Tag Archives: real estate marketing strategies

How To Win the Real Estate Listings Battle

As we all know, one of the biggest challenges we’ve been faced with in the recent real estate market is the supply of listings. They are at a premium. So how does your company be the brokerage of choice when it comes to competing for listings that are out there? The good news is that by stepping up your game and in some cases, rethinking techniques both tried and new, you really can improve your ability to compete and win these clients. By delivering a stellar experience before and during your listing appointment, including an equally powerful listing presentation, you can give yourself a tremendous competitive edge. Here are some key ingredients of both.

Provide a Listing Experience.

We use the term “experience” here with great deliberation. The days of throwing a quick CMA together based on a few publicly available local sales is not going to cut it. In 2019, if you really want to stand out to buyers and sellers, you’re going to have to do more than that. The client experience with you starts the moment you first contact them to the day you complete the transaction (and beyond!) and every moment in between. Use all the tools and technology at your disposal to show them you are energetic, up-to-date and on top of the details. Don’t let your agents be tempted to discount commission. Instead, agents should use the entire listing experience as an opportunity to showcase their value by explaining how their skill set and resources will deliver the most desirable results. The entire client experience must show that you are professional, tech savvy, and someone they can trust to navigate the process.

Trust. Getting to know the client and their needs should be built in to the listing process, in addition to creating the presentation itself. Taking the time, demonstrating that you have listened, truly understand the home’s unique attributes and that you will do what you say you will do, will go a long way toward reassuring the Client that they will be in good hands.

Be Detailed. Be Consistent. And Show Exactly What You Will Do.

The listing presentation itself can speak volumes. A powerful template used consistently by your agents is the first step to ensure all clients receive a consistent experience from your brokerage. It should be customized to the sellers to make them feel special. The other benefits to having a set template is that it will give off the impression that much time was spent putting it together, adding to the consumer experience. The plan should walk the seller through all the steps of the process and clearly outline all the agent will do to sell the home. This helps paint a picture for the seller and puts their mind at ease that the agent has it together, is organized and has a very clear plan to get the job done. An agent simply giving a presentation that’s “All About Me” is not going to make the seller feel that the agent has their best interests in mind.

Make the Impression Last, Even After You’ve Gone

One of the common reasons that a listing is lost is that potential clients are left with too many unanswered questions after the agent leaves. One of the best ways of solving that problem is to give a comprehensive, professionally branded listing presentation, but make sure you leave behind something that summarizes all you discussed for them to review and digest.

Branding: A beautifully branded booklet that unifies your brokerage mission statement, your company values, and what makes you unique will showcase how committed you are. You can bet that sellers will see your listing presentation as an example of how you would represent them should they hire you.

Marketing Strategy: It can be easy for sellers to become confused between the offerings of various agents vying for their business. If the listing presentation clearly explains the marketing strategy that you plan to use for their property and the unique capabilities of your brokerage, it will be easy for them to understand what your team brings to the table.

Systems & Tools: Buyers and sellers are more educated than ever and they will favor agents that have proven systems and high-tech tools on their side. Outlining the technology resources that you implement to deliver the best possible results will show them that they are not just hiring an agent, but rather a large extended infrastructure of people, processes, and technology that brings diverse expertise and action to the problem of selling their home.

Weichert franchisees and agents have experienced first-hand how a listing presentation that incorporates each of these elements can elevate the overall listing appointment experience and significantly improve their success rates. Through our DOORS listing presentation and associated processes, Weichert agents clearly communicate their value, expertise, available resources and detailed, multi-channel approach to their marketing.

Give Yourself An Edge

As an independent broker, it can be hard to stand out from the pack. That’s why you need to make the most out of every listing lead you get. That’s also why a partner like Weichert can be so valuable to you. One of the investments we make on behalf of our affiliates is a great Listing Presentation and providing a system of listing a property that includes all the things discussed above. With our tools and an agent’s attention to the customer, it’s a winning combination for your brokerage again and again to help you win the listings game in your market.

For more information about this and all the tools and systems available to Weichert affiliates, visit weichertfranchise.com or contact the team at Weichert Franchising today at 877-567-3350.

5 Ways To Use Craigslist To Market Homes

It’s a given that you place your brokerage listings on your website and enter them into your local multiple-listing service to gain visibility and get buyers. Maybe your agents also use other online platforms to showcase listings. But one place many brokers and agents undervalue is the use of Craigslist as yet another place to visibly saturate the internet with your listings.

Craigslist has been around for over 20 years. It’s reliable and widely used with over 60 billion monthly users and 50 billion page views a month. For a free way to get in front of a potentially different segment of buyers, posting on Craigslist is a solid tactic to add to your marketing arsenal.

