Real Estate Webdesign Canada | Blog (we be bloggin’ yo!)
423
blog,ajax_updown,page_not_loaded,smooth_scroll,

Real Estate Webdesign Canada

We have the absolute, must-have real estate apps—and this one takes the virtual cake.

If you’re one of our followers then you know that we’ve already wrote about real estate apps—and about Cycloramic in particular…but it is SOOOO good we just can’t resist. In our opinion, every realtor should have this app. 

 

Real Estate Apps: Cycloramic

The Cycloramic app is the greatest app to happen in real estate since, well…ever. This is why we’re talking about it again. And in case that anyone missed it!
The Cycloramic is a photo and video app that wasn’t designed with real estate in mind but they quickly realized the important application within the real estate field. So much so that they created a Cycloramic website solely for real estate professionals, to show them how to best leverage the app within their business.

Cycloramic is pitching their app within real estate as a simple yet extremely tech-savvy way to offer an agent/owner photo and video solution—without scheduling photographer appointments.
real estate apps cycloramic

 

Real Estate Apps: Cycloramic FEATURES and BENEFITS

The Cycloramic app can offer you the following features and benefits:

  • 360-degree photos AND video
  • The ability to take panoramic photos from your smartphone
  • The ability to take ‘wide-angle lens’-style photos
  • The ability to upload pictures and videos to your website, easily
  • An extremely cost-effective solution (heck, it’s under $2!)
  • No need to buy any hardware other than your iPhone or other flat-bottomed smartphone (it has to be flat-bottomed for it to works)
  • It costs just $1.99!!!!! (At the time of writing this—this may go up in the future, but even if it was $10 it would still be the best app an agent could buy)

 

How to Use Cycloramic

The beauty of the Cycloramic app is that anybody an use it. No seriously, ANYBODY. All you have to do is download the app (and pay the $1.99). Then open the app, set it to either video or picture mode, then put your smartphone standing up on a flat surface. The app does the rest and seamlessly stitches the images or video. You can then upload the image or video to your email, website or other marketing material. Poof-easy as that!

 

Real Estate Apps Review: Cycloramic

Honestly, download the thing. It is phenomenal, and you’ll thank us. It is the best $2 you will have ever spent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

A Realtor recently commented to us that our websites are…”a little girly”. Our response is that maybe they aren’t girly enough.

The reason we responded that way is that Realtors SHOULD be catering their websites towards women (at least in part). And there are a couple of ‘girly’ reasons why…

An example of a website from a woman that women like (and men as well–because it needn’t be one or the other) is for Smart Women Buy Real Estate. This client used beautiful colours, mobile optimization and content that appeals towards female sensibilities.

Why YOU Should Build your Website for Women

So, there is more than one reason why you should build your website with women in mind…

1. ‘There is One Person Right in a Marriage—the other person is the husband’

While the above may have inspired a giggle…or rage…most married couples would nod their head in agreement. In a typical relationship the woman is often the one doing research on a Realtor and on available homes. This means that the woman in a relationship has a large influence on both the home they choose and the Realtor they use. So, cater to this.

What this means for your website, is that it should have a design that appeals to women. This doesn’t mean ‘girly’ necessarily, but super-aggressive Realtor images and hard colours like blacks and reds likely won’t appeal to them. Also, cater the content on your website towards a female perspective. Be empathetic and by aggressive but approachable. But of course balance it with facts, figures, and stats that will appeal to men as well.

2. The Number of Single Women Buying Homes is Skyrocketing

Homebuyers in North America consist of over 20% single women. So, not only are married couples influenced heavily by the woman, but 1/5th of your market is also single women.

 

So—Women Huh?

Whether you want to target the 20% of homebuyers that are single women, or couples looking for homes that have the woman doing a large percentage of the home-searching work—catering your real estate website towards women is simply a good idea.

For some inspiration on content and design that will appeal to women—simply ask us.

If you haven’t seen the latest video marketing statistics for real estate—thank goodness you’re here. You may be missing out on the greatest thing since MLS.

 

 

Video Marketing Statistics for Real Estate

OK disclaimer: there aren’t any verifiable video marketing statistics for real estate—but the ones below were taken across a number of small-business verticals and can help you understand why you should hop on this digital gravy train…with these video marketing statistics for real estate:

 

 

  1. 46% of people have admitted that they are inclined to seek out more information after seeing a video about a product or service online.
  2. Studies have shown that at least 26% of viewers DO look for more information after viewing your video(s).
  3. Statistically, videos increase your viewers comprehension of your product or service by as much as 74%.
  4. YouTube is now the second biggest search engine on the planet—the first being of course Google (who also own YouTube…and everything else on the internet).
  5. 22% of your viewers will visit your website if it is named in a video or video ad they watch.
  6. An Australian study showed that real-estate listings that have a video get over 400% more attention than those without.
  7. If you’re doing email marketing—your click-through rates will increase by 2 to 3x (see bombbomb.com for more info).
  8. Again, with email marketing, your conversion rates (from lead to customer) increase up to 50% with video.
  9. 80% of your viewers will watch a video, but only 20% of them will read to the bottom of the same content if written out (although a transcript gets your great SEO brown points!).

10. 50x! Your website is 50x more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results if it has a YouTube video on it (again—Google owns YouTube…it’s a conspiracy).

11.Video has been the fastest growing media for ads since 2012.

12.80% of internet surfers can recall at least one video they’ve watched in the last week, but not anything they’ve read.

13.A NIELSEN study shows that 36% of web surfers trust ads that are shown in video format.

14.Almost half of video watchers will take some type of action after watching a video.

15.1/3 of all the activity online in North America is video watching.

 
video marketing statistics for real estate
 

Video Sounds Great!! Now What? Video Marketing Statistics for Real Estate that HELP!

The stats above surely sound great. BUT—how can stats help you improve the efficiency and efficacy of your video marketing? Well, here’s some that can do just that:

 

  • Keep your videos short—as almost half your viewers will drop off at the 1-minute point. About 60% will be gone by the 2-minute mark.
  • Post on Tuesdays, as 16% of all the YouTube videos on YouTube are embedded, linked and/or shared on Tuesdays—specifically between 11:00am and 1:00pm.
  • Another reason to keep your videos short is that shorter videos are shared more often. In fact videos that are around 15 seconds are shared a whole 1/3 more than longer videos.
  • If you’re going to do video marketing ads—definitely keep them short (but not too short!) as videos that are around 30 seconds are 90% likely to be watched completely.

 

So—ready to hop on the video band wagon? Be sure that you have a website that allows you to embed them. If you don’t—ask us how via our live chat or email.

 

Real estate online marketing is kind of like an online mirage. It looks real. People swear to you its real…but you can never actually reach it yourself.

 

The truth is (sorry folks) is that most of you will never reach the real estate online marketing mirage. Unlike many companies, we aren’t promising to be Alchemists who create something out of nothing.

 

The truth is, generating leads from real estate online marketing is hard. It doesn’t happen just by purchasing a $50/month website solution. Again, sorry dudes. And it doesn’t happen miraculously. If you want to generate leads online you need to work hard—just like you do offline.

 

BUT—(in a rare glimpse of good news) it isn’t impossible. One way to accomplish this is to rent a fully managed website solution that has the SEO work included (and proved by website visitor numbers and leads coming in), like the ones we offer in our condos series. A couple of examples in this series are one representing condos for sale in Regina, and condos for sale Winnipeg.

 

How to Get Leads—for Real—with Real Estate Online Marketing

OK—so, getting leads is hard. We know we said that already, but we thought we would state that. Below we’re going to over-simplify the effort that goes into getting leads from your website…but here it is:
real estate online marketing funny

1.    Get Traffic

Your first step to getting leads is to get traffic to your website. After all, you can’t get leads off your website if no one is visiting it.

So…how to get traffic.

 

Well, there are a few ways. The easiest is to buy it with Pay Per Click advertising. The second is to earn it with SEO (significantly harder, although cheaper over the long-term—if you do it right). The third is to connect your website with offline advertising and marketing.

 

2.    Convert your Traffic into Leads

Thought step 1 was hard? Perhaps you should read no further.

Turning your website traffic into actual leads is hard. We won’t pretend to have all the answers, but what has worked in the past is…

  • Live Chat

Live chat is a fickle beast. IF used correctly it can garner you a number of leads…however, it needs to be used correctly. It takes time to learn how to use correctly. Don’t be in their faces, and don’t be a ‘how can I help you rep’. Be, actually, useful.

 

  • Call to Action Buttons

Call to action buttons are useful when luring potential buyers and sellers into your lethal web. They however are hit and miss—so use a number of different ones, then use your analytics tool to figure out which one is working. Then—do more of that.

 

  • ‘Hide Stuff’ Buttons

Hiding information behind a login is another hit-or-miss strategy. For some people it works, for others it ticks off their viewers. Try it out on a small scale and see if it works.

 

‘Hide stuff’ buttons include “enter your information to see more” and “sign up for new listings” buttons.

 

3.    Pray

No lead-generating campaign is perfect. Nor is it guaranteed.

 

So, set your plan into action and pray. Then, evaluate the results and alter your campaign accordingly.

 

Never give up after the first try—as the amount of agents that make it to the second round of efforts is slimmer. The third round is slimmer still. Fourth-round agents have the pick of the litter.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Robin in Lead-Gen, Uncategorized Read More

Real estate website companies run the marketing-term (also referred to as ‘honesty’) gauntlet. Many use every marketing buzzword in the book to promote their products the best they can. Of course, as they should…but how are agents supposed to tell which websites are the best, and which are the best value.

 

Well, we’ll tell you how. By following this no-nonsense guide to purchasing a real estate website…

 

Our No-Nonsense Guide to Website Buying: Discover the UNTRUTHS

Your first step to cutting through the marketing buzzwords is to understand what some of these truly mean. By understanding what they are and how they relate to your website and your business you can see them for what they truly are…fluff.

 

 real estate website companies funn

1.    “SEO-Ready” / “SEO-optimized”

All the real estate website companies sell websites that are “SEO Ready” or “SEO optimized”. But—what does this actually mean. Every website on the planet is SEO ready. This simply means that it is ready to be SEOified. SEO-optimized is a different term altogether though. SEO-optimized means that certain keywords have been added to the website to help it rank better.

 

Sounds good right?

 

Well, sort of. Adding a few page titles and meta keywords is a good start, but it is about 1% of the SEO effort needed to actually succeed.

