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Delta Media Group Blog

Friday, June 29, 2012

Facebook blog comments are here!

The title says it all! We have integrated Facebook blog commenting into our blog system. Facebook blog comments have become a very popular feature due to the widespread adoption of Facebook and the ease of posting comments on blogs.

The screen shot below shows an example post with a sample comment as well.
This feature has been turned on for all customers. However, it has not been added to your current blog posts. As you create new blog posts you will see an option that is on by default to enable Facebook Comments on a per post basis.



If you have any questions about this new feature please contact support@deltagroup.com.

Keeping your home buyers, even when they're renting

Your client might have considered that it just isn’t the right time for him to buy.

You’ve worked with him extensively. He wants a home as much as anyone you’ve worked with before. You both agree that a home is his best bet and best investment.

But things just haven’t worked out. The one he liked best sold almost as soon as it hit the market. His second choice was priced too high and the sellers wouldn’t entertain his offer.

He didn’t want to move to the north side of town—it was too far from work. He didn’t want to move downtown—it was too big of an adjustment from what he was used to and he didn’t get the yard he desired.

And he was getting serious with his girlfriend. He even mentioned the possibility of proposing within the next year. She lived a little further away, they agreed to not live together and there was no telling if the house he considered buying might be near the job she might get after finishing grad school.

It was a long and tedious process, but renting might actually be his best bet. Not forever, but maybe for the next year. He could save some money, put more down on the house a year from now and buy something he knew he’d be happy with. Plus, it gave him an extra year to improve the credit score that dipped just enough during college to affect the amount he could borrow with today’s more restrictive lending standards.

As an agent, you’re not primarily in the business of rentals. You understand it might lose his business now, but you also know taking care of this client is best, and he might buy a nicer place a year from now. He’s the first of his college friends to look to buy, and he has several close friends who will be in his shoes within the next 12 to 18 months.

But you have options for him. Your real estate website—the one he used to search endlessly for homes over the past 12 weeks—offers rentals. In fact, you just received more rental capabilities this week. And you haven’t even discussed rentals with him yet.

He told you plenty of times before how comfortable he was with your website. He knew how to navigate it, and he always found what he was looking for quickly. With the touch of his iPad screen he saved it in his portfolio, and with another touch he notified you he’d like to schedule a showing. You often laughed at the process, because you’d email him back within moments. He could no sooner request the showing on your site that you already had a text message notifying you of it. Moments later, the process was underway.

“If apartments were that easy when I was in college I could have saved a lot of time and maybe graduated cum laude,” he had joked.

And now, they were. You gave him a call and told him about the functionality. You mentioned he could use the same website the same way and find those listings he might prefer to rent instead of buy. Upon finding one he liked, he could contact you the same way. And you could help with the process just the same. In fact, you could log in and see the apartments he saved in his portfolio, and follow up with him if you received additional details on them.

Your client was disappointed he couldn’t purchase the home he wanted yet. But he was happy he didn’t have to start his search process over. He simply went to the same website, walked through the same steps and worked with his same agent—you.

His adjustment was easier. Your communication remained strong. And you assured him you were still looking forward to working with him in a year, when he might be in a better position to buy that house he wanted.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to best provide to your customers--through real estate listings and rentals.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Agents: Know what properties your customers are saving!

Attention agents! We added a new feature keeping you more connected with what your customers are doing and the properties they are interested in.

What we've done is added a feature that sends you an email when one of your customer saves a property on your site. You'll get an email similar to the one below telling you the customer's name, phone number and email address along with the property information including picture, price, address, MLS ID, and listing agent.

Since we give you so much information we've made it easy for you to call or email the customer right away if you want to. All you have to do is tap on the customer's phone number from your smart phone and you'll quickly be connected to the customer. Or, tap on their email address and send them an email. Or, simply stay informed on what your customers are doing and delete the email.

By default, we have turned this feature on for all agents. The first few notices that you receive will contain an introduction message from us letting you know how to turn off the notifications. If you want to turn off the notification, wait until you get your first one, click on the "turn off" link in the email, log into the DeltaNet and disable this feature by unchecking the check box for Email me when a customer saves a listing. It's that easy!


As always, we appreciate your feedback and welcome any questions to support@deltagroup.com. or by posting on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DeltaMediaGroup.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Market Watch Update Q&A

Market Watch Report Sample
Sample Market Watch Email
I've received quite a few emails in response to my email last week about the pending Market Watch email update that's happening soon. I thought it would be good to share some of the questions I got along with the responses to those questions here.

