Posts by cdejong:
While many military families opt to rent, others enjoy homeownership and all of its perks. In addition to clients’ specific request, there are many features that are convenient to the military lifestyle in general; knowing in advance what these families want in a property can help you save time and enjoy quick sales.
Airport Access No service member wants to step off of the plane after a long tour just to sit in a vehicle for hours trying to make it from the airport to the house. Neighborhoods with easy access to airports and their surrounding thoroughfares minimize commute times for service members and their families.
Nearby Public Transportation Many military families forgo owning a private vehicle, especially if they’re often stationed internationally. (Shipping a vehicle—or trying to sell at the last minute—isn’t worth it.) For those reasons, easy access to public transportation or ride share programs are vital to military families.
Proximity to Night Life and Family Entertainment Service members range from singles to established families–and all of them want something fun to do with their downtime! Identifying parts of town that provide ample and interactive opportunities for socializing will win points with your buyers.
Ample Storage While some families embrace minimalism to avoid lugging belongings around the country, others like the idea of loading up on quality items in order to avoid frequent shopping trips. Learn which approach appeals to your buyers. The latter will need ample onsite storage while the former will accept limited space in exchange for other amenities.
Privacy While on duty, service members have very little privacy. They want the return home to feel like a personal oasis. Private lots are also beneficial for families with children and pets, who desire the security of an enclosed play space. Fenced-in backyards and houses with wooded lots may add the privacy that such families seek.
Strong Wireless and Internet Reception Today’s military families cannot thrive in a communications dead space. If they can’t communicate with family and friends abroad, the family will quickly feel dissatisfied with the property and frustrated with the location. When sorting through potential homes, have buyers bring along their wireless devices for a test run. It may also help to research available internet providers and explore the services available in the area.
Today’s guest post comes to us from Erica Rascón, an online content developer and contributing editor for The Balance Sheet — the Yardi corporate blog.
Every fall agents and brokers across North America eagerly await the publication of the National Association of REALTORS® ‘Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers’. This 100+ page report serves as a bellwether to consumers wants and needs and is widely referenced by everyone in the industry until the day the next report is released.
Since the 2014 report was released on November 3rd, many real estate professionals have been pouring over the data to see what to expect in 2015 and beyond. In order to help you we have combed through the report and picked out the more important stats and statements:
- Thirty-three percent of recent home buyers were first time home buyers, which is still down from the historical norm of 40 percent among primary residence buyers.
- The typical first-time buyer was 31-years-old, while the typical repeat buyer was 53. Sixty-five percent of home buyers were also married couples, which is down just 1 percent from the previous year.
- The typical home purchased was 1,870 square feet in size, was built in 1993, and had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. This is a change of -30 square feet overall.
- Buyers expect to live in their home for 12 years after buying which is up from 10 years in 2013 and dramatically up from 6 years in 2007.
- 92 percent of consumers used the internet in their home search. This is unchanged from last year.
- For 43 percent of consumers, going online to look at properties was the first step in their home search. This is a change of 1% from 42 percent in 2013.
- The percentage of consumers who found the information a real estate professional provided useful changed significantly from 87 percent in 2013 to 98 in 2014. Bottom line, agents provide better value!
- The typical home buyer searched for 10 weeks and viewed 10 homes—this is two weeks shorter than the 2013 report.
- Thirty-eight percent of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 22 percent used the agent they worked with previously to buy or sell a home.
- Seventy percent of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
For more highlights from the 2014 Profile report, check out the report below as well as the presentation NAR’s Jessica Lautz:
What did you find most interesting about this year’s report?
The wait is over. After years of teasing and speculation .REALTOR top-level domain (TLD) extensions are here. As of October 23rd, 2014 members of NAR and CREA can visit about.realtor to claim their very own .REALTOR domain. Even better, the first 500,000 NAR and 10,000 CREA members can claim their domain FREE for one year.
This is big news for real estate professionals as this new domain extension allows you to clearly showcase yourself online as a trusted source of real estate information – something almost all potential clients are looking for. Plus, this domain extension is exclusive only to members of NAR and CREA.
Ready to get started with this new domain extension? Here is what you have to know first:
1) Who is eligible for a .REALTOR domain?
You are eligible for a .REALTOR domain if you are a member of one of the following groups:
– REALTOR® members (agents and brokers) including International REALTOR® Members
and members of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)
– REALTOR® firms/offices
– State, provincial and local REALTOR® Boards and Associations
– REALTOR® owned Multiple Listing Services (MLSs)
– NAR affiliated institutes, societies and councils
2) Where can I claim my domain?
