This week, Harley goes over campaigns and action plans.
Virtual tours took center stage in 2021 when agents from coast to coast needed to find new, more effective ways to protect their clients. But even as restrictions on travel and gathering draw to an end, they are still in high demand.
Virtual tours are convenient for buyers and sellers alike. Sellers no longer need to worry about inviting large groups of people into a home that's still occupied. Buyers have the opportunity to greatly expand the radius of their search without doing a lot of extra travel as a result.
Virtual tours were already starting to take hold prior to the pandemic, but they skyrocketed more than 750% in the month after shelter in place orders were enacted across the United States. Since then, they have seen steady adoption at agencies and brokerages of all sizes.
Now, virtual tours have been a regular part of doing business for more than a year. Time has taught the industry a lot. Homes with virtual tours get substantially more engagement than those without. In fact, visitors spend up to 10x more time on listings with virtual tours than those without.
But virtual tours can have a steep learning curve for agents.
How can you use them to the best advantage in your listings?
Six Ways to Make a Virtual Tour Easier and More Effective than Ever Before
It seems like there are new tech skills for agents to tackle every day — and let's face it, few people came to this industry from a past career as a videographer. But you can get a strong start with virtual tours by keeping a few simple ideas in mind. Even if you're already using virtual tours with some success, you can continue to improve by making sure the right fundamentals are in place.
Contact us at Delta Media Group to discover just how easy good virtual tours can be.
Succeeding with social media shares many commonalities with succeeding in real estate. To achieve success, you need to find your niche, excel within it, and have a plan for how to reach your target audience. Whether you're working to establish a vibrant social media presence for the first time or looking for ways to take your social game to the next level, a close look at your social media plan is the perfect place to start.
How Your Social Media Plan Makes Life Easier
As a real estate agent, you precisely plan so many aspects of your business. Are you giving the same effort to your social media planning? Your days are busy, but the time that you invest upfront in creating a social media plan ultimately makes your life so much easier in the long run. It's easier to accomplish your goals, build confidence, and use the time that you devote to social much more efficiently when you have a plan.
Ever get to the time you blocked out for social media, started staring at the screen, and sat there wondering what to do next? It's like writer's block, but for social marketing. Well, part of your social media plan is creating a schedule that you can stick to. When you have a schedule and know what you want to accomplish, you don't have to wait around for inspiration.
Your Social Media Plan Is About More Than Saving Time
Of course, saving time and working more efficiently are far from the only benefits of developing your social media plan. We mentioned earlier that social media has some things in common with real estate, and the level of competition is no exception. As a result, it's hard to stand out and have success without investing some time in planning.
Your planning and your social media goals go hand in hand. Do you want to increase your audience, convert more of your social connections to clients, expand your presence to a new social platform, or become the go-to social real estate resource for your market areas? These are all attainable goals when you plan ahead, take advantage of the many resources available to help with social media marketing, and lay out a plan for how to reach them.
Planning also doesn't mean avoiding experimenting with social strategies, not innovating, or not embracing the creative side of things. The best plans are adaptable, social media is constantly evolving, and embracing the integration of new ideas will help you stay relevant with your audience. So your ideal plan will include concrete steps for achieving goals, while also leaving room to adapt to a changing landscape.
How to Start Building Your Social Media Plan
Hopefully, we've convinced you of the value that comes from investing some time and effort into your social media plan. Now let's look at a few key areas that you can focus on while you develop a reliable plan for success.
With the right plan in place, your social media presence can be such an incredible asset to your real estate brand. When you're ready to turn your plan into action, our social media marketing services are here to help you achieve your goals.
This week, Harley goes over individual Market Watch Reports.
What sets you apart from your competition? No matter the size of your market, you're not the only game in town for real estate clients. With millions of registered agents all over the United States, the reality is that your potential clients always have a choice. Your branding is one of the most important ways to communicate the things that set your business apart, build trust, and establish your identity with your target audience over the long term. Creating a branding strategy is complex, but the effort you invest can ultimately help shape the future of your real estate business.
Know Your Audience, Shape Your Brand
Who are you trying to reach? With branding, it's hard to be everything to everyone and equally difficult to set yourself apart from the competition using generalities. Effective branding starts with knowing your audience, and understanding what they're looking for from a real estate business.
Whether you cater to young, first-time buyers, luxury real estate clients, people searching for vacation homes, older clients looking for the perfect place to retire, or any other niche, your unique value proposition is at the heart of your branding.
So, in what ways do you serve your target audience better than the competition? When faced with other real estate options that serve a similar niche, why should they choose you? Answering these questions is the perfect place to start shaping your brand. And when you answer those questions through branding in a way that resonates with your target audience, your business can benefit for years to come.
Branding in the Digital Age
In today's digital world, the reality is that most real estate prospects begin their search for real estate services online. A consistent, reliable online presence is one of the biggest keys to ensuring that your brand reaches as many people as possible.
Traditional Branding Tools for Real Estate
Digital marketing is excellent, but that doesn't mean that more traditional marketing methods don't have a place in modern branding. There's a good reason that "For Sale" and "Sold" signs are still ubiquitous on the lawns of homes around the country. Because they work! And if your target demographic isn't so active online, then tools like direct mail and traditional advertising can help you reach them. Even for a more modern audience, traditional marketing tools can provide a valuable complement to your digital branding efforts.
