By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator
For most, buying a home is among the several major milestones in life – it’s a big deal. It seems to start out as a mere fantasy that you picture happening in the very, very distant future. And then suddenly, before you know it, you’re holding the keys to your shiny new home and taking a cheesy picture next to the for-sale sign.
As an agent, the home buyer’s journey shouldn’t be viewed so much as a blur, but instead as a series of steps that present you with specific actions to take. In order to reach your end goal of helping those in your sphere purchase a home, it’s important to use the tools available to you to guide them through your sales flow without missing an opportunity to act and make the right impression.
Read on for a quick refresher on the home buyer’s journey, and a few tips for what you should be doing, when.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if we bought a house someday?”
For most buyers, it’s probably safe to say that the actual idea of purchasing a home is formed a few years prior to the actual purchase. It’ll likely be something small – a casual mention while at a dinner party or exploring a new neighborhood. Regardless of where it happens, consider it a cue to start moving them through your sales flow.
Make sure that their contact information is imputed into your MoxiEngage (if they are someone you already know, they should already be there), and that you’ve filled in all the information you can gather about them. Although they may be far from ready to actually purchase a home, getting involved in the process from the get-go will increase the likelihood of them bringing you on board when it is, in fact, go time.
“I’m not ready to buy, I’m just looking for fun.”
It’s a classic phrase among home buyers that really means they are ready to be moved to the next step in your sales flow.
As the simple mention turns into a thought that keeps them up at night, future buyers will begin browsing the internet without necessarily having a conscious intention of taking things seriously. However, the more they search, the more they will become inundated with every ad related to homes, home listings, home loans, home design, and HGTV’s Fixer Upper that exists (thanks for that one, Internet). The more they see, the more excited they will get about the prospect of owning their own home.
This is a stage where it’s absolutely essential that they’re subscribed to your Neighborhood News snapshots. The more you are able to paint the process as being simple and painless, the more quickly they’ll decide it’s time to make the move.
“It couldn’t hurt to go to that open-house, right?”
As they begin to plan out every detail of their future home design, research the loan options and start playing around with the numbers, the idea of purchasing a home will quickly start to become a reality. This means it’s time to take your role as their trusted advisor to the next level.
They need to know that you are an expert in the area of town that they have their eye on, that you’re able and happy to work with their budget, and that you’ll be on their team throughout the entire process. It’s up to you to be proactive about conveying all of this to them, so that the thought of working with any competing agents never even crosses their mind. Use Moxi Insights to learn more about them and their interests to engage with them on a more personal level – they’ll appreciate the extra effort!
“I can’t decide.”
Some clients may know their dream house the second they see it, but for others it may take writing endless amounts of pro/con lists and comparisons to make the decision.
Using MoxiPresent to show them direct comparisons between their top contenders is a great way to support them and ensure they feel confident in the house they choose to be their home. As they ask you questions about things like commutes, neighborhood stats, and how their prospective homes compare to the ones up the street, edit the info on your end and the presentation will update automatically.
“I don’t know if this is such a good idea.”
Ah, the pre-purchase panic. It’s a common step among buyers, particularly if it’s their first time. It tends to set in once the paperwork comes out and the numbers begin to become more set in stone. Don’t panic, this is when all the nurturing you’ve done for your client relationships will really start to pay off. Do the little things that say big things, like getting them helpful gifts or sending encouraging notes to ease their worries. Shift the focus from the negatives (spending money) to the positives (reaching a major milestone and getting to decorate a new home), in order to make this phase as short-lived as possible.
“Where do I sign?”
They are past (most of) the jitters and questions and they are ready to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. They are ready for this stage to be over so they can dive into the fun stuff.
The actual transaction is when it’s time to really show them what you’ve got, as it’s a valuable opportunity to wow them with the amazing customer service and killer negotiation skills that will get you the repeat and referral business you need.
“Thanks for finding my dream home!”
It’s the stage that every agent looks forward to. The moment when your clients are thrilled about their new home and the service you provided them with. Although you deserve some good relaxation and “me” time, the work doesn’t stop here.