As with everything related to online marketing, there is a right way and a wrong way to use Craigslist. To help your listings stand out in the sea of 80 million Craigslist classified ads, here are a few of best practices:

1. Add An Odd Number In Your Heading

Headings matter. In fact, recent studies of social media show that most online users share a post because of a compelling heading. Sharing a post is one thing, but actually reading it is another. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CRM), “Odd numbers in list posts have a click-through rate 20% higher than even-number lists.” Be creative around your odd-number usage to gain the most clicks and don’t just write “3-bedroom house for sale” as the heading. That’s what everyone else is writing, and you need to stand out among the slew of other home sales ads. Try “3 reasons you should come to this open house on July 7”.

2. Catch Viewers’ Attention With a Visual

Chute and Digiday’s visual marketing report found that an eye-catching visual is at least 20% more effective than text, with a chart or infographic preferable. Naturally, your visuals will be quality photos of the rooms and outside of the property, not focused on any one thing. But it may be interesting to do an infographic of what this listing has over others in the area.

Remove and date and time stamp and keep the home photos no more than 600 pixels wide for easy loading or potential buyers will get impatient and move on. Craigslist enlarges the first photo you upload and shows it with the heading. That first photo should be chosen for its high impact on buyers. The remaining photos will be displayed only when a viewer clicks on the heading to open the home posting.

3.  Showcase Features as a List

Viewers want an easy, bite-size way to learn about a home’s features. Put features or other special attractions in a bulleted list for easy viewing breaking it up with subheadings, such as interior/exterior or kids/adults. Too much text is a distraction and will scare away viewers.

4. Post Sunday and Monday

Between the real estate organization Rent Juice and the authors of “Cracking the Craigslist Code”, it appears that Sunday and Monday mornings are the optimal days for posting ads based on collective studies of over 800,000 Craigslist real estate postings.  Best hours are between 10:00 a.m. and noon or 5:00 p.m.

5.  Keep Your Ad On Top

As anyone who has used Craigslist knows, your ad eventually gets buried in the feed by newer ads that come in later. The further down this long list it gets, the less attention it gets. It’s important that you have a regular schedule of reposting your listings so they stay current and on top. Craigslist has limits on how many times you can repost and so a best practice is to repost your listing every 48 hours. If you do it that way it’s just a button push inside your Craigslist account. Doing it this way requires a minimal investment in time and keeps your property front and center every day.

Using Craigslist to Market Homes

Getting your listings out there is not always easy and can be costly. Craigslist provides a simple, effective and affordable way to market a home, especially when using the correct real estate marketing strategies for the platform.

This is just one of many marketing channels you can leverage in real estate. With so many options, it can be confusing to know where to start or what’s most effective.  If you think your business could benefit from information-sharing and coaching on real estate marketing strategies, consider teaming up with Weichert. Your affiliation plugs you in to a host of programs, services and peer networking to power your business and allows you to provide more to your agents.  For more information on proven marketing tools and strategies to help grow your brokerage, consider becoming a Weichert Affiliate. Go to weichertfranchise.com or call 877-746-2067.

The Right Ingredients for an Attractive Brokerage

 

Think back to the real estate brokers you worked for when starting your career. What drew you to work there in the first place and what prompted you to stay or move on? Did you feel your input mattered or that no one cared what you had to say? Was there a real team dynamic or was it everyone for themselves?

As a broker, now is your opportunity to build the company culture you want. Whether you worked in real estate your entire life or started out in another industry, there are key attributes that make any business worth working for, including yours.

Trust And Honesty

Believability is important to success. Honesty and trust go hand-in-hand. Trust your agents enough to let them do their job of selling homes and provide the training and support for them to do so. Even as broker you aren’t expected to know everything but know how to get the answers. So, the next time an agent asks you a question you can’t answer, commit to researching it and getting back to them as soon as possible.  And then make sure you really follow up. Use the calendar app in your phone or email to set a quick reminder for yourself. When agents see that their queries are important to you, it makes them feel valued and deepens your relationships.

Respect

Trust and honesty lead to respect. But it’s a two-way street. You must respect the agents that you brought on to earn their respect in return.  This includes the young, inexperienced ones who may test your patience at times. Always be polite, actively listen and talk with your agents as equals. These agents, who you took the time to recruit, may provide you with a novel way of doing something that can set your brokerage over the top, which can only be learned through mutual respect.

Recognition

Recognize the talents and accomplishments of the team of agents you recruited. Did an agent close a particularly hard transaction or a new agent complete their first transaction by themselves? Announce it.  Did they close a personal record-breaking deal? Give them a shout out. Let everyone know of their achievements. Recognition isn’t all about highest grossing or most transactions in a year. It’s also about general accomplishments and teamwork to help all agents—new and experienced—feel valued. Agents who know their contributions are valued strive harder to succeed.