Building Your Brand to Last
In the end, effective real estate branding requires a holistic approach. When you understand who you're trying to reach and which factors differentiate your real estate business from the competition, you can use that information to shape all of the other aspects of your branding. While some parts of your brand will likely remain the same long term, remember that it's also a good idea to be nimble and experiment. Finding new ways to reach prospects as branding tools evolve will help you build a brand that can outlast any trend.
Lead management is critical to your success as a real estate agent because replenishing your pipeline is essential to ensure that there are always new opportunities on the horizon. But that doesn't mean you should have to invest too much of your busy day into managing leads.
Your lead management strategy, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and other technological tools can all help you cut down on the time it takes to manage leads without compromising on your success rate. The time that you invest in learning about and planning for lead management pays off many times over once you have a streamlined strategy in place.
TIPS FOR LEAD MANAGEMENT
Understand the Background of Leads and Where They Are in Their Journey
While each lead is a unique individual, they also tend to fall into broader categories based on background, finances, age, tech-savvy, and more. Understanding where a lead is coming from and how far along they are on their journey of buying or selling a home will make it much easier to reach them effectively.
Learn as much as you can about your leads, so that you have a plan for how to communicate and know which types of content will interest them the most. The more you learn, the easier it is to segment leads based on lead quality and their unique needs, which will come in very handy when it's time to take advantage of all the modern technology that makes lead management easier.
Millennials and Gen-Z make up an ever-larger portion of real estate clients. These young buyers are often budget-conscious while shopping for a home for the first time. They may have a young family or have plans to start a family in the near future. They're familiar with all types of technology, conducting much of their research and communication online.
Gen X clients, on the other hand, are often the parents of Millenials and Gen Z. They tend to be more financially stable and will likely be looking for different things from a home depending on the age of their own children. While they're not as reliant on technology as the youngest clients, they still do plenty of online research, are often active on social media, and are comfortable communicating on a variety of platforms.
Boomers often have the most financial resources at their disposal and are likely to be approaching retirement – or at least actively planning for it. Their comfort level with technology varies – some are just as active online as other generations, while others prefer more old-school methods of communication.
Be Responsive, Timely, and Ready to Help
Keeping track of where your leads are in the process of purchasing or selling a home is also important. The transition from "just looking" to actively planning a purchase can happen quickly, and you want to be in position to capitalize when the time is right to take the next step. Be ready to reach out with information that is relevant to the specific lead, answer their questions, and show them why you're the right choice for their real estate needs.
A Strong Online Presence Makes It Easier to Attract, Nurture, and Convert Leads
The process of establishing your reputation and real estate expertise with a lead often begins long before direct contact is made. Most real estate leads start their research online. They will check out what people are saying about your brand on social media, discover what your real estate website has to offer, and scan reviews to see what your previous clients have to say about you.
That's why it's so important to take control of your online presence by having a high-quality, mobile-responsive real estate website with strong SEO. It's also a good idea to set up your profiles on all major social media sites, engage with others on those social media platforms, create/share informative content, and encourage your existing clients to leave reviews. Keep track of your analytics to know where your leads are coming from and to tailor your real estate content to the interests of your audience.
Use the Right Technology to Simplify Managing and Nurturing Leads
Your real estate CRM is at the heart of your lead management efforts, and DeltaNET® 6 provides all of the tools you need in one convenient, easy-to-use package. Keep all of the information you need about each lead ready for when you need it, streamline your lead management, and take advantage of tons of automated tools that make your life easier.
• Keep in Touch with Email Marketing Drip Campaigns
Take advantage of My Customer for Life email campaigns to create automated email newsletters packed with relevant information to each lead. Segment leads so that the right content reaches the right eyes, and track your results with easy-to-understand analytics. These emails are downloadable, printable, and offer integrated social sharing to expand your reach.
• Easily Manage Your Real Estate Social Media
Keep your leads up to date on all of the latest real estate happenings with Social Media Connector. These tools make it easy to automate social media posts based on important events while automatically sharing your blog posts, client reviews, market updates, and even My Customer for Life email articles. Maintain an active, information-rich social presence automatically.
• Boost Your Online Presence with Virtual Open Houses and Showings
These days, not every lead is necessarily willing or able to visit homes in person. With Virtual Open Houses and Showings, that's not an issue. DeltaNET® 6 makes it easy to schedule virtual events so that your leads can easily explore – and fall in love with – the homes that interest them the most.
• Convenient Communication with SMS Text Messaging
Text messaging is one of the most convenient ways to reach your leads directly and is especially favored by leads from younger generations. Use real estate SMS text messaging to keep in touch with leads, send out important updates, and send bulk text messages to easily reach large portions of your audience at just the right time.
In the past, effective lead management required much more manual effort and input on your part. Fortunately, that's no longer the case as long as you have the right tools for the job. Whether you're cultivating new leads, nurturing existing ones, or evaluating your process, all of the tools you need are at your fingertips with DeltaNET® 6.
Many times, new business owners start with a clear idea of what they want to offer the world — and it's something that excites and uplifts them. As they think about the details, however, doubt creeps in — and it shows itself the same way across all industries.
"I can't turn away business," they start to think. "I have to appeal to everybody!"
No matter how many books you read or business coaches you hear from, it can feel counterintuitive to be told to "niche down." Deciding on a small segment of the total customer base to focus on may seem like a scary commitment, one in which you're not sure the other side will "love you back."
Yet, focusing your strategy allows you to do the same with your marketing, advertising, and other types of communication. And it's precisely that laser-focus that appeals to people. Because you get specific, they recognize you understand their problems. That draws them to you!
This is especially crucial in real estate.
