Date Archives: May 2021

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May
28

The online house hunt is now a reality for Americans of all age groups and backgrounds.

As far back as 2013, a joint study by Google and the National Association of Realtors showed that 90% of buyers searched online during their home-buying process. Fast forward a few years, and digital technology had taken an even more prominent role: In 2018, 44% of home buyers went online first when looking for properties.

Over 90% of real estate firms now have websites, and their property listings are their #1 feature.

Whether you're new or experienced in real estate, the conclusion is inescapable: Most of your future clients will find you online, not through traditional advertising or face-to-face events. Creating a real estate website full of helpful, informative content is no longer optional; it is critical.

What Real Estate Firms Need to Know About Search Engine Optimization

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the thought of competing for attention online in a crowded market. Carving out your niche can seem even more complicated when it's time to come to grips with one of the most misunderstood topics in real estate digital marketing: Search engine optimization (SEO).

Put simply, SEO is a collection of best practices in website design and marketing. It raises your online visibility by making your website more likely to feature prominently when prospective customers search for topics related to your business, for example, "homes for sale in Tempe, AZ."

In today's world, all real estate agents need SEO. Unfortunately, the misconceptions around it could fill a book.

Some believe it is as complex and challenging as writing a computer program. Others have been told that it is "cheating," something ethical businesses avoid at all costs. These erroneous beliefs come from a bygone era, before SEO practices included measuring data and demonstrating clear results.

Search engine optimization is now more science than art. It is precise, powerful – and surprisingly accessible.

SEO has evolved alongside search engines. All search engines strive to help their users discover the most useful, valuable, and legitimate content on any topic. Instead of being confined to the tech-savvy few, modern SEO often comes down to understanding what website visitors want and giving it to them.

The better you know your audience, the more successful you will be.

And isn't that true of everything in real estate?

MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS EASY TO USE AND NAVIGATE
You appeal to search engines by appealing to people. By and large, people need signs they're in the right place when they arrive at a website. Otherwise, they'll leave without inter-acting, a phenomenon called "bounce." When designing your site, make sure navigation is simple, and information isn't buried under too many layers. Create clear call-to-actions and avoid clutter which will serve as distractions.

USE THE RIGHT UNDERLYING TECHNOLOGIES FOR YOUR SITE
Two key technical considerations go into any modern real estate website. First, your site must be "responsive," meaning it adjusts its appearance and navigation for people using mobile devices. Second, it should use SSL encryption to keep data safe. Google considers both of these factors when ranking websites.

CHECK YOUR WEBSITE'S SPEED AND MOBILE PERFORMANCE
Before your website goes live, check it out on a variety of mobile devices and browsers. All pages should load in three seconds or less to avoid user frustration. Google's Page- Speed Insights tool not only gives you useful data on your website's performance but also includes actionable ways to improve it quickly.

HAVE A STRATEGY TO OBTAIN BACKLINKS FROM OTHER SITES
Backlink is the accepted term for any link from another web- site to your own. In the old days of Google, each link was regarded as an "editorial vote" vouching for your website's quality. Now, the volume of links going back to any specific page is still a significant factor in whether that page will rank for a given search term.

SHOW VISITORS YOU CAN BE TRUSTED
Many different signals can be used to kindle trust with your first-time visitors. In real estate, customer reviews and testimonials are perhaps the most powerful. Text-based testimonials are effective, but if you can record a video testimonial with a happy customer, it's all the better for making a genuine human connection.

LEVERAGE ON-PAGE OPTIMIZATION FOR BETTER RESULTS
On-page optimization includes technical elements such as meta descriptions, title tags, headline tags, and cross-linking your content. Done consistently throughout a website, these tactics will help search engines have a more concise understanding of what each page is about. This will aid in pages getting indexed and gain better visibility in the search engines. This tactic is best handled in partnership with a digital marketing agency.

GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR WEBSITE DATA AND ANALYTICS
Analytics software collects information as people find and use your website. It lets you know how your visitors heard about you and what they did next. Becoming familiar with this can guide you in creating more of the kinds of content your audience responds to. Analytics can also be a great asset in determining if you are getting an ROI from your online marketing efforts.

PUBLISH NEW BLOG POSTS REGULARLY
Your blog serves as your brand's voice. The more you update it, the more search engines visit your site and recalculate your rank. SEO research tools can help you find search keywords reflecting real search queries to build your articles around. Blogging not only helps from an SEO standpoint, but it also provides visitors better insights into your brand as well as helpful information about the community you serve.

Google My Business: The Key to Local SEO

Even in this exciting age of virtual home showings, most customers will come from within 50 miles of your location. Enter Google My Business, a directory of local business information maintained by Google. When you "claim" your GMB listing, you are more likely to show up when locals search for "real estate firms near me."

Google is careful not to let brand assets like a GMB listing fall into the wrong hands. With that in mind, you'll need to apply to verify your business address through postal mail. This usually takes only a few days, but it can take weeks in times of peak interest. When verification is complete, you control your GMB entry.

This gives you the power to craft the details about your business, update your photos and hours, and monitor reviews on the Google platform from a single centralized interface. Be sure to fill out all your details, post compelling, high-quality photos of your business, and encourage customers to leave reviews on your GMB listing.

Search engine optimization is an indispensable part of real estate marketing; it helps you capture the best results from all your other digital marketing initiatives. With these tips, you can establish a strong SEO foundation, attract more people to your website, and convert more leads.

May
27

Compared to all the other real estate professionals in America, what makes you special?

Phrased that way, this might feel like an intimidating question. But rest assured, there is an answer. The way you respond shapes your business in profound ways.

Here are examples of ideas other real estate experts like you have had:

  • "I'm special because nobody else knows the Borough of Brooklyn like I do."

  • "I'm special because I truly understand what goes into senior downsizing."

  • "I'm special because I bring years of negotiating experience to my clients."

The question is, how can you communicate your advantages so your leads will know and remember them? The solution is found in online branding.

Online branding is crucial because the majority of your future clients will find you online first. They might read about you on your website weeks or months before they actually expect to reach out to a real estate agent.

The first impression you make helps determine whether you're the one they eventually choose.

Exactly What Is a Brand, Anyway?

To clear up confusion, it helps to understand what branding is not:

  • Branding isn't just about your values, even though your values are part of your brand

  • Branding isn't just about your visual identity, such as your logo, color scheme, or fonts

  • Branding isn't just what you say about yourself, but also what others say about you

You can think of branding as a structured and intentional approach to communicating what you want others to know and remember about your business. Branding isn't just visual; it's everything you put out into the world, including how you interact with people professionally.

Likewise, things other people say about you — such as reviews on third-party sites like Yelp — become part of your brand when someone learns about you by reading them. But if you've taken time to think deeply about your brand, you'll be able to positively influence even the factors you don't directly control.

What Do You Want Your Brand to Represent?

There are several questions you can ask yourself to get to the heart of your brand:

  • Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
    After a little time getting used to the industry, this is the most crucial question any real estate pro can ask. All branding is directed "to" someone, and you'll need to know that person's characteristics. Marketing to first-time Millennial homebuyers is very different from marketing to Baby Boomers. Who do you want to serve, and what are their pain points? What demographics do they fall into? How do they research real estate issues?

  • What Is Your Mission?
    You might think of your mission as your promised experience, what you want to deliver for everyone who picks you over the competition. For the agent focusing on those Millennials, it might be something like: "Make the home buying process easy and stress-free for people aged 30-40 searching for their first home." Whatever you choose as your mission, it's most effective when you can express it in a single succinct statement.

  • What Can You Provide That Others Don't?
    Scroll back to the beginning of this article and take another look at the three answers people gave when they were asked what makes them special. Each statement provides insight into what they have to offer that most other real estate pros won't. Since everyone brings their own unique perspective to real estate, each person has their own grab-bag of specialized skills that can differentiate them from their colleagues.

Three Ways to Express Your Unique Brand Online

Once you have clarity on your brand, here's how to bring it to life online:

  • Blog Regularly in Your Areas of Expertise
    Every blog post serves as a preview, a tantalizing taste of the value you can offer when someone chooses you as their agent. By publishing regularly, you strengthen your credentials as a local expert. In the process, you can also raise your visibility in online searches on topics relevant to your business.