You can claim your domain at any time by visiting claim.realtor and following the instructions to search and then receive your domain.
3) How much do .REALTOR domains cost?
.REALTOR domains will start at $39.95 USD annually, however the first 500,000 NAR members and 10,000 CREA members will receive their first .REALTOR domain free for one year.
4) Are there any restrictions on what you can register as a domain name?
Yes. At the bare minimum .REALTOR domains should contain your name (either first, last or both) or a key business phrase, but cannot include a street address or the word ‘REALTOR’. A full guide on domain naming rules by NAR can be right here.
5) What will happen to my .REALTOR domain if I exit the real estate business?
If you are no longer a licensed REALTOR® your .REALTOR domains will continue to be active until your next renewal period, at which time it will be automatically cancelled.
5) Can I use my new .REALTOR domain with my Point2 Agent account?
Absolutely! As .REALTOR domains operate like any other domain extensions (.com, .net, etc.) you can point them to your Point2 Agent website to use in your online marketing initiatives. You can find a guide on how to point domains you own to your Point2 Agent account on our support page.
You can learn more about the .REALTOR domain from NAR in the video below:
Are you going to get a .REALTOR domain?
As any real estate professional knows, time management and office productivity are crucial skills to master in order to become a top producer, but this is of course easier said than done. There are a whole host of factors that can drag down your productivity, whether or not you are conscious of them.
Here are 4 of the most common office productivity killers and how to prevent them from affecting your own productivity:
1) Sleep (or lack thereof)
Sleep might not be the first thing that people associate with productivity, but it is surely one of the most important factors influencing it. In fact, studies have shown that sleep deprived workers consistently perform tasks more slowly which of course will directly impact how much you can accomplish in your workday. In addition, sleep deprivation has shown to increase the error rate – that is, the amount of mistakes you make in your work – by up to 30%!
How to fix this: This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but get more rest! But because this simple solution might not fit everyone’s lifestyle a great first step is to try and add a 20 minute “power nap” in your day. This has been proven to be the optimal time necessary to refresh your mind and help you stay productive.
2) Stop multitasking
This sounds counter-intuitive, we know. Wouldn’t doing more at once increase your productivity rather than decrease it? Turns out not exactly. While multitasking may lead to a short-term burst of added productivity long-term reliance will decrease your productivity by up to 40% according research conducted in 2001. Why does this happen? As you switch between tasks there is time lost which when added up is quite significant and this lost time only increases as you introduce more complex tasks.
How to fix this: The best way to combat the urge to multitask is to utilize the concept of “timeboxing” or “time chunking”. This is the idea that you only work on a single task for a pre-determined amount of time of your choosing. This way you can focus on producing your best work without ever giving in to distractions, be it a text message or a funny link from your coworker. You can help spur this habit on with Moosti which helps you set timers for your “time box”.
3) TXT free zone
Texts, Twitter, Facebook Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, WeChat or WhatsApp. There is no end to the amount of notifications your smartphone will send your way once you start using fun apps like these. It’s no wonder then that in a survey conducted by CareerBuilder 50% of respondents said that smartphones and texting were the number one cause of distractions and loss of productivity in the workplace. This is because when we shift our attention from the task at hand to checking the notification that has popped up our phones, it takes us on average 6 minutes to get back on task. With all the distractions that our phones bring in the day, think of how much productivity you are losing!
How to fix this: There are two options here. The easiest (and more extreme) of the two is to simply put your phone away and do not use it for the duration of your work day. The downside to this being that you might miss that all important client phone call or lead. The second option is to introduce a selective “do not disturb” mode on your smartphone which will temporarily halt notifications that may distract you, but will still alert you to things you specify, such as calls or certain emails. You can find a guide to setting this up on your iPhone right here and Android users can follow a similar guide here.
4) Let there be light!
The stereotype of the cold, barren office filled with flickering fluorescent lights exists as an office trope for a reason – anyone that has spent time in an office with bad lighting knows the effect it has on you. Numerous studies have shown that inadequate lighting will zap your mood and affect your productivity in a dramatic fashion so it is important to make sure that you have the right amount in addition to the right type of lighting for your workspace.
How to fix this: Begin by taking stock of your current workspace lighting and answer two questions:
- How well lit it the workspace?
- What type of light is being used?
If there is not enough light, consider adding more natural light sources which has been shown to increase alertness and happiness. If natural light sources are not available, look at introducing more 6500K lights. These are often referred to as ‘daylight bulbs’ are they have a similar spectrum to natural sunlight and do not have the same negative effects as standard halogen bulbs.
