The Business of Real Estate
3 Ways to Help Customers Avoid Decision Fatigue

3 Ways to Help Customers Avoid Decision Fatigue

By on Aug 17, 2018 in Blog, Marketing, Real Estate | 0 comments

A fascinating study of decision fatigue carried out in 2011 in the Israeli court system revealed prisoners’ chances of getting parole were at their best first thing in the morning and fell gradually through the day. The reason? As the stress of making difficult and important decisions piled up, the court gradually grew less decisive, until by the end of the day there was a 90 percent chance of their putting off granting parole until a prisoner’s next review. It’s a vivid example of decision fatigue in action, and it’s a phenomenon that can affect home buyers’ decisiveness, too. Luckily, the agent who understands this factor can also find ways to compensate for it. Here are a few simple tips for overcoming customer decision fatigue when selling a home. Start Open Houses Early Most people have an easier time making big decisions and setting priorities earlier in the day. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that a 9 o’clock open house will fit their schedule or result in a sale. It does at least improve your odds of dealing with home buyers who are early in the process of accumulating “cognitive load” during the day. The level of investment involved in buying a home should be on their list of the day’s most important tasks. Combined with an inviting atmosphere, a cheery welcome and all the other tools of real estate presentation and sales at your disposal, this question of timing can weigh in your favor. Perfect Your “Elevator Pitch” Technique The ability to deliver information that’s simple, concise and vivid will serve you well in cutting through the fog of decision fatigue at any time of day you might run into a prospect. It could be at the gym, at a party, dropping the kids off at school. Every once it a while it might literally happen in an elevator. Whatever the situation, successful real estate agents should always be ready to put their best foot forward. The elevator pitch has its name because it should take about as long to do as an average trip between a few floors on an elevator — 30 seconds or so. The keys to crafting a pitch that will stand out and...

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3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Online Presence

3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Online Presence

By on Aug 10, 2018 in Blog, Marketing, Real Estate | 0 comments

Marketing is the name of the game in real estate success, and online marketing is taking on greater importance than ever before. As recently as 2016, more than 40 percent of new home buyers turned to online sources first for information, and that’s a trend that’s only going to strengthen in the years to come. This makes getting the most out of your online presence absolutely key to succeeding in the current marketplace. Here, we share some actionable tips on making the internet work for your business. 1. Know Your SEO One of the biggest modern-day marketing buzzwords is Search Engine Optimized content, or SEO. Simply put, this is how keywords or answers to common customer questions on your site can help them use search engines — especially Google — to find you. SEO has evolved significantly from the early years, when Google searched only for exact word and phrase matches and businesses often relied upon “keyword stuffing” to bolster visibility. Search engines are getting smarter and frown on this kind of stuffing. They’re also evolving on the whole to favor genuinely relevant, authoritative and semantically sophisticated content. There are several “best practices” for real estate SEO on your website: Make sure your keywords and phrases are directly relevant to your content. Choose the right keywords, which for Realtors generally means using local and neigborhood-specific keywords and phrases, and the kinds of phrases that answer questions those searching for your site will ask. Use keyword research tools like BuzzSumo to help. Spread keywords, synonyms and semantically related phrases across pages that use them. Do it in a natural and organic way. It’s generally recommended that you use keywords in your title and at least some headers and sub-headers of a page, in meta tags and meta descriptions, the alt text of images, as links to other relevant content on your site, and within the body of the text. Link to quality content. Be sure to avoid linking to spammy sites, as they can contaminate your link profile by association. 2. Make Use of Reviews and Testimonials Reviews and testimonials are powerful tools for helping a potential client decide to trust you with their real estate needs. There are a...

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Three Rookie Mistakes for Sales Agents to Avoid

Three Rookie Mistakes for Sales Agents to Avoid

By on Aug 3, 2018 in Blog, Personal Growth, Real Estate | 0 comments

Sometimes, when thinking about how to sell homes, it can be useful to go back to the basics. If you find something holding you back from your goals, it’s always useful to ask yourself whether you’re executing the fundamentals as well as you can be. For surprising numbers of Realtors out there, one or more of the items listed below are known to fall through the cracks. 1. Mispricing the Home Pricing is, beyond doubt, the single most important step in securing a successful sale. This is something every Realtor knows in principle, but, surprisingly enough, there are still some agents who advise the use of price per square foot (PPSF) as a value indicator. PPSF may well be a standard for appraisers and tax collectors, but neither of these parties is tasked with actually selling the home and working out what price the current market will bear. For a realtor’s purposes, PPSF is only a meaningful measure of value if all the homes of a given square footage in a neighborhood are otherwise identical, which in most cases is extremely unlikely. Agents may, of course, encounter clients who want a valuation in PPSF, because they believe this reflects fair market value. There’s nothing to stop them from providing it, so long as they explain its limitations and avoid actually using PPSF as the primary guideline for pricing the listing. A comparative market analysis is far more reliable. 2. Using Substandard Visual Marketing It’s a commonplace piece of Realtor wisdom by now that photos and videos are among the most important tools for marketing a property in the digital age. And yet, despite this, there are enough blurry, poorly composed, ill-conceived and badly Photoshopped images on MLS to provide the subject matter for an entire website in itself. The reason for this is simple enough: Knowing intellectually that quality photos are important is one thing, but actually acquiring the skills and visual judgment to be able to take and use them in marketing is a different step altogether. Taking good photos is not necessarily in everyone’s skill set. Appraise the kinds of images you’re using with brutal honesty, and ask yourself if you’re one of those people. If so,...

