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Delta Media Group Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Converging Digital Marketing Mediums for Real Estate

We’ve talked a lot recently about different marketing mediums in real estate.

Traditionally we had newspapers and magazines in print, along with the occasional restaurant menu. Billboards and park benches were favorites for sign advertisements. And electronic media brought the ability to advertise on the radio and TV.

Each non-digital marketing channel has always operated in a silo of the others. None could be directly tied to another by much more than a common theme and branding campaign.

Digital media has operated much differently. In its relatively short life we’ve seen several digital marketing channels surface, from SEO, to PPC, to Social Media, banner ads, remarketing, blogging, video…you get the idea.

Last week we discussed how each of these digital mediums are separate channels, thus creating the conversations regarding Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling.

But there’s a little secret behind digital marketing that doesn’t occur in its non-digital predecessor: digital marketing initiatives should work in cohesion with one another.

That doesn’t mean the same digital marketing initiative should spread across all platforms any more than it means you should approach Facebook and Twitter the same way you might approach a banner ad on a third-party website.

What it does mean is you should utilize the same central source to control your marketing initiatives and point to them - a hub. And all should revolve around your real estate website.

You might have previously used billboards to put your face and name in front of people, and newspapers to advertise your listings. Radio might have had a sales pitch telling consumers know why you’re the agent they want to use.

But all digital marketing ultimately should filter your connections to your real estate website.

Your website should be the home of your entire business. In today’s society, it’s more important than your office, furniture, fancy clothes, or the car you drive, because a lot more people will see it.

This, of course, means two things:
1. You need a dang good real estate website.
2. It should provide the capabilities for you to control your digital marketing initiatives and centralize your widespread digital efforts.

We try to utilize our blog to help your real estate marketing and business initiatives, rather than to toot our own horn. But we feel we have a pretty good real estate website platform because we have always built it to work as the hub of your online business.

Several updates that occurred just this week show just that.

We now support Realtor.com Animated Sign Rider Deep Linking, and have long supported Trulia, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate, FrontDoor and integration with many other marketing sites.

We have new features for how Open Houses are displayed on real estate agent websites.

We have new updates to the mobile real estate website platform, which give brokerages and agents more control to personalize their mobile home page.

And all three updates have come just this week.

Integration with external marketing sites, continuous updates to enhance the user experience of real estate and open house searches, and a better mobile real estate website experience are absolute musts in a digital environment that is constantly changing.

But they’re also part of a bigger digital pie that includes Social Media, blog and video integration, advanced email marketing components, state-of-the-art property search features, and a lead management system that facilitates all leads and interactions to help you turn them into sales.

By converging your many digital marketing mediums to operate in cohesion with your real estate website, you can efficiently create a more effective online real estate business.

Contact Delta Media Group to learn how.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New mobile home page options released



[Updated 01-30-2013 @ 12:38PM EDT - Updated link to video with audio]

If you care at all about your marketing you need to realize right now that mobile as a marketing channel is huge and it's here to stay.

(Check out this YouTube video where we talk about mobile trending.)

Because of this ever-evolving and growing marketing channel within the residential real estate vertical we've been continually evolving our mobile platform for Realtors®.

The latest change is the addition of a custom home page option on our mobile platform. With this change Realtors® and real estate companies using our mobile platform can control their user's mobile experience.

To illustrate the changes we've made we put together a YouTube video showing how the new home page options work on our mobile real estate website platform. Check out the video...


To help illustrate this new feature on our mobile platform here are a few screen shots from the DeltaNet™showing the administrative screens for the new mobile home page options...
















How do you set this up for your Company?

There are 8 steps to make the custom mobile company home page. Here are the steps:

Step 1

Log in to the DeltaNet™  (be sure you are on the Admin side)and go to your 'Mobile Settings' under 'More' and 'Preferences'.


Step 2

Select 'Home Page'.


Step 3

Click the drop down and select 'Custom Home Page'.



