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Importance An Easy-To-Access Real Estate Website

Having a great looking website is one thing but having a great website that you can access and update yourself with a simple process is even better. A  great website is a key to being the most successful real estate agent you can be, and having a competitive edge that an amazing website delivers will win you clients.

One of the most difficult parts of having a great website is that when you pay someone to build a great site, nine out of ten times the developers remain in full control of your website so they can rely on your ongoing requirements for income. A website where you can update your listings by yourself, or add new images to your gallery, add staff changes or add a blog post is something that can save you money and time into the future.

In the real estate business, your website needs to be updated often on a daily basis, so having to contact web developers to have simple updates performed can be an expensive cost. Being able to access your website and update it whenever you want makes sense, and if you want to lower your overheads, this is one of the best ways to do it.

When you need to add a new listing to your website or take one off when you make sales it needs to be a simple process, and if you have access to your website that even your junior staff can edit, your job becomes easier, and your website is as current as you need it to be to be competitive.

Even if you have a great looking website and you believe your content is competitive against other real estate agents, but if you don’t have a large amount of staff available to add new content regularly, having access to the back end of your own website is the perfect solution.

A real estate website template system that is made by real estate agents, for real estate agents is the best solution to your web design problems.

Our software allows you to update your listings with user-friendly layouts, saving you valuable resources and time for more important things. It allows you to track and develop online leads, receive instant analytics, and our drag and drop editor lets you personalise your site so you can easily add listings, pages, videos, photos and more.

There are no upfront costs and no ongoing costs for updates and edit, and you’ll receive unlimited customer support.

For homeowners: Do you need to spend money to make money?

When it comes to selling your home, you will probably ask yourself the age-old question about having to spend money to make money. In the real estate market, it is vital that you spend the money on the right things when getting your home ready for sale.

Deciding how much money to spend is also a tough one, because you don’t want to spend money that you won’t get back. However, there are things you absolutely must spend money on to ensure you do get the selling price you want.

When a person views a house at an open inspection their instinct is to find everything they possibly can that is wrong with a house. They will see a broken cupboard door or a light fitting and they will see chipped paint and, in their minds, they are adding up the costs involved to repair everything, and taking it off the minimum price they will offer you.

So, you can see the importance of spending money on the little things that in the long run will add value to your sell price, if not exactly adding “value” to your home as such.

Cosmetic renovations add value

Painting your home inside and out id the one thing that will add value no matter what. Making sure everything looks consistent with the rest of the house is very important as well. Make sure you don’t pour money into things that won’t make you money in the long run. Unless you are set to completely renovate your 1950’s home and pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into it and sell when the market suits you, don’t bother with massive spending. Simple cosmetic updates will be worth more than a massive renovation.

However, don’t just leave it as it is, unless you have a very quick sale with no added value wanted in mind.

If you can’t look after the cosmetic stuff yourself, hire someone who can. Think of it as a short-term investment that will see great returns when you sell the home for more than you wanted originally. Make sure your home looks best from the road. Potential buyers will drive by at any given time, and first impressions are seen from a car window. 

Things you need to know about advertising your property

Determining how much to spend on advertising when you are selling a property comes down to some basic philosophies – having a solid strategy, creating a solid reach and capitalising on the audience.

It is difficult to put a number on how much you should spend on advertising for your home, because every area is different to the next. Supply and demand plays a big part in how much you need to spend as well. You need to know where your target market is and know how to reach them. If there is high demand in your area, then your real estate agent will be able to point you to their big list of leads, and advertising will cost very little. If the market is flooded where you are the opposite might happen.

It’s really going to come down to the area in which you are selling, and how quickly you want to sell. The more you spend, obviously gets you a larger audience, but it must be done right to achieve that result. Greater advertising exposure means more eyes on your property, which in turn can create competition amongst buyers, driving the sale price up and the sale to a quick close.

Sellers need to deliberately target buyers through online campaigns, and when it comes to online advertising, the options are plentiful. From your standards like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au; to other players likesellable.com.au and buymyplace.com.au there are literally hundreds of ways you can spend your advertising dollars. You can even pay to advertise your home on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Should I pay for advertising or will my real estate agent pay for me?

No matter whether it is in your contract that your real estate agent will handle the advertising for your home, you should still educate yourself on different ways to advertise, and work with your agent to ensure all avenues are taken.

How will 5G affect the real estate industry?

5G is coming, and when it arrives life is going to be a little different; for everyone.

