Social Media for Real Estate Agents


how to win

For real estate agents, social media can be a powerful lead source and channel for staying top of mind after the sale. The downsides – for a lot of agents social media can have little ROI and feel like a big time waster. So, if you’re wanting to grow your following, here’s your to-do list for being successful on social media.  


Make a Plan

If you want to get serious about driving leads on social media, create a clear plan of action for your social media strategy. First outline what your goals are and the initiatives you’ll use to get there. Create a content calendar for what you’ll post and use scheduling tools to schedule the dates and times that your posts will go out. This can help with time management and ensure that you post regularly to keep your followers engaged. While both Facebook and Twitter have their own scheduling tools, you can also use scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer.  


Be Personal

Remember that social media is about being sociable. Use your bio to show your personality and highlight your expertise, infuse your posts with your style, and respond to questions & comments with a personal touch. Remember, your online and offline personality should be consistent.  


Integrate with Other Channels

To get the biggest return from your social media efforts, your social media strategies should integrate with your other marketing channels. First, keep consistent branding between channels. This includes your images, value prop and branding. Make sure to include links to your social media channels on your website, email signature, newsletters & print advertising to grow your following and have more touch points with clients.  


Help First, Sell Later

Social media is not the place for the hard sell. Instead, it’s the place for generating leads, engaging with potentials and keeping in touch with past clients. Keeping this in mind, don’t just post about your upcoming open house or the deal you just closed. Also offer advice for both your potentials and past clients – articles could include home selling tips, steps to secure a mortgage, checklists for first-time buyers, home maintenance advice, and decorating ideas for holidays. Make sure to always answers questions posted by your followers – this shows that you’re genuine.  


Use Great Visuals

A picture is worth a thousands words, and on social media this definitely rings true. On Twitter, posts with an image receive 35% more retweets. Facebook posts with images receive more than twice as many comments than those without. As a real estate agent, you should also consider using Instragram and Pinterest – these visual sites are great for showcasing your listings or showing the homes you’ve helped your clients purchase. Remember that each social media site has their own image guidelines – check out this great cheat sheet on images requirements.  


Expand Your Reach

When you feel comfortable with your social media strategy, make sure to experiment with promoted advertising on social media. Ads on Facebook have much lower CPM and CPCs than Google AdWords, so they’re a great option for online marketing on a budget. Targeting options on Facebook allow you to promote your posts based on geographic and demographic data. For example, if you largely work with first-time buyers you could use Facebook to target married couples, between 25-35 in specific zip codes.  


Measure Success

Evaluate your social media efforts and results to determine what works for you. Track post likes, comments and shares to see what your following is most interested in – then tailor your content accordingly. Make sure you’re also tracking your lead sources and conversion rates to determine your ROI – most CRMs should have this functionality and you can also setup conversion tracking in Google Analytics.


At the end of the day, remember that social media is long term strategy – so don’t be discouraged when it takes time to build your following. Be consistent with your efforts, refine your strategy and measure your growth.

Lead Generation for Real Estate Agents

real estate agentReal estate agents are constantly inundated with new marketing ideas to grow their client list. With so many options available – from print, to portals, to social media –  agents are left to question what the best strategy really is. Despite all of the new marketing and advertising channels, an agent’s sphere of influence is still the best source for high quality leads. So if you’re wanting to grow your client list but not sure where to start, here’s our list of 10 stats that prove why you should be marketing to your sphere of influence to drive repeat business and referrals 

  1. Recommendations from friends and family are the most trusted form of advertising.
  2. Clients are 4X more likely to close when referred by a family member or friend. 
  3. When choosing a real estate agent, the most important characteristics cited are honesty and trustworthiness. 
  4. 42% of home buyers found their real estate agent from a referral by a friend or family member. 12% had used the agent previously.  
  5. 86% of home sellers say they’d recommend their real estate agent or use their agent again. 
  6. 88% of home buyers say that they’d recommend their real estate agent and use their agent again.
  7. 21% of an agent’s business comes from repeat clients.
  8. For real estate agents working more than 16 years, repeat clients account for 40% of their business and referrals account for 21% of their business.
  9. In a study of real estate executives, 100% of those interviewed agreed that an agent’s sphere of influence has reasonable or exceptional value as a lead source.
  10. An agent’s sphere of influence has been found to be the most valued lead source.

