The Elements of a Successful Real Estate Marketing Plan
The Exposure Elements real estate proposition is a matrix of elements that combine to deliver the best overall marketing program for a Realtor in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is composed of 6 elements that, when used together, provide a complete, comprehensive, low cost marketing service for our Realtor clients. Those elements are:
1) Information Capture a) Photography and Virtual Tour b) Floor Plan options
2) Desktop Internet Exposure a) portal distribution of home photography and listing details b) Craigslist posting c) YouTube Video
3) Mobile Internet Exposure a) text message accessed mobile website b) single property mobile website c) YouTube Video
4) Social Network Exposure a) Post to Exposure Elements YouTube channel b) post to Exposure Elements Social Networks c) social network buttons d) YouTube Video
5) Point of Interest Exposure a) Property Flyers b) E-mail Flyers c) Single Property Mobile Websites d) QR codes
5) Validation a) virtual tour hit reporting
6) Lead Generation and Capture
How The 6 Elements of Marketing Combine to Make One Successful Real Estate Marketing Plan
Capturing information that is vital to prospective home buyers is the most important part of the marketing plan. Information captured includes property details usually provided by the listing Realtor, photography for the marketing program and virtual tour and floor plans that reflect the layout of the property listing.
Photography and Virtual Tour
There is a mountain of evidence that points to the value of good photography and quality interactive virtual tours. Most Realtors get the photography but I find that many don't get the virtual tour part so they ultimately try to do the photography themselves, many times with an iphone camera or a point and shoot camera. We'll save the discussion on cameras for another article.
National Association of REALTORS® says 74 percent of buyers look for homes via the Internet and that percentage gets higher as you move to larger cities. Coupling that with the fact that home hunters today make home decisions by disqualification rather than qualification one can quickly come to the realization that the better the photography and the more engaging the presentation of the photography the more visitors will likely not disqualify a home for a spot on their "visit" list.
Exposure Elements Virtual Tours include a long list of engagement features that will keep the attention of home hunters on your property and get your property on the "visit" list such as full screen images that immerse on line visitors in the property, detailed information about the property and the Realtor, floor plans that reveal the layout of your listing, and photography that is bright and full of color with clear windows (instead of the commonly seen frosted, overexposed windows of many tours) that reveal the world to your internet visitors.
In the San Francisco Bay Area where multicultural diversity is a way of life many of our incoming ethnic populations have cultural beliefs and customs that strictly define the apportions and locations of rooms in a home. Floor plans can save both the Realtor and the home hunter valuable time by mapping out the home and showing the relative space and location of each room in the home.
Floor plans also can provide an engaging aspect to the virtual tour if applied correctly. Quality virtual tours with floor plan integrations should be able to map out the home as a part of the tour then link the appropriate image to each room in the floorplan, ideally showing the angle and direction the photographer was shooting when the image was captured. This type of engagement can give the visitor a much clearer idea of whether the home will be a fit for them and greatly improve the listings chances of getting on the "visit" list.
Exposure Elements offers different floor plan options depending on your budget and marketing requirments for your listed property.
Desktop Internet Exposure
Today much of the research that is done on homes is done by the prospective home buyer on the various real estate websites so it is vital that information about the listing be posted on these websites. One key website that huge numbers of home hunters look at is Craigslist. YouTube can't be overlooked either as there are 3 billion video searches on YouTube daily.
Portal Distribution of Home Photography and Listing Details
Zillow, Trulia, Oodle, Enormo, Hot Pads, Yahoo Real Estate and 75+ other regional and specialty sites draw home hunters to their websites with powerful national and regional marketing. Realtors can not afford to miss out on this opportunity to post marketing information about their listing to these sites but if they tried to post to each one individually they could spend ALL their time just posting to listing sites. The answer is to have Exposure Elements post to all these sites through our internet portal site. We can give you the national exposure to capture the attention of home hunters across the country that are searching for properties in the Bay Area and manage that service for you for up to six months insuring your client of the visibiltiy they deserve for their listing.
Craigslist has become a worldwide selling market place for just about everyting so when people want to buy something they instinctively go to Craigslist as a point of local listing information. This includes home hunters. As a free advertising market place it offers the realtor a low cost way to market the property listing. Craigslist is not without its challenges though. Creating a posting that is different enough to capture the attention of a home hunter can be challenging and if that isn't enough there are constant challenges with "flagged postings" that effectively cancel the posting and negate all of your hard work.
Exposure Elements is an expert at Craigslist postings. We create unique HTML postings for each property listing we service and relist that posting on your request every two weeks for the next 6 months! Our Craigslist postings can include up to 18 images, a significant property desciption, cross marketing with our other programs and we wade through all the hassles involving the flagged postings that occasionally occur. And one more thing, of course the leads for the posting all come to you, our client.
