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May
9

Myths are everywhere in the real estate industry these days — and not just for your clients. In an industry with so many resources and news sources available, it's also easy for agents to believe some common myths about their own careers. Whether you're talking about buyers, sellers, or your own career as a real estate agent, combating myths is an important part of the job that is also sometimes overlooked. Cutting through the myths will help your clients achieve their real estate goals and can help you grow within your own career for years to come.

Common Myths for Real Estate Agents

Before we get into buyers and sellers, it's time to take a look a bit closer to home. There are certain myths about being a real estate agent that regularly make the rounds on social media, during water cooler talk, and in other prominent places. Don't listen to them. These myths can hold you back from growing in your career, attracting new business, and providing the best possible service to your clients.

Here's what to be on the lookout for:

The Real Estate Market Will Always Be This Strong

When things are good with real estate markets and your pipeline is always full, it's easy to feel like that will always be the case. Over the last decade, market trends have generally been positive for real estate agents. While we're not predicting doom and gloom, it's important to remember that the pendulum will eventually swing the other way. In order to succeed when real estate markets eventually cool off, it's critical to be prepared and have a plan.

There's Too Much Competition to Stand Out as an Agent

One consequence of the positive trends in real estate over recent years is that more people than ever are deciding to try their hand at real estate careers. NAR membership statistics seem to grow every year, and in 2021 there were more than 1.5 million members. But how many of those real estate agents are taking advantage of all the best marketing tools and doing everything that they need to do to thrive? The truth is that, according to those same statistics, the average agent worked 35 hours per week in 2021. If you're willing to put in the extra time, carve out your niche, and make the most of your marketing — with tools like the ones you can find in the DeltaNET® — there are plenty of opportunities to stand out from the competition.

What Worked in the Past Will Always Work

This myth goes hand-in-hand with the first two on our list, but the truth is that you don't have to look too far into the past to see a totally different real estate industry. Twenty years ago, the iPhone didn't

exist, social media wasn't a thing, and online marketing was largely in its infancy. What will the industry look like five, 10, or even another 20 years from now? The agents who continue to thrive are the ones who are willing to learn, adapt, and evolve with the times.

Past Clients Will Automatically Call You for Real Estate Needs in the Future

After completing a real estate transaction, the vast majority of clients say that they will return to the same agent for real estate needs in the future. They may mean it at the time, but the reality is that they follow up with the same agent far less often than those initial numbers would suggest. If you want to keep clients for life, you need to continue to keep them engaged. With email marketing, social media, and so many other tools for maintaining relationships, you have all the tools you need to keep clients coming back long-term.

Real Estate Marketing Is an Expense, Not an Investment

It's easy to look at real estate marketing as an expense, with money going out. But are you also accounting for all of the revenue your marketing brings in? If you think of your marketing as an investment, then it's also important to track ROI. Make sure that you're taking advantage of analytics and checking your metrics to ensure that your marketing investment is well spent.

Myths That Buyers and Sellers Believe

While some myths make the rounds among real estate pros, they're nothing compared to the number of tall tales that buyers and sellers believe. Helping buyers and sellers understand the realities of real estate and dispel the myths are important parts of any agent's job. When clients are equipped with accurate information, it's easier for you to help them accomplish their goals.

Selling a Home FSBO or Buying a Home Without an Agent Will Save Money

No matter how clear it is that this myth is untrue from the agent's perspective, many buyers and sellers still believe that they can save money by handling everything themselves. Maybe they've even been through the process of buying or selling a home before and think they already know everything that they need to know. Of course, the truth is generally quite the opposite, with most people losing money and gaining frustration when they try to handle the job themselves. That's why it's so important to show prospects all of the ways that you add value and help them save money in the long run.

Online Resources Provide All of the Information That Buyers and Sellers Need

Some people think that they can go without an agent because there's so much information about real estate available online. But online information can only take them so far, and there is also so much misleading real estate info online. Insights they find online might help them in many ways, but online research won't equip them with the tools and skills to handle every detail of a complex real estate transaction.

All Real Estate Agents Are the Same

Similar to the myth about too much competition that we mentioned in the agent section, some buyers and sellers believe that real estate agents are interchangeable. Of course, that couldn't be further from the truth. Make sure that your marketing helps differentiate you from other agents and that you clearly communicate the many ways that you can help clients.

Always Set an Asking Price/Make an Offer That Leaves Room for Negotiation

While it's true that leaving some room to negotiate can be a good thing, many buyers and sellers take the concept to the extreme. A buyer who always starts with a lowball offer or a seller who sets an unrealistically high asking price is only setting themselves up for disappointment. This is one area where the market knowledge of a real estate agent can make life much easier for both buyers and sellers.

Why Busting Myths Will Always Be Part of Real Estate

With how quickly the real estate industry evolves for agents and how many varying sources of information your clients have access to regarding real estate topics, there will always be myths that need to be dispelled. Staying on top of the accurate information and discarding the fake facts will serve any agent well, whether you're helping a client or thinking about ways to advance your own career.

March
15

If you're in a large agency or brokerage, your branding naturally dovetails with that of the team. Still, no matter if you work independently or within an organization, you should keep an eye on how you present yourself to potential customers — especially online.

Branding may sound complicated, but it's simply the process of communicating in a thoughtful and consistent way to help people understand the three biggest things they need to know about you:

  • What you do
  • Who you do it for
  • How you do it differently

No real estate agent is perfect for everyone, yet newcomers to the field often cast a wide net. They worry that if they get specific about what they do, they will alienate potential customers and get less business. The opposite is true: When your brand is specific, you attract more of your ideal clientele.

In the first year or so, any real estate agent will spend plenty of time learning the ropes. It's not out of the ordinary to be unsure what kind of customers you want to work with or what problems you enjoy solving. After some experience, it's essential to start tackling these big questions.

The sooner you do, the sooner you can go from chasing leads to attracting referrals.

Every interaction you have with the public or customers has the potential to influence their perception of your brand. Of course, we can't control everything and shouldn't try. But understanding your vision for your brand will help ensure you're upholding your values and aspirations.

Here are some ways to come to grips with real estate branding:

  • Decide Which Clients Energize You
    It's okay to conclude that certain clients just aren't right for you — there are plenty of people out there and enough agents to help them all. Do you resonate with first-time buyers or luxury buyers? Boomers or Zoomers? Think about who you communicate best with and what interactions give you more energy.

  • Zero In on Specific Problems to Solve
    For a brand to speak to someone, it needs to be crafted for their needs. For example, do you know first-time buying programs inside and out? If first-time buyers are your core customers, then your knowledge can become a cornerstone of your brand. The same applies to any type of problem or question.

  • Have a Visually Consistent Style
    Your real estate website is where most of your future customers will first "meet" you. Be sure it has a consistent style, with the same colors and fonts used throughout. Then, reproduce those fundamentals on all other collateral, such as your business cards, email marketing, or direct mail fliers.

  • Talk in Terms of Benefits, Not Features
    Benefits are what happens for the client. Features are just details of how they get there. Get to the nitty-gritty: Do you consistently get your sellers' homes to closing in 30 days or less? This concrete, numbers-focused figure will be much more enticing to them than a whole list of your credentials and education.

  • Make Following Up Part of Your Routine
    No matter if you're working with a lead or a satisfied customer, following up is crucial. It shows them you care about their success and builds the relationship. You may need to follow up 7-10 times to get business from a lead — and some agents follow up every month with past clients to request referrals.

  • Extend Your Brand to Digital Platforms
    Of all the different professionals who spend time on social media, real estate agents have the best opportunity to grow their business. Dig into social platforms to find out where your audience is active and what they're looking for — then provide helpful, informative content that leads back to your site.

  • Network with Your Real Estate Peers
    A clear, well-defined brand makes you the "go-to" problem-solver in a specific arena. That means your peers, who also aren't trying to do everything for everyone, will be more likely to send business your way when they encounter someone who meets your criteria, but not their own.

  • Have a Written Marketing Plan
    Your marketing can be thought of as your brand in action. Write down your key marketing goals and select a handful of ways, not more than three, to pursue them. Then, make sure all your communications consistently showcase what your brand is all about.

Leverage the Right Technology to Make Branding a Natural Part of Your Business Workflow

Branding for real estate is a big topic, but having the right technology on your side can help. When you use a real all-in-one solution like DeltaNET®6 to manage your relationships, you'll spend less time figuring out where people are and more time giving them the value they expect.

Contact us to learn more about how real estate marketing can enhance your brand.

February
1

Staying in touch with clients used to be a full-time job in itself. It meant knowing where current customers stood in their transaction and how leads' decision-making process was unfolding. It often took a day out of each week just to get updated on the latest.

Luckily, today's real estate agents have new opportunities.

The right real estate technology gives you the ability to deliver faster, more personalized experiences to every client. This is true before, during, and after transactions, ensuring a memorable and premium level of service. That can make all the difference in the trajectory of your practice.

It's well known that most people do not go back to their real estate agent three, four, or five years later — even if they were fully satisfied. The reason why is painfully simple: They forget your name. Even if you have delivered stellar customer care from end to end, you are still fighting this basic fact of nature.

The right technology helps you build relationships that are truly unforgettable.

Stay in Touch and Connect with the Best Real Estate Technology

For a modern agent or broker, the cornerstone of staying in touch is having a Customer Relationship Management app for real estate. A CRM helps you — and your customers — by keeping all the data you need centralized in one place. That makes it easy to identify opportunities and follow up effectively.

With your real estate CRM, you'll not only save time — you'll ensure higher quality and more relevant connections. Technology doesn't replace the human element but instead supports you in deepening key relationships in less time per day. That keeps you focused, doing more of what really matters most.

Let's consider some of the ways you can build client relationships with the right technology:

  • Enjoy AI-Driven Lead Follow Up
    If you want the best real estate CRM out there, be sure to look for an AI-driven machine learning application. With AI, your CRM is constantly learning. It can connect the dots between millions of different data points and find patterns that are invisible to humans, cueing you to follow up at the perfect times.

  • Better Understand Client Needs
    The better you understand your clients, the easier it is to position yourself as a trusted advisor who is there for the long haul. Your CRM can capture interactions with your website, email, and social media that help you know what information clients are looking for (before they even ask you for it!).

  • Keep Clients Confident and in the Know
    Your CRM is your all-in-one "center of excellence" that ties together all of your other communications. In today's market, buyers and sellers alike want ongoing updates to be sure they're trending in the right direction. Your CRM helps you stay in touch across email, social media, text messages, and much more.

  • Adapt Your Communication Strategy to Customer Preferences
    In the old days, picking up the phone was the default way to follow up. These days, you have options — and there's a clear generational divide. Millennials and Gen Z may prefer for you to text them, while some older clients prefer the phone. With a CRM, you will always be able to tailor your approach.

  • See What's Working (and What's Not Working)
    Sound digital marketing is the key to lasting relationships, especially among clients you might not see again for 3-4 years. The bird's-eye view provided by your CRM allows you to understand what content resonates with clients, so you can do more of what they like – without crunching raw data yourself.

  • Accelerate Common Digital Marketing Tasks
    Your CRM is the bridge between day-to-day customer interactions and digital lead generation. You will be talking to people online more often than in person, so it helps to be able to set up email campaigns, social media posts, and all the rest in just a few clicks.

  • Keep Your Information Timely and Relevant
    If you're using an all-in-one real estate solution like DeltaNET®6, you'll have the opportunity to tap into a wide range of other tools. Market Watch Reports produce a branded, accurate overview of the local area in seconds. Seller Reports are great for keeping your sellers confident and engaged.

  • Be Even More Responsive
    When you are fielding that all-important first inquiry from a prospective customer, minutes can make the difference in how you're perceived. Since your CRM can unify all of your digital properties, you can set alerts that will let you know as soon as someone new makes contact.

When it comes to full lifecycle support of your customers — the kind of care and attention that creates a life-long business relationship — the best digital technology is indispensable. Contact us to find out more or get started with marketing automation for real estate.

January
27

You have probably heard a lot about how valuable video content is as a digital marketing tool for real estate agents, and for good reason. Integrating video content into your marketing strategy is a dependable way to build trust, showcase your real estate expertise, provide valuable advice to your audience, market properties, and give your social media presence a significant boost.

On top of that, creating video content is more accessible, more affordable, and easier to do than ever before. Getting started will still require some effort, but you really can master video content with minimal investment and the potential for major returns.

The Right Tools for the Job

When you hear about video content, you might be thinking about expensive cameras, specialized lenses, drones, and other fancy tech. But the only fancy piece of technology that you truly need to get started is the smartphone in your pocket. A newer generation of phone is ideal because cameras, lenses, and filming technology all tend to advance with each new generation.

You'll also need a few apps, like a film app and video editing app, along with a mini-tripod to ensure you get stable shots. You can certainly choose to invest in more expensive equipment if you fall in love with creating video content, but other than your phone it takes very little investment to get started.

Getting Started with Video Content

Once you have the minimal equipment necessary, it's time to start experimenting, getting used to the tools, and building confidence. Rather than worrying about publishing something right away, make some practice videos to experiment with filming strategies, get used to speaking in front of the camera, and try out your video editing app. Watching videos from experienced real estate content creators is a great way to gain inspiration and pick up some tips on creating your own videos.

After that, it's all about practice and preparation. Some videos might require a script, some might be more off the cuff, and some videos like property tours will require more careful planning. All of these things will get easier the more you do them.

The Most Popular Types of Real Estate Videos

  • The "About Us" Video
    Adding a face and personality to your brand is so powerful for your online marketing. Whether you're introducing yourself, your whole team, your company, or a new agent who has joined, "about us" videos are relatively easy to make while offering significant benefits.

  • Sharing Your Real Estate Expertise
    Providing advice to buyers, sellers, and homeowners is a staple for real estate video content. It's also a great way to show off your real estate knowledge and give your audience a look at the many ways that you can help them. Short real estate advice videos are ideal for social sharing, and you can also break down longer videos into short, shareable clips.

  • Property and Guided Tour Videos
    Guided property tours take more preparation to film than some other types of video content, but doing the work up front makes the process of filming a tour much easier. Given the number of steps required to make them, these videos often take longer to master. But once you have it down, you'll have a general formula for every property video you make in the future.

  • Neighborhood Videos
    It's not just properties that your audience wants to see. They also want to learn all about the neighborhoods where homes are located, and neighborhood videos can really help them build connections with your markets. Whether you're touring local attractions or just showing them around the neighborhood, these videos are a powerful supplement to your property tours.

  • Testimonial Videos
    Written testimonials from clients are excellent marketing tools for any agent, and video testimonials take the concept of social proof to the next level. A filmed testimonial adds a level of authenticity that text can't match, which makes it perfect for online marketing and social media sharing. If a client is willing to film a testimonial, take steps to make it happen.

Are You Ready to Become the Next Real Estate Video Star?

Now that you know a little more about the tools required, the steps that you'll need to take to create video content, and the most popular types of real estate videos, all that's left is to work on the craft. You'll notice that many of the most popular real estate videos have a polished, professional look, and that's no accident.

It takes practice to create great videos, but the payoff is well worth the investment. Perhaps one day you'll be the real estate content creator that other agents look to for inspiration and advice when they begin their own journey with creating video content.

January
13

What makes a good lead? Understanding the what, why, and how of lead qualification can save so much time for real estate sales associates, allowing you to focus your energy on leads that are more likely to convert while setting aside dead-end leads. In order to effectively qualify leads, you need to have a reliable process in place to identify promising leads with speed and efficiency.

In short, a good lead is someone who is ready to buy or sell a home. They've likely already put significant thought into the process, have an idea of what they want to accomplish, and are looking for a real estate agent they can trust to get the job done. These are the leads that you want to prioritize over other, less qualified leads who are further from taking real action.

How to Qualify a Lead

In order to identify which leads are good ones and which can be put on the back burner or discarded, you need to ask the right questions. Ideally, you want this to happen as soon as possible when a lead enters your pipeline. That's why it's so important to have a system in place for qualifying leads and to use it consistently.

  • Is the Lead Buying or Selling a Home in Your Markets?
    Start simple, and make sure that the lead is interested in buying or selling a home in one of the markets where you do business. Naturally, a lead shopping for a home in a city or neighborhood that doesn't fall under your umbrella can usually be easily disqualified.

