Using Google+ to boost your real estate business

google-plus-reThe National Association of REALTORS published a profile of home buyers and sellers where figures showed a growing dependence on online searches. As much as 90% of home buyers used the internet for their searches, of which almost two-thirds interviewed just a lone agent before they found the one with whom they ultimately worked. This data shows the tremendous potential for any real estate agent who has taken the time to create a substantial online presence. Among social media sites where you should make your presence felt as a realtor or real estate broker, Google+ should feature high on your list of priority. Though most realtors consider it to be a mere social media site, it’s a lot more than that. Apart from being a social media site, Google+ is a lucrative chance to boost your SEO, and a platform to communicate and publish your thoughts, opinions, news and other useful snippets. Many consider it to be an open invitation from Google to craft personal and business profiles that are linked incredibly and can be searched and found like no other platform. Wondering how you can leverage Google+ for your real estate business? If yes, here are some tips to help you:

Create a business page
Start by creating your Google+ business page then choose the type of your business (Shop Front, Service Area and Brand). In case your business has multiple locations, you can manage all these locations via your business page. In case your real estate business profile on Google is up to date, you can use your business phone number to pull details of your real estate business and get started in a jiffy. With your Google+ business page, you can ensure improved exposure to your real estate website, which is verified by Google. It’s also advisable to create a personal profile on Google+ as this will help you get AuthorRank, which would assist in building authority and credibility, thus bringing visible exposure for the content you create.

Use relevant keywords
Did you know that your Google+ profile is evaluated by Google for relevant keywords? This is done to understand what you do/offer in order to display the same to people who are looking for such products/services. Therefore, use industry relevant keywords (such as senior housing broker LA, single family homes AZ, California condos for rent etc) in the first sentence of each of your posts. Since this section is also part of the title tag (which has valuable SEO influence in search engine rankings), never post something without the relevant keyword right at the beginning. In your profile’s ‘about’ section, make sure to have crisp and keyword-rich sentences.

Post regularly
What separates Google+ from most other social media sites is followed links. Google+ posts and pages not only accumulate page rank, but distribute link equity as well because inbound links to posts are followed. That each post gets a unique url, is indexed and crawled almost immediately, has SEO relevance for the anchor text and can accrue internal links from the Google+ platform on being re-shared are other factors that demand you to post regularly. Doing this will let you build AuthorRank, which is especially helpful if you are a content contributor to your own site as well as to others.

Engage and grow your audience
Check to know how to create and engage your communities by sharing useful, interesting content, in addition to hosting Hangouts On Air to live-stream and record your video calls that encourage conversations with your audience. You can also get useful insight with Ripples that help identify influencers and trends, which you can use to fine-tune your real estate marketing campaigns. Adding a Google+ badge to your website is another important step to share your content, invite followers and engage with them, all of which will improve your online presence and get you closer to your target clientele.

Get noticed
Choosing to show comments on your YouTube channel, which are currently powered by Google+, can help promote your brand. Using relevant keywords and hashtags in your ad campaigns or page are other ways to move up the search results and get noticed. You can check to get more ideas about how to do this right.

By utilizing Google+, you get an opportunity to influence the search results of thousands in your immediate and extended circles, many of whom are likely to convert into your clients and business partners. Since the platform is showing a steady momentum that’s not likely to change sometime soon, it’s the ideal time to join the bandwagon and use Google+ to boost your real estate business.


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How Realtors are using YouTube to market homes

youtube-realtorVideos are extremely popular today, especially those that are available on YouTube, with nearly millions of people viewing them at any given point of time. Given this popularity, it is hardly surprising that many businesses, including real estate businesses, are using YouTube videos to reach and entice their target clientele. Statistics reveal that more than 70% of buyers were likely to approach real estate agents with videos on their web page. Additionally, there are several others who love watching home tours and are heavily influenced by videos when deciding on which real estate agent to hire for their needs. Under these circumstances, it is important that you join this bandwagon and present your real estate videos to the world.

Here are 5 simple tips that you can use when entering the world of real estate video marketing with YouTube:

Include videos of available properties and neighborhoods
We have all heard that pictures speak louder than words but another similar truth is that videos speak louder than pictures. When you use videos to showcase your properties, it definitely offers the viewers a more detailed experience of the property while also making them really attractive. For the viewer, it feels like they are taking a personal tour of the property, making it a great experience. Additionally, when you use video footage of the neighborhood, you are able to succinctly provide your viewers with the important as well as interesting information, making it all the more appealing.

