The Jaded Consumer

There are three general areas where a consumer might get frustrated, and yes… jaded.

After I wrote about my jaded friend who sold his company, I got a lot of feedback from brokers who felt I was speaking about them.  They told me they also felt jaded, frustrated, and not quite knowing what to do.

It’s been making me wonder that if so many brokers are frustrated by today’s circumstances, are consumers jaded too?

What do you think they are looking for and are they getting it? I think they are looking for a few key things, but not too many real estate professionals give it to them.

1. Consumers want real information…not pressure

Real estate, school, crime, neighborhood, and other information someone would need when looking for a new home is readily available and free. Consumers don’t need real estate brokers and agents to obtain the information they need.

If you agree with this statement, how can you, as a real estate broker and/or agent, satisfy that need? How can you provide all the information they need, when they need it? And they want to consume it all without feeling pressured by an agent.

Am I providing information you think is useful for your business, and in the way you want that information? Do you think I am trying to sell you something?            

I hope the first answer was yes and the second one is no because that is my intent. As the owner of a company that provides a variety of consulting and technology solutions to the real estate industry, the intent of my writing is to get people thinking and talking about how they can be better. My job while I do this is not to sell anything.

Obviously, at some point I would like the opportunity to talk to you about my business but only after you gain some level of confidence about my ability to help you. Why should your brokerage and agents be any different? Providing the information consumers need, gaining their trust and confidence is how you earn the right to talk to them about their business.

2. Professionalism…Where is it?

Think about it, based on the current median national sales price for a home of $202,150, the average side will generate a commission of $5,073. Not only is an investment of over $200,000 the biggest the average consumer will ever make, but a commission of over $5,000 is surely higher than the commission someone makes selling you a car or any number of much less expensive investments. Have you bought a Lexus, Mercedes, or other higher end car lately? What was the level of professionalism? Are you servicing your car at the dealership? Are you getting fancy loaners? Is the lounge super nice with free WIFI, coffee, and work stations?

Why is it then that, as an industry, we struggle with a lack of professionalism? Do you think that might be driving certain consumers to discount models and other ways of cutting commissions?

I am so tired of hearing the independent contractor argument. I have independent contractors too… if they don’t comport themselves the way I expect, I fire them.

3. Streamlined transparency

I can pay bills online. I can transfer money online. I can book travel and check onto my flight online. I can read reviews for where I want to eat online before I walk into a restaurant (and I can book a reservation online too, using my phone.) I could go on but I won’t.

Streamlined transparency is everywhere.  Yet our industry continues to struggle in this area. I don’t need to tell you how complicated a real estate transaction is…how does it feel for the consumer who is unfamiliar with the process? How does it feel for them when they don’t understand what RESPA is, what APR is, etc. and when their brokerage, agent, mortgage company, loan officer, etc. can’t immediately walk them through this with streamlined transparency?

The technology is there for us to create streamlined transparency yet some boards fight it, some brokers don’t get it, and some agents don’t want to pay. In the meantime, there is some really smart guy or gal out there trying to figure this out, and when they do, watch out.

Are you jaded? Do you think consumers should be jaded? If so, what other things might be making them feel so?

jose-perez-regards

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

My jaded friend…

I have a good friend/client named Tom (not his real name) who sold his real estate brokerage a few years ago to focus on other areas of real estate.

His main reason for selling? He was jaded and saw no way to make money in the brokerage space. He feels the traditional model is destined for collapse because the downward pressure on profits (i.e. lower commissions and higher splits) is, in his words, “unsustainable”.

In fairness, Tom’s medium-sized real estate brokerage competed against a couple of very large regional players who were very aggressive recruiters offering high splits. Those companies, in addition to the discount and virtual brokers chipping away at agents, caused him to throw up his hands in frustration. He couldn’t see how he would ever make any money when dealing with agents that, in his opinion, cared mostly about how high a split they could make.

To make matters worse his partner was also one of the top-producing agents in his company and couldn’t get into the 21st century. Tom was constantly battling an old-school mentality, where culture and brand loyalty were put aside in favor of an agent-centric approach. A focus at odds to his own philosophy of building a strong company brand for his real estate brokerage.

He sold his business and is now much happier, albeit, still pretty jaded about the whole state of our industry.

Having helped him in a variety of areas of his business for several years, I was certainly sympathetic and saw him try just about everything:

  • Better brokerage website… partner thought it was too expensive;
  • Better lead response… agents didn’t want us touching “their” leads;
  • Better marketing… nobody wants to pay for it.

In my opinion, he really did try. But he either couldn’t get buy-in from agents or was constantly fighting with his partner (who thought he was just throwing away money.) I know plenty of brokers similarly frustrated by their situations, but keep moving because they don’t know what else they would do for a living.

So what do I tell all these folks?

  • You better love this industry AND agents. Otherwise, it’s not worth the aggravation, and you probably should do what my friend did and sell;
  • You need to have the courage to make the changes necessary to reinvent your business despite kicking and screaming from agents or partners;
  • You need to be a leader who can convince your agents and partners of what the future is, and how to proactively address today’s issues; and,
  • You MUST figure out ways to create revenue over and above the low margin real estate brokerage commission. If you don’t have other revenue streams then, as Tom says, your business model is “unsustainable”.

Do you want to be running an unsustainable business model? Are you ready to take action?

jose-perez-regards

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Buyers and Sellers are searching online for your business

Help them find your products and services with Search Engine Optimization

With more than 60 billion searches conducted every month and 90 percent of online consumers using search engines as their primary source of information, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has rapidly become the most effective method of online advertising. For consumers and prospects to find your business online, it’s critical that your URL rank in the top 20 search engine results. 93 percent of consumers stop searching after the second page of listings. Making sure visitors find your site and not your competitors is vital. How much business are you losing to the competition? This is serious business. I challenge you to do a search right now… go to Google.com and type in “your city name” followed by the text “real estate.” Example: Pittsburg Real Estate. You will be given the top 10 / page 1 Google results for this keyword term. Is your site listed? How will someone looking to buy a home in your area find you? How can you tell a potential seller about your great services and why they should list their home with you?

How do you evaluate whether an SEO campaign is working?

  1. Number of estimated unique monthly visitors
  2. Number of conversions
  3. Number of top ten rankings you achieve
  4. Number of page views
  5. Number of search referrals

Optimizing your web site is a process with many key components to consider. First, consider your site’s validation: how does Google see your site? Are there site errors? How many road blocks does your site have? What keywords are people searching for? How many landing pages do you have? Are you fully utilizing your meta tags?
Not every website designer is an SEO expert and vice versa. Therefore, it is very important to have the right people focused on the right things… just because your website is pretty to look at does not mean it will drive consumers to your site.

The amount of traffic is dependent on how well it has been “optimized” SilverDoorRealEstate.com, an online Lake Minnetonka, MN real estate web site, achieved page 1 rankings in Google for highly desired search terms through an integrated optimization strategy including placing certain “keywords” throughout certain parts of the website.

These sorts of results are what “makes the phone ring”. As tough as the market continues to be, those real estate professionals who are looking for every edge over the competition should be looking at ways to drive more people to their sites.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Re-Invent your Real Estate Company Business Planning

Business Planning for Real Estate Companies

Re-inventing your Real Estate Company:  Some business planning ideas you can start implementing today!

As I said last month in this column, the old days are over…it’s time to get ready for a new type of industry. Due to the overwhelming response we received from this statement in this column last month and the many people who asked us to follow up with some specific examples of business planning and what they can do to start moving into the “new” paradigm, this article will suggest business planning ideas that are not complicated but are incredibly necessary if you are serious about moving towards the new reality of our industry and hope to be a viable company when we come out of this mess.

Let me state very clearly that regardless of the day to day struggles you may be facing, it is imperative that you look past this. Ask yourself this question every day, “What am I doing to reinvent myself and my company?”

Business Planning Idea: Cutting Expenses Alone Will Not Vault You into the Future!

Cutting expenses does not generate any more leads, attract the right agents, or help your existing agents become more productive. Therefore, you must have a strategy to do all three of these things in a new environment where there are less people buying houses, less agents in the industry, and existing agents trying to figure out how they will survive.
You must step back, keep your cool, have faith in yourself and know that a lot of people are counting on you to figure this out. You did not become successful by accident, and you will continue to be successful if you embrace change… there is no choice.

Last month I mentioned the four business planning areas where you must change in order to thrive in the future:

  • Average age of your agents – How do you help your seasoned top producers continue to succeed while simultaneously attracting the younger generation you need in the future?
  • Top producer – Give them a reason to want to change. One example is social media. If they are not utilizing Linked In, Plaxo and other sites to help increase their “sphere”, show them someone in your company who has tapped into the power of this medium. It would be even better if it was one of their contemporaries who figured it out and are seeing success. Top producers don’t need you to teach them how to sell, they need you to show them to tap into all this new stuff and get comfortable with it!
  • Younger agents – Speaking of social media, what are you doing to engage the younger agents that may not be running in the same circles you do but that you want to recruit? Chances are, they are doing a lot of their networking on sites like Facebook and Twitter. If you are not aggressively pursuing these channels you will be missing many opportunities and, as importantly, be viewed as an “old” paradigm company.
  • Office size – I think we can all agree we don’t need huge offices any more since most agents are mobile and meeting at Starbucks anyway, so what are you doing to reduce your footprint? You may be committed to a lease for a few more years but have you thought about subleasing part of your space? If your lease happens to be up, have you considered if a “café style” office might work in your market?
  • Online inquiry response time – NAR states that about half of internet inquiries go unanswered. Have you ever tested that at your office? How much money might you be leaving on the table? Have you considered putting in some accountability standards or outsourcing internet lead management?
  • Integrated technology strategy – This area really encompasses everything you should be doing. Your site should be fully optimized including social media and set up to track internet inquiries. As a result of having a fully integrated technology strategy your need for larger office space will decrease because there would be less need for agents to come into the office.
  • There is no “rocket science” here and much of what has been mentioned in this business planning article just requires focus and accountability. Some things will require an investment but you can “reinvent” yourself one step at a time based on whatever budget you can justify… your future success depends on it.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Internet Marketing: Caution – You Get What you Pay For!

Internet Marketing takes not only time, but money. I can appreciate everyone wanting top rankings for the lowest cost; however, a strong word of caution:  No two Internet Marketing Consultants or Internet Marketing Companies are the same. How they implement, diagnose and execute Internet Marketing strategies will vary greatly. Thus, the results will vary greatly. If it was easy to obtain a top page ranking in Google, everyone could easily implement those changes. It takes time, energy and knowledge to gain long term results!

