If you’re looking for new ways to boost your online marketing, you’ve come to the right place! In part one of this two-part series, we’re going to talk about different types of videos you can create to engage leads and keep current customers coming back for more. If you’ve never made marketing videos and don’t know where to start or are looking for fresh ideas to film, here are 4 tried-and-true formats sure to captivate your audience.
Time lapses have remained a fascination since they were developed in the 19th century, and with good reason—they’re a simple, enthralling way to highlight your subject by compressing time into satisfying tidbits. If you’d like to showcase your listing in a unique way or bring an exterior to life, try capturing a natural event like a sunrise or sunset as the backdrop, or show renovation or decoration sped up into a neat, pithy clip.
Recommendation: Hyperlapse is a modern way to turn realty footage into intriguing videos in the spirit of traditional time lapses. Here’s a tutorial on how to use Hyperlapse on iPhone and Android.
Instagram Stories is a great way to connect with your audience in real time and offer tips, sneak peaks, or host contests and quizzes. Utilize the polling and hashtag features to create buzz around a property and generate client participation. Buttoned up or casual, this is an easy way to create marketing videos on the fly and doesn’t require any special equipment or even a second set of hands to film.
Recommendation: See "Stories" features in action in this tutorial from Five Minute Social Media.
Before and After
If HGTV and YouTube are any indication, people are nowhere near fatigued of good transformation videos. Filming a before and after video allows you to showcase small improvements or entire flips to fascinating effect while casting a wide net for potential interested viewers. It can be as simple or encompassing as you’d like while honing in on the carefully picked details, DIY projects and ingenious fixes users long to see. Share sources and techniques to keep your audience coming back for more inspiration.
Recommendation: Check out this before and after video of a Cottage House Renovation to see how it's done.
A full-blown walkthrough is perhaps the best way to show off your listing and attract potential buyers. No other method gives people the sense of flow, ambiance and scale before they've stepped foot inside. Truly transportive, the walkthrough can feature an informative commentary or silently convey the desirability of the listing while buyers envision themselves relaxing in the den or playing with their kids in the backyard.
Recommendation: Scandinavian style blogger and author Jenny Mustard conducts an elegant, charming walkthrough of a modern rental house in Ireland.
Now that you have 4 ideas for new marketing videos, check back to read our upcoming blog for 4 technical tips to enhance your videos to create amazing quality content. Comment below and share your favorite type of marketing videos to watch! We’d love to hear from you.
It’s the dream that’s long been idealized on HGTV shows and Instagram accounts alike: purchasing an old home with lots of charm and the potential to be restored to its former glory. For some, such a project is about maintaining and experiencing a piece of history as part of their daily lives, while others see flipping old or rundown houses as opportunities for resales, inns and other business ventures.
Renovating and restoring an old home often comes with as many built-in challenges as there are built-in bookshelves. If you’re working with a buyer who has their heart set on flipping their own little slice of history, here’s how to help them navigate the purchasing process.
Sharing the Vision
Millennials love doing research and being prepared when purchasing a home, but they still value the input of real estate agents. Surpassing the Silent Generation, younger Millennials have become the largest home buying group, and 92% of them purchase homes with the help of an agent.
When Sara and Rich Combs, owners of the Joshua Tree House Inn in Arizona, were looking for a place to set up a sister business, they took to searching online listings themselves. When one listing with unusual photos piqued their interest, they sent their realtor to investigate: “He basically reported back that we needed to come see this place immediately. He was right. As soon as we stepped foot on the property we knew we were in for a lot of work, but also felt that this property had been waiting for us,” the couple wrote in an Instagram post about the buying process. The casita, which was built in 1978 by Merv Larson, a former director of the Sonoran Desert Museum, has since been renovated into an Airbnb that shares the contemporary western flare of the Joshua Tree House.
Sharing your buyer’s vision is important with any real estate transaction. But understanding the level of commitment and ability of your buyers, as well as imagining the possibilities, can be the difference between finding the dream project your buyers are looking for and overlooking a diamond in the rough.
