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Snapchat for Real Estate Marketing

Snapchat for Real Estate Marketing

Launched in 2011, Snapchat is the new kid on the block as far as social media platforms go.And yet it’s one of the fastest-growing, surpassing established platforms like Twitter when it comes to daily usage.

The photo and video sharing app has over 150 million active users, and about one million snaps get created every day. Its rising popularity has made it difficult for real estate agents to ignore.

  • Market penetration – Millennials dominate Snapchat, but there’s an emerging 30s to 40s demographic on the platform.

    About 14.4 percent of smartphone users 35 and up have the app installed – a market penetration of about 15 percent is generally the tipping point when a platform goes mainstream.

    What’s more is that the app is predicted to skew much older within the next two to three years. And Snapchat isn’t attracting plain Joes – the app has seen exponential growth among elite top earners age 30 to 45 on both coasts.

    So whether your target market consists of millennials or mature buyers, Snapchat helps you extend your reach.

  • Low barrier to entry – You can download the app for free, and you don’t need a pricey camera to produce content. The content doesn’t have to look polished either, so you don’t need to be exceptionally skilled at photography or filming. As a matter of fact, content that’s rough around the edges is generally viewed as more authentic and relatable.
  • Easy-to-produce content – With Snapchat, all you need is a camera phone to produce content on the fly, making it convenient for real estate agents with limited resources. Take photos or 15-second videos to showcase listed properties, neighborhoods, schools, and nearby attractions. Spice up your content by adding captions or using filters.

    Share your content with individuals via private message,or entire groups via Stories. You can determine how long the receiver of your message can view your content (from one to 10 seconds) before it gets deleted automatically.

    Any content you share on Stories will be available for 24 hours, and you’ll be able to keep track of who has viewed it.

  • Custom on-demand geofilters – This new feature works much like regular filters in that they let you add decorative overlays onto your content.The only difference is that geofilters are location-specific, and only certain geofilters are available depending on the area you’re in.

    To see which ones are available in your area, just swipe across the screen after taking a photo or video, then use them like you would an ordinary filter.

    You can also create your own geofilters for a small fee. There are two kinds – personal geofilters don’t contain logos, business names, or markers, while business geofilters promote businesses or brands.

    The former can be used for private events like birthdays or weddings, while the latter must adhere to Snapchat’s business guidelines.

    Branded geofilters are a great marketing tool that helps you go hyper-local with your content. They’re also fantastic when it comes to real estate events like open houses and association meetings. Just make sure attendees know your geofilter exists, and encourage them to use it during or after the event.

  • Memories – The app is known for the ethereal quality it gives your content, which gets deleted after a brief period. However, this shouldn’t discourage real estate marketers from producing substantial content.

    The Memories feature lets you collect your snaps, bring them together to create an album, and save them for others to view. This allows real estate marketers to tell better, longer-lasting stories that revolve around a specific property or neighborhood.

    But even without this feature, users can take screenshots of snaps or messages they receive for future reference.

  • Online engagement – The average Snapchat user spends about 25 to 30 minutes on the app every day. Over 25 percent of users spend just as much time messaging friends and poring over media content through Live Stories and Discover.

    Compared with Twitter, it’s five times more effective at getting people to spend time on the platform on a per-user basis. On average, Live Stories attracts over 20 million people each day.

    This means that even app users with few contacts can expect a high level of online engagement, granted they respond to messages and produce content on a regular basis.

  • GhostCodes – You can increase your followers by going to the app’s Add Friends section, which lets you look people up via username, Snapcode, your address book, or a nearby location.

    GhostCodes, a separate app, lets you discover Snapchat users who are listed under specific categories. This allows for a more targeted way of adding people. It helps you grow your following, since you won’t have to rely solely on your address book or people you already know.

    The app also makes it easy for others to find you and your real estate company. Just be sure to list your interests and to categorize your snaps so that GhostCodes can place you in one of the available categories for Snapchat users to hone in on.

    The connections you make on this platform can help you build a solid referral network and meet new clients.

  • Personal branding – By using this app, you’ll be able to show people who you are and how you work as a real estate professional. Snapchat lets users see you in real life situations, which makes you come off as authentic to potential clients in ways that paid advertising can’t accomplish.

    While some agents make sure that their content revolves strictly around their profession, there are those who share a few snaps that aren’t related to real estate to show themselves in genuine, unguarded moments.

    Using Snapchat also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of different property types, neighborhoods, real estate practices, and the industry at large.The platform can give you exposure as a trusted expert in your area.

Real estate and Snapchat are a match made in heaven – the former is a highly visual industry, while the latter does a good job of showcasing photos and videos. The app’s real-time functionality creates a sense of being in the here and now, which allows for authenticity and better engagement.

