January 2020

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January
16

January
16

Tell the story of your business with a real estate website that creates the ultimate online version of your company.

Take a tour of a few of Delta Media Group's most recently launched customer websites to see what is in store for you.

www.coachrealtors.com
www.joincoach.com
www.hereyoucan.com
www.counselorrealtyofrochester.com
www.strano.com
www.premierestateproperties.com
www.dennisrealty.com
www.masiellocommercial.com

 

January
15

Making It Easier for Your Sales Associates to Adopt New Technology

When I started training people on how to use our DeltaNet platform, I thought I had a pretty good handle on what "training" was. You take a thing that you know how to use and tell someone else how to use it, right? Maybe there will be a question or two about things you didn't think of or clarify well enough, but that's about it. After that, they'll know how to use it too, and you can call it a day. However, after spending a substantial amount of time with different people, across various organizations, and in different situations, I've concluded that the "how-to" is only a piece of it, and even that piece isn't just me showing and someone else watching.

When it comes to the"how-to" in technology, everyone seems to learn best by doing. Things like manuals and guides still have a place, but only as reference materials. The first guide I wrote for the DeltaNet was almost 150 pages of going through the system page by page and link by link. To this day, I'm reasonably sure that I'm the only one who has ever read it. I don't blame you. I'd have never read it either if I could have figured out how to write it without looking at it.

Harley Wolfarth Jim Levan

However, that's not because the information isn't useful or understandable (in fact, it is well written if I do say so myself), but it's because that's not how you learn some new technology. You're excited, or at least have some strong incentive, to get into the system and start working it out on your own. You reference the guides if a question comes that you can't find the answer to, or if there's a function or feature that you're looking for and can't find on your own.

The best way to get people to learn a new platform (or any technology) is in creating excitement about learning something for the first time. When training new team members at Delta Media Group, I have the luxury of that incentive already being in place. A paycheck is a pretty compelling incentive, after all.

However, if you're bringing a new real estate sales associate into your organization, that incentive might not be so obvious. For you, it comes down to highlighting what the platform can do and why that benefits them. With a few minutes of setup, the DeltaNet system will reach out to their customers on their behalf with relevant information to keep them engaged. It will post their new listings, open houses, and more to social media. It will send out ecards on their customers' birthdays (or their dogs' birthdays-- yes, we have ecards for that), or their purchase anniversary, or when a new listing or open house comes up. It automates those tasks that are tedious and time-consuming but still necessary and beneficial to growing a successful real estate business so that they build their business while still having time to live their life. I don't know about you, but I feel like time is the real commodity these days, so I'm very interested in anything I can do to free up more of it.

Noel England - Josh Endres

Our role in this, from a training and education perspective, is to make sure the materials are available to support this mindset. Nothing slows you down more than when you hit a roadblock in a piece of technology, and you need to spend an excessive amount of time tracking down an answer instead of working toward your goal.

To this end, we're assembling and maintaining short, written guides (with screenshots and everything) that will be available from right inside the DeltaNet platform. We're also connecting the guides with our existing, extensive library of video guides. So, whether you or your sales associates work best from a written guide or a would rather watch a video, we have you covered with the best of both worlds--the choice is yours.

Training information cut into bite-sized pieces ready and available for consumption is often a better way to increase the sales associates' adoption of the new technology instead of only during the occasional scheduled training session. By making the information readily available for your sales team whenever they need or have time for it is an easier way for them to learn new technologies and better use of their time.

The future of technology training is in a system so intuitive that "how-to's" and "why's" are entirely evident and compelling, and no explanation or advocating is necessary. However, I'm a bit of a dreamer.

So until that becomes a reality, we'll need to do everything in our power to help users see how the system makes their lives better, and make sure there's a guide, a video, or a person on the other end of a phone call or email that has the answers to their questions.

January
15

According to the FBI, cybercrimes targeting real estate transactions cost $150 million in 2018.

More than 11,000 victims were harmed including buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals.

Because sales associates have high-income potential and are visible in their community online and off, they're attractive targets for hackers aiming to take advantage of their hard work.

Over the last few years, a whole new crop of scams has put sales associates in the hot seat.  When fraud hits, you can lose months of hard work.  Even worse, buyers you've been helping can see their whole life savings disappear in a flash.

Real estate scams happen fast and are hard to trace, but that doesn't mean you're a sitting duck.  

Luckily, scams don't happen on their own. They can't go forward unless someone – like you, your client, or a lender – makes a mistake. Just like guarding your wallet when you go on vacation, a little preparation keeps you from getting your pocket picked!