Step 4

You can choose to add other page links to the homepage. Click drop down and select the link to be displayed and click 'Add'.


Step 5

You may choose to edit the Icons that are used. To do this, click on the 'Edit' button.



Step 6

Choose Icon from the displayed icons.


Step 7

You can also remove links, by clicking the 'Remove' next to the link to be removed.


Step 8


Click 'Save' to update the changes.



 FAQ's


Q. If my company sets up their Mobile site differently, will it affect mine?
A. No, The Agent settings only apply to the Agent site, when on the company site, those preferences will be as they have been set up in the DeltaNet™.

Q. Can I change the links on my Agent Mobile site more than once?
A. Yes, you can change the links as needed.

Q. I want to add a link to my sold listings, can I?
A. Yes, you can add your sold listings or any other page you currently have in the 'Pages System'.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Realtor.com Animated Sign Rider deep linking support is official

Over the past twelve years or so we've always supported and integrated links from portals, such as Realtor.com, as much as we can. We feel it's important to always give customers the best online experience possible and to keep real estate local at the same time!

It's also important if you're spending money with a portal that you get the most return on investment (ROI) with your marketing activities.

Because of this we've officially released support for Realtor.com Animated Sign Rider Deep Linking back to our customer websites. You can find more information about Realtor.com brokerage and office products here.

With this feature enabled, links coming from Realtor.com to your Delta Powered Website will link directly to the detail pages for the listing. In addition, there are options for where to take the customer in regards to the listing agent's website or the company website.

Here's a screen shot of the feature...


So, if you're currently using any Realtor.com marketing or you're considering it you should reach out to us regarding this feature. If you really know what you're doing you can easily enable this feature on your own from within the DeltaNet™.

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

New open house features for agent websites

New features in the open house section have been added to our agent websites. We've detailed the changes in the video below.

These changes alter the behavior of the open house section for customers. Watch the video to see how our system now behaves and the default options you have as an agent. This change is especially important for real estate companies and REALTORS® that have IDX Open Houses available in your market.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Easily filter your customers in the DeltaNet

We launched a new feature today in the DeltaNet™ making it easier to find customers by name. This new features gives you the ability to filter customers by first name, last name, and by partial string search on both first and last names. To show this new feature we created a video showing how it works.

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


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling and your Real Estate business

We talk a lot about real estate marketing trends.

Our recent article discussed Predictive Analytics and how to best leverage your digital capabilities to improve your online business.

In that article we mentioned another “pillar” of digital marketing analytics: Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling (also referred to as "Multi-Touchpoint Attribution Modeling").

As noted, multi-touch attribution deals with understanding that today’s consumer might visit your website and submit a lead through a specific channel, but there are many points of contact they’ll have with your marketing channels in the meantime that could be largely responsible for ultimately bringing your company that lead or sale.

Traditional stats and analytics look at marketing in a single-touchpoint silo and give all sales and marketing attribution to the last touch.

In years past you probably ran print advertisements in newspapers and magazines. When someone called to inquire about a listing you advertised you asked them where they heard about it. They’d tell you the newspaper or magazine, or that they drove past the house and saw your phone number on its for-sale sign.

You’d attribute the lead entirely to the respective channel, and track leads to better calculate which advertising medium worked best for your business.

As time went on you or your brokerage might have realized you could utilize different phone numbers in different mediums. Doing so allowed you to directly attribute where each phone call came from, since you listed different phone numbers in different ads.

This allowed you to better calculate the value of each advertising medium and you began using a specific phone number on your for-sale signs.

You even got crafty and used a unique phone number on your website when you first launched it. At that time there were no lead capture capabilities or online data sources, and you wanted to make sure people were actually visiting your website and inquiring about your business directly from it. At first it didn’t account for very many phone calls, but the percentages continued to grow over the years.

Then something weird started to happen. The economy began to shift, and the industry shifted with it. Print publications made cuts, and some went out of business altogether. Billboards began to lose value, and a whole new list of digital marketing capabilities popped up—from better real estate website and lead management capabilities, to blogging, to Social Media and video marketing.

