Real Estate Marketing Tips

People who are interested in acquiring or selling property, can contact either a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent respectively. Real estate agents work for brokers, and earn a commission on purchases and sales. Generally, a seller’s agent earns more than a buyer’s agent, since the latter is paid a percentage of the purchase price or listed price as commission, while the former earns a percentage of the sales price as commission. A good buyer’s agent needs to bring down the purchase price of the property, while a good seller’s agent ensures that the property is sold to the highest bidder. Hence, the difference in remuneration. Regardless of whether one is a broker or a real estate agent, one needs to market the investment property in a manner that is appealing to the buyer. The following tips may be useful to Realtors and brokers desirous of clinching a good deal.

Effective Communication
The importance of good communication skills cannot be underestimated since the agent or the broker needs to convey his/her beliefs, ideas, and thoughts to the customer (buyer or seller) and assess the needs of the prospective buyer or seller and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution. An agent or a broker who has a number of property listings will be unable to clinch a buyer unless he/she is able to present the property in a manner that appeals to the aesthetic sense of the customer. The unique selling proposition (USP) of the house should be clearly communicated. Again, a seller’s agent needs to be able to convince the customer about the prudence of entrusting the task of selling the property to him/her. This brings us to the mode of communication.

E-Business
Nowadays, e-business is the preferred mode of conducting transactions. It comprises setting up a website, helping the potential clients navigate through the website, and showcasing the available products in a manner that would encourage prospective customers to transact with the real estate agent/broker. Virtual tours are an excellent way of providing buyers a glimpse of the home. The buyer can have the satisfaction of touring the entire house or property that he/she is interested in with the aid of slide shows and accompanying audio description. People who are looking to sell their property need to have confidence in the professional who professes to sell the property for a profit. The seller’s agent needs to ensure that the website describes, in detail, the professional services that can be expected from the seller’s agent. The professional needs to distinguish himself/herself from competitors, and communicate with clarity and precision the extent of services that can be expected by the customer. Moreover, the website should not lack visibility. Again, video clips of the homes that have been sold by the agent/broker, may help drive home the point. The agent/broker may also upload a small video clip of himself/herself to make the presentation seem less impersonal.

Promotion
Permission based email marketing is a highly effective promotion strategy since the product information, or in this case, information about real estate, is supplied to people who are looking to buy or sell real estate. Contrary to popular belief, email marketing generates the maximum return on investment as compared to the other modes of direct marketing. The Direct Marketing Association has predicted that the return on investment in case of email marketing for the year 2009 is expected to be $43.52 per dollar spent. Sometimes, local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) may be the best bet as far as promotion is concerned.

The above list is not comprehensive. Ultimately, agents need to find a system that works for them. Designing a good website, permission based email marketing, and using MLS may attract potential clients. However, the ability to complete the transaction is contingent to the agent’s prowess as a good salesperson.

Real Estate Internet Marketing Tips

Emergence of the Internet has prompted a radical change in commercial trends all over the world. Today, online marketing has become the key tool for numerous businesses, to bring in customers. Real Estate is one of them. Of late, Internet has become the first place for most of the potential buyers, in their search for a home.

Advantages of Marketing Real Estate Online

1. Internet buyers make for better clients. A general online marketing trend reveals that these clients are wealthier and ready to buy more expensive homes.

2. Internet shortens the search for potential home buyers. It saves a lot of time and energy and is often more cost-effective than the traditional ways of marketing.

3. As it takes much lesser time to go through, clients can view more listed homes online and are able to narrow down the search to their desired ones.

4. Studies also reveal that the average age of potential home buyers is coming down, and this younger generation has grown up with the use of Internet in their daily lives.

5. Home buyers availing Internet services for their home search are also well-informed about the whole purchasing process, and expressed better liking for their real estate agents. In fact, almost 80% of Internet home buyers use an agent, which is greater than the traditional buyers who prefer them with a 70% probability.

In addition to the vast viewership of outstanding potential clients, the Internet offers both expediency and cost-efficacy that traditional marketing media cannot offer. Now websites are more appealing and instructive, than even the best promotional materials like brochures. Communication offered by emails makes it quite easier and cheaper to keep in touch with your past clients.

So, if you are a real estate agent and have not yet explored the benefits of online marketing, then you’re losing a vast base of potential clients.

Helpful Tips

Notwithstanding the enormous swing of online buyers, most realtors complain that their websites aren’t productive of any new business. While most real estate agents recognize the significance of Internet marketing and readily purchase a website, they usually do not put in the methodical efforts and time to achieve the goals. As an agent, you can achieve your goals by making your site truly effective.

This may happen due to exaggerated promises from their web designers, a misunderstanding of Internet functioning, or a lack of direction. Due to these factors, many websites are falling far short of their potential. So make sure that you are taking an active part in the creation of a stronger web presence for your practice. Master the techniques of search engine optimization. You must learn how to increase web traffic and convert leads into clients. Here are a few tips for you.

1. Make your Website More Appealing – When people visit your website, you don’t have much time to capture their attention, before they hit the back button. So make the home page more interesting, with minimal distractions. Make it more informative for potential home buyers. Avoid misuse of pop-up windows or flash. Use only fast-loading graphics and other elements. The web pages present on your site must be lightweight.

2. Enlist your Website – Search for the hottest Internet web directories and enlist your site there. This can be one of the easiest and most effective ways of free web promotion. Make your site rich in content and appearance to get accepted in your directory of choice.

