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30 Near-Guaranteed Effective Insider Marketing Tips for Realtors

Published November 28, 2016 by Real Estate Leads

Strategy For Real Estate Mobile MarketingThe Real Estate Industry has – thankfully – been in consistent recovery since the darker days of 2012. While those of us who work in it have been very happy for the upswing, there’s still the fact that with the resurgence comes a similar surge of new agents into the field. The number of new agents registered with CREA (the Canadian Real Estate Association) has increased considerably in recent years, so the question if as pressing as ever….

How do you distinguish yourself, your services, AND your clients / listings from the pack?

A recent study in the US and their National Association of Realtors showed that 92% of buyers get onto the Internet to being their search for a new home to buy. We can safely assume there’d be similar statistics for Canada (and perhaps even more so when you consider some of the dynamics found in rural communities), so you should set your sights first and foremost on a more effective digital marketing presence.

Here are 30 effective Canadian real estate marketing ideas that are as close to a sure thing as you’ll find for those of you looking to stay on top of the real estate game!

 

  1. Incorporate Social Media

This one is at the top of the list for good reason, and in truth no other suggestion comes even close to warranting top spot. The role of social media in all aspects of marketing has been discussed at length these days, and ANYONE who has a service to offer or a product to sell MUST be utilizing social media. Period.

Get yourself set up with social media accounts for all the big networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and perhaps even Pinterest or Instagram if you or someone who works with you is good with photos / images. Share your properties, interact with users, and don’t hesitate to share good press about you or your brokerage if it’s in digital form.

 

  1. Consider Social Sharing for your Property Pages

You’ve got TONS to gain by allowing anyone who visits your social media channels to share your content themselves through their channels. It’s super valuable exposure, it’s FREE, and boy oh boy can it be effective! Make sure you add social sharing buttons to ALL you online content.

 

  1. Keep an Eye on your Competitors

Having a long look to see what other realtors in your area is doing isn’t wrong, and in fact when you come to understand that it’s entirely commonplace there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t do it. It’s a part of staying competitive yourself, as well as possibly taking a few pointers on how you can be more successful.

Some typical areas to look at; what do their websites look like? Are they active on social media, and if so – which channels and how / how often?

Take note of what your competitors are doing and incorporate their successful approaches into your efforts.

 

  1. Make Getting in Touch with You AS EASY AS POSSIBLE

It’s really important not to overlook this one. Put your contract info on every page of your website, as well as constructing an attractive and inviting contact us page that grabs their attention and has your email, phone, and LinkedIn profile link readily available.

 

  1. Have a GREAT business card with you at all times

Pay the money it takes to have a designer make you a very good-looking business card. Get LOTS of them, and hand them out any time an opportunity presents itself.

 

  1. Obtain Photos from a Professional

The buying and selling of homes relies heavily on great photography. Always has, always will. Poor photos and put a quick end to prospective buyers considering the property, so the smart choice is to hire a professional photographer (preferably one with extensive experience photographing homes and properties). Again, just like with the cards, this is not an area where you want to ‘skimp’ at all. Pay what it costs for pro quality, it’s 100% worth it in the long run.

 

  1. Have Virtual Tours Ready for your Clients

Modern computer software technology, high-end cameras, and the Internet make it possible for realtors to offer a very personal and informative tour of properties available to clients. Virtual tours are a great way to give comprehensive, accurate previews of the property that are presented in a very visually engaging manner.

Believe us when we tell you that nearly ALL successful realtors use virtual tours as part of the media kits for prospective buyers. Again, if putting them together is not something you’re capable of on your own, it really makes sense to hire someone to assemble them for you.

 

  1. Local Sponsorship

Signing up to sponsor a local festival, sports team, or school events is a tested-and-true method for realtors to gain exposure and make a name for themselves as community-oriented professionals. It will reflect favourably on you, and your name will be kept handy when folks being considering to sell or buy a home in the neighbourhood.

 

  1. Pinterest Boards

We mentioned Pinterest briefly above – it’s a social media network and it’s a great place for realtors to provide images and information for specific listings. We recommend creating a Pinterest board for each property or listing you have and then choosing images that best highlight features, location, amenities etc.