Internet Marketing is complex. Google has over 200 different factors it considers to determine if a website will get a page 1 ranking. Without a page 1 ranking your site is ineffective. To compare apples to apples you need to completely understand what each Internet Marketing expert is going to do for your company.

Here are some of MY required Internet Marketing Tactics. Keep in mind that each of these steps is critical to the overall success of your SEO campaign.

FYI: When I quote my Internet Marketing costs, there are miscellaneous costs not covered. This may include such items as press release costs, content writing, link building creation; IT related changes etc. Any and all third party charges. I never expect these to run over $500 monthly.

Foundation

  • Site Validation
  • Load Time
  • Browser Compatibility
  • Site Penalties
  • HTML Validation
  • Robots
  • Site Map
  • Broken Links
  • Site History

Discovery

  • Competition
  • Keywords
  • Content
  • Landing Pages
  • Local SEO
  • Over Optimization Penalty
  • File Size
  • Alt Image Tags

Tactics

  • Domain Name
  • H1-H6 Headings
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Page Titles
  • Content
  • Site Navigation
  • Crawl Test
  • Keyword Density

Create a Buzz

  • Optimized Press Release
  • Article Writing
  • Google News
  • PDF’s
  • Social Media
  • Blogs

Link Building – (Criticial to do right!)

  • Search Engines
  • Directories
  • Blogs
  • Social Media
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Social Networking
  • Internal Link Building
  • Anchor Text
  • Popularity of Links

Website Analytics

  • Increased Traffic
  • Keyword Rankings
  • Missed Opportunities
  • Google Analytics
  • Bounce Rates
  • User Behavior

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

 

Become the Real Estate Firm of the future TODAY!

Simple concepts to assist in reinventing your real estate firm

It would be really easy to blame the market for all our problems. I hear many real estate brokers saying, “Lower transaction volume, lower average sales price, higher commission splits, lower commission dollars, and tight credit are just about to drive me out of business.” We disagree and believe that you can reinvent your real estate firm by focusing on the following areas for your brokerage operations.

While all this is going on, there are a number of cultural trends that are also having an increasingly dramatic effect on our industry. Social media, web 2.0 and the resulting way consumers and agents are communicating are not only here, they are here to stay. Furthermore, the impact this is having on real estate marketing is radically changing the playing field.

So what are you going to do? How is your Real Estate Firm going to survive?

In order to start becoming the real estate brokerage firm of the future today, you must understand that the change starts with you. You are the leader and thus the foundation for the reinventing of your company. You and your management team must fully accept this and hold yourselves accountable before asking anyone else in your firm to do so.

Are you and your company on social media? Are you texting? Are you blogging? Are you aware of what the real estate agent and consumer of the future wants?

The next level of your REinvent pyramid is your website. You must recognize that consumers are expecting to engage with your company and its real estate agents through an informative, interactive web 2.0 platform way before they ever call you or send an internet inquiry. They are checking you out right now so your website can’t just be a brochure any more. If your site does not have the information they are looking for, they will just go to the next one regardless of how big your company is or how long you have been in the market.

Do you know what your bounce rate is? Do you know how many new visitors get on your site every week? Do you know how long people are staying on your site every time they visit or how many of your web pages they go to?

Your site having a lot of good information is worthless unless consumers can find you. Internet marketing and leads management is the next important step in your real estate REinvention. It is pretty well accepted that print is on its way out and the future of marketing is on the internet. This takes several forms but two very effective ways to create traffic to your site are social media and search engine optimization. Viral marketing is just a fancy way of saying word of mouth. The difference is that the results online can be exponential because people can click a button and send information about you and your company to hundreds or even thousands of people.

Do you have an internet marketing strategy? Do you have a social media strategy? How do you manage leads that come in from your website? Do you know how soon your agents are responding to these leads?

There are many reasons the first three layers of the pyramid are important but maybe none more than this… without a REinvented broker/manager, an engaging web 2.0 website, and a solid internet marketing and leads management plan, it will be difficult for you to recruit the real estate agent of the future because these are the things they are looking for in a company. If you don’t “get it”, they will go look for someone who does. A recent NAR survey states that 71% of agents 29 or younger engage in social media while only 19% of those 60 or older do. This should give us an idea of what is coming down the pike with younger agents who are totally comfortable communicating this way and even older agents that have accepted this as the new reality.

How are you reaching the agent of the future? Are you communicating with them the way they are comfortable with or the way you are comfortable with? Are you viewed as an innovator or a dinosaur? Are you the Real Estate Firm of the future or yesterday?

Once you have addressed the consulting issues in the first four layers of the REinvent pyramid you will be will on your way to finding more buyers, sellers, listings, and closings. But first things first… start working on you today!

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Real Estate and Numbers

The more things change, the more they stay the same

When I entered the real estate industry in 1984 I was told real estate was a numbers game. I never forgot that. The more people I reached and made a connection with the better chance I had they would turn into buyers and sellers.

I was young, and eager to succeed so I called a minimum of 50 people every day from the yellow pages, ran as many newspaper ads as my pocket book would allow, sent out flyers, sent out postcards, had a booth at our state Home and Garden show, and did TV commercials. I continuously tried to reach as many people as I could. In 1998 I switched careers and become a mortgage broker. I could no longer afford the newspaper and other traditional means to reach my new customers and the internet was gaining speed so I made a decision to seek alternative avenues for marketing.

People started coming to me by the hundreds then by the thousands.

It hit me… numbers still work, but instead of me reaching out to people, they were reaching out to me. I was able to reach millions of people through the internet!
Let’s look at some numbers provided by Quantcast:

  1. google.com 142M+ U.S. monthly people. The site attracts a more affluent, more educated audience.
  2. yahoo.com 123M+ U.S. monthly people. The site appeals to a more educated crowd.
  3. facebook.com 95M+ U.S. monthly people. The site appeals to a more affluent, young adult, very slightly female biased following.
  4. youtube.com 82M+ U.S. monthly people. The site appeals to a more youthful following.
  5. msn.com 80M+ U.S. monthly people. The site caters to a adult, more educated audience.

Between Google and Yahoo alone there are over 275,000,000 monthly visitors in the U.S. alone?

In the last two months more video was uploaded to You Tube than the combined content of network TV stations since they started airing in 1948.

Twitter gets approximately 4,419,413,000 tweets per hour.

NAR states that over 84% of home buyers and sellers begin their search online. Unfortunately, as an industry, we are forgetting what I learned in 1984. According to NAR only 33% of real estate agents are participating in social networking. What am I missing? Why is this the case?

As I reflect back on my last nine real estate home purchases (both investment and primary) I used the internet for research. When I was ready to see homes, I sought out the agent or real estate company that provided me with the local real estate information I was seeking. It was that simple. I did not need to talk to someone until I was ready.  The internet proved to be a valuable resource.  I was able to identify local trends, school information, community info and everything I needed to make an educated decision.

The internet, whether it is your website, a blog or social media campaign is about numbers and conversations.   Real estate is about numbers.  Social media and search engine numbers should be enough to grab the attention of all Realtors but we need to do more to create an integrated internet marketing strategy.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

How Do You Effectively Drive Website Traffic

Do you have a strategy to drive website traffic?

Print is dead! Internet marketing has many forms, social media, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, listing syndication, blogging, etc. All these functions are interconnected and require an integrated strategy. What is your internet marketing strategy?

DOWNLOAD our real estate webinar, “How do you effectively Drive Website Traffic?”

Webinar Attendees!

PCMS Consulting wants to offer only the best and most helpful content to our audience, and your feedback is highly-valued by our team of real estate consultants! Please use the comments section below to ask questions or send feedback our way.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Digtial Docs Hits the Market with Surefire Forever Marketing

Excerpted from RIS Media:

“This is a great Way to get consumers to do business with your brokerage again and again. We build the value of the brokerage every time we close with a title agency – we increase the value of the brokerage every time they close a transaction.” – Robert Reich, Founder, Digital Docs

In 2004, Reich created Digital Closing Docs TM, a title industry platform, for the express purpose of uniquely combining breath through marketing technology while condensing the voluminous amounts of closing documents involved in a real estate transaction onto CD-ROM.

Download RIS Media Interview with Digital Docs October 2010: “Building Business with Targeted Information”, with Maria Patterson

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Google Real Estate Are Your Listings Indexed?

As a Real Estate professional is it your job to maximize exposure for all of your listings.

It is no secret that buyers begin their home search online. It is no secret that Google is the most used search engine. Therefore it is important that Google knows about your listings. When someone does a Google Real Estate search it is essential your properties appear in the search results. Increasing your property exposure on Google, may have an impact on the selling timeframe and even the property sales price. Two factors sellers are often concerned with.

Find out if yours can be found within Google Real Estate listings with these step by step instructions.

Step One: Go to http://maps.google.com/

Step Two: By default the settings will be to search “all results.” Change this to “real estate” by clicking to the right of the search maps field.

Increase property exposure on Google

Then, enter the city of your listing in the search field.  All Google Real Estate listings will appear. Refine your Google real estate search by price, listing type, bedroom and baths to narrow the results. All results will appear on the left of the map. Scroll down to verify if yours is listed.

Step Three: If you spot your listing, click on it and validate the data is correct. You can then see where and how Google Real Estate is gathering their data for on a particular home for sale. The data is pulled from a variety of sources. Here is what Google says about this:

Whenever we receive the same listing from two or more sources, our software groups the listings into one search result. The links to each source’s website are ordered according to timeliness and thoroughness, among other factors. So if your site doesn’t appear as the first link for a particular listing, you might want to verify that you’re providing us with the most complete and up-to-date information.

Why submit your own information?

Besides exposure there other important reasons to provide your own data.

  • If a buyer is interested in the property you want them to click on your link. You want them to contact you about the listing increasing your chances of selling the home yourself.
  • Once the prospect is on your site, you have the ability to showcase all of your listings, not just the subject property.
  • It is a great link building strategy for search engine optimization.

Step Four: If you are satisfied with the results, use this valuable information on your next listing presentation. Inform your prospective sellers that when they sell their home with you, their house will appear in the popular Google Real Estate listings and maps. This strategy is a sure way to separate your services from your competition.

If you could not locate any of your listings proceed to step five.\

Step Five: There are several ways you can submit your homes for sale to Google. Accepted formats are a txt file or a XML feed. Either choice is good. A XML data feed is easier if set up properly to incorporate the requirements.

