social media

AGENTS! Join Marilyn Wilson for this exciting RETechinar™  where we will learn from special guest Realtor® Shaun Nilsson, the social media wizard behind CityBlast.com, as he diagrams his time-saving formula for attracting tons of new clients through social media while completely avoiding annoying your friends and contacts. In this 100% FREE online workshop, we’ll show you exactly how to close more real estate commissions right now – using only your Facebook – while effortlessly projecting the confident business savvy of a seasoned professional. PLUS you’ll learn how to outsource your online marketing to others and avoid wasting even one more minute of your valuable time each day on it! Wednesday, May 28, 2014 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT On this 100% FREE WEBINAR, you’ll also discover: The secret of INBOUND MARKETING & how to use it to earn way more commissions right away How Shaun used only Facebook to close 24 deals in his very first year of business and make over $165,000 in commissions How to 100% systematize your Facebook marketing, so you don’t have to spend time on it ever again What major missing Facebook weapon anyone can add immediately and super-charge every single relationship they already have PLUS live Q&A with the Expert. Reserve a space NOW for this TOTALLY FREE information session, and start closing way more commissions through your social media.    

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Top 5 Articles of the Week

by Victor Lund on December 23, 2013

5 Facebook Tips and 51 Status Updates for Real Estate Professionals It’s easier to hate Facebook than admit we don’t understand how to make it work for our business. The reality is when used effectively, Facebook can put you in front of hundreds or even thousands of people for little or not cost.  Three Simple Steps to Boost Your SEO Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an easy (and free!) way to make sure your website appears at the top of a Google search. Improving your SEO means that you are taking specific steps to help get your website and listings ranked high on Google, which means potential clients can easily find you and your listings.  How to Market to First-Time Homebuyers Whether you’ve decided to make working with first-time buyers your niche or you just need to diversify your funnel, you’ll find no shortage of potential clients. Proof: Every homeowner was at one time a first-time buyer.  Using VOW to Generate Leads If you’re a real estate professional, no matter how successful you may be, you’re always looking for ways to generate leads. Finding new tools to do so isn’t always easy. Here’s one thing you can try: VOW. As we’ll explain, VOW offers a unique lead generation opportunity, as well as myriad benefits to your existing clients.  Some Brokers Really Suck My fear was that she had been kicked out of rotation for not responding to leads. This fear was unfounded. As it turns out, she was fine – but her broker sucks. He takes all of her leads. She burst into tears. 

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Listen When Smart People Speak

by Victor Lund on September 24, 2013

We all have our opinions about things like productivity and social media. Our own experiences with it along with what we hear and see around us make even the casual observer an expert. But there are actually people who study this stuff, and when they talk about their research, it is worth listening to. Heidi Ambles is the Director of Product Management and Social Software at IBM. She thinks highly of social media and is bullish on the benefits of social collaboration in the workplace. Here are a few statistics that Heidi recently shared during a talk that she gave. 28% of the workweek is spent managing email. 20% of the workweek is spent tracking down colleagues. This is pretty shocking stuff. Her data is white data – data collected over lots and lots of business types pulled together in an overall bucket. I suspect that they pull a lot of that data from enterprise CRM solutions where “time in application” like email can be tracked. If you own a company, you get right to thinking about how you can solve that problem. When you get to real estate, the problem may be worse. Real Estate agents spam the heck out of each other with marketing crap. Agents routinely will send new listing flyers and all kinds of other junk that should simply not be allowed in our industry. Imagine how much productivity we could spin back into real estate if that behavior was frowned upon (I hesitate to say “banned” because undoubtedly someone, somewhere might be prompted to start writing a rule). Many MLSs or brokers have installed showing solutions. I feel for those who have not. It is such a fundamental time saver that it is a shame to schedule home showings without it. Thank goodness for the lock box. It was not long ago that REALTORS were messing about with keys. In any case, Heidi says that: Social collaboration has the potential to make businesses more efficient. Not only can its flexibility inspire creativity, but it can also reduce travel and meeting time, saving money that can be better spent elsewhere within a company. It even has the potential to enable faster decision-making and even better customer service. Social collaboration can drive employee engagement, and a highly engaged employee is less likely to leave their current company. This saves business money, since a single employee turnover can […]