No Ordinary Dreamers
As a real estate agent, you’re helping buyers to make the most advantageous and informed decision on not only one of the biggest purchases of their lives, but what might also be their passion project—the one they take out a hard cash loan for and mortgage their future to achieve. Although they might be pluckier than most when facing the challenges and expenses associated with restoring an old or historic home, they need just as much help to calculate the risks and determine the return investment they can expect from their purchase.
Gauge their level of knowledge and experience when it comes to a restoration project. Do they insist on hiring professionals, or are they more of the do-it-yourself type? If they plan to tackle projects themselves, work with them to determine their level of knowledge and ability so they don’t commit to any projects outside of their depth or that will exceed the amount they’re able to invest in repairs.
Realities to Consider
Along with quirks and gorgeous craftmanship details, old homes can have unwelcome surprises that create issues during renovation and upkeep. Enter lead paint, copper pipes, and asbestos. Hiring an inspector who’s well versed in older materials and structures can help identify problems and present solutions before any dotted lines are signed. Find out as much from the seller as possible, but don’t be hesitant to do a little sleuthing and research to discover the history of a home or the land it’s situated on. You may even turn up something the existing owner is unaware of.
Old homes are different from historic ones, which must meet special criterion to be considered such by the National Register of Historic Places. Restoring a historic home could earn the buyer grants and tax incentives for rehabilitating and preserving it, although they’ll likely face limitations when making changes or additions to the exterior. If your buyer has a bold plan to meld old with new in their renovation design, choosing an old home will give them more freedom to create something truly original, while lovers of period-accurate details won’t sniff at restrictions aimed at maintaining aesthetic accuracy.
Buyers of historic houses are not just fulfilling the dream that millions aspire to, love to follow, and live vicariously through; in a fast moving, disposable world, they look at homes in disrepair and see the beauty that was and could be with some love and sweat equity. By purchasing and preserving this history, they ensure that notable places can continue to be learned from and enjoyed by generations to come, while helping maintain what make communities special in an increasingly cookie-cutter society.
What is a restored historic building or landmark you’ve enjoyed visiting? What is a renovation project in your community you’d love to see someone tackle? Comment and share below!
Email, texting and social media have long been important facets of marketing and conducting business, but many still struggle to communicate effectively through these mediums.
If you think your online communication skills are in tip-top shape, there’s a good chance those around you might beg to differ. According to Udemy, an online learning and teaching marketplace, a whopping 72% of employees think their coworkers need communication skills training. Ouch!
Whether you’re a studied social media whiz or rarely stray from work lunches and phone calls, here are three common digital faux pas to watch out for and tips to improve your online interactions:
Not Responding Promptly
Rarely do people allow their physical mailboxes to become crammed to the brim while they’re home or away on vacation. But that same fastidiousness often doesn’t extend to email, where inboxes quickly become chaotic with messages from clients, leads, marketing websites, and co-workers. Things seem to disappear once everything starts piling up. Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling when you discover a long overdue correspondence languishing in the depths of your inbox?
According to Toister Solutions’ 2018 survey of 1,200 customers, an email response within 1 hour would satisfy 89 percent of customers’ expectations. It wasn’t just younger consumers looking for rapid response times; out of all generations represented, Baby Boomers who took part in the survey expected the quickest response. Customers across the board also expected a super speedy response on social media—15 minutes or less.
Tip: If you’re not responding to work emails because they’ve blurred together, set aside some time to get organized. Create subfolders and filters so reoccurring messages are immediately categorized and not jumbled up in your inbox. You can also set autoresponders to let people know you’ll get back with them asap. Many people are satisfied getting an acknowledgement that their email has been received and a response is coming their way.
The downside to the instantaneousness of online correspondences? There’s little holding us back from saying exactly what we’re thinking, when we’re thinking it.
