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Delta Media Group Blog

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Earn - and Retain - More Real Estate Business

With the real estate market going in the direction it is, earning new customers is probably top of mind.

Leads are increasing, home sales are increasing, and analysts are expecting prices and home sales to continue to increase.

It all adds up to more business opportunities for your business, and you’re very aware of what it takes to win them.

That’s a lot of work…and what you might not be thinking about is keeping the business you’ve already earned.

You worked hard on your listing presentation. You wrote it up, assembled statistics, asked for and received a lot of great references, and invested in great real estate technologies to help boost your online presence.

You assembled those in a presentation, rehearsed it, and over the years it helped you earn a lot of listings.

As is the nature of the business, not all those listings sold. And while you were earning new business, some contracts were approaching their expiration dates.

You didn’t really think about them, because you assumed you’d already sold yourself to the home owners. It might just take a bit more time to sell the listing, and you had a lot of work to do to earn a lot more new, exciting business.

In the old days, that might have worked. But it’s a new day and age, and customers that feel ignored also feel like they can find someone who might better help them.

And the biggest reason is the communication channels have changed.

The client whose trust you earned five months ago might be Facebook friends with a real estate agent he didn’t choose to work with the first time around. But since, he has started wondering if you are working for him.

He thought about the other agent, who works so hard on her real estate blog and Social Media channels. He wondered if she might work a bit harder than you, even though her resume was less impressive the first time around.

Your customer reaches out to her, and he starts feeling better about using her as an agent. And your listing contract is about to expire, and she might just have earned his business.

Maybe you’ll replace her with three new clients. Maybe you have a few listings to close that will certainly result in GCI. But that client took a lot of time from you to earn six months ago, and all that time is for naught, now.

You win some, you lose some. You can’t win them all.

At least, you tell yourself those two things as you see your business walk out your door, and into that of a competing agent or brokerage.

And you begin to realize, sometimes your best source of new business is working better with your old business. It’s never as easy to earn a new customer, as it is to keep an old one.

We realized as much when consulting with brokerages a while back, and we built our real estate technology systems to help you do it.

We created a customer relationship platform, Seller Reports and a sophisticated and intelligent Market Watch email report. We have consistently updated each with new features that better integrate with the fabric of how our society conducts an ever-changing business. All are fantastic sources of new information, and they’re all automated to help you better save time while keeping in constant contact with your clients.

But a personal touch helps, too. And we also built our systems to make that as easy and convenient as possible. Whether it be from your desktop or laptop, or tablet or smartphone, you can easily reach out to your clients using Delta Media Group’s systems.

And you can easily find your clients’ information, download and print off their files, set up reminders of how to follow-up with them, or put them in buyer profiles where the system is automated to remind you.

Your real estate Web systems helped you earn your business. But they can just as easily help you retain it, help you convert it to closed business, and help you keep in communication long after the transaction is complete so you can better earn referrals and more testimonials for that next nifty listing presentation you assemble.

Contact Delta Media Group to learn more about earning and retaining more real estate business.

Expanding the Social Media sphere of influence


We have added Pinterest to the social networking URLs on the agent side of the DeltaNet, to increase your sphere of influence.

What are the benefits for the REALTOR®?

Your website and Email are not the only ways to have customers contact you, Pinterest can help you gain the exposure of your listing photos to friends and friends of friends. These are people you may have never met before without the use of social media sites.

How do you set this up?

There are three steps to set this up your social media links on the Overviews Page. Here are the steps:

Step 1

Log in to the DeltaNet™ and go to your 'Overview' under 'Website'.


Step 2

Go down to the section labeled 'Social Networking URLs' and click in the box for the Social Media Link of your choice. This is where you will add the Social Media Links URL.



Step 3

Click 'Update Social URLs' at the bottom of the page, to complete.




 FAQ's


Q. Will the link be a Logo?
A.  Yes, there is a Pinterest logo on your Agent page and this will be a link to your Pinterest account.


Q. Can I add my Pinterest link to my Email signature?
A.  Yes, you will follow the same steps to complete this (here are the steps to add the signature).



Q. Will the link be a included in the My Home Finder Emails?
A.  Yes, the social media links will be added to the My Home Finder Emails.



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Listing Counts on DeltaNet Market Watch Creation Form


We are now showing the number of listings in each market when creating the Market Watch in the DeltaNet™. We have also limited the auto-complete results to the markets in which the company has current listings to show. Previously you could select any market, even if there were no listings in that market.

What are the benefits for your Customer?

You as the Agent will be aware of the number of listings available to your customer, in the market they are currently looking in.


