Agent Advisor Blog


Read about the latest market trends, see unique listings, and get tips and advice for selling Australian real estate.

The complete package: Property marketing must-haves

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The complete package: Property marketing must-haves

Over the last decade, the real estate industry has shifted dramatically with most consumers now relying on online services to shop around.

As marketers, we must adapt to the ever-changing industry, pushing the boundaries of what agents can use to maximise the impact of their property listings on buyers. Combining various mediums to create a full and engaging picture for buyers is key to getting them to enquire and in the door at inspections.

In sales, the importance of first impressions cannot be understated and so it’s vital to work hard on perfecting the ultimate combination of products to get your listing to stand out in a crowded online marketplace.

At Urban Angles, we were fortunate to recently work with an agent on a Brighton residential sale that employed a clever marketing strategy. Taking advantage of traditional and new technologies, the campaign resulted in record breaking results for the suburb.

Using this sale as a case study, here’s our guide to using the right marketing tools to elevate the success of your campaign and foster record breaking sales results.

brighton prop.jpg

Choose the right photography package

It’s crucial to understand what suits your listing and how you wish to have the property portrayed online. Photography is the first thing buyers look at, which is why you want your listing photography to look its absolute best and showcase the right features.

From photographers, floorplanners through to stylists, you’re best off turning to an experienced team who understands your market to get your listing photography spot on. Rely on the pros to assist in choosing how to best promote your listing and to achieve highly professional and attractive results.

It’s not your job to know what would work and look best for your marketing campaign. A professional real estate marketing team will help you decide what would suit your specific listing and be able to advise you on what photography package options will work within your vendor’s budget too.

In the case of the Brighton residence, the vendors recognised that this property needed to be captured at both day and dusk to be shown off in the best lighting. They also had the property brilliantly styled to really give it a freshness and wow factor.

brighton.jpg

Use video to elevate your online presence

With video accounting for 74% of all internet traffic in 2017, this is anticipated to increase to 80% by 2019, and with people spending on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without, videos need to be part of every listing campaign.

Buyers are now expecting videos and as vendors are becoming more and more social online there is an ever-increasing demand for shareable video content.

Picking a great video team for the right property is hugely important. If executed poorly, a low-quality video can make a place look small, dark or uninteresting. Great property videos add to the marketing campaign by selling lifestyle perks or tapping into a buyer’s emotion.

Key elements of a great listing video:

  • Showcase what’s unique, interesting and/or appealing about the residence.
  • Evoke a feeling or lifestyle over and above the photography alone.
  • Feature high-quality footage captured on professional equipment.
  • Include engaging music selection that appeals to a broad demographic.
  • Agent details and a call to action.

The Brighton residence gained the exposure and attention it deserved using our Prestige Video package capturing the essence of the property over an entire afternoon (example below). 

Give buyers a real sense of your home with a 3D tour

There has been a lot of talk about Virtual Reality (VR) content in the real estate marketing industry of late, as the technology brings a fantastic new way to engage with the market.

Statista.com forecasts an unprecedented 900% increase (yes, 900%!) in the worldwide market for VR content by 2020 – that’s a market size of $143 billion US. That’s an astounding figure, and it clearly demonstrates where online content and marketing is headed.

We’ve recognised the promise of VR and have become a leader in virtual tour technology in real estate having built out own platform, Virtual Inspector 3D. Our VI3D opens doors to buyers locally as well as interstate and offshore allowing full access and an intimate understanding of a listing without having to physically see it.

We incorporated this technology into the Brighton residence campaign and we think the results speak for themselves. Increased view times, better engagement and access to remote buyers, what more could an agent want from their campaign!

Brighton residence 3D tour

Brighton residence 3D tour

VR tech, like the Virtual Inspector 3D, is the ultimate marketing tool. It not only showcases a virtual property tour but your existing marketing material, including photo gallery, video, floorplan, property details, location and an enquiry tool.

With the VR capabilities of Virtual Inspector 3D potential buyers can view a home tour in a VR headset, and it’s compatible with any Google Cardboard Viewer or Samsung Gear VR viewer.

We hope these tips on selecting the right marketing tools for your listings help to elevate the success of your future campaigns and leads to the achievement of impressive sales results.

For more tricks to nail your marketing campaign take a look at these home staging tips and what to avoid in listing descriptions.

Company bio:

Urban Angles are property marketing specialists providing residential and commercial photography, floorplans, video, web programming, 3D visualisation & design.

Our creative edge, advanced digital technology and superior image quality attracts buyers and gets sales results. Urban Angles are commissioned by Australia’s leading property groups, agents and builders.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Booragoon real estate for sale and properties to rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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The best tech for property managers

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The best tech for property managers

In the past, we’ve covered productivity boosting tools and great apps for real estate agents, so we thought it’d be worthwhile to shortlist the must-have technology making the lives of property managers (PMs) easier.

The following five tools are essential for savvy and efficient PMs when it comes to workplace safety, booking inspections, streamlining reporting and training.

PM apps.jpg

Safety 

InspectSafe

If safety is a concern for you and your team when you're out at inspections flying solo this cloud based app has several innovative safety features that’ll give you peace of mind. If there is an emergency or threatening situation you can send instant ‘distress alerts’ to key personnel for help. The app also transmits your current location and silently takes video and audio until assistance arrives.

But wait, there’s more! InspectSafe also allows PMs to dictate inspection notes using voice recognition, to automatically plan inspections, take, store and review property inspection photos, facilitate maintenance requests and make professional condition reports. It's the complete package.

Cost: Software starts at $50/month.

StaySafe

This app is a great way to help PMs working on their own feel safe and secure at property viewings and alike. Starting a session on the app when performing an inspection for instance, triggers a timed session and location tracking that is viewable in the company’s StaySafe Hub. The PM can easily trigger a discreet panic or duress alert at any time. The app will notify your emergency contacts of your location by email and SMS if you don’t check-in after the inspection.

Cost: $10.99 from the App Store. 

Image: StaySafe

Image: StaySafe

Scheduling inspections

InspectRealEstate (IRE)

IRE’s Register Online Rentals booking system is a fantastic tool for PMs to save time arranging, communicating with tenants and rescheduling property viewings. IRE has automated the whole process where tenants can book inspections online 24/7. Once an inspection is booked tenants can automatically receive a confirmation message, your office’s rental application form and an inspection reminder closer to the day. If the inspection is cancelled or rescheduled all registered tenants automatically get notified by SMS.

Encouraging tenants to pre-register for inspections is a great way to expand your database where you can keep in touch and notify them in bulk about similar properties. You can also utilise your database to impress prospective landlords with the number of tenants you have on file looking to rent a property just like theirs.

Also, check out IRE’s KeyTracker system if you have keys frequently going missing for the properties you manage. KeyTracker will alert you whenever a key is taken and returned and who by. It also automatically alerts the key borrower by SMS when the key is overdue.

Reporting

Rentfind Inspector

If you’re not a fan of the time and effort it takes to manually create lengthy inspection and condition reports, then this is the app for you! Rentfind is equipped with different formats specific to Australian states and territories allowing you to create professional looking reports with the touch of a button. Best of all the app saves you lots of time by auto-filling the data from previous inspections as a starting point, leaving you to simply update the comments and images sections. It also has voice to text dictation saving you from having to type in all your comments.

Cost: App is free to download (with a 30-day free trial). Packages start from $55/month.

Image: Rentfind

Image: Rentfind

Training & upskilling

Real+

If you feel like you or your team need to brush up on any property management skills and best practices, check out the excellent live webinars and courses via the e-learning platform Real+. Their Property Management Fast Track course covers everything you need to become an expert property manager including state specific legislation testing, interactive learning modules, and assessments. Their 40 minute PM webinars run weekly on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm (AEDST), which are great to attend and join the Q&A with the rest of your PM team.

Cost: $99 per webinar (for non-members), $450 for Property Management Fast Track course.

Image: Real+

Image: Real+

Are there any other property management technologies or apps that you couldn't function at work without? Please share them in the comments section below.

Happy leasing!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Booragoon real estate for sale and properties to rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Tips for your best spring selling season yet

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Tips for your best spring selling season yet

Historically spring is the busiest time for selling real estate in Australia. With auction clearance rates reaching record highs and eager house hunters emerging from their winter hibernations to attend sunny weekend inspections, you can’t afford to not put your best foot forward.

Here are the things you can do to prepare for the peak selling season and ensure this spring is your best yet.

Work your database

The tail end of winter is when you need to check in with all the long-term prospects in your database. For vendors thinking about putting their home on the market in spring remind them that now is the best time to get any maintenance or repairs completed to maximise the value of their property. If your follow ups are left to the last minute in September, vendors won’t have enough time to make any renovations or fixes to take advantage of this spring selling season. Also have a list of advantages of selling in spring ready to email potential clients after your follow up calls.