To help you understand the Market Watch Report here are a few links:




Question:
When you say that the statistical information found on these reports is similar to what can be found on the national portals, does the data reflect local stats or national stats?

Answer:
The stats used on this report are localized for the market that is being represented in the report itself. However, the level of localization is dependent on the data from the market itself. In some markets, we have data all the way down to the Subdivision level. In other markets it may only be as low as the city level. Providing we have the data, we report data based on: State, County, Zip Code, City, Area, Neighborhood, Subdivision, School District, Lake Name, and Post Office.


Question:
Will the report be customizable to areas?

Answer:
Yes it can. The short, uncomplicated answer is that the Market Watch Report can be setup for any market that is searchable from your site. Basically, it's limited by the MLS data itself. We recommend that agents set these up based on criteria that is relevant to the local market such as School Districts, Neighborhoods, Areas, Cities, etc. In the next couple weeks agents will also be able to setup Market Watch Reports based on a map region. This is very useful in rural markets.


Question:
What about setting up a Market Watch Report for rural markets where using the city name or school district isn't appropriate?

Answer:
We're already working on the ability to search based on a map area. So, in rural markets it would make sense to setup a search based on a map area. This feature will be released no later than July 2012.



Nationwide Realty Launches Site with Delta

Nationwide Realty from Wagoner, Oklahoma launched their new website today with Delta Media Group. Take a look at their new site at http://www.nationwiderealtyus.com.

Nationwide Realty Launches Site with Delta

Nationwide Realty from Wagoner, Oklahoma launched their new website today with Delta Media Group. Take a look at their new site at http://www.nationwiderealtyus.com.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Rental Features Added

We have added a couple features for manually entered rental properties. You can now specify if a rental is Furnished or not. You can also specify the Availability Date for the rental as well. These are two good features for anyone doing rental properties.

For more information on these features please contact support@deltagroup.com.


Monday, June 25, 2012

New Options for Customer Portolios

While most of our customers, and all new customers, are using an updated interface for our My Portfolio Section we found a few customers that haven't updated theirs. So, we've added control so that you can upgrade to the latest interface for the customers using your website.

The newest My Portfolio interface (shown below) is an app-like widget based interface for customers. It gives them easy access to their Saved Properties, Saved Property Searches, Viewed Properties, their Profile and their Email Opt Status where they can control which types of emails they are opted in and out of.


To check and see if your websites are using the most up-to-date My Portfolio interface from Delta do the following: Log into the DeltaNet™ as an Administrator. In the quick search box up top type 'Globals' and select the Preferences - Globals Page. On this page, the ninth section down is titled My Portfolio Widgets. If this section has 'Enable' selected then you are using the widget system. If not, select 'Enable' and click the Update button.


If you have any questions on this feature please contact support@deltagroup.com.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Why would anyone list their home with you?

Why would anyone list their home with you?

You used to ask yourself this question all the time.

You’re a proven real estate agent with a resume and a track record. You’ve been in the business for a few years, hit solid numbers each year since beginning and feel relatively confident in your knowledge.

You’d consider yourself somewhat of an expert in the area, you’ve sold dozens of houses and people seem to like you.

Still, you just couldn’t pinpoint what it was that set you apart. This became more evident when, meeting after meeting, your potential clients walked out seemingly unfulfilled.

You used to have them signing on the spot. You used to begin listing their house the next day. But this began to diminish.

Sure, you’d get listings here and there. But most meetings didn’t seem to carry the same spark they used to. Your clients walked out without giving you a definitive answer. They didn’t seem overly impressed with your pitch, and you knew they’d turn to another agent for another meeting.

You didn’t change anything. You weren’t doing anything different. In fact, with each meeting you brought more knowledge and experience to the table with you.

But customers didn’t see it that way. As you grew more confident in yourself, they appeared less confident in you. It was starting to worry you.

And that was just it, you came to find. Bringing the same things to the table was your downfall. The market had changed. Your customers had changed. The economy had changed. And with it all consumer confidence changed, and so did the amount of research people conducted before trusting you with possibly their biggest financial decision.

You needed to change to stay up with the times. You needed to provide your clients more information, more satisfaction and more confidence that contacting you was the best real estate decision they could make.

You began researching ways to personify this. You realized the market had turned toward the Web, but you weren’t sure the best presence to establish there.

You began hearing murmurs from consumers that your website was difficult to use. They weren’t comfortable using it, and they often turned to other sites to collect the information they needed, even when they listed with you.

You started to realize you didn’t market their listing well online. It wasn’t just your website—other sites in the area portrayed your listings poorly. You didn’t provide good photos, and the home appeared online to be only a fraction as good as it was in person. You even wrote in your comments, “Must be seen in person to appreciate!” Then you told yourself, “I would prefer they talk to me to get more information on the home than feel they’ve found it all online.”

