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Delta Media Group Blog

Friday, December 30, 2011

A quick, new approach for slow, old leads

Remember that day three months back?

A lot has happened since then, but it will come to you when you start reviewing the details.

It started as a casual conversation. You were waiting in line at the grocery store, or maybe a coffee shop. For whatever reason, things took unusually long that day. You made a quip, the person in line next to you laughed. A brief conversation ensued.

You needed to be somewhere for work. She did too. It was mentioned you’re in real estate. She mentioned she might need your services early next year.

“With the kids going back to school and fall coming and the holidays toward the end of the year, we’re not even thinking about that right now,” she said. “But touch base with me around the end of the year. I’d like to chat with you and see what we need to do to get our house listed and find a larger place.”

Yeah, that conversation. It was one of a handful you had over the course of a few months. Now what was her name again? What were the names of those other three people you spoke with? Or was it four? Do you still even have the notebook where you wrote all this down?

Then you remember where those names are. You saved them in your online office—the one with the CRM and the customer notes. They’re a few of the several hundred names in there, recorded over the past few years. How do you even start searching through them?

Then you remember you don’t just have that online office with the pseudo-CRM and customer notes any longer. This year you switched to Delta Media Group. Your back office is the DeltaNet, and your capabilities are infinitely greater, and infinitely easier to use.

Example: Search for customer "stephen"
You have a Quick Search built into the DeltaNet, right at the top of the screen, where you’d expect it to be. You start typing a name, or just a word. It suggests the answers for you. You click on one and you’re there.

Don’t remember the name? You type in a time frame. Or keyword. You remember writing “grocery store” on the Mystery Lead. You start typing in “grocery” and by the time your finger hits the “O,” it and all other leads you met at any grocery store over your career are in front of you. With one click you have her file, notes and contact info in front of you. Her name’s Margaret. You met her September 19 at Sam’s Club. Her husband’s name is Greg, she has two children, her house is 1,100 square feet and she’s looking for one with four bedrooms.

That was quick.
DeltaNet Intranet home screen

Now you can start carrying on with what you aimed to do—find the names of the other people you collected over the past few months who wanted to talk at the beginning of the year, and start following up with them.

“Margaret!” you say when she answers the phone. “I hope you had a nice Christmas.” You proceed to ask about her family, her job and if she’s still interested in looking for a larger place.

“We’re so ready to get out of this house,” she vents. “It just seems like we’re outgrowing it every day. But we need to sell our house before we can move into something else.”

You nod in agreement, knowing you can help. She can’t see you through the phone, but you reassure her, nonetheless. You’ll soon do the same for the others.

Your Delta Media Group Quick Search has its name for a reason—and you now see why. Maybe you can run to the grocery store with all that time you saved…and start looking for more leads.

Contact Delta Media Group at 866-233-9833 for more information on new ways to quicken your business in the new year.

Looking to increase visitors and leads in 2012?

Every December I like to look back on the year and look at what was done right and things that could have been done differently. I usually do this on the 30th or 31st of the month but I’ve been thinking about it a little bit early this year and thought I should write down some of my thoughts.

So, what did we do right?

While there are quite a few small things that I could talk about I think we did three specific things right in 2011 that increased visitors and leads. I’m using information from one client web site we host. I picked this site because it has a good amount of traffic and leads and because this site has been doing well for years. I could have used examples that were obnoxious showing new customers that increased their traffic by over 3000% but those examples would have been skewed because what they were doing prior to using Delta was really bad.

1,786,437 website visits in 2011
So, I believe we did three things in 2011 to increase visitors by 60% and leads by 24% on this site. To help clarify these numbers, unique visitors were up from 480,976 in 2010 to 770,233 in 2011 and leads were up from 9,880 in 2010 to 12,215 in 2011. These are some good increases that I’m sure any real estate brokerage would appreciate having!

1.14 million visits from 505,553 different keywords
The first thing we did was targeted Long Tail search engine results. Now, unless you are a tech geek (like me) you may not understand this so let me explain it with a quick example: Long Tail searches for real estate are search phrases such as a property address. We felt that we could compete for more traffic and better traffic by focusing on people that “Google” for a home address. (We also believe these people are more serious about shopping for property and will probably make a buying decision soon but have no proof.) We did this in 2011 and did it really well. So well in fact that we found ourselves competing with the national portals for traffic, not other local brokerage sites. This was good...really good. This one change helped tremendously in getting 83% growth in search engine traffic on this site in 2011. The best part is that we were stealing this traffic from the national portals.

