By Alex Cavelli
Prospecting is either the most embraced or most avoided activity for real estate professionals. While some see it as an opportunity to earn business right now, the majority of us don’t feel that the juice is worth the squeeze. Facing rejection and looking stupid is far more painful than not hitting our business goals.
No matter the sentiment, let’s take the pressure off ourselves and see prospecting for what it really is: Talking with people about their lives.
To frame our approach, let’s look at two ways to track the source of your business:
- Where they come from.
- Why they came.
If you look at your last five transactions, you can certainly identify those both sources. The more important component is to take step and ask, “What life change was going on?” Your results may look something like this:
Kids are all gone
Retiring to Florida
Notice the insignificance of “The Where” in comparison to “The Why”? While one just tells you where you met your clients, the other has everything to do with their dreams, goals, and life ambitions. When prospecting, which would you rather focus on?
A mentor of mine correctly boiled real estate prospecting down to three questions:
- What life change is coming up?
- Is real estate connected to that change?
- Is there an opportunity to do business?
So, let’s take the pressure of determining how we will meet our future clients off ourselves, and instead, keep those three core questions in the back of our minds. As long as we’re connecting with people, “The Where” just doesn’t matter. It’s all about “The Why.”
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
If you want to get the biggest bang for your remodeling buck, replace the entry door to steel, according to the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, produced by Remodeling Magazine in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine. The entry door may cost about $1,162 but home owners could potentially recoup 96.6 percent of that at resale, according to the report.
However, not all remodeling projects offer big paybacks at resale. Remodeling Magazine evaluated 35 of the most popular remodeling projects and the potential payback throughout 101 U.S. cities. Check out our prior blog post to view the projects that topped the list: 5 Mid-Range Remodeling Projects That Offer the Biggest Returns. But how about the projects that came in at the bottom of that list of 35 remodeling projects?
While all of these remodeling projects may be nice to have, home owners may not want to expect as big as of returns from their remodeling dollars with the following:
1. Home office remodel
Estimated job cost: $28,000
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 48.9%
2. Sunroom addition
Estimated job cost: $73,546
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 51.7%
3. Bathroom addition
Estimated job cost: $38,186
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 60.1%
4. Backup power generator
Estimated job cost: $11,742
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 67.5%
5. Master suite addition
Estimated job cost: $103,844
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 67.5%
By Charlie Allred
We all know keywords are important to your online presence, but did you know that keywords are important in Pinterest too? In my last two Pinterest articles, I’ve discussed best practices for your Pinterest profile and Pinterest boards. Once you’ve got these first two steps completed it’s time to start considering keywords.
It can be very overwhelming when you begin to market your real estate business online. I recently spoke with a successful real estate agent and blogger, and I asked her about her online marketing strategy. She said that she wanted to be everywhere online. But what should you do first? What’s most important? Keywords will help you determine your initial path and niche.
Let’s start by talking about the benefit of keywords:
Generally, the goal of your website is to appear in search engines results organically through a set of keywords that describe your market or niche. These keywords should help prospects find you online, thus helping you gain more real estate business.
For instance, while coaching a real estate agent here in Phoenix, I was helping her find the best keywords for the downtown Phoenix historic district, which is her niche. By using tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner, I did the keyword research for the downtown Phoenix historic district and found that the top keywords searched in order of highest searched volume are:
- Phoenix real estate
- Phoenix homes
- Phoenix homes for sale
- Downtown Phoenix
- Historic Phoenix
This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s close enough for purposes of this article. So in all your website content, such as blog articles, videos, etc., you want to include the best keywords, for searchability purposes. In the case of the downtown Phoenix real estate agent, if I were her, I’d include “downtown Phoenix” and “historic Phoenix” in every article, because they describe her niche perfectly. I wouldn’t concentrate on using the keyword phrases “Phoenix real estate,” “Phoenix homes,” or “Phoenix homes for sale” as much, only because they are very broad and used often by real estate agents in Phoenix. The goal is to find the best keywords for your niche to attract serious prospects interested in what you have to offer.
Why do keywords matter in Pinterest?
All pins are now indexed by Google, so use of keywords will impact the overall SEO of your website. Each time you pin something, you should be using keywords to maximize your efforts in Pinterest.
Keywords should be used in:
- Your Pinterest profile
- Your board titles
- Your board descriptions
- Your pin descriptions
This may sound like a lot of work, but if you are pinning to your top boards regularly, it’s worth the effort to look up the keywords for those board at least once, and then keep them handy so you can reference them. Once you have your top 12 Pinterest boards, as discussed in last month’s article, look up the keywords for a few boards at a time, so it’s less time consuming.
For a quick starter guide to keywords, you can head to Pinnable Real Estate and download a free list of my favorite keywords in three topic areas (all home related categories): home staging, home organization, and home decor. These top six to eight keywords in each topic will give you a good starting point for using keywords on Pinterest.
When I meet with real estate agents, they often tell me they’re concerned because they built a really pretty website, but it isn’t getting them any new business or leads. Next month, I will discuss your website – specifically, how to simplify your website and blog content while promoting your site to gain more real estate business.
Charlie Allred is a Phoenix-based designated broker for Secure Real Estate and author of the book “Pinnable Real Estate: Pinterest for Real Estate Agents.” She is a Pinterest expert coaching agents on how to gain more leads, followers, and clients by using Pinterest. Learn more at her blog: www.PinnableRealEstate.com.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Nearly 70 percent of about 6,000 home owners surveyed by the remodeling website Houzz said they’re happiest in rooms that are comfortable. If you’re trying to hook a buyer, you may want to make sure your listings not only are stylish, but also show off some comfort too.
Popular furnishings today are modern with straight lines, which don’t always project the look of comfort. Luckily, it’s also trendy to be eclectic in mixing an oversized, statement piece — which can look comfortable.
That statement piece can add visual interest to the room too. It can be anything from a nail-trimmed, wingback chair to patterned club chair, says Audra Slinkey of Home Staging Resource, a national staging and redesign training company. Slinkey singled out the oversized statement piece as one of the top 10 staging trends for this year.
No room for an oversized chair? Go for an overall chic, comfort “Pottery Barn”-inspired look by using white slipcovers over the owner’s dated furnishings — a quick, budget-friendly transformation, Slinkey suggests.
Choosing the best home offer is a cinch for sellers who know what terms are their deal-breakers. Planning ahead can get your clients the most out of their home sale.
Help sellers have a seamless sale by sharing “6 Tips for Choosing the Best Offer for Your Home,” a free article from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five articles now available in the “Sell Before Snow Hits” article package.
Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.