You heard and read about how your should use all of them to boost your business, but you struggled to identify a direct ROI in SEO, Social and blogging. It used to be so easy when someone called you and you could directly ask him where he got your number. But your new customers began reaching out to you online, and at a more rapid pace than ever before.

If you market yourself online correctly, consumers will be able to find you through multiple digital channels. Google Analytics allows you to follow some of them, but you’re still stuck trying to discover what impact some channels had on your marketing, and how all that direct traffic found your website directly.

Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling is one of the most and least important elements of your business. You need to cater to today’s consumer through multiple channels. But you don’t have to worry about the exact value each channel provides. Doing so will drive you crazy, because there’s currently no good way to truly measure the exact weight each channel has on your business.

Consumers are using multiple devices at multiple times during the day. They’re often taking in multiple messages from multiple devices at the same time, as they frequently sit in front of the TV with their tablet or smartphone in hand, and even use their tablet and smartphone while on their desktop computer.

It’s impossible to calculate whether your TV advertisement had a larger impact toward a purchase than did the tweet you sent out at the same time the consumer was watching it, or your website, which the consumer was using to shop for homes on their desktop.

You may have had a blog post talking about the current market, which an interested consumer found by Googling the topic. They fanned your Facebook page to see what you were about, and a few days later they clicked on one of your posts and visited your website. Analytics will give Facebook the referral credit, but wasn’t the blog post more essential to driving them to you?

It’s not as important which medium might be most important. What’s important is that you have a presence on them all, and understand that multiple channels will help drive consumers to doing business with you, even though only one can be attributed for the final click before the lead.

To best leverage this business model, you need a digital real estate interface that gives you access to all channels and allows you to control each one with a unified message when need be. You need lead tracking capabilities to go along with your lead drivers—email marketing, Social Media marketing, a blog, video incorporation, and a darn good real estate website that’s easy to navigate and provides a great property search.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to drive and track sales through all real estate marketing channels.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Widget based customer dashboard new feature added

We just launched a change to our widget based MyPortfolio System making the system more intuitive for customers that are actively using the system over an extended period of time.

We changed the Saved Listings Widget to continue showing saved listings that are now off-market. This would include sold, expired, withdrawn, and in some markets pending listings.

Previously when a listing went inactive we would no longer show them since they were out of the active inventory of properties. In some cases this would cause confusion with customers and would cause some customers to wonder where their saved properties went.

To address these concerns and other customers can now see all their saved properties including inactive properties. As you can see from the screen shot on this page we do show a status to the customer of 'Inactive' to communicate with them that the property is no longer active.

With this change customers are also given an easy method for deleting all inactive properties from their Saved Listings Widget. To do this they just click on the tool icon in the widget header and from the settings control panel for the Saved Listings Widget they are able to delete all inactive listings. They also still have the ability to delete them one-by-one like all other saved listings directly from the widget itself.


Earlier today we did a post including a video about the widget based MyPortfolio System and how it was launched on all websites today. You can see that post here.

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

Widget based customer dashboard launched

Today we put live for all customers our widget based customer dashboard for our MyPortfolio System. For some customers this isn't anything new since we released this new system over 12 months ago but we had many customers that had not moved over to it. So, today we pushed the new system live for all customers.

The new widget based system is more intuitive for customers, more visually appealing and offers more functionality. To explain the new system we've put together a short video that explains the system which you can watch below.

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


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More detailed lead reporting released

While this isn't a very glamorous update it is important in helping you understand what's happening within your company and how the agents are handling the leads being generated.

We've updated the Agent Broadcast Summary Report adding a filter that allows you to view lead totals based on lead requests or by actual customer counts. This new feature helps companies do a better job tracking and comparing how their agents are performing.

This report is found in the Administrative side of the DeltaNet™ under the Reports section of Leads & Contacts. A sample report is shown below...