  • Embrace Branded Real Estate Video
    Video truly is the next best thing to being there. It's not just for listings, either: it's the ideal way to introduce yourself to new website visitors. The more video content you produce, the more chances people have to feel like they know and trust you. Some agents augment practically all of their blogs with video.

  • Amplify Your Voice on Social Media
    Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn all provide amazing opportunities to further your brand. Take the time to lavish attention on every element of your profiles, from header images to headlines. Then, share new content as it comes out. That should encompass blogs, videos, new listings, and any news that matters to you.

With best-in-class marketing automation, Delta Media Group helps you showcase your brand with confidence. Contact us to learn more.

May
26

As I write this article, I find it curi- ous to note that about half the real estate news stories I read this past week related to low housing inventory and how to get more listings. All the articles were coming from the perspective of things you "can do now to get more listings." While I appreciate the reality that you need to take action now to get more listings, I want to approach the topic of low housing inventory from an entirely different perspective.

For over 10 years, I have seen a problem with the residential real estate industry as a whole.

What is the problem I am talking about?

It is the fact that a good number of real estate professionals, potentially the vast majority, do nothing to effectively market themselves and build relationships with people until it is too late. Too many real estate professionals do very little, or even nothing, to effectively market themselves over the months and years that proceed a person, couple, or family making the decision to buy or sell a home.

So what is the solution?

For quite a few years, I have been working to build the tools necessary to help solve the problem, and I want to outline some of these tools here in this article. These are tools that real estate professionals can begin using today that will not only help them get more listings now, but will also help them continue to get more list- ings for months and years to come.

So, let me dig into some of these tools and explain how they can help!

Market Trending Emails
(Delta's Market Watch Reports)

Very few people, almost none, wake up one morning and decide to buy a home in an unknown market or neighborhood. Nearly everyone who purchases a home spends months, sometimes years, re- searching the neighborhoods and markets they are interested in living in. They follow the home prices, pay attention to the home styles, watch how quickly homes sell, research the schools, parks, etc. This is one of the primary reasons I created Delta Media Group's Market Watch Reports well over a decade ago.

One of the best tools that real estate professionals can offer to everyone is market trending emails. Even people that are not in the market to buy or sell like getting monthly or quarterly market trending emails, simply so they can stay in the know and have up-to-date information. These emails should include nice visuals such as market trending graphs, a sample of what is currently for sale, an example of what has recently sold, what is pending, etc.

What is best about market trending emails is that it keeps the real estate sales professional in digital contact with their sphere of contacts and past clients, which results in a higher probability that they will get their future business. When you stay in touch, you remain at the forefront of potential customer's memories, and they'll think of you first when it's time to buy or sell.

Property Watch Emails
(Delta's Property-Based Market Watch Reports)

If I were a real estate professional, I would sign all my past clients up for a monthly or quarterly email, providing them with data similar to the market trending emails but with the addition of their estimated property value. This is what Delta's Property-Based Market Watch Reports are.

Every homeowner is curious to know how the value of their home changes over time and what homes are selling for around them. This type of report provides that information to them.

Think about it! The best place to get future business is from past clients. The only type of referral is one from a past client. So staying in relevant contact with past clients is critical and the best way to do it is with valuable information related to their home. It also makes it easy to reach out and ask for a referral and to start a conversation.

Ongoing Behavioral Driven Email Campaigns
(Delta's My Customer for Life Campaign)

Behavioral and Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven email campaigns are some of the best generic campaigns you can do because you can put all contacts into these types of campaigns.

Online retailers have been doing this for years. If they know who you are and how you interact with their products, you will receive marketing based on your interests. You need to be doing the same thing.

About four years ago, I had the Delta team start writing three new weekly articles: one related to homeownership, one related to home buying, and one related to home selling. Today we have a library of over 600 unique articles.

The best part of this type of system is that it is AI-driven based on customer behavior and interests. Depending on what customers do and which articles they interact with

will dictate the content of their next email. These are ongoing, automated, up-to-date, individually personalized marketing emails that are loved by customers and branded by the real estate professional.

Takeaways

I could keep going with other examples, but to keep this article short, let me just list a few other items you should consider doing: Customer reviews and testimonials, new listing notification emails, property anniversary e-cards, email-based newsletters, and postal mailing.

The most important thing is that you start doing something today. From there, you can continue to build a culture in your business, and with those that work with you or for you, either as an individual sales associate or as part of a company, office, or team leader.

If you are a Delta Media Group® client, here are four direct action items you should address from the perspective of a sales associate:

  1. Turn on the My Customer For LifeTM campaign for All Customers
  2. Go through and create a Property-Based Market Watch Report for all past clients
  3. Push the Market Watch Emails to all people showing an interest in different markets for buying and selling. Keep in mind that one customer can have multiple Market Watch Reports.
  4. Register your buyers for real-time New Listing Notification emails
May
25

Digital marketing might sound complicated, but it doesn't have to be.

Today's digital marketing is inbound, meaning it attracts leads the moment they are most in need of your services. With that in mind, every piece of online marketing you do should help your target buyers or sellers reach their goals. Understand this and you're halfway to success.

What can give digital marketing a feeling of complexity is the wide variety of techniques involved. However, it's not necessary to be everything to everyone. You can focus in on a smaller selection of marketing methods you perform consistently. Plus, real estate marketing automation lets you do more faster. When you dig a little deeper, you discover digital marketing can be easy.

Digital marketing approaches usually fall into one of two categories:

  • You can do them in a few minutes to make a little bit of progress every day; OR
  • They take a little bit longer, but offer long-term returns through higher visibility

Knowing that, marketing's dual nature becomes obvious: marketing itself is a marathon, but it can be broken down into a series of sprints. Those sprints, in turn, are easier to stick with and produce real results. As you gain more momentum, marketing develops into a series of habits.

Let's cut through the clutter and look at some effective digital marketing methods:

  • Accurate, Detailed Customer Profiles
    Every piece of marketing is "for" someone. Before you can even start working on a marketing campaign, you should zoom in on precisely who your ideal customer is. What are their pain points? What level have they reached in their career, education, and family goals? As you meet more clients, add more details to your customer profile. Soon, you will have a character who effectively represents most of your target audience.

  • A Modern Real Estate Website
    A website is imperative in any business these days, but it's especially important in real estate. The majority of your future customers will find you online, and the number of buyers who start their search that way is only growing. A real estate website needs to be visually compelling, simple to use, and designed for smartphone compatibility. From there, the sky's the limit on expressing your brand creatively through the digital medium.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    Your website is your foundation. Once you have it, you need to build! The way is Search Engine Optimization. SEO consists of a number of valuable best practices in website design, but the one real estate agents should know best is keyword research. Keywords reflect the actual search queries your future customers use. Knowing and using these phrases throughout your website and content elevates your search engine visibility.

  • Email Marketing Drip Campaigns
    Email marketing has the potential to deliver the highest ROI of any individual marketing tactic. To set up a drip campaign, you first entice visitors to join your email list – by offering them a local market report in exchange for their email, for example – then send helpful, informative email messages every week. This cultivates a long-term relationship and positions you as a trusted adviser. You can set it up in minutes through DeltaNet 6.

  • Blogging and Content Marketing
    Blogging every week may be the most powerful way to raise your online visibility and get noticed when people search for topics related to your expertise. Yes, every blog you write should be imbued with the right keywords, reflecting relevant, high-traffic search topics. Just as crucial is your ability to communicate actionable advice about navigating the real estate market tailor-made for the concerns in your customer profile.
  • Text Message Marketing
    Text message marketing for real estate has signs of being the next big thing. The average person reads more than 90% of all texts directed to them and is much more likely to respond to a text than an email. Since texting is a more personal form of communication, it lets you get into a real conversation with your leads. It's especially notable for its ability to warm up cold and lapsed leads, motivating them to move forward sooner.

  • Consistent, Relevant Social Media
    Social media stands apart from the rest. Many people imagine that to master it, they need to be everywhere at once. Not so with the right digital marketing automation tools. Facebook Connector and LinkedIn Connector allow you to update your social media instantly when newsworthy events happen: new listings, updates, open houses, and much more. You can get all the benefits of social media without scrolling your feed all day long!

