5 Tips For Starting A Real Estate Blog

5 Tips For Starting A Real Estate Blog

The existence of such a wide array of blogger tools available for free today, starting a real estate blog has never been easier.

Blogs are a good way to provide personalized content directly to your target audience.

Writing your own content is the perfect way to demonstrate to your social sphere that you are the arbiter of knowledge and experience in your local real estate market.

Just follow the step by step guides provided by one of the blog building software available online like SquareSpace or TheBlogBuilder and begin producing valuable content for your clients and readers right away!

In today’s user-friendly online environment, creating, implementing, and promoting your blog is easy as ever.

The hard part, is writing content for your blog in a way that best expresses the value you provide as a Realtor and real estate market place guru.

We have compiled a list of advice and tips for best reaching your audience, claiming a high SEO score, and generating leads from your blog.

Consistently producing high value content peppered with optimal key words, increasing traffic to your website, and retargeting visitors is a key component for keeping up with the changing landscape in the increasingly technologically driven business of real estate.

Failure to adjust to new marketing trends like localized blogging surrenders territory to those who do adopt the new ways and allows them to dip their hands into your lead and referral business.

Reposting from other sources is a good way to accomplish this when time is short, but generating your own content as well will better guarantee your posts are localized and relevant.

Stop using a lack of ideas for content as an excuse to begin this essential cornerstone to your business. Here are your tips for setting yourself up to create valuable, recurring content and ensuring you capture as much business as possible with your new blog:

1. LOCAL NEWS

Providing your target market with information relevant to your local community is absolutely crucial for imparting valuable content and establishing an authoritative SEO score.

There are several earmarks in your local community that will consistently give you the opportunity for generating this content since there will often be updates and changes within those earmarks.

a. Local Schools

Local elementary schools will host fundraisers, sporting events, concerts, plays, and a variety of other events that you can report to your local community. This information will be relevant both to your immediate sphere of influence and anyone interested in purchasing property there from out of the area.

This content will likely be shared by social media friends with children or relatives participating in any local school events, expanding your outreach and driving more traffic to your blog.

b. Local Events

Most communities engage in shared events periodically throughout the year. These events usually relate to some holiday, like a local 4th of July parade or a community Easter egg hunt. 

Take advantage of these events by creating consumable lists for engaging in these activities specific to your community, like, “5 Tricks for Staking Out a Good Spot at the Walnut Creek Parade,” or, “7 Worst Foods to Cook at the 4th of July Crocker Heights BBQ.”

c. Local Sporting Events

If your city is fortunate enough to have local minor league teams, promoting their games, new acquisitions, or halftime extravaganzas are a good way to provide support for your local teams, and therefore help to establish you as the active go-to Realtor of the local community.

This will also be content that may be shared by team administrators, making your presence and expertise known to players and staff alike. Considering the high player turnover on semi-professional teams, this will allow you to position yourself as the preferred Realtor to be contracted by any new acquisitions. This is a more feasible goal than doing this at the professional level, since the amount of content covering these teams is much scarcer.

d. Local Policy Changes (Especially Affecting Real Estate)

Policy changes often go unnoticed by communities, as there is very little content relating to these changes at a hyper-local level. 

Take some time to attend City Hall meetings occasionally. Try to hand pick any new policy changes that will have a direct effect on the lives of citizens in your local community. Not everyone is willing to take the time to attend these meetings, but they’ll be much more likely to click an article discussing any new potential changes in their daily routines.

e. New Local Hotspots

This will help to provide additional relevant neighborhood information to keep you at the fore front of your local community. Anyone interested in the food and dining your neighborhood has to offer will be highly inclined to click on a localized article like, “New Dining Experiences to Try in San Jose.”

Notify the restaurants or bars you’re discussing. They’ll likely share it on their social media channels as well, heightening your outreach and driving more traffic to your site.

f. Local Charity events

Promoting local charity events will drive traffic to your site in addition to helping convey your charitable inclinations to the surrounding community. Displaying a list of charities your site promotes can also help to do this, as well as link your site to anyone outside your community searching for more information or trying to donate to these charities.

2. PERSONALIZED CONTENT TO INCLUDE HOBBIES AND INTERESTS

We’ve said it before, but it merits repeating – people like buying from other people like them.

