Mobile Text Marketing Strategies For the Real Estate Professional!

The Jan 2010 Realtors Confidence Report (a survey of realtors experience with current market conditions) sums up the mood in the real estate industry with the following observations:

• “Due to the high unemployment rate it is very difficult for buyers to have any hopes of purchasing a home for 2-5 years”

• “11 percent unemployment and increasing gas prices are killing our market.”

While several real estate brokers and professionals have been forced to leave the industry as a result of the current economic crisis, many are still hanging on and a few are thriving even in these economic recessionary times.

So how do you as a real estate broker or agent survive and even thrive in this brutal market? The few brokers and/or agents who are thriving in this market are doing the following:

• Assured of getting the most return on their marketing dollars

• Ability to gather high quality leads without spending too much

• Assured of a 24/7 dynamic lead capture process

• Ability to follow up instantly their prospect calls

• Ability to create ongoing conversations with their prospects or customers

• Customize their messages and talk to their customers when they need to, knowing that the broker’s message is accurately presented on their customer’s mobile devices

• Automate the process of managing campaigns

• Create and view campaign analytics

• Build a database of prospective opt-in customers

Increasingly, real estate agencies across the country are using mobile text marketing strategies to quickly inform their clients with personal messages on new listings or information on closing deals. They are integrating mobile marketing into their traditional advertising strategies and they are improving their response rates as a result!

The New York Times has described mobile text marketing as “The most powerful advertising media ever invented”.

Mobile text marketing offers unique targeting abilities that are incomparable to traditional promotion and advertising media. With the appropriate mobile marketing provider, your prospective buyers will be able to get detailed information about the property on their mobile phone with detailed specs, pricing, virtual tours, and your contact information.

Here’s how it works: You choose a primary keyword (eg: JOESREALTY). This entitles you to an unlimited number of additional sub-keywords. You will then assign each property a specific sub-keyword. If you have 10 properties, your sub-keywords will range from JOESREALTY_1 to 10.

When anyone responds to your ad and sends a text message:

Step 1. A potential buyer sends a TEXT MESSAGE with the property’s KEYWORD to our SHORT CODE.

Step 2. The system generates an SMS to the buyer with the property’s description and details.

Step 3. The system can also generates another SMS – with a lead qualifying question.

Step 4. The system sends the agent an SMS with details on the lead.

Step 5. The system captures the sender’s contact info for follow-up campaigns or contact

Choosing A Competent Provider:

• Make sure you choose a provider with a trusted and reliable web-based platform to manage mobile marketing and alert programs over short codes.

• Your provider must also have packaged, ‘ready-to-go’ solutions that provide you the reliability, real-time compliance, and flexibility you need to implement.

• The appropriate package must include one or more “Keywords” you can use to build your permission-based marketing database and to market your products and services. Simply choose the keyword(s) you want to represent your company products, services or campaign and use it in all your marketing ads.

• The system must have a database control center where you will capture the opt-in contact information and send out follow-up or other marketing campaign information.

• Finally, the prospective provider must have a proven, easy to use system and a proven list of existing national and local businesses on board.

• You must be able to test “real time” with existing real estate client how the system works for them.

It’s no surprise in this market that the real estate industry is relatively concerned with gathering high quality leads. If an agent doesn’t have good leads, after all, he or she won’t make sales – there won’t be any prospects to sell to and puts his or her company at risk of failure.

In the current recessionary environment, it is critical that real estate professionals quickly incorporate new, more cost effective lead generation strategies into their ongoing marketing efforts.

Mobile text marketing technology is helping Real estate agencies across the country to quickly inform their clients with personal messages on new listings or information on closing deals.

Find out more about how mobile text marketing could help your business.

Should Real Estate Wholesalers Accept Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is hot. So should investors wholesaling properties be scrambling to accept bitcoins or is it another major pitfall to avoid?

The buzz about bitcoins seems to only be growing, just as the virtual currency is rocketing in value. So what are the real pros and cons of dealing in this digital currency for those wholesaling houses? Is it a must have or must avoid?

There are actually many benefits of incorporating bitcoins into business for those wholesaling properties.

