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What Does Your Real Estate Website Say About You?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

If you want to keep moving your real estate business forward, you need a website that will hook clients. Your real estate website provides an opportunity for a new client to find your strengths as an agent. Careful planning and consideration on how to organize your website will entice your new clients to contact you for information.
Below are the key ingredients to getting your website into the best shape possible.

Get Organized
• Your name, company name, and contact information should all be on the same place on each page.

• The font should be in a color that draws the eye to that area and large enough so that the information is not missed. Frilly or overly fancy font may be difficult to read. Choose your font carefully.

Use Patterns
• Use a bright color on buttons that a client should click on with the mouse.

• Clients want to know what information is on each website page therefore too many buttons or headlines can be a distraction and clients may give up on reading your website.

• Keep important information and headlines in a Z pattern as that pattern is the natural reading flow of the eyes.

Less is More
• De-clutter your pages to make them less of a strain on the eyes. If articles on your page are old, archive them or delete them altogether.

• Choose high quality articles that provide vital information. Keep the articles brief to hold your clients’ attention.

• Online listing of homes should have specific photos showing the home’s unique characteristics

• General pictures on your website should be bright and draw a client’s eye to them.

• Keep sentences to 10 words or less.

Trust is Crucial
• Add modern safety features on your website so that no personal information of your clients is shared such as email, phone number or address.

• Use a secure webhost or server to ensure your clients’ information stays private. Do not sell or share their information to other businesses.

• Place testimonials or reviews from your previous clients on your website so that new clients can see all that you have to offer.

Go Mobile
• Choose a webhost that allows your webpage to show up on a tablet or iphone without any problems. Today’s client does not have time to load or reload to read a page of information. They will find another agent if your webpage does not provide them with the information they require.

Create a Sitemap

• A sitemap will prevent you from duplicating material on your webpages and will keep the clients reading information about your agency. A sitemap basically helps you lay out your pages in an easy to follow format.

Generate Leads
a. Include a Contact Us form
b. Include an areas for prospects to sign up for a free market analysis
c. Link to your social media accounts
d. Provide an email newsletter sign-up.
Accelerate your sales and increase your clients with a webpage that captures your viewers’ attention.
Ready to become an expert? Get a Real Estate Certified Technology Specialist Designation to learn how to use the latest real estate technology to find exactly what your client needs—the perfect home or a qualified buyer.

Real Estate Resources:
Watch a Slideshare: What Does your Real Estate Website Say About You?
Get Designated: Real Estate Certified Technology Specialist Designation

6 Ways to Develop Strong Relationships with Your Real Estate Clients

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Aren’t you excited? Your list of clients is growing and there is the possibility of another sale in the near future. But how do you keep your clients happy and satisfied with your working relationship? Don’t wait until a problem arises. Set yourself and your clients up for a gratifying working relationship by following these 6 suggestions.

1) Be respectful. You will want to treat each client and prospective clients with the highest respect. Show courtesy and sincerity when you talk with them. Your job is to answer their questions with dignity. The respect you show your clients now will pay off in return business and future referrals.

2) Be direct. Your client wants details and facts. Don’t try to sugar coat the bad news. If you must give them bad news, share it in person when possible rather than through a text or email. Explain options to them in plain language, not jargon that will frustrate them.

3) Be open. Every family is going to have different values that will be the driving force for the home they purchase. Respect their values and help them search for their perfect home in an area that you wouldn’t normally consider. They will look at a home through their own lens, not yours. Be open to that fact and don’t be afraid to show them homes with unique characteristics.

4) Be proactive. You need to become an “ideas” person. When the clients don’t know what type of home they are seeking, you need to show them a broad spectrum of homes. Suggest various amenities that they may not have even thought of, for example, would they want their new home already wired for technology? Know the appealing features of a property and be ready to answer your clients’ questions about them. Do your homework ahead of time and your clients will be confident in your knowledge.

5) Be thorough. Be ready to answer any and all questions that your clients have about the neighborhoods. In order to do this you must know your neighborhoods inside and out. Spend time at the neighborhood coffee shops. Go to a local street fair. Volunteer for a park spruce up day. Visit school open houses. The more details you have about the local neighborhoods, the more information you can share with your clients. It takes time, but if you can point out the local organic food store and describe the mouth-watering fruit it sells, you may seal the deal faster.

6) Be attentive. Turn your listening skills into your best quality. Listen for the needs, wants and desires of your clients. Tune in to clues that they share about their dream home. This will help define your search. If they share their love of adopting shelter dogs, they may need a home with a fenced lawn.

