Monday, 28 March 2016

One Commonly Found Sellers' Tip that can rob you of Listings

With so much information available to today’s home seller, it can be a little scary what advice they might be getting when it comes to hiring a listing agent. If you search tips on how to choose a listing agent for example, you might be surprised at how prominently marketing plans figure on the list. This commonly found sellers’ tip could be robbing you of new listings if you do not have a marketing plan to show off to clients.  

Online advice for home sellers always notes a listing agent must have a marketing plan.

Realtor.com

Realtor.com suggests that people seeking an agent to list their homes should always ask: “What is your marketing plan for my home and how many websites will include information about my home?” If you do not have a marketing plan in place, this little tip could be chasing potential listings away.
Remember that the numbers are now overwhelmingly skewed towards those who start the home buying and selling process online. If you do not have a website, virtual tours and even social media pages, it is much harder for potential new clients to find you. That means they won’t even get far enough along in the process to ask these questions.

HGTV.com

HGTV.com also strongly suggests that those putting their homes up for sale should always ask: “How will you market it?” They not only advise people to ask this question, but then proceed to point out what types of advertising won’t cut it. Among the list you might find some of your fall backs such as local paper ads or listing on common real estate sites. HGTV is advising those selling their home that this is not enough. They want their readers to find an agent that can talk about reaching out to people in more ways. Make sure you have some statistics at hand to demonstrate how you reach out to buyers’ agents as well as buyers with things such as virtual tours, eflyers, social media postings and a website of your own that has all of your listings available. The more marketing tools you use, the easier it is to show off your plan. And you don’t have to spend a fortune on it either.

Zillow

Zillow recommends that those about to list should take a close look at their own neighborhood. They ask, “Who are the big hitters on the lawns of properties for sale?” They advise sellers to then find out what marketing is available online for the agents and the properties and make sure they can find them easily. If they can’t find the listing or agent or they do find the agent but they are not presenting a nice professional website, professional real estate photography and well prepared virtual tours they advise this makes the agent a bad choice. They also mention avoiding agents who over embellish on their property descriptions. So in other words if they drive by a not so appealing home and find a very fancy description for it online, the agent might not be so trustworthy.

Trulia

Trulia thinks there are two important questions when it comes to marketing. The first question is, “Do you have a specific marketing plan in mind?” You want to show that your real estate marketing plan will get as much exposure as possible. Having samples such as your current online virtual tours, eflyers and print materials you have mailed out on behalf of other clients can help demonstrate you have a marketing plan that is consistent and that has proven to be successful.
The second question Trulia recommends sellers ask their agents is, “Do you have an internet strategy and how will you market my home online?” As we already covered, most buyers and sellers today are internet savvy and will expect you to be using it effectively. Make sure you have a specific outline of your online strategy such as your own website, an informative blog, and of course virtual tours. A YouTube channel can also do wonders as 51 percent of house hunters start there when looking for virtual tours.
The best way to demonstrate your marketing plan is to a) Make sure you are using a number of  marketing tactics including digital, online and print to sell homes and b) Have a clear description of your marketing plan in your listing presentations.


Realtour offers an easy to use, reusable ListingPresentation product designed for customization. It includes a ready-made overview of how Realtour’s Marketing Suite will be used to market the sellers’ property making it a snap to show off your marketing skills and avoid being robbed of new listings.


Thursday, 24 March 2016

How to Actually have Positive impact on the Fearful Millennial

The fearful millennial is suffering from a number of challenges that might be keeping them from committing to not only a home purchase, but even hunting for a home. Understanding their challenges and perspective on buying a home might help you market to them in a manner that allows you to have a positive impact on their plans to buy.

Fear of Financial Failure

Any child who grew up in a household that suffered due to the financial challenges posed by the Great Recession can logically have a fear of financial failure. Many children who grew up during this time period more than likely either saw their parents suffer a loss or “failure” that led to financial strife, or knew a close friend who might have experienced such a loss in their family. This can have a long lasting effect on a person well into their adult years.

Millenials are faced with more lifestyle choices as well as more debt than generations before them.

Fear of Debt

In hand with the fear of losing their home, millennials have the highest student debt upon graduation than any other generation before them. The average debt a graduate has is $35,000 compared to $20,000 10 years ago. There is also a sharp increase in the number of graduates with debt up from 64 percent in the last 10 years to 71 percent for graduates graduating with a bachelors today.