With over 3 billion video searches per day virtually everyone on the planet that is capable of purchasing a home in the San Francisco Bay Area is familiar with YouTube. Many people regularly go to YouTube as their go to source of information because they can watch the information at leisure rather than immerse themselves into information presented as verbiage. There are many tools that enable fast and efficient creation of slideshows for YouTube now which makes the production an easier process.
YouTube does have its exposure challenges though. How do you set up the video so it is found easily? What do viewers want to see? How does a Realtor market themself as a part of the marketing? How do Realtors find the the time to make videos? How can videos be made so that they can support both the desktop internet and the mobile internet effectively? Exposure Elements can build your listing a YouTube video that will address all of these concerns, cross market your video and engage your listing viewers. Your listing customers will also love the fact that you provide so much exposure for their property.
Mobile Internet Exposure
Today's home hunters are all about instant gratification. They want information at their fingertips in an easily stored and easily forwarded format. They want engaging, interactive information that they can refer to at anytime. Exposure Elements is the business partner for TxT2Look in Northern California. In conjuntion with TxT2Look we have designed a mobile website for Realtors that is truly unique and extremely powerful
Text Message Accessed Mobile Website
If you know a developer today they are likely developing a mobile website of some sort. In the valley of developers this usually means that you have several mobile tools already available to you. The problem is that these tools often haven't been tuned to a Realtors workflow and they likely don't include any integration with all of the features commonly found on internet enabled phones these days. As a further challenge they are likely to be developed for either an iPhone, or an Android, or a Windows enabled phone or a Blackberry phone.
Business applications have to be browser based today so that they can work on any phone but it isn't enough to be browser based. Applications need to identify which phone the end user is using and size the app automatically to that phone to insure that the user has an ideal user experience.
Challenges don't end there though. An app also needs to be easy to access and provide some data to those mobile phone interested users that don't have internet enabled phones yet. Studies have shown that users just will not type in a long URL to get information. Whether it is because the URL is just to long or the length creates to many opportunites for typing errors, interested people on the go just dont enter URLs. If they don't work there is no use in accessing websites this way.
Enter the Mobile Website 4 Realtors, an Exposure Elements exclusive service that offers Realtors an easy way to share their listings and highly regarded properties with their clients and prospects. This is a browser based mobile app that answers all the concerns listed above, has a simple set up, accomodates changes in minutes (literally!) and can work as an excellent buyers tool or sellers tool. Property listings are changed by simply typing in an MLS number. Our app assist feature loads all the property details, listing images and even the property description if it is available. Even the most technology illiterate Realtors can build this website in 15 minutes if they have their MLS numbers, their picture and a logo of their brokerage available. Complete change overs in property listings can be done in 5 minutes. The mobile website can support YouTube Videos of the properties and even connect to the realtors main website. Pocket listings and private listings can also be easily entered into the website as long as you have access to the listing information and images.
Your clients want your listings on their phone for easy access. They want to also want an easy way to access you. Mobile Website 4 Realtors offers this. This service is an absolute MUST for Realtors today as it connects your prospects and clients to you and give you a key differentiator in the competitive listings you want to get.
Single Property Mobile Website (text message access)
Many Realtors are still using single property websites today that list the street address as a URL. This is an antiquated product that has no value in todays real estate market place. Today home hunters will never write down a URL then go home to look it up in the San Francisco Bay Area. They want the information at their fingertips and on their phone. Today's answer is a sister product to the Mobile Website 4 Realtors called the Single Property Mobile Website. Similar to the Mobile Website 4 Realtors in most of the features it is different in a couple ways. First, it is designed for only one listing and is focused on that listing rather than on a Realtor's set of listings. In this way, it provides many of the same benefits of the outdated Single Property Website but with the added benefits of mobile access using text messaging (ease of access, Realtor branding and outstanding lead generation) with the added benefits of follow up text messages to interested persons and access reporting tools. A Single Property Mobile Website is basically the same cost as the outdated Single Property Website also so there is really no reason to consider using the outdated technology. The service is an exclusive service of Exposure Elements so contact us and provide your listing with one of the most efficient and advanced real estate tools available today.
While YouTube videos are very useful at the desktop they are probably more valuable as a mobile tool. Today, virtually every internet enabled phone has a YouTube icon on their interface screen making this an absolute must for home listers in Northern California. It should come as no surprise that the Exposure Elements Mobile Website 4 Realtors and Single Property Mobile Website have a provision for integrating YouTube videos into your mobile solutions but if you don't use the Exposure Elements mobile website services offering a YouTube video and tying it to a QR code can offer your interested home hunters a way to view the property from a mobile device. Either way, YouTube is a Realtors good friend in mobile listing access.
