Category Archives: Advertising

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.

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.

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.

 

FACEBOOK: A guide for real estate business owners starting out

If you’re just starting out in the online world as a real estate agent, it might seem a little daunting. The good news is that it isn’t as scary as it seems.

Once you learn the basic fundamentals of social media, it can become a magical tool that will not only help you to promote your business to the right audience, but also a place where you can share your best properties, sales and leases, and general tips you might have picked up along the way.

Facebook has almost 2 billion active users per month around the globe, and there are currently more than 50 million business pages on the platform. This number increases daily as more and more businesses (including real estate agents) recognise the value.

If you’re one of those businesses and want to start your own Facebook profile, here is our guide to getting your page up and running:

STEP ONE: Create your page.

There are two ways you can create a business page on Facebook. First is to log into your personal account. On the left hand column at the bottom you’ll see a tab that says CREATE, then underneath is a link to PAGE. Click on that then follow the instructions. Second option is to start completely fresh, and create a brand new profile for your business. This is a bit more tedious and can be harder to manage; so we recommend the first option.

STEP TWO: The basics

Decide on your page name and write a short introduction to your business. Page name is usually just your business name.

STEP THREE: Design

Choose a great profile photo and cover image. You want something that represents the business, whether this is your logo, an image of your office or perhaps a property you’re currently marketing (or a mixture of all of these). Fill out all the About Us details on your page, including your website, phone number, address, and so on. Use as much detail as you can.

STEP FOUR: Get people contacting you

One of the great things about Facebook now is that they provide a CALL TO ACTION button that you can include on your page. This goes at the top of your page and can direct people to your website, newsletter signup, or to directly phone you. It makes it easier for people searching your page to contact you.

STEP FIVE: Start posting

You might like to create some photo albums of properties you have for sale or lease; write some short tips for people; introduce yourself and your business; share your website blog posts or information about your services. The key is to get creative. You want to grab people’s attention, so use creative descriptions, great imagery and ensure you include your website or phone number in any call to actions.

STEP SIX: Share

Now that you have your page set up and your content ready, share it. Send it to your personal page and ask your family and friends to LIKE your profile, and to share the page and posts as well. Share the page link on your company website, your newsletters and your emails. This will help you get more likes. And when you’re ready, you might like to consider boosting a post (paid advertising) to reach your preferred audience.

Once you have done all of this, you’re on your way to Facebook success.

 

If you need any help setting up your page or with ongoing maintenance services (updating information, images and creating regular posts), let us know!

How to use your CRM for more vendor paid advertising

One of the most challenging things you will do, as a salesperson in real estate is have a seller pay a sufficient amount for marketing so their property has the appropriate exposure to sell.

When we were in real estate we had over 100 salespeople and using the below method, our entire team averaged just under 1% marketing investment from the vendor of the list price. For example, on a $500k sale, there would be a $5,000 marketing budget allocated.

Here’s how we did it…

The first thing you need to ask yourself is what is the importance of marketing, and why are you seeking funds from the seller to support it? There is only one answer: to achieve a higher sale price for the property which results in more than covering the marketing dollars spent.

Real estate marketing is all about increasing the exposure of the seller’s property beyond the street address. Without appropriate marketing, how will people know that your client’s home is for sale? Or, how will investors seek out new properties? Simply put, they won’t and they can’t. Not without marketing.

Ideally, you would be using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that has the functionality to produce the following data and reporting. Make sure you consistently enter every buyer enquiry into a system that allows you to tag where that enquiry came from (i.e. walk in, signboard, realestate.com.au, local paper, etc.)

Once you have entered a considerable amount of buyers and the source of their enquiry, hopefully, your CRM has the ability to provide the following reports. If not, these can be done manually.

  1. The number of enquiries from each source. How many buyers saw properties from a signboard and enquired? Or, how many enquired through realestate.com.au?
  2. The number of sales from a single source. This is the number of enquiries that came in from a single source and of those enquiries resulted in the purchase of that property.

These two reports will give you valuable information on what is actually working in your marketing strategy and what is not. For example, you may find that enquiries directed from your local paper have never resulted in a sale and therefore you’re probably wasting your money unless you’re getting another benefit like listing enquiries. You might see that a certain website is generating more genuine enquiries that are converting to sales. It could be that a higher percentage of enquiries resulted in sales thanks to this medium instead. If more genuine buyers look at that website, you should probably increase the dollars spent there.

  1. The third and final report you need will visually display the previous results (see a sample below). Ideally a pie chart and your CRM, will be able to produce this report with ease. You will be able to visually and easily represent the number of sales you have achieved from buyer enquiries across each source.

161017_image-for-blog_how-to-use-your-crm-for-more-vendor-paid-advertising-300x222

(Click chart to view larger)

Based on the information from the pie chart you will be able to launch your marketing plan, allowing for well-measured exposure across the different mediums. When discussing with your client, provide them with hard copies and good visuals of what each marketing piece in those categories will look like.

The aim of these reports is to persuade your client further of the benefits of marketing. Out laying funds upfront can be daunting for clients; therefore, you need to ensure you have all of your facts in order so that they can see the ‘bigger picture’.

When explaining to the client, the first point you need to make is that you have put together a strategy to give them the best opportunity to achieve the highest price for their property. The objective of this strategy is to get more than one really interested buyer on their property, so they can compete against each other and drive the price up.

At this point, you should have the seller’s full attention and you move into explaining how your company over time has identified the areas where the best buyers come from by keeping accurate data. This is where you show them your well-calculated reports. Work your way through the reports and visuals, showing them the marketing medium that relates to the pie chart.

Once you have finished, state that you have taken the conservative approach by making sure that no area where your company has attracted genuine buyers in the past has been left out. This would give the best opportunity to leave “no stone unturned” in finding the best buyers for your client’s property and hopefully more than one.

At this point one of two things will happen:

  1. They will agree with your strategy and the budget you have allocated, or;
  2. They may agree with the strategy but not the budget.

In this case, do not defend or try and convince them to pay the entire budget. Simply ask them what budget would they feel more comfortable with. Once you have a figure, ask them which marketing they would like to remove. Make sure to point out the percentage of buyers from that category that will not see their property. You should ask here are they okay to take those buyers away? Then wait for an answer.

Use the same dialogue for each area that they want to remove. However, do be cautious. In many cases, the client will ask for your recommendation as to which mediums to remove. Regardless of your research, your response to this question should allow for the client to make their own decision. Reply that you cannot comment, as you do not know where the best buyer might come from that will pay the most for their property. This is the reason you made your recommendation to cover all the areas to have the best chance of attracting a sale.

The moment you suggest to remove something you will lose credibility. The client will start to question why you recommended that medium in the first place and what else can they also remove. Stand by your marketing plan and don’t involve yourself in changing things if you believe in it.

This process is consultative and at no point to be about selling advertising. It’s all about a strategy to get your client more money. If they decide to remove items, then it is at their peril that they have limited what they could achieve.

When/if a seller has decided to remove any marketing, then down the track if the property has not sold then you can suggest to them to add what was originally removed back to the marketing strategy.

You should stick to this process remaining consultative in nature and make your sellers part of the strategy then you will be far more successful in getting the correct marketing for a property to sell at a higher price and have a lot of happy clients.

If you need further advice on accessing a great real estate CRM to assist you with building the reports you require for a successful marketing strategy you can find out more about how Aro can support you here.