 

  1. Ensure your Website is Mobile-Friendly

By mobile-friendly we mean having a site version that will automatically convert itself when visitors are accessing your website via a smartphone, which – as you should know – is the most common way they’ll arrive these days. If you’re not sure what to do in this regard, we come back to the same advice – PAY someone to do it for you, as it’s extremely important and you REALLY need to have it done right. However, there’s this resource for DIY types https://4goodhosting.com/mobile-website-builder

 

  1. Have a Newsletter that Goes Out Regularly

Utilizing an information-rich newsletter as part of your marketing efforts is highly recommended. It’s a part of effective email marketing for realtors, and is a great means of building client relationships. Make your subscribers aware of upcoming open houses, new houses on the market in certain neighbourhoods, and any other type of news that would be of interest to them. Get creative and really put yourself into your newsletter, and remember – it should go out regularly at a set time! Don’t neglect this.

 

  1. Next, an Email Nurture Campaign

“A What?” you might be saying. This type of campaign gives only select amounts of valuable information to subscribers at any given time, with the idea of ‘piquing their interest’ so that they want more information in the future. Be selective about what information you’ll provide, and to what extent you’re going to elaborate on that information.

From there, you’ll want to deliver the next set of ‘breadcrumbs’ at a set and regularly recurring date to keep your subscribers engaged and firmly within your sphere of professional influence. Give this a try, you’ll likely find it’s very effective!

 

  1. Build a Google My Business Page

These Google location-based pages are great with the way they generate viewers based on where they’re located via their IP address. It’s the same idea as Google Places for Businesses and Google+ Pages.

 

  1. Make a Niche for Yourself

Create yourself at the go-to realtor for families with pets, retired couples from England, young professionals – the possibilities are endless. Making a name for yourself in regards to a specific niche is a way to make yourself noticeable, especially in an area that’s heavily saturated with realtors

 

  1. Use Emotional Storytelling

Do this with select written communications. Anytime there’s an opportunity to incorporate compelling copy and powerful visual elements. Remember, humans respond to stories, and ones that involve a human element especially.

 

  1. How about Hosting a Webinar?

Hosting a web seminar, or webinar, is a great way to establish yourself as a local expert who’s on top of trends AND digital marketing approaches. It can be nearly any home buying or selling topic, and you can share your knowledge and get viewers to interact. They can also be repurposed as Youtube videos.

 

  1. Old School Mailers

Traditional advertising may be taking a back seat to digital these days, but is still has real value when you target your audiences effectively. One idea is postcards for qualified leads or prospective buyers in specific zip codes.

 

  1. Host Free Seminars for Home Buyers

This can be as simple as a basic seminar on buying homes and mortgages, or any other topic where you make yourself available as a local expert for the community, and again one who’s “just here to help” rather than explicitly looking for clients. People will appreciate this, and they’ll be more inclined to choose you as their agent in the future

 

  1. Use Marketing Collaterals with YOUR Branding

This is particularly effective if you’ve worked with a graphic designer (recommended) to get a logo or other type of branding for yourself. Pens, note pads, drink koozies, and other freebies that people will use and have in front of them now and again are always welcome and will promote you and your services.

 

  1. Establish Partnerships with Local Businesses

Developing relationships between yourself and local businesses is always key for any real estate agent’s marketing efforts. Try to find an arrangement where you promote their business, and they promote your real estate services. Get creative, and know that ANY business will be interested in you’ve got something that will benefit them

 

  1. Get testimonials

Having someone vouch for the quality of your services goes a LONG way in establishing your credibility. When a real, live person endorses your services it is much more effective than you or another realtor doing so. Be sure to use testimonials on your website (often with their own clearly identified page) and they can be incorporated into print materials too. Share them on social networks too

 

  1. Get Yourself a Great Website

This one is an obvious one, but the key is in getting one that looks really sharp and is engaging for visitors. Yet again, working with a web design professional is highly recommended. See to it your property pages have great photos, virtual tours, and easy access to Google Maps and Google Earth. Last but not least, make sure your headshot photo on the website is a really high-quality photo where you look good!