Snapchat can be incorporated successfully into your existing social media strategy as long as you produce the right content. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the app, and don’t shy away from asking followers what they’d like to see from you.

The Worst Real Estate Advice Your Clients Hear

The Worst Real Estate Advice Your Clients Hear

As a real estate professional, you sometimes have to compete with well-intentioned friends and family members offering your clients some not-so-great advice from the sidelines. Most of that advice tends to be aimed at the pricing of the home, which may hinder your client discussions.

Realtor.com® recently highlighted some of the worst of that advice that real estate professionals say their clients download (5)recite to them, including:

  • “Price the house based on what you paid, plus a little extra for profit.”
  • “Price the house based on what you feel is right.”
  • “Add the cost of renovations you’ve made to your price.”

Sound familiar? It’s important that you set your clients straight and let them know that pricing a property shouldn’t be based on what their gut says or what they think it should be. A home’s list price should come from comps and square footage. You may need to step back and carefully explain to your clients the importance of comps and why real estate professionals use them — before just jumping right in to comp review mode and the price.

Also, beware that home owners may sometimes hear advice to price their home higher, despite what the comps say. For example, they may hear:

  • “Price your home high because buyers will come in low.”
  • “‘Not in a hurry to sell? Price the home high’”

Explain to them the dangers of pricing too high. “If a home is substantially overpriced, it’ll end up sitting on the market for a long time,” says Bill Golden with RE/MAX Metro Atlanta Cityside. If the house lingers on the market, buyers often start making low-ball offers. “In the end, these homes almost always sell for less than if they had priced it right to begin with.”

Indeed, Tracey Hampson, a real estate professional in California, says “if a home is priced correctly, you will get full-price offers and even over-asking-price offers.”

Source: “The Very Worst Home-Pricing Advice You’ll Ever Hear (and Why),” realtor.com® (July 21, 2016)

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5 Habits That Boost Productivity, Generate Leads and Lead to Success

5 Habits That Boost Productivity, Generate Leads and Lead to Success

Many people want to know the secret to success. In reality, there is no secret to reaching lasting success; however, if you take a hard look at your habits, you’ll see what’s holding you back from becoming more successful. Our habits—those things we do automatically every day—can either help or hinder us on our journeys to achieving our goals. While we may create goals to be more productive and generate more leads in order to be successful, our bad habits often act as barriers to reaching our goals and our true potential. What habits do the most successful people share? Here are five good habits to adopt this year.

Wake up early. Ben Franklin famously said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” While it’s tempting to sleep in, the most successful people in business start their days with the sun, if not before. Starting your day early doesn’t necessarily mean you jump right into working. Instead, take advantage of the peace and quiet the early morning brings by doing activities that lay the groundwork for a more positive and productive day. For example, write in a journal, go for a run or hit the gym, write a personal note to a mentor or loved one, or set aside time to read. The point is to escape the frantic pace of our mornings and make it a reflective time to fortify our mindset. If you’re not a morning person, start slow and set your alarm 10 or 15 minutes earlier than usual. After a week, increase it to 20 minutes. Over time, you’ll look forward to having a quiet morning of calm reflection before you tackle the events of the day.

Prioritize. As a busy real estate professional, you’re certainly no stranger to writing a to-do list every day. However, many of us simply write down the tasks we need to do without separating the most important activities from the rest. Instead of just adding tasks to the list, prioritize it. This habit takes no more time than writing your daily list of tasks. Choose one or two tasks you have to get done each day, and when you finish those, do the next most important tasks. Not only will you get more done, but also you’ll get the most important tasks done, which will streamline your day and make your more productive.

Delegate. The more successful you become, the longer your to-do list will grow. Not every task has to be done by you. Delegate the easier but time-consuming tasks to your assistant, such as preparing and mailing your monthly marketing flyers, filing paperwork, etc. By delegating the smaller tasks, you’ll have the time and energy to focus on the tasks that drive your business.

Commit to daily personal/professional development. If you want your business to grow, grow your mind. When you improve your skills and mindset, you’ll be able to offer your clients the highest quality service. Read, attend seminars and conferences, watch positive and uplifting movies, and surround yourself with like-minded, successful people. Do something each day that helps you grow, whether you meet your mentor or coach for lunch or attend a real estate seminar every quarter.

Stay in touch. When we get busy, communicating with our clients, colleagues and loves ones often falls by the wayside. However, if you work by referral, communicating with your clients and colleagues is essential to leading a thriving business. Keeping the lines of communication open with your family and friends is vital to cultivating healthy relationships with them. No matter how busy you get, stay in touch with your clients, network, peers and family. Schedule a set time each day to catch up with correspondence, pick up the phone to check in, write a personal note or set up a time to meet for coffee or lunch. Over time, this activity will become a habit—one that will pay off in leads and solid relationships.

