Real Estate Market

North DFW Real Producers Magazine

We are proud to partner with North DFW Real Producers! We are so excited to be featured in the magazine and look forward to developing a great partnership and friendship!

ABOUT

4 years ago Real Producers Magazine was a just a cool idea. Now we are in over 50 markets across the United States and expanding like wildfire! North DFW Real Producers being one of our most recent markets.

What is it? Who is it for? What value does it provide me and my business?

We are telling the stories of the top 500 real estate agents within North Dallas Fort Worth. In just North DFW alone, there are ~20,000 real estate agents. Yes, that is right. 20,000. Of that, the top 500 agents are doing over 80% of all the business. These are the agents who make the market what it is. They take this job seriously and they are doing it at an extremely high level. We have a tremendous amount of respect for these agents. If you heard real estate was easy, you heard from an ill-advised source. Just ask one of our agents - they will set you straight!

The mission of Real Producers is simple. We strive to inform and inspire the top producing real estate agents in the local market and connect them socially. The secondary focus is to provide an avenue for our affiliate partners to create relationships with these top performers on a level that they might not be able to achieve on their own.

Did You Know? E-Newsletters Work!

You can’t be everything to everyone that you’re trying to touch, and you have to have some type of an umbrella that takes that burden off of you because you’re realtors trying to run a business, not email marketers. You’re not social media gurus. You’re realtors with valuable time, and you need to be concentrating on other aspects of your real estate business.

E-Newsletters give businesses the opportunity to regularly communicate with customers and leads who have expressed interest in their company, making them a very warm audience. So what are the benefits of E-newsletters?

  1. Email is a Preferred Method of Communication. Today, email is one of the most popular forms of communication. By sending marketing materials to an email address, you ensure that you deliver your communications to a platform where your audience is nearly guaranteed to be spending time. In fact, 93 percent of internet users have indicated that they'd rather receive brand information in their email inbox versus their social media feed. So, by using email newsletters, you're ensuring that you're reaching people where they actually want to be reached online.

  2. Newsletters Help You Narrow Your List of Quality Leads. If someone signs up for your email newsletter, they've expressed an interest in your company - and have in turn become a lead. Once they begin to receive your newsletter, they may decide they are even more interested in doing business with you or that they no longer want to receive your communications. Email newsletters give consumers the ability to easily opt out of your list, which means that you can weed out the people who actually are not viable sales leads - and focus on the people who are still interested in becoming your customer.

  3. You Can Brand Yourself. Email newsletters are a great opportunity for a company to provide valuable, practical information and to show off what they know. For that reason, email newsletters can help you prove that you are a leader in your industry and a company that is worth doing business with.

  4. They Help You Stay at the Forefront of Customers' Minds. If you have a regular email newsletter, you can continuously remind current and potential customers that you exist. Many consumers get busy and forget about a company they're interested in without meaning to divert their attention. A regular email newsletter is a simple reminder that you're there and that you have a service or product to provide.

  5. You Can Schedule Them In Advance. Like all facets of your business, when it comes to marketing, time is money. Luckily, an email newsletter can be crafted in advance, then scheduled and sent out automatically by using marketing automation software. By automating your marketing messages, you can free up time to work on other parts of your business, and also ensure that you are sending out the newsletter at the optimal time of day.

  6. The ROI of Email Newsletters. With a low cost of operation to supplement all the benefits listed above, it’s no surprise that email newsletters generate a strong return on investment. In fact, a recent survey of marketers showed that email marketing was the most successful channel for digital marketing, especially when it comes to ROI. Sixty-eight percent of marketers surveyed reported that their ROI for email marketing was either "good" or "excellent." email marketing tactics had a median ROI of 122 percent. This means that email marketing pays off more than many other marketing techniques, including social media, direct mail and even paid search.

Email newsletters are a simple, convenient digital marketing technique, which can be helpful for a busy marketing team. You can use email newsletters to easily reach customers where they spend time - and not only can you provide value to them, you can also maintain them as a long-term customer.

Are you ready to reach your clients in an affordable, efficient and quality way? Hit the button below to learn about how our VAs can help!


What We Can Do For You: An Overview Of VBSRE!

From just listed to sold and everything in-between, VBS Real Estate can handle it all! Our Real Estate Virtual Assistants work hard to make your business run smoothly so you can worry less and live more! We handle everything from intake of the contracts to managing listings to promoting on social media and sending out monthly e-blasts to bookkeeping and to infinity and beyond! Ok, maybe not that last part - but we do our best to meet all our clients needs and we will go above and beyond to exceed your expectations.