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Contact:  Victor Lund, Author for: WAV Group 2013 Broker Website Effectiveness Study Phone & Fax. 805.709.6696 Email: victor@wavgroup.com Arroyo Grande, CA July 25th, 2013 – WAV Group (www.WAVGROUP.com), industry leaders of technology, strategic planning, research, business and product development, sales and marketing in the real estate industry, today released a whitepaper entitled “2013 Broker Website Effectiveness Study.” The whitepaper, written by WAV Group, surveyed the Google Analytics accounts of broker websites representing 7,500,000 monthly visitors as the subject for insight on consumers accessing broker websites, and also garnered insights on the impact of social media, mobile, listing syndication and search engines.  This report is positioned to provide a consumer counterpoint to industry perspectives about broker websites to help the industry be more well-informed when making decisions about broker online marketing strategies. “The whitepaper confounds much of the vendor marketing hype about the impact of mobile, social media, SEO, and listing syndication on broker effectiveness“.  “The strength of the broker brand still rules supreme in garnering website traffic to broker sites,” says Victor Lund, Partner of WAV Group. “This study has found that consumers strongly believe broker websites are, in fact, very valuable tools. They not only help improve the value of the broker, but help the consumer identify and buy homes more efficiently.” Findings include: 68% of consumers access a broker website by either typing in the URL or using a brand related keyword phrase in a search engine. Referal traffic from franchise brands have dropped over 30% since 2008. Listing Syndication represents 12% of traffic to broker websites, up from 2% in 2008. Social Media represents 5% of consumer traffic to broker websites. 7.5% of referral traffic comes from automated email alerts     A complete report is available online for free download at: http://waves.wavgroup.com/reports/

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Anybody who has children has probably  known about Instagram for awhile now as a photo sharing social media site.  It is by far my 10 year old daughter’s favorite method for sharing her life with her friends. Two weeks ago, Instagram began offering the ability to share short videos on their site and it has exploded. In just two weeks there have been amazing brand video ads for corporations placed on the site.  You can check them out here.  From what I could see with the videos I reviewed so far, there are a few ways that real estate companies and MLSs might be able to use the tool effectively. First, think about using Instagram to provide an “insider’s view” to something that may be not be available any other way. For example, can you show the amazing backyard of a home that you cannot see from the street?  Can you walk us around an amazing kitchen in a luxury home? How about showing your followers how much you care about the community – share a landmark moment at a local zoning hearing. Or how about creating a fun video showing your team having fun and being silly? You could take it to the business side as well and do a 10 second snapshot of market highlights. There’s no limit to the creativity you can exhibit with video. The difference with Instagram and it’s competitor called VINE?   They are quick, simple to produce and can be posted instantly.  No post production editing or other heavy lifting – just shoot it and go – great way to stay in touch with clients without a lot of hassle. If you want to learn about other ways to use Video in your business effectively, go to RETechnology.com and check out companies that can help you with training, production and promotion of video.  

