Posts by RoxanaB:

    20 Real Estate Prospecting Tips Every Agent Should Know

    June 28th, 2016

    Real estate prospecting is probably one of the actions that real estate agents most often avoid. That’s too bad, because it’s also one of the main money makers. Below are 20 tips to take your prospecting skills to the next level.

    1. Work on your mindset

    Keep an open mind when it comes to prospecting, because a proper action plan can take you a long way. Many real estate agents don’t like prospecting, but it’s one of the most profitable actions you can take. And working on your skills can go a long way to getting the best results.

    2. Following up is crucial

    Here are a few very eye-opening stats:

    • 48% of people never follow up with a prospect
    • 25% of people make a second contact and stop
    • 12% of sales people make only 3 contacts and stop
    • 10% of sales people make more than 3 contacts.

    3. Only 20% of sales are made in 4 contacts or less

    Here are several other very interesting facts:

    • 2% of sales are made on the first contact
    • 3% on the second
    • 5% on the third
    • 10% are made on the fourth contact

    4. Persist

    Since 80% of sales are made with 5 to 12 contacts, most agents quit way too early. Work on your mindset because today, in real estate, most clients don’t like cold calling. You must persist without exception, because 80% of sales are made between the 5th to 12th contact!

    5. Keep track of your hot leads

    When a potential client keeps coming back and has visited your website at least 5 times, looking at more and more properties, they are the hottest real estate leads. Those are the people that you really want to make sure that you persist with without exception.

    6. Have a plan

    There are a few reasons why people give up on prospective clients. Maybe the most important one is the fact that most agents don’t really have a plan. Other must haves include a real estate strategy, scripts, a good value proposition, commitment, and measurement tools. Your mindset should be that of owning a business.

    A staggering 90% of agents do no tracking whatsoever. Tracking your results is a necessity in order to achieve real estate success.

    7. Focus on quality rather than quantity

    How many people do you think you can speak to in an hour? You should care more about what you do with each person you’re talking to, rather than about making as many calls as possible. Agents should also build rapport, and first seek to understand rather than to be understood.

    You need to understand where each person is coming from. Almost all buyers start looking online these days, but ultimately they need to call you because you have the listing.

    8. Have attention to detail

    Do you know how much you make from each call, or how much you make each hour? Do you leave a voice mail, or do you not leave a voicemail? One of the most important ways to improve your numbers is to simply be aware.

    9. Focus on appointments

    Real estate prospecting is defined as the first contact with a lead. You can exchange emails with your leads, but you should also remember that you can’t sell a house until you’ve had a conversation – a talking conversation – with somebody. Usually, you can’t sell a house without an appointment as well.

    The one, single common denominator of top producing real estate agents is that they work every day to get the next appointment. They prospect every day until they have a new appointment.

    10. Be aware of the numbers

    Do you generate enough leads to get one new appointment? Every 165 minutes of real estate prospecting equals a sale. Every 7.83 people that you say hello to equals an appointment. Also, 1.61 appointments equals one sale. You just have to do your math on your average sale price and your average commission.

    For every two and a half hours that you’re prospecting, you’re generating a sale. So, if you want to have 50 sales in a year, prospect for 2.5 hours a week. Also, the 2:00 PM -5:00 PM time frame is the best time to prospect.

    11. Have a prospecting blueprint

    This is a good blueprint for the prospecting process:

    • 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

    12. Talk to them like you would talk to a friend

    You shouldn’t be nervous on the phone. You’re building rapport, just feel like you’re talking to a friend. You’re offering your clients help and assistance.

    13. Ask for specific contact information, not for permission

    Saying “can I have your phone number?” is not a very good idea. Instead, just say “and what is the best phone number to reach you on? Is it your home or your cell?”

    14. Classify your leads

    An A-level is somebody ready, willing, and able to buy in the next 30 days. A B-buyer will buy between 30-90 days, while a C-buyer will buy in more than 90 days.

    For an A-buyer, make sure you always have an appointment, because you can’t sell a house without an appointment. Don’t say “I’ll call you in a few days”, because you will have just wasted a lot of time. Always have an appointment with your A-leads.

    If you determine that the lead is a B or a C, get them into an email drip system, and follow up with them once a month.

    15. Have the financial talk

    If your prospect is an A, you should have the talk on the mortgage and financing aspect. Ask if your client will be paying by cash or mortgage.

    The main idea here is that you want to make sure that the person you’re working with can afford to buy the house they’re looking for. If they are a cash buyer, you need a letter from their bank, because you’ll want to make sure that they have the price of the house in cash.

    16. Don’t shy from talking to your prospect for as much as 10 minutes

    Most agents, when they have an A-buyer that they’re excited about, have the tendency to shy away from talking too much. However, the minimum time on the phone at this point is 7 to 9 minutes. If you have somebody that is about to buy a $200,000 house with a commission of $6,000, you should be willing to spend 10 minutes with them.

    In order to do that, you need to go into relationship-mode in your brain. Remember, this person needs you, and you should build rapport with them, because you have something they need. It’s called a real estate license.

    17. Close the appointment

    After you do the mortgage and financing questions, you should close for the appointment. This is where most agents think it’s too early to close, so they say things like “well why don’t I email you some listings?”

    So, here’s the basic close for the appointment: “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?”

    18. Listen more than you talk

    You have two ears and one mouth for a reason: listen twice as much as you talk!

    You have to be the one that’s in control of the conversation. So your approach should be “answer and ask”, or “acknowledge and ask”. Make sure that your questions are structured so that whatever answer they give you, you have a roadmap to guide the conversation.

    19. Rehearse your talk

    If you want to learn the blueprint of the call, you can always record it on your phone. While you’re driving, just listen to the recording over and over and over. By the end of a week, you will have the call blueprint memorized entirely. Investing in a couple of good scripts helps you say the right things at the right time.

    20. Only meet with your A-buyers

    The only people you should meet with are your A-buyers. Focus on your dollar productive activities. As a realtor, you get paid to do four things: list, prospect, sell, and negotiate.

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    Point2 Powers the Listings Section of US Real Estate Website PropertyShark.com

    June 6th, 2016

    We have great news for our agents and brokers based in the US! Starting this month, Point2 powers the Homes for Sale section of US-based real estate website PropertyShark.com, which attracts  more than 2.7 million visitors from across the entire US, every month! If you already feature your listings on our main consumer search portal Point2 Homes, the benefit is doublefold —  they’ll get more exposure and  they will automatically enjoy priority placement on PropertyShark as well!

    For home buyers, the great news is that they can now enjoy the same house hunting experience available on Point2 Homes on PropertyShark, too. The advanced filters, including homes with a price cut within the last 6 months, make home searches a lot easier and less time consuming.

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    Why add your listings on PropertyShark?

    We know your top priority is to attract more traffic to your listings and business, so here are some of the benefits you can enjoy when you bring your listings to PropertyShark:

    • Boost your listings’ exposure, nationwide: PropertyShark has national coverage, with a special focus on New York City;
    • Enjoy preferred placement at no additional cost: read below about how you can benefit from featured ads when you become a Point2 Agent member;
    • Generate more leads: add your listings to a marketplace which attracts more than 2.7 million visitors and more than 12 million page views every month.

    Give your listings top visibility with featured ads!

    If you want your listings to benefit from maximum exposure on PropertyShark, then the best way to do this is through a feature included in your Point2 Agent package called Featured Ads. By using this option, your listings will appear at the top in searches on our main consumer search portal Point2 Homes. Once you feature your properties on Point2 Homes, they will automatically be showcased on PropertyShark as well.

    Your listings and services will be among the first the home buyer sees, which, in turn, helps you connect with more leads. To bring more value to the ads, we also display your featured listings in the Saved Search alert emails, an option used by thousands of potential homebuyers.

    What’s even better, you can benefit from up to 20 free ads, depending on the package you choose.

    Who can add their listings on PropertyShark?

    Any real estate agent who’d like more exposure in the U.S. can add their listings on PropertyShark — and several other popular consumer portals at no additional cost — when they become a Point2 Agent subscriber.