In your first year as a real estate professional, you might feel like you're doing a little bit of everything. After all, there's so much to learn! Soon, you start to develop a better sense of which customers fit you best. Ideal customers should be easy and fun to work with so you can add value to their lives!
On the other end of the scale, some customers will drain your energy and may leave you miserable.
It's crucial to get those encounters out of the way in the first year — because your business is not "for everyone." It's for the right people with the right budget at the right time. Those are qualified leads, the ones more likely than anyone else to become customers, and they grow your business.
Sad, but true: Unqualified leads don't add to your bottom line, no matter how many you get!
How to Qualify Your Leads the Easy Way
Ideally, you would be able to qualify your leads by collecting just a little bit more information each time you encounter them. You might get some details when they sign up for your email list, a few more when they register for an open house, and a little bit more when they schedule a call.
By spacing out your "asks" naturally in encounters like these, you can learn a lot!
And an all-in-one real estate solution like DeltaNET®6 makes it much easier. That's because your CRM can capture and analyze details any human would easily overlook. Making connections between all the thousands or even millions of data points available, an AI-driven app helps you turn "information" into "insight."
Still, it's a wise idea to have a qualification framework in mind.
A qualification framework is a system of expected data points you collect about each prospective customer. Prospects that give answers within a desirable range are well-qualified leads. Those whose answers are outside the norm may be poorly qualified or not qualified at all.
In real estate, people are often trained to maintain every relationship they can — "you never know who'll become a customer!" With a qualification framework, you might still get caught by surprise now and again, but you will be able to develop informed expectations about every prospect in your funnel.
When you know, you can focus your attention on leads most likely to be your future customers.
Plus, you can do something that might otherwise feel unthinkable: Let go of unqualified leads! Referring them to someone who can meet their needs better does a service to them, you, and a colleague of your choice – and with a steady stream of truly qualified opportunities, it'll always feel good.
A Simple Real Estate Lead Qualification Framework
The BANT framework originates in business-to-business sales and adapts very well to real estate.
For each prospect, ask these questions:
Does the prospect have a budget that matches the type of properties in the local area you typically deal with? If not, can you help by providing facts about mortgage qualification or new homebuyer programs?
Is the prospect "in charge" of the buying decision? If working with a couple, both should be consulted on everything. If a large family is moving, everyone's preferences and needs should be taken into account.
Does the prospect "need" to move now? If not, what would increase the sense of urgency? If so, what roadblocks are standing in the way — succinctly, why hasn't the person taken action? How can you help?
Is the prospect planning to move now, next week, next month, next year? Get a sense of projected timing and any contingencies. Entice long-term "waiters" who are well-qualified onto your email list.
Contact us to discover how digital marketing automation can help you qualify leads faster and better.
This week, Harley goes over customer reviews in the DeltaNET.
Brokerages currently face a real estate paradox: 90% of sellers and buyers say they would use their agent again, yet only about one in five home buyers and one in three sellers actually used the same agent a second time.
It's not because these "orphaned" clients are moving out of the market. On the contrary, Pew Research found that most Americans (57%) have never lived outside their home state, and more than one in three (37%) have never lived outside their hometown.
The fact is that when most people move, they don't move very far. So why aren't they using their original agent? And for those moving to another state, why aren't they getting a referral from their agent?
The most likely cause of lost repeat business is also the most avoidable: Agents are not staying in touch with their past clients.
To some extent, this is understandable. When you're a busy agent, it feels nearly impossible to find the time to fit in the tasks that will build new business when working a pipeline of active buyers and sellers. Closing transactions puts income in your bank account today. Reaching out to prospects does not.
However, over time, unless agents stay top-of-mind, clients will no longer feel connected to the original agent who helped them buy or sell a home. This makes clients open to another agent's direct solicitation of their business.
Automatically Staying Top-of-Mind
Today, agents no longer need to struggle to stay connected to past clients. When brokerages use DeltaNET® 6, agents benefit from a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform fully integrated with easy-to-use automated marketing programs.
Agents can select from an array of Delta-provided email and text drip campaigns that help them consistently stay in front of their sphere of clients, prospects, business acquaintances, family, and friends.
Delta's "My Customer for Life" newsletters are designed to keep agents connected with their client list so that when they are ready to buy or sell, they reach out to the agent they've worked with in the past. Other Delta Media Group® marketing tools, such as Social Connector, Market Watch Reports, HomeFinder Reports, and Seller Reports, also help keep agents top-of-mind.
Using Delta's automated listing videos is another way to streamline your marketing tasks to have more time to reach out to your sphere.
Staying in touch is crucial. According to the latest National Association of REALTORS® research, a stunning 77% of recent sellers contacted only one agent before finding the agent they eventually worked with to sell their home. And the percentage of buyers who interviewed only one agent during their home search? An astounding 73%.
But all client outreach starts with an up-to-date CRM.
CRM: Now More Important Than Ever
The most valuable and cost-effective source of new business for a real estate agent comes from their sphere. A study by Buffini & Company showed that 82% of all real estate transactions come from repeat and referral business.
The study also found that for one in four agents, half of their business comes from repeat clients. One in five agents gets more than half their business from past client referrals. So why do agents pay $200 or more for an online lead when there is a goldmine in their own database?
Real estate is and always will be a relationship-driven business. The critical tech tool that manages agent relationships is a CRM.
