Your Social Media Voice: How to Be Professional and Personable

Deciding how to project yourself on social media platforms can be confusing. Social media is meant to be organic, honest, transparent, and personal, and people identify strongly with that. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, et al encourage us to some extent to be a bit more “real.”

But then you can run into the problem of being TOO personal. Oversharing or sharing the wrong things is a great way to destroy your reputation.

So what to do?

Believe it or not, you can be professional and personal at the same time in social media. The key is not to confuse “personal” with “private.” Be yourself via social media. Don’t be afraid to be funny, or a little more informal than usual. But keep your private life private. Think about this like the beginning of a conference call on Monday where you spend a few minutes talking about how you spent your weekend. You probably aren’t going to reveal anything private, inappropriate or unprofessional in a conference call with a client or coworkers, but sharing a little personal information does help you get to know each other on a level that is slightly deeper than just having strictly work conversations. This is exactly the type of personal information you can easily share on social media.

Blogs are a great way to portray your friendly, accessible side. Use your own conversational voice when you write. This will also help take some of the pressure off of writing blog posts. Show that you’re an expert in your field by answering real estate questions and talking about local things to do. Interact with readers to build a more personal relationship with them. Build prospects by sharing your opinions, thoughts and experiences on all kinds of things, not just real estate.

And that is the heart of the matter, when it comes to turning real estate leads into clients. Most people don’t want a stuffy, cold agent who acts "professional" all the time – they want a personable agent, someone who is as human as them and who has shared similar experiences and so can relate to them. Real estate leads are EVERYWHERE for agents – it’s just a matter of having the right tools to ensure the real estate leads are coming your way, rather than someone else’s.

RLS2000 Announces: Employee of the Month for May, 2016

Our team at RLS2000 would like to celebrate and recognize Jacqueline Gallagher as our employee of the month for May, 2016. Jacqueline has been with our company for over four years and consistently goes above and beyond in her role as Director of Digital Marketing and Design.

As RLS2000 continues to grow, Jacqueline takes on an influx of responsibility with ease while maintaining a positive attitude and team-oriented mentality. Besides fulfilling her Marketing and Design-specific roles at the company, Jacqueline is always there to offer guidance and support to both her clients and co-workers.

Jacqueline’s help and expertise are greatly valued by each of the team members at RLS, and over the month of May, especially, Jacqueline dedicated herself to supporting her co-workers and taking on an increased volume of work. 

"Jacqueline’s presence has shed a bright light on our products, websites, and customer support over the past month,” says CEO Tom Borish. “She’s stepped up in areas that we needed help with and she’s exceeded those expectations. We’re all proud to have her on our team here at RLS2000.com."

Congratulations, Jacqueline! Thank you for all that you do.

7 Ways to Improve Your Online Real Estate Marketing

The vast majority of home buyers and sellers start their search for agents or properties online. Getting found by these prospective leads is your key to success. Here are a few tips to improve your online marketing presence and attract more leads:

1. Clean Up Your Website:

Less can indeed be more when it comes to the homepage of your website. A simple, clean design with intuitive navigation will entice website visitors with short attention spans to stay a bit longer. Put the key items that your clients are searching for on your homepage: property search capabilities, real estate resources, blog articles, and your phone number, email address, and links to your social media profiles.

2. Find the “Sweet Spot” for Posting Frequency:
How do you know if you’re posting too much or too little across the numerous social mediums out there? Truth is, it can be tricky to find the sweet spot, but never fear. In general, you want to give your clients useful or interesting content and you should post as often as you have that to share. If you feel like you’re grasping at straws for things to post, you might be posting too much. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Blog: 1-3 times per week
  • Facebook: 1-2 times per day
  • Twitter: 1-3+ times per day
  • LinkedIn: 1-3 times per week

The good news is that at RLS2000, we integrate your blog with your social media profiles so that every time you post a blog article, the link goes out to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. That takes care of a good chunk of your posts!

3. Provide Value to Clients:
We just mentioned this, and it can’t be overstated. You want to give your clients useful or interesting content on your blog and on your social media profiles. This means local information, real estate insights, answers to FAQs, and even a funny anecdote or photo here and there. Don’t be afraid to share a link to an article you think your clients would be interested in, this can be a great way to build relationships. If you have any incentives to offer your clients (read: freebies), spread the word across your site and social media profiles.

4. Use Links:
This is link-building 101: Always link back to your own website whenever possible! Make sure all of your social media profiles, e-newsletters, email signatures, and yes, even printed materials, have your website on them. Link out whenever possible to drive clients back to your site. If you’re writing blog posts, reference and link to other posts you’ve written when it makes sense.