Include voiceovers in your videos
Videos without voiceovers can be quite boring and not really informative to the viewer. However, if you were to add some information about the property and the neighborhood, in your own voice, it adds flavor as well as credibility. You can also position yourself in the video to some extent, which will add a face to the business, leading to increased credibility amongst the viewers and potential buyers. Voiceovers in videos help you in emphasizing certain aspects of the property and neighborhood, which may not be possible with a silent video.

Positioning as an expert
When creating YouTube videos, it is important not to restrict yourself to simply showcasing your properties. Real estate marketing through YouTube is all about positioning yourself as an expert in the eyes of your viewers and potential buyers. Therefore, make sure you include videos that talk about problems in the industry or you could even create videos that offer tips to potential buyers or even some advice on what to look for. It is important to create a personal rapport with your potential buyers through this medium and establish yourself as an expert in the real estate industry.

Using high traffic keyword tags
As with any other form of SEO, it is important to add high traffic keywords to your YouTube videos as well. This will ensure that they rank high in the search engines. There are various tools that allow you to identify the keywords that are best used in videos, which when used judiciously, will help your videos enjoy higher rankings on popular search engines. When searching for high traffic keywords, you could also take a look at some of the popular real estate business videos that are doing the rounds and identify the keywords that are actually benefiting them. In case these keywords are relevant, you too can use them. If not, you will get an idea about what works and what doesn’t in the domain of YouTube real estate videos.

Participate and Stay Engaged
Finally, as with any other form of social marketing strategy, it is important for you to participate and stay engaged with the community, if you want to achieve success in this endeavor. Participation includes connecting with others, posting comments on popular and relevant videos, connecting with leaders in the industry and letting people know that your video exists. It is important to engage in a conversation with other viewers and potential buyers to ensure that your video is viewed, appreciated and talked about.

Real estate video marketing with YouTube is not as complicated as it seems to. However, it does require some effort from your part. So, use these simple tips to experience how your real estate business benefits from your YouTube marketing efforts.

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Real Estate pros on Facebook

facebook-real-estateSince almost every business is leveraging the power of social media these days, realtors too shouldn’t shy away from doing the same. In case you have your eyes set on Facebook, it pays to know about a few do’s and don’ts seasoned professional have utilized before you start creating your business page or plan your Facebook marketing campaign. You should remember the words of leading social media strategist and marketing expert Jason Falls: "The more sales oriented you are, the less human you become." In today’s world, that often equates to fewer sales or at least a poor long-term sales strategy. The more human you are, the less businesslike you become. If you forget about business in that existence, you will suffer as well. It takes one to fuel the other.

Your Facebook page should, therefore, be a balanced blend of personal tidbits and business promotion. The following tips can help you leverage the platform to the optimum:


Have a complete profile: First impressions last the longest and this is true for your Facebook profile. Therefore, take time to create a complete profile where you list the name of your business, its address, contact number etc and even add something about what your business is all about. You may also use the “elevator speech” for business description to give it some zing. An elevator speech refers to the 10-second description of yourself that you would give in an interview. Thus, you can use the same, albeit with a twist, to make your Facebook page stand out from the rest. You can also connect your personal profile to your business page to give it a face.  Since Facebook is primarily for friendship and sharing, not so much for business promotion and selling, you need to be a personality to connect with people and generate their interest in your offerings.

Be searchable: Ensure to make your privacy settings in such a way that certain elements of your business page are visible to all and also accessible by search engines. This will make your business page rank higher in search results and allow your potential clients to know a little about your business. This way, they can decide if they would like to hire your services to buy or sell property. After all, you should make it easy for people to find you.

Get your unique business url: While creating your business page, you can get a unique Facebook web address like, which will help your business show up in the right search results, in addition to making it easy for people to find your page.  

Be where your clients are: As a realtor, you should want to be where your present and potential clients are. Therefore, focus on the community in which you do real estate business (which could be either be buying or selling) as well as the local economic environment. This will help you reach your clients and build a trusting relationship with them. When you spend time to develop social media connections with people who live where you sell real estate, you will be able to expand your local reach in the community as well. This will eventually give your business a big boost.