  So if you’re considering a new real estate marketing initiative, focus first on your existing client base. Stay in touch, keep top of mind and ask for referrals!

The Truth About Millennial Home Buyers

Millennials have been slow to enter the housing market: home ownership among 18-34 year olds is the lowest it’s been since the US Census Bureau began measuring data in 1982. But with a more favorable lending environment, rising rental prices and desires for home ownership, millennials are set to be the largest home-buying group in 2015.

 young home owner

For real estate agents, mortgage brokers, home builders and others in the real estate industry, working with millennials will be key for success in the coming years. So, here’s our tips for wooing the 80 million millenials.


1.They Don’t Trust Traditional Advertising

If you want to attract millennials, forget billboards and mailouts. According to a new study released by Elite Daily, 33% of millennials choose blogs as their main media source. Less than 3% agree that television news, books and magazines influence their purchasing decisions, and only 1% say that a great advertisement makes them trust a brand. To appeal to millennials opt for blogs, social media, online review sites & a really great website over print, radio or out-of-home.


2. They’re Educated

When you begin to work with a milllennial buyer, expect them to be well-researched – they’ll very likely come to you with a list of properties they’re interested in. Since millennials don’t trust traditional media, they’ll spend significant time educating themselves to make good purchase decisions. They’re used to researching online, so don’t expect a millennial buyer to take the back seat. On average, a millennial that’s a first-time buyer will search online for 3 weeks prior to contacting an agent.


3. They’re Connected

87% of millennials use two or three tech devices on a daily basis. This means agents should be using multiple platforms and communication tools to connect with these buyers. Make sure your website is mobile & tablet friendly, and that your emails can be easily opened on mobile devices.


4. They Need Your Help

Since the vast majority of millennials are first-time buyers, they likely don’t have a mortgage broker, lawyer, home appraiser, contractor or moving company that they trust. As their agent, you can guide the buying process and make it stress free by connecting them with a great team. You’ll not only impress your client by providing awesome service, but you’ll also get to the closing table faster and strengthen your vendor network.


5. They’re Loyal

Because millennials like to research and shop around before making a decision, when they connect with a brand they’re very loyal. 89% of millennial home buyers say they would probably or definitely use their agent again or recommend their agent to others. This means that giving awesome service to millenials leads to a steady stream of referrals and repeat business.

Strengthening Your Professional Network

Any successful real estate agent knows that their job goes beyond processing a transaction – it’s guiding clients through the entire buying & selling cycle. A real estate agent must answer complicated legal questions, give advice on schools, ensure clients get pre-approved, arrange home appraisals, bring in contractors and even make move in day stress free. This long list of responsibilities impacts a client’s experience, and ultimately an agent’s success rate.


The truth is that buying or selling a home is a team effort. Real estate agents have an intricate web of business connections that they work with – like lawyers, mortgage brokers, appraisers and moving companies.  Ultimately, the value of these service providers impacts client satisfaction and gets agents to the closing table. The real estate agent is the connection between each service provider and the client – they’re the center of the relationship and the driving force that ensures buyers and sellers are successful.


For real estate agents, this means that strengthening your professional referral network is critical for becoming a top producer.


Now, imagine you’re a buyers agent. You’ve just met Jenny & Jon – a recently married couple looking to buy their first home.


First things first – they haven’t been pre-approved for a mortgage. You refer them to Ben – your trusted mortgage broker that specializes in working with first-time buyers. Before you can even start to help Jenny & Jon find a home, your referral to Ben ensures your clients can afford a home and that you’re looking in the right price range.


Ben gets back to you – they’ve been pre-approved. Great! The first house you show them is a modern 4 bedroom. It mainly fits their wish list, but Jon & Jenny don’t love the location. Next, you tour a house that’s in their desired area but needs significant work. To get a better idea of the reno costs, you recommend touring the house with your trusted contractor.  After he discusses the work that’s needed, Jenny & Jon decide it’s too much.


You then find a home that you think might be just right for Jenny & Jon – it has good commuter routes and only needs a few small repairs. Jenny & Jon love it. Time to make an offer! You refer Jenny & Jon to your home inspector and put them in touch with a real estate lawyer. The house passes the inspection and Jenny & Jon’s offer is accepted! With the stress of buying a home, they really appreciate you guiding them every step of the way. Turns out, they hire the contractor that you introduced them to to renovate the basement on their new home.