Take a closer look at each area of expertise and make sure you jump at the opportunity to join us during our next open enrollment!


TRANSACTION COORDINATOR

From the moment of executed contract, we handle all aspects of your transaction. Ensuring escrow has all needed items, lender follow-ups, gathering documentation for contingencies, call to clients, documentation review and your internal reporting will be handled with the ultimate care that only VBSRE can provide.

CHECK OUT THE VBS REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION COORDINATOR PACKAGE


LISTING MANAGEMENT

New listings are handled from entering into MLS, One Page flyer, Sellers Handbook, posting to social media platforms, sending out eblasts, Just Listed postcards, and enhancing the listing on all property listing sites. All the agent needs to do is prepare for contract negotiations!

CHECK OUT THE VBS REAL ESTATE LISTING MANAGEMENT PACKAGE


MARKETING

Among the hectic life of a successful agent, there is little time to manage the marketing side of your business. Connect to new clients and stay connected with past clients to ensure referrals still come your way. Find out how we can put into place one off projects or re-occurring campaigns that keep the phone ringing! 

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR FREQUENTLY USED MARKETING SERVICES


ADMINISTRATIVE

Managing your inbox, returning follow up calls, setting up appointments, and handling your office while you are out of town. This is just a small list of tasks that we can handle with ease and professionalism that ensures your business is moving full speed ahead so you can focus on income producing activities. 

DO YOU WANT TO PUT HOURS BACK IN YOUR DAY?


We have much more to offer and you can take a look at everything on our site! See samples of work we’ve done, meet the team behind VBSRE, read up on our blog and events we’ve been doing recently, check out events we’re hosting, and tons more! We cannot wait to help your business grow! Remember to keep an eye out for our next open enrollment session!

Here comes the BOOM!

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Tierny Jordan and Adam Bailey poured million dollar advice into a room of agents this morning! If you missed it, you missed a lot!

Thank you to the The Inspection House for hosting such a phenomenal conversation and allowing Virtual Business Solutions Real Estate to partner with you once again!

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Our Class with Judy Hoberman was a Hit!

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What a great class with Judy Hoberman on How To Stand Out in A Crowd! Thanks to all of our sponsors and attendees!

Judy Hoberman spoke to attendees on: Understanding how Realtor’s can stand out in the business world today is not only relevant, but critical. The Real Estate market is more crowded than ever before with everyone competing for the same clients, properties and listings. What are the activities that will set them apart? Attendees will learn strategies to become the expert in their space rather than simply blending in. They will be able to create the experience for their customers that will keep them coming back again and providing referrals. Being able to be intentional with their marketing, networking and relationships will rounded out the session. 

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What a Wonderful Bond 101 Class with Bob Johnson!

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One of my top producing agents advises spending all your extra time with lenders, learning how you can help every buyer you meet. He shared about the different products that can service your clients' needs and how to be the smartest agent in the room when you are speaking with potential buyers.

What an awesome class, Bob had an overwhelming amount of knowledge to offer and we thank you all for joining us!

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Pre-Order Your Beyond Routine Planners for 2019 NOW!

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Ladies & Gentlemen ... our Pre-Sale is happening NOW

Last year our Real Estate planners sold out by the Holiday's. Now is your chance to pre-order and secure the planner(s) of your choice. We have made many enhancements to our 2019 line of planners and listened to you ... our customers!

Our 2019 planners include thicker paper, less pages, upgraded layout, Smyth sewn binding options, weekly editions, a leather edition, and more! Get your order in before we sell out. Quantities are limited!


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In everything we do, we believe in maximizing a business owners Talents, Time, and PotentialNurturing the unique greatness in you and pulling out improvement for the rest.  We believe when an entrepreneur is working at their optimal speed and quality that is the ultimate contribution that can be given to the world.  We have created the pages in this planner to make your small business operate like a big business with: 

  • Goal Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • Monthly Calendars, Review Pages, & Expense Tracking
  • Daily Pages Sectioned to Track the Most Important Items in Your Day & Business

Our planners are designed to be your vision guide. To help garner goal-oriented results that you can be proud of. To ensure you have all aspects of your business on your radar so that you don't lose momentum by only focusing on the things you enjoy doing. Your Beyond Routine Planner is designed to be your personal assistant, accountability partner, motivator, and instructor. Once you decide where you want to be in 10 years, your planner will ensure you arrive soundly, with peace of mind, and maybe in half the time!