This steady rise has made it harder for millennials to consider taking on more debt.  However, seeing the first time buyers’ numbers drop has led to many institutions looking for more affordable options to help balance issues for those who are already carrying debt from student loans.

According to NAR there are many potential first time buyers in this age group who don’t even try to apply for a mortgage assuming that because they already have debt, they will be rejected. However, 25 percent of first time buyers do have student debt which shows that there are institutions out there willing to lend them money for their first homes.

New Statistics for First Time Buyers

According to Trulia, two housing preferences unique to buyers in the 25-34 age group are that:
  1. They usually buy a home with intent to move within five years and 
  2. They have an average down payment of 10 percent. 

They used these numbers in hand with the assumptions that with a 3.85 percent, 30-year fixed rate mortgage and a 25 percent tax bracket it is far more affordable to buy than rent. In fact, this was true in 98 of the top 100 markets in the U.S.

Houston and San Antonio

In September 2015, it was found that in Houston it was 46 percent cheaper to buy than rent and 42 percent cheaper in San Antonio. Millennials who are afraid to make the jump to homeowner, might be less fearful when they understand these numbers. When you combine these numbers with the fact that they are also making an investment when purchasing a home, as opposed to having nothing to show when renting, these numbers are highly persuasive.

As well, Austin, a very popular city for millennials, offers a number of options that make it easy for them to find an affordable home to purchase. Austin has a far higher median home price due to higher end condos and luxury options close to the city. However there are plenty of affordable options in areas surrounding Austin such as Millwood, Buda, Round Rock, Kyle, Georgetown and Cedar Park that come in at very affordable prices in areas millennials are likely to enjoy.

Positive Impact

With all of these factors at play, it is easy to see why millennials might be worried about owning a home. However, you can offer assistance to millennials by looking into the areas you can offer them affordable options as well as understanding how financial institutions are assisting them with loans. An excellent resource to share is the link to the Texas Financial Toolbox which will provide them information on all they need to know about financing. It also has a handy mortgage calculator. 

Realtour also offers newsletters with information for first time buyers including a First Time Buyers Guide, Mortgage Guide and Home Insurance Guide. Sharing these newsletters is very affordable especially when you choose the monthly subscription as it allows you to send as many newsletters as you like. You can target a specific client or group of clients based on their personal needs and include a personal message letting them know you thought the information would be helpful based on their situation.

One last thought on millennials: According to Zillow, millennials believe that home ownership is “necessary to being a respected member of society, living a good life and obtaining the American dream.” Millennials who have graduated from college and who are also in a relationship or married have a strong income that would make it easier for them to get the mortgage they need to obtain that dream.


Monday, 21 March 2016

The 5 Things Top Agents Never Compromise On

No doubt, there will always be times a real estate agent has to compromise in order to succeed. However, there are five things that top agents more than likely never compromise on.
  1. Referrals: Successful agents never compromise on keeping in touch with past clients to help generate referrals. They have various approaches that keep them at the top. For example, my real estate agent sold my house and found my home over 14 years ago. However I still get a calendar from him every Christmas and a newsletter for every special occasion from St. Patrick’s Day to Halloween and Christmas to Valentine’s Day. Have I asked him to sell my house? No. Have I referred him to every Tom, Dick and Harry selling theirs? Hell yah and you can bet each of those referrals is doing the same. Never tell yourself you don’t have time to keep in touch. You have to do it, or use a service that will do it for you.
  2. Lead Generation: Successful agents never compromise on working on lead generation every day. In fact, successful agents often have a lead generation plan that outlines how many people they have to talk to each day in order to meet their sales goals. They know how to let people know they offer a service and that they are not just a sales representative for their listing. Their business card and “Just Sold” postcards always state “If you or someone you know is ready to buy or sell, contact me today.” They understand that if the person reading their flyer or post card isn’t planning to sell, they might know someone who is.
  3. Staying Current: Successful agents never lose touch with how their clients think. Whether buying or selling, today’s house hunt or sale begins online. Think outside the box with ways you can draw attention to your services. Post a virtual tour that highlights the community with an easy lead generation tool built in and ask for email addresses on your website. Start a community Facebook page to start interesting conversations by posting things like your favorite restaurants, information about local events such as concerts or festivals and then build on meeting people from there. Post your eflyers and virtual tours regularly on your LinkedIn Page and grow your connections so you can reach as many local agents as possible with your latest listings.
  4. Repetition: A successful real estate agent never compromises on using the tried and true. They have learned how to succeed by repeating the things they do right, and stopping the things that don’t get results. They understand that just because an eflyer doesn’t work for one listing, they shouldn't stop sending them altogether. Whatever the approach they try it more than once, so they can confirm it is successful or not. They put into action a proven plan that repeats the same steps over and over again from the moment they acquire a new listing. They want “duplicable” scenarios they can depend on time and time again such as building on their just listeds/just solds. Their track record speaks for itself as the neighborhood sees the process they use time and again. Repetition shows how you sell houses because actions speak louder than words.
  5. Marketing Plan: A successful agent never compromises on working with an effective marketing plan. If you are working without a marketing plan, what are you telling potential clients you will do to sell their house? You have to have at least one campaign in place using professional images, an eflyer and virtual tour so you can show off your marketing materials. If they see you have a plan in place they know you are ready to go the moment they agree to list with you. If you don’t, it will be difficult for them to entrust their listing with you. A listing presentation will also assist you in outlining your strategy to sell including staging, pricing, marketing and negotiating.