The speed at which we communicate today can lend itself to impulsiveness—generally not the characteristic professionals want to handle their business dealings with. If someone gets on your last nerve or leaves a negative comment, you can fire back within mere seconds to vent your frustrations, all without looking someone in the eye. Knee-jerk reactions rarely produce their intended result, and you run the risk of alienating clients or ticking off important work connections if you’re trigger happy with the send or post button.
Tip: If you’re itching to send an email or post a social media comment written in in the heat of the moment, don’t—especially if it’s 2:00am. Allow yourself a moment to ruminate or sleep on the matter and reevaluate with fresh eyes. Chances are, the message you wrote while stressed or uninhibited from lack of sleep isn’t quite what you were going for. Neither were the typos. Nor the grammatical errors.
Whether by habit or reaction to looming deadlines, skim reading can seem like a good way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Similar to multitasking, skimming can actually cost you more time and headaches in the long run.
According to Front App’s analysis of 5,000 inboxes, the average number of emails per conversation were 4.5 to 5 responses. How much time have you personally spent going back and forth with clients or coworkers because the point of the original inquiry or response was missed the first, second, or third time? Email threads begin to look like Wimbledon and both parties become bewildered.
Responding without paying attention to what's being said also causes friction between coworkers. The Udemy research mentioned previously also revealed the top email pet peeve (25%) was directed at coworkers who did not read the previous message before responding.
Skim reading doesn’t only cost us time by missing nuance in our search for key words and phrases, but it changes how our brains function. Skim reading impacts comprehension, emotional intelligence, auditory processes, phonemic awareness, and more. It can make face-to-face interactions harder when characteristics like empathy slump in the pursuit of speed.
Tip: Slow down enough to fully comprehend a message to prevent frustration and time-wasting back and forth. Re-reading a message just once will improve your chances of understanding the actual meaning and can help cut down on unnecessary delays.
Along with creating more successful online interactions, this will also increase your ability to listen and empathize with work connections, clients and leads while interacting in person.
Honing your online communication skills is as easy as thinking twice before you send, re-reading to prevent confusion or delays, and getting organized so that you can attend to what matters most.
What facet of online communication do you find most challenging? Comment below and share your thoughts! We’d love to hear from you.
After closing, your clients will likely meet other realtors along the way who have great work ethics, resources and expertise. Have you done enough to create points of contact and foster brand loyalty so they don't look elsewhere, or point others in another direction for their realty needs?
People lose track of connections for a variety of reasons, but you never want those reasons to be because you made yourself inaccessible, your interactions weren’t significant, or worse, because they’d prefer to forget you and go with someone more attentive.
If having clients' continued business and referrals is one of your goals as an agent, here are four ways you can create a lasting connection with them.
If your schedule is hectic and you’re juggling several listings and showings, prioritizing your time is essential. Answering questions from clients who have already closed, potentially long before, might incidentally go to the bottom of your list. But that continued customer service goes a long way in making your clients feel valued instead of forgotten. Don’t drop them the moment they sign the dotted line and offer little or no follow-up support. Since time is money and a finite resource, have a list of contacts you can quickly supply to clients to help address their needs. They will appreciate and remember your efforts to treat them as lifelong customers.
If you're having difficulty keeping track of and responding to all inquiries, consider adding a Chatbot to your website to field common questions and keep new leads engaged.
Strike While the Iron is Hot
Have clients follow you on social media while they're in the thick of the buying or selling process. They'll get extra perks like seeing listings streamed live if they're unavailable to look in person, as well as additional channels of communication if they want to quickly comment or message a question.
If substantial time passes before you begin attempting to connect with clients through social media, they may lose interest or fail to see the need. Pursue these connections early to ensure you have every platform at your disposal to follow up with previous leads and impress current ones with personalized content.
Most businesses drop a line every now and then to remind you of appointments or just to let you know they’re still around. Make a point of sending out refreshers to keep clients in the loop and remind them that you’re actively seeking out their business. If you don’t want to invest money into paper flyers, a digital newsletter is an accessible and effective alternative to keep you in the forefront of their minds.
