Marketing and Business Tools for Real Estate 866.233.9833

Delta Media Group Blog

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Facebook Effect and your Memorial Day weekend


Facebook’s IPO officially launched last week, much to the chagrin or applause of analysts, depending on which article you read.

From its purchase of Instagram to its stock price, Facebook has been in the news quite a bit recently. And with good reason.

In less than a decade Facebook built one of the richest websites in history. It has more than 850 million users, and the data it gathers is unmatched.

Facebook was first embraced by party-wielding college types, then by their parents, then by other adults alike. Now, it seems everyone is on Facebook. And it seems every marketer claims to have a Facebook strategy.

But why? What does Facebook provide that other social networks don’t?

Aside from more functionality and a cleaner interface at times, Facebook allows people to connect with one another. It allows friends to chat with friends, old friends to re-connect with old friends, distant family to keep tabs on their relatives and, even, marketers to communicate with their customers.

No wonder Facebook is so powerful, and embraced by so many businesses.

Giving a business a means to communicate with its customers is powerful. It might just be the most powerful tool in the business world. And Facebook has been the best network to open communication doors to anyone in the world, including your potential customers.

That’s especially important when your customers are busy. They may spend this Memorial Day weekend at picnics. They may take the boat out or go for a swim. A fire and hotdog will likely be in the picture somewhere, and so will Facebook.

They’ll check it on their smartphones while the burgers are burning. They’ll see the updates before driving to the cemetery, where they’ll lay flowers and pay their respects.

What they might not do is remember to call you. They might not think about jumping on your real estate website to see what’s new for sale, even though they’re actively looking.

In all likelihood, you might lose communication with your customers this weekend. And that’s not the worst thing—you need to spend time with your family just as much as they do. But you want to remain in their mind somehow. You don’t want to be an afterthought when the weekend is over and next week is in full stream.

Facebook provides one channel to keep that line of subtle, passive communication. That’s why Delta Media Group makes it easy for you to add your Facebook account to your real estate website, displayed prominently where your customers will quickly see it so they can easily click on it and follow you.

Email is another communication channel. While Facebook will be full of posts of cookouts, the email inbox might grow relatively lonely. But you have a great way to answer that as you prepare the eCard you’ll send to your contact list, reminding each of them what Memorial Day means.

And even though the focus might be on family, the housing market will continue. Your email will automatically go out to some of your clients, listing the newest homes for sale in the areas they’re searching, price changes and, soon, market trending graphics.

Facebook’s success has caused a firestorm of feedback, and all leading into a weekend where people don’t want to think about stock prices and business developments. But it taught you an important lesson—that communication is a fundamental function, and your real estate business can take better advantage of that with Delta Media Group.

Contact us here for more information.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A better way to research homes for sale

How do you know what to buy and when to buy it?

Is it based on your wants? Do you even know what you want?

For some items you probably do, but for others you might need some assistance and information.

What are you interested in? What suggestions do your friends and family have? Is it a smart decision to purchase the product now?

Purchasing real estate can be much different, but also very similar to everyday purchases. You wouldn’t buy a TV without doing your homework. Why would you buy a home without doing the same?

But there are obvious problems with that analogy. Real estate is difficult to compare side-by-side. You can’t hold up two homes next to one another and see which is better for you. One might feel more “right.” The other might seem more practical. And what happens when the best home for your and your family isn’t in the best neighborhood, or might not be the best buy?

What if you feel like you’re paying too much to purchase the property you want, when you know you can find a better value elsewhere for a home that will provide the same benefits to your family?

By the nature of real estate, some homes are overpriced, some are under-priced and some are priced right. But it takes homework to find what’s what, and homework requires the means to find information.

Going through homes is often a must. How else would you know if it’s right for you?

Driving through the neighborhood is also an important step for homebuyers. What do other homes look like? How much are they going for? Are many for sale? Are residents happy? What would the neighbors be like? Is it in a good part of town?

But much of your home buying homework is more difficult to research. The economy is fragile and real estate prices can be bipolar, at best. You want to make sure the home you invest in also brings a good value. You’re more sensitive to home prices now because not every home goes up an average percentage each year in the current economy.

So you also might approach real estate like the stock market. You used to ask for a Comparative Market Analysis, but you’ve learned those are based on recently sold data, and that can fluctuate drastically in a short period of time, particularly when foreclosures and short sales are taken into account.

So you search for other ways to follow pricing, purchase and for-sale trends. You want to know what homes in the area are on the market, how long they’ve been on the market and what they’re priced at. You want to see if the prices of those homes for sale are trending up or down. You want to view this data in graphs and search it by radius.