Sample Report


The Agent Broadcast Summary Report is found under the Leads & Contacts Section

Monday, January 21, 2013

Changes to Quick Property Search for Realtor Websites

We made a subtle upgrade to our Quick Property Search found on our Realtor® Websites.

The latest upgrade to the Quick Property Search adds the ability for selecting which property type a customer wants to search. You can see on the screen shot below that there is a field titled 'Property Type'. This field contains a list of available property types in the market for searching such as 'Single Family', 'Lots and Land', 'Commercial', etc.


To help explain this change we've put together a sixty-second YouTube video that explains this change. For convenience we've embedded the video below...



The Quick Property Search can also be custom configured by the Realtor® to better match their local needs. A few months ago we put together a video showing how a Realtor® can configure their Quick Property Search Settings from within the DeltaNet™. This video is featured below...



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

Friday, January 18, 2013

Using Predictive Analytics to boost your Real Estate Business

How is your real estate market trending?

If it’s like many we monitor, it’s booming early in 2013.

That’s a great thing, but as we’ve recently mentioned, it’s also one you absolutely have to measure.

What good is a marketing budget if you’re unable to forecast when your peak periods will occur, when you should begin marketing to take advantage of them, and when you should premeditatedly begin more aggressively targeting specific markets, price ranges and other demographics?

The answers lie within the two “Holy Grails” of digital data: Predictive Analytics and Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling.

The latter deals with understanding that today’s consumer might visit your website and submit a lead through a specific referral, but there are many points of contact they’ll have with your marketing channels in the meantime that could be largely responsible for ultimately bringing your company that sale.

The former, which we’ll discuss in this article, deals with measuring pre-trend factors to better understand and forecast what’s going to occur, even if it hasn’t taken shape yet.

If you’re not a numbers or analytical person your head is probably spinning already. But don’t allow that to be the case, because we’re here to help.

Predictive Analytics allow you to forecast based on what should happen in an industry during specific times. In real estate, it can be a measure what’s happening before the sales data actually shows it occurred. Existing-home sales data is often reported by the national media based on closings. But we all know that trend may have ended before the local newspaper can print the data.

There’s a lot that occurs before a closing is finalized. The customer typically will do research, find a few houses they like, ask more questions about them, schedule showings for them, make an offer…you get the idea.

All of those steps provide better trends toward what’s occurring in the real estate industry than do closings. But all of them would have to be measured to provide data to predict market trends.

For example, your fellow real estate agent might have three clients that were in a holding pattern, but recently requested showings. You might have five that had recently looked at houses but now are in a holding pattern. Neither stat can predict industry trends for your brokerage, let alone regional, state, or national real estate trends.

The two purest ways to use predictive analytics in real estate are to measure:
1. When people begin searching with more frequency for real estate.
2. When people begin inquiring more about real estate with intention to buy or sell.

Due to the rollercoaster market and economy over the past half-decade, those trends can’t be forecast too accurately too far in advance. But they can be analyzed when using the right systems that measure local real estate market data.

The right system would have to show market trends as soon as they’re occurring, and allow one to see how those compare with previous months and years. It would break down the types of leads that are incoming, so trends can be accurately analyzed. And it would be based by region and brokerage, so as not to let another market's stats skew those of your own.

Digital analytics can get a bit complicated, even for the most tech savvy Internet marketer. So that system should be paired with Google Analytics data, local market real estate pricing and sales trends, and—perhaps most importantly—packaged from a company that can help you correctly utilize the data to your advantage. That company should provide the advice and tools necessary to better leverage your digital marketing assets to make the most of those trends.

Predictive analytics and other digital marketing measures might sound scary, but they can be one of your best allies in this new age of Internet, Email, Social Media and Mobile marketing.

And Delta Media Group can be your best ally in digital marketing. Contact us for more details.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Controlling what properties show for your Elegant Homes link on your agent website

We've added a new feature making it easy for you to change the minimum price on the Elegant Homes link on your website. To help you understand the feature, we've put together a short video showing where the setting is changed and what it does.