5G is the next major step which will advance the mobile and internet networks to a place we have never seen before. Our current 4G mobile capacity and networking speeds are somewhat limited, and the 5G network will have capabilities 1000 times what we have now. To put this into perspective, the maximum download speed on Australia’s somewhat dismal NBN network is 100Mbps. This means a file of 100 megabytes can currently be downloaded in a second, but these speeds are on a high tier payment price and limited to the area you live in. 5G is expected to make available a gigabyte per second, which is the size of a movie, downloadable in an instant. Although most services have adapted to streaming services to combat movie and TV show pirating, something is about to change again with 5G. We have already had a trial in Australia of 5G for the Gold Coast areas around the commonwealth games precincts, and it’s expected to be available commercially in just a year.

Why is it necessary?

The key reasoning for 5G is to advance current technologies to the next level and beyond. The most important technology at this stage that will rely solely on the stability and reliability of a super internet is automation in vehicles. Automated trucks are already in use in mining, automated cars are already being tested on our streets, but the problems with current network capabilities is they are not reliable or quick enough to cope with millions of cars driving by themselves. 5G will undoubtedly change this. 5G will offer improved GPS capabilities with instantaneous traffic and map updates globally, meaning you will know exactly to the second when you will arrive to a destination.

How will it affect the everyday person?

When it comes to the average Joe, there are many ways it will be innovative, and there will be many ways it will change the way we work, rest and play. Some of the most important innovations currently being tested is the way we use energy, and the capabilities 5G will have to automate personal household energy use. The Finnish government is currently testing ways to automate lights, security cameras, windows, refrigerators, door locks, heating systems, and other electrical household items to find ways to use them only when needed. Especially when it comes to apartment blocks and large hotels, it means that lighting could be sensor based, electronic door locks will be automated by Wi-Fi and energy savings will be massive.

How will it affect the residential real estate industry?

Technology that we already use in the real estate industry will all advance beyond current recognition. There is no doubt there is undiscovered tech that will produce itself, and this industry has a lot to look forward to. Virtual reality tours are widely being used in real estate, in the way of virtual tours, and in the future, virtual reality will consume massive bandwidth with the advances currently being tested in tech companies across the globe. Mobile phone technology will be incredibly fast and reliable, and it’s almost unfathomable how much change will come in even the next five years.

One of the biggest changes in real estate, will relate to the property itself. Aerials for the 5G network will be tiny in comparison to current mobile networks and will be able to be mounted onto homes rather than up high on large plots of land. This will mean your residential property could be used as aerial space.

5th generation mobile networks will advance smart home technology and real estate agents will need to know more about how these things work. Human-machine communication will advance beyond anything we have ever seen before, with the possibility of virtually anything you can imagine becoming automated.

Data will be able to be transported immediately, and when it comes to things like contracts, and funds for the sale of homes this will change the industry for good. Current smart contracts used on blockchain technology make smart contracts very quick, and this technology will soon be available to your smartphone. This could mean big changes in the industry, including quicker settlements and immediate money transfers.

There are many reasons why businesses are excited about 5G, and of course, one of those reasons is the cost. Connecting 5G to homes and businesses will be far less expensive than standard connections.

Time will tell what other types of innovative changes will take place in real estate, and innovative thinkers will definitely come out on top in the next ten years. The world is about to change, and there is no telling what will be discovered. It is certain however that it WILL generate new revenue, it WILL generate new growth in every sector, and it will accelerate innovation to a place that no one can imagine.

Property Investment Checklist

Property is one of the best possible investments you can make if you know what you are doing, and with the market as it is right now, it’s a great time to be spending money on investment properties. So how do you know if you’re in a financial position to invest in property?

To begin your investment property journey, you need to do a number of things:

  • You need to first work out how much combined debt you have, how much you will need to borrow and how much you can budget for your new investment property.
  • You should have around 20% of the property value ready as a deposit, plus at least 5% for stamp duty and legal costs as well as a bit of a buffer on top. It’s important to allow for at least $50,000 for future cash-flow in case things turn bad with your income.
  • Property investment entails some serious research time and a solid financial commitment, so you must be completely thorough in your research and even more so in your investment preparation.
  • You need to treat a property investment like a business. Buying a home is one thing, buying investment property needs to be bought like you would buy a business, with everything in place to make you profit on your investment.  
  • Make sure you have a quality team around you for advice. This should include mortgage broker or a banker, financial planner, property valuation expert, an accountant, and a builder.

