In the past few months, you've probably noticed that listing inventory has been extremely low, at least in most of the country. As if it wasn't enough that current homeowners are less apt to sell during these uncertain times, labor shortages and supply chain issues have slowed new home builders down. When you're used to most of your real estate marketing being centered around new listings, it can be tough to keep the leads coming in with limited listings on the market.
But fear not, because I've laid out some tools you can use to keep marketing your brand so that when people are looking to sell again or for those that are still looking to buy now, you're the first name that comes to mind.
Use Ad Wizard to Post to Social Media
Even when you don't have any active listings, you can still market yourself and your website on social media. There's nothing wrong with a Facebook or Instagram ad that just features you and links prospects back to your website instead of features a listing. Even when inventory is low, plenty of buyers are still looking, and your website can still provide them with a lot of value, given that buyers must find and inquire about a new listing fast if they want to have any hope of getting it in today's market.
Suppose a customer comes to your Delta website and saves a search. In that case, they can be notified immediately via both email and push notification when a new listing that matches their search criteria comes on the market. That has always been useful, but with how fast listings are selling at the moment, having that kind of edge is more important than ever. Ad Wizard is a feature that can be found in DeltaNET® that allows you to create several different kinds of ads and post them to Facebook or Instagram. It includes simple branded ads to market yourself and get people coming to your website to save those searches or even just look around.
Set up "My Customer For Life"
The My Customer For Life (MCFL) system is another great feature of a Delta Media Group® website and CRM that can keep your customers engaged even when you don't have listings to show them. If you've read any of my articles before, then you know that the MCFL system is a common topic for me. What can I say? It works. We even have the data to back it up. Whether they're buying, selling or are happy right where they are, clients like these articles, and the open rates prove it. There's no better way to keep a customer engaged than sending them the information they actually want.
For those unfamiliar with the MCFL system, this system allows you to share informational articles related to buying, selling and homeownership via email, social media and your website. Even those past clients that are no longer in the market will find a lot of value in reading them. The best part is that, in addition to making them available to read on a page of your website, you can add your clients to a mailing list to have a few of these articles sent directly to their email each week. The system then keeps track of the articles they engage with so that it can send them more of those kinds of articles in the future. New articles are created in-house each week by our extremely talented content writers. Did I say they're talented? Well, they are.
If you'd rather create your own content, Delta websites also include a blogging platform. Like the MCFL system, these articles can be shared in ways beyond just your website. You can subscribe past clients to your blog, or they can subscribe themselves on your website so that they're notified every time you write a new article. You can also share these articles on social media or, even better, configure the Social Connector system in the DeltaNET® to post them to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn pages for you every time you write a new article.
Share Good Reviews
Next to listings, there's nothing that brings customers directly to you more effectively than good reviews. Not only can you store your customer reviews in the DeltaNET and display them on your website, but you can use the Email Campaign or Eblast system to solicit them from your past clients. You can even configure Social Connector to share them to your social media accounts automatically as they come in. This is a great way to market yourself and your website when there aren't a lot of listings, and like MCFL, it's almost entirely hands-off after a little configuration.
Make eCards and Flyers
Don't forget about ecards and flyers. Creative Studio, along with the legacy eCards & Flyers system found on the Marketing Center page, might be something that you're accustomed to using for sending out ecards for listings. However, there are numerous templates in both systems designed to help you market yourself too. Some are just branded marketing pieces, but there are a wide variety of designs for occasional greetings like holidays and birthdays as well. There are even designs meant to celebrate pet birthdays. Every time you send a "Happy Birthday," "Happy Easter" or "National Donut Day" ecard to a past client or prospect, it becomes that much more likely that you're the person they'll call when listings start coming back on the market.
This all goes to show that, even in times when there aren't many listings available, there are plenty of ways you can continue to market yourself. Real estate marketing isn't entirely about listings. Content related to homeownership and even things as simple as a holiday greeting card can help put your brand on top when the listings return and buying and selling ramps up again. It's coming, and your diligence will pay off when it does.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.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.
