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Delta Media Group Blog

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March Madness is going on, as we previously noted.

There are a million ways to fill out your brackets, but one of the newer ones is by seeing what teams are trending through Social channels.

The idea might seem silly with basketball, but it’s not far-fetched when looking how to market online.

We like to talk about the old way of doing things, and the old way of gauging interest in homes on the market was by taking phone calls on that listing. More calls from a particular sign, newspaper or home magazine ad meant there were obviously more people interested in that listing. If they chose not to make an offer, perhaps other factors came into play.

The beauty of the Internet world is there is a lot more data occurring before anyone ever contacts your brokerage or you directly.

That data goes beyond predictive analytics. In fact, we’ve built the DeltaNet in such a way that you can follow how many people are directly viewing each of your listings online.

Maybe you put Jim and Karen’s listing on the market in October. You initially received a dozen or so showings. None made an offer, and only a few gave much feedback. The information made it difficult to deduct any trending, and you chalked it up to just not finding the right buyer yet.

The trouble with your reasoning is the listing contract is about to expire. You realize as much when you spot Karen at a local store. You haven’t contact her or Jim in some time, and you already assume you’re not likely to get another listing contract from them.

The scenario was a bit embarrassing, and a lot of agents have been through it. But the tragedy behind it is you’re losing business you’ve already worked to attain.

Now you need to work harder to attain new business while another agent will take over—and possibly sell—the listing you already had.

A few ways you could improve your approach:

1. Turn on Seller Reports. They’re automated, and they email your client weekly to inform them exactly how many times their listing has been viewed on your website and throughout your brokerage website.
2. Follow your listing statistics. Seller Reports will show this, but if you don’t want your client to receive them and attempt to overanalyze what the numbers mean, you can analyze and interpret these statistics to your client yourself.
3. Set up a Market Watch report for your sellers. Another automated report, Market Watch is generally made to target buyers, but can help sellers keep up to date with what’s available in their market and the price trends. If they need to make a price adjustment, they might see it themselves in the data.

If a house isn’t selling it’s likely to cause frustration to any seller. But the behind-the-scenes data might show a different side to the story, or provide support for the verdict you’ve come to.

Maybe you haven’t had a showing in a month, but the amount of people viewing at the listing on your website has increased. They might have interest in the listing, but just haven’t expressed it yet. Maybe they like the home but feel it’s a bit overpriced. The Market Watch could help you justify this angle, particularly if you see other listings sell in a shorter time span in the same market.

It’s well documented that the real estate market is booming in recent months. This might have made you a lot busier than you expected to be. Or you might be questioning how an improving market hasn’t driven interest to your listing.

Data is the driver of the details behind your dilemmas, and automated reporting systems can help you alleviate time while better informing your clients.

If you’re not leveraging either, you’re not doing your clients and your own business the service it deserves.

Contact Delta Media Group to learn how the DeltaNet can help you accomplish both.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Housing Bubble is back in the midst of March Madness

What does March Madness mean to you?

If you’re a basketball fan, it probably means brackets, and guessing, and heartburn over which 5/12 upset to pick, and the hope for a whole lot of luck.

If you’re in real estate, March Madness might mean that time of the year the market begins picking up a bit more, as the (usually) warmer weather motivates consumers to start thinking about spring, cleaning, and their future plans.

This year, March Madness might have a different meaning entirely. It might mean the beginnings of the return of the U.S. housing bubble.

You might have been busy enough recently to not have paid attention to what the national market is doing. But some studies suggest it is increasing nationally due to a number of various factors.

According to economic factors analyzed by investment opinion and analysis website Seeking Alpha, the “U.S. housing bubble has effectively reignited, with a new inflation phase having taken hold since July 2012.”

The article went on to note they don’t know the reason why yet, but will look to address the performance indicators that led to this conclusion in coming posts.