The Simple Truth
: SEO is hard business. No website, out of the box, will offer you true SEO. Any website can be optimized just as any other—but it will take serious work on your part. As a super-short synopsis, you need a ton of SEO-optimized, unique and original content, and high-quality inbound links.

 

2.    Lead-Generating

Many Realtors bounce around from one website company to another, trying to find one that will actually produce them leads.

The Simple Truth
: The basic truth is that no website out of the box will generate you leads. Lead generation comes from being able to convert large amounts of traffic (which comes from top SEO or paid advertising) into names, phone numbers and emails.

For a website to be lead generation it first needs to attract a large amount of traffic, and then have a methodology to turn that traffic into leads. This can be accomplished through live chat, call to actions, new property sign up lists and more.

So, when evaluating real estate website companies solutions, look for those that offer a number of call to action options (and then try them all out to see what works!).

 

 

3.    Cutting-Edge

Many real estate website companies say that they offer ‘cutting-edge’ websites (or some other word meaning vanguarde).

 

The Simple Truth: Real estate websites are rarely cutting-edge. When they are, they are very expensive custom jobs. Our advice to you is to ignore the ‘cutting edge’ words and look at their overall look (do they look modern), and which features they offer (that aren’t just buzzwords).

 

4.    Just $X a Month!

Stop paying monthly fees. It is expensive. Even if it is just $20/month, that is still $240/year and, $1200 over 5 years and $2400 over a decade (after all, you will surely be in the business for a while). While this sounds like a great deal, know that a website that is 5 or 10 years old will already look dated.

 The Simple Truth: Pay once and get it over with. Then you can reinvest that money in more lucrative real estate marketing ventures.

 

5.    Integrated Blog!

Adding a blog to a website takes all of 12 seconds. Every website can have a blog if you flick a switch. This isn’t a feature.

Also, will you even use a blog? If you aren’t going to write relevant, original articles on a regular basis, then don’t even bother with a blog as an empty blog looks like you aren’t putting in the effort.

 The Simple Truth: Have a blog, or not. But don’t think it is a phenomenal feature they are giving you for free–it’s hard work on your part!

6.    FREE File Hosting

It’s not free. You’re paying $X/month for that hosting. Every website needs hosting, and almost all of them have unlimited file hosting.

The real trick with ‘unlimited’ file hosting is that a website can only have so many bulky files on it before it starts slowing down. If you put gigabytes upon gigabytes of videos on there, the website will eventually slow down—regardless of ‘unlimited’ or ‘free’ hosting.

 The Simple Truth: Every hosting package comes with free file hosting.

 

7.    Search Engine Submission

Websites don’t need to be submitted to search engines. Search engines will find your website on their own. If you want them to find it faster you can manually submit them. It takes all of 2 seconds.

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url

 The Simple Truth: search engine submission isn’t important.They will find you if you have some good content on your website. If you don’t have good content on your website then you won’t rank with them anyways.

 

8.    Free Analytics

Analytics are free thanks to the beautiful and benevolent minds at Google. Google offers a free tool called Google Analytics, which offers you all the information that you will ever need to measure your website traffic, issues and areas of improvement.

You can sign up for a free account here (then use our live chat to ask us how to add the tracking code to your website):

 

www.google.com/analytics
The Simple Truth: It’s free. Period.

 

9.    FREE Lifetime Upgrades!

Free upgrades are great…the problem is they aren’t ‘free’. You’re paying for their services monthly, to the tune of hundreds of dollars (often close to a thousand) per year. They aren’t free.

Another problem with free upgrades is that you often don’t know when they have a system upgrade, and even if you do know you have to upgrade them yourself. So, before falling for the line of ‘free upgrades’ ask them how that process works. Also ask them how often they offer upgrades, and what the past few upgrades have consisted of (as some as such a minor detail that you wouldn’t even notice).

The Simple Truth: They SHOULD be giving you upgrades as you are paying an arm and a leg.

 

10.Social Promotion Tools

Every website can put a Facebook or Twitter link on it. REALLY not a big deal.

The Simple Truth: This isn’t a feature–it’s a simple, cheap, easy ‘must have’.

 

11.Up to X FREE Pages!

Pages should be free. This is the internet. It has boundless amounts of space on it, and all real estate website companies should offer unlimited amounts of pages.

 

The Simple Truth:  If real estate website companies want to charge you per page….run.

 

 

We hope that the above synopsis helps you sort through the marketing mumbojumbo that exists out there on the world-wide web.

 

If you are wondering if a feature or promotion is a good deal—just ask us. We’ll be honest. It’s sort of ‘our thing’.

Many Canadian Realtors ask us—“how do I become well-known with Google”. We say—with real estate marketing for websites. Of course, that was the simple answer.

real estate marketing for websites

The best way to become famous on Google though is to have your picture on Google so that you’re recognizable. As a great side effect of getting your picture displayed in Google search results is that you also get a little bump in rankings as you become a verified author with Google.

 

Real Estate Marketing for Websites: Get Google Authorship

Getting your picture in the search results of Google is actually really easy…but we’ll get to that later. First, allow us to explain with Google Authorship is.

 

Google Authorship is verifying yourself with Google, so that they know who you are. When you become a—free—verified author you get the following benefits:

 

  1. You get your photo in the search results of Google—which makes you stand out from all the website that DON’T have a picture next to their website (which these days is still the majority).
  2. You get a higher ranking as Google recognizes who you are.

 

How to Get Google Authorship for Realtors

OK—now the even better news. Google Authorship is free, and can be setup in under 10 minutes. Here’s how:

 

Step 1: Setup Google Plus
Your first step is to setup a free Google Plus profile.

 

Step 2: Get some Friends

Your Google Authorship status is partially evaluated by your ‘circles’, so get some friends on your Google Plus profile. The more the better, and the more you interact with and share things with the better. Also, your authorship rating will go up if you’re a contributor to more than one website, so see if you can write a blog post on your mortgage brokers website, brokers website or Realtor friends’ websites (and add the little piece of code to verify your authorship—and add that website to your ‘contributor’ section).

Step 3: Add your Website

Under the “contributor” section, add your website address.

 

Step 4: Verify your Website

To verify that you are a contributor to your website you need to put a small piece of code into the website so that Google can see that it truly is you.

 

That’s it.

 

If you’re wondering how to add the piece of code to your website—just ask us. Use our live chat and we will give you the code.

 

 

Creating a beautiful website is easy. Doing effective real estate website marketing through functionality and effort however…
real estate website marketing
Here at Real Estate Websites Canada we have one great tip begin converting your web traffic (this is of course presupposing that you already have web traffic) is to learn to effectively use live chat. We install this on nearly every website we make, from a mortgage broker advertising mortgage rates Vancouver, to niche websites like Regina Condos for Sale.

 

If you’re shaking your head thinking ‘live chat doesn’t get leads’…you haven’t used it properly. Here at REwebsites—we get more than 10 leads a month from our live chat. We, of course, have to work harder than a Realtor to try to close them—but that’s a different blog post entirely.

 

How to ‘Win’ at Real Estate Website Marketing with Live Chat

Turning real estate website visitors into actual leads is harder than Chinese algebra. But, the easiest way—in our opinion—is to leverage live chat. And the best ways to use your live chat to turn visitors into leads are…

 

1.   Install Live Chat

This one might seem like a given—but you can’t learn to use live chat without installing it. So that’s your first step. If you aren’t sure how, give us a holler on our live chat and we will tell you.

 

2.   Turn it On

We had a great conversation with a Realtor a few weeks ago who scoffed at the idea of us pushing our live chat tool. “I have live chat, and it hasn’t garnered me ANY leads”. We asked—is it turned on? “yes, of couse”. Is it turned on right now? “Yes, of course”. We hopped on their website real quick…and it wasn’t on.

 

So, the biggest step to winning at real estate website marketing with live chat is to remember to turn it on everyday. It’s easy enough, it’s a small app on your smartphone that you log in to everyday (or have it automatically login when you turn on your phone).

 

 

3.   Turn on Pre-Emptive Chatting

There are two ways to use live chat, as a reactive tool and as a proactive tool. By turning on your website visitor notification you will be notified when a web surfer comes on your website. You can then pre-emptively strike up a conversation.

 

This is sort of like having an open house and waiting for the visitors to strike up a conversation with  you and turn themselves into a lead. It won’t happen.

 

4.   Be Super Fast

Many visitors to your website will leave within a minute. This is called your ‘bounce rate’. Statistically, most websites have at least a 50% bounce rate—which means you need to be super-fast with your responses.

 

5.   Save Canned Hellos

While we hate the canned “how can I help you”, you can respond in super-fast time by saving a few responses. By saving them you can type the first few letters of a response and it will auto-fill the rest. With these canned answers though, be cool.

 

6. Be Cool

Never ever ever ever ever say “hi how can I help you”. It’s the least-interesting answer and will only encourage people to run away from your site. Come up with something clever, funny and original.

 

7.   Don’t Scare People Away

Just as people run away with a ‘hi, how can I help you’…they will also run away if you act like a high pressure agent—so again, be cool. Be informational. Give them truly insightful information that will make them think ‘hey, this guy/girl really knows what they’re talking about’. Also, be honest.

 

8.   Give it Time—and Practice

Your first few attempts at garnering leads in person surely didn’t work—and they won’t work online either. Give yourself time to figure out what works, and test out a number of approaches (funny, informative, low-pressure, etc.).

 

BONUS REAL ESTATE WEBSITE MARKETING LIVE CHAT TIP:

Use the page indicator to look at what page they are on–and chat to them about that. This will help your responses be significantly more helpful!

So—try out live chat. Don’t be intimidated, and give it some time to ‘figure out’.

 

Now use our live chat to figure out how you can get it on your website…FOR FREE!

Posted by Robin in Lead-Gen, Uncategorized Read More

Real estate online marketing is a tough cookie to crumble. And as it should be—you’re not an online marketer you’re a real estate agent.  We don’t try to sell houses, because it’s not what we know.
real estate online marketing
The good news is, internet marketing is significantly easier than selling houses. In fact, there are 5 major skills involved in real estate online marketing…

 

 

The 5 Essential Skills of Real Estate Online Marketing

There are 5 basic skills you need to learn to be successful in real estate online marketing:

 

1.    Analyzing

The best thing about real estate online marketing is that there are many opportunities  to analyze your success—and, more importantly, your failures. By using tools like Google Analytics for your website, the analytics tool for paid marketing (like Google Pay Per Click) and open rates with your email-marketing tool, you can find out what campaigns work the best and which ones the least. This can help you to refocus your efforts on what works.