 

  1. Make that Site Easy to Navigate

Visitors need to be able to move easily from one page to another, and discover information in a linear manner. Information architecture is key, so again make sure you work with a web design professional.

 

  1. Copy should be Optimized for Current Location

This involves incorporating local-oriented keywords into your web copy to ensure that buyers who are using those same words in their web searches find your content. Be careful to avoid ‘stuffing’ the keywords into your copy, and if you’re not confident with writing make sure to work with a web copywriter.

 

  1. Use an Online Lead Generator

Real Estate Leads – for those of you who may be unaware of it – is a superb resource for realtors in North America. You really should be there if you want to maximize your exposure to prospective home buyers and sellers. Agents can ‘claim’ a territory of their choosing (if it’s still available – this service is VERY popular) and then all of the leads (which are generated through online ads and surveys and deemed genuine) are provided to that one realtor exclusively.

 

  1. Care Packages for Closed Deals

It’s important to continue to foster your relationship with clients even after they close deals. Sending them a ‘thank you’ package is always a good idea, and you should do it EVERY time and be sure to address them and some aspect of their individuality in the accompanying note

 

  1. Keep in Touch

Staying in touch with clients indefinitely after working with them not only continues to keep the relationship intact, but you stand to benefit greatly with the fact that home buyers and sellers ALWAYS tend to know other folks who will at some time be going down that same road. When they have a friend who’s ready to buy or sell, they’ll be more likely to refer you.

 

  1. Create a Referral System

Providing incentives for them to refer you is also highly recommended!

 

  1. Utilize Call Tracking

Realtors should use call tracking in their paid search campaigns. If a call from a prospective client comes as a result of someone – for example – seeing your PPC ad, you want to be able to track which ads and keywords are driving those kinds of calls.real-estate-leads-canada

All of these approaches have the potential to be very effective in promoting your services as a real estate agent, in much the same way that registering with realestateleads.ca provides a big boost in lead generation for realtors who want genuine location-specific home seller leads provided to them EXCLUSIVELY through this increasingly popular online real estate lead generator.

Check it out for yourself at www.realestateleads.ca and get in on the action – before another realtor claims your ideal territory. Remember, only that one realtor will receive ALL of the leads generated for the territory he or she has claimed!

Top Agents: How to Make Yourself an Invaluable Agent for Real Estate Clients

Published November 25, 2016 by Real Estate Leads

Brand awareness through social media networking connectionsAsk any successful real estate agent and they’ll tell you that your attitude towards the job and their clients is a key contributor to continued positive transactions, but what do you need to do to improve your attitude – or even know what it is?

Basing yourself around be friendly and helpful with your knowledge of market insights, the right marketing tools and experience are one thing, but you should also consider presentation and a sense for the clients’ needs too – and perhaps even more so.

To expand further on this, we spoke with Stan Carling at Remax Masters, one of the premiere real estate agencies in West Vancouver. He has nearly 30 years experience as an agent and a broker, and he’s happy to share these insights as to how ‘the right mindset’ is super important for any agent, and what you can do to create it for yourself.

Lets start with Remax West Vancouver. we understand youve been with them from the beginning.

Remax Masters West Vancouver. That’s correct, I was one of the first agents to come onboard with them nearly 30 years ago, and I’m happy to say I’ve never had any reason to consider working for another agency. Ever since we started up here, our mission has always remained the same. We were going to give our clients great service, of course, but we would also be educating them about the real estate industry and the ‘inner workings’ of it, to help make selling or buying a home a more clear, transparent, and understandable process for them.

What do you love most about your job?

That’s quite easy to answer. I love helping clients realize their goals of purchasing their first home or selling a long-time residence the most. I get a tremendous sense of fulfillment when I see the impact my service can have on people’s lives. It comes with extreme responsibility and drives me to be as accountable and ethical as I can. The satisfaction of an accomplished goal is always worth it. Especially when it benefits others.

– What would you say to beginners coming into the industry?