Register Now: How to Stand Out From the Crowd!

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UPCOMING CLASS: HOW TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD WITH PRESIDENT OF SELLING IN A SKIRT, JUDY HOBERMAN!
JULY 19TH, 2018, 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Understanding how Realtor’s can stand out in the business world today is not only relevant, but critical. The Real Estate market is more crowded than ever before with everyone competing for the same clients, properties and listings. What are the activities that will set them apart? Attendees will learn strategies to become the expert in their space rather than simply blending in. They will be able to create the experience for their customers that will keep them coming back again and providing referrals. Being able to be intentional with their marketing, networking and relationships will round out the session. If all of this sounds like something you'd love to learn about, then this is the class for you!

Join us as we learn directly from the President of Selling In A Skirt - International Speaker, Trainer, Coach and Mentor, Judy Hoberman!

There will also be a Q&A session, and our instructor will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

We hope to see you all at this very special CE Class Event from CE Providers Steve Ortega and Westcor Land Title Insurance Company!

Next Level Agents: Thank You for Attending Our May 1031 Exchange Class

We had a full house last week learning more about 1031 Exchanges with Lu Ann Blough! Great information!! We are looking forward to next months class on Inspections and hope you will join us. Be on the lookout soon for sign up information.

Next Level Agents: April Financial Planning Class Was A Hit!

We had another successful #NextLevelAgents class in April with the best real estate agents in DFW! This topic is near and dear to our hearts. #FinancialPlanning for entrepreneurs is an overlooked missing piece in most business plans and A. Box Financial presented a candid and transparent conversation to a group of professionals, so we can be honest about where we are and start preparing for our future life. Thank you to the amazing Annetta Taylor!

Stay tuned for sign ups for our next class!

Next Level Agents: Thank You for a Successful Class!

YAY, we did it!! Thanks for such a great class in March. The feedback we received was very positive and hopefully we can all benefit from the wealth of knowledge that Cheri Feuerbacher shared with us. We are thrilled with how great the turn out has been for these classes and we hope to see you at our next class! 

Stay tuned for info on the upcoming Next Level Agents class.

*Important Real Estate Notice: New TREC Guidelines

Real Estate Virtual Assistant | Tiffany Haynes | VBS Real Estate | Transaction Coordinator | Listing Coordinator | Marketing | Texas | Dallas | Houston

Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) recently adopted updated advertising rules. The effective date of the new rules is May 15, 2018, and we want to make sure everyone is thoroughly prepared for the changes.

Background
These new rules are the result of years of work by the Commission and key stakeholders focusing on clarity of advertisements for consumers with the least restrictions on license holders. The rules also interpret and balance revised statutory requirements supporting free commerce and business competition with those protecting the consumer from misleading advertisements.

Senate Bill 2212, passed during the 85th legislature, made changes to the regulations governing advertising for brokers and sales agents, eliminating an age-old law that the advertiser be identified as a broker or agent in all advertising. However, it clarifies that an advertisement is misleading if it fails to include the name of the broker or implies that a sales agent is responsible for the operation of a brokerage. The bill also restricted any TREC rule from requiring the use of the term broker, agent, a reference to the Texas Real Estate Commission, or a license number in advertisements. Keep in mind, license holders can still choose to use those terms in advertisements if they want. 

Chapter 1101.652(b)(23) clearly states that license holder’s advertising cannot be misleading, cannot imply that a sales agent is the responsible party, and must include the name of the broker.

Chapter 1101.156(b), continues to restrict the Commission from regulating certain forms of advertising, personal appearance or voice, or the use of a registered assumed business name. New language was added to this statute, to also restrict the Commission from requiring the use of the term "broker," "agent," or a similar designation or term, a reference to the commission, or the person's license number in a license holder’s  advertisement.

TREC’s Advertising Rules

The current rule was split into two rules to separate out name and registration of name requirements from advertising requirements (§535.154 and §535.155).

TREC Rule §535.154 Registration and Use of Names

This rule defines alternate name, associated broker, assumed business name and team name. Each type of name must be registered with TREC before the name can be used in an advertisement. This is a change from the existing rule. The most significant change concerns team names.   A team name is not an assumed business name of the broker, and cannot contain terms that imply that the team is offering brokerage services independent of the broker. Team names must end with the terms “team” or “group”.

TREC Rule §535.155 Advertisements

All license holders’ advertisements must include the license holder’s name or team name. It also must include the broker’s name in at least half the size of the largest contact information for any sales agent, associated broker, or team name contained in the advertisement.

