Grow Your Social Media Presence With These 5 Tips

A strong social media presence is imperative these days as everyone relies on his or her smartphone, mobile device or computer to stay connected to the world. With a couple quick taps on the keyboard, you can access anything in mere seconds. Through social media, agents can acquire leads and referrals quickly but it is imperative to understand its power and capability in order for it to be a benefit.

With its ability to connect people worldwide, social media marketing is a smart move for real estate agents to make. Real-time communication makes social media platforms extremely helpful to both businesses and individuals. According to Inman News, to professionally promote yourself and your business, keep the following elements in mind when developing your social media presence.social-media-search

1.   Keep it professional.

Be careful not to overload your followers with updates, whether they are personal or professional. Make sure that everything you and others post to your various pages is appropriate. In an age where nothing is private once placed somewhere online, it takes only one inappropriate or offensive comment to damage a reputation or relationship. While it is important in this industry to maintain an online presence, one wrong move could cost you vital referrals. Word spreads quickly, especially online, and you do not want to ruin your name or professional reputation by posting inappropriate content.

Proofread before posting to any and all of your social media platforms.

2.   Maintain a personal connection.

People often feel a disconnect when communicating solely online; actively pursue a robust online presence that gives people the instant comfort of knowing that an actual person is behind these posts (and not just an automated system). Even if you decide to schedule regular uploads on your various social media platforms, I cannot stress enough the importance of tailoring these posts to your particular clientele. Don’t make the mistake of focusing too heavily on generic postings only to increase your daily or weekly numbers — people will notice that the quality of your posts decreases as the quantity increases.

3.   Increase reach.

When it comes to social media, your success relies on the scope of your online reach. This means more than just the number of friends you have on Facebook or the number of followers you have on Twitter.

Reach includes how often your friends and followers share your profile or content with other online viewers. Encourage your contacts to spread the word about you and your business; social media allows the concept of word of mouth to escalate into a viral spread of information — in a much shorter timespan.

Think about how you make a big decision in your own life. We ask people we know and respect for their opinions, and we take both their recommendations and their warnings seriously. Make sure to get your information out through social media in order to increase the number of people who have connections to you.

Social-Media-Management4.   Focus on visuals.

The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” also applies to social media. To have a strong social media platform, the use of photos is essential. Visual marketing is taking hold and growing rapidly. People do not always take the time to read much when scrolling through their online feeds; pictures stand the best chance at capturing your audience’s attention. When posting to sites like Facebook and Twitter, keep in mind that a post with a photo and a small caption is more likely to be shared than text alone.

Diligence is essential to the successful development of your various social media platforms. A strong online presence takes time; do not be discouraged if your sites do not take off immediately. Continue to work at these social media marketing elements and keep the big picture in mind. Over time, your online presence will grow, and you can better refine it to meet the needs and desires of your specific target audiences.

5.   Utilize the scheduling features.

Scheduling regular posting times on your social media platforms does not mean you have to sacrifice a personal touch in these posts. It is beneficial, to both you and your online viewers, to maintain a sense of regularity in terms of posting to your social media profiles. Time management is essential, especially as duties continue to pile up. Take advantage of the newer scheduling options available to you and your business’s social media platforms; schedule specific dates and times for certain posts to go out.

Keep holidays in mind; the scheduling features make it very easy for you to create posts tailored to each holiday and then focus more intently on developing your more elaborate posts.

Are you ready to increase your social media presence? At AnotherME, our virtual assistants can help you grow your online reach. Call us today at (770) 414-9393 for more information.

 

More Tips on How to Grow Your Database in 2015

So perhaps you have tried some of our tips from our last segment on “How to Grow Your Database in 2015” and now you are ready for more suggestions on how to reach out to your sphere of influence and remain relevant to them. Well, here are five more creative strategies that are not only effective, but also fun. By creating a lasting relationship with your clients, you are opening the door to easier prospecting, endless referrals and repeat business, which translates to listings, closings and success!