QR codes are offered by Exposure Elements as a secondary solution mainly because they are "the rage" right now. Realtors want to show their clients that they are tech savvy and QR codes speak this language. The challenge with QR codes is 3 fold when compared to the much more practical text message access used by our mobile website services. First, QR codes only work on internet enabled phones. This eliminates a significant portion of the home hunting population that either hasn't upgraded to a "smartphone" or don't have the desire to but still want information about your property listing. Virtually every mobile phone sold today supports text messaging! Second, QR codes must be accessed at close proximity so adding a QR code to a sign rider is just not practical. No one will go up to the sign, get on their knees and focus the phone camera on the square barcode to get property information. They will just go on to the next property! Finally text messaging offers the incredible benefit of capturing the mobile requestors cell phone number for follow up. If the requestor isn't ultimately interested in this house they may be looking for a realtor to find them another house that does suit their needs. QR codes are a passive system meaning they just disseminate information.
In the end, there are some places that QR codes can be a benefit but usually only if you aren't using text messaging access offered with one of our mobile website services.
Social networking is frequently misunderstood and poorly utilized by Realtors. Most Realtors that have social networking sites have never been able to get traction with them because they don't have the time to manage them and feed their subscribers with useful content. Exposure Elements Exposure Engine provides Realtors with tools to easily add listing information to their social networking sites, often with just a click of a mouse.
Social Network buttons on Virtual Tour and Distribution Presentation
When the Exposure Elements Exposure Engine is purchased with a listing marketing package we enable a set of social networking buttons on the virtual tour so that the Realtor or any viewer can post the tour to their favorite social networking site with just a click of a button. For Realtors that have fairly steady listings this alone can make your social networking sites a success. All of your contacts that connect to your social networking sites can have access to all of your listing activity on a regular basis if they are following their own social network sites and all you have to do is click a button. As an added benefit, any of those viewers that see a home that they want to share with their network can do so by just clicking on the same buttons. This is the way viral network activity is started!
Exposure Elements Social Networks
Exposure Elements has many followers that just want to see what we are doing and see all the fine homes that we market for our Realtor clients. We take advantage of those social networking buttons just as any other viewer would only we touch many other Realtors and home hunters that you, your clients, your friends and your clients and friend's friends would never touch. Just another cool way we help our clients to market their properties.
We have touched on YouTube videos in every category of our marketing program because this is an excellent way to reach home hunters! We recommend that all of our Realtor clients create their own YouTube channel and add the videos to it. We coach you on the best practices for your channel and encourage you to build followers on it just as you would on your facebook and twitter pages. Having a YouTube channel also makes posting a YouTube video of your listing to your social networks a breeze as they automate that process for you. If you haven't got the message yet, YouTube videos are a powerful marketing tool!
Point of Interest Exposure
Point of interest exposure largely encompasses three items; mobile services that we covered earlier, flyers for open houses (although mobile services could likely work better here, flyers are engrained in the processes of Realtors), and e-mail flyers.
Realtors are really good at getting flyers for their open houses but they take time to make and usually get off loaded to someone else for design. Why not have the people that are doing all of your other marketing design your flyers as well? You will get the added benefit of cross marketing all of your different marketing services giving your interested home hunters several different views of the property listing.
Many Realtors don't have adequate email responses because they take time and are difficult to create. This is why Exposure Elements includes email flyers in their Exposure Engine service. We create an Outlook email flyer that includes pictures of the listed property, property details and even links to the virtual tour built right into the email! This gives your email enabled home hunters a great look at the property from different directions and includes your branding and contact information so they get a much better idea of how professional you are. When they get ready to buy or sell a property your professional email will be a contributing factor to a listing consideration.
Virtual Tour Hit Reporting
With all the different ways that we can help you market your client's property it all means less if there isn't a way to measure end results. Our optional Virtual Tour Hit Report is the way to do that. We will track hits to the tour, where those hits come from whether it is Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, email or any of the other top 10 hit sources for your property. This report can be sent to your clients on your behalf also. This is a great way to show activity on the listing and to let them know that your marketing program works!
Lead Generation and Capture
At the end of the day marketing is great but it only helps you for this listing if it doesn't have a forward focus that drives new home shoppers and sellers to you. Our creative marketing program splashes your branding everywhere and also gives you a powerful and unique program to share with your home selling prospects. Our mobile website services go as far as to capture the mobile phone number of those expressing interest in your listing through this service. These leads are often home hunters in the early stages of home shopping, well before they have contacted any Realtors. This can be a huge advantage according to National Association of Realtors who says that over 60% of the time sellers and buyers choose their realtor from within the first 3 Realtor contacts they make. All said, the Exposure Elements Real Estate Marketing Plan is a huge advantage for Realtors that clearly differentiates our clients in a way that makes them much more attractive than the "average" Realtor that just does the "usual" marketing. Visit the Exposure Elements website, email us or call us to learn more about how we can help you grow your real estate business.
Exposure Elements is a San Francisco Bay Area virtual tour company that offers unique and compelling marketing solutions to Realtors in the area that want more than just a virtual tour. Contact us at 408-440-2278 or email us to schedule your virtual tour.