 

2.    The Throw the Spaghetti at the Wall Trick

Back in your younger days while you were learning to cook spaghetti someone probably told you to toss spaghetti on the wall to tell if it is done. Well, as it turns out this is a good approach for internet marketing. Some approaches work better than others—and trying multiple approaches works best of all. So, use call to actions, live chat and other forms of lead generation on your website, start a drip email marketing campaign, try paid marketing like Google Pay Per Click and try Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

 

3.    Stand Out

The absolute best thing that an agent doing real estate online marketing can do to succeed in online marketing—is to stand out! We’ve seen thousands of agents with the same website and with all but identical email-marketing emails. And they all blend into the crowd. Do whatever you can to stand out. Have a better website (call us for that!), be funny, be clever, be original, have content that ACTUALLY matters and isn’t just internet fluff. Use infographics in your marketing campaign to stand out on paper. Do whatever it takes to be unique.

 

4.    Consider a Niche Real Estate Website

When someone is looking for information on the web—they don’t care where it comes from they just want information. This means that giant banner with your picture on it isn’t helping. In fact, it’s hurting you, as it tends to scare people away from engaging with your website and with you. A niche website focuses on information and properties, instead of on you as an agent (because they don’t care about you…yet). Niche websites include those for condos, executive homes, green homes, townhouses, apartments, unique homes, neighbourhoods, foreclosures, farms/land, etc.

 

5. Final Tip: Follow this Blog

While this last piece of advice sounds self serving, we have great advice. From niche marketing to website improvement to analytics to technology and apps advice…we’ve got your technological back J

 

 

 

The real-estate web community seems to be split on whether a real estate website can benefit from live chat. We say….absolutely.

live chat for real estate websites

Even if you aren’t convinced by the end of this that a live chat would help turn your passive website into an active lead-collection tool—try it, it’s free.

 

Reasons YOUR Real Estate Website Needs Live Chat

1.    People are Afraid of You

Like it or not customers are afraid of contacting vampiric, shark-like real estate agents. Live chat is a very unimposing way of asking a question that encourages them to do so.

2.    They Can Multitask

We live in a society of multitaskers. How many of us even watch TV anymore without being on our computer, iPad or smartphone? A live chat allows them to open up a channel of communication without taking their entire attention span—which is extremely precious of course.

3.    Transcriptions

If you’re a busy agent and have trouble keeping track of leads, who they are, where they came from and what you talked to them about then a live chat tool (ahem—like the one we use) can help you keep track of all conversations. Not only does it track what you said but it also tells you how they found your website—an invaluable analytics tools to help you refine your marketing efforts to the highest-pay off campaigns.

4.    After-Hours Service

Many potential clients are hesitant—to say the least—to call a Realtor during off business hours. A live chat makes you available evenings and weekends. Our apologies to your social life, but hey—it’s the biz right?

5.    Increases your Productivity and Return-Inquiry Time

For someone to send you an email (if they actually do it), wait for a response, you to take the time to answer and then go back and forth—is a completely nonsensical waste of time. Cut out the in-between time by using a live-response tool like live chat. You may just get back to them quick enough to keep them from moving on to another potential agent.

6.    A Heaping Pile of Steaming Data

live chat for real estate websitesIf someone told you that there was a super-simple way to learn what forms of marketing are bringing you the most live leads, and it was free—and easy to use…you would do it. That’s what live chat is. It provides you with invaluable data to find out how to improve your online marketing campaigns, in an easily-measurable way.

7.    Pre-Emptivity

With our live chat tool, not only can people message you (which comes to you as a text message-like message on your smartphone)—but it also has the option to create an alert when someone enters your website. It will also tell you how they found your website and what page or pages they are looking at. This allows you to pre-emptively strike up a conversation, especially if they are looking at a listing. “Hi, I see that you’re looking at 123 Madeup Avenue…just so you know we’re doing a major overhaul of the kitchen to include granite countertops and cork floors—you absolutely have to see it if you’re an amateur chef!”

 

 

So…

So, live chat is a phenomenal tool to help build your online lead generation for your real estate website. But, of course—it isn’t perfect. It takes some time to figure out what type of responses and pre-emptive messages work for you. But, it’s free. And within a couple of weeks you could be…FINALLY, getting leads off your website.

 

Give it a try.

 

Ask us how.

 

 

We love infographics. Not because we’re too lazy to appreciate the written word, but, simply because we appreciate (and at times imitate) the beauty of great design. And solid factoids.

 

Many of the below facts in this infographic could have been taken right out of our elevator sales pitch–well done My Case Group and INC. Magazine.

 

The amount of agent materials printed every year could probably stretch across the country—but this year do something different by using infographics for real estate. Infographics for real estate are a great way to truly stand out with your marketing materials. And after all—the goal of your marketing materials is to be memorable!

infographics for real estate

 

 

infographics for real estate 2

 

infographics for real estate 3

 

infographics for real estate 4

 

 

infographics for real estate 5

If you’re unsure about how effective an infographic would be—check out how well the information is displayed on the infographics for real estate displayed below (and compare them to your current marketing materials’ effectiveness!)…

 

Infographics for Real Estate: the What and How?

So—infographics for real estate are a great way to stick in the mind of potential clients, whether it be open house handouts or viral social media posting, but what exactly can you put on your infographic? Well, here’s a few ideas:

 

  1. Neighbourhood highlights
  2. Market information
  3. ‘Why to use ME as your Realtor’
  4. Home prices over time per housing type of geographic area
  5. Brokerage information
  6. The mortgage process
  7. How to increase your home’s value
  8. How to find a home that will maintain or raise in value
  9. When you should sell your home
  10. 10. Top ways to market a home a

 

 

So—ready to supercharge your marketing campaign with an infographic? Great, however, we should add one thing…they aren’t cheap. But, they are a great investment. Keep in mind while pricing infographics for real estate that you will be able to re-use them for years to come…with the exception of market-specific information that is timely (however these can be easily updated on the cheap).

A real estate online reputation is SUPER important these days. Know that your potential customers who aren’t coming to you from a referral ARE checking your reputation online. Google is a powerful tool—both for you and for your potential customers.

 

Great—now what?

 

Managing your Real Estate Online Reputation

Of course the best way to maintain your real estate online reputation is to be a good agent that your clients love. It’s also a way to get money-making referrals. BUT—there’s always one client unhappy with their deal or another agent jealous of your success, which is why you need to manage your reputation online.

 

There are a few ways to actively manage your online reputation…

 

Real Estate Online Reputation Management: Reviews
This one is a little tricky as there are tons of review sites on the internet—but Google makes this extremely easy to find…simply Google (don’t you love how this is a verb now?) your full name. If no reviews come up then ask some of your previous clients if they could post some. If there are negative reviews, there’s nothing you can do to take them down, but you can often post a kind response to them. Now, the internet is a battle ground and there will always be some bad reviews mixed in with the good, but just make sure that you have more positive than negative. Have your real past clients post honest reviews of you, as they will come across as significantly more genuine.

 

Real Estate Online Reputation Management: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great way to build a solid reputation online as you can have real people make real reviews and recommend you for skills that you list on your profile. The person making the recommendation will have their name show up as recommending you, which will link to their profile—offering up an excellent level of authenticity.

 

 

Real Estate Online Reputation Management: Google Alerts!
Now that you’ve managed the current state of your real estate online reputation—set yourself up to actively manage it in the future by creating a Google Alert for your name. A Google Alert will send you an email every time your name is mentioned on the web, which is basically a ‘heads up’ that your reputation has been added to. Be aware of course that if your name is relatively generic, like ‘John Smith’, then you’re going to get emailed with a bunch of alerts for other people.

 

If you’ve been tanking at your real estate SEO then yowza have you come to the right spot! Our advice is simple: target the keywords with the lowest competition.

 real estate seo funny

How to Rock at Real Estate SEO: Target Keywords with the Lowest Competition

The major temptation with real estate SEO is to simply go for the biggest real estate keywords in your city, like “homes for sale in ___”. Makes sense right? After all, if you go for the keywords with the highest amount of monthly searches then you’ll attract the highest amount of visitors right?

 

Actually the above statement is false. Going for the real estate SEO keywords with the greatest monthly searches will generally have you wasting your precious SEO time, as they almost always have the most competition. Being on page 5 for “homes for sale in ___” (which may have 800 monthly searches locally) won’t get you near as much traffic as being on page 1 for “XYZ neighborhood” (which may have only 90 monthly searches). For example, we recently began SEO for a niche customer website, Brampton luxury homes, and we targeted a number of smaller keywords. This has turned into great traffic.

 

Another example of this low-hanging fruit strategy is for a mortgage broker that we do SEO for. By targeting smaller keywords (instead of “Vancouver mortgages”), like first time home buyers BC and self employed mortgages, we were able to get those pages significantly higher on Google.

Finding out which keywords have the least competition—and therefore the greatest chance of actually attracting real estate SEO traffic—is super easy (thanks Google!). You simply plug a few local real estate keywords into Google’s keyword tool

 

https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner

 

After inputting a number of local keywords it will spit out a whole bunch of creative ideas. One of the columns on the right will say “competition”, and if you click on this it will sort them from high to low competition, and vice versa. Sort the list to tell you which keywords have ‘low’ or ‘medium’ traffic—and target those. Those real estate SEO keywords are the proverbial low-hanging fruit and will get you MUCH bigger bang for your buck.

 

Simple huh?

 

If you could use a hand with a real estate SEO keyword assessment—don’t be shy to let us know…we can help. We have helped a number of agents–including a recent project we’ve been working on for The Wilding Team–who we have helped target niche keywords for Brampton luxury homes…which skyrocketed them to the top of the second page of Google in just over one month! (Which in ‘SEO time’ is extremely quick).

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

Real estate websites SEO is a term that’s bantered about like a bunch of school girls talking about Justin Bieber. It’s thrown around a lot, agents know they love it and need it—but nobody knows how to get their hands on it.

 real estate websites SEO

Every real estate websites company says their websites are “SEO-friendly” or “SEO-optimized”….but what does that mean? For a website to be ‘optimized’ at the get go, it simply needs a few keywords input into key areas. This is important—but it doesn’t actually get you anywhere. SEO is an on-going venture, and putting keywords into the website’s site title and meta tags is bout .05% of the effort. SOOOO….don’t be fooled by ‘SEO-ready” websites.