But, what if you wanted to have more control over what Elegant Homes are showing on your Elegant Homes link? You also have the ability to setup a 'custom' search results page within our system as well. Check out the video below which shows you how.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Assembling your 2013 Real Estate Marketing Budget

Have you compiled your 2013 budget yet?

If you’re wise you’ll account for flexibility. But there are some things you’ll certainly want to consider investing in.

Those probably aren’t rocket science, because they’re many of the same things you’ve been at least considering investing in for the past few years. But they’re back on the top of your marketing list because they work.

If you’re planning on budgeting more of your marketing budget toward Email, Mobile and Social, you’re like most marketers, according to a StrongMail survey.

One thing you’re definitely not considering is cutting back your budget. The same survey found 89 percent of those surveyed said they plan “to increase or maintain the same level of marketing spend in 2013.”

Interesting news, when the past half-decade has largely boasted reduced annual marketing and advertising spends due to the downtrodden economy.

Real estate might not be what it was in 2005 through 2007, but it has improved over the past few months, and companies are adjusting accordingly.

This is a new economy where marketing is necessary, but it absolutely demands return on investment. Which absolutely demands you have a way of measuring your results and comparing those with your investments.

Doing so means you can be more aggressive while also being more cost-conscious in your real estate business.

While print advertising has largely shown higher costs and decreased returns in recent years, the mediums featured in the survey—Email, Mobile and Social—are all showing positive marketing and branding results for those companies correctly using them.

And with good reason. All are good paths for your brokerage’s future, and all paths we’ve been talking about for a long, long time. That’s why we’ve dedicated many of our recent developments to—you guessed it—Email, Mobile and Social.

Email is the driving communication force behind the DeltaNet. It’s the primary communication tool in the DeltaNet Customer Relationship Management system. Our email system is so advanced it allows customers to sign up for Market Watch reports, which sends them home pricing and for-sale trends, neighborhood stats and a lot more.

Mobile isn’t the future, but the present, because mobile is what consumers are searching from. More than half of Americans have a smartphone, and the number of shoppers who used their mobile device to make a purchase doubled in the US and UK from 2011 to 2012.

It only makes sense--your consumers are driving around neighborhoods, spotting homes they have interest in and using their mobile devices to conduct more research on them. They’re even requesting more information and contacting a real estate agent on the Web directly from their mobile device.

Social is one of the most influential mediums because it allows people to easily interact with friends and businesses. Social is the new word-of-mouth because those who have good service turn to Social to mention it, while those with bad service turn to Social to scream about it. Social is less invasive than many marketing mediums, and allows you to share news and stories and keep your brand in front of consumers without seeming like you’re pushing them toward a sale they might not want to be sold on.

All three mediums are necessary for your 2013, which means so is a platform that allows you to control you digital business seamlessly with advanced uses of these mediums.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to utilize the DeltaNet platform to improve your Real Estate Social, Mobile and Email marketing initiatives in 2013.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Minimum rental lead price settings added

With the ever growing market of rental properties and the large number of MLS' that have adopted rental listing support, it's becoming more and more important to support the business of rental properties.

Because of this, Delta has been working on numerous changes and one of these changes went live today. Our system now supports settings for rental leads for Realtors® wishing to control the criteria of their rental leads.

As of today, Realtors® are able to specify a minimum rental price for rental property leads. This means if a Realtor® wants to only receive leads on rentals priced $800 per month or higher they can set a minimum rental lead setting of $800 within the DeltaNet™.

To set your minimum rental price setting as a Realtor® log into the DeltaNet™ and select your lead settings. On the lead setting screen you're able to set your minimum rental price.

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


Friday, January 4, 2013

Communicating the fiscal cliff's real estate impact to your clients

What kind of communication have you had with your real estate clients over the past few days?

In most years, the past two weeks were a holiday. New Year’s followed Christmas, and the pursuit for a new house was likely put on hold temporarily.