Nurturing your clients needs to continue long after you help them buy a house, as you want to remain top of mind in case, they, or someone in their personal sphere, finds themselves in need of a real estate agent (which they will).
Keep them in the loop through your social media, blogs, and newsletters. Oh, and don’t forget their house-iversary gift!
By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator
Marketing is a major part of what you do as a real estate agent, and you have to be somewhat of a marketing wiz to stand out amongst the overwhelming amount of content floating around these days.
Not everyone has the time to master everything there is to know about marketing, which can often sound like a language entirely of its own, so here are a few important real estate marketing terms and definitions (in no particular order) that will come in handy as an agent:
Marketers are completely obsessed with them, to put it lightly. They are the key to analyzing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and help determine what changes need to be made in order to see the ROI you need. As an agent, analytics will help you determine whether you’re running the right kinds of ads and content, for the right kind of people, at the perfect time.
Most of the tools that you are likely using (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) will have their own analytics systems built in. The key is to not only look at what the numbers are, but to look further into what they really mean for your business and what you can do to strengthen them.
Clearly, we are massive fans of the strategy here at MoxiWorks. A blog is a website or web page that is consistently updated with fresh new content. The latest pieces usually appear first, and the oldest last. Blogs can be authored by one person writing all of the content, or large groups of people all contributing different pieces and types of content. The main point of having a blog is to create a platform for you to communicate directly with your target audience in creative and engaging ways. With social media being so essential in today’s business world, blogs also serve as rich content to share across all of your channels, meaning much more bang for your buck.
Being successful at marketing requires you to have some idea of what your target client base or audience looks like. For example, if you’re selling luxury real estate, your audience is going to be much more specific and focused than if you are selling the typical middle-class neighborhood home.
Knowing who you should be targeting will help guide your entire business in the right direction. Not only will it help you create content that will be more relevant to the people that count, but it will also make all the difference in the level of success your ads experience.
If you’ve ever posted an ad on Facebook (if you haven’t, better start ASAP), you are likely familiar with the options it gives you to specify who you want your ads to reach. It usually asks for things like age and what types of keywords might be associated with the people you are wanting to reach. Having an accurate picture of your target audience will help you target these ads correctly and increase the amount of leads they generate.
They are the heartbreakers and the game makers of your website. Put simply, your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your site after only viewing one page, as opposed to browsing through multiple pages. it’s an important stat to keep your eye on, as it can tell you a lot about where you should focus your efforts when it comes to optimizing your site. Although it can be disappointing to see a high bounce rate, don’t let it get you down. Especially as an agent, your clients may only need what is on the one page that they visit. For example, if they are simply looking for your email address, which happens to be front and center on the first page, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing for them to leave after quickly jotting it down.
The explosion of the internet has made content marketing the norm for most successful businesses. Instead of simply marketing your product or service, content marketing allows you to go deeper and actually build value and brand loyalty in the minds of your clients. Not only does this create more reliable and sustainable business, but it gives your brand an opportunity to have a much more significant and defined voice. This may include using content such as blogs, the Moxi Neighborhood News tool, and newsletters.
Cost per lead.
Every marketing activity that you put time and effort into costs you in some way. Cost per lead is the amount you pay to generate a new lead. If it is organic marketing (non-paid), then the cost is the time that you spend creating the content that you could be spending doing something else for your business.
And just like that, you’re on your way to becoming a marketing aficionado. Trial and error will be your best friend, but make sure to use data to guide your decisions and keep the error minimal.
Keep checking the Moxi Blog for more marketing tips and tricks you’ll want to know to stay ahead and keep up your tech savvy image.
By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator
The secrets out – content marketing works. So well in fact, that virtually everyone seems to have hopped on the content marketing train in some way, shape, or form, meaning the amount of content floating around the online universe is exploding at rates that are tough to keep up with. For instance, within the minute that you spent clicking on the link to this blog and reading the first sentence alone, 350,000 tweets were sent. By the end of today, 95 million new pictures and videos will be posted on Instagram. By the end of this month, 79.7 million new WordPress blog posts will be published. Have I scared you away from ever practicing content marketing? No? Good.