 

Where Your Real Estate SEO is Going Wrong

We see the same issue everyday when it comes to real estate websites SEO, agents have websites that are ‘SEO-optimized’ (or another buzzword) but that use duplicate content. Duplicate content is punishable by death from Google. Not your death—but your website’s. Google doesn’t index duplicate content. Well, it will but you’ll be FAR down the list. So, if, like many agents, you’ve been using the large repository of content available from many real estate websites companies—it hurts you more than it helps you.

 

Our Real Estate Websites SEO Answer

We are regularly asked if we have a repository of free content available and our answer is no. We don’t do it. We could, it’s easy—but it’s such a big mistake we don’t want our agents using duplicate content.

 

Aside from the negative SEO you get from duplicate content, it also isn’t impressive to your users. When all the websites they look at has the same generic content and advice there is no differentiator. Be original. Spend a couple of hours one day sculpting some area-specific, you-specific content. If you don’t have the time but you’ve got a few Scheckles you can pay us to write the content for you.
real estate websites SEO
 

Our SEO Tool

We want our agents to have the best SEO they can—and SEO is measured 70% by original, SEO-friendly content, 15% by inbound links (these numbers are a rough guess as Google hides the exact formula behind 117 Navy Seals)  and the remainder by a number of other factors.

 

Since your content is the biggest indicator of how your website will do we include a tool in our websites that will analyze every page and tell you if you’ve done great, good, ‘meh’ or absolutely terrible with your SEO on that page. It can also analyze the website and homepage overall at the click of a button.

 

If you’re thinking ‘well gee, that sounds like a lot of work’ …it IS. But SEO IS WORK. Anyone who tells you they have a secret weapon that will give you great SEO without work…beware.

 

Hey—we’re being honest here. If you want us to lie and say that we can create a website that will get you to rockstar-SEO level at the click of a button…we can do that too (but only if you ask us nicely).

 

For a demo of how our SEO tool works, use the live chat below or book a website demo on our homepage.

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

Our real estate technology tip of the week is to make the best under-$2 investment you’ll ever make—buy the Cycloramic app. Cycloramic is an app that can turn any iPhone into a panoramic camera. It’s also great for taking wide angle-like photos. Perhaps now we should apologize to real-estate photographers everywhere…sorry dudes.

 real estate technology tip cycloramic

The Cycloramic app is perhaps the coolest app we’ve ever seen. It harnesses the vibration capabilities of your phone—without any additional equipment—to slowly turn the phone on its axis to take stunning panoramic photos. It then seamlessly stitches the photos together and voila: you have a panoramic photo of the interior or exterior of your listings. The genius of this app is that it doesn’t require a special base, just stand your iPhone up on its flat bottom (this only works with the newer, flat-bottomed models) and the app does the rest.

Cycloramic is getting some great press, in fact we saw them on the phenomenal American show Shark Tank—where the millionaire and billionaire ‘sharks’ were chomping at the bit to invest in this company!  And hey—5 super-rich-smart-people can’t be wrong!

 

In addition to taking simple photos this best-in-class photo and VIDEO maker (that’s right—it takes VIDEO TOO!) , it also creates high-res images, is easily exported to your social media profiles and comes with filters and stickers to highlight the images as well.

 

The Cycloramic app is also available on Android—for FREE (for the moment). The iPhone version is currently $1.99, but we expect that this will rise slightly…although even if it doubled or tripled in price it would still be a solid micro investment.

 

You can download the iPhone app here:

https://itunes.apple.com/app/id734076885?mt=8&&referrer=click%3Dd9794867-5935-4752-84f3-df9deb51b46c

 

And the Android app here:

https://itunes.apple.com/app/id734076885?mt=8&&referrer=click%3Dd9794867-5935-4752-84f3-df9deb51b46c

 

 

 

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

Most Realtors use Facebook as their primary social network—and that’s a smart decision….but don’t forget about the pretty new kid on the block: Pinterest!

 

Pinterest for Realtors

While most blogs on the internet are telling real estate agents to post listings and property pictures on Pinterest—nobody cares. Nobody is on Pinterest to look for homes for sale as you can’t sort it to accommodate a home search.

 

In our opinion, simply use it as a tool to reconnect with old clients, to help keep you in the forefront of their minds. Having your face in their face regularly will increase the likelihood that they think of you when they sell the home you sold them (and if you think that you don’t have customers who didn’t use you twice then you’re unfortunately likely mistaken). It will also make them think of you for any possible referrals thar come up.

 

Great—but now what? What can Realtors post on Pinterest if they aren’t posting listings?

 

What to Post on Pinterest

We’d recommend spanning a wide variety of categories with your ‘pins’, but focus on the following (many of which are oriented towards women are the ladies hold the majority share of Pinterest accounts):

 

 

  1. Parenting ideas and tips
  2. (DIY) Home decorating tips
  3. DIY home repairs
  4. Recipes
  5. Travel
  6. Education
  7. Cute animals (these are insanely popular on Pinterest—so don’t forget to pander to what the audience wants!)
  8. Wedding ideas
  9. Arts and crafts

10.Gardening ideas

11.Inspirational quotes

 

 

Keep in mind while you’re pinning ideas that your viewers are going to shape, at least part of, their opinion of you by your ‘Pinterests’. So keep things high-end, positive and inspirational—so that your viewers are inspired by your pins.

 

 

Real Estate email marketing is like a banana–it can turn bad, real quick. This is, unfortunately, a regular occurrence as many agents don’t fully understand the point, or the proper execution needed with real estate email marketing.

 

Real Estate Email Marketing–What It is Meant to BE

Email marketing isn’t about spamming. And it isn’t about canned generic emails that you send out to every email address you can find. Real estate email marketing is about fostering relationships and moving them through the sales cycle by having multiple customer touch points with a single email.

Unfortunately, far too many Realtors doing email marketing use canned emails on a generic template. Trust us–we see them regularly. After we contact a Realtor via their website contact forms we’re then signed up to receive their email blasts, and 90% of them are pretty much identical. And if we’re bored by it–your potential customers are too. So, be authentic…and most of all, don’t do these…

WHAT NOT TO DO

As we said above real estate email marketing isn’t about generic, irrelevant emails–so don’t do the following:

  • Don’t buy email lists as your content won’t be relevant to the people on that list. This is especially important as real estate is hyper local and half the people on the list may live in a different province. Not only will it not be relevant to you, but it will also damage your sender score–which will mean your emails will land in junk folders (even more so than they do normally).
  • Don’t use a service that sends out X number of emails a month to your clients. That type of generic content won’t get you anywhere. Even though it is cheap, at often about $20/month, it is still a waste of money.
  • Don’t send out every listing to every contact. If it isn’t what that potential client is looking for then they will stop looking at your emails all together as they think you have no idea what they want.
  • Don’t be a ‘base toucher’–make sure that every email has a clear-cut purpose.
  • Don’t send emails with dull content like ‘5 ways to stage your home’. Not only will they fall asleep 3 sentences in–if they’re already staging their home then they surely already have an agent.
  • Fail to offer an unsubscribe button. Having an unsubscribe button is required by law, and just simply a good idea. If someone doesn’t want to receive your emails then you forcing them to won’t make them read them.

real estate email marketing joke

WHAT TO DO

So, now that we’ve covered the never-ever-ever-ever do list, let’s focus on how to launch a successful email marketing campaign

  1. The first thing you want to do is to pick a platform that can give your campaign a unique look. We highly recommend MailChimp (free) or BombBomb (paid). MailChimp allows you to point-and-click your way to a graphically-interesting email, and BombBomb lets you embed your video right into the email that your recipients receive (without having to click through to a link).
  2. Get real contacts. Don’t buy your list or add everyone you know, make a realistic list of people who are in the market. To create your list you can use lead-capturing forms on your website.
  3. Segment your list. Segmenting involves dividing your contacts into different groups in order to send relevant content to everybody. So, make one list of old clients who you would like to email maybe 4 times a year with fun little tidbits that aren’t necessarily real estate related. For those currently in the market make a new list. Brownie points if you can break that list of current homebuyers down further, by price range or neighbourhood. YES this is a lot of work, but if you’re not going to do email marketing right then invest your time somewhere else.
  4. Be funny. Everybody likes funny so create some catchy headlines and use jokes. Letting your personality shine through will help increase your open rates as people say “oh that Jeff!–let’s see what kind of shenanigans he’s up to this week”.
  5. Create an unsubscribe button that allows them to change their receiver preferences as an alternative to unsubscribing. Some people may not want to hear from you as often as you send emails–but that doesn’t mean they want to stop hearing from you entirely.

If you’re rolling your eyes and breaking into a sweat thinking about how much work it is, take a deep breath. Once you choose a platform then sculpt and segment your email lists the hardest part is done. From there you only need to create an email once a week or a couple times a month, and then manicure the list as time goes on.

If you’ve been considering WordPress real estate websites–the time has never been better! Seriously. There is a new WordPress dashboard that only reinforces why choosing WordPress for your real estate website is a solid, strong, dope, fly, crazy-awesome decision. 

 

WordPress Real Estate Websites: The Changes 

The changes in the new dashboard circle around an improved user interface. The new WordPress interface is extremely clean, and customizable with over 7 different colour schemes.

Take a look at the before and after…

BEFORE:
wordpress real estate websites old dashboard
AFTER:
wordpress real estate websites new dashboard

The new dashboard is easier to read, has a stronger menu both on the left-hand-side and on the top of website pages (when you’re signed in to the backend then surf your website’s front end) AND has a more user-friendly mobile version. The result: a great user interface for real estate websites.

 

WordPress Real Estate Websites Dashboard–the Real Differences

The new WordPress dashboard may circle around the obvious visual changes, but for those readers who are a little more technologically-inclined, here are the small-detail changes:

  • A greater contrast for improved visibility
  • A customizable dashboard with multiple skins
  •  A cleaner typography–again for improved visibility
  • A high-definition dashboard that loads even quicker than the old low-def dashboard–as they ditched some pixels in exchange for new vector-based icons
  • Colour schemes that allows you to customize, at least a little, the dashboard–so you can ditch the old pale blue and white
  • New theme management that helps you preview your themes better (without activating them!)
  • A better ‘widgets’ screen that makes selecting the widgets just a smidge more user friendly

 

If you’ve been wondering of WordPress real estate websites are the right path–they are. They’re more affordable, offer more free technologies and have a user-friendly existence. Want a demo of the new WordPress backend? Just give us a shout on our live chat, via email or via the old-school way…our 800-number.