Do you have any other office productivity tips to share? Leave a comment below!
As a real estate professional your smartphone is undoubtedly your most important possession. It’s your mobile office, your primary means of communication, your Rolodex, your weather forecast, your camera and more.
But with this reliance on one device comes risks. A lost or stolen phone can potential compromise our most important business data, your sensitive client information – even your own identity.
Reduce your risk by following these 7 smartphone security tips that work whether you are an iOS or Android user.
1. Use a device PIN or password
While this might seem like a no-brainer more than half of smartphone users don’t use a pin, password or any other type of locking mechanism. Make sure you keep a lock on at all times to create a first line of defense between people that have physical access to your device and the data stored on it. Make sure to also change this lock periodically in the event that someone has glanced your password over your shoulder.
2. Use a GPS-aided phone finder
In the event your phone goes missing it is important to be able to retrieve it as quickly as possible. Most smartphone makers offer some sort of web-based tool to geo-locate your device, call it or remotely wipe it should you suspect it has fallen into the hands of crooks. Here are your options for each device maker:
- iOS: Find My iPhone
- Android: Android Device Manager
- Windows: Find Phone (click ‘Find Phone’ in the top-right menu
3. Don’t use unsecured Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
They say “home is where the Wi-Fi connects automatically” and real estate professionals should heed this warning! Coffee shops, airports, restaurants or transit services might offer complimentary Wi-Fi but unlike your home network you cannot vouch for its security. Avoid using these services if possible since any data transmitted over them (like your business or banking information) is at risk of being intercepted.
4. Defend your phone against Malware
Phones are just as susceptible to the same kind of malware and viruses that your desktop computers are and they need the same level of protection. The problem appears to be less hazardous for iOS users thanks to Apple’s strict control over the App Store, however the open-source nature of Android makes them a lot more vulnerable, as malicious apps can be loaded onto the device without being checked by Google first. In both cases this is something that can be countered through the use of mobile antivirus software application from the likes of McAfee, AVG, Norton or another reputable antivirus company – all of which can be found in the App Store.
5. Consider a password manager
Chances are if you are using your phone for your real estate business you have multiple apps or websites you need to login to on a regular basis, such as your Point2 Agent account. If so, consider the use of a password manager like 1Password, which works across all platforms and keeps your passwords – and by extension your sensitive data – safe, encrypted and secure.
6. Keep your phone software up-to-date
There is a reason that smartphone makers always update their devices with new software – to patch security flaws and bugs that put your information at risk. Make sure that you do your part to close these security loopholes by updating to the latest operating software. Most manufacturers allow you to set your phone to check for updates automatically, so always make sure this option is enabled on your device.
7. Use a digital “vault” for super-sensitive information
If you have information on your smartphone that is too important to keep with the rest of your documents – be it contracts, signatures or loan documents – consider keeping them in a separate area of your smartphone. On iOS you can use an app like The Vault or NQ Mobile Security on Android, which provides you with encrypted and password-protected storage for documents, images or videos.
Do you have any other smartphone security tips for real estate professionals that you would like to share? Comment below!
It is one of the harsh realities of conducting business in 2014: data breaches or data loss are an increasingly common threat that are only becoming more expensive to recover from. Bad guys have an arsenal of sophisticated tools at their disposal that they can use to steal, hack, deface or otherwise ruin your business. IBM estimates that in 2014 the average cost of a business data breach is $3.5 million US – a 15% increase over the 2013 cost.
An industry like real estate is an especially juicy target since real estate professionals often have access to sensitive client information including banking, legal and personal contact information. If this information is unlawfully accessed it allows crooks to do things like steal identities, empty bank accounts and take over your computer.
So what is a savvy real estate professional like you to do to counter this very real threat? Two things:
- Learn how protect your data
- Implement “defensive layers” around your data
1) Learn to protect yourself
Knowledge is power and, when it comes to data security, this holds especially true. If you do not understand what you are dealing with it will be hard to follow through in the next steps. A great first step is to see what manner of educational resources are offered to you through your broker or your board/MLS/association. Most will either offer courses or have experts on hand who can help you understand what the prevailing threats are.
We also recommend periodically visiting the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Alerts site or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to see what kind of new threats are cropping up. You can also find a heap of information from your governing bodies. NAR offers courses on data security, as well as a helpful downloadable security toolkit, while CREA offers a series of articles on REALTOR Link®.