5. Maintain Your Blog:
Your website is only as good as your blog content. Fresh blog content boosts your ranking in Google and increases the number of searches your site may be returned for. If a potential client sees that your blog hasn’t been updated in a long time, it’s a red flag that speaks to your professionalism. Keep posting!

6. Be Polished:
There’s no doubt about it, maintaining an online presence can be a lot of work. But this will never again be the world of newspaper ads, so take a moment to make sure your presence is polished. Check for grammatical errors, misspelled words, and broken links.

7. Experiment with Online Tactics:
Don’t be afraid to shake up your posts. Try some video blogs, or post something different than you normally would to Facebook. A small change, whether it’s the time of day that you send out your email newsletter or some new hashtags on Twitter, might give you a big boost. The beauty of online marketing is that you can track how well a strategy is doing. If a new strategy isn’t working as well as you’d hoped, try something else.

Online real estate marketing is effective and affordable when done right. Take a few minutes today to review and polish your online presence.

4 Ideas for Writing Hyperlocal Posts on Your Real Estate Blog

 

You probably know by now that real estate blogging is important. Real estate blogging helps you to become more visible in search engines, build your brand, and present yourself as an expert. If you’re ready to choose a blogging tactic, start by blogging about everything hyperlocal. Hyperlocal blogging is simply writing blog posts about focused areas such as towns, neighborhoods, or even particular subdivisions. Try to think about the information that buyers or sellers in these areas might be interested in (and therefore Googling). Here are a few topics that provide tons of opportunities for great content:

Local market reports: Writing a couple of paragraphs about home buying and selling activity in specific areas provides valuable info to buyers and sellers, and positions you as a real estate expert. Rotate through the towns or communities you serve and write a post about one area per week. Information about number of homes on the market, days on the market, homes sold, and average selling price, as well as your thoughts on current market conditions, are all valuable content for buyers and sellers.

Lists of trusted service providers: As a real estate agent, you’ve probably collected a solid set of referrals for service providers like general contractors, home inspectors, painters, interior decorators, and more. Buyers and sellers are always looking for great referrals. Type up a short list for each category with names and contact info. Make sure to let your referrals know that you’re publicizing them so that they can return the favor.

Local events: Posting about local events is a great way to introduce your community. Maybe your town or neighborhood does free concerts in the park or a block party in warm weather. Type up a quick post with the relevant info: who, what, when, where, and why. Link out to any helpful websites.

Local resources: The possibilities are endless for quick lists about local resources. This topic spans tons of categories. Think: schools, parks, restaurants, small businesses, gyms, and childcare services. You can even break these categories up into smaller sets and write posts with titles like "3 Perfect Date Night Restaurants" or "6 Outdoor Activities for the Kids".

lf you’re ready to blog, learn about RLS2000’s simple blog writer in our on-demand webinar.


Looking for a product to help you get started with blogging? Sign up for a demo of Social Pro Gold, RLS2000’s all-in-one package featuring automatic blogging, social media posting, and more.

6 Ideas to Boost Your Real Estate Marketing on YouTube

 

The popularity of YouTube has only been growing over the last several years, and real estate agents can reap the benefits by marketing themselves and their listings on YouTube. Buyers and sellers are using YouTube more and more to search for properties and search for agents. In fact, YouTube is the top video research destination for home shoppers according to a study from realtor.org. Just getting started with YouTube? Check out our blog post on YouTube marketing for real estate. Already have a channel but don’t know what to do next? Here are 6 ideas for creating great YouTube videos and taking your real estate video marketing to the next level:

1. Take a personalized tour of your listings. Grab your smartphone and film a video as you walk through your listings. Narrate your way through the home and point out key details and special features.

2. Give market updates. Film yourself giving regular market updates for the towns you serve. Information like number of new listings, number of sold homes, and the average sale price and days on market are great information for buyers and sellers and present you as an expert.

3. Record your resume. Create a short video of your resume or bio. Introduce yourself and talk about how you got into real estate, your applicable experience, your credentials, and what you love about real estate. Potential buyers and sellers will feel like they’re getting to know you via video.

4. Take a town or neighborhood tour. Film yourself giving an intro about a town you serve in town square, then take a quick walk or drive through your community. Point out areas of interest like schools, parks, restaurants, and local businesses.

5. Film buying and selling tips. Create short informational videos on real estate-related topics. Great topics include moving tips, the buying or selling process, the home inspection process, and the closing process.

6. Capture video testimonials. Record testimonials from your happy buyers and sellers. Shoot a quick video on your smartphone around the closing table or in the threshold of a new home.

