Image of african american businessman working on his laptop. Handsome young man at his desk.

4 common misconceptions agents have about Facebook advertising

As of Q2 2016, Facebook had 1.71 billion monthly active users, according to statista.com.

This large group of active users can be reached through Facebook’s many advertising offerings. But agents who aren’t familiar with those offerings may not know how beneficial they could be for their real estate business – or, worse, they may have been exposed to some common misconceptions about Facebook advertising. Below, we’ve highlighted some of those misconceptions with the intention of setting the record straight:

  1. It takes thousands of followers on Facebook to be beneficial for marketing. Of course you want to have a large following on Facebook, but your audience size does not dictate how successful your social marketing efforts will be. It’s better to have a small target audience that matches your demographics than a large group of followers you hardly know.
  2. My audience doesn’t use Facebook. As the most popular social network worldwide, it’s safe to say your target audience probably uses Facebook in some capacity. Remember, Facebook is no longer a network used solely by a 25-and-under demographic – the fastest growing demographic on Facebook today is 35 years old and older.
  3. I don’t have the budget to advertise on Facebook. A benefit of Facebook advertising is that you control how your money is spent at every turn, from ad placement to ad type to dollars spent each day. If your budget is tight or you’re looking to put a small amount of money toward a tester ad, you can run a campaign on Facebook for as little as $1 a day.
  4. Boosting my posts is the best way to reach my audience. Yes, boosting posts on Facebook is quick and easy, but it’s not necessarily the most effective way to reach your audience. Boosted posts promote engagement, such as liking, sharing or commenting, but these ads don’t drive traffic to your site to convert a lead. Facebook offers a wide variety of ad types that are more beneficial and worth the money spent, such as Facebook’s sponsored News Feed ad, which is strategically placed for users to see as they scroll through their feed. With a professional image and engaging copy that prompts consumers to click through and enter their email for more information, this type of Facebook ad is a great lead generation tool.

Read More

meeting2

6 body language tips to make a great first impression

Albert Mehrabian, professor emeritus of psychology at UCLA, created the 55-38-7 theory about nonverbal communication, which states that 55 percent of communication is visual (eye contact, body language, etc.) while tone of voice and words account for 38 percent and 7 percent, respectively. If you don’t appear confident and comfortable, your clients will pick up on that, and may question whether they chose to work with the right real estate agent. Maintain great visual communication with clients and potential clients with these six body language tips.

  1. Re-examine your handshake – Do you have a limp handshake? Research conducted by a business professor at the University of Iowa suggests that firmer handshakes lead to closing more deals. You might consider preparing your handshake for your next meeting by practicing on your co-workers.
  2. Stand tall – The way you stand affects how your clients perceive you as their real estate professional. Poor posture can make you appear timid and lacking in confidence, while good posture demonstrates authority and strength. Keep your shoulders back and your back straight, even while sitting.
  3. Be expressive with your hands – While not everyone naturally “talks” with their hands, studies suggest that using your hands while talking frees up working memory, which allows you to think clearly before speaking. So, if you use elaborate hand gestures while speaking, keep it up!
  4. Make eye contact – Talking to someone who’s focused on what’s happening across the room is frustrating, and that behavior suggests they aren’t all that interested in what you have to say. Always make certain to establish eye contact and keep your full attention on your clients.
  5. Align your body – Your eyes aren’t the only part of your body that should be facing your clients. Make sure that your entire body is aligned with clients when speaking with them to send the signal that they have your full attention.
  6. Smile sincerely – Insincerity is easy to spot, especially in a smile. Emotions are often contagious, and a natural smile will effortlessly add warmth to a conversation.