Growth is a good thing. The platform you want to be running your business on is the one that is regularly growing and evolving better to suit the market and the needs of its users. After all, real estate is a competitive game, so it's important to have the best tools to give you a leg up on the competition.
Growth isn't always easy, though. With new functionality comes new things to learn, and we all have limited time. I don't have any big secrets that will take away all the challenges out of staying up to date on a platform that is always growing, but I do have a few suggestions that I hope will make your life a little easier when it comes to running your business on one.
Just like your old high school basketball coach used to say, focus on the fundamentals. Ok, I've never had a basketball coach, but you get the idea. There are certain fundamentals that need to remain the same for a feature or function to be what it is. For example, an email campaign system is built around creating a series of emails, setting a date for those emails to go out, and then defining the customers to which those emails will be sent. Whatever else it does, it will always do those things. If it didn't, it would be something entirely different. Therefore, when learning or training on the Campaigns and Action Plans system in the DeltaNET™, make that your focus. Then, regardless of what else is added to it, you'll always be able to use it for its core function.
Also, as we add things, you'll only be learning how those things relate to that core function. You don't need to relearn the whole thing from scratch simply because you can now use it to send a text message instead of an email. You just need to learn that a single deviation in the process you were already familiar with will result in a text message being sent instead of an email. This same concept works for just about everything in the DeltaNET™.
Our Social Connector functionality would be another excellent example of this. We're constantly making improvements to that system. Trust me, I'm the one remaking the training videos each time. However, every change has just been built onto the core functionality of that system. Fundamentally, you connect this system to your social media account; it watches for some event to take place, then it creates a post on your social media page about that event. For example, if you link up your Facebook page and turn the "new listing" posts on, the system will post it to your Facebook page every time you get a new listing. Every other part of it is some extension of that — either posting to different social media platforms or settings related to how often it posts, what the post looks like, what kind of events will trigger it. As long as you keep the fundamentals in mind, every addition becomes much easier to follow.
Next, keep in mind that not every update is something that requires new training. When we update existing functionality in the DeltaNET™, we're always doing our best to add it in a way that makes the system easier to use, not harder. For example, adding a new customer to the system used to involve a "wizard" that required around eight steps to complete. We changed that to make it a single, intuitive step that was kicked off by the same Add Customer button. There was no training required there. It was as if we changed it to be what it always should have been, and, in doing so, we saw that users took to it without any new instruction whatsoever.
Another thing that I find makes it easier to work with a growing platform is staying up to date with the changes. This is especially important for new functionality. You can work through and adopt updates to the existing functionality with the concepts we've been over, but when it comes to new stuff, the best thing you can do is stay on top of it. It's easy to get a notification on some new features and file it away for later, but you don't want to let them build up on you. Usually, it only takes a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the new functionality because, as I mentioned earlier, we do our best to make it easy to use.
Nevertheless, if you let a dozen new features build up on you and then try to learn them all at once, it's a much more daunting task. The biggest problem here is that you either find yourself frustrated by all you need to learn or find yourself not using the new functionality. You certainly don't want to be left in the dark on some functionality that can simplify running your business. It might seem like more work upfront to go over each new thing as it's released, but you'll thank yourself in the long run.
In my typical fashion, I've left the most important advice for last. You need to do your best not to get frustrated. In general, technology seems to have this unique way of frustrating people like nothing else I've ever seen. I don't know if it's because the machine really does seem to have a mind of its own (I promise that it doesn't. At least not yet.), or that we know, deep down, it's generally our fault that it's not doing what we expect it to, but the fact remains. Computers drive people crazy. When the machine isn't cooperating, whether it be the DeltaNET™, your new iPhone, or your car stereo, take a moment to take a deep breath and remind yourself that the machine doesn't hate you. Even if it is a little temperamental. Also, at least at far as the DeltaNET™ is concerned, remember that we're here to help you. I'm not sure we can help you with your car stereo, though. You might need to check with the dealer on that one.