Marketing has many moving parts — but with the right technology, most of them can "move" themselves.

Delta Media Group makes the best in marketing automation accessible to everyone, from solo entrepreneurs to nationwide brokerages. To learn more, contact us.

May
24

If you don't know anything about website and email domains, getting one set up can seem like a daunting task. However, the benefit of having one far outweighs the drawbacks, both in terms of the actual cost of the domain (usually) and the effort required to get it purchased and configured. I promise that it's not as difficult as it seems, and hopefully, this article will steer you in the right direction to get you started.

Before we get into the basics of how to buy and configure a domain, let's take a closer look at some of the benefits of owning and using one. First, ask yourself what's easiest to share with potential customers, and what's going to be easier for them to remember when they want to sit down and start searching for properties. Is it bobsmith.brokeragedomain.com or bobsmithrealestate.com? Not only is bobsmithrealestate.com going to be easier for most customers to remember, but since you can choose just about whatever you want for your domain (as long as nobody else chose it first), you can match it up to your brand to make it that much more memorable. Bob Smith, from our example, could double down on something like "Realtor Bob," have his website at realtorbob.com, and have his email as bob@ realtorbob.com. There might be some stipulations around using "realtor," but you get the idea.

The domain is the perfect way for you to solidify your brand while making yourself that much easier to reach.

That takes us to the next big benefit of having your own domain—hosted email. There's no debating the convenience of using Gmail or Yahoo for your email needs. However, as a matter of further cementing your brand and conveying the professionalism of your business, using an email account through your domain goes a long way. When communicating with someone about a transaction that is potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, wouldn't you feel more comfortable sending emails to bob@bobsmithrealestate.com instead of bobtherealtor@gmail.com?

Depending on the email host you go with, your hosted email account may include a myriad of other features and functionality as well. Office 365, for example, can come with the online version of the Microsoft Office suite. Google can provide hosted email as part of their Google Workspace product that includes numerous collaboration and calendar functionality along with the email account.

There's something to be said for the potential SEO benefit as well. Having a dedicated domain name pointed to your website ensures that all of your website's content is credited to it. This improves the strength of your domain and your brand and can even improve your website's search engine ranking. By itself, just having a domain name attached to your site isn't going to be enough to get you to the top of the search results, but it's a step in the right direction.

Many of the benefits of having a domain aren't just about having one, though. What domain you choose is also very important. Remember that this is about having something easy to remember, easy to type, and something that demonstrates your brand. It's not about trying to predict what customers in your market will search for and buying a domain to match. For example, if you have Bob Smith Realty on your website, logo, and signage, a good domain would be bobsmithrealty.com. If Bob Smith primarily works in the Roslyn, New York market, he might be tempted to buy domains like roslynpropertiesforsale.com and roslynnewyorkrealestate.com. Not only are those too general to be associated with him, but domains aren't search engines. A customer would need to remember that domain and type it in exactly to get to Bob's website. Just searching Google for "Roslyn properties for sale" likely won't have a greater chance of returning Bob's website simply because he has those domains attached to it. Also, since something so general is actually harder for a customer to remember, domains like this will often have the opposite effect from what you were hoping for when you bought it.

When it comes to getting your own domain and attaching it to your website, we make it easy to do through the DeltaNETTM. You'll find a "Purchase / Manage Domains" button on the domain settings page. If you just click that button and follow the instructions to search for and ultimately purchase a domain, the system will do all of the configurations for you. Once you've completed the steps, your new domain will already be set up with an HTTPS security certificate attached and be going to your website.

As far as adding hosted email to that domain or purchasing a domain through a third-party registrar and attaching it to your website, every registrar and email host has an interface that's a little different. This prevents me from being able to give you clear, step by step, instructions. However, I'll lay out the basics.

Both Delta Media Group's® support (assuming you're a Delta client) and the support available through the third-party domain registrar or email host of your choosing will be able to help you with the specifics. The basics of buying a domain come down to going to the registrar of your choice (GoDaddy is currently the most popular, but NameCheap and Network Solutions are others), searching for the domain you want, then following their instructions to purchase it. You can then add it to our system by clicking the "Setup a Domain I Own" button on the domain settings page in the DeltaNET and following the instructions. It will have you add a verification record to your domain, thereby proving to our system that you do own the domain in question, and then have you change your domain's name servers so that we can direct it to your website.

I realize that all sounds very intimidating, but when it really comes down to it, our system will tell you what to do with the domain, and you can then contact your registrar with those instructions. They'll either walk you through the changes or make them for you.

Adding hosted email is a very similar process. You start by choosing the hosted email provider that you want to go with. There are a lot of different hosts out there that offer email accounts at different pricing and with different features, so go with whatever fits you best. A few suggestions would be Google Workspace, Office 365, or Rackspace.

Once you've set up your account at the email host of your choosing, by following their instructions, they will provide you with some DNS records. Assuming your domain is already all set up in our system as per the general directions above, you'll just need to go back to that domain settings page in the DeltaNET, click on the Manage DNS button for the domain you're adding email to, then enter the records that your email host provided. Not everyone is comfortable manipulating DNS records, so that is exactly why our support team is available to help you with any trouble or if you're just worried about breaking something.

The best part of the whole process is that it generally just works once it's done. As long as your billing information stays up to date so that the domain and email hosting accounts can auto-renew, you'll likely never have to touch it again. At that point, your business will have all of the benefits of its own domain: practical benefits like search ranking and marketing, as well as some intangible benefits through the increased professionalism of having your own domain and domain-hosted email. Because there's just something about getting an email at myaccount@ myowndomain.com that makes a business feel more official.

May
20

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 93 percent of real estate clients from all generations rely on real estate websites as a primary source of information when buying or selling a home. How does your real estate website stack up to the competition? In order to capitalize on the immense online interest in all things real estate, there are some essential features that every real estate website should have. With the right mix of features, content, and smart design, you can turn your website into a constant, reliable source of leads for your real estate business.

  • Responsive Mobile Design
    One more interesting statistic from the NAR: 76 percent of all buyers found their next home using a mobile device. And that number is even higher for Millenial and Gen X home buyers. So if you want to maximize the potential of your real estate website, it needs to look and function as great on mobile devices as it does on bigger screens. Responsive mobile design allows your website to scale to any screen size and makes it easy for website visitors to access key features on any device.

  • IDX Listing Integration and Convenient Search Filters
    While many website features pique visitors' interest, the number one reason most people visit real estate websites is to search for listings that match their needs. So IDX listing integration is absolutely essential for any real estate website. It's also important to make sure that people can filter their search based on the features they want in a home to easily fall in love with homes that match their needs.

  • Informative Real Estate Content
    Informative, educational real estate content is key to informing website visitors, demonstrating your expertise, and showing them why you're the right choice for their real estate needs. Whether you maintain a real estate blog, post video content on a reliable schedule, put together information-rich infographics, or ideally all of the above, your content provides a window into what potential clients can expect from your real estate business. Clients especially appreciate content that answers real estate questions, helps them overcome challenges, and dives deep into what buyers can expect when purchasing homes in the markets where you do business.

  • Social Proof and Social Media Integration
    Social proof is one of the best ways to turn website visitors into clients by showing them exactly why your current clients love your real estate business. Featuring testimonials from current clients is a great way to showcase what you have to offer and show prospects the quality of service they can expect when choosing you for their real estate needs. It's also important to make it easy to find all of your social media feeds so people can seamlessly connect and engage with your business on their favorite social media platforms.

  • Neighborhood Guides for Home Shoppers
    While making it easy to search for homes is a great start, it's also crucial to help buyers learn more about the neighborhoods where those homes are located. Neighborhood guides are a great way to help buyers get acquainted with your neighborhoods while finding locations with the attractions, services, amenities, and characteristics that match their needs. Your blog posts and video content are also great places to go deeper into what local neighborhoods have to offer by highlighting local attractions, dining destinations, traditions, events, and anything else interesting about those neighborhoods.