When you know the signs of a scam, you can blow the whistle before it's too late. So, what are the top real estate scams sales associates should look out for in 2020?

Be On Guard Against These Real Estate Scams

Scam Alerts

  1. Email Hacking Scams
    With thousands of email messages exchanged between sales associates and clients every day, hackers can slip in undetected and monitor transactions for signs of a pending close.

    When closing draws near, they jump into the driver's seat, sending your client an email under your name that demands immediate down payment to seal the deal – or lose it forever.

    Wire transfers are often used to make the stolen money untraceable and irrecoverable.

    Buyers' emotions run high, and they easily fall prey to a time crunch. Be sure clients understand when and how you'll ask them to transfer earnest money, a down payment, and any other funds. Encourage them to call you first if anything seems fishy.

  2. Ad Agency Scams
    No matter where you are in your career, most of your future clients will find you on the Web. Knowing this, tech-savvy scammers can use a slick website to impersonate an ad agency.

    Scammers will promise you the moon in exchange for your "ad budget," but no ads will ever be placed. They may even send fake reports or screenshots to confuse you.

    Hackers are, well, hackers, and their websites often look legitimate. The key is to dive into the details. Insist on calling any prospective ad agency. Ask lots of questions, just like your best clients do with you. Look for reviews and testimonials online.

    If you're worried you've been roped into an ad agency scam, take heart: You can install analytics software on your website that will tell you exactly how much traffic you're getting and where it is coming from.

    A real ad agency will bring you more traffic and more leads over time.

  3. Impersonation Scams
    As first-time buyers learn when it's time to pay closing costs, a lot of people are involved in a real estate transaction. That includes lawyers, title experts, and a whole host of others who they are only dimly aware of for most of their house-hunt.

    By impersonating any of these people (not just you!), scammers can get their hands on thousands of dollars. The most common variation? Fake real estate lawyers who try to get a percentage of a sale.

    Remember that a real lawyer will always be able to give you their state bar ID number.

  4. Open House Scams
    Unlike the rest, open house scams are decidedly "low tech." They've been around for generations. They can also be the most dangerous scams for sales associates and sellers.

    When criminals get wind of an open house, they can use it to case the property and probe for security holes. Homes that sellers have already vacated are at the most risk.

    To protect yourself, put safety first in all your dealings with the public. Keep doors locked during an open house, have others with you, and be sure someone you trust knows where you are and when you expect to return to your office or home.

A Sales Associate's Top Piece of Advice for Avoiding Real Estate Scams

Technology has given scammers a whole new arsenal of tools to find and engage their victims. Real estate firms big and small, new and old, need to beware.

It might be impossible to keep track of every scam out there, but they all boil down to one idea. It's that old adage Mom told you: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

If you smell a scam, trust your instincts. You have nothing to lose by taking a few hours (or even a few days!) to check things out--and everything to gain by stopping scammers in their tracks.

January
14

The 2020 Conference Season is Upon Us

My busiest time of year is typically the last week of January through the middle of May, which is due to having a conference or event to go to nearly every other week in that time frame. There are so many real estate conferences or gatherings going on, it seemed appropriate to put together my thoughts on how to make the most out of every conference you attend each year.

The very first thing I do once I've decided which events I'm planning to attend is to see which conferences have a dedicated app to get additional information about the event. So many great conferences such as Inman Connect, LeadingRE, NAR, and dozens of other regional and franchise-based events offer dedicated mobile apps where you can start to make an itinerary of which sessions you want to attend based on your schedule.

When booking sessions one of the main ways I gauge which events I think will be worth my time is if a speaker is giving a session that I think I'd like to hold a one-on-one conversation with. Conferences are often non-stop / go-go-go type affairs. If I want to be able to make a brief introduction with someone or get a face-to-face opportunity to ask to connect later in the event, there is no better way than sitting through the session and then catching the speaker just as they've left the stage. At most events, the speaker will head directly in the hallway or to the back of the room, where you'll have a chance to make a new connection that could be incredibly powerful.

On the topic of session content, one thing you may not think about is the actual background of who the speaker is. It sounds a little backward, but at many conferences, the speakers are people who paid to get on stage to speak to you. You, the person who paid to sit in a session, is being soft- sold by a vendor who paid to talk to you. It is an unfortunate fact of our industry that many of the speakers who get on stage under the guise of "education" are often on stage to soft-sell services or products. When deciding which sessions to attend to bring quality content back to your firm, I recommend you do a little research on the speaker to see if they have secondary interests. After all, you're at a conference to learn and make connections, not sit through a sales pitch.

