How to correctly use Facebook as a marketing tool

A marketing plan is key in both generating more leads as well as increasing exposure for your business. Given that the technology landscape is ever-changing, it also comes with its fair share of scrutiny and controversy at times. Here are a few best practices in utilizing Facebook as a marketing tool.

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To mention Facebook is to also mention some of its downfalls. More recently in March, Facebook was charged with violating the Fair Housing Act by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the suit, Facebook is accused of restricting who can view a housing-related ad, since Facebook allows users to customize ad campaigns to target certain people and locations.

 

Teachable moment

The dispute with HUD and Facebook has created an opportunity for agents to adjust their marketing plans and educate their clients on the rules and regulations that come with marketing a listing. This means that when clients are asking for more social media engagement and bold ideas to get their property to sell, mentioning fair housing is key to being on the same page and clearing any confusion. This also calls for agents to check their marketing plans; if you use a third-party vendor it’s best to follow up on their alignment with the Fair Housing Act.

 

Make it personal

It’s more than likely you’re active on some social media platform. Whether that’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube, you have the opportunity to reach out and create a brand image. With that in mind, creating content for your business profile doesn’t need to be pure real estate all the time. Adding in a personal touch — such as posting about what you do on your free time, with family, or on nights out with co-workers or fellow agents — creates more connectivity with your clients. It allows prospects to see you as a person, rather than just a business owner.

 

Engage

Another key component of any marketing plan is to be engaging with your clients through social media channels. Along with making it personal, this is another great way to connect with your followers and clients. Allocate some time, or even hire an intern to assist you, to write back to people who comment on your posts and take time to comment and like their posts as well.

 

Being a dependable source

With social media at everyone’s disposal, the issue of misleading information and confusion is also a problem. As an agent, building trust is an area you should always be working on, and this also means making Facebook a part of those efforts. Creating content that counters false information is a great way to become a dependable source. This can go hand-in-hand with educating your sellers in regards to the Fair Housing Act, but also it can be incorporated in marketing, such as showcasing your recent sales figures or the current state of the market.

 

In all, Facebook is a fundamental platform and needs to be a part of any marketing strategy you have. Incorporating Facebook in your business activities allows for more growth and exposure. However, as explained here, there are rules and regulations to follow and be aware of.

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5 Ways to Help Buyers Understand Credit Scores

The homebuying process can be an overwhelming ride for buyers, particularly first-timers. Add in the aspect of understanding credit scores and your clients can become even more perplexed. While most homebuyers will require a loan, a fundamental step in acquiring that loan will be an adequate credit score.

This blog breaks down the five ways you can make the credit score topic more understandable to your clients. If you’re part of the TL;DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Representing buyers.”

 

 

Understand your buyers

One of the crucial first steps is to create dialogue with your clients on their understanding of credit. Start this off by asking some general questions, as it’ll set the stage for clearing any confusion. Do they have any student loan debt? Do they know what their credit score is? Have they owned a property before? Knowing where your clients are financially and their knowledge level will help you to tailor the information you give them in a more relevant manner during the buying process.

 

Avoid technical language

In your daily life as an agent you may use terminology that the average non-agent individual may have no clue on. Using terms like LLPAs, PITI and loan-to-value won’t impress your audience, it’ll just add complexity. Financial jargon may be useful when it comes down to understanding the paperwork, but creating explanations that your clients will understand is key in keeping focus.

 

Explain the typical timeline

Walk buyers through the entire process, from the purchase and credit line decisions that could impact their credit score to prequalification and preapproval to the process of applying for a mortgage. Many don’t understand the process after they’re approved but before they close. This time period is critical in terms of keeping the financial of the deal intact, so don’t end the timeline prematurely.

 

Utilize visual aids

Many people are visual learners and they understand topics better if they can see what they’re trying to comprehend for the first time. Touch base with lenders and mortgage brokers that you frequently work with and ask if they have infographics or charts that’ll help breakdown the complex loan process visually.

The process of homebuying has many complex stages. From perfecting the home search for your clients to walking them through the mortgage process, credit scores are another area that can cause confusion. Utilizing the five ways explained in this blog can create a simpler and better understanding of credit scores. To learn more about guiding your clients through these processes, begin your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to our fundamental “Representing Buyers” video course.

 

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5 Things Your Client Can Do to Help Sell Their Home

Preparing a home for sale for top dollar can take more time and effort than your clients may realize. This is where you need to engage, and possibly even get in front of potential clients who may not be ready to sell now but possibly will be soon. No matter what state of mind your clients may be in, it’s never a bad idea to keep a list of important pre-sale tasks to share for when it comes time to sell. Here’s a list of five things your clients can do to further prepare their property for selling.

If you’re part of the TL;DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Representing Sellers.”

 

Purge and donate

Moving can be an expensive task; there’s no reason to pay to pack and move items that have sat unused and will remain unused in a new home. Although people may have items they keep for sentimental value, freeing up space is a great start toward an eventual move. Tell your clients to start by going through closets and sorting unwanted items into donate piles. Closet space is essential in selling a home so freeing up valuable storage areas contributes a positive selling point. Another positive to remind you sellers of in this conversation is the donation aspect. There are many deserving charities that’ll benefit from clothing and household items they no longer use. And don’t forget to mention the possible tax deduction.