  • Lead Capture, Calls to Action, and Subscription Forms
    With great content, IDX integration, responsive design, and social proof, you already have many of the ingredients that will help turn curious website visitors into strong leads for your business. Now it's time to capitalize on all of those important features by capturing leads and encouraging website visitors to take the next step. It's important to include calls to action throughout your website that encourage people to take that next step, add forms that make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your newsletters, and provide incentives for them to learn more about what you have to offer.

  • Uncluttered Layout and Intuitive Navigation
    All of the great features on a website are only valuable if visitors can easily find them. Making it easy to find everything will also encourage them to stick around on your website for longer periods of time. Avoid cluttering any one page with too much information, and make sure that visitors can easily, intuitively navigate all of the features that your website offers.

While there are essential features that every real estate website should have, there are also many different ways to customize your website within that framework. With the right mix of features and design, your website can be a major asset for your brand. Contact us today to learn how to make the most of your website.

May
19

We talk about CRM's every single day in our business. The importance of using one, how to clean up contacts, the benefit of email marketing strategies. Having automations empowering your business with tools like our Social Media Connector for automated posts running to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can make your entire business life easier. What I wanted to share today is how to actually utilize that type of software in ways that will deliver even more tangible results.

One of my largest responsibilities at Delta Media Group® is conducting enterprise-level outbound sales prospecting to find partners to utilize our software. Many people don't know this, but I personally use the DeltaNETTM 6 CRM software in my business every single day, and I'm not a real estate agent. Taking the time to truly USE our product in ways that many of our clients would has been enlightening for me, as I have now discovered real-world applications on how any sales associate could use our platform to find new business opportunities. At the end of the day, real estate agents who make a career out of helping people complete the biggest transaction of their lives are ultimately still salespeople.

Before you can accurately use any CRM, you need to have data in it first. Ironically, I believe this is typically the biggest hurdle that you have to clear to use any CRM. So many real estate agents I've trained and worked with have lists and lists of data. Still, it's nearly unusable to them because of how outdated the information is or the sheer amount of duplicate contacts in their database. Bad data leads to a bad experience for everyone. When you start using any CRM, you need to decide how you would like to load contacts into the platform — uploading those contacts one by one or by uploading the database files and cleaning them up manually.

One of the most useful tools I've found which helped me get started using our CRM platform was DeltaNET's "Merge Contacts" and "Clean Up Customers" tools. It allowed me to have duplicate contacts in my database import quickly flagged, so I could decide which contacts I wanted to keep in the system and which contacts I needed to delete and start fresh with. Any CRM that has tools to help you get your database clean is going to be a necessity to accurately use it for outbound prospecting efforts.

We also have an incredible feature at Delta Media Group that helps make this process even easier for real estate agents. It's a dynamic AI-driven Newsletter tool called "My Customer For Life." This tool takes all the hassle out of an agent needing to manually segment and clean out their list of contacts by tracking the interests of the customers that are receiving an agent's automated newsletter. Here's an example of how it works.

Let's say that I'm a contact that exists inside the database of my agent Charles Copeland. Charles has his automated newsletter set up to run to ALL of his contacts on a bi-weekly basis. So the first time I receive the newsletter from Charles, it contains three articles of content. One buyer article, one seller article, and one home improvement article. If I'm someone curious about selling my home, I might click on that seller article. DeltaNET tracks that click. So two weeks later, when I get Charles' following newsletter, it will now show me two seller articles, along with the other categories of content. Suppose I click on a seller article two newsletters in a row. In that case, the DeltaNET now as- signs me a label of "potential seller," and the newsletters coming from Charles will predominately contain seller content as that is the type of content I was engaging with.

On the agent end of this experience, I have newsletters with great content running every two weeks. It helps segment and build my customer groups (like buyers, sellers, current homeowners) without ever lifting a finger. We're giving the clients content they care about and helping sort and filter ALL of an agent's contacts using this great tool. One last thought to share on My Customer For Life — the agent never needs to worry about adding new content to their newsletter, either. Our marketing team at Delta adds 12 fresh newsletter articles every month to the platform. To date, we have over 650 articles inside of our platform, and that number will only continue to grow!

So now we've got some contacts in our CRM. This is when you can start to get more tactical with your marketing and prospecting strategies. Any CRM worth using will have an "email blast" or "bulk email" feature that allows you to send bursts of emails to hundreds, or thousands, of customers at once.

Let me share an example of how I use this kind of tool in the DeltaNET, and how I've seen real estate agents directly use the same tactic to generate interest in finding new listing opportunities.

In my personal DeltaNET 6 CRM, I've imported thousands of real estate professionals' contacts that I have curated and built over the last six years. These contacts are sorted into groups like "Independent brokerage owners" or "Current Delta Media Group Clients." Something I do in my sales strategies is craft an email that can run to all of my prospects each month. It might be an email talking about a new promotion we're running, or a new product launch, or even the latest REMT magazine issue. I build a great-looking email and schedule it to run on a specific date and time (I've found Tuesday mornings have the best open and click-thru rate for me). I run an email blast to over 4,000 contacts on Tuesday morning, and then I wait.

Wednesday morning rolls around, and I can now go back into the DeltaNET and look at a history of all of the email blasts I've run through the system. If you open up the history of an email you previously sent, you're greeted by a prompt showing you the total number of emails sent, how many were opened, and how many were clicked on. Personally, I then take all of the customers who clicked on one of my emails and put them into a new group that I'll use for dedicated prospecting over the next week. I've essentially used an email blast to find out who is paying attention to my emails and who was interested enough to click on one. For anyone who clicked through my email...they're now on my cold call list!

Finally, let's connect the dots on how to use this in a real estate setting. Let's say you're looking for a way to pick up new listings. You can send an email blast to all of your active clients with information that might give you a clue if they're interested in listing their home anytime soon. Perhaps plug in something related to historically low mortgage rates. Or new communities that are being built/developed in markets you service. Once you have a solid topic, send that email blast to all of your clients and come back the next day to get a list of clients who opened or clicked on your email. It's building you a list of warm prospects that you can follow up with because you know they saw or interacted with your content!

If you'd like to find more great tips on using CRM tools in your business, please like us on Facebook and YouTube, where we regularly share these types of stories and strategies!

May
18

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May
18

The central challenge of real estate marketing is serving more people without losing the human touch.

Many real estate agents are solo performers. As their business scales up, increasing headcount isn't an option. Instead, they need to find ways to utilize their resources more efficiently. The most cost-effective approach in modern real estate is automation, especially digital marketing automation.

And automation isn't only for one-agent shows.

Teams of any size can achieve more by taking a hands-off approach to repetitious but necessary tasks. That's indispensable to having more time and energy for what really matters. By accelerating what you can achieve in one day, you are prevented from falling into the trap of working ever-increasing hours as business grows.

In other words, real estate marketing automation is the key to work-life balance. It's also one of the most versatile assets you can have at your disposal.

Real Estate Marketing Automation Helps Your Business Scale Effortlessly

If more real estate marketing meant you had to "turn the crank" more every day, the result would be a disaster:

  • Some real estate agents would end up working themselves to exhaustion doing more over time
  • Others would make marketing a secondary priority that would almost never get into a schedule

But marketing is a crucial part of growing your presence in the community. Without it, you can easily end up chasing referrals for years to come. The alternative is building a steady stream of leads that will find their way to your website at the precise moment they're most interested in what you have to offer.

In effect, automated real estate marketing plants seeds that come to fruition over time to enhance your results.

Let's look at some of the most significant ways it can change your work life for the better:

  • Social Media Automation
    Across all industries, real estate professionals are some of the most active contributors to social media. Posting every day is essential to raising your visibility, but it can also cost you hours of your day. Trigger-based social media automation allows you to instantly update your accounts when you have a new listing, listing change, a showing, or other event. Facebook Connector and LinkedIn Connector make it easy.

  • Automated Email Drip Campaigns
    As the housing market ebbs and flows, it can close the taps on leads who might have been inches from reaching out to you. How can you stay in touch in the weeks and months it might take them to make a decision — and make sure you're the agent they finally choose? Helpful, informative content released in an automated "drip" email campaign positions you as a trusted advisor. DeltaNET 6 is your center of excellence for automated email.