Support

If your brokerage goes above and beyond to provide the right tools and techniques for your agents to succeed and properly trains them in the use of these tools, then word will spread that your agent support is exceptional. In turn, these support tools make your brokerage the go-to destination for recruits, saving you time and effort in both real estate agent recruiting and retention.

Putting It Together

Re-evaluate your brokerage to make sure you are creating a dynamic and positive culture that values your team as a whole, as well as individuality. Model by example and your agents will do the same. Build a solid team of agents with the right tools, techniques and attitude and you will stay competitive in your market. While it’s up to you to build a culture of trust and respect, there are easier ways to provide everything else than trying to keep up alone. Affiliating with a National brand, such as Weichert, who already has the tools and systems in place makes it easy for you to plug in and run. You get a wide array of agent training opportunities right out of the gate, for example, including sales coaching, weekly and monthly seminars, general industry trainings, online courses, technology training and more. Plus, leverage awards and recognition programs, sales tools and techniques and technology platforms. With all of these things readily available to you, you have more time to focus on your brokerage-building strategy.

 

If you want to learn more about how Weichert can help your brokerage dynamics, contact us today: weichertfranchise.com or 877-567-3350.

Is Your Website Converting Visitors To Leads?

Real Estate Marketing

Leads are the backbone of your brokerage. Good leads keep existing agents productive and are a draw for new agents. With 92 percent of buyers using the internet in their home search, according to NAR, brokers using smart website visitor conversion methods have a competitive edge in the cultivation and generation of leads for their teams.

Website Traffic to Leads

Let’s say you’ve been diligent about your advertising and your team is actively working multiple social media channels to promote their listings and your brokerage. You are monitoring your website analytics and you can see a healthy rise in website traffic from your efforts. While you may be getting website visitors, how many visitors complete your contact form or, better yet, directly contact you by picking up the phone or sending an email?

Converting visitors to real contacts through your brokerage website is one of the most cost-effective methods of generating leads. In digital marketing, we look at the ratio of unique website visitors to contacts, over a period of time, and we call that your “conversion rate”.  Too many brokers leave money on the table by focusing exclusively on advertising, and not the more subtle art of optimizing your website’s conversion rate.

Steps To A Better Conversion Rate

Increasing and optimizing your conversion rate isn’t rocket science. In fact, in most cases it’s just applied common sense. But done correctly you will build a better conversion rate and help ensure a steady flow of clients by using a few tried and true website marketing principles:

  • Calls To Action – Studies show that simply asking someone to contact you on a webpage, can increase your overall conversion rate 1-2%. Make sure you ask people to contact you on every page in context appropriate ways that are highly visible.
  • Micro-Conversions – If they are not ready to speak to a realtor, offer them another way to stay in touch. “Sign up for alerts about this property”, or “Download our ebook on local schools”, or “Home Wish List”, “Report on recently sold nearby properties” etc. These “micro-conversions” may not lead directly to a sale today, but any interaction that allows you to capture their name and email, builds your ability to market in the future.
  • Create a pop-up capture form on your landing page after leads have been viewing your website for 1-2 minutes.
  • Change the calls to action on your website forms every three months to determine which wording performs better.
  • Analytics – Keep track of your website traffic and form completions and regularly analyze the conversion rate of visitors to leads to see where and how they convert. Make sure all the leads are being followed up on.
  • Ensure your contact information on all pages is easy to find and click on for quick communication. Modern websites lock the phone number of the brokerage in the header, so it is always visible to those who want immediate and direct agent contact.
  • Humanize the non-MLS pages of your website where possible through pictures, stories, blogs, and talk about community events, being careful to stay away from text heavy pages where possible.

Finally, always remember that when you get that contact, you need to be ultra-responsive. Think minutes and hours, not days. The digital world is one of instant gratification, if not by you, then it will be by your competitors.

Lead the Way on Conversions

To win in real estate, you’ve got to do it all. In the digital case that means both getting the website traffic, and getting the contact from either a form, a phone call or an email. The more website visits turn into actual leads, the more the cost of creating and maintaining your site and buying advertising, pays for itself with increased sales for your agents. Don’t neglect the last piece of the puzzle, convert!

If you don’t have the type of resources outlined above to put into your website, you can still effectively take advantage of online consumer traffic by aligning yourself with someone who does. At Weichert, we make a significant investment in our website, Weichert.com and have the resources to continually optimize its results.  Our digital advertising and marketing strategy drives over 3 million visitors to weichert.com every month*, making it one of the top independent brokerage sites in the country and continually driving leads to our call center to connect with agents.  It’s one of our key benefits to our affiliates. To learn more about how this could fit into your business plan, go to weichertfranchise.com or call our team today at 877-567-3350.

*Google Analytics, January 2017