2) Implement your own “defense layers”
Once you have a grasp on general data security, you can start implementing your own defensive layers. Just like an old castle or fortress in the movies has a moat, walls and guards surrounding it, your data should have multiple digital AND physical layers surrounding it. Matt Cohen offers a great example of physical data security over on the CREA Cafe blog. We have extended that with our own example of defense setup that covers both physical and digital concerns:
First Layer: Area Security
It is one of the ’10 Immutable Laws of Security’ – “If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.” In order to keep your data safe, you must make sure the immediate area around you is secure. This includes places like your office, your vehicle and even your home. Make sure that all entrances are secured at all times, you have appropriate alarms or surveillance in place and you keep sensitive information out of sight.
If you are on the go, keep all devices locked in your trunk or glove box at all times. If you have print outs of anything sensitive make absolutely sure you dispose of it in the proper way – with either a cross cut shredder or via a document disposal service. In addition, an often overlooked point of breaches is your office Wi-Fi and network printers. Make certain that your wireless network is secured with WPA2 encryption and that your office printers cannot be accessed by anyone outside of your network… unless you want something like this.
Second Layer: Physical Security
You may think this simply means securing your devices with an access password or a something like a Kensington lock but (while that is important) physical data security extends much further. To increase your data security, one of the most important things to have is a backup of your data so it can be restored in the event of a loss or breach. Online services such as Apple’s iCloud or Microsoft’s OneDrive allow you to quickly and inexpensively back up your information to the cloud. You can take this one step further by copying all data onto a USB drive or external hard drive and storing it in a secure location such as a safety deposit box or a safe.
When it comes to mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets, make sure you have some sort of tracking application such as Find My Phone for iOS and Device Manager for Android. In the event you are physically separated from your devices, you will be able to track them down and/or remotely disable them.
Third Layer: Digital Security
Arguably the most important layer of data security, “digital security” refers to all of the measures you take on or within your devices to keep your data secure. This starts with strong passwords. With that in mind, here is a terrific infographic to help you pick a strong, memorable password that will be harder to crack. Once that is complete, consider implementing a password manager such as LastPass or 1Password to eliminate all of those password sticky notes that do more to compromise your security than help it.
Another important measure to implement is what is called “two-Factor Authentication,” a security setup that requires an additional step beyond entering your password, usually by sending a message to your mobile phone or using an app in your smartphone. Check out the resources here and here to learn which services support it and how to implement it for yourself.
Lastly, be proactive about your data security. By keeping all the applications and operating systems you use for your business up-to-date, you significantly decrease the chances of suffering a breach or data loss. If you are concerned about securing your communications further, consider using an application such as Tor to encrypt your data for maximum protection.
And remember, if something doesn’t feel right, ask a trusted professional for assistance to prevent a potentially pricey problem for your business before it ever starts.
Do you have any of your own security tips or tricks to share? We are sure the Point2 community would love to hear them! Leave a comment on the post below.
We all want to be more organized, but for most of us that is just a pipe dream. After all, life and business are inherently messy.
That’s why we recently invited organizational expert Chris Crouch to join Terri Murphy for a webinar on how they can bring some semblance of order to their lives. He shared a few simple life hacks and rules to help you streamline your business, be more productive and ultimately make more money.
What were Chris’s secrets to organizational success?
1) The 96 Minute Rule – Most business people’s days ahere to the classic 80/20 rule. Meaning that 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of your effort. In an average working day that works out to just 96 minutes. If you can make a consistent effort to set aside just 96 minutes in your day where you can work completely undistracted, everything else is a bonus!
2) Task Prioritization – The key to being productive is to know what to tackle first and what to save for later. In Chris’s experience there are four dimensions to prioritizing tasks to know what to do first. Those are: Impact, Time, Difficulty and Cost.
3) Delegation - Often one of the most powerful tools at your disposal is the one that is hardest to do… giving up control! Chris has found that, in order to be truly productive, you must master the art of delegation. What does this mean in practice? It means taking all the ‘small stuff’ and outsourcing it to an assistant – either someone local or a virtual assistant like those offered by VirtualAssistantStaffing.com or MyOutDesk.com
4) The Five Habits of Productivity – Chris says that in order to manage your productivity every inbound piece of ‘information’ must go through a five-step system to get it done in the most efficient manner. Those questions are:
1. Can this information be instantly discarded?
2. Can this information be immediately delegated?
3. Can this information be acted upon immediately with no loss of productivity?
4. Can this information be acted upon quickly by referencing information already on hand?
5. Can this information by stored for follow up at a later date?
Ready to start increasing your productivity right now? Chris was kind enough to provide us all with a series of downloadable checklists for some of your more common business practices. Download them below!