One of my absolute favorite things about traveling for industry events is the opportunity to make connections with new people, and also catch up with colleagues I often don't get to see. Starting with the latter, the right time to schedule a meeting or 15-minute "let's catch up" drink isn't the week before the event. You're busy, just as everyone else is going to these meetings. I've found that roughly six weeks before the first day of a conference is the right time to start reaching out to friends and colleagues to see when they can find time in their schedule to make a face-to-face happen. I usually keep a spreadsheet with each conference day broken out in 30-minute intervals between 8:00 am-8:00 pm and fill in 30-minute slots. The day before the event begins, I'll fill in my calendar with reminders, so I know I don't miss anything!

I've found that when it comes to making connections with new people at an event, there usually are two places where you'll have the best luck. Number one, cocktail events, coffee breaks, dinner receptions, or any opportunity where the conference host has specifically designated a time to make connections. These events were built specifically for you to make the most of the industry getting together, and I'm often surprised at how small real estate can feel. Trust me, after going to Inman Connect New York, LeadingRE Annual, NAR Mid Year, and then back to Inman 

Connect Vegas, I'll be shocked if I haven't seen at least several dozen people 3-4 times in a six-month window. It's the perfect opportunity to make an introduction if someone seems familiar. "Hey, didn't I see you in Vegas a couple of months back?"

The second place is the lobby bar of the main hotel HQ for the event you're attending. There will typically be a specific hotel designated as the hub for the event, and after the last session of the day has wrapped up, you'll never see so many fellow realtors in the same bar. I've often had some of my best conversations at events by finding someone still wearing their attendee badge and asking what they thought of the general session speaker, or what their biggest takeaway for the day was. There's a lot of valuable insights to be gained by getting a different perspective on the same content.

Finally, my last tip on how to have an enjoyable conference is to have fun! After the sessions and the cocktails have ended for the day, you usually have a few hours to yourself before the next day of events begins. My regular routine is to head back to my hotel room for about 15- 30 minutes to make a quick write up of what I felt were the most important things I gathered from my new connections and sessions for the day. That write up will be important to jot down while everything is still fresh because even if you might think, "I'll remember all of this tomorrow," you're often getting information overload at these events. It's important to take it one day at a time. After you get a write up written, I recommend going out and enjoying at least one or two shows or restaurants or tourist attractions in whatever city you're staying in!

Some of my fondest memories from trade shows I've attended over the years has been the local cuisine, or "quintessential tourist attraction" that I was able to make time for while traveling. Seeing the Alamo in San Antonio after BHHS's annual event a few years back. Or taking the time to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway in NYC after an Inman Connect. Taking time to yourself for a little bit of fun will help you "shut off" for a few hours and let some of that information from the conference day sink in, so you feel recharged for another day of information gathering and referral building.

January
14

Tech-savvy real estate pros use social media sites to connect with the right audience at the right time. Even with minimal time and resources, you can build more online relationships and earn more clients.

Keeping this in mind, use this list of ten social media tips the modern sales associate can't afford to overlook.

  1. Prioritize Your Efforts
    The top 20 social media platforms attract 200 million monthly users each. Focus on these sites and use their strengths to your advantage.

    Facebook is ideal for building a community to stay in touch with former clients. LinkedIn provides commercial real estate opportunities. Toss in Instagram to publicize your stunning real estate photos. Twitter is a great place to connect with new prospects.

  2. Talk to People, Not at Them
    The simplest way to get noticed in social media is to be relentlessly helpful. Don't just advertise a product or service. Start conversations with those whose posts suggest they can use your expertise. That gets you more followers and a better reputation.

  3. Share Helpful, Informative Content
    Your other digital marketing efforts help you succeed on social, too. Sharing blog posts, property photos, and videos go a long way. This gives your audience the info they crave and makes it more likely they'll visit your site. That adds much-needed lead generation to your relationship building.

  4. Maintain Existing Relationships
    Supporting someone through the home-buying process takes lots of time and effort, but 70% of homeowners can't remember their sales associate's name a year later.

    Social media is the best way to check-in and keep relationships active. Couple social media with a Customer Relationship Management suite to remind you of important dates, like the anniversary of closing day. Then, tag those clients and say hi!

    The more you do, the easier it'll be to build a base of referrals.

