More than Facebook: Using social media to grow your business!

I read a great article the other day that highlighted some great tips on how to utilize social networks

besides Facebook to grow your real estate business.

 

From the article:

1) Instagram – share 10 second short tours of your listings to leave potential buyers wanting more.

2) Pinterest – Create tall multiple image photos of your listing (think Photo Booth) because taller photos take up more space on Pinterest’s interface. You can also use this technique to create boards about homes: decor, color palettes, rooms you like, kids rooms, etc.

Social-media-cover-image-sizing-guide

3) Twitter – Instead of getting more followers, focus on having more real interactions with the followers you do have.  As you do that, you’ll notice you’ll get more followers organically.

4) YouTube – If you’ve attended my MCE class on video you’ll know that online video is more important than ever, and videos have the tendency to rank highly in search engines.  Try being specific with your titles by putting in popular neighborhoods where the listing is.  Also, use tags/keywords to maximize your exposure. Don’t over do it though. Make sure your title and tags are relevant for the listing or you’ll be penalized.

5) Linkedin – Linkedin is a great place to post articles about your local area.  With this strategy alone many Realtors get 70% of their business from Linkedin.

6) Google Plus – Google Plus is the perfect place to create a public community for your local market like “Bradenton Real Estate” or something similar.  Unlike Facebook, which is private to search engines, Google Plus is searched so over time can rank high if you are publishing useful content.

As you’ve probably heard me say before, the first step to making these tips work for you is to TRY THEM! I’m no Einstein so if I can do it, you certainly can too! If you have positive results with any of these tips I’d love to hear about it.

Make it a great day! 

Sam T.

 

6 Easy Tips To Up Your Social Media Game, TODAY!

Capture
I read an article the other day that highlighted some quick yet insightful tips on how to utilize other social networks besides Facebook to drive more business and, at the end of the day, help you make more money all while providing an even more valuable service to your clients!
1) Instagram – share 10 second short tours of your listings to leave potential buyers wanting more. Create a hashtag (#1234MainStreet) for the property address and also the subdivision when doing this. This creates an easy point of reference and could direct a buyer your way!

 

2) Pinterest – Create tall multiple image photos of your listing (think Photo Booth) because taller photos take up more space on Pinterest’s interface. You can also use this technique to create boards about homes: decor, color palettes, rooms you like, kids rooms, etc.

 

3) Twitter – Instead of getting more followers, focus on having more real interactions with the followers you do have.  As you do that, you’ll notice you’ll get more followers organically.

 

4) YouTube – Online video is more important than ever, and videos have the tendency to rank highly in search engines if you are using the right keywords.  Try being specific with your titles by putting in popular neighborhoods where the listing is.  Also, use tags/keywords to maximize your exposure. Don’t over do it though. Make sure your title and tags are relevant for the listing or you’ll be penalized.

 

5) Linkedin – As I covered previously, Linkedin is a great place to post articles about your local area.  With this strategy alone many realtors get 70% of their business from Linkedin.

 

6) Google Plus – Google Plus is a great place to create a public community for your local market like “El Paso Real Estate” or something similar.  Unlike Facebook, which is private to search engines, Google Plus is searched so over time can rank high if you are publishing useful content.
If you have had positive results with any of these tips I’d love to hear about it.

 

Make it a great day and don’t forget to be remarkable!
(remember the purple cow?!, she’s remarkable, something people will remember)
Purple+cow
Until next time,
Sam Trimble

The importance of quality listing photos (and how to fix yours)

According to a recent study by Michael Seiler at Old Dominion University, “the majority of buyers spend 60 percent of their online time viewing listing photos but only 20% of the property description.   Quality photos have also been linked with more qualified buyers and a higher sales price.

1408351611398_wps_21_Terrible_real_estate_agen    contemporary-living-room

 

Tip 1) Avoid low lighting.  Do whatever you need to do – open blinds, turn on lights, etc to avoid taking a photo in low lighting.  This is the #1 reason for bad photos. Lighting is everything.

Tip 2) Avoid reflections.  Never take a photo in a bathroom aiming directly towards the mirror. Instead, take 2 photos at an angle from opposite sides of the bathroom.  You can even take the photo on your knees to avoid being in the photo from the mirror’s reflection.  As a bonus, this second method often also gives the photo a unique perspective

Tip 3) Stage the house before you take photos.  If you are on a low budget, remove any unique bright color items and ask homeowners for neutral color blankets, pillows and decorations before you take any photos. Even use just plain white or tan sheets with matching decorative pillows and paintings to dress up a room.

Tip 4) Similar to tip two, try to take photos from an angle where you get 3 walls in the photo. This usually makes for a more visually appealing photo.

Tip 5) Hide clutter in kitchens and bathrooms.  These two room should be minimal – perhaps some tissues and a hand towel on the counter in the bathrooms and some fresh fruit in a decorative bowl in the kitchen. Less is more when it comes to staging.  Remove most small appliances (coffee maker, toaster oven, etc) to help highlight the counter space.