We make WordPress real estate websites–because we think WordPress is simply the bee’s knees.

 

WordPress Real Estate Websites–What IS WordPress?

WordPress is a Content Management System that empowers the public to build super-cool-and-awesome websites. If you’re thinking, “but wait–isn’t WordPress that blogging thingamajiggy?”, then you would be right…sort of. WordPress is commonly used for simple blogs, but installing its powerful platform onto your own website hosting gives you the framework needed to create stunning websites, have cutting-edge features like Live Chat–all the while giving the user an easy-to-use backend. On WordPress you can install gorgeous themes to create a beautiful website, and then turn it into a lead-generating platform by using ‘plugins’.

wordpress real estate websites backend

WordPress Real Estate Websites Themes

WordPress is a CMS, which makes it a powerful framework–but it is still just a framework. Without a pretty ‘skin’ or ‘theme’ it won’t look like much. A theme is a set of graphics, designs and page layouts that creates an overall look. A ‘theme’ is different than a template as it can still be manipulated greatly. Elements can be moved around, added and removed, and there are still a great variety of design options within each theme. What this means is that a theme is like a designer framework on the WordPress framework.  As of the moment of writing there are 2,345 themes in the WordPress directory, and a few thousand more made my private publishers.
wordpress real estate websites themes

To see a few of our favourite themes, check out this list from our favourite web-design magazine:

http://www.designrazzi.com/2014/wordpress-realestate-themes/

WordPress Plugins

A WordPress plugin is a feature that can be easily added to WordPress real estate websites. All the world’s largest internet technology companies (and all the small ones too!) create WordPress plugins for their technology–as WordPress is the world’s most popular Content Management System.  WordPress plugins include those available from Zoho, Zopim, Google (actually they have MANY: Adsense, Analytics, Sitemap, Tag Manager and more), DropBox, ClickDesk, Yoast SEO, SalesForce and oh soooooo many more. If you’re curious if a technology that you’re currently work with has a WordPress plugin–just ask us! Email us or use our live chat (…which is a plugin!).
wordpress real estate websites plugins

So–What is WordPress to YOU?

What WP means to you is that you can have a stunning, cutting-edge WordPress real estate website, with all the latest technologies–at a fraction of the cost of our competitors (who have to develop all their technologies in-house).

 

Curious about getting a WordPress real estate website? Just give us a ring-a-ding-ding!

Real Estate Websites Canada exist in a challenging landscape…they all want to squeeze leads rom visitors who don’t want to be found. So—how do you fight real estate websites Canada web traffic to get your visitors to submit their contact information?

Luckily, there are a number of ways to try to convert traffic. Unluckily, not all of them work, and not all of of the ones that work will work every time. The simple truth is that it is a bit of a crapshoot. Many companies say that they have the magic recipe…but one guess why they say that.

 

The simple truth is that it takes some playing around to find out what works. You need to use the spaghetti against the wall test, throwing as many lead-capturing technologies as you can on your website and then measuring their effectiveness. Remove the ineffective ones and replace them with models similar to the most effective.

real estate webmaster tips lead generation

Lead-Capturing Technologies from Real Estate Webmasters

There are a number of lead-capturing tech that you can test out on your website, from the pro real estate webmasters here at Real Estate Websites Canada:

 

  1. Create a downloadable marketing or forecasting report, that requires their email to read.
  2. Listing-based signup form that requires the viewer to enter their contact information to read the entire listing write-up.
  3. Client login area
  4. Social media-based login to your website that captures their social profiles (this gives you the richest treasure trove of data possible).
  5. A button that allows them to email themselves a listing on your website—that then sends you their email address.
  6. Live chat, that allows you to engage with your viewers—where you can have a conversation that allows you to send them more information.
  7. Sign up forms for real estate niches—like condos in a certain area.
  8. Online forms that encourage them to contact you for more information.

An example of forms that can attract users to enter their contact information can be found on a website that we’ve made recently: Luxury Homes Brampton.ca–a website dedicated to luxury homes for sale in Brampton. Their website has been optimized with a couple of classy-looking opt-in forms that have already begun drawing leads.

As we said, there are a number of ways to encourage people to submit their contact information. None of them are guaranteed though—some may work great for some agents but terrible for others. Try as many as you can, and then go back after a week, a month and six months to fine tune.

 

Sorry there was no magic bullet here—but be wary of anyone who promises otherwise (and if you take their word for it—ask if you can pay them for leads instead of upfront). Stay tuned to this blog for more great real estate webmaster tips.

Posted by Robin in Lead-Gen, Uncategorized Read More

When it comes to Real Estate Online Marketing and real estate SEO—don’t blog…create featured listings. Well, blog too—if there’s time.
real estate online marketing featured listings why
The reason that hand-sculpted featured listing pages are better than blog posts is that there are more people searching street addresses than there are “how to stage a home”. This means bigger bang for your buck—and significantly more visitors.

But aside from SEO and garnering visitors, creating ‘featured listings’ that aren’t an import from MLS offers you a number of benefits…

Real Estate Online Marketing: Why YOU Should have Featured Listings on YOUR Website:

 

  1. High-Res Images Most Realtors pay big bucks for high-quality, professional images, but MLS shrinks them down and limits you to about 10. With a featured listings you can use as many high-res images as you would like—and properly illustrate what the property looks like.
  2. Longer, More-Detailed Descriptions MLS listings, in addition to limiting how many photos you can upload, also limit you on space. They’re so limited that we’ve all learned the standards short forms, like bdrm and elfs. The problem is—the public have no idea what these mean…until they’ve found a Realtor who explains what they are—at which point they’re too far in the salescycle for you to turn the website visitor into a client.Longer descriptions not only trigger great SEO points (whereas MLS listings are copied content in 17,000 places on the web and don’t offer any SEO) but they can gain you brownie points with your visitors—and the listing client. Creating a well-constructed featured listing on your website that ranks well with Google will create better visibility for your listing. 
  3. Virtual Tours and Video
    Featured listings in our website are a great way to add a virtual tour or video to your website. And it couldn’t be simpler. Simply upload a video to YouTube, then paste the URL into the featured listing in the desired location and it will automatically embed.
  4. SEO (YOU should get attention from YOUR listings)Yes, yes—we mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. Creating an SEO-ified (ask us how easy this is to do with our websites) listing will mean that when someone searches your listing address, your page will rank well against the competition. It should beat out all the other websites with your listing on it, once you’ve begun to rank with Google. This process can take a few months to earn a good site reputation on Google, but you’ll get bonus points if you post the listing slightly before it’s released into MLS (which isn’t hard as it takes time to cycle through the system and be pushed out to websites with automatic MLS listings) you’ll get major street cred with Google.
  5. You Need a Detailed Description for Feature Sheets AnywaysPrinting off an MLS ad as a feature sheet certainly doesn’t cut it. But, you can kill two birds with one stone with a featured listing. By creating a high-quality featured listing you will have an excellent description, graphics and images—which you can print off, or copy and paste into a page design software like PowerPoint or Excel.

 

To give you an example of the SEO benefit, we did SEO for a number of niche website pages, for individual buildings/listings, like 1715 Badham boulevard Regina and 3200 Portage ave Winnipeg, and those pages are now on the first page of Google!

 

So…featured listings make sense on a number of fronts. They boost your SEO, please your listing client and help you drive traffic to your website. The only step left is to create them.

 

If your website doesn’t have a place to create featured listings, it doesn’t offer the SEO power you need to get those listings ranking well on Google, doesn’t have a step-by-step SEO tool or simply doesn’t portray the professional image that you’d like…give us a call about ensuring all the above.

 

We love technology and we really ‘heart’ real estate technology tips. But, sometimes we focus too much on emerging technologies—which is why we want to get back to basics with this blog post.

How fast (or slow) is your computer?

Having personally worked with a number of agents, we have to say the average real estate agent computer is extremely sluggish. A slow computer means you either need to work longer to get the same results, or you get less done in the same timeframe. Speeding up your computer will speed up your production (or give you more time off!).

 

But—how?

 

Our simple answer is to make this the year you finally switch to a Mac computer. Here at Real Estate Websites Canada we’re huge Mac fans (well—Linux fans, but that’s another story). Mac computers don’t get viruses and they don’t slow down as quickly as PCs do. If you have a PC you can try adding a software to clean it up and speed it up, like TuneUp Utilities (http://www.tune-up.com/) although note that this isn’t a miracle worker.

real estate technology tips: buy a mac

Real Estate Technology Tips: Switch to Mac

Macs are extremely reliable computers—and they have the price tag to prove it. In our opinion they are worth the extra cost as they last significantly longer and offer increased productivity. In recent years Macs have become so widespread that the prices have been reduced significantly. Also, now every type of software is compatible with Macs (whereas 10 years ago it was a major struggle).

 

There are a number of reasons to switch to Mac:

real estate technology tips: buy a mac

  1. They’re faster—and stay faster longer.
  2. Apple offers exceptional service! If you need assistance just book a FREE appointment at their mac genius bar.
  3. They don’t get viruses and other harmful maladies like Windows PCs.
  4. The new notification tools in the latest versions of their software—which have a little pop-up window that shows new email, Facebook messages and more.
  5. They sync extremely well with iPhones…and we know how much Realtors LOVE iPhones.
  6. They don’t come with all the useless, pre-installed software that Windows does (which is one of the many reasons they are so slow).
  7. The details. Small details like a charger that has a magnetic attachment tool for easy plugging in and unplugging.
  8. Their design is simply beautiful.
  9. There’s only a small learning curve—with the average person taking less than a couple of hours to adjust to the system (which is similar-looking to Windows).
  10. Cache. Macs are not just great computers they’re also a style symbol. You look good picking our a sleek macbook from your bag instead of hauling out a clunky PC.
  11. They have the top security, which means they stay secure no matter how ‘insecure’ the user (you know who you are).

 

So—our real estate technology tips for this week: consider buying a Mac. If you’re a new agent and the price tag is simply too much for your current budget (we know starting out is hard), you can purchase a gently used one online for a really affordable price.