It's a new year and, after the year we've just had, it couldn't come soon enough. Now that we've made it through all of the surprises 2020 threw at us, there's no better time to revisit and recommit to your marketing efforts in order to make the most out of 2021.
To that end, I put together this article to reintroduce you to some of the tools in the DeltaNET™ that you can use to help you make the most out of that SOI you've been building for years. There might even be a thing or two in there that can do all of that with just a little bit of setup, so you don't spend your days on the phone prospecting new clients as well. Let's start out 2021 right.
First and foremost, get that customer database of yours imported into the DeltaNET. There are plenty of tools in the system to help you organize your database, help you reach out to your customers, and even reach out to those customers on your behalf, but none of that does you any good if your customers aren't in there. It can hold a lot, too, so don't be shy about adding in every contact record you have. Keep in mind that, though the system contains a lot of functionality related to emailing clients, there's functionality for phone, text messaging, and even physical mailing as well. So, even if your contacts are just a name and a physical address — or really even only that address — don't be afraid to put them in there. You never know what contact could lead to a closing just because you got in touch with them at the right time.
Don't forget about the old, inactive contacts either. You might have filed them away years ago when you reached out, and they told you they weren't interested, but what was true five years ago might not be true today, and it might just take an automated Market Watch Report to get them interested again. At this point, it's worth it, in the long run, to organize them as best you can. You'll thank yourself later when you're setting up email campaigns or market watches and need those emails to go to the customers that are most likely to engage with them.
Once you have your customers in the DeltaNET, it's time to set up the system to do the time-consuming work for you. Set up the My Customer for Life (MCFL) system to automatically send messages to all of your contacts. This system will periodically reach out to everyone in your database with an email containing links to articles about buying, selling, or home improvement. What's more, it will keep track of the articles they click on so that it can send them more of that kind of article when it emails them in the future. After all, the more relevant the contents of an email are, the more likely I am to read it and remember who sent it to me.
You can also make the most out of the ecard designs through automation. When it comes to the 'birthday card' automation, for example, there's no reason not to set that up to send to everyone. Who doesn't like a birthday card? I would be remiss if I left out there there's a pet birthday card in there too. I'm not saying I wish my dog a happy birthday every year (I do, but don't tell anybody), but I would still get a kick out of getting a birthday card for him. I like to think he'd get a kick out of it too. More importantly, that's exactly the kind of little extra that gets a client to come to you when they're looking to buy or sell a home. You're not always going to know your clients' pets' birthdays (or their own birthdays, for that matter), but that's ok. If you add all of your customers there, the system will only send out to those that have a birthday entered.
Next, you can add them to relevant email campaigns. On the Campaigns & Action Plans page, you'll find a wide variety of content we've prebuilt for you. Some of it is relevant to everyone — the Holidays Campaign, for example — while other campaigns are more specific to what a client is looking for, or whatever their situation might be. This is where organizing your customers into groups comes into play. If you have a good idea of what specific customers are looking for, organize them into groups that put similar customers together. You can then add those groups to the appropriate campaigns to make sure you're sending them the information they're most likely to be interested in.
If you set up buyer groups based on the areas where your customers are looking for their new home, you can also go a step further by setting up a Market Watch Report and attaching it to all of those customers in bulk. That will ensure that, by default, once a month, all of those customers will receive an email with information about the market they're interested in, as well as some properties that are currently on the market there. So, at this point, even with no customer organization at all, you can have those MCFL emails going out with your branding and linking customers back to your website. With some extra organization upfront, however, you can also have some market-specific information going out to the appropriate customers. The better you speak to what a customer is interested in, the more engaged they'll be.