Your homework has taught you this information can be difficult to find. You’ve searched and searched, but the specifics aren’t regularly provided for you, and things might change in a week or two. Will you have to start the homework over again?

Then you remember that conversation you had at the open house, and the business card that agent gave you. She mentioned something about a “market watch,” if you remember correctly. She said she’d send you one, but you were hesitant at the time.

You grab the card from your wallet and check out the website. You realize you can easily sign up for the market watch online, which will email you all the information you’re looking for once a week.

Things just got easier, and your email is now the research center for your next major investment.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on the real estate Market Watch and how it might benefit your customers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quick Search Auto Complete Update

We've pushed live another update to the Quick Property Search feature on our sites. We're now showing the preferred area name with the zip code on a zip code search. See the example screen shot blow. This change will phase in through all servers in the next 60 minutes.


Delta Updates for May 15, 2012


Here's an email that was sent out this morning. If you would like added to our email list for these updated please email support@deltagroup.com and let them know.

Mike



Below are the major system updates for the past week. Please emailsupport@deltagroup.comif you have any questions.

 

Easier to use Quick Property Search for Customers

We've upgraded the quick property search feature on all websites. We're now showing a Seach Examples box when a customer clicks in the Quick Search box. We've also updated how the quick search works while searching for properties based on address to make it easier for customers to use the search. Below is a screen shot of what the Examples look like.

 

Easier to Add Markets to Market Watch

We've made it easier to add the market to the Market Watch emails. The signup form within the DeltaNet now gives options for State, County and Market. See the screen show below.
Also!!!!! We are currently working on adding a few things for the Market Watch Email. We are updating the format of the email itself; We're adding market graphs to the email; We're creating a radius search; and we're working on signup forms for use on the public side so customers can sign-up for the Market Watch themselves. If you have any other suggestions for Market Watch please let us know...

 

Import and Export Customers in Customer Center

Your agents can now import and export customers inside Customer Center. We have even created a Top Producer template for importing customers from a Top Producer export.

If you have any quesitons please let us know!
Thank you for your business,
Sincerely,
Mike Minard
President
Delta Media Group, Inc.
FacebookYouTubeTwitter

e-Merge Real Estate Launches New Website

Today, e-Merge Real Estate launched their new website with Delta Media Group. E-Merge is located in Columbus Ohio and serves the greater Columbus real estate market. Take a look at their new website... http://www.columbusohiorealestatehome.com/


e-Merge Real Estate Launches New Website

Today, e-Merge Real Estate launched their new website with Delta Media Group. E-Merge is located in Columbus Ohio and serves the greater Columbus real estate market. Take a look at their new website... http://www.columbusohiorealestatehome.com/


Friday, May 11, 2012

The biggest cost to your real estate business

How much does your real estate business cost you in a year?

Are you paying to have a nice office?

Do you have a new laptop?

What about a cell phone? Data package? Tablet?

Do you invest in advertising? Do you have a print budget, or dish out for yard signs? Do you pay extra to put your name, face and phone number around town?

Odds are, you fairly recently analyzed what you spent last year as you prepared your taxes and the oh-so-many write-offs that helped alleviate your tax burden, if just a little.

You saved receipts and tracked mileage. You added up expenses and analyzed investments.

And when all was said and done, you (or your accountant) painted a fair portrait of your costs in a year.

What you likely didn’t review are the costs you didn’t see.

How could you? You can’t see them.

Those are the costs that are nearly impossible to measure. But they’re also the costs that could be costing you the most.

Those are your opportunity costs, and they’re calculated by the profits you miss out on.

Miss out on a potential sale because you were busy doing paperwork? That’s an opportunity cost.

Turn over a lead you thought wouldn’t amount to anything so you could leave the office early, only to find the rookie agent you handed it to is working the paperwork for the deal? Another opportunity cost.

But many agents don’t even get a fair calculation of the sales they calculated missing.

Sometimes opportunity costs can be as simple as not realizing the leads that are already there. Sometimes they can be as easy as better communicating with the contacts you assumed weren’t interested at the time.

The best way to minimize your opportunity costs is to engage with your customers. That doesn’t just mean those who recently bought from you, and it certainly doesn’t just mean those who are close to doing so.

While those customers need engagement too, they’re more likely to get it because you’re more likely to assume they’re about to buy. But the biggest opportunities might be missed amongst the customers you don’t even consider as such.

How many leads from the past two years have you recently called? Can you say for certain their circumstances haven’t changed?