A CRM's value cannot be overstated. Many top-producing agents find that nine out of every 10 referrals come from their sphere of influence, including past clients, friends, and family. Moreover, agents who earn $100,000 or more in gross commission income are more than twice as likely to use a CRM than agents who earn less, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Agents potentially will be spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month on advertising and promotion to reach new prospects — but their most significant source of future business is the people they already know.
A Brokerage Provided CRM
Brokerages provide more technology than ever to their agents, yet almost every tech tool — from CRM software to transaction management programs — feels and looks the same, regardless of the brokerage.
Many brokerages struggle to showcase their character and individuality through their tech offerings, so when it comes to recruiting and retention, nothing really stands out. Non-franchise brokerages, meanwhile, are usually independently minded. They want to provide tech tools that differentiate them from their competitors while also helping their agents grow their business. Unfortunately, what's often missing from that approach are the tech tools that can set the brokerages apart.
All that changes with a CRM solution from Delta Media Group. Delta is offering an industry first: CRMs that can be customized for every brokerage. The color, style, look, and feel of the Delta-provided CRM makes it your own. It also draws in agents who are able to see a customized product that is unlike anything else in real estate. With tech that's one-of-a-kind, agents will be inspired to do one-of-a-kind work as well.
Automation = Adoption
Real estate brokerages know that the best CRM is one that an agent will use. Yet, adoption remains the single most challenging barrier towards universal CRM usage.
To accomplish universal CRM usage among their agents, brokerages need their CRM to do a lot more than it does now. That's why Delta is integrating the newest technology into our easy-to-use platform, providing one-stop-shop tech that offers everything from automation and artificial intelligence to machine learning.
Automation is what will drive universal adoption. Take out any unnecessary steps, free up agent schedules, and suddenly, it's easier than ever for those same agents to accomplish everything on their to-do list. And as intelligent marketing tools are integrated with the DeltaNET CRM, the benefits for agent adoption will be universally compelling.
There are two keys for a brokerage CRM to be successful. First, every custom CRM that Delta Media Group creates for a brokerage must be easy to use. Second, the CRM also must reflect the independent brand of the brokerage.
Delta-provided CRMs are at the core of every agent marketing activity. Future innovations will make them even more robust. And when an independent brokerage uses a customized CRM, it helps that brokerage differentiate its brands.
Delta is building even more innovative marketing tools that will be fully integrated into every CRM we provide. These new tools will drive more social media connections and deliver more highly targeted direct marketing, email, and text campaigns that offer the right message to the right audience at the right time.
Everything will connect to one's CRM, and once independent brokerages can provide a unique CRM from their competition, we will move closer to universal CRM use.
Your neighborhood is at the heart of your business and at the heart of each buyer's decision-making process when they're considering where to purchase a home. Whether the buyer is part of a family looking for excellent schools, a retired couple looking for the ideal place to spend their golden years, or a younger buyer who wants to be close to the best local attractions, every one of your clients is looking for specific things from their neighborhood. Becoming a neighborhood expert is ultimately key to your success as a real estate agent. It's a great place to focus your energy and put yourself in a position for success as we turn the page to 2022.
Become a Neighborhood Expert
Why become a neighborhood expert? It starts with smart business. If you work in a big city, then focusing on one neighborhood can help you become the go-to, most recognized resource for real estate needs in that area. If you're in a smaller community where you cover multiple neighborhoods, then knowing the ins and outs of each makes it easier to help buyers find the perfect neighborhood to live, while allowing you to market homes for sellers more effectively by showcasing the perks of the neighborhood where each home is located.
Becoming a neighborhood expert also makes it easier to develop and focus your marketing. Integrate local SEO based on your neighborhoods to help your brand stand out where it matters most, send newsletters concentrated on specific aspects of the community, showcase your expertise on social media, build connections with local businesses, and become the face of real estate in the area. And that's just the start! When you're ready to become a neighborhood expert, here's how to get the job done.
Learn Everything You Can About the Neighborhood
The first step to becoming an expert is learning everything you can about the neighborhood. Some of that will come from online research, which helps you form an overview of the neighborhood. The rest comes from visiting in-person to learn all about the people and places that make the neighborhood special.
• MLS Data and Demographic Research
Start with the basics, learning all about the types of homes in the neighborhood, the value of local homes, and how long properties spend on the market. Then move on to learning all about the demographic data of the neighborhood to discover who lives there, who might like to move there, and how to shape your marketing.
• Exploring the Neighborhood and Connecting with Residents
There's no substitute for exploring the neighborhood on your own, starting conversations with residents, learning about the neighborhood from people who live there, and letting them know what you do for a living. Listen carefully to what residents have to say, and learn what they love about the neighborhood.
• Building Relationships with Local Businesses
Connecting with local business owners is a great way to learn more about what the neighborhood has to offer, build mutually beneficial relationships, establish your real estate expertise, and eventually earn referrals from key members of the community.
• Getting to Know Local Attractions and Key Services
Buyers will want to know what they can do for fun in the neighborhood and where they can find all of the critical services that they'll need. Learn all about the local amenities, along with school districts, parks, and other locations that will be of interest to clients.
• HOA and Town Council Meetings
Suppose you're focused on selling homes in specific housing developments. In that case, attending HOA meetings can be a powerful way to build relationships and learn more about the things that matter most to each development. However, if your eyes are set on a larger neighborhood, then attending town council meetings can help you accomplish the same goals.
How to Showcase Your Neighborhood Expertise and Boost Your Marketing
Now that you've got a handle on what makes your neighborhood special, it's time to put all of that knowledge to good use! Your real estate website, social media, and online marketing are all places where you'll want to show off your neighborhood expertise.