    Depending on the plan they choose, Point2 Agent members enjoy a set of top-of-the-line lead-generating solutions meant to help them close more sales. If you need a mobile-friendly agent website, in-depth prospecting and reporting tools, the option to distribute your listings to popular consumer portals, priority placement for your listings and agent profile and other powerful advertising features, check out the packages offered by Point2.

    If you are already a Point2 member, the great news is that it’s extremely easy to distribute your listings on PropertyShark! Just head over to the online office and select the website in the list of distribution sites. Then, feature your listings on Point2 Homes and they will automatically enjoy top visibility on PropertyShark, too.

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    28 Ways to Build a Successful Strategy into Your Real Estate Career

    May 12th, 2016

    The real estate agent is a free spirit in our society, and a real estate career can offer opportunities for a great life. Imagine a way to plan and run your business, a strategy that doubles your business just because it raises your awareness of the right things. Below are some tips on how to build a successful strategy into your real estate career.

    successful real estate career

    1. Determine What Your Main Goal Is

    Make a note of this: What do you want? For a real estate agent, it’s most likely these three things: more sales, which means more income; more personal time which means peace of mind; more confidence in your business and in yourself.

    So write down these three words: sales, peace of mind, and confidence. Right now, which of those do you want most? Just circle one.

    2. Look at Your Strengths

    How do you improve by large amounts in one year, and then keep improving? You do that by looking at your strengths and weaknesses and determining which of these strengths and weaknesses, if you worked on them, would give you the most and fastest improvement.

    Write down what are currently your three greatest strengths or skills that contribute most to your success in your business.

    3. Also Look at Your Weaknesses

    What is one weakness that most stands in your way? Pick one right now write it down.

    4. Determine Whether You Should Strengthen your Strengths

    Often it’s best to strengthen a strength. As a popular expression says: an amateur does a thing until they get it right, a professional does a thing until they can’t get it wrong.

    5. Determine How to Treat Your Weakness

    While sometimes it’s best if you strengthen a weakness, sometimes it’s a waste of time. Instead, you may want to either strategize around the weakness, or delegate it.

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    So look at the one weakness you wrote down. Would you prefer to strengthen it, strategize around it, or delegate it?

    6. Sometimes You Can Also Delegate Your Strengths

    Surprisingly, sometimes you want to delegate your strengths as well. Because you’re good at something, you can then train and supervise someone else, in order to save your time.

    7. Evaluate your Skills

    Next, you should evaluate YOUR SKILLS. Below is a model of all the skills or skillsets for a successful real estate career, and you have just 10 seconds to evaluate each one from one to five.

    8. Sales Skills

    Write the words “Sales Skills”. Are you confident in your sales skills? Do you lead with questions, or do you talk more than you ask questions and listen? Rate yourself from one to five.

    9. Prospecting and Lead Management

    Write “Prospecting”, then write down these four words:

    • Generate – do you generate enough leads?
    • Contact – you may generate leads, but are you actually contacting the leads that you generate?
    • Convert – Do you have the skills that convert those leads into appointments that turn into sales?
    • Follow up – Do you follow up on the leads? Do you talk to the leads one time, or not at all, and then drop them and lose them?

    Each of those four – Generate, Contact, Convert, and Follow Up – is a prospecting skill or a lead management skill. Rate your current skill level for each one, and make a note whether each one is a strength or a weakness.

    10. Listing Presentation

    Next, write “Listing Presentation“, and then write “70%”. If you’re getting more than a dozen listings a year, and you’re getting 70% of the listings you go after – if 70% of your listing presentations turn into listings – it’s probably a strength. Even if you want to improve your listing presentation, it’s probably a strength. So judge your current skill level at your listing presentation from one (low), to five (high).

    11. Buyer Presentation and Working with Buyers

    Write the word “Buyers”, and then write “70%” again. If you’re selling over a dozen buyers a year – so you’ve got over a dozen buyer sales a year – and you’re selling over 70% of the buyers you begin working with, that’s probably a strength. Again, judge your current skill level on a scale from one to five.

    12. Negotiating

    Write “Negotiating”, but this time, write “80%”. If you’re selling more than a dozen houses a year and you’re successful with 80% of the offers you negotiate, and 80% of the time you get the price that you recommend to the seller in your listing presentation, then it’s probably a strength. Rate your current negotiating skill level.

    13. Traditional Marketing

    Now write “Traditional Marketing”, and then write these three words: Sphere, Farm, and Brand. Here are the questions you should take into consideration:

    • Do you market consistently to your sphere of influence? Sphere.
    • Do you dominate one or more farm areas? Farm.
    • Have you created and imprinted a recognizable brand in your market? Brand.

    So consider your traditional marketing efforts and rate yourself on a scale of one to five.

    14. Internet Marketing

    Then write “Internet Marketing Strategy”. The question is: do you have a clear, measurable internet marketing strategy that includes social media, a website, and paid marketing opportunities? Rate your current skill level.

    15. Service

    Write “Service”, then write these three words, which define your service:

    • Communication
    • Consistency
    • Checklists

    Do you communicate regularly on schedule? Are you consistent in the service you deliver? Do you use checklists to confirm and ensure that consistency? Rate yourself on a scale from one to five.

    16. Goals and Results

    Write “Goals” and these three words: “Annual, Monthly, and Weekly”.

    Do you have annual, monthly and weekly goals? You need to know what your goal is for a specific week or month. Rate yourself on a current skill level of one to five.

    17. Attitude and Motivation

    Now write “Motivation”, and then write these two words: “Focus, control”. Do you stay focused, or is it easy for distractions to disrupt your day? Does your attitude control you – are you able to shift your attitude and control it? Rate yourself on a skill level of one to five.

    18. Time Management, Planning and Systems

    Write the word “Systems”. Your current skill level with all of these really comes down to Systems. So, rate your current skill level in “Systems” which include your time management, planning, and organization.

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    19. Assistance and Real Estate Team

    Only if this is relevant to you, write these 6 words down:

    • Hire
    • Train
    • Delegate
    • Supervise
    • Compensate
    • Motivate

    These are the skills necessary for you to build a successful real estate team. Rate your current skill level for each of them.

    20. Decide How to Manage your Strengths and Weaknesses

    If you followed through to this point, you should probably know by now what your strengths and weaknesses are. Choose the skills with 5 stars and the ones with 1 star and decide whether you want to strengthen, strategize, or delegate the fives and the ones.

    Look at your notes and your ratings of each skillset, and pick at least one strength that would be your highest priority to work on and circle it. Do the same with one weakness: pick one that is your highest priority and which may be costing you the most, and circle that.

    21. Set Goals Based on Your Sales History

    Imagine a simple way to set your goals and measure your results that doubles your business just because it raises your awareness of the right things.

    Do you have annual and monthly sales goals? Set your goals for each month based on your history of sales so you’re setting them more intelligently.

    22. Set Goals Based on Contract Date Instead of Closed Sales

    Far too many agents set their goals by closed sales or income, and that puts them out of control. So, for the purpose of managing your business, setting goals, and having control over your business, you must set your goals each month for what you put under contract.

    23. Add a Weekly Results Goal of Initial Appointments

    Do you have a weekly results goal? Most agents don’t have a weekly results goal, which poses a problem.

    Many agents have an activity goal, e.g. how many calls they will make to make in a week, how many mailings, how many notes to send people, or how many people they’re going to visit. The problem with activity goals is that they often will frustrate you and burn you out.

    You want to have a weekly Results Goal, and the only effective results goal is initial appointments. Another way to say initial appointments is “a new client”. The number of new clients you need each week is surprisingly small, but this leads to more focus, more motivation, and even more importantly, it reduces frustration and self-criticism; it makes you feel better about yourself. Activity goals lead to burnout, while a results goal fuels your motivation.

    This is one of the keys to doubling your business because initial appointments per week is the single goal that leads to more focus, more motivation, dramatically increases production, and reduces frustration and self-criticism.

    24. Create a Daily System

    A daily system is a set of things you do every working weekday. You do them in the same place (at your office or your home office), at the same time, and you get started in the same way. Ask yourself this question: What are a couple of the things that you do every day, or, if you did do them every day, would make your business even more dependably successful?