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Share This Listing

by Victor Lund on June 10, 2013

Share this listing

WAV Group has gained the support of The Realty Alliance and The Leading Real Estate Companies of the world to revisit our Broker Website Effectiveness study performed in 2008. A lot has changed over the past 5 years, but much has remained the same. Our report will be published at the end of the month in advance of the Inman conference in San Francisco. As the MLS Issues and Policy Committee continues to debate a rule structure for Social Media, Here is an early insight that may forward the shape of what the rule is trying to solve for. Social Media marketing in real estate works, but not the way you think. The impact has less to do with brokers and agents publishing listings to social sites, and more about the ability for consumers to plug listings into their social pages. The ongoing drone social media experts in real estate eschewing the benefits of Facebook and Twitter at creating real, authentic, and meaningful relationships with consumers on those sites is not likely to end anytime soon. It is a bunch of retarded noise. Real research of agents indicates that social media is not effective at selling real estate. At least, it is not effective at selling real estate the way that the social media experts suggest. There are a number of top brokerage websites in America that have a feature on the listing detail page called “Share This Listing.” Share This Listing is the key social media strategy for brokerage online effectiveness today. Consumers want to communicate and store relevant real estate information on their social pages. Our research of traffic behavior on broker websites indicates that Facebook and Pinterest are powerful drivers of traffic and consumer engagement. Facebook was expected. Twitter was very disappointing. Pinterest was a huge surprise. Disclaimer: It is hard to determine what consumers are thinking when they use the Share This Listing feature without doing some consumer research. However, as a user of social media, I have a few suspicions. Twitter Fail I think that Twitter fails because there are no photos. When you share a listing on twitter, there is text and a link. Unless the text is delivered cleverly with catchy verbiage – nobody clicks. A click on Twitter is an investment in time that consumers will only make if they have a strong feeling that the click will be paid off. Again, […]

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Technology Tools Used by Great Office Managers

by Victor Lund on December 10, 2012

success manager

All too frequently companies focus on broker tools or agent tools, losing sight of the tools used by great managers. Brokers who truly understand the value of office managers dedicate resources to deliver manager tools that drive company success and agent productivity. These tools fold into three categories: Market Analysis, Sales Analysis, and Agent Effectiveness. Market Analysis Tools Market Analysis involves using tools like Terradatum Broker Matrix or Trendgraphix. These tools give office managers access to two specific measurements that are key to success: Competitor Sales Volume and Agent Sales Volume relative to market pace. The first is a competitive overview of competitor sales volume vs. office sales volume. Managers can compare their office productivity relative to competition in the market to understand pace. Pace is a different measurement than market share, and is more important. Your office will always grow or shrink in sales volume relative to real estate cycles. Pace is the measurement of growth vs. competitive growth. If your office is up 22%, you may be excited. But if competitive offices are up 28% in the same market, you are losing pace. Likewise, an excellent manager may have a 10% loss in sales, but if competitors lost 15%, that manager’s office has out paced competitors by 5%. Sometimes even when you are losing, you win. The second measurement of success is individual agent pace and Sales Volume. How are each of your agents doing relative to each other. Your top-producing agent may be having a great year, growing business 22% over the prior year. However, a competitor’s top agent may be growing at 30%, out pacing your top producer. Great managers know this, and use these measurement tools to motivate agents in the office, and identify the best recruits from competitors. Aside from pace, managers can evaluate performance relative to days on market and list to sale ratio. Sales Analysis Great managers use a variety of tools to understand sales. Most MLS Systems and tools like the REALTORS® Property Resource provide managers with the ability to view sales activity on a map. It helps them identify neighborhoods and price points of sale activity so that they can both measure sales performance in hot areas and focus agent prospecting activity in those areas where sales are happening. This is a strategic farming strategy that great managers develop to succeed where others often just tread water. Agent Effectiveness Measuring […]

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MRIS to Launch First of its Kind GPS‐Based Mobile App For Real Estate Professionals Smarter Agent Partnership Provides On‐The‐Go MLS Access to Brokers, Agents and Consumers ROCKVILLE, MD (July 30, 2012) — Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS), the Mid‐Atlantic Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that facilitates more than $92 million a day in real estate transactions, has announced that it recently partnered with Smarter Agent, the global leader in mobile real estate search and discovery apps to launch the first of its kind suite of mobile solutions for real estate brokers, agents and consumers. “It’s our goal to provide our customers with real estate in real time,” said John L. Heithaus, MRIS Chief Marketing Officer. “Providing real estate professionals with access to listing information while on‐the‐go allows us to extend their desktop as far away from home as possible.” Today’s real estate market demands a greater degree of mobility and real time access to critical data. Consumers want immediate replies in minutes, not hours. As a result, smartphones are vital to staying efficient and productive in the real estate industry. To help meet this challenge, this first of its kind MRIS Agent Pro App, HDB Mobile, will utilize Smarter Agent’s patented location based search and discovery technology to enable MRIS’s 43,000 customers to view their MLS real estate information in a single click. To enhance customer service, the App will provide real estate professionals the ability to log in to view full listing data, search all listing statuses and eventually edit listing information right from a mobile device. The GPS‐based MLS search technology enhances the day‐to‐day capabilities of real estate professionals. The App enables real estate pros to react swiftly in the field and easily handle inquiries and on the fly questions about properties in real time, regardless of location. Empowering agents to respond promptly will improve the customer experience in the Mid‐Atlantic region and beyond through direct access to the most reliable and accurate listing information. “MRIS conducted extensive market research with hundreds of real estate professionals to ensure that the custom created mobile App will meet the needs of agents and brokers in the field,” said Michael Belak, MRIS Chief Information Officer. “After thoroughly evaluating a variety of mobile technology providers, MRIS selected Smarter Agent for their strong track record of developing award‐winning apps. We’re confident that this product will increase our customers’ productivity and success.” Through this […]