Not to worry, the copious amounts of content out there doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create content as part of your marketing strategy. What it does mean is that you have to create better content than your competitors, as well as everyone else competing for your audience’s attention. It’s a big task, as making a statement with content marketing isn’t as easy as simply buying a fancy car or showcasing a new hairdo. Read ahead for some quick tips on how to make the most of it!
Keep it relevant. No blog posts, pictures, or adorable puppy videos (yes, even puppy videos) will be effective in creating your desired ROI unless they relevant to the audience you are trying to reach. If you haven’t already, take the time to formulate clear personas of your target audience. What are they interested in? What are their demographics? What kinds of information might they find useful? Find the topic sweet spots that get people engaged and use them to focus your content.
Visuals are key. You want to catch people’s eyes, so keep things visual. To break out some stats here, articles containing images have an average of 94% more views than articles without images. High quality media is key for strong content creation, so be sure to invest in the resources you need to create it. Videos, images, and charts are all strong performers. Keep in mind that 60% of people will watch a video prior to reading an article if it’s available, so better position them front and center to get people hooked and invested in your content.
Make it a conversation. Engaging with your customers is practically marketing 101. They want to get involved, and encouraging them to do so will only help you become a better agent and a much more effective marketer. Incorporating “ask the audience” style posts will make them more likely to comment and engage with you directly. Creating custom hashtags, polls, and hosting contests are great for engagement as well. Here is a list of even more ideas to keep the two-way conversations going strong.
Straight to the point. Don’t you just hate it when you read an entire article, only to find that it fails to actually contain the kind of information you were looking for in the first place? While creative titles can be fun, make sure that they are informative enough that the reader can feel confident that diving into your post will be worth their time. This can also help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts which, by the way, are definitely worth brushing up on.
Quality over quantity. Similar to the idea of keeping content relevant, keeping your content quality high is a must when it comes to its effectiveness. Instead of publishing content just for the sake of publishing content, ensure that you are creating content that is meaningful and purposeful, and at a pace that people can keep up with. The ultimate goal is to increase conversion rates, don’t forget it.
Get the timing right. To put it simply – there’s a reason we don’t see popsicle commercials in the winter. Timing plays a key role for every business, as you want your content to always fit your client’s current needs as best as possible. Instead of simply guessing when the time is right to reach out to clients with certain kinds of content, utilize data and insights to get it right.
Make it scannable. The reality of today’s mobile word is that we tend to get the bulk of our information while on the go. This means that it’s important to make content scannable, so readers can quickly get to the information they are looking for. Breaking up your content using lists, bullets, and subheadings will help guide the reader through your content with ease and ensure a positive experience that will keep them coming back.
Knowing how to craft your content will help your audience become further invested in you and make them more likely to convert into customers. Instead of focusing on the amount of content you produce, focus on incorporating aspects like these to make your content the shiny penny that can’t be missed!
By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator
The technology available at our fingertips continues to become seemingly more advanced by the second, and our dependence on it to perform even the smallest of tasks appears to be increasing along with it. Smart technology is now making its way into our homes, intending to make our lives easier and successfully making us humans lazier than ever. From ordering our groceries to turning on our lights, these cutting-edge devices are changing the way we live life and turning our houses into smart homes.
Smart homes are sweeping through the market, becoming a must-have for clientele that extends far beyond millennials alone. In fact, only 43% of smart home product owners are considered millennials. The usability and, for the most part, easy installation provided by this technology is making it an appealing investment for people of all ages. A recent survey shows that 32% of Americans claim to currently own some form of smart home technology, a percentage that is likely to grow rapidly in the coming years and a trend proving that many of your clients are willing to spend significant amounts of money in order to join the bandwagon. According to a recent report, the smart home market is estimated to reach a value of $53.45 billion by 2020. That’s some serious cash, and the real estate industry will play a major role in making that prediction come to life.
Although this technology has historically been considered part of a niche market for the rich, it is now becoming more affordable and accessible than ever. As an agent, being aware of the latest advances and which smart devices tend to appeal to different segments of clientele is a strategic edge worth brushing up on. If you happen to receive pushback from your clients in response to the added cost, which isn’t necessarily as significant as one might think, make sure to emphasize the savings that the initial investment can lead to in the long run. For example:
• Some insurance companies are now offering discounts on premiums to those who install smart security systems.