    25. Create an Activity System

    You should also have a set of activities, which is a very comprehensive list. You shouldn’t do all of them every day, but every consistently successful agent does a group of these activities every day in a systematic way.

    26. Have a Weekly System

    You should also have a weekly system, which is just simply something you do on the same day of the week. For example, on Monday you focus on initial appointments. On Tuesday, you look at skill development. On Wednesday, you could focus on marketing, which is hugely important to every consistently successful real estate agent’s business. On Thursday, you could touch base with every listed seller, every pending client so you’ve had the highest possible quality service, and on Friday you could take time to think and strategize.

    27. Start Implementing the Systems Slowly and Improve Them Over Time

    This is a lot to take in, so you need to start with one system at a time, maybe even one day at a time. But here’s the key: you don’t have to get it right, you just get it going and keep improving it. Just start showing up every day and pick one or two daily habits, start with the minimum and grow from there.

    Consistent daily and weekly systems are a very powerful way to improve your business performance.

    28. Putting All of It Together

    The key to putting all of this together into an overall strategy is to think. Take 5 minutes every day to look at your goals and your measured results. Every day, where do you stand in relationship to your appointments sales goal for the month? Based on that, you make decisions and commitments for the day.

    Once every week on Friday first thing in the morning, take 30 minutes (longer if you like) but no phone calls, no emails, no texts, just look at your numbers, look at your strategy, think about the past week and make commitments for the upcoming week. You do this on Friday so you can go into the weekend with more peace of mind, more confidence, more focus, and that carries over into every day of your business and your life.

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    46 Tips to Attract More Leads Using Real Estate SEO Best Practices

    April 21st, 2016

    A website without visitors is like a rock concert with no audience: sad and pointless.

    There are a number of ways to get traffic to your website, and SEO is one of the most important. Even basic SEO, if done correctly, can sometimes have a big impact on your bottom line. And since it’s not that difficult to follow a few simple rules and guidelines, and to avoid some no-no’s, SEO should be on every agent’s and property website owner’s to-do list.

    What is SEO?

    SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is a range of methods and techniques you can use to have search engines (like Google and Bing) show your website within the top results for certain words that are relevant for your business, which are called keywords. You find out what words people are using to search for homes or houses for sale in your area, and you improve your website so that search engines recommend your website to those people.

    What Does it Mean for Your Business?

    Doing SEO for your real estate website will make it easier for potential clients to find you. This is why SEO is important: it brings your business in front of potential clients in the online environment.

    Getting listed on the first page for commonly used search engine keywords will automatically send a lot of traffic to your website, and some of that traffic will convert into clients, improving your business and contributing to your success.

    How Do You Do SEO on an Agent Website?

    This guide will take you through each step required to properly optimize the website you created on Point2.com and benefit from at least a fraction of the huge amount of traffic that search engines can send your way.

    There are 4 main steps in SEO:

    • Identify optimum keywords
    • Enhance your pages so they can attract search engine traffic (also called on-page optimization)
    • Website promotion (also called off-page optimization or link building)
    • Measuring and tracking your results

    1. Find the Best Keywords for You

    Think of the audience you are targeting: people in your area that are interested in buying or selling homes, which means that your keywords should be specific to real estate in your area and relevant to your listings. Here are some examples, assuming that you are a real estate agent in Santa Ynez Valley:

    • Santa Ynez Valley real estate
    • Santa Ynez Valley homes for sale
    • Santa Ynez real estate agent
    • Santa Ynez single-family homes
    • Santa Ynez homes for rent
    • Santa Ynez land for sale
    • homes for sale in Santa Ynez ca
    • houses for sale in Santa Ynez

    Of course, if you have other types of listings, you should target them accordingly with keywords like: “your location beach homes”, “your location condos”, “your location coops”, “your location luxury homes”, “your location multi-family homes”, “your location vacant land”, etc.

    2. Go Local

    It’s much harder to optimize for a general keyword like “real estate agent” than for a more specific keyword like “real estate agent in Santa Ynez”. Also, optimizing for a more specific keyword increases the odds of your visitors converting into clients because the searcher is further along in the buying cycle than in the case of general keywords. You can be sure that a person who is looking for a “real estate agent in Santa Ynez” has that specific area in mind.

    3. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to Uncover More Keywords

    The Keyword Planner is a free tool from Google that can uncover what are your most valuable keywords. The tool’s purpose is dual-fold:
    To give additional suggestions for keywords
    To estimate how much monthly traffic those keywords receive in Google

    Here’s how to use it: Go to the tool’s location and log in with your Google account. If you don’t have one, create a new account (it will take just a few minutes). Then simply type in some keywords you think people might use to search for what you provide, including your geographical area (e.g. “Santa Ynez real estate”). It will give you a list of related keywords and their search volumes.

    4. Complement Keyword Planner with UberSuggest

    Another very useful keyword research tool is UberSuggest. You can use the tool to quickly find new keywords not available in the Google Keyword Planner. UberSuggest does this by retrieving all of Google suggestions from related searches.

    If you want to delve deeper into this topic, check out this great keyword research guide on the Ahrefs blog.

    5. Use Your Keywords in the Page Title

    Each webpage has a title that can be seen at the top of the browser, but must not be confused with the heading. The page title (also called title tag) is much less visible on the site itself, but is the first element that appears in the search engine results.

    Here are a few examples of good page titles you can use for various page types:

    • Homepage: Santa Ynez Real Estate | Santa Ynez Homes for Sale – [Your Brokerage Name]
    • Neighborhood: Chelsea Real Estate | Chelsea Homes for Sale
    • Listing Page: [Address], Santa Ynez, CA Home For Sale

    6. Keep Your Page Title up to 70 Characters in Length

    Google will only take the first 70 characters of your titles into consideration. If you have to go beyond 70 characters, make sure your most relevant keywords are at the start of the title tag.

    7. Make Sure Your Page Titles Are Unique

    Each page title should be unique (must not be found on other pages).

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    8. Place Your Most Important Keyword at the Beginning of the Page Title

    The closer a keyword is to the beginning of the page title, the better the chances of that page ranking for that keyword.

    9. Write a Compelling Meta Description to Increase Click-Through Rate

    The meta description is a piece of text that only search engines can see. It’s what often shows up under the clickable title of a search result. You should include your top keywords here too, because a good meta description can considerably increase the number of clicks from the search engine results to your website. Here are 8 tips on how to write killer meta descriptions to increase your CTR.

    10. Keep Your Meta Description up to 150 Characters in Length

    A good meta description is roughly 150 characters long and is a concise explanation of the contents of the web page. Preferably, it should contain a call to action that entices people to click on your page in the search results.

    11. Use Meta Robots on Pages You Don’t Want Indexed

    The meta robots tag is a page attribute that you should use sparingly, only for pages that you want to keep out of the search engines. These pages will never get indexed and will never contribute to rankings. You might want to do this for various reasons, like private offers.

    Important considerations

    • In SEO, this is also useful if you have two pages with the exact same content. In this case, you may wish to keep only one version.
    • It goes without saying that if you do want to have visibility in search for a page, you should leave this box unchecked.

    12. Add Relevant Web Page Content

    The content that you have on each page is extremely important for the success of your website. And it’s not only your visitors who want to be swept away by what you have to say – search engines appreciate the same thing.

    13. Make Your Content Engaging

    There are a few things you should take into consideration when writing the content for your pages in order to make search engines like you, but as a rule of thumb you should always focus more on the real people reading it, not on Google or Bing.

    Search engines are continuously trying to improve their algorithms to offer people valuable content, and they’re getting better and better at it. If real visitors don’t like your content, search engines will eventually find out using various methods, like tracking visitor behavior.

    If Google sees that visitors tend to go back to search immediately after they have clicked on your website, the logical assumption is that they didn’t like what they saw. Your website is then likely to be downgraded so as not to appear so high in the results for the same search terms.

    14. Only Use Unique Content

    If you copy articles from other websites and paste them into your site you will find it extremely difficult to attain good rankings in the search engines, because duplicate content can suffer penalties in the search engines.

    15. Use Your Keywords Throughout Your Articles…

    Have your targeted keywords appear naturally throughout the article – Don’t force your keywords in. For example, if one of your keywords is something like “homes in Santa Ynez buy”,
    don’t add it in that form in the article. It’s much better if you use these words in a more natural order, like “buy homes in Santa Ynez”.