These 5 tips alone should help you get more viewers of your listing.  If you are still having trouble consider hiring a amature photographer – maybe contact your high school, local college or university and pay a photography student to take photos for you.

Until next time…

What do do with bad reviews?….

Our Top Inman Connect 2016 Take-A-Ways
(and  other random thoughts)
Take 2
So it’s been a week and half or so since you heard from me last so you’ve had time to digest what it means for you to beREMARKABLE! (remember the purple cow?) Now lets really delve in to why YOU and only YOU can make your business a booming success or why you may have to move back in with your family and trade in your Pearl White Lexus for a 1981 Ford Pinto…
Technology, social media and sparkly advertising are all good and well and obviously that is what this conference was all about, but nothing can replace YOU. Guess what? You’re special!
Your value proposition, knowledge and the bull-dog loyalty and fiduciary you provide your clients cannot be replaced with any app or shiny web presence.  YOU are the expert, so don’t be afraid to flex your proverbial muscle and let people know about it! Can Zillow or Trulia provide a CMA as accurate as you? I think not!
 
While we are on the topic of your value lets talk about reviews. Google, yelp, Facebook, and the list goes on. You work really hard to do the best job you possibly can for your clients. Many of you even send requests to be reviewed by your past clients, some even posting them to social media to share with the world! 
 
Well what about when you get an AWFUL REVIEW?! Do you try to hide it, or attempt to get rid of it by punching your computer screen? DONT! You are human, humans are not perfect. 
 
What does this mean? It means that in the age of online access to the entire world with the click of a button, people won’t always like you and they’re going to tell people about it. Guess what? That’s normal! No one will trust someone who has 234,098 reviews, all of which are 5-stars. There is nothing wrong with having a bad review or two, just try not to have too many! It makes you relatable and breaks down the barrier from an online persona as the picture perfect-awesome-makes-money-hand-over-fist-and-takes-no-prisoners-REALTOR to a normal-human-being-REALTOR who’s got haters just like the rest of us. Embrace it, even comment on the review saying something like “Thank you for taking the time to review us and have a great day!”. You’re not being combative, you’re just being polite and there is nothing wrong with that!
 
Until next time, Stay remarkable.
Sam T.

Our Top Inman Connect 2016 Take-A-Ways

Sometimes the truth hurts, so do some soul searching and decide what it is you are looking to accomplish with your real estate career.
Be consistent-
If you’re going to claim that you are the go-to technology guru (or whatever the case may be), use technology! Don’t just slap a couple quick videos together, smother Facebook and YouTube with them all at once, then do it again 6 months later. Be consistent and take the time to make yourself the true expert in whatever it is you claim to be your niche.
Brands are built from the inside out, determine what core values and overall value you’re going to use to stake your claim and stick to it.
“You want people to hire you for your ability to see what is possible.”
-Seth Godin
Be Remarkable-
Don’t settle for being a run of the mill, ordinary agent, be AWESOME at what you do. Be excited about it. After all, people like to do business, hang out with and generally be around awesome people.
 
“Be remarkable.  A purple cow is remarkable…something people will talk about. Be a purple cow.”
-Seth Godin
 
                  

 

 
Technology-
Tech should be used to bring you closer to clients and potential clients, making you both feel more personally connected to each other. That is the basic foundation for a long lasting business relationship rather than a one time, quickie, thanks we’re done-deal. If you’re using technology to hide behind a screen, stop.
Choosing a brokerage-
Choosing a brokerage has all to often become something that is based on fees. Base your choice on experience and that warm fuzy feeling. Feeling like you saved a buck doesn’t make you more successful but feeling positive and like you’re a part of a community does.
Lets Get Uncomfortable-
If something makes you uncomfortable, it is probably a good thing. If you’re feeling extra cozy with what you’re doing, it’s probably time to change things up. The goal is to grow, as a person and as a Realtor.  If you aren’t growing, your business isn’t either.
 
I could go on for another hour but let’s reconvene next week. Until then, make it an awesome weekend and do me a favor, 
be remarkable!
 
Sam T.
 

Understanding Your Loan: Additional Information Can Be Important

Page 4 of your Closing Disclosure is important. It is NOT just standardized form information that is identical for every loan.

Review these terms:

  • Assumption: can this loan be transferred to another person if you sell or transfer the property?
  • Demand: can the lender require early repayment of the loan?
  • Late Payments: what penalty, after what period, applies?
  • Negative Amortization: does this loan schedule or allow payments that do NOT fully cover the interest due, resulting in increased loan principal?
  • Partial Payments: what is THIS lender’s policy?

You should also review Escrow Account details to understand whether you will pay additional property costs via regular Escrow Account payments or handle them yourself directly.