By expressing your interests and hobbies outside of real estate on your blog, then tying them back to your real estate business, you will attract buyers and sellers who also express interest those shared activities.

Pick a hobby or activity in which you hold an exceptionable amount of knowledge and insight, then write articles that conflate it to real estate through analogy or metaphor.

For example, if you’re a dog person, write something like, “Why Single-Family Tudors are the Golden Retrievers of Residential Real Estate.”

Or, if you’re an NFL fan, “Which NFL Team best represents your neighborhood?” 

Then discuss commonalities between the two categories you’re comparing. These can be very broad comparisons, but will serve to attract like-minded people to your site.

3. PROMOTE YOUR EVENTS 

Hosting community events is a great way to rub elbows with your neighbors and potential clientele.

Not only can you meet new clients by attracting them to attend, but these are ideal for capturing new content to share on your blog.

The content you share can conform to what activities you arranged for your event. Discuss prize winners, contests, charitable givers, or whatever you feel best portrays your events as community unifiers.

Content generated from these presents the opportunity for promotion both before the event, and advertising your business afterwards.

4. DEMONSTRATE YOUR MARKET KNOWLEDGE

This might not necessarily be the focal point of your blog since it won’t generate as much interest, but demonstrating your professionalism, experience, and knowledge of the local real estate market is a good way to present your aptitude as a Realtor, and give you an additional recurring source of updates and information to maintain a blog with consistent posting.

a. Market Open Houses

Every time you host or hold an open house, this presents an opportunity for a blog post.

Write pricing comparisons of the house you’re hosting relative to the surrounding area, and include graphics from you’re CMA provider.

Describe the house briefly, (this can be the same description in your local MLS or on consumer facing listing platforms like Zillow), then add visual content like embedded drone videos, virtual tours, or listing photos.

This will not only increase traffic to your site and open homes, but demonstrate to sellers the amount of effort you put in when given the opportunity to represent a listing, increasing the number of leads you receive and your referral business.

b. Local Market Updates

To demonstrate you have your finger on the pulse of the local real estate market, periodically post market updates for the neighborhoods in which you operate.

These updates can also show readers that you are a credible source of real estate knowledge in their local area and can lead to more business.

c. Mortgage Rate Updates

Keeping your readers up to date with changing mortgage rates will help further establish your reliability as a real estate expert.

These posts are quick and simple since the data is readily available and require only short blurbs as to the effect on potential buyers and sellers.

5. TIPS FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT

We mentioned utilizing reposts from other blogs is a good way to uphold a consistent posting schedule, and there is no shortage of posts for this topic.

If you do use other posts for this category, try to make sure they reference local companies that can carry out these tasks for home owners. That way, your blog remains more relevant to the local community and additionally increases your SEO score.

If posts referencing local businesses don’t exist, use ideas or concepts from these other posts, then include services of local businesses that can remedy or help with these ideas.

As always, be sure to contact the local business when you do this and encourage them to share your post on their social media as well.

Key Takeaways:

Choose generalized topics in your local community that consistently generate new updates and information.

Once you’ve written about those changes and shared them on your social media channels, contact the organizations or companies mentioned in your article, and ask them to share it on theirs’ as well. 

If you’re busy with other facets of your real estate business, posting content from other sources particularly with regard to market updates or broad real estate questions the general public poses is a good way to maintain a consistent posting process.

9 of the Best Realtor Conference and Event Practices

9 of the Best Realtor Conference and Event Practices

A great way for real estate agents to learn about new developments in the industry, expand their referral network, and generally make new connections for their business is to attend real estate conferences and events. Many agents already implement this tactic, but are they positioning and marketing themselves as effectively as they can? If you’re going to spend the time and money to attend a real estate event, make sure you’re doing everything before, during, and after to optimize your experience and get the most out of their marketing ploys. Here is our list of tips for real estate agents to accomplish that when attending real estate events and conferences:

1. Collect numbers, not business cards.

Business cards create clutter, are ineffective at establishing yourself in the memory of your cohort, and generally yield very low call back rates. Instead, offer to exchange your phone number and email by creating a new contact in your phone on the spot. Then, send them a short, personalized email or text right away. They’ll be more likely to respond and remember you if you use this practice instead of being one of the hundred other agents that handed them a card.