Give Them a Reason to Stick with You
According to Discover’s piece on forgetfulness and memory, “Forgetting is essential ... because the biological goal of the brain’s memory apparatus is not preserving information, but rather helping the brain make sound decisions.”
People constantly consume information that their brains must parse to decide what is essential and what to discard. From a necessity standpoint, clients who have settled into their new homes won’t need to look through an unbroken stream of listings. Give them a variety of relevant information they can utilize in their day-to-day lives. Homeowner tips, community news, and entertainment recommendations are topics people seek out when they aren’t in buying or selling mode, and can help make you one of their go-to sources for great information after closing.
Lay the foundation now to continue wooing clients and demonstrate your ability to adapt to their evolving needs and goals. If you go out of your way to support them, present and future, they’re not likely to forget about you.
It’s your turn! We’d love to hear from you—what are your go-to methods for standing out in clients’ minds for continued business and referrals? Share in a comment below.
According to our New Year survey, one of your main concerns as an agent is connecting with your real estate clients—and with good reason; according to Gallup, “customers who are fully engaged represent a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth over the average customer.”
That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of easy, intermediate, and advanced ideas to help you stand out from the crowd, connect with your realty clients, and foster brand loyalty.
Easy Engagement Ideas
Ask for Your Customers’ Opinions
How often are you inviting clients to engage with you through social media posts? Don’t leave it up to them to take initiative to comment on non-conversational content—ask them direct questions! Post polls that make it quick and easy to toss their hat into the ring (e.g. what aspects of home ownership are most important to them? Would they rather have a big yard or big kitchen? Do they think the Pantone color of the year would make a good exterior color?) You'll never know unless you ask!
Reply to Comments
You’ve invited your clients and leads to engage and they’ve shared; now maintain momentum by keeping the discourse going. If you’re worried about spending too much time responding to a slew of comments, don’t worry—most people are happy with a short sentence thanking them for their post or a single post thanking everyone for participating. Liking or “reacting” to comments takes mere seconds and lets clients know you’re listening and that they’re not shouting into the void.
Celebrate Clients’ Big Moment
After you’ve closed on a property, take a celebratory photo with your clients and share it on your website and social media pages. Your clients will appreciate the commemoration of their big moment, and you can share in their happiness while personalizing your work for future clients.
Handwritten postcards (or printed at Costco, if your penmanship is a little rusty) are a classic way to stand out in a world of impersonal, curt business formalities. You can customize your postcards to be funny, memorable, or helpful; even better if you can share a photo that personifies your brand, like a collage of sold properties or happy first-time homeowners.
Intermediate Engagement Ideas
Go Behind the Scenes
Give your clients a feeling of being in-the-know by sharing sneak peaks of fresh listings, renovation efforts, and real-time walkthroughs of exciting properties. Use the “stories” feature on Instagram or go live on Facebook to share fun details and help clients imagine the listing in its full dimension.
Run a Contest or Giveaway
Brands of every industry harness the interest of giveaways and contests, like Texas theater chain Alamo Drafthouse, who routinely have fun contests that allow patrons to show off their trivia knowledge or costume making skills to win tickets or swag. You decide the terms of participation—like and subscribe, use a special #hashtag, leave a comment or share a photo—both parties will enjoy and benefit from this tried and true customer engagement method.
Create a Client Testimonial Packet
Collecting reviews and feedback for a testimonial packet is a great way to remind previous clients of their experience with a super friendly, attentive realtor they can refer to friends and family, and creates something to give new leads that conveys the level of expertise they can expect when working with you.
Post High Quality Photos
Sharing artfully composed, well-lit photos of listings can pique the interest of potential clients looking through bloated, uninspired newsfeeds. Home Designers Tara Mangini and Percy Bright of Jersey Ice Cream Co. garner thousands of likes, views, and comments by posting photos of eye-catching details and immersive scroll throughs that create a 360◦ experience of finished and in-progress home designs.