I would say don’t underestimate the extent to which you’ll be investing all of yourself in this business if you want to succeed. Especially in the beginning, and I’d even say it’s best to overestimate! Plan on long hours and putting in the time involved to educate and discipline yourself. It can be discouraging in the early years, but those who persevere and adapt the right ways will see their efforts pay off.

Also – and I can’t stress this strongly enough – compromising your integrity for a sale is something that’s a big no-no. It’s never worth it. Maintain the integrity of your business and it will so much better in the long term. In the short term it may sting to lose a sale or a referral, but in this business you should always be looking and thinking long term.

And last but not least, if you’re so fortunate to be a happily married man or woman, make sure your spouse is entirely onboard with your career choice and the ‘transitional’ period that comes along with it.

What are the primary challenges facing the real estate industry at this time?

The industry’s managed to roll with the punches and stay upright pretty much right across the province – and the country really – over the years and I believe that’s a reflection of people valuing good service and an educated opinion. It also helps that most cities have a local Real Estate Board that does an effective job in monitoring realtors and making sure they conduct themselves in an ethical and responsible manner. I know I’m very thankful for the VREB here, and I commend them for the work they do

But to choose one ‘specific’ issue for you, I would say it’s that today’s real estate environment faces challenges from do-it-yourself advocates, who believe their frugal approach to marketing and selling homes saves the homeowners money, but it’s been proven a thousand times over that a knowledgeable and experienced professional realtor nearly always provides the best outcome with getting fair or beyond-fair value for your home and exposing it to the greatest number of prospective buyers. We are challenged to educate the public on the inherent value of our services, and some do it better than others.

Is there a current listing of yours that youre particularly excited about?

Actually, all of my listings are exciting! (chuckles) – Really I’m just thankful to have them and with them the opportunity to help nice people buy homes for their families. If you don’t feel that at any point during your career, then it’s time to do something new. Sure it’s exciting to earn money after you’ve worked hard to accomplish your goal, but often it’s intimately connected to the satisfaction I get from helping people get what they want. It’s exhausting at times and it always involves investing a lot of yourself, but the rewards are priceless.

Whats the most important piece of advice for agents talking with first-time home-buyers?

It’s best to get them started by balancing their needs vs. what they want, to start conservatively and with research, and sometimes some deep introspection, before they start making up their mind on what kind of home they’re in the market to buy.

Next, I will recommend a trustworthy mortgage broker to help them determine much they can or should afford, and start the pre-qualification process. Getting started with researching a little bit about real estate terminology is also advisable and something that most people can be capable of. And how about asking your parents? They very likely bought their first home at some point too, right?

From there, I’ll offer to set up a market search in their determined price range, and then they really start to gain some perspective on the market and how far their budget can go. From my experience, that’s when the learning curve really turns and the buyers really feel comfortable digging into the process. And often times, if you’ve guided them in their discoveries and been friendly and available all the while, they’ll really appreciate you and a) be willing to work with you in the future too, and b) recommend you to others.

Believe me, the second part of that is HUGE!

Be patient, helpful, and guiding with your clients and try to always be dialling into ‘where they’re at’ in the process so you can be as involved as possible. It takes some doing to perfect it, but it’s oh so worth it in the long run. I wish you all well!

22 Real Estate Tips for Prospecting that Every Real Estate Agent Should Know

Published November 15, 2016 by Real Estate Leads

adobestock_70974529_wmReal estate prospecting is one of the toughest items that a real estate agent does, and thus is avoided at all costs. However, it can be a major money maker for you and your firm. Below are 22 tips to make prospecting a little easier, and to make it work for you.

1. Work on your attitude
Prospecting can be tough enough without your mind working against you. Take the idea of prospecting, and remember that this work will allow you to benefit tenfold in the future. Your attitude is what will bring clients in and when it comes down to it is the only thing separating you and sales in the future.