2. Find the bar and stake it out.

Rather than trying to meet people by approaching groups or actively seeking certain individuals, get a space near the bar. You can strike up conversations with any agents who go to order a drink more innocuously this way. For those that have ever attended a real estate event or conference, you know you can expect a lot of agents to patron the bar.

3. Leverage the event to boost your social media outreach.

Post about the event before, during, and after on your social media channels. Be sure to include tags relevant to the event and referencing it so any agents searching for information about it see your posts. Your posts can be as simple as a photo of a speaker or a new insight you gained at the event.

4. Build a website page exclusively for the event.

Another good post you can promote on your social media channels is your personalized website page about the event. This is a good way to improve your website SEO for anyone interested in the event and is a good way to directly provide value to attendees searching for information about it. A call to action on this page like a newsletter signup or an eBook download. This will further help you stand out and increase your connection rate with attendees.

5. Research sessions beforehand and come prepared with questions.

Know what the topics of discussion will be so you can anticipate how you can better be proactive and participatory during sessions. Asking good questions can help you get noticed and increase the interest of other attendees in connecting with you.

6. Follow hashtags for the event on social media.

Another good way to stay on top of sessions and topics of discussion is to follow the event tags on social media. This will allow you to better provide value on your own posts and take advantage of any offerings or promotions advertised by the event hosts.

7. Learn about new developments in the industry and blog about them.

If you’re strapped for blog post ideas, this is a good opportunity to gain insight into changes in the industry or new technology being introduced. This will help you establish yourself as a real estate agent with their finger on the pulse of the industry, making you stand out to fellow Realtors and potential clients alike as a reliable, knowledgeable source for all things real estate.

8. Use name association to remember people.

You’ll meet a lot of people and remembering all of them can be difficult if you try to rely on your memory alone. Associate their names with unique physical features to improve your name retention. For example, if someone you meet named Dan has curly hair, use a simple word association process to connect his curly hair to his name. Curly hair -> curling iron -> iron man -> man rhymes with Dan.

9. Follow up afterwards.

Finally, to cement the connections you make at the event, be sure to follow up with new contacts after the event. Try to work in a reference to something that was brought up in your conversation with them to help them remember who you are, and convey that you were listening and care about this new relationship. Alternatively, you can send them an article that discusses solutions for any issue that in the industry that was referenced in the conversation.

 

Real estate agent conferences and events are great opportunities for networking and learning about new industry developments like REBO’s flat fee outsourced transaction coordination service. Sign up with REBO’s white-glove concierge service and let us handle all the paperwork and communication involved in a real estate transaction from offer to close!

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Reasons Not To Hire A Transaction Coordinator

Reasons Not To Hire A Transaction Coordinator

Providing real estate agents with all the tools necessary for them to effectively conduct business is at the forefront of every broker’s docket. Ideally, they can do this while simultaneously reducing legal exposure, lowering expenses, and reducing the risk of agent turnover.

Achieving this perfect balance between functionality and security is difficult when brokers hire transaction coordinators as salaried employees for the following reasons:

Salaried Employees Get Benefits

Having transaction coordinators on payroll can be costly to a brokerages bottom line both in terms of cost/sale and benefits provided to employees.

Legal Exposure

A large number of TCs are unlicensed or have expired licenses.

A growing number of states like California are requiring transaction coordinators to be certified.

The ambiguity and volatility of these laws between states makes them difficult to interpret, and puts the broker at a greater legal risk by continuing the practice of hiring transaction coordinators who aren’t certified.

Agents are Loyal to their Coordinator

Agents often align their loyalty with their in-house transaction coordinator.

If the coordinator is poached by another brokerage, the agent may very well leave with them and vice versa.

If a transaction coordinator retires, this can create an unstable relationship between the agent and the brokerage if the new coordinator assigned to them doesn’t meet their standards, resulting in the agent leaving the brokerage.

Transaction Coordinators Don’t Use the Same Transaction Software

There’s often a difference in opinion among coordinators as to what the best transaction coordination software is.

