Posts Tagged ‘ Facebook ’

Is Online Chat Making a Comeback for Websites?

One of the things that we tried a few years back at our brokerage, was to provide “online chat” on our website for visitors who wanted some quick information. The thought was that it would provide the user a better experience and that we would get many more leads because of it. We thought that the ability to provide an “instant response” would engage customers in conversation. That did not turn out to be the case. So we let the project drift for a couple of years.

So what has changed that may make this strategy become a more effective experience, marketing wise? For starters, many more websites in other industries are using it, so customers are becoming accustomed to it. Customer service off of websites has taken two routes as the battle to balance customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing costs has raged. The first effort was to go offshore, but that has proven to be less than satisfactory to the user. Keeping a fully staffed 24 hour a day team here in the states was out of the cost range for the companies. Thus the popularity of online chat for support.

Add to that these following trends and we MAY have the making of a new option for real estate agents: Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Eric Blackwell on September 9th, 2010 under Guest Bloggers, HomeGain, Technology

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Free FBML Template for Facebook Fan Pages

With over 400 million people using Facebook, you start to recognize how important it is to have your business brand on Facebook. For real estate, a business fan page is critical, but the fact is, most real estate professionals do not utilize the features and functionality of the page to the best of their ability.

One of the most important things you can do extend your brand on Facebook is to use the FBML application to create a custom look for your page.

Add a custom welcome page and/or IDX search page by adding the FBML application.

Landing on a Facebook “wall” is just boring. It is a wall of information that really doesn’t give people the full picture of your real estate business.

And let’s face it, most of the real estate content out there is somewhat boring, so create a custom Welcome page that uses proven conversion psychology to call visitors to action to fan your page and push over to your website and lead generators.

See the Arbour Realty example here on the right (and notice the new tab to the right of Wall and Info called “Welcome”). Here are my 2 real estate specific templates. See another real estate FBML example. Here is a live demo for you to view as an example.

Include a brief bio, all your contact information and call to actions to your lead generation tools like property search, market reports, contact form and even community profiles. Resources for buyers and sellers would also be helpful.

Disclaimer:

For Technical Information (Templates): You MUST have some knowledge of HTML and CSS (box model table-less design) in order to properly customize these templates. You will want to host images on your own server or a service like Photobucket. You will also want to include at least 250 words of keyword rich text, add ALT tags to images and keyword rich anchor text into any links for SEO purposes as Facebook Fan Pages are fully indexed by Google. You will also need to use this tutorial to fix an outstanding bug Facebook introduced in IE8 which requires you to load the CSS externally.
Tutorial: Fix to Facebook’s CSS Issues with Internet Explorer 8
All Tutorials: Tutorial Category
Video Tutorials: All Videos.
Size of templates conform to new Facebook business page size requirements of 520 pixels.

Tutorial: Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Mary McKnight on May 6th, 2010 under Blogging and Social Networking

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Top 10 Most Effective Marketing Strategies For Real Estate Agents

How effective are the different marketing options out there for you as a Realtor? What are other Realtors doing that you aren’t…but should be?

Thanks to over 1,300 real estate agents and brokers who completed the HomeGain Realtor Marketing Survey in December 2009 and March 2010, the results are in! HomeGain today announced the survey results for the top most effective marketing methods of Realtors® in a national press release today.

Top 10 Effective Marketing Strategies for Realtors*:

  1. Referrals (Scored 8.7 out of a possible 10)top-10-marketing-strategies1
  2. Featured Listings (4.8)
  3. Email Campaigns (4.7)
  4. Postcards/Mailers (4.6)
  5. Blogging (4.1)
  6. Online Lead Generation Services (4.0)
  7. Facebook (4.0)
  8. LinkedIn (3.6)
  9. Outdoor Ads (3.6)
  10. Print Ads (3.6)

* (Cumulative Average Scores, 1 = Least Effective /10 = Most Effective)

Referrals

On the survey Realtors indicated that they think getting referrals is the most effective strategy to acquire new clients, with a cumulative overall score of 8.7 out of a possible 10 for effectiveness. Surveyed agents indicated that they will continue to focus on referrals as their leading marketing strategy in 2010.

Featured listings (4.8 effectiveness score) and email campaigns (4.7) were considered the next most effective marketing strategies.

Social Media

The survey shows that Realtors rank YouTube (3.5), Twitter (3.3), banner ads (3.2), pay per click advertising (3.2) and MySpace (3.0) as the least effective marketing methods.

Although Realtors did not indicate Facebook as a top 5 most effective marketing method (scored at 4.9), surveyed agents indicated that they will increase their use of it in their marketing plans in 2010.

2010 Marketing Goals Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on March 11th, 2010 under HomeGain Market Data, HomeGain Surveys

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Free Event For Members: HomeGain Nation 2010 San Francisco

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In just five weeks, on Monday, March 1, HomeGain will kick off its second HomeGain Nation Live Real Estate Forum in San Francisco.

HomeGain Realtor members* are invited to attend this complimentary, 1-day event to network, discover new strategies and learn how to advance plans for a successful 2010!

We are also pleased to offer member attendees a complimentary Sunday night reception, Monday lunch, and a 1-night stay at the world-renown Fairmont San Francisco.

If you have not received your invitation, or would like more information, please email us and include your contact and/or membership details.

Follow the event on Twitter #homegainnation to get clues for how to win some great prizes at the event, including: Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on January 25th, 2010 under HomeGain Nation

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Apartment Vacancy Rate Hits Two-Decade Record

The economy’s decline leveled off significantly from April through June, confirming  that the worst is behind us.

gdpGDP declined at an annualized rate of 1 percent in the second quarter, after shrinking an amazing 6.4 percent earlier this year. But consumer spending, 70 percent of economic activity,  continues to fall as Americans continue to save and  reduce debt. Economists express concern that our basic spending habits have been permanently altered by this great recession. This is also having an effect on rentals as renters downsize or insist on rent reductions.

With this as a backdrop we looked at rental rates which a are a prime factor in evaluating a property. We clearly have a long way to go. The Dept of Commerce chart indicates we are at a fragile beginning of a recovery. The key to successful property ownership now will be to keep it occupied and ride this out. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Howard Sobel on August 6th, 2009 under Market Trends

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HomeGain Kicks Off Its “Live” Event Tomorrow

homegain-nationIn less than 24 hours HomeGain will kick off its “Live” Nation event in San Francisco.

For the 80+ Realtors, bloggers and real estate industry folks attending, the festivities begin 24 hours from now!

Attendees will be able to post comments and upload photos or videos to:

Max the HomeGain Gorilla Bobble Heads will make their debut at the event. Attendees max-bobbleheadwill have to answer trivia questions to win one!

The Bobble Heads are customized, hand painted, limited-edition collectibles. Make sure you pay attention to what’s being said during the presentations!

View the Full Agenda

For those of you who will not be able to attend, we will be also be posting videos from the sessions after the event here on the HomeGain Blog.

Follow the event on Twitter #homegainnation and get clues for how to win a Max Bobblehead.

Visit the The Fairmont San Francisco website.

We are looking forward to meeting everyone!

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on August 1st, 2009 under HomeGain Nation, Real Estate Events

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