Six Referral Relationships You Need to Build

One of the many joys of being in real estate sales is having the opportunity to be self-employed. Depending on your own knowledge, schedule, and work ethic can be both gratifying and rewarding as you build your own business or brand. But as you dive deeper into the world of real estate, you’ll soon learn that you can’t succeed all on your own and that it’s essential to create connections with other businesses. We sat down with a top real estate agent in New York City, arguably the most competitive marketplace in the country, to figure out his key to success. How did Charles Robertson get to the top of his game? By networking like crazy! We gathered his tips for how to create a vast network of partners that can provide a steady supply of potential clients. According to Charles, here are six referral relationships that you need to build.

1. Chamber of Commerce

The very first connection that you need to forge is with your local Chamber of Commerce. While this may seem like a no-brainer, being active within your community’s Chamber of Commerce can raise your profile among store owners, service providers, bankers, and even local politicians. Other members will have the opportunity to get to know you, hear your ideas, and watch you in action on service projects and committee meetings. And because of the myriad of businesses involved within the Chamber of Commerce, strengthening these relationships is time well spent.

2. Contractors and Tradesmen

When considering a move, most homeowners tend to think about the condition or value of their property and can begin to make improvements on their house. Contractors, painters, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians can all be involved in this process and will be able to interact with homeowners on a daily basis. By creating a partnership with these tradesmen, they can refer your realtor services to those who are looking to sell their home or find a new property. For example, Charles made a connection with this NYC handyman service when he hired them to help hang pictures in an apartment he was staging. They started sending him referrals when customers mentioned they were moving. Charles says, in turn, you can also mention these contracting and labor services to clients that you work with as well, resulting in a mutually beneficial connection.

Having great relationships in tangential industries is one of the best ways to get referrals to your business

Having great relationships in tangential industries is one of the best ways to get referrals to your business

3. Lawyers

While lawyers tend to have a reputation for being merciless and tough, most people rely on and trust their services when push comes to shove. That said, it can be very beneficial to create a partnership with lawyers as long as you stick to the professional code of ethics. An attorney who saves a client a lot of time and money in settlements or charges can hold much-needed leverage and credibility when it’s time to choose a realtor.

4. Investors

Partnering with members of a real estate investment association (or better yet, becoming a member yourself) can produce another steady stream of potential clients. As investors meet to discuss the latest in wholesale, restoration, land-lording, and the investigation of properties, they’ll most likely need your knowledge in multiple listing services. And since real estate vendors are given a few minutes to plug themselves at monthly meetings, it’s a good idea to take that chance and sell your services to a wide variety of businessmen.

Connections in the mortgage industry can be mutually beneficial!

Connections in the mortgage industry can be mutually beneficial!

5. Mortgage Brokers and Bankers

Loan officers usually work with clients who are under pressure and have looming contract expirations. When a frantic home buyer is eager to close a deal, a broker or banker can easily suggest your services as an effective solution. Since a seasoned mortgage broker or banker can have a wide network of buyers and sellers, they’re a perfect connection to make within the world of real estate.

6. Moving Companies

People who are planning a move often start feeling out the cost of hiring movers well in advance of moving day. Moving agents might be willing to send some referrals your way when customers are having a difficult time finding the right apartment to move into. Charles says he cultivated a relationship with the moving crew at Imperial Moving Company (website) when he moved into his first apartment in New York. Since then they have referred dozens of customers his way, and he has returned the favor. This mutually beneficial relationship is a solid one to have.

In the world of real estate, who you know can make or break the success of your business. The broader your network, the more referrals you’ll get, and the more opportunities you’ll have to close deals! If you’re ready to become an elite realtor, get out there and start making connections!


5 Ways to Make Your Listings Stand Out

If you are a real estate agent, you may want to find ways to make your online listing stand out. Since more agents are choosing to market their properties on the web, you should make sure that your listing has maximum exposure. Here are five ways to make your real estate listings stand out on the Internet.

1. Create a user-friendly layout

When looking to market a property on the Internet, you want to make sure the layout is easy to follow for the potential buyer. According to Just Listed, many consumers will leave a website if they find that the structure is confusing or the information is not organized well on the page.

Instead of large paragraphs describing the property, break up the description into small sections or bullet points, which can be easier to peruse. You also should place important information toward the top of the page, so that the potential buyer sees this first. You may also want to create clear, informative titles and headlines to encourage the buyer to click on the listing.

2. Take clear pictures

For the most part, most listings should include several pictures of the house. Remember to take clear, accurate pictures of all the rooms and the exterior of the house. Most buyers look at the photos first before even reading the description, so you want to make sure that the pictures reflect the ambiance in the house. Here are useful real estate photography tips.

Be sure your listings include lots of high-quality pictures that display the highlights of the property.

In many instances, buyers are attracted to not only the house but also the lifestyle created by certain items in the house. Per Trulia, you should make sure to stage the house appropriately with quality furniture. Also, you may want to hire a professional photographer who can produce high quality pictures.