  • What Is Their Motivation for Buying or Selling a Home?
    Figuring out the motivations of the buyer or seller is one of the most important steps that you can take when qualifying a lead. What is their motivation, and just how motivated are they to take the next steps? A buyer or seller who's moving for work, financial reasons, family reasons, or another strong motivating factor is more likely to take action than a lead that lacks a strong motivation to move forward quickly.

  • Have They Been Pre-Approved for a Mortgage?
    One way to gauge the motivation and engagement of a lead is to find out whether they've already been pre-approved for a mortgage. A buyer who has already made an effort to get pre-approved is more likely to be ready to take the next steps. Lacking pre-approval isn't necessarily a factor that disqualifies a lead outright, but it's certainly a positive when a buyer has been pre-approved.

  • What Type of Budget Are They Shopping With?
    Is the buyer searching for a home that fits the price range of the homes that you have to offer, and the listings in your cities/neighborhoods? If it's a seller, are they interested in listing a home in a price range that fits your market, and your target demographic of buyers? Answering these questions can help you determine whether the lead is a good fit for your real estate services.

  • Are They Looking for a Specific Type of Home?
    For buyers, are they looking for specific features from a home? Not only will the answer to this question help you determine how far along the buyer is in the process, it can also tell you whether you might already have listings that match their preferences.

  • How Long Have They Been Searching?
    Has the lead been working on buying or selling a home for a long time? Have they already worked with a different agent in the past? These questions help determine motivation, and knowing if they've already worked with an agent can help you plan how to move forward.

  • How Soon Are They Hoping to Close the Deal?
    A highly motivated buyer or seller is also more likely to be a highly qualified lead. If they're interested in closing the deal quickly, that's a good sign.

  • Are They Ready to Set an Appointment?
    Is the lead ready to take concrete action and plan next steps? If they're willing to set an appointment, then one of the most critical questions is already answered.

Use the Right Tools to Turn Qualified Leads into Satisfied Clients

Of course, qualifying leads is just the first, important step in the process, and the right real estate tech can make the next steps in that process so much more efficient. The right real estate all-in-one solution, like DeltaNET®6, offers so many valuable tools for converting leads. Whether you're sending AI-driven newsletters, reaching out with convenient SMS text messaging, helping people tour homes from afar with virtual open houses & showings, taking advantage of integrations with all of the top real estate platforms, or using one of many other tools, DeltaNET®6 provides everything you need to get the job done in one convenient package.

January
6

How do you measure success? Every successful real estate firm prioritizes slightly different metrics, which means that there's no one right answer to that question. But with the ability to track so many metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed by all of the data at your fingertips. The important thing to remember is that metrics are more than just numbers. Tracking results, from lead generation to closings, is one of the most reliable ways to help your team grow and unlock higher levels of performance from your sales associates.

Prospecting and Lead Generation Metrics

Analyzing results and projecting future performance starts with understanding what your sales associates are doing to generate leads. Statistically, luck tends to even out over time, which is one reason why volume is a key factor in many prospecting and lead generation metrics.

  • Leads Generated
    We'll get into some of the more granular details shortly, but if you want a quick, overall look at what your sales associates are doing to generate new business, then leads generated is the perfect place to start. The simple fact is that sales associates who generate more leads also tend to close more deals. Volume is important, and leads generated is a catch-all metric to track the work your team is doing to bring in new clients.

  • Calls/Contacts Made
    How efficiently and effectively is your team working to generate leads? The number of contacts made online and good, old-fashioned phone calls that a sales associate makes naturally play a big role in the number of leads that they generate. While raw outreach numbers don't tell the whole story, they provide a solid picture of the effort being made.

  • Database Size
    Ideally, the number of leads, clients, and contacts in a sales associate's database should show stable growth over time. A bigger database means more opportunities, and creating more opportunities leads to more closed deals. If a sales associate is making a large number of calls/contacts but the number of clients in their database isn't growing accordingly, they may need to adjust their tactics for converting leads.

  • Appointments Generated
    Generating appointments is a critical step in turning leads into clients, and sales associates who post a high number of appointments generated are giving themselves more chances at success. Like database size, the appointments generated metric provides a window into how well a sales associate is managing leads.

  • Appointments to Listings/Appointments to Buyer Representation Agreements
    We group these two metrics together because they're two sides of the same coin. Appointments to listings is a KPI for sales associates who cater to sellers, while appointments to buyer representation agreements tell the same story for sales associates who work primarily with buyers. These metrics tell you how well your team is doing at turning leads into clients.

Measuring Results and Client Satisfaction

Of course, results matter too! Keeping track of how many leads are converted, how many deals are closed, and how happy clients are with the service they receive can provide important insights into the performance of your team.

  • Average Sales Price
    How does the average sales price of homes listed by your sales associates compare with the overall average sales price in your markets? If the average sales price for your sales associates consistently beats market averages, then your team is likely doing a good job of marketing, promoting, and showing homes.

  • Showings Per Sale
    Are your sales associates using showings as a key tool for finding buyers? While marketing and pricing also play a role in showings per sale, a sales associate who posts weak showings per sale numbers may benefit from some extra training to help with performance during showings.

  • Listings Closed
    How many listings are your sales associates closing? While this is a fairly basic metric, it's also one of the important numbers for measuring the success of your team and individual sales associates.

  • Client Feedback Score
    Are your clients satisfied with the service they received? A high client feedback score often means more referrals, which can be a goldmine for sales associates. Of course, the client feedback score is also an important reflection of how clients view and trust your real estate brand.

Improve Tracking and Success with the Right Real Estate Tech

Is your real estate CRM providing you with all of the data that you need to help your team thrive? With DeltaNET®6 you get more than just a comprehensive suite of tools for lead generation, marketing, and relationship management. You also get more ways to track performance, discover which tactics work best for your team, and analyze results. If you want your team to learn, grow their confidence, and thrive, then it's critical to provide them with the right tools for the job.

January
4

No matter what technology you incorporate into your real estate practice, one thing is for sure: It's all about people. Technology doesn't replace the human touch — it gives you more time and opportunities to make the connections that are so important to your success.

At Delta Media Group, we're going into the new year with a commitment to put people first.

Now is the perfect time for brokers and real estate agents to think about the best ways to place customers at the center of their practice. The idea of the "customer-obsessed" business has become a cliché in recent years, but nowhere is it more relevant than real estate.

Why Customer Experience Matters for Real Estate More than Virtually Any Other Industry

In today's modern market, there are no industries out there where customers simply don't matter. But the world of real estate is very different from the norm. Real estate professionals rely on achieving a level of customer experience excellence above and beyond other sectors of the economy.

Customer experience encompasses every interaction a person has with a brand, no matter big or small. Each one of those interactions will influence the customer's brand sentiment, adding up to a picture of what they think of you and what you can do.

It doesn't matter how you market yourself or sell your services if those brand messages are out of harmony with what a customer has directly experienced with you. In real estate, this effect becomes more pronounced because it affects your entire future.

Most people will be in the real estate market only every 5-8 years. Customer experience is the defining factor that determines whether they will come back to you, enhancing their lifetime value. Even more crucial, it can mean the difference in hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential referral business.

As real estate businesses mature, it is important to go from "chasing leads" to earning referrals. A healthy real estate business will have a strong mix of referral clients and new leads attracted to their digital properties through inbound marketing. There'll be very little "chasing" involved!

By putting people at the center of your business, you make it far more likely that they will stick with you over the dozens of competitors they might otherwise choose. Making a good impression on someone can transform your bottom line, even if you never work directly with that person again.

If you are part of a team, being people-centric has other aspects you should be aware of.

It means giving those around you the resources and opportunities to thrive. Paradoxically, it also means recognizing that people have limits, individual weaknesses, and significant priorities outside of work — and showing some grace to the whole, human person you work with. This is essential to stave off burnout as we enter the third year of a global pandemic!

The Biggest Ways to Put People First in 2022

  • Cultivate Empathy
    Empathy is the ability to put ourselves in others' shoes. While it comes to some people naturally, it can also be developed over time. Real estate pros show empathy when they maintain a genuine interest in their clients, those clients' needs, and the best way to realize their goals in a transaction.

  • Have a Unique Plan for Each Client
    Once you've asked open-ended questions and put clients at ease, it's critical to take action on all of that information. That means having a unique plan for each person, focusing on their budget, location, and amenities. Never take a "one size fits all" approach with any client, even if you have a narrow niche.

  • Communicate Progress
    No matter whether your client is buying or selling, communication is the key to gaining and maintaining their trust. Be sure to clarify with clients what is happening now and what the next steps will be. Should any roadblocks develop, be candid and take an action-based approach that helps them feel in control.

  • Believe in Continuous Improvement
    In real estate, there is always something new to learn. Every client provides a fresh opportunity to discover more about the human condition. Once closing day arrives, it's a wise idea to look back on your customer interactions to find room for improvement – and don't forget to ask for feedback!

  • Cut Busywork Out of the Equation
    Most real estate agents are energized by spending time with people. They don't want to lose more hours than necessary behind a desk perfecting social media posts or emails. With the right software, you'll greatly reduce the time you spend on marketing collateral while still getting great results.

Real estate technology makes it easier to bring your whole self to the work you do. To learn more about upgrading your business with real estate marketing automation, just contact us at Delta Media Group.

December
6

More businesses are talking about "values," but what does that really mean?

To an individual, "values" are most often seen in value judgments. These are statements about life that can't be proven or disproven in ordinary ways. They disclose what the person making the statement considers important but aren't necessarily held by other people.

For example, many would agree with the statement, "All people have inherent dignity and worth." That statement might be considered part of their desire to embody a given value, say respect or compassion. Values can be boiled down to one word, but they always require interpretation.

What does all this mean when it comes to your life as a real estate agent?

In short, virtually every brand "says" it has values, but not all values are created equal. It's not enough to simply write down a value statement or publicize it on your website. You also have to make decisions about what those values mean, how they affect your priorities, and how they get rewarded.

Let's explore how it all adds up — and what it means for the people who count on you.

To Make a Difference to Your Customers, Values Must Be Reinforced and Rewarded

Let's take a common example many of us have experienced inside and outside the business world.

Growing up, lots of kids are encouraged to value learning. But learning can be a messy process, and it often involves making mistakes along the way. If you aren't comfortable with mistakes, it's very hard to come to grips with starting off in any new endeavor since you always start from scratch.

If the same child who was told to value "learning" is punished or yelled at every time they make less than an A+ grade, they will quickly realize learning isn't the goal. It isn't what's valued. What's really valued in that situation is grades, as the difference between word and action shows.

Something similar happens in businesses every day!

For example, lots of businesses claim to value creative thinking. But creativity requires risks, not all of which will pay. If those risks are discouraged, the conflict between word and action opens up. People will get wise and stop taking risks to be creative – or else they will move on.

The smaller your group, the easier it is to make sure your words, actions, and objectives all align with your stated values. Indeed, it's easiest when you're doing it for yourself! But the lesson is this: To adopt a value, you need a concrete idea of exactly how it will affect your day-to-day work.

That's what allows you to know your values in action when you see them.

To Make Values Tangible, Understand How They Will Influence Your Priorities

Here's an example that crops up in the lives of many new real estate agents.

In the beginning, most agents need to focus on finding leads, and they don't want to lose a single one. They quickly conclude that they want to stand out for their customer service — "being there for customers no matter what." This is a statement of values. It could be simplified to responsiveness.

An agent who values responsiveness is therefore making a choice of priorities. They might interrupt another work-related task in order to return a call. Taking things further, they might also choose to return a call earlier in the morning or later at night than they otherwise would.

All these activities would be in keeping with the value of responsiveness. But it's critical to recognize some values-driven behavior can be self-defeating. Agents who find themselves returning texts at all hours of day and night to be responsive could burn out at the same time.

Choosing Values that Move Your Business Forward

Start the process of deciding on values by listing them out. Then, underneath each one, list the specific actions the value would motivate you to take. What commitments are implied by this value? What will you do when one value is in conflict with another? Which, if any, is your "highest" value?

In this way, you can incorporate your values into your business. When your values resonate with those of your ideal customer, upholding them will draw the right people to you. After all, your "brand," in real estate or any industry, isn't just what you say about yourself.

It's also what others think and say about you, online and off.

As you communicate and demonstrate your values, the kind of customers you want to work with will be inspired to maintain a long-term relationship with you. They will also be more likely than they otherwise would be to share their positive experiences with others, sending you more referrals.

Thus, by making a few decisions about what matters to you, you can energize your entire career.

December
2

Your sphere of influence should be one of your greatest assets for generating leads as a real estate agent, but only if you make the effort to maintain and utilize it. Thanks to online marketing and social media, your sphere of influence can now expand much further than it would have in the past. That's in addition to your more traditional sphere of influence, which of course includes friends, family, and everyone that you connect with in your community. By utilizing your sphere of influence and taking advantage of the tools available to make your life easier, you can generate a steady, sustainable supply of fresh, highly qualified leads as a real estate agent.

How to Define Your Sphere of Influence

Your sphere of influence starts with the people you know best but should also expand far beyond that group. Think about all of the people who you interact within your community: small business owners, community organizations, volunteer groups, sports leagues, places of worship, service providers, former colleagues, other parents from your children's school, and any other group that you connect with on a regular basis.

Now, add in your online sphere of influence, which reaches beyond the communities where you work and live. There are people you connect with through your social media, real estate website, the content that you create, and the leads generated by your online marketing. When you add it all up, your sphere of influence likely extends much further than you'd guess at first glance.

Consistency Counts with Your Sphere of Influence

It's a mistake to think of your sphere of influence as a "set it and forget it" source of leads. Instead, think of it as something that you consistently have to maintain and nurture in order to generate the best results. The more effort that you put into building and maintaining relationships with the people in your sphere, the more business you can expect to generate. That means reaching out at the right times, being a trusted source of advice, connecting on a personal level, and being as consistent as possible with maintaining relationships.

Use Your Real Estate CRM to Segment Leads and Plan Your Outreach

Utilizing your sphere of influence is much easier when you have the right tools for the job, and your real estate CRM is at the top of that list. Use your CRM to organize your contacts, keep track of vital information about each connection, segment your leads, and ensure that you're reaching out to the right people at the right time. Take advantage of tools like drip email campaigns and AI-driven newsletters to stay in touch while lightening your workload, thanks to automation.

Stay Active and Engaged on Social Media

Naturally, your social media presence is one of your best tools for growing and nurturing your sphere of influence online. Social media marketing can help you build new connections, and engaging with your social connections is key to generating leads from your sphere of influence. When you share content, get involved with the conversation that it generates. Join social media groups where you can share your real estate expertise, and build connections with your community. Be mindful of how you interact with people, show genuine interest in their needs, answer questions, and be helpful.

Use Real Estate Content to Share Your Expertise

Your real estate content is a great way to grow your sphere of influence, provide valuable advice, demonstrate your expertise, build trust, and help convert leads that come from your sphere of influence. Whether you create real estate blog posts, video content, or a mix of both, make sure that you're sharing your content where your sphere of influence can see it.

Showcase Your Social Proof

Even people you already know may need a little extra push to trust you with their real estate needs, and integration of social proof is the perfect way to provide it. Make sure that you're asking clients for online reviews and testimonials after they've used your real estate services. Showcase those testimonials on your real estate website and your social media pages.

Do Some Good, Old Fashioned Networking in Your Community

Near the beginning, we mentioned some of the many groups within your local community that may be part of your sphere of influence. Getting out and networking in person is a dependable way to maintain your connection with those groups while bringing new people into your sphere of influence.

Your Sphere of Influence Is Always a Work in Progress

If there's one thing to remember, it's that utilizing your sphere of influence is a constant process. Investing consistent effort and utilizing the right tools to make your life easier will allow you to maximize the lead generation potential of your sphere of influence.

November
29

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.

What's more:

  • Property listings with virtual tours get clicked 40% more than listings with only still photos
  • 75% of all prospects asked said that they preferred virtual tours as a decision-making tool

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.

Here's how:

  • Start With a Plan in Mind
    Every home is different, and it's up to your virtual tour to help you tell the story in the best way possible. This becomes easier with a little forethought. Walk through the house and put together a shortlist of all the features you want to highlight. Use your list to give yourself a miniature outline of how the virtual tour will work, letting you know precisely which elements to showcase in each room.

  • Prepare the Space Before You Begin
    Staging is just as crucial for a virtual tour as it is for an in-person showing. Make sure the rooms have been decluttered, including large furniture that could get in the way. Coordinate with your seller to ensure lawn work is taken care of and political signs are removed from the yard. Open curtains and shades on all the windows, and be sure to time your recording to benefit from natural light.