 A lot of potential investors sit around and wait for the market to be right for their terms, however if you wait too long, the market can change that dramatically that you might miss out on some really good investments while you wait. Don’t wait for the market, if you are ready, you are ready.

Always be prepared for the unexpected. This means your backup cash should be safely tucked away, and it also means you should never expect interest rates to stay low. This is the biggest mistake you can make. Budget your property with a very high interest rate in mind, and you’ll almost always come out on top.

Always prepare for the worst-case scenario, and when things go smoothly you’ll get further in front than you imagined.

 

 

Should you be using YouTube as a real estate agent?

As with any other social media channel as a real estate agent, you should be utilising everything there is about YouTube. Actually, you should be using YouTube as the basis of your content for every other channel of social media you use. Real estate is a communication business, and the best way to communicate in 2018 is with engaging content. The world has changed severely in the last 10 years, and it is proven that video engages like no other content.

Having quality videos on your YouTube channel is of vital importance, and in this modern age there really isn’t much that can stop you from achieving great videos to share on Facebook, Instagram and twitter.

With affordability always being an issue in the past, it is now incredibly cheap to create amazing videos, and when it comes to real estate, the options are endless

For instance, you can purchase a high definition video drone for under $100, and when it comes to value for money – you simply cannot beat the visual appeal these types of videos can give to potential buyers.

High quality photos are also very simple to create in 2018, with the easy access to high quality cameras, and for a relatively cheap price. Using a camera like a GoPro is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to create high quality digital visual campaign material.

Once you have photos and video in your possession, there are so many amazing free programs available that can have professional looking videos uploaded to your YouTube in a matter of hours.

There truly is no better way to represent your great content for your social channels to get leads and sales than YouTube.

The best part about YouTube, is that once you have created your great content and uploaded it, you can then share to virtually any social channel almost immediately, and you can create paid campaigns using it as well.

How will the cryptocurrencies affect the real estate industry?

Bitcoin’s rising mainstream appeal is opening up innovative avenues for the housing market to entice a new type of customer, and other cryptocurrencies are starting to build momentum within the real estate industry. The industry is already trialling the use of digital currencies to pay for things like services, rent, services and sales deals.

Many businesses across the globe are now merchants that accept cryptocurrencies and the number is quickly growing.

There are already many news stories around of real estate agents and brokers accepting bitcoin as payment, and developers are also doing the same, with recent news headlines of a New York property developer accepting bitcoin for payment on a whole complex.

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, although still in their early stages, have so much potential to change the way real estate is attained and traded.

The main potential change is when cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Litecoin, become more widely accepted as a form of currency to conduct property transactions.

The main issue with buying property with cryptocurrencies, is that the market is highly volatile, meaning that in the time it takes for a sale to go through, the price could increase or decrease in value substantially. If you take a look at the3 average time it takes for a home sale to close, (lets say 50 days as an example) and we look at the bitcoin price from November-December last year.

Bitcoin’s price on 6th November 2017 was $7,300USD, and roughly 50 days later, it hit record highs of $19,783USD. Now in the grand scale of things, that’s a huge difference for both parties involved in the sale. So, the volatility of the currencies like this make it very difficult to lock in a guaranteed price on a sale, and when you’re talking median house prices of around $550,000, using cryptocurrencies can seriously impact an end price for a contract.

Although the volatility of cryptocurrencies will remain an issue for some time, the technology driving it however, is a completely different story. New technologies based on the blockchain technology, like smart contracts will be used in many ways throughout the industry to increase security and will significantly reduce the time of real estate transactions.

This tech will allow contracts to be immediate, as well as instantaneous fund transfers, saving the broker ridiculous amounts of time.

Should you be using twitter as a real estate agent?

Social media is a big part of business, and if you’re questioning any of the social media channels and whether you should be using them as a real estate agent, you really should reassess what you are doing. Real estate is the business of communication and to succeed in 2018, you absolutely need to be hitting up every channel you can imagine, to compete with the rest of the field. Twitter is one of the best ways you can attract a new client base, and it’s one of the best cold calling channels you can use that doesn’t actually involve cold calling.

So, how should you use Twitter as a real estate agent?

Here are some simple ways you can get leads and more engagement with your realtor Twitter profile.

Twitter is one of the hardest social strategies to get right, and it might take some trial and error in making it work for you, but if you aren’t trying, you’re not gaining anything.