  • Text Message Marketing
    Text messaging has the potential to be more responsive and more personal than virtually any other option. It lets you get into fast-moving conversations where you can build genuine insight into your leads and customers. Open rates for text message marketing are through the roof, and it might take only a few minutes to spark a genuine rapport with someone who has just expressed interest in what you can do for them.

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
    Do you know where each of your leads stands in the buyer journey? Do you know exactly what's next for every single one of your customers? Keeping track can task your memory to the breaking point, but exceptional customer care depends on it. Delta Media Group's all-in-one real estate solution takes the heavy lifting off your shoulders. It ties in with all your other tools, so you always have the most accurate information available. Orchestrating follow-up is a snap!

  • Content Marketing
    Content marketing helps you capture preferential positions in online searches related to your business. Whether you work predominantly with buyers or sellers, Millennials or Empty Nesters, content marketing reduces friction by answering leads' burning questions. My Customer for Life newsletters combine the best of blogging and email marketing, ensuring leads will actually look forward to reading your emails.

  • Market Reports
    It can take days or even weeks to manually compile an overview of your local real estate market, and in that time, so much can change! Market Watch Reports are branded reports that make it easier for your clients to make informed decisions. They can be generated in minutes and are always up to date. Sellers are especially eager to see the impact of their campaign, so Seller Reports are the answer built right into DeltaNET 6.

Real Estate Marketing Automation Is a True Game-Changer

If you're not using real estate marketing automation, you could end up working morning through night and still falling behind. Luckily, the best automation technology — especially for real estate — is within your reach. Contact us to learn more and get started today.

May
13

Few industries changed as much or as quickly as real estate at the outset of the pandemic.

Working together, real estate professionals from all walks of life were able to re-imagine traditional approaches. The drive to improve safety for colleagues and clients alike has had a tremendous impact. What started out as a matter of necessity has given rise to innovations like digital showings, poised to redefine business as usual.

With vaccinations increasing fast, real estate professionals will soon find themselves with the opportunity to return to something like "normal." But precisely what awaits in the future is a matter of considerable debate.

Real estate has been one of the biggest bright spots in a pandemic-battered economy. While nobody can see the future, the general outlines of what tomorrow's real estate market might look like are fast becoming clear.

Here's what to expect from real estate after COVID:

  • Bankruptcies and Foreclosures Influence Housing Stock
    Mortgage-holders and renters alike have benefited from several moratoriums to help them weather the effects of the pandemic. With those protections slated to wind down, bankruptcy filings are likely to increase sharply. Real estate professionals should brush up on the expectations around short sales and bank-owned properties.

  • Mortgage Rates Increase After Long-Term Record Low
    Mortgage rates have had a historic low streak, enabling millions of Americans who might otherwise have waited to enter the housing market. Rate increases are inevitable, which will shut out some would-be buyers. Still, it may be a long time before rates rise dramatically and restructure the availability of financing.

  • Millennial Buyers Will Continue to Drive High Demand
    Robust demand has been one of the engines behind real estate's standout success in 2020. Millennial buyers make up an expanding share of homebuyers, and they will continue to be alert for market opportunities. The younger cohort is aging into homeownership while many elders make strong progress on savings and debt.

  • A Proposed Tax Credit Is a Powerful Wildcard
    Congress is now considering legislation known as the First-Time Homebuyer Act. If it becomes law, this bill will provide a tax credit for first-time homebuyers equal to 10% of the property's purchase price, up to $15,000. The bill is targeted to lower and middle-income individuals and families.

  • Down Payment Assistance May Be Coming, Too
    Separate legislation is in the works that may make down payments more attainable, too. First-time, first-generation buyers could qualify for substantial down payment assistance in the form of a grant at closing. Both bills will expect a buyer to use the qualifying property as a primary residence.

  • Millions of Renters May Still Become Buyers
    The cumulative effect of the two legislative proposals on the housing market suggests more than nine million people may still seize the opportunity to buy their first home. Demand is expected to vastly outstrip supply, creating intense competition in the most desirable housing markets around the country.

  • Video and Virtual Tours Will Remain Common
    In 2018 and 2019, video was already seeing massive growth in popularity for real estate marketing. Now, buyers and sellers alike are accustomed to video in the form of digital open houses and tours. Their convenience, along with the ability for buyers to stretch their search into a wider radius, mean these trends are here to stay.

  • Brace Yourself for the "Big Box" Model of Real Estate
    Large digital brands are consolidating their influence over buyers and sellers and extending their operations into more areas of real estate. They will continue to press for a less personal and more homogeneous real estate experience that prizes volume over value — deep local expertise is the antidote.

An Exciting New Era of Change Awaits Real Estate After the Pandemic

Just as they discovered opportunity in the midst of tragedy, real estate agents and brokers have a vital role to play in tomorrow's economic resurgence. In late 2021 and beyond, real estate could grow from an isolated success story to a bellwether of future prosperity for a great recovery.

Whatever changes, one thing is sure to remain the same: the importance of digital marketing.

Real estate agents who spend time implementing and learning marketing automation technologies now will be more resilient against the unknowns of the future. Done right, your real estate website can become a lead engine that informs, educates, coaches, and qualifies leads — bringing them to your door when they are ready.

A strong lead pipeline will help agents maintain their independence and strengthen relationships in the community, essential considerations as large digital-first brands and speculators seek to transform real estate to their advantage. Your digital marketing highlights your unique skills and perspective, which are irreplaceable.

To learn more about the future of real estate digital marketing, contact us at Delta Media Group today.

May
12

Facebook is the most powerful social media platform for real estate agents, bar none.

Why Facebook? As the real estate industry embraces digital marketing, it has become the #1 resource for building and maintaining long-term relationships. Twitter can be good for prospecting, LinkedIn is a gateway to luxury buyers, but nothing beats Facebook's overall utility. With nearly 2.4 billion monthly active users, including approximately 255 million in the United States and Canada, Facebook is still the go-to social media site for most people.

Facebook also owns the photography-focused platform Instagram, a natural fit for real estate agents and brokers. If you master Facebook, you'll have an easier time maximizing Instagram. Many of the core features are similar, so it's almost like learning two different networks at once.

Among the younger generation of real estate agents, many careers started with creating a Facebook page.

Of course, most established agents and brands have also set up a Facebook business page. But what comes after that? All too many real estate pros haven't taken the opportunity to get hands-on with their account. And even if you use Facebook regularly, there are always ways to get more momentum from it.

Facebook has evolved quickly over the last few years, and even experts don't always use it to the best of their ability. So, as the real estate market revs up for its post-pandemic bounce, now's the ideal time to take a second look at your social media strategy.

Start by Tweaking Your Facebook Fundamentals

Every social media network has profile elements you have to fill out to be taken seriously. Not having these is the equivalent of trying to sell homes while looking like the generic Twitter egg.

However, once you set up all the different facets of your profile, it's a good idea to revisit and see how they reflect you now.

Your headshot makes a vital first impression. It should convey confidence and professionalism, laying a solid foundation for trust. A high-quality, well-lit photo is essential. And it should be current: Even though there's no deceit involved, an image that's more than five years old can still smack of the old dating profile switcharoo.

Your unique value proposition also comes through in the copy that accompanies your profile images. That includes both the plain text on the page and the cover image, where you can include your brand name, slogan, and a call to action. It's a great idea to showcase recent events or time-sensitive offers in your header, too.

Ensure your text makes these points crystal clear:

• What you do
• Who you do it for
• What makes you different

No one can be all things to all people, so give your ideal client something to connect with right away. Your Facebook page is the perfect place to publicize lead magnets, such as detailed local real estate market reports.

Last but not least, be sure your Facebook page reflects your values: That is, the why behind what you do. When clients choose between two businesses that look similar to them, the one with values that resonate is usually the one they contact first. That's equally true for both large agencies and one-person operations.

Consider an Interactive Cover Image
Facebook has recently expanded the types of cover images you can choose from.

In addition to the static cover images of yore, you can also design a video or slideshow cover.

