Archive for the ‘ Social Media ’ Category

For those of you using RealtySites PLUS I wanted to let you know that we are continuing our commitment to driving you leads and features that will captivate your on-line audience.

Well we have added a few new features today to the websites. Below is a list of updates:

1. We have added buttons at the bottom of the main property photo which drive people right to the photo gallery , the virtual tour or on-line video. Go to www.TerryLeClair.com and enter  ID# 31935 124 Essa Rd for an example. This will make it easier for the consumer to view photos and virtual tours without having to scroll down.

2. We are also excited that we added a couple new social media buttons on the top of each listing. We added Google + and on top of the mian property photo we added Pinterest (Pin It feature). If your not familiar with Pinterest you better get use to it as it’s growing in popularity huge!

3. We have also given you the ability to allow people to follow you on Pinterest. To set this up (if you have a Pinterest account) is go to “Site Manager”, Then click on “Social Media” then click on the “Pinterest” tab and add your Pinterest URL. It’s that simple and it will populate the Pinterest logo along with your other social media logo’s in your menu bar. Log into www.terryleclair.com and click into my site to see it in the left hand menu.

4. The photo gallery viewer is much quicker to load making the experience much better.

Next week we will be adding the ability to add Google +, Pinterest and YouTube buttons under your picture in your bio and on the picture that displays with your listing. Those social media buttons are found in your “My Account” page/button which you access on the top gray bar of your control panel.

If you have any questions please email me at terry@realtysitesplus.com

Hope you like what we have added.

Terry LeClair

CEO, RealtySites PLUS

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Elminate the Goober Call

The dreaded “Goober Call”…just the thought of it makes me squirm like a child waiting in the dentist’s office. Some of you may be asking, “What the heck is a goober call?” We Realtors have ALL experienced the goober call on many occasions, some more often than others. A goober call, my fellow Realtors, is when a Seller calls and asks you things like, ”Hey, why isn’t my house selling?”, “How come I haven’t received any feedback on that last showing?”, or – god forbid – “Just what the heck are you doing for all those commission dollars I’m paying you?”

Actually, a goober call is almost every call the Seller makes to you. The reason I say that is because most of the time the call doesn’t start out as a goober call, but turns out like that. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean that I think the Seller is a goober, I just think that the conversation is a goober call, and honestly, the goober is usually the Realtor if they get that kind of call. Why am I dissing my peeps, my colleagues, my own Realtors? Simple: if you get a goober call, it’s usually your fault. These types of calls can be prevented with a little effort and strategic planning.

“Terry, how can we avoid goober calls?” I’m glad you asked! The first way to prevent goober calls is to ALWAYS do a listing presentation using proper presentation software (like PowerPoint). Yes, I said ALWAYS. A good listing presentation is invaluable to you as a Realtor. First, it should set out all the parameters with regards to marketing efforts, advertising, communication and feedback systems, and how your client will use your systems. You must explain your processes, commissions and any other ancillary services you may offer. The key is to never over-promise and under-deliver. If you say you’ll communicate feedback from every showing, you’d better darn well do it.

Another strategy I use in my business is to send the Sellers a `Stats Update’ letter every two weeks. This letter should explain to them what the current market conditions are, what comparable homes have recently sold or been listed, and how many web hits MLS and your website have generated. By giving the Seller this information BEFORE they ask for it or even want it you eliminate the goober call. On opposite weeks to the stats update letter, send a marketing update letter and include PDF`s of any ad or marketing piece. Let them know where and when their home will be exposed to the market. Also, send them all the listing and selling documents via email so they have the ability to answer their own questions before they call you, and the conversation turns into a goober call.

This approach has helped me greatly in my business. I’ve sold 100 homes every year for the past 12 years with NO buyers agent, only an admin person. And, I did it working only the odd weeknight, and hardly ever on weekends. That, my fellow Realtors, is what happens when you eliminate the goober call.