This can result in the broker subscribing to multiple transaction coordination platforms, which is an unnecessary cost.

Alternatively, the broker could force the coordinators to all use the same platform, which will result in disgruntled employees and raise the likelihood for error by the coordinators who are forced to learn a new software, increasing legal exposure.

No Regulation

Each transaction coordinator has a preferred method of carrying out their tasks.

Some prefer to use DropBox, others use Docusign. Some store their PDFs in a folder on their Desktop, others in Google Docs, etc.

The non-conformity between how each transaction coordinator carries out their coordination responsibilities and how they store their files results in a greater hassle when file or correspondence retrieval becomes necessary, and in extreme cases, loss of files.

REBO CAN HELP

Fortunately, there is a simple solution for all of these issues.

Brokers that sign up with REBO instead of employing transaction coordinators:

  1. Save money
  2. Reduce legal exposure
  3. Reduce risk of agents leaving

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Event Marketing For Real Estate Agents – Step by Step Guide

Event Marketing For Real Estate Agents – Step by Step Guide

An often-overlooked marketing opportunity for Realtors is the power of hosting local community events.

Hosting community fundraisers or events is a great way to rub elbows with your neighbors and get your name known.

This demonstrates a philanthropic inclination on your part and will make your clients feel a sense of attachment to your charitable contributions by signing with you.

You can inform surrounding community members of the event by going door to door, which is a time-tested lead generating technique. However, since you’re going door to door to promote a charitable event, it will come off as less intrusive.

Hosting an event is one of the best ways Realtors can establish themselves as the local go-to real estate market guru in their community.

However, event hosting tends to fall off the map of viable marketing techniques for Realtors for one reason: it’s hard.

The amount of energy and resources spent successfully organizing, marketing, and executing a community event can appear to be a daunting obstacle.

Despite the work involved, the windfall of new business resulting from this more than offsets the woes experienced during.

This topic has enough moving pieces and creates so much opportunity for expressing your personal brand as unique, it could be an eBook in and of itself. Making the details specific to your brand and community is largely left to your discretion, but here we will outline the basic stages of pulling such an event off.

DETERMINING EVENT LOGISTICS

When deciding what activities, speakers, performers, and hooks you will use for creating an event with a favorable turnout, keep in mind the ultimate goal of the event: generating, nurturing, and converting leads.

Nurturing and converting patrons of your event will rely heavily on how you display your brand at the time of the event. Generating these leads will be done largely through marketing leading up to the event. That being said, a crucial component to generating leads at the event depends on your ability to incite guests to provide their contact information.

Before we go any further, understand that setting up the event will require a decent amount of leg work on your part, so learn from the mistakes of Fyre festival founders, and give yourself enough time to arrange all necessary amenities. Schedule your event at least ten weeks out from when you begin marketing.

Type of Event

Consider what type of event you want to host for your community. Your idea should include activities that require guests to provide contact information before-hand to secure entry like contests, raffles, talent shows, trivia competitions, or auctions.

Choose a charity to sponsor and advertise that proceeds will be donated. By adding a philanthropic aspect people in your community will feel more inclined to attend and participate.

Both the type of event you choose and the charity you support will depend largely on your audience. Consider the demographics and interests of your surrounding community to help you decide what these themes should be.

Fundraising for a local cause or organization is a good way to kill both these birds with one stone. For example, you could do a fundraiser for the local football team and hold football related competitions like NFL trivia or combine events. What you choose should not only reflect community interests, but your personal interests as well to ensure passion and knowledgeable delivery.

The decisions you make here will likewise guide your decision for time and location of your event. Since you’ll be marketing to a large number of people in your surrounding community, make sure to secure a location that is flexible with regard to maximum capacity. The last thing you want is to have more attendees than your location can handle.

Choosing Co-Hosts/Sponsors

It will be difficult to pull off a venture like this on your own, so secure help early in the process. The help you employ should be both active in the community and ideally, local idols that embody your selected charity and activities.

If it’s a fundraiser for a local school, ask teachers or prominent PTA members. If it’s a sports team, ask coaches or team administrators. If you are promoting and raising money for a local organization, the chances are good that anyone involved with the organization will be eager to help.

