Marketing and Business Tools for Real Estate 866.233.9833

Delta Media Group Blog

Friday, April 27, 2012

A 10 percent increase in home sales! But are you even ready?

The pit in your stomach is slowly dwindling.

It has been there for years, and you wonder if it’s just that you’re starting to get used to the feeling, or if there’s really a reason.

You don’t really care, either way. It seems cliché, but the real estate industry is sick and tired of being sick and tired.

It was 2007 this thing hit. 2006, depending on which market you were in. Some areas were hit harder than others, but virtually all were affected in some capacity.

Needless to say, no matter where you are you’ve felt that pit in some capacity or another.

But it’s going away a little, which seems unusual. The job market is still uncertain, the country has a fast-growing debt and it’s an election year. Some talking heads are saying the real estate market is coming back. Others say it will take another bad turn. You don’t know what to believe anymore, aside from your own gut instinct. And your business has wavered just enough that you don’t know what your instincts are trying to tell you any longer.

The new news is good, at least from the National Association of Realtors. NAR is predicting a 7-to-10 percent jump in existing home sales in 2012, which would bring about the most home sales in five years.

It’s difficult to say if the spike will play out. Maybe the recent 9.2 percent higher existing-home sales rate over 2011 will continue. Maybe some form of decline will follow it.

But things are looking up, as you’ve been told will eventually happen for years.

Then you start feeling that next pit. You wonder if you’re even ready for an increase in sales.

How have you spent the past few years preparing your real estate business? Have you set up a new real estate website, or are you still operating off the antiquated six-year old one you had before the worst came to be? Have you adapted to new communication technologies, or did you stick with the tried-and-true methods of yesterday? Do those still work in this new, ever-evolving, on-the-go market?

Many real estate agents and brokerages hunkered down when the market turned. They made sure not to spend at all rather than spend wisely. For some, that meant losing money due to utilizing out-of-date, out-of-touch technologies that were not only inefficient, but ineffective.

But now the market is reportedly turning. The direction is a different one than you’ve gotten used to, and the pit in your stomach is being replaced, but you’re worried you might not be where you need to be in 2012.

The market news is market news. Sometimes it seems to be good one day and bad another. But preparation is the key to taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. The type of preparation that gives you an elite real estate website with the most intuitive property search functionality and the best customer communication channels.

Odds are, you’re probably on the go a lot more than you might have been six years ago, and you’re used to using mobile technology to help aid your lifestyle. Does your old technology give you the ability to subscribe to your CRM calendar with that in your smartphone, so you can have all meetings, follow-ups and other calendar notes with you wherever, whenever, all in your pocket.

The market might be changing, and that pit in your stomach might be going away, or might be replaced with another. But regardless of what the market’s doing, be proactive in your career. Step up to the plate and put an end to your nerves on your own.

Then maybe you can spread the positive news about the market’s improvements and how they impact your own business, rather than waiting to hear what others are saying about theirs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Page Taft Launches New Website

Located in Guilford, Madison and Essex, Connecticut, Page Taft today launched their new website with Delta Media Group. Check out their new site at http://www.pagetaft.com.


Page Taft Launches New Website

Located in Guilford, Madison and Essex, Connecticut, Page Taft today launched their new website with Delta Media Group. Check out their new site at http://www.pagetaft.com.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Real estate online: What's most important?

What’s the most important thing about your real estate business?

Is it your office? Do customers stop in to visit you?

Is it your signs? Do most of your customers find you because they spotted one in the front lawn of a home they wanted to see?

Maybe it’s your advertising. Do you get a good response from your magazine ads? What about the newspaper? Does your billboard, sitting proudly above one of the busier streets in town, drive the amount of new customers you hoped?

What about your Web presence? Is it as effective as you were promised it would be? Does it drive the kind of leads you wanted it to? Does it provide you enough business?

A lot of real estate websites promise to be a lot of things. A lead channel. A property search. A CRM system. An online yellow page ad.

Sometimes it’s tougher to cut through the promises than it is to do your own job.

Where do you get the time to fact-check empty promises that aren’t supported by statistics? How can you tell if a website should help deliver the kind of response you need? And what happens when you really don’t get all those new leads you expected?

Maybe it’s easier to just stick with what you have, no matter how poorly it might be working, you think. But you also recognize that gets you no further along, and only prolongs the inevitable.

There’s a little secret to websites that a lot of companies don’t understand. Call-to-actions are the most important part of their business. That doesn’t mean build a website around call-to-action buttons. But it does mean designing each element of each page to make visitors want to contact you for more information.

It’s not just that easy. Visitors don’t want to contact you if they can’t find what they’re looking for. They don’t want to take the step to schedule a showing if your site made them take too many steps just to find the house. They won’t ask your advice if they can’t easily find the answers they’re looking for online.

But if you can deliver those elements quicker, easier and in a more usable way, it prompts visitors to take the next steps—which typically means talking to you, which might mean earning their business.

We view things this way. We believe giving visitors the best way to find what they’re looking for is the key to them coming back. We believe them coming back is the key to them turning to you when they need you. And we’re building the easiest ways for them to do that.