What are the benefits for you, the REALTOR®?

The Auto-Complete feature will only display the markets in which active listings are available, shortening the amount of time you have to spend setting up the Market Watch.

How do you set up a Market Watch for your Customer?

There are 5 steps needed to setup a Market Watch. Here are the steps.

Step 1

Log in to the Deltanet® and go to the Customer Center.

Step 2

Choose the customer from the Customer Detailed List and click on their name.

Step 3

Click on Add a Market Watch.

Step 4

Choose either by Market or by Radius. By Market will allow you to choose specific markets by name and by Radius will allow you to set up a Market Watch centered on a specific location with the area inside the radius to be included in the Market Watch.

Step 5 (by Market)

Enter the State, County, and Market (City Name, Subdivision, Area, or School District). Just start typing and the auto-complete feature will suggest matches to your entry. Click save and the Market Watch is completed and will be sent to your customer.


Step 5 (by Radius)

Enter an address in the top bar or move the marker to the general location in the state the customer is looking in. To zoom in, you can use the Zoom Slider located on the left side of the map, or you can double click near the marker to zoom in. click and hold on one of the boxes that define the circle and drag, to change the coverage area of the radius. Click Save and the Market Watch is completed and will be sent to your customer.


Preview the Market Watch

Clicking the preview button now gives the agent a choice between viewing the report in their browser window or by email like it was originally.



Example Market Watch Email


Market Watch FAQ's

Q. Can I set-up more than one Market Watch  to be emailed to my  'customer'?
A.
Yes, you can set up multiple Market Watches for any customer

Q. If a customer asks me what is the purpose of this Email, what do I tell them?
A.
The Market Watch Email is a tool for the customer to help them stay informed on the current market conditions including what's for sale, what's selling, and what the trending is.

Q. Can I disable or change the Market Watch for my customers?
A.  Yes. It's very easy to update the Market Watch settings from the DeltaNet.

Q. Can I get a copy of the Email?
A.
Yes, below the  Market Watch  in the Customer Information, the box labelled 'Copy me on this email' will send you a copy if checked. 

Q. Is Market Watch Email part of the upgrade or standard agent system?
A. It is part of the upgrade.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Printable customer overviews really help some agents



Being able to go completely electronic is hard for some individuals, giving up the filing cabinet for a portable hard drive just won't work for some Agents. We have added the ability to print your customers information, so you have it in a hard copy for you keep your filing cabinet happy too!

What are the benefits for your Customer?




What are the benefits for you, the Realtor®?

You can have print outs of your customers information for your records for future reference. The printed materials are not for every Agent, but those who regularly use their filing cabinets can find the customer information as fast as most of the Agents who can type 60+ words a minute. It all comes down to your personal preference.

How do you print your Customer information?

There are 3 steps to print your customers information.

Step 1

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

Step 2

Select the Customer and click on their name.


Step 3

Click the 'Print' button.


While the information is being compiled for printing, you may see the load screen below, this will show longer, based upon the amount of customer information that is being ready for print.

Please be conscious of the amount of  information that will be printed, as the printout for one customer could be more than several pages, depending on the saved information the customer has.





 FAQ's


Q. What 'Customer Information' gets printed out?
A. The contents of the 'Customer Information' screen is all printed out.

Q. Does this print out the contact information for the Customer?
A. Yes, all of the entered Customer Information is included.

Q. Does this include the customer history.
A. Yes, all of the customers saved searches and listings are shown in the printout.

Q. Can I select certain pages to be printed?
A. Yes, after the printout has been set up and ready to print, you can select the specific pages to print.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Market Watch sign-up form on your web site

We launched a new feature for all the upgraded agent web sites on the Delta Media Group Platform today. The new feature is a Market Watch Sign-up Form for your web sites.

The new Market Watch Sign-up Form gives your customers the ability to sign-up on their own for their own personalized Market Watch Report. (See this previous blog post talking about Market Watch)

Market Watch is a great way to stay engaged with current customers, past customers and internet leads.

For more information on how you can setup Market Watch on your upgraded agent web site watch this video:


An Admin Guide to rebroadcasting leads to a different zip code


This latest addition to the rebroadcast system allows administrator to rebroadcast a lead (processed or unprocessed) with the same or different zip code (if needed). When the Administrator does this they can also leave a message for the Agents who go to accept the lead. The message will be attached to the lead under messages.

What are the benefits for your Customer?

The Agents who handles the zip codes the customer is looking in are more likely to respond to a customer in timely manner.


What are the benefits for the REALTOR®?