Looking for more training with social media? Schedule your social media training with RLS2000 now.

Real Estate Agents: Improve Your Facebook Business Page

 

Creating a Facebook business page for your real estate business helps you get found on the largest social media platform in the world, but it’s not enough to add a profile photo, post once in awhile, and call it a day. Take a few easy steps to make sure you’re getting the most from your Facebook business page:

Fill out the "About" section completely. Click on the "About" tab under your cover photo and take a few minutes to fill out each section. First, fill out the "Category" and "Subcategory" sections. These are important for helping Facebook to return your page in search results, so make sure to choose any applicable real estate categories and subcategories. Next, add a short and long description. A quick summary of your credentials, experience, and the areas you serve works well for the short description. For the long description, add a bit more of a bio or resume and your specialties. Lastly, don’t forget to fill out all of your contact info as completely as possible so people can get in touch quickly and easily.

Reorder your page tabs. Your Facebook business page displays posts in the right-hand column and information about the page in the left-hand column. This information includes a preview of the "About" section, the number of page likes, reviews, apps, and more. The "About" section always appears first, but you can reorder the other sections any way you’d like. Prioritize these sections in order of importance. For example, if you’re a Social Pro Gold client, we provide you with a Property Search app so that visitors can search for homes directly on Facebook. This can be a great way to get visitors engaged on your page. Or maybe you have some killer five-star reviews, awesome videos, or tons of page likes. Make sure the important tabs are at the top. To do this, click the "More" tab under your cover photo, then click "Manage Tabs". Drag and drop to rearrange in the order you prefer.

Add a call to action. This simple button can entice page visitors to take action once they reach your page. If you haven’t set up a call to action already, you’ll see a button that says "Add a Button" next to the "Like" button on your page. Click to choose from a variety of options. "Contact Us" or "Call Now" work especially well for real estate agents. Facebook will then walk you through a few simple steps to set up your button. You can even preview what it will look like on different devices. This is a great way to help page visitors call or email you directly to get in touch.

Want to learn more about Facebook for real estate agents? Check out our free webinar, Facebook 101 for Real Estate Agents.

Ready to leverage Facebook and other social media for your real estate business? Sign up for a demo of our Social Pro Gold website, RLS2000’s all-in-one website and social media package.

Is Real Estate Blogging Important?

Real estate blogging is important for several different reasons. Whether you want to build your brand and be found easily in search engines, you want to appear to be a leading expert in your field, or you want to put yourself out there as a means of gaining referrals, blogging is the way to go. Blogging allows for Search Engine Optimization, bringing your website or brand to the forefront of search engines such as Google. It also allows you to make a name for yourself in not only the real estate community but in the sphere where you practice the most business – try to imagine yourself as not only a real estate expert, but a community expert. Finally, blogging is a great way of connecting to great sources in regard to referrals.

Websites typically are static, meaning their titles, descriptions, and content are rarely updated or changed. Static websites do not perform as well in the search engines as websites that constantly have fresh content. You want search engines such as Google to label your website as valuable, and a great way to ensure this is by posting new content in the form of blog posts. These new posts force search engines to reevaluate your website. A blog post can be as short as ten sentences, complimented by an image, so the key to SEO is to blog consistently and to blog interesting or relevant information.

Whether you’ve been in the Real Estate field for six months or sixteen years, blogging about Real Estate helps to brand you as a Real Estate expert. You can take this expertise a step further by blogging hyperlocal information. Take a few minutes out of your day to blog about activities happening in the communities in which you do the most business. Oftentimes citizens within these communities may search online for events such as parades, or information about events happening in connection with the local schools. These searches will direct them to your website and you’ll be branded the real estate expert, the community expert, and you have a good chance of being the agent on these individuals’ minds when they are ready to buy or sell within the surrounding areas.

Blogging as a way to gain references can be done using the same hyperlocal information. If you eat at a great local restaurant, write a ten sentence blog about it on your website. If you let this restaurant know that you’ve written a great article about them on your Real Estate blog, the next time a patron is sitting at their counter discussing the prospects of buying, this restaurant may have you in mind.

Blogging is a great way to get business, it’s easy, quick, and also cheap! Share your blog posts on Facebook and other varying social media platforms to ensure the utmost traffic is directed to your website.

RLS2000 Welcomes Kerri O’Connor to Our Team

 

Meet Kerri O’Connor, who recently joined the Sales Team at RLS2000 as our Inside Sales & Account Manager.