    16. …But Don’t Overuse Your Keywords

    Having a keyword appear 2-3 times is enough in a 300–500 word article. Overusing your keywords (also called keyword stuffing) is bad for readers. Search engines can detect keyword stuffing, and it’s not a good thing if they come to the conclusion that you’re trying to exploit them.

    17. Put Conclusions at the Beginning

    Then continue with explanations of your claims. This will keep visitors reading and will improve your metrics for user behavior, which, as mentioned before, is another signal for search engines that your content is high-quality.

    18. Make Your Content Easy to Read

    People nowadays are used to skimming, not reading articles. Use short paragraphs (3 or 4 lines), use lists, headers, titles, and subtitles.

    19. Make Titles and Subtitles Informative

    If you can include your keywords in there, do so, but if it doesn’t look natural, don’t. In any case, make them concise and informative, because nowadays people are so used to quick social networking and browsing that more and more of them don’t read anymore – many just scan articles for what they are looking for.

    20. Tell a Story

    People love stories. They will give you more attention if you take them on a journey.

    21. Use Relevant Pictures

    A picture is worth 1,000 words and makes your content more enjoyable. Try to reduce image sizes as much as possible (without sacrificing quality). Here is a great guide on optimizing images for SEO.

    22. Use Simple Words Instead of Complex Terms

    This is self-explanatory. You want to make your content as easy to read as possible.

    23. Write List-Type Articles

    People love list-type articles (like this one), because they are easy to read. Writing articles like “10 Reasons Why Living in Santa Ynez is Awesome” can bring you a lot of exposure, and eventually clients.

    24. Create Infographics

    Infographics are also very popular, because they present information that would otherwise be harder to digest, into a graphic format. Real estate market trends in your area are a good starting point for successful infographics.

    25. If you Can, Mention Your Name, Address and Telephone Number Somewhere at the Bottom of Your Page Content

    This will help with local real estate SEO, meaning that you will get better chances of ranking for generic terms like “real estate agent” if the person who runs a search using this keyword is located close to your area.

    26. Use Image Alternative Text

    The image alternative text is a piece of text attached to an image that can be read by search engines, which use it as a clue to know what the image is about.

    If you have a Point2 Agent website, you can edit the image alt text in your online office. Go to the page where you want to add the image and click on the Edit Content button. Then you can use the text editor to upload an image. After you do that, right click on the image and select Image Properties. You’ll see the “Alternative Text” field just under the image URL. Insert a descriptive alternative text for your image, up to 4-5 words in length.

    27. Use H1 Headings

    H1 headings are most prominent article headings to your visitors, but are important for the search engines as well. Usually, the H1 heading lets visitors know what the page is about. Insert your most important keyword here, but make sure that it attracts the attention of your visitors as well.

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    28. Also Use H2-H6 Headings

    Use H2 – H6 headings for subsections of your page. A good parallel would be with a book. While the H1 heading is the name of the book, H2 headings are the chapters.

    29. Submit a Sitemap

    A sitemap is a file that contains a list of pages on your site that you can submit to the search engines. It is extremely useful if you want Google (or other search engines) to find out about all your pages and index them accordingly.

    Every Point2 website comes with an automatically generated sitemap in a format that’s recommended and acknowledged by Google. All you need to do is log in to your Webmaster Tools account and submit it.

    30. Decide on an Own Domain or a Subdomain

    When you sign up for an agent website with Point2, you are by default given an address such as yourusername.point2agent.com, which is actually a subdomain of point2agent.com. However, purchasing your own domain can be beneficial both in your branding, as well as in your SEO efforts.

    31. A Good Domain Name is Important

    A good URL can go a long way in attracting extra traffic from the search engines. Besides the obvious branding reasons, it can also yield better click-through rates from search engine results. An important thing to note is that as a domain gets older, its strength in the search engine results increases. Consequently, direct ownership of the domain is recommended.

    32. Choose a Brandable Domain Name

    When you choose a domain name for your business, the most important thing to consider is your brand, and to a lesser extent, your keywords. For example, a good combination is “brand + real estate”. In the case of property sites, a good option is for the domain to contain the property’s address. Also, it should be relatively short and easy to remember.

    33. Attract External Links to Your Website

    Every time another website links to yours, it acts as a vote that the other website gives you. The more votes you have, the better, because when search engines find out about them they will know that people are talking about your website and this will result in good rankings.

    What is very important in a backlink is the clickable text, also called “anchor text”. This is another strong signal that search engines take into account when evaluating your relevancy to certain terms. When you build your backlinks, having your target keywords in the anchor text of some of them can be really useful for SEO.

    Link building is hard work, in fact it’s the most time-consuming aspect of SEO, but it’s worth your while if you do it right.

    34. Publish News Items on Press Release Websites

    This method can get you some good links, and if the press releases are picked up by large sites, you’ll see a boom in traffic and in backlinks. Do this if you have a real event to communicate. Here’s a small guide on how to do this properly. Two very good press release services are PrWeb.com and Pr.com.

    35. Get Involved in Discussions on Forums and Real Estate Networks

    Whenever you find a forum or a real estate social network discussing topics related to the real estate niche, or better yet, discussing the real estate situation in your area, it’s a good idea to participate in those discussions.

    36. Find Local Blogs

    Participating in discussion on local community websites will increase your local SEO authority, which means you’ll rank better for searches coming from your area and for keywords that include your area.

    37. Guest Posts on Other Blogs

    This is one of the most effective link building methods. There are a lot of bloggers out there that will agree to publish your article on their website. In that article they will usually let you add a link to your site.

    38. Create Real Estate Videos

    Real estate video marketing is becoming the norm. If you have a property site, create a video with images of the property. If you have an agent site, create a video showing more properties, and maybe some information about the real estate activity in your area and about you. Then upload the video on the major video hosting websites (YouTube, Dailymotion, etc) and place a link to your website in the description of that video.

    39. Add Value

    Don’t comment on blogs or forums just with the intention of getting a link. Try to add real value to the discussion, help people when they have questions, follow up on your conversations, and be a valuable asset to the community.

    40. Don’t Use Automated Software to Get Backlinks

    No matter what you do, don’t use software that automatically gets you inbound links. At first it may sound like a good idea to get thousands of links with no effort, but the links obtained this way are unnatural and practically useless. This method can get you penalized by Google or even banned. This is a big no-no in SEO and you should avoid it.

    Tip: Create a natural backlink profile by getting links from various types of websites (try getting links using all the ideas in the list above) and by using varied anchor text. Although having your keyword in the anchor text is good for you, if each and every one of your inbound links have the same keyword in the anchor text, this doesn’t look natural to search engines and it makes it harder for you to get good rankings. Besides your keyword, use anchor texts that are variations of it, and even use your name or your website’s URL as the anchor text from time to time.

    41. Add Your Business to Google My Business

    Having a listing in Google My Business dramatically increases your chances of showing up in the special results package called the “3-pack” that Google often shows when somebody searches for a business in a particular area.

    42. Ramp Up Your Social Media Marketing Presence

    Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus profiles are essential for your social media presence. If you get people to talk about you, it’s going to help your business. Be active, add people on Facebook, follow people on Twitter, and be genuine.

    43. Consider Other Social Media Outlets as Well

    Although Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are considered by many to be the most important social media sites for marketing, there are also other resources you can use if you want to maximize your social visibility, like LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube.

    44. Use Google Analytics to Measure and Track Results

    How do you know if your real estate SEO efforts have been successful? It’s pretty easy actually: use a free online service that allows you to monitor your traffic.As a matter of fact, one of the best visitor tracking services comes from Google and it’s free: Google Analytics.

    Point2 Agent gives you the option of adding your Google Analytics tracking ID in just a few clicks. You just go to the Page Name and Search Engine Information area and scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll see one field called Google Analytics Tracking ID.

    In order to get that ID, first you need to go to the Google Analytics homepage and login with your Google account. If you don’t have one, you can create one in a few minutes.