You have multiple ways to be contacted. Your website is one. It works for those who want to request something from you, and check back in on your answer. Your phone is another. It serves better for those who want a response to their question right this second.

Your social networks are additional contact points. They better lead to those who might eventually give you their business, but want to know more about you first. They want to learn and feel educated for when they’re ready to make a decision. That’s a growing concern in today’s economy and Web and mobile-based culture.

While customers want those touch points, the last thing they want is difficulty finding them. They want them quick, easy and available at the click of a button. That’s why our new real estate website Contact Forms operate the way they do.

We’re constantly looking at ways to improve our real estate websites. One of our recent changes is the contact form. Our old one used to better cater to how the Web worked. Our new one better caters to how the Web has evolved. At the top is your phone number. Followed by your social networks. Followed by your offices.

At the right is a simplified account set-up. Name and email are necessary. Phone, interests and message are optional. One click and your visitor is finished.

Just like that you have a new lead to follow up with, and your visitor has more time to get back to what they need to do, whether that be checking email, checking Facebook, returning to work from their lunch break, or searching for more homes online.

We want to help you find the most important element of your business. We want to make it easy to see where most of your business comes from. And we want to help you get more of it.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information.

Monday, April 16, 2012

How real estate missed the emotions of Instagram

Responses were mixed when the news broke last Monday morning.

“Too much money!” a few experts proclaimed.

“A great investment for when its IPO launches,” some said.

Others feared Facebook would ruin their new favorite social network—Instagram.

Many were shocked that Facebook would pay $1 billion for a company with 13 employees that had existed for just over 500 days. The New York Times—with its 161 years of history—has been valued at about $50 million less.

Instagram is an app that allows users to apply digital filters to photos and share them on the platform or across other social networks.

Despite its widespread use and popularity—Instagram was downloaded five million times in the first six days it was available on Android—it has no current profit plan. The company has received venture capital, but does not charge for its app, which also doesn’t currently offer ads.

So why the hype? Why the billion dollars? Why did Instagram’s purchase send shockwaves through the tech world and inspire dreaming entrepreneurs the world over?

Because Facebook understands something that is often taken for granted—pictures control the Web. And perhaps more so in real estate than anywhere else.

You remember the feeling. You walked through home and thought to yourself, “this is beautiful!” You imagined you’d have no issues selling it…once interested buyers saw it with their own eyes. You even wrote in the MLS description, “A must see!” The words weren’t accidental.

But the house sat on the market. The street sign didn’t work. You questioned if you should post more pictures of it, but you were discouraged by how little justice they gave the home. The architecture was immaculate. The carpentry was impeccable. The back deck was huge, and adorned with small features that, well, would have to be seen to be appreciated.

Listing pictures show decks. They rarely show details of the deck, hidden lighting on the steps and stylized balusters. They don’t show the depth of the granite countertops, and the way the counter lighting gives the kitchen a warm, inviting glow.

The realization isn’t coming too late. But it might have taken the Instagram purchase to convince you. Pictures create an emotional connection and tell a story words can’t. Emotions sell. Connections sell. And stories sell, particularly when potential homeowners view themselves as the main characters.

And there in lies the other issue. Your MLS limits the number of home images. Even if it didn’t, your real estate website might. You can’t add additional pictures the next time you'll have a chance to take them. You can’t add copy to the images, describing what the visitor is looking at and where in the house it’s located. And you know Facebook doesn’t sell houses; trying to sell on Facebook typically turns fans away. The Web revolves around images. Social networks revolve around images. But your real estate business platform doesn’t.

And that’s when you realize you need a new business platform—a real estate website that allows you to easily upload images on the fly. Images that allow you to comment on them, describing each in detail. Unlimited images, which allow you to display all the rooms and details of the house. And the ability to add more images whenever you need—when you go through the home the next time and notice the back lawn appears a different way in the morning, and how it appears to be inviting you to sit with a cup of coffee and a newspaper (or tablet), waking up for the day.

You need a new real estate business platform that works like the Web does. You need to create a connection with your potential clients that have them turning in one direction—yours.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to improve the images and presentation of your listings, and the connections you'll build with your customers.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Market Watch Email Report Being Launched Next Week

Sample Market Watch Email
Delta Media Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that it's new Market Watch Report System is being released on Wednesday, April 18th.

Market Watch is a monthly email report for home owners and investors. The email report is available from Realtors® and Brokerages using the Delta Media Group Brokerage Platform. It includes information such as: Properties currently on the market and their price history; Sold properties in the market along with the asking price, selling price, days on market and property details.

In some markets, Market Watch is able to be done all the way down to a subdivision level. This is perfect for homeowners considering selling their home in the next few years. They are able to get a monthly email from their Realtor® showing them what is happening in their exact neighborhood on an almost real-time basis with real data, not estimates.

You may think that the Market Watch email report would only apply to consumers considering selling their property. However, new home owners benefit from getting the report as well. New home owners can stay up-to-date from their Realtor® on what is happening with the properties around them. No more will they have to ask their neighbors, "have you heard what the house down the street sold for?" By getting Market Watch they can know exactly what is happening with real estate in their market.