Read More

man-on-computer

5 lead generation tricks to test out today

In real estate, lead generation is an essential and never-ending task. If you’re looking for new tactics to add into your bag of lead generation tricks, here are five lead generation tricks you can test out today:

  1. Add social sharing buttons to your email newsletter – Sending out a newsletter on a regular basis can be a great way to drum up a steady stream of leads, but why not go a step further by adding social buttons? Your subscribers can use those buttons to share your newsletter with their network. This move not only has the power to grow your social media audience, but it can also lead to new email subscribers.
  2. Create a promo video – A quick and easy way for your clients and potential homebuyers to get to know you is through a short introduction video. In this video, tell viewers who you are, why you love being a real estate agent and why you’re the right agent for the job based on your skills, experience and expertise. At the end of the video you can add a call to action for interested viewers to click through to a landing page where they can submit their email for a consultation. You can create this call to action with YouTube’s cards feature, which places a clickable pop-up box at any point in the video. This video should be featured on your website’s homepage and shared in your newsletter and across your social media accounts.
  3. Display testimonials and reviews – Another great way to communicate to potential clients that you’re the right agent for the job is through positive testimonials from past clients. After every closing, reach out to your clients and ask them if they’re willing to provide a short testimonial that you can share on your website and in future advertising. These testimonials can be placed on landing pages, in newsletter emails, etc. where potential clients will easily see them.
  4.  Buy targeted Facebook ads – Facebook advertising is a great tool for creating targeted advertising campaigns that reach your demographic. Facebook Ad Manager allows you to target your audience by age, income, location and other criteria, including behavioral criteria such as “likely to move.” You can use these Facebook ads to prompt potential clients to visit your website, a landing page or a listing where they can provide their email address for more information.
  5. Optimize your blog – Most agents already know that blogging can help them simultaneously drive traffic to their website and demonstrate their knowledge of the market and the latest industry news, but simply publishing blog posts isn’t enough. At the end of every blog post, you should include a lead capture element, such as a form where readers can sign up for your mailing list, an place to submit information to receive a downloadable asset, etc. Adding this element is the extra step needed to take your blog posts from informative marketing pieces to actionable lead generation tools.

Read More

Business people shaking hands, finishing up a meeting

The 10 steps to a successful sale

Every real estate agent has his or her own methods for getting to know clients and moving them through the homebuying process. But there are some tried-and-true steps that every agent should follow:

1. Greet the client and develop rapport – Help the client get comfortable with you. Build trust through authentic interactions.

2. Ask qualifying questions – Ask about what the client is looking for, their financial situation, buying motivation, and timeframe.

3. Set expectations – Lay out the procedure for the client: how to prepare their lender paperwork, timing for making a decision, preview of a blank contract if it’s a resale, and review new construction contracts. Walk them through what happens after deciding on a home.

4. Present their options – Talk about homes on the market that fit their criteria. Present your plan for picking the best one or extending the search.

5. Demonstrate the homes – Show the homes, going over every detail and focusing on the home’s features and benefits. Keep client motivations and desires in mind at all times. (Though it’s really the listing agent’s job, this important step is often left to the buyer’s agent.)

6. Narrow it down to one home – Narrow down the options until the client is left with one home that meets their needs and that they’re able to buy.

7. Overcome objections – Anticipate objections and remove them before they even come up. When objections do arise, be prepared to address them.

8. Close the sale – You may know the saying “ABC” (Always Be Closing), which means that good closers keep closing in mind throughout the whole process, and use every opportunity to move the buying process forward.

9. Make sure the steps between sale and closing go smoothly – Stay on top of the lender, inspector, and appraiser. Assist with arranging movers or other tasks to help the client transition into their new home.

10. Follow up and get referrals – Seek client feedback via phone calls or a survey. Agents can ask for ways to help clients with any of their post-close suggestions and put them on a long-term referral plan.

Read More

A laptop, smartphone, cup of coffee, and notebooks on a wood table.

The 10 qualifying questions that lead to a sale

Below are just a few of the questions agents need to ask to assess potential clients’ current situation, motivation, and timeline.

1. How long have you been looking for a new home? How soon do you hope to move?

2. Have you been working with another agent?

3. What have you seen so far? What do you think of the homes you’ve seen?

4. Tell me about your family. What size place to you think you need? What about schools?

5. Do you own your current home? Do you need to sell it before you can buy a new home?

6. Are you interested in new construction, resale, or both?

7. What is your price range? Has a lender prequalified you for that amount?

8. Do you want a single-family home, townhome, or condo? How many bedrooms and baths do you need?

9. When do you want to start looking at properties? When will you be ready to buy?

10. Do you prefer to be contacted by phone call, text, or email?

Read More

A brick house in Atlanta with a look like it's in the woods, characteristic of the look of northern Atlanta.