The right tools help to establish your referral system, improve your networking and keep you up to date on how to reach out to new leads. Realtour.biz provides the real estate marketing tools you need to avoid compromising on the most important aspects of lead generation, marketing and ultimately, success. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

How to be your Own Real Estate Marketing Hero

Get organized and follow a process to become a marketing hero.
Many agents become their own worst enemy when it comes to marketing. Being organized is the number one rule to help you become your very own real estate marketing hero!

Follow a Process

First and foremost you want to have a process that is the same for all of your listings. The reason for this is that you will get into a sort of rhythm that keeps you on the path to success. If you have a check list of marketing tactics you consistently use for your listings, you will form a pattern that makes it easier for you to get things done right. It becomes second nature, a good habit, a routine. It also allows you to have a track record that helps you sell yourself to new clients, and more importantly gain more referrals and repeat business.

Outline your Process

Your plan should have a solid process that keeps you organized. Here is a starting point:
  • Set up two folders on your computer, one in email for invoices and to store your email marketing and one in documents for copy and images
  • Schedule photography and place invoice in your email folder
  • Type up and proof listing description and save it in your documents folder
  • When your photos are ready, download them from your account and save them in your documents folder so you can find them to upload to MLS or other sites
  • Add your pre-written listing description to your virtual tour and complete tour with music and other features, make sure to use syndication and SEO for the most exposure
  • Prepare eflyer and email to local agents. Save invoice in your email folder
  • Post your virtual tour and eflyer web version on your social media sites
  • Download your eflyer PDF and save in your document folder
  • Print brochures or flyers for open houses
  • Prepare "Recently Sold" Postcards
  • Print and hand deliver “Recently Sold” postcards

Keep Calm and Start Early

As soon as you get that listing, start your marketing. Don’t wait until the last minute for your marketing plan to kick in. Leaving things to the last minute makes you look bad and also adds to the stress in your life. That marketing plan is like a mental check list that gets you through your marketing quickly and effectively.

Be Honest and Creative

Professional photos will speak louder than words, but you will still need to write some form of listing description. Provide the details honestly and creatively while avoiding exaggerations that will just lead to disappointment for people who choose to come and view the property.

Proof Everything, Twice

Nothing makes you look worse, or feel worse, than finding a mistake in your marketing materials after they have been sent out or distributed. With a plan and an early start you will have the time to proof read everything. This will help you maintain a professional image and avoid ticking off your clients. Always double check everything using this simple process:
  • Heading check
  • Address check
  • Price check
  • Typo check in listing description
  • Contact information check
  • Head shot check
  • Logo check

SPAM Alert

Make sure you are following best practices when it comes to avoiding SPAM filters. Avoid sensational claims in your subject line for eflyers and also do not use CAPS. Caps in a subject line is a common tactic used by spammers that could land you in the SPAM folder.

Work Smart

It might seem like an extra step, but by typing your listing description in a Word document you can avoid losing work if you are working on your marketing materials online. If you inadvertently delete your copy you won't have to start all over again. Do things in a logical order so that you don’t have to repeat steps. Use a service that allows you to enter your info once and not have to retype your details for your virtual tour, again for your eflyer and again for your print materials.   