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Loyalty Marketing in Real Estate

by Victor Lund on July 23, 2012

Loyalty Marketing

An innovative concept known as loyalty marketing was heralded by the launch of American Airlines AAdvantage in the early 80’s and has since evolved to become competitive table-stakes as loyalty programs have saturated the business landscape. It is curious that an industry like real estate, powered by 80% repeat and referral business has missed the mark on loyalty marketing. Real Estate is not the only industry getting it wrong. It’s safe to say that the majority of programs consumers experience today have been designed “By Boomers for Boomers,” all while fundamental shifts in consumer purchase behavior demand that new models emerge to capture the attention of digitally connected consumers. For real estate to do it right, we need to focus on extending loyalty programs to new forms of media right out of the gate. Customer experience, customer engagement, and Big Data are buzzwords competing for the attention of marketers, and a flood of new technology based on mobile devices, points-of-sale, and social networks offer potential solutions for business, both large and small. Real Estate collects more personal data than almost any industry. We know where people live, income details, debt details, family details, professional details, personal preferences, and have recorded deep levels of contact information. The majority of real estate brokers leave it to their agents to curate this information or, they store this data in paper files in a storage facility for 7 years and throw it away. I think that we can do better as an industry. Moreover, I think that companies that develop loyalty programs and use customer relationships to create clients for life will outperform their peers.

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MLS and Brokers need community managers

by Victor Lund on March 6, 2012

Facebook Timeline

Like many others in real estate, I’ve spent the last few days devouring the new brand timelines launched for Facebook pages. This new medium is the focus of this article, but consider other publishing requirements in business today as you read this: website publishing, youtube publishing, twitter, etc. My expectations were sky-high but after several hours I realized that Facebook timeline is going to be a lot harder to implement than most real estate professionals think. As it stands now, there is a clear divide between brands that have adopted the timeline feature set full on and those that have simply migrated their old strategy to the timeline format with a few old brand assets tossed in for backfill. Few, if any MLSs or real estate brokerages have adopted the new format with intent, planning, and execution plans. Big Brand timelines such as those of Captain Morgan USA, which eschewed old ads and brand assets in favor of recreated period scenes, and The New York Times, which, anachronistically, documents behind-the-scenes newsroom happenings, come off as inventive. In contrast, brands that displayed no clear adoption strategy were notable for the dual column, text-based timelines that felt visually reminiscent of a phone book. This begs the question of what Facebook timeline for real estate brands really means. How does it alter brand behavior vis-a-vis Facebook? And what are the resulting implications for brands looking to “adopt” vs. “migrate”? The obvious change is the forced evolution of a real estate company or agent to tell their story visually and chronologically. Taking full advantage of timeline will require increased time and attention from those who understand social narrative. Brokerages that heavily invest in this and use timeline as an opportunity to mature their approach to the platform will see Facebook start to produce real business results, in the form of conversion, change in preference and lead generation. Companies that resist investing will continue to see only minor business gains. For most real estate brokerages today, Facebook draws more consumers and higher conversion rates than listing syndication – so there is an opportunity for investing here that may well pay significant dividends.

