Monday, 25 April 2016

How to edit your Realtour Marketing Materials

Editing your Realtour marketing materials is easy, as long as you understand the proper steps to take. Here is an overview of how to make your edits.Just scroll down to find the tool you are using.

To edit any of your materials, simply click Edit Existing on the appropriate tool.

Editing Virtual Tours

If you need to make edits to your heading, price, address or listing details for your virtual tour, all of these changes can be made on the Property Details tab. To get there:
  • Log onto your account
  • Click Edit Existing on the Virtual Tour icon on your dashboard
  • Click Edit on the tour you need to edit
  • Click the Property Details tab and make your edits
  • Any other changes such as to branding, music or captions can be made by clicking on the respective tabs.
The Property Details tab allows you to make edits to your listing information, price and heading.

All changes will automatically be updated regardless of where you have posted your virtual tour.

Eflyers & Print Materials

Once you have saved and/or sent an eflyer and print materials all edits must be made on the Edit Template tab. This includes changes to your head shots, logos and contact information. To get there:
  • Log onto your account
  • Click Edit Existing on the Eflyer or Print Materials icon on your dashboard
  • Click Edit on the listing you need to edit
  • For eflyers it can get a little more complicated at this point as you might see this window first if you have already sent a version of the eflyer:
  • If you do see this window make sure that you are selecting the correct version as it is a very common mistake to choose the wrong one. Click Edit to get to the Edit Template tab.
  • For both print materials and eflyers that have not been sent yet, you will see a window that shows listings with and without the marketing materials in question:

  • Again, be certain you are clicking edit on the correct version from the correct box.

Tip: If you have many versions of an eflyer it is always a good idea to discard any that you do not need or that are incorrect by clicking the Delete button. Again, if doing so be certain you are selecting the correct version as once deleted it cannot be retrieved.

Once you click Edit, it will take you directly to the Edit Template tab.

The Edit Template tab allows you to edit all text boxes, upload new images and replace images.

Once you are on the Edit Template tab, you are able to click directly on any of the text boxes to make your changes. For images, you can upload new ones by clicking on the upload images tab, or to select an image already uploaded just click on it and drag it over to the image box. This will automatically replace the image for you. You can also upload images on the Manage Photos tab.

Any changes you wish to make to your branding must be made on the Edit Template tab once you have started, sent or paid for print materials or eflyers. To upload new images including head shots and logos you can do it either on the Manage Photos tab or on the Edit Template tab. Both offer a folder with tabs for photos, head shots, logos, etc. Just make sure you click the right tab. You can then drag them into place over the existing head shot or logo.

Make sure that you are clicking the continue or refresh button while working on your eflyer or print materials to save changes.

This is the last step that will allow you to make a change to your Subject Line, highlighted here in red.
Make sure that if you want to make a change to the Subject Line of your eflyer you either change it on the Links tab, or look for it after you have made your mapblast selection. This is the last time you will see your Subject Line appear for editing.

Permanent Branding Updates

For permanent changes to your branding, you can then make sure you update your information on the My Account section on the main navigation. This will then auto populate any marketing materials you make moving forward with your updated branding and contact information.

Make Edits on all Marketing Materials

Remember that if you have your virtual tour posted publicly you will have to make changes to the tour as well. Changes made to an eflyer or your print materials will not automatically make a change to your Property Details for your virtual tours.

Realtour offers free tutorials to help you learn the quickest ways to use our tools. We also provide online chats and even have a Virtual Assistant to build your materials for you. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

How to use Delegating to Improve your Life

Once listing season hits, it becomes easy to get behind on the workload you are managing. Your dream of having as many listings as possible, can quickly become a nightmare if you are barely treading water to manage your time. The biggest myth for anyone who wants to be successful in any business is the belief that you are the only one who can handle all the tasks at hand.  Learning the art of delegating can improve your life and business by helping you focus on the most important tasks wisely.

Make a List
Perfecting the art of delegating allows you to improve your life and business. 

It is no secret that the most organized (and successful) people tend to be list makers. If you keep a running list of everything you need to do, you can use it to:
  • Make sure nothing gets missed
  • Prioritize everything
  • Look for things you can easily delegate 

Let’s not forget how satisfying it is to cross something off a list. It provides you with a feeling of accomplishment which is a great motivator. As well, once you have a list of tasks, you will find you can apply it to all of your listings.