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Note: This post was also published on www.lisamayhuby.com

As more and more businesses gravitate to the high reach-low investment medium of social media, I find there are far too many jumping in with both feet that really don’t have any business even dabbling their toes in it.

MLMers, real estate agents posting “another hot listing” or endless Facebook fan pages of nothing but listings, get-rich-quick gurus, and newbies that expect instant results after 2 Tweets about how great their product or service is: none of these have any place in social networking, and all will have a negative experience using it.

You want a good – no, great – experience? As in, a ‘pretty-darn-good-results-for-not-a-whole-lotta-time-invested’ type experience? Follow these tips:

  1. Stop whatever social media stuff it is you’re doing RIGHT NOW. Just stop everything. Halt. Arrêt. Now, think of what you want to get out of your efforts. Better yet, write it down. The list should be point-form, one goal per line, a singular idea. If you’ve got the word “and” in one of the goals, that’s two ideas. Separate them. Next, review your list and remove the unicorns and rainbows. That includes any idea that makes you gaze wistfully into the distance, like the ‘generate X leads’ goals, ‘get X followers’, connections goals, and so on. Hopefully what you’re left with is real, measurable, and attainable.
  2. Social networking is about just that – networking. And it works great when it complements your other marketing efforts. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until people finally get it: social media is a tool. A tactic. Something you use in conjunction with something else. Your teeth are tools with which you chew food and begin the digestive process. Social media is the tool with which you share bite-sized bits of information to help begin the lead generation process.
  3. Stop being part of the “hey, look at me!” crowd, mindlessly echoing others’ thoughts and ideas to try and position yourself as an ‘expert’, and really engage with people. Stand out. Be selective with whom you engage. Don’t choose only the people that might be able to promote whatever it is you’re selling. Go on, be different from the millions of online minions fighting for attention.
  4. Be consistent with your engagement. Whether it’s once a day or once a week, be consistent and reliable.
  5. Evolve. Figure out how to move social media to the next level. As Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media says, “We have to grow up because not only does the same old crap not work anymore, but now it (and you) is just annoying.” (Incidentally, it’s just a coincidence that my post has 5 tips and hers has 5 tips. Really. Besides, they’re different tips.)

I always advise clients that you’ll discover what works best for you, and that’s absolutely true if you put some thought and planning behind it. Social media doesn’t and probably never will work for everyone in every business. If you’ve taken the plunge and are trying to use it for your business, help make it a more enjoyable (and hopefully profitable) experience for everyone.

It’s your web, keep it beautiful.

Lisa-May Huby, Director of Marketing

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On his blog, WebInkNow, David Meerman Scott wrote about the U.S. Department of Defense’s social media strategy, engaging in heavy-duty SM activities, from blogging and Facebook, to videos and photo sharing. Essentially, the DoD’s putting a human face on the military.

Numerous methods are being implemented in a multi-channel effort, each with their own focus on the different areas of the military. From The Pentagon Channel’s website, Facebook and Twitter streams, the U.S. Army’s ArmyLive blog and You Tube channel, to the U.S. Air Force’s “Counter-Blog” strategy.

What can you take away from the U.S. military’s strategy for developing a simple social media campaign for your business, and become a “social media rockstar” in your own right? Take a look:

Social Media Potential for Realtors

This just gives you an idea of the potential. As you can see, it’s pretty simple, and you can tailor your strategy to fit your life, making it as complex as you like. Start small to get your feet wet, and work from there.

The main thing is that you open yourself to new ways of communicating with clients and colleagues, for both outgoing and incoming messages, and use these tools to your advantage.

Lisa-May Huby, Director of Marketing

Lisa-May Huby, Director of Marketing

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Tweet this, Realtors!

By now most everyone is aware of Twitter (unless you’re my parents), but you may not know or understand how it works, and just how powerful it can be.