As the story of Jenny & Jon shows, a strong professional network enhances any client’s experience and supports your job as a real estate agent. It’s these relationships that get you to the closing table, ensure every aspect of the real estate transaction is taken care of and leads to more referrals. How do you manage referrals with your vendor network??


How to Drive Referrals & Repeat Business

Welcome to my pubDeveloping & nurturing leads are key skills for any real estate agent. But, the truth is that the majority of an agent’s leads come from their existing client base – 42% of home buyers find their agent based on a referral from a friend or family member and 12% used the agent previously.


Agents that can capitalize on their current client base reap the benefits. First, they’re able to scale marketing efforts quickly and can reduce time & money spent on advertising. They also have better conversion rates since referred clients are less likely to shop around for an agent. However, growing referrals and repeat business doesn’t happen automatically. So, if you’re wanting to spend less time cold calling, here’s our top tips for driving leads from your current client base.


1. Thank Clients Personally

After you finish working with a client, whether the deal was successful or not, thank them and let them know you appreciate their business. If the deal was successful, send a personalized letter and closing gift – like a gift certificate to a local restaurant near their new home.


2. Stay in Touch with Newsletters

Stay top of mind after deals have closed with regular communication. Remember, you shouldn’t be selling new homes to clients that have recently purchased. Instead offer home maintenance advice, news about local events & attractions, or details about the local real estate market – it’s reassuring for recent buyers to hear that their purchase was a sound financial decision.


3. Check In

If you want past clients to refer you to their friends and family, personally check-in with them after the deal has closed. Keep in touch around move-in day, anniversaries of their home purchase/sale and holidays. Sending a card for the anniversary of their closing shows you’re invested in each client and were attentive when you worked together.


4. Connect on Social Media

Your social media presence is great for staying in touch with past clients. To save time, schedule posts for the upcoming week during a slow morning – this way you won’t feel so overwhelmed with social.


5. Make Referrals Easy

As great of an agent as you are, referrals won’t just automatically roll in. Despite 83% of past clients stating that they’re willing to make a referral only 29% actually follow through. Remind past clients in your digital and print communications that you appreciate referrals. Then, make it simple for them to send a referral by adding referral forms to your website and Facebook page.


How do you win repeat business and referrals???

How to Write Awesome Email Newsletters


Do you stay in touch with past clients using newsletters & email marketing? Staying top of mind is so important for driving referrals, but keeping readers interested can be tall order when you’re competing with over 838 billion marketing emails that are sent each year. Here’s our top 5 tips for improving your email marketing.


1.Create to the Point Subject Lines

According to Convince and Convert, 35% of recipients open emails based on subject line alone. Make sure your subject lines are clear so readers know what it’s about.  Avoid subject lines in all caps or with words like “FREE”, “% OFF”, “SAVE $” or “FREE QUOTE”. These types of subject lines are triggers for email spam filters, meaning your newsletters end up in junk folders.


2. Segment Your Contact List

Writing relevant emails is key for increasing open rates & conversions. Segment your contact list and send separate newsletters to each group so your emails are relevant. For example, you could have different email campaigns for buyer leads, seller leads & past clients.


3. Keep it Fresh

Avoid turning email newsletters into promotional flyers…. Write content that’s relevant to your contact list to keep them interested. While some content can be sent to all of your readers – like information on community events – other topics aren’t relevant. For example, sending new listings to potential clients is a great idea, but past clients that have recently purchased a home won’t be so interested. Instead, send home maintenance tips.


4. Make Emails Mobile Friendly

Did you know that 66% of emails are opened on a mobile device??? Make sure your templates, images & videos are mobile friendly. If not, your readers will just hit delete.


5. Start Tracking

To improve email marketing campaigns, start tracking performance metrics – like delivery rates, opens & click throughs. Analytic tools provided in email marketing programs make it easy. See which emails have the best performance, then use these as your guide to increase engagement.


Leveraging Reviews to Grow Your Real Estate Business


Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews. For real estate agents, online reviews are big business: an agent’s trustworthiness, honesty and reputation are the most important factors when buyers and sellers choose an agent. As sites like Zillow, Trulia, Yelp and Redfin continue to grow in popularity, managing online reviews will only continue to be more important. So, if you want to start leveraging reviews and building your online reputation, he’s the skinny on how you can win the review game.