It’s a good idea to have the contact details for local trustworthy trades (i.e. painters, landscapers, carpet cleaners and handymen) at the ready to pass on to potential sellers to help them prepare their home in time for a spring campaign. They’ll appreciate your local knowledge and remember you when they need an appraisal.

Joint prospecting

With the rise in popularity of rentvesting, you may be surprised by how many clients have been sitting right under your nose in your property management (PM) database. Join forces with the PM department to see if any landlords are thinking of selling or buying another investment property. If they’re looking for another property and you sell them one of your listings, then they come back to your PM team to manage their new property, it’s a win-win-win for all parties.

Also have the property managers alert you to any renters that are considering becoming a rentvestor or if any are looking to buy their first home after not renewing their lease (with the new stamp duty concessions in certain states this will become more prevalent). Return the favour by referring any vendors looking for short-term rental accommodation after selling their home to your PM team.

Ramp up your advertising efforts

In the lead-up to spring you need to be across a variety of different advertising platforms to raise your profile. Advertise your current listings in local newspapers and online, letterbox drop and door knock around your service suburbs, and you may even want to explore local outdoor advertising options.

Upgrade your agent profile and current listings to have prominent positioning across the real estate portals you use. That way when potential clients search for an agent or look at what’s currently listed in their area, your face, name and company logo will keep coming up. Remind vendors that in spring the competition for comparable properties is extra fierce so they need to spend that little bit extra on marketing so their home stands out on the crowded listing results page.

Preparation is key

You can’t afford to get complacent or burnt out during your busiest and most profitable time of year. If you do, this will have a flow-on effect to the amount of referral and repeat business you get over the next few months. Set goals for returning calls and emails, and for the amount of appointments and new properties you want to list. Reaching your goals, fulfilling promises and exceeding client expectations will snowball into referrals and return business. There are only so many hours in a day, so you need to be wise with how you use them.

So, before the busiest time of year hits, plan out how you’re going to spend every hour of your working day and what actions you’ll take now so you can field a greater volume of enquiries and client requests later. You need to get into a stellar weekly routine to ensure you use your time as efficiently as possible so you and your business are all set to thrive this spring.

For more ways to succeed next season check out our guide to preparing vendors for a spring sale.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Booragoon real estate for sale and properties to rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How to meaningfully grow your client database

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How to meaningfully grow your client database

Everyone knows how important using a database is to be successful in real estate these days. Utilising a database effectively is key to productively managing relationships and continually adding new clients to your prospecting pipeline.

It’s all well and good to add every new lead you come across into your database, but unless you go that step further and make detailed and relevant entries it’s likely to be a waste of time.

But what if you’re just starting out and you’re struggling to foster a quality client database? Or perhaps your database isn’t as easy use day to day as you’d like?

There are many ways to expand your database, but here are some of the best ways to ensure you’re growing your database in the most meaningful and useful way possible.

Clean up your data

Sometimes you need to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter before you can utilise a tool effectively. Before you can use your database properly and even think about expanding it you need to clean up your data to avoid confusion and improve productivity.

Start by exporting all your contacts into an excel spreadsheet. Then sort them by different fields (name, address and so on). You’ll quickly spot and be able to delete any duplicate and incomplete contacts (those missing email addresses, phone numbers and follow up notes etc.). This is a great start to making your database more manageable and meaningful.

Also, don’t be afraid to remove old contacts that never went anywhere and are no longer relevant to your business processes. It’s only natural that these will accumulate over time so it's good to get into the habit of a clean out every few months or so.

Quality over quantity

It can be tempting to add every person you meet at your opens into your CRM, but you’ll get so much more out of your database, not to mention it will be much more manageable, if you just focus on adding the hot buyers, owners and potential sellers you meet at inspections. Try these five questions to quickly qualify leads to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

This way you can focus and tailor your marketing efforts to each different cohort that are most likely to convert into a client in the short term. For example, update potential sellers with sales results in their area to keep them up to date with what their property is worth and motivate them to seriously consider selling.

Stay in touch with hot buyers (those that are requesting contracts, have pre-approval, are bidding at auctions and making offers) by sending them your newest relevant listings or special personalised invites to VIP inspection previews.

Utilise personal & professional networks

This may seem counter-intuitive to the point above, but adding people from your professional and personal networks to your database can be greatly beneficial for your business. Add Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts and even relatives to your monthly newsletter mail list and/or recently sold market updates.

They may not stand out to you as the hottest of leads, but fostering long-term relationships with these groups will position you as a ‘real estate expert’ in their minds. Your personal connection also sets you up for referral business and to receive any real estate related questions they may have over their lifetime, setting you apart from their local agents.

Get creative

Think about out of the ordinary channels you can use to supplement your database with quality leads that many agents are neglecting and avoiding. Go old school and pound the pavement for an afternoon of local door knocking and letter box dropping.

Introduce yourself to sellers on popular ‘for sale by owner’ websites and marketplaces. Let them know if they change their mind or don’t achieve the result they wanted, you’re ready to offer your expertise and assistance. You never know where you might strike gold!

By undertaking these four ways to maintain and grow your database, you'll soon notice a change in the quality of leads in your pipeline and the ease with which you nurture client relationships.

For more ways to up your database game check out the best CRMs for agents and the features of a good database.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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What are Homely client Street Reviews?

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What are Homely client Street Reviews?

If you’ve listed a new property on homely.com.au lately you’ll have received an email about our latest product feature, client Street Reviews.

Client Street Reviews are an Australian property portal first, an exclusive tool for agents that list on Homely.

Here’s a bit of information on how this new feature will be beneficial to your clients and your business.

Union Street, Prahran

Union Street, Prahran

Why request Street Reviews from clients?

  • A Street Review is a unique way to market a property whereby your client explains the specific advantages of living in their home and location.
  • Every month, hundreds of thousands of homebuyers and renters read and contribute to Homely's street and suburb reviews to help them find their perfect home. Your vendor can connect with this unique audience to help them sell their property.
  • Street Reviews paint a clearer picture of what it is like to live in the suburbs you service most, in turn driving new business to you by encouraging others to move there.
For your client to complete

For your client to complete

For every new property listing you have on Homely we’ll email you a reminder to send to your client to complete a Street Review for their home.

It only takes a few seconds to fill in your client’s name and email address to send them a request to complete a review for their street.

Of course you can fill out a street or suburb review for where you live or work anytime on our Suburb Reviews section.

 

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Fairfield real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Extravagant inspections: 4 creative marketing ideas

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Extravagant inspections: 4 creative marketing ideas

All over the country agents are upping the ante by hosting open for inspection events to promote and sell luxury listings.

From a Cirque du Soleil themed soiree in Forde, a Gatsby themed pool party in Griffith and a designer converted church with harpist, heavenly nibbles and free flowing champagne in Paddington (pictured below), agents are going all out to make their inspections more extravagant to appeal to big ticket buyers.

Images: Black Diamondz Property Concierge, 265 Oxford Street, Paddington, QLD

Images: Black Diamondz Property Concierge, 265 Oxford Street, Paddington, QLD

Out of the box marketing ideas such as these can be a great way to promote not only luxury homes, but all types of properties to engage with and capture the interest of a whole new audience of clients.

While showy events may not be every agent’s cup of tea and are not always within the marketing budget, here are four ideas guaranteed to draw a crowd and get people talking about your open house and business.

Grand final BBQ open

Let’s face it Aussies are suckers for sport and a free snag. So why not try scheduling an open during the AFL or NRL grand finals or other big sporting events. You’ll be surprised by how many people will drop by at half time for a squiz and a chat about the game (and real estate!). Bill the open as a grand final party and invite attendees to don their footy club clobber and colours. If anything, the footy gear will provide a good talking point to break the ice.

Fire up the barbie to delight potential buyers with a complimentary sausage and to exhibit just how good the large patio area is for home entertaining. The smell alone will beckon passers-by and neighbours inside for a look. This idea also works especially well if your listing has a man cave or cinema room with incredible surround sound that you want to showcase to buyers, by broadcasting all the thrills and spills of the big game.

Carnival themed garden party

This is a great idea for a family geared property with a big back yard and during school holidays, when mums and dads are stuck for entertainment ideas. Think free face painting, show bags, snow cones, fairy floss and even a kid-friendly Ferris wheel if space allows.

Create buzz around your carnival open house with a promoted Facebook event and letterbox drop, this way you’ll get to network with other locals on the day who may be thinking of selling too. Even if they don’t come along, they’ll be impressed by the creative lengths you go to for the sake of marketing your clients’ homes.

Don’t forget to share photos of the event on your website and professional social media pages so future clients can also get a glimpse of your innovative approach to hosting inspections.

