Friday, 24 June 2016

How to more easily understand your email marketing stats

Many digital marketing services provide you with statistics to help you track your results. However, for many lay people, it can be hard to decipher just what those statistics are telling you. Here is a glossary of terms and some basic insights to help you make better sense of those numbers, graphs and heat maps.

Glossary of Common Digital Marketing Statistics Terms

  • Total Views: A view refers to an agent opening the eflyer. Agents can view an eflyer more than once. Total views includes all views including the initial view and ALL additional views they have made.
  • Unique Views: A view refers to an agent opening the eflyer. Agents can view an eflyer more than once. Unique Views includes the initial view by an individual agent and excludes any additional views an individual agent makes.
  • Repeat Views: A view refers to an agent opening the eflyer. Agents can view an eflyer more than once. Repeat Views includes any additional views all agents have made and excludes the initial view of each individual agent.
  • Total Clicks: A click refers to any click made on any link included in your eflyer. An agent can click on a link more than once and can also click more than one link. Total clicks includes all clicks for all links in your eflyer including the initial click and ALL additional clicks they have made.
  • Unique Clicks: A click refers to any click made on a link included in your eflyer. An agent can click on a link more than once and can also click more than one link.  Unique clicks includes the initial clicks made to any of the links in your eflyer by an individual agent and excludes any additional clicks an individual agent makes.
  • Repeat Clicks: A click refers to any click made on a link included in your eflyer. An agent can click on a link more than once and can also click more than one link.  Repeat Clicks includes any additional clicks all agents have made to any links in your eflyer and excludes the initial click of each individual agent.

Understanding your Heat Maps

Some statistics such as those provided by Realtour, use heat maps to help you see the hot areas that saw the most views and clicks. When you have used a map to select an area to blast out an eflyer, it might be surprising to see that there are many areas beyond the area you selected that shows views. There are a number of reasons this can happen including:
  • Someone might be viewing your eflyer from a mobile phone outside of the area you selected. The location associated with their email address would be within the boundary of your mapblast area, but they are on the road and looking at your eflyer from a different location.
  • Someone might be viewing your eflyer from a home office, as opposed to the office of the brokerage location associated with their email address.
  • Someone might have forwarded your eflyer to someone else and they are viewing it from outside the original mapped out area for your eblast.

A good use of your heat map is to look for areas that are paler in color and note that they did not respond as well as you hoped. You can then look at the darker areas, and should you choose to send a second eblast, focus on these areas so your money is well spent. This works well for price reductions, open houses or any updates you might have regarding the listing. Your heat map can be used to zero in on a series of smaller areas on the map, as opposed to one big area, with hot and cool spots. Here is an example of how you could help improve results for secondary eblasts using your heat map:

Heat Map

New Mapblast Areas

These are just a few tips to assist with understanding your email marketing statistics. 

Realtour has upgraded our stats to include the following features:
  • A new statistics dashboard on our main navigation.
  • A dashboard page showing all active listings allowing you to view statistics, set a listing as inactive or deactivate your Monday reports.
  • Quick views of your eflyer and virtual tour results.
  • Improved reporting covering the source of each view as well as the geographical location of each view.
  • A new overview of all of your listings based on the best performance in real time.

Click here to learn more about Realtour statistics.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Why now is the Time to start a Newsletter Drip Campaign

Drip marketing for real estate is an excellent way to remain in contact with clients with little effort and money invested. Now is the time to start a drip campaign because you want to become and/or remain the number one real estate resource for all of your contacts past and present in order to have new clients and referrals in the future. Newsletters are written and ready to send making them an ideal tool to use for your drip marketing.

What is Drip Marketing?

Drip marketing automates keep in touch marketing leading to a steadier flow of clients.
Drip marketing or drip campaigns provide consistent contact with clients and prospects in an informative way over time. It offers pre-written, engaging and productive communication designed to help maintain and/or re-establish contact with leads and clients so you remain top of mind. You keep your contacts set in groups and then choose the type of “drip” best suited to be effective in nurturing the relationship.

Why Now & Why Newsletters?

Drip marketing is designed to provide a consistent mode of communication with your clients, and therefore it is important to establish a pace of contact that will be easy to follow. Having a plan in place now will allow you to follow through with every contact you make and continue to remain in contact over time. Using pre-written newsletters allows you to keep up a manageable pace, while providing information people can use, as opposed to bombarding them with sales pitches.

Sorting Contacts

Your plan should be based on different groups you create in your contact list. You can sort your contacts and then send them information that is relevant to their specific needs or your specific goals. Some examples of groups could include:
  • First time buyers
  • First time sellers
  • Leads from your website
  • Past clients
  • Referrals
  • FSBO’s
  • Expired Listings

Every time you get a new client who is buying or selling, a referral or a lead, you know exactly what group they belong to and what type of drips you want to send to them. Keep in mind that individuals will often migrate to a different group. For example first time buyers and sellers would become past clients after a year or so.