• Automated temperature devices can pay for themselves in energy savings in as little as two years.
• Smart fridges can now notify you when your food is approaching its expiration date, minimizing the amount of food that goes to waste.
When touring a smart home with clients, set the stage to help them envision the specific roles that smart products could play in their life. If you are convincing enough, they may decide they can no longer live without it, potentially resulting in a major win for you.
To get you started, we have compiled a list of a few of the major players in the industry today that will likely be on you client’s must-have lists soon, if they aren’t already.
Smart Locks. 62% of realtors say that they have found Smart Locks to be one of the most desired devices among their clients. It’s not surprising, considering that they automatically lock when you leave, unlock when you arrive, and allow you to control them remotely. Imagine carrying your bag of groceries into your home without feeling like you’re performing a juggling act for the neighborhood while simply grabbing your keys to unlock the door. If a home has a mother-in-law suite that clients want to put to use or possibly even rent out, a Smart Lock will definitely be a must-have. These nifty devices have the potential to be incredibly useful, so if your listing has one it’s worth emphasizing. Here’s a leading smart lock on the market today if you aren’t already familiar.
Smart temperature. We’ve all had those nights where you finally get settled into bed, only to realize that you have to get back up to adjust the thermostat. It’s not fun for anyone, making it unsurprising that programable thermostats are gaining popularity. As a favorite among non-millennial clients, this product is already integrated into the homes of 40% of smart product owners over the age of 65. Keep in mind that the benefits that it presents go beyond pure usability. Smart thermostats also appeal to “green” minded individuals and virtually anyone that wants to save money by minimizing energy usage. Have a client that is constantly traveling? Let them know that the ability to control the smart thermostat in your listing remotely will allow them to save energy while they’re gone, but still warm the place up prior to arriving home from a trip. You can see an example of a smart thermostat here.
Smart fridges. Why bother making a grocery list when most of us end up forgetting them at home anyway? Smart fridges now have built in cameras that connect to apps, giving you access to what’s inside of them from wherever you need it. Some even take it a step further and keep tabs on what food you need so they can order your groceries for you. It isn’t just about food anymore though; these fridges also connect to other devices in order to act as a resource for you to do things like check the local weather, watch tv, and rock out to your favorite music. If your client loves to cook or has kids that could use entertainment during meal prepping, this product will likely catch their eye. Smart kitchen appliances are admittedly quite useful, and a definite game changer for users of all ages. This is a great example.
Brush up on the latest products available so you can speak your client’s language when you come across a listing with smart devices. There are constantly new products popping up within the smart home industry, so get excited and remember to always utilize them as a major selling point during your presentations! Use the grocery bag anecdote, we’ve all been there.
By Maddie Jostol, Marketing Manager
Agents are looking for support from their brokerage to help them grow their business. Brokerages have to weigh where their support is most needed and best utilized. The competition to recruit agents is heating up, which puts pressure on your brokerage to deliver on agent’s needs. You strive to offer your agents best-in-class tools and services but want to ensure your investments will be impactful. We recommend giving your agents the gift of easy marketing.
Marketing can be daunting for agents. After all, marketing has the unfortunate reputation of being time-consuming and expensive, both of which agents rightfully try to avoid. Meanwhile, consumer expectations are rising, and home sellers want to know that their agent is a competent and motivated marketer. Agents are pressured to market listings in a way that meets client expectations, without necessarily having the expertise or bandwidth.
This is where your brokerage comes in. When vetting marketing tools for your agents, focus on these three things:
Ease of use – As with any technology, it’s all about convenience. If it isn’t easy to use, it won’t get used at all. In addition, you don’t want to have to require extensive training with the onboarding of a new system. Choose marketing tools that simplify complicated marketing efforts for your clients.
Time-savings – As independent contractors, real estate agents are running their own business, in a way. This means they’re juggling a lot on a day-to-day basis, so any tool that is going to save them time is going to be a winning solution.