Advanced Engagement Ideas
Create a Community Page on Facebook
Come from contribution and create an informative page for your community or service areas. Post recommendations, free entertainment ideas, and local news to amuse and engage residents and hopeful homeowners alike, while building name recognition and trust for yourself.
Organize a Local Event
Clients will appreciate the VIP treatment and firsthand knowledge that comes from a guided neighborhood tour, which shows off listings in a new light and can help them to imagine living in the area. A charitable event is another great way to stoke brand loyalty while promoting and uplifting causes important to you.
Develop a Helpful Chatbot
Chatbots can be used to meet the demand of around-the-clock availability many clients expect when seeking customer service and advice. There are many free and payable options available to help you develop a chatbot that can answer realty-related questions when you’re busy servicing other clients or unavailable after hours.
Regardless of the time or money available to you to spend toward customer engagement, there are many memorable opportunities to connect with your clients that create the experience they’ve come to expect when hiring and working with an agent.
What are your favorite ways to connect with your clients? Have you attended one of our classes to learn how to leverage your KW Technology, like the newly developed KW Command, to grow customer engagement? Leave a comment below and share what’s worked best for you!
For many of us, the New Year ushers in fresh motivation to improve ourselves and our circumstances. We optimistically compile lists of things we’d like to accomplish personally and professionally, and January 1st seems like the perfect time to jumpstart these aspirations.
Mid-January has arrived. Maybe it’s getting harder to stick with your resolutions and the momentum you had going into the new year has slowed. Have you found it more difficult than you expected to stick with your goals? If so, you’re not alone. January 12th has been dubbed “Quitters Day,” after Strava, the social network for athletes, found it to be the day most people gave up on their New Year’s fitness resolutions. U.S. News says approximately 80% of all people give up their resolutions by mid-February.
So how do you avoid becoming part of that statistic and achieve the goals you started the new year with? Here are 7 app recommendations to track your progress and make sure your resolutions survive well past mid-February:
Vague goals create a grey area that’s easy to meander in until you’re completely lost. “Build my brand,” does not specify a measurable result or a timeframe the goal should be achieved within. This can lead to procrastination and eventual abandonment of a goal if you come to feel you can’t get good traction moving toward your destination—wherever that may be.
Instead, rethink your goal into something definable: “rewrite my agent biography,” “print new business cards,” “engage with clients on social media three times a day,” etc. Deadlines are great motivators as well, so give yourself a definite cutoff date to complete your goals by and you’ll be surprised at how much more hustle you have pursuing them.
App Recommendation: With GoalsOnTrack, you can create SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) and keep track of your progress every day. It allows you to break down more ambitious undertakings into milestones and subgoals with reoccurring tasks. If you aren’t sure how to define your goal, you can use one of the app’s templates with built-in plans as a springboard.
You can also journal your goals and create vision boards to visualize your success to keep yourself inspired.
Can’t stick to your goals, even when you’re tracking progress and have a great game plan to follow? Perhaps you need to get some skin in the game and utilize the psychology of loss aversion and accountability.
App Recommendations: StickK and Beeminder allow users to wager money on the success or failure of their goals. That’s right—your own money is on the line if you go off track. StickK allows you to invite friends or family members as “referees” to monitor your progress, while both apps have active forums to keep you accountable, so you’ll have even more incentive to stick with your pledges.
Include Others in Your Goals
Many people find it is easier to stick with their goals if they have a support group to share in their successes and setbacks. Maybe you find it hard to do things by your lonesome or have a difficult time seeing your goals through if they cut into your social life. If so, there are great apps available that provide the social aspects you crave, with the bonus of tracking features and schedule reminders to stay the course.
App Recommendation: HabitShare lets you add friends for accountability and motivation and transforms your goals into a social experience. Keep track of your progress with streaks, charts, daily and weekly habit goals, as well as messaging and daily comments.
If at First You Don’t Succeed
Even the best laid plans aren’t immune to setbacks, and everyone slips up now and again. Life happens. If Quitters Day happened to be the day you lost motivation or you feel your progress slowing, don’t give up entirely!