But less and less people reached out to inquire about those listings. Your homes began sitting on the market longer, and you had a few contracts expire.

Each time it happened, you blamed the market. You told your clients that things were difficult in this economy. You felt the listing would have easily sold two years ago, but homes just weren’t moving the same way any longer. You encouraged clients to renew their contract with you, and promised it will just take more time.

But you felt uncomfortable each time the words passed your lips. You felt like you were lying to your clients, even though you felt what you were telling them was true. Deep down inside, you just couldn’t accept that was the real reason. And it didn’t help that you saw a few other real estate agents moving house after house quickly. You couldn’t tell what it was they were doing to boost their business.

You started doing your own homework. You looked at their real estate website and saw it was superior to yours. You viewed their listings online and saw that they were better portrayed, with more information than yours. You realized they helped sell themselves, while yours had the opposite effect.

You began asking around. You wanted to know what else the agents were doing that you weren’t.

You even reached out to the real estate technology company that built their websites to find more information.

When you did, they treated you right. They told you what their services provided. They explained how they worked in this economy. They taught you Internet marketing strategies you had heard about at conferences and felt you had done, but realized had never been right.

You started looking at the Web differently. You invested in the service and began to feel it was one of the best decisions you had made. Your listings were better portrayed online, you had more digital marketing tools and you had new selling points to bring to your seller presentations.

The real estate market had changed, and you were finally beginning to understand what it took to change with it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sold Listings Primary Photos Now Archived

It's now easier for agents to add Sold Listings to their website. Previously, agents had a 30-day window to tag a listing as a sold listing on their site. If they didn't do it within the 30 day window our system would delete the listing. Now, with these changes the agents have an unlimited time to tag a listing in our system.

To learn more about this change please contact support@deltagroup.com.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Website Launch: Gladys Manion of St. Louis

We're pleased to announce the recent launch of Gladys Manion's new website with Delta Media Group. Family owned and operated, Gladys Manion has been providing detailed customer service and industry-leading talent in the St. Louis market for over 75 years. The new website includes some of Delta's best search and design features.

Check out the new Gladys Manion website at http://www.gladysmanion.com/



New Website Launch: Gladys Manion of St. Louis

We're pleased to announce the recent launch of Gladys Manion's new website with Delta Media Group. Family owned and operated, Gladys Manion has been providing detailed customer service and industry-leading talent in the St. Louis market for over 75 years. The new website includes some of Delta's best search and design features.

Check out the new Gladys Manion website at http://www.gladysmanion.com/



Updated Agent Property Search

We've added a new option for agents using the upgrade to display their property search. The new look offers a streamlined interface with an interactive map and easy-to-navigate listing area.


This feature can be found under the Pre-Defined Page tab in the Website menu of DeltaNet4.0

For more information on this please email support@deltagroup.com.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

RE/MAX Capitol Properties Website Gets a Facelift

RE/MAX Capitol Properties just launched their newly designed website with Delta Media Group. The new website features some of the latest tools Delta has to offer.

RE/MAX Capitol Properties is a leading real estate brokerage serving Cheyenne, Wyoming and the surrounding areas. Their full-service approach helps buyers and sellers alike with all of their real estate needs, from market analysis to relocation.

Check out the new website at http://www.cheyennehomestore.com

Visit Delta Media Group at http://www.deltagroup.com/


RE/MAX Capitol Properties Website Gets a Facelift

RE/MAX Capitol Properties just launched their newly designed website with Delta Media Group. The new website features some of the latest tools Delta has to offer.

RE/MAX Capitol Properties is a leading real estate brokerage serving Cheyenne, Wyoming and the surrounding areas. Their full-service approach helps buyers and sellers alike with all of their real estate needs, from market analysis to relocation.

Check out the new website at http://www.cheyennehomestore.com

Visit Delta Media Group at http://www.deltagroup.com/


Monday, June 18, 2012

The Apple Conference and what it means to your real estate business


The Apple conference last week had the tech world abuzz. Again.

Spectators oohed and aahed as Apple discussed iOS 6, its latest mobile operating system.

It offers an entirely new mapping system.

It has voice-activated turn-by-turn directions.

Siri will be more integrated.

It will be fully integrated with Facebook, as it has been with Twitter.

While some wonder what all the fuss is about, others are already planning ahead for how they'll use their mobile devices. iPad owners will download the new operating system and use Siri for the first time from a tablet.