 

Deep clean

Now that there’s more space in the home, it’s time to convince sellers to roll up their sleeves and get to work. There are areas of the home that typically never get a good scrub unless you dedicate time to it or hire professional cleaners. Remind clients to think about spaces such as  under beds, inside appliances, fan blades, blinds, and windowsills. Remind them to ensure their showerheads and tubs are free of calcium and rust stains. This is also a great time to get the HV/AC unit serviced and cleaned.

 

Home inspection

It’s probably been a while since the property’s last home inspection, so you may want to suggest a prelisting inspection. This’ll allow any known issues to be dealt with sooner rather than later. This will not only save time when their home is officially on the market, but also can put both the sellers’ and buyers’ minds at ease while building trust and transparency between the two parties.

 

Repairs

There may be some repairs that the home inspection report suggests undertaking. If there are larger issues that need repairing, such as electrical work or plumbing issues, hiring a professional is the way to go. Smaller fixes like cabinet doors and knobs that need tightening or fixing broken door locks can be done by the homeowner if they’re comfortable with the work. But if there’s a long to-do list, it’s best to hire a handyman.

 

Updates

Often there’s a to-do list that sellers have been fidgeting with since the initial move-in, but never got accomplished. Maybe it’s taking out carpet, removing wallpaper, adding a backsplash to the kitchen or getting cabinets replaced. Go over this list and help your clients decide what, if anything, should be done before listing the property.

Freshening up a home is a key low-impact way to get the property market-ready. Simple tasks like clearing out closet space or replacing kitchen cabinet handles are small touches than can make major impacts. These are mostly inexpensive ways to prepare a property for the market, but also smart ways potential sellers can get a head start on the selling process, even if they don’t plan on putting their home on the market for several months.

To learn more about the ways you can prepare a property for market and better serve your sellers, start your free seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and watch our “Representing Sellers” course for vital information.

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How to Deliver Better Service to Gen Z Buyers

Agents need to better understand the particular needs and aspirations that buyers have when it comes to homebuying in order for the process to be smooth. That may be even more true when you’re dealing with younger clients, specifically those in the Gen Z demographic (born mid-1990s to mid-2000s).

This blog entry lays out the homebuying concerns that Gen Zs have, as well as how they stack up against other age demographics like Generation X. We’ll also provide tips on how to better serve this age group effectively. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch our dedicated track, “Representing Buyers.”

 

Gen Z’s homebuying obstacles

In a recent survey by PropertyShark, 83 percent of Gen Z respondents said they see themselves entering the real estate market within the next five years. This comes on the heels of approximately 100,000 Gen Z homebuyers. That figure is only posed to increase; however, it doesn’t come without some potential roadblocks. A notable takeaway from the survey is that Gen Z sees student debt as their biggest obstacle, with almost a third (32 percent) stating it’s their biggest obstacle to buying a home. This is a significant contrast to the only 7 percent of Gen Xers who reported the same issue.

The second largest obstacle for Gen Zs is coming up with a down payment for their home. This is an area that many age demographics agree is a roadblock, as 31 percent of Gen Xers and 35 percent of millennials reported the same. Interestingly, unlike Gen Xers and millennials, Gen Z does not see increasing home prices as a significant obstacle in buying a home. While 14 percent of Gen Xers and 13 percent of millennials see this as a potential roadblock, only 5 percent of Gen Z reported the same.

Another brighter side for Gen Z is that only 1.2 percent of Gen Z homeowners are more than 60 days late on mortgage payments. This compares to the 1.6 percent of baby boomers and millennials and 2.3 percent of Gen Xers.

 

Gen Z aspire to different things

Gen Zs have a different aspirational lifestyle compared to millennials. One area of difference is the amount of space they want; where Gen Z wants their homes to be 2,081 square feet on average, that’s 200 feet more than millennials.

Other areas in a home search that Gen Z value are: location, parking spaces, lifestyle amenities, smart appliances and smart homes. The report went onto state, “Considering the youth of Gen Z, the importance of smart systems is likely to increase as more of their cohort enters the housing market.”

One area that may spell bad news for smaller, rural markets, is the urban lifestyle that Gen Z aspires to. In a similar response to millennials, 30 percent of Gen Z say they want to live in large metro areas whereas 60 percent want to live in suburban areas, leaving only 10 percent for rural markets. Living at home is still what’s most practical for many millennials and Gen Zers;  they’re doing so while also saving money to afford their own home. The report found that 40 percent of Gen Z respondents said the biggest reason they stay home is to save up money.

In all, Gen Z is considered the most optimistic about owning a home while also getting the lifestyle they want. Although they’re coming into the homebuying process with extra baggage, and specific desires, as an agent you can adapt to every buyer’s needs. Moreover, communication is key in not only establishing common ground with your Gen Z buyer but also helping them keeping their options open with flexibility.

Understanding their obstacles and formatting your services to better assist a Gen Z buyer can make the process much smoother, which can also lead to future contacts via recommendation. To learn more about better representing your buyers and best practices for any situation, begin your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to our essential, “Representing Buyers” track.

 

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