Here are 5 more creative strategies to help you take excellent care of your clients:

  1. Need to figure out a way to entice past customers back to your business? A good old-fashioned phone call with a follow up handwritten note can do the trick. Once you’ve reignited the connection, continue the engagement with consistent communication that keeps the connection warm such as setting up a marketing calendar for monthly contact. Offer reports, fun gift certificates for coffee or free gas
  1. Be visible in the community. Set up a charity event for your local town or community. Think: Toys for Tots, Coats for the Cold, Thanksgiving Dinners or other holiday drives will all help to contribute to having your name at top of mind.tree
  1. Save 5 times the marketing dollars. In today’s market, it can cost up to five times more to acquire a customer than it does to keep current ones. Retaining customers is the next step in managing the relationship to keep the client for life. Client relationship management (CRM) is a key action step that you need to continually nurture and maintain strong relationships with this important segment of your database.
  1. How about a Five-A-Day Contact Program? It’s always easier to make small steps that have big impact! Start your day with a colorful piece of paper with 5 names of past clients, referral sources or solid prospects. Make 5 “touch” calls every day for 5 days a week. You’ll end your month with a healthy rotation through your database and the number of touches will be around 100 calls! The scripts are easy. A simple script may be:

“Hi! This is (your name). I was driving through your neighborhood and thought I would check in and say hello. Let me know if there is anything I can do to answer questions or serve your real estate needs.”

  1. Host a Unique Party! Everyone enjoys a fun summer outdoor party!! Invite your past clients, current clients and strategic partners. Create a theme with plenty of fun activities for kids like face painting and games. It’s a great way to stay connected!

AnotherME can help you maintain and nurture your database so that your name is the first one that pops into the head of your client when they need a real estate professional or are asked for a referral. Call us today and find out more! (770) 414-9393


Grow Your Database in 2015 With These 5 Tips

Let’s face it – maintaining your database is not the most glamorous job…it takes time, it takes effort and most of all, it takes creativity but it is ESSENTIAL. You have worked diligently to build your sphere of influence therefore you must remain relevant to them. Your clients needs to managed, categorized, and nurtured before, during and after a sale, whether they were a Seller and you successfully marketed their home or they were a Buyer and you provided them with an exceptional contract-to-close transaction. When nurtured and serviced after the sale, your client relationship opens the door to easier prospecting, endless referrals and repeat business.

So, how do you remain relevant to your clients?

Here are 5 creative strategies to help you take excellent care of your clients:

  1. Be a resource! Set up monthly or quarterly real estate events so that people can learn what they need to do to buy or sell real estate. Making it a joint venture with attorneys, title companies, credit repair services will enable you to meet even more people to grow your database.
  1. Send a note! If you are just plain embarrassed because you haven’t connected, think about sending a fun note that states, “I’ve missed you!” and include a call to action to get information about neighborhood news, property updates or current real estate activity in their area.Database Blog pic
  1. Build your database effortlessly, cheaply and easily. Many agents are so busy working with current prospects that they can’t keep up with prospecting for new customers. If your present website isn’t working 24/7, you will lose the prospecting and marketing edge. Be smart and choose a website that is effective at managing your prospecting leads.
  1. It’s easier to sell an existing customer. You have a better chance of selling to an existing customer (60%) than a new prospect (the percentage plummets from 60% to as low as 5-20%). Take at least one day per week to work on your database. Starting today, work backwards to organize, review and upload customer information so you can begin the process of contacting, nurturing and informing.
  1. Customers are your most important asset and they are critical to growing your business. The closing may signal the end of a journey together, but actually it is the gateway to future business. You need a program that will deploy relevant information to keep your name on the top of their mind. There are countless real estate software programs to help organize your contacts before, during and long after the transaction has been closed. Explore your options to see which platform works best for your business.

AnotherME can help you maintain and nurture your database so that your name is the first one that pops into the head of your client when they need a real estate professional or are asked for a referral. Call us today and find out more! (770) 414-9393

Always Practice Safety FIRST

safetyIt is with great sadness that we closed out the month of September with news on Beverly Carter, the Arkansas Realtor who went missing last week and whose body was found Tuesday morning.  Beverly was on her way to meet a prospective buyer at a foreclosed property she was showing.

