Friday, 26 February 2016

How to Easily save Time & Money with One-stop Marketing

Multiple-Stop Marketing

Does setting up your marketing plan for a listing go something like this?
Multiple marketing steps cost more and take longer.
  1. You play phone tag with your photographer to set up a shoot and arrange to pay them, or worse you rush through your day trying to get to the new property to get some pictures on your cell phone before the sun sets.
  2. You wait for the images to be ready so you can upload them to MLS, realtor.com, your virtual tour provider, your assistant, your eflyer account, etc.
  3. Your images are uploaded using something like drop box and you have to again find time to download them to your computer so you can then upload them to all or some of the above accounts or you fumble with your phone trying to email them to yourself or to upload them to your computer.
  4. Once you have all of your images you then go from account to account to upload them for tours, print materials, eflyers, MLS, etc.
  5. You log onto your virtual tour account type in all the listing details, add music, captions, etc. and pay again.
  6. You then go through yet another process to post it to all of the main real estate sites.
  7. You go to the next account for eflyers, upload the images, arrange the shots, retype the listing details, etc.
  8. You then upload your own list of agents or pay an arm and a leg for the privilege to use an outdated mailing list provided by your elfyer service and then pay again or you are paying a large sum to use a monthly eflyer service.
  9. You then try to make a print brochure or flyer by typing all the listing details yet again, try to get the photos to look right and then get the file to the printer or print it off from the office in time for the open house. You might even pay yet again to use a graphic designer to make it for you.
  10. Several days, or even weeks later, you have something to show your clients, but have little proof or numbers to track your efforts.

One-Stop Marketing

If even a few of the above steps sound familiar, you are working far too hard and paying far too much for your marketing efforts. One-stop marketing uses a single account to save you hours and hours of effort as well as tons of money. You enter your listing details once to create virtual tours, eflyers and print materials and enjoy this simple scenario:
One-stop marketing saves time and money.
  1. You log onto your account, take a few minutes to fill out the Listing Details and then book and pay for your photo shoot.
  2. Your photographer emails you when your images have been uploaded into your account, usually the same or next day. If you have your own shots, just enter your listing details and then upload them to your account.
  3. Your virtual tour, eflyer and print materials are saved into the system complete with your copy, branding, head shots, and images ready to edit.
  4. Your free virtual tour is branded and you just select a check box and add your MLS # to upload your tour to realtor.com and a link will be sent to you if you wish to upload to YouTube.
  5. Choose the templates you wish to use for your eflyer or print materials which will already have your listing details. Drag and drop the images into the template and use the mapblast tool to reach 1000’s of agents in any given area. A free PDF of your eflyer is then automatically generated ready to print.

You can send a proof to clients or choose to share real time statistics that track the results of your eflyer and virtual tour views. As an added bonus you save money as each eflyer includes a free property print flyer and bronze tour that is generated automatically. Each professional real estate photography shoot you schedule comes with a free Platinum tour and print flyer.

So now ask yourself, "Why am I wasting time and money on multiple stop marketing?" One-stop marketing takes less steps, less time and costs less money while providing your clients with quality marketing that sells properties. A free one on one tutorial makes sure you know how to use the system effectively to save you even more time and online chat support is there to help. Set up your free Realtour account or contact amanda@realtour.biz for more information on the Realtour one-stop marketing suite

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Are Seniors Really as Tech Challenged as you think?

The over 50 crowd is the fastest growing age group in North America, as well as the wealthiest and largest group of home buyers in the United States. Understanding how they actually use technology to assist in their house hunt is just one way you can tap into this major opportunity.  

2000 versus 2015

58% of seniors are now online. 82% say it is their first choice for learning.
If you were to look at the number of seniors using the internet as we entered the new millennium it was a mere 14%. When you compare that number to the younger set who were already at 70% at that time, it would appear seniors had little interest in computers or using them as a resource for research, shopping or entertainment. Fast forward to 2015 and those numbers have changed drastically with 58% of seniors now using the internet. Although that is still quite behind younger age groups who are coming in at 98%, the gap between the two is closing fast.  