Prioritize and Conquer

A list will allow you to prioritize and conquer each task at hand. You can look at prioritizing from two different viewpoints:
  1. How long it will take
  2. How important it is

By having two categories it makes it easier to figure out what to work on first. For example, if you know something will take just a few minutes to handle, such as signing a document your assistant left on your desk, do this first, even if it is not quite as important as something that is going to take a few hours. This allows you to cross it off your list so you can move on.

Do Like Things Together

A good rule of thumb is to try doing like things together such as returning phone calls, reading emails, or making copies of documents. This is a far more efficient way to handle these types of tasks as they are usually handled in the same place, such as at your desk, so you will be working more efficiently. It is no different when you are delegating these tasks; be organized and hand over all the filing or all the copying together so your assistant is able to do them all at once as well.

Project versus Task

Learn to recognize the difference between a project and a task. A task is a singular step, such as making a phone call, whereas a project is a major undertaking such as marketing. Marketing falls in the project category as it has many individual tasks associated with it such as setting up a photo shoot, sending out an eflyer or posting your listing or virtual tour to syndicated sites. If you list it as a single task, it won’t work as it automatically tends to stay on your list. Instead, projects should be broken down into tasks so you can determine which tasks you have to handle and those you can hand off.

Every Day versus Unique

You are going to have everyday tasks or projects that must be completed for every listing. Having a process in place to handle these everyday items will make it easier to know exactly what has to be done without having to review it and rewrite it for every listing.

Again, marketing is a good example here. Having a general marketing check list you can apply to each listing makes marketing easier to handle. It is one of the easiest lists to delegate as well. Using a DIY marketing program or a virtual assistant service to handle your marketing allows you to conquer this time manipulator, especially during the busy season.

Unique tasks can arise unexpectedly for any listing such as a last minute viewing request you don’t want to miss. By having your everyday tasks organized and properly delegated, you will be available to handle unique tasks when they arise.

Learning to recognize tasks that can be delegated will allow you to become more efficient and more effective. You will be readily available for your clients, which will in turn help generate more referrals and improve your life and your business.

If you would like an affordable alternative to help get your marketing check list off your desk, Realtour offers a Virtual Assistant service that will free up time and improve your client relationships at the fraction of the cost of a part time assistant.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

How to Post your Best Virtual Tours to Facebook

There are two ways you can post your best real estate virtual tours to your Facebook page. The first is to simply copy and paste your virtual tour link to your posts and the second is to upload a video. Here are the steps for both.

Posting a Link

Many people get frustrated when trying to post their Realtour virtual tour links to their Facebook page because they do not like the way the post appears. This is because Facebook will collect all of the images and try to present them as a photo album. Here are easy steps to post your tour and also position a thumbnail of your choice for the best presentation:
  • Log onto your Realtour account and click Edit Existing on the Virtual Tour icon on your dashboard.
  • Click edit for the tour you wish to post to Facebook.
  • Click the Virtual Tour Links tab and you will see a branded and unbranded URL appear. Highlight the branded link and copy it by entering Control C on your keyboard.
  • Log onto your Facebook page and  go to the far top right to click on the little downward pointing arrow. Select Manage Page.
  • Click the Publishing Tool at the top of your account.
  • Click the Create + blue button at the top right of the screen.
  • A box will appear. Click in the box to add a line of text about the post and then paste your link into the post by typing Control V on your keyboard.
  • Once you paste the link you should see images from your tour below the text box with an arrow that allows you to click and view the images.
  • As you click on each image in the bottom box you will notice the image has a blue frame around it. To stop the images from appearing on your post, deselect them by clicking the image to make the blue frame around the image disappear. Images without the blue box will not appear on your post. Deselect all of your images, or leave a single image you wish to appear on the post.
  • You can also upload an additional image to the same post by clicking the orange Photo/Video icon and use this as the image for your post. This is perfect as you can choose the most impressive image from your virtual tour.
  • Click Publish.

The areas circled in red allow you to view and deselect images.
None of these changes will affect your link which will still allow people to click to watch your video with all of the images in place.

Uploading a Video

The second option is to upload your virtual tour to your Facebook page. To generate a video you have to authorize Realtour to upload your virtual tour to YouTube. You can do so by following these steps:
  • Log onto your account and choose Edit Existing on the Virtual Tours button on your dashboard.
  • Choose the tour you wish to authorize by clicking edit. Please note the tour must already be active and paid for before you can authorize the upload.
  • Go to the Virtual Tour Links tab and choose YouTube.
  • Click the Authorize button. You will have a choice to upload it to our channel, or your own if you have a YouTube channel. Please note this authorization must be done from your own computer. Click Authorize again.
  • You will then receive a confirmation email with the subject line: Virtual Tour Updated. Scroll down in the email and you will see a YouTube logo and a link to download the YouTube video. Click this and download it to your computer.