This Week In Real Estate: NAR Bans Zillow, Inventory Issue Hamper Spring Homebuying And More

This spring homebuying season could be a difficult one for first-time buyers, but Ten-X Residential Real Estate’s Nowcast projects continued growth in existing-home sales. Stay up to date on the latest real estate news with our weekly roundup:

  • This spring homebuying season could be a difficult one for first-time buyers and middle-income consumers in many of the nation’s largest housing markets, according to a recent analysis from Zillow. Find out which housing markets are facing the largest inventory issues here.
  • Ten-X has released its latest Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast, which projects continued growth in existing-home sales for May. Read what Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio has to say about how economic progress is aiding housing here.
  • The National Association of Realtors holds a number of events aimed at elevating its membership by introducing them to the cutting edge of the industry – the latest strategies, the trends and the technologies. But this year, Zillow Group is not welcome at any of them. Learn more about the legal situation between NAR and Zillow here.
  • Across the country, the salary needed to live in the largest metro areas has fluctuated in 2016, according to a new report from HSH.com. How much money do your clients need to purchase a home in your metro area? Find out here.

Read More

A Marketing Plan That Will Rev Up Your Income

Possibly the most important part of your business plan is how you will market yourself to potential clients. If you are unable to demonstrate to buyers and sellers why you are the right agent to represent them, the rest of your business plan means nothing. Watch our video below to learn how to successfully market yourself to potential clients and grow your income.



For more on marketing your business, sign up for our selection of marketing-focused courses.

Read More

Image of african american businessman working on his laptop. Handsome young man at his desk.

This Week In Real Estate: New NAR Vice President Named, A Revised MLS Policy And More

The National Association of Realtors was busy this week naming its 2016-2017 vice president and approving revisions to its Handbook on Multiple Listings Policy. Stay current on industry news with our weekly news roundup:

  • Single-family homebuilding is showing encouraging strength in 2016, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau. According to analysis from Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist, single-family starts are up 13.1 percent in the last 12 months, compared to the same time period in April 2015.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 1776 and Free Enterprise recently released a joint analysis of the best cities in the country for startup companies. Find out if your city made the list here.
  • Illinois Realtor Mabèl Guzmàn will be a 2016-2017 NAR vice president, according to a new release from the Illinois Association of Realtors. Guzmàn, a broker for @properties in Chicago, will focus on association affairs, and will be part of NAR 2017 President Bill Brown’s cabinet. She will be joined by 2016 NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, and another vice president, Kevin Sears of Springfield, Mass.
  • The National Association of Realtors board of directors approved revisions to its Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy that will henceforth require all members have the rights to any listing content entered into the MLS. Learn more about the policy update here.

Read More

Young woman talking on mobile phone and writing notes while sitting at her desk. Pretty caucasian female working in home office.

This Week In Real Estate: REAL Trends 500, Best States For Working Moms and more

Do you work for one of the leading brokerages in the country or live in one of the most accommodating states for working moms? Learn this and more in our weekly news roundup:

  • Every year, REAL Trends, a leading source for industry analysis and information, publishes its 500 lists, which rank the country’s top residential brokerages by transaction sides and total sales volume. Did your residential brokerages make the REAL Trends 500? Find out here.
  • A recent study from WalletHub identified the states that are most accommodating to working moms. The study looked at cost, quality and availability of child care; the professional environment as it pertains to women (i.e. gender pay gap, ratio of female to male executives, median salary, female unemployment rate, etc.); and average afforded work-life balance, which weighed policies on parental leave, as well as the length of the average work week and commute.
  • RealtyTrac recently reported that 1.4 million loans were originated on U.S. residential properties in the first quarter of 2016 in its Q1 2016 U.S. Residential Property Loan Origination Report. Daren Blomquist, the senior vice president at RealtyTrac, commented on the 12 percent nationwide decline, “After a surprisingly strong 2015, the mortgage refinancing market started running out of steam in the first quarter of 2016, despite lower mortgage interest rates.” Learn more about RealtyTrac’s recent report here.
  • According to a new analysis from Zillow, more Millennials now live with their parents than at anytime in the last decade, as wages for Millennials have fallen across all industries since 2007, home prices have risen, student debt has skyrocketed and savings rates have plunged. Find out what percentage of your city’s Millennials have moved back in with their parents here.

Read More