"The reason for that analytical vagueness is that housing prices are not really a function of time, although they are often treated as if they are. 
"In reality, housing prices are a very strong function of income. Although other factors can and do affect them, their prices are primarily determined by the household income of those who live in them. What's more, housing prices are very linear functions of income - if you look athousing expenditures by income level, you'll find that it follows a very straight trajectory," the article states.

March is truly going mad. But unlike with their March Madness tournament brackets, real estate shoppers won’t base their buying decisions on rankings, colors, or even the cuteness of team mascots.

They will base them on location, price, value, and a number of other factors they’ll look to evaluate before making such an important decision.

Those factors are the difference between you leveraging the movement in the market or losing out when your business could be booming.

Like when making any important investment, a consumer wants to make sure she has the best information readily available. She wants to do the right homework, compare markets, and feel secure in her decision.

As her real estate agent, you’re no different. You want to make sure you can provide that info. You want to be where she is at, and cater to her needs the way she expects you to. You don’t want to lose her business to another agent, and you know none will work as hard for her business as you will.

She wants to search for market information from her mobile phone, so you make sure you’re covered there. Not only do you have a mobile real estate website, but it allows her to search for homes geo-located around where she’s at. She can click on them from the map, slide through a few pictures, and submit a lead right there. She can even click to call or text a message to you, and now you can track that data directly through Google Analytics.

Customers can save the info they’re researching in their My Portfolio system, and now they have more options to control and edit this info. When listings are no longer on the market, they can mass delete those. They can easily edit comments on listings they’ve saved. And, again, all from their mobile phones.

These are just a few of the many recent updates we've made to better improve the research abilities and user experience for your consumers. March Madness and the real estate market are both heating up, and your business will too with the right resources and care.

But you can save your frustrations for your tournament bracket, because those are the factors you don’t need to worry about when you work with Delta Media GroupContact us for more information.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

MyPortfolio Upgraded for Customers


Delta's MyPortfolio Platform has been upgraded for all customers.

The upgrade pushed live this week makes it easier for your customers to manage their saved properties in various ways.

First, we changed how customers can manage their saved properties that are no longer on the market giving them an easier method to bulk delete these properties. We this change on both the full site and mobile site.




This change was done to avoid confusion for the end user when their saved listings seemingly disappear without knowing why. The inactive listings are clearly marked 'Inactive' and you cannot click through to the detail page. On the full site we added an option to delete all inactive listings.

Second, we made specific changes to the MyPortfolio Platform on mobile sites. We split up the saved searches and saved listings into separate pages. On the saved listings results page we added an 'Edit Listing' button which opens up a panel with two options, save/unsave and edit comments. Clicking on edit comment opens a new page where a listing comment can be added or edited.


Mobile Click-To-Call and Click-To-Text Tracking

We've made an upgrade to our mobile platform this week by adding Click-To-Call and Click-To-Text tracking that's compatible with Google Analytics.

With our mobile Click-To-Call and Click-To-Text tracking you're able to see how many customers are performing these actions and when.

This tracking can be viewed in your Google Analytics account under Content -> Events -> Top Events.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to use Email Marketing to sell more houses

Have you ever ordered an item from Amazon?

Have you ever shopped the website and set up an account?

If so, you’ve probably received follow-up emails from them featuring further information on the specific products you shopped for.

If you’ve ever received emails from other companies, they might not have been as successful at peaking your interest. Perhaps some too narrow for your interests. Others might have been so broad that they didn’t key in on what you were interested in.

Some might have had overly salesy titles that turned you off. You might have received some so often that you quickly unsubscribed. And still, many emails you never saw because they found their way to your SPAM folder before you found them.

With such inconsistency, it’s a wonder that email marketing works at all.

But statistics show the average email CTR (click-through rate) is 5.4 percent, while open rates are about 20 percent, and conversion rates can vary by industry and email type.

Compare those numbers to your days of cold calling…do they sound good to you?

Email marketing is a key component of Internet Marketing, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. Email is a broadly used communication medium, and allows consumers to easily see what they’re interested in…if they receive what they’re interested in.