Include relevant keywords: In your posts, images, infographics etc, always use relevant keywords that a client might search to find real estate brokers or agents in the region where you do business.

Focus on quality, not quantity: Focus on the connections that will provide your business with value. Don’t make connections just for the sake of it. Rather, connect with real estate experts and relevant companies that have many followers and would add value to your network.

Start two-way conversations: Since your Facebook business page is an extension of your business, you need to engage with people who matter the most. You can employ a balanced blend of useful tips and information, business updates, funny quotes and infographics, polls etc to engage your customers on mobiles, smartphones and desktops.


Use complex posts: Don’t opt for overly complicated posts. To connect with your community, the most efficient way is to keep your posts short and bring in some interesting, useful, funny elements from time to time to break the monotony of talking and sharing about your business offerings.

Focus on real estate alone: If you write only about real estate, people may get bored and eventually stop following/listening to you. Rather, you should focus on the community that will generate interest for a greater population.

Go overboard with self-promotion: Don’t ask for business on Facebook right after you have created your page. Take time to develop connections and mutual trust and then, you can start talking about real estate services that you offer. However, remember not to go over the top with your business promotion.

Fake it: If you aren’t interested in a conversation or a topic, don’t fake it. If you force your conversations, people will know when you aren’t real and shun you.

Bury business ethics: You shouldn’t target the clients of other realtors on their business pages or personal profiles as this isn’t what good business ethics is all about.

Sending mass friend requests: Don’t send mass friend requests to anyone and everyone. Choose carefully with whom you wish to connect and then add a personalized message, mentioning about you and your business, to help them know you a little bit.

Plan the wrong way: You shouldn’t replace your money-generating activities with your Facebook marketing campaign. Since social media activities take time to show results, you should use time spent on Facebook to complement your money-generating activities.

As you start using Facebook business page to get more clients for your real estate business, you will get a better idea of what to do and what not, to leverage this social media platform the best.

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Using LinkedIn to sell more real estate

LinkedIn-real-estateIf you own a real estate business, perhaps you have already implemented several steps to get more clients. Whether it’s about advertising in the TV and newspapers, using Facebook and Twitter to generate some interest and be in the public eye, or using a blog to draw in the crowds, it’s likely that you have used them all. But did you know that LinkedIn too can be a valuable resource to get referrals and drive leads for your real estate business? If not, here are some steps that can help you leverage LinkedIn for your real estate business:

Creating an engaging profile: The first step to use LinkedIn for your real estate business is to create a great profile. Two of the key factors that you should focus upon while creating your profile are your summary and the description (which appears next to your photograph). Be brief and clear with your personal description, choosing to blend the relevant keywords for your business like San Francisco real estate broker, Arizona luxury home realtor etc. Make sure to upload a professional photograph (not your vacation photo or beach party image) as it’s going to be your digital introduction to the world and your potential clients. Also, set your profile to public so that it appears in search engine results and can be seen by those not connected to you. In your summary, mention what you are looking for; your education, expertise and specializations; and specific achievements that you have.

Connect and network: You need to connect with people on LinkedIn and grow your network. Though the most common route people take is to build their contact base by connecting with friends, colleagues and associates, you can speed your networking by being a LION (LinkedIn open networker). Becoming member of groups (especially those where your target clients are) is yet another way to forge relationships. This way, you can get connected to a lot of LinkedIn members without the trouble of inviting each of them individually. Using LinkedIn’s advanced search feature is an efficient way to explore by industry, name, keyword or company to find whom to connect with. It will also let you see deeper into your network, location or industry. However, it’s advisable not to approach strangers as you may get marked as a spammer, which in turn can adversely affect your reputation as a real estate professional. But you can ask your present connections for referrals or recommendations to a person they are already connected to. While sending a request to connect, it’s good to personalize that message instead of using the default message. Another thing to remember is that with a LinkedIn premium account, you can send messages to potential clients/those who have checked your profile directly via InMails. In case you are in a LinkedIn group that the person too is in, you can send direct message to him/her unless he/she has disabled that feature.