If you missed the webinar or just want to watch it again to get all of Chris’s great tips, we have embedded the recording below…
Browser extensions enhance the abilities of your everyday web browser by adding functionality that might normally require a separate program. This allows you to streamline your workflow and eliminate a lot of the task-switching that normally accompanies online work. We’ve collected ten of our favorite browser extensions for real estate for Google Chrome (our browser of choice) to help you explode your productivity.
1. Momentum – Replaces your default ‘new tab’ window with a powerful assortment of tools to increase your productivity such as to-do list, weather, goals for the day and aspirational quotes. It also features a stunning rotating background of images that look so good you will want them as your desktop.
2. Any.do – Many of us have to-do lists so long that just thinking about them is a daunting task. Any.do helps you manage your to-do’s by providing you with a simple interface to manage your list of tasks and help you get stuff done. This includes keeping all your to-dos in sync , the ability to drag and drop tasks to plan your agenda, attach notes to tasks or use them as sub-tasks. Any.do has embedded Gmail features that let you quickly turn emails into action items.
3. StayFocused – We’ve all been there. “I’ll just check Facebook quickly and then get back to work.” Suddenly two hours have passed. StayFocused increases your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting websites. Set time limits for each website that might hamper your productivity, and once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you specify will be blocked and inaccessible for the rest of the day. It might sound tough, but it works!
4. AdBlock Plus – Does just as it says. Blocks all sorts of annoying (and potentially virus-laden) ads across the web to help you maintain your sanity and focus on what you are trying to accomplish. You will never remember how you got along without it after using it for a month, guaranteed.
5. RouteXL – Taking your clients out to see some listings? Print out a customized map of where you will be traveling to keep your clients informed and make sure you know where you’re going. As the app says: “RouteXL is a route planner for multiple destinations, sorting waypoints in the fastest order.”
6. Clipular! – Clipular is a camera and collection tool for the web. Think screen capture mixed with bookmarking. It lets you share and group any screenshots in your browser. If you stumble upon something on the web, such as a Facebook comment, a tweet or a Youtube video, just clip them to your clipboard in Clipular for reference later.
7. Dropbox – Almost the entire team at Point2 swears by it, and you should too! The best tool out there for backing up your data and making it accessible across all of your devices, all of the time. So the next time your client says ‘do you happen to have that document on hand…’ you can answer, “Yes I do!”
8. +Analytix – Are you a Google+ user? If you’ve seen some of our previous posts, you should be. Use the Analytix browser extension to get post analytics and stats that help you engage your audience. Just add your Google+ account URL, and you are up and running. You get information about how many people see your posts (if an image is inserted in post), the number of comments and the number of reshares you receive.
9. HTML5 Photo Editor – Description: Don’t fork out hundreds of dollars on software to edit your listing photos when you can do it for free. HTML5 Photo Editor is a simple and intuitive extension that allows you to edit your photos with tools like crop, resize, contrast and effects. Then save them back to your desktop straight from your browser.
10. RandomMagic – Heels or flats? Should I show my clients this listing or not? Sometimes you just need to make a quick decision. That’s where RandomMagic come in. This fun extension contains four mini apps to help you make a quick decision, including a coin flip, dice roll, random number generator and even a a random letter sequence generator for helping to choose a new secure password.
Which browser extensions do you swear by? Share a link below to help your fellow agents (and your friends at Point2) out!
Point2 Success Series Webinar hosted by Terri Murphy
Host Terri Murphy as joined by Agents Linda Hall and Tim Hammond to share their secrets on low (or no) cost marketing strategies that have netted them huge returns. Strategies included things such as value-adding documents for clients such as ebooks, niche websites to target individuals and memorable, low-cost closing gifts like fresh baked pie. Yes, you read that right.
Check out the recording of the webinar below and be sure to add a comment of your own ideas for low-cost marketing solutions that you have tried in the past. We love hearing about new ideas to help your business grow!
Visit the Point2 Education Supplimental page now
It might not seem like it at first glance, but with over 100 million monthly users, 40 million photos posted per day and over 1000 comments per second, Instagram is one of the largest social networking platforms around, even surpassing Twitter in mobile traffic late last year. This free photo sharing application for iPhone and Android makes it simple to create stunning images that can easily be shared with your network in a matter of moments. Users can like and comment on photos, search photos by location or hashtag and even tag other users in their own photos.