Brand Positioning

Before you even send your first tweet, you must completely understand your brand’s position. You must know whether you are going to use it as a personal account as an agent or business account as the agency, and with each choice there are certain rules you must follow to keep people engaged.

Personal profiles seem to get more momentum, but when it comes down to it, it relies on what your brand position requires of your presence.

Basic Rules of Twitter For Real Estate Agents

  • Always use high quality images or videos – tweets with videos and images have a far higher engagement rate.
  • Tweeting like you are speaking to clients at a networking event.
  • Engage with everyone, including your competitors–replying, retweeting and swapping contact details will always (eventually) get you leads.
  • Use high quality visual branding – use logos and high quality professional profile photos
  • Share your local content – be a community advocate, and your name will stick in the minds of others. People love to engage with material that is local.
  • Use local hashtags
  • Use twitter like you would cold calling. There is no better way to get in touch with hard to contact people than twitter. Utilise the convenience.

Recent Facebook news feed changes and how it affects agents

Facebook recently made a big announcement about changes on how the news feed will soon work, and a lot of questions have been raised about what it means for real estate agents and brokers.

Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement said, “The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

These ‘new’ changes aren’t really anything new in the grand scale of things, it is just what we already knew was coming. The thing is, if you are creating great content, you will get great responses. The feed however for personal pages will soon be showing less business posts, and less public content. What this means is that the stuff you post on your business page, (which currently reaches about 10% of your market without boosting or paid interaction), will reach even less people.

What do you do instead?

Well, business is going to need to become very personal. There is already a fine line between business and personal thanks to social media, however the key to the future is by using your personal account to connect with clients. It is very important to know though, that Facebook can tell if your profile is being used for commercial purposes and if they find you breaking the rules, you will be banned, so keep it personal.

Your business page is still relevant however, so don’t go deleting it just yet. It will still be useful for paid campaigns, and ad campaigns for people who want to find you, but of your existing page fans, less will see you, so you need to react, and now.

There is good news for real estate agents however, because the business has ALWAYS been and ALWAYS WILL BE about connecting with people. It’s always been about connections and relationships however now, it’s more important than ever for real estate agents and brokers to connect with clients on a personal level.

What you should be doing:

  • Reach out to clients on Facebook
  • Add them as a friend
  • Message them to let stay connected
  • Comment on their posts
  • Engage in their content on a personal level

If you do this all the right way, they will connect you with other potential clients at the drop of a hat.

As a real estate professional, the best way to utilise your personal Facebook account is to be interested in others. Keep posting your content, listings and videos on your Facebook page, keep it active and it will keep momentum.

As a real estate agent in 2018, you should be well in control of your Facebook Live experience, and on a personal level it is very important to keep this charging forward. Live video gets far better engagement than any other posts. This is simple. Master it, and you will be in full control.

Should you be using Instagram as a real estate agent?

As a real estate agent, your role is to communicate with people about your listings, and in 2018, there is many very good ways to engage with potential leads, and existing clients and that is through your social media channels.

The top ways people engage in 2018, is through video and photos. The one channel that works extremely well for these two types of media is Instagram. Instagram allows you to find potential clients, and it allows them to find you. The key to any form of social interaction for real estate agents is to get leads, and if you are spending money on advertising, you might as well be spending it on making your content better.

Engaging content is the key to high engagement from users when it comes to any channel of social media, and Instagram is very specifically saturated with great content for the purpose of people seeing it.

It is vital that your Instagram channel features the highest quality content you can afford. This means you need to invest in a quality camera, and a quality video camera to ensure your content is high definition. Low quality videos or images simply will not do. With so much inexpensive equipment around, there is really no reason you shouldn’t be investing wisely. Go Pros and similar HD cameras are one of the best investments you can possibly make, as are video drones. For under $1000 of tax deductible money, you can get a seriously useful way to create quality content worth sharing.

Instagram proactively works with brands and businesses to ensure your content works in the best way for you, and when it comes to knowing what you should be using as content, there are a few simple guidelines to follow.

•             Make it original

•             Make it relevant

•             Make it high quality

•             Automatic Cross-promote – Use your other channels to promote it

•             Use hashtags

•             Comment on other people’s posts

•             Use the Hyper Lapse Feature

•             Geotag your content

•             Use Video Tours of the Property

 If you need any help with social media, get in touch with our team. We have an expert on hand who can assist.