Creating a company page: If you have a real estate company with a certain number of employees, having a company page is a good idea. When your employees create their LinkedIn profiles, they will get a drop-down box showing your company’s name when they add their employment details. This way, your company name will get good exposure and anyone checking these employee profiles may even feel interested enough to click and land at your company page on LinkedIn.

Be an active participant: Use LinkedIn’s ‘rich media’ button to add videos, white papers, testimonials etc to make your profile more engaging and interactive. Also, participate in groups where you share your expertise, opinion, relevant news and other items of interest to get people interested in you and your business. You can also ask your contacts and past clients to endorse you for specific skill sets (buying/selling luxury houses, home renovation, finding kid-friendly homes etc) which will show the areas in which you are particularly strong.

If you have heard about that popular game called ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’, you can call LinkedIn a place with ‘three degrees of separation’. Apart from your first line contacts, you also get connected to those in the second and third lines.

Thus, the platform gives you the ideal way to reach people (your target clients, peers, business partners and others who are relevant to your business). What’s more, you can control people’s perception about you and your business as well. But once you have forged a connection, don’t hide behind that online button. Call the person and meet physically. After all, as a real estate professional, you need to facilitate face-to-face interaction to seal deals. Therefore, consider LinkedIn to be a tool that opens doors to help you reach people and use the tips above to leverage this platform.

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Pros and Cons of Displaying the TripAdvisor Review Widget on your Website

tripadvisor-widgetBeing in the travel business, it is obvious that you would want to solicit as many positive reviews as you can from your customers. Additionally, it is equally pertinent to allow such customers to post their views on popular travel websites like TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor also allows you the facility of including their widget on your web page to allow future guests to access the reviews of your past customers, which adds to your credibility. However, like with most such widgets, the TripAdvisor review widget has its own set of pros and cons, which are discussed below.

Pros of using the TripAdvisor widget

As mentioned earlier, given that you solicit and receive several reviews from your guests, which are often posted on this website, here are some of the advantages of adding this widget to your website and allowing easy access to your future customers:

Increased credibility: When future guests or customers visit the site and see positive reviews from your past guests, it automatically increases your credibility. Since TripAdvisor is very popular among travelers and has a huge web presence, it is definitely to your advantage if your customers write their reviews on the website.

Increased web presence: There is no doubt that TripAdvisor is a very popular website for travelers, who often search for options and make a decision based on the reviews posted here. Thus, by making your business visible on this site, you can increase your own web presence and reach your target clientele easily. Customers availing the reviews from TripAdvisor are more likely to come across your old customer reviews and chances of their choosing your hotel is definitely higher.

Establishing brand trust and transparency: Finally, sites like TripAdvisor help create brand trust and transparency, which is completely customer-generated in nature. In other words, customers post their reviews on their own, which could be positive as well as negative, ensuring that your hotel and business is worth the trust given by them.

Cons of using the TripAdvisor widget

As with anything in life, the widget comes with its own set of disadvantages, which are as under:

Ranks higher than your own website: The biggest problem with using the widget is that for every search phrase with your business name, the TripAdvisor site will rank higher than your own. This is largely due to the fact that the site uses keyword-rich links, through its widget, which allow search engines to find it more easily and therefore, inadvertently, you are promoting that site instead of your own.

Lack of control: By allowing your customers to post on TripAdvisor, you are effectively giving away control on the reviews that are posted and published. The TripAdvisor website decides on which reviews would be shown prominently, thus making it difficult for you to have any control over the quality or the type of review that’s posted.

Opening doors to competitors: When you use the widget, you are actually asking customers to check out your competition. It is important to remember that sites like TripAdvisor are used by a huge array of hotels and establishments, making it very competitive to get and retain a foothold. There is a lurking possibility that customers seeking to do business with you will go elsewhere, if they get a better deal or find better reviews.

Those in the travel and tourism niche often use the TripAdvisor widget as the website is renowned and easily recognizable. They believe that by doing so, they can establish trust and loyalty amongst their target clientele and build credibility. However, since the widget has its own set of cons as mentioned above, you can steps to ensure that displaying it on your website serves your purpose and doesn’t affect your business adversely. One way could be to register at the TripAdvisor Owners’ Center, which will let you monitor reviews of your business, respond to them etc. But if losing control over what’s said about your business is an issue, you can have a testimonials page instead, on your website, where you can exercise full control over what to display and how to do it.