To qualify, your pre-recorded video must be:

• At least 820x312
• Under 91 seconds long
• A maximum of 1080p
• In MP4 or MOV format
• Less than 1.75 gigabytes

Music and other audio are allowed, but all videos start with the sound turned off. Users will have to click on your video to un-mute it, and many won't, even if they are interested in your message. With that in mind, aim to communicate without the need for audio. If you include dialogue, use subtitles.

Video covers are effective because the majority of people browse Facebook on their phone. Videos are the most popular content on mobile devices: They can be consumed quickly and are far more memorable than plain text. Still, there's another visual option that's easier to set up on your page.

To create a slideshow cover, all you need is a few beautiful, branded photos saved to a folder on your computer. Click the camera icon that appears on the upper left corner of your cover image, then upload your files in the exact order you would like people to see them. Voila – your new cover is ready.

Technically, what Facebook offers is a "slider," not a "slideshow." Users will need to manually click through the images to view them. Still, you might be surprised just how many people do so, whether they're visiting your Facebook page on mobile or desktop. Make sure your shots are enticing!

Add an Interactive Call to Action Button
Many people write out a text-based call to action on their cover image, but Facebook has a built-in solution that may be more elegant. As you edit your page, you'll find "Add a Button" on the top right. This brings up a selection of targeted CTA buttons you can choose from, like "Schedule an Appointment."

Name Your Page
With a custom username, you can give your Facebook page a short, branded URL that visitors are more likely to remember. From your main business page interface, you'll find the "Create @username" option below your page's name. A short, catchy name that fits with your current branding is your best bet.

Set Up Your Facebook Messenger Auto-Reply
Facebook has big plans for Messenger as a primary point of contact between businesses and users. Messenger is being integrated across Facebook's digital properties on a variety of levels, and it can help you make a strong impression even when you're not around. One powerful way to use it is Auto-Reply.

An Auto-Reply response can be directed to anyone who sends you a Facebook message from your page. In your "Manage Page" column, click on "Inbox," then "automated responses." In the right column, you'll see an option that says "Instant reply." Click the "edit" tag under this header and write your desired message.

Configure Your Notifications
If Facebook is a cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy, you'll want to optimize it to be highly responsive to activity on your page. Facebook provides options to receive a notification any time someone "likes" your page, makes a comment, or posts a question. Notifications can be in-app or issued to you as texts.

At the left of your screen, find the "Manage Page" bar. From there, click on "Settings," then "Notifications." Select the option to get a notification any time there is activity on your brand page. Then, scroll down and pick text messaging as your preferred notification style to help you avoid notification clutter.

Use Automation to Keep Your Facebook Page Active and Engaging
You have a lot of information to share — but you probably don't have hours to update your page!

Facebook automation is the answer. With a social media automation tool like Face- book Connector, you can easily configure instant, event-based updates. That means new listings, important property updates, and open house announcements will appear right on your Facebook page as they happen. DeltaNET® 6 users can also take Facebook to the next level with automation through the platform.

Combine automation with these other crucial tweaks, and you're on your way to unlocking the full value of Facebook. From first impressions to closing day, your Facebook page can be one of your most versatile tools.

May
12

With the anniversary of the first shelter-in-place orders in our rearview mirror, it's

fair to acknowledge that motivation can be hard to come by sometimes. As a team leader in real estate, there are many things out there you can't always control. That fact can seem overwhelming at times like these, but in the last year, you've done your best to stay afloat amongst the current of constant change.

The key to maintaining that success? Staying focused on what's in your zone of influence.

Odds are good your team members are still navigating plenty of stress and uncertainty. It's more vital than ever to leverage relationships and understand what motivates the people around you. When you deeply understand each person's mindset, it gives your entire team a winning edge.

Delving into motivations means you can:

• Help others reach their full potential even when you have limited resources to shape behavior

• Offset the effects of issues outside of your control, like the overarching trends in your market

Business leaders have long known cash compensation isn't the only thing that gets people out of bed in the morning. Although real estate has its share of those who aspire to reach "top earner" status, you'll find diverse motivations within any team. And in a sense, this is no surprise. After all, real estate is one of the most popular second careers.

Drives Leaders Can Use to Keep Teams Motivated

Think about one of your teammates. Got someone specific in mind? Good. Imagine he or she has the chance to earn a big promotion. Just one upcoming project will determine who gets the new role, and your teammate is already being seen as a strong contender. As they think about the promotion, what pops into their mind first?

  • The satisfaction of knowing they have done genuinely excellent work?
  • The opportunity to enjoy a larger salary and higher commissions?
  • The chance to lead, exercise influence, and tackle big problems?
  • Helping more clients achieve their dreams through real estate?
  • Gaining perspective that allows them to hone their skills more?

All five of these represent different drives that mold each person's character in particular ways. Someone driven most by a desire for achievement may see real estate – and the specific skills that foster success – as a craft to be improved "for its own sake," or to continuously outdo their personal best, rather than for material rewards.

On the other hand, someone who is driven by bonding and social impact may look at real estate as a way to make a positive difference in the community. Such a person might also feel strongly about contributing to the team as a mentor or even to the entire industry as a leader.

This doesn't mean, however, that anyone is "ruled" solely by a single influence, as in a horoscope.

Everyone is a blend of multiple influences, and the most prominent ones can change over time. Everything from a person's stage in life to the current state of their real estate market could cause some- one's motivations to evolve.

However, most people have particular motivations they remain centered in most of the time or come back to again and again. These reflect temperament and core values and rarely change radically. Because they are so consistent over time, a team can flourish when each drive is represented in the workplace.

Here are some ways to use these core drives to keep your team's motivation high:

Achievement
Celebrate Individual and Team Successes
Achievement is validated by social recognition. Stay aware of what team members are doing and find ways to show appreciation. This may take the form of a one-on-one congratulations, a brief shout-out in a group meeting, or a note in your team's usual email newsletter or chat channel.

Establish Group-Wide Opportunities to Excel
If you're tracking KPIs, you know what's critical to success. But have you designed exciting opportunities for achievement-minded people to reach for the brass ring? Think about how you can take the old-fashioned idea of "Employee of the Month" and make it truly suitable for your team!

Incentive
Come Up With Creative Bonuses
Cash isn't always the best way to engage an incentive-minded person. It's much easier to tell a story and build excitement around something like a vacation than a one-time bonus. Creative incentives often cost less and inspire better results because they serve as something amazing to look forward to.

Introduce New Office Perks
Employee benefits are integral to any incentive-based worker's thought process. But perks must be helpful to your team to make a difference. Tech start-ups may love foosball in the break room, but how would your team feel? What can you offer now or acquire at a discount that would make everyone's day better?

Influence
Offer Team Members "Stretch" Projects
People who are focused on influence – sometimes thought of as "power" – feel a deep need to produce results when they are in the spotlight. They are all about tackling big problems, so be sure they have something that's at least a little bit outside their comfort zone that they can use to stretch their leadership.

Embrace Real Estate Automation
On the flip side, someone who is already fully booked up can't stretch. That can lead to boredom and burnout for the in- fluence-seeker. Now's the perfect time to look at your technology stack and see what common day-to-day processes you can automate, leaving your team more time to shoot for the stars.

Social
Sponsor a "Zoom Happy Hour"
Zoom happy hour is a new way to bring social bonding into the videoconferencing era. While some people may dodge optional Zoom socializing, it can be a welcome lifesaver for those who miss water cooler conversations. The event also serves as valuable bonding time by incorporating music and party games, such as trivia quizzes about colleagues.

Take Advantage of  Virtual Convention Season
Most agencies still have a limited number of people who are vaccinated. With that in mind, the 2021 convention season will stay largely virtual. Despite the distance, a virtual event is rich with networking opportunities, and your most social team members can bring back wisdom from around the country.

Competence
Open the Way to Mentor-Mentee Relationships
Mentorship creates a powerful reciprocal relationship that keeps someone "in the loop" and connected to the group – especially crucial in isolating situations. For those who pursue achievement, it has the bonus of smoothing the path to note-worthy successes. The mentee can learn faster and avoid "reinventing the wheel."