The best part about Market Watch is that it offers Realtors® a tool where they can stay in contact with their customer base with relevant information. No longer is a Realtor® forced to send pointless emails to past customers with cooking recipes or old real estate news in the hopes of staying in contact. They can now be the market experts that they truly are and communicate relevant information that customers care about!

To learn more about Market Watch contact support@deltagroup.com or call 1-866-233-9833.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Update to Mobile DeltaNet

A week ago we pushed out an update to our Mobile DeltaNet™. This update adds some core changes, does a few bug fixes and also updates the look a bit. From the screen shots here you will notice that each section has its own color. As a reminder...Standard and Upgraded Agents have the new Mobile DeltaNet™ on the new DeltaNet™.

The new DeltaNet™ brings a host of new features. Most notable is the ability to engage with buyers and sellers through the new Customer Center. The Customer Center in the DeltaNet™ gives agents an easy method of seeing everything that customer are doing along with the ability to easily engage with customers through automated and non-automated tools patent pending tools.

To learn more about the new DeltaNet™ contact support@deltagroup.com or call 1-866-233-9833.








Schrock Real Estate Launches New Website

Schrock Realty Group launched their new website yesterday with Delta Media Group. Check out the new site... www.schrockrealtygroup.com.



Schrock Real Estate Launches New Website

Schrock Realty Group launched their new website yesterday with Delta Media Group. Check out the new site... www.schrockrealtygroup.com.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Trapp Realtors Launches New Website

Trapp Realtors of Cedar Falls, Iowa launched their new website this week with Delta Media Group. Their new website can be seen at http://www.trapprealtors.com. Check it out and let us know what you think!


Trapp Realtors Launches New Website

Trapp Realtors of Cedar Falls, Iowa launched their new website this week with Delta Media Group. Their new website can be seen at http://www.trapprealtors.com. Check it out and let us know what you think!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Masters marketing and Easter eCards

Phil Mickelson is making a run again. Tiger Woods appears to have recently returned to his previous form.

You’ll see for yourself this weekend while watching the Masters.

It’s a family tradition for you, especially when the Masters falls on Easter Weekend.

You went to church, watched the kids search for Easter eggs, helped them find their Easter baskets and managed to smuggle a Cadbury egg for yourself. Now it’s officially time to plop down on the couch and check in on whether Mickelson will master the Masters, Tiger will continue his tear, or Rory McIlroy might manufacture an upset.

You pull out the smartphone to check the current standings. You know the leaderboard practically by heart, but you want to see if someone who teed off earlier might have made a monumental move.

On your way to pinpointing par, you make a pitstop at your email. At the top is a nice email from your real estate agent. You hadn’t spoken to him directly since you bought your house two years ago, so you’re a little surprised to see it.

It’s your first email from him since Christmas, the first since Thanksgiving before it. In fact, when you think about it, he has sent you an eCard each holiday since you first met. He has no reason to earn your business back; you’re happy where you are and plan on staying that way for at least another few years. But you’re impressed, either way, with his service.

Then it starts to dawn on you. Your niece—the one you haven’t seen since her wedding last year—is coming over this afternoon. She and her husband have an apartment together, but you heard through the family tree that she has recently gotten a new job and there’s a chance she might be looking for a house when her contract expires.

You make a mental note to ask her, because you want her to make a wise decision, and you want to make sure she’s in good hands with that decision. You felt you were with your agent, who led you down the right path, helped you accomplish your goals and has continued to provide the kind of service you’d hope to get from a doctor’s office.

Your agent will appreciate the act. He might get a referral out of it. Either way, he’d like to help a young couple find a home to start their family. They might even have some young friends in similar situations, and he might be able to help them too. Referrals mean a lot, especially in a day and age where money is a little tighter and investors are trying to be smart with theirs.

Your agent hadn’t thought that far ahead when he set up his CRM to email you an eCard each holiday. He just wanted to be a good agent and friend, and wanted to continue to let you know he cares.

In fact, he wasn’t even positive you were still on that email list. He has several people on it, but he now sees you’re one of them.

While speaking with your niece, he logs into the DeltaNet, types your name into his home screen and opens your profile. He sees the email list you’re on and when you purchased your home.

He clicks a button and adds your niece to the same database. He types in her information, asks the areas she’s interested in and what kind of home she’s looking for, and within a minute he has set up her account and saved a few property searches.

She’ll get a property notification email from him tomorrow morning detailing a few of the homes for sale that match what she said she’s looking for. She’ll continue to get these emails, as she requested, showing new homes that hit the market, price changes and other market statistics. When she clicks on each home, it will take her to the listing displayed on your real estate website. Just like that, she went from uninformed to being capable of making an educated decision.

Your kids love their Easter baskets. It’s obvious as they’re remain bouncing off the walls of your basement, hopped up on jelly beans.

But your niece might have received the best Easter gift.

Contact Delta Media Group at 866-233-9833 to learn how to better automate your Easter communications.