Invite-only cocktail evening

Send out party invitations to hot leads that have registered their interest in the home and qualified clients from your database for an exclusive viewing. Twilight cocktail parties are ideal if your listing has pretty city or harbour views or exterior lighting that looks its best at night time. It’s also useful for attracting buyers that can’t typically make daytime inspections.

Roll out the red carpet and go the whole nine fancy yards with a string quartet, canapes, waiters and champagne on arrival. Make your VIP clients feel like celebs with red carpet photography, a photo booth and promote a special Instagram hashtag for the event on the night.

By hosting elaborate and exclusive VIP viewings you’ll become known as the go-to agent in your suburb for selling luxury property. You’ve got to spend money to make money, right!

Play up the style

Draw attention to what makes your listing unique by using the interior decor or architectural style of the home as a cue for your open house event theming. For example, if the home has a Spanish flavour why not host a lunchtime viewing with a delicious tapas self-serve platter on offer. For an Art Deco property you could go for a Great Gatsby roaring 20s poolside theme, as did Canberra agent Holly Komorowski in the marketing of the Griffith property below.

Image: @hkrea, 44 Frome Street, Griffith, ACT

Image: @hkrea, 44 Frome Street, Griffith, ACT

For a French Provincial beauty serve up macaroons, brie and crackers, croissants and coffee while playing French music over the sound system to create a magnifique atmosphere for a weekend brunchtime viewing. Go that fun and extravagant Francophile step further by hiring a crepe chef, mime and caricaturist.

If you’re worried about your listing getting lost amongst the competition try hosting an open house event for a change. Think about what specific features make the property unique and develop an inspection theme and time from there.

See also: Six essentials to sell a multi-million dollar property and easy ways to draw more traffic to your inspections.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Fairfield real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Key considerations when rebuilding a real estate website

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Key considerations when rebuilding a real estate website

Thinking of rebuilding your real estate agency website? Read our checklist and browse our top three real estate website designers.

Think of your real estate agency website as your online shop front. Get the formula right and you'll not only drive traffic to your site but you'll rank high across multiple search terms in search engines. When I talk about traffic I mean vendors and landlords who either want to sell or rent their property.

However, if you choose to build your website with a developer who has little or no experience with real estate sites you’ll probably be in for a fair amount of frustration. Not to mention the ongoing hassle and additional costs to correct errors.

Consider the following when looking to design an effective real estate website for your business.

Real estate agent website developers Australia

Checklist for rebuilding a real estate website:

  • Can I edit my visual content and meta tags? Can I post blogs? You want to have backend access to your website.
  • Does my CMS (content management system) talk to my website and all my subscription portals such as homely.com.au.
  • Keep your existing Google Analytics tracking code.
  • Ensure your contact address details mirror your Google Plus local contact details exactly.
  • Is the website ‘responsive’? Meaning what is the browser user experience like when viewed on a mobile device?
  • Is my website slow to open? (See below for page speed insights.)
  • Make sure your website has a SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate attached.
  • Before you choose a website developer get a list of the sites they have built and check their references. Call the real estate agencies they’ve worked with to see what their experience was like.
  • Are your ‘call to actions’ (CTA) such as – ‘Get property appraisal’, ‘How much is my home worth?', ‘Find an agent’ etc.— clearly visible?

Be in control

One of the most important things to check before hiring a developer is that you have control over your website content. Make sure you can implement edits to visual content and backend content. There is nothing more frustrating for an agent that wants to edit their own site only to find they’re locked out as set out in the terms and conditions. Sure, the developer will make changes – at about $120 an hour. Having control of your content enables you to make changes, create blogs and optimise your website.

A website built on the WordPress platform is a good place to start. About 28% of the web uses WordPress. You can create landing pages and add simple forms for users to submit. You can create additional pages and simply add these to your menu. Insert social media plugins etc.

Website page speed

Pagespeed is how fast your website uploads onto browsers on desktop or mobile devices. It is a major factor for search engine algorithms and how they rank your website. Naturally a website that uploads fast will gain more points than a slow site.

When you’re deciding on a website developer ask for a list of their current clients. Then, go to PageSpeed Insights and input the web address for a report on how fast their site is performing on desktop and mobile. There are multiple causes that can slow a website down. The main issue is generally the banner images. If the site has a specified size for the images then the images you upload should mirror these dimensions. If not, search engines crunch the image to size and this slows down a website.

Image: keycdn.com

Image: keycdn.com

SSL certificate

Purchasing a SSL certificate will make your URL begin with https://. This is a sign to search engines your site is secure. Any website that captures browser details needs a SSL certificate or search engines will post a warning that the site is not secure.

Cloud based hosting

Ask your hosting provider if their websites are on the ‘cloud’. The cloud is a network of servers that store data such as files, images, videos etc. The cloud serves web pages faster and more efficiently. This gives the browser a heightened user experience and better search engine rankings.

Clear CTAs

Remember your website is your online front door. When a potential future client enters your site what questions could they ask and do you provide easiliy accessible answers? Typical questions could be – ‘I need a rental’, ‘I want to purchase a home’, ‘I need a property manager’, ‘How much is my home worth?’.  Is your site providing this information and if so, how easy is it for the potential client to enquire?

Feedback

Finally, when deciding on your new design, poll at least 10 independent people from your business to gauge their response and to get their feedback on your site. Ask them what the pros and cons are, and how the site could be improved.

3 of the best real estate website developers in Australia:

1. Agentpoint.

Agentpoint have a library of off the shelf website templates and they also offer custom designed websites. Best of all you get the keys to your website. Depending on your level of website expertise you can easily edit content. You can also optimise all your pages and add blogs. I rate the support team response highly. All their websites are built with the WordPress platform and come with a SSL certificate.

2. Stepps.

Stepps are an interesting organisation. They build beautiful real estate websites on WordPress at a price. They partner with Google Cloud and Amazon web services. They focus on content marketing and browser experience. I would enter them as my number one pick but they seem to be gearing toward marketing rather than design. However, it will be interesting to see how they evolve over the next 12 months. It will not surprise me to see them as the dominant real estate web developer in the future.

3. Siteloft.

Siteloft has several template websites to choose from built on the WordPress platform. These are clean looking websites. They have recently partnered with Rex CRM Software. The website build takes about 4 weeks. They have a library of client websites that you can view.

We hope these tips have helped inform what you want to get out of your real estate website redesign and put you on track to selecting the right developer for the job.

Are there any other important considerations you made when building your website? Let us know in the comments below.

Author bio:
Peter Farrell is the Director of SEO For Real Estate. The former Head SEO for Century 21, Peter has 12 years online real estate experience.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Fairfield real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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3 ways to conquer call reluctance

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3 ways to conquer call reluctance

Do you ever find yourself putting off or avoiding certain tasks at work altogether (such as making phone calls) because of anxiety, fear of rejection, procrastination or simply because you don’t enjoy doing it?

We’ve all been there at one time or other, but the reality is making calls is essential for agents to stay connected to clients and foster a strong pipeline for future business.

While most agents identify the importance of making anniversary calls, prospecting calls to their database and cold calling new leads, most avoid calls like the plague for fear of conflict or being perceived as an intrusive or pushy salesperson.

Here are three ways to conquer a fear of the phone and move past call reluctance.

1. Get them out of the way early.

The best way to overcome call reluctance is to get into the habit of making your calls first thing in the morning when your intention and motivation are at their highest and you’re less likely to get side-tracked or interrupted.

Dedicate 30 to 45 minutes each morning to calling warm leads from your database, prospecting for new business, responding to new enquiries, asking for referrals and checking in with current and past clients. Start with easier calls first to build up your confidence and gain momentum. Make your morning calls the priority and once you’re done you’ll be free to get on with the rest of your day.

If you’re one to battle with procrastination look to comedic superstar Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity strategy to help you stay motivated, build momentum and to consistently fill your morning call quota.

Back in the day while software developer Brad Isaac was performing stand-up he asked Seinfeld if he had any tips for a young comic. Jerry explained the importance of writing every day and that the best way to stay on track was to hang a large wall calendar in the workspace. For each day he completed a writing task (or in an agent’s case making 30 minutes of calls) he’d put a big satisfying red ‘X’ over that day on the calendar.

The idea is after a few successful days, you’ll form a chain of ‘Xs’ where your goal is to keep that going and not break the chain for as long as possible. Go on, take up the challenge and see how many phone call days you can get in a row. You could even start a ‘don’t break the chain’ contest with your colleagues.

2. Prepare scripts.

If you’re anxious about becoming tongue-tied and not knowing what to say during a call create some prompts or scripts to keep in front of you. Rehearse and write down responses to the different scenarios you’ll likely come across (interested buyers, disinterested buyers, potential sellers etc.). By arming yourself with useful and considered responses you’ll feel more at ease and capable of making successful and productive calls no matter the situation.