Consistent Branding

Remain consistent with your branding by choosing a template that reflects your logo colors, a layout that is easy to read and images that present your homes in a professional, impressive manner. Using cell phone images and too broad a range of layouts and colors in your marketing looks unprofessional and sloppy. A polished, well branded piece will not only present you in the best possible light, but also allow your listings to shine as well.

Realtour has the easy, online marketing suite that can help you become a marketing hero. Save time, money and effort with virtual tours, eflyers and print materials that are affordable, far reaching and professional.



Tuesday, 8 March 2016

How to have the Best Selling Season Ever

You know that once you flip that calendar to March, selling season is going to arrive quicker than you can pull out those open house signs from your garage. Right now is the time to get your ducks in a row and make sure you are doing everything you can to make this the best selling season ever.

Plan of Attack

Getting it all together before listing season heats up is the key to success.
When was the last time you took a look at your client list? Now is the time to go through your list and refresh your memory about the status of your clients. Sort them into clients who might be in need of a larger home or those who might have other potential opportunities such as retirement, empty nesters, etc.  You can then consider who would be the best prospects to provide with a nice little note, newsletter, postcard or email to bring them up to date on what is happening in their neighborhood. And don`t write off those recent buyers or sellers, as they are the ones who can provide referrals. Touch base with them as well on a regular basis with a nice little newsletter with fun tips and info about home ownership.

Remember your Social Media?

It is easy to stop making posts on your social media pages when business is slow. Make sure you start posting again and use little tips about selling, why now is the time to get ready to sell, links to interesting articles about your area and of course any houses you have listed so far. People also love to hear their home is worth more now than when they bought it, so keep some “recently sold” posts going as well to get people thinking about the value of their home! You can also use your newsletter web links to post on your site with fun little articles about gardening for curb appeal, Easter, home ownership and tips about selling.

Remind People about Financing

It is not just enough to get yourself organized. For those clients you really think are primed to buy or sell now, remind them about the importance of financing. You want them to know it is easy to miss an opportunity if they have not yet looked into getting a pre-arranged mortgage. Offer them some information about mortgages to help them get ready and remind them now is the time that houses will start hitting the market.

Listing Presentation

When you get a call to visit a new client make sure you are ready. Have your listing presentation in order with updated head shots, proper logos if you have changed brokers and anything else you want to include. You will then be ready to add your client’s personal information for the presentation to make it all come together nicely. If you are still using a printed listing presentation, look for a digital version. You can still leave behind a printed copy as well.

Line up a Photographer

If you have been taking your own photos it is time to line up a professional real estate photographer. It might seem you are saving money with your own shots, but the truth of the matter is, you need professional photos to help sell houses. You can also save money because you can find a photographer who offers virtual tours and print materials included in the price. You are not only killing two birds with one stone, but also killing it marketing wise with much better results.

Marketing Strategy

Make sure you have your marketing strategy in place. What have you been using for all of your marketing collateral? If you have been jumping from service to service look for a real estate marketing suite that allows you to handle all of your marketing needs at once. This costs less and also wastes less time allowing you to concentrate on service for your clients. A marketing product should be integrated so it is easier to take care of your main marketing pieces at once including:

When you have everything organized and the tool and strategies you need lined up, it is easy to have the best selling season ever. Realtour offers the tools you need to touch base with clients with newsletters, reach out to buyers’ agents with eflyers, reach buyers online with virtual tours, prepare the print materials you need for open houses and post cards for recently sold announcements.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Why Now is the Best Time to reassess your Brand