Pinterest to boost Real Estate sales

pinterest-for-real-estaeSocial media has forever changed the way realtors do business today by letting these people reach out to their prospective clients easily – both at the local and global scale. Amongst the social media sites, Pinterest – with its increasing popularity today, appears to be a great way for realtors to reach out to their clients and increase their clientele base as well as drive sales. By using Pinterest, you can share your message with the world through pictures, videos, infographics and other such visual media. This social media site gives you the perfect platform to showcase your listings while making them available to a larger audience. If you are yet to use Pinterest, here are some simple tips on how you can leverage it as your real estate marketing tool:

Concentrate on having clear, attractive and interesting images: Whether it’s about the property that you put up for sale, the vacation rentals up for grabs or that coveted piece of land that’s located favorably, you need to share beautiful images that entice curiosity and encourage potential clients to contact you for more information. Refrain from using stock photos or pictures that are boring and predictable. If you can’t shoot enticing images, you may want to consider hiring a professional photographer for the job. Another solution is to use free tools such as PicMonkey, Pixlr, Fotor etc for photo editing, creating collages, adding photo effects, after which you can post these images.

Link your images to your website: Make sure that each image you pin has your website url linked to it. This way, the more repins you get from other Pinterest users, the more your website will get shared. This move will also give your website rankings on major search engines a boost. What’s more, when someone clicks on your images, they will land at your website, thus bringing a surge in web traffic. Ensure that your website has enough information and listings to retain visitors so you can convert this traffic into sales and get more followers to take your business to the next level.

Creative ideas for boards: Whether you are helping home buyers, home sellers or both, have real estate services targeted for the corporate clients or luxury vacationers, you should create separate boards to appeal to each of these different segments. Make sure to have attractive images with good descriptions and relevant keywords to elicit interest. You can put up individual boards for local places of interest, restaurants, interior decoration ideas, etc, in addition to sellers’ tips, buyers’ tips and featured videos of the particular location to bring variety into your boards while keeping them interesting. Having boards for different areas where you offer realtor services is also a good way to get more clients.

Offer useful resources and tips: As a real estate agent, make sure that your Pinterest page conveys that you are a careful listener and a helpful professional who shares useful tips and suggestions. Be ready to go above and beyond what one expects from a realtor by offering advice, tips and tricks on a wide variety of topics such as moving, renting, buying, downsizing, low cost renovation ideas, quick methods to improve curb appeal, etc. You may even feature Pinterest boards specific to areas of the house, which could range from dining and living areas to porches, bars and fireplaces. In other words, show your readers that you care and provide them with as many useful resources as possible.

Interaction with customers: Finally, it is important to interact and engage with your customers to ensure that your presence is felt and acknowledged. This is also a great way to ensure that you get your past clients to share their experiences through photographs on your boards. This will add credibility to your business and ensure that future visitors to your websites are converted into your loyal clients.

Many online marketing experts believe that Pinterest offers quite a few advantages for real estate and other businesses, provided you can leverage this platform the right way. With the five simple tips as listed above, you can use Pinterest to locate and attract potential clients for your real estate business. So, get to work and start building your client list to give your real estate venture a big boost.


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Using QR Codes in Real Estate Marketing

qr-code-marketingWhat is a QR Code?

Bridging the gap between Internet with [offline] printed collateral is essential in today’s world. With the advent of QR codes, marketers are in a perfect position to reach out to their offline audience.

Smart phone technology lets customers use rich media for a range of purposes by accessing the Internet via their phone. It’s not uncommon to spot two-dimensional barcodes on flyers, posters, products, etc. These are known as Quick Response or QR codes and can be easily scanned by a free QR code scanner app available for free on most smart phones

Usage of QR Codes for Marketing
QR codes are being used extensively by marketers to help customers who are looking for more information about a product or service. By reducing additional cumbersome or time-consuming manual input of a URL (and virtually eliminating typographic errors), this technology has provided savvy marketers with a simpler solution to connect with new customers.

Used in business cards, signage, postcards and brochures, the encoded information can help the customers send an email, dial a number, download contact details or view more details on a new or special offer. To give you an example, imagine you are walking down a street and find details of a new movie advertised on a billboard. You scan the QR code on the billboard which takes you to a web page to buy tickets instantly.