Increasing Reviews

Did you know that the number of online reviews you have influences where you rank in search results? And that 85% of consumers only feel satisfied that they can trust a business after reading at least 10 reviews? That means increasing your review volume is crucial for SEO and your credibility. To increase reviews, first make sure you’ve claimed your profiles on major review sites and completed your details. Include links to profiles on review sites in your email signature, website, newsletter and blog. Better yet, ask past clients to offer feedback on review sites. Whatever you do, DON’T be tempted to write fake reviews or buy reviews – review sites are cracking down and will flag your profile. For example, Yelp will post a Consumer Alert on your profile to notify potential clients that you’ve been caught posting fake reviews.consumer alert yelp


Leverage Positive Reviews

Positive online reviews are marketing gold – word of mouth is the most trusted form of advertising. First, thank online reviews for their feedback – it shows genuineness and that you care about clients after the sale response

To get even more traction from positive reviews, direct potential clients to view your profiles on review sites by having links on your website, social media profiles, newsletters, email signatures and print advertising. Better yet, share positive reviews on social media to increase exposure and let these positive reviewers know that you appreciate referrals!


Mitigate Negative Reviews

Any agent, no matter how exceptional, may end up with a few negative reviews. When you read a review, first take a step back and be objective. Is there an opportunity for improvement? How would you react if your broker had given you the same feedback? While negative reviews can be embarrassing, they often can offer valuable performance feedback.

mediocre review

Consider responding to the review with tact – either publicly or in a direct message. This functionality is available on most review sites if you’ve claimed your profiles. Responding publicly shows that you respect clients and address problems, but if you feel the client is especially angry or are dealing with private info then a private message is likely the better choice. When responding publicly, try to highlight the positive, apologize for any mistakes made and invite the client to bring the conversation out of the public eye if you need to address their concerns further. For example,

Hi Jane,

I’m glad that we were able to get your home sold quickly, but I’m sorry you felt out of the loop and found the transaction process stressful. I want all of my clients to feel 100% happy after working with me, and would appreciate if you could email me any details on the particulars of what made the transaction less than ideal – I appreciate the feedback.


After responding to a negative review and working to amend the situation, the client may take the review down or update it to show that you solved the issue.


At the end of the day, you don’t need to be afraid of online reviews. While they can make any business owner weary, 66% of Yelp reviews are 4 or 5 star ratings. And better yet, 13% of agents receive 21 or more leads from online reviews. Have you used online reviews to increase referrals?



How to Win at Niche Marketing

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about the benefits of niche marketing for real estate agents. Most top producing agents adopt a niche marketing strategy because it establishes them as an expert and reduces fatigue from being spread too thin. Plus, owning a niche is great for referrals. So whether you establish a niche by neighborhood, property type or client type, here’s our advice on how you can dominate your niche.


Get Social

Establish your presence as a niche expert by targeting your blogging and social media efforts. For example, if you work with first time buyers you can offer advice on pros & cons of renting vs. buying, steps to secure a mortgage, neighborhood profiles of popular areas for first time buyers and home maintenance tips. Providing great online content that’s relevant to your niche will establish your credibility and help potential clients connect.


Be a Resource

As a real estate agent, you’re a valuable source of knowledge about the local real estate market, home trends and buying & selling property. Giving market advice for your local paper, community newsletter or radio show is great for showing your expertise. Plus, local journalists are always searching for stories!


Network, Network, Network

An agent’s client list is directly proportional to the size of their network. Being involved in business associations, like your chamber of commerce or professional networking groups, is great for driving referrals from business contacts. You can also connect with potential clients and establish yourself as the niche expert by being involved in community associations and volunteer groups. For example, if you focus on homes in one neighborhood, get involved in the neighborhood’s community association.


What success have you had with niche marketing?


Building Your Referral Funnel

we love referralsSick of cold calls? Door knocking? Chasing unqualified internet leads? I’m always surprised to hear from sales professionals that they hate these prospecting methods but are still spending time on them. While there are so many strategies for building a client list, none are as effective referral selling.