Understanding that advertisements take many different forms today, the Commission revised the exception for social media to allow more flexibility. An advertisement on social media will comply with the rule as long as the license holder has linked to the required information in the account profile or the information is readily accessible by a direct link in the advertisement.

Subsection (d) – 20 instances of advertisements that may mislead the public

This subsection lays out 20 ways a license holder may violate statutory advertisement requirements. Most of these were in the existing rule too.  These examples are not the only ways a license holder’s advertisement can be misleading. Here are a few set out in the subsection:

  1. Using a title, such as "owner", "president", "CEO", "COO", or another similar title, email or website address that implies a sales agent is responsible for the operation of a brokerage.
  2. A team name with terms that imply the team is offering brokerage services independent from its sponsoring broker, including, but not limited to, “realty”, “brokerage”, “company”, and “associates”
  3. An ad that contains the name of a sales agent whose name is, in whole or in part, used in a broker’s name and that implies that the sales agent is responsible for the operation of the brokerage
  4. Including the value of a property, unless it is based on an appraisal that is disclosed and readily available upon request by a party or it is given in compliance with § 535.17 (required disclaimer for estimated worth or sales price)

Be sure to reference subsection (d) before placing an ad or ordering new signage to ensure your advertisements do not resemble any of the examples of misleading advertisement given in the rule.

The Gist

TREC knows there has been a lot of concerns and misinformation about advertising requirements. These new rules simplify requirements and ensure consumers know whom they are working with. We want to make sure we help you get into and stay in compliance with these new rules.

You can read more in-depth about the new advertising rules here.

You can also download this PDF which will show you examples of acceptable advertising and those that are not approved by the TREC guidelines. 

VBSRE Feature: Listing Presentations - Ready to Order!

We provide custom listing presentation templates where you can have a complete modern and professional listing presentation in PPT form so you can add your own images and contact information or request that we finalize the custom presentation for you!


The Ultimate Listing Presentation!

Now Available to Purchase as a template or fully customized with your information and brand! 

You have just found the most impressive and strategically organized Real Estate Listing Presentation that will help you win listings. This custom listing presentation is easy to use, cost effective, and works great for any real estate agent – experienced or not! Our listing presentation can be fully customized to match any brokerage’s identity and branding, any agent’s business model, and will work in any market.

Q & A: How Can I Raise the Bar on My Social Media in 2018?

Real Estate Virtual Assistant | Tiffany Haynes | VBS Real Estate | Transaction Coordinator | Listing Coordinator | Marketing | Texas | Dallas | Houston

Far too often we think of social media in the same way that we thought about the cork boards in the coffee shops many years ago — as a place to tell people what we need.

Social media is not about what you need. It’s about what you can give.

Real estate agents are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to public perception.  Frankly, people don’t like us. Social media has not helped our fight to get out of the basement of public opinion for one reason: on the whole, we don’t know how to use it.

The common idea is that social media is for telling people about your listings, showcasing your buyers at the closing table, promoting how great you are or how amazing the market is right now. 

We overuse words like “fantastic,” “unbelievable,” “awesome” and “opportunity.” We claim that our own genius sold a house in one day despite location and price.      

All of that has a place in marketing, but posting about what you need will, eventually, tarnish your brand. It will become, well, annoying. 

If we focused on three basic strategy pieces in our social media use, our brand would strengthen along with the perception of our industry.

Add value      

This is not all about you, but it, also, is all about you.

The age-old thought that people are hiring you and not your brokerage could not be more true. Adding value to the problems that the buyers and sellers are facing reinforces your position in the market.

If you are giving away knowledge, tips, advice or data that is not easily attainable, the perception of your value will increase. 

If a potential clients see multiple posts that answer their unasked questions or solve their problems, they will turn the volume up on what you say via social media. You will have earned their attention. That is the ultimate goal on these platforms: attention.

Posting your listings, your closing pictures and the promotional items can be a part of your strategy, but it needs to be peppered with some high-value posts as well. Things like:

  • Market data from the MLS is useful and hard to get for the general public
  • Strategy for buying and selling in your market
  • Low-cost staging tips

Be real

There is a big difference in creating content and reporting what is happening. 

There is a need for produced content in your strategy, but the off-the-cuff and real posts tend to get the most traction. 

It promotes authenticity, honesty and the fact that you are a real person. Give people a sense of how you show up. 

If all of your social media content is produced, and you do not show up to the listing appointment the same way — it can become negative branding.

You want to show up as your authentic self every time, be it social media or in a meeting.