3. Search Engine Optimization – Respect the search engines. Follow the practice of using web pages that don’t incorporate large amount of code, unrelated to your content. Avoid the poor use of frames. Search engines do not index content from frames that well. In order to enhance web traffic, try to develop links with other real estate sites in your area that do not compete with you.

There are many factors that contribute to a website’s search engine ranking. Inbound links are one of the biggest factors. Hunt for such inbound links and acquire them. It is always a better SEO practice to upload your site map. If a search engine finds your XML sitemap file, there’s a good chance it will find, crawl and index (record) all of your web pages. Putting keywords into hyperlinks is one of the easiest on-site adjustments you can make to improve the search engine visibility of your website.

4. Create a Blog – Blogging can be more than a communications tool and networking platform for real estate professionals. It can convey personality, generate leads and boost business. After creating the blog, don’t forget to get enlisted in directories; it will only help the cause.

5. Publish Online Articles – Publishing an article is a proven way to grow your online presence. Online articles support your Internet marketing program in a number of ways, ranging from search engine visibility to page ranking.

6. Display email id – Users hate being forced to fill out forms to gather information. Some users may accept this online form as expediency; but some users may prefer to use their own email to contact the agent directly, so that they will have a record of the email.

7. Minimize Attrition – Attrition follows you, for every step of your real estate Internet marketing campaign. Attrition refers to people who “drop off”, along your marketing process, somewhere between first contact and client acquisition.

8. Create Lead Generation – Remember, website traffic is only unproductive traffic until you act upon it. To get those visitors to act in some way to become your clients, you need to create a lead-generation program based on value and incentives. Don’t forget that people are used to respond to a well-presented offer of value, be it online or offline.

So be creative, attentive, ever learning and success is not far away!

Home Appraisal Tips

You may be thinking of moving on from your present home or may be thinking of a refinance to buy another one. But then, how would you determine the price you would want for your property? This is when a home appraisal or your real estate appraisal would come in handy. On the other hand, if you are thinking of a refinance, an appraisal of your home would give you an exact idea of the amount you are eligible for getting another loan. We give you some tips, which, if followed, would assure you the best possible value.

If you are thinking of a refinance, the lender would usually use the services of an appraiser that they prefer. However, on the other hand, if you want to sell your home, you can opt to choose an independent appraiser.

During the appraisal, an inspection of your home would be conducted. This would include a visual examination of your house and the condition of the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, etc. The appraiser would provide an estimated value of your house, which is based on two factors. The first factor is the cost required to construct a similar house and the second element that he would consider is comparing other houses in your locality which have been recently sold.

Getting the House Ready for Appraisal

Make the House Shipshape
One of the most important home appraisal tips is to make your house appealing, you can do this by improving its exterior. The outdoor surroundings of your home should look attractive, with green grass and not dead brown one. Make sure not to leave gardening tools like lawn mowers lying around, besides keeping the plants trimmed. It’s good to have landscaped garden with ponds, gardens, etc., provided they are maintained well. Ensure that not only the overall surroundings of the house looks great, but the exterior walls are also well painted.

Clean the Interiors
A day or two before the appraiser comes, make sure that you clean the walls, kitchen, and bathroom. The most challenging part is managing the clutter. If you don’t want your house to look small and unappealing, make sure that clutter is managed properly. Even if, you are planning to take away all the furniture, it may still look dirty. Moreover, random things here and there are bound to affect the appraiser. More the space your house seems to have, more the chances of its higher valuation.

Renovate Your House
Renovation would require some money. Buyers are attracted towards renovated houses, thereby increasing the value of your house. The most important rooms which should be renovated are the kitchen and bathrooms. Try replacing the cabinetry of the kitchen, as it takes much of the wall space thereby, affecting the kitchen style. Even though the other parts of the kitchen are up-to-date, but if the cabinets are old, it would reduce your home’s value. On the other hand, the bathroom should look spacious and there should be enough storage space. If there is enough space, try to include double sinks, as they are very popular. If the floors are old, update them or else the appraiser may be put off and it may affect the valuation.

Color and Decor
Always keep in mind that buyers picture themselves living in the home they are going to buy. So, put efforts in making the house look as big as possible. The walls and floors should seem as if, they are well maintained. You need to make sure that the colors are warm and inviting, which would ensure a better deal for you. It’s affordable and easy to replace paint, so make it a point to do it before you show your house to your prospective buyers, or the bank agent if you are looking for a refinance. The decor of your house will also effect the value of your home. It may seem troublesome as you may be moving your furniture and other belongings out, but then if the buyer sees the home dirty and things scattered here and there, he is bound to have a negative impression. So make sure that your house looks spacious, large, and tidy.

Repairs
If there are any problem areas make sure you fix them. Not only would the appearance of the house be effected, but it would have an impact on the price as well. For example, if there is a leakage make sure that you fix it. You give a negative impression to potential buyers and home inspection professional by not fixing problem areas and it may get in the way of you getting a good value. If you don’t fix things, your chance of asking for a better deal would get effected.

The bottom line of home appraisal for refinancing or for selling your house is to make sure that your house is in the best possible condition. It should not only be inviting, open, and clean, it should also look as big as possible. If you keep these things in mind, the asking price would definitely increase by a great extent. On the other hand, if you are the one who wants to buy a house, don’t overlook these points mentioned above.