The key to email marketing is sending emails of interest to your consumers. In the case of real estate, that doesn’t mean emails about you and your company, but about the markets they’re shopping in, the types of homes they want, specific listing details, and more.

We’ve always built Delta Media Group’s Email Marketing platforms to cater to this, but we’ve recently adapted them in a continuous mission to improve our offerings. Now, you can set up our real estate website and lead management systems to email new listings to consumers based on more detailed property information, like property type and number of stories of a house.

More detailed listing emails allow your consumers to receive the marketing materials they’re interested in rather than those that might meet a couple qualifications, but miss on the major ones. Have additional search criteria you’d like to see added? Let us know and we can take care of it.

Improving the targeting of your email marketing over “batch-and-blast” emails is proven to improve your open and click-through rates, as well as your conversions. A recent study even shows a 208 percent higher conversion rate among targeted emails over “batch-and-blast” generic marketing emails.

Email marketing can vary greatly between business types, whether it be business-to-business, eCommerce, or real estate marketing, which would not have a direct online sales component attached.

That’s why we’ve recently also added campaign tracking codes to your New Listing Emails and Market Watch Emails.

Email marketing is an important part of your online business, but it works best when run the right way. And that’s something you want measured, so you can see its effectiveness for yourself, and look for areas where you might improve your email marketing initiatives.

We can help you do all those things, and improve your real estate sales and online initiatives as result. Contact Delta Media Group to learn more.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Client Registation Information Now Shows On Request Process Screen

An update was pushed live today that adds client registration information to the lead processing screen for REALTORS®.

This change adds a third 'box' to the right column of the processing screen titled 'Customer Information.' The Customer Information box shows the client Registration Date along with their Fee Type.



This is useful information to REALTORS® when processing their real estate leads. It helps them understand better why they received the lead along with the agent of the client.

In many cases clients will be active on the website for months doing their own research prior to submitting any requests.

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

Delta Media Group, Canton, Ohio Real Estate Website Developer, Announces Release of Lyford Cay Sotheby's International Realty Website

Michael Minard, President of Delta Media Group, Canton, Ohio real estate website technology developer and online marketer, announced today the release of the company’s first international client website, http://www.SIRlyfordcay.com, for Lyford Cay Sotheyby’s International Realty.

Minard commented, “We are proud to work with such a prestigious real estate brokerage as Lyford Cay Sotheyby’s International Realty. Lyford Cay Sotheby's International Realty is well-known in the international real estate industry as an expert on luxury real estate and homes for sale in the Bahamas."

Minard stated, "Delta Media Group has emerged as one of the leading real estate technology companies both nationally and internationally by listening to the needs of our clients and then applying our website technology and online marketing knowledge to those needs. Our relationship with Lyford Cay Sotheby’s International Realty reflects who Delta Media Group is today: striving to grow and cultivate real estate business relationships not only across the US, but internationally as well.”

President of Lyford Cay Sotheby’s International Realty, George Damianos, commented, “We have been providing real estate brokerage services in the Bahamas since 1945. Even though we previously maintained a website presence, our relationship with Delta Media Group has allowed us to take our online presence to the next level.”

“Our real estate agents are seasoned professionals trained in providing exceptional, personalized service to all clients. Our specialized local knowledge combined with the global reach of our Sotheby's International Realty® network allows us to give our Bahamian property listings unparalleled exposure to qualified buyers around the world."
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Delta Media Group serves over 300 real estate brokerages, 30,000 agents and 225 MLSs both nationally and internationally. Delta Media Group has grown to become one of the largest technology providers in the real estate industry. For more information about Delta Media Group, visit http://www.DeltaGroup.com.

Lyford Cay Sotheby's International Realty, owned by the Damianos family, has been providing real estate brokerage services in the Bahamas since 1945. Lyford Cay International Realty’s local knowledge of the Bahamian real estate market combined with the global reach of the Sotheby's International Realty® network allows Lyford Cay Sotheby’s International Realty to deliver Bahamian property listings unparalleled exposure to qualified buyers around the world. Visit their new website today at http://www.SIRlyfordcay.com.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Email Campaign Tracking With Google Analytics

Understanding your marketing is important to your overall marketing plan. It's really good when you have the tools giving you an understanding enabling you to decide where to spend money and where you're getting a return on your marketing dollars.