  • Look at a post as a conversation starter. Be natural. Use your tone and words. Be open to responses. 
  • Embrace the mess-up. If you stumble your words or put up the wrong graphic, don’t pull the plug. Acknowledge it, and keep going.
  • If you don’t believe it, don’t post it. 

Use video

If you aren’t already using video, start incorporating it immediately.

Video is a delivery method that reinforces your principles and core values. It allows your audience to get to know you on a deeper level.

Our attention span is around eight seconds at last check. The written word does not capture people the way that an image does on social media. When you add voice and tone into the mix, you increase your chances of gaining someones attention.

There is no replacement for your voice and face working at the same time to provide good, valuable content. I would be shocked if this was the first time you have heard this, yet, many avoid using video.

Do not waste time worrying about being prefect, focus on three things when you shoot video for social media:

  • Can you see what you want people to see in the video?   
  • Can you hear the person talking in the video?
  • Is the video too long to get the point across? The shorter, the better — as long as you prove your point or deliver your content goal.

We toil over making sure that people know that we sell houses. Our tendency is to only talk about what we are selling or how well we are doing in our business. It feeds our ego and promotes success. 

However, very few agents are able to push back the curtain on the produced video and rise above the photoshopped headshot and the scripted conversations far enough to gain a real audience through social media platforms.

By adding a deeper goal to your strategy, you will reinforce your brand and bring your business to a level of approachability on these channels. You become more service and less sales. For social media purposes, that is far more likeable.

What Real Estate Trends Should We Watch For In 2018?

Real Estate Virtual Assistant | Tiffany Haynes | VBS Real Estate | Transaction Coordinator | Listing Coordinator | Marketing | Texas | Dallas | Houston

As the real estate market continues to evolve, new trends are emerging for 2018. Buyers will be more in control as the housing supply will finally catch up with buyer demand, according to a report by Realtor.com. Additionally, more millennials will be looking to get out of their parents’ basement and purchase a home of their own.

Real estate agents have the challenging task of changing with the market and being responsive to their clients’ needs. Whether it is a buyer looking to purchase a new house or a seller looking to get the best price for their home sale, real estate agents will need to stay up on the trends of 2018 and be ready to respond to a growing demand for real estate.

Ten members of Forbes Real Estate Council shared what trend in real estate they predict will have the biggest impact on their business in 2018. Here is what they had to say:

1. Co-living And Community-Driven Spaces

Co-living and community-driven residential will increasingly have a larger impact on the multifamily industry as it changes to reflect a new wave of renter demands and wants. Just as amenities have defined the last decade of commercial real estate development, the need for unique experiences and services will heighten competition. - Benjamin Pleat, Doorbell Inc.

2. Short-Term Rentals

The rise of the short-term rental market has created a boom in opportunity for large property owners or the single family owner. Priorities range from renting a room occasionally for extra cash to renting entire vacation homes at three to five times the local and regional market since you now can access a global community. - Susan Leger Ferraro, Peace, Love, Happiness Real Estate

3. Fractional Investing

As peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding catch mainstream attention, folks looking for greater diversification and passive investment opportunities will engage in factional investing. The last few years have seen some extremely credible startups innovate in this space, and next year could lead to individuals moving away from sole ownership to fractional ownership via crowdfunding. - Sohin Shah, InstaLend

4. Smaller Living

Tiny apartments and mobile living will be a solution to increasing housing density in overpopulated areas. This will become more of a norm in big cities and will drive up operating income on existing apartment stock. This likely won't have a huge effect on 2018, but it will over the next decade. - Nathaniel Kunes, AppFolio Inc.

5. New Appraisal Legislation

The new tax bill may further restrict new home-buyers from entering the market. Implementation of appraisal management company regulations in 2018 will increase costs and have the greatest impact on our business. It will increase the cost to do business, which will ultimately increase the cost to the consumer. - Cindy Nasser, PCVMurcor

6. The Rise Of The Real Estate Investor

The stigma around the average real estate investor seems to have faded with the recession but also, the rise of the corporate/national real estate investor is happening as well. I see that niche becoming more competitive, recognizable and digitized in 2018. Many home owners won't think twice about entertaining an investor offer alongside considering selling with agents. -  Tracy Royce,  Royce of Real Estate

7. On-Demand Access For Renters

We often hear from renters that they are too busy to sweat the small stuff. They want immediate tour confirmations, like booking a restaurant on OpenTable, and near-immediate confirmation that they have leased, like booking a hotel. This real-time service expectation from a new generation of renters is exactly what we plan to cater to in 2018. - Anthemos Georgiades, Zumper