Summary

Exposure is critical for Real Estate companies, brokers and agents. Using the power of the internet can have a huge impact on your success. Because internet marketing can be complex and is constantly evolving, many do not take the important steps necessary to be found everywhere online. Adding your listings to Google Real Estate is one step in the right direction.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

The Integrated Internet Marketing Model

For Internet Marketing, 4 components, One very important task

Why the emphasis on internet marketing? Everyone accepts that almost all consumers start their home search online and I hope, by now, most people understand their websites need to be more than just static brochures. The problem is that brokerages are overwhelmed with all the moving pieces required for a comprehensive internet marketing strategy:

  • SEO
  • Click through rates
  • Social media
  • Internet lead management
  • Bounce rates
  • Post close marketing
  • Registration
  • Blogging

What ends up happening is that too many look at all these as separate tasks when, in fact, it is one very important task that I call the “integrated internet marketing model”. This model has four distinct components that are all inter-related and should be viewed as one.

DRIVING INTERNET TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE

Driving internet traffic to your website

Since 90% of consumers begin their home search online, we must have an effective way to drive consumers to your site. As a result, everything you do has to be delivering the same message, the same branding and it all must be optimized so that you drive as much traffic to your site as possible.

ENGAGING INTERNET TRAFFIC ON YOUR WEBSITE

Engaging internet traffic on your website

In today’s environment, like it or not, the consumer controls the information and can get it anywhere. Therefore, if you are not giving them what they want, how they want it, they will just go get it somewhere. Keep in mind that no matter how great a job you might do driving traffic, if your website is just a brochure and does not engage the consumer, by giving them the information they want in an entertaining and engaging way, you will be wasting whatever dollars and effort you spent to get them there in the first place.

RESPONDING TO INTERNET TRAFFIC FROM YOUR WEBSITE

Responding to internet traffic from your website

Responding to internet traffic from your website

Did you know that, according to NAR, 48% of agents do not respond to internet inquiries and the balance do so a day or two later? That’s just not going to work because consumers expect an immediate response to their inquiry otherwise they are off to the next site or to the person that responds to them first. You could do a great job driving and engaging traffic, but if you don’t have a plan to respond to that traffic the way the consumer expects, again, all those dollars and efforts will be wasted.

POST CLOSE MARKETING FROM WEBSITE TRAFFIC

Why stop engaging someone online after they buy the house? Do you think that the internet consumer is going to get excited about refrigerator magnets, calendars, and holiday recipes? 90% of consumers say they would use the same agent again yet only 11% actually do. Those brokerages that can figure out how to continue providing consistently relevant information to consumers even after they close will have a huge advantage in a few years when that consumer is in the market again.

As you can see, it’s not just about doing an excellent job all four of these areas, it’s understanding how all four are completely inter-connected and need to be strategized as one. Not doing so jeopardizes the ROI on your online investments.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Terabitz solidifies industry leadership role

Continues to sign leading brokerages, launch new products

Palo Alto, CA (January 4, 2011) – Real estate brokerage technology provider, Terabitz (www.terabitz.com), today announced the launch of www.ywgcrealty.com (Yerman Witman Gaines & Conklin Realty). It is the latest Terabitz-powered website developed for a leading multi-office U.S. brokerage. “We launched 40 new sites in 2010 in addition to signing our first 53 office international real estate client.” states Ash Munshi, founder and President of Terabitz. “Every one of our sites is helping position our clients for success in today’s volatile and consumer-centric environment.”

Yerman Witman Gaines & Conklin Realty is a 200 agent, 7 office firm in Baltimore, MD and member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. William Yerman, CEO of The Strata Group, parent company of YWGC, recently hosted a technology rally where he announced several technology based initiatives, including their new Terabitz web platform, to rave reviews from agents.

“Our team has worked very hard over the past 18 months to be viewed as the innovation leader in the markets we serve.” says Yerman. “As a result, we have doubled in size and are poised to have another great year in 2011. Our new Terabitz website, combined with an outsourced internet lead management call center we simultaneously engaged, allows us to leverage our leadership position and provide agents and consumers with what they are looking for today.”

Terabitz already boasted industry leaders such as @properties (Chicago), Intero Real Estate Services (Silicon Valley), Illustrated Properties (West Palm Beach), and Frontdoor.com (national portal) as clients. In 2010, the company focused its efforts on finding ways to increase clients’ online ROI as well as solidifying its leadership role in the fragmented real estate web design and development field.

In addition to the impressive number of multi-office brokerages adopting their enterprise platforms, Terabitz has also expanded its relationship with sales and marketing partner, PCMS Consulting (www.pcmsconsulting.com). The plan is to continue growing client base, enhancing client support, and developing new products, some of which will be rolled out in early 2011.

PCMS Consulting President and industry veteran, Jose Perez, is bullish on 2011. “Brokerages realize that with 90% of consumers starting their real estate search online they must have effective ways to drive, engage, and respond to that traffic. Terabitz is the linchpin for our Internet Solutions Group because it helps brokerages cover all those bases. It’s no longer possible to view these tasks separately; it is part of one integrated internet marketing strategy.”

Terabitz’s Munshi adds, “As our relationship with PCMS Consulting continues to expand, we are poised not only to sign new brokerage clients, but to offer more modules that will help clients with recruiting, social media, and lead management.” By offering more tools and services under its already comprehensive platform, Terabitz believes it can not only help clients capture more business but also save them money because they don’t have to source and deal with multiple technology vendors.

ABOUT TERABITZ

Terabitz is venture-backed technology company located in the heart of Silicon Valley that was formed to help local brokers compete against the large national sites. The company’s mission is to ensure that brokers have all the tools, content and features to position themselves as the premiere real estate destination in their respective markets. For more information, visit www.terabitz.com.

ABOUT PCMS CONSULTING

PCMS Consulting provides innovative solutions that leading companies require to enhance their market position and profitability in the areas of recruiting, internet, management, and franchising. The organization is led by founder and President Jose Perez who has compiled a forward-thinking team that seeks to “reinvent” their clients in a dramatically changing environment.  For more information, visit www.pcmsconsulting.com.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

What is today’s online consumer looking for?

The internet an online consumers mean the days of the realtor controlling the information are long gone.

The good news for the real estate industry is that real estate is a complex and emotional transaction;  therefore, it will is harder to do EVERYTHING onlne so our job is to figure out how to leverage the internet to engage that consumer so they do business with your firm. And remember, the real estate agent of the future is also looking at you because they are aware of all this and are looking for the real estate company who understands the need for an engaging and knowledgeable online presence and and does something about it.

You must provide relevant, engaging, and entertaining information in order to convince someone to do business with you. Online consumers want their information NOW… what are you doing to provide them this either on your site or in terms of your ILM strategy? Because they can find anything they want on the internet, they don’t want you trying to sell them or tell them how great you are. Anyone can say that;  therefore, they will do business with you because you provided the information first, were professional, and engaged them.

If you don’t engage online consumers somehow, they will just go somewhere else.

About our webinar presenter, Jose Perez

  • Founded PCMS Consulting in 2007
  • MBA in Real Estate from University of Texas at Austin with over 20 years experience in the residential and commercial real estate industries.
  • Former SVP Franchise Sales and Acquisitions for Realogy Corporation,  parent company of CENTURY 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Better Homes and Gardens, and Sotheby’s International Realty.
  • Directly and indirectly responsible for the franchise affiliation of over 3,000 brokerage companies and the acquisition of another 1,000.

Webinar Attendees!

PCMS Consulting wants to offer only the best and most helpful content to our audience, and your feedback is highly-valued by our team of real estate consultants! Please use the comments section below to ask questions or send feedback our way.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Real estate website marketing – How much SHOULD you pay?

Real estate brokers and agents seeking increased online traffic, prospects, sales and profits find themselves using real estate search engine optimization experts to achieve their real estate website marketing goals. Like other areas of consultative services, SEO clients ultimately focus on cost.  In today’s recessionary market, you to want to reap the benefits associated with top search engine rankings while paying the lowest cost.

A strong word of caution about your SEO costs.

No two real estate search engine optimization experts or companies are the same. How they implement, diagnose and execute real estate website marketing will vary greatly — as will the results. If it was easy to obtain top real estate search engine optimization in Google and other search engines, anyone could easily implement those changes. It takes time, energy and knowledge to gain long-term results…but the payoff can be enormous!

Is real estate website marketing easy?

Without Page 1 ranking your real estate website marketing results will be weak.  Google has over 200 different factors it considers when determining which website will get Page 1 ranking for every specified keyword. To achieve optimal SEO performance you cannot eliminate or neglect any of these influences.  It is especially critical to hire a SEO company utilizing ethical (white hat) SEO best practices or you could do more harm than good to your online real estate marketing. Authentic search engine results take time – watch out for SEO scammers promising instant page rank.

Real Estate Search Engine Optimization – Dissecting Costs.

To compare SEO services you need to completely understand what each real estate search engine optimization expert is going to do for the cost. If all necessary components involved in achieving top search ranking for relevant and targeted keywords are not part of the services included in your SEO costs, the time to achieve website popularity will take longer and ultimately you may not gain the results that come with a superior online presence.

In 2007 Rand Fish of SEOMoz wrote about the wide range of costs from a variety of SEO companies. To summarize, ongoing monthly SEO costs will range from $2,500 on the low-end, $7,500 for mid-tier SEO companies, and $20,000+ on the high-end. While the scope of a real estate website marketing project needs to be taken into consideration, these numbers illustrate the challenge website owners face when searching for real estate search engine optimization services. Why pay $20,000 or more when someone else is willing to do the job for $2,500?

Real estate website marketing – Too important to get wrong.

You get what you pay for with real estate search engine optimization, and the market is crowded with search engine optimization companies vying for your online marketing dollars. This makes determining the right SEO consultant challenging. Here are a few questions to ask yourself about real estate search engine optimization costs:

  • Is it reasonable to think your results will vary when choosing the low-end, mid-range or high-end for real estate website marketing?
  • How fast do you want to see results? Do you think the timeframe may differ between the three SEO experts?
  • Do you think the quality of service will differ between the three?
  • Do you think the mid-range or high-end real estate search engine optimization services might be all-inclusive?
  • Do you think it matters who you work with?

Real estate search engine optimization is a skill that is honed with years of experience.

Some real estate search engine optimization best practices can be automated. Today SEO tasks such as link building, content writing, site submissions, competitor analysis, etc. can all be done with software. While occasionally using technologies to reduce time and cost can be effective, there is no replacement for personal evaluation, recommendations and implementation of SEO best practices.  The advanced skill set provided by an experienced and proven real estate website marketing consultant who understands the effects of a comprehensive campaign will instinctively drive a successful SEO project.

Advice to help you dissect real estate search engine optimization costs.

What precautions can you take to ensure you make an informed decision while evaluating a variety of experts and costs? Find out if they provide you a monthly detailed progress report including reliable data necessary to quantify your SEO results. Keyword ranking updates, website traffic changes, social media monitoring and a whole host of other measurable data is critical to monitoring your progress. Assuming they have been granted permission from their existing clients, are they willing to reveal these reports to you? A reliable real estate search engine optimization expert wants to share these facts because it demonstrates their value.