Types of “Drips” and Pace

You can choose the type of “drips” that will suit each group and continue to send them information that would be of interest to them. This is where your plan comes into place. Each group’s needs will change over time and should start with focused information that will help you meet your goals. Your plan will outline what you want to include for each group for a set amount of time and then you can begin to send general updates and information to keep in touch.

You never want to inundate someone with information, yet never remain out of the picture for too long. Here are some examples of how you can set up a plan with the perfect pace and useful information:
  • FSBO: Begin by sending them information that suits each step of the selling process such as pricing strategy in week one, staging tips in week two, open house planning in week three, etc. This will help them see the importance of your role. Also, always include a brief personal note about comps, trends, etc. so they see up to date insights they might not know about.
  • First Time Sellers: You can follow the same drips as above. Once their home is sold, continue to offer them a bi-weekly general newsletter and then you can begin to send newsletters monthly and finally seasonally. Include private messaging with the newsletters such as their area becoming high demand, local stats and comps, etc. so they can see they can make some money should they consider selling.
  • First Time Buyers: In week one information about mortgages might be helpful, in week two tips for saving time when house hunting will work and week three it might be some tips about how to get the most out of open houses. Once they find the perfect home send them information on home insurance and then keep in touch with information new home owners need such as maintenance, home energy efficiency, renovation projects, home décor projects, gardening, etc.

After a year, first time buyers and sellers can be moved to the past client group to receive regular updates and seasonal greetings. Make sure you remove anyone from your contact list who requests you to do so to remain Can Spam compliant.

The easiest way to run an affordable drip campaign is using Realtour's pre-written newsletters. Sending a private message with each newsletter allows you to target the group without having to add too much effort into the plan. You can also use printed versions to mail to contacts when you don’t have their email address. For information about how you can set up a drip campaign with our Virtual Assistant service contact

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

What you Need to know About Student Debt and your Sales

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) in hand with SALT® recently reported that student debt accounts for 10 percent of all outstanding debt in the U.S. today. As this debt grows, the rate of home ownership has fallen, most notably in the younger generations. Interestingly, it is not just first time home purchases that are being affected by student debt. First time sellers who are still managing repayment of a student loan are also wary of selling their homes.

Student debt is making saving difficult while affecting financial security. 

Overall Numbers

The survey conducted by NAR® and SALT® looked at the challenges faced by student debt holders and how it is impacting their first home purchases. Some of the overall numbers:
  • 67 percent of loans are from a four-year college and 31 percent from a two-year college
  • 27 percent from graduate/post-graduate school
  • 11 percent from a technical college
  • 24 percent remained living at home for at least two years following graduation due to their student loans
  • 18 percent are currently homeowners
  • 17 percent do not currently pay rent by living with friends or family

For those who do not currently own their home 71 percent blame their student loan debt as the main reason they are unable to buy a home. Student debt has made it difficult or even impossible for prospective first time buyers to save for a down payment even though 71 percent are currently employed.

Delayed Moving Comparison

When you look at the generations and the numbers who did not delay moving into their own place you can see a definite drop from Boomers to Millennials:
  • Older Boomers: 77 percent
  • Younger Boomers: 80 percent
  • Generation X: 79 percent
  • Older Millennials: 60 percent
  • Younger Millennials: 41 percent

When it comes to the amount of debt owing, not surprisingly 80 percent of those who owe more than $50,000 believe their debt will continue to delay their ability to purchase a home. There are also small percentages of people who believe their current debt has no impact on their delay in purchasing a home. 10 percent claimed they had no interest in owning a home at this time while 5 percent stated that their debt was not related to their decision to make a move or purchase a home.

Why is Student Debt Causing Delays?

The number one reason cited for not being able to purchase a home was the difficulty faced in saving for their down payments. 78 percent felt they could not save enough to put down on a home with millennials having the most trouble saving. 63 percent feared their debt-to-income ratios would keep them from qualifying for a mortgage, with Generation Xers being the most common to express this fear. Baby Boomers were the most common to express concerns about financial security. 69 percent of those surveyed cited financial security as the reason for delaying a home purchase.

Other delays not solely connected to student debt included 47 percent feeling they could not afford to move into their preferred neighborhood as well as 19 percent who did not feel comfortable with their knowledge of the housing market.

Delayed Selling

As mentioned, it is not just purchasing a home that is being affected by student debt. 31 percent of those who currently own a home and carry student debt feel they are not in a position to sell their home and buy a new one. 18 percent feel a move to a new home is not an option due to the expense of housing prices with Older Baby Boomers being the most common age group to cite this as a reason for not making a move. Credit challenges are most commonly cited by Younger Baby Boomers due to student debt which is affecting 7 percent of those surveyed while 6 percent are currently living in homes that are underwater.

