Agents Can Use the Winter Months to Re-Hone Important Skills.

Blog

Though veteran real estate professionals may feel as though they know all the ins and outs of their business and local markets, it never hurts to hone the skills that lead to long-term success. Winter may be the perfect time to revisit those efforts.

Even agents who have been in the industry for years may still have a thing or two to learn about the best practices in the modern real estate market, whether that means doing research on some of the changes taking place in their regions over the past year or how best to communicate with clients, according to Skills You Need. These areas are usually the tools in any agent’s utility belt that make them stand out from the competition, and with business a little slower at this time of year, a bit of work to make sure everything is up to snuff can go a long way in the spring and summer.

Where to begin
One area where many veteran agents may be able to start their winter research is to see if any state or local rules and regulations have changed in the past year because that review is just the sort of thing that can go by the wayside in spring or summer, when sales activity is far more hectic. Small changes in this regard can end up having a big impact on an agent’s sales efforts going forward, so learning the ins and outs of whatever may have shifted is a great way to kick-start the re-training effort.

After that, additional effort to brush up on some of the finer points of social media communications or make connections with the owners of new local businesses could help to lay the groundwork for a successful spring and summer.

A focus on social
For some agents, there hasn’t yet been a huge shift to marketing on social media, but experts say finding footing on those platforms is a great idea at this point, according to McKissock Learning. That’s because the average American spends 40 minutes on Facebook alone every day, and social sites tend to drive a huge percentage of all web traffic. To that end, it’s a smart step for agents to learn how to market themselves on the site with both organic efforts and paid ads. Even if the latter isn’t used heavily, it’s still wise to know the best practices for developing effective ads.

Moreover, any agents who haven’t set up their own professional accounts, and have instead been using their agency’s page or personal accounts, might want to build an individual professional page. That’s another great way for would-be clients to start putting a face to a name and differentiate an agent’s personal life from their professional pursuits.

Even the most seasoned professionals can always stand to learn a little more about how to succeed in their fields. That fact may be especially true in a sector like real estate sales, because so much is changing all the time.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Social Media Ad Marketing in Winter

Blog

Agents may take the slower winter months to ramp up their social media marketing and planning, but that work should include trying to determine what has been most effective in the past and what hasn’t. Certainly, the extra time many real estate professionals have in December, January and even February gives them flexibility to not only maintain and construct creative eye-catching social posts, but also brush up on some emerging industry-recommended best practices.

There’s no real trick to making social media posts stand out in winter versus spring, summer or fall: The same principles that apply then are still in play now, according to Inman. That fact means mixing attractive photos with vibrant descriptions of available listings and adding in some local expertise whenever possible. However, that’s also the sort of thing that most agents do at this point, so a little more might have to be done to truly make a listing stand out.

A smarter path
Instead of trying to appeal broadly to a wide variety of would-be buyers with a listing, it might be wiser to home in on specific demographics, and fortunately most social media platforms allow for that laser-focus. For instance, Facebook ads may allow you to target users by age, location and a number of other different specifications, and that functionality can increase the likelihood that an ad resonates with an intended target.

Indeed, by focusing on particular groups of Facebook users (or those on other platforms), the actual content of the ad itself can be tailored more specifically to those groups so that there’s an even greater chance of success. The difference between these ads and more general ones could be likened to fishing with a spear versus simply dropping a baited hook in the water and hoping for the best.

Getting this specific also allows agents to highlight other parts of a home that may be particularly attractive to the demographics they’re targeting. Along those lines, it’s wise to include not just one picture in an ad, but at least a few, to show off more features per ad; that approach provides a little extra bang for the advertising buck.

A strategy for success
There are likely millions of pages online explaining the best ways to draw eyes with social media ads, but agents likely know from experience that people have largely trained themselves to gloss over any ad they come across online, according to RESAAS. As such, it might be wise at this time to look inward and examine past social advertising efforts. Which ads have worked well? Which haven’t? What do the big performers have in common, and what sets them apart from those that fell short of expectations? That kind of knowledge can shape future advertising efforts, as well as those that are still underway in winter.

Generally speaking, agents can boost their engagement with past and future clients through social media to a significant extent, but the key to ensuring an ongoing online relationship is providing people with what they want or need. Also, regularly revisiting that question can go a long way.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.