In 2000, there were 56 percentage points between the amount of younger people and older generations using the internet, yet last year there was only 40. Of those who do use the internet, 71% say they go online pretty much every day, 82% say the internet is their favorite source for learning more about a topic of interest and 46% use social media sites, with 97% saying Facebook is their favored social networking site.

YouTube Rocks

The favored site to view videos for seniors is YouTube with 83% using this as a source of information and entertainment and 47% saying that they have decided to seek more information after watching a video on YouTube.

House Hunting & the Internet

If you take a look at numbers specific to home buyers, the numbers are even more revealing. 75% of senior home buyers go online to search for a home. In fact, 39% of senior home buyers began their research online and 30% of senior home buyers first learned about the home they ended up buying online. This number has been continually growing with 44% of overall buyers saying that they found the home they purchased online.

Seniors are home shopping in a very different way. They place high value on the amount of information they can find online regarding a neighborhood and are even more impressed when that information comes with some form of interactive map or virtual tour.

Following their online research seniors are very likely to take action such as driving by a home, visiting an open house or choosing to view virtual tours online. They also have used their research to find an agent to help them search for a home, or buy a home they have found online.

Retirement Living

Not surprisingly the search terms used for seniors looking for “Retirement Home” are also on the rise with the top three searches being:
  1. Retirement calculator
  2. Retirement homes Houston (this is for searches across the U.S., not just Texas)
  3. Best retirement communities

Using these terms on your own website and social media pages can help attract more seniors to your website and also provide much needed information to them regarding the top retirement communities in your area. Having a special seniors’ section on your website can also help them find you and see that you have a special interest in meeting their needs (Of course having your SRES® designation is even better).

Marketing to Seniors

Providing detailed information on your listings online such as virtual tours with captions, a link to your latest eflyers on your social media pages and even posting a community virtual tour on your YouTube channel will assist seniors in their house hunting efforts. You can also look for seniors’ articles and newsletters to share information that is relevant to their search and lifestyle.


Realtour’s marketing suite provides you with the tools you need to reach seniors. Setting up an account is free and you will have access to virtual tours with all the features that will meet the needs of seniors including posting your tours on YouTube. Realtour newsletters cover topics relevant to seniors helping you become a trusted resource they can trust. You can also use your eflyers and newsletter links to post information on Facebook. 



Sources: Google/Ipsos, Pew



Thursday, 18 February 2016

How to leverage the Most Important Stats from 2015

Taking the time to review the latest statistics regarding the behavior of your clients, could help you tap into opportunities to improve your marketing efforts. Here are six of the most compelling statistics collected from the “NAR 2015 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers” and tips to leverage them to find new clients:

Only 14% of recent buyers contacted a real estate agent as the first step in the buying process while 42% started by looking online for properties for sale.
Post virtual tours on the most popular social media and real estate portal sites as an easy lead generation tool. Buyers will find listings more easily and you will be the first agent buyers contact. Keep in mind that almost 7 in 10 buyers spoke to only one agent before hiring them. Virtual tours with excellent exposure make it easier for you to be the first with more buyers.

Websites were seen as a very useful information source at 82%.
Secure a designated domain name for your clients’ listings to leverage buyer searches. Virtual tours will help you catch the attention of 44% of home buyers who found their homes online in 2015! Make sure your website offers useful information about the buying or selling process and post information on your social media sites as well, even if it is just sharing a link to an interesting or informative blog or news article.

Among buyers who used the Internet during their home search, 87% found photos useful.
Hire a professional real estate photographer to provide stunning images to influence buyers’ decisions. They will capture the most flattering perspective to showcase properties in the best possible light.

84% found detailed information about properties for sale very useful.
Make sure you provide complete property listing details, images, floor plans, walkability, and more when preparing your virtual tours. This will make it easier for buyers to find the instant information they desire without having to search further or deeper. This will make it easier for them to decide if they want to see a home or not which in turn makes it easier for you to set up a viewing.

41% of buyers said that they frequently used a mobile or tablet application to look for homes online.
Make sure you are using a virtual tour program that detects which mobile device a viewer is using so they can view them in the appropriate format. This way your tours will always look great and won’t cause frustration for people on the go.