8. Growth Of Private And Alternative Real Estate Investments

We expect consumers will continue to invest more capital into private and alternative real estate assets, as public markets remain at record highs across all major asset classes, and comparable yield risk remains favorable to private real estate vs. higher risk bonds and equivalents. - Colin Bogar, Property Passbook


9. The Rise Of Micro Units

Rental rates have been increasing across urban areas for the last several years, and the most impacted cities have seen a rise in micro units. These well-designed rooms, as small as 200 square feet, maximize every square inch available. Places like The Panoramic in San Francisco and Yotel in New York have been the first to embrace the model, and we see this trend expanding over the next year. - Nav Athwal, RealtyShares

10. Millennial Buyers

I believe that the new buyers are millennials and we, as agents, need to become more proactive in the community to become that millennial choice. This generation has many different options for home ownership including tiny homes, investment homes and coliving situations with friends or family. It's going to be a huge learning curve and a fun adventure all around! - Kevin Taylor, Sand to City Real Estate Team

Tip of the Week: Follow the '10 Days of Pain' Rule

Real Estate Virtual Assistant | Tiffany Haynes | VBS Real Estate | Transaction Coordinator | Listing Coordinator | Marketing | Texas | Dallas | Houston

I know it sounds awful, but trust me when I say that it works. During the first 10 days of getting a lead, you should try calling, texting and leaving voicemails several times. At this point, you shouldn’t need to manually email your lead since your drip system should be taking care of that portion of outreach. You will probably feel like you shouldn’t make that extra call or send that extra text, but it might make the difference between getting a deal and missing out on one. The first few minutes are especially important when you first get a lead, but if you don’t immediately make contact with them, the next 10 days are crucial.

Q & A: How Can I Tailor My Social Media to Target Millennials?

Real Estate Virtual Assistant | Tiffany Haynes | VBS Real Estate | Transaction Coordinator | Listing Coordinator | Marketing | Texas | Dallas | Houston

BY SARAH LAYTON

To you, social media may be an optional and annoying component of your overall real estate marketing strategy. But millennials turn to social media to date, shop, learn, communicate and now, buy real estate.

Although millennials get a bad rap, you should be careful not to count them out. According to a National Association of Realtors report, people 36 and younger, aka the millennial generation, were the largest group of homebuyers at 34 percent from July 2015 until June 2016.

If you want to capture the attention of more than one-third of today’s buyers, you will need to get savvy with social media.

Go beyond Facebook
 

It’s no longer sufficient to just have a branded professional Facebook page. To attract the millennial set, you also need to have a beautifully branded Instagram and Snapchat account.

Your profile and stories should be filled with actionable tips, entertaining stories, community information, lore-worthy listings and a link to IDX.

Here is an example of how an agent in Denver promoted a local movement. Instagram posts like this are powerful for engaging the local community with your brand.

Younger buyers love to post pics of their new homes on Insta and Snap, so be prepared to capitalize on that opportunity on closing day.

Help your clients prepare for pics by letting them know ahead of time that there will be a post-closing photoshoot. Clients who are self-conscious will be grateful for the heads-up. Also, be sure to take at least 10 photos so your buyers can choose the ones they like best.

Currently, Snapchat is an even larger opportunity for agents to capture the underpriced attention of millennial buyers than Instagram. Because so many agents are still avoiding Snapchat, you have a limited-time opportunity to stand out as an agent on the platform for a bottom-barrel price.

Grow and engage

Having followers is cool. Having fans is lucrative.

Engagement and growth depend on you posting frequently (three to five times daily) and consistently.

The easiest way to expand your reach quickly on Instagram, is to assemble 20-25 relevant hashtags like #firsttimehomebuyer or #millennialmoney and use them (as a comment) on every post.

I suggest keeping your list of hashtags as a note in your phone so you can copy and paste them quickly each time.

The biggest rule of thumb to cultivate an audience of millennial buyers? Post content that is primarily in their best interest, rather than yours.

For example, a humorous video series that explains what not to do when buying a house or regular reviews of apps that help making the homebuying process easier.

These buyers grew up in the age of internet marketing and are talented at ignoring ads. Don’t treat social platforms like billboards. Captivate clients with content that connects with them emotionally instead.

Get ahead

Every platform has its day, but most apps won’t last on top forever. Twitter is a prime example of a rise-and-fall story.