  • Find the Best Tools for the Job
    Using your smartphone for video is fine for social media, but a virtual tour should be more polished. The higher quality your video is, the better it will perform. Experiment with your options, including setting up a professional camera on a tripod or carrying one through the rooms with you. When it comes to aerial photography, it's often best to hire the services of an experienced drone photographer.

  • Help Your Virtual Tour Shine with Editing
    When they're still getting used to the process, most real estate agents record their virtual tours rather than streaming them live. If this describes you, you have the added bonus of being able to bring your tour to the next level with editing. This is ideal for cutting out any instances where you repeated yourself. It also gives you creative control over options like intro music and branding.

  • Use the Right Software
    Real estate virtual tour software like Properties in Motion can vastly accelerate the process of getting comfortable with virtual tours. Properties in Motion simplifies the matter by making it easier to create high-quality, branded videos complete with voice-over. It automatically pulls all needed details from the MLS, feeds videos to Facebook and your website, and makes it easy to track lead activity.

  • Implement Automation Elsewhere in Your Practice
    As with everything in real estate, virtual tours become easier when you have the right processes. If you find yourself spending a lot of time crafting the perfect virtual tour, don't beat yourself up over it: Lean into the learning experience. By implementing an all-in-one real estate solution like DeltaNET®6, you can introduce reliable, AI-driven automation to other parts of your business so you can spend more time where it is needed.

Contact us at Delta Media Group to discover just how easy good virtual tours can be.

November
26

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.

  • Know Your Audience
    It's hard to be everything to everyone in most things in life, and social media is no different. Understanding who you're trying to reach will help you choose which social platforms to emphasize, plan content that speaks to the needs of your audience, and tailor your social presence to reach them. Before you can reach your audience, you need to have an idea of who they are and what they want.

  • Find Ways to Share Your Expertise
    Your real estate expertise is one of your greatest assets for creating a social media plan and building your audience. The best way to share your expertise is to create real estate content, and there are a variety of content types to suit your style. Blog posts are great especially if you enjoy spending some time behind the keyboard, while video content is very popular and perfect for social sharing if you'd rather spend time in front of the camera.

  • Invest Time in Engagement
    While of course you can't plan out every interaction, you definitely can plan on investing some time into engagement. There's no getting around the fact that engagement is key to nearly every aspect of social success, so it's more than worth the time.

  • Turning Connections into Clients
    Is your social presence integrated with the rest of your online marketing? Can your social connections easily find your real estate website, and take the next step? Converting clients is the name of the game and the destination where all of your other planning efforts are leading.

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.

November
17

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:

Budget

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?

Authority

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.

Necessity

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?

Timing

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.

November
5

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.

  1. Be Powerful
    Your brand is far more meaningful in your community than those of the online companies. In fact, you may be more of a household name than you realize. You can increase your brand recognition with clean and effective website design. Effective SEO will also keep you on top of your market digitally, even to the point where you can compete and surpass Zillow for top spots in search results.

  2. Be Efficient
    Efficiency in the digital age means spending less time on routine tasks and spending more time utilizing your unique skills. With an all-in-one real estate solution like DeltaNET®6, you can automate away pesky and time-consuming tasks while generating more and better-qualified leads.

  3. Be Creative
    Taking advantage of cutting-edge software and services doesn't mean letting go of the wheel completely. With a powerful online creative studio, you can fine-tune promotional flyers and brochures to your liking. That way, you can ensure your personality and messaging shine through without needing to be a graphic design wiz.

  4. Be Reliable
    Everyone is skeptical of faceless companies, but when a client can put a name and personality to their real estate venture, they'll be far more trustful knowing a real person cares about their experience. Automated text messages may seem impersonal to someone who's never used them, but their power comes from being able to stay in contact with clients and allowing clients an easy way to get in touch with you when they need a more in-depth consultation.

  5. Be Different
    It's always good to make yourself stand out, but it's also important for your clients to know exactly what makes you different. With the right tools, you can focus your energy on providing clients with the expertise you've earned through years of connecting families with homes.

          For more tips on how you can Zillow-proof your business, contact us today.

          November
          2

          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:

          • An analytics suite runs on your website, so you understand how people are using it
          • Your CRM uses AI-driven analytics to help you qualify and follow up with your leads

          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:

          • You are more likely to connect with people who are ready to convert and close an agreement
          • You can save hours every week you would otherwise spend keeping track of leads and clients

          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.

          October
          28

          What is your company culture like, and how does that culture impact the success of your team? These are crucial questions in any industry, and they're especially important in real estate. Building a strong culture starts from the top, but it also depends on every team member doing their part. Here's why culture is so critical to success and how you can foster a strong culture for your real estate team.

          Individual excellence may improve results, but team culture is the key to building a reliable, sustainable business where team members look forward to working each day and providing an excellent experience for your clients. A healthy culture makes it easier for your team to collaborate, support one another, and seamlessly integrate new members into the team.

          Your culture is reflected in everything that your team does. It makes your real estate business a more attractive place to work for top-performing agents and helps every team member perform to the best of their abilities. It's also reflected in how your clients are treated, how well your team helps them accomplish their goals, and how likely they are to generate referrals after those goals are accomplished.

          How to Build a Strong Culture with Your Real Estate Team

          As a team leader, other team members will naturally look to you as a culture setter and an example. When you bring a positive, team-focused attitude, a collaborative spirit, and a strong work ethic to the table, team members are naturally more likely to follow your lead.

          • Establish Core Values That Your Team Can Be Proud Of
            What motivates your team as a whole? Are the values of your team members aligned with the core values of your real estate business? Those values provide a guiding light for team members, both in how they treat clients and how they treat each other. Providing an outstanding experience for your clients is something that every team member should be able to get behind. It motivates them to work together to provide that experience and to make an effort to treat team members just as well as they treat each client.

          • Learn What Motivates Each Team Member
            While team goals and values are important, it's equally critical to remember that every team is made up of unique individuals. Understanding what motivates each individual will help you create an environment that allows them to maximize their skills, work toward their goals, and understand how those goals fit within the larger context of the team. Take the time to get to know each member of the team and learn about their career goals. The more you know about your team, the easier it is to build a strong culture.

          • Encourage a Culture of Collaboration and Respect
            The most successful teams work together toward common goals, with each individual doing their part. In real estate, collaboration comes in many forms – experienced agents helping new agents, buyer's agents helping seller's agents, and vice versa. In order to encourage collaboration and trust, it's important to foster an environment of respect. When team members treat each other the right way, respect the goals of each team member, and accept new ideas, it's much easier to succeed.

          • Help Your Agents Learn and Grow
            The best agents never stop learning, are aware of how they can improve, and are willing to listen to advice from experienced voices on how they can grow their careers. Encourage agents to grow by providing learning opportunities and coaching. Make mentorship a priority so that each generation of agents can help the next generation thrive.

          • Celebrate Team and Individual Successes
            Real estate is hard work. Agents of all experience levels invest extensive effort in achieving both team and individual goals. Celebrating those successes is a great way to bring your team closer together and remind them of why individual success is so closely linked to team success.

          • Create an Inviting, Social Work Environment
            Even the layout of your office can make a positive contribution to team culture by encouraging agents to socialize and collaborate. An open floor plan makes it easy for agents to interact and connect. Regardless of the floor plan, you can create common areas where agents can easily meet up, discuss real estate matters, or even just relax for a few minutes and connect on a personal level.

          No matter the size of your real estate business, team culture is a key ingredient in your recipe for success. Whether you're launching a new brokerage or working to boost the performance of your existing team, actively building a positive culture will help you accomplish your goals. No two teams are exactly the same, but the core elements of a strong culture apply across the board.

          October
          26

          According to research by RISMedia, the most popular technology stack for real estate agencies and brokerages includes these elements:

          • Lead generation and referral services (29.6%)
          • Task and time management tools (31.1%)
          • Aerial photography (25.8%)

          These correspond with three big concerns real estate pros have: Developing new business, maintaining efficiency in the office, and ensuring properties have terrific listings. Add a dedicated real estate CRM to the mix, and you are ready to really shine.

          Technology enhances your capabilities, helping you do more of what you do well and reducing time you spend on routine tasks. Combined with the versatility real estate pros bring to the table and the industry's natural diversity, it empowers you to excel no matter what the market throws at you.

          But there's one problem: To reap the benefits, everyone has to be on the same page.

          Why Even Great Technology Rarely Changes Your Business Overnight

          Solo agents working alone in the home office often have more success implementing and using new technology than their colleagues in large teams. The individual needs to conquer the learning curve, but once that's done, it's easy to get nearly 100% of the potential value from technology.

          On the other hand, large teams can face an uneven roll-out when it comes to technology.

          Even a highly efficient company that's driven by best practices can fall behind if everyone has a different idea about what their software does, when to use it — and, most importantly, when to work around it. The more people avoid a platform or use their own solutions, the more confusing it all gets.

          Software doesn't just make things faster. It gives everyone a common frame of reference, including the same workflow and the terminology to get the job done right. This is especially crucial when multiple professionals need to work together to bring a transaction to a successful conclusion.

          The key to making a smooth transition is to understand how technology relates to change management.

          Recognize Your Team's Early Adopters and Passive Resistors

          In 1962, sociologist Everett Rogers published Diffusion of Innovations, one of the most widely cited works in the social sciences. The book was built around the idea of the Rogers Diffusion Curve, which stated that, within any organization, five different orientations to change would be represented:

          • Innovators (2.5%)
          • Early Adopters (13.5%)
          • Early Majority (34%)
          • Late Majority (34%)
          • Laggards (16%)

          Innovators and early adopters are those most likely to embrace new technology. They do so not for its own sake, but because they clearly see and understand the value proposition it offers, whether that's speed, efficiency, accuracy, or whatever else it might be.

          On the far end of the scale is the "passive resistor." This is not simply a "laggard" who will come around to new things in time. Instead, passive resistors demonstrate a commitment to things the way they are, often because existing approaches have proven successful for them in the past.

          When decision-makers in an organization introduce a plan to use particular software and do things in a certain way, passive resistors are those who demonstrate lukewarm compliance. They might go right on using their preferred methods, which makes your business less efficient and less secure.

          Getting Off to a Strong Start with New Technology

          "Because I said so" rarely works on children, and it's just as useless with many adults. So, it's important to communicate about technology plans and lead change in a measured, respectful, transparent way. Only once such steps have been taken should active monitoring for compliance be used to close the gap.

          Here's how to get started:

          • Recruit Your Early Adopters as Evangelists
            During the selection and implementation process, some people will have more contact with the new technology than others. They will also be the first to see concrete changes and real results. Let the most enthusiastic colleagues take point communicating the value at stake to their less eager colleagues.

          • Have a  Communication Strategy in Place
            Depending on the size of the team, different communication methods may be appropriate in the run-up to a big technology change. Try to use multiple methods, and be sure to create opportunities to ask questions, whether in the form of a town hall meeting, one-on-one, or another appropriate venue.

          • Use the Power of Internal Mentoring
            Software vendors can provide detailed training on every aspect of their solutions, but they are usually on-site only a short time. Identify your "power users" — often the same as your early adopters! — and find out who is willing to spend some time helping others in the organization sharpen their skills.

          New technology may take some getting used to, but it can mean the difference between an average year and blockbuster results. Contact us to learn more about optimizing your use of real estate technology.

          October
          22

          It's no secret that nearly every real estate agent would like to improve their social media presence, regardless of how much success they've already had on social platforms. According to a social survey from real estate website "The Close," 88 percent of real estate agents would like to improve their social media, while 44 percent find social media to be one of their best sources of leads. Only referrals ranked higher as a lead generation source. If you're one of many agents who want to improve their social media, we've got some proven tips to help you accomplish your goals.

          Know Your Audience

          Who are you trying to reach, and what are their real estate goals? It's hard to please everyone, and knowing your audience makes it much easier to tailor your social presence to their needs. Start by looking at who you want to reach with your real estate brand, and the needs of your typical clients. Take some time to engage with your audience directly on social media, encourage conversations, and learn more about them.

          Be Authentic and Build Personal Connections

          There's no better way to build trust on social media than to be yourself, and try to form genuine connections with your followers. Trying to be someone you're not rarely works out with social media marketing, so authenticity is really important. While you're likely to be posting plenty of content, it's equally important to interact with your followers on an individual level, and in public settings like Facebook groups. Word of mouth spreads quickly on social media, and your engagement with your audience is one of your biggest drivers of lead generation.

          Educate Your Audience Rather Than Pitching to Them

          Think about all of the people you follow and connect with on your personal social media accounts. How many of them do you follow because of their sales pitches? If you're like most people, you probably connect with social accounts that educate, share interesting content, and engage with their followers. Your real estate knowledge is a huge asset, and sharing it with your audience is a great way to boost your social media.

          Create and Share Thoughtful, High-Quality Content

          So, what's the best way to educate your audience? Sharing great content that you create and sharing interesting content that you find online are two powerful ways to build your social presence. Content comes in many forms, from blog posts and videos to quick status updates with relevant statistics. Keep track of engagement to see which types of custom content resonate most with your audience, and try to share fresh content as often as you can.

          Get Comfortable Behind a Camera

          While quality content comes in many forms, there's no denying that video content is one of the biggest drivers of social media engagement. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels allow you to post short, bite-size video content, while longer videos will work on nearly every other major social platform. With a relatively new smartphone and a few accessories like a tripod, you'll have everything you need to start creating video content. Practice makes perfect when creating videos, so dive in, invest some time, build confidence, and reap the rewards.

          Be Consistent and Stay on Schedule

          Perhaps the biggest secret to social media success is that it takes time and effort to build the type of meaningful connections that will earn you business. Blocking out time each day for social media activities and sticking to your schedule will help you build a successful, reliable social routine. With DeltaNET®6, you can save time on social media marketing by easily automating posts, including listings, blog posts, open houses, client reviews, and more. When you automate routine tasks, you can dedicate more of your social time to engaging with your audience.

          Integrate Social Media Into Your Real Estate Website and Marketing

          As you build your audience, your social media pages should help drive plenty of fresh traffic to your real estate website. But your website and other marketing materials can also help drive interest in your social media. Make sure that you have social sharing buttons on your website content and that your social accounts are integrated seamlessly into your website. Our custom real estate websites make it easy to integrate social, share your content, and generate leads.

          Choose the Right Tools for Social Media Success

          If your real estate CRM doesn't provide all of the tools that you need to improve your social media, perhaps it's time for an upgrade. With DeltaNET®6, you can easily manage all of your real estate marketing in one place, including your social media, AI-driven email marketing, online ads, content, and so much more.

          October
          21

          Marketing is one of the most important parts of real estate, and it can also be challenging for agents to come to grips with. Once you've learned the knowledge and skills you need to serve clients, marketing should be your next priority.

          Having a marketing plan is essential to your overall success!

          Marketing is indispensable because the majority of your future clients will find you online. These days, most home searches begin there. As more Millennials turn to the market and the eldest of Gen Z find their way into it for the first time, this trend will continue.

          A marketing plan helps you identify where your audience is, how to connect, and the best ways to do so over the time it takes them to launch their home search. From the high-level plan you develop, you can work backward to understand what you need to do every quarter, month, and week.

          The concept may seem intimidating at first, but it is worthwhile.

          Marketing is the central piece in pivoting from finding new business through in-person methods versus drawing qualified leads directly to your website with minimal effort. This transition has the potential to save you thousands of hours a year, but it relies on having the right marketing assets in place.

          What Does a Real Estate Marketing Plan Include?

          A real estate marketing plan is a top-level strategic roadmap you develop once and review quarterly based on your evolving goals and the success of your marketing initiatives. It is built around Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as leads generated and transactions completed.

          How Do You Write a Real Estate Marketing Plan?

          There are seven components to a marketing plan for real estate.

          While some may prove challenging, each element builds on the ones before. If you do not have the time or resources to conduct a deep market analysis, you can leverage the wisdom of your colleagues and mentors to start with some basic assumptions that you then verify with experience.

          The elements of a real estate marketing plan include:

          • Target Market
            Who are your ideal customers? What are their biggest concerns as they enter the market? What venues do they use for their research — who do they trust, and how can you use those patterns of behavior to get in touch with them? Write out everything you know about the clients you want.

          • Market Research
            With your target market identified, you can go broad. What volume of buying or selling in your area can be attributed to customers like these? For buyers, what is their typical budget? For sellers, what is their typical sales price? What is their next move once they've finished their transaction?