78% percent of recent buyers found their real estate agent to be a very useful information source and 41% of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative.
Show off your expertise with readily available information to assist your clients through the buying and selling process. When you are in contact with a potential client, be proactive and send them information to assist them. Newsletters are an excellent way to share information. They can also generate referrals and repeat business as they help you to remain top of mind. A monthly, bimonthly or even seasonal newsletter is a great way to keep in touch. Newsletters can also be forwarded to friends and family for some additional exposure.

Realtour’s real estate marketing suite provides you with the tools you need to reach today’s buyers and sellers. Setting up an account is free and you will have access to affordable virtual tours, professional real estate photographers and real estate newsletters. Virtual tours have all the features that will meet the needs of today’s buyer including mobile friendly views and plenty of opportunity to add all the details about your listings. Newsletters cover all the topics you need to keep in touch and remain a resource clients will trust.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

How to Actually help Clients when Recession is Looming

With much speculation about a possible recession looming on the horizon, it is important to find ideas that will actually help your clients through a difficult time. Combining effective, affordable marketing to help sell their homes in hand with keep in touch marketing to remain engaged with past clients and leads is the best way to help ease worries about a possible recession.

Keep in Touch

Nothing shouts desertion quicker to a client than disappearing off the face of the earth when things get tough. It is more important than ever to keep in touch with clients so they know you are still there when they need you. Find ways to reach out to them such as a friendly monthly or bimonthly newsletter so they know you are still around, remain active on your social media pages and respond to inquiries right away.

Know your Stuff

When clients are worrying about a recession it is your job to help them understand
their options.
Keeping on top of the latest numbers and understanding how and if the market is changing is very important when people fear a recession is looming. It is especially important if rumor mongers are making matters worse, when in fact things are not as bad as they seem. Being able to convince your clients, honestly and knowledgeably, about the true state of the housing market will help keep them calm and focused on their original goals. For example, although Arch Mortgage Insurance’s risk analysts cite Texas as one of the states most likely to be threatened by falling housing prices*, they also point out that the Texas economy is now more diversified. This will help lessen the threat faced by other states at real risk such as North Dakota and Wyoming.

Remain Honest

You have built your reputation on honesty, so now is not the time to start telling white lies. Remain honest and ensure you are still 100% acting in your clients’ best interests. If someone was planning to sell a house and gets scared off by rumors of a recession, your honesty and knowledge will be what brings them back to reality. Help them trust you when you tell them it is safe to put their house on the market or to purchase a home.

Provide Information

As mentioned, newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with clients. They provide a good mix of information to your clients on a regular basis so you remain on their radar. It shows you want to help and also keeps you in touch with them through the dark days. You can look at newsletters that offer a good mix of information about the area as well as tips to walk them through the buying or selling process. You also want to use a product that allows you to send a personal message whether it is simply a few words of greeting, or actual information about inventory in the area, demand for housing due to shrinking inventory or the fact their home still holds great value.

Continue to Market

Don’t use a potential recession as an excuse to stop marketing properties. It just takes a small investment to make an impact on your sales. Continue to invest in products such as virtual tours and eflyers. Eflyers at Realtour for example include a free virtual tour so you can kill two birds with one stone. You can show your clients you are working on their behalf to get their property sold, while having an edge over agents who have decided to reduce their marketing budget (and efforts).

Marketing is often the first budget to get slashed, when in fact finding affordable marketing options makes a lot more sense. The basic rule of business doesn't change during a recession: You still have to invest money to make money. This in turn will help your clients, whether you are keeping in touch or providing a service to help them buy or sell a home.

Realtour makes marketing affordable with budget conscious eflyer services that include free virtual tours. You can also manage costs using an effective mapblast tool to target smaller areas to reduce costs. You can keep in touch with our Ready to Send newsletters allowing you to send personal messages and relevant information on a client to client basis with an affordable monthly subscription rate with limitless use. Try it for 30 days free to see how easy it is to use.

*Read more.



Monday, 8 February 2016

How to attract More Buyers with One Marketing Secret

Understanding how home buyers use technology can provide a very important clue to help with your real estate marketing efforts. One of the most important stats that you probably hear ad nauseam is the ever persuasive numbers that demonstrate the important role virtual tours play in the average house hunt. However, you might want to ask yourself what numbers you aren’t hearing about?