Real Estate Resources:

Generating Successful Sales Leads

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Even the best salesperson fails when they have no one to hear their pitch. When most people start in real estate they begin with the easy-picks: friends and family. But, to make your business grow, you have to move outside of that circle. This is where many real estate agents fail – they are not sure how to keep gathering contacts.

Some sales programs will argue that it is not the quantity of leads, but the quality of them that counts. In many ways that is correct, but you need to have a large group of contacts before you can determine where on the ‘quality’ scale they land. Some agents pay for leads – which can be dubious if you cannot guarantee the source. But any agent can use a multitude of free and relatively cheap methods to grow your circle.

1. Attend Community Events. When was the last time you volunteered at a community fundraiser or event? You do not have to spend money to sponsor an event, just give some time as a volunteer. You will open your acquaintance circle and, as a natural part of introductions, can let people know you are a great agent who is always looking for referrals.

2. Use your Facebook. If you are just posting your listings on Facebook, you are doing it wrong. Your agent site is for your listings; use Facebook to get people to share what you post. Post pics of funny houses, interesting facts, some of those crazy quizzes – anything that will get your current friends to share your content with others. Facebook is where you can show who you are and let people see why they should work with you.

3. Be an expert on real estate sites. If you visit Trulia or other real estate sites, you will see the same agents answering all the questions. When the people who visit those sites are looking for an agent, guess who they are going to choose? It is not hard to get signed up and really broadens your market.

4. Google yourself. Many of the sites that pop up (look past the first 5 listings) are real estate information sites where you can post your basic contact information and a link to your website. As you will see, many of these sites have lists – usually from the real estate commission – of licensed agents, but most agent information is blank. As long as the site is not charging you, get your name out there and network.

5. Gather on your website. If you are not offering some sort of free property listing updates or market advice on your website, you are missing a lot of potential clients. Make sure you site has a ‘More Information’ feature which allows you to collect at least a name and one contact method (usually email). Make sure you quickly reply with the advice or listings you have promised.

6. Five foot rule. This is for all the social agents out there. Are you talking to anyone who is within 5 feet of you? Don’t carry a stack of business cards and force them upon strangers, but talk to those strangers around you. Simple conversation can often lead to introductions where you can slip in what you do. Then have that business card on hand.

If you are truly prospecting in a meaningful way, you will soon have a vast collection of potential leads. Make sure your prospecting time does not go to waste by having an organized lead collection. Many different commercial lead management software companies exist –some of them more geared towards real estate than others. However if you are looking for a free method, take 10 – 15 minutes to watch a YouTube video on Excel or Google Docs. The
advantage of using Google Docs is that you can access your list from a variety of internet devices, not just one laptop or computer. Using either method allows you the ability to easilyadd qualifiers for each lead then sort by qualifier, name, address, etc..

Want to find out if you have what it takes to be a Real Estate Agent or Broker?

About Tom DavidsonTom Davidson is Vice President of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.

Buying your first home? Follow this First Time Buyers Guide

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Buying your first home can be a daunting experience, from finding the right location, getting approved for the mortgage, to actually filling your home with the essentials for living. When you find somewhere you like, it’s important to make sure you ask as many questions as possible, and you may find you get different answers from the owners themselves and the real estate agent.

Top questions to ask the owners are:
• What are the neighbours like?
• Do they feel safe and secure?
• Is the area quiet?
• What are the traffic levels?
• Which direction does the house or garden face?
• What is the local area like for general amenities and schools?

Top questions to ask the estate agents are:
• What is the overall condition of property?
• Are there any structural problems?
• Are there any wiring, electrical, plumbing, woodwork issues?
• Has the property been damp proofed and does it have sufficient insulation?

Once these questions have been answered you can move on to more in depth questioning . The following questions will enable you to find out how much you can negotiate on price:
• Are the sellers looking for a quick sale, and what are their reasons for moving?
• Do the current homeowners have somewhere to move to or are they still looking?

It is important to ask these questions in order to ensure you are investing in the right area and property, and that you are getting the very best for your money. In this day and age it has become increasingly difficult to save for a home, and unfortunately it is almost a necessity to have a deposit of at least 10%.

One critical detail first time homeowners need to consider, are the extra costs associated with buying a home.Not only do you have the deposit to organize, but there are legal costs, the property survey, mortgage arrangement fees, and insurance, followed by the maintenance involved in owning your home.

Do not let the home buying process intimidate or frustrate you, following this first time home buyers guide can relieve you from unneccessary stress. There is a real sense of pride, achievement and independence once you finally become a homeowner. You have the freedom you desire and you can make it feel like a ‘home’ rather than just somewhere you live.

Want to find out if you have what it takes to be a Real Estate Agent or Broker?

About David GoldsteinDavid Goldstein is an Owner and Founding Partner of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.



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