Make Sure Everyone Is Getting Useful Feedback
A proactive approach to talent development keeps competence-minded people moving forward even when the long-term outlook is clouded by ambiguity. Create venues for feedback, whether regular 1-on-1 meetings or Zoom "office hours," and be sure each team member knows which skills he or she should work on.

In any new situation, teams thrive when they adapt quickly and wholeheartedly. Use these techniques to connect with the deep wellspring of motivation inside your team members so they can continue to work together and support each other more effectively, no matter what the future may bring.

May
11

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May
11

The valuation of a home is essential to buyers and sellers alike. A property's valuation determines its taxes, influences insurance rates, and plays the biggest role in capping how much even the best-qualified buyers may borrow. For smooth financing, the valuation of a home must be established well in advance — and above all, it must be accurate.

In the past, it wasn't unusual for a professional appraiser to spend dozens of hours working on a single report. Sophisticated valuation processes apply to residential and commercial properties and must consider dozens of factors describing the market and neighborhood.

Sound valuation isn't just about today; it's also an informed projection of a property's future state. This is why, for example, home inspections that turn up problems with plumbing or wiring can have a devastating impact on the appraised value of the home and its financing until the problem is resolved.

Real estate agents are most familiar with the sales comparison method of property valuation. Here, the value of a property is determined with reference to similar local properties that sold recently. Depending on a home's amenities, it may be priced higher or slightly lower than the average.

In 2020, Delta Media Group made it easier than ever for brokerages to provide accurate and informative market intelligence to their clients. Our Recently Sold map enables would-be sellers to get an instant sense of relevant activity in their local market, helping them make informed decisions.

This map tool is part of our AVM (Automated Valuation Model) toolkit, a crucial feature in DeltaNET 6. AVM allows you to quickly and accurately determine property values — all while appealing to the natural curiosity sellers feel as they start to examine the market.

With new AI-driven features, this all-in-one valuation center of excellence is getting better and better.

Delta's AVM Platform Empowers You to Connect and Inform

Word-of-mouth and Fear of Missing Out are often major factors when sellers first start to explore the market. But anecdotes from friends and neighbors can lead them in the wrong direction. They need a clear picture of what's truly happening in their area — and a real estate expert like you to provide it.

Not that long ago, a relatively simple sales comparison in one neighborhood would take days: finding "comps," getting recent sales information, eliminating outliers, and more. With AVM, you can go beyond, harnessing the power of a machine learning engine that seamlessly examines thousands of data points.

Yes, thousands!

Delta Media Group's AVM Platform strives to be the most powerful in the real estate industry, putting you on an even footing with your large, established competitors. Our AVM Platform redefines the game with information your current and future customers can trust, direct from you as their local real estate expert.

In response to the pandemic, we've added features and expanded the most popular ones:

  • More User-Friendly Interface
    The easier a piece of technology is to use, the more benefit you'll get from it. Using feedback from professionals like you, we refined the AVM report for superior scannability and data curation. You'll easily see residential market trends at a glance, including average property asking price.

  • Hyper-Specific Market Data
    Your local insight is what differentiates you as a real estate expert. Our AVM Market Conditions section gives you all the deep details that once took days to uncover: active listings, average days on the market, closed sales, and months of supply. You'll never miss a beat in your neighborhood.

  • Constantly Evolving AVM Response
    Ours is the only AVM artificial intelligence tool on the market that's always growing and improving. Every time there's a sale, purchase, or listing update of any kind, it learns more and more. This groundbreaking AI is truly self-learning, so you can pass on the most useful advice to your clients.

  • Complete Workflow Integration
    We've re-engineered how the AVM process works behind the scenes to ensure a fully integrated experience for the most common real estate workflows. In particular, we have upgraded our AVM to deliver unbeatable results when used in conjunction with DeltaNET 6's robust comparative market analysis capabilities.

  • Excellence at Lower Costs
    If your goal is to reduce redundancies and save money on third-party providers, the DeltaNET 6 AVM is the right move for you. Our tools are aligned with your business requirements, allowing individuals and teams to do more than ever before without adding overhead.

The real estate market moves fast, and a comparative analysis process that takes days could give sellers the wrong impression. With the DeltaNET 6 AVM, you and your clients will always have the best, most accurate, and most comprehensive real estate data for all your pricing needs.

Contact us today to find out more or get started.

May
10

We've all come a long way with Zoom and other tech tools over the last year-

plus, but that doesn't mean that the new normal feels much like the old one. Zoom Gloom and tech-tool fatigue are natural phenomena as video calls and long hours spent staring at a screen become the common theme of our day-to-day work lives. These

challenges are shared experiences that resonate across industries, real estate included.

Fortunately, shared challenges also lead to shared solutions, as companies and individuals continue to adapt to a world where so much business happens remotely.

Battling Zoom Gloom and Other Tech-Tool Fatigue

Zoom Gloom can be caused by a wide variety of psychological and practical factors. Remember those good, old-fashioned in-person meetings, where your

mind might occasionally drift for a few minutes before you continued paying attention? As it turns out, those moments actually have real value for our brains, al- lowing us to avoid becoming overloaded with information and retain more details once we refocus.

On a video call, we all feel a natural urge to look like we're focused on the meeting

at all times. We're thinking about what we look like on camera, what other people look like, what's in their background, and what's going on around us in the household — all while trying to stay focused on the task at hand. We don't have the option of asking the person next to us if we missed something, and finding moments to ask questions during a busy call can be a challenging task.

Add it all up, and it's easy to see why a day filled with video calls can leave any of us feeling drained. We feel like we have to be on at every moment, all while dealing with whatever is going on off-camera with our families, pets, and homes. It's a lot for our brains to handle, but we're all learning to adapt. It helps to remember that we're all going through a similar experience and some of the most practical solutions for battling tech-tool fatigue de- pend on first acknowledging that fact.

It's Okay to Give Your Brain a Break

The common urge to look like we're paying 100% attention at all times without exception is one of the biggest reasons for Zoom Gloom. So it helps to acknowledge that it's okay to look away, even when you're on camera. Giving yourself a momentary break from looking at the faces, screens, and backgrounds of everyone in the meeting can help your brain recharge. It's something that we all do in traditional meetings, and anyone who's been in a few virtual meetings will understand if you need to take your eyes off the screen to allow your brain to regroup.

If you're planning a virtual meeting or video call, it can also be helpful to establish that only the person who's talking needs to have video enabled. Reducing the number of backgrounds and faces on the screen can help everyone in the meeting focus more easily while reducing mental fatigue.

Leave the Multitasking for Later

We've all become experts at multitasking over the course of the past year-plus, and when working from home, sometimes the need to multitask is unavoidable. How- ever, it's best to keep multitasking to a minimum whenever possible while busy with a video call. Try to find a quiet room of the house, and avoid working on other projects while engaged with a call. Staying focused on that singular task makes it easier to retain information, and fewer distractions also means less stress during video calls.

Limit the Stimuli on Your Screen

What are a few browser tabs between friends? While it's tempting to keep all of your tabs open, glance at Slack, or manage your email inbox during a video call, all of that extra visual stimulation can lead to increased stress. Keeping unnecessary stimuli to a minimum makes it easier to focus, and those tabs will still be waiting for you when the meeting or call is over.

If you're leading a meeting, encourage participants to use plain, calming backgrounds. The stimuli of a busy room with books on shelves and decorations all around can be a real distraction, especially when there are many people in a meeting who each have their own unique background.

Take Breaks Throughout the Day to Refresh

In a typical workday, there are built-in times when you take a break from screens to talk to colleagues, walk around the office, or gaze out the window for a few minutes. Remember that it's okay to give yourself a break at home, too! Setting a timer can provide a helpful reminder to get up, stretch, and take a quick stroll outside. Those breaks are a great way to manage stress while giving your eyes and brain a little rest from screens.

Use Email or Traditional Phone Calls When Possible

If you have a one-on-one meeting, an appointment with a client, or a quick question to ask a colleague, it's valuable to remember that not every interaction has to happen on a video call. When possible, try to use regular phone calls for one-on-one conversations and email or messaging apps for quicker conversations that don't require a call. Even switching one or two interactions a day away from video can provide a welcome break for your brain and help reduce fatigue. It doesn't hurt to ask, and chances are the person you're interacting with will appreciate having a break from video, as well.