Community Searches

Although 70 to 75 percent of home buyers will use real estate virtual tours to get a peek at the inside of a home, when it comes to those seeking information about a specific community, 86 percent are seeking online video.

This little titbit of information provides you with a big opportunity. You can put together a virtual tour specific to your neighborhood to help more buyers find you. Through their research for your neighborhood they can not only find out more about the area, but also have immediate access to further links to tours for current listings you have on the market.


This video is a sample community virtual tour of "Perfectville" made with Realtour's easy to use virtual tour tool.

YouTube

Many real estate agents do not realize that YouTube is the number one website home buyers use to find video for home tours as well as community information. At 51 percent, this is higher than broker websites (41 percent) or even aggregate listing websites (33 percent).

If you create your own YouTube channel you can become a trusted resour
ce for people house hunting in the area. Combine community tours with virtual tours of homes listed in that area and you have a one, two punch. Buyers will be interested in viewing tours of your current listings as they will be in their preferred area.


Professional Photography of Area Features

Consider hiring a professional real estate photographer to shoot some major neighborhood features such as parks, facilities, shopping areas and even routes that will show the "walkability" of the area. If you don’t want to hire a professional photographer, use a good quality camera to drive around town and take your own shots of the sites you know will help draw buyers to the area.
If you live in the area, even better. You can use your intimate knowledge to highlight the things that attracted you to the neighborhood. Showcase all of the hidden gems and features that will make it better for buyers to get a good feel for the community.

Throw in some Stats

To make it a one stop video, throw in some stats that might be of interest to potential home buyers such as low crime rates, impressive school ratings, unemployment rates, housing prices in the area, etc. You can create a single slide in Power Point, save it as a PDF and then upload it to your tour for an added overview of information you think buyers might find helpful, and of course, persuasive. Make sure you brand the slide with your headshot and logo.

Add Captions for SEO

Use captions for SEO purposes and mention the community a number of times. This will help the search engines find you when buyers are searching online for community information.

The community virtual tour is one marketing secret that can help you generate more interest for your own website, your YouTube channel and of course your listings. You can use Realtour’s virtual tour tool to create an excellent community tour that can be posted on YouTube. You can also upload your Power Point slides in PDF formats, add captions and music and walk them through the area in a few minutes.




Wednesday, 3 February 2016

How to use PDF's to make your Marketing Easier

Whether you are creating an eflyer or virtual tour in your Realtour account, being able to use PDF’s makes it easier to use the images you have at hand. This new feature allows you to upload PDF’s to help with your marketing efforts in a number of ways.

One Format, Multiple Purposes

If you have print flyers made through your office or a graphic designer the artwork is usually saved as a PDF. This format allows you to capture all the elements of your printed document as a single image. It is easy to send out an eflyer blast using the same artwork you have used for your print flyers. To send out an eflyer using your PDF images follow these simple steps:
  • Log onto your account and click your Eflyer icon on your dashboard.
  • Enter the listing address, or if you are not advertising a specific address, add the name of the flyer in the address line in hand with your town, state and zip code as we have done here:

  • Click continue to go to the Template Library
  • Click the Blank Templates category and click select for the blank template that works for your flyer size as shown here:

  • Click the Upload Images button and upload your PDF.
  • Drag and drop your PDF into the blank template as shown here and continue to the Mapblast tool to send out your eflyer:




PDF's and Virtual Tours

You can also use PDF's in your virtual tours. Any standard image saved as a PDF can be uploaded to your tour using these steps:
  • Log onto your account and click the Virtual Tour icon
  • For new listings, click the Create New button and complete the listing details form.
  • For an existing listing, click the edit button. 
  • Upload your images by clicking the upload images button.