  5. Use Your Time Wisely
    Let's get technical. At its heart, social media is as easy as clicking a button, but how the heck do you know your time is being used well? The answer is analytics.

    Analytics software grants a bird's-eye view of how people reach your website and what they do there. Top-quality analytics suites tie right into your social media, so you see which posts are most popular and which platforms lead to conversions.

  6. Use Hashtags for Local Content
    Hashtags are most famous on Twitter, but they appear on almost every social site. Their purpose is to clarify a post's topic and make it more discoverable in search.

    Hashtags are perfect for ensuring people browsing the local market can find you (#HoustonTX). They're also a terrific way to showcase different types of property (OrlandoBeachHomes).

    Stick to one or two short, specific tags per post. Avoid general tags like #RealEstate unless you're on a platform, such as Instagram that encourages lots of hashtags.

  7. Spread Photos, Videos, and Virtual Tours
    Of everything on social media, visual content gets the most likes and shares. Property photos taken in good lighting with professional equipment are the most effective.

    After photos, videos are the most appealing for followers interested in finding a home. A virtual walkthrough of a property stokes excitement to see it in person.

    Last, but not least, don't overlook infographics. Infographics can memorably convey lots of information – they're ideal for helping your audience stay informed.

  8. Be Consistent About Posting
    Consistency makes you a more familiar and authoritative voice in your social sphere. When you first get started on social, make one post daily. As you tune into your audience's needs, aim for three posts a day at peak browsing hours. Remember, you can schedule updates in advance.

  9. Broaden Your Horizons
    Not all content you post has to be laser-focused on properties, buying, and selling.

    Some of the most popular social posts have nothing to do with real estate at all!

    For example, when you post about your favorite restaurants, museums, or even sports teams, you show off your local credibility. You're also educating readers about what makes your area special.

    For bonus points, include photos or videos of yourself visiting special locations throughout your market. Done right, this can give your posts the personal touch that fosters trust.

  10. Celebrate Your Successes
    Leads want to see that others like them recommend you. Share testimonials from thrilled customers in written or video form. You can set up your videos so watchers can visit your site in one click or even set an appointment with you. The more success stories you share, the better.

As the name suggests, social media is all about being social! Take a genuine interest in others and how you can help. You don't have to be a tech wiz to spark relationships--JUST BE YOURSELF!

January
14

No matter who or where you are, most of your real estate clients will find you online.

Today, home listings go online, or they don't exist.  Even if you hold an open house, the definition of a local event, most guests will first learn about it from your website or through social media.

In a certain sense, there are hundreds or even thousands of ways people find you online. But the most successful real estate firms and sales associates make the time to take control of their brand.

In real estate, one of the best ways to do this is through blogging.

A blog is a gold standard for generating traffic, leads, and building relationships. Blogging keeps you relevant for the long haul while positioning you as an expert through helpful, informative content. By blogging regularly, it also helps you from an SEO standpoint. It is well documented that Google favors sites that have unique and engaging content added to them on a regular basis. These sites tend to get indexed more frequently, and visibility in the search engines tend to improve.

Blogging for Inbound Marketing

Blogging is One of The Most Powerful Inbound Marketing Tactics – Here's What That Means

Over the last decade, there's been a shift away from old-fashioned outbound marketing.

Outbound marketing relies on the advertiser interrupting your day long enough for the message to sink in. Cold calling is the epitome of outbound marketing: Most of the time, telemarketers don't even know if the person they're calling might be interested.

Invasive, intrusive, and loud—those are the hallmarks of outbound marketing. And people are opting out in record numbers: More than 600 million devices are now set up to block online ads. About 230 million Americans opt-out of unsolicited phone calls.

Inbound marketing is the exact opposite. This strategy focuses on brand awareness through marketing tactics involving social media, SEO, and yes, blogs. Your blog, in particular, helps them answer questions, solve problems, and soothe worries about buying or selling.

By the time a lead is ready to pull the trigger on buying or selling a home, you've been with them every step of the way. You've advised them on what works and what doesn't, and, in doing so, you've become the natural choice to guide them to closing.

Blog for Marketing Benefits

Six Ways to Turn Your Real Estate Blog Into a Lead Magnet (and Have Fun Doing It)

But how do leads find your blog post content? Search engine visibility is critical. Each time you publish a blog post, it gives search engines like Google more incentive to feature you in searches related to the topic. But you don't have to be Shakespeare to do it right. You can get a running start with a few quick tips.