However, it’s important to be authentic and allow the conversation to follow a natural progression. Avoid telemarketing territory and don’t read your prepared scripts word-for-word to potential clients. The prepared lines are simply there to give you peace of mind, make you feel more confident and to only act as prompts if you get particularly stuck.

3. Set daily goals.

The last thing to do to put yourself on the path to sales call success is to set small specific and realistic daily goals. This may be to make between five and 10 meaningful contacts in the next hour or to book three appraisal appointments this week. Little targets such as these will push you to keep going and help you feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when they’re complete.

If you dread making calls aim to change your way of thinking about them. Before you make a call focus on the positives (opportunity for new business) rather than the negative (fear of rudeness or rejection) and how you’re hoping to assist the person on the other end of the phone line. If you view every call as an opportunity to find buyers or get a listing you’re in a much better mindset than a lot of other agents. Always think about the best possible outcomes rather than the worst-case scenario.

Remember avoiding something you fear will only increase fear of the thing itself. So, take a deep breath, pick up the phone and make this the first day in your longest call chain yet.

For more tips on prospecting take a look at these six steps to effective outbound calls and five rules for following up leads.

Happy calling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for St Kilda real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Real estate board dos & don’ts

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Real estate board dos & don’ts

Real estate boards not only serve the practical purpose of letting everyone know a particular property is for lease or for sale and generating interest, they also act as a billboard for your brand and business.

If people in a certain neighbourhood see your face and beautifully presented property boards dotted around streets all over town, who do you think they’re going to call when they need an appraisal?

Image: Liquid Communications

Image: Liquid Communications

Think of your yard signs as a branding awareness tool connecting you to people that aren’t actively looking to buy or sell right now and wouldn’t be exposed to your listings or branding otherwise.

To get the all-important appearance of your real estate boards right, here are our dos and don’ts to design stellar real estate signage.

DO go pro

To have your property boards working their hardest for you, you need to put your best foot forward by hiring professionals to get the best look possible. Take full advantage of the professional listing photos you had taken by including a select two or three on the board that show off the finest features of the residence.

If you haven’t already, for the best results engage a professional sign writer to help you with the design, size, fonts, formatting and production of the property boards themselves.  

DO up the ante

Wow passers-by, and impress your vendors and potential vendors by investing in the latest and greatest real estate sign technology. HD digital signboards are great to use for listings in high foot traffic areas where passers-by often stop to take in the entire listing video as they’re keen topeek inside without the time commitment of attending an inspection.

Unlike a static sign, you can make changes to your digital sign remotely, which would be very handy to change inspection or auction times for instance. Take your sign to the next techy eye-catching level by including drone bird's-eye view footage of the residence and suburb. Who doesn’t love trying to spot their own house from above?

Other interactive content to put on your digital board could include:

  • Floorplans
  • Image slideshow gallery
  • Listing tour video clips
  • gifs
  • Infographics
  • A countdown to auction day
Image: Campaigntrack

Image: Campaigntrack

DO include contact details

For your property board to work most effectively, you must have a call to action where interested parties can easily get in touch with you for more information. Passers-by often take photos of real estate boards of properties they’re interested in so make sure your name, company logo, phone number, website and email address are in prominent position so they can get in touch at a later time.

It’s also a nice touch to include your headshot so potential clients can put a face to a name for the star real estate agent in their area.

DON’T say too much

Remember essential for any decent property board is an eye-catching headline and a clear succinct message. Craft a simple headline that sums up your listing in a sentence that will appeal to your target buyer or renter. For example ‘Only a 5 minute walk to South Yarra station’ or ‘Brand new family home in Glen Waverley Secondary College catchment’.

Keep the property description short and sweet including the most useful and impressive info about the home to entice people to come to your opens. Dot points work well for property boards so people can have a quick skim read of what's on offer. Also avoid industry jargon and buzzwords where possible.

DON’T forget to proofread!

Before sending off the final version of your copy to the sign writers carefully run your eyes over the text a few times to check for any spelling or grammatical errors, if only to avoid the embarrassing viral fate of Anna Wang and Lucy Ren (pictured below).

Image: The Daily Mail

Image: The Daily Mail

For improved proofreading print off the draft copy, set it aside for 15 minutes or so to get some distance from the text, then read it aloud and slowly to yourself to ensure each sentence makes sense. If in the past you’ve made spelling errors try reading it backwards checking each word one at a time.

It’s always smart to have a second set of eyes proofread your sign as they may pick up on something you might have missed, so check with a colleague or friend to avoid a costly mistake. You could even hire a copy writer or proof reader that specialises in real estate prose to ensure your listing descriptions are always spot on and professional.

While we do acknowledge that a lot more hard work goes into leasing or selling a property than just the property sign out front, but when it comes down to representing the marketing efforts for your business it can’t hurt to have the most professional and eye-catching board on the block.

For more tips on real estate boards take a look at our guide to good open house signage.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

 

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for St Kilda real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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5 ways to protect your business from hackers

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5 ways to protect your business from hackers

Recent global ransomware attacks and the hacking of a Perth real estate agency, show just how damaging online hackers can be for businesses and are a timely reminder of the importance of effective cyber security.

The Perth hacking incident resulted in online scammers flooding the market with fake rental ads for properties below market value, where they would scam unwitting renters for personal and financial details via the listing email address.

While it is not possible to 100 per cent protect yourself from hackers, you can take practical steps to reduce your chances of being targeted.

Here are five ways to minimise the risk of your company being vulnerable to hackers and to better protect your data.

Keep up to date

Regularly updating or setting up automatic updates for operating systems (OS) and apps on all your home and office computers and mobile devices is one of the best lines of defence against cyber-attacks. Malicious software and hackers typically exploit vulnerabilities in outdated OS and programs, so be vigilant in checking for updates so you have the latest and greatest software defence in place. 

Password safeguards

Extra precautions with your passwords to improve cyber safety include:

1. Regularly changing your passwords.

2. Not using the same password more than once or across multiple accounts. Use a password manager such as LastPass and 1Password to keep tabs on all your different passwords.

3. Creating strong and unique passwords that cannot be easily guessed. Include numbers, symbols, and lower and upper case letters to create a strong password.

4. Never send login details via email or save them to a document.

5. Protect your wifi network with an encrypted password.

6. Always have a passcode enabled on your phone and tablet. The longer it is the better.

Up authentication

Enable two-step authentication to your email, social media and any other online accounts that support it. This adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a username, password as well as an additional piece of information (like a SMS security code or one from a code generating app) that only you can access before you can login, making an attack even more difficult for a hacker.

Get protection

Install and keep anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware software up to date. Take your cyber security to the next level by installing a web application firewall, which blocks hacking attempts and filters out spammers and malicious bots from entering your server. 

Back up often

Last but not least, in case something does slip through the net, give yourself and your business peace of mind by backing up all your data frequently on a server or external hard drive. 

At the end of the day protecting yourself from hackers comes down to a bit of common sense. If you receive a suspicious email or email attachment and are unsure where it has come from just don’t open it. It’s not worth the risk.

Happy selling!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Doreen real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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4 rules to generate more referral business

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4 rules to generate more referral business

With the popularity of websites such as Zomato, TripAdvisor and Product Review there’s no doubt that consumers these days are taking a lot of stock in other people’s opinions and recommendations.

Quick stats:

So, one of the best walking and talking advocates and advertisements you can have for your business are all of your satisfied clients and everyone they tell about you. Here are four rules to follow to drum up referral business.

Rule #1: Give them reason to refer you.

If a client is going to refer you to their family, friends and associates you will need to give them full confidence in their endorsement of you.

Build this confidence by working hard to disprove vendors’ common held top three pet peeves with agents. Deliver exceptional customer service through sharing data and knowledge transparently, keep clients in the loop throughout the entire buying/selling process and follow through efficiently on all promises.

If something does go wrong apologise, respond quickly and work hard to resolve the issue keeping the client informed every step of the way. This will go a long way to proving your dedication to customer satisfaction and increase their willingness to recommend you to others.

Rule #2: Ask and remind at the right time.

When it comes to building up a strong referral business you need to be proactive and persistent with requesting referrals.

The best moment to ask for referrals is any time you deliver excellent service or you exceed a client’s expectations, as they’ll be more receptive and open to helping you.

For example, ask for referrals from sellers just before the home sale goes through while you’re still actively engaged with them and they’ll be at their most enthusiastic and positive about the experience.

Delight clients by sending a simple housewarming gift after they move in to their new home with a card thanking them for their business and requesting referral business if they know anyone in need of your services.

You also need to regularly follow up with past clients as they may not have known anyone when you worked with them in need of an agent, but it’s more than likely they will a few months or years down the track.