    45. Link Google Analytics to Google Webmaster Tools

    You can link your Webmaster Tools account to your Google Analytics account which you already verified by going to the Webmaster Tools homepage and clicking Manage Site next to your website, and then click Google Analytics property. You then select the web property you want to associate with the site, and then click Save.

    46. Track Your Keyword Rankings

    If you have only a few keywords in your list you can track your rankings manually by running searches on the search engines you are interested in. Usually Google and Bing are the ones that will send the real traffic. It’s recommended that you use Google Webmaster Tools to check your rankings.

    If you have a Google Webmaster Tools account and you verify your site, you just go to Search Traffic -> Search Analytics in the left navigation menu. You’ll be able to see what keywords brought you traffic, and what their ranking positions are.

    Finally, a website with visitors is not very useful if those visitors don’t convert into targeted real estate leads, so make sure you have a clear call to action. This might be a contact form, a click-to-call button, etc. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s clearly visible and your potential prospects can contact you easily. If you want to learn more about conversion optimization, read these 100 conversion optimization case studies.

    Real estate SEO is not that difficult to do, but it requires you to follow a set of rules and guidelines. If you don’t, it will be harder for your website to get organic traffic. And if you don’t have traffic, you’re losing big time on potential clients. So roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and start working on your online visibility. Point2 is here to help!

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    53 Ways to Grow Your Real Estate Team

    April 19th, 2016

    You help clients buy and sell properties, and you know how important it is to have a good real estate team around you. But even though you’ve worked hard to build your business, there may still be tricks you haven’t tried yet. We think we’ve uncovered some cool tips – as well as some regular ones – so read on to find out 53 efficient ways to grow your real estate team.

    The Members of Your Team

    1. Get the right members for your team. The office manager, a real estate assistant, a driver (can be useful when showing clients properties where parking is difficult), a concierge (some offices have somebody who greets everybody), and others.
    2. Hire agents. Of course! These are special people, and they will make up the largest part of the team, so from here on we only discuss agents. Here are 7 tips on how to pick a real estate agent.
    3. Remember, you don’t have to hire continuously. Some people are natural team builders, but for others it can be better to build a team slowly.
    4. Get yourself a business, not a job! Eventually you may have a team that is so good that you don’t need to be there.

    Employee Selection Criteria

    5. Aim for quality. Quality is better than quantity. The right people, well-motivated, will generate more real estate business than a much larger team of people who you might think twice about keeping on your payroll. Here are 5 tips to create top producers.
    6. Hire slow, fire fast. People who don’t accept the company culture (which may well be more work than they’d have to shoulder in other companies) need to get out…. fast.
    7. Get the job done. The people you want in the office are people who are doing the business, not just talking about doing the business!
    8. Demand commitment. Commitment to the real estate industry is a key to success.
    9. Hire energetic people. Energy is a key personal asset for any potential real estate agent to have!
    10. Consider other industries also. Recruiting from outside the industry often brings good results, as such people are enthusiastic and ready for a new challenge.
    11. Don’t tolerate bad habits. Agents who have been in the business a long time may have developed bad ways of working and aversions to some aspects of the job.

    Ways to Find New Agents

    12. Be alert and on the lookout. New agents can be found in many places! Some examples follow.
    13. Offer the waitress your business card. She’s impressed you many times with her customer-care skills – she may be a potential agent.
    14. Consider salesmen and the other customer service professionals you meet. They might also enjoy a career change.
    15. Consider your clients! If any among them seem especially bright and energetic, you might consider recruiting them.
    16. Use social media. Using e.g. MeetUP you might get to know people who are interested in a real estate-related subject, some of whom might be potential agents.
    17. Talk to friends who are competitive sports people. These folk can be suitably motivated individuals.

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    Important Characteristics of a Potential Agent

    18. Makes a good initial visual impression. The first impression an agent makes on a client counts for a lot.
    19. Dresses correctly. Men need to come to work every day clean shaven and wearing a shirt and tie.
    20. Looks successful! Clients are probably making the biggest investment of their lives, so they want their real estate agent to look like a winner.
    21. Creates a good audio impression from the get-go. The moment when an agent first picks up the phone to speak to a client counts for a lot.
    22. Has a firm handshake. This is very important.
    23. Is a company representative. Agents need to present the culture and beliefs of the company they are working for.
    24. Is positive. An agent must not be overly negative, a moaner, a drama queen, etc.
    25. The same but different! One idea of what makes the perfect agent is somebody who has a similar personality to your own but whose strengths complement your weaknesses.
    26. Has ambition. You didn’t really need us to tell you this!

    Procedure for Selecting an Agent

    27. Get the candidate to meet with the operations manager. This member of staff pretty much runs the office, so the agent had better get on with them!
    28. Introduce them to the boss. The boss will almost certainly know how to do an agent’s job, so there’s no hiding here!
    29. Make them take a CALIPER Profile. This doesn’t give a yes or no, but it says what an applicant’s strengths and weaknesses are.
    30. Introduce the candidate to the rest of the team. They’re going to have to get along.
    31. You’re hired! But only if the candidate passed all the stages and the team agrees they would be a ‘good fit’.
    32. Try hiring on a trial basis. Some agents might pass all the above tests and yet still not ‘fit’!
    33. Don’t give up. It really can take time to find the right people.

    Create a Productive Office Culture

    34. Stay ‘hungry’! This makes people work, and everybody can own the idea from the moment they wake up in the morning.
    35. Encourage cooperation rather than competition between colleagues.
    36. Make a business plan for each employee. But don’t forget that people are different.
    37. Make agents prospect daily. Approximately 100 calls per day is suggested.
    38. Make sure agents perform. But make sure they perform in accordance with the company’s goals.
    39. Encouraged agents to monitor their own success. We can all learn from our successes and failures.
    40. Try role playing. We can all learn for each other, even experienced professionals can learn from younger ones.
    41. Try a ‘call night’. Make calls together – e.g. from 5:00-7:30pm – and then critique the calls afterwards.
    42. Try letting new recruits ‘shadow’ you. They would learn so much while you conduct showings and open houses.
    43. Train your employees. Maybe with as many as 100 hours per year.
    44. Have confidence in your agents. Agents feel confident when the company instills that confidence in them.
    45. Define roles clearly. This can be the difference between a successful team and a weak one.
    46. Leaders should lead. Leaders should want a team under them not so they can pursue they own selfish ends – they should really want to lead a team.

    Important Characteristics of a Successful Agent

    47. Train your agents to ask questions. They will discover their clients’ needs, regardless of any culture difference.
    48. Train your agents to listen. It’s better they find out about the client than talk about themselves.
    49. Train your agents to be (gently) inquisitive. The clients’ future plans – e.g. what they will do with money from a property sale – might result in further business for the agent.
    50. Encourage agents to manage their time well. They have to be able to make call after call, and also to know when they need breaks.
    51. Make sure agents do not ‘wallow’. When a deal goes sour they need to be able to move on quickly and say “next!”
    52. Encourage your agents to feel like ‘partners’ in the team. This tends to result in successful agents and a successful team.
    53. Encourage agents to be organized. They should prepare their day’s calendar the night before.

    So, now we hope you feel inspired to take your team to a new level! Maybe you now feel that the time is right to make that staff change you’ve been considering. Or maybe you realize that the waitress or salesman you’ve thanked so often might just start thanking you for a job offer! Then one day your business will start taking care of itself.

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    Point2 Homes Traffic Scores New Record Values. Leads Are Up by 70%

    April 11th, 2016

    At the beginning of this year, we predicted that 2016 would be awesome, as we expected traffic on our listings portal Point2 Homes to break new records. Well, only 3 months have passed since and it looks like things are very much on the right track.

    Once again, we registered all-time-high values in traffic and leads. Over 19 million pages were viewed by potential homebuyers, sellers and renters last month, while leads went up by 70%.

    Here are, at a glance, our achievements in March:

    P2H traffic March 2016 (002)

    Website Traffic Surpasses 3 Million Visitors. Canada Sees the Biggest Increase

    Registering 3.17 million visits, Point2 Homes saw an increase in traffic of 33% in March 2016 compared to the same month last year.  Most visits — more than 2 million– came via search engines (Google, Bing, etc.), where our listing pages rank very high, attracting more potential home buyers.