Referral selling is when you leverage your client list and professional network to acquire new clients. It’s basing your sales funnel on relationships, instead of increasing advertising budgets. Referral selling has the ability to drastically improve your closing ratio – a referred client is 4X more likely to close – but it does require a few prerequisites. So if you’re ready to increase referrals, here’s our advice on adopting a referral selling mentality.


1.Be Referrable

If you want to increase referrals, the first step is providing an awesome client experience.


2. Make Referrals a Priority

Think of referrals as a constant business development strategy – not a one-time sales tactic. Developing networking and relationship skills should be center to your sales training.


3. Get Infrastructure in Place

Like any sales or marketing effort, you’ll need the infrastructure in  place to be successful. Have a simple, easy to use method for tracking referrals and keeping in contact with your referral network. Start tracking metrics – like new referrals, time to close, and average number of referrals received.


4. Reach Out

Start networking with clients and professional connections. Attend networking events, send newsletters to past & current clients, stay involved with your large accounts, and follow up with contacts that that have sent you referrals in the past.


5. Overcome Fear

So often sales professionals don’t ask for referrals because we’re afraid of rejection. Getting over this fear is fundamental to increasing referrals. Realize that most clients are comfortable making a referral – and if you’ve perfected #1, you have nothing to to worry about.

The Top 10 Things Your Real Estate Website Needs


websiteReal estate websites have become increasingly sophisticated as agents work to drive leads online. From listing data, online chat, videos and social media integration – the options can be endless. And with 90% of home buyers searching online, having a great website is a necessity for any agent. So, if you’re doing a website revamp or want to check in with how your site stacks up, here’s our list of the 10 website essentials for any real estate agent.


1.Have One

While this advice might seem obvious, 45% of small businesses in the US still don’t have a website. While your brokerage likely has a site, you shouldn’t rely on your broker’s website to increase leads. Every agent should also have their own site that they have full control of. Don’t lose out on the 90% of home buyers that are searching online.


2. Be Mobile

This year, mobile search will outpace desktop. Your site should be mobile optimized – ideally responsive – and have mobile features like click-to-call. Google and NAR have published that 89% of new home buyers use a mobile search engine for their research. Don’t give them a bad experience with a site that isn’t mobile friendly.


3. Optimize for Local Search

Local search is the when a search engine delivers results that are specific to a geographic region. This means that when you’re working to rank higher in search engines, you should focus on “Real Estate Agent Toronto” instead of “Real Estate Agent”.  Just how important is local search for real estate? 69% of home buyers that take action on a real estate website started with a local search term, like “Houston homes for sale”.

Local search 2


4. Display your Value

Your website is your opportunity to show potential clients how great of an agent you are. Have a clear value proposition displayed right on your homepage – ie Buying and Selling Luxury Properties in Houston since 2002 – and make sure to have a bio page that highlights your qualifications and experience. Testimonials from past clients are great for social proof!


5. Use Great Visuals

Does your website have “curb appeal”? Great images, design and videos are so important for keeping visitors from dropping off. Here’s one of our favorite examples.

the force realty

6. Make it Easy to Search Properties

The most important features of a real estate website? According to a recent survey of home buyers, photos and detailed information about properties for sale are the most important. Have easy-to-use property search functionality on your website with great listing descriptions.


7. Have a Blog

Blogging regularly is an effective and inexpensive digital marketing strategy. Blogs are great for showing yourself as an expert in the local real estate market, improving your local search ranking, providing info & tips for potential clients and converting visitors into clients. Whether you choose to have your blog on a  subdomain ( or as a subfolder (, blogging regularly is a definite must for any real estate website.


8. Integrate with Social Medialike box

Are you working to find leads and connect with clients on social media? Integrate your website with your social profiles by adding Activity Feeds that show recent Tweets & Facebook posts, a Like Box that let’s website visitors Like your Facebook page without leaving your site and Share buttons.



9. Be Referral Friendly

Add a Refer Us form to your website. Using separate forms for referrals from past clients and referrals from agents in other centers is a simple way deliver high quality leads from your website. With QuickLinkt, you can add Refer Us forms to your website and be automatically notified everytime you’re sent a referral.


10. Make Contact Info Easy to Find

At the end of the day, the goal of your website is to grow your client base and increase closings. To turn website visitors into revenue, have your contact info prominently displayed on each page of your site and have one-touch calling and email functionality on your mobile site.