Prior to this horrendous incident, articles have been circulating and Brokers, Agents and Associations have been promoting safety awareness as September is REALTOR® Safety Month.  As situations would have it, safety can not be emphasized enough.  There is no doubt that you are aware of the potential risks that are involved in showing property and meeting with potential clients.  The question is, what precautions do you take, if any, to handle an unsafe situation, should it arise, and what are you doing to keep yourself educated and abreast of potential hazards?  Fortunately, great information is out there and easily accessible.  A great place to start is with your state associations and National Association of REALTORS® (www.realtor.org). There are numerous and extremely informative safety brochures and pamphlets you can download and multiple webinars and videos covering everything from what an attacker looks for to common sense safety techniques. There are also several independent companies that specialize in Personal and Business Safety.

In addition, there are several GPS tracking apps available for your phone and/or tablet. The use of these apps make it possible for individuals that you have selected, to see and track your location at any given time. One app, STAY SAFE (www.staysafeapp.com) allows the user to set up the time duration that they will be somewhere and if they fail to check-in with their contact(s), an emergency text and/or email is sent out. Another app, Watch Over Me (www.watchoverme.com), is similar in its GPS tracking and emergency contact alerts, but goes one step further in allowing the user to video tape and voice record when the user triggers an SOS by simply shaking the phone.

Lastly, don’t ignore your own gut instinct when it comes to safety. Become best friends with the voice in your head that alerts you that “something doesn’t feel right” and don’t get “comfortable” with that “uncomfortable” feeling by trying to justify the situation. With information and resources at our fingertips, go forward into October educated and prepared.

Think Safety Year Round

safety-first-signWith September being REALTOR® Safety Month, I had grandiose intentions of getting this virtual support blog out earlier and addressing the masses. With pen and paper I started scribbling thoughts and ideas about Realtor safety and my research of safety related topics for Agents grew! At that point, I put down my pen, pushed my chair away from the desk and thought…WOW…how do I narrow it down? Bottom line is you can’t! Our clients and agents around the country face safety issues daily, it’s part of their job. Over the next several days, I will attempt to address some of the various topics and break it down into smaller bites focusing on different safety concerns. I’m sure some will be seen as “common sense” but it never hurts repeating…especially when it comes to your safety or that of your client.

Earlier in the month I read an article, “The Safety Talk You Need to Have With Clients”,  and decided it was a good place to start. The article discussed safety from the client’s perspective and offered several suggestions for Agents. As Real Estate Virtual Assistants, we felt this was vital and valuable information to share with our clients, and with it being REALTOR® Safety Month what better time to share a great idea for the “Tip of the Month.” Create a “Safety Packet” for your Sellers and include a checklist of items they should put away or remove from their home, and other tips they can use to promote safety while their home on the market, for example:

  1. Does the house have adequate lighting, inside and out?
  2. Are all locks in good working order – including window locks?
  3. Keep mail up and out of sight to avoid identity theft
  4. Keep prescription medications locked and out of sight
  5. Are there any potential liability hazards…weapons, loose floorboards, electrical issues, etc.?
  6. Consider extra monitoring
  7. Limit obstructions to doors and windows – keep hedges, trees and shrubs trimmed back
  8. Do not allow “drop-ins” or “drive-bys”, showings must be scheduled

These are just a few of the items that could be discussed and become part of your “Safety Packet”.  Call it what you will, give it a clever name and make it yours. The idea is to educate your client on potential safety concerns while they are listing their home.

And if you need some assistance putting together a safety checklist for your Sellers, then give us a call!  We can help!

Top 12 Open House Ideas for Realtors

When was the last time you held an Open House or attended an Open House?

The Open House has come a long way!  We’ are finding that our clients are generating tons of Buyer Leads and actual Offers bTips for Open Housesy holding Open Houses!  Whether you hold your own listing open or have a colleague host it for you, there are so many little things you can do to ensure success!

Here are a few tips that we have shared with our clients over the years …and few that we’ve learned from some of the best agents around the country!