Integration – The fewer login credentials they have to remember and the less data they have to manually enter, the better. If you choose marketing tools that are integrated with systems your agents already use, adoption will be much higher. With adoption comes home sales and happy clients.
We’re operating in a market where recruiting and retaining agents is increasingly difficult. Brokerages are offering everything from over-the-top perks to six-figure signing bonuses. How do you compete with that?
What it comes down to is the support you offer an agent in running their business. Agents are busy – generally, they feel overwhelmed by their to-do list and discover it’s difficult to find a good work/life balance. If you can find more time for your agents, you’ve hit a goldmine. When this happens, their able to grow their business, contributing to their own success as well as your bottom line.
Interested in learning more about the Moxi Marketing suite? Check it out here.
By Maddie Jostol
Marketing can feel like a necessary evil. It’s easy to get overly stressed, especially for new agents just getting into the real estate game. Being an agent is already a busy routine and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the endless options when it comes to marketing. Which strategies should you actually put effort into, and more importantly, how can you keep the cost down?
Here are five affordable ways to market yourself and your listings so you can continue to grow your business, without sacrificing a ton of cash.
1. Go digital
Don’t get us wrong, traditional practices such as hand-written notes can never be replaced. For your larger-scale marketing initiatives, however, keep your cost down by going digital. Leverage automation tools for sphere touches online rather than spending on printing and shipping, which can be very costly.
For example, when you create digital presentations for lead generation, it costs you nothing. Printing these presentations can get very costly (think $50-100 each), especially if you have them bound. Plus, if it’s digital, it’s always up to date and easy to edit.
2. Make your marketing efforts go further
Get more out of your marketing efforts through by targeting the right messages to the right people. When you have detailed insights about your contacts and you take care in updating your CRM, your life will be much easier come time to market.
This person likes to golf? Invite them to your charity tournament. That person prefers to communicate via email? Only use that medium. This group of contacts all have young children? Keep them in the loop with regards to family-related news and events in the neighborhood.
3. Leverage existing relationships
When you start your marketing efforts with those who already know you, it spurs word-of-mouth marketing. Those who know and trust you will keep you top of mind and are most likely to share your content and spread the word. We aren’t just saying this because we’re huge fans of the sphere marketing methodology, but because it’ll actually make your marketing dollars go further. When you market to someone in your sphere (invite them to an event, send them a piece of content, etc.), those efforts will be amplified as they go out and interact with people in their own sphere.
4. See what tools you already have
We know… you like to pick and choose your own tools. However, you end up training yourself and don’t have any integration between those tools. Consider the marketing tools your brokerage already offers you. You might be surprised at the tools you have at your fingertips that you never even knew about. They were hand selected for a reason, and you’re more likely to have access to resources and support if those tools are offered by your brokerage.
5. Reach the masses where it matters
Market to your audience in groups. For example, host casual community events, where you can connect with a large number of people in one fell swoop. This will keep your costs down and enable you to grow your sphere, all while positioning you as the real estate expert in your area.
If you’re looking to cast a wider net, try marketing on social media. Meet consumers where they already are. Get in the rhythm of advertising each new listing you win, then promote your business when you’re in need of some new leads. On social media, you can reach a massive audience with just a little spend.
For example, you might spend $79 to reach 3,000-4,000 people (depending on your audience and geographic area) on Facebook. Reaching that same audience with postcards would be very costly (think 10-20x the cost).
Then, the more you decide to spend, the wider net you cast – it’s that simple. Make sure you report back to your clients, that’s where the real value is. It’s an inexpensive way to exceed their expectations and show them you went above and beyond.
By Maddie Jostol
We dedicate a huge portion of our lives to commuting. Commutes continue to get longer, hugely affecting where people choose to live.
The average American commutes over 25 minutes each way to and from work, according to Business Insider. This is the longest it’s been since the Census began tracking commute time in 1980, having grown 20% since then, as reported by Washington Post.
Agents are challenged to take this into consideration when finding a client their perfect home. Buyers need to know what their commute will be before putting in an offer on a house. The good news? This is really easy for those of you who are Moxi Present users. Every MLS listing on a client’s list can be shown with the actual driving commute time to any location.