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Why Innovation Fails To Change Real Estate

by Victor Lund on February 21, 2012

Innovation Curve

Every year, real estate sees the launch of beautiful products, offering awesome features, advantages, and benefits. Excellent marketing programs back them and the press creates a jubilee – Innovator of the Year! Then the product launches, and the industry shrugs its shoulder. It is the conundrum of new product development and innovation for real estate. Most of these companies are doing everything right. They are doing research, spotting trends, holding focus groups, testing usability, and modeling lovely financials. If they can only get 1% adoption of this, or 3% of that, revenues will be awesome. There are 1 Million real estate agents; hundreds of thousands of brokers transacting trillions of dollars in transactions, buying $6 Billion dollars of technology in the United States alone! Wait until we go International! Canada is next! For most innovators, this never happens. The drawing on the napkin was flawed. What did they miss? Surely such a great product should have found success by accident. So, they go after it again. They get a few customers with a great social media-marketing program. Really connect with a group of excited agent and broker evangelists, hit a couple of more trade shows announcing how the early adopters are crushing it. More shoulder shrugging. Many outsiders look at the real estate industry and believe that it is ripe for disruption. It looks old. It looks slow. It looks easy. When you contrast the real estate industry with other industries, all of the foundational elements that trigger change and give birth to disruption are there. The industry really has not changed, ever. Sure, there was that shift from MLS books to electronic MLS; from newspaper advertising to website advertising; from chasing keys to lockboxes; and from paper forms to electronic forms. That is really about all that has changed. Innovation has happened very slowly and only because……

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A New Perspective on Google+

by Victor Lund on October 29, 2011

Google Plus

Like so many other geeks, technos, and socialphiles – I jumped on the Google+ bandwagon as soon as it came out. I must confess, I did the same on Linkedin so may years ago. Remember Plaxo? In any case, I was not very impressed Google+ on first glance. I doubt anyone was. My first complaint was that the same people I connect with on Twitter and Facebook were on Google+. Why bother? As a result, I would not even think to look at Google+. Today, am beginning to see the +1 button show up on all of the blogs and websites that I read. If the author is a friend of mine, or if the content is good, I like to support their efforts and encourage their writing by socializing it.. (speaking of which – please rate this article and hit the twitter, facebook, and Google+ buttons if you think it is worth sharing). So, I have slowly started using Google+. My experience with Google+ hit an inflection point recently. My attitude changed. As I was socializing a great blog post from my friend Harper Thorpe of CoreLogic (Best Broker Blog in the Industry), I realized that Google+ is surprisingly un-cluttered. Unlike Twitter and Facebook – only the more advanced socializers and bloggers are using Google+. In a way, the lack of popularity of Google+ by the masses makes it, well…..more popular by the intelligentsia.

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Turn Social Networking into a Lead Generation Engine

by Marilyn Wilson on July 21, 2011

social bios tn

While social media has become a very important part of the real estate sales process, many agents still struggle with how to leverage it effectively. They don’t know how to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, etc., and they definitely don’t know how to use the tools for lead generation. Move, Inc. must have recognized this challenge that agents are facing, and they have come up with a solution to help agents deal with this problem. The company announced this week that they have purchased the SocialBios platform. SocialBios allows individuals and companies to create one social hub for their online profiles through an interactive ‘About Us’ page.  The tool simplifies the discovery of shared connections on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare and Google without sacrificing the consumer’s privacy.

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Online Reputation for Brokers and Agents

by Victor Lund on June 27, 2011

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In real estate, QSC is the leader in Agent Ratings, but today, Facebook is raising the bar and having an impact on the online reputation of agents and brokers. Facebook is big, really big. In fact, it is the most heavily trafficked website in America. It is bigger than Google! And it has an impact on your broker and agent brand – especially if you do not have a facebook page. Although Google is the leader in search, Facebook is catching up and they have partnered with Microsoft Bing to deliver search results that are informed by your friends. When you search for stuff on Bing, pages that your friends like appear in the search results. This is likely to play a role in the online reputation of agents and brokers. Let me explain how.

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