Here's how to set your blog up for success:

  1. Be Consistent
    One of the most important parts of having a successful blog is being consistent. Consistency gives site visitors and social media followers reasons to keep coming back. It also "pings" search engines, who know to check your website for new
  2. Be Useful
    As a real estate firm or a sales associate, you understand the time and effort involved to master real estate. Your leads don't: They rely on you. Blog posts should answer a question, solve a problem, soothe anxiety, or address an objection. When you write posts with actual client questions in mind, you don't have to worry as much about "search keywords" and other technicalities. Also, consider topics that show your expertise in the core markets that you serve. These articles can be about area amenities, upcoming events, local attractions, nightlife, the list is endless.
  3. Be Timely
    If you read about blogging, you'll see lots about "evergreen content." Evergreen content refers to posts that will be just as useful in a week, a month, or a year. Of course, real estate changes faster than that: If you write a neighborhood guide, you might have to update it annually. Don't be intimidated. You can count on this kind of content to generate traffic and leads month after month if appropriately positioned. A great way to start blogging is to answer common questions almost all your leads have. It's an easy way to dip your toe in, and visitors will appreciate it!
  4. Be Intentional
    If you're promoting homes in a specific market area, be sure to work in keyword phrases that send readers to relevant pages on your site, such as listings for homes . for sale. Be sure to work these types of phrases in naturally; a blog post isn't the places for a hard sell. Also, be sure to let readers know where to go next. Include a call to action to contact you or find a sales associate.
  5. Be Visual
    Blogs are all about text, but real estate captures the imagination with images! From breathtaking property photos to compelling panoramas of your city's skyline, visual touches are a must. They make life easier for readers, breaking up text, and improving recall. Posts with photos get twice as many shares on average than those without, so your efforts will go much further. There are many free or very inexpensive tools available to help you make your imagery shine. Consider adding your company logo to images as well to give your brand a boost.
  6. Be Involved
    Once you get into the swing of writing for your blog, the next thing to think about is promotion. Promotion is essential since your search rank rises when people share or link to your blog. Get in the habit of using analytics to learn which blog content drew the most traffic. Then, add social media into the mix to amplify your unique voice on Facebook and Twitter.

Every Real Estate Professional Can Embrace Their Inner Publisher

Like your website isn't just a book of listings, your blog isn't just a collection of postcards. It's a dynamic, ever-growing intro to who you are, what you do, and why clients should meet you.

The most important thing? You should stand behind what you write, but don't wait to be perfect. The sooner you get started on your blog, the sooner you can see truly exciting business results.

January
14

How Coldwell Banker Bain (CB Bain), the Nation's Largest Coldwell Banker Affiliate, Keeps Its Competitive Edge

It's simple: It has been CB Bain's practice for over 40 years to help their brokers (now over 1,400 strong) build meaningful relationships with clients. Ranked 17th for sales volume and 45th for sides in the 2019 REAL Trends 500 report, CB Bain continues to heavily invest time and dollars into helping their brokers turn their clients' homeownership dreams into a reality.

The Backstory

Since its inception in 1972, CB Bain has differentiated itself from other real estate firms in the Pacific Northwest by providing buyers and sellers with exceptional market knowledge, transactional expertise, and professional accountability.

Continuing their reputation for unprecedented client care is a top priority for CB Bain.

To continue their gold standard customer service for their clients, CB Bain set a plan in motion to carry out its vision.

Setting the Stage for the Future

Their first step meant finding a partner focused on innovation to bring about the technology, marketing, and branding opportunities they needed. CB Bain started its search to find a company giving brokers the ability to:

  1. Connect clients and leads with an endless supply of buying and selling information,
  2. Advance their sales and marketing strategies with the right technology and tools,
  3. Reflect CB Bain's established reputation in the real estate industry.

With their plan in hand, they set out on an extensive search to find a technology partner that checked all the boxes. Ultimately, they chose Delta Media Group. Delta's reputation as a technology innovator, as well as its ability to save CB Bain a large sum of money through consolidation of third-party vendors, quickly won them the role of CB Bain's online partner.

Putting Their Plan into Action

When CB Bain unveiled its "Unleashed" campaign in April 2019, it meant a full organizational change designed to support its brokers and streamline their businesses.

CB Bain

Coldwell Banker Bain President and COO Mike Grady states, "At its core Unleashed is a major operational shift change that implements a new staffing structure and an enhancement in thinking and philosophy throughout the company. It represents an exciting opportunity for us to communicate our innovation, attention to concierge services, and competitiveness in the real estate sector, further enhancing our reputation as the premier company to work with for both clients and potential recruits."