          • Positioning
            Positioning refers to your overall brand and how you use it. If you've been around for a while, then it will start with how customers see you, both positive and negative. If you are new, then you should answer how you will frame your brand so it is the natural source of expert advice for your target customers.

          • Competitive Analysis
            How many competitors are in your market? This is especially significant in real estate because you can use what your competitors do right as a jumping-off point to develop your own tactics. You may not want to go head-to-head with a large agency, but you can choose to be where they aren't.

          • Market Strategy
            The question here is: "How will I find and attract my ideal customers?" DeltaNET 6® is the real estate all-in-one solution that enables you to automate your social media, promote listings, post blogs, and manage your email marketing, among many more, from a centralized, "all in one" marketing command center.

          • Budget
            Your budget is a month-by-month breakdown of what you intend to spend on marketing. For most digital marketing, your major KPI will be website visitors generated, so keeping an eye on this will tell you if your investments have been cost-effective — use data analytics tools to monitor each channel.

          • Metrics
            It is up to your website to do the "heavy lifting" of converting visitors to customers by offering them resources and answering their questions. In addition to visitors generated from your marketing, closely monitor conversions — both to customers and to email subscribers who may later become customers.

          Turning Your Marketing Plan into Reality

          To achieve your goals, you may find you need more tools or training. Upfront investments are common in the first few years of the real estate journey. Be sure you understand how much you're spending, why, and a timeline for a) first value and b) return on investment, including recouping the initial spend. From there, review your analytics data monthly to track trends and prepare for a quarterly plan update.

          Contact us to find out more about digital marketing for real estate.

          October
          14

          With vaccination rates flagging and an ambiguous timeline for the end of the pandemic, the answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!"

          Of all industries transformed by the pandemic, real estate moved the fastest — because it was essential to protect agents, brokers, and their clients. Giving up with the finish line in sight doesn't make sense.

          But there is a flip side. Research shows many supervisors are nervous about this new work-from-home world. If they can't see people doing their work, they worry nothing is getting done. It's affecting teams in all kinds of industries.

          Luckily, real estate is a little bit different.

          An independent streak has always been a big part of success in real estate. Even with perks offered by the largest agencies and brokerages, individual real estate professionals know they need to be true self-starters if they're going to reach the heights of their profession.

          A lot of that energy comes from having personal goals. Nothing can replace it.

          On the whole, it's not unreasonable to think real estate is near the top when it comes to industries that are well-prepared for working from home. A greater number of agents' daily tasks are done with digital technology than ever before, clients have come to grips with Zoom, and virtual tours are available.

          But there is a flip side. Agencies and brokerages also need to be able to deal with the risks.

          Not the risk their teams will be sleeping in until noon and checking out at three — rather, the very real ambiguities, complexities, and issues that come with moving to an all-digital workflow in a matter of weeks. Everyone needs to be sure they are taking the right precautions to succeed.

          There are really two aspects to that:

          • The technology side
          • The productivity side

          Let's look at best practices that should be communicated to everyone.

          All Agents and Brokers Should Make Sure At-Home Technology Is Safe and Secure

          Let's face it — although we all know not to give our bank details away to the Nigerian prince in our spam folder, not everybody knows the ins and outs of cybersecurity. In an office environment, all it takes is a little common sense. In today's remote work, though, things can be a lot more nuanced.

          These tips will help you close the door on common home office vulnerabilities:

          • Secure Your Home Network
            Your router – where the internet signal comes from — came with a default password and username, but they should be changed to something unique as soon as possible. The network itself should also have a strong password. Optionally, a VPN can boost your security when accessing sensitive files.

          • Use a Separate, Dedicated Computer
            Make sure you're not using the family computer for work. Even if you set up a different Windows login, your files could still be compromised. A dedicated work laptop is the way to go, and it also means you have complete control when it comes to keeping your antivirus and Web browser up to date.

          • Back-Up Your Files
            Your agency or brokerage may have a solution for regular file backups, such as a cloud storage app. If there's a plan in place, follow it. If not, there are many reputable software programs that can enable you to back your files up daily, protecting you in the event you get hit by ransomware.

          Remote Work Productivity Strategies for Real Estate

          Working from home demands a whole new set of skills not everyone has. However, it can be easier than it looks if you get off on the right foot. That means holding yourself to the same professional standards you would at the office, and a few important cues can get you there:

          • Set Goals for the Day and Week
            While you might not have the exact same schedule you once did, it's still critical to set goals — targets for the day that will add up to a productive week. To pin down what your goals should be, start with what you want to accomplish by the end of a month, then work backward.

          • Find an Accountability Partner
            The latest psychology research shows involving even just one other person in an effort to keep yourself accountable makes it much more likely you'll reach your goals. Look around for a colleague you admire so you can work together to develop a support system based on healthy productivity.

            Establish a Workspace
          • Your workspace is one of your most valuable assets. That's not only because it keeps you organized, but because your mind associates it with your most productive habits. Eliminate as many distractions as possible and set an understanding with family or housemates so you won't be disturbed.

          Contact us today to find out more about today's digital productivity best practices.

          September
          28

          Agents and brokers around the country are casting wary eyes on Zillow's latest moves. The number of markets in which Zillow is buying and selling property continues to grow. In an industry that has seen more change in the last 24 months than virtually any other, it's fair to respond to all of this with a groan.

          Maybe it feels like "one more thing" to navigate around — and a particularly big one, at that. But don't be discouraged.

          Zillow is a large, highly visible platform, so it's easy to overestimate its power to "disrupt" the market. Across the U.S., buyers and sellers know Zillow as a convenient platform for finding and comparing properties. But rumors of the death of modern real estate have been greatly exaggerated.

          Like any other company, Zillow relies on real estate agents to lead, negotiate, and finalize transactions. As the real estate equivalent of a big box store, it faces an uphill climb convincing buyers in particular that it is capable of delivering the high level of local expertise they need to make informed decisions.

          And as a lumbering nationwide behemoth, its smaller competitors are more agile and adaptive.

          If Zillow is in your market, you can compete with it. And if Zillow is not in your market yet, you can put in place the technology, processes, and branding you need to set a clear, stark choice before your leads: Local service tailored to your needs or a homogenized and impersonal experience.

          Real estate isn't e-retail. It's about relationships. That's where local agents and brokers have — and always will have — a distinct advantage.

          Six Ways to Adapt, Grow, and "Zillow-Proof" Your Business in 2021 and Beyond

          Let's start with what's right at the epicenter of your locus of control: You. You are at the heart of every relationship you build, online and off. Those relationships, in turn, are among your best assets. Here are some of the top ways to strengthen your relationships, brand, and business:

          • Brand and Promote Yourself as a Local Real Estate Expert
            In the coming years, local expertise will be more important than ever. Clients will need agents they trust to evaluate properties, help them choose between unfamiliar neighborhoods, and give them an inside view of the community they'll be joining. Your local insights are a premium asset, so market them well.

          • Personalize the Customer Care Experience at Every Turn
            Personalization comes from knowing and caring about the individual. Learn their needs and goals and use those details to send them only the most relevant content. Customized email marketing can help you keep relationships burning, even if it takes weeks or months for a lead to jump into the market.

          • Build Referral Business into Your Overall Strategic Plan
            Referral business is the ultimate reflection of your ability to build value-added partnerships with your customers — relationships so deep, they will vouch for you to those they care about. But referrals don't usually happen on their own. Instead, you'll need to follow up and ask for them!

          • Focus on Customer Retention, Not Just Lead Generation
            Every satisfied customer you retain is one who will call you in the future. Although customers may wait years between real estate transactions, the lifetime value of their patronage can be very high. Social media marketing from your Facebook business page keeps you connected long-term.

          • Use Social Proof and Online Reputation Management to Your Advantage
            Social proof tells future customers others "just like them" have succeeded thanks to your services. Reviews on platforms like Google and Yelp not only help persuade visitors to contact you, they can also raise your search engine visibility. Get used to actively asking for testimonials when you can.

          • Leverage Opportunities to Make Your Listings Stand Out
            Your listings can be the best in your area if you consistently enhance each home's unique story with photography, multimedia, and interactive features. Properties in Motion is an easy way to enrich property marketing with video tours that save buyers' time and give sellers greater confidence in you.

          The Right Technology Lets You Meet, Connect With, and Serve Your Clients at  Scale

          Zillow has the benefit of large amounts of real estate data. Yet, it's still not able to use that data as effectively as a small team or a single well-trained agent with the right technology in hand. All in all, there are many areas where it is weak. With the right tools, you can run rings around it.

          DeltaNET 6 is the all-in-one solution designed from the ground up with real estate in mind. By providing complete visibility into all your prospect, lead, and customer relationships, you can personalize communications and follow up with pinpoint accuracy at just the right moment. Contact us to learn more or get started.

          September
          14

          In 2020, a survey by global consultancy KPMG revealed just over half of real estate firms surveyed had a digital strategy in place. Yet, the years since have seen an acceleration of technology's role in real estate, even the most informed analysts could not have predicted.

          Factors are converging to make technology more prevalent:

          • Shifting Buyer and Seller Preferences
            Even as the pandemic begins to recede, many of the changes it brought are poised to be permanent. This is especially true of virtual tours, video marketing, and virtual open houses. All saw high adoption in the early months of the pandemic — they have since grown into "must-have" capabilities.

          • Unclear Future for the Real Estate Market
            Record low interest rates brought millions of buyers into the real estate market during the pandemic. Gen Z was prominent, showing a focus on a home as an investment vehicle reminiscent of the Baby Boomer generation.
            Now, the market shows signs of overheating as properties that would scarcely get a second look in 2020 spark bidding wars and sell "as-is." Combined with an uncertain timeline for the end of the pandemic, real estate pros are continuing to leverage technology to navigate change and deliver value.

          • Bigger Players and More "Disruption"
            Major players have grown more active in a bid to "Amazon-ize" real estate through self-service apps or business models that emphasize an automated, "done for you" approach. While none of these have gained significant market share so far, they are a persistent source of worry.

          As a whole, these three factors have created two big pressures on agencies and brokerages:

          • Real estate teams are using technology in new, ever-expanding ways on a daily basis
          • At the same time, they wonder if that technology will eventually upend their industry

          These concerns are understandable — especially in the era of rapid change and deep uncertainty we find ourselves in today. In the long run, however, real estate experts have much to gain and nothing to lose from embracing technology. While it can increase productivity, it can never replace the human touch.

          Technology Facilitates What Real Estate Agents Do Best

          The human factor has always been critical in real estate — and it always will be.

          Whether you use an overflowing filing cabinet or a modern Customer Relationship Management suite for real estate, your goal is the same: Find good leads, reach out at the right times, and create a human connection. Relationships are built on trust, and that's what real estate success requires.

          So, what's the real difference between the sleek CRM and the filing cabinet?

          There are many, but they come down to three basics:

          • Technology Helps You Do More in Less Time
            In general, small teams and solo operators are feeling the most pressure from the way technology is changing the face of real estate – but they also have the most to gain. By automating routine tasks and delivering visibility into leads' behavior, the right technology cuts out hours of work every single week. That creates opportunities to spend more time in the social situations where you excel.

          • Technology Combines Scalability with Consistency
            You know you can make a good impression when you talk to one lead — but what happens when you need to address ten, a hundred, or a thousand? Technology makes it possible to speak to each one of your leads in a relevant, targeted, yet personal way. This is especially noticeable in email marketing drip campaigns, which can help you foster relationships for months until a lead is ready to move forward.

          • Technology Expands Your Capabilities
            There are certain things you just can't do without the right technology in place — and some of them can make the difference between "good" customer care and a memorable, branded experience. Virtual tours and virtual open houses are just two examples. A few years ago, you would need to spend weeks learning software or hire an outside expert for what you can now do in minutes with DeltaNET 6.

          • Technology Makes You More Relevant
            Done right, technology doesn't have to be an intrusion — for you or your customers. Consider how text message marketing is giving real estate agents a fresh way to communicate with humanity and heart that's welcomed by an increasing number of people, especially Millennials and Gen Z. That's far better than sticking with a familiar approach, like cold calls, that most customers already consider a nuisance.

          Use the Right Technology to Bring Stability to Your Business

          Let's be real: We are all a bit exhausted of the pace of change since 2020. But rather than "disrupting" everything, the right technology anchors your business, so you have repeatable and reliable processes. That shortens the time it takes to build the practice you've always wanted. Contact us to learn more.

          September
          1

          Lead management is crucial to moving your real estate business forward.

          Every lead has their own story. Some are motivated to jump in and get involved with the market right away. Some want to "wait and see." But the vast majority are somewhere in between. It may take weeks or months for them to get started. Proper lead management ensures two things:

          • You get to keep track of them no matter how their thinking evolves or how long it takes
          • You can play an active role in helping to educate and motivate them so they take action

          With a modern lead management strategy, no time is lost and continuing communication is seamless.

          Customer Relationship Management for Real Estate Is Crucial to Staying Ahead of Your Leads

          Customer Relationship Management refers to a software suite designed to provide complete visibility into leads and their activities. While CRM is common across many industries, especially in sales, only one CRM suite was built from the ground up with input from real estate pros across the United States: DeltaNET 6.

          Following up is the name of the game in real estate. It wasn't that long ago when you had to plan out all of your outreach manually and hope your timing was right — not too much and not too little. These days, your CRM can keep track of lead behaviors and connect the dots so you know precisely when to follow up.

          As a DeltaNET 6 user, you'll enjoy a number of other great features:

          • Email Marketing Drip Campaigns for Real Estate
            Email marketing is a critical element of lead nurturing. It allows you to make sure you are in contact over the long journey from lead to client. With "My Customer for Life" email newsletters, you can build deeper lead relationships with helpful, informative content. Using detailed "open" and "read" data for each subscriber, you can quickly hone in on precisely the kind of information that resonates with each lead.

          • Hands-Free, Event-Driven Social Media Marketing
            Social media is a potent lead engine in its own right, but it can also be used to cultivate relationships long-term. It's common for would-be buyers who are on the fence to follow local real estate agents for some time before they act. Facebook Connector and LinkedIn Connector can give you the power to keep your social media feed flowing with instant, event-driven updates. That keeps eyes on your listings and your brand.

          • Text Messaging for Agents and Brokerages
            Many people see text messaging as more convenient and more intimate than email. That's especially true of Millennials and Gen Z, who will often avoid a drawn-out phone call in favor of a quick message. With our real estate text messaging platform, you can harness this popular technology for your lead development. You can boost your email drip campaigns with text or even schedule text blasts for groups of subscribers.

          How to Organize Your Lead Management More Effectively

          Lead generation and lead management go hand in hand. Providing excellent experiences that introduce leads to your brand will put them on a trajectory to work with you. This means publishing the right digital resources and making sure your offline efforts, such as in-person networking, benefit appropriately from them.

          Here are some ways to do it:

          • Know Which Channels Are Sending You Leads
            Your listings are a major source of leads, but only one of many. Your website, social media, and events such as open houses also contribute to the mix. Keep an eye on your data so you understand which channels are doing the most. That will help you focus your efforts where they have the greatest impact.

          • Make Sure You Have Clean, High-Quality Data
            As leads trickle into your system, take some time every week to take a look at them. Sometimes, people will sign up with fake emails, phone numbers, and more so they can get access to information. You can remove these contacts and update those whose details have changed over time.

          • Use Lead Activity to Guide Your Content Marketing
            Content marketing enables you to strengthen your lead relationships by providing helpful, informative blogging, videos, and more. The better aligned your content is with your leads' interests, the more effective it will be. By checking your analytics data, you'll see which website pages and social updates got the most attention.

          • Segment Your Leads to Enhance Your Results
            Almost all of your leads will end up on your email list at one point — that's one of the big conversion actions that defines a lead. To ensure everyone gets relevant, useful content, divvy them into highly targeted segments: That includes warm leads, cold leads, and past customers at the very least.

          Contact us to find out more about real estate lead management.

          August
          23

          Michael Walls was walking through what he thought was, at the time, a totally normal showing when things took an unexpected turn.

          Walls, who recently took over as Technical Support Manager at Delta Media Group® and is also a licensed real estate agent, said he felt "something strange...and one of the guys [at the showing] was being somewhat aggressive toward me." Luckily, Walls didn't have to worry about defending himself.