Apart from being user friendly, these codes are cost-effective and environmentally friendly too. They send a message to your clients that you are technologically savvy and add a certain sense of mystery to your marketing – they wonder what’s behind the code?

How do I scan them?

You can search for “QR Code Scanner” apps via your Apps on your iPhone on via your Android. Download a QR Code app onto your smart phone, then open the app and scan the code using your smart phone.

Here are some I recommend to get your started. Test out others to see which you like best.



You can scan billboards, your computer monitor, papers with it printed, products with QR Codes on them – Have fun and try it!

How do I create my own QR Code?

Most of these QR Code websites are free, but depending on the functionality you want, there may be charges to view how many people scanned your code, etc

• (my favorite)

Mostly all QR Code generation websites work in a similar manner. For the demo below, I went to:

1. Select what Contents you are inputting:

  • Contact info for folks to download your a Vcard info to their phone
  • URL (I chose website URL for this demo)
  • Email
  • Text
  • SMS
  • Etc

2. Go to the website and copy/paste in the URL or input the contact info, etc

3. Click “Generate” button

using QR codes for Real Estate

4. Download the file so you can use it wherever you want. TIP: rename it when saving so you know what it’s for without having to scan it. At some point hopefully you will have MANY of these codes lying around to quickly import and use in your print marketing.

download your QR code

Working with File Formats
Different QR Code generator websites will allow you to save and download in different formats. Here’s an overview of what they all mean and will allow you to do:

  • PNG – clear background, supports many colors
  • JPG – white background
  • GIF – clear background, supports limited colors (black and white)
  • PDF – read using Acrobat Reader
  • EPS – designers need this format for high resolution format and large scale printing (Realtor Signs, Billboard, Postcards, etc)

Things to put in QR Codes:

When you’re doing step 1 & 2 (above), you’ll need info to input info in the QR Code generator. Here are some ideas.

  • Link to website URLs for Virtual tours
  • Link to a home listing on your website to take them to description and photos
  • Link to your MOBILE website
  • Create a Contact V-Card /contact details for users to download to their phone! (cool!) SCAN mine above to see how it works!
  • Link to your “reviews” page on your website so new clients can quickly read or leave them!
  • Link to an event, special service, coupon or special offer. Scan mine on page 3 above to see how it works!
  • Link to an online survey
  • Link to downloadable documents
  • Text messages
  • Link to your Social Media Site(s)
  • Link to physical street address to a listing

Ideas for using QR Codes in Marketing

Add them to the following:

  • Property Signs
  • Postcards
  • Home Flyers
  • Business Cards (link to a video or thank you page)
  • Profile pics on social media
  • Vehicle stickers
  • Website blogs
  • Conference displays
  • Brochures
  • Advertisements
  • Tweets with Images
  • Billboards

Gauging your return on investment
Since QR Codes are for the most part FREE to generate, use, scan and download, it would be great to know how well they are working for you by measuring traffic hits/stats and gauging overall performance of your print campaign.

  • Check number of hits on a certain page you directed visitors to
  • Check stats via your website analytics
  • Check how many times the QR Code was used (some websites above offer that as an additional fee.

Use your QR Code in your marketing
Finally, import your QR Code into your desktop publishing or design program and move it where you need it.


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How Real Estate Pros are Using Social Media to Drive Sales

social-real-estateMany businesses these days are using the power of various social media platforms to get clients. If you are in the real estate business, you too should use such platforms to reach your target clientele, connect to them on a personal level, build trust and entice them to buy form you. With the “always-on” potential of your business page on social media platforms, you can update, edit, delete, refresh and respond in real-time to the needs/queries/problems of your customers. By offering them the most specific and accurate information about the local real estate scenario, you can help them make an informed decision, while building your reliability and trustworthiness.  

Several studies have shown that potential buyers, while shopping for real estate, usually have a much lower capacity for patience when seeking solutions. Apart from getting quick answers to their problems/pain-points, they also search for a real estate agent who can be trusted and relied upon. You can position yourself favorably on these counts by making social media campaigns an integral part of your real estate marketing plan. Starting from displaying your business’s capabilities and your corporate culture to showing how well you engage with your followers and take note of their ideas/suggestions/feedbacks/peeves etc, you can do a lot more through your business pages on different social media platforms.