Email Newsletters with Neighborhood Info
Keep your clients up to date on all of the latest neighborhood news by sending regular email newsletters. These newsletters can cover the latest real estate trends in the area, provide advice for local homeowners, or feature fun and lighthearted content focused on the latest neighborhood happenings.
Giving Back to the Community
Becoming part of the neighborhood also means giving back to the community. Hosting local events like barbecues or block parties is a great way to show your love while presenting plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your real estate expertise to residents. You can also set up food drives, toy drives, or other events to give back to community members in need.
Take the Plunge and Live in the Neighborhood Yourself
While you can undoubtedly learn tons about a neighborhood and make yourself a known, trusted face in the community even if you don't live there, calling that neighborhood home can really help you take things to the next level. Becoming part of the community is all about building relationships and making yourself recognizable, which is much easier to accomplish when people see your face every day.
For new agents, this might be as simple as focusing on the neighborhood that you already call home. If you're an experienced agent and you have your eye on a neighborhood that you want to "own" for your real estate business, then it might be time to move there full-time. When you live in a neighborhood, wear branded gear, start conversations, and make sure everyone knows what you do for a living, you can become the resource that everyone in the community trusts when they have real estate needs.
Set Yourself Up for Success in 2022 with Neighborhood Expertise
New year, new you... new neighborhood? Whether you're starting fresh with a new neighborhood where you'll focus your energy or redoubling your efforts in your current location, now is the time to formulate your plan for a successful 2022. With so many ways to become a neighborhood expert and so many benefits to doing so, the only thing left to decide is where you'll plant your flag this year.
Real estate technology is constantly evolving, with valuable new tools that can help agents better serve clients and run your business more efficiently behind the scenes. The most successful modern agents take advantage of the latest tools to make their lives easier, boost their business, and provide the best possible service for clients. So if you want modern agents, you need to have modern tools. Here are some key tools that you can use to help your agents modernize their habits and reach their full potential.
What Does It Mean to Be a Modern Agent?
If we have learned anything from the last couple of years, it's that being a modern agent means being prepared to adapt. Adapting to changes in technology, changes in how real estate business is transacted, changes in client habits, and changes in the wider world that impact the real estate industry. Embracing technology is the best way to adapt to all of those changes with confidence and stay up to date in the ever-evolving nature of the industry.
Changes in demographics, like the current trend of tech-savvy Millenials and Gen Z clients entering the real estate market for the first time, further stress the need to take advantage of the latest real estate technology. Modern agents are ready to serve clients in the ways that best fit their needs, and that means using real estate technology to make life easier for everyone involved.
Start with the Right Real Estate CRM
If you want to provide your agents with the best tools for the job, the right real estate CRM is the perfect place to start. Modern agents need access to reliable, accurate client data, marketing tools to generate new leads, and virtual tools that make it easier to conduct business in our modern world. DeltaNET®6 provides all of the tools that your agents need to serve their clients in one convenient package.
With DeltaNET®6, agents can easily manage relationships and generate new business. Take advantage of integrated email marketing, AI-driven newsletters, automated lead segmentation, and smart drip email campaigns to cultivate leads. Use SMS text messaging to stay in touch while making the most of virtual open houses and showings to accommodate modern clients. Track IDX search activity, integrate IDX listings, and track property searches to see what leads are searching for online.
And those are just some of the features that your agents will love when they dig into all that DeltaNET®6 has to offer.
Tap Into Your Artistic Side with Creative Studio
Modern agents wear many hats, which often means tapping into their creative side with things like listing brochures, flyers, email templates, and social media posts. Creative Studio makes it easy for agents to get creative, with accessible, easy-to-use graphic design tools that can give all of your marketing materials a professional shine. Easily design your own layouts, or use pre-designed templates to speed up the process while still getting great results.
Creative Studio also works well with DeltaNET®6, allowing you to quickly upload photos and listings directly from your CRM for a seamless design process. You can even store online versions of the materials that you create, have them sent to a print shop, and have the results delivered directly to your door.
Quickly Provide Accurate Valuations with Our AVM Report Platform
Business is booming in the real estate world, which is good news for real estate professionals but also presents some unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges that comes from a highly active real estate market is that there are major inventory shortages in many markets. Providing accurate valuations is always important, but especially so when inventory is so low compared to demand.
Our AVM Report Platform makes it quick and easy for agents to find the accurate valuation information they need, when they need it. They can easily catch up on the latest market conditions, quickly find the data that they need within the platform, and provide accurate estimates for clients from up to five independent sources. The reports that clients receive include multiple calls-to-action to generate conversions while providing them with the accurate, market-specific data that they value. It's all driven by AI, which helps the process automatically improve over time as it receives more data.
Help Your Agents Modernize Their Practices by Providing the Best Real Estate Technology
The bottom line: If your agents don't have the best tools for the job, now is the time to upgrade your real estate technology. The investment that you make in technology more than pays off with more efficient, modern agents and satisfied clients. From online marketing to relationship management and AVM, our team can provide your team with the tools that they need to thrive in the modern real estate industry. Contact us today to get started.
Most of your future customers will find you online — be sure you're making it easy!
Millennials are the #1 generation in the housing market. At the peak of the pandemic, with interest rates at historic lows, Generation Z made a showing, too. That cohort has returned to an "old-fashioned" approach, seeing homebuying as an important path to growing wealth.
They'll be ready to work with you much sooner than you might think.
And they're looking for you... on their phones.