          A sixth-degree black belt with nearly 40 years of experience teaching self-defense, Walls knew he had the situation well in hand. But while nothing came from the moment, Walls also knew that others in the real estate industry might not be so lucky. So, the wheels started turning, and an idea began to piece itself together.

          No stranger to teaching the fundamentals of self-defense, Walls has welcomed students of all ages and abilities to his school, Canton Community Martial Arts School, since it first opened. With that experience in the back of his mind, Walls began to formulate a plan — teaching basic self-defense to real estate agents in Ohio's Stark County. Now, four years after that initial idea, Walls and the program are still going strong, helping area sales associates feel safe and confident no matter where they go.

          The class meets once a month, with about 15 to 20 people attending each time, and Walls hopes to post instructional videos online eventually. It's also offered as a CE class, meaning sales associates who come get credit, which Walls says is another benefit. With REALTOR® Safety Month in September, Walls took some time to speak about the importance of his classes and how every sales associate should take steps to protect themselves.

          What was the thought process behind starting the class?

          As kids, you're taught don't get in a car with strangers, don't go anywhere with strangers, but then you get into real estate, and you're going into a vacant home with a stranger. So I said, "We need to start doing self-defense training or some kind of awareness training for real estate agents. And I'm sure it's been going on around the country, but we didn't have anything like that locally in Stark County. So I got with Collene Burgess, who was the head of Stark County Association of Realtors, and she told me that they were having safety classes and asked if I'd like to do it. I said, "Sure."

          What's a typical class like? What do you start with? Especially if there are novices in attendance?

          The first half-hour, I talk about certain safety things, and then we go over some self-defense moves. Most of it probably won't be remembered, but the things that I want them to gather are not the physical aspect of it but the awareness part.

          A lot of times, your gut is your true instinct, and I always tell them, "If something doesn't feel right, don't ignore it. And if you happen to be wrong about that feeling, that's fine. But if that gut feeling is telling you something's wrong and you ignore it, you could be dead wrong." I come up with training tips for when you enter a home: not to turn your back, how you confront, how to stand if someone does get aggressive with you.

          Learning the full scope of self-defense techniques, of course, requires more than one class, so are there little things sales associates can do to keep themselves safe in the field?

          We work on those things, and we talk about safety tips that they can use on a day-to-day basis. When you open the door, your back shouldn't be turned to the person. When your client pulls up, get a picture of their license plate, get a picture of them, send it to a friend. You can do it from inside the house. Just take a picture, and they know who you're with.

          Then we go over some statistics of what makes you vulnerable. And after that, when we've done that for about a half-hour, we'll go into basic strikes, self-defense strikes, basic stances, not to turn your back because...we show instances where you're backed into a room, and someone starts charging; the first thing people do is turn their backs. But if you've got long hair, [someone's] going to grab your hair. So, we work on hair grabs; we work on using different tools that we carry on a day-to-day basis.

          I don't try to make it too difficult because they'll forget as soon as they walk out of the room. I try to make it as simple as I can.

          Do you find that a lot of sales associates are surprised that self-defense is something they need on the job? Or is it more like, "Oh, I've been waiting for something like this?"

          A lot of times, when they come there, they say, "Okay, it's a great course," but they have that sense of, "Well, it's not going to happen to me." And maybe that's a way of them not being afraid to do their job because if they thought about it, they probably wouldn't do it, and I think they push that aside. But I think that overall they enjoy it, they like it, and they're receptive to it.

          What does it mean, especially with your real estate background, to have this course, teach it and impact people?

          For me, I want to build safety awareness. Growing up with a single mother, I've always been protective of women, and I know that a lot of women are in the industry. What I hope they take from it is, like I said, being aware of their surroundings and being in tune with their instincts. When something's wrong, listen to your gut. And if you get into a situation, here's the best way to handle it.

          Real estate is such an immediate sort of industry. You get a listing, and you have to jump on it. Knowing that, is there a sense from sales associates that, once they have a listing, they don't want anything to affect them from selling it? Even if they might be in danger?

          I totally believe that because the industry is, "If I don't do it, someone else will. I lose my opportunity." I think sometimes they put the safety part on the back burner. Until something happens, then, it's like, "Uh oh."

          Even if a sales associate never actually uses these self-defense techniques, how important is it to have this knowledge in your back pocket?

          I think not only as an agent, just as a human being, period; it's super important to have enough confidence to know that you have the bare minimum to survive if you're attacked. A lot of people say, "It's not about winning the fight. It's about surviving. Going home to your family." That's how I teach it because a lot of times, people get in their head, "Well, I'm this 120-pound woman. I'm going to beat this 300-pound man up." No. That's not realistic. So, I teach them techniques to survive, to draw attention until help can get there. And that can happen just going to the mall, going to the grocery store, any little thing. So, I think it's very, very important.

          August
          12

          Stubborn listings are no fun for sellers — or for their real estate agents!

          It's well-known that as a listing sits on the market, it becomes less likely to capture an attractive offer. The ideal is to move a listing within 30 days. The longer it waits, the more likely buyers will assume something is wrong with it. At the dreaded 90 days, relisting is nearly inevitable.

          There are two situations where agents need to be especially wary about idle listings:

          • Markets that strongly favor buyers, especially when there's plenty of housing stock
          • Overheated markets where voracious sellers price themselves into the stratosphere

          Before a listing even goes on the market, pricing it to sell is one of the most valuable services an agent can offer. Sellers can easily overestimate the value of a home for sentimental reasons or just because the market seems to offer them a big payday. Agents need to step in, look at recent sales, and make the facts clear.

          But sometimes, even when price is aligned with market conditions, a home simply won't sell.

          This is highly frustrating for sellers, and it's also one of the situations most likely to lead to a bad review – never a fun prospect. Sometimes, there may be many factors outside your control making the road ahead difficult for your listing. The key is to seize on what's in your area of influence and course correct as soon as you can.

          Let's look at some of the most effective ways to do it:

          • Update the Staging
            Staged homes generally sell for more money and do so within a shorter amount of time. A staged home is more enticing than a vacant one because it lets buyers exercise their imagination about how they will use the space. Take care to optimize every room, highlighting the features you want buyers to focus their attention on.

          • Improve the Curb Appeal
            In this era of Google Maps, you can bet would-be buyers will be checking up and down the street before they even register for an open house. Curb appeal always counts, whether that means doing some extra lawn work, landscaping, or revitalizing the exterior with a fresh coat of paint. The ROI can be exceptionally high!

          • Make Sure Your Photos Are Quality
            A listing is judged by its photos, and the surging quality of photography in most listings means you need to keep up. Many real estate agents are partnering with professional photographers. Get crisp, clear shots of each room and every angle of the exterior, ideally featuring the same locales at several different times of the day.

          • Fix Specific Issues with the Home
            Some sellers are perplexed to learn that they can't simply list a home "as-is" and hope for the best. Buyers not only regard such properties with suspicion but many are bound to get a home inspection anyway — lenders require it. Carefully raise the subject of repairs, especially if the roof, sewer system, or wiring is involved.

          • Leverage Social Media and Social Ads
            Social media can give a listing a fresh burst of attention even when it's outside that ideal 30-day window. If you have exhausted your options on Facebook (or LinkedIn, if it's a luxury property), consider busting out a secret weapon: Facebook advertising can help you tap into a wider local audience for your listing.

          • Excite Buyers with Live Video
            Live video is another great way to unlock the power of social media. You can stream a complete virtual tour of the property through Facebook or Instagram. To pep up your listing for visitors who miss your stream, consider using a tool like Properties in Motion for branded, shareable video with built-in tracking.

          • Host More Open Houses
            To create more value for today's sellers, agents need to be prepared for open houses in all their forms. Know when to pivot from traditional face-to-face events to virtual open houses and when to combine the two. Open houses can revive a flagging listing, as the right buyer has the opportunity to make an offer on the spot!

          • Use Seller Reports
            If your seller's morale collapses, then the listing is as good as doomed. It's understandable for sellers to worry, so head them off at the pass with resources that will show them the progress they've made. Customized seller reports consolidate everything you've done for a listing into a single view.

          • Restart Your Marketing Cycle
            Once you've consulted with your seller and committed to making some of the changes above, kickstart your marketing cycle again with an updated listing — with or without actually re-listing. Revise your collateral and get a fresh perspective on the property by emphasizing its new advantages. And, of course, don't give up!

          Contact us to learn more about digital real estate marketing.

          July
          30

          First impressions are critical to success in a relationship-based industry like real estate because they open the door to all of the possibilities that follow. The stakes are high because you only get one chance to make that all-important first impression, which is why it's so important to practice and invest effort in developing the skill of making a positive first impression. Preparation, both in terms of learning about the person you're meeting in advance and practicing the necessary skills, is ultimately the key to making the best possible first impression.

          Learn as Much as You Can in Advance

          Sometimes a first impression happens with no opportunity to prepare, but in many cases, you will already have learned useful information about a potential client before you meet them in person. That information may come from a phone conversation, email exchange, online chat, or contact form. These initial conversations, which come before you meet for the first time, are excellent opportunities to learn more about what real estate goals the client wants to accomplish, find out what motivates them, and discover more about them as a person.

          All of that information will help you prepare some talking points that will make that first impression go more smoothly. By remembering what the client wants, understanding why they're buying/selling a home, and having a plan in place to help them accomplish their goals, you can build trust and establish your expertise right away.

          Find Common Ground for Conversation

          In addition to learning about their real estate needs, it's helpful to learn as much as you can about a potential client on a human level. Finding any small connection between you and the client can make the conversation flow much more easily. Perhaps you went to the same school, grew up in a similar area, have children of a similar age, or share a common hobby. Any of those commonalities (and many more) can help you break the ice, build a real connection more quickly, and make it easier to transition into talking business as the conversation progresses.

          Practice First Impressions with People You Trust

          Even if you love making connections and look forward to meeting new people, there are always some nerves when it's time to make a first impression. But like with most things, practicing your first impressions can make it much easier to accomplish your goals when it's time for the real thing. Whether it's with someone in the office, your significant other, or a friend, role-playing first impressions with someone who will provide honest feedback is a reliable way to build confidence and find new ways to connect with potential clients.

          Be Aware of Your Body Language

          Saying the right thing is important, but sometimes body language can send a different message than your words. That's why it's so important to be aware of body language, dress for success, and practice projecting confidence. Make sure your posture is strong, that you make eye contact, and that your facial expressions are in line with the confidence that you're projecting. It can be helpful to practice in a mirror or to rehearse with someone you trust to provide feedback on body language.

          Be Prepared to Focus and Listen

          Practicing and preparing for first impressions is important in part because it makes it easier to focus on the person you're meeting. And focus is crucial because every detail matters when you're trying to make a positive first impression. One of the most dependable ways to stay focused is to make sure that you're actively listening to what the person you're meeting has to say and making mental note of important details along the way. Being a good listener makes it easier to be responsive to their needs and ultimately earn their business.

          Know Your Strengths and Showcase Them

          Confidence is key with first impressions, and your experience as a real estate agent should provide a healthy dose of confidence when you're meeting someone for the first time. Rely on your real estate expertise to show the person you're meeting exactly how you can help them build a plan that will allow them to achieve their goals and address their concerns. Ask the right questions to find out what they hope to accomplish, then explain how your skills, knowledge, and experience can help them achieve a positive outcome.

          Making a great first impression starts with preparation and practice. It's all about understanding the unique needs of the person you're meeting and showing why you can be a trusted partner in helping them achieve their real estate goals. The more practice you have in making first impressions, the easier it will become to project confidence and earn new business.

          July
          9

          For years, CloudDelta™ has been a great resource for easily sharing secure files quickly with your team. It helps your company save time, money, and valuable resources when all the documents you need are accessible in DeltaNET 6™, the all-in-one solution for your real estate businesses.

          Delta Media Group's secure cloud-based management tool ensures you don't need to email large documents to your agents, and you don't need to worry about yet another third-party system you have to support — with one login, you have all the tools you need for digital success.

          Here are some of the features CloudDelta™ users already know:

          • Only pay for the storage your business needs.
          • Administrators control which files your team has access to. Have peace of mind knowing users can only access and see files they should.
          • Reports showing all files in the system, when files were last updated, and how many times they've been downloaded.
          • Create your own YouTube video library. Share all of your training videos in one location.
          • Easily find files via any web browser. The built-in file quick search makes it simple to find files and folders by name or keyword.
          • Bookmark and share useful websites with your company. Keep a list of helpful, industry-important sites for your entire company all in one location and always up-to-date.

          At Delta Media Group, we strive to bring our clients the best products, which is why we're constantly listening to feedback and thinking of ways to make improvements. Even when we think we have something great, we acknowledge our products will evolve over time, as everything does. With CloudDelta™, we've targeted some areas where we could improve form and function, and we're happy to announce this tool is getting a big update!

          Here are upgrades coming to CloudDelta™ you can get excited about!

          • Updated, modern interface.
          • Larger thumbnails and "back create" thumbnails for all files.
          • List view and gallery view options.
          • Tree view support.
          • File path view for files as they are being viewed.
          • Faster searching.
          • Favorite files and have a favorites section.
          • The ability to view files (Presenter Mode) more easily.

          We look forward to the feedback from these upgrades. If you have questions about getting the most out of your real estate technology, contact us today.

          July
          6

          Most homeowners would be glad to work with their real estate agent again — but they never do.

          It's true. The average homeowner will own three or four properties in a lifetime, with most purchases spaced out between three and seven years. But even when they are thrilled with the service their real estate agent offered, they often end up using a different one for every transaction.

          How can this be?

          Some of the reasons are purely logistical. If someone is moving across the country, odds are they connect with a real estate agent in their desired area as one of their first steps. But there is a bigger reason: traditional real estate marketing is focused on customer acquisition, not retention.

          Customer acquisition can be an all-consuming part of any real estate agent's first year on the job.

          After that, it's important to start building referral business. This means you can spend less time going after that next client and more time building the long-term assets you need for the kind of firm you really want. In the long run, retention is easier than acquisition, which can cost 25x more.

          Long-term engagement is the key. And it can start with the clients you have right now.

          Long-Term Engagement Turns Customers into Allies for the Life of Your Business

          According to research from 2018, real estate agents are among the least trusted professions in America.

          In fact, only 11% of respondents consider real estate agents trustworthy, placing them above only politicians and car salespeople. Responses varied by region, with those out west feeling most suspicion of the profession.

          That's bad news, of course. But it means that when someone finds a real estate agent they trust, they don't really want to start over again from scratch. By recognizing and working with that reality, you can create lasting loyalty. That, in turn, has the potential to multiply the value of every customer relationship you hold.

          Getting more transactions from a single customer is an obvious example. You could double or triple lifetime value from your customers if they keep coming back to you every time they're ready to buy a new property. But that's not all: you can also get dozens of referrals from each customer over the lifetime of your practice. From that perspective, having even a handful of strong relationships could drive your revenue goals for years.

          After all, long before you have the opportunity to meet a client-in-waiting, that same person is expressing their desire to buy a home. . . to their family, their friends, and to just about everyone they know other than you.

          Referral business is a hot ticket, letting you be the very first real estate agent to talk to any buyer or seller. That positions you to build trust and continue the cycle, helping more people while growing your business.

          Set the Stage for Long-Term Engagement with Digital Marketing and Smart Follow-Up

          Real estate digital marketing becomes easier than ever when you adopt the right technology. Good technology doesn't get in the way of relationships; it makes them easier — allowing you to check in with people in helpful, meaningful ways without wasting lots of time on data entry.

          Here's how you can strengthen client relationships into real bonds of trust:

          • Have a Consistent Plan for Following Up
            Everyone has their own schedule when it comes to following up with happy clients. It's not unusual to follow up with clients four times in the 12 months after their transaction, including on their closing day anniversary and New Year's. Some agents aim to follow up once a month. Whatever suits you best, have a plan and stick to it.

          • Share Content Related to Home Ownership
            A blog is one of the most crucial features of your real estate website. To give you topics to talk about with your clients after move-in, consider creating content around homeownership topics. Maintenance, DIY, decorating, and more are all on the table and mean you can send useful content to the right clients.

          • Use a CRM to Make Things Easier on You
            The DeltaNET™ 6 all-in-one solution for real estate centralizes everything you know about your clients. It gives you access to your whole history at a glance, no matter if someone is a new lead, in progress toward closing, or a satisfied customer. This saves time and keeps your contacts relevant.