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

Real estate video marketing isn’t anywhere near as hard as you think! When we build our real estate websites we ask the agent if they have any videos that we can integrate into the website. Unfortunately, 9 times out 10—they don’t. While we don’t press the matter, we do let agents know what a difference to the website (and your authenticity) that video makes to their website. We also let them know how EASY it is.

What we recommend to agents is beginning by making a simple video with their smartphone. Most smartphones these days, like iPhones, have great-quality video. While professional-grade, professionally-lit videos are obviously better—give making a video on your phone first. If that goes well and the response is good then you will see the value.

 

Real Estate Video Marketing

There are a number of excellent ways to leverage video in your real estate marketing campaigns:

  • With an intro video that introduces you as an agent (and your specialized talents, verticals, skills and marketing efforts)
  • Listings videos that feature you walking through the listing, describing all the highlights (homeowners LOVE this)
  • Neighbourhood vignettes of neighbourhood highlights


How to Begin Video Marketing

For those agents who are a little intimidated by technology, video is a great place to start. It truly is super easy, and just requires 5 little steps:

  1. Take Video on Smartphone
    Your first step is to take the video. Ask a client, family member or other agent to hold the camera while you let your star power shine. You may want to find another agent to partner up with videos for, it will give you some support doing your videos and will help you both out.
  2. Turn on WIFI
    Before you download the video from your phone to the internet, turn on your wifi. Downloading a large video file will eat up your data plan extremely quickly.
  3. Download the YouTube App
    Downloading the YouTube app to your phone (either Android or iPhone) will let you upload a video in the click of a button. So, download the app, create an account and then follow the steps to upload your video(s). We advise you to use YouTube instead of the many other video companies out there as YouTube video are displayed high in Google search results (Google owns YouTube).
  4. Upload to Facebook
    After you’ve uploaded your video to YouTube it will give you the video’s URL address. Copy and paste this into your Facebook account to post it.
  5. Add Link to your Website
    If you’re using one of our WordPress websites you can add the video to any listing, blog post, webpage or featured listing by simply pasting the URL address into the page (on a separate line—not inline with other text). Then publish the page and the video will be embedded on your site.
  6. Done
    That’s it. Now that you know how easy it is, repeat the process for each listing.

Real estate video marketing is extremely easy. Once you’ve completed the process above you’ll wonder why you waited so long to do it. If you don’t have a website that allows you to easily embed your video in your website—give us a call.

real estate video marketing

An example of what an embedded video will look like (taken from our “Using ‘Em” page)

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

How to Create a Winning Real Estate SEO Strategy


The only way to win at SEO is to put in the effort. It isn’t impossible, but it truly is effort-driven. An effective real estate SEO strategy needs to include the following (some of this will be repetitive—but it is so important we’ll say it twice):
Real Estate SEO

  1. Unique Content

    Unique content is Google’s biggest attractant. IF you don’t have unique content they won’t even bother with your page. This means unique pages, unique blog posts (and buying it from those companies who charge you $12/month for 5 blog posts won’t cut it!) and unique listings. IF you didn’t write it yourself (or paid someone to do it) then it isn’t unique. If it is copy and pasted content—don’t bother, it will hurt more than it would ever help.

  2. Inbound Links

    Inbound links for real estate SEO need to be grown organically. Buying 1,000 links for $14.95 won’t get you anywhere. You need LOCAL links that have good SEO value on their own. Sorry guys—there’s no easy way around this (you’ll surely be noticing this as a trend by now)

  3. Keywords

    Without using real estate SEO keywords, Google won’t know for which searches to display you in their search results. As mentioned above, use long- and short-tail keywords, niche keywords and low-competition keywords. Low-competition keywords are especially critical. A company we’ve been working with in Vancouver, Mazeon.ca, has leveraged this strategy  in order to rank on Google on one of the most competitive cities in Canada: Vancouver. To help them achieve this strategy we helped them use lower-competition keywords for neighbourhoods within Greater Vancouver, like Steveston real estate

  4. New Content

    Adding content to your website once and then leaving it to fester isn’t a good strategy. You need regularly updated and produced content over the long-term to win at SEO.

     

‘Winning’ at SEO means being in it for the long haul. It doesn’t happen quickly, it can take months or years. If you doubt us because other people promise X results in X months—no worries, but bookmark this blog because we guarantee you’ll be back.

The long and short of it is that there is zero way around hard work. You can’t buy your way with cheap SEO packages. This is likely frustrating and many of you will head on over to our competition who promises a quick fix and effortless solution…but you’ll be back.

 

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

Real Estate Search Engine Optimization Fake Promises


Real Estate Search Engine Optimization
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard “but X company offers us SEO success at no extra cost”. While many agents realize how silly this sounds after they say it—there is NO quick fix to SEO. SEO is work, those who put in the most work (done smartly) will win.

What DOESN’T Work


The web is full of fake real estate search engine optimization promises, made primarily by people who have no stake in your success, or who can temporarily profit off you. There are however a number of theories that are floating around that are incorrect:

  1. IDX/DDF Real Estate Search Engine Optimization

    Your IDX or DDF stream DOES NOT improve SEO. Yes, we know, every vendor says this—but it’s a lie. Here’s why…SEO is dependant on unique content (doubt us? Search on Google how they punish duplicate content), and IDX and DDF are NOT unique content. This is the same data being pushed out to every single real estate agent’s site in Canada. If every agent has identical content (which IDX and DDF listing ARE—if they are exact replicas of the original listing then they aren’t allowed)…then there is no SEO benefit. There are surely many of you shaking your heads, saying that “no, my company said their IDX/DDF listings feed IS SEO friendly!”….think about it. If SEO is all about beating the crowd for search engine results, identical content cannot possibly benefit you in any way. Sorry guys.

  2. Guaranteed #1 On Google!

    There is no simple way around real estate search engine optimization. All the companies saying that they can get you to number one on Google for $89.95, are lying. Google spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year ensuring that nobody figures out how to cheat the system. They employ the top mathematicians and programmers to ensue that nobody can cheat the system…and your vendor who says they can do it for a small one-time fee, or for $20/month…it’s a lie. Again, sorry.

 

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

How to Choose SEO-Friendly Keywords

Google, with all their brilliance, has made it extremely easy to choose keywords that are relevant to your city and your industry. Simply use Google’s AdWords tool and put in a few examples. It will then spit out how many people search those terms per month—AND it will give you suggestions of other keywords. It will also tell you if there is “low”, “medium” or “high” competition. Ideally you want to pick medium or low, to avoid heavy competition.

Real Estate SEO Tips

The Real Estate SEO Landscape

As we mentioned above, there is huge competition from other realtors in your area to show up well in Google Search Results Pages (SERPs). Real estate has more local competition than other industries, like blacksmiths or roofing, as there are so many agents in each city. There are also large-scale websites like Realtor.ca and Zoocasa. The good news about the big guys is that they go for for nation-wide keywords instead of local ones. The bad news is that leaves every other techno-savvy agent in town as competition. Fighting to be the top of however many realtors are in town certainly isn’t good news—but it isn’t impossible.

How to Win with Real Estate SEO Tips

Your easiest way to win, as discussed above, is to go for low-competition keywords. This means focusing on your address/listing-based keywords, niche keywords and long-tail keywords.

Even when you compete in niches and address-based keywords, you will still have competition. To ‘win’ you need to out compete them. This means adding more content than they do and getting more links than they do. An example of this can be found at a website we’re working on for luxury homes Brampton: a niche website about high-end homes in Brampton Ontario. By focusing on a specific niche we were able to skyrocket this website up to the top of the second page of Google in under a month (this was at the time of writing–it will surely be higher than that by the time you read this!).

The Quick Fix to Real Estate SEO Tips

Did we get your attention with the sub heading ‘the quick fix’? Great. Now that we have your attention….there is NO quick fix. Sorry guys. The only ways to cheat SEO are to use blacklisted techniques. These techniques may get you listed highly on Google for a short while—but as soon as they figure out what you are doing (and they WILL!) you may very well be banned. There is no worse internet-marketing fate than to be banned from Google.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

Real estate Search Engine Optimization, aka real estate SEO, is a term thrown around a lot in the industry—but most agents don’t really know what it is, or how to accomplish it. Allow us to shine a little light on the subject.

real estate SEO
What is Real Estate SEO?

Real estate SEO is similar to SEO in general, but like any industry it has its own unique challenges. Search Engine Optimization is the practice of optimizing your website for Google Search (there are other searches…but let’s face it, Google is so prevalent that it’s a VERB now). We call it ‘Google Juice’, as when you do it well it gives you power with Google.

Website ‘optimization’ involves a few predominant factors (they account for about 90% of SEO value):

1. On-Page Keywords

On-page keywords are certain keywords that Google is looking for. Common real estate terms include “homes in (your city)”, “realtors in (your city)” and so on. Ideally you want to add each keyword to the page at least 3 or 4 times (but don’t overstuff it—Google looks down on ‘keyword stuffing’). For an added edge, use long-tail keywords (made up of a number of words), questions (which help with mobile SEO) and niche keywords (like ‘green homes’). Using those three types of keywords will help avoid battling every other agent in town for the most common keywords. For an example of keyword use, check out a website that we’ve done the SEO For–and that shot up on Google to the top of page 2 in under a month: Luxury Homes Brampton.

2. Inbound Links

Inbound links are links from other places on the web to your website. The link in the paragraph above is an inbound link 😉

When Google sees that a lot of local websites in your vertical are pointing their visitors to your website, they think—well hey, this website must be pretty good. Inbound links have to be added from other websites to yours, so ask people in your circles (movers, mortgage brokers, cleaning services, real estate lawyers, other agents and brokers, etc.). The higher their SEO, the better quality the link brings.

3. On-Page Optimization

There are a number of things your web company can do to optimize each page. This involves entering your keywords into the various points of code on each page. This is a long list of small things that, if you’re reading this, you will have no idea how to do yourself—so just ask them….or us!

For part two, check out our next blog post!

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

UPDATE: Unfortunately Google has removed Google Authorship for the time being. We all sincerely hope that they will launch this again in the near future, however Google hasn’t expressed any inklings that this is currently in the works. If you hopped in a Dolorian and are reading this from the future–send us a quick note on whether the awesome Google Authorship was ever revived!

 

Google Authorship is an effective and easy way to improve your real estate SEO and improve the amount of search engine visitors you receive. 