Yes, just about everyone has adapted to the smartphone era. Pew reports 97% of Americans have cell phones and 85% of those are internet-capable smartphones. But no other generation has the same level of technical savvy and "always-on" connectivity as this up-and-coming young group.
To win their trust, you need a polished, professional online presence.
Turn Your Online Presence Up to 10 with These 10 Tips
Even if you work in a niche that skews older, Millennials and Gen Z will be part of the decision-making process before you know it. So, there's never been a better time to take a close look at the way you present yourself online and ensure your digital brand is compelling.
Here's how to do it right:
Contact us at Delta Media Group to learn more about digital marketing in real estate.
This week, Harley goes over holding saved search emails in queue for approval before sending in the DeltaNET.
Achieving what you dream of in real estate takes more than believing you can do it.
But if you believe you can't do it, you might well never reach your goals.
No matter what your background, your unique perspective can help you succeed in real estate. And given the diversity of interactions and skills you'll need to practice, it's not unusual to find some aspects of real estate fit you better than others.
Of course, you want to build your skills and address your weak points over time. It's also important to remember that few people achieve rock star status overnight.
That means being ready for plenty of learning experiences and relatively few "mastery" experiences. Understanding that can be intimidating, especially when it seems like you are doing all that learning in the public eye, in the highly visible position of marketing yourself as a local real estate expert.
When it seems like too much to handle, that's when it's time to look at what you're telling yourself:
"Maybe I'm not cut out to be a real estate agent."
"If I try this approach, I'll just embarrass myself."
"I don't know how I'm going to close this deal."
Negative thoughts like these will change your center of gravity. Instead of looking for all the useful and effective things you can do out in your world, they will run you in circles. And while hyping yourself up with positivity you don't believe generally won't help, neither will dwelling on these thoughts.
They have nothing new to tell you – and they won't help move you forward, either. At the end of a year, real estate agents need to be particularly alert to what narrative their thoughts are spinning. If you had goals for the last 12 months that didn't pan out the way you wished, you could get knocked off track by that thought – or recognize that January 1 is a new day and keep pursuing them.
The key is getting out of your own head. Let's explore how to do it.
Motivation Means Focusing on What You Want, Not What You Don't Want
Each of us only has so much time, energy, and focus in a day.
Negative thoughts are tiring and disempowering. But what, exactly, do you replace them with?
In effect, you need to focus your attention on what you want. This can take some imagination. The key skill of staying motivated is to direct your thoughts from what you don't want to what you do any time you find yourself worrying, complaining, or criticizing your own performance.
That can be tricky, and it takes practice. So, set up your environment to be conducive to it.
Here are some ways to do that:
• Make Plenty of Time for Yourself to Recharge
The first year of a real estate agent's career can be hectic, and it's not unusual to lose sight of what a healthy set of work hours looks like. As time goes on, you define repeatable processes and win back time using technology. But you can – and should – start that process at any moment. Set boundaries so you aren't answering client questions at 2 a.m., and be sure you are getting full weekends off!
• Foster Human Connections Every Week
Scheduling real face-time is getting harder, both in business and among the people you care about. If you're working from home, it's extra important to make sure you aren't isolated. Networking groups can be a big help here, especially if the members share a compatible vision. If you're at the right stage, also consider how you might delegate more tasks by bringing on a virtual assistant or another staff member.
• Understand What Keeps You Inspired
"Inspiration" can seem like something that's hard to gauge or define, but it can be simple. It's a positive emotional experience that makes you feel the power and potential of your ideas. You don't have to wait for inspiration to strike on its own: You can think about what inspires you and get a burst of energy by listening to podcasts, watching videos, or partaking in any other content that aligns with those desires.
• Define YourDeeper Mission
Many of the most successful and long-lasting businesses are defined by a mission with values that go beyond making money. This works especially well for real estate professionals. In everything you do, you are helping someone reach one of their biggest goals in life. So give yourself credit for all the ways you make a positive difference in the lives of others, and it will help you get through the tough days.
Three Big Excuses You Can Get Rid of Right Now to Achieve More in Your Business
Sometimes, getting stuck in your own head comes from certain habits of thought.
These habits arise from preconceptions about how much you need to know and what you need to do to be a valuable partner to your customers. They are particularly challenging for perfectionists. Even the best real estate expert doesn't know everything, and everyone makes mistakes.
"What if?" thoughts are especially burdensome. They always represent a place where your knowledge is necessarily imperfect. There's really no way to answer a "what if?" in advance, and trying to is a waste of energy – you have to get out there and work through it as it happens. Those are learning moments.
Here are some examples of excuses you can drop in order to do more:
"What if I don't know the answers to customers' questions?"
One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle when it comes to a real estate agent's brand is their knowledge of the local area and communities. But no matter how hard you work, you will still get questions you don't know the answer to – including those you never thought of before. Learn to take those in stride, get the information, and follow up promptly. Everyone does it, even the biggest successes out there.
"That [method, software, whatever] won't work for my people."
Many new real estate agents shy away from things like email marketing, social media, and even basics like following up because they believe the people they know are (or aren't) a certain way. But all of these techniques have been used effectively by thousands of real estate agents. They exist because, on average, they do work. Trust in the process, and you will find yourself moving forward. It's that simple.
"I don't want to put myself out there like that."
Unfortunately, Google and antiquated rules about what constitutes "public information" have already put just about everything there is to know a few clicks away – address, age, and much more. If this feels like a nightmare to you, you're not alone. But you still have plenty of control over what you post on social media. If you don't want to share what you had for breakfast, you don't have to.