Rule #3: Make it super easy.

Make sending you a referral for present and future clients as simple and easy as possible, otherwise even your most satisfied clients won't be bothered.

Start by creating a template on your website for clients to fill out and submit their testimonials to you with the capability to share it out on their social networks.

Leave a couple of business cards and fridge magnets with your clients for them to pass on to others who may need your service in the future.

Have a downloadable ‘What do I do?’ PDF on your website outlining your specialties and the reasons why people should work with you that people can easily pass along.

Link to your Premier Agent showcase in your email signature so that current clients can see examples of other reviews to get ideas for how they can also go about describing their positive experiences with you to others.

Rule #4: Show appreciation to referrers.

Showing appreciation for customer reviews and referrals is key to getting your referral business to snowball.

A savvy roundabout way to get clients into a referral mindset for yourself is if you know they run a business of their own to send a referral their way. They will surely appreciate the gesture and be likely to reciprocate.

A simple thank you card or phone call is good to aim for per referral to acknowledge and reward the referrer. If you have one specifically loyal client that sends you several referrals over the years you may want to show your gratitude with a small gift.

For more advice on how to ask for referrals look at these example scripts as a guide for what to say and when to say it.

Happy selling!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Doreen real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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4 tips to get more leads from your website

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4 tips to get more leads from your website

The appearance, content and features of your website will have a direct impact on the amount of leads you get out of it.

You should think of your website as a digital office that’s always open and working for you 24/7 to represent your success and grow your business.

Here are our top tips towards turning your website into one of your best lead generation tools.

Frequent updates

A lot of agents make the mistake of viewing their website as a marketing tool you can just set and forget. But one of the best ways to draw more traffic and new clients to your website is by frequently updating it with new and relevant content for your target audience.

One of the simplest ways of doing this is by starting up a blog. Whether this involves reviewing your favourite local brunch spots or doing an in-depth analysis of local house prices, constantly putting up fresh content about your service areas will go a long way to ensuring your website pops up nearer the top of search engine results.

A well written and considered blog is also a great opportunity to illustrate your areas of expertise, passion and knowledge of your local market. Think about what kinds of information your target buyers might benefit from i.e. community events, your top 5 streets for families or upcoming planned development for the area. Cater to sellers by publishing a monthly or bi-monthly recently sold report or a step-by-step guide to preparing your home for sale.

Make your listings the star

Typically, buyers and sellers visiting your website are in search of listings. So, you should make it especially easy for them to gain access to them, get the info they need and leave an enquiry for when they’re ready to move forward.

Feature listings front and centre on your homepage in a rotating gallery with the address, hero image, price guide and general home specs prominent. Better yet, have different galleries for brand new listings, recently sold and the latest upcoming open for inspections and auctions, so users can find what they need at a glance.

Image: Ray White City Precinct Brisbane Homepage

Image: Ray White City Precinct Brisbane Homepage

You should also have an easy to use search feature for clients looking for a specific listing. Once they do go through to your listing page be sure to include well-written and detailed listing descriptions, high quality images and video tours to showcase the professionalism you provide sellers when advertising their home. Don’t forget the all-important enquiry or request appraisal form or button so motivated seller and buyer leads can easily get in touch.

Keep them coming back

In marketing, it is often a case of persistence pays off. Explore options to remarket your business, such as Adwerx, to target people who have previously visited your site by advertising yourself or your listings on other popular websites they subsequently use. Remarketing is a great way to reinforce your brand and become known by locals and people thinking about moving to or selling in your neighbourhood as the go-to agent.

Also offer special insights to people that register to create an account on your website. Give them incentives to sign up such as opting in to receive your newsletter, to get customised property alerts and local market reports exclusively for VIPs. From their alerts, search habits and saved listings you’ll have loads of valuable information to use to convert these people into clients. They’ll be especially impressed when you follow up with personalised and relevant communications based on their search criteria and pages viewed on your site.

Image: LJ Hooker Tully

Image: LJ Hooker Tully

Sell yourself

Today’s consumers put a lot of faith in online reviews and ratings before trying any new product or service, and selecting a real estate agent to work with is no exception. So, it’s very important to provide potential clients with evidence of your special skills and exactly what you can do for them in the form of client testimonials and reviews on your website.

Use the client testimonial section of your site to show potential clients exactly why you’re the best fit for their real estate needs. Seller testimonials are particularly important to show future clients why and how your client-focused service is different from the next agent.

To up the lead generating potential of your website you need to embrace new technology and have user centred design and needs in mind. A great example would be Homely Ads, a disruptive new advertising platform for Australian real estate agents.

For more ways to improve your business take a look at these 20 ways to get more leads and grow your business, your 3 step lead conversion strategy and 10 ways to generate more leads in autumn.

Happy selling!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Doreen real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How to delight clients & keep them coming back

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How to delight clients & keep them coming back

We all know that return business and referrals are the lifeblood of the most successful real estate agents and businesses.

It’s always good to remind ourselves that during your career buyers will eventually become sellers and sellers will become buyers in a continuous loop. So why not take every opportunity you can to impress and leave a lasting impression on all your clients to encourage return business.

Be responsive

It’s so important not to leave any potential clients hanging. While I was house hunting, I lost count of the number of times I would fill in an online enquiry form for a property and hear nothing back from the agent or they’d get back to me with a brief email a week later. This really isn’t a good look for their time management and customer service skills, especially when time is of the essence and buyers are trying to plan their weekend inspections and auction itinerary.

Set yourself a timeframe for which you aim to get back to all new leads and online enquiries by. This may be within 30 minutes, an hour or maybe even 12 hours of receiving the lead, you probably have a realistic idea of what will be achievable for you and your workload.

It’s a good idea to set up auto replies to your emails, so even if you’re really busy the new client will receive confirmation that their message has been received and you’ll get back to them shortly.

Taking the time to make a phone call for enquiries is the best way to introduce yourself to potential clients and start building up rapport and trust. Another advantage of the phone call follow up is you’ll be able to qualify them so much more easily from their tone of voice and willingness to have a chat compared to email and text message conversations.

Be helpful

One great way to leave a strong impression on clients is to assist them in every way you possibly can from the beginning right through to the end of your business transaction.

Show off your local market knowledge and willingness to be helpful early on at open for inspections by putting together and sharing a property report with clients. Include suburb demographics, an amenities map, comparable recent sales and median prices, basically anything that will help a buyer feel better informed and more confident to buy the property.

Assist vendors with presenting their home at its best by introducing them to a home staging, Feng Shui or decluttering professionals. They'll be impressed by not only your industry connections, but how you have their best interests in mind to achieve the best outcome possible.

Help both vendors and buyers with their moving arrangements by endorsing a reputable local moving company that you have worked with in the past. You could even negotiate a special rate for your clients with a local mover in exchange for referring them a lot of business.

For buyers planning on renovating their new purchase or sellers wanting to renovate before selling, you should have a contact list of local tradies to assist them with organising the reno.

Be appreciative

One of the most valuable ways to delight clients is to show your gratitude for their business in the form of a thoughtful gift. This doesn’t have to be anything spectacular or too expensive for your business. The more customised the gift the better, but a card and a bottle of bubbly is always nice if you’re unsure what to get.

Perhaps the clients mentioned they will be renovating their new home, so a Bunnings voucher would be greatly appreciated. Maybe they talked about their love of gardening so a nice plant or tree seedling would be a nice present for their new garden. Better yet, go above and beyond the call of duty and show up on moving day with a pizza and the gift in hand.

A week after I moved into my new place it was so nice to find a beautiful housewarming party starter pack hamper with a personalised thank you card on my front doorstep from Chisholm & Gamon congratulating us on our purchase. It contained locally sourced yummy nibbles, a timber cheese platter and a bottle of champagne. So classy! It’s unexpected surprises like this that people will remember and tell others about when they're in need of a real estate agent.

Don’t forget to nurture existing emotional connections with your client base to incite long term return business. Fun ways to follow up and keep in touch with old clients is to send them birthday or Christmas cards, Easter eggs or an anniversary gift of the purchase/sale date.

Having consistent and responsive communication, going out of your way to be extra helpful and surprising clients with a closing gift will put you on the right path to teeing up return business for years to come.

Happy selling!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sandgate real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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What makes a good real estate CRM?

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What makes a good real estate CRM?

Real estate CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a must-have for any agency that wants to compete in the modern world. The benefits go far beyond quick and easy access to your client data. Now, CRMs have become so brainy they can automate plenty of the administrative grunt work, foster better follow-up, track KPIs, manage financials and commissions, boost your prospecting reach - the list goes on. Think of them as less of a database, and more of a personal assistant.