These will be essential contacts for helping with set up, spreading the word, and offering insights to best execute your event.

Performances/Speakers

The co-hosts and sponsors you select for the previous step will additionally make good speakers at your event, particularly if they’re already well known within the community as the local arbiter of your event theme.

If you want to utilize performances, try to employ performers that likewise are representative of your theme in the minds of the local community. To paraphrase Mark Zuckerberg as to why FaceBook became popular, “people don’t go online to look at people. They go online to look at people they know.” Performers that are personally known by attendees will be a cheap and effective way to engage your audience.

Reach out to those you know personally in the community who are capable of participating in whatever activities you have planned. Tell them to share their participation on social media to attract other potential contestants.

MARKET YOUR EVENT

Now that the event location, time, and logistics are in place, you’ll want to market the event for a few weeks leading up to it to achieve maximum reach and attendance.

Brand Your Event

Before distributing any marketing materials, it’s a good idea to brand your event with custom logo and slogan.

Your logo and slogan should tie together the symbiotic relationship between the organization the event is helping, activities involved in the event, and your personal real estate business.

Independently contracted graphic designers are cheap on Fiverr, and with guidance, can help generate a totally custom logo for your event.

This logo can be printed on T shirts, flyers, and any merchandise you may be giving away at the event, increasing awareness for the next time you host it.

Your slogan should be something catchy and easy to remember. Have it in some way convey the contribution of your personal real estate business to the event as well. Additionally, you should also connect the slogan geographically or by a local indicator if you can for SEO improvement. For example, if you’re raising funds for the local school soccer team by hosting a musical talent show, try something like, “Support Leighton Soccer by Judging Rockers! –  an event powered by Jane Doe Realty.” This is a good opportunity to express your creativity and make the event unique to your personality.

By branding your event successfully the first time around, if/when you decide to host the event again another year, you’ll have the advantage of having an already established recognizable brand within your community.

Traditional Marketing Tactics

Marketing your event is a good excuse for going door to door and introducing yourself as the local Realtor. Make flyers or brochures to hand out to neighbors when you do this.

If you really want to go all in on this, invest in display ads at local grocery stores or park benches. Traditional real estate marketing will work better if you’re advertising an event than the typical Realtor photo and phone number technique.

Local media spots also provide good reach at relatively low costs within your community. Get a local DJ to advertise your event on air or buy newspaper ads in your neighborhood paper.

Keep in mind the audience likely to see your ads based on where and what platform they’re being deployed. Adjust your advertisements accordingly to speak more directly to your audience.

Notify Leads

If you’ve been employing any of the lead generation techniques we’ve discussed in prior posts, you probably have the contact information of a set of warm leads in your local community. Use your event as an opportunity to engage another touch point and connect with them. If you advertise the speakers, performers, or other people they know in the header of your email you’ll increase the chances they view it and attend.

Hyper-Local Influencers

Hiring social influencers to promote your business or event can be costly and won’t necessarily reach the ideal target audience. However, if you can hire people within your target community with large local followings on social media, you can better target your audience for a cheaper price. They may not necessarily have done any social media influence work in the past, and will probably be excited by the opportunity. These people can be the heads of local clubs or organizations, including people involved in local civic groups, schools, churches, business owners and nonprofit (nongovernmental) organizations. 

If one of your co-hosts or sponsors fits the bill for a local social influencer, be sure to ask them to promote the event on their social media channels as well.

Blog + Podcast

Earlier we discussed setting up and gaining a following for your personal website’s blog and podcast. Event marketing provides relevant content to your audience and promotes your event. It is a perfect content piece to blast out from all your marketing channels.

Keep in mind the keys to improving your SEO score when constructing your articles promoting your event. Use local words, include the names of all co-hosts and sponsors, performers, speakers, organizations, and clubs involved and tie their names to your local community as often as you can to see to it that any Google queries remotely related to your event returns your article at the top of the list.

Social Media

Sharing the content created for your blog and podcast on your social media channels is just the first way to promote your event over social media.

