Tag Archives: real estate marketing tools

How Good Is Your Process For Working with Home Buyers?

May has arrived, and we’re in the middle of the 2019 peak home buying season. Buyers have shaken off the winter doldrums and are looking for that new home they can move into before the next school year. Early metrics from the Mortgage Bankers Association show this year’s spring season has promise:

  • Purchase applications were up year-over-year through mid-March
  • Average loan size continues to increase
  • Inventory is high for ‘move-up’ and higher-end buyers

Navigating the buying process can be challenging for customers, even those with home-buying experience. A professional real estate agent can bring a tremendous amount of value to the process by providing good counsel and resources that will ease buyers through the complexities of choosing a neighborhood and buying a home. Their expertise will help home buyers have confidence in their partnership with your brokerage as well.  Question is: do they have a process to work from to ensure a positive experience?

Having a Process to Set Expectations Is Key

Buyers typically do not have an understanding of how the process works going in. A successful and satisfying home buying experience for the customer needs to start with an explanation of just that. When your agents outline the steps a buyer needs to take when purchasing a home, it can avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary frustration (on both sides).  Buyers will understand:

  • What to expect throughout their home-buying journey
  • Key actions and decisions they’ll need to address
  • Critical deadlines and dates
  • Introductions to proven, reputable professionals they’ll need to engage with
  • Realistic understanding of costs associated with their purchase

It’s equally as important to have a detailed conversation with them about their move, what their goals are and define what they are looking for in a new home in terms of cost and features. This will help align realistic expectations and avoid wasted time searching for something that isn’t attainable. Taking time to go through this extra step ensures a more streamlined experience for both the customer and the agent and will help ensure both sides are on the same page. Your team’s support will ensure customers invest their time, energy, and money in finding the right home.

At Weichert, we coach our associates and brokerages on the importance of this step in delivering a positive customer experience and provide the sales tools to help walk customers through these conversations, such as our Buyers’ Consultation Guide and Buyer/Seller Guide.

In addition, https://weichert.com is a fantastic tool for buyers both before they meet with you and once they make contact. The Weichert online resource center for consumers includes:

  • A home buyer’s guide that outlines critical steps in the home buying experience, such as:
    • assessing how much a buyer can afford to spend
    • the offer and appraisal process
    • what to expect when working with a Weichert sales associate
    • the value of mortgage pre-approval
    • home search tips
    • finding the right financing
    • the closing process
  • A home buying checklist with the essential ‘to-dos’ for buyers.
  • A home buying wish list to support buyers as they frame their thoughts about what they want and need from their new home.
  • A house-hunting checklist and a home condition checklist that buyers can use during their search to help them objectively evaluate each prospective home on their most important criteria.
  • An online mortgage calculator to show buyers the financial implications of their purchase offers.
  • A closing checklist that explains the process and identifies the necessary paperwork for the closing meeting.

The resource center also has useful information that helps address questions about topics such as:

  • Home warranties
  • PMI
  • Escrow
  • Title insurance

First-time buyers face unique challenges like finding funds for a down payment, understanding the costs of home ownership, and deciding whether a starter home will meet their needs. Weichert developed a first-time home buyer guide that your team can use to assist these customers.

How A System and Resources Help Customers Bond with your Agents

Having organized, cohesive, well-thought out resources to share will help your agent team engage more effectively with clients and help them provide a higher level of service:

  • Checklists keep buyers organized and more confident about their ability to be successful. And by giving them these tools, you are the one who made them feel that way.
  • When buyers have more knowledge and tools, they proceed through the process more intelligently, and can better appreciate the expertise and service of a good real estate team.
  • Giving buyers tangible touch-points keeps the process moving forward and minimizes the opportunity for tasks to ‘fall through the cracks.’
  • Many of the printed resources you leave buyers may outlive this transaction and remind homeowners years from now of the excellent service your agents, and your brokerage, provided.

Building a strong relationship with buyers and sellers may seem like real estate 101, but the tools and tactics for doing it require disciplined and consistent action, or a proven process. If you are interested in finding out more about how Weichert support helps affiliates build connections with home buyers call us today at 877-567-3350 or contact our team.

Understanding The Difference between Facebook And Instagram For Real Estate Marketing

Real Estate Marketing Tools
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Social media has taken over marketing in recent years, with 69 percent of the public using social media of some sort. You may do all your brokerage’s social networking or elect to turn that over to a marketing specialist. Whatever you choose, it’s imperative that you understand the demographics of each social platform to wisely spend your marketing time and money, while carefully branding your brokerage.

Facebook has emerged over the last 13 years as a powerhouse among the social networking platforms. According to Pew Research Center’s Social Media Fact Sheet, 68 percent of adults in the United States use Facebook. Facebook acquired Instagram—a newer social site—in 2012. Its use is becoming more popular at 28 percent of U.S. adults and amassing over 800,000 users to date, trailing far behind but still second to Facebook. Part of Instagram’s growing popularity is the ease of post and paid ad sharing between the two sites.

Facebook Friends 

Facebook may already be central to your marketing plan for its wide range of demographics and the sharing of all types of media—photos, messages and video—across desktop, mobile and tablet formats. Its use is split almost evenly between males and females.