The good thing about being in your head is that you can get out whenever you wish. After all, you can only do one thing at a time, and that includes thinking. Commit to focusing your attention where you want it to be. That will influence your day-to-day, then your strategy, and ultimately your career.
For years, Zillow has seemed like the big bad wolf of the real estate industry. Since the company's 2004 founding, Zillow has steadily expanded its reach into territories where only an experienced real estate agent could help you buy or sell a home. Now, the company garners millions of web visits a month and threatens the success of local real estate experts. And despite the news that Zillow is shutting down its homebuying business, that doesn't mean the company will go away — nor does it mean other competitors won't try to achieve the same goals as Zillow but with better efficiency.
The good news is that tactics like Zillow's haven't been tested by time the same way those of the traditional agent have been. In fact, you have an advantage over Zillow and all the other online real estate companies that want to be on top: you're a real-life expert that buyers and sellers can trust. With that in mind, Zillow-proofing your business is not only possible, it may even come easy! Here are 5 steps for taking on Zillow.
For more tips on how you can Zillow-proof your business, contact us today.
Every day, clients and prospects are searching for real estate content about the topics that matter most to them. They want tips on buying/selling homes, information-rich guides on the neighborhoods where you sell properties, home improvement ideas, and so much more. In addition to being great for informing and educating your audience, content is one of the biggest keys to growing your online presence. If you've been sleeping on content, now is the perfect time to wake up to the possibilities – and our team has some tips to help you get started.
Why Every Real Estate Business Needs Quality Content
Real estate content is integral to your overall online presence, impacting your website, social media, blog, and more. Google's algorithm favors websites with fresh, authoritative content, and your content is ideal for integrating SEO to boost the visibility of your online presence even further. And that's not the only way your content drives traffic.
In order to keep people coming back to your website, blog, and social media, you need to provide something of value. Informative content is just the thing. It adds value, helps you demonstrate your real estate expertise, and builds trust with your audience. The knowledge that you share isn't limited to the nuts and bolts of real estate, either. By creating content that showcases local neighborhoods, attractions, and events, you can inform your audience while also showing why the communities where you do business are such great places to own a home.
How to Get Started with Creating Real Estate Content
There are so many things to consider with real estate content that it can feel a little overwhelming to get started, but the process gets easier the more you do it. When getting started with creating content for your real estate blog, it helps to focus on building confidence with the fundamentals.
When creating your own content, remember that practice makes perfect. If you want great content without all of the effort, our custom content creation services make it easy to inform, educate, and excite your audience about all things real estate.
Every decision starts with an emotion, then gets a helping hand from logic.
And while there's plenty to look forward to when buying or selling a home, the entire process can be one of the most stressful anyone will face in their life. When stress runs high, emotions tend to as well.
Ambiguity – about things like financing, the logistics of the move, and whether it will be worth it in the end – triggers heightened states of tension. There's no way to know in advance how everything will play out, so these feelings can't be resolved completely.
But the emotional component of real estate isn't just about distress.
The full spectrum of emotions plays into decision-making.
Let's look at it from the buyer perspective:
• There can be a great deal of excitement about the potential to become a homeowner
• There can be apprehension and emotional conflict about whether one is "really ready"
• They may be getting supportive or not-so-supportive feedback within their social circle
And now, from the seller perspective:
• Depending on their relationship with their existing property, they may need to mourn
• They may be moving under positive (new job) or negative (death in the family) circumstances
• They might feel a strong attraction toward some future options but not know what to pick
All these possibilities and more swirl around every transaction. It's up to each real estate agent to get a fix on the emotional tone of the transaction their clients hope to have within the first few conversations, if not the very first one.
The better you understand your clients' emotions, the better you can serve their needs.
Should a Real Estate Agent Be a Therapist?
In many customer care roles, representatives feel like they must "be a therapist" to those they're working with. Please do not, in your role as a real estate professional, try to be a therapist.
If early conversations leave you feeling that there are intense emotions or highly charged circumstances you are unprepared to deal with, you can choose to pass or refer that client elsewhere. You aren't obligated to take on any client, no matter their story. Outside of those situations, what are real estate agents called on to do? What are some of the best ways to help your clients work through the myriad of emotions they'll inevitably feel when buying or selling a home?
The answer is simple: Be empathetic, but stay grounded.
Clients don't need someone to ride out all the highs and lows of their emotions with them. Instead, they need a trusted guide – someone who understands what they're going through but will focus on keeping them steady throughout their journey. That's where you come in, and this mindset gives you a much more focused set of goals with which to work!
Providing the Right Level of Emotional Support to Real Estate Clients
What "emotional support" looks like varies based on the stage of your transaction.
While not all clients need lots of support, all should have the chance to use that support should they require it. Your initial investment of time in putting the right resources in place might be formidable. Still, the work is worth it. Once those assets are in place and optimized, you:
• Spend only modest time fine-tuning processes and will rarely rebuild them from scratch
• Deliver a consistent, high-quality customer experience to everyone who works with you
This begins with the basic "DNA" of your business. Then, individual client interactions deepen it.
Start with Clarity in Your Real Estate Website
The vast majority of your future clients will find you on the internet. They often visit your site at a time when they haven't made a commitment to buy or sell. It's likely they do not know any real estate agents or brokers personally. At this stage, there is a lot they don't know, and they're not sure who can help.
Ambiguity is the name of the game here, and that's true for both buyers and sellers. Reducing ambiguity is a valuable emotional service that guides leads to contact you. Since your website reflects your authentic voice, it has the potential to do much of the work.