What is Google Authorship

Google Authorship is essentially a way to be recognized by Google—in a very visual way. Verified Google authors have a picture that appears in search results. This picture comes along with a byline. real estate SEO google authorship example

How Google Authorship Affect Real Estate SEO

Google recognizes—and rewards—its verfiied authors by displaying their articles higher in search results than equivalent articles and websites who do not have Google Authorship. Your Authorship rating however will improve the more places you are published on the web, so work on doing guest posting on like-minded blogs. These can be your brokerage’s blog, your company’s blog (Royal Lepage, RE/MAX, etc.), mortgage broker blogs or other real-estate industry blogs. The more you posts around the web (when linking to your Authorship account), the better your reputation and recognition from Google will be.

The Real Estate SEO Results

Studies are showing that pages with Google Authorship recognition (the pictures and the bylines) gain 150% more click-throughs than pages without it.

How to Setup Google Authorship (Spoiler: It’s Easy!)

Setting up Google Authorship is extremely easy. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Create a Google Plus profile
  2. Add a professional-looking photo as your primary photo on Google Plus
  3. Ensure your Google Plus name matches the name that you use in real estate
  4. Add your blog to your profiles “Contributor” section (this involves simply entering the URL address and the name of the website)
  5. Add your Google Authorship code to your website

If you are unsure about how to add this code to your website, ask your website provider. If you’re one of our beloved customers…just ask us to add it for you 🙂

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in Branding, SEO, Uncategorized Read More

As a real estate technology tip, here’s a great one. Did you know that you can very easily markup images on your iPhone to send to clients? Yup! With just the click of a few buttons.

With Skitch you can do the following:

  1. Add points of interest to a Google map photo
  2. Point out elements in a listing photo
  3. Highlight points in a contract
  4. Anything else you can think of pretty much!

Here is a great video that demonstrates how easy it is. It also offers a great real estate technology tips on how to easily take a photo of anything on the screen of your iPhone!

*Note: This is a video from RE/MAX’s technology group but we have no affiliation with them–it is just a great video! 🙂

 

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

 

One of our best pieces of real estate marketing advice is this—make better business cards.

Business cards are a reality in real estate, but this dated technology needs a facelift. And let’s face it, they haven’t changed in decades even though the world around us has. If you’ve been wondering whether your paper (or plastic!) business cards are still beneficial to your real estate marketing strategy—this post is for you. Enter Infoduce.

 


Real Estate Marketing Advice: Get Infoduce

Infoduce is a phenomenal tool to bring your offline business online. This digital tool uses QR codes to link your business cards to the whole realm of your digital worlds. BUT, they aren’t just QR codes. Their QR codes can link to a number of things, including connecting them with your social profiles, your listings, your vcard, your website, your online resume and more!
real estate marketing advice infoduce for realtors


We recommend linking it to the following:

 

  1. Online Resume

    As a realtor your resume is your pedigree, so offer your potential customers a way to get to know your experience, niches and successes by connecting your Infoduce code to your resume. This can be via any online resume site or via LinkedIn.

  2. Your Vcard

    Having a potential client save you in their phone is huge—but it is cumbersome for them. Make the process easy by letting them save your info in the click of a button.

  3. Your Listings

    If you meet a potential client and want to show them your current property listings, then have them scan your card. You can link to your featured listings on your mobile-friendly website, to easily share your listings. IF you don’t have a mobile-friendly website with featured listings…let’s talk.

  4. Your Social Profiles

    Having someone connect with you on your social profiles is a great way to get in front of them daily—even if it is digitally.

 

Including the above 4 methods of real estate marketing right on your business card is a phenomenal way to connect with people in new ways—while breathing life into a boring old marketing method that the people you meet really don’t care about. The cold truth is that they either throw your card on the pile when they get home…or it doesn’t even make it that far before it ends up in a trash bin. So, heed our real estate marketing advice and check out Infoduce.

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in Branding, Uncategorized Read More

Have you always wanted to be one of those techno-savvy real estate agents that truly leverages real estate technology but don’t know how? Well, we’ve put together a guide to the basics. And it will cost you zero money—and just a couple of hours to setup!
So, let’s get started…


Your Guide to Real Estate Technology—In 8 Easy, FREE Steps

Your first step to real estate technology is to implement a number of strategies that will set you up for success. Setting them up, initially, will take a couple of hours—but once they are in place all you do is monitor the new activity (which you can do from your smartphone):

  1. Smartphone

    You likely already have a smartphone and a data plan, but if you don’t—that’s your first and biggest step. All the technologies below will integrate into your smartphone, and will help turn your cellphone into an even greater business centre than it already is now!

  2. Zoho CRM

    Every busy agent (if you’re not busy, you will be!) needs a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to keep track of all their leads. A CRM will help you manage the lifecycle of your leads better, from initial contact all that way through to an active client.If you already use Top Producer or another expensive CRM great, you’re already used to the process. In case you don’t have one—or you’re sick of paying hundreds of dollars a year for it—then we have a great suggestion…Zoho CRM. The Zoho CRM is free for up to 3 users and allows up to 5,000 records/contacts. If you go above this, or want some of their advanced features then you can upgrade to their $12/month plan.

    Zoho will allow you to manage your leads, will integrate into your website contact forms and will funnel your leads directly into its system and it will integrate with your email to keep track of conversations. Zoho CRM is a phenomenal free real estate technology, but note that it doesn’t have a place in the CRM for property management. This of course is fine if you’re not on an extremely high-producing team that can’t remember the hundreds and hundreds of homes you sell each year.

    Like everything else on this list you can add the app to your smartphone for total integration.

  3. Zopim Live Chat

    Zopim is a free live chat tool (they have a paid version too—if you want more features) that empowers you to interact with your website visitors. They can use the chat window to ask you a question—or you can pre-emptively start a conversation. Setting up a free account takes less than 5 minutes, then you need to insert one line of code into your website to get it up and running. You then install the app on your smartphone and you will get your chat requests similar to the way you receive a text message.Using the app is quite easy, although learning how to actually engage with people may take some time. For example, saying “hi how can I help you?” is ineffective. It’s about as effective as a salesperson in a retail store saying it. But, looking at the page or listing they’re looking at and forming a custom message is good, like “I see you’re looking at 123 Deer Street—just so you know they are making upgrades to the kitchen!”.

    Here at Real Estate Websites Canada we absolutely love our live chat. Not only as a way to meet new customers and offer existing ones support, but also as a great analytics tool. Zopim allows you to monitor which pages your customers are going to the most often, which ones cause them to leave (you’ll obviously want to fix that page!), how long they spend on your site and much more! So you get a live chat AND a free analytics tool. Although the free Google Analytics offers you richer information.

  4. Mail Chimp

    Mail Chimp is a free email marketing tool that allows you to point-and-click to design a beautiful email newsletter and send it to the clients in your email and/or CRM. It is free and extremely easy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WDNrFctnEI

  5. Zapier

    Zapier is a sensational piece of technology that unites all your other real estate technology. This free tool automates all your services. So, for example, if you update your Zoho CRM it will automatically update your MailChimp. It works with over 250 web apps, and they are adding more every day. Unfortunately, so far it doesn’t integrate with Zopim live chat, but it does integrate with Olark—a paid live chat software. For a full list of apps, click here:

    https://zapier.com/zapbook/

    This tool can save you hours upon hours of updating your various real estate technology.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMW6RMABgdE

  6. Online Appointment Tool

    As a Realtor you’re undoubtedly sick of the constant going back and forth trying to schedule time with clients and other agents. Well—there’s a real estate technology for that now! By using an online appointment tool, like Simply Book Me. An online appointment tool will allow your clients, other agents—and even your kids—to book time with you by simply going on your website and reserving a time. So, no more “how about tuesday at 4?….no, wednesday at 1?…OK how about thursday at 8?.

  7. YouTube Account

    A YouTube account is a great way to promote both yourself and your listings. Since your fancy smartphone has videos in it, you might as well use it! Take video tours of your listings and do a promotion of yourself at the same time (if you can get your client to hold the camera).By installing the YouTube app on your smartphone you can upload these videos at the click of a button! But a word to the wise…if you don’t have an unlimited data plan then try to upload them while you’re on a wifi connection..otherwise you’ll burn through your data plan real fast—and it will take longer to upload.

    But seriously—if you could better promote both yourself AND your listings in less than 5 minutes time, why wouldn’t you?

  8. Time-Saving Apps

    There are a number of apps that, in our opinion, every Realtor should use to save time. Our favs include a scanning app that turns a smartphone photo into a document and DropBox—which allows you to save and share documents on the go.

 

If you can take a couple of hours out of your day to implement all the real estate technology listed above you’ll be well on your way to becoming the tech-savvy agent you’ve always wanted to be. The only thing left will be to get a flexible, technology-friendly, mobile-ready website. Hop on over to our other pages to learn about how you can get one for a one-time payment of….Ask us for a quote 😉

 

 

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

We love WordPress for websites–including real estate broker websites. We love it for a number of reasons…it is powerful, it is quite user-friendly, it empowers its users to learn and grow—and it offers more functionalities than any other CMS. It of course has its downsides, like that not every single functionality works with every theme, and that it takes a decent amount of customization to make the website look like a rockstar. BUT—weighing the positives and negatives, the results shows exactly why real estate brokers should use WordPress for their brokerage’s website.