For those of you that have been living a somewhat sheltered life (or with my parents), Twitter is a micro-blogging social networking site. Each post is limited to 140 characters, hence the ‘micro-blogging’ label. At first glance, for most of you Twitter probably seems like so much pointless, mindless drivel, spewing out what people ate for lunch, what their dog ate for lunch, or that their car broke down. And, if you follow people that write about such mindless crap, then yes, it’s completely pointless.

A word of caution (and I’ve said this before, often): don’t underestimate the power of Twitter. It’s real-time, high-speed information sharing like we’ve never seen before. Take the plight of US Airways Flight 1549 that crashed on the Hudson River – news of the crash broke on Twitter before any of the major networks had even heard about it.

What you get out of Twitter has everything to do with who you follow and what you share. Who you follow brings you the news and information you find useful and valuable. What you share gives others, your followers, information they find useful and valuable, and will hopefully want to re-share (ie. retweet) with their followers.

Businesses of all types have grasped Twitter as another marketing channel, promoting free and paid content, sales messages, surveys, promotions, and support updates. One industry that seems to be divided about Twitter is real estate – some use it to their great advantage, while others struggle to comprehend it and the purpose behind it.

The reality is, there’s nothing to figure out – it’s not rocket science, and it’s certainly not hard to understand. It’s simply an ongoing stream of information and randomness. The tough part about Twitter isn’t understanding it, it’s controlling and managing the streams so that what comes into your consciousness is relevant to you.

Some great tools for managing Twitter are Twitter Lists (accessed through Twitter and a number of external apps), HootSuite (my personal fave), ping.fm and TweetDeck. There are a ton of others out there, it’s simply a matter of trying them out and finding one that works best for you.

Incorporating Twitter in your real estate business is more than just Tweeting out links to new listings, virtual tours and open houses. You’ve heard, “Build it, and they will come”. Have something useful to share, and they’ll read it.

Twitter – and other social networking sites – are simply another way for you to communicate with others, and them with you. You wouldn’t call a prospect and tell them you just ate a grilled cheese with pickles; they’d probably think you were nuts and never have anything more to do with you. So please don’t be compelled to share that same sort of thing over other communication channels. Blog posts, the latest industry stats, market trends and changes, proposed construction, and so on – that’s something useful that people will want to read and share.

Keep the grilled cheese and pickles to yourself.

Lisa-May Huby, Director of Marketing

Lisa-May Huby, Director of Marketing

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Real Estate 2.0: Transparency

So far we’ve covered communication and conversation in my discussion about Web 2.0. The next point I’d like to cover is transparency.

Transparency is a term that’s been loosely thrown around for some time now in the real estate tech world. Basically, what it means is you’re not hiding anything from anyone, especially consumers. When you engage in social media and networking, you’re adding a transparent element to your business. You’re letting people see a bit of the “real” you, including your business practices, how you deal with consumers, and your personal life.

It’s this new element that fills many with trepidation, and keeps them from committing to social media. If you’ve got nothing to hide and are ethically conducting business and personal dealings, then what’s the problem? You have nothing to lose and lots to gain.

Another way of looking at transparency could be eliminating barriers to information, like having to supply a name and email address before accessing a special report – a point that’s currently hotly debated by marketers in every industry.

Being the gatekeepers to all of your Sellers’ listing information is not what Web 2.0 is all about. It’s about creating deep, rich, robust content and giving the online user the ability and flexibility to sift thru the information and use or absorb what they feel is pertinent.

That said, most Realtors® make the huge mistake of giving too much away without capturing any information, making it impossible to communicate with and incubate leads. There’s a fine line between transparency and gatekeeping, but by taking the time to find that balance you’ll realize there’s a wonderful, abundant world of quality leads just waiting for your nurturing.

To experience how lead generation and transparency have collided, attend an online webinar hosted by yours truly. Sign up now at www.RealtySitesPLUS.com/webinar. You’ll be glad you did!

Terry LeClair, Founder & CEOTLC

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