There’s a proverb that says, “Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.” Oftentimes success means learning from mistakes and setbacks, dusting ourselves off, and continuing toward our goals with a renewed perspective.
App Recommendation: Good Habits allows you to create habit chains with checklists, reminders and deadlines to keep you on task. If you happen to break a habit chain, you can record the reasons why to learn from your hiccup and make different choices next time.
Accomplishing New Year’s resolutions can be made more social, rewarding, and attainable with the right technology tools.
If developing your skills or acquiring knowledge as an agent is one of your goals this year, check out our training calendar and be sure to add one of our technology classes to your newly downloaded apps.
We also offer services and products to help you build your brand and market yourself, like custom domain mapping, social media image ads, and custom email signatures, so why not make one of these an incentive for reaching a milestone or keeping your goals alive past mid-February?
It’s crunch time! Between finalizing paperwork and travel plans, it can be difficult to select and send greetings or gifts to clients, especially with shipping windows quickly closing.
That’s why we’ve done the work for you and have rounded up six fantastic gift and e-card ideas your clients will love. The best part? They can be sent from the comfort of your home, office, or smart phone.
We hope you find something that suits your client’s personality and expresses the warmth and gratitude of the season!
American Greetings ($4.99 per month)
With a 7 day free trial, American Greetings is a great option to send holiday e-cards to lots of clients and leads. With categories that range from “religious,” to “comedic,” this website makes it simple to select and personalize the perfect holiday message.
Paperless Post (Free Options Available)
Paperless Post has a great selection of e-cards, complete with e-envelopes, that capture the charm of receiving a traditional holiday card through the post.
Ojolie ($12 for 1 Year Membership)
Contemporary, elegantly designed e-greetings that are sure to impress your clients, leads and colleagues.
www.lynchcreekwreaths.com (3 day Select, 2nd Day Air, and Next Day Air Shipping Available)
Fresh holiday wreaths are a season appropriate, out-of-the-ordinary treat that new and recent homeowners will be proud to hang on the front door of their home.
If wait times are lengthy at the florist, many farms offer holiday wreaths as gifts. A quick internet search will help you find the perfect local source to make it extra special.
Bonus: Ask your client if they would be kind enough to send a picture of their newly adorned door for you to share on your social media accounts or marketing website. Chances are they will have already showed it to their friends and family!
House Warming Gift
Tickets to Holiday Events
Food Box Subscription, Edible Arrangement or Meal Delivery
Cooking box subscriptions like Blue Apron are a fun way to break in a new kitchen, while sample boxes like Graze provide clients a novel gastronomy experience—no knife skills required!
Donate In Their Name
We hope you enjoy this Christmas season with friends and loved ones alike and want to extend a warm thank you for allowing UpTechpro to work with you to help leverage your KW technology.
When clients visit your website or check out your social media pages, do they see a friendly real estate professional who will find them their new home? The confident realtor who will successfully carry them through the selling process? Or do they just see a blank, grey box next to your name?
Maybe you haven’t had your professional headshot taken yet because you lead a busy life or haven’t seen it as a worthwhile investment. But having an active online presence is an essential part of branding yourself and reaching those wanting to invest in home-ownership with the help of an authentic, accessible realtor.
As evidenced by the impressive photos taken by social media influencers and amateurs alike, it’s possible to capture a great headshot with your own phone camera if you are unable to schedule a sit-down session with a professional photographer. To ensure the best results, here are a 5 considerations to keep in mind when taking your own headshot:
Choose attire that suits your personality and reflects the level of professionalism you’re expected to present in your office or when meeting clients.
Think about the colors you’re wearing; do they make your eyes pop and your complexion look healthy, or do they wash you out and blend in with the background? If you’re considering a black and white headshot, judge whether your outfit and accessories have enough contrast to pop without color. A tone on tone outfit can sometimes come across as boring and generally doesn’t make the subject of the photo stand out.