So with all the hype – and a billion dollar acquisition from Facebook – why is Instagram often overlooked by real estate folks when talking about social media and online marketing strategy? After all, you would suspect that a social network built for smartphones (which never leave many agents’ hands) and built around sharing images (listing photos are the core of real estate advertising) would be a no-brainer, but we’ve hardly seen anything around the web explaining how to put Instagram to work in your own real estate business.
So let’s change that, shall we! Here are 7 different ways that you can starting using Instagram to increase your listing exposure and promote your business online.
1. Showcase Your Listings & Business
The most obvious use of the bunch is also the most important. Since Instagram is all about sharing beautiful photos, snap a picture of your listing’s most interesting/beautiful/gorgeous features add one of the available filters and voila, you’ve got a drool-worthy listing photo that rivals some professional shots. But remember, think beyond the listing photo; you can use pictures to showcase any part of your business. Be it photos of the charitable causes you donate your time to or photos of the neighborhood you specialize in.
Pro-tip: Just make sure you don’t go overboard on the filters & effects. There is nothing worse than a photo that is too manipulated.
2. Share The Love
Once you’ve created your photo, share it with the world! The great thing about Instagram’s acquisition by Facebook is that it makes sharing your photos on other social networks as simple as pressing a button. With one click you can cross-post your photo to Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook and Foursquare. You can also email a link to the photo as well.
Pro-tip: A great tactic is to cross-post your Instagram photos to your Facebook page to give your fans a ‘sneak-peek’ at the listing you are about to list. Build some excitement!
3. (Geo)Location Is Key
Since Instagram is built for smartphones, geolocation plays an important role. Users can enable the ‘Photo Map‘ feature which will showcase where you’ve taken your photos and explore where others have taken photos on a map. This is especially important for establishing your expertise in a particular area. If users see you posting lots of photos in a certain neighborhood that will do much more to convince them you are indeed the neighborhood expert (better than any bus bench can)
4. Explore Your World
One of the most important/powerful features in Instagram is the ‘Explore’ tab. From here users can search for photos that interest them by user, and more importantly, by hashtag. Since Twitter has socialized the idea of the #hashtag Instagram users have taken to it with force – adding hashtags to photos to make for easy search-ability. Find the most relevant tags for your own photos and use them to reach a whole new audience.
Pro-tip: Make sure that you limit your #hastags to just a few. No one likes seeing a photo with 20+ hashtags attached to it. It looks unprofessional to most users.
5. Turn Online Into Offline
Now that you have created your Instagram profile and filled with all manner of awesome real estate photos, it’s time to make something tangible! There are a variety of services available to transform your photos into everything from coffee mugs to stickers and magnets – the perfect way to further advertise your listing or to give to clients as a closing gift for their new home. Some of our favorite services are:
Printstagram – Turn your photos into adorable micro-prints that make for unique print-marketing pieces. Who wants a photocopied feature sheet when they can have a miniature coil-bound book highlighting your listing?
Postagram – Probably the slickest direct-mail solution around. Choose your photos, enter an address and you’ve got yourself a unique listing postcard that is guaranteed to impress.
StaticPixels – Create custom wall art prints from your photos. Possibly the greatest closing gift you could give a client. Even better, all the prints are printed on recycled cardboard to be sustainable and renewable.
6. Get A Photo Page With Every Profile!
One of the most recent additions to the Instagram ecosystem has been the launch of Web Profiles, a stylized web overview of all your photos and bio that gives others an at-a-glance look at your account. While these profiles allow users to like, comment and follow each other it also serves another (unintentional) purpose – it works great as a DIY listing showcase. Simply snap some shots of your listing, add the proper description and then you can send prospects to your account page at Instagram.com/yourusername (here’s mine for example). It works great in a pinch for advertising and gives users a slick overview of your listing inventory.
7. Put On Your Badge
It’s great to be involved in other social networks, but it won’t do you much good if no one knows you have an account. Add an Instagram badge to your website by visiting the badges page on Instagram’s site. From here you can choose from a variety of badge styles and get the code you need to put one onto your real estate website. That way prospects will always have another way to get in touch with you.
Bonus tip: Engage!
It goes without saying for success in all social networks, but sometimes it just bears repeating – you need to engage on Instagram to see results! Use the Explore feature to find users in your area or follow relevant #hastags, comment on photos you find interesting and respond to those who leave questions or comments for you. Engagement is the only way to be successful, online and offline.
Are you already using Instagram for your business? Leave a link to your web profile below!