Many current iPhone owners will get the new operating system. Many others will likely line up hours early to purchase the next iPhone, whenever it’s released. And the phone hasn’t even been announced yet. 

About the time it is, social media outlets will likely be flooded with how it might help real estate agents.

Those mentions might not detail the steps a real estate agent will have to take for the smartphone to actually help them do their jobs better.

What good is the world’s smartest phone when it doesn’t help an agent access their antiquated real estate website?

What good is its social media abilities when an agent doesn’t have a strong enough online presence to share.

What good is voice activation when an agent still has to gather their leads by notebook, and follow up by phone call.

The next best smartphone—whether a new iPhone, a Droid device or another unannounced product—only helps so much as a real estate agent can allow it. In many cases, real estate agents don’t have a sophisticated enough real estate website to allow it to assist.

Sure, it might look pretty. But how easy does it work for customers?

It may allow for a property search. How will it show up in search engines? 

It might feature an agent's contact info. How will it capture leads?

Smartphones allow agents to access email, hop on the Web and use integrated mapping technology.

They can also allow agents to access the DeltaNet, see their clients and follow up with them on the go. They can deliver agents’ leads to them immediately via text message. They can allow agents to more easily share properties and other news on their social media accounts, which are linked prominently from their real estate websites, which are built to best capture leads.

Smartphones can do a lot for your business, as can other new technologies. But only as much as you take advantage of their features to connect with your Web presence, which you can access on the go from anywhere to see all your contacts, which are automatically being marketed to by your HomeFinder email and drip marketing campaigns.

Without these abilities, smartphones are nothing more than a fast car for your business, when you don’t yet have the wheels it rides on.

Contact Delta Media Group to see how you can best leverage your smartphone, tablet and other new technologies to take full advantage of the best online real estate platform available.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Customer Information Screen Updated for Agents

We've updated the customer information screen in the DeltaNet™. It now shows more detailed information on each customer, showing the total number of notes, saved properties, saved searches, etc.


New Open House Options for Agents Added

We've added functionality giving agents the ability to display a custom message in the Open House Section when there are no open houses to show. Generally this may happen early in the week prior to open houses being added. In addition, it should be mentioned that we do support IDX Open House Feeds as well from any MLS that provides those feeds.

This setting can be found in the DeltaNet™ by clicking on Website and then Listing Display.

For more information on this please email support@deltagroup.com.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Adams Realty in Missouri Launches New Website

Adams Realty from Missouri just launched their new website using Delta Media Group. Check out their new website at http://www.adams-realty.com.


Adams Realty in Missouri Launches New Website

Adams Realty from Missouri just launched their new website using Delta Media Group. Check out their new website at http://www.adams-realty.com.


More Agent Options for New Listing Emails and Market Watch Emails

We've added functionality that gives agents the ability to get a copy of individual New Listing Emails and Market Watch Emails. This gives agents more options and allows them to have more control over how the system behaves. This option is located on the Customer Overview Screen in the New DeltaNet™ 4. in the section where the agent can Add, Edit and Delete these customer reports.

For more information on this feature contact support@deltagroup.com.


John Bailey Realty in Atlanta Georgia Launches New Site

John Bailey Realty of Atlanta Georgia just launched their new real estate website with Delta Media Group. Check out their new site at http://www.johnbaileyrealty.com.


John Bailey Realty in Atlanta Georgia Launches New Site

John Bailey Realty of Atlanta Georgia just launched their new real estate website with Delta Media Group. Check out their new site at http://www.johnbaileyrealty.com.


New option for Administrators

We've added a new option for Administrators on our platform, giving them the ability to streamline their login process even further. An Administrator can now specify which "side" of the DeltaNet™ 4 they are taken to when they login: Either the Admin Side of the system or the Personal Side of the system. This feature can be configured under the User Privileges Section. As always, if you have any questions please contact support@deltagroup.com.


Monday, June 11, 2012

The perfect listing presentation...and why it went wrong

When the real estate agent left, Adam felt a little empty.

She seemed nice. She said what she was supposed to. She was professional and well-spoken.

Her presentation was solid. She wasn't pushy or too salesy. It was what about what Adam expected.

And that was the problem. Adam couldn't help but feel insecure in all the things that, in another time, used to serve as securities.

He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but somewhere between her promises of newspaper ads and the strength of her national franchise, Adam thought he might be missing the boat if he signed with her.

Everything she said sounded fine. The void was caused by what she didn't say.

He heard her mention the listing going on the MLS. He didn't hear the value the IDX feed would provide in marketing it throughout the region on all real estate websites.