    A quick search using keywords such as “homes for sale in [city]” will show you that we rank in the top 5 Google search results for most major cities in Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal, etc.) and several counties in the US:

    Traffic increased the most in Canada — a 61% year-over-year rise, which translates into 1.86 million visits. In the U.S., the increase was more modest — 12% — totaling 1.09 million visits.

    Agents, rejoice! The number of leads is now up by 70%

    We’re really glad when we can deliver one piece of great news after another to our Point2 agents. In February we worked on enhancing one of our most popular feature — the featured listing and agents ads — in order to ensure the maximum visibility to our real estate clients.

    Then March came with even more reasons to get excited — the number of potential home buyers taking a step toward contacting agents on Point2 Homes grew to an incredible 230,000, which marks a 70% year-over-year increase.

    If you’d like to ensure your listings preferred placement on Point2 Homes, all you have to do is get the Point2Agent marketing package which includes a generous number of listing and agent ads together with other top-of-the-line advertising options for real estate professionals.

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    Are You or Your Listings Featured on Point2 Homes? Here’s some great news for you!

    February 11th, 2016

    featured ads cover image 750x300 px (003)

    Good news is piling up here at Point2! After opening up the year with record-breaking traffic values on Point2 Homes — our real estate listings website — we’re happy to give you another reason to love being a Point2 agent: we’ve enhanced the Featured Agent and Featured Listings Ads, to maximize your exposure!

    With no further ado, here are the 4 steps we took in order to ensure that more potential home buyers can find you, our agent, and your listings a lot faster:

    1. We doubled the exposure options on the listings pages, adding a second Featured Agent ad;

    featured agent ads article 600

    2. We devoted the Agent Directory solely to our Point2 agents so that interested home buyers and sellers find you more easily;

    We’re very proud that our Directory ranks very high in Google searches. Simply Google real estate agents in Toronto or Ottawa, for example, and you’ll see that we appear in the top 3 search results.

    featured ads article 600 px

    3. We gave featured ads preferred placement inside the Saved Search email alerts.

    The number of Point2 Homes visitors who signed up to receive new listing feeds directly in their inbox has exploded in the past year – a growth of over 40 times what it used to be last year — and continues to grow by around 100% each month. This can only translate into more leads for you!

    4. We boosted the exposure of your listings by making them visible on more pages on Point2 Homes – for example, in the ‘You might also be interested in’ section.

    How to benefit from Featured Agent and Listings Ads on Point2 Homes

    Featured Ads are a free advertising solution part of our complete suite of online marketing tools for real estate agents. Depending on the plan, agents can enjoy either 1 or 5 free Featured Agent Ads per month and either 3 or 20 free Featured Listing Ads per month, a total of up to $6,000 worth of ads each year.

    The results seen by our customers have been manifold:

    • more exposure: ads enjoy preferred placement on many listing pages;
    • more leads: more than 18,000 listings are browsed on our website every hour;
    • enhanced authority for agents’ brands: featured agents will appear as local experts in the area.

    Featured Agent and Listing Ads on Point2 Homes have been growing in popularity among agents in Canada, the U.S. and international locations, mirroring our real estate listings website’s robust traffic growth and improved user experience, especially on mobile devices.

    As we announced earlier this month, 2016 promises to be a terrific year! We expect the number of visitors to go over the 3 million threshold, and the average number of visits per day to surpass 100,000. If your listings are featured on our listings portal, this should sound like music to your ears – or perhaps the sound of leads arriving on your website.

    Haven’t added your properties on Point2 Homes yet? Sign up for a Point2 Agent account to secure them preferred placement immediately.

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    73 Tips for Real Estate Video Marketing

    February 8th, 2016

    real estate video marketing

    As a real estate agent, when it comes to positioning yourself as a celebrity authority, you want to make sure that people remember who you are. It’s one thing to give them a business card with your photo on it, and it’s a totally different thing when they see you on video and you show up at the door. This creates a continuity between what they saw on video and what they see at the door, making prospective customers feel that they already know, like, and trust you. That’s really the powerful thing about video marketing: it is a very engaging medium that pulls people in. So without further ado, here are 73 tips for real estate video marketing to propel you into the new age.

    Why You Need Real Estate Videos

    1. 95% of a message is retained when people watch a video compared to 10% when they read something.
    2. 96% of consumers find videos helpful when making a purchase decision online.
    3. 58% of consumers consider companies that produce video are more trustworthy.
    4. 71% of consumers say that videos leave a positive impression of the company.
    5. 78% of home sellers would prefer to work with a realtor that is using video in their marketing.
    6. 75-80% of all mobile traffic (from cell phones, tablets, etc) will be video.
    7. 1/3 of online activity right now is watching video.
    8. 3 boxes about a client’s attitude towards an agent – “know, like, and trust” – are ticked by a good video.
    9. Customers expect more all the time, so you need to keep up.
    10. The largest percentages of buyers are the Generation X/Generation Y segments – and they LOVE technology!

    Marketing Advantages of Using Video

    11. Learning real estate video marketing will make you a ‘Smart Agent’.
    12. It will also position yourself as a ‘celebrity authority’.
    13. Video will help make you the “go-to person” for real estate deals.
    14. The more technology you use, the more you tell your clients that you care.
    15. And the smarter the technology you use, the more you tell your clients that you are smart.
    16. Maybe you can quit doing all the cold-calling – video might just help you cut that down to zero.
    17. Differentiate yourself from the others: To the casual observer, real estate agents can all seem rather the same – but not after they’ve seen your video!
    18. Experience shows that it pays to let clients experience you before they get to meet you.
    19. Video changes your usual message: no longer just “We sell homes”, but “We’re communicators!”
    20. Anything to replace the “You’re a pushy salesperson” opinion is good – your video makes you look more human.
    21. Film is magic, and when your magic kicks in, clients make a conscious decision that you’re the person they want to work with.

    Hardware You Need to Record Real Estate Videos

    22. Apple devices are recommended: iPad or iPhone.
    23. Wide-angle lens – iPads have this built in – is a realtor’s best friend as you can shoot a whole room easily.
    24. Wired microphones: hold in your hand or wear on a lapel. The wire attaches to the camera. They’re cheap.
    25. Wireless microphones: 2 components, a transmitter and a receiver, giving you freedom to move around. Costs around $100-700.
    26. Batteries: either replace them regularly or check them with a battery tester before each filming session.
    27. ‘SmartLab’ mics don’t have batteries; they use power from your mobile device.
    28. Know your microphone: Check the number of rings around the plug; 3 rings means that it’s a mobile device and you can plug it into your cellphone.
    29. Tripod: Any one will do; a $30 model is good enough.
    30. The complete, integrated setup: wide-angle lens, mikes, lights and a place where your mobile device can be slotted in. Take a look at HDHat.com.
    31. A car! Walking people from house to house makes them cranky. But you knew that already.

    Bite the Apple!

    32. Apple’s iPad and iPhone are overall the best mobile devices to use. They can make your video look phenomenal.
    33. The main advantage compared to Android is the apps available.
    34. iPhone 6S is as good as a professional camera and is being used as one.
    35. The apps ProCamera 7 and FiLMIC Pro will turn your iPad or iPhone almost into a DSLR quality camera.
    36. Apple devices come with software to trim your videos .
    37. iMovie: a full-blown video production studio, so you can shoot, edit, and upload from an iPad to the web.
    38. Android doesn’t have the range of features and apps described here; you’d need to get e.g. WeVideo.
    39. Most house-hunters use iPads (apparently): Stay cool with them and switch to Apple mobile devices, if you haven’t already.
    40. Many useful tutorials – e.g. those by Michael Krisa – assume that you have an iPad.
    41. And of course using mobile devices such as the iPad is moving the right direction, since we’re all going paperless.