The second things we did was created Market Specific Landing Pages. If you’ve gone to any real estate conference in the past two years you heard the phrase “hyper local”. I have my thoughts on this (and what companies are pushing at conferences) but one specific thought I have is that in going hyper local you need to understand the basics of what people are looking for: information on real estate that is local. So, we created specific landing pages that contained information that was targeted to the local market. Information like featured properties, average prices, uniquely written content, subdivisions, lakes, etc. Really, these are very specific on a per market basis. Let me also say that the verbiage used in one landing page may not work on another landing page on the same web site that is targeting a different market. On this site, some of these landing pages account for over 1,000 visits themselves each month. Why? Because Google finds them relevant and customers do to.

Analytics showing link clicks
The third thing we did was paid attention to the tools Google gives us. Google gives us access to these tools for a reason. Specific tools we use are Google’s Analytics, In Page Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and Visitors Flow. Using these we know exactly what customers interact with on each page. So, when we go to make changes on the page we can do so intelligently. In some cases we are surprised what customers do and don’t interact with. Using these we also know exactly what Google is seeing whenever they crawl our sites and they even tell us what they think of our sites if we just pay attention and know what to look at! This has been critical in understanding what impact each site change had on our overall goals in increasing traffic and increasing leads.

So, does your real estate website target long tail search results on Google and Yahoo? Do you have landing pages? How about landing pages with content that was specifically created for that exact market on a per-landing page basis? Do you, or someone for you monitor Google Analytics at least monthly for you?

Regardless of who you use to do your real estate website you have a choice when it comes to your site and what you expect from it. Doing these things are critical in today’s market. The companies that are doing this are taking market share from the companies that fail to do it.

Helpful links:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Customers Prefer Using the Quick Property Search on Agent Sites

Last week we released the Quick Property Search on thousands of Realtor® web sites. Based on the activity we are seeing it is clear that customers prefer to use the Quick Property Search about 2 to 1. This means that for every 2 people using the Quick Property Search 1 person prefers to fill out a standard search form coming from the home page of the web sites.

This is really important to understand and realize. The Quick Property Search that we've created at Delta is a Google type quick search that auto completes as customers type. See the screen shot below showing it on an agent web site.

Since Delta's Quick Property Search form accepts City, County, State, Zip Code, School District, Neighborhood, Subdivision and Address as parameters it's interesting to see what information Customers are typing in. Below is a chart from a Google Analytics account where we track one brokerage web site and what customers are doing. This chart shows that at least 75% of customers are typing either City, Zip Code or Property MLS ID. What it also shows is that the flexibility we offer is important to the other 25%.

So, while we give the ability to Delta Customers to choose to use the Quick Property Search or not we urge our customers to use it. If your site doesn't have it...well...hopefully you aren't competing in your local market with a web site that does because customers are choosing to use sites that have this Quick Property Search feature.

Updated DeltaNet Screen Shots

I have a few updated DeltaNet screen shots since last week to share. Here are a couple of the updates...

The calendar has been cleaned up. From the calendar view Agents can quickly and easily Add and Edit Events with Month, Week and Day views.

We're working on the lead processing screen. We've made it much easier to process leads from the Desktop Version of the DeltaNet. This screen is still evolving for it's release next week. From login, we've cut down the clicks to process a lead by 50% and there is only one page to load instead of 3 pages.

More screen shots to come this week...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year?

Some would say it's the most wonderful time of the year.

Others might say it's the busiest.

The kids are off of school, the days are getting shorter, the weather's growing colder--and those are just the beginning of your worries.

Are you traveling? Are the in-laws coming to your place this year? Do you have enough food, beds, sheets and towels to accommodate them all?

These are a myriad of the thoughts that flood our minds during the second and third weeks of each December. No matter how early we start getting ready and how many times we tell ourselves, "I'm going to be more prepared for this next year," it just never seems to work out that way.

Amongst all the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer is what's important--your job--and what's really important--your family. Your job shouldn't be ignored. Your family can't be. But all too often we reverse those priorities, overloading ourselves with what we need to do so we can buy what we want to buy and have the Christmas we hoped to have.

So Merry Christmas! It will be this weekend, and we'll soon be bringing a gift to you for the occasion.

Delta Media Group is pleased to announce the new DeltaNet will be released the first week of the year. If you’re not familiar with it, you may soon find out it’s your best Christmas present (no offense, significant others).

Remember the Christmas when you were wrapping up work, while you should have been wrapping presents?

Remember the Christmas your clients and coworkers felt like your family, but your family didn’t?

Remember the Christmas you were married to work, but not to your spouse?

Your family members remember those years, and they'd prefer to spend their holidays with you, rather than the shell that shows up who's mind is elsewhere.

You’ve worked hard, you’ve made it where you are today and your family is appreciative of what you’ve provided them. Now it’s time to start appreciating yourself and your free time a little more. Imagine relaxing Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, during Christmas shopping, knowing your business is taken care of while you enjoy your family.