This includes:

· Making it easier for more individuals to buy from and invest with you

· Cashing in on the dramatic increase in bitcoin price

· Increased press, brand visibility and viral spread

· Attention from tech savvy investors and buyers

Of course many wholesaling CEOs are just discovering what bitcoin is all about. Unfortunately, much of this is in the form of negative media surrounding the recent shut down of Silk Road, arrest of Charlie Shrem and mega-million dollar bitcoin seizure.

On the bright side, those that have followed this news will be aware that this all had little to do with using bitcoins, and everything to do with the illegal activities being bought and sold. In fact, the fact that the government is reportedly selling the digital coins it swiped makes bitcoin legitimate.

It’s becoming very easy to accept bitcoin, and more and more businesses in various industries are adopting it. Right now there is an amazing window of opportunity for riding on the coattails of the currency and press by taking it. For many, it could be their best marketing move of the year, and really help to launch their businesses to the next level. Of course this won’t be a door or opportunity open for long. We are talking weeks and months before the novelty wears off and everyone is doing it.

There are some critical considerations to keep in mind though. Many may prefer spending and accepting bitcoins for privacy. However, while Bitcoin Magazine reports 90% of those in existence are being hoarded, there is the potential for big fluctuations.

Over the last year this has worked in the favor of bitcoin owners and miners. Coins that were worth just a few, or few hundred dollars a year ago are currently trading for hundreds and tens of thousands of dollars. Due to the limited number of people holding them there is a lot of control in a few hands.

So recognize the value of using them in wholesaling properties, but think about the consequences of holding too much in virtual money.

Selling Your Home As FSBO – What You Need to Know

There is no rule dictating that you can’t sell your own by yourself. In fact, there are other home owners like you who have done FSBO (for sale by owner). However, there are several things needing consideration for the process to be successful and beneficial on your part.

Home Value: You can’t just put an FSBO sign in front of your house without knowing how much your house is valued in the market. Of course, determining the figures will need you to avail the services of a professional appraiser. His expertise on the matter will be crucial to price your house enough. Not too low to be below than your buying price and not too high for it not to be purchased at all.

Marketing: As the sole person in charge of selling your home, you need to explore all advertising channels available. Because you’re on FSBO, you can’t put your house in MLS. It’s available to real estate agents only. You probably have to rely on the power of social media to make a buzz about your house being sold. Free ad posting services are also available like Craigslist. You can make flyers and brochures if you want and leave them in high-traffic spots like cafes, bars, restaurants, and parks. But you also need to cooperate with the owners and managers before you can distribute ads in their places, but it’s worth trying!

Contract: You should have the contract ready because a buyer can agree to purchase your house any time, and at times when you won’t expect it. Contracts are hard to prepare because there are legal matters associated to it. For hassle-free preparation, a real estate attorney helps well.

Security Deposit: You’re putting your house on FSBO because you need funds. When negotiating with a buyer, tell him that when he agrees to purchase the house and signs the contract, he should make a security deposit for his intention to buy the house. There should be clear agreement as to when the security deposit will be returned to the buyer and to when it will be forfeited in your favor.

Property Taxes: Avoid being caught in a dilemma after you have sold the house. Property taxes are associated costs that come after. Talk to a real estate accountant to determine the due taxes after successfully selling the house.

These are just four of the many things you need to know about FSBO. Inspections, buyer qualifications, and title should be discussed as a separate entry.

How to Market Your FSBO Home

Many FSBO sellers are told marketing their home for sale by owner is very difficult. The fact is that many FSBO sellers do not approach their attempt to sell in a proactive manner. The goal of any FSBO seller is to get as many buyers as possible to know their home is for sale. The number one mistake FSBO sellers make is not marketing their home properly.

There are many different things you can do to market a home. The number one is to use as many forms of media as possible to create maximum exposure for a home that is for sale. Because marketing is key to getting a home sold you will want to take the time when preparing a marketing plan. Advertising budget is always a concern but with the growth of the internet your options are plentiful and often free. Research your options so you can get the most bang for your buck. Be careful not to spend your time or money on services you don’t need.

Here is a list of FSBO marketing ideas:

1) Signs: Of course this is number one – make your signs simple with basic contact information like the phone number. Your number should be large and easy to read for potential buyers driving by searching the area for a home.