          • Treat Customers to Pleasant Surprises
            Relationships between people are built on sharing pleasant experiences and learning more about each other over time. You can put a little brightness into a customer's day with a handwritten note, a small gift, a coupon, or many other surprises. If they've opted in, real estate text messaging can be effective, too.

          Contact us to learn more about how digital marketing fuels better relationships.

          June
          29

          "Silence, brand!"

          If you've spent much time on social media over the last few years, you've probably seen this answer to branded content. It's a snappy retort to what many see as the increasingly unctuous and unwelcome expansion of corporate narratives into social spaces, leaving us subject to advertising seemingly every minute of every day.

          To a growing number of people — including many of your future customers — the idea that Wendy's is our wisecracking hipster friend or we're "in this together" with Toyota or United Airlines isn't just unconvincing: it's downright nauseating. The more brands clamor to sound just like us, the more robotic and intrusive it all feels.

          Many internet users are covering their ears and averting their eyes rather than engage with it.

          Into this world of "corporate personhood" run amok steps the real estate agent or broker.

          It's a well-known fact that many real estate agents get a substantial quantity of their leads by promoting their listings on digital channels, especially social media. Some experts have estimated that out of all professional industries, real estate experts are the most active on social media.

          Going without a robust online presence simply isn't an option. The question, then, is how you can humanize your digital business. Luckily, you have some natural advantages that can serve you well.

          The Human Connection Just Comes Easier for Real Estate Agents

          Luckily, you have the potential to go right where so many others go wrong.

          Real estate professionals stand out from the pack online for a variety of reasons:

          • Meaningful, 1-to-1 relationships are at the heart of all they do
          • By practicing their skills, they help others to achieve life goals
          • Their local knowledge, style, and passion are unique to them

          With all of this in mind, you should get excited about the huge potential the digital world holds in store. Your consistent, trustworthy online presence is an extension of your in-person relationship building. Over time, that online activity provides the momentum that brings a steady stream of leads to your door.

          That's crucial to building a lucrative, sustainable business that offers work-life balance.

          Let's look at some of the ways you can ensure your digital brand has the human touch:

          • Prefer Your Face to Your Logo
            Whenever possible, show your face, not your logo. A logo can be anyone, but your face is yours alone. This is crucial when deciding on social media avatars, your header photos on Twitter and Facebook, and more. When someone visits your website home page, be sure they see smiling faces — either yours or your customers'.

          • Share Stories from Actual Customers
            Customer success stories are the most important form of social proof. While many visitors will check out your reputation on third-party review sites, you should also include testimonials directly on your social media and real estate website. Written testimonials work well, but aspire to showcase your biggest wins on video.

          • Be an Advocate for Your Community
            Your value as a real estate agent is inseparable from the community where you practice. Use your digital presence to become a trusted guide to what makes your area special. Producing content about local events, top restaurants, and other amenities shows that you truly care about the place where you do your work.

          • Use Video Marketing to Build Rapport
            Video marketing is the next best thing to being there. It is a wise idea to record a video introducing yourself and your practice in your own words for your site's home page. Video tours of homes and neighborhoods are also very effective. This content helps newcomers feel like they already know you.

          • Connect with Cards and Mementos
            Of course, no brand is digital alone — and what you do outside the confines of the internet can enrich both your business and your customers' lives. Following up with former customers is essential to referral business, so don't be afraid to invest time in a handwritten card or include a small, meaningful gift.

          • Mark Special Occasions
            Holidays are the cultural touchstones we all share, while anniversaries are meaningful moments in an individual relationship. Honor both of them by producing tasteful seasonal content for your website and social media. At the same time, don't forget to acknowledge past customers on, for example, the anniversary of closing day.

          • Consider Using Text Messages
            Text messaging is quickly developing into one of the most intimate ways to start conversations with leads. You can get opt-ins through your website, social media, or automatically through Open House Connector. Asking a quick question can revive cold leads, but it's also a great way to let others know you're looking out for them.

          Marketing automation technology doesn't get in the way of relationships; it helps you manage and deepen them. Contact us to learn more.

          June
          25

          It's no exaggeration to say that client communication is the key to success as a real estate agent. Every client has their own needs and approaches real estate from their own unique perspective. No matter how much you know about local real estate markets or how much experience you have helping clients with real estate needs, your ability to share your expertise in an accessible, relatable way is crucial to building trust and developing productive, long-term business relationships with clients. We've got some tips to help you improve client communication, save time, and earn more referrals.

          Listen, Ask Questions, and Understand Client Needs

          While there are always commonalities, every client is ultimately coming from their own unique place and has their own communication needs. A first-time homebuyer will naturally have different needs and questions than a client who has been through the process of buying a home multiple times in their life. That's why it's so important to listen intently, ask the right questions to find out where the client is coming from, and develop a deep understanding of what each client needs. The more you learn and the more you listen, the easier it will be to communicate effectively.

          Make Yourself Available on a Variety of Communication Platforms

          Availability is almost as important as honesty for effective communication, so make yourself available! Some clients prefer to communicate through traditional means, some through technology, and some with a mix of both. Whether a client wants to communicate by phone, video call, text, email, or social media, it's important to make yourself available seamlessly on the communication platforms that your clients prefer to use.

          Lean on Your Real Estate Expertise to Make Key Concepts Relatable

          Your real estate expertise and all of the experiences you've accumulated throughout your career should be major assets when communicating with clients. You can use that experience to help explain challenging concepts to clients and show them that you understand their needs. Sharing stories is a reliable way to build rapport while helping clients understand what to expect when buying or selling a home.

          Keep Track of What You Learn About Clients

          Your real estate CRM should be one of your biggest assets for improving communication with clients. It's the place to store all of the information that you learn about each client, which will help you to better understand their needs and ensure that you always have key information available when you're communicating with a client. With a powerful all-in-one solution like DeltaNET™6, you can easily store, organize, and access all of the data that you need to better serve each client.

          Know When, Why, and How to Automate Your Outreach

          When a client is deep into the process of buying or selling a home, most of your communication is likely to be direct and personalized. But when you're communicating with a client who's still in the exploratory stages of buying or selling a home, automation can help you save time while effectively managing relationships. The right real estate CRM will provide a variety of options for automation, like drip email campaigns, newsletters, market reports, and targeted content to help clients understand their real estate options.

          Learn to Get Key Information Across Quickly, Concisely, and Accurately

          Your clients are busy and so are you, so it's helpful to learn how to get information across as concisely and accurately as possible. This is especially important when you're communicating via email or text. When sending a message in any text-based format, try to cut out unnecessary words, keep information as specific as possible, and explain concepts in a concise, accessible way. You don't want to leave anything important out, but clients will appreciate it when you make it easy for them to digest key information quickly.

          Remember That Communication Doesn't End When the Deal Is Closed

          It's so easy to turn your attention to the next client once one deal is closed, but your satisfied clients should be among your best sources of referrals. That can only happen if you keep the lines of communication open after the deal is closed. In the beginning, that communication may take the form of handling any leftover details, and asking clients for reviews/testimonials. In the long term, a mix of automation and personal outreach can help you maintain productive relationships with past clients.

          The Process of Improving Communication Never Really Ends

          The most successful real estate agents know that the process of self-improvement never really ends, and that's certainly true when it comes to improving communication skills. Make communication a priority by keeping up with the latest tools, tips, and tactics for effective communication. Better communication builds stronger relationships and ultimately makes your job easier as a real estate agent.

          June
          17

          Are you doing everything you can to turn your agents into the best possible representatives for your real estate brand? Just by the nature of the job, your agents are always representatives of your brand because they are the primary point of contact between your clients and your brand. But there's a difference between representing a brand and being a true ambassador.

          Agents who are brand ambassadors recognize that promoting your larger brand is just as beneficial to them as it is to your real estate businesses because building a trusted, reliable, recognizable brand means more business for everyone. But agents are busy, so they may simply need some guidance and a nudge in the right direction. Here's how to turn your agents into valuable reps for your brand.

          Start By Making Sure Agents Are Informed About Your Brand

          In order to be great promoters for your brand, agents need to understand exactly what your brand means. That means going beyond logos and branded marketing materials to help agents understand the core values, standards, and benefits of your brand. An agent with an understanding of what your brand is will be better equipped to share that brand with the world.

          • Who Are You Trying to Reach, and How Do You Offer Value?
            For agents, it's hard to promote your brand if they are trying to be everything to everyone. So agents need to understand your target audience and how your brand brings value to that audience. If your brand is focused on luxury real estate clients, your agents will need to promote your brand differently than they would for first-time home buyers. Even if your brand is geared to a wider audience, helping agents understand your unique value proposition will help them rep your brand.

          • Do Agents Understand Your Brand Standards?
            While logos, color schemes, fonts, and images aren't everything when it comes to branding, those standards do make a big difference in brand consistency. Communicating those standards and making it easy for agents to integrate them into their own branding materials are simple ways to help agents promote your brand.

          • How Consistent Is Your Branding?
            Some parts of your branding, like your website, branded social media feeds, online advertising, and traditional marketing materials are largely beyond the control of your agents. However, keeping your brand consistent in all of those areas will make your brand more recognizable, which ultimately makes it easier for your agents to represent your brand.

          How Marketing Tools and Technology Help Agents Rep Your Brand

          The vast majority of agents will want to be great ambassadors for your brand, but they only have so much time to devote to actively representing your brand while still handling all of the day-to-day details of their work. That's why it's so important to provide them with the right tools and technology to make representing your brand a simple, streamlined process that they can easily integrate into their busy day.

          • Leveraging Technology to Make Promotion as Easy and Automated as Possible
            Your agents will be using technology to communicate with clients, cultivate leads, and promote your brand to the world. Are you providing all of the tools that they need to complete those tasks efficiently and effectively? Help them by providing the right marketing tools, making templates for key announcements on social channels, and giving them everything they need to represent your brand consistently — both online and in the wider world. Automate as many key tasks as possible, like sending email newsletters, to help agents rep your brand while still saving time in their busy day.

          • Keeping Track and Following Up with Branding Opportunities
            The right real estate CRM makes it so much easier for your agents to represent your brand and to keep track of all of the information that they need to serve their clients. CRM data makes it easier for agents to keep tabs on branding opportunities, know when to follow up, and know what makes each client tick.

          • Does Your Website Represent Your Brand?
            Your real estate website will be the first contact that many clients and prospects have with your brand. A great website that communicates your brand clearly gives your agent a leg up in representing your brand because it establishes your brand for your audience and helps communicate the values that your agents will build upon in their own interactions with clients.

          Where Will Your Agents Take Your Brand Next?

          Every agent should want to be a valuable rep for your brand, but it's up to you to provide what they need to succeed in that role. With the right mix of knowledge, tools, technology, and motivation, your agents will have everything they need to be outstanding reps for your brand.

          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
          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.

          April
          23

          Real estate has changed quickly over the last year. There are new technologies and new marketing techniques. Some of them leverage trends that were already percolating in the background, accelerated by the pandemic. Others are all-new, the byproduct of the collective ingenuity and creativity of a highly adaptive industry.

          Whatever the case, real estate's evolution won't end with COVID-19. On the contrary, agents and brokers should prepare for a fresh era of change — one in which they'll need to draw on recent lessons while connecting with how they can best communicate their unique value to clients.

          That's because the time is now to start Zillowproofing your business.

          Big or Small, 2021 Is Pivotal to Zillowproofing Your Real Estate Future

          Zillow is no longer "just" a place for listings — it's a real competitor.

          But don't panic! Zillow has a big budget and even bigger aspirations, but you have competitive advantages that it can never take away. More than that, it can't even come close to replicating them.

          Only local real estate pros can:

          • Develop deep and personal relationships with their leads and clients and maintain them for years
          • Deliver the highest quality of responsive, professional service to help clients navigate transactions
          • Recognize and respond to changes, both individually and within your community, and react fast
          • Craft a brand narrative that attracts your own ideal customers, not just "anyone and everyone."

          In sectors of the economy from accountancy to roofing and everywhere in between, motivated professionals and small or mid-sized brands have always found ways to compete successfully with "the big guy." Zillow's brand recognition is a double-edged sword: millions of would-be clients will soon be turning up their noses at the name everyone knows and looking for a local real estate expert who truly cares about their needs.

          Meet (and Beat) Zillow on Your Terms: 7 Ways to Get Started Now

          • Leverage Customer Relationship Management to Get More Done, Faster
            An all-in-one real estate solution like DeltaNET 6 gives you visibility into the activities of your contacts, leads, and clients. It keeps track of interactions with your listings and helps you know when and how to follow up. DeltaNET 6 will save you hundreds of hours of manual work so you can focus on building your business.

          • Adapt to Real Estate Trends that Show Signs of Staying Power
            After 2020, the real estate industry has changed forever. Video is more important than ever for real estate marketing, and that includes virtual tours: they're convenient and effective, helping buyers broaden their search radius without long road trips. Properties in Motion and the Virtual Open House platform make it easy.

          • Carve Out Spaces Where You Can Compete Effectively
            Zillow is big, but results still come down to one-on-one personal connections. In many cases, that means making life easier for your clients. Local Showings is Delta Media Group's solution. You can easily check availability and schedule a showing for any listing on the MLS — it's like Zillow, only better.

          • Double Down on Your Branding, Niche, and Individual Appeal
            Your ideal client is eager to work with you, not anyone else. Be sure you're 100% clear on who that client is, what their pain points are, and why you can serve them better than the competition. Then, repeat that message loud and clear throughout your website, blogs, social media, and anywhere you meet people.

          • Make a Personal Connection Before You Even Meet
            Video isn't just about making homes look good. It can also put you in the spotlight. People trust video — it's the next best thing to being there, and helps newcomers to your brand feel like they know you. Introduce yourself with a video on your website. Enhance your blog and social media posts with video whenever you can.

          • Leverage Your Existing Network for More Referrals
            Referrals are the name of the game early in any real estate pro's career. If you keep relationships strong, that well never runs dry. Be disciplined in following up after closing day: one week, one month, six months, and a year to the day. Circle around to clients you haven't heard from recently and find out if there's more you can do.

          • Make Your Website the Core of Your Lead Generation
            On the flip side, your website can develop into a lead generation engine that's always running. Zillow has been on the scene for years, but real estate agents still get excellent online visibility with SEO and content marketing. Follow best practices and publish helpful, informative content for your target audience.

          What's the biggest takeaway? Don't get spooked! Stay calm, think things through, and make informed choices about your options to stay ahead of the curve. To learn more about real estate digital marketing, contact us today.

          April
          8

          The trend of rising home prices from 2020 has continued with vigor in 2021, and it feels like every month we see a new record high in median home list prices. To say that we're living in a seller's market is a major understatement, as there are simply not enough homes available to meet demand in most markets. While high home values are good news for sellers, buyers feel frustrated with the lack of options available and the premium they must pay to land a home. Why are home prices rising, is there an end in sight, and how can real estate agents manage this unique market? We'll cover it all ahead.

          How the Pandemic Has Impacted Home Prices

          The COVID-19 pandemic is the elephant in the room when it comes to rising home prices, with both direct and indirect impacts on real estate markets around the world. High demand is a key ingredient nearly any time that home prices start rising, and being required to shelter in place in so many communities throughout 2020 has motivated many people who weren't previously in the market for a home to reconsider the benefits of owning over renting. For people who already owned a home before the pandemic, the challenges of 2020 made it less likely that they would be interested in selling.

          While the real estate industry has continued to function throughout the pandemic, both buyers and sellers have had to navigate the necessary safety precautions in place. Virtual tools have helped connect buyers with homes, but both buyers and sellers have been wary of in-person visits to properties in many communities. Many potential sellers have chosen to wait until conditions improve to put their homes on the market, and buyers have been forced to choose from a limited inventory.

          When Lack of Inventory Meets Low Interest Rates

          The lack of inventory caused by the pandemic coincided with record-low mortgage rates that have put owning a home within reach for a wider pool of potential buyers. Of course, those interest rates dropped largely due to the economic impact of COVID-19, and they presently remain at record lows. When you mix together a paucity of inventory, the lowest interest rates of our lifetimes, and an especially motivated pool of buyers, you have all of the ingredients for the meteoric rise in home prices that we've seen over the last year-plus.

          And it's not just the prices that have been so favorable to sellers. It's also the speed with which homes are selling and buyers' willingness to overlook issues with homes that may have made them look elsewhere in less of a seller's market. Buyers are more willing to waive contingencies and purchase homes as-is, while still often making offers above asking price in order to beat out the fierce competition. In the most competitive markets, homes barely have a chance to hit the market before the seller receives multiple high-quality offers.