But as fantastic as CRMs are, it can be hard to decide on the right one for your agency. There are now around half a billion fractionally different models out there, with another two or three million being launched every week. Personally, I struggle to decide which variety of toothpaste I want, let alone pluck the right CRM to run my entire business out of this almost infinite hat. So how do you make the right decision?

There are a few factors you can look for to separate the wheat from the chaff. While most CRMs usually have similar standard sets of identical functionality, not all will help take your real estate agency to the next level. Here are three things you need to take into consideration before you decide on which CRM is going to help boost your business now and in the future.

Mobility

A lot of agents think of CRMs as stuffy old relics from the Windows 95 era. Software that does nothing but anchor them to their desk. Fair enough. A lot of CRMs are exactly that and that lack of mobility can really get in the way of your agency’s productivity.

In fact, we surveyed 400 agents about their working habits outside of the office, and some of the results were pretty surprising. Turns out agents spend, on average, 60 per cent of their time out of the office. Yet only 27 per cent are really happy with how efficient they are when working remotely. ‘Why’, you ask? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that when we asked agents what information tools they take into the field, the most popular response was a ‘notepad and pen’.

If you're paying the big bucks for a great CRM to power your agency, you’re going to want to make sure that it’s accessible to agents for their full working day. The most valuable data is going to come from the interactions they have when they’re out and about - not sitting at their desks. Make sure the CRM you choose is cloud based, and has a mobile application.  

Integrations

Integrations allow software tools to ‘talk’ with one another. This is hugely beneficial. Let’s say you use something like Open House ID to register OFI attendances, for example. You don’t want to have to manually re-enter all those names and phone numbers into your database at the end of the day, do you?

Image: Open House ID

Image: Open House ID

Instead, choose a CRM that can integrate with other software tools. That way, it’ll be able to automate the tedious data entry for you.

Information from all the software tools you use every day - payroll tools, contract auto-fillers, CoreLogic, etc - can be shared back and forth with your database to seriously lighten the administration load you need to carry. Forms and contracts can be automatically filled out with the right information. Historical property data can be pulled into your CRM directly from PriceFinder or CoreLogic. The possibilities are endless.

Computers are supposed to make our lives easier, after all and what’s the point of a database if you can’t use the data in it easily? Make sure the CRM you choose can integrate with the other tools you already use.

Great user experience

While it might not be the first thing on your mind, the look and feel of the CRM you decide to go with is just as important as what it can do.

‘User experience’ is a new school of design spearheaded by the likes of Facebook and Google. Basically, it refers to the challenge of making sure the software’s interface is as easy and intuitive for the user as possible. After all, if people don't enjoy using your software - or find it difficult to understand - they’re quite frankly not going to bother at all. That’s a problem no amount of office memos is going to fix.

A great user experience is doubly important in a service industry like real estate. If you want to foster the best relationships with all your clients, you need to store a lot of data. If agents aren’t bothering to track their interactions with clients and leads because their database is confusing or ugly, invaluable insights are lost for good - and with them, potential business.

When you’re choosing your real estate CRM, you’re looking for a cross between Google and Helen of Troy. Make sure it’s something you’ll want to use everyday - not another chore.

For more tips and tools to boost your productivity take a look at the best CRMs for agents, what's new in real estate tech and seven handy apps for agents

Author bio:

Jackson Hills works for Rex; a real estate software company based in Brisbane. He writes about real estate technology, and how new tools can help agents stay relevant in a changing world. You can read more of his work on their blog.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Corinda real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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The best CRMs for real estate agents

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The best CRMs for real estate agents

Every agent knows a good customer relationship management system (CRM) is an invaluable and powerful tool for managing and growing their business.

By allowing agents to streamline the running of their client database, the best CRMs save agents time by taking the headache out of listing uploads and client communication, and hopefully in the process improve client satisfaction and sales productivity.

Using a CRM is essential to implementing your marketing strategy, systematically staying on top off potential clients you meet and most importantly prospecting.

As a foundation of day-to-day management and long term business development it is crucial to select the best CRM for you. When comparing CRMs for real estate there are four critical pillars to look at, including:

  1. Interface
  2. Features
  3. Training and support
  4. Security

If you feel as though your current CRM isn’t cutting it or you’re wanting to upgrade to a new system, here’s our comparison of five functional CRMs for real estate agents to help inform your choice.

LockedOn

Interface-

  • Cloud and web based software
  • Mobile capabilities (iPad app)
  • Easy to navigate dashboard
Image: garydavidhall.com

Image: garydavidhall.com

Features-

  • One click listing submission (to real estate portals, social media and agency website)
  • Vendor reporting & vendor portal
  • Pre-loaded follow up action plans
  • Appointment and task management
  • Lead tracking
  • SMS and email marketing
  • Sales and marketing templates customised for agents
  • Interactive listing presentations
  • Record open house attendee details

Training and support-

  • Online training webinars or paid on-site training available
  • Phone and email support
  • Support team to import and export data
  • Offer a 30-day free trial

Security-

  • Secure military-grade servers based in Sydney
  • Take care of backups
  • Automatic updates

Agentbox

Interface-

  • Web based
  • Mobile capabilities
  • Designed by real estate agents for real estate agents

Features-

  • Portal listing uploads
  • Prospecting tools
  • Appointment and task management
  • Automatic property alerts for buyers
  • Transaction management (vendor marketing contributions, sales deposits etc.)
  • Vendor reporting
  • SMS and email marketing
  • Brochure, SMS, email and window card templates
  • Google mapping
  • Capture leads directly from property portals
  • Property stocklists

Training and support-

  • Email and phone support
  • Online training materials
  • On-site training available

Security-

  • ‘to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online’

ListOnce

Interface-

  • Web based
  • Intuitive, fast and easy to use 'Contacts Database'
Image: ListOnce

Image: ListOnce

Features-

  • Single listing data entry unlimited portal multi-loading
  • Contacts database
  • Automated contacts communication
  • Email marketing
  • SEO analysis- Monthly SEO summary report including Google analytics and keyword analysis
  • Brochure, email and ad templates
  • Individual property websites
  • Individual agent websites

Training and support-

  • Email and Australian-based phone support
  • 2-hour SEO review available with issue identification and recommendations
  • Free online demo available

Security-

  • Described as ‘bullet-proof speed, reliability and security at competitive rates’
  • For large accounts option for Virtual Private Server and dedicated server solutions

Rex

Interface-

  • Web based
  • Easy to navigate interface, inspired by Google and Facebook
Image: Rex

Image: Rex

Features-

  • Portal listing uploads
  • Listing management
  • Prospecting tools
  • Financial and transaction management
  • Contact management and follow-up reminders
  • Sales management
  • Automatic SMS updates
  • Email marketing and reports
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Newsletter and print marketing templates

Training and support-

  • 160 how-to online videos
  • Library of help articles
  • Regular webinars
  • Full time in-house support team- average response time of 20 minutes
  • Free 30-minute demo on offer

Security-

  • Monthly updates
  • Backup provided

Eagle Agent by Eagle Software

Interface-

  • Simple, clean sidebar navigation, smart filters and intuitive design
  • PC, mobile and tablet compatible
Image: Eagle Software

Image: Eagle Software

Features-

  • Portal listing uploads
  • Automated buyer matching
  • Create and manage property listings
  • Document upload
  • Email marketing and SMS campaigns
  • Enquiry tracking
  • Property list templates

Training and support-

  • Free hour long demo
  • Local email and phone support

If you're considering making a CRM switch don't forget to make sure you can migrate data from your current database into your new one, so that you don't lose years of hard work and long term prospects.

This is by no means a definitive list, undoubtedly there are plenty of other great CRMs out there that offer different advantages to suit the specific needs of different agents and agencies.

Do you have a CRM to recommend that we missed? How satisfied are you with the capabilities of your current CRM? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Happy selling!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

 

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What successful agents do every open house

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What successful agents do every open house

A lot of agents may not realise it, but open houses are one of the most (if not the most) important avenues for expanding their CRM database of potential clients and generating buyer and seller leads.

Here are four key things savvy agents are doing every weekend to get the most out of their open for inspections.

Arrive early

Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time before the start of the inspection to set up. Start by unlocking all the doors, switching all the lights on, opening windows, curtains and blinds, putting out brochures, a blank copy of the contract and your business cards. Then for the finishing touches light some scented candles, put out complimentary mints or lollies, ensure the toilet seat is down, put out directional signage and flags, and a last check that the house is looking its best.

The best agents take pride in presenting their listings and creating the greatest first impression possible to achieve pleasing results for vendors and landlords. We’re not suggesting you do anything too crazy, don’t feel the need to scrub the shower, hose down the deck or wash windows (plus your vendors or tenants should have already done this), but a spray and wipe of a fresh citrusy cleaner on the kitchen bench is a nice touch before people start coming through.