2. A simple follow up will make the difference
If you are thinking about the last sales encounter you were on the edge of a decision, think about what a follow up could have done to close you. Remember, to be a successful sales person you need to work. 48% of your coworkers never follow up with a prospect, and 25% of people make a second contact and stop.
3. Only 20% of sales are made in 4 contacts or less
Yes, you read that right. You need to work on your sales, and when it comes down to it, hard work is going to make the difference. 2% of sales are made on the first contact, while 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact.

4. Persistence is key
Think back, have you quit before you talked to 4 contacts. The answer is probably yes, and since 80% of sales are made between the 5 to 12 contacts, you have missed on sales. Persistence is key, and if you are not going to put the work in, your prospecting is not going to be successful.
5. Hot leads need to be tracked
If you have potential clients coming to your site to look more than five time, you have yourself hot real estate leads. These are the people you need to work on, and focus your efforts on converting.

6. Planning is everything
If you do not have a plan on how to best approach a perspective client you are already at a disadvantage. Most agents lack a plan, and thus lack conversions. Have a script, a strategy, a good value proposition, commitment and measurement tools ready for a client, and convert them quickly.

7. Tracking your leads
If you are in the prospecting game, you need to be tracking your leads. 90% of Real Estate agents lack the ability to track and thus they lose clients, and hot leads. Be organized, and take control of your business.

8. Quality rather than quantity should be your focus
How many people can you speak to in an hour? If you are going to just gloss through a script and see if you get any leads you are simply wasting time. Take the time to learn about your clients, and build rapport with them. This way, when a buyer starts to look at homes or condos, you will be the first person they call when they are ready to get serious.

9. Attention to detail
It really is the little things when it comes to this business. Did you forget to leave a voicemail, or leave an email unread. Time is of the essence and an attentive agent will get the jump on the others. Make sure you are paying attention, and it will garner success in the market.

10. Appointments are key
Prospecting is when you first contact a lead, but the relationship does not stop there. You will exchange emails, and then you will need to meet face to face. This will allow you build rapport, learn their story and gain their trust. You need to be able to be personable, but professional in person, and an appointment is a perfect opportunity to showcase just that.

11. Be aware of the numbers
Have you been generating enough leads to get an appointment? Here are the hard numbers: Every 165 minutes or prospecting equals a sale, just 7.83 people that say hello equals an appointment, and 1.61 appointments equals a sale. You need to do the simple math and know that for every 2.5 hours prospecting you will generate a sale, and if you want 50 sales a year, you simple need to prospect for 2.5 hours per week.

12. Know your market
If you are in a low income or high income town, you need to know who you are selling to. Become a man or woman of the people, and you will see prospecting come a little easier to you.

13. Have a blueprint for prospecting
You will need to review the following things:
Location – where do they want to live?
Price
Motivation – do they want to rent or to own?
Working with an agent – ask them how long they have been looking for a new home
Financing – are they a cash buyer or a mortgage buyer?
Closing the appointment

14. Talk to them like an equal
No one likes to deal with someone who is talking down to them. Thus, when you are prospecting talk to the people like a friend. You are building a rapport with a customer, make sure they know that you can help them with the biggest sale of their life.

15. Ask for specific contact information
A prospective lead should not be an position to back out of giving you their contact information. Instead of asking permission, as in: ’May I have your number’ you should say ‘and what is the best number I can you reach you at, and is that cell or home?’ It is direct phrases like this that will put you in the driver’s seat.

16. Classify your leads
You need to start classifying your leads so you do not waste time. An A-level is a lead that is willing to buy within the next 30 days. A B-level is someone who is looking to buy within the next 30-90 days. While a C-level is one who is going to buy in more than 90 days. A-level should be your focus, and make sure you have appointments set up, as no one buys without appointments. While for your B-level and C-level keep them on the mailing list and follow up at least once a month to check the water.

17. Be able to talk finances
If you have a prospective A-level buyer, you need to chat about their finances before diving into the market. Ask the client if they are buying with cash or by mortgage, and get an idea of their budget. This way, you are aware of what they can afford, and the things they need to do. For instance, if they are a cash buyer, you will need the letter from the bank for the amount requested etc.