Effective marketing isn't all about email, though. At the end of the day, it's really just about getting the right people to see the right things. That's where Social Connector comes in. Using that tool can automatically post new listings, blog posts, reviews, and several other things to your Facebook business page or your LinkedIn page for you. More and more, consumers engage with social media over email, so this is the perfect opportunity to speak to that audience as well. All without doing anything more than going to the Social Connector page in the DeltaNET, connecting your accounts, and telling it what kinds of things you want to post to each page. Turning everything on is undoubtedly tempting, and, in some cases, that's the right way to go. However, don't forget that, above all, social media marketing is about being social. If the only things you ever post to your Facebook business page are new listings and price reductions, you're probably not going to get many likes or follows. It certainly takes more work to create your own unique and engaging posts in addition to the automated updates, but it will pay off in the long run by getting those automated listing posts in front of a larger audience.
2020 was rough for a lot of us, but 2021 can be your year. The sooner you get into these tools and reinvigorate your marketing efforts, the bigger and better 2021 will be. I don't know about you, but I'm banking on a really good year this time around. We're due for one of those.
Harley Wolfarth demonstrates how to update the search settings of a Delta Media Group® website, powered by the DeltaNET™️ 6 CRM In this episode of Tech Tuesday.
Harley Wolfarth demonstrates how to modify your listing display settings for your website in the DeltaNET™️ 6 CRM.
Just in case you missed today's live episode of Tech Tuesday, watch Harley Wolfarth demonstrate the Open House Connector™️ tool found in the DeltaNET 6™️ CRM.
In this week's episode of Tech Tuesday, Harley Wolfarth demonstrates how to manage your listings in DeltaNET™️ 6.
Harley Wolfarth demonstrates DeltaNET™️ 6 Market Watch tools In this episode of Tech Tuesday.
Harley Wolfarth walks you through the AVM System in DeltaNET® 6 in this episode of Tech Tuesday.
In this episode of Tech Tuesday, Harley Wolfarth demonstrates the various ways to manage your sold listings in the DeltaNET!
In this week's Tech Tuesday, Harley Wolfarth walks us through the setup process of LinkedIn Connector, DeltaNET 6's latest tool for automated social media posting.
Harley Wolfarth walks you through the Lead Settings page of DeltaNET® 6 in this episode of Tech Tuesday.
In this week's Tech Tuesday, Harley Wolfarth reviews creating and using Customer Lists in DeltNET 6 to connect with prospects and clients effectively.
Learn to update your Notification settings within DeltaNET 6 in this episode of Tech Tuesday with Harley Wolfarth.
In this episode of Tech Tuesday, Harley Wolfarth demonstrates how to use the DeltaNET 6 Property Search tool to send and save listings to your clients.
In this episode of Tech Tuesday, Harley Wolfarth demonstrates how to send out message blasts using the DeltaNET® 6.
Selling is an art that is just beyond me. Ask me to sell an old car on Craigslist and watch me go pale; it's embarrassing. Probably one reason I'm don't sell homes for a living. However, I do know about the tools and technology involved in helping sales associates succeed in the real estate business.
There's a lot of nuance and expertise involved when it comes to listing, marketing, and ultimately selling a home. As a real estate professional, your goal is to do everything you can to sell your clients' homes with the fewest headaches along the way.
I'm not telling you anything you don't already know when I say that, as a listing agent, every closing starts with getting the listing. Fortunately, I can tell you about several tools available to you within the DeltaNET 6 platform that covers all the bases of the selling process to get that next listing and set you well on your way to getting that next closing.
In this episode of Tech Tuesday, Harley Wolfarth shows you how to setup a Virtual Phone Number so that you can start utilizing DeltaNET's built-in SMS functionality. You can send bulk messages as well as set up automated campaigns!
Harley Wolfarth walks us through the steps to embedding videos into email during this week's Tech Tuesday video.
Harley Wolfarth walks you through the campaigns and action plans system found in DeltaNET 6 in this week's Tech Tuesday.
In this video, Harley Wolfarth demonstrates the new Speech to Text functionality in the DeltaNET® CRM.
In this episode of Tech Tuesday, Harley Wolfarth demonstrates how to add a Facebook Messenger chat widget to your agent website.
In this week's Tech Tuesday video, Harley Wolfarth demonstrates how to quickly embed listing information and/or customer reviews in emails sent through the DeltaNET