• Provide Helpful and Informative Content Aimed at Your Ideal Clients
Buyers and sellers have common questions and issues they struggle with. It may seem you're writing the millionth article on specific topics, but infuse them all with local knowledge and insight into your customers, and you'll create helpful resources that make life easier for them.
• Make It Simple to Contact You and to Schedule an Appointment
Understanding others' communication preferences is a vital part of being emotionally present. Not all clients want Facetime to pop up and start a call when they click "Contact us." It's wise to be available in several forms, including phone, email, text, and social media.
• Introduce Yourself, What You Do, and Who You Do It For
It's not always easy for people outside the industry to differentiate one real estate agent from the other. A dry list of credentials won't do it. One of the fastest, most powerful ways to make a human connection is to record a video that introduces you and answers questions in a relatable way. Once a lead becomes a customer, leverage that early trust with further support:
• Practice Active Listening
At its core, "active listening" means listening closely to what others say rather than waiting for your turn to speak. Clients will often give you all you need to know about their motivations, perceived limitations, and hot-button emotional issues. Prompt them with open-ended questions, then really hear them.
• Set Expectations for Each Stage of the Process
Each step in a transaction asks something different of your client. They'll need to align themselves with those requirements emotionally. Get used to explaining each fork in the road in a clear, calm way—as well as "why" things are done that way. Many people need this piece to feel confident.
• Provide a Logical Basis for Decision-Making
Emotions can drive clients to act in hasty, sometimes self-defeating ways. Bring data into decision-making whenever possible so clients have a factual basis for their choices. This is especially crucial in helping sellers set their asking price. A thorough comparative analysis is indispensable!
• Check-In On Clients' Feelings at Key Junctures
It's rarely inappropriate to ask "How are you feeling about this?" when talking to a client. That's extra true when unexpected news (good or bad!) has just presented itself. Sometimes, negative emotions can be nipped in the bud by "giving permission" for clients to be open and forthright.
At its heart, real estate is about relationships. Relationships can't exist without emotions, and rapport is created when the other person feels heard and understood. By watching for opportunities to respect and validate clients' feelings, you can help them manage their buying or selling odyssey without feeling like they are trapped in a pressure cooker. That brings you both peace of mind.
This week Harley goes over using message groups in drip campaigns.
Real estate has come a long way in a very short time.
Looking back on the history of our industry, it's easy to get distracted by the profound changes of the last few years. With the start of the pandemic, agents and brokers at all levels needed to completely rethink their business to keep themselves and their clients safe.
Even though the public health situation is beginning to change, real estate thought leaders still focus lots of attention on the new best practices revealed by this situation. While that is important, it's crucial not to miss the forest for the trees. In truth, real estate has been in a period of flux for over a decade.
Even though those changes have unfolded gradually, they are all driven by the same thing:
Changing customer preferences.
Zoom out from the pandemic and take a look at the longer trends, many of which were accelerated in 2020. Gone are the days when new buyers would look for real estate agents in the phone book or drive around the neighborhood to spot any "For Sale" signs in front yards.
In-person outreach is still effective and it isn't going away, but the great majority of future customers will find you online. Most new home searches start online. The younger a customer is, the more likely they are to have a "digital-first" mindset — but elders are getting involved in growing numbers.
This gives agencies and brokerages unprecedented power to attract the right leads to their door.
Today's Real Estate Experts Need to Look Toward Data-Driven "Scientific Marketing"
Scientific marketing describes an approach to marketing in which data is used to create hypotheses, test assumptions, and make continuous improvements so you can allocate your budget toward the initiatives that make the greatest impact on your bottom line.
All businesses that operate online face some of the same challenges. Data provides the answer to both today's issues and tomorrow's. For example, there's no point in posting on Twitter if all of your leads come from LinkedIn. By comparing ROI across channels, you can optimize your investments.
But where, precisely, does the data come from? And what's the ultimate goal?
In real estate, most of the data you collect and apply to your business helps you with lead generation. Your digital assets have the power to attract the right leads to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your website is at the center of that effort. Every visitor to your site offers you a trove of data.
Your analytics suite is the software that helps you transform that data into actionable insights.
What Is Analytics Software and How Does It Work?
In modern real estate, analytics takes place on two levels:
These two systems often work together. For example, the analytics suite on your website can keep track of the exact blog articles someone has read. Your CRM then compares these activities to the behavior of leads who converted into customers in the past.
When a strong match is found, an AI-driven CRM can let you know — helping you follow up at the right time and in the right ways. With a clear understanding of a lead's individual interests, you have the opportunity to craft truly personalized correspondence and start a meaningful conversation.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence empower today's analytics software to make connections that would be invisible to even the best-trained human analyst. A centralized, "all in one" CRM may have the capability to evaluate not just thousands, but millions of data points in search of a pattern.
The practical benefits are twofold:
Step Into the CRM Age: Better Performance with Less Manual Labor
Another critical benefit to artificial intelligence is the sharp reduction in manual data entry.
Not only does this mean less time spent typing in names, dates, and figures, but it will also narrow the scope of human error. That's vital when you're working with email marketing, online advertising, or any other scalable system where you might be in contact with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people.
There's no need to take an artisanal approach to everything you do: Data makes life easier and doesn't call on you to sacrifice quality. DeltaNET®6 is today's state-of-the-art solution that not only collects data but highlights the lessons buried within, so your business can act right away.
Contact us to learn more.