Archive for the ‘ Best Practices ’ Category

A Spooky Time for Real Estate Agents

Fall is here and for many of us, that means less activity in the market – so what can we do to keep the leads and sales flowing? Focusing on what works with all of the noise that bombards our senses on a daily basis becomes more difficult when leads slow down. How we handle ourselves right now plays a role in our business next year as well as the remainder of this one.

The keys to finishing the year strong with momentum to start the new year, in my opinion, are to focus and to get back to basics. Start by setting aside a few minutes early each day to lay out what you need to do and what you need to accomplish. Focus on those items. Setting aside this time each day helps to slow everything down and makes each task more manageable. This will give you the ability to handle your goals easier. Next, and most important, is going back to basics. You know – what is proven to work.

When the market slows, we tend to be reactionary rather than purposeful. This leads us to try new ways to drum up business, but it often wastes are time and leads us down a path that isn’t as successful as some things that we already know work and it takes away the precious time we needed to use on what we know works.

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Posted by: Ryan Ward on October 20th, 2011 under Best Practices, Leads, Motivation

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Craigslist Scams Bite Hard on Potential Renters Looking For Deals

You’ve heard it said before, “South Florida is the mecca of fraud” and this time scammers are targeting potential renters looking for deals. After reading a few articles on the topic, I thought I needed to post this on the HomeGain Blog. I work with renters coming from around the country looking for seasonal rentals, short terms rentals, and annual rentals. Naturally everybody wants the deal of a lifetime.

When potential renters arrive in Florida they are shocked to see that most homes and condos for rent require a first month, last month, and security deposit; also a great place for a potential tenant to be scammed by shelling out that kind of money all at once, but I’ll save that blog post for another time. Upon arrival to Florida often times the renters are shocked when I tell them the list of properties they wanted to see have all already been rented. What I do is provide a list of rentals that matches their criteria and we go check them out. Most of the time, the client will take my word for it and understand just how hot the rental market is.

Here is where the scammer comes in. Since the client has only worked with me for a day, they will go online themselves to various websites, possibly even Craigslist, not knowing if I am telling them the truth that the rentals they wanted were taken. The scared client calls the telephone # of an ad they seen on Craigslist. The client sees this beautiful 2,000 sq/ft homes with a pool listed at $1,200 a month when actually that same home is listed at $2,400 a month in the MLS. The scammer will use the exact same photos of the house and even make a fake email address. For example, if the name on the deed is Alex Bentley, the scammer will make up an email like alex.bentley@gmail.com. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Robert Worthington on July 27th, 2011 under Best Practices

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Phone Call Follow Up

The largest mistake I see in lead conversion is the lack of phone call follow up to Internet leads. Most of the Agents and Brokers I train have very little understanding of what to do with an Internet lead. The most common response I see is an email saying, “Thank you for using my site, if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.” That’s pretty much their entire lead conversion program. Most Agents are afraid to pick up the phone and are losing out on thousands and thousands of dollars in commissions. It’s not rocket science!

I’ve never really understood the fear in making calls. What is the worst case scenario that can happen? Someone might tell you they are not interested. Someone else might hang up the phone on you. Does it really matter? For those who follow my lead conversion systems, each call is a warm call. After all, they registered on your site and gave you a good phone number. That’s usually a good indication that they would like a call. Still, most agents will not call their leads. The problem is, if you are not calling, then another Agent most likely is calling. Look at it this way. If you just send listings and never talk to the customer, how do you expect to build a relationship. Most Agents think of a lead buying months from now as very far away and having no value. True lead conversion people like myself look at a lead buying in a year and realize this will give us a great 12 month opportunity to build a relationship. That must be the mindset in building your Internet program and phone call follow up program.

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Posted by: Mitch Ribak on July 7th, 2011 under Best Practices, Motivation

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HomeGain Identifies Real Estate Agents’ Top Marketing Practices and Preferences

Recent HomeGain surveys reveal the top marketing practices and preferences of real estate professionals in 2010- 2011; Referrals ranked number one; Real estate professionals preferred marketing via open houses and postcards/mailings vs. social media; blogging as a marketing preference wanes.