If you are raring to go, here are 5 tips that you can use on social media platforms to get clients for your real estate business:

Establish your authority in your chosen niche: You could be a real estate agent offering green homes, a company that’s into building houses for the seniors, or someone who facilitates property search in a particular locality. Whatever be your niche, share your expertise and authority via your social media pages (through texts, articles, images, videos, infographics etc) to reach people who are interested in such properties. You should also link your social media platforms with one another as well as to your website/blog to amplify the content you write or share. This will increase your content’s online visibility and help people find them easily.  

Engage with your target clientele: No one likes to read posts that are all about your business and self promotion. Though you should promote your biggest achievements, new services/products etc, you should strike a balance to appeal to your target clientele. So, try to initiate conversations, post useful updates about neighborhood events or local culture, talk about real estate discounts and deals, solutions to address pain points/problems that plague these readers etc. These steps will show that you care and encourage engagement with your potential clients. Ideally, you should follow the 80:20 rule where 80% of your posts are about city events, customer interests, and other relevant updates while 20% are about your business and the services/products on offer.

Run geo-targeted advertisements: Since a considerable chunk of your real estate business revenues will be generated by your local clientele, you should use location targeting for your social media ads. This will make them appear in the geographic locations of your choice and make it easy for the local clientele to find and buy from you.  

Run contests and sweepstakes: Be it a simple vote or photo contest on your social media Fan Page, or a game that can be played using smartphone apps, contests and sweepstakes offer you a wonderful way to create more engagement on your Page, while having fun with your fans and followers. You can plan different contests to know your target clients’ likes and dislikes, thus forging deeper bonds with them, while positioning yourself as a realtor who listens and takes relevant steps. You may even use contests and sweepstakes cleverly to market your listings.

Soft sell your offerings: Social media platforms give you a chance to approach your business relationships in a friendly manner. Perhaps you have heard how many people call their favorite real estate agents their friends. In reality, good realtors are those who know when not to hard sell and instead, find chances to soft sell to their target clientele. For example, you can use your Facebook and Twitter pages to keep track of life changes of your fans/followers, which could be anything from a pregnancy to a new job. Since such changes often indicate an upcoming home buying opportunity, keeping track of them and sending congratulations on time can help you make your presence felt. This in turn will enable your clients to keep your name and business at the top of their mind and stay loyal to you even when they move from property to property.

So, use these tips to attract more clients through your social marketing efforts, thus giving your real estate business a big boost.

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Dealing with Negative Reviews Online

negative-reviewsAs a business owner, online reviews are the perfect way to ensure more business. These days, almost everyone is reading online reviews to evaluate a company's products/services and their customer service. Several research results have showed how customers believe such reviews to be credible and are more influenced by negative reviews than their positive counterparts. However, it’s not necessary that online reviews will show your business in a positive light. Therefore, it is important to deal with negative reviews the right way. Business owners rightly dread negative reviews as they tend to create more problems, where none should exist. However, there are simple techniques that you can use to ensure that negative reviews do not affect your business.

Here are some simple tips for dealing with negative reviews online:

Respond to the review: Most businesses believe that if they do not respond, things will tide over; which unfortunately is not the case all the time. Therefore, it is best to respond to the negative reviews as quickly as possible. When responding to such reviews, there are two schools of thoughts: one that suggests you to respond privately and the second, which believes in responding publicly. You can do both, though many online reputation management experts believe that responding publicly will help everyone know your take on the matter and mitigate the bad publicity, to some extent. Responding publicly will also show the readers how you have tried to take positive action. When responding to negative reviews, care must be taken with regard to the tone and content of your reply. It is important not to enter into a blame game but to immediately apologize, irrespective of whether you believe it to be your fault or not. This will address the rants of your unsatisfied clients and you may even go on to re-establish a good rapport with them. At the same time, this action will help establish goodwill among other customers who are reading the negative feedback and your corresponding response.

Reach out to the review site: This is another way you can ensure that your business does not suffer from negative reviews. However, before doing so, it is important to get your facts in order and understand whether the complaint or negative review is factually true or not. Where it is factually true, you cannot really expect the review site to remove it. However, in the case, where it is factually incorrect, it should be pointed out to the review site, as it will come under a malicious strategy and not a real grievance.