This will help get the lead to the Agent that services that zip code, instead of broadcasting it to the Agents who serve the customers current zip code, or the Administrator can assign a zip code (if not attached) to rebroadcast the lead to the Agents to be sure the customer is taken care of.

How do you rebroadcast a lead with a different zipcode?

There are 3 steps to rebroadcasting a lead with or without a different zip code. Here are the steps.


Step 1

Log in to the DeltaNet™ as the Administrator and go to the Leads tab.

Step 2

Select the lead to be rebroadcast and click the 'Edit' button.


Step 3

Select 'Change zip code to:' to rebroadcast to a different zip code and enter the zip code to rebroadcast to, or leave the zip code the same. Enter a message for the Agent who accepts the lead. Click 'Re-Broadcast'.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Agents can easily select their Lead Generation settings

A new page was just launched in the DeltaNet™ making it easier for agents to select their Lead Generation Settings for their personal web site.

The new page, titled Lead Generation, is located under the Customer Center Menu. You can see a screen shot of the menu to the right.

Once an agent logs into the DeltaNet™ and selects Lead Generation from the Customer Center Menu they will see a page very similar to the one shown below. This page gives the agent six various options for generating leads. If no changes have been made the 'Soft Customer Offers' option will already be selected and highlighted in green.




To best explain each of the settings and how the system works we've created a YouTube video. The YouTube video explains each setting, what each setting does, and what level of the Delta System is required to use each option.

Check out the video...





Sample new listing email offer *Patent Pending

Capitalize on your Real Estate Conversion Rate

So you’ve established your online real estate business is important.

You’ve bought into the data behind how consumers are shopping, the latest digital marketing trends, Social Media, and that your real estate Web presence can directly translate to sales.

For some in the industry, this has been the topic of conversation for several years. For others, email is still a learning process.

Regardless of where you stand in the digital learning curve, by reading this blog you have recognized that sending traffic to your real estate website is important.

But what do you think your traffic does when it arrives there?

If you’re doing things right, your website visitors are finding what they’re looking for and asking for more information about it. That means they’re asking a question, scheduling a showing, or maybe just creating a portfolio on your website so they can save a listing for easy access at a later time.

In Web terminology, they’re converting to leads, which opens the door for you to later convert them to sales.

Regardless of the industry, the key to online conversion is a good website. In eCommerce, that means user experience—which includes design, navigation and search capabilities—and good part detail pages with that easily allow shoppers add items to their carts.

We know that real estate shoppers are different in that they're not entering a credit card or using PayPal to purchase a house. But they’re still looking for great search capabilities and a well designed, easy-to-navigate listing page (it helps if that listing page gives extra incentives to boost SEO, but that’s another topic).

A good real estate search allows a visitor to easily find the proeprty they’re looking. A good listing detail page allows them to quickly and easily investigate the key details of the listing once they’ve arrived, and effortlessly request more information if they’re interested.

These components combine to help boost your conversion rate—which is the percentage of those who submit a lead after visiting your listing detail page.

That’s what goes through our heads when we constantly work on new updates, like the newly redesigned property detail pages on our mobile website.

The attention-getter on the page is the listing photo, because that’s what your website visitors want to see most. The touch of a button and a few swipes shows the visitor all other listing photos in full screen. Below the image is additional information on the property.

But the meat of the listing detail page is the call to action. And there are many.

The top of the page features tabs that allow visitors to quickly return to the menu, email the property, get driving directions, save it to their portfolios or call the agent. At the bottom of the page they can enter the day and time they want to schedule a showing. That lead will be routed instantly through your DeltaNet lead management system.

The user experience is as good as it gets, and will make it easy and fun for visitors to shop for homes on their mobile phones. This is a task that used to be difficult, forcing consumers to long for the weekend to drive around looking at houses, or wait to shop for properties until their lunch breaks or when they got home and could use their PCs.

We know mobile isn’t the future, but the now. And we know it’s absolutely essential for a real estate company to have a good Web presence, and a good mobile presence, and a great user experience, and solid calls to action so all those things translate to leads, which route through a great lead management system and translate to sales.

We feel our new mobile website updates absolutely nail each of those elements.

Tell us what you think. And contact Delta Media Group for more information on our mobile real estate websites.

What a good SEO partnership looks like

I have the opportunity to spend time with quite a few company owners. Owners of not just real estate companies but also owners of all types of companies like marketing companies, manufacturing companies, transportation companies, construction companies and even other dot-com's.

What I've come to learn over the years is that a common thread exists between many of these companies. This common thread I'm talking about is how companies view Search Engine Optimization,  better known as SEO.