Schedule a "No Screen Time" Hour After Work

Just like it's helpful to take small breaks throughout the day, it's also wise to give yourself a break from screens after you're done working. So before you fire up your favorite streaming service or hop on social media after work, block out an hour or so with no screen time. Spend some time with family, enjoy some outdoor re- laxation, cook a nice meal, or immerse yourself in a hobby that doesn't involve too much technology. It's refreshing to take a break from screens in a work-from-home world, and the health benefits are numerous.

The Shared Challenge and Shared Solutions of Zoom Gloom & Tech-Tool Fatigue

While there's no catch-all solution to battling tech-tool fatigue, there is a common theme: give yourself a break. So much of the stress that comes from Zoom Gloom is because we're constantly engaged with technology throughout the workday, and we often turn to tech for relaxation after work. Whether it's a quick break during a meeting to simply look away from your screen or a more extended break during the day when you get up from your work to walk around, those little moments of rest add up.

It's also helpful to remember that we're all going through a similar experience and to look at how much we've managed to accomplish during the last year despite the unprecedented interruptions to our regular work routines. The real estate industry may look different than any of us are used to, but teams everywhere are still achieving outstanding results. That's no small feat, and the ability to adapt during challenging times is certainly something worth celebrating.

May
6

Old leads can be a valuable source of new business, but reconnecting does require a mix of touch, tact, and timing. Reconnecting with those old leads is an especially good idea right now, with so many buyers and sellers who put their real estate plans on hold in the last year now looking to get those plans back on track with the help of the right real estate agent. With a good action plan in place, you can heat up those old leads and show them why you're the best choice for their real estate needs.

Take Steps to Ensure That You're Always Ready to Reconnect

Every lead has potential, even if they're not ready to buy or sell right this second. That's why it's so important to learn about your leads and make sure that you have key information ready for when the time is right. When you engage with a lead, note their preferences in your real estate CRM even if they're not ready to take the next step right now. Learn about what types of homes they're interested in if they're a buyer, what their timeline is for buying or selling, and what's motivating them to explore their real estate options.

How Email Marketing Can Help You Reconnect with Old Leads

Email marketing is a great way to keep leads engaged, and the AI-driven campaigns in DeltaNET 6 can help you make sure that your leads are getting the right content at the right time. When you identify an older lead that may now be ready to take the next steps, a personalized email can help you reestablish lines of communication:

  • For buyers, check in to see whether they're still searching for a home, and remind them of the value you can offer in helping them find the right match. If they indicate interest, then find out what type of home they're looking for, where they're shopping, and whether they have a real estate agent helping them with the process. If they still need an agent, the next step is setting up a virtual or in-person meeting to provide advice and earn their business.

  • For sellers, the same steps apply when you first reconnect. If they're currently interested in selling and don't have an agent, then an up-to-date market analysis for their home can be a great way to show them you're the agent they can trust to help them achieve their goals. Give them some time to review the CMA, then follow up to answer questions and help them plan what to do next.

Get Social to Learn about Leads and Reconnect

When it comes to both lead generation and re-engagement, social media has tremendous value. If you've connected with an old lead via a social in the past, their social activity can provide valuable insight into when the time is right to reconnect. And even if you don't scout social to find out what leads are up to, social platforms are still an easy way to open lines of communication.

  • In addition to helping you learn about leads, social media is a great tool for allowing leads to learn more about what you have to offer. Use the social media tools in DeltaNET 6 to maintain an active presence on the biggest social platforms and seamlessly integrate your social feeds into your real estate website, so you'll always be ready to show your value when you reconnect with a lead.

  • When you initially connect with a lead, note their social media preferences. A Twitter DM or Facebook message could be the perfect way to connect with one lead but may never be seen by another lead who isn't active on a particular platform.

Offer Something in Return and Always Follow Up

Reconnecting with a lead is a great first step, but they may still need a little nurturing before they're ready to make a decision. Offering targeted, valuable real estate content that speaks to their needs is a powerful way to show your value and incentivize them to continue the conversation. No matter how you reconnect with an old lead, always remember to follow up. Your first contact can help create interest, but it may take more outreach before they're truly ready to buy or sell a home.

Do You Have the Right Real Estate CRM to Maximize Your Leads?

The right real estate tool is a huge component in both generating new leads and reconnecting with old ones. Do you have all of the tools you need to generate new business? Contact us to learn more about how DeltaNET 6 can help you take your business to the next level.

May
4

When you're showing a property face-to-face, curb appeal is indispensable.

There are many different aspects to curb appeal, but it all adds up to that essential first impression. From the moment potential buyers lay eyes on the home, right before walking through the door for the first time, they are primed for a memorable experience — and ready to find the home that's "the one."

No doubt, your mind whirls into action to improve curb appeal whenever you look at a property.

You might think of things like:

  • The exterior paint job, how fresh it looks, and how well it matches the rest of the neighborhood
  • The roof — its style, colors, and materials, and whether or not it looks ready for another ten years
  • Landscaping and lawn care appropriate to the season, with no yard waste or other obstructions
  • Presentation — how well the all-important walk to the front door is framed, and the door itself

When care is taken with curb appeal, it really can be a case of love at first sight!

It might surprise you to know that the exact same effect is at work in the digital world.

Yes, digital curb appeal is real. And it makes a winning difference for your sellers.

Digital Curb Appeal Sets Properties Apart in 2021 and Beyond

Digital curb appeal is a simple concept, but it takes creativity and hard work to master. In short, it means:

  • Making your online home listing as appealing as it can look
  • Ensuring it has a powerful preview in-home search results

Even though online home listings are extraordinarily common — most home searches now start online — not everyone has gotten the message about digital curb appeal. Look at condo listings, for example, and you're very likely to see a preview photo that only consists of a community's sign out front.

What a missed opportunity!

Similar problems can crop up with a single-family residence. If a photo is blurry, distorted, or shows only one tiny part of what the home has to offer, it won't seize the attention of would-be buyers browsing through dozens of listings. As the listing gets little attention, it ends up at the bottom of results, even less likely to be found.

First, remember what a listing preview usually shows:

  • A feature photo along with the option to scroll through all the home's photos
  • The asking price
  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms, including half and quarter baths
  • Total square footage
  • The address

Special identifiers like "Hot!" or "Video tour" are also added to listings automatically. So, getting familiar with the different identifiers and how your listing can qualify is a terrific way to craft your strategy. People are far more likely to check a listing they know others are interested in!

Four Ways to Help a Listing Excel with Digital Curb Appeal

When it comes to digital curb appeal, you'll need to find new and exciting ways to help your listing tell a story. Luckily, it's not all undiscovered territory: many of the things you would normally do to prepare and stage a home are also helpful. Combine trusted techniques with new technologies and you'll stand out!

Here are our four biggest tips for digital curb appeal:

  • Collaborate on Pre-Listing Home Improvement
    Minor cosmetic issues can sour buyers and sap a listing's mojo. In your early walkthrough of a property, make notes on anything that can be solved with a little elbow grease before your listing goes live. Major renovations should take a back seat to simple fixes, like a splash of exterior paint or new bathroom fixtures.

  • Invest in Exceptional Real Estate Photography
    The digital world is extraordinarily visual. These days, even the best phone photos won't do — professional real estate photography is a huge advantage. Photos should be taken of every room and every exterior angle, ideally at different times of day. Aerial photos snapped by drones are especially captivating for some buyers.

  • Add a 3D Walkthrough and a Video Tour
    These two features are highly in demand for today's savvy buyers. They also happen to be ideal ways to perk up your listings with two special identifiers buyers can see at a glance. Time spent on a 3D walkthrough is one of the biggest indicators of sincere interest in a home, so don't pass up the chance to stoke a buyer's imagination.

  • Stage Each Home as "Move-In Ready"
    Staging for your digital listing doesn't require fresh cookies in the oven, but there are still plenty of techniques that work. Clean up, declutter, and use natural light to your advantage, giving rooms a sense of size with mirrors where necessary. And, as always, hide the cat box and any other tell-tale signs of pets.

Contact us to learn more about digital marketing for real estate.

May
4

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