If you want to achieve success, it’s essential to cultivate the habits that foster it. Since habits take time to develop—especially if you’re replacing bad ones—be patient and start slow. Work on one habit at a time, and when you’ve mastered it, move to the next habit. Over time, you’ll develop good habits and achieve success.

 

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Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Mark Since 2007 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Mark Since 2007 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Highlights:

  • Sales of existing homes reached the highest pace in a decade at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million.
  • January marked the 59th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains as the median home price rose 7.1% to $228,900.
  • NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun had this to say, “Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home.” 

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The Impact of Homeownership on Family Health

The Impact of Homeownership on Family Health

The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans:

“Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”

Today, we want to cover the section of the report that quoted several studies concentrating on the impact homeownership has on the health of family members. Here are some of the major findings on this issue revealed in the report:

  • There is a strong positive relationship between living in poor housing and a range of health problems, including respiratory conditions such as asthma, exposure to toxic substances, injuries and mental health. Homes of owners are generally in better condition than those of renters.
  • Findings reveal that increases in housing wealth were associated with better health outcomes for homeowners.
  • Low-income people who recently became homeowners reported higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, and higher perceived control over their lives.
  • Homeowners report higher self-esteem and happiness than renters. For example, homeowners are more likely to believe that they can do things as well as anyone else, and they report higher self-ratings on their physical health even after controlling for age and socioeconomic factors.
  • Renters who become homeowners not only experience a significant increase in housing satisfaction but also obtain a higher satisfaction even in the same home in which they resided as renters.
  • Social mobility variables, such as the family financial situation and housing tenure during childhood and adulthood, impacted one’s self-rated health.
  • Homeowners have a significant health advantage over renters, on average. Homeowners are 2.5 percent more likely to have good health. When adjusting for an array of demographic, socioeconomic, and housing–related characteristics, the homeowner advantage is even larger at 3.1 percent.

Bottom Line

People often talk about the financial benefits of homeownership. As we can see, there are also social benefits of owning your own home.


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Troubleshooting: How To Get More Listings Now!

Troubleshooting: How To Get More Listings Now!

If you have all the listings you need, if you don’t want any more listings, if you can’t handle any more listings – this might not be your cup of tea, but I think it will help you anyway with your perspective.

Of all the business troubleshooting tools Floyd Wickman teaches, the one tool I’ve seen help the most salespeople with their perspective is something he calls ‘The Links in a Chain.’

I know you’ve heard the phrase “links in a chain.” Floyd uses it to define how to succeed at building a listing inventory and, more importantly, how to troubleshoot and correct when you don’t have the listing inventory you want or need.

Think of a chain with 10 links, all interconnected one to the next. What’s the common wisdom about the strength of a chain? That’s it. A chain can only be as strong as the weakest link.

Success in listing, like anything in life, is nothing more or less than a series of events, all connected, like the links in a chain. Whenever you are not getting the results you want, analyze the links and find the weakest one. Shore that one up and you’ve gone a long way toward correcting the problem. You’ve strengthened the entire chain.

Let’s take Floyd’s links one at a time, and while we’re at it rate yourself on the strength of each one. Use a 1-5 rating system to take the guesswork out of it. 3 is average, 2 is below average, 4 is above average, 5 is exceptional and 1 is the weakest link.

  • Link #1 is AWARENESS:Awareness is, “Something that you know that you know that you know.” To be an effective lister you have to know that listings are the name of the game. You cannot be effective when you need a listing pep talk every other day. It’s called buy-in, and no one can sell what they don’t buy.
  • Link #2 is GOAL:Do you have a specific, measurable, attainable, visualized listing goal with a deadline? It’s difficult to hit a target you cannot see, but it is impossible to hit a target you don’t have.
  • Link #3 is COMMITMENT:Does your goal have a reward built in when you hit it? Rewards strengthens commitment. Does your goal have a penalty if you don’t? Penalties strengthens commitment.

    Commitment may sound like it should be a given, but over half of the people who get married can’t sustain commitment.

    How are you scoring so far? Are you a 15, or have we already discovered the problem?

  • Link #4 is PROSPECT:There’s no substitute for making calls, networking, marketing, door knocking, mailing and following up. Without leads to work, listings are a matter of luck.
  • Link #5 is CONVERT LEADS TO APPOINTMENTS:How skillful are you at converting leads into prospects and prospects into appointments? It’s one thing to have all the leads in the world, but if you can’t convert leads, they are of no value.

    How, you might ask, do I figure out how skillful I am at converting leads? That’s easy, and I’m glad you asked. Answer me this. What is your success ratio? How many contacts does it take to generate one lead? How many leads does it take to generate an appointment?