To post your video to your Facebook page:
Upload your video and click the Add Custom Thumbnail to show an image.
  • Log onto your Facebook page and  go to the far top right to click on the little downward pointing arrow. Select Manage Page.
  • Click the Publishing Tool.
  • Click the Create + blue button at the top right of the page.
  • You can enter any text you wish about the listing, and then click the orange Photo/Video icon to upload your video.
  • You will note there is also a little camera that says “Custom Thumbnail”. This allows you to click the icon and choose any image you wish from your computer to appear as the main image for the post. You can do this, or allow the first image from the video to be the image that appears.
  • Click Publish.

These steps make it easy to upload your virtual tours to Facebook.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

A Virtual Assistant that will improve your World

Let’s face it, the “do it yourself” age can be a real convenience -- when you have the time that is. However, when you don’t have the time it can really put a dent in your daily schedule. This means you have to either pay someone to do your marketing for you, or scramble to get it done on your own time – somehow. There is another option that provides you with the affordability of the DIY marketing plan with the convenience of having someone do the work for you: The Virtual Assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant provides a number of different services at a fraction of the cost of a marketing assistant or marketing company.
So what exactly is a virtual assistant? In this case, a virtual assistant offers marketing services such as creating eflyers, building virtual tours, scheduling photo shoots or even uploading your images to MLS. Instead of an expensive salary you would pay a team member or a very high rate you would pay a marketing company, you pay a small fee to have these tasks performed for you.

How does it Work?

A virtual assistant is so named as everything is handled remotely from a virtual office. Your orders can be placed via email, online chat or phone. It takes just a few steps to get your marketing materials or tasks performed:
  • Your order is placed
  • A quote is provided
  • Your information is emailed to the Virtual Assistant
  • They do the work and send a proof
  • A small fee is added to your order and the work is complete

What are the Benefits of a Virtual Assistant?

There are many benefits to using a virtual assistant including:
  • It is a convenient and affordable way to handle all of your marketing needs.
  • It is the perfect solution for those who are "digitally" or "technically" challenged.
  • You use their services only when you need them as opposed to having someone on staff earning a regular salary.
  • The menial tasks that tend to take up the most time are off your plate so you can focus on more important tasks.
  • They have the skill set required to perform marketing tasks efficiently so the work is done quickly.
  • They do not charge the astronomical fees associated with marketing companies but instead add a small fee to what you currently pay for your DIY marketing.
  • They offer choices so you can do as much or as little as you want for each campaign or listing.
  • The services are adaptable to your needs.

What are the Services?

Realtour’s Virtual Marketing Assistant services include:
  • Creating your eflyers, newsletters and print materials
  • Preparing virtual tours
  • Preparing Listing Presentations
  • Account set up
  • Placing your photo shoot orders
  • Uploading and downloading images, including MLS uploads
  • Eblasts
  • Auto send newsletters
  • And more…