Because we like to know what's working we've started adding Google Analytics Campaign Tracking Codes to emails going out from our system.

So far we've added tracking codes to New Listing Emails and to Market Watch Emails. This change went live at the end of Friday, March 8th, 2013 so any email sent after this will have tracking enabled.

This is a really good tool because you can see inside Google Analytics how many customers are clicking through to your web site from Delta's email marketing.

Here is a video showing what you'll see inside Google Analytics and how we've coded our emails.

If you aren't taking advantage of our Online Marketing Products including Search Engine Optimization you really should talk with our team. We can grow your online business and get you more results!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Listing Notification Email Setup Upgrades

We've upgraded our very popular new listing email system.

As a refresher for those of you not using our new listing emails, they include new properties for sale, price changes, sale pending properties, properties back on the market, and properties with an upcoming open house.

All links for more property information and showing requests link back to your agent web site allowing you to capture all leads from your online marketing efforts.

The latest change to this system that we're announcing today is the ability to add more detailed property search criteria when you create a search for your customers within the DeltaNet™.

You're now able to select the types of properties you wish to send your customer in their new listing emails.

As you know, customers care about the style of home they want. Single Story? Split Level? etc. So, we've added this option as well.

All these options are driven by your local MLS data so the options will vary and will match the property search options your customers have available publicly and you have available within the MLS.

 


If you would like to see any additional options added to the search criteria please let us know by emailing us at support@deltagroup.com.


Digital REALTORs and the Vine App


Part of being a Digital Realtor is staying on top of the latest technologies,  and knowing if and when to implement them. 

A new one might be right up your alley. 

If you're not familiar with the Vine app, now's your chance. 

Vine allows you to create six-second videos that are easily shared within its interface. It's a newly-launched app owned by Twitter, and a great way to quickly show listings. 

Facebook typically hasn't been a great format for directly marketing listings because it's more personal. People use Facebook to connect with you and, well, network. 

It's a great way to communicate with people you've met and to keep your name in front of them. But Facebook has often been misused by agents looking to sell, sell, sell. 

People on Facebook don't want to be sold, sold, sold to any more than the person you just met at the PTA meeting wants to hear about every listing you have the moment you meet her. She might eventually use you as her agent, but not if you immediately turn her off. 

That's where Vine is different. A real estate purchase is, at its core, often based in emotion. If a would-be buyer doesn't feel a connection with a house, he likely wouldn't be buying it. 

Vine gives you six seconds to build a connection with a house. In most cases, that's plenty of time. 

It works by allowing you to upload a six-second video, or numerous videos totaling six seconds in length, or several pictures that total a six second interval.  

The interval continues to repeat so long as the viewer views it, like an animated gif would. 

Want to use the Vine video to point visitors to a longer video? Shoot one, upload it to YouTube, link it to your listing detail page, and link the Vine video to it. 

Then tweet the video, which is more enticing and offers a better immediate connection than just tweeting a listing detail page might. 

The key to selling a listing is getting it in front of interested viewers who might then request more information (thus submitting a lead) or share it with others who might. 

Vine parlays to that activity as well as any social network. 

Worried there might not be enough users on Vine? It can be connected to your Facebook and twitter accounts, which can be connected to your real estate website. 

Now you've connected your social entities with your online properties, and offered potential clients several ways to potentially find and connect with you. Each of those becomes leads, and each can live in your lead management system so you can utilize follow-up actions to turn leads into transactions and referrals. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Customer History Now Shows Market Watch Email Activity

This past week we added a new feature to Customer Center within the DeltaNet™giving agents the ability to see Market Watch Email activity in the customer overview screen. From this point forward, when a market watch email is sent to a customer that activity is recorded. You can see a screen shot of this new feature below...