    Knowing the numbers eliminates guesswork. I always ask salespeople for their numbers. Simple things like, “How many appointments have you been on in the past 12 months?” Guess what I hear more times than not? “I don’t know.” So I ask, “Gee, why didn’t you keep track of that?” They say, “I was too busy.” I say, “Doing what?” They say, “I don’t know.” Come on. Really?

  • Link #6 CONTROL THE APPOINTMENT:Controlling the appointment may sound like a high pressure technique until you understand what Floyd means by ‘control.’ He means ‘positive’ control, the pressure-free kind. Negative control is the kind people use to get what they want by manipulating others. Positive control means you cannot be manipulated because you take things one step at a time and stay on track.

    The real key to controlling the appointment is having a track to run on. Like a blueprint or a template. A track is not a script. You’ve heard salespeople who sound like they have memorized a script. Even the jokes are canned. Whatever you do, don’t interrupt them. They have to go back to the beginning and start over!

    An effective, pressure free appointment has an agenda, a series of things you want to accomplish one at a time in order. Knowing the order and the steps in advance, and sticking to the plan, takes all the pressure off you. And the real benefit is that you can devote more of your attention to your client, to listening, to showing that you care, to connecting with them.

    Want to get more listings without having to go on more appointments? Show people that you care.

    Here’s a little secret sales success formula from Linda Wickman, Floyd’s life partner for 50 years. Caring about what the other person cares about is what caring is all about.

  • Link #7 is PRESENTATION:How effective are you at selling the seller on listing with you and your company? At presenting your marketing plan? At differentiating yourself from all the other agents and companies they are comparing you with? When there’s no difference between your widget and the other guy’s widget, the consumer usually goes with the best price. But when you can prove to a seller that you and your services are the best solution to their problems, price becomes almost irrelevant.

    How are you doing so far? Are you a 35?

  • Link #8 is PRICING:Floyd teaches us that it’s possible to do the right thing at the wrong time on a listing appointment. His Rule Of Thumb is, “Don’t talk price until they are sold on you and your company.” Until and unless they believe you can get the job done, why would they give any credibility to your advice on price?

    That’s why Link #7 comes before Link #8. Why would anyone skip Link #7 and go straight to pricing? Here’s something I’ve heard frequently. “They asked me to.” Go ahead, laugh. And then go back and review Link #6 controlling the appointment.

    When you really join forces with sellers, pricing becomes a matter of three people putting their heads together to come up with the right number. Until then, pricing is usually adversarial, and can become an argument.

  • Link #9 is CLOSING:Don’t make closing more complicated than it needs to be. Once they have told you everything you need to know; and you have shown them everything they need to see, you deserve a decision. Closing is simply getting decisions, either a yes or a no.

    How often do you leave an appointment with a non-decision? One of those “think – it – overs?” Or, “We’ll get back to you.” Or, “Boy, we’re really impressed, aren’t we, honey? Tell you what, can we call you Tuesday with our decision, or would Friday be better?”

    And there you are, alone on the front porch with a very confused look on your face.

    Hey, you’re thinking to yourself now, how could I possibly master all that stuff? Believe me, I know you’re thinking that. I believe that is the #1 reason why most agents never become effective listers. It takes skill.

    In every sales industry we’ve studied where salespeople have two basic types of products, there is one easy sale and one challenging sale. Life insurance, for example. Term life is an easy sale. Simple. Easy to understand. Whole life, on the other hand, can be a challenge to present and to understand. Which of the two makes for a longer and more rewarding career? Not the easy sale. The salesperson that develops the skill to make the tougher sale is the best indicator of success.

    The good news? We’ve been effectively teaching real estate salespeople how to be effective listers effectively for over 30 effective years. (Yes, I know I used the word effective a lot in that sentence. Was it effective?) It’s teachable and it’s learnable. Except maybe for . . .

  • Link #10 is SERVICE:The root of the word “sell” is “to serve.” I believe you either have a servant’s heart, a service mentality, a giving nature, or you don’t. I’ve seen people change their basic nature to become givers, but it’s not a quick or easy journey. Much better to start out that way.

    At the very least, follow Floyd’s Core Value, “To always do what I say I will do, sometimes more, just never less.” You will find that always delivering what you promise is a game changer that will set you apart from your competition. (And, by the way, always makes you feel very, very good about yourself.)

    Now, if you are a 50, congratulations. If not, strive to become a 50. And whenever the results you want aren’t there, fly up in the air and examine the links in your chain. It’s usually pretty easy to spot the weakest one.

    To learn more about troubleshooting and getting to the top of your game and staying there in this business, visit www.floydwickman.com or join us on our Facebook page to share in the conversation at www.facebook.com/floydwickmanteam