18. Prospects should be an investment of time
You do not have to worry about talking too much to a client, if they want to chat for 10 minutes or so let them. If you are making a sale for $400’000 and you need to talk on the phone a little longer, it is not going to hurt anyone. Remember, the person on the other line needs to be able to comfortably trust your judgement and wants to utilize your expertise. Let them chat, and you will be golden in the end.

19. Close the Appointment
It is really simple, but sometimes you need to remember you need to close the appointment as well as start it. Chat with them, but end with a bang. Here is a sample close that has worked well for our staff: “Based on the information we’ve discussed right here, here’s what I recommend we do: Let’s set up a time to get together at my office, where we can go over the home-buying process. I’ll do up a complete market overview and we’ll set up a time to go look at homes. How does that sound?”

20. Listen… actually listen
The old adage goes, you have two ears and a mouth for a reason. You need to listen to your clients, and ask open ended questions to get them chatting. If you are gaining their trust then you need to be able to actually tell your staff what you discussed. Attentive listening is a skill that many should practice, but rarely do.

21. Rehearse your talk
You need to be able to talk with confidence each and every time. If you have a partner, chat with them, and ensure you have the pitch down. Investing in a few great scripts will help you do the right thing at the right time. Plus, if you are partner is annoyed, try recording yourself in your phone, that way they won’t hit you when you try and talk the next time.

22. A-level buyers are your focus
As much as you want to say everyone is important, the A-level buyers need to be your focus. As a realtor you get paid to do four things: list, prospect, sell and negotiate and the A-level buyers are what will allow you do that.

Real Estate Leads is the premier option for real estate agents that want hot and reliable leads here in Canada. With thousands of potential buyers in your area, let the team at http://realestatleads.ca do the hard work and deliver you the leads that convert to sales. Contact us today, and see how our team can help make you the top real estate seller in your area!

New “Federal Mortgage Rules” – What will be the side effects and risks?

Published November 7, 2016 by Real Estate Leads

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Not only hopeful home buyers, but also home owners should review the new “federal mortgage rules” which took effect this past October 2016. Everyone should be concerned with the increased risk of lower economic output, as that would appear to be a logical result of the regulatory changes.

As quoted by HiBusiness magazine’s Caleb MacCauley in http://hibusiness.ca/2016/11/01/critics-cautions-about-new-mortgage-rules :

“Adjustments to the rules could engender an orderly transition to a more balanced system and soft landing for house prices. But, while hoping for the best, Canadians would be wise to prepare for something worse than the oft-touted transition to stability. … Any serious attempt to change the rules around insured mortgages could roil share prices of publicly-listed Canadian lenders as well as disrupt financing for housing. The availability of mortgage credit could dry up and conditions would be much more difficult for many buyers. … A painful unwinding of elevated leverage in the Canadian financial system is the most likely outcome, based on observation of similar adjustments in the U.S., Ireland and Spain.”

HiBusiness warned – The surprise introduction of the new mortgage rules should cause Canadian consumers to be“extremely vigilant” especially since real estate transactions are contributing at an all time high to our national Gross Domestic Product.

The stricter affordability “stress test” – which intends to measure consumers’ability to pay at the 5-year posted rate of 4.64 % (about double the rate of recent years past) will affect the purchasing power and decisions of hundreds of thousands of buyers.

For example, the HiBusiness article pointed out the following example scenario:

“For a household with $100,000 in total income the stress test could mean a 20% drop in approved mortgage [qualification]. The Bank of Canada estimated that more than 20% of all insured mortgages were contracted by households that have loan-to-income ratios of more than 450%. ”… Home buyers in Vancouver, Toronto, Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton are at the head of this class of risky borrowers. The slowdown in new money from this second source of buying power will have a large impact, especially on new home builders in those centres.

What are your thoughts on the matter? We’d like to know. Should the free market be left free, or should the market continue to be every more highly regulated? As one of our previous articles posed the big question of: “ Should foreign investors be allowed to purchase Canadian homes? Perhaps that is where new regulation should be implemented first.

Please contact us with your thoughts. We love hearing from Canadian Real Estate Agents, and also members of the general public.