Comparing real estate search engine optimization costs.

The extreme range of real estate search engine optimization costs can be over whelming especially when you are not knowledgeable in the field of search engine optimization. Coupled with the fact the expert probably wants your business, you need to be cautious about their promises. Weeding through the good and bad is a daunting decision especially when budgets and time are at stake.

PCMS Consulting, a real estate consulting company will evaluate your SEO proposals and help you dissect them so you can feel confident you choose the company who will provide you with services that maximize your results while paying reasonable monthly costs.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Terabitz launches 5 Minute Property Site

Easy to use tool to help brokerages/agents deliver better consumer experience

Real estate brokerage technology provider, Terabitz, announced the launch of 5 Minute Property Site today. The easy to use tool is designed to give brokerages and agents one more way to showcase their listings while engaging consumers.

[quote style=”boxed”]Sellers pay the same regardless of who they use. What differentiates one company or one agent from their competitors is the experience and expertise they are able to deliver to both sellers and buyers,” says Terabitz founder, Ash Munshi. 5 Minute Property Site helps real estate agents create a better, more engaging and informative consumer experience for each listing, resulting in happier sellers and informed buyers.[/quote]Realtors using 5 Minute Property Site need only enter the MLS number for their listing, choose the layout, customize the other information that they would like to showcase around their listing (such as schools, markets statistics, etc) and pick a URL. The system does the rest. Out comes a beautiful, modern, informative website that showcases the listing, can be used for syndication and has its own URL. The entire process takes less than five minutes and can be done while engaging the seller.

Long time Terabitz client, Intero Real Estate Services, is offering 5 Minute Property Site to its agents.

[quote style=”boxed”]Since we started the company in late 2002 our culture has been rooted in innovation… it is the reason why we are #1 in Silicon Valley and now able to expand throughout the US and internationally.” says Tom Tognoli, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Intero Real Estate Services. “By offering “5 Minute Property Site” to our agents we are giving them yet another tool that helps them deliver an awesome consumer experience that sets us apart from the competition![/quote]Terabitz, through its sales and marketing partner, PCMS Consulting, will be rolling out 5 Minute Property Site to its existing clients in the next few weeks before making it available to the general public.

Learn more about Terabitz’ web and technology products for real estate brokerages

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

How do you get agents excited about the real estate technology you have invested in?

Brokers spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars driving traffic, upgrading sites, creating marketing tools, and doing everything to help keep agents as productive as possible yet can’t get more than a handful to embrace and appreciate what’s been done for them.

Sound familiar? Join Jose Perez, founder and Chief Visionary of PCMS Consulting as he discusses ways to gain adoption and increase the ROI on the real estate technology investments you have made. Jose will also be interviewing two PCMS/Terabitz clients who have done some creative things that they will share with our Camp REinvent group.

This forum is intended to provide as much information as possible as well as soliciting feedback that can help us make Terabitz and our enterprise platforms even better.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Terabitz Continues to Innovate and Grow

Terabitz posts another record year, continues to enhance brokerage platforms for real estate websites

Terabitz, a leading provider of enterprise web platforms for real estate brokerages and their agents, recently announced another impressive year of new client engagements and further enhancements to its three large broker platforms. Innovative and forward thinking companies such as Bean Group, Coldwell Banker Caine and Signature Premier Properties launched Terabitz-powered sites in 2011. Terabitz now serves approximately 18,000 agents working for brokerages throughout the United Stated and Mexico.

“In spite of a still struggling real estate environment, we had a great 2011!” states Ash Munshi, founder and President of Terabitz. “We credit our success to our great partners and clients that continue to offer ideas we implement on their behalf and, when applicable, roll out to other clients. Additionally, our partnership with PCMS Consulting with their industry reach and credibility allows our team to focus on innovation for the brokerage industry.”

Bean Group, founded eight years ago, is a leading New England brokerage with 240 agents in 12 offices.  They engaged Terabitz and PCMS in mid-2011 and recently launched a new website focused on the Massachusetts market. Michael Bean, founder and president of the Bean Group says “We have enjoyed working with the team at Terabitz and PCMS. They understand both real estate consumers and agents and design every aspect of their platform to engage the consumer and give agents the tools they need to be successful.”

Terabitz made a number of enhancements to its offerings in 2011 and is rolling out others in early 2012. Some notable additions include improvements to their SEO tools designed to drive more traffic, an upgraded mobile search and web enabled mobile sites, a robust CRM module that will allow agents to track all aspects of their client relationships, and an analysis tool that allows brokers to see their performance against the competition as well as an agent scorecard.

In addition, Terabitz is launching an interactive, “super-user” group designed to continue the flow of information that will allow for additional improvements. One idea that has already come out of the group is the implementation of an email parser for Trulia, Homes.com, Realtor.com, etc. so that clients can capture all leads in once place, creating a better lead response mechanism to improve ROI.

“We are poised to have another great year!” states Jose Perez, founder and Chief Visionary of PCMS Consulting, Terabitz’ exclusive sales and marketing partner. “We have awesome clients, a great partner in Terabitz, and a vision to help clients deliver an enhanced consumer and agent experience from the beginning to the end of the real estate search process. Providing value and support is essential for success in today’s turbulent market and we are confident that we offer the best technology to make that happen.”

Terabitz offers real estate websites that are customized, scalable and revenue-focused. Click here for more Information about the technology platform.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

How Much Should I Spend for Online Branding?

Budgeting for online branding strategies: What’s your internet marketing ROI?

Planning and implementing online branding for your real estate company is complicated. You need to do it right and within budget. Do you know how to determine your internet marketing ROI for your online branding campaigns?

  • You know you need to drive internet traffic to your website;
  • You know you need to engage visitors to your website; and,
  • You know you need to respond to internet inquiries immediately!

And yet you don’t know what to spend to achieve success in each of these areas because you struggle to determine what the baseline is from which to measure your internet marketing ROI. Let’s break it down and determine the metrics you should use in your online branding programs.

Driving internet traffic to your website—the first step in your online branding.

You do this through an integrated online branding strategy that includes blogging, social media, syndication, etc. But how do you know how much to spend on each one of these important areas?

  • Can you justify a full-time salary, benefits, etc. to have a person do nothing but drive internet traffic to your website through blogging and social media activities? Or alternatively, should you outsource the work? You used to spend your marketing budget in the newspaper and on real estate magazines. How did you know what to spend then and what your return was?
  • How do you know what return you are getting from your syndication investments? However great it sounds that your listings get in front of as many eyeballs as possible, you still need to be able to justify those investments. How do you do that?
  • Do you know what each lead that comes into your company is worth? If you know this, you start getting a handle on how much you can justify spending on driving those leads.

Engaging your online visitors.

How do you know how much to spend developing your website? If you do a good job driving traffic, you need to ensure that traffic is staying on your site and not bouncing out to a competitor’s site.

  • What kind of user features do you have on your website, and do they enhance your internet marketing ROI? Is your user interface strong enough to truly engage your website visitors and convert them into prospective clients for your firm? 
  • What kind of technology tools should you provide your agents? Do those tools ease the business transaction while saving your agents money? How do those tools help keep the consumer on your site so they want to deal with your agents and your firm?
  • Can you tie all this together and determine what each transaction is worth?  This enables you to accurately budget for website development and online branding. Developing a real estate website that engages consumers will ultimately pay for itself by increasing your online lead conversion rate.  In this case cheaper is not better, and will cost you more through the loss of website traffic and internet inquiries.  Eventually you will pay again to fix what is broken with your website.  Your website is essential to your internet marketing strategy; it pays to develop your online branding right the first time.

Internet leads:  Responding to your website traffic.

Do you know how many real estate leads you generate online? How about how much each of these leads is worth?  Lead management and customer care is critical to your sales pipeline. How do you determine your budget for timely and efficient lead response? 

  • Have you calculated the value of your internet leads to determine the potential upside you have in this area?
  • Do you know what happens to internet inquiries once they are submitted? Do they go to your agents or an e-team? What happens after that?
  • Have you calculated the negative impact that not responding to an internet lead promptly has on your brand’s reputation in the market? Internet consumers expect a response in 15 to 20 minutes.

Informative graphic highlighting the steps real estate brokers and managers can take to calculate internet marketing ROI in their online branding programs. Each of these issues, and more, should be analyzed in depth in order to truly understand what your internet marketing ROI is. Unfortunately, most brokerages are not doing this.  They either make investments blindly — or not at all — jeopardizing their standing in the market. It’s surprising, because in the end, it’s really not that complicated:

  • You know your average sales price and company dollar per transaction;
  • You should be able to easily determine how many leads come in through your website and other sources such as Trulia, Realtor.com, etc.
  • Google Analytics can tell you where traffic is coming from so you can get a sense of how your blogging and social media efforts are working; and,
  • Once you have this information, you can start estimating the value of your internet leads.

Your business operates in a culture where almost 90% of consumers start their home search online.  Social media is prevalent, and your consumers are sophisticated; they expect an immediate response to their online inquiries. And an overwhelming number of people say they will most likely do business with the first firm that responds to them. The real estate transaction has been commoditized; companies that deliver a great experience for both consumers and agents will have the advantage in their market. Completely understanding how your online branding affects your business is critical to your future success.

Position yourself to be a leader by understanding how to make the correct investments in technology and strategy that will truly make your website, and all the activities surrounding it, a profit center.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Why Social Marketing, Why Now?

Why use Social Marketing for your real estate business?

Why is Social Marketing important to your business and agents? Imagine if every client you ever had was in a room – a room with not only you, but all of their friends. The truth is, this room exists, yet in the digital sense. When you connect with a current or past customer in a Social Media setting, you open the doors to one-degree of separation. This means, the great experiences you provide can now be shared with your client’s friends, and their friends, and their friends. This is word-of-mouth on steroids.

The inescapable truth in today’s marketplace is that Social Marketing generates leads for your business. While everyone knows the internet has changed the way real estate brokerages and agents communicate with consumers and transact business, most still use the internet as a one-way communications tool, pushing one-size-fits-all information out to their audience.

However, our audience has changed how they live online, and they expect us to keep up! Consumers are no longer content with our outdated online marketing strategies. With the emergence of social networks like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, consumers are looking to build relationships. They expect phenomenal customer care and information tailored to them.  Social Marketing is the strategy that allows you to deliver the information and connections consumers are looking for.

For years we’ve focused on building user friendly, appealing websites that help consumers find their home. Then we started getting smart about putting community information on our sites, realizing that most consumers are looking for that information before they are ready to buy a house.

When that wasn’t enough, we started buying leads from the aggregators (and complaining about the cost.) Then social networking started getting big and we randomly began posting things on social sites, wondering all the while if it really works or if it’s worth the effort.