It’s also imperative that you create an “Event” on FaceBook and invite your contacts to join. Be sure to include organizations and people being helped, organizations and people helping to administer the event, activities to be held, prizes to be won, handouts, performers, and any other relevant information to the event. Allowing people to see everyone else who has been invited and who has responded to the invite will not only help establish credibility for your event in the local community, but instill a sense of ‘FOMO’ for those on the fence about going.

Be sure to use this medium as a way of accepting applications to perform or speak as well, (after they’ve provided their contact information of course!)

After posting articles and other advertising content on social media, boost your ads and set your target audience to make sure your ads are seen by local residents repeatedly.

Include a “tag” to be used in every social media post so other people can easily post about the event and refer back to it. You may want to use multiple tags so you can direct some tags at the event activities, performers, etc., and at least one that’s directed at your real estate business.

Partner with Local Businesses

Allowing local businesses to participate in the event will not only help provide more merchandising and event activities, but open the door for cross promotion.

In exchange for allowing participation, see if local businesses will help promote your real estate business in their facilities. This will bulk up your event for free while simultaneously promoting your personal brand.

Incentives and Free Giveaways

Everyone loves free stuff! Be sure to include some sort of giveaway for a raffle, or prizes for competitions, and advertise exactly what merchandise attendees will be getting in your social media posts, flyers, articles, etc.

The merchandise and prizes to be given away can include your personally branded logo and slogan. This will serve as a reminder to patrons of the event that you are the local real estate guru for as long as they keep their prize or gift.

Your event should be free entry, and this fact should be advertised as well. Remember, you’re in the business of generating leads for your personal real estate venture. You’re an event planner only as a means to accomplishing this, not generating revenue.

Leverage Other Events and Public Forums

Anytime there is a gathering of local residents, this is an opportunity to promote your event.

Ask your local church if they’ll allow an announcement. This can also be done at PTA meetings, sporting events, etc.

ENGAGE GUESTS AT YOUR EVENT

There are two focal points for when your event is taking place to be used for the purpose of generating and nurturing leads: Getting guest contact information and capturing new content.

Capturing content at the event will allow you to market yourself further long after the event has ended. This is content that can be reused in your social media marketing, blog, podcast, etc. It will also provide marketing materials for when you decide to host an event again. There are several ways to create this content:

Encourage Attendees to Share Their Own Content

One way to maximize your reach at your event is to create circumstances in which attendees will capture their own content and share it on their social media channels. Offer post-event prizes to whomever captures and shares the best photo of an activity or event with the predetermined hashtag attached.

In a previous article about how Realtors should advertise on digital platforms, we talked about utilizing Snapchat Geofilters for community events. Implementing Geofilters through Snapchat’s advertising platform and informing guests of this feature, they’ll send out snaps to their friends using your branded advertisement.

Hire a Professional Photographer

You’ll want to additionally employ a professional to capture fun moments from your event. These will be better quality and better for sharing than any content generated by attendees.

If you really want quality video to share, get a drone to capture aerial images and footage of your event. This will help convey the appearance of professionalism and legitimacy of any event you decide to host in the future.

Collect Contact Information

You’ve already collected contact information from your marketing efforts for the event, but the event itself presents an opportunity to gather even more.

Don’t charge fees, but rather require contact information be provided for entry into any event performances, giveaways, donations, or general queries. These can be added to your CRM later, one of the ultimate goals of hosting the event to begin with.

FOLLOW UP

Use the contact information you’ve gathered to probe for suggestions, reviews, and feedback for your event. In addition to growing your customer database, you can use replies to refine any future events to provide an even more beneficial experience for you and attendees at your next year’s event.

These contacts can also be used as a foundation for employing hosts and sponsors for your next event. Ask if anyone has or knows of any other reputable organizations within the community that could benefit from an event like the one you just hosted.

The extra data you’ve acquired from attendees can also be used for more relevant retargeting of event guests that visited your personal website either before, during, or after the event. More specific ad retargeting is a great way to funnel warm leads into conversions.

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How Realtors Can Handle A Rising Rental Market

How Realtors Can Handle A Rising Rental Market

Recent US housing market data has shown that rising mortgage rates and housing prices have largely prevented renters from entering the market, causing home ownership rates to stagnate.