Grady continues, "With Unleashed, we not only have brokers with intimate knowledge of neighborhoods and lifestyles; we now have the technology and other important tools to fully support their efforts to best serve homebuyers and sellers."

Delta Media Group's Role in the Unleashed Campaign

Bain Website
Delta Media Group's partnership with CB Bain honed in on its need for a new website design and hosting solution as well as an intranet solution for its brokers. Delta Media Group completely replaced CB Bain's previous public-facing web- site with the ultimate online version of the company—www.coldwellbankerbain.com. CB Bain's website, global luxury website, and broker websites are mobile responsive giving brokers and clients more opportunities to engage with one another.

One unique element of the website design for CB Bain is that despite their geographic footprint covering the Pacific Northwest, Delta Media Group was able to create unique versions of their website for each of the areas CB Bain services at a hyperlocal level. This empowers CB Bain's brokers to feel confident that their real estate firm has technology powering them at a local level.

CB Bain prides itself on providing its brokers with next-generation tech resources to give clients the online experience they have come to expect.

Consequently, CB Bain moved to Delta Media Group's DeltaNet CRM system, an all-in-one platform no other Northwest real estate firm offers. The DeltaNet was developed by real estate professionals specifically for solving challenges faced by real estate firms. The DeltaNet is chock full of tools for enhanced search engine rankings, lead text notifications, e-marketing campaigns, integrated blogging and testimonials, automated marketing reporting, a seller lead AVM platform and social media connectors for automated posting.

Bain Staff
CB Bain's brokers embraced their intranet upgrade to continue their goal of building lifelong relationships with their clients. Technology adoption rates by CB Bain brokers using the DeltaNet:

  • 48% of brokers login at least once per week (*based on 1,440 CB Bain brokers)

Barb HindleBarb Hindle, Chief Revenue Officer at CB Bain, says, "Our partnership with Delta Media is allowing us to provide cutting edge technology to our brokers, and secure our place in the market as a progressive, 21st Century real estate firm."

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Minard


Michael Minard, President and CEO of Delta Media Group, comments, "From our first meeting with CB Bain, it was clear we were the business partner that could create the website and develop the tools and integrations they needed to meet and exceed their goals."

Minard continues, "Every client and market is unique. Each with its own set of nuances. We make it our practice to study and pay attention to market trends in specific areas of the country to interpret buying and selling trends. We did the same when we became partners with CB Bain."

"Some might call it a recipe for success. We started the collaborative process with the talented team at CB Bain by creating a sophisticated and engaging website with easy-to-use navigation. We filled it with the features and services Pacific Northwest buyers and sellers have come to expect from CB Bain," says Minard.

Within the first six months after working with Delta Media Group as their technology and marketing partner, their investment paid off in a big, big way. CB Bain's website traffic increased by 31%. Their organic traffic showed gains of 75%. Organic search traffic accounted for 52% of total traffic and 62% of total leads.

Coldwell Banker Bain's Future

CB Bain has specific plans to make even more gains with the help of Delta Media Group and the DeltaNet's customer relationship management platform.

Scott HannamanScott Hannaman, Executive Creative Director at CB Bain, shares, "A project that we've been working on and testing is programmatic advertising. It has been game-changing for us. Programmatic advertising is a powerful way for our brokers to target past website visitors—and potential leads we previously never knew existed. By using data-tracking tools, we custom-tailor messages targeting those users wherever they may be on the web. Also, thanks to artificial intelligence, we can use information gathered from other consumers' interests and reach out to new" leads with which we never before engaged."

Hannaman continues, "Initially, our studies were only at the enterprise level; however, we were so impressed with its results we began testing for our brokers too. The results have been outstanding: Programmatic ads produce a better ROI than most other forms of advertising. When the ads were displayed on mobile devices, we saw a 30% open rate. We are targeting a full rollout for our brokers this spring."

"Delta Media Group's customer relationship management enters the picture after a person enters their information on to our website. Our brokers segment the clients into automated drip campaigns to nurture the lead and eventually grow it into a listing or sale. Delta's system makes it so much easier for our brokers to build better relationships with their clients. Another benefit for the CB Bain broker is Delta ties all avenues of marketing together in one place to make branding easier," says Hannaman.

What does 2020 hold for Coldwell Banker Bain and Delta Media Group? A continued partnership taking innovation to a whole new level geared toward keeping CB Bain leading the pack.