But it’s not just about your website, buying leads or randomly posting content to see what sticks. It’s about your brand and how you create an emotional connection with consumers. Using Social Marketing creates relationships with consumers, so they consider your company first and foremost when they are ready to make a commitment to buy or sell property.

In most cases, real estate brands are diluted because the brokerage is doing one thing and their agents are doing something else. Furthermore, there is rarely:

  1. A consistent look, feel or branding message between whatever meager social efforts are being made, the connection to the broker and agents website.
  2. The way the leads are responded to.
  3. The way offices look.
  4. The way real estate transactions take place.

Without alignment in all these areas it is difficult for a brokerage to create the emotional connection that could set it apart from its competition the way companies such as Apple, Nordstrom, Starbucks, and Zappos do with their customers. Consumers are emotionally connected with those brands, and they stick with them.

So why Social Marketing and why now?

Because by engaging consumers in conversations before, during and after their home purchase or sale you are weaving consistency, branding and an emotional connection that could make that consumer truly believe you are THEIR trusted advisor in everything having to do their real estate purchase.

It’s not the only thing brokerages should be doing to create this connection, but it’s certainly an effective way to get your message out to thousands of potential consumers who are increasingly relying on Social Media for their information and buying decisions.

If you agree with this assessment, you will also recognize that if you are truly to benefit from a greater effort and financial investment in Social Media, you must do the following:

  • You must have a specific Social Marketing strategy to start conversations and engage consumers. Posting content without a purpose does not create engagement or emotional connection and today’s savvy social consumer sees right through it.
  • You must create consistency between your Social Marketing efforts and everything else you do.  This includes your website, your training, your public relations and your office design. Think about how Apple looks and feels the same whether you are in their stores, on their website or using their products.
  • You must guide your agents to speak in the same voice so that you don’t dilute your efforts by running with different messaging. Imagine going to one Starbucks and being offered a Grande Latte and a later going to another and being offered a medium Latte.

Your Social Marketing effort needs a specific strategy, execution plan and accountability metrics. In today’s environment, anything less will have you at a disadvantage to someone else your market that is willing to make the investment and the commitment.

Social Marketing allows you and your agents to seamlessly provide relevant information, make emotional connections and build relationships.  By prioritizing how they reach consumers, brokerages that embrace Social Marketing are positioned to dominate in their local markets.  Social Marketing puts you out in front of your competitors, making your business the first call when someone is ready to purchase or list their home.

Why Social Marketing, and why now?  Because it’s that important!

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Announcing One Cavo Core, First-to-Market CRM & Drip Marketing Platform

Atlanta, GA, One Cavo has announced a new CRM and Drip Marketing platform called One Cavo CORE, that will dramatically enhance real estate brokerages’ ability to increase and measure lead conversion rates. The three-year-old contact center provides lead management and customer care for real estate brokerage clients, responding to their internet leads in under 15 minutes. One Cavo CORE utilizes an industry-leading CRM with a ground breaking call center application layered on top.  The new application is the first of its kind in the real estate industry.

The new platform was built by Terabitz,  an enterprise web marketing platform for many leading brokerage companies across the U.S. Both companies are represented by PCMS, a leading provider of innovative consulting and technology solutions for the brokerage industry.

PCMS has scheduled an online demo for Tuesday, July 9 at 2 PM EST.  The demo will unveil One Cavo CORE’s functionality and capabilities to industry brokers, and their managers, marketing and technology staff. Interested parties can attend the demo by following this link: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/652825822.

Brad Miller, founder and president of One Cavo and a former real estate broker-owner, started One Cavo in 2009.  Miller recognized the increasingly important need to respond to internet consumers in a timely fashion. “As an industry, we do not do a good job of responding to internet leads and are thus jeopardizing consumer experience, our brands, and ultimately, the bottom line. Our contact center and technology help brokerages improve lead conversion by responding to every one of their internet leads in less than 15 minutes. CORE will give brokerages insight and metrics into every agent and every lead by lead source. Our goal is to give each of our brokerage clients a measurable ROI on each lead source that the brokerage is spending dollars on.”

An early believer in the outsourced contact center was Al Becker, Vice President of Marketing and Operations for Jack Conway & Company, Inc., a 32-office brokerage in Eastern Massachusetts.  “We engaged One Cavo one year ago and have been very satisfied by how quickly they respond to our leads, many times, while the consumer is still online. One Cavo CORE will give us a much better understanding of where we should spend our marketing dollars with 3rd party sites to generate leads and what actually happens after we deliver one to an agent.” One Cavo CORE will give real estate brokerages the ability to better understand what is happening with internet leads and calculate ROI on their internet marketing investments. For the first time in the real estate industry, brokerages will be able to:

  • Track specific call center metrics regarding the quality of leads coming in from 3rd party sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor .com;
  • Provide true agent accountability in terms of their responsiveness to consumers and the brokerage; and,
  • Determine an ROI on leads being converted by each 3rd party lead source.

“We are extremely proud to represent innovative companies such as One Cavo and Terabitz who are helping solve important real estate industry issues.” states Jose Perez, founder and chief visionary of PCMS. “Our goal is to help clients deliver a better consumer experience, differentiate themselves, and, increase profits. One Cavo is doing all these things.” One Cavo will be introducing an agent offering in the 3rd quarter of 2013. One Cavo CORE is available exclusively to One Cavo clients. For more information on how real estate brokerages can integrate One Cavo CORE into their lead management please contact Jose Perez via email at jperez@pcmsconsulting.com or by phone at 678.310.3417.

About PCMS PCMS is a team of veteran real estate industry professionals, that provide a network of technology and management solutions to help brokers grow their business and increase profits. PCMS provides the essential foundation brokers need to address emerging consumer and industry trends. For more information about this innovative real estate consulting practice and technology solutions provider please visit www.pcmsconsulting.com.

About One Cavo One Cavo is an outsourced Lead Response, Distribution, Incubation and Reporting Company based in Denver, CO that exclusively serves the Real Estate Industry. Their new products, One Cavo CORE and One Cavo Lead Convertor, are revolutionizing how brokerages measure their online marketing spend with all of the 3rd party lead generation sites while increasing conversions. One Cavo has many Top 500 Brokerages as their clients. For more information regarding lead response services visitwww.onecavo.com.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Terabitz adds CRM module to already robust enterprise platform

Offering clients and agents a complete internet marketing platform

Terabitz has added a CRM module to its competitive online marketing platform. It is currently upgrading existing client installations and will make it available to new customers July 15th.

Silicon Valley veteran and Terabitz founder and CEO, Ash Munshi, observes, “There is too much noise in the real estate technology space. Dozens of vendors offering solutions in very narrow areas and forcing agents and their brokers to learn and operate multiple systems. Our platform consolidates multiple solutions in one place making it easier and much more cost effective for our clients. Our platform is a complete marketing solution for those who view their web platform as a profit center.”

The new Terabitz CRM is designed to help agents and their managers track every aspect of a lead through the sales pipeline to closing. Terabitz CRM features include email alerts, Facebook integration, which properties consumers are viewing, data import, scheduling viewings, DRIP marketing, the ability to add tags, and create follow up tasks. All of this is seamlessly integrated with Terabitz’ award winning search functionality, user interface, and targeted marketing tools allowing agents to deliver a much better experience to their prospects and clients.

Michael Bean, founder and president of innovative regional player Bean Group (www.beangroup.com) chose the Terabitz platform in 2012. “We believe by making it easier for our agents to leverage technology, they will be more productive, make more money, and in turn, help Bean Group be more profitable. By using a platform like what the team at Terabitz has put together, we eliminate the need for our agents to have to purchase CMA, drip marketing, CRM, and other systems separately and more expensively.”

Jose Perez, founder of PCMS and Terabitz’ sales partner added, “We have been partners with Terabitz since 2009 and are very proud of the fact they continue to innovate. They are helping our joint clients as it relates to internet marketing by making it much easier and more profitable. By consolidating all the aspects of internet marketing under one platform, we believe we are better addressing the needs of today’s real estate consumer and also providing a cost effective solution for the broker.”

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Internet Marketing for Real Estate

Real estate internet marketing strategies to increase your competitive advantage.

Your real estate internet marketing plays an important role in your business strategy. Today’s fast-paced internet and real estate website environment requires detailed planning for sales and marketing, but these plans can be daunting to create and maintain. The right real estate consulting services offer your brokerage the strategic planning and technology tools to boost efficiency and increase sales.

Online marketing for the industry remains in its infancy, with most brokerages still accepting a static brochure for a website.  Your competition rarely connects the dots between SEO, social media, syndication, web platforms, rapid response, lead management and CRM.  However, a successful business strategy includes all these components, which should be based on internet and real estate best practices.

The Internet and Real Estate

Driving real estate internet traffic to your website is essential to building a successful brand online.

Why spend money on a great website if you don’t have a plan to get your message out to prospects? A comprehensive real estate internet strategy includes SEO and social media to build brand awareness and increase consumer engagement.

Your real estate internet marketing strategy must include search engine optimization. With 90% of customers beginning their home search on the internet, there is significant opportunity for your business online.  This makes your optimized website a valuable business tool. Well-executed search marketing using internet and real estate best practices will benefit your website.  You’ll see increased website traffic and search visibility.

Real estate and internet lead management is critical for your business.

Similarly, why spend money to increase website traffic if you don’t have a lead management system? Lead generation is a large investment, and your response time is critical. According to NAR, 48% of agents do not respond to real estate internet inquiries.  The remaining agents take up to two days to respond!

Prospects expect an immediate response to their inquiry, otherwise they are off to the next website. Studies show that consumers overwhelmingly use the agent who responds first. Utilizing a lead response and conversion system gives potential customers value and support they won’t find elsewhere—so you don’t lose leads due to poor service.

Brand Loyalty Marketing helps you stay in touch after the sale.

Because your clients will likely buy or sell again, repeat business is an important component of your marketing strategy.  Implementing the right real estate internet applications helps increase your repeat business.  While 90% of consumers say they would use the same agent, only 11% of consumers actually do. This is because most businesses stop investing in the online relationship after they close sale.  You need the right platform that delivers leads straight to your agents, while encouraging referrals and reinforcing your branding.

Integrated real estate internet solutions will increase your business and efficiency.

Leading companies understand that the components of their real estate internet marketing cannot be viewed separately; they must complement each other as part of one broad strategy. As online consumer expectations continue to evolve, creating a brand online for your business will increase your market share by attracting new clients and leveraging repeat business.

Are you using any real estate internet tools or strategies in your current business operations? If so, how are they performing for your business?  Does your marketing and management teams understand how to integrate real estate and internet together to make you successful?