Remember, the way you present and set up your opens is a great way to showcase your brand, professionalism and hardworking attitude to potential clients, who may be on the lookout for an agent to sell their own home in the same expert manner. So, it’s hugely important to go that extra mile and take the time to prepare properly on inspection day.

Register details

As people enter the open make sure you have a quick system to take down as much info as you can for ease of qualifying and jogging your memory when you revisit the list later. Note down a name, contact number, email address and the type of buyer they are for a good start. Whether this is on a clipboard and piece of paper or an iPad app that adds the leads directly to your database, use the method you're most confident and comfortable with.

This way, if someone is not looking to buy or rent this very minute, at the very least you’ll get an email address for your database to keep in touch with and you won’t have wasted your Saturday morning. Who knows maybe two, six or even twelve months down the track they’ll come back to you when they’re ready to buy, sell or rent.

If you’ve had a lot of enquiry before the open, you may want to organise to run the inspection with a colleague to divide and conquer. Have one of you taking down potential client’s details upon arrival, while the other chats with people on their way out to better gauge interest and start to qualify the new leads.

Quickly qualify leads

The most successful agents utilise every minute of their 15 minute open to qualify and build rapport with potential clients. As people head for the door take a few minutes to engage in conversation and qualify their readiness to make a purchase. Discuss what they’re looking for, where they're looking, what they thought of the property and how long they’ve been looking to get an indication of next steps and how you can best assist them.

Good ways to quickly qualify a lead is to ask if they want a copy of the contract sent to them, if they want to be notified when similar properties come onto the market and if they have pre-approval organised.

Take notes during or straight after the inspection while your conversations are still fresh in your mind. This way you can record whether they require urgent follow up or not, and most importantly to ensure you follow through on what you promised at the inspection.

Just a few hours after their inspections, the best agents will have a list of qualified (hot, warm or cold) prospective clients and the actions they need to take in the coming days to best serve and convert these new leads.

Follow up & follow up again

The most successful agents surprise and impress their prospective clients after their first meeting. One way they do this is by utilising their customer relationship management (CRM) database to streamline and automate their initial follow ups.

For every new qualified seller or buyer you meet at your open add them into your CRM database. Set up an automated text message or email to go out hours after the inspection thanking them for attending. Include your contact details so if they have any questions or require more info about the property they can easily contact you.

In your welcome email, you could even consider including a comparable sales and suburb profile report for the property. This way buyers will be impressed by your willingness to share your local knowledge, they’ll have a realistic idea of the sales price, they’ll feel better informed about the suburb and more confident making an offer.

Next comes the all important follow up phone call the following Monday. This is when you’ll get a good read on their level of motivation and timeframe to do something. Check in to see if they saw any other properties over the weekend, were they considering making an offer on any, was there any more information about the property or suburb they needed and whether they plan on bidding at the upcoming auction.

Lastly, add notes from your phone conversation into your CRM and if necessary create a follow up reminder of the next tasks you need to do to best service that client.

For more tips to put you on the path to open house success take a look at our guide to good open house signage and five simple ways to draw more traffic to your opens.

Happy selling!

From the homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sans Souci real estate for sale and properties to rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Home staging tips for speedy, top-price outcomes

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Home staging tips for speedy, top-price outcomes

Assisting clients to dress their homes for success is a crucial role for agents and property managers alike to ensure the best possible results from their marketing campaigns.

Staging is all about maximising the value of a home. It’s about presenting the property in the best possible light using furnishings and accessories to appeal to as many prospective renters or buyers as possible.

While there isn’t a lot of data on the benefits of home staging in Australian real estate, a survey by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals showed that on average staged homes sell for 17 per cent more than non-staged homes.

Not only do staged homes sell for more, they also sell more quickly. A 2016 report by the Real Estate Staging Association in the US reported pre-listed staged homes spent 90 per cent less time on the market than their non-staged counterparts. So staging is a win-win for agents and their clients, in terms of the payoff and time investment required.

Home staging plays a vital part in attracting clients to inspections, showing them the purposes of different spaces of the property and ultimately getting more competitive offers. Here are our home staging tips to achieve speedy and top-price outcomes.

Embrace greenery

With Greenery named Pantone’s colour of year for 2017, expect to see home staging embracing green in all shapes and forms this year. Introduce fresh rejuvenating hues of green into your client’s home using vases of Granny Smith apples, throws, artwork, rugs, cushions and kitchen utensils. Even suggest clients treat the front door to a refreshing coat of paint in a dark forest green to welcome clients to the home with a bold eyecatching statement.

Take a more literal interpretation of the greenery theme by introducing lush houseplants, foliage and green walls to bring colour and life to dull or neutral spaces around the home. For vacant properties consider using fake plants in your staging to eliminate maintenance issues, so they’re always looking happy and vibrant for inspections.

Less is more

Some clients, especially ones that have lived in their home for many years, will have understandably accumulated a lot of furniture and clutter over the years. Your best advice for clients like these is that they cut down and put non-vital furniture pieces and décor into storage to make spaces feel larger and more open, to allow the house to truly shine in listing photos and inspections.

If sellers are reluctant to remove some items explain that furnishing the home with the right amount of furniture will help buyers more easily connect with and fall in love with the property. Explain that without being distracted by excess furniture and personal decor potential buyers or renters will be better able to understand how they would use each room and start to picture themselves living there, a key first step towards them making an offer or submitting an application.

Styling options

If you’re uncertain whether to play up an industrial, contemporary or country feel in your listing presentation, the results of Brosa designer furniture’s nation-wide survey on Australia’s favourite furniture styles can help shed some light and guide your styling choices.

The survey revealed that what determines effective and appealing home staging will tend to differ from state to state. Results showed that modern and contemporary interior styles were the first preference of respondents in six (VIC, NSW, QLD, NT, ACT and SA) out of the eight states surveyed. Where country decor was the favoured style in WA and TAS.

It’s also important to think about the geographic location of the property when it comes to effective styling. Brosa's survey suggests that city dwellers love industrial styles but people in rural areas prefer country and cottage decor.

When staging any home think about who your most likely buyer is and how you can best appeal to them. For example, if you’re aiming to appeal to a younger demographic of renters or first home buyers, the survey suggests younger people prefer Scandi and industrial furnishings. Whereas, if your target audience is an older demographic (65 years plus) cottage style is the preferred interior look.

Bring in a pro

If you feel a bit out of your depth when it comes to home staging and you’d prefer less hassle when it comes to preparing your client’s home for inspections and listing photography, why not hire a pro to take over the job for you. That way you can focus on running a killer marketing campaign, prospecting and getting the best result for your client.

A professional home stager can take care of hiring furniture and accessories for both vacant and occupied properties, provide consultation for decluttering and improved traffic flow, and stage homes to maximise space, highlight its best features, add personality and enhance the overall ambiance. They typically will be able to view the home, consult, quote and stage it within a week or so depending on the scale of the job.

We hope these tips guide your approach to the staging of your next listing. For more ways to maximise the presentation of your listings take a look at this agent's guide to Fen Shui, 7 staging techniques to prep for an inspection, reasons to include people and pets in listing photos and how to stage an entryway.

Happy selling!

From the homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Parkdale real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How to get welcome emails right

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How to get welcome emails right

Your welcome emails play a key role in setting the tone for future interaction and communication with past, present and future clients in your database. They’re one of the first important steps towards long term success in email marketing and enduring client loyalty.

Studies show the average open rate for welcome emails is 50 per cent, making them 86 per cent more effective than the average newsletter or promotional email.

So, whether you’re subscribing a client to receive weekly listing updates, your quarterly market update or your monthly e-newsletter, you’ll be more likely to keep them engaged and stop them from hitting unsubscribe if you have an effective onboarding procedure.

Here are four important steps to getting your welcome emails right.

Step 1. Timeliness.

When it comes to the timing of your welcome email it is a case of ‘time is of the essence’. Studies show the most effective welcome emails are ones sent promptly on the same day the person subscribed.

The reason welcome emails work so well is because they arrive when the subscriber’s interest in your service is peaked and front of mind, where if you wait a few days their interest is likely to diminish resulting in lower open rates and less eagerness to engage with the content you’re sending.

So, you should have an immediate automated welcome message set up confirming their subscription to your blog updates or whenever you add a client to your new listings or just sold email list.

Step 2. A ‘read me’ subject line.

Welcome emails work best when they have an engaging and succinct subject line. It’s also wise to use ‘welcome’ up front so the intro email doesn’t get lost in a crowded inbox.

Using personalised subject lines in your welcome emails is an easy way to increase the likelihood of your subscribers opening and interacting with your content.

Studies have shown using a recipient’s first name in the subject line increases the chance of the email being opened by 14.68 per cent. Catch their eye by working their name, and/or a specific location or type of property they’ve shown interest in into the subject line and watch those open rates rise.