    Resources

    42. Music: You cannot legally use whatever you like, so get royalty-free music – iMovie comes with a library of music.
    43. Make your own resources! Film neighborhoods and important streets, post those videos to the web, and they’ll always be available for you to use in your marketing, at any time.
    44. Software that helps you edit your videos: Animoto and Videolicious.
    45. Software that sends video by email: BombBomb. Take a video of what you think is a client’s perfect house, then mail it to him.
    46. Use Skype. Clients can even see a property in real-time: As you film it, they can be receiving it on their cellphone.
    47. Software that puts video into a format that will play across all mobile devices: EasyWebVideo and Vimeo.
    48. For PC (non-Apple) users: you maybe use the video app already built-in on your PC, or Sony Movie Studio or Adobe Premier Elements.
    49. Outsourcing: Maybe somebody you know – perhaps even a schoolkid – can do all the work for a few dollars.

    Tips & Tricks for Shooting Videos

    50. Hold your device horizontally: this is how it was designed to be used for video, and it’s what people expect.
    51. Use the ‘rule of thirds’ (divides the screen into 9 equal boxes). If your mobile device’s screen can display a grid, turn it on. The center of the object of interest – often your face – should lie at one of the intersections of these lines. The space to the side creates an anticipation of something to come – this mimics how we look at the world.
    52. Nobody likes shaky video footage, as can happen with hand-held filming, especially at the beginning. Start the filming before you start the talking – you can trim the film later.
    53. Try to be entertaining and engaging and maybe find a ‘hook’ – emotional content pulls viewers into a story.
    54. Give attention to the visual details of the video – little things can ultimately make a big difference.
    55. Audio is crucial, so use your voice: People may forgive a shaky image, but they’ll turn off if they can’t hear you easily.
    56. Don’t just film a house: many buyers are looking first for a particular city, then a neighbourhood, then a street.

    You’re a Star!

    57. Be yourself! You may be surprised how charismatic you are when let your natural qualities speak for themselves.
    58. If you’re shy in front of the camera even that may work in your favor, as ‘self-aggrandizing’ presentations can have a negative impact.
    59. Celebrity means power. A woman once made videos ranking schools; the Board of Education’s attorney told her to stop as her rankings weren’t the same as the approved ones – she got lots of free publicity!
    60. Sports fans: Get yourself a hand held mike and pretend you are your favorite sportscaster!
    61. The more sophisticated and efficient you become at using the technology – building resources of media data and emailing them out daily – the more essential you become to your client base.
    62. This might be your chance to become a ‘niche’ agent: housing for seniors, golfers, horse-riders…. you name it.
    63. Use social media: Regularly post what’s new in your real estate world.
    64. Take it up a level and invite your client to participate – in a coffee shop, or wherever – when you are making the video. After all, everybody likes to learn how to do something cool.
    65. Post your videos on YouTube – and link to them, which will help you improve your presence in the search engines. You may not become as watched as that Keyboard Cat, but you’re now on video and you’re a star!

    What to do Next

    66. Just get started. If you can finger paint, you can edit video on your iPhone or iPad.
    67. Sure you don’t want to look dumb, but you probably won’t – just get over yourself!
    68. “It’s too expensive; it’s too hard to do; I don’t have time” – don’t make excuses anymore.
    69. Making video is like anything you do for the first time – working out, swimming – it’s hard at first, but after a while it becomes second nature.
    70. Enjoy yourself: The challenge of making videos that entertain and position you as an expert gets to be fun.
    71. If you use what you’ve learned here when shooting a video, you will already be 80% ahead of most people in terms of quality and professionalism.
    72. If you’re still not sure, try the comprehensive courses called ‘Tablet Video For Agents’ by video marketing guru Michael Krisa, visit his website www.thatinterviewguy.com, and read the articles he publishes in periodicals.
    73. Get some new hardware, if you need it.

    An easy way to get started is by creating a virtual tour in your Point2 Online Office. You can do that in an easy 3-step process that includes adding audio to your automatically generated virtual tours.

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    Expert Advice: Long Time Agents Spill Their Secrets!

    November 10th, 2015

     


     

    Tips from Expert Real Estate Agents

    Expert Advice: Long Time Agents Spill Their Secrets!

    When it comes to starting out in real estate, the best resource you can tap is the agent or broker with years under their belt and a successful business to show for their efforts. We’ve been lucky enough to glean amazing insight and advice from some of the top agents and brokers in the US, Canada and Mexico.

    They all had a lot to say about what it means to be a real estate agent in today’s modern and technologically advanced business landscape, and they were happy to share their knowledge with new agents who are just starting out. We are sure their words of wisdom and their unique insights will prove enlightening and invaluable as you set on your own real estate path.

    Melanie Press is an award-winning agent who has found great success utilizing all the features and personalization options of her Point2 Agent website. Melanie advises new agents to become a marketing expert.

    “Be the best YOU you can be,” she advises. “If you can’t sell yourself and the value you offer, how can you give your clients any faith in who you are and how you’re going to look after them?”

    New real estate agents take note! You won't believe what these long-time real estate agents told us when we asked for advice and insight!

    Melanie also believes in spending the time and energy fine-tuning your online presence, recommending new agents “invest in a great website like Point2” because, “you have to have a strong web presence, and Point2 offers many fantastic tools to help you do this.”

    “Get as tech savvy as you possibly can,” counsels Melanie. “Easier said than done, yes, but really try to work on it. Finally, work hard, very hard.”

    Consistency is critical, according to Amy Jones. A top broker in Chandler, Az, Amy understands the importance of leveraging the power of technology to attract more prospects, but she also knows that real estate is more than just a numbers game. Follow through is just as essential.

    “Responsiveness and consistency are the keys to success,” declares Amy. “There are hundreds, if not thousands, of agents on the internet,” she adds, warning, “If you don’t respond to an inquiry quickly – preferably within minutes – the prospect will just call the next agent on the list.”

    “If you build it, they will come,” she concludes, “but if nobody’s home when they get there, they won’t hang around long.”

    New real estate agents take note! You won't believe what these long-time real estate agents told us when we asked for advice and insight!For Amy, the significance of real estate marketing cannot be underestimated. “Always run your business like a business,” she suggests. “When you’re not busy with clients, stop whining and keep marketing, staying on top of new technology while implementing those ideas that excite you.”

    “Most importantly,” adds Amy, “If marketing doesn’t excite you, you’ll never do it…so hire someone.”

    Hamilton REALTOR® Donna Bacher also believes in the power of a personalized real estate website, cautioning new agents to avoid branded websites because “if you ever change companies, your site doesn’t go with you.” Instead, Bacher believes new agents should, “put on your ear muffs and start working on a site.”

    New real estate agents take note! You won't believe what these long-time real estate agents told us when we asked for advice and insight!

    Bacher considers blogging to be an essential part of any agent’s workday. Instead of spending “precious time and money attending expensive ‘sales’ seminars right away or posting to Facebook and Twitter,” Bacher instructs new agents to take advantage of their Point2 blog.

    “Blog on Point2…then post that blog to social media to increase you Google-ability,” she advises, adding that agents should spend time previewing new homes as they come on the market and “work[ing] your Point2 website every day.”

    Canadian real estate agent Daniel Hartin specializes in offshore retirement investments in Belize and has over a decade of experience using Point2 Agent to market his business online.
    Daniel advocates new agents invest in their future, even when it means spending those first few hard-earned dollars on advertising. New real estate agents take note! You won't believe what these long-time real estate agents told us when we asked for advice and insight!

    “I have always found Point2 Agent’s advertising options helpful when I am looking to increase my exposure and get more leads.”

    Kanoa Biondolillo is the Chief Inspiration Officer behind Baja123, a real estate brokerage in Rosarito, Mexico that he began with his father almost a decade ago.  Through self-taught online marketing skills, Kanoa has leveraged his website into a powerful lead generating tool. For new agents, Kano believes the key to success involves capitalizing on all the digital tools available.

    Kanoa recommends new agents become comfortable with online marketing tools. “Pick one online avenue and become really good at it,” he advises, “Drive all traffic from that avenue back to your Point2 Agent site’s listing pages. Work on your drip campaigns. Brand yourself and your talents to match your traffic’s needs.”

    “Today, more than ever before, you have to have the digital tools that will help you keep up with this rapidly changing world,” he says, adding, “You don’t want to be a blacksmith making horseshoes as the automobile is driving by you shop.”

    Set goals high, counsels Kanoa, and the results will follow. “You have chosen an industry that will give you huge rewards if you set your goals high enough,” he says.