  1.  Post your Open House on all major public sites including your MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, your website or blog and your Facebook business page!
  2. Use your iPad as the “Registration Form!  Get the Open House Pro App! (not for Androids)
  3.  Hold an Open House right after work or during lunchtime on weekdays. Downtown condos are ideal for Lunchtime Open Houses!
  4.  Set an unconventional time frame from 10am to 6 pm.  If the homeowner is out of town, this is ideal!
  5.  Serve easy to eat snacks that come with individual wrappers. Provide iced tea and lemonade in the summer; tea, coffee or cocoa in the winter; and warm apple cider in the fall.  ( imagine the aroma of that warm apple cider wafting through the house!)
  6. A highrise, lakeside, mountaintop or any other property with an amazing sunset view is a great candidate for a unique Happy   Hour/ Sunset Open House
  7. In warm weather, have some extra water bottles on hand.  Better yet, have some made up with custom labels.
  8. Put an “Open House” sign with day/time in the yard several days in advance. (this is a no brainer!)
  9. Get your Name and your Listing out there!  Put out 30+ directionals from the main highways/interstates to your listing. (if your county/city allows)
  10. Invite a mortgage professional to attend and prequalify buyers.
  11. Put your feedback form on a clip board for attendees too carry with them as they go room to room and give their comments!
  12. Create a Slide Show with pictures of the local area and the house to play during the Open House.Real Estate Open House Sign

And one last tip… use this greeting and all of your visitors will give you their information and sign in!  “Welcome, thank you for coming to our Open House!  For security purposes the Home Owner has requested that everyone sign in before previewing their home”  Hand them a clip board with a sign in form and they will give you their name, address, email and phone!  Everyone understands that security is important during an open house.  If they don’t want to sign in – they don’t get to come in!

 

Good luck and let us know if you have any other tips, hints or ideas!

 

5 Reasons Why You Need a Real Estate Virtual Assistant

With all the advances in communications and technology (smart phones, tablets, websites, cloud technologies and more) we have the ability to communicate with  anyone… at any time, in any place.  The Jetson’s of the future are here and now in the Real Estate Industry!  Today, Virtual Assistants who specialize in Real Estate can deliver seamless service and support from anywhere in the country using these tools and technologies.  It’s a match made in “the cloud” for mobile real estate agents who are working from home and on the go.

Here are 5 reasons why it pays to hire a professional Real Estate Virtual Assistant:

One-Stop Shopping
AnotherME provides a team of specialists; whether you need support in just one part of your business or a whole team of assistants to support you!  Real Estate VA’s know and understand the specific tasks associated with Listing Coordination, Closing Coordination/Transaction Management, Database Management, Just Listed/Just Sold Postcards and even Social Media Support (like setting up your profiles, setting up tools for managing social media sites, and research information for blogs and writing blog posts) plus so much more.

 

Cost Effective
How much time are you spending on “detail work” on your to-do list? Why invest in payroll, benefits, insurance, etc. when you could be delegating that money to building your business. AnotherME Real Estate VA’s are contracted professionals, not employees. You pay for work completed (not for idle time, vacations, sick leave or absenteeism). There’s no need to make room in the office for an extra person.  Real Estate VAs are motivated to do their best for you at all times because their business success depends on your satisfaction.

 

Customized Support for Your Needs
Whether you need Postcards mailed, a Listing Package, or help with your Closings, a VA can perform these duties. Why spend hours on paperwork that can be done by a VA with Real Estate experience when you could be building your clientele or, more importantly, spending time with your family? Do not miss out on that baseball game or recital to finish that closing by midnight. Know that it was already done by a competent professional, your Real Estate VA.

 

Focus on Your Strength
Why waste time on tasks that are not your primary objective? Successful Real Estate agents find and hire the right people for the right job; that’s called Leverage! Have the peace of mind that your deadlines will be met by a VA who knows the Real Estate industry and is familiar with Real Estate programs and websites (MLS, Top Producer, ePropretySites, RealBird, Wise Agent, Realtor.com just to name a few).