"Kerri comes to us with a strong professional administrative background in real estate," says CEO Tom Borish. "She’s already shown — after just a few weeks — an excellent array of skills that has provided our customers with the type of support they deserve to receive. We’re glad to have her as a part of our growing team." Here’s a bit more about her:

Kerri is from Oxford, Massachusetts and attended Suffolk University and UMASS Boston, completing a degree in English with a concentration in Communications. She has a background in real estate law and real estate administration.

Kerri’s specialties include research, writing, oral and written communication, along with copyrighting skills. She has volunteered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Best Buddies. Kerri enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, comedy, and literature.

Welcome to the team Kerri!

Twitter Tips for Real Estate Agents

Twitter is a key social media platform for real estate agents. It’s a great place to distribute content from your blog and website, connect with followers who may be interested in your services, and stay up-to-date on real estate industry news. If you’re a Social Pro Gold customer, RLS2000 has already set up your custom-branded Twitter profile and started tweeting for you, but it’s important to go the extra mile. Follow these simple steps to personalize your Twitter profile and get the most from your account:

Get familiar with how Twitter works: If you’re still wondering what Twitter is all about, take a peek at this short, simple article that explains the basics of Twitter (and jargon like tweeting, hashtags and @mentions).

Customize your Twitter bio: You’ve got 160 characters to introduce yourself on your Twitter profile, so make them count. Mention your credentials and service areas, and maybe a highlight such as what you love about real estate or a recent award you’ve won.

Find people and businesses to follow and keep it professional: The people you follow determine what you see in your Twitter timeline, which can give you great ideas on what to tweet or material to retweet. Following people also encourages them to follow you back. Determine who you follow from a business perspective: industry leaders, real estate news sources, successful businesses or agents in your area, clients, and colleagues.

Keep it simple with the Twitter app for mobile: Download the Twitter app for you phone to get easy access to your account. This makes it simple to fire off some tweets throughout the day. Bonus tip: up the impact of your tweets with photos and short video clips. The mobile app allows you to add photos and video to Twitter directly from your phone. Arriving at an open house? Snap a photo of those balloons with your phone and instantly tweet about it. Finishing up a closing? Nothing gives your followers the warm fuzzies like a short video testimonial of your happy buyers jangling their new keys.

Want to learn more about Twitter for real estate agents? Join us for Twitter 101, our free webinar on Wednesday, April 20th at 2 PM. Sign up here.

5 Ways to Give Your Real Estate Website a Boost this Spring

Want to make sure your real estate website stands out from the crowd? Here are 5 ways to make it shine:

1. Write up your bio. Your potential clients are researching you and how you’ll market their listings. They want to know your experience and what you can bring to the table as their real estate agent. Think about your history in the real estate business, your credentials, your areas of expertise, and how you can give potential clients a great experience when working with you. Use this info to write a few paragraphs for an "About Me" page on your website and social media profiles.

2. Get testimonials. Testimonials from your satisfied clients are proof that you offer a great real estate experience. Don’t be shy to ask your clients for a testimonial after a successful real estate transaction. Let them know you’d like to add it to your website and make sure you get their permission. Don’t stop at adding a testimonial to your website either. You can also add it as a blog post or post it directly to social media like Facebook or LinkedIn. Take testimonials to the next level with video. Record your clients giving a video testimonial on your smartphone and upload it to your YouTube account. From there, you can add the video to your website.

3. Be mobile-responsive. The majority of people are searching for real estate and real estate agents from their phones, so having a mobile-responsive website is more important than ever. Mobile-responsive websites look good on every device — from a desktop computer to an iPad or smartphone — and provide a seamless experience for clients. Make sure your real estate website is mobile-responsive so your audience can easily find you from any device.

4. Feature town pages for the towns you serve. Your clients and potential clients want info about the cities and towns you serve. Schools, amenities, demographics, real estate stats, town history, quick searches for real estate… the list goes on. Make sure to feature town pages with this type of info prominently on your website so clients can find it. This kills two birds with one stone: it gives your clients valuable info and it’s great for SEO.

5. Start blogging. Writing your own blog articles is one of the best ways to personalize your real estate marketing. Blogging provides value to your potential clients, showcases your real estate knowledge, and it’s great for SEO. If you’re a Social Pro Gold or Social Pro customer, you already know that RLS2000 automatically blogs listing updates and general interest articles for you. So what’s left for you to blog about? Keep thinking local and blog about anything and everything related to the communities you serve. Monthly real estate stats, events and things to do, newcomer information — these all make great blog posts.

Looking for a real estate website with all of these features and more? Create a standout online presence with Social Pro Agent, RLS2000’s all-in-one website and social media package. Learn more and sign up for a demo here.