          A Look at the Near Future of Home Prices

          Even as home prices continue to rise, there are signs that we will start to see a return to a more balanced real estate market in the relatively near future. COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available, and more communities are beginning to open up as the number of vaccinated people rises. Many potential sellers who have been hesitant to put their homes on the market will feel more comfortable doing so as communities re-open, and an increase in inventory will be a huge factor in stabilizing home prices.

          The low interest rates that have motivated many buyers to search for homes in such a competitive market are also likely to rise, as the overall economy begins to return to normalcy. With higher interest rates and more inventory available, we may see more balance between the number of buyers and the number of homes on the market. The when of all this happening is the tricky part during these uncertain times, and individual real estate markets are likely to evolve at their own pace.

          How Real Estate Agents Can Navigate the Trends in Home Prices

          Whether home prices are rising or falling, the best way to serve your clients is to have the right tools for the job. With DeltaNET 6, you will have all of the tools you need to unlock inventory, market homes, manage relationships, and keep your clients updated on the latest market trends. The right real estate tools help you make the most of the current seller's market, maintain the interest of buyers who are waiting out high home prices, and prepare your clients for what's to come as markets begin to normalize. Contact us today to learn more.

          April
          2

          Being a real estate agent often means wearing many hats, and it's so easy to feel like there's not enough time in the day to tackle every task. Fortunately, managing relationships, marketing, inventory, and leads is so much easier when you have the right tools for the job. That's why every agent and real estate firm can benefit from a customer relationship management (CRM) system. The right real estate CRM can be a true boon to your business, allowing agents to convert more leads, unlock inventory, maximize marketing, and free up more time for closing deals.

          Unlock Your Inventory With DeltaNET 6

          • How Every Real Estate Agent Can Benefit from a CRM
            The best CRM offers solutions for real estate agents' diverse needs and streamlines the many daily tasks that drive new business. It's both a centralized hub for collecting key client information and a suite of tools for putting that information to work. Perhaps most importantly, it's a major time-saver, with seamless integration of all the tools that agents need to manage relationships from the "nice to meet you" stage to closing day.

          • Make the Most of Your Marketing and Save Time with Automation
            Without the right tools, marketing can be a massive time-sink. The right real estate CRM helps agents save time with AI-driven marketing automation and all the most important, reliable tools for generating new business. Whether it's managing social posts, creating content, setting up online advertising, blasting bulk emails, earning online reviews, or collecting testimonials, DeltaNET 6 makes it easy to manage all of your marketing in one place. With less time spent on marketing, agents can spend more time connecting clients with homes.

          • Nurture Existing Leads and Uncover New Opportunities
            In addition to its many other functions, your CRM is also a repository of information on clients and leads. The more you learn (and remember!) about a lead, the easier it is to earn their business. Your CRM makes it easy to record information on leads and put that information to work. With DeltaNET 6, agents can harness the power of AI for drip email campaigns, newsletters, and follow-up action plans that turn leads into clients.

          • Connect Clients with Homes and Manage Your Inventory
            Real estate clients want to work with agents who "get" them, and connecting clients (or prospects) with the right homes shows that you understand their needs. When working with a new client, you can record all of their home preferences in your CRM and connect them with homes in your inventory that check all of their boxes. Sending listings that perfectly match the client's preferences is an easy way to show them that you're the right choice for their needs.

            DeltaNET 6 makes it easy to collect client information so that it's always there when agents need it, and it even provides monthly market reports on all of your market areas for clients who want to stay informed. Our Open House Connector helps agents register clients for open houses through automated marketing campaigns, generate reports from open houses, and follow up automatically after the open house is completed.

          Why DeltaNET 6 Is the right Choice for Your Real Estate Success

          DeltaNET 6 makes it easy for agents to handle the real estate sales process from start to finish, with tools for marketing, generating leads, nurturing those leads, and unlocking your inventory by connecting buyers with homes. Agents love the intuitive, easy-to-use platform and automated, time-saving tools. With so much time saved on daily tasks, agents have more freedom to do what they do best. Contact us today to get started.

          March
          30

          You may have a secret identity as a mild-mannered real estate pro. When it comes to connecting with the people who can move your practice forward, however, you turn into a superhero — whether you know it or not!

          Everyone brings their own skills and perspective to the field of real estate. It's no surprise, then, that everyone has a different grab bag of real estate competencies they pick up faster or enjoy the most. Experimenting with different techniques is essential for discovering your own marketing superpower.

          It wasn't that long ago when everyone in real estate was expected to be a rollicking extrovert. Marketing in real estate was synonymous with in-person events: everything from open houses to business networking to town hall meetings. Being seen as frequently as possible was a principal goal.

          Certain types of face-to-face events are still extremely powerful. But agents and brokers are now equipped with a wide range of options that allow them to think differently about marketing and their place in it. Specifically:

          • Agents can connect with prospects and leads in a fast-growing variety of ways online.
          • Identifying and following up with leads most likely to become clients is easier than ever.
          • Digital marketing automation saves time and energy while maintaining quality relationships.

          No matter what you recognize as your superpower, it's okay to lead with your strengths. Some real estate experts sell a huge portion of their listings through social media. Others are energized by open houses or virtual tours. With the right technology, you can multiply your efforts while staying focused on your core interests.

          Here are some superpowers that turn ordinary real estate agents into extraordinary Men and Women of Steel:

          • Social Media
            Social media is one of the most versatile tools superheroes can keep in their utility belt. Each network has its own uses. Facebook is one of the best choices for maintaining ties with your former clients. Instagram is the place for your most captivating real estate photos. LinkedIn appeals to the luxury market, and Twitter is great for prospecting. Facebook Connector and LinkedIn Connector make social media automation a snap.

          • Virtual Tours
            Once in-person home tours make a comeback, virtual tours will still be here to stay. Buyers love virtual tours because they can see more properties within a shorter timeframe. Since they don't need to travel, they can extend their search radius. Sellers, on the other hand, appreciate having eyes on their property without having to stress over in-person showings. Properties in Motion is an integrated video platform that eliminates the guesswork.

          • Email Marketing
            When you meet a real estate prospect, what happens next? It may be weeks or months before someone decides to jump in and start looking for a home. Email marketing keeps the relationship strong no matter how long it takes. Helpful, informative content directed to your ideal clients — whether buyers or sellers, Millennials or Baby Boomers — positions you as an expert. Automated email drip campaigns are simple through DeltaNET 6.

          • Real Estate Blogging
            You don't need to get bitten by a radioactive critter to become the best real estate blogger in town — and this is a unique superpower because it will make all your other ones work better. Blogging turns your real estate website into a lead magnet, giving you the amazing ability to draw your ideal clients directly to you. The more you blog, the more likely you will appear prominently in searches related to your business.

          Contact us at Delta Media Group to learn how DeltaNET takes your superpowers to the next level.

          January
          21

          It wasn't that long ago when most phone service providers enforced strict limits on text messages. Most users could send 500 or even just 100 a month. Now, such rules are unthinkable — the average American sends and receives around 85 texts a day. With 96% of all U.S. adults owning a cell phone, virtually everyone sends and receives texts. What's more, the average text message is read within three minutes.

          Those facts are of great interest to relationship-driven industries like real estate. 75% of consumers surveyed say they are okay with receiving texts from brands. With its astonishing 90% open rate, texting shows signs of giving email a run for its money as the marketing technique with the lowest costs and highest campaign ROI.

          If you're not using text marketing yet, it's not too late — but now's definitely the time to start!

          The Benefits of Texting for Real Estate Professionals

          Real estate is all about relationships. Once you incorporate it into your workflow, text marketing is a natural extension of that mindset. From leads to clients to former customers, all can benefit from and respond to texting.

          Let's consider some of the top advantages:

          1. Texting is Personal
            The great majority of texts are legitimate, one-to-one communications from the people your leads genuinely want to hear from. When contacts opt in, they invite you into a much more casual and personal space than their email box. You, in turn, can speak to them with clarity and authenticity, making a real connection.

          2. Texting is Responsive
            Real estate pros have long understood the faster you can respond to a lead's first attempt to reach out, the more likely you are to get an appointment scheduled. Texting allows you to answer others even faster than a phone call. Plus, you can do it without completely interrupting the flow of your busy workday.

          3. Texting is Universal
            Consider the stats above — 96% of American adults have a cell phone. They don't need the latest fancy Apple smartphone to send and receive texts. Even the simplest phones with the most budget-friendly plans can generally receive unlimited texts. You never have to make any assumptions about your contact's technology.

          4. Texting Uses Automation Effectively
            Some marketing techniques, like email, are a natural fit for automation. Others, like a phone call, had better be done manually. Text messaging falls somewhere between the extremes. While a personal text is often the best bet, you can automate certain "event-based" texts, and they will still feel perfectly natural.

          Text Message Marketing: From Beginner to Advanced

          If you use texts in your day-to-day life, you have skills that will serve you well in text marketing.

          For example:

          • It is okay to use contractions, emojis, and even let a typo slip through if it fits your personal style
          • Don't bombard your contacts with a lot of text messages without letting them get in a response
          • Avoid texts late at night or before morning coffee unless it's an emergency for a current client
          • Don't forget to check your own texts a few times a day — they are now part of your work life

          The key to text messaging is context. If you send messages only when it makes sense, you'll avoid having contacts opt out. Texting is a two-way street: your goal is to combine great timing with interesting content that will get recipients to respond more often. To do that, you need to know your clients well.

          Let's look at ideas for taking texting to the next level:

          • Automate Your Initial Opt-In Texts
            To stay on the right side of the law, it's crucial to ensure contacts affirmatively opt in for ongoing texts. You can automate this process using CRM data, ensuring that open house attendees and those who register for updates on your local listings receive an opt-in invitation right away — when they're most likely to consent.

          • Make it Easy to Set Appointments by Text
            Many people prefer the convenience of text to the rigmarole of a phone call. Some people dodge phone calls to avoid high-pressure sales situations. By texting leads a link to a scheduling app, they can put themselves on your calendar in a low-friction environment.

          • Ask Questions in Your Texts
            Every time you get a response to a text, you open the door to extending that relationship. The best way to incorporate questions is to make them meaningful, like "What do you like most about the house you just toured?" Most recipients prefer to dash off an answer rather than risk seeming rude.

          DeltaNET customers have the opportunity to deploy text messaging campaigns with confidence from right within our high-performance, AI-driven real estate CRM. To find out more or get started, contact us today.

          January
          19

          It seems like technology advances and integrates into new aspects of our lives every day. Even the jobs in which in-person communication and physical interactions are relied on, somehow, technology seems to find a way to connect. The real estate industry is no exception; technology has dramatically changed the way agents, buyers, and sellers accomplish their goals. While at times it may seem like these new systems and software may overly complicate certain processes, technology like automation can immediately improve existing practices. Agents will quickly discover that automation improves the real estate industry in more ways than one.

          The Newest Trend in Real Estate Technology

          Though automation is not a new concept, its application in the real estate industry is relatively young. Many real estate agencies, even industry-leaders, have been hesitant to adopt certain technologies that would dramatically alter these transactions. It's fair to assume that some buyers and sellers were hesitant as well. Since buying a house is one of the largest financial transactions a person will make in their lifetime, the thought of conducting parts of these transactions online may be uncomfortable.

          However, many agents realize automation can present significant advantages to the real estate industry. Technology will continue to advance the way we live and work, which means these solutions will inevitably continue to integrate into the real estate industry in unique ways. By adopting automation in certain processes, agents can reduce the time, money, and effort they put into tasks that can be easily accomplished with a hands-off approach.

          4 Ways Automation Improves the Real Estate Industry

          As a real estate agent, your tools and your team are your greatest resources. With so many technologies at your disposal, the tools you choose must benefit you and those you work with. Automation is one of the most versatile resources you can add to your repertoire.

          1. Time Saver
            The number one reason you should integrate automation into your agency or brokerage is to save time. There are so many tasks you complete daily, weekly, and monthly that can be easily automated. Simple tasks like typing up and sending follow-up emails from open houses may seem like quick duties, but when added up, they actually take up a sizeable portion of your time. Automation will instantly give you hours of free time each month to devote to other tasks, like closing on contracts.


          2. Automatic Lead Generation
            Of course, you can't close on a contract until you have a client under contract. Lead generation is one of if not the most important tasks on your to-do list. Finding buyers or sellers can be tough in an uncertain market, and even if you're able to make contact with potential clients, there's always a chance they'll reconsider. An increase in leads can increase your clientele. Automated lead generation allows you to constantly chase new leads day and night without actively doing the legwork. Once new leads are generated, you can continue the conversation with those most-interested in entering into a real estate transaction.


          3. Automated Content/Client Management
            Along with automated lead generation, you can also automate your content and client management systems. For example, you can automate marketing campaigns on your website, social media, and through email. You'll also be able to instantly generate analytics to help you track your engagement with your audience.


          4. Integration With Other Tech
            The beauty of automation is that it's a capability, not a single-program or software. Because of this, you can choose which elements of your agency that you automate and which you choose to handle manually. At any time, you can also increase or decrease the level of automation you use. This is ideal for novice and experienced agents alike as it allows you to completely control the way you work. With other aspects of the real estate industry evolving alongside technology, automation's dynamic scalability will help you stay up-to-date on industry changes and stay on-par with or even surpass the competition.

          While some technologies are nice but not essential, real estate agents are discovering the many benefits of automation integration. By automating certain tasks like lead generation and customer management, real estate agents will have more time to focus on touring homes and closing sales.

          January
          7

          After a year that seemed like it would never end, 2021 is already steaming ahead. Before we know it, the holiday season will be just around the corner once again. But is your year off to a strong start? It's a question all real estate agents must ask themselves. There are dozens of proactive measures real estate agents can take to ensure that they're moving in the right direction — but there are also a few pitfalls that should be avoided.

          4 Do's & Don'ts of 2021

          Even though we're into January, it's not too late to start the year off on the right foot. There are plenty of realistic and attainable goals that you can achieve if you start working on them now. Here are a few tips for making sure 2021 starts off strong.

          • DON'T: Rest on 2020's Success
            While we should acknowledge any achievements made during the pandemic, we also should understand that this year's success is not guaranteed. To make 2021 just as notable, you need to look at this year as a brand-new chapter.


          • DO: Keep the Momentum Rolling
            It's time to double down on your marketing efforts right out of the gate. Email marketing should be at the top of your priority list, as well as learning how to leverage social media to engage your market in meaningful ways. Throughout all your decision-making, you should consult your marketing budget to make sure you're staying on track. Doubling down on marketing doesn't need to be costly; it just needs to be effective.


          • DON'T: Dwell on 2020's Missed Opportunities
            There are always elements outside of our control, and the pandemic only increased these obstacles. Though some challenges were insurmountable, it won't help to dwell on these missed opportunities. 2021 is a fresh start.


          • DO: Learn from These Missteps
            Don't ignore these missed opportunities completely, though. Take a moment to identify the root of the problem and learn from the challenge. You'd be surprised how much you can refine your skills, increase your productivity, and gain a greater share of the market when you work on yourself. For instance, avoiding distractions by eliminating them from your workspace will instantly improve your goal progress. Keep in mind that distractions can also be considered inefficient practices that waste more of your time than necessary.


          • DON'T: Rely Only on Old Tactics
            In 2020, you had high points and low points, and certainly you've highlighted which strategies have yielded the best results. Though it's wise to employ these tactics again, you shouldn't rely solely on them to recreate your success.


          • DO: Up Your Game Through Learning
            One of the best methods for upping your game and keeping your momentum rolling is to learn more about your craft. Read the latest articles about the industry and stay current on trends.


          • DON'T: Resist Technology
            Technology will continue to advance no matter what happens in the real estate industry. Some of these technologies will be specifically developed for agents, while others will have practical usage for brokers despite being developed for a different audience. Regardless, these software and systems won't help you at all if you ignore them.


          • DO: Embrace the Latest Resources
            Every element of your real estate agency can benefit from the latest technologies. Virtual tours and live-streamed tours of properties are almost essential for markets now, offering a safe way for your clients to view high-def video walkthroughs. A CRM that helps you generate and follow-up with leads is another must-have resource in your real estate tool chest. Consider visiting the websites or apps of your competition and see what tech resources they're using to fuel their success; you may be surprised to discover you're lagging behind with some of the latest features. Leveraging this technology, however, presents you with more time to devote to focus on selling.