Since SEO is a service that is offered by Delta Media Group I've been able to focus in on how companies actually view SEO.

If you ask just about any company owner to explain SEO to you they way say they have "no idea" what it really is. Some would even say that they know they need it but they don't like it. If they're really honest many would say that they hate it!

Instead of focusing intently on the negative side of this view I thought I should do a blog post that would focus on the positive side of SEO. What does a relationship look like with companies that do great with SEO?

To do this I've selected one customer of Delta Media Group where we have done SEO for them for over two years and focus a little bit on them and the relationship.

First, let me just show you some of the traffic graphs from the past two and one-half years. I think they're self-explainitory but I'll also do my best to explain what's going on.

The first graph is from Google Analytics and shows the total traffic graphed by month. As you can see from the graph the traffic has doubled in about 18 months. This is no small feat with this site given how high the traffic is on the site already. Keep in mind that this traffic graph is for one real estate website in one market. As you can see from this graph they're currently doing about 200,000 visits per month. The graph shows the growth in website traffic and the trending that the traffic is following. It's a very positive trend!

Total visits by month
The second graph, also from Google Analytics, shows total mobile traffic graphed by month. The reason I'm showing this graph is because of the intense effort Delta Media Group has put into the mobile platform and how we've built our mobile platform for a great mobile user experience and for SEO. As you can see from this graph the site is now getting over 60,000 visitors per month from mobile. The mobile traffic segment is VERY important to us. This is the future! By the end of 2013 we expect this to be about half the total traffic of this website.

Mobile visits by month
While I don't have a leads graph to share I can share that the leads on this website have grown significantly more than the traffic in the past 18 moths. Through Delta's continued effort in doing a better job of customer engagement we're generating more leads than ever on our sites. This site is generating thousands of new leads per month. That's big and really important! It's also very important for the e-marketing efforts being done (more on this in a later blog post).

With this said, the question I would like to answer is "what makes these types of results possible?"

Is it a simple answer of just writing a check every month for SEO related work? No, it's not that simple.

While it does take a marketing dollar commitment on the part of the company, and a competent company providing SEO service, like Delta Media Group, it takes much more.

So, what does it take?

I've outlined four thoughts that are critical to getting great SEO results from your website.

A true partnership between your SEO provider and your company

In order to achieve results like this, especially results that build on top of results, it takes a close working relationship between your staff and the staff of your SEO provider, like Delta. This working relationship we like to view as a partnership. We're both working towards the same goal - to get your company more business online. In order to be successful in this there must be open dialogue and a 'working relationship' where both companies are working together almost as one. At Delta we like to think that we're just an extension of the staff within your company. That's the attitude that's needed.

Trust, especially where trust has been earned or proven to be deserved

I've seen too many cases where someone thinks they know more than we know about SEO at Delta. We're fanatical about SEO and sometime maybe a little too 'geeky' with SEO. But the bottom line is that we really know what we're doing. Any SEO company that you partner with should have your trust. Now, I'm a business owner too, so I know that trust isn't just given to anyone. But, we've seen it happen too many times where advice isn't taken and a company completely destroys their SEO. Unfortunately saying 'I told you so' really doesn't help solve the situation. But, earned trust by your SEO provider is critical to get great results.

Communication and establishment of clear business objectives and goals

I like goals. How else to we really accomplish anything. And, if we do accomplish something how do we know if it was 'success' or not. The only way to do this is to have clear goals and business objectives. This hold true for SEO as well. What is your goal? Have these goals been communicated with your SEO partner? Personally, I like to have goals that specifically track the number of leads generated. If you're generating 100 leads per month and want to generate 200 then set the goal and see what it would take to hit that goal. Keep in mind that hitting the goal may involve more than SEO. It may also involve site changes.

Realize that SEO is an activity of Marketing and should be budgeted that way

Pure and simple you should be able to cut marketing dollars from other places and re-allocate those marketing dollars to SEO. SEO is one of the modern day ways of 'making the phone ring' just like newspaper ads did ten years ago. At Delta we LOVE being involved with our customers in analyzing their marketing dollars. In many cases we're able to help our SEO customers capture more leads through marketing dollars that are spent elsewhere giving our customers a higher Return On Investment (ROI) with marketing dollars spent.

If you want to really grow your online marketing and SEO you need a strong partner, you need to be working with Delta Media Group. Contact us today to see how we can help you grow your business.





Stouffer Realty launches new web site with Delta

Stouffer Realty, serving Northeast Ohio since 1997, launched their new web site with Delta Media Group last week. The new web site launched by Delta powers the online business for their six offices and nearly one-hundred REALTORS®.