Request a Consultation or Call Now (678) 310-3417

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Keep an Eye on Our Social Channels

watch out for in depth coverage for real estate consulting news and practices through the PCMS social media channelsSocial media networks have enormous reach and authority, providing a valuable outlet for businesses to reach consumers meaningfully and authentically.  Our team is working diligently to refocus our efforts to better serve our audience using the social channels we’ve all come to rely on. We hope to provide you with fresh insight on industry standards, best practices and market trends.

Next month we will also begin shining the light on those pesky kids* that wouldn’t get off our lawns — and now want to buy them — the Millenials.

These young up-and-comers have a lot to say, and the buying power to back them up.  Their influence in our culture should not be dismissed — we’ll prepare you for this generational shift — and how you can capture both their attention and loyalty.

*Brokers, get ready. Those Millennials are growing up and are ready to start selling those houses, too!

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

What do we need from Brokerage Websites?

Bad design will effect engagement and conversion on brokerage websites

A Millennial’s perspective on the standards real estate websites should meet

After months of research on 2000 brokerage websites, with features including simple property searches, neighborhood statistics, and endless variations of quality, usability, and functionality, how would I describe the realm of real estate websites?

Far too many with outdated presentation,  frequently slow to load, and frustratingly hard to use.

Don’t get me wrong. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of quality brokerage websites, but far too many look like Web 1.0 static pages more suited to browsing on the old Netscape browser.

With the rise in website vendors and free or almost free web builders, there’s not really an excuse for anyone—especially businesses—to have an inadequate website. The technology we use to create websites advances continuously, and the experience most brokers remember from building their existing websites—even from a few years ago—is far different. We can now create or rebuild real estate websites quickly, painlessly, and with a minimal amount of effort from the brokerage team. Meaning updating your web presence won’t detract from your daily business. Good news for brokers and their management teams.

There are three characteristics that I look for in a business website, and are especially true for brokerage websites:

  1. Aesthetics
  2. Functionality
  3. Navigability.

So why are these characteristics important for brokerage websites?

What does your real estate website look like? Is it sleek, simple, interesting? Everyone knows what makes a website attractive, but its not the easiest thing to achieve. “Everyday Joe” may be able to make a website with all the functionality you need, but what good is that functionality if no one wants to stay on your brokerage website for more than a few seconds? (Learn about  real estate website bounce rates here.)

That’s not to say functionality isn’t important. Brokerage websites should have a powerful search feature with deep customizability and attractive listing details, accurate and up-to-date market price comparisons, social integration, and area information including schools and businesses.

Navigability is an often overlooked characteristic in any business website, but it is one of the most important aspects to a user. Logical, simple, easy to read and understandable menus are important for a pleasant user experience.

As the next generation of homebuyers, Millennials will force brokerages to upgrade their web presence or fall dramatically behind others who do. Personally, my impression of a company is greatly affected by their website. I will often make a buying decision within seconds of my first exposure to a business’s online presence.

When was the last time you evaluated your website? Do your customers utilize it? Do you gain any value from it?

How can you make it better?

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Is Riding the Wave Safe for Business?

While the market spike the past few months has been a welcome relief to most of us in the industry, too many have just been riding the wave and losing focus on the continued need for innovation and retooling our industry still requires.  Many are still struggling with lead generation, lead response and nurturing, consumer-friendly websites, social media, and brand loyalty both from agents and consumers.
Riding the wave is nice but it is part of the reason we got in trouble a few years ago in the first place. Those that address the issues above (and many others) successfully will be in a much better position to succeed in the long term.
This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Content Marketing Helps Local Brokerages Compete with National Firms

Use content marketing to raise your real estate business profile in your market.

It’s important to provide content such as hyper-local news  so that real estate consumers know that you understand their market and can really help them.

Local brokerages can make a real impact, leverage their knowledge of the market, and drive leads by doing so. Furthermore, you will be able to better compete with national brands if you take content management seriously.

Real estate brokerages should strategize their website marketing, focusing on providing a great feature mix of interesting real estate content, DIY tips, financial advice, neighborhood profiles, and general consumer-focused local real estate news.

You can learn more about this topic by visiting Wikipedia’s page.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Best Practices for the Social Media Big Three

Quick Highlights for Best Practices for Social Media and Real Estate

HubSpot recently created a list of Social Media best practices for the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. As the consumer experience moves further into the social sphere, businesses must learn to not only use social media, but to utilize it effectively. Here are some highlights from the article. You’ll notice I included more Twitter tips than the other two – this is because Twitter is leveraged ineffectively and less often than Facebook or LinkedIn.

Summary of Facebook Best Practices

  • Remove links from the post once a thumbnail is generated. No need for URL redundancy
  • Use photos over links
  • Post Timeline photos rather than uploading whole albums

Summary of LinkedIn Best Practices

  • INCLUDE a shortened URL in your posts, otherwise click tracking to your site is lost
  • Share sparingly, usually once per day
  • Use Groups to share your links and content

Summary of Twitter Best Practices

  • Short! 120-130 characters
  • Include Twitter handles (@SomeoneInMyCompany)
  • 2 or fewer hashtags
  • Use visuals, try to avoid text-only tweets
  • Use Twitter’s photo uploader, (Instagram photos do not show up natively in a Twitter feed)
  • USE SHORTENED LINKS (i.e. bit.ly, ow.ly)

Follow this link to check out the full article.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Push your marketing forward by connecting emotionally with consumers

Real estate marketing should connect with consumers emotionally. Social marketing is a great way for brokers and agents to connect.

As Inman.com reports, Century 21 continues its strong marketing push to become a globally recognized entity, this time as sponsor for the U.S. Bobsled and Skelton Foundation (USBSF).

Wether  you are a local brand or an international one, like CENTURY 21, it is very important to connect with consumers on an emotional level. Since today’s consumer does not want to be sold and demands relevant information, how can you emulate what the larger brands are doing on a smaller budget?

  • Instead of bragging about how great your company is, position yourself as the company that delivers the best experience;

  • Instead of throwing up listings on Facebook with out a strategy, why not position yourself as THE expert in your community but providing, timely, relevant, and entertaining information consumer’s won’t find elsewhere; and,

  • Instead of letting agents do their own thing regarding marketing, provide them quality marketing materials and put strict guidelines in place as to how they can be used including a social media P&P manual.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Optimizing Your Facebook Business Page for More Leads

How to make Facebook’s business pages work for your brokerage

Geneva Ives at RISMedia believes you should have a Facebook business page for your brokerage and we would tend to agree. Why wouldn’t you? Free advertising! In a recent article, she outlines some best practices for utilizing your business’s Facebook page.

  1. Complete the Facebook “About” section

This area is one of the first things a customer will see on your page. Use it to provide information about your company, but possibly even more importantly, your contact information; phone, email, website, and address.

  1. Commit to a posting schedule for your Facebook business page

Facebook allows you to see when your page followers are most online, so use that to your advantage when posting. Unlike some other platforms like Twitter, you should try to limit your Facebook posts to once or twice a day to avoid looking spammy.

  1. Share your listings

Note: not ALL your listings, just post some of your favorite or most attractive listings. Multimedia posts on Facebook tend to get significantly more interaction than text-only posts.

  1. Interpret “Insights”

Insights is free marketing research provided by Facebook. This tool tracks demographics, when users are online, when your posts are most effective, which posts are most effective, and some other useful information.

[box type=”download” icon=”none”]Ives gives one more tip at the end of her article: be social! She suggests that if you want users to interact with you, you should interact with them. Like and comment on others’ posts and photos, but be careful to avoid “creeper” status by liking every post you see.[/box]

Click here to read Geneva’s article.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

5 Tactics to Create Video Marketing for Your Real Estate Business

Video marketing – Where should you start?

RISMedia recently published an article written by Homes.com contributor Erica Campbell Byrum that  discusses five tactics for video marketing in real estate.

  1. Select a genre for your video:  Client testimonials and past client interactions, Expertise and instructional, Product information, Entertainment

  2. Create a video marketing series to keep customers interest

  3. Be relevant, up-to-date, and valuable

  4. Add some personality

  5. Use social media for distribution

Read the entire article – click here.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Terabitz Launches New Upgraded Brokerage Website

Brokerage Website for Gary Greene Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate contains robust features designed to increase online visibility and attract more leads.

End-to-End Real Estate Marketing for Brokers & Agents

Our award-winning web platform is designed to reach more buyers and sellers with our powerful online marketing tools.

Our Robust Features Include

Fully integrated brokerage websites with IDX, CRM and map-based MLS search, and 3rd party lead integration.

Terabitz Features Easy-to-Use Technology

We’re proud of our easy-to-use technology that drives your online marketing so your can focus on building new relationships — and strengthening old ones.

Please contact us if you’re interested in learning more about our custom brokerage websites and marketing services. Our solutions are tailor made for you!

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

One Cavo CORE Introduces Drip Marketing Customized to Each Consumer

Offers 15 minute response to internet leads; Scrubs, transfers, then drips targeted information to consumers.

Denver, CO  (October 24, 2013) – One Cavo now offers Intelligent Drip Marketing for brokers and agents.

The award-winning company’s flagship product, CORE, transforms web platforms into profit centers for brokers.  CORE combines its industry-leading real estate CRM with a groundbreaking call center application.

Using their Denver-based contact and conversion center, CORE beats the industry-wide average response time to internet leads and increases conversion rates 6-10%.

Click Here to Explore CORE’s Intelligent Drip Marketing

One Cavo’s contact center operators capture crucial consumer information on behalf of the brokerage. A few examples of collected data includes: whether a consumer is a first time home buyer; if the consumer is moving up or moving down; and if they are pre-approved for a mortgage.

With this information, One Cavo can drip marketing messages, tailored to the specific needs of each consumer they have spoken to.

“Our goal is to help brokerages deliver a great consumer experience.” states Bradley Miller, Founder and President of One Cavo. “The majority of consumers will use the first brokerage responding to them. An often overwhelming problem for brokerages is that many of these consumer inquiries come in months before they might be ready to make a move.  Understandably, most agents just don’t want to wait. By responding quickly on behalf of our clients, and then targeting follow up messages specifically to the home buyer or seller, brokers and agents communicate to consumers that they are dedicated to quality service and an exceptional experience.”

CORE’s features dramatically enhance the broker’s ability to increase and measure lead conversion rates

Details about One Cavo's Intelligent Drip Marketing, CORE

One Cavo initially interacts through live conversations with consumers before they warm-transfer them to a real estate agent.  During this initial contact period, specific data is collected around the consumer’s individual needs.  That data can then be used to build farms for specific content relating to the consumer.

CORE’s platform has pre-populated high-visual, low word campaigns for its broker clients. For example, a brokerage can configure a campaign directed at first time buyers which is relevant to the first purchase of a home.