Take Advantage of Floor Plans

Floor plans are often saved as PDF’s as well. You can now upload your floor plans more easily for use in our virtual tours. To use our floor plan feature in your virtual tours follow these easy steps:
  • Log onto your account and click Create New on your Virtual Tour icon (or edit if you are making changes to an existing tour)
  • If a new listing, enter the listing address and property description and click continue 
  • If a new listing, click Select under Upload Your Own Photograph and then select either a Gold or Platinum tour (The floor plan option is not available on Bronze and Silver tours)
  • Whether you are doing a new listing or editing, you can upload your images as usual by selecting the Manage Photos tab
  • To upload your floor plan, remaining on the Manage Photos page, click the Floor Plan tab
  • Click Upload Images and find your PDF on your computer and select it to upload
  • Click the Floor plan Creator tab
  • You can then add or delete floor levels for the home using the blue buttons shown here:

  • Click the Floor Plans tab and click to drag your floor plan into the appropriate floor. 
  • You will then see your floor plan appear in the box on the right of your images box. Drag the images for each room into the floor plan in the appropriate spot and a camera will appear that is clickable to view the image as shown here:
Note the small cameras that now appear on the floor plan. This shows they are now linked to an image.
  • The floor plan will then appear on your tour allowing viewers to download it, print it or click the camera icons to see where each room is situated in the home as shown here:
This is how your floorplan appears in the tour. Images pop up when you click on the camera icons

Now that PDF's are compatible with our marketing suite, you can save time by using existing artwork for eflyers as well as add some exciting features to your virtual tours such as floor plans. For more information or assistance you can always pop onto our online support











Monday, 1 February 2016

How to remain Top of Mind with your Clients

One of the best ways to remain top of mind with your clients is to take the time to get to know them. Understanding more about your clients, their families and things that might be of interest to them helps you become a trusted resource when it comes time for buying or selling a home.

Get to know them

By doing a quick search online you can learn a lot about a client. Visit their Twitter and Facebook pages and look at their profile on Linked In to learn more about their interests and accomplishments. If they are particularly active on a page with posts, look for little clues that might make it easier for you to connect with them or even opportunities to make a positive comment. Keep it professional and invite them to become a contact on LinkedIn as opposed to their personal pages on Facebook or Twitter to avoid coming across as a "stalker". Of course if they reach out to you with a friend request be sure to accept it promptly.

Professional versus Personal

Learning more about your clients helps you find reasons to keep in touch.
Be alert to the two sides of your clients' lives: Professional and Personal. From a professional stand point keep notes on what they need be it buying or selling and then further those notes if a transaction takes place. You can then use this information to remain in contact based on news about the area, changes to the value of their home and even info about schools if they have kids. From a personal stand point basic things such as knowing what they do for a living, the names of their children, etc. are important. Pay attention to small talk so you can find little tidbits, such as they are looking to buy a used boat, helping their parents find a winter home, or are planning a vacation somewhere interesting. You can then be on the lookout for information you can share that will assist them in their personal pursuits as well.

Plan of Attack

It’s not enough to be on auto pilot as an agent. Have a plan of attack when dealing with each and every client. Contact plays a key role in your overall marketing strategy for the year. Consider the needs of each client and how you can provide them with value added service. If they are a first time buyer, make sure you have information to share with them on mortgages, the different types of houses, and choices such as eco-friendly homes or small spaces based on their needs. If they are a senior couple looking to relocate for retirement, share information on the types of retirement options available or even tips on downsizing. This provides a personal touch that shows you a) know your stuff and b) are an excellent resource to walk them through the process. And make sure contact does not end once a transaction is complete. It is almost more important that you maintain contact beyond the sale or purchase to keep those referrals coming and to be available when they are ready to make a move.

Share

Once you know more about a client you can use interests as an excuse to share meaningful information they can actually use. Email them a link to an article or blog post you come across that you think might be of interest to them. Share home ownership tips with them via a real estate newsletter, especially to new home owners who could use a hand with a DIY project, property maintenance or even tips on saving energy. Sending them a monthly home owners’ newsletter with interesting articles about issues they might be facing sent with a little note that you saw this newsletter and thought of them keeps you top of mind.

It’s all about building a long-term relationship that will not only bring them back to you for their next sale or purchase, but will also make them think of you when someone in their life needs a real estate agent.

Realtour offers an affordable monthly newsletter subscription with a free month trial offer that will help you easily provide clients with the information they need. You will find a wide assortment of targeted information for different types of clients in hand with seasonal information and tons of tips. It is the perfect way to stay in touch and generate repeat business and referrals.