That means that even if you invest in becoming the biggest agent on the “it platform” of today, you could wake up in 18 months to find yourself back at the bottom of the next hot app.

Don’t let that discourage you from building an engaged flock of fans on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat today. Instead, you should also keep your eye on what’s up-and-coming, so you can maintain and predict the attention of millennial buyers.

Review the top 100 apps trending on Apple every day. If you see a social app start climbing the ranks, establish a profile, become a regular user, create relevant content and start engaging.

By the time the app makes the top 10 list and your competition starts to learn about it, you will already by a big name on that platform.

Regardless of what your opinion is of millennials, there is no denying that they are a legitimate and extremely lucrative real estate niche. Let your competitors keep their condescending opinions about millennials, and collect the commission for yourself by stepping up your social media strategy.

Tip of the Week: Focus On the Finish Line

Real Estate Virtual Assistant | Tiffany Haynes | VBS Real Estate | Transaction Coordinator | Listing Coordinator | Marketing | Texas | Dallas | Houston

When does that racehorse really pour on the power? You guessed it…in that final stretch of the race, with the finish line in sight.

It’s hard to believe we’re heading into the final days of the year, when our focus should be all about rocking our numbers as we reach the finish line. It’s time to maximize these final weeks to meet or exceed those goals we set many months ago.

Will you meet your goals, or fall short?

Many agents use the slowdown of the market as we near the holidays as an excuse to slack off. We all love the holidays, and while life is about enjoying these special times, for the savvy agent, ramping up when everyone else is gearing down offers the best competitive advantage.

While everyone else is sipping cider and decorating for the holidays, here are a few proven ways to take advantage of the lull and score big.

Set up a face-to-face touch with everyone you did business with this year. 

The end of the year is a logical time to contact past clients, your sphere of influence, current prospects and strategic partners to say a special “thank you.” Consider hosting a fun event or a pie promotion to past clients, customers, referral resources and current prospects.

Contact prospects who aren’t ready to buy or sell, and ask what date they want you to contact them after the holidays. 

Pop by with a small holiday promotional gift or card that tells them a donation has been made by you in their name. These are solid ways to keep the connection going.

Support a give-back campaign within the community. 

Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for details on drives to benefit the local food pantry, animal shelter, homeless shelter or senior center and discover different ways to support them through your sphere of influence. Be present at each of the various venues for the distribution or pick-up of the drive. Make sure to take plenty of photos and videos to post on your Facebook business page. Sharing the combined efforts of you and the participating vendors creates high visibility and endless goodwill.

Inspect what you expect from your various service providers. 

Do a deep dive into inspecting what lead generation and CRM (client relationship management) platforms have proven to be profitable. When you study the actual return on the investment, you’re better equipped to make the decision to renew those particular services or start looking for a better solution. As an example, if you’ve been paying every month for a lead-generation service, now is a great time to determine what percentage of those leads have resulted in sales. Service providers count on the fact that a monthly billing will continue to ping your credit card and go unnoticed. Knowing what your real costs are can make the difference between buying leads and actually converting them into real profits.

As the year draws to an end, keep your eye on the goal to go, and we’ll see you in the profit zone.

Tip of the Week: Have A System

Real Estate Virtual Assistant | Tiffany Haynes | VBS Real Estate | Transaction Coordinator | Listing Coordinator | Marketing | Texas | Dallas | Houston

The real estate industry is full of peaks and valleys. For many agents, these peaks and valleys are often reflected in their incomes, making it difficult for them to build profitable, successful businesses. Almost all agents find themselves facing one or more of the common challenges of the business, which include inconsistent income, difficulty generating high-quality leads, weathering the emotional highs and lows, lack of structure and inability to stand out among the competition.

If you’re stuck in the cycle of peaks and valleys, there’s one thing that can help you break out: having a system. When you have a system to follow, you have the tools and strategies you need to stay focused and on track to build your business. The right system not only helps you earn more; it’ll help you save time and create consistency and predictability in your business. While the market may experience peaks and valleys, your business doesn’t have to.

Target Market Your Database

The most effective way to build your business is to tap into your existing relationships and ask for referrals. Working by referral allows you to target market your database, nurturing your relationships through consistent contact and providing your clients with valuable information and insight, as well as a high-level of service. When you talk to them, listen for a need you can meet and act on it right away. If your client mentions they’re thinking of replacing the roof on their home, connect them with reputable roofers in your network. Or, if they mention they’re thinking of starting a business, give them a book from your favorite business leaders to help them keep their motivation high. These seemingly small gestures have a big impact and help to build your relationship.