And here’s those reasons…

5 Reasons WHY Real Estate Brokers Should Use WordPress for their Website!

 

  1. Saving Money
    Hosting for WordPress is extremely cost effective. Even more so when compared to real estate websites companies who charge $50-$100 a month (or $600-$1,200 a year). Our websites are a low one-time cost, and then our hosting is just $120 a year—and this is for a custom-designed rockstar-quality website. *Note: the one-time cost includes custom branding and graphics and standard WordPress features–additional development work, content writing and searchable agent tables cost extra (the average cost for most development features is $100-$200).Hosting is the only money-saving feature…WordPress also saves website maintenance costs, as you can update the website yourself, you can create role-based permissions for other users you add (like admin assistants)–and you can save on professional costs. Our WordPress real estate websites, as an example, offer per-incident customer support for $25 for basic support requests.
  2. Plugins and Functionalities
    There are currently 28,794 plugins (as of the date of writing) in the WordPress repository. That’s almost 30,000 functionalities for your website. Of course, a number of these would be uninteresting for Realtors, some of them are duplicated in their functionalities and a small percentage may not work with the theme you chose. But—even if you narrow all that down you still have over 10,000 plugins/functionalities for your site.
  3. Affordable—High-Quality Design
    If you’ve ever priced-out the cost of custom-designed, custom-branded website then you know how truly expensive it can be. If you haven’t—it’s anywhere between $3,000-$10,000+…and you still have to pay monthly for your automatic MLS listings. For some of the bigger brokerages this is an affordable expense, but not all brokerages have hundreds of agents. For brokerages who don’t currently have that in the budget—there’s US! We offer semi-custom websites (they look custom but aren’t built they just aren’t created by code, from scratch) based on a powerful Content Management System platform that you can use yourself (we have free training videos and paid one-on-one training). They also offer clean , professional design. Checkout our portfolio to see!
  4. Featured Listings
    Our websites have tons of ways to feature listings, from adding them in the main slider (including a video!!) to cut and paste video posting to rotating featured listings on the homepage.
  5. Integrated Marketing and Technology Tools and Features
    Our websites offer tons of integrable marketing and technology tools—probably including most of the ones you already use now. This is because we leverage the world’s biggest Content Management System—which means pretty much every technology company caters to it and has tons of features. This includes live chat (which if you haven’t tried yet can be a phenomenal lead-generation tool once you get the swing of how not to scare people away), CRM, lead-capturing forms, squeeze pages, email-marketing integration and more!

 

So—if you’re a broker in the market for a website…let us know what you’re looking for and we can percolate some great ideas for your site!

 

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Realtor websites are your best chance to make a first impression, to distinguish yourself…yadda yadda yadda. Insert any additional cliches that you can think of here. Since here at Real Estate Websites Canada we loathe vagueries we thought we’d just get right down to business and offer you tangible advice about what to look for in a website—even if it isn’t one of ours. Oh, and while you’re here…check out our websites (which are available a one-time fee of $2500).

Realtor Websites— 8 Things to Look For

So—without further preamble, fluff or crap, here’s the top things you should look for in realtor websites…

 

realtor websites bad example

…don’t do this. 

(And don’t do this either)

  1. Responsive Design Responsive design ensures that your website looks perfect across all devices. This is because it adjusts depending on the screen size—without looking stretched or like a shrunken head. Responsive design is an alternative to designing a specifically mobile website (which is a different version of your website for only smartphones), which is another excellent option…depending on your needs. Note that mobile websites may need to be updated in addition to the non-mobile version.
  2. Clean Lines Modern web design is all about clean lines that allow your visitor to be visually-impressed by your site—instead of scared away. They also empower the user to easily find the content they want.
  3. Flow Clean lines assist with proper ‘flow’. ‘Flow’ gives the users a place to begin looking, and then guides them through the website. This is accomplished by properly using element size and colours.
  4. Creativity and Uniqueness If you think that your website is the only realtor websites that your potential clients are going to, you’re quite mistaken. The average user will look at, at least, 10 realtor websites before they choose their agent. Make yours stand out with clever branding.
  5. Great Content The ‘wow factor’ visuals of your website will keep a user around for a few seconds—but you need to convince them to stick around (and hopefully call you!) with great content that offers them tangible advice. Avoid cheesy realtor fluff…they saw enough of that on the previous 9 Realtor websites they visited. Great content will also vastly help your SEO. If you have no idea what to write…we’ll scribe you some brilliance for $35/page.
  6. Features (click-to-call, live chat, etc.)So you hooked them in with your flash, kept them there with your content…but now what? Well, now you need features that help reel in the fish. These include things like click-to-call, live chat, email sign up for information they truly want, etc.
  7. Function
    Another element you want to look for is functionality. To give you an example, we worked hard on functionality for our website about condos for sale in Regina. This website has compare listings feature, a ‘favourite’ listings feature, advanced search functionality, call to actions and more.
  8. Integration You surely have at least five different types of technology—ideally you want them to all integrate together. A great example of this is to integrate your lead-capturing technology into your website, and then hook them both into your CRM. Zapier is a great technology to link together nearly every technology you have. Another way to integrate your existing technology and marketing into your website is to integrate your social marketing—so that when you post on your website it automatically pushes it out to your social networks.
  9. Lead Capturing The whole point of your website is to capture the users. So, use carefully-tuned lead-capturing forms and technology to help make the most of your website.

 

So—sounds good…but where can you find all these things? Well, prepare yourself for the shameless self plug—but with us.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

In our digital world, real estate websites are your first impression. If you have an unprofessional website it will likely be your last impression. So…how DO You make a great impression online?

We happen to know what makes a great first impression online in terms of real estate websites and Realtors….

Our Real Estate Websites: 4 Ways to Make a Great First Impression Online

Without further ado or mumbo jumbo, here are our top ways to make a great first impression online…

real estate websites first impression online

  1. Get a GREAT Website

    Whether you opt for one of our websites (which we highly encourage you to at least investigate) or not—you NEED a great website. The days of having a 90s-looking, poor-functioning, non-mobile website are long over. If you don’t have a super-professional website that is customized to you and has a unique concept to it (whether that circles around a slogan or other branding). You also need a homepage that encourages users to move on to a second page in order to reduce ‘bounce rate’.A website is critical to your first impression as it portrays professionalism—or not. And there’s zero excuse for having a poor website considering we sell ours for a one-time fee of $2500.

  2. Get a Better Headshot

    If we ever see another 80s ‘power pose’, teased hair, or an agent leaning on a sold sign again—we’ll go crazy. Your potential customers surely feel the same way. So—get better headshots. Drop the cheesy and opt for professional, modern shots—that don’t say “Hi my name is sleazy”, and that don’t scare people away. If a professional photographer isn’t in your budget (although you’d be surprised how affordable it can be) then get smart about it. Hire a student photographer or look for a Groupon photography deal..in order to save a few bucks.

  3. Get a Great Bio

    One of our biggest pet peeves is agents who have super-generic ‘I’ll sell your home TODAY’ content without any type of specifics, proven abilities, bio or resume. Every agent says that same vaguery. Be different. Also, if you’re not eloquently written—hire a professional. Seriously—it will cost you like $35-$40, and you can use it across all your marketing material in addition to your website—for YEARS to come. If a photo and bio are the only investments you make this year in marketing…spend $100 on the two of them.

  4. Availability and Response Time

    We’ve dealt with agents—but as clients and as THEIR clients. One of the biggest issue for Realtors is response time. Implement a number of ways for people to get a hold of you and promote them on your website, business cards and marketing materials—but then support those with ready availability.

 

If you haven’t checked out our real estate websites Canada design yet—do so now. We’re cheaper than our competitors and significantly better..which makes us a solid investment. Then be sure to build on that website, including with a great bio, headshot and availability!

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

When we approach people about our real estate websites Canada the usual response is something along the lines of ‘who the heck are you guys’?

Fair question.

 

Who ARE we? The truth is we’re nobodies in the business—so far. We don’t have the reach or the huge client base of our ‘competitors’ (although we really don’t have competitors in what we do) and we haven’t been around for a decade like everyone else. But we kinda like that.

 

We’re new. We’re hip…and most importantly—we’re different. There are a number of distinguishing characteristics that set us apart from our ‘competition’…

 

  1. We SELL Websites—Not Rent Them You’re a Realtor. If you’re not—then what the heck are you doing here? Just kidding—we’ll love you anyways. It is silly for Realtors to RENT anything, so why are you renting your website? The simple reason is that people want their website auto populated with MLS listings…and our competition charges monthly for this. This is renting your website as the second you stop paying—you’re kicked out on your keester.Instead of charging you monthly, we charge you to setup your customized website (better than our templated competition…and you know who you are!) and setup your MLS listing feed—and charge you once. Why do we charge you once and not monthly? Why not—it doesn’t cost us anything monthly to ‘feed’ your feed…this happens automatically.But don’t worry—we have other elements that we can charge you for in the future (all are optional of course), including technology training, website improvements (new technologies come out every month…and we help you stay on top of them), support and hosting ($120 annually).Having said all that–we do actually rent some websites. We offer a series of managed website solutions that are rented monthly as a lead-generation solution. We build the websites, we maintain them, we do all the SEO and online marketing. You simply get the leads. One example is for a niche website about condos for sale in Regina. This is one of many condo websites we run that we rent out monthly.
  2. We Offer Customized Websites We create our websites based on WordPress themes. These are leaps and bounds above our competition and their templates, as templates are a ready-to-go website that they insert your name and picture into. Themes are powerful frameworks that allow you to move things around, add other things, remove elements and add pages at your whim. Now…our websites aren’t 100% custom-built (custom websites are anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000+), they are just customized to contain the available elements of your liking.
  3. Variety When we say that we use ‘themes’…there are almost 10,000 themes available—and this number grows daily. Not only does this offer you greater opportunity when choosing the design you want (and by the way these themes aren’t simply templates in 37 different colours schemes!…each of the 10,000 themes has different colour schemes available) but it also helps ensure that 89 other agents in your city won’t be using your theme. Note: we don’t guarantee nobody will ever select your theme again for their website…but the odds of another of the 100 agents in your city choosing the exact theme you chose out of the 10,000 + themes would be relatively rare.
  4. Our Websites are Modular Our websites don’t have to be set it and forget it solutions. We have modular technologies where we can add additional functions as they become available on the market. And by the way, the WordPress ‘market’ is open to every developer in the world and new functionalities are being released every single day (although you won’t like all of them of course).
  5. We’re InexpensiveAllow us to take a moment to say that we’re inexpensive (currently), but we’re not cheap. We offer cutting-edge designs that are super-professional and unique, but we do it for a low price. There’s no expensive monthly fee, as all our service fees are optional—and will help you continue to build your website….because heck—technologies progresses DAILY.

Hmm…You Sound Too Good To Be True

If you’re thinking that we’re too good to be true—know that nothing is perfect. We don’t offer every single feature our competition does (although we do offer a few that they don’t), we aren’t perfect and can’t offer every single feature you want and/or design a website idea from scratch/specifics (you’ll need to buy a custom website for thousands of dollars for that). What we do deliver is a super-professional website that looks like the custom ones…for a fraction of the price—and without an expensive monthly payment.

 

Curious? Give us a shout for more information—or poke around on our website a lil further.

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

In our last post we wrote about what WordPress’ Jetpack IS, including all the wonderful features bundled into it. However—we also said that not all of them are applicable to a real