January
14

At any given time, there may be thousands of people in your market who are considering buying or selling a home. Each person may be weeks, months, or even years away from making a decision. But as they are getting closer to one, there is one thing you can be sure of—they will go online to start their real estate process when the time is right.

The internet is a phenomenal way for anyone to learn about nearly any subject. When people have problems to solve or tough questions, they turn to Google to find answers.

That decision—to start gathering information out on the Web—is where a prospective customer's needs and your expertise come together. The way you put yourself on the radar is content marketing.

Content marketing is an approach to digital marketing that focuses on posting helpful, useful, informative content on your website. As you first get started, most of your content will come in the form of blogs. There is any number of benefits you'll receive from blogging: SEO, social media marketing, and lead conversion are a few. Creating quality content should be your first goal in creating an overall real estate marketing strategy. As you develop your content skills and techniques, try adding photos, videos, infographics, white papers, and reports into your content marketing mix.

Content marketing in real estate has two primary purposes:

  1. Draw more traffic to your website by helping you appear higher in relevant searches
  2. Motivate visitors to convert to leads who'll contact you when they're ready to move

Some real estate professionals make the mistake of assuming content marketing is a less effective way to engage with potential clients than face-to-face methods used in the past. This simply isn't true. Content marketing flips the script on old-fashioned marketing approaches that involve "pounding the pavement and pressing the flesh."

Sure, there are lots of benefits to face-to-face marketing methods in real estate, but only content keeps working for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Content That Converts6 Steps to Creating Content That Converts

The content funnel looks something like this:

  • Blog posts with great photos, illustrations, and videos guide traffic onto your site
  • Visitors become leads by joining your email list in exchange for premium content
  • Leads get helpful, informative emails about once a week until they're ready to act

That may seem like a tall order, but it's easy to understand when you break it into steps.

  1. First, Know Yourself
    Early in a real estate career, it's crucial to learn everything you can. When you launch a content strategy and start automating lead generation, though, it's vital to ask: What are you most interested in? What transactions do you prefer, and, most importantly, what kind of client do you enjoy working with? This helps you understand the brand your content will communicate.
  2. Know Your Customers
    Every piece of content is written for someone. Rising professionals, growing families, and empty nesters all have different needs. They come to real estate websites for various reasons, have different goals – and, vital to your content, they worry about different things. Who is your ideal customer? How do they like to be spoken to, and what sources do they already trust for information?
  3. Write Blogs That Solve Problems and Answer Questions
    Whoever your ideal customer is, your content is where you put your expertise into practice. Each blog post you write should focus on answering a single question or solving one problem. You can define this broadly, writing about the amenities that make your city special, or more narrowly, answering common questions about financing, but be sure every topic is relevant.
  4. Craft a Terrific Lead Magnet to Get Visitors on Your List
    As people read your site, they get more interested in you. Compelling local content is especially helpful in motivating them to take the next step. As an expert on your area, only you can give them the inside insights on everything that sets it apart. Many people will join your mailing list to see a neighborhood comparison, buying guide, or other pieces of well-researched content.
  5. Amplify Your Blog Posts and Listings on Social Media
    The content cycle refers to the way one piece of content can become another over time, with each form appealing to more people. For example, a blog post can become a video script, and a video can be the basis of a webinar, and so on. But all content, no matter what it is, can be shared on social media alongside your listings.
  6. Tie Your Blogging and Social Media into Your Email Campaigns
    Don't be intimidated by the thought of sending out weekly email updates to your leads. If you're doing content marketing in other ways, most of the work is already done. Your social followers, new visitors, and email subscribers are all different audiences, so don't hesitate to share your blog updates to your email list.

When you create a solid content marketing strategy filled with topics people are searching for, your blog becomes a magnet for real estate leads.

Go ahead and take that first step into blogging for real estate business. The results may surprise you.

January
14

How does your real estate firm get new sales associates through the front door? Some might immediately answer commissions - and that's great. However, real estate sales associates in 2020 need additional motivation to join your company. Today's sales associates consider everything from a collaborative work environment and marketing resources to top-of-the-line technology and tools.

Technology can simplify and improve the sales associate experience, starting with recruitment. It's one of the best ways for firms to buck bad trends and stand out from the pack.

Once technology is firmly built into the recruitment process, it becomes much easier to use it in other aspects of business, too: Creating relationships, finding leads, and transaction management.

Many firms are rising to the challenge and energizing recruitment with next-gen technology. That's all the more vital as the internet grows into the place where most real estate pros will source their leads and establish their reputation.