He heard her say it would be syndicated to "tons of other websites." He didn't hear her mention what those sites were, how many people use them to find homes, or the advantage syndication might provide in search engine results.

He heard her say her franchise had a national relocation presence. He didn't hear her mention how many more customers are turning to the Internet--and search engines, in particular--for research.

He heard her brag about how long her company has had an office in town. He didn't hear her explain how that might translate to buyers, when a vast majority of consumers are influenced through search, social and mobile rather than stopping by offices.

He heard her mention the newspaper ads. He didn't hear her explain the continued relationship she would build through online tools that would help market the home, broadcast it to her contacts list and allow her to update the listing and add more photos and descriptions on the fly.

Adam was over-assured with what the agent did say. But he couldn't put his finger on what she didn't. And that's what worried him, as he felt he could have had the same meeting with the same agent 20 years ago and practically nothing would have changed.

"But the world has changed," Adam thought to himself. "People are shopping differently. They're more cautious buyers. They want to be educated, not sold to."

And that thought is what kept Adam from buying from the person who tried to sell herself to him. She did a good enough job at it, but she didn't educate him on what he needed to learn.

So he opened his smartphone, looked online for homes for sale in the area, and reached out to the agents who marketed their listings the way Adam hoped his would get marketed. Those were the agents, Adam felt, who truly deserved his business.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to utilize online tools to help improve your listing presentations.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The systematic side of your real estate services

Scott was relieved to get out of the car when he finally found a parking spot at the back of the mall.

He hadn’t been there since Christmas, and now he remembered why.

It was Memorial Day weekend and, despite the gorgeous weather, everyone seemed to want to go shopping. It was enough to create stop-and-go traffic, parking lot confusion and, inevitably, a much further walk than Scott had anticipated when he chose his flip flops over the comfy Nikes still sitting in his closet.

Scott didn’t really want to spend his day amongst the this kind of traffic, shopping rather than cooking out. But he was starting a new job and felt his wardrobe needed freshened up. What better time to buy than when every mall store seemed to advertise fairly decent sales?

Scott walked in the first store. The discounts weren’t as great as he hoped, but he found a few shirts worth trying on. As he headed toward the fitting rooms he noticed the line stretched partway into the back of the men’s section. He exhaled a frustrated sigh as he reluctantly found his place in it, reminding himself he didn’t have anywhere better to be.

As he approached the front of the line, which moved quicker than he expected, he recognized the hold-up. A worker walked each customer to their changing room. On their way she asked the customer's name, which she wrote on a small dry-erase board on the outside of their door. After a couple minutes she knocked on the door and asked the customer by name if she could provide any assistance. If the customer needed an article of clothing in a different size, she left to fetch it for them.

Scott moved along to another store, where he found a few clearance racks of clothes. He grabbed a few shirts he liked before finding another stash of discounted items he started digging through. Partway through the process a worker approached him.

“Are you going to try those on?” she asked. “I can take them to a fitting room for you and you can go to it whenever you’re ready.”

Slightly baffled, Scott stumbled over a “Thank you” as he handed her his pile of clothes. He barely made it through a few more shirts before another worker extended the same offer.

Scott had arrived at the mall frustrated, but he left happy. He felt like he had received great service—something he didn’t expect to find on a busy Memorial Day weekend. And even though traffic was still congested and his wallet was thinner, Scott felt secure in his purchases.

Retail and eCommerce business can be vastly different from one another. And both are different from the process of purchasing a home. But all present the same fundamental rules: service makes happy customers and, as Ken Blanchard put it in his famous book, “Raving Fans.”

Scott received that kind of service when purchasing a few shirts. As real estate agents, you have customers who want to learn the market, trust your advice and make an educated decision. They want to feel content THRILLED with the home they plan on living in quite possibly for the rest of their lives. They want to feel utterly satisfied when they’re upgrading from the home they might have lived in when they had their first child. And that satisfaction is driven by you--the agent or brokerage responsible for helping that customer make the best, most informed decision.

One of the secrets of service that isn’t always mentioned is it can be systematic.

Scott shopped at stores that had created methods to better serve their customers. Those methods were taught to their employees, who each reached out to Scott to provide assistance in unique ways. Real estate brokerages and agents that use Delta Media Group already have online tools that can help them more efficiently educate and keep in contact with their potential clients.

Whether Seller Reports, Market Watch reports, new listing notifications or eCards, real estate agents have a nearly endless supply of service-providing mediums. Add to that CRM reminder systems and online calendars that can be accessed anywhere via the DeltaNet, and a real estate service to-do list is nearly already filled out for you.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how you can begin applying a proven system to your real estate services.