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3 Fantastic Ways For Realtors to Get the Most from SEO Content

3 Fantastic Ways For Realtors to Get the Most from SEO Content

By on Jul 20, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

One of the most important competitive advantages in today’s red-hot real estate marketplace is visibility. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) could well make the difference between customers finding your site and the opportunities you can offer or missing out completely. The rewards of visibility can be considerable, since 86 percent of prospective buyers look to a real estate site for information first. There are several actionable tips you can use to get, and stay, in the front of the pack. 1. Meaningful Content Is King Potential clients are a lot more likely to engage with you if you let authentic passion for what you do shine through in the content on your website. As the era of content marketing rises, more and more people are sceptical of an obvious sales pitch, but 84 percent of people want meaningful content from brands large or small. Meaningful content means something that entertains, that tells a story or that provides a solution for something they want. A good agent can do all of these things when selling a house in person. Translate that skill to blog posts and social media — two of the leading ways that SEO content gains visibility — and you’ll have a head start on a successful SEO strategy. This means more than just coming up with a couple hundred words of unique copy about a property. It means digging in to something more personal for you about that property. A funny story or cautionary tale it reminds you of, a piece of advice about how to show your home that you remember from selling a similar property previously: something that’s there to provide meaning for the client, rather than just a vessel for tags and meta-descriptions. Use photos and videos to provide virtual tours and testimonials for extra impact. 2. Write for the Semantic Search Era Over the years, Google has grown more and more sophisticated about semantic search, which simply means developing tools to try to grasp the intention behind each search, instead of just searching for keywrods. “Semantic search” may sound scary and complicated, but there are simple ways to optimize your SEO copy to work efficiently with it and increase your visibility: Use synonyms and...

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4 Tips for Sizzling Summertime Open House Events

4 Tips for Sizzling Summertime Open House Events

By on Jul 13, 2018 in Blog, Landscaping, Marketing, Real Estate | 0 comments

Summertime is housing’s peak season, seeing a major crest in activity that sellers can hope will translate into an offer on their home before Labor Day. No matter how dedicated buyers may be, though, summer also produces plenty of competition for their attention, from barbecues and beaches to campgrounds, festivals and more. Here are four useful tips for cutting through the distractions and creating open houses that convert summer’s promise into results. 1. Use Outdoor Spaces Creatively An inviting, livable and comfortable space doesn’t have to start at a home’s exterior walls. It can extend right to the edge of the sidewalk to provide an up-front welcome and invitation. Stage outdoor areas in ways that will make buyers think about fun things they could do with the space. Put towels beside an outdoor pool or gloves and tongs with a barbecue area. Dress up a yard or balcony with an attractive sitting area or a dining table with place settings. Creativity and presentation can lead to eye-catching results that hook the prospective buyer from the first moment. 2. Make It Green, Flowery and Enticing A further development of Tip 1 above is to coordinate efforts with the seller to keep outdoor spaces well-maintained and vibrant. Summer heat can brown a front yard quickly, so ensure that grass and shrubs get plenty of water. Pots or beds of flowers create a bright, enticing visual environment, even if they’re just one simple color; white flowers are a popular choice for creating a clean, elegant look. 3. Make It an Event Summer is the definitive party season, after all. Your open house can be a part of that atmosphere instead of standing separate from it: Cool refreshments can provide a welcome sense of relief and hospitality for buyers feeling the summer heat. Summery appetizers and grilled delights like sliders can impart a more social and less sales-pitch feel to the event. Putting on your open house in the late afternoon can make for a pleasant break from midday heat and provide access to “rush hour” customers who might not be around for weekend showings. You can advertise the event as a party rather than an open house, or get the local community...

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3 Important Tips For Avoiding Real-Estate Burnout

3 Important Tips For Avoiding Real-Estate Burnout

By on Jul 6, 2018 in Blog, Personal Growth, Real Estate | 0 comments

It’s a perennial topic in the profession: Your business is hot and you’re closing deals, but at the price of insanely long hours that sap your full productivity and creativity. It’s the kind of pattern very few can keep up for long before it leads to costly mistakes in business or, just as bad, disruptions to your home life and your network of family and friends. Late nights lead to poor sleep, which leads to dysfunctional mornings in a pattern that can quickly become a vicious cycle. How do you break the chain? We’ve assembled three of the most important tips for avoiding burnout as a real-estate professional. 1. Control Your Time and Set Boundaries with Clients Your clients can’t know your schedule and parameters instinctively. If you’re always available, they’ll come to expect that and act accordingly. The result can be urgent calls as you’re sitting down to dinner or trying to get some sleep. Train your clients to understand the parameters your operating hours. Put messages on your voicemail and email that tell your clients what specific times you’re available and when you’ll get back to them if they call after a certain time. If you don’t want to commit to this for an entire week, start with a couple of days when you don’t allow work to interfere with blocking time for your family, friends and general relaxation. Schedule days off and schedule relaxing “me” time every day, even if it’s just an hour in the morning for breakfast and coffee. 2. Systematize Your Business for Working Smarter, Not Harder “Work smarter, not harder” is a cliche phrase for a good reason. Trying to maintain laser focus for eight, 10 or 12 hours at a time, much less around the clock, is an exercise in diminishing returns. Instead, schedule 60-minute blocks of focused activity interspersed with exercise, walks or just breaks to go outside. Don’t manually prospect when you can leverage websites, email marketing, real estate CRM systems, hotlines and time management software to make your time more efficient and productive. Working smart and systematically can shave hours off your workday, provided you’re also following Tip #1. 3. Take Control of Your Email, Contact and Information...

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