Many view it as a networking forum for older adults, but that’s not a well-rounded picture of this versatile site. While Facebook does attract a larger share of the over 49 crowd than other social sites, Pew Research Center’s data indicates that ages 18-29 are big Facebook users (88 percent) with those ages 30-49 close behind in usage (79 percent).

Content should be engaging in more than one way, so create a mix of videos, images, information and calls to action that elicit user interaction to get followers. A little tasteful fun goes a long way on Facebook.

Instagram Images 

Facebook purchased Instagram back in 2012, and it has retained most of its unique nature. Both social sites share photos, videos and messages, but Instagram features images first and foremost, allowing the user to add numerous digital filters, as well as use image hashtags and geotags. You can create your own hashtags for events, open houses and more to gain traction. Since December 2017, users can follow hashtags, so your image hashtags need to be relevant, retain your style, and be interesting to grow your followers. Instagram’s newest rollout—Stories—is a Snapchat-like feature that is quickly growing in popularity.

Instagram is primarily intended for use on-the-go with a smartphone, appealing to younger users. In fact, Instagram’s core users are ages 18-29 (59 percent) with a higher percentage of women of any age favoring the site. Ages 30-49 make up 33 percent proving this network is a haven for those ages 49 and younger.

As a real estate broker, structure your Instagram posts around interior design, as that is a favorite topic on this platform. Has a local or national celebrity viewed a listing or sold a home using your brokerage? Snap a photo and post it (with permission), as celebrity and entertainment posts are hot. Visual consistency and imagination go a long way toward building your Instagram following.

Stand-Out Instagram Marketing 

Instagram is all about the aesthetics. To leverage marketing on Instagram that plays to your brand and brings in sellers and buyers, it helps to study a few real estate accounts of those who are rocking it in the world of Instagram marketing.

Here are some tips to help individualize your brokerage on the Instagram platform:

  • Display great images—it’s all about consistently branded visuals
  • Create branded hashtags
  • Add multiple hashtags—some of the top posts use 10 or more hashtags
  • Use images with your contact information/logo
  • Post strictly listings or add a few photos of the team and/or clients for a more personalized appeal

Play Off Each Other 

Instagram is a logical choice to add to your marketing arsenal to attract more of the on-the-go Millennial masses and even some older groups. As they play off each other, using Facebook and Instagram together equals a robust social sales strategy.

At the end of the day, a consistent approach to social media usage is just one part of your marketing and sales strategy. At Weichert, we have the systems that can help you pull it all together. Contact us at 877-533-9007 to learn more or go to weichertfranchise.com.

 

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.

Don’t Let Your Brokerage Get Caught In “The Shiny Penny Syndrome”

There’s one thing for certain about the real estate industry–there is no shortage of gadgets, downloads, software tools, or marketing services targeted to brokerages. And as a broker, it’s easy to get distracted – you’re afraid you’ll be left behind if you don’t take advantage of the latest and greatest thing out there. At Weichert®, we call this “The Shiny Penny Syndrome”.

Essentially, this occurs when a company jumps to chase a shiny, new opportunity, service or product instead of focusing on mastering the basics of running a business. Often, these products and services offer to make your lives easier by saving time, helping to maximize efficiency, effectively marketing your brokerage, getting more listings or even helping your business survive the latest economic crisis.

It’s important to learn to navigate this minefield, if you are a broker looking to grow in a challenging housing market. There are so many shiny pennies out there that it’s easy to end up jumping from one promising new real estate tool or marketing idea to the next in an increasingly rapid and costly cycle, while the core elements of the business like how to recruit, write an effective business plan, maximize agent production and monitor key performance indicators get less attention than they deserve.

These shiny pennies are marketed so well and with such urgency that brokers often forget to ask pivotal questions like “How will it fit in with my current business goals?”, “What real results will it bring?”, “Where will I go for support?” and “What operational changes will be required in order to actually get the benefits of the product?”. Most Brokers know they must adapt and innovate to stay current and effective in an ever changing landscape.  The real challenge is knowing how to balance innovation with the basic activities and systems needed to run a successful brokerage and build a business.

Innovation With Purpose

A key to successful innovation is to focus on the benefits to your core customer and core operations, rather than innovating for multiple seemingly attractive, trendy options. Important questions to ask when considering a new product, technology or marketing service include:

  • Will this help me achieve the business goals I’ve set for myself this year?
  • Will this help me or my agents better service and communicate with our customers?
  • Will its use enhance the credibility of my brokerage or my agents?
  • How can I measure the effectiveness of this investment in 3 months, 6 months, a year?
  • Am I committed to doing the work and training necessary to use the tool or process effectively and consistently?

Strategic growth through planned and proven marketing for brokers

One of the things an affiliation with a credible Real Estate Franchise Company can provide is a guide who can steer you to the best of real estate innovations while keeping your business plan on track. The Weichert System gives you proven, productive systems, technology and activities to implement for nearly every aspect of your real estate business, including real estate marketing, selling systems, recruiting, a lead system and business management. With comprehensive training, ongoing support and expert coaching from our real estate professionals and a parent company with first-hand brokerage experience, you’ll feel relieved knowing you have people in your corner. You’ll never have to go it alone again. Our support staff will work with you to map out a road to growth.

At Weichert, we’ve already paved a road for success. All you have to do is take it. Visit us today at https://www.weichertfranchise.com.