Finally, look at your photos on different platforms to evaluate how your clothing comes across. Do the thin lines or busy pattern on your shirt cause an unflattering rippling effect when viewed on certain screens or at various sizes?
Professional studio lighting is much, much different than the artificial lights in your home or office, so natural lighting is a more flattering option if you’re taking your own headshot. Avoid direct sunlight that causes harsh shadows on the face or very strong sunlight from a single direction (i.e. hitting only the right or left part of your face). A slightly overcast day is the preference of many photographers when taking portraits and headshots because the light is diffused and even on the subject. If you can’t take a photo outside, you can still benefit from natural lighting by posing near a window--just be sure to face it to avoid back-lighting.
Filters and auto-correction can help with lighting if you need assistance in that department, but try to not rely on them too heavily as your picture can come across as dated or unprofessional.
A simple backdrop is best. A white wall in your home, a plain exterior, natural scenery, or a cityscape make good backdrops for portraits and headshots.
Car interiors aren’t good settings for professional headshots, and neither are busy backdrops with signage or clutter. Be mindful of cropping photos from special events--you don’t want any stray elbows or ears that don't belong to you in your headshot!
The goal is to look confident and natural, so move around and try different poses. Straight on shots aren't as flattering as angles, so try angling you body and face toward the camera for a better outcome.
It’s generally best to avoid shots taken from a much lower or higher angle than you, but a photo taken from slightly above can have a slimming effect, whereas slightly below can make the shoulders and jawline more prominent and the subject look taller.
Think about something that genuinely makes you happy when you’re smiling. It’s important to come across as confident, so pose however you feel your best, whether that’s with an open or closed smile.
Not the smiley type? No problem! Just try to keep your expression neutral to avoid looking stern or angry.
Now that you have the ingredients to create a fantastic headshot, it’s up to you to set aside some time to take yours and begin leveraging it!
A professional headshot is a simple yet powerful addition to agent-branded social media pages and websites. Yours can be added to your KW White Pages, your Google+ account, dotloop, eEdge marketing, and on your Placester website and your KW email signature.
Want a custom email signature to go with your new headshot? Purchase one here to begin sharing your brand with clients, or have a new headshot uploaded to your KW technology.
You may have heard that custom domains are an important part of attracting customers and enhancing your search engine optimization (SEO). But what is domain mapping, and what impact does it have on your brand and agent website? Let’s start with the basics:
What is a Custom Domain?
A custom domain is the name you see in the search bar when viewing a website. There are two parts to a custom domain you will have to consider when deciding what to name your website.
A Top-Level Domain (TLD) is the extension after your chosen name. The most common and well-ranked ones are .com, .org, and .net. There are many other choices available, including area-specific ones like .us (United States) and .tx, but these are usually restricted to the use of government and state entities.
A Second-Level Domain (SLD) is the name you’ll pick to brand yourself and your website with. It may be as simple as your name, a reflection of your geographic location, or a moniker relating to your profession. As you’ll probably find, there are many domain names already being used; this means you may have to get creative when selecting an SLD.
Mapping Vs. Forwarding
Mapping a custom domain involves editing the domain name system (DNS) settings to convert domain names into numeric IP addresses. This allows users who type a domain name into a URL box to be sent to the correct IP address (your website) through web servers.
Forwarding and masking differs from domain mapping in that the underlying website name can differ from what a user enters in a URL box. Someone trying to reach example.com would be forwarded to example2.com instead. This is a good option to redirect traffic from an old domain to a new one, but you should consult with your domain provider to make sure the forwarding server your domain is hosted on is up to the task before making any changes to your DNS settings.
Masking covers the underlying name of the webpage, including individual pages. Instead of seeing example.com/testimonials-by-customers, you would only see example2.com. This reduces keywords on your website and can hurt overall SEO because Google and other search engines cannot pull specific keywords from individual page URLs. All your hard work producing quality content could be squandered if the information cannot be pulled in web search results!
What Domain Names are Allowed by TREC?