Show empathy: Often, it is seen that business owners stick to their point of view, without taking time to understand that of the customer. This leads to further negative reviews and more problems for the business. It is important to understand the entire incident from the client’s point of view rather than merely looking at it from your angle. What may be a small issue for you could be a major deal for the client. Empathizing with the customer and appreciating his/her problem will go a long way in ensuring that damage control is done the right way.

Turn it into a positive issue for the business: When one gets negative reviews from clients, it is important to identify the problem areas that cause these negative reviews. You should look at these reviews from a learning angle and see what changes you can make to improve upon those problem areas. By doing so, not only are you endearing yourself to your target clientele but are also improving your business in a big way.

Now that you know how to deal with negative online reviews, make sure to respond to such feedback quickly (provided they are worth responding to, and are posted by genuine/high-profile clients). After all, your timely response can actually improve your standing with your customers. And remember - most of your target clientele will read more than one review of your business before they make a decision. Therefore, you should take steps to encourage positive reviews, as this is the best way to give your readers a balanced view of your business. So, don’t dread negative reviews. Rather, manage them effectively while focusing on offering better products and services to your customers that beget positive reviews.

7 ways to get more repins on Pinterest

How-to-get-more-repins-on-PinterestBusiness owners today are increasingly making use of Pinterest to promote their businesses online. With pictures speaking louder and perhaps more effectively than mere words, it is not surprising that this social media platform is the latest buzz in the arena of online marketing. However, to effectively use and gain from Pinterest, it is important to ensure that you get more repins of those that you have pinned. Repins by other users ensure that your pins are broadcast to a wider audience. Here are seven simple ways in which you can ensure more repins on Pinterest and thus grab more eyeballs, many of which may eventually turn into sales, thus giving a boost top your bottom-line:

Pin regularly: One of the simplest rules to ensure better and more repins by your followers, is to pin or post regularly on Pinterest. The more your pins come up in the feeds of your followers, more are the chances of your followers repinning them. However, care should be taken not to go overboard and simply flood their feeds with your pins. Limit yourself to 3 pins a day, which should be sufficient to pique interest while also ensuring that you are not spamming their feeds. In addition to pinning your own pictures, make sure that you repin from other pins as well to ensure that your followers do not feel overwhelmed. It’s also important to visit popular pins and repin them regularly to encourage better engagement with your target audience.

Pin images that attract the audience: When pinning on Pinterest, care must be taken to ensure that you pin only those images that are of interest to your target audience. It is important to become aware of the interest and likes of your target audience and use posts and keywords that will entice them. This will help you get more repins.

Use infographics: Businesses often have to talk about a lot of facts related to their trade and are at a loss to make it appealing to their target audience. With Pinterest, you can easily do it in an attractive manner by using infographics. Presenting facts as diagrams, charts or graphs, apart from being attractive, also help you showcase these facts very succinctly to the interested audience, which leads to better and increased repins.

Call to action: The easiest way to ensure that you get more repins is to include a call-to-action button with your pins. This will increase engagement with your followers and encourage them to repin. In fact, some research results indicate that having a pin description with a call-to-action can increase your target audience’s engagement by as much as 80%.  

Create boards and join community boards: When many people collaborate to create a Pinterest board, chances of repins of that board is increased. Therefore, it is always advisable to create group boards and invite people to collaborate with you. Similarly, you could join the existing community group boards and pin your pictures onto it. Make sure that you search for relevant boards and pin related images that will help increase your visibility. Trending boards are yet another way that you can use to increase your repins. In other words, you identify those areas or categories, which are trending for a particular period and repin those pictures or pin pictures relevant to that theme. This will increase visibility and help you get more repins.

Pin at the appropriate time: When pinning onto Pinterest, time is of essence. You might have to do some trial and error runs to identify the correct time when engagement is maximum. Once you have identified that particular time period, you should diligently pin at that time, which will lead to more repins.

Linking with other social media sites: Pins on Pinterest should ideally be shared across different social networking sites as this paves way for greater visibility. Linking your Pinterest account with that on Facebook or Twitter will ensure that your followers there will also come to your Pinterest page, which in turn will increase repins.

While there are several other ways to increase your repins, these are some of the simpler ones that will help you gain better repins and more visibility. So, start using them today!