          No one knows what the real estate market will look like this year, but one thing is for sure: there will always be a need for a real estate agent. People from all walks of life will continue to buy and sell houses. The best way to increase your likelihood of having a successful year is to start putting in the time and effort in January. By acknowledging your agency's strengths, identifying its areas for improvement, and being receptive to new ways of pursuing your goals, your brokerage can begin laying the groundwork for a successful year.

          June
          29

          Be Different Video Series - Integrated SMS Text Messaging in DeltaNET 6

          Click Here to Read More...

          June
          24

          Get Started with Text Messaging for Your Real Estate Business

          Text Message Marketing for Real Estate Agents
          Real estate is a time-sensitive industry.

          People expect quick, substantive responses to their questions; however, many would-be clients prefer not to communicate by phone call. They want to be reached in a way that's most convenient for them.

          It's a given most people check their smartphones regularly throughout the day. That's why real estate professionals choose text messaging as a reliable tool to communicate with clients.

          Here is a simple guide to text message marketing for your real estate business.

          Click Here to Read More...

          June
          22

          Connect with Your Clients By Texting

          DeltaNET 6 Integrated SMS Text Messaging

          The real estate industry is changing, and so are the needs of clients.

          These days, people want speed and convenience. Providing rapid, responsive service is crucial for top-notch customer service. One of the best tools for growing rapport is something you probably use daily but might not have applied to your business just yet.

          It's SMS Texting.

          Click Here to Read More...

          June
          12

          Watch Our Webinar Now

          Watch Franklin Stoffer's June 11th webinar as he walks you through Delta Media Group's new high-quality agent website themes.

          May
          27

          Selling Secrets from Top Sales Associates

          Top sales associates know that when you're selling a home it means going the extra mile when prepping and marketing it. The end results are so worth the effort with a signed purchase offer. Here's how these real estate professionals are making it happen for their clients.

          Click Here to Read More...

          May
          12

          Ask for Online Reviews
          Today's real estate agents have a lot of new tools at their disposal to help their businesses grow. Blog content, social media, and other online marketing tools have become indispensable. Still, one thing has not changed: prospective clients will always want to know what your previous clients think about your services. 

          Reviews and testimonials are essential for growing your business. But why are they so important, and how do you get them? We're here to offer up some answers. 

          Click Here to Read More...

          May
          15

          Strengthen Your Real Estate Brand on Social Media with Video 

          Live Video Communication
          With recent world events, customer communication has become even more important. Keeping in touch with past clients, leads, and supporters is essential given recent world events. These audiences are attuned to live video. With live video on social media, you can speak to hundreds and maintain the personal touch.

          Savvy real estate agents often use multiple social platforms. Each has its own features that help you showcase your value. Likewise, each one has enabled experts like you to reach the world through shareable video.

          Click Here to Read More...

          March
          16

          Online Reputation Management for Real  Estate Agents
          No matter where you are, how experienced you are, or what clients you work with, one thing is certain: Most of your future leads will hear about you online. Their first impression from your online presence is a "make or break" factor in whether they contact you.

          The challenge: That first impression doesn't always come from your own website.

          Increasingly, online reviews come even before your own site in shaping perceptions.

          Customers are more likely to share negative experiences online than positive ones. You can't control what people choose to post, but you can put processes in place that allow you to put your best foot forward with current and future customers.

          It's called reputation management, and it's essential for any real estate agent.

          There are three prongs to a reputation management strategy:

          • Encourage customers who are happy with your service to speak out
          • Act quickly to resolve the underlying issues behind negative reviews
          • Recognize and monitor avenues where people talk about your brand

          Luckily, this isn't as complex as it might seem. With the right technologies and techniques, you can make reputation management an ongoing part of your strategy to shape your brand image.

          Here's how:

          Online Review Sharing

          Click Here to Read More...

          July
          16

          Real Estate Pipeline Management

          Ask just about any real estate agent, and they will tell you maintaining and growing client relationships are at the heart of succeeding in today's market. A real estate agent juggles multiple tasks daily. It's essential to find a way to organize your time to concentrate on priorities like finding prospects, converting leads, showing homes, and making sales. 

          It sounds like a lot of heavy lifting, but you really can squeeze all of these things into your day by using an organized, active sales pipeline.

          The goal of a pipeline is to move prospects through each stage of the sales process, from marketing to closing, while keeping your pipeline stocked with new opportunities.

          We've put together six tips to manage your real estate pipeline and help grow your business. 

          1. Use the Right Tools for Pipeline Management
            Managing your real estate pipeline with spreadsheets, email, and notes is a challenging task. When you have to spend so much time managing your pipeline manually, you're losing time you could dedicate to closing deals. Manual pipeline management also makes it easier for tasks to slip through the cracks, resulting in lost business.

            Pipeline Manager Delta Media Group

            Delta Media Group's Pipeline Manager is a robust, back-end CRM system built with all the rights tools to prioritize your day's activities quickly. Since the Pipeline Manager gives you the power to automate your office tasks, you have more time in the day to do what you do best - close more deals.  Agents have the ability to track, manage, and engage with contacts from their smartphone with Pipeline Manager. 

            Click Here to Read More...

          June
          24

          Real Estate Agent Websites
          Every modern real estate business needs its own website, from the smallest brokerages to the biggest brands. Your website is the face of your business online, and the place where customers come to learn what you have to offer. But it's also so much more. Check out our ten reasons why real estate agents need their own website.

          1. Customers Rely on Websites to Find Homes, Agents, and Real Estate Businesses
            Real estate customers from Boomers to Gen Z rely on websites and online search to connect with businesses, scout listings, and find agents. So while a website is essential for connecting with younger customers, it's just as important for customers from nearly every other demographic! Real estate customers want easy, reliable access to the information they need, and your real estate website is the best place to provide it.

          Delta Media Group Theme Websites

          DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF FROM THE COMPETITION

          Brokerages and teams with 50 agents and under can have the same technology as large enterprise brokerages.

           

           

           

          1. Build Your Brand and Set Yourself Apart 
            Why be just a face in the crowd? Your website is the chance to set yourself apart with unique, attractive design, branding, and features. It's a place to differentiate your business from the competition. Speak directly to the target demographics that matter most to your business, provide valuable information, and build trust with quality website content.
          2. Appeal to the Next Generation of Buyers and Sellers
            The youngest generations of homebuyers are also quickly becoming the largest, with Millennials leading the way and Gen Z soon to be entering the real estate market in force. If you want to reach this young demographic of customers, then you need a website.

          DeltaNet CRM System

          DELTANET CRM SYSTEM

          Our CRM system is built specifically for real estate professionals to manage your contacts more effectively, close more deals and provide better service. 

           

           

          1. Connect with Customers and Build a Community
            Your website is a great place to connect your social media with the rest of your online presence. You can post automatically to Facebook from your website, get involved with the conversation that your content generates, and build a community for people interested in real estate. Our DeltaNet CRM makes it easy to stay on top of your customer relationships, lead nurturing, and so much more.
          2. Build SEO and Create Community by Blogging
            An active blog is a central feature of successful real estate websites because it allows you to share knowledge, establish trust, build SEO, and use hyperlocal content to highlight the communities where you sell homes. Your blog is a resource for customers and a great place to start conversations that carry over to social media. Whether you're building a blog on your own or working with our team to create original blog posts for you, our DeltaNet platform's Content Management System (CMS) works easily when you're entering content and looks great to clients when they're reading your blog.
          3. A Central Hub for Online Marketing
            There are so many tools in online marketing, and most of them lead back to your real estate website. At Delta Media Group, we provide the marketing tools you need to attract customers, the attractive, accessible website you need to keep their attention when they arrive, and the CRM you need to manage relationships.
          4. Make It Easy for Customers to Search Listings and More
            Even if you strip away all of the other benefits, IDX listing search alone is more than enough reason to have a real estate website. Customers want to search listings easily, so search capability generates traffic while also making it easier for all of those eyes to see what you have to offer. All of our themes feature IDX listing integration, so you can connect customers with the homes they want to see.
          5. Education and Helpful Resources
            As a real estate agent, you have extensive knowledge of both the real estate industry and your local communities. Your website allows you to share that knowledge in a way that helps customers and establishes credibility. Educational resources are easy to create and provide long-lasting value to your audience.
          6. A Constant Source of Leads and Visibility
            Your website is always waiting, ready for every customer no matter their schedule. When you combine your website with effective digital marketing, it provides a constant source of real estate leads and visibility for your brand.

          Delta Media Group Websites

          DELTA MEDIA GROUP PUTS YOU IN CHARGE OF YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE

          Brokerages and teams with 50 agents and under can have the same technology as large enterprise brokerages.

           



          1. Take Charge of Your Online Presence
            Your digital presence is one of the most important assets of your real estate brand, and a website allows you to control your presence. Delta Media Group offers website and marketing packages for real estate businesses with 50 agents and under, which give you the same tools and resources as some of the world's biggest brokerages. You choose the package – including website design, marketing, and software – that fits your business and customize your options to suit your size.

          There are so many great reasons to have a real estate website for your business and provide all that the modern real estate client requires when shopping for a home. Contact us to learn more about our real estate website design, and all of the marketing tools we use to help grow your business.

          Discover the Delta Difference

          June
          17

          Digital Marketing Tools and Tips

          In today's digital world, a website is essential for your real estate business: No one will believe you're a "real business" if they can't find you online. But the value of digital marketing goes further: Done right, it energizes your real estate practice with a consistent flow of buyers and sellers ready to do business.

          Many real estate agents start out unsure which digital marketing tools suit their needs. They may post on social media or write blog posts for a while, only to discover getting traction is more challenging than they hoped.

          Consistency is key, and a marketing mix where several digital techniques work together is more effective than any one approach. To move forward, consider these seven tools that have paved the way to success for real estate agents like you:

          Delta Customizable Websites

            1. Customizable Websites
              If your website looks like everyone else's, that may be how visitors treat you. There are best practices that make it easier for customers to use your site, but it should give them a taste of your personality and branding. Your site's appearance and structure should be built around your ideal customers and their needs. Brokerage & Team Packages by Delta Media Group handle all design the details for you.


              Delta Media Group Pipeline Manager
            2. CRM System
              CRM stands for "Customer Relationship Management," and it should be part of your business technology platform allowing you to manage your relationships and communications with clients and prospective clients.  With the right CRM system, it's simple to organize your client lists, streamline your business processes, and grow your real estate business.  Delta Media Group's Pipeline Manager is built to help you TRACK, MANAGE and ENGAGE with your contacts right from your smartphone.


              Delta Ecards and Flyers

              Click Here to Read More...

          June
          10

          Open House Connector to Convert Leads to Sales
          There's no doubt about it: An open house is a great way to draw attention to a home on the market.

          Open houses can attract more motivated buyers than any other form of in-person marketing. When real estate agents combine well-executed open houses and smart digital marketing, more transactions occur. In the end, that means growing your real estate practice much more quickly.

          Once an agent knows how to make good use of an open house, they can create consistent results in a satisfying way.

          Everyone has their own open house style, but some fundamentals are indispensable:

          1. Greet People at the Door
            A friendly welcome will go a long way toward making your new contacts comfortable with you. Some open house attendees are wallflowers who expect to only "look around." Get them out of their shell with warmth. Offer some basic facts on the home and an info sheet to take with them.
          2. Position as an Area Expert
            Your area expertise is what attracts clients to you over your competitors. Showcase your insights into the community. A packet of local information on things like employment, education, events, and attractions will help. Info should be in-depth and professional in presentation.
          3. Ask Some Qualifying Questions
            As you discuss the home with attendees, you can ask leading questions to learn what their goals are and where they stand in their home search. Once you learn enough, you can suggest alternate properties that might meet their needs. Use active listening: The more you remember, the better.

            Click Here to Read More...

          November
          9

          Sold Listing Auto Share
          Call it Facebook marketing, online branding, or shameless self-promotion, but Delta Media Group has given you a way to "shout it from the mountaintops" (or at least Facebook) about your most recent SOLD transactions--including IDX listings--using our Facebook Auto Connector tool. 

          As an exclusive Buyer's Agent, you work directly with buyers and do not list homes for sale. In today's competitive real estate market, it's essential home buyers have an experienced agent on their side to help them make a reasonable offer on the home they want and have it accepted. You spend tons of time and energy guiding your clients down the right path to homeownership.

          So how do you get the word out about the "wins" you have achieved for your clients? 

          With over 1.3 billion members worldwide, Facebook seems like the best place to start. Delta Media Group's Facebook Auto Connector gives you the ability to post each of your SOLD listings automatically, and that includes IDX LISTINGS!

          See, we think you work way too hard helping your clients take the right steps toward successful home buying not to give you a way to tell your entire story on Facebook. That is why we did not limit your social shares to your broker's listings; we included the ability to share any IDX listing too.

          It's a fact, you work hard for your clients, and now you have a way to share your success stories with the world.

          Contact our Tech Support Team to get started auto-sharing your story on Facebook today.

          September
          5

          Property OneSearch


          Our Sales Associates Stand Out in the Crowd 

          Delta Media Group is thrilled to announce the release of a new enhancement to our DeltaNet 5.0: Property OneSearch. Property OneSearch gives Delta's Sales Associates the ability to pinpoint properties with specific features to satisfy specific client requests.

          No longer do you need to waste time with "needle in the haystack" searches. If your client wants a home with "36+ wide halls" and an "invisible fence" and a "stall shower," check those choices in Property OneSearch and Delta will do the rest.  Your customer will receive the Home Finder emails tailored to their exact wishes.

          Click Here to Read More...

          April
          24

          Grow Your Client Base
          There's no getting around that building your real estate client base takes time; however, there's plenty you can do to speed up the process. Whether you're a new agent looking to build your initial client base or an experienced agent aiming to add more names to your list, following the right strategies can save time and boost results. Building a client base requires reaching out to new prospects, but taking care of your current clients is also one of the best ways to grow your client base long-term.

          Build Your Client Base: Earn Referrals & Grow Your Business

          1. Keep in Touch with Current Clients
            Referrals are solid gold when it comes to growing your real estate client base, and earning them starts with taking care of your current clients. Always do your best to meet the needs of your clients, and don't be afraid to ask for testimonials/referrals when the job is done. Email marketing is a great way to stay top-of-mind with current clients so that they'll think of you first when it's time to recommend a real estate agent.

          2. Don't Be Shy
            Being a "secret agent" may sound cool in the movies, but it's definitely not what you want to be when growing your client base. In fact, you want to be just the opposite. Always carry business cards, and when you meet someone new, make it a point to mention what you do for a living. Same goes for the people you already know, but who may not know what you do for a living. Spread the word about what you do, and you may be surprised by how many referrals you earn in the process.

          3. Set Aside Time for Prospecting
            Remember when we said there was no getting around the fact that building a client base takes time? This is a big part of what we were talking about because you can't earn new business if you don't set aside time for the task. Block out time each day for your prospecting activities, and make sure to eliminate any distractions ahead of time so you can focus on the task at hand.

          4. Build Your Real Estate Website Whether you're handing out business cards, or connecting with potential clients online, you want to be able to direct them to an attractive, information-rich real estate website. If you don't have a website, now is the time to change that. If you do, make sure you're putting in the work necessary to maintain your website and producing great content consistently in order to attract more clients.

          5. Build Your Social Media Presence
            In addition to your website, it's important to maintain an active, engaging social media presence. Share content, interact with your audiences, add new clients, and stay in touch with current clients through your social media pages. Just as with all prospecting activities, it really helps to set aside time to work on your social media pages each day as you grow your client base.

          Are you searching for a real estate marketing team who knows what it takes to earn new clients for your business? We can help! Contact Delta Media Group to learn more about all of our real estate marketing services.

          March
          8

          Click Here to Read More...

          September
          8

          Delta Media Group releases new features for the DeltaNet5 platform on a regular basis.  We undertake all types of projects ranging from our clients' special requests to emerging trends in real estate technology.  If you have any suggestions, questions or need assistance, contact our Tech Support Team.

          • Mass Delete Customers

            For Agents: Customers > Customer Center > Cleanup Customers

            Mass Delete Customers

            This new feature gives real estate agents the ability to clean up/delete customers from lists from their agent accounts without removing them from company/broker lists.  The ability to use this feature will be dependent upon company lead settings.

          • Click Here to Read More...

          Schedule a Demo

          Schedule a Demo