Where is the property in comparison to my office? My kids’ school? Using data integration, Moxi Present’s Drive Time feature shows the buyer what their commute will be like during the home search process. Each Moxi Present presentation is powered with MLS data integration, delivering information to your client and updated in real-time. This integration means that each and every time your client opens the presentation, the property information is up-to-date, no matter when you created it. This feature is in addition to functions that allow agents to add rich media, such as video, customize pages, show financial comparisons, and much more.
When looking for a new home, it’s important for homeowners to be able to imagine themselves there – how will their furniture look in the home? What’s the community like? What school district is it in? And, of course, what will their everyday commute be like? Offering presentations with Drive Time lends a personal touch that achieves this. Your client is automatically given context regarding what their life would be like living in a given home.
Trust us… Your clients will love it. Moxi Present is built to enable agents to give their clients a personalized, unique experience. Agents can deliver data to their clients that is continually up-to-date and a user experience that is unsurpassed.
Having Drive Time in your presentation gives it a personal touch, which is key during this process. These are the details that add up and make for happy clients. The better experience your clients have working with you, the more likely they are to generate referral business for you. Growing your repeat and referral business and strengthening your sphere means you’ll be able to rely less on low quality purchased leads. Exceeding expectations is vital in today’s competitive market – use tools that will not only meet client expectations, but will blow them away.
Want to see for yourself? Check out a sample presentation here.
By Tiana Baur
The Facebook community has more people in it than the population of China. The sheer amount of people on the social network make it hard to ignore – even for our industry. When compared to other small businesses, 79% of real estate businesses have Facebook accounts. Which to be honest, is a pretty surprising number if you ask us.
And yet, most are making mistakes – so much so in fact, that there many articles being published about the common social media mistakes real estate agents make. Like focusing on the amount of likes they have or treating their page like some sort of brochure.
The reality is, agents no longer need to keep trying so hard. There are certain things you can’t know without having the proper experience, but no one should expect agents to become social media gurus overnight – especially since others are spending their entire careers doing so. The new best way to take full advantage of social media is to take a step back and let the pros do it for you. Period.
The #1 way to reap the benefits of Facebook is to use tools that do the heavy lifting for you. It might sound obvious, but so many agents try to be the social media maven for their own business and end up dropping the ball or making a plethora of common mistakes that are narrated out in the articles we mentioned above. There are companies that have entire teams dedicated to helping agents get the most out of social media channels, especially Facebook. It’s time to use them. Here are our favorite tools to use right now:
1. Flipt – Predicative Real Estate Ads
Flipt connects home sellers to top real estate professionals on the web and mobile by using housing and social data. They are predictive real estate display ads to empty nesters, people moving into retirement and homeowners going through life-changing events. Flipt lets you claim your zip codes and within a few minutes launches your locally targeted campaign with their easy-to-use ad builder. Within 24 hours your ads are online, where motivated sellers click and request your information from your free Flipt landing page.
2. Advertise Your Listing – Attention Grabbing Ads in Five Minutes or Less
Advertise Your Listing allows agents who just won a listing to create a Facebook ad for said listing with ease, built directly into the Moxi Engage CRM. The best part? Agents do not need a Facebook Page to run ads. Not only that, but it sends reports directly to their clients with the click of a button. Advertise Your Listing helps agents show clients that they are willing to go the extra mile for them, and keep up with the competition by improving their marketing strategy.
3. Offrs – Get Your Own Territory
Agents want… no they need leads. At Offrs, they identify over 70% of the homes that will sell in the coming year using predictive analytics. They conduct an in-depth analysis of the data that then predicts when people will sell. This data is then presented to the agent via their “Territory.” Each agent chooses a Territory which includes details on every property or property owner, including mailing address, email, phone number, and a predictive seller score that is updated each month based on thousands of data points.
There are more and more tools coming out every day, especially when it comes to social media and Facebook ads, but it’s important to pick one that you can depend on to get the job done. We’ve carefully vetted all of these tools and can guarantee they do exactly what they promise. Using tools like these are the very best way to get what you can out of the largest social media network in the world.