Emeryville, CA – May 19, 2011 – HomeGain®, a leading website that connects real estate agents with home buyers and sellers, today announced the results of its Real Estate Professionals Marketing Practices and Preferences survey, reflecting the cumulative data from HomeGain’s May and August 2010, and April 2011 surveys.

Based on responses from over 700 real estate agents and brokers nationwide, referrals ranked the number one marketing preference among real estate professionals for acquiring new clients, with a cumulative overall score of 8.7 out of a possible 10 for effectiveness. Referrals also ranked number one in the February 2010 HomeGain Real Estate Professionals Marketing Practices and Preferences Surveys.

Leads from brokers and events (including open houses) ranked second and third, respectively, as most effective marketing strategies, replacing featured listings and email campaigns as indicated in the February 2010 HomeGain survey.

Postcards and mailers were bumped down from fourth in the February 2010 survey to sixth. Print ads fell from 10th in the February survey to 11th.
The most recent results show a substantial decline in agents’ marketing preferences for blogging (moving from fifth to thirteenth since February 2010), as well as a slight decrease in preference for social media.

“It comes as no surprise that real estate professionals once again noted that referrals are the most effective and most preferred form of marketing” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain. “It is surprising, however, that social media and blogging as marketing strategies lost some favor with real estate professionals over the past year.”

Top Effective Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Professionals:
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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on May 18th, 2011 under Best Practices, Blogging and Social Networking, HomeGain, HomeGain Surveys, Twitter

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Using Offline Marketing To Increase Online Lead Conversion

Hey all! This is my first post for HomeGain so go easy on me! I know a lot of readers here are online lead generating superstars so you probably already do a lot of this, but I thought I could share it with those who focus solely online. First a little background.

I am new to online marketing as I really got into it in the winter of 2008. Prior to marketing online, I was 100% into offline marketing, newsletters, post cards, personal thank you notes, and of course getting out of the office to mingle with the locals. I was very successful in this aspect of marketing as I quickly became a top producer. But I started to notice a trend. Buyers were heading online more and more. I knew I needed to up my game and delve into online marketing.

I quickly learned how important it was to give buyers online what they want most, access to listings. As many of you know, IDX is key to generating leads online as well as a website that shows up in search engines either through organic or PPC listings. Over the last couple of years I have been testing a few ways to increase my conversion from leads to actual sales.  Anyways, enough about me, let’s get to the good stuff! Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Lisa Udy on April 26th, 2011 under Best Practices

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Relationships are more important than Buyer Agency agreements!

Terry Light calls himself a “professional contrarian”. Sometimes I think I may be a “professional contrarian” as well. Most of us are taught that we should have a pre-approval letter and a buyer’s agency agreement signed before we put a buyer in our car. I have always thought that if someone tried to make me sign a buyer’s agency – promising that I would only do business with them – before I had a chance to get to know them or to ascertain how competent they were, I would not sign it and would walk away. Our team feels that it is important to build the relationship first and that signing a buyer’s agency agreement will be a natural outcome of the relationship!

If a potential home buyer calls us to show a home or help the buyer find a home, we meet the future client and show them property without necessarily having either a buyer’s agency or pre-approval. Shortly into the meeting or showing, we will certainly put them in touch with a lender to get a preliminary idea of the buyer’s ability to purchase and at what level. We begin to demonstrate our competency by helping them get pre-qualified for a loan with a mortgage professional. Next we further demonstrate our skills by assessing the needs and wants of the buyer and by finding properties that fit the criteria and price range they are qualified for.

Our experience is that as we build this relationship there will be a natural juncture to say, “At this point I assume you want me to represent you in this transaction.” Typically the answer is yes and when we outline the important parts of the buyer agency agreement, the client usually is very much onboard!

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Posted by: Wayne Long on March 23rd, 2011 under Best Practices

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