Personalizing the consumer experience has become the key differentiator for brokerages and their agents. Most brokerages find it difficult to create and implement systems to quickly capture information that will enable them provide a highly personalized transaction experience.

Patterson Schwartz, the largest brokerage in the State of Delaware, has been a One Cavo client since 2012. President, Joe Pluscht, has long understood the importance of rapid lead response. “We have had an online lead generation strategy in place for several years. We engaged One Cavo to take our customer service to a much higher level. The fact they can respond to all our inquiries in minutes AND provide this level of consumer personalization really helps us differentiate our brand in the market!”

Jose Perez, Founder of PCMS Consulting, and the exclusive reseller of One Cavo’s services, states, “If brokerages viewed their web platform as a profit center, they would look at every aspect of how they interact with consumers online and determine how to deliver a great experience every step of the way. Look at companies like Starbucks who grab you with their app, woo you with their free WiFi, and convince you to hang out at their stores. People pay more for coffee because of their exceptional consumer experience. At this point, the consumer coffee landscape is saturated, but Starbuck’s remains relevant, and it’s not just because their coffee is good!”

ABOUT ONE CAVO

One Cavo is an outsourced lead response, distribution, incubation and reporting company based in Denver, CO that exclusively serves the real estate industry. Their flagship product, One Cavo CORE, revolutionize how brokerages measure their online marketing spending with all of the 3rd party lead generation sites, while increasing conversions. One Cavo has many top 500 Brokerages as their clients. For more information regarding lead response and conversion services visit www.onecavo.com.

ABOUT PCMS

The real estate consulting and solutions provider transforms their clients into market leaders and proven profit centers.  PCMS modernizes brokerage operations with powerful technology to help brokers and agents engage and respond online. Their management consulting strategies  also provide the essential foundation brokers need to address emerging consumer and industry trends. PCMS is committed to driving positive change for the brokerage industry.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Terabitz Introduces HouseTouch℠, The First Responsive Real Estate Search Platform

Terabitz revolutionizes the home buying experience with touch-based search for tablet users.

Terabitz introduces HouseTouch, the scalable, responsive real estate search platform for homebuyers. The touch and tag-based search platform provides all data via one interface—and across multiple devices.

HouseTouch is designed for online house hunting—from both home and office, or while out exploring neighborhoods. The revolutionary search interface is completely touch, tag, and geo-based.  Using HouseTouch℠, homebuyers search for available homes with the touch of a finger or the swipe of the hand.

“Tablet-based search is increasingly popular with homebuyers. However real estate websites are not specifically designed for touch devices, so the experience is cumbersome and unwieldy,” states Denessa Munsterman of PCMS Consulting. “Or consumers are asked to download real estate search apps, which provide a completely different user experience than their desktop, forcing homebuyers to adapt to multiple search interfaces. HouseTouch offers a great alternative to existing search technology.”

The feature-rich search platform enables consumers to “like” a property so it can make recommendations of similar homes. The HouseTouch backend also includes reporting analytics for brokers and agents. This powerful real-time data is based on homebuyers’ searches, measuring what attributes and properties are most important to a consumer. Brokers and agents can then improve their marketing strategies to reach more homebuyers. HouseTouch℠ home search analytics are easily integrated into multiple real estate CRM packages.

Steven Hebert, Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker Pelican in Lafayette, LA utilizes Terabitz for their enterprise web marketing platform. “One of the big reasons we signed with Terabitz two years ago was because we wanted a partner who would continue to innovate and keep us ahead of the competition,” states Hebert. “With HouseTouch, we feel Terabitz is reimagining mobile home search and improving the homebuyer’s experience. HouseTouch℠ helps us deliver the best possible consumer experience available.”

HouseTouch is currently being rolled out to existing Terabitz clients.

“We are very focused on helping brokers add value for both their agents and consumers,” comments Jose Perez of PCMS Consulting, the exclusive reseller for Terabitz since 2009. “HouseTouch is just the latest of many internet marketing innovations from Terabitz.  The Terabitz team consistently blazes new paths for the industry, and their arsenal of real estate marketing tools is constantly evolving. It’s their commitment and vision that has allowed us to amass such an impressive list of brokerage partners.”

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Zillow & Trulia: A Much Needed Kick In the Pants?

Will Zillow’s Acquisition of Trulia Spur the Industry to Finally, Truly Innovate and Exceed Consumer Expectations?

For years at PCMS Consulting, we’ve been talking about the fact that if not for inaction by the traditional real estate industry, there would be no Trulia and Zillow.

Ten years later they control access to the real estate consumer. They’ve become the gate keepers. An uncomfortable place for our industry to be in.

I say BRAVO!

This is not only a much needed wake-up call but also an amazing opportunity for innovative, fearless, and committed brokerages to step up and show consumers that they too are valuable for a variety of important reasons we all know too well.

The problem is the industry thought those reasons were enough… they are not.

You do it by driving leads, engaging consumers with easy to use and robust websites that prove your local worth, actually getting back to consumers that fill out a web form, and maintaining those valuable relationships beyond the 3 – 6 months it takes to do a deal and collect a commission.

Trulia and Zillow engage consumers when they are not even thinking about buying or selling real estate. Can we say that as an industry?

The time is NOW to step forward and engage. Meeting and EXCEEDING consumer expectations, while not a piece of cake, isn’t inherently difficult in itself.

Step forward and embrace an end-to-end marketing and sales strategy.

An end-to-end (E2E) strategy that will deliver a better experience for consumers. It will increase your lead conversions, improve sales and reduce your overhead.

So why not move forward and try?

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Terabitz Relaunches Leading Local Websites to Compete with National Portals

Leading web marketing platform provider, Terabitz, today announced the re-launch of several local real estate websites owned by long-time clients, CENTURY 21 Award of San Diego, CA (www.century21award.com) and Better Homes and Gardens Gary Greene in Houston, TX (www.garygreene.com). Both brokerages have long-term relationships with Terabitz, and with the  ongoing support of the Terabitz development team, have continued to improve their platforms over the years to better compete against both national portals and other local brokerages.

David Romero, President of CENTURY 21 Award, states, “As one of the largest CENTURY 21 franchisees in the world, we believe it is incumbent upon us to have the finest local web presence in the markets we serve. Our 1000 agents depend on us to provide consumer-facing tools that allow consumers to search for neighborhoods better than they can do on the national portals. They also expect us to provide quality back-end solutions that allow them to provide enhanced service to clients when they are ready to engage the local expert. Terabitz gives us the ability to do both and that’s why we have been working with them since 2008.”

As real estate brokerages continue to digest the future impact of the Zip Realty acquisition by Realogy and the merger of Zillow and Trulia, one thing is clear: Online consumer engagement continues to drive industry innovation. Silicon Valley veteran, Ashfaq Munshi, founded Terabitz in 2006. Munshi believed that national portals would eventually dominate, and the local brokerage, with its local expertise, would have to be given better tools to more effectively compete.

States Jose Perez, Founder and President of PCMS Consulting and Terabitz’ exclusive reseller, “We have been representing Terabitz since 2009. Our clients look to us to help better engage consumers in a variety of areas. Terabitz is helping lead the way with their robust SEO and search architecture, lead distribution, and data collection modules.  And now with the new HouseTouch℠ platform, launched a few weeks ago, brokerage websites can offer the best property search experience for consumers.”

HouseTouch℠ is a completely tag and touch base mobile search specifically designed for tablets and smart phones. Homebuyers search for available homes with the touch of a finger or the swipe of the hand. Terabitz has been rolling this innovative mobile solution out to its client base. The following Terabitz clients are now running HouseTouch:

Bean Group – New England (http://touch.beangroup.com)

Bob Parks Realty – Middle Tennessee (http://search.bobparks.com)

CENTURY 21 VJF – Brewster, NY (http://search.century21vjf.com)

Coldwell Banker Pelican – Lafayette, LA (http://m.cbpelican.com)

ABOUT TERABITZ

Terabitz is a technology company located in the heart of Silicon Valley founded by tech industry veteran and real estate consumer Ashfaq Munshi. Terabitz is focused on helping brokerage clients be more competitive with the large real estate portals so that brokers view their web platform as a profit center that drives and engages an ever more savvy internet consumer. For more information about Terabitz, please visit www.terabitz.com.

ABOUT PCMS

PCMS Consulting provides real estate brokerage services that transform their clients into market leaders and proven profit centers.  They offer franchise solutions without the franchise fees. Their real estate solutions are available à la carte – brokers only only pay for what they want to use. For more information on their technology products and real estate consulting services, visit their website www.pcmsconsulting.com.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

Pop Quiz! True or False, Hyperlocal Will Help Your Business.

The hype on HYPERLOCAL

If you read our REinvent Blog regularly, you know that we are always talking about ways to engage with consumers. We also believe there is a huge opportunity for real estate agents and brokerages who can get consumers to think about them even before they are ready to make a move. A hyperlocal focus on your real estate website is incredibly important to the long-term health of your site…and your business.

So what is hyperlocal? Wikipedia tells us that it’s information oriented around a well defined community with its primary focus directed toward the concerns of its residents. In other words, it’s targeted local content that helps consumers.

These are YOUR consumers we’re talking about.

Those same consumers that frequently find Zulia and its brethren online before they find you. Residential real estate is a uniquely LOCAL business model. Consumer online searches should find YOUR real estate website, not a national portal.

If you put the right focus and commitment to hyperlocal, then you’re offering something the large, faceless, national real estate portals do not. Namely trust, authority and long-term commitment to the local communities you work in.

This is exactly what homeowners – past, present and future – deeply desire. Their home is the biggest investment of their life; a national portal can’t offer the care and certainty your local real estate company can.

So there are two key benefits to really beefing up your real estate website content with a focus on hyperlocal:

  • Your hyperlocal brand beats Zulia at its own game; and,
  • You keep consumers engaged with your real estate company, even when they aren’t thinking about moving.

In a nutshell, Hyperlocal = Helping consumers = Staying engaged = Building authority = Increased businessDenessa Munsterman, VP Marketing & Communications, PCMS Consulting

Is hyperlocal a tough task?

Not really… it just requires a different mindset. Most of us are already there, in some capacity. But instead of it being a throwaway on your real estate website (standard, generic information on schools and neighborhoods, etc) it takes center stage.

Refine what you’ve already started, and make your online brand stand out.

Where do you start? Don’t think of yourself as a real estate broker or real estate agent… all that does is simply imply a transaction and a commission.

Redefine yourself as the local authority on the communities you serve. Do this by providing in-depth knowledge: drill down to the local level on each neighborhood you actively work in. This is about proving your expertise in the communities you operate in. Provide resources and information about these communities on your website, and update it frequently. Simply put, provide value.

