, mobile search has increased 19 percent among users, showing that 27 percent of total home searches were performed on mobile devices and tablets. Trends are showing that mobile is becoming the leading source of information for homebuyers, meaning you not only need a responsive website design, but you need to provide the most important and relevant information to help encourage customers reaching out to you.
  • Mobile apps and software: Mobile apps give you, the agent, an opportunity to connect with your clients throughout their home search by allowing access to email, private messages, notifications, and personalized listings at the clients’ fingertips. Apps also allow an easier search process for both the agent and the client.
  • Don’t underestimate the use of emails and newsletters: Sending emails every few days to new or potential clients, as well as weekly newsletters, helps to keep prospective homebuyers up-to-date on listings and what is going on in the market. Keeping a consistent flow of contact with potential clients help to build trust.
Desk with Social Media and Connection Concept
  • Use photos: Apps such as Hyperlapse (launched by Instagram) allows you to use time-lapse photography to display your listings. The app has image stabilization software and offers multiple enhancements all in one place. When your listings are visually appealing, you are more likely to garner the attention of potential clients.
  • Enhance your social media efforts: Social media is a key component in business today, not only helping with engagement but it also helps you to brand yourself and your business. Not only can you build relationships with clients by engaging posts and useful posts, you can actually improve your business blog by getting exposure to your posts through news feeds, and through the eyes of Google.
  • Perfect plug-ins: Once you have a proper CRM, using the right real estate plug-ins can help enhance your site and gather information about analytics while offering a number of other additional resources.

Buying Buddy offers agents a complete CRM and IDX integrated solution. With our fast and easy plug-in, you can customize your website and be on your way in no time!

For the greatest success you need to be intentional about leveraging technology, and prepare for the years ahead as new and improved innovations are constantly on the rise.

Why Choose Our IDX/CRM Integration?

Why Choose Our IDX/CRM Integration?

Did you know that 90% of homebuyers turn to the Internet first when it comes to home buying?  In today’s world, consumers have become more tech savvy than ever and know exactly what they want in their searches.

As a real estate professional, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is one of the most valuable systems that you can implement to help enhance your marketing efforts and produce more sales.

With Buying Buddy, you can offer site visitors access to all local listings while improving your ability to obtain and maintain first contact with your prospective clients real estate transaction.

Recent studies show that companies with a fully utilized CRM system can increase sales by 29%, though it is important to keep in mind that any system is only as valuable as the information that goes into it.

What really differentiates Buying Buddy is the fact that it is a complete IDX solution that integrates to a complete CRM. Benefits of an our integration include:

  • Fully automated lead engagement and follow-up
  • Mobile compatibility
  • The ability to create relevant real estate content for niche markets through the use of nearly all the MLS data fields which are commonly left out with other systems
  • Easy to install and setup widgets in new or existing sites
  • No frames or subdomains. Our widgets are on YOUR site and are incredibly SEO friendly
  • Easy to customize. The use of numerous APIs allows you to use MLS data in ways that were once not possible

If you are ready to take charge of your business and achieve results, take a look at how Buying Buddy works today!