 

Why a VA and not a Temp or a $10/hr Teenager

The VA takes the role of a temp and elevates it to the status of a Team Player. Having a Real Estate VA eliminates problems with staffing solutions and here’s why:

  •  Temps are seeking full-time employment not short term assignments
  •  Temps are a transient solution to long term needs.
  •  Temporary solutions can be expensive ones
  •  It takes too much time and money to train a temp.
  •  Temps are not committed to the success of your business
  •  Most Temps are interested in the paycheck and not the tasks

 

Knowing you have a competent professional handling the administrative tasks vital to your real estate business gives you more time to focus on your clients, thereby finding their dream home creating success for your business. Delegating administrative tasks to an experienced AnotherME Virtual Assistant gives you more time to grow your business and generate profit.

 

 

Image Credit: forum.bodybuilding.com

Our Clients’ Safety is Important!

Safety is a relevant and important topic in the real estate industry.  Heck, safety is an important topic for any industry or individual.  Our clients and all real estate professionals are at risk more often than any other group.  The nature of the business requires you to meet with strangers, spend time in a car with those strangers, enter vacant properties or buildings and hold open houses by yourself.

At the recent RETSO conference in Atlanta, I learned about a “Safety App” from Shannon King with Schoolhouse Realty, called  MyForce.com.    This App was the winner of the 2011 People’s Choice Stevie Award for favorite New Product or Service of the Year.  Pretty impressive!

“MyForce is an innovative security service that acts as your mobile bodyguard and arms you or your loved ones against would-be attackers with the touch of a button on your smartphone.”   It’s available on the iPhone, Android or Blackberry.

Here’s how it works!  Next time you’re sitting at an open house or leaving the office late at night, simply launch the MyForce App.  If a situation arises and you need help, the alert button is right on your phone.  Once you hit the alert button, your phone screen goes black and the MyForce app begins operating in “stealth mode.”  Your phone will records what is happening, the monitoring team begins listening, tracking your location via GPS and alerting the proper authorities.

When it comes to safety, cost is irrelevant.  At only $11.99/month or $120/year, MyForce is an affordable, sweet deal.  Plus, additional subscribers on your account will get a 50% discount!  What are you waiting for… check it out today!

We hope this is one App you never have to use!  Here’s to much success and safety in 2012!

 

 

[wpsr_socialbts]

 

TABLET APPS FOR THE MOBILE REALTOR

AnotherME Virtual Assistants just returned from the RETSO (REtechSouth) conference, where we spent an amazing 3 days of learning, networking and connecting with our real estate friends and clients.  If you haven’t been to a RETSO conference, I highly recommend you add it to your budget and your calendar for next spring!

Pam Sherlock – Listing Coordinator Extraordinaire – attended Amy Chorew’s “Tablet Tips” session and took lots of notes!

She put together the following list of Apps for both iPad and Android tablets reviewed in Amy’s session.  Apps for contracts, open houses, file storage (in the cloud) or video – there’s at least one app that a  realtor could incorporate into their business today …and see results!

 

TABLET APPS FOR DAY-TO-DAY USE

Dropbox:     File sharing. FREE 2GB account!
Keynote:    Presentation software for iPad, iPhone and iPod. $9.99
ZipForms:    Complete and sign forms on your mobile device. $12.95/year
PDFExpert:    Read, annotate, highlight, draw and save documents as PDF. $9.99
SignMyIpad   PDF signature tool for iPad. $3.99
iAnnotate:    Read and make notes on any PDF document – on your iPad. $9.99
TourNarrator:    Capture client feedback about a property on your iPhone or iPad. $1.99
IDreamAgent:    Complement to any real estate app. Take your own photos, make your own notes,  share thoughts, etc., about a property. $4.99
Tout:    Short video status updates to share through Twitter or Facebook. FREE

(And finally, we think this one ROCKS!)

OpenHomePro   #1 most downloaded real estate app! Manage leads, create listing presentations and collect open house visitor data.  Potential buyers can leave feedback. $3.99

As you move your business to working “virtual” and “mobile” add a few of these apps and watch your productivity increase!  And if you need some help incorporating these tools into your business, give us a call!   We’ve been working virtually for years!

 

image credit: worldlink mobile apps