We have a very successful broker friend/client who describes himself as someone who is in the business or marketing real estate. He doesn’t even use the word brokerage. That is awesome and a big reason why he has profitably grown leaps and bounds in recent years. 

That said, we think hyperlocal thinking should go even beyond that. And we’ll be talking about that next week.

jose-perez-regards

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

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Hyperlocal and the Real World: 5 Strategies to Dominate the National Portals

Last week we ended our blog on hyperlocal marketing with a shout out to our client who positions himself as a marketer of real estate instead of a broker. Let’s take this idea a step further…

PCMS often looks to other industries’ innovations to get real estate professionals thinking about how certain concepts can be applied to their own business. Starbucks is a particular favorite to glean ideas from.

Starbucks did not invent the coffee shop, but they built an experience around their coffee:

  • They want you to feel like their store is your second living room;
  • Do you ever say, “I want a small coffee?”… No, you say, “I want a Tall, Grande, or Venti.”;
  • Isn’t great that you can go relax, listen to music, use their Wifi, have meetings?

It’s a consistent, pleasing experience marketed around a $2 or $3 product.

What are you doing create a consistent, pleasing experience that proves you are the company/agent to do business with?

 

First of all, what is a marketer? A marketer is  “A person whose duties include the identification of the goods and services desired by a set of consumers, as well as the marketing of those goods and services on behalf of a company.”

Let’s break that down into some digestible parts as it pertains to our industry:

A person whose duties include the identification of goods and services desired by a set of consumers

  1. What are those goods and services? Is it just the home, or the neighborhood, or the local community and everything in it? Obviously, it’s all the above and needs to be delivered in a way that convinces consumers that you are the one that can deliver their dream home in the right neighborhood;
  2. How about the set of consumers? As you well know, real estate is not one size fits all. Because of that, as a marketer, you have to define what you are doing for each set of consumers, depending on whether they are first time homebuyers or investors. This requires different hyperlocal strategies to reach the consumer you are targeting.

Marketing of those goods and services on behalf of a company

  1. Your marketing on behalf of your clients. What are their expectations as buyers? As sellers?
  2. Furthermore, what are their expectations based on their demographic?

Hyperlocal marketing is the key to you being able to differentiate from the nationals and your local competitors that are stuck in the past.

 

It’s important to the health of your real estate website, and helps build your brand’s authority online to consumers. We established last week that: Hyperlocal = Helping consumers = Staying engaged = Building authority = Increased business.

But what if we take your hyperlocal strategies and integrate them into the offline world? What could hyperlocal, face-to-face outreach look like? Consider this…

What if you were the central resource to consumers regarding anything to do with their home for as long as they owned it?

 

  1. Imagine your office not as the traditional real estate office with a maze of cubicles,  agents, and desks. What if it was a laid back, cozy place to find out about home improvement tips, interior design ideas, neighborhood information, gardening seminars, etc.?
  1. Imagine a focus on community management.  Where at this improved, friendly, real estate office…agents weren’t front and center? What if you could provide a stress and pressure-free environment for consumers, where they can visit right off the street (or at your website) and feel comfortable investigating a wide variety of topics relevant to their home and neighborhood?
  1. What if consumers registered with your brokerage (maybe sponsored by an agent) for special offers? What if you could drive as many offline leads in this way as the online leads everyone is spending so much money on?
  1. Wouldn’t homeowners coming to your place on a regular basis be a much more valuable? Eventually they’ll sell their home, or have a friend or family member that needs an agent. If you’re their local go-to knowledgebase, you’ll be top-the-mind once they’re back in the market.
  1. What if you combined this amazing space with relevant and valuable information you sent them online on a regular basis?

Just think about how powerful that would be! A truly integrated hyperlocal approach, dedicated to assisting consumers in all stages of their homeownership would be a valuable generator for new leads, referrals and resales. All while meeting (and exceeding!) the growing client service expectations of modern consumers.

jose-perez-regards

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

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Terabitz solidifies position as leading boutique web developer for real estate brokerages.

Terabitz, boutique web developer for real estate brokerages, launches two new custom websites

Los Altos Hills, CA (November 5, 2014)  Terabitz, the leading web marketing platform developer for real estate brokerages, wholesale nfl jerseys announces two new  real estate websites. Smith and Associates of Tampa, FL (www.smithandassociates.com) and Laffey Fine Homes of Long Island, NY (www.laffey.com). Both real estate brokerages picked Terabitz for their combination of a robust technology backbone and customizable, full-featured marketing outreach tools for agents and their clients.

Stephanie Streeter is Director of Technology for Smith & Associates, a high-end, multi-office brokerage in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market, and was the lead in her company’s decision to engage Terabitz:

“After experiencing disappointments with previous vendors, we made квадроцикла it a priority to do a very detailed review when choosing a new direction. In the end, we chose Terabitz because, like us, they are a flexible boutique firm willing to provide the high level of customization we would require. Unlike our last provider who over-promised and under-delivered, Terabitz has become a true partner who implements any customization quickly wholesale nba jerseys and at very reasonable rates. As an added bonus, the team is a pleasure cheap nfl jerseys to work with.”

Terabitz website developed for Smith and Associates Real Estate


 

Laffey Fine Home of Long Island chose Terabitz because the boutique web developer had the know-how and experience to take their real estate website world! and turn it into a more consumer-friendly, revenue-driving online marketing platform.

While their website was already ranked number commentaire one in the Long Island market, its prior web developer was incapable of further developing their website to keep pace with current technology trends nor broaden their online brand’s footprint.

“Being number one is a good thing; however, the only place you can move from number one is down to number two” said Emmett Laffey, Managing Broker and Principal of Laffey Fine Homes of Long Island. “I knew it was time to make the move to Terabitz in order to further grow our online presence and to widen the gap between us and number two.”


 

Terabitz offers three separate starter packages that then provide the foundation for brokerages to build their custom online marketing platform. These packages vary based on layout parameters, depth and complexity of the IDX search, and the Award amount Bag of customization. One major differentiator is Terabitz’ neighborhood search feature. Neighborhood search creates multiple map layers that enables consumers to drill down and receive specific information based on the neighborhood they want to live in.

Terabitz was founded in 2006 by Ashfaq Munshi.  Munshi is a Silicon Valley veteran who realized early on that local real estate brokerages would need powerful online marketing tools to help combat the footprint left by national real estate portals like Trulia and Zillow.

Munshi founded Terabitz with the intention of providing state-of-the-art real estate home search, real estate lead management, and online marketing modules. Terabitz quickly caught the attention of brokerages looking for the technology and service that out-of-the-box, templated website vendors couldn’t offer. Since 2006, the company has continued to innovate. It recently introduced its unique mobile home search platform, HouseTouch℠, which was specifically designed for tablets and smart phones. Other new technology developments include its CRM and marketing analytics platform, Teraleads.

ABOUT TERABITZTerabitz is a technology company located in the heart of Silicon Valley founded by tech industry veteran and real estate consumer Ashfaq cheap jerseys Munshi. Terabitz is focused on helping brokerage clients be more competitive with the large real estate portals so that brokers Web view their web platform as a profit center that drives and engages an ever more savvy internet consumer.

ABOUT PCMSPCMS Consulting provides real estate brokerage services that transform their clients into market leaders and proven profit centers. Their unique platform offers franchise solutions without the franchise fees. Their real estate solutions are available à la carte – brokers only only pay for what they want to use.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

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CENTURY 21 Award Wins RISMedia’s Tech Titan Award

Tech Titan Award recognizes long-time Terabitz client for enhancing the consumer experience

Los Altos, CA (November 14, 2014)  Southern Californian brokerage, CENTURY 21 Award, was presented the RISMedia Tech Titan Award at the RISMedia Power Broker Dinner during the National Association of Realtors conference November 8 in New Orleans.

The Tech Titan Award is presented to brokerage leaders who have demonstrated an exceptional ability to adapt and integrate new and innovative tools and services within their organization to improve and enhance the overall cheap nba jerseys consumer experience. David Romero, President of CENTURY IS 21 Award, thanked his team for their hard work, stating:

“I’m proud and honored to accept this recognition. This is about our team and I’m so proud of Hello them.” He went on to thank Terabitz for their efforts. “Our long term web marketing platform partner, Terabitz, also played an important role in helping our team earn this award. Ash, Farhana, Annie, and Jose are always there for us and we truly appreciate our partnership.”

Terabitz lifestyle search map is integrated wit Pinterest.



CENTURY 21 Award, a Terabitz client since 2009, recently launched a complete redesign of their brokerage website. Some feature highlights of the exciting consumer-driven enhancements in their redesign include:

  • Fully responsive design; As smartphone and tablet adoption rapidly increases, so does the importance of responsive design. Responsive design is recommended by Google, which prefers the best practice because content is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to;
  • Completely redesigned landing page which caters wholesale jerseys to the increasing sophistication of online consumer. A well designed, visually appealing landing page is easy to use and converts browsers into buyers;
  • Newly enhanced award-winning map search. Terabitz neighborhood search creates multiple map layers that enables consumers to drill down and receive specific information based on criteria set by the searcher, focusing only on the neighborhoods that interest them;
  • A new Youtube channel that includes a robust library of videos focused on home ownership;and,
  • New lifestyle search integrated with Pinterest. Using lifestyle search with this popular social channel, clients are exposed to a robust amount of information and are able to share with their family and design friends. Pinterest integration also provides another method for agents to learn what best suits their clients.

PCMS Consulting has exclusively represented Terabitz since 2009, working hand-in-hand with clients both pre and post-sale. “David Romero is a visionary and we truly enjoy the relationship with him and his team,” says Jose Perez, Founder and President wholesale mlb jerseys of PCMS Consulting. “We are committed to developing positive, productive, and profitable relationships where everyone wins — our broker clients and their agents, our technology partners, and most importantly, the consumer. wholesale nfl jerseys Because we’re selective about the products we choose to represent, we garner the Web trust of our clients and help our technology partners grow their businesses.”

ABOUT CENTURY 21 AWARD

Century 21 Award is a Southern California real estate brokerage providing residential real estate, investment and commercial properties, property management, and relocation services. They have 15 locations with over 900 agents. The company earned the #1 CENTURY 21 Worldwide award for 2003-2010. Visit www.century21award.com to experience their award-winning website.

ABOUT PCMS CONSULTING

PCMS Consulting provides real estate brokerage services that transform their clients into market leaders and proven profit centers. Their unique platform offers franchise solutions without the franchise fees. Sivilisaatiomme Their real estate solutions are available à la carte – brokers only only pay for what they want to use.

This article reprinted with permission from PCMS Consulting. The original can be found here.

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