Now is the best time to reassess your brand as you are entering into listing season. You are also knee deep in the digital age where the old school approach to marketing could be keeping you from reaching new clients. Here are a few tips to help with your reassessment and brand refreshing efforts:
  • Refresh: Are you still selling the same types of properties in the same neighborhoods? Any changes in your area of expertise has to be reflected in your brand. By reassessing your branding efforts you will have the chance to refresh your brand and make sure it matches the properties you are selling. A brand refresh can do wonders to bring your image up to date and will also work well with your digital marketing efforts. Speak with a graphic designer to help you create a new logo, new company colors and new fonts to breathe new life into your brand.
  • Consistency: Consistency is the single most important aspect of developing a trustworthy, recognizable brand. Consistency communicates the same message through all aspects of your marketing from your logo, to the colors you use and your tag line to the way you present your social media and website. By reassessing your brand you can begin anew with a commitment to remain consistent.
  • Marketing Collateral: Consider the marketing collateral you have been using. How does your brand work with each piece? How can you carry your brand across all of your marketing efforts? A good way to remain consistent is to work with a real estate marketing company that covers all of the services you need. You can have them create customized templates to reflect your brand for your eflyers and print materials. You can then apply your brand refresh to your virtual tours by choosing the right colors. You can also post your eflyers and virtual tour links to your website and social media pages to remain consistent in your presentation, wording and imagery.
  • Listing Presentation: If you are still using a printed hand out for your listing presentation it is time to look for a digital version. Using digital presentations on your laptop shows you are up to date with technology while providing a polished presentation to engage clients. Digital listing presentations allow you to customize each presentation with your brand colors, a picture of each client’s home, their address and name for a personal touch and review your marketing strategy to show off your new brand. You can also still leave a print version or CD behind for clients to review.
  • Digital Age: In order to move into the digital age you have to carry your brand over to your online presence with a consistent look and messaging on your website and social media. Don’t forget that having your own YouTube channel is a good way to connect with buyers who are searching online for information. YouTube is the number one choice for home buyers. In fact 51% of buyers prefer YouTube over any other real estate site. You can customize your YouTube page using their watermark feature to add your logo and you can also use an image to reflect your brand. You can then upload neighborhood virtual tours as an excellent way to connect with buyers in hand with virtual tours for each of your listings. This will help buyers in their search efforts which in turn will help you.

The question is, what is the simplest way to bring it all together? Realtour offers a complete suite of marketing tools in hand with customized graphic design services so you can create the perfect branding for all of your marketing collateral. From digital marketing such as virtual tours and eflyers, to print materials and listing presentations, you will have a consistent, professional look that is easy to carry across all of your marketing efforts. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

How to Easily reach Agents & Buyers with One Eflyer

It might seem a little misleading to state that you can reach agents and buyers with one eflyer. It is actually more accurate to state that if you find the right eflyer service you can reach not only buyers’ agents but buyers themselves.

Specializing in Real Estate

If you are using a general eflyer provider that does not specialize in real estate marketing, then chances are you are not only missing out on effective real estate marketing campaigns, but also not reaching the right audience. An eflyer provider that focuses on real estate will have a better list of agents in your area, as well as provide you with a bundle of services that does not end with your eflyer purchase.

Start the Campaign

With the right email marketing company, your eflyer will kick off y
our campaign and announce your new listing. You will reach the right buyers’ agents to announce your listing and open house date. Your eflyer will then become the basis of your campaign and the only thing that will cost you money.

Free Virtual Tour

The right eflyer service provides the tools you need to reach buyers.
When you use a real estate eflyer service that also provides you with the tools you need to sell
houses, everything becomes easier and more affordable. An eflyer company specializing in real estate marketing is the only service that will provide you with other important marketing tools such as virtual tour services and photographers. Yes, you can opt to go with a photographer who throws in the virtual tour for free, but you still have to find another company to send your eflyers.

However, when you can get a free virtual tour by sending one eflyer you are not only killing two birds with one stone, but also tapping into the much needed buyers’ market. The numbers keep changing, but they also keep rising with an estimated 90 percent of home buyers starting their home search online. You need to have a virtual tour they can find. Your eflyer reaches buyers’ agents, but your virtual tour reaches buyers.  

Post it to Social Media

By sending one eflyer that provides a web version you can then post your eflyer on your website and social media sites. You can provide a handy link that again, not only allows you to reach buyers’ agents but buyers directly. Your eflyer link can be enhanced with a stunning image of the house and of course a link to your virtual tour.

Free Print Flyer

Last but not least, you know you still depend on print flyers. An eflyer that is easily converted into a PDF provides you with a free print flyer that is consistent in your branding and saves you the money of having a separate print flyer or brochure made up.

Realtour.biz is the only elfyer company that specializes in real estate while offering the other tools you need to succeed. Not only do we have the tools, but by sending just one eflyer using our service, you receive a free bronze virtual tour and a free print version of your eflyer. Realtour allows you to send one elfyer to kick off your campaign and then provides the follow up tools you need to expand your reach to both agents and buyers.