To learn more or to place an order please email

Monday, 4 April 2016

How to Easily give your New Listing Pitch your All

Getting a call to set up a listing presentation is the first step to convincing a potential client to list with you. The second step takes some preparation that will require you putting in all you’ve got to have that client sign with you. Here are some tips to help your preparation make it all worthwhile:
Being prepared means having information
about the area, yourself and the seller's
property to help show them you are
the best one to sell their home. 
  • Get Personal: Do a quick online search to see if you can find the seller's Facebook page or Linked In profile. This will help you get an idea of who they are, what they do and even some of their interests. You will also get an idea of their ages so you can get a feel for why they are selling i.e. are they empty nesters looking to downsize, or young parents who need a larger home?
  • Know the Property: Do a drive by of the home to get a feel for the condition, style and area. Make sure you have an idea about demand for this style of home, the market price and the usual information that will show you know your stuff. Consider taking a good quality image of their home that you can add to your listing presentation to personalize it and show them you took the time to bring their property into your presentation.
  • Bring Samples: Be prepared to show off your marketing skills by bringing examples of past eflyers, print flyers and even have a few links to your virtual tours. Today’s sellers have easy access to information about selling and will expect to have a marketing plan for their listing. By having samples to show them you will demonstrate you know what they want. You can even flash some statistics at them to help support the success of your past efforts.
  • Introduce your Team: If you have a team of professionals who assist you in your selling efforts, introduce them to the sellers as part of your presentation. For example, having a trusted photographer you use on a regular basis shows your clients you use the best professionals at your disposal to help sell their homes. Mention this is the same person who took the photos in the virtual tours you show them. Talk about your team at the office such as your trusty admin who will always be ready to get your paperwork processed or a Title Company you use to make the process as smooth as possible. All of these details show you are ready and have a process in place with dependable professionals there with you at every step.
  • Share Information: If this is their first time selling (or even if it isn’t) having some information that will help them through the process will be helpful and show them you care about their needs. Having some good old fashioned brochures that give them tips on selling such as staging tips, a check list of the most common repairs buyers will expect them to make as well as expected upgrades or design flaws buyers will be looking for will be helpful as well.
  • Discuss your Strategy: Walk them through your strategy outlining how you come up with a price, how you will help them stage their home, your marketing plan and even what negotiating skills you bring to the table. Sharing statistics about local housing prices, as well as what buyers are looking for will help explain your pricing and staging strategy.
  • Keep in Touch: After your presentation consider all you discussed and what further information you can provide to them to make choosing you an easy option. For example if they are retirees looking to downsize send them a newsletter covering tips on how to downsize. If they are in need of assistance in improving the curb appeal of their home, send them a newsletter with curb appeal tips. If they need to find a property that will accommodate their elderly parents, send them information on how to prepare a home that is safe and comfortable for people with mobility issues.  

If you received a referral, the good news is that 62% of sellers will depend on someone they have been referred to, so you have a very good chance of retaining the listing. These tips will help you cover all the bases in order to have more clients entrust their sale to you.

Realtour offers reusable listing presentations that can be customized to suit each sellers’ needs.

Friday, 1 April 2016

How to find Better Balance for Social Media Posts

It might interest you to know that stats show that of the 84% of real estate agents who use social media, all agree that their social media pages do not generate sales enquiries. The issue lies not in social media itself, but the type of posts and social media pages being used. The trick is to find a better balance for your social media posts so you are sharing information that is helpful to followers.

Social media takes a lot of juggling and some creativity to keep people engaged.

YouTube Preferred by House Hunters

When it comes to listing with an agent, 73% of home sellers want an agent who will use video to sell their home. Although virtual tours are a dime a dozen and found all across real estate sites, 51% of home buyers actually prefer to start their home search on YouTube. However, only 12% of agents have YouTube accounts.

YouTube accounts are easy to set up and are a perfect place to post your virtual tours, videos about your services and even community tours that can help educate buyers. Your YouTube account also shows sellers that you know how to use video to their advantage.

Keep in mind that 45% of online searches resulted in a walkthrough of the homes found. Apparently those selling their homes have an inkling that this is the case and will want in on that enticing stat. As well, real estate listings that feature video such as a virtual tour see 403% more inquiries than those that don’t.

Facebook Preferred by Agents

79% of real estate agents have a Facebook account where they post their listings, yet this is not something their followers and “friends” want to see. A study performed by coSchedule and Buffer discovered that the most popular posts people like to share are not related to the brands they follow, but instead 85% of the people surveyed prefer to read and share posts related to food, home and lifestyle topics.

The most common reason followers will unlike or stop following a Facebook page is due to an over-abundance of “marketing” posts. People want to be entertained or informed, not “sold to”.
It makes more sense for you to indulge your followers with the types of posts that suit the lifestyle they would hope to be living in their new home, rather than trying to sell them that home. Think of aspirational posts that draw them into the lifestyle they dream of living.

It might be a recipe for a barbecue sauce before the 4th of July, links to articles you have found about home design trends on, or even a fun thing you have planned with family over the weekend. A personal touch and some creative thinking will help people get to know you and also find following you worth their while.

Catering to the needs and interests of your followers will help them remain engaged with your posts and even inspire them to share them. Posting your newsletters on Facebook and sharing informative videos and virtual tours on YouTube as opposed to the expected real estate sites can help you stand out from the crowd.

Realtour allows you to upload your virtual tours to YouTube with a click of a button. Marketing materials such as eflyers and newsletters provide a browser link that you can easily copy and paste to your social media pages, making it easy to share not only listing information, but interesting newsletters people will enjoy reading.