2) Free Online Local Classified Ads: There are many communities that have started free classified websites. (Free)

3) Open Houses: They can help but they’re not the best way to market your home. Many of the people coming to your home are neighbors or people that are not true committed buyers. That can be useful in some ways because they may share their knowledge with someone who is actually looking. Do not dis count this method though because only one person needs to like your home to find a potential buyer.

4) Using the Internet: The internet is the ultimate media source for creating exposure. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reach buyers. Most home buyers start (85%) their search online. There are several ways to advertise on-line. There are many for sale by owner websites and the key is to get your home on as many as possible. The main drawback is this may take you sometime but it is key to getting your home in the public eye. Many of these FSBO websites will allow you to list your home for free. Unlike in the past many of these FSBO sites now share their information and can get you placed on partner websites automatically.

5) CraigsList: You can post your property for free on CraigsList. Go to craigslist.com and make sure to select your city first. The draw back to this site is that you need to post frequently since listings are sorted by date.

6) Virtual Tour: The Virtual Tour is a great option. The virtual tour can give your prospective buyer a much better idea of what the interior of your home looks like. You may also want to consider posting several YouTube.com videos of your home for sale. This is a great high traffic website that can allow you to link to your online listing from the video.

7) Multiple Listing Service (MLS): Perhaps the best tool to market your home is the MLS. MLS listings are generally pulled by major websites like Realtor.com, and almost all real estate firm websites. To get listed you need to go through a real estate broker. There are many brokers that will list your property on MLS for a flat fee.

The best thing to remember is that as a FSBO seller you need to have a proactive approach to selling your home. There is no reason that you can not have the same number of eyeballs looking at your home online than if listed with a full service broker. You may have some minor costs establishing your online presence but it will be a fraction of the commissions paid to a traditional broker.

How To Create Real Estate Agent Leads

As we have discussed before the business real estate agents are in is the lead generation business. Yes we are here to help buyers find their dream home and for sellers to achieve the maximum price for their home. But where do these buyers and sellers come from? Where can they be found?

In this post I will reveal 5 hot ways to generate real estate agent leads.

1. Paid Real Estate Leads

There are many companies offering leads to purchase which are zip code specific. Most of these are around $5-$10 but some merchants sell such leads for $25+ depending on how much qualification with the person has been done.

While this source of real estate agent lead is valid there is often a question about the motives people had to complete the initial lead generation form especially if any inducements were offered. Then there is always the question as to how fresh the lead is and if the contact details have been verified. This can be a costly way to generate leads.

2. Free Information Giveaway

Quality leads can be generated by offering free, valuable information to the prospect. Real estate selling or buying guides are commonly used as giveaways in exchange for a person’s details.

These reports can be given away in a physical format or via a download from your website once a prospect has completed an online form say on an agent’s website. Once you have a person’s details you are free to communicate with them until they unsubscribe.

3. Cross Business Marketing

By establishing relationships with local businesses you can create opportunities to share customers in your respective marketing campaigns. Hook up with a local car dealership for example and market to each other’s list of customers. You will need to gain permission from a customer to send them information but if your offer is attractive most people are willing to receive high quality information.

4. Social Media Marketing

Social media is the world’s voice. Set up your company’s Facebook fan page and start building a tribe of loyal followers who rush to your Facebook page everyday to discover what’s happening with you and your business.

You can giveaway great prizes in exchange for likes. Tickets to the local football match, coffee vouchers for a local coffee shop, movie tickets or even hardware store vouchers all make great gifts to help you build your fan base.

5. Company HR Departments

Do you have large companies or organisations in your area that have a human resources department? Hospitals, government bodies or even the armed services employ a lot of personnel that need accommodating within the local community.

Establish a relationship with the Human Resources Manager within these organisations and offer to send them your office’s up to date rental list or properties for sale on a weekly basis. Perhaps you could offer a special incentive for nurses to rent through your company if they come via this connection. Make sure you reward the HR manager even if it’s just a coffee or lunch.

These 5 lead generation ideas will help create more real estate agent leads for your business. Create a plan to implement them today, take action and watch your business grow.