With a quick log-in to the DeltaNet, you can see what clients your website has touched base with recently on your behalf, because while you were busy spending Christmas with your family, the DeltaNet was busy following up with those who are looking for their first home, other homes for sale in the area, and recently visiting your real estate website to search properties online. The new DeltaNet shows you those clients, their most recent actions, and what they’ve done on your website—whether it be setting up a MyHomeFinder account to receive new listings by email, saving property searches of areas and home specs they like, or saving properties they have interest in.

At quick glance, the new DeltaNet also displays your to-do list. No need to try and remember the Christmas presents you need to buy AND the clients you need to call. The DeltaNet has you covered.

What’s going on this week? What's happening during the days you’re off for Christmas? How about when you return to the office after the holiday weekend--how busy will that be? Your calendar will fill you in on those meetings, showings and other follow-up items.

Christmas is a special day. So are birthdays and anniversaries. Are any of your clients celebrating them this or next month? Those give you a reason to reach out to your clients, and your clients a reason to remember, appreciate and refer you to others. And the new DeltaNet remembers these days from your clients’ profiles, and will remind you of them as well.

Every bit of this will occur on your home screen, without you having to navigate through pages of confusing links and tabs that may take up more of your time than it's worth.

The new DeltaNet does quite a bit more for you. And you can do quite a bit more when you’re using the new DeltaNet. So celebrate Christmas. Spend it with your family. Delta Media Group has your gift, and it has the rest of your schedule covered.

For more information on how Delta Media Group’s new DeltaNet can help make holidays your most wonderful time of the year, contact us at 866-233-9833.

Easier to Use, More Powerful DeltaNet being released next month

In January 2012 Delta Media Group will be releasing a new DeltaNet that is easier to use and quite a bit more powerful, especially in the area of working with customers. More information will be released in the coming weeks but here are a few screen shots...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Shopping Made Easier

Have you ever sat back and wondered just how it is you ever make it through Christmas shopping?

You’re busier than ever, the new year is almost here, your family seems to grow each holiday season and just remembering who to buy for is a chore, let alone remembering what gifts they do (and don’t) want.

But man (or woman) is innovative. He/she invented lists. And lists became chores. And chores became reminders. And somewhere along the line, reminders went from refrigerator notes and rolodexes to cell phone notes and notifications.

How much easier is life now? The one thing you carry with you at all times has all your friends, all your family members, the items they want for Christmas and their contact information, for when you inevitably find yourself picking between two shirts and wondering if he’ll fit in a large because it’s the last one of that particular style left in this store. And it’s easy to use. A few swipes of the finger and everything’s in front of you, right where you left it.

Perhaps technology can be most appreciated under these circumstances, when we find ourselves dealing with painstaking annual tasks and, suddenly, we discover an easier way. Perhaps it takes looking back, cringing at the thought of how we used to do things, to truly appreciate how far technology has come, and how much easier life is as a result.

Many real estate agents might be thinking that way this Christmas. While they’re texting relatives to confirm a Christmas item, their DeltaNet is texting them lead notifications the moment their website receives a new lead.

While they’re scanning a QR code on an ad to view a sale, a potential customer is scanning a QR code on one of their signs or fliers in front of one of their listings, and the agent is getting notified (again) instantly by text message.

And as satisfying as it is when they find the present they’re looking for in the place they’re looking at the price they’re assuming, it’s just as satisfying when they log into a system that works—a system that’s designed with an agent in mind, with a fresh interface laid out to accomplish three goals: to drive more business, to make life easier and to be more efficient.

Username. Password. Enter.

And there it is—your entire office in front of you. You see your active customers and their most recent activity online, your to-do list for the day and week, your calendar, upcoming special days, and company news. It’s all on your welcome page, because you laid it out that way with easy-to-use widgets. Straight from there you add that new customer you met, make a note to call her next week and add her birthday to your calendar, so you can send her a card in two months.

Of course, you can do much more, whether it be reviewing your leads, updating your website, adding a few pictures and comments to a listing, or seeing how your site is performing online. But you just logged in quickly this time to see your customer activity and schedule. Besides, you have a little more shopping to do.

Now if only the DeltaNet could wrap presents, it just might be the perfect holiday companion.

The new DeltaNet is rolling out in the coming weeks.Contact Delta Media Group to learn more at 866-233-9833.

Friday, December 9, 2011

'Tis the season for company Christmas parties

Your husband’s work’s Christmas party is an interesting one, to say the least.

You’re seated at a table of people you don't know, you feel like you’re only one there who doesn't know anyone else, and your husband's boss, a few beers deep, keeps pulling him away to talk football.