And in most years you followed your holiday regiment. You sent Christmas cards, holiday eCards, and maybe even gift baskets for some clients. You wished them happy holidays and kept an emotional connection.

This year is different. This year a fiscal cliff loomed overhead as congress has debated a much-publicized negotiation that could have a significant impact on the economy and real estate market.

The topic is scary, but not something to run from. And a real estate decision is, for many, contingent on what exactly happens that's out of all of our control.

Your clients aren't ignoring this info. They're probably doing just the opposite. And no matter how much they want to get that new house in 2013, they can't determine if the economy will make for a good time to buy or a better time to wait.

These decisions affect your real estate business, and your clients are hungry for information that will help them make the best decision for their money and family.

Your clients are looking to read about the fiscal cliff, and want a professional opinion on what it might mean to them and their market. Some of your clients might even take this information into consideration and discuss whether it's the right time to downsize. Their children are grown and moved out, and they no longer need as much space as they used to. Why keep an expensive mortgage when the economy isn’t looking as promising as you hoped?

In years past, these decisions didn't loom so heavily at this time of year. And in years past, you didn't necessarily have the capabilities to offer business information and details on how specific decisions by Congress could significantly impact the real estate market. You had to wait for your clients to call you, and many of them wouldn’t because they were afraid you’d lean toward them buying.

You now have those capabilities to offer business information and insights, and you now realize how you can leverage those capabilities.

You take to your real estate blog and write out the possible scenarios of Congress's decisions and how each might impact the economy and real estate market. You post a link to your blog on Facebook and Twitter, and you email a link to your clients.

You write follow-up articles detailing updates on congressional discussions and the decisions the media is reporting. You’re not a reporter, so you link to the specific details on a news site. But you are a real estate and community expert, so you write about how this discussion and each consequence can impact the real estate market.

Your clients read your articles and feel secure they’re working with someone willing to understand their worries and help them through them. Others in the area find your articles when searching for information on the local market. And since your articles are informative and not salesy in nature, consumers trust them, and feel secure working with you because they trust you have their best intentions in mind.

Real estate purchases have an emotional connection. And that’s a marketing hat you’ve often worn. But, perhaps more now than in recent history, real estate has a rather black and white investment side to it.

And, perhaps for the first time in recent history, you have the best capabilities in your market to help walk your clients through market factors and how they might impact their investments.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Email Customer directly from the customer overview


We have added a feature that will allow the agents to email their customers directly from the customer overview window.  These emails sent will not only send the email directly to the customers Email, but will also save it to the messages widget.

What are the benefits for your Customer?

You can more efficiently contact your customers while looking at the customer information screen.

What are the benefits for you, the REALTOR®?

You can now Email your customer and have it saved in the DeltaNet™, all while looking over the customer information. This will cut down the time you will need to get the information to your customer, along with the steps it takes to do it.

How do you Email your Customer directly from the customer overview?

There are 5 steps to send an Email to your customer directly from the customer overview. Here are the steps.


Step 1

Log in to the DeltaNet™ and go to your 'Customer Center' under 'Customers'.


Step 2

Select a customer from the 'Customer Detailed List' and click on their name.



Step 3

Click on the 'Messages' icon.



Step 4

Click 'Send New Email'.


Step 5

Enter the 'Subject' and 'Body' content and click send Email to complete.



How do you view the Emails to your Customer sent directly from the customer overview?


Step 1

Log in to the DeltaNet™ and go to your 'Customer Center' under 'Customers'.


Step 2

Select a customer from the 'Customer Detailed List' and click on their name.



Step 3

Click on the 'Messages' icon to view the sent messages.




 FAQ's


Q. Can I 'CC' myself on the Email?
A. No, the emails are saved in the DeltaNet™

Q. Where will the reply go to?
A. The customers reply will go to the Email address you have entered in the 'Public Email' field on the 'Overviews' page under 'Website', in the DeltaNet™.