3. Include accurate descriptions

After perusing the pictures, many buyers will focus on the descriptions. Make sure to add accurate information within the listing so that the buyer is clear about the specifics of the property. You should also want to include keywords in your listing that are search engine friendly.

4. Utilize social media

Social media is a great way to draw additional traffic to your online listings.

Most real estate agents utilize social media to market their properties. If you are looking to gain more traffic to your listing, you may want to post a link on your Twitter or Facebook accounts. You can also post important pictures on Instagram and other sites. In addition, you can also post important general information, such as if a listing has decreased in price or your contact information.

5. Include a video tour of the property

If you have a camera phone, then you may want to provide the potential buyer with a virtual tour. A video can allow the individual an alternate view of the house and can accurately show how everything flows. Videos are usually easy to upload on most sites and can really enhance your listing. Click here for a great tutorial on how to shoot a real estate video.

There are many ways that you can make your listing stand out online. If you want to attract a maximum number of visitors and sell properties quickly, then put these five tips to good use.

9 Digital Marketing Tips Every Realtor Should Know

Competition is always fierce among realtors in local markets, regardless of the size of the community they serve. Real estate agents always find themselves fighting for clients. The best way to get ahead of your local competition is to implement a comprehensive online marketing strategy. Use the following tips courtesy of the digital marketing gurus at Moonraker SEO Marketing to help get you started:

1. Add Social Media Sharing to your Property Pages

While social media icons are standard on most website home pages, placing icons on individual property subpages can drastically increase traffic to your site. Browsers can share individual listings on social media which will give you more exposure to prospective buyers.

2. Personalize your Content

Content that you write for your website and for online marketing purposes should be personalized. Each piece should be directed towards local buyers in your community instead of the general American public.

3. Hire an SEO Agency

If you don’t have the time or energy to spend on SEO, hire an SEO agency like Moonraker (also find on Facebook and Tumblr) . SEO agencies have the expertise and staffing necessary to help make your real estate business succeed. Many agencies even specialize in promoting real estate websites.

Adding content to your site is a great way to start ranking for terms that will drive more web traffic.

Adding content to your site is a great way to start ranking for terms that will drive more web traffic.

4. Make your Website Mobile-Friendly

Most Americans browse the Internet on their smartphones. Real estate agents who haven’t made their websites mobile responsive are missing out on a significant number of customers.

5. Consistent Email Marketing

Building an email list and sending monthly newsletters can help clients remember who you are and what type of service you provide. While they won’t need to purchase or sell a home that often, they’ll know who to turn to when the time comes.

6. Use Pay-Per-Click Campaigns

Pay-per-click campaigns are a great way for local businesses to come out on top. Google’s Adwords program is the most widely used PPC program, and local businesses notice a faster return on their investment when they run ads on these platforms.

7. Optimize your Site for Local Marketing

Make sure your website is optimized for local marketing. This means your address and contact information should be listed on every page and your written content should speak about something relevant to your community.

Social media marketing is a great way to solicit additional interest in your property listings.

Social media marketing is a great way to solicit additional interest in your property listings.

8. Dip into Social Media Paid Advertising

Like Google Adwords, social media websites like Facebook and Twitter offer advertising that can be targeted to geographic locations. Use social media advertising to efficiently advertise your services to people in your community.

9. Publish Reviews from Customers

Positive reviews from previous customers can greatly help your chances of winning new business. Every time you help a client buy or sell a home, ask for a review and publish it on your website, review websites and on your social media profiles.

7 of the Best Apps for Realtors

In any profession, there are new technologies that can help you succeed and become the best in your industry. Mobile technology has become some of the most useful technology in our modern world. With the rise of mobile devices, you can utilize apps that will help you become the best professional you can be. As a realtor, there are many apps that will guide you to the top in your local market. Discovering these apps will help you take your career to the next level.

1. Instagram

While you might think Instagram is just an app for younger generations, it is one of the most effective forms of free advertising on the market today (you can also pay to advertise as well). Building a strong following on Instagram can give you a pool of potential clients that will be amazed by your new listings that keep showing up on your Instagram account. Make sure to take beautiful photos of your listings and choose the very best ones to post to your account. The more regularly you post, the more followers you are likely to get on this social network. For tips on integrating Instagram into your current marketing routine, read this great post from the NAR.

2. Zillow

Knowing your market inside and out is essential to being the best Realtor you can be. With the Zillow app, you can stay on top of the local listings in your area as well as the comps around your current listings. Zillow gets over 160 million monthly visitors, so adding your listings to the site is a great way to gain additional exposure!

Zillow is a great way to get exposure to over 160 million users a month.

Zillow is a great way to get exposure to over 160 million users a month.