You can read the full report here

Monday, 13 June 2016

How to reach More Buyers with your Virtual Tours

It is no secret that virtual tours are a must to sell houses. The number of buyers seeking homes online is ever rising which means demand to have the best possible exposure for your tours is also on the rise. If you are not using the right marketing strategy, your virtual tours will not get the instant results you are expecting. Here are a few tips to help you reach more buyers and their agents with your virtual tours:

Over 90% of buyers start their home search online and 51% prefer YouTube.
  • Best Exposure: Don’t forget that virtual tours must be posted to accessible websites for people to readily find them. Many agents do not realize that if their tour is not posted, people will not find it. Make sure you are posting your tour on the most popular websites which includes YouTube. According to a study done by NAR and Google, YouTube is actually the most popular site searched for real estate tours. The poll included all of the common syndicated real estate sites. You can set up an account and post them to your own YouTube channel or use the channel of your tour provider (if they have one). Also don’t forget your own website, social media, Trulia, Zillow and more to get maximum exposure.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Make sure that you use a virtual tour service that allows you to add Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO adds keywords to your tour within your listing details that will help people find you. Choose words that make sense such as Dallas home, Katy area family home, Woodlands home close to schools, etc. Location is very important for SEO and is one of the most commonly used criteria in home searches.  
  • Treat it Like a Pro Marketer: Think of each tour as online marketing created by a pro. Make sure you make it easy for people to see what makes the property special. Use professional images capturing the best aspects of each room. Check the mapping tool on the tour to make sure it is appearing in the right place. Use effective descriptions that people can’t miss using captions, or a professional voice over. Include a PDF of your flyer that people can download and print. Realtour’s Platinum Tour provides the option to include a downloadable flyer PDF and also provides the flyer for free.
  • Send an Eflyer: Many agents have doubt as to how effective an eflyer can be for their marketing campaigns. However, you might be surprised to learn how often a simple mistake on MLS can make it difficult for people to find your listing information. As well, when you send an eflyer, buyers’ agents then have all the info they need including a link to your virtual tour to share with their clients. Your eflyer can also then be added to your tour as mentioned above, so viewers have the option to download the PDF and share it or print it for their own use.

Using these tips will help you reach more buyers and their agents. Realtour’s marketing suite makes it easy to reach the right people. Our virtual tours have the tools you need to post on YouTube and other syndicated sites, an effective SEO tool, PDF downloading tool and more. You also get a free Platinum virtual tour and print flyer with all photo orders.

One last note, if you are a big fan of eflyers, but aren’t using virtual tours, make sure you start doing so. Realtour eflyers come with a free bronze virtual tour that allows you to upload your images, add some music and then instantly add the tour link to your eflyer. When it is included for free, it would be crazy not to use it!

Friday, 3 June 2016

How to Share Fun Interesting Info on Social Media

What was the last post you made to social media? Was it news about the recent listing you acquired, or perhaps a home you just sold? If so, you are not having as much fun with your social media pages as you should be. Social media is not just a tool to help sell houses. It is also a tool to help forge relationships and part of that process is sharing interesting, relevant and engaging information with your followers.

The Power of Links

Check out popular websites that will have articles your followers will enjoy. When you find something interesting whether it is some good, seasonally relevant recipes just before the long weekend, gardening tips, or ideas to make smart upgrades that can increase the value of a home, you can post that link to your social media pages and help create more followers as people choose to like, retweet or share them.  As well, adding relevant, trustworthy links to your social media pages can help search engines find you so make sure you consider relevant keywords for your posts.

Design ideas like adding punches of color are always fun.

Design Ideas

A great place to find ideas to post can be found at This is a fun interactive tool that gives examples of design ideas and the images have “tags” that can be clicked to find details such as paint colors and sources to find similar décor items. You can post one a month or keep an eye out on the site and when you see something you like post it. (It’s also a great thing to share with clients who have just purchased a home who might have mentioned a project they might be starting).

Clip Some Advice

As a real estate agent you have a store of great advice from your experience as a property expert. Try posting little tidbits of advice now and then such as snapping before and after pictures of  a curb appeal makeover you did for a client or a room you staged (with the owner’s permission of course). You can also post interesting local comps that might entice people to consider selling or even a link to a checklist to prepare people for a move.

Become the Town Crier

People love the appeal of an agent who lives and works in the community. You can make interesting posts about local events, upcoming new restaurant or shop openings and anything else you can think of that will help show off your inside knowledge of a particular area.

Like, Share and Retweet

When it comes to social media it is just as important to remain interested and engaged in the posts of others, as it is to keep your posts up to date. If you are "friends"or following clients’ make sure you check out the notices they are posting and make a nice comment or share their posts when appropriate. This helps build stronger relationships and also helps to get them more interested in what you are posting.

Subscribe to a Postable Newsletter

Online newsletters can also be posted to your website with helpful information homeowners will appreciate. For example you can subscribe to Realtour’s Ready to Send newsletters and post a new newsletter each week such as a lifestyle newsletter each Friday to give people ideas for entertaining.

These are just a few ways you can have more fun with your social media and continue to build stronger relationships with your clients. Stick to interesting, entertaining info for homeowners and you can’t go wrong!