According to a recent CNBC article, Wages haven’t come close to keeping pace with housing costs: between 2001 and 2011, median rental housing costs rose 5 percent, while median renter incomes actually dropped 15 percent. While the number of cost-burdened renters nationwide receded from a high mark of 21.3 million in 2014 to 20.8 million in 2016, it’s still higher than it’s been for years. 

In addition to a broadening gap between wages and home valuations, the debt incurred by younger generations has likewise prevented would-be first-time buyers from saving enough money for a down payment, contributing to a rising rental market.

Costs of home repair and upkeep have frightened these renters further that if they did enter the homeowner’s market, their accounts would quickly be depleted, causing them to recede further into the safety of their landlord’s fiduciary responsibilities.

Despite these indicators that there is little hope for a change of tide in the near future, homeownership remains a far better long-term wealth builder than renting in most cities across the U.S.

Being able to convey this concept to first-time home buyers is a necessary skill for realtors to possess if they hope to gain new lasting clientele relationships.

To express the advantage of building equity in a home, it’s imperative that a realtor attempting to convert a renter into a lead hit on the following talking points:

1. Equity built in a home more than offsets the cost of a down payment, upkeep, and repairs over time.

With each monthly payment the homeowner is paying off the principal and gaining equity in the home.

The true cost of monthly mortgage payments is the interest paid that month. While these payments can become costly depending on the rates when the buyer purchased the home, they are almost always significantly lower than local rent rates.

Upkeep and repair can hit a homeowner’s personal bank account hard, but remind them that these repairs or renovations contribute to the value of the home, meaning the equity gained yields a greater financial return than mortgage payments made before the repairs.

On average, home values increase by 5.4% per year. So just by buying the home, the owner gains 5.4% of the price of the home when they bought it every year in terms of acquired wealth.

2. Rental markets rise in an inversely proportional manner to housing demand.

This means a lasting rising rental market, like the one currently underway, will eventually result in a cooling off of the housing market, so homes will soon become more affordable, making this a good time to begin looking to get a head start on the impending buyer influx.

3.There has been a steady rise of roommates and shared housing in recent years.

Renting out rooms in your new home can soften mortgage payments and allow new home owners to build equity while simultaneously spending less than they would be renting.

Several apps are available for free download that facilitate this process and allow homeowners to vet prospects beforehand.

4. Some avoidance to entering the housing market could be a product of ignorance of mortgage loans.

Make sure they understand what mortgage insurance is, and if they qualify for any benefits that could lessen their monthly payments.

If this is right for them based on their financial standing, this could help convince potential buyers saving enough money for a full 20% down payment isn’t necessary before entering the housing market.

Explain to them the differences between VA loans, FHA loans, and USDA loans, then walk them through the process of determining if they qualify.

 

In this rising rental market, realtors increasingly are hearing from cold leads, “I can’t afford to buy a home right now.” While this is true for many of those leads, some are just uninformed of the benefits of homeownership, what it means to build equity in a home, how appreciation raises their net worth, or how mortgage loans function. Realtors can and should arm themselves with the above information to help these potential homeowners decide if they really can afford a home right now, and if that is the better option for them.

Top Real Estate Automation Tools

Top Real Estate Automation Tools

Realtors may be concerned that the real estate industry is moving towards automation that will make tasks performed by agents obsolete and possibly even replace agents altogether.

Such fear is largely unfounded and any real threat of agent replacement is far in the future. In fact, there’s been a surge in the number of automated products or services in real estate. These tools actually work in a complementary fashion to the role of the agent.

Agents who use these tools can gain an edge on the competition. By delegating some of their responsibilities to these automated processes, agents can use their extra time to increase business.

Here are the top tools and services that help real estate agents automate their real estate business:

 

GET LEADS AUTOMATICALLY

Unless you’re a well-established agent driving your business solely on referral fuel, you’ll need new leads to be successful. There are countless techniques for generating new leads, but only a few which have been automated in an effective manner.

 

Open House Management

Collecting numbers from open houses is a crucial contact generator to pour into your marketing funnel and eventually qualify leads.

Collecting the information and interpreting illegible  handwriting can be a tedious and sluggish process.

Providing open house management software apps on your tablet not only eliminates the hassle of transferring the data into electronic form, but most can even integrate with your CRM and auto-populate the contact information into an actionable format.