3. Mint

As a Realtor, you are likely in control of your own budget. All the cost of advertising, traveling between properties, and other fees will rest on your shoulders, so it’s very important to budget your money wisely and have visibility over your spending. With the Mint app, you will be able to track right where your money is going. This will help you to maximize profits and have enough money saved for future investment in your career.

4. DocuSign

There are many documents that must be signed when dealing in real estate transactions. When you are looking to securely sign these documents digitally, DocuSign is a very helpful app. As the number one eSignature brand, DocuSign will help you to securely and efficiently take care of all your important real estate documents.

5. YouTube

High-quality videos are becoming more important in the real estate industry. With the advancement of technology, most of these videos can be shot right from your smartphone. By installing the YouTube app, you will be able to upload these videos right to your YouTube channel after filming them on your phone. The new ease of shooting and uploading videos to YouTube right from your phone will help you to gain more exposure for your listings on the largest video sharing site in the world.

Docusign makes it easier to keep an electronic log of all the documents you need signed.

Docusign makes it easier to keep an electronic log of all the documents you need signed.

6. Evernote Scannable

Despite the mounds of paperwork to complete for each client, it is impossible to be completely paperless as a Realtor. With Evernote Scannable, you can use your phone to digitally scan all your important documents. This will help you stay more organized and secure your important documents.

7. AM Open House

Open houses are one of the most effective forms of advertising in the real estate industry. To maximize the effectiveness of an open house, you must be able to gather information about potential buyers. AM Open House is an amazing app for this purpose. With a digital sign in sheet, social sharing capabilities, online property management, and much more, you will find that this app is one of the most effective in helping you succeed as a Realtor.

Thanks to Great Guys Moving Company for giving their input on the best real estate apps. This nationwide mover offers residential and commercial moving services including local moves, long distance moving, storage solutions, piano moving, and military DITY moves. If your clients are looking for good deals on moving companies, consider directing them to Great Guys. For additional advice on the cost of long distance moves, tips on moving with pets, and other moving resources, check out the Great Guys moving blog.


Dos and Don’ts of Putting a Real Estate Listing on Zillow

If you are a real estate agent, chances are you’re putting your listings online. After all, not every potential buyer is going to be in the area and many people shop online for just about everything now anyway. So how can you, as a real estate agent, best use Zillow to your advantage to sell properties? Here are some dos and don’ts you should keep in mind when getting started on or listing your next property on Zillow.

Things You Should Do

Familiarize Yourself with Zillow

Play around with the site and seek outside information to learn how to use it and see if you can discover something new. Look at other successful listings and see if they have something yours lack. Be sure to take advantage of the resources Zillow puts out for their Zillow Premier Agent program, which offers courses, helpful articles and downloads, and event notifications.

Include Plenty Of Photographs

You probably know that including photographs with your listing is an absolute must. However, there are some tricks you should know about. For example, never take a photo of a home where it looks like the home is slanted – this could raise buyers’ concerns that there is something structurally wrong with the house or that it is precariously placed on an incline. Include plenty of photos (not just one or two) of your listing that show off the home, its selling features and the surrounding property in the best light.

Include lots of great, professional-quality pictures for each listing. You may even want to consider adding a video walk-through of the house or using a drone to capture aerial shots.

Include lots of great, professional-quality pictures for each listing. You may even want to consider adding a video walk-through of the house or using a drone to capture aerial shots.

Put The Best Thing About The House First

A key component of crafting a compelling real estate listing is capturing a buyer’s interest right off the bat, so put what is best or unique about the house front and center in your Zillow listing. What makes the house stand out from others in the neighboring area? What distinguishing, desirable features does it have?

Have Good Keywords

Come up with and utilize a good set of keywords not only in your Zillow listing but everywhere else you list the house as well to make it easier to find for potential buyers.

Create An Agent Profile

If you don’t already have an agent profile, you need to fill one out. Anyone interested in the home’s listing is going to want to contact you, and an attractive, professional-looking profile will signal to them that you are a reliable professional they will want to do business with. Be sure to include a picture of yourself.

Things You Should Not Do

Make the Description Really Long

While it’s important to be thorough, don’t use the Zillow description to write a novel. If the description is too long, people simply will think it’s too much effort and not read it. Stick to the basics and the best selling points about the property, and leave it at that.

Make sure your listing adequately describes the property and answers basic questions, without overwhelming the reader or writing a novel.

Make sure your listing adequately describes the property and answers basic questions, without overwhelming the reader or writing a novel.

Have A Massive Wall of Text

Similar to the above tip, separate the description up into paragraphs or even bullet points. This will make it appear more attractive and easier to read for potential buyers and get your main points across quickly.

Neglect The Basics

Fill out as much information about the property as you can for maximum appeal, and don’t accidentally leave something important out, such as the number of rooms the house has, when it was built, etc.

Like any resource, Zillow takes some time to learn but it’s worth it, being one of the premier real estate listing websites in America. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to come up with a winning listing.