Check out their new web site located at http://www.stoufferrealty.com.




Custom mobile home page step-by-step guide


Having a mobile website is not just a luxury anymore. Your customers are expecting you to have the latest technology to help them find their new Home. Having the latest technology is nice, but if it does not fit your style or market, what's the point, Right? We have released the ability to have a custom Mobile Home page for the Company and for Agents on the Upgrade.


What are the benefits for your Customer?

Your customers will be able to navigate your site by using the links (of your choosing) put in place of the standard map for searching. This can be done by the Agent for their page, or at the company level, for company branding. This gives your customer access to the links on your mobile site they would not have had access to before.


What are the benefits for you, the REALTOR®?

The addition of the custom home page allows you to expand your branding. This will help make the site more attractive for your customers, and help encourage them to use the site on their mobile device. This will give you the control over the way your mobile site looks to the consumer.



How do you set up your Mobile Web Site to have a custom Home Page?

There are 9 steps to make the custom mobile Agent home page. Here are the steps:

Step 1

Log in to the DeltaNet™ and go to your 'Mobile Settings' under 'More' and 'Preferences'.


Step 2

Select 'Custom Home Page' from the home page options.


Step 3

Select the  'Home Page' tab.


Step 4

Select the page that will be your Mobile Home Page from the drop down.


Step 5

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 6

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


Step 7

Choose Icon from the displayed icons and click 'Save Changes'.



Step 8

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



Step 9

Click 'Save' to update the changes.



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'.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Agent Minimum Price Setting


Minimum Rental Price has been added to the agent lead setting screen, to compliment the minimum setting for Minimum Property Price.

What are the benefits for your Customer?

You will be able to set the price of the listings that you would like to be assigned to you, based on the entry in this section.


What are the benefits for you, the REALTOR®?

You will only receive leads based on the dollar amount entered in these sections, this will stop the broadcast system sending you leads below this price, regardless of the zip code.

How do you set up?

There are 3 steps to setting up the minimum price

Step 1

Log in to the DeltaNet™ and go to your 'Settings' under 'Leads & Contacts'.


Step 2

Add the Minimum Price for either the Listing Price or the Rental Price.


Step 3

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click 'Save Preferences', yo complete this action.



 FAQ's


Q. If I have a listing below this price, will I still get my lead on my listing?
A. Yes, this will only affect the broadcast leads.

Q. I f I decide to later lower my minimum price, can I change it?
A. Yes, you can change this at any time.

Property Management Web Sites from Delta

While we're known for our award winning lead management platform and residential real estate web sites we also offer other products.

One such product that we offer are Property Management Web Sites.

While the needs vary from company-to-company some features are fairly common for property management web sites. In our property management platform we have the following commonly used features...

  • Rental Property Search - Powered by MLS Rental listings as well as our Pocket Listing System.
  • Online Secure Rental Application Form - We offer the ability to have secure online rental applications for your rental customers.
  • Online Maintenance Request Forms - Give your renters the option of using your web site to contact you for maintenance requests.
  • Online Form Access - Give your customers access to common forms online such as 30-Day Notice Forms, Rental Application Forms, Property Owner Forms and more.
If you have a Rental Division or Property Management Division within your company contact us today to discuss your options with Delta Media Group at 1-866-233-9833 or contact us on our website at http://www.deltagroup.com/company/contact.php.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New To-Do button added to the Customer Center


We have just added a new To-Do button, so you can add follow up items to your calendar and link them to your phone. This will help you keep your appointments in line, and make each customer feel like they are as important as they are.

What are the benefits for your Customer?

You will be able to add a To-Do for follow up with your customer, so you can focus on the tasks at hand, weather selling a house for your customers or finding the the perfect dream home for them.

What are the benefits for you, the REALTOR®?

You no longer have to carry a calendar around in your car or office, it is in your pocket. The To-Do is synced to your calendar, once you set it up. To set up your calendar on your phone or Email client, click here for instructions. The To-Dos will show up in the DeltaNet™, under the Customer Center.

How do you set up a To-Do for a Customer?


There are 3 steps to add a To-Do. Here are the steps:

Step 1

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


Step 2

Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the 'New To-Do' in the To-Dos widget.


Step 3

Click the calendar icon to change the date, Add the follow up action, place any notes you would like, and click 'Update' to complete the new To-Do.




Example:


 FAQ's


Q. Can I edit the event on my calendar and have the change show in the DeltaNet™?
A. No, you must make the changes in the DeltaNet™.