Companies: Spacio, Open House Wizard, Open Home Pro

 

Auto Cold Call Services

Following up on expired listings, FSBOs, and open house numbers can be very time consuming. Dealing with the high frequency of inevitable rejection from this tactic can also be demoralizing.

Automatic cold call services follow up on leads for you by leaving a professional, human-voice message and filter the mass of numbers to the few good leads that call back with no effort on your part.

Companies: Slydial, RedX

 

Social Media Ad Management Platforms

Advertising on social media has quickly become a necessity for real estate agents to remain relevant in the industry.

Finding content to post and boost individually on each platform can be a very gradual process and is hardly the best use of time.

Additionally, determining your target audience through A/B testing, trial and error, or simply guessing is an inefficient use of time and resources.

Social media ad management platforms exist that can automatically find relevant content for your target audience, post the content across all your social media platforms, and cull your target audience appropriately in real time to maximize the effectiveness of the ads posted.

Companies: CityBlast, Adext

 

NURTURE LEADS AUTOMATICALLY

Now that you’ve employed automatic lead generators, you’ll need to filter these potential clients through marketing processes to strain the qualified leads out and allow you to determine which to focus your time and energy on for optimal business efficiency. Fortunately, this process has been largely automated as well.

 

Email Drip Campaigns

Email drip campaigns are effective tools for maintaining contact and providing your lead with relevant information and value.

This is also a very time-consuming process to undertake manually, and there’s no good way of knowing what content to provide each client without the proper IDX data at hand.

Automated lead generation and email drip services can be built into your website to automatically determine what content would be relevant to each browser based on their search history.

Email campaigns are then automatically assigned to the browsers accordingly to maximize results.

Companies: Zurple, Zapier

 

Chat Bots to Qualify Leads

This tool can instantly generate leads in the same moment it nurtures them.

Once a website visitor has engaged a chat bot, it can automatically pull or request user information and social profiles, collect data as to what line of questioning yields the best results, and even adjust its language to mirror inflection of the user.

These now qualified leads can be seamlessly transferred along with the data collected on them to your CRM automatically as well.

Companies: Bold360, FreshChat

 

Lead and CRM Integration

Once a lead has been deemed good and worthy of a follow up, you’ll want to incorporate all pertinent information for that lead in a CRM to effectively organize and track these leads and help dictate your contact points.

These lead management platforms can also collect data of each lead including demographic, contact points, type of contact, and step by step activity leading to conversion then automatically use this data to begin qualifying new leads as they come in.

Companies: FreshSales, HubSpot

 

CONVERT LEADS AUTOMATICALLY

Once you’ve acquired your lead, nurtured them, and eventually reached a contract agreement, the transaction process begins wherein the completion from escrow to close is dependent on highly functional transaction coordination.

 

Outsourced Transaction Coordination Services

This is a tedious and daunting process for agents to undertake on their own, with or without transaction coordination software at hand.

Transaction coordination platforms can take time to learn and you are liable for any errors made throughout the timely process.

Alternatively, send your transaction coordination paperwork and organizational mandates attached to an outsourced transaction coordination company to complete the conversion of your lead for you.

Companies: REBO

 

MAINTAIN POST SALE RELATIONSHIP AUTOMATICALLY

You’ll want to set up a system for retaining these successfully converted leads as clients after the sale is completed. When they enter the market again, you can remain at the forefront of their mind by instituting the use of automatic reminders periodically of the service you provided them.

 

Recurring Gifts or Postcards

Client gifts or postcards are a great way to remind them you are their realtor.

Since it can be difficult to organize and execute the delivery of these yourself, it is useful to set up an automated, “set it and forget it” recurring gift or postcard service.

Several companies allow you do this by charging you a recurring fee after you’ve selected which client to give the gift or postcard to, what the gift is, and how frequently they receive it.

Companies: CauseView

 

Whether the product featured is AI or a coordinated team handling your tasks for you, the cost of automation can be well worth it, particularly if it’s in a facet of the business in which you tend to struggle.

The best automation services in real estate don’t remove agents from the equation, they free up the agent to do more of what they love while growing their business.