As of May 15, 2018, TREC will not allow certain terms to be used in advertisements and marketing materials that may mislead consumers to believe a sales agent is working independently of, or is in charge of operating a brokerage. Team names cannot contain terms that imply that the team is offering brokerage services independent of the broker and must end with the terms ‘team’ or ‘group’. They cannot use the words (including, but not limited to):
Titles that cannot be used in email addresses and domain names (including, but not limited to):
TREC recommends 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.”
Does a Custom Domain Ensure Success?
Just like business cards, email signatures, and signage, branding matters in SEO and web marketing. A custom domain is often easier to remember, refer, and lends credibility to your business. In fact, relevance and branding are some of the ways Google ranks webpages. But don’t rely too heavily on your domain name to get a good SEO ranking--Google continues to develop its algorithms to weed out unhelpful websites that use keyword stuffing in their domains to get high search rankings. Websites with valuable, unique content will ultimately yield the best results for SEO in the long run, and keep frequent visitors attracted to your website.
Tip: Remember to carefully compare your marketing materials against TREC’s new advertisement rules to make sure they are compliant. If you have branding materials, including a domain name, that will no longer be compliant as of May 15th, be sure to transition them now to ensure you are protected from fines.
Already have a custom domain? We can map it to your Placester website! Click here to order or learn more.
If you’re a new Keller Williams agent or a seasoned pro, figuring out how to best use your technology for marketing and networking can be an ever-changing challenge. As platforms evolve and consumers look for new ways to get information, the way an agent uses their Placester site is key to customer outreach and lead conversions. KW Technology provides a variety of tools to accomplish this, but too few agents are utilizing them to their full potential.
Here are three of the built-in features you can start using to up your Placester game:
Whether it’s amusing product reviews on Amazon or cautionary tales about eateries on Yelp, people love to read customer feedback. It’s useful for the decision-making process when debating whether to invest time, money, or trust in something, and can often be the deciding factor for many customers when weighing their options for realtors.
The built-in feature in Placester makes it easy to post customer reviews and photos. If a client has recently shared that they had a positive experience working with you, ask to use their feedback on your websites. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to contribute glowing testimonials if you ask!
Tip: Always aim to keep reviews as close to the original wording as possible, but be mindful to change any spelling or grammatical errors that will improve readability for others.
Social Media Integration
Whether you love it or hate it, social media has become a staunch player in modern marketing that everyone from novice bloggers to global conglomerates use. It can feel daunting with such a saturation of information out there to compete with when you’re just getting started, but there are a few ways you can take social media from a necessary evil to a useful tool you enjoy using.
Tying in your social media to your Placester is the easiest way to keep your followers up to date with recent listings and your original content. Having those social media icons at the top of your page not only rounds out your website, but directs customers to additional resources that can ultimately help you convert leads into sales.
Tip: Understand the demographic you’re trying to reach. According to SproutSocial, Facebook draws a much higher percentage of users between the ages of 50-64 than twitter (72% and 21%, respectively), while Pinterest draws far more women than men (45% to 17%, respectively). Not every social media platform will work the same for your marketing needs, so do some research to figure out which ones will best help you connect with your customers.
Edit Your Subdomain
Your domain name is the first thing people see when they search for and visit your site. Sometimes the luck of the draw isn’t kind and leaves you with a string of numbers after your subdomain name. Maybe you chose a location or team-specific subdomain for your site that is no longer relevant, or the name you’re known by has since changed.
You’re in luck! You can now edit the subdomain for your Placester site to something that reflects your current realty business. This is a great option for those who haven’t had time to explore purchasing a custom domain, but would like an immediate update to their URL.
Tip: Directions for editing your Placester subdomain can be found here. For a longer-term solution, we always recommend purchasing a custom domain and having it mapped to your site for the best possible SEO.
Utilizing the features found on your Placester can help drive traffic to your site, build your brand, and connect customers with your work. These are just three of the categories you can explore to maximize your KW Technology’s impact—we think you’ll love the results!