Do you have contacts who simply created portfolios on your website to receive email updates of homes for sale? Those might be customers too. When was the last time you reached out to them? How do they know you can provide a benefit to them as their agent?

Engaging with your customers is the surest sign to find what they’re sure of. Agents often assume a portfolio isn’t as serious of a lead because the customer didn’t reach out. They often think a customer that didn’t respond at the first few attempts is only “kicking tires.” And many think because a customer didn’t provide many details on a Web request they don’t want to be bothered.

That might be true with many customers, but many customers created online accounts for a reason. They’re doing their homework and they don’t want to be sold to. But they want to know there’s someone educated who will help them make the right decision in the best manner when the time is right.

And that step starts with engagement. Not just any engagement, but the right kind of engagement, executed the right way based on how the contact contacted you. That's where a smart real estate website and CRM comes into play, to help you build your business to minimize what you spend--and lose--to keep it running.

Opportunity cots come in many shapes and sizes, but all of them hurt your wallet. And once you start getting those squared away, your write-offs are the least of your concerns.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to start minimizing your opportunity costs.

Monday, May 7, 2012

RE/MAX Mountain River Launches New Website

Today RE/MAX Mountain River launched their new website with Delta Media Group. Check out their new website at http://www.salidaremax.com.


RE/MAX Mountain River Launches New Website

Today RE/MAX Mountain River launched their new website with Delta Media Group. Check out their new website at http://www.salidaremax.com.


Friday, May 4, 2012

The end of engagement in real estate

The magazine ad didn’t do it.

The billboard was even worse.

The park bench was wooden, but not as much as the tagline.

When looking back it seems crystal clear—old real estate marketing was relatively robotic.

The thought might have been there. It might have performed its duty. But it had no human element.

Holding the telephone to the ear only made one look so talkative. A picture with a pet only made one seem pretentious. The consumers might have seen it, but they didn’t bring it up. They saw their real estate agent, but they might not have known him. He was an advertisement. His picture was modeled.

Maybe it was the evolution of media. Maybe it was the accessibility of the Internet. Maybe it was the rollercoaster of the economy. But at some point in recent years, consumers began yearning for a human element in business.

They might have had less money to spend. They might have learned to spend their money more wisely. Maybe they were burnt before. Maybe they were oversold a product or investment that under-delivered.

It might not have been the sales person’s fault, but it taught them a lesson, all the same. They grew more conservative. They did more homework. They wanted to work with someone they know; someone they could trust. They wanted to be educated rather than sold. And they wanted it to be from someone who they could relate to; someone who was human.

It doesn’t seem like much to ask for. Be yourself in exchange for one’s business. Help them with their problems and maybe they’ll help you earn your sale. And yet, it’s not always there.

Where do you start as a sales person? How do you cater to what a consumer needs when they might be more prone to research and communicate online, hidden comfortably behind their computer screens?

The first step is engagement with the customer. He doesn’t always want to be sold to, but he certainly wants to be helped. Sometimes that’s before he’ll even provide his name—he wants to know you can offer something of value before you’ll start calling repeatedly to ask for his business.

He knows with enough work and enough research he might find what he’s looking for. But he knows a true expert in the industry can better advise him on his decisions. He wants to know he’s found that, and he might not give you all his contact information until he knows he can trust you. And when he does, and you engage to grow that relationship, he’ll feel you’re the person to turn to.

Companies often claim their customer service is number one. Many of those that didn’t have great customer have faced hardships since the economy adjusted. You feel you can provide great service to your customers, but first you need customers to provide service to.

In this new real estate market, ego is last. Engagement is first. Customers are acting accordingly, and those who want their business will follow suit. They’ll look for methods to better engage those inquiries that might become leads that might become customers. They’ll look to improve their response time to best answer a customer’s questions. They’ll look to educate their customers with the information they’re armed with, so their customers trust whom they should turn to with their next real estate decision.

Engagement is key, but it will only go so far as a real estate agent is willing to take it, and work only so well as a real estate platform is willing to quickly foster communication and education channels.

And that platform—the right one that fosters communication quickly and easily and promotes engagement from a good real estate agent—will trump any billboard, magazine, or park bench in today’s new real estate economy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lindsey's Realtors® Launched New Website Today

Lindsey's Realtors® just launched their new website with Delta. Check it out... http://www.lindseysrealtors.com


Lindsey's Realtors® Launched New Website Today

Lindsey's Realtors® just launched their new website with Delta. Check it out... http://www.lindseysrealtors.com