In short, new associates want firms who'll give them reliable business-building solutions.

SO, HOW ARE THE BEST FIRMS DOING IT?

These six tech trends are making it easier to recruit new associates:

  1. Online Listings for MLS, IDX, and The Rest
    As real estate has gone digital, a dizzying array of sites and services cropped up where sales associates connect with clients and colleagues. MLS, the Multiple Listing Service, is the most visible of these, but there are dozens of others.

    Firms shouldn't be tempted to look at MLS as a black box for their brand-building. Instead, spark goodwill from the start by offering MLS listings on your site to sales associates. Boost their efforts on other industry sites and social media platforms, too.

    This gets associates off to a running start by taking the guesswork out of a slew of tasks that might otherwise go undone. Plus, it shows from the get-go that new associates will share in their firm's success.
  2. Customer Relationship Management Solutions
    In real estate, customer relationship management (CRM) is the science of figuring out where your prospects, leads, and clients stand at any point in their transaction process.

    With a well-designed website, associates can get visibility into what leads are doing (and thinking!) long before they decide to move forward on a home purchase.

    An excellent CRM suite not only connects to that first burst of website data but also follows leads through the rest of their journey. It flags turning points, such as attending an open house, and reminds associates to do the ever-crucial work of following up.

    Even the best CRM has a learning curve. That said, it can save sales associates hundreds of hours a year – and give them the extra push to close agreements that might otherwise fall through.
  3. Website and Digital Market Toolkits
    Without a website, an associate is invisible. A flourishing associate/firm partnership equips both sides to craft magnetic, meaningful brands that excite clients.

    Although many associates leap into real estate as their second career, few were Web designers in their previous life. Anything and everything firms can do to help them launch their digital presence makes a difference.

    And remember: The work doesn't end with a website.

    Digital marketing is how associates make the leap from chasing down leads to drawing crowds. One big part of that is email marketing, which lets associates build long-term relationships with leads through useful, informative messages sent on a regular schedule.

    Software can automate the designing and sending of those messages.

    A website, social media presence, email subscription list, and video content all work together for a powerful digital strategy. The more of these firms can master, the better for all their associates.
  4. Document and Signature Management Tools
    As many a buyer has learned to their shock, a home buy involves a lot of paperwork!

    Nothing brings a deal to a screeching halt like a problem with legal documents. Even something simple like a misspelled middle name can add a week to transaction time.

    Once they know the ins and outs of a real estate contract, sales associates quickly get tired of doing things the old-fashioned way. It is technology to the rescue with a host of new solutions that accelerate signings and catch common mistakes.

    A good document management strategy incorporates two things: version-control and e-signing. With version control, you have a central repository for all your documents and can see changes over time. You can even verify that documents were received without calling or emailing. E-signing, on the other hand, is about the bottleneck of getting dozens of pages signed before and during closing. It's especially useful when associates have clients in other states or countries.
  5. Software for Adding More Value to Clients
    Productivity is the name of the game when it comes to business software. That said, it's not just for associates. Technology can delight clients by equip- ping them to solve their challenges. For example, some firms have rolled out special software offerings to assist clients in managing their move. Associates get the credit for helping clients succeed, which leads to repeat business.

    More than 95% of American adults now own a cell phone, and the majority have a Web-ready smartphone. If you offer a useful piece of software, you can be confident most clients can use it.

    Of course, many other tech tools – like e-signing – also soothe clients' headaches.
  6. Webinars and Distributed Digital Training
    In real estate, what you know is how you grow.

    More than almost any other industry, developing a real estate business means learning new skills, tools, and techniques. Mentors and leadership circles are a natural fit, but associates will often be looking for solutions on their own time.

    Taking lessons from customer success – the idea that businesses should train customers to get the most value from their products – many firms are embracing the role of a real estate success coach.

    One way to do this is to provide associates with a library of multimedia materials, helping them come to grips with industry trends.

    A webinar library is a common way to let associates learn on the go. Experienced associates can give talks on the success strategies that worked for them, which bolsters their skills at the same time. Junior colleagues, meanwhile, can reach those all-important designations sooner.

Technology Lets Firms to Put New Associates On The Road to Success

Like real estate, technology is always changing. It's not enough to have the newest tech toy on the block: It's also essential to align technology choices with the needs and goals of associates.

Technology strategy can be one big way firms show their confidence in associates. When they see that commitment – and investment – real estate pros of all backgrounds are more likely to excel.

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