For example:

‘Welcome Tim. Here are 6 new pet-friendly rentals in Carnegie.’

‘Welcome Christina! Could this be the perfect 3-bedroom family-friendly house in Caulfield?’

Step 3. Set expectations.

From the get go let new subscribers know exactly what they’re in for in terms of the content and frequency of the emails they’ve signed up for. It can be especially frustrating for clients to get inundated with emails every second day when they weren’t informed they would be.

For instance, when I was searching to buy a home as a first home buyer after attending a weekend inspection I received six emails over the course of the next seven days. Worse yet, they weren’t relevant to me as a buyer. I received emails asking ‘What’s your nest egg worth?’ and offering me free appraisals. As a renter, this had me seeking the unsubscribe button quick smart.

A proven way to increase readership and reduce unsubscribes is to let subscribers know how frequently you’ll be touching base and what valuable and relevant content you’ll be providing them in due course.

For example:

‘Hi Alex, thank you for subscribing to our blog. We look forward to sending you weekly property news and helpful tips. Here are some popular blog articles that may be of interest to you…’

It’s a good idea to add in a request for your subscribers to start following you on social media in your welcome email. This way if they unsubscribe from your email list down the track you’ll still have another channel of communication and a presence in their life.

Step 4. Value add.

Welcome emails are a good opportunity to talk about the benefits and insights clients will get from being on your mail list, and provide links to free renter, buyer and seller resources (like your blog and sold data). This shows your subscribers they’ve made a good decision by signing up and makes them feel like they’re a part of a special club.

Let buyers and renters know they’ll get first look at new listings in your weekly updates. It’s also worthwhile to add a call to action like ‘Find a new place to call home’ to drive customers back to all your website listings.

Always ensure your reply email address is linked up properly so your VIPs can easily get in touch. It’s not a good look to send out a welcome email from a no reply email address, as it sends a subtle message to people that you don’t want to hear back from them. Don’t forget to add in your contact number and personal email address in the signature to make getting in contact as easy as possible.

Don’t get too bogged down in formulating the perfect welcome email. At the end of the day the most important thing is new subscribers feel welcomed and valued to lay the foundation for a long term mutually beneficial professional relationship.

For more email marketing advice check out our guide to writing winning subject lines and four ways to stay in touch with past clients.

Happy selling!

From the homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Parkdale real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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4 great goal setting apps for agents

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4 great goal setting apps for agents

Do you ever find that you enter a fresh year at work full of hope, motivation and excitement, only to realise you didn’t achieve what you set out to the previous year?

If this sounds all too familiar we’ve found some of the best goal setting and tracking apps to enlist the support of when setting your professional goals and resolutions for 2017.

Smartphone apps are often the best way to set and track career related goals because you have access to them on the go and you can constantly review and adjust them as required.

These handy apps will help make sure your goals have the best chance of being managed, followed through on and accomplished come 2018.

Google Calendar

The good thing about this tool is that you’re probably already familiar with how to use it from using Gmail's calendar and the smartphone app. Google Calendar’s new goals feature is a great way to manage both professional and personal resolutions.

It allows you to set different types of goals you may want to accomplish including exercise, new skills, friends and family time, me time and organisation. Best of all, you can plan and dedicate time every week, day or month to achieve your short and long term goals. When you set a goal, you select how often you need to work on it, for how long and when, and get smart notifications (before and after your session) to help you prepare and track your progress.

GoalsonTrack

If you struggle to achieve your broader goals because of procrastination or you often don't know where to start, GoalsOnTrack could be the right app for you. This robust app helps you break down larger goals into smaller easily-achievable sub-goals using SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goal-setting criteria.

To keep your goals on course and organised you can add in different categories, create action plans, schedule deadlines, make notes in the built-in goal journal and even add motivational images. You can track your progress in real time which is great for staying motivated whenever you complete a sub-goal on the road towards your long-term goals.

irunurun

If you're looking for something a bit out of the ordinary and fun, this app 'gamifies' building new habits, goal setting and the achievement process. It's more geared towards the day-to-day and weekly tasks you need to do to work towards larger goals.

You start by adding an action or habit you need to track and assigning it a point value out of 100. Once you've entered all the actions you want to track for the next week the game begins. You have zero points at the start of the week and then work through your actions to gain points every day. If you complete each action at the scheduled time you would get a perfect score of 100 points at the end of the week.

If you want a bit of friendly competition, encouragement or accountability, you can invite family, friends or colleagues to any action you create. There are three versions of the app- personal, team and enterprise- so why not get your whole office on board!

stickK

If you really have a lot of trouble sticking to your goals, why not introduce an extra financial incentive to push yourself across the line this year? Enter stickK. The app was developed by Yale University behavioural economists and is based on motivating people to achieve a goal or it will cost them real money. Stickk says 'you're up to 3X more likely to achieve a goal if you put money on the line'.

The app uses a 'commitment contract' to bind you to your goal. You choose your goal, when you need to achieve it by, how much money is on the line and where you want the money to go should you fail (e.g. to a friend, charity or family member). For accountability, you can choose a referee to monitor your progress or you can go it alone. So bet on yourself this year and use stickK to up your motivation and accomplish your most critical goals.

We hope these apps allow you to become more productive, fulfil your goals and grow your business this year and beyond. For advice on setting attainable goals check out our tips for setting SMART professional goals.

Happy selling!

From the homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Tarneit real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our new iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Marketing ideas to get ahead this holiday season

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Marketing ideas to get ahead this holiday season

When December rolls around and the property market begins to wind down a lot of agents see it as the perfect opportunity to take time off and go an extended holiday. For this reason, December and January are great times of year for planning and prospecting to get ahead of your competition while they’re sunning themselves on a beach somewhere.

Here are nine marketing ideas to make the most of real estate’s off season and get a leg up on your competition in 2017.

1. This time of year everyone loves getting into the giving spirit and who doesn’t love a freebie? Try hosting a contest across your social media channels encouraging people to share their Christmas home decorations to enter the draw to win a Christmas hamper or something similar. This is a fun way to get to know, reward and grow your fans and followers.

2. Prepare and print a handout and/or blog posts on why summer is a great time to buy/sell a home. Share this with your email subscribers, social media fans and followers and local households. Focus on advantages like lower stock, less competition, faster transactions and sellers/buyers that are generally more motivated than other times of year.

3. Write up case studies of your best sales of 2016 to add to your website, share on social media and send to your email database. If you get into the habit of doing this every December eventually you’ll have an amazing library of all your years of hard work and dedication to getting the best results for vendors for past, present and prospective clients to see.

4. Become a Premier Agent. In a slower-market you need to explore every marketing avenue you can to capture as many leads as possible. Premier Agent gives you 10X more exposure among motivated buyers and sellers in your market. It gives you priority positioning in Agent Finder and showcases agent controlled reviews, your neighbourhood knowledge and performance stats.

5. The good thing about the summer holidays is that many of your current and past clients will have taken time off and have the time to chat over the phone or fill out customer testimonial forms. Better yet, touch base with current and past clients and drop off festive treats, like mini Christmas puddings, cookies or candy canes for the kids. See how they’re going and whether they know of anyone interested in buying or selling in the area.

6. Put together an infographic or market wrap-up for 2016 to be used in a direct mail campaign in your service suburbs. Provide information that someone considering selling in the next year or so would want to know about their local property market. Include data on house price growth, record sales from the past year and your own personal analysis and forecasts for the year ahead.

7. Send out fridge magnet calendars with your contact details as well as postcards to locals, and past and present clients with a holiday greeting. For your extra special clients send a hand-written Christmas card to make them feel appreciated and thank them for their business.

8. Get active on homely.com.au’s Questions pages. Over the festive season and summer our Questions pages run hot with people looking for school holiday activities, the best beaches in their city and New Years events, just to name a few. If you know of a great Christmas lights display in your neighbourhood or a rooftop bar worth checking out be sure to market yourself as the local expert by answering locals’ questions or starting your own topics. Not only does it get your name out there, it’s also a valuable tool and way to gain insight into what the important issues are in your community right now.

9. Get in the festive spirit. Upload Christmassy videos/photos to your professional Facebook and Instagram accounts of shots or your local community. Think Christmas decorations down the main street, local Xmas light displays or even a pic with Santa at the local shopping centre. Festive snaps and fun videos are always a winner on social media and an easy way to engage with clients, colleagues and people from your service suburbs.

If you work hard at marketing your services over the festive season to maintain your pipeline of new clients, you’ll be all set for a prosperous and successful 2017.

Having said that don’t forget to take a break. Even the very best agents need time away from work to unwind and recharge. So, unplug the tech, turn off the smartphone, put away the laptop and do something just for you over the summer. You’ve earned it!

Happy selling!

From the homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Brookwater real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

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