    New real estate agents take note! You won't believe what these long-time real estate agents told us when we asked for advice and insight!

    Setting high standards is just what Sam Kamoutsis of PLANIT Real Estate set out to do when he ditched his job a decade ago and embarked on a career in real estate. He launched PLANIT Real Estate a few years after his initial foray into the business and using his technological know-how and IT background, he was able to create a website that has generated more than 25,000 leads. So it’s no surprise that Sam is a true believer when it comes to the marriage of real estate and digital marketing tools

    Sam advocates new agents start by anticipating the new reality of real estate. “The client of the future has changed forever,” says Sam, who goes on to explain, “Today’s clients are not only starting their search online, but client communication is happening online as well.”
    “Gone are the days when print magazines and direct mail were effective,” he continues. “The real estate market is now online, and only those who follow the rapid river of change will be in business tomorrow.”

    Sam goes on to say, “Every real estate agent and business owner should understand one thing: the communication patterns of the new real estate buyer and seller have changed. In order to succeed in real estate, the modern agent must be present on all platforms being used by the new generation of buyers and sellers.”

    “The successful real estate agents of the future will be the ones who embrace this change.”

    So there you have it, real, practical advice from agents and brokers who’ve experienced phenomenal success using digital tools like Point2 Agent to expand and enhance their real estate business. Use their words as guidelines and guideposts as you start out on your own real estate adventure. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet, stop by and let us know how these agents inspired and informed you and your real estate career.

    Good luck!

    Want to hear more? Check out our Point2 Agent Success Stories:

    Point2 Agent Success Story: Melanie Press

    Point2 Agent Success Story: Donna Bacher

    Point2 Agent Success Story: Daniel Hartin

    Point2 Agent Success Story: Amy Jones

    Point2 Agent Success Story: Kanoa Biondolillo

    Point2 Agent Success Story: Sam Kamoutsis

    Point2 Agent Success Story: Jim Wheeler


    When you’re just starting out as an agent, making sure you’ve got everything you need can be challenging. Just a quick search online reveals thousands and thousands of blog posts and news article filled to the brim with every tip, trick and suggestion imaginable. But when you need real advice,  how do you trim away all the fluff and empty advice and find real, practical information specifically aligned with your wants and needs?The Right Tools for New Agents
    Finding what you need in this era of data overload can be overwhelming, so let us guide you with our list of essential tools for every new real estate agent. Our new blog series, “The Right Tools for the New Agents,”  we’ll pull back the curtain so that you can begin to understand what it means to be a successful real estate agent and how Point2 Agent can help you achieve your goals. We’ll cover broker/agent relationships, self-promotion and marketing, earnings and commissions, dealing with failure and much much more. 

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    The 30 Best Webinars for Real Estate Agents and Brokers

    November 4th, 2015

    30 Best Webinars for Real Estate Agents and Brokers

    Some learn by doing, others by listening, but all of us benefit from the wisdom and experience of experts in our field. With this cache of valuable real estate webinars at your fingertips, you can now watch these heroes of real estate – men and women on the front lines of the business spill their secrets and give you their best advice for how to succeed in real estate.

    Here at Point2, we’re lucky to have a stable full of industry leaders willing to offer advice and impart hard-earned knowledge. Think of them as your roundtable, your pit crew and your Greek chorus.

    They’re here to help, and their assistance will help empower you, ignite your business and propel you towards unimagined success.

    Watch them in action in this roundup of the 30 best webinars for agents and brokers.

    Webinars for Lead Generation and Conversion 

    1. Client retention is an essential part of real estate. Let Terri Murphy lead you through the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities you can easily do to secure clients for life and draw more referrals.
    2. Don’t limit yourself when it comes to generating leads. You need to get social, go global and highlight your knowledge and personality. Learn how with these tips for lead generation.
    3. There’s so much more to prospecting than cold calls or knocking on doors. Overcome your prospecting phobia with these tips from legendary Michael Krisa and the always fabulous Terri Murphy.
    4. What if I told you that it’s not more leads you need, just better lead conversion? That’s Verl Workman’s bold advice for agents looking to convert more leads to sales.
    5. There’s no immediate reward when it comes to prospecting. Turning leads into clients takes patience and persistence!

    Organize and Manage Listings

    1. In order to generate more buyer leads and increase your brand recognition, you must manage your listing inventory. Real estate legend Terri Murphy shares 5 super-secret tips to getting more listings.
    2. You can make sales without listings. Learn how to grow your inventory and nab the best listings in your area with these best listings practices.

    Improve Your Office Tactics

    1. Bring a semblance of order to your life and see your business grow! Organizational expert Chris Couch shares a few simple life hacks that enhance productivity and profits.
    2. If you dodged spring-cleaning, there’s still time to get your office in order. Organization will not only save you time, but it will also help you collect and convert listings into sales
    3. A business plan is only truly effective if you use it to focus on your strengths and delegate your weaknesses. One important piece of the puzzle is finding a way to streamline and amplify your marketing strategies.
    4. Is it time for New Years resolutions yet? Verl Workman has 13 strategies to make this year your best yet!
    5. In order to make the purchase, your clients will probably need financing. That’s why it’s important to develop strong business partnerships with mortgage professionals in your area.
    6. Unsure how to go paperless? Terri Murphy understands your fears. Not only does she have tips and tricks for incorporating paperless technology into your real estate business, she also shows you how dumping paper copies can increase profits.
    7. You can use your iPad, laptop or phone to secure a deal. The trick is going paperless! Let Garry Wise of The Paperless Agent lead you through his step-by-step process for securing a deal with paperless technology.
    8. You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to make a great business video. Real estate video expert Michael Krisa presents a jam-packed webinar full of video tips for busy agents!
    9. The right video can help you stand out from your competitors. Terri Murphy has a 4-week plan that can help you create a strong video marketing campaign.

    Turn Agents Into Top Producers

    1. As a broker, you depend on your agents to help your business flourish. Lillian Montalto knows just how to hire, train and motivate agents to do their best and rake in profits.
    2. Are you interested in turning your agents into top producers? Bob Corcoran reveals his secrets to a happy, and profitable, broker-agent relationship.
    3. It’s critical to create a working environment that allows your agents to take ownership and grow their careers. Bubba Mills explains how to develop a stronger team at your brokerage.


    Keep Earnings High

    1. Are you being asked to reduce your rate or not collect your full commission? Terri Murphy tells you how to sell your value without cutting your price.
    2. “We don’t want to pay commission,” is the phrase every agent fears. Best-selling author Don Hutson knows how to keep sales high, without cutting your bottom line.
    3. The key to reaching and exceeding sales goals is to focus on dollar-productive activities. Verl Workman, aka “The Freakin’ Sales Animal” knows A LOT about reaching and exceeding earnings expectations.
    4. Your brokerage will attain success when staffed with motivated and ambitious agents. Learn how to attract, grow and keep top agents with these suggestions from Bernice Ross and Paul Wells.
    5. Nobody likes a listless sales force. Take your agents from dull to dynamic with these tips from Bubba Mills of Corcoran Coaching and Consulting.


    Unleash the Power of Social Media

    1. Are you struggling with social media? Let guest expert Bernice Ross help you get more leads and more sales through engaging and targeted social media marketing.
    2. Social media is here to stay, and it’s changing traditional marketing strategies. Terri Murphy and Shaun Nilsson from Cityblast illustrate exactly what you can do to stand out in today’s online consumers.
    3. Have you been avoiding Facebook? This social media tool can be a valuable resource and a way to turn authentic connections into leads. Here are five ways to use the world’s largest social media platform to your advantage.


    Dominate Your Marketplace

    1. Do people in your neighborhood think of YOU when they think of real estate? Here five things you can do to dominate the market in your area.
    2. Negotiation can be intimidating, but we’re here to help. With these Top 5 Negotiation Tips, you can close sales and conduct smarter, more productive client negotiations.
    3. Does the thought of sitting down at the bargaining table make you sweat? Overcome your fear of negotiation and avoid common negotiation mistakes with the tips from real estate negotiation expert and best-selling author Don Hutson.

      Inspired and ready to take next step? Try Point2 Agent for free, and let us be your professional partner!

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