A benefit of building your database with people you enjoy working with is it helps you better manage your time and prioritize your day. You won’t waste time dreading an upcoming interaction with a mean or overly-demanding client; instead, you’ll do your proactive lead-generating activities with a smile on your face. Boost the effectiveness of your interactions by tracking your activities and results; that way, you can see where you stand in your business, tap into more opportunities to connect with your clients and fill your pipeline with a steady stream of leads.

Once you’ve developed a relationship with your clients—whether you’re currently working with them or you helped them buy or sell a home a few years ago—ask them for referrals to other great clients like them. Most people will be eager to refer you to their friends, family and co-workers, if asked. Since “birds of a feather flock together,” asking your best clients for referrals helps you ensure you’ll continue to build a database of great people you enjoy working with.

Lead-Generating Habits Necessary to Success

If you want to succeed, be sure to cultivate these habits. They’re imperative to developing a lucrative and predictable business.

  1. Commit to two hours of proactive lead generation activities each day. This includes calling your clients to check in, writing personal notes to thank clients for their business or delivering small gifts of appreciation to your clients’ homes or offices.
  2. Mail an item of value each month to help you reinforce your character and competence as an agent. While these marketing pieces don’t necessarily have to discuss real estate each time, they should cover a topic of interest to your clients, whether they’re current or aspiring homeowners.
  3. Always follow up with a phone call after you’ve sent your marketing piece to see how they’re doing and ask if there’s anything you can do to help. This is the best time to listen for a need you can fill, so listen closely.
  4. Send a personal note after you speak with your client on the phone to express how much you enjoyed catching up with them.
  5. For your best clients, deliver a small gift of appreciation to their home or office to further build the relationship.

Don’t forget to ask for a referral each time you speak with your clients. A gentle reminder will help them remember to refer you when a family member, friend or co-worker mentions they’re thinking of buying or selling a home. 

Q & A: Why is Tracking Marketing ROI so Important?

Real Estate Virtual Assistant | Tiffany Haynes | VBS Real Estate | Transaction Coordinator | Listing Coordinator | Marketing | Texas | Dallas | Houston

BY BRANDON DOYLE

No one wants to pour resources into a campaign that has yielded no successful results. Tracking and measuring your return on investment, or ROI, allows you an in-depth, data-backed picture of where and how your marketing dollars are being spent.

That’s why taking stock of your marketing efforts, down to the number, helps you determine where your time and funds are best spent for maximum effectiveness.

Below, you’ll find a few concrete reasons why measuring and tracking ROI should be a foundational tenet of your marketing routine and how adopting this habit can meaningfully impact your business.

Separating the ideal from the mediocre

Although the instinct may be to cover all your bases when it comes to traditional and digital marketing, isn’t it wiser to choose the medium that’s yielded concrete returns?

Tracking the effectiveness of your ROI creates a clear correlation from where your marketing dollars are spent and how many leads and clients you’ve reaped as a result.

Simply engaging with new clients about where they found your services can give you a good picture.

If almost all of them found you online, you know that putting dollars toward your digital presence is a better choice than continuing to run print ads.

Casting a wide net isn’t always a bad thing, but the more efficient and cost-effective choice is to double down on what you know is working. By tracking and measuring your ROI, you have the hard data to make the right allocation choices.

Determining how much each new client costs

Data measuring can be liberating because it takes abstract concepts and distills them into evidence-based information.

If you take the time to track and measure ROI, you’ll know exactly how many dollars you put into marketing last year and how many new clients were generated as a result.

This helps you determine how many marketing dollars you’re spending per new client.

Information like this is useful on many fronts: you can determine whether you’re spending too much or too little on marketing, which marketing channel is most cost-effective for reeling in new leads and how much profit you’re really making on a per-client basis — to name just a few.

Working as your own personal fortune teller

Although you can’t account for every foreseeable future scenario, tracking and measuring your ROI is an excellent way to get a glimpse down the road. If you have weeks, months or years or data that show personalized marketing trends, you can make informed decisions based on what’s already transpired.

Marketing doesn’t have to be a best-guess game. Instead, you can use tailor-made data to make good decisions, time and again, or learn from missteps and avoid making them in the future. This empowers you to waste fewer dollars on unsuccessful outlets and reduce your stress along the way.

Instead of gambling your marketing dollars, treat your business like the well-oiled machine it deserves to be. Invest the time in gathering ROI data, and you’ll be able to make smarter decisions based on a verifiable track record.