You've had a couple glasses of wine yourself. Not enough that you really feel it, but something to take the edge away from the island you feel like you've been left stranded on.

You finally lean in to start a conversation with the friendly but quiet couple seated across from you. You've judged by their uncertain faces that they're about as comfortable there as you are.

Small talk turns to chitchat, which soon evolves to substance. You’re getting to know your husband’s co-worker, Jim, and his wife Nancy, who he hardly knows.

As occupation makes its way into the conversation, you mention you’re a real estate agent.

“Oh really? With which agency,” Nancy replies, and you sense you’re not speaking a foreign language.

“Jim and I have actually been talking about looking for a bigger home, but, you know, you hear so much bad on the news about home prices, and in this economy…we just don’t know.”

Normally you were born for this. But these aren’t the best conditions. You’re here for your husband, not to network. Besides, you’re getting tired and they don’t have a business card.

“I hear that a lot from clients I work with,” you respond. “This economy has certainly caused some fear. But there are actually a lot of great real estate opportunities our there right now.”

You didn’t bring much with you tonight, but you do have your phone, which can get you logged into the DeltaNet.

“Would you be interested in some of the reports I have?” you ask. “Great. I’ll just jot down some of your information in my notes.”

Within seconds you’re logged into your mobile office. You access your CRM and enter your new friends’ names and contact info. You add a note that you met them at your husband’s work party. You add them to the campaign you set up for the other customers you’ve worked with similar to this couple—those who know it may be time to make a move, but have been discouraged from doing so because of what they’ve heard reported in the media. That campaign includes a weekly email that discusses the amount of buyers in the market, the low prices available, and the record low interest rates that may not last much longer. All emails from the campaign will come directly from you.

You schedule yourself a follow-up reminder to touch base after the holidays, when Jim and Nancy mentioned they’d like to sit down with you and review what’s available and what might fit their price range.

“We’re just really kind of new to this whole real estate thing,” Jim says.

You nod in agreement, assuring them you understand and can help make the process easier. Besides, you’ve already done the next two weeks’ work.

For more information on how the DeltaNet can help do your work for you, contact Delta Media Group at 866-233-9833.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Real Estate: A walk in the park

Tim grabbed the leash and headed toward the door. Molly, his golden retriever of the past five years, followed close behind, knowing what this meant.

As he did each Saturday morning, Tim snapped the leash on the collar of his trusty sidekick, grabbed the newspaper on his way down the driveway, and turned the corner toward the neighborhood park, only two blocks away.

During the course of that morning Tim, who had an itch of a small thought toward a big move in life, would be exposed to real estate. He passed a house for sale on his way to the park. He sat on a park bench graced with the vinyl of a local real estate agent’s smiling face. He opened the newspaper, where he could read about some of the hundreds of local homes for sale.

Fifteen years ago, when Tim bought his first house, these advertisements connected with him. After all, he had nowhere else to turn to find information about real estate then.

But this morning, when Tim got that inkling, he pulled out his mobile phone, opened a Web browser and searched for homes for sale nearby. Planning on spending only a few moments on the task before Molly was ready to drag him back home, Tim found three homes he thought were nice. He wanted more information, so he used the button on the website to ask a question. He wasn’t optimistic it would get answered soon, but he figured it was worth a try.

Tim called Molly, gathered up his quarter-read newspaper and started out of the park. Before he made it to the gate, his phone rang. It was a local real estate agent, introducing himself and letting Tim know he just emailed him a list of the homes Tim had inquired about and could schedule a showing for any of the three this week. He also mentioned that Tim would receive another email later in week, complete with additional listings in the area—all similar to those Tim liked. Other emails with more similar listings were to come, if Tim liked.

Tim is a lead. He doesn't want to view himself as such because he wants his questions answered without being oversold or spammed.

Tim--typically somewhat of a skeptic--doesn't need to know how this process worked, just that it did. And it worked to his benefit.

The agent isn't quite sure about the nuances of how the process worked for him either. But he's happy. His website just showed up well in the search engines, he received a detailed lead instantly, and he used his online tools to quickly email listing information to Tim, schedule another email with similar listings, and schedule a reminder for himself of when to follow up with Tim.

The agent might have just earned Tim's business. Tim's inkling toward a new home might have grown legs.

By the time Tim returned home and poured a cup of water in Molly's dish, his mind had gone from the park bench, sale sign and discarded newspaper to the coffee pot. But it would return to real estate soon, when Tim would check his email to find more details on the homes he found online. He would show them to his wife, and likely look to schedule a showing for later in the week.

What a walk in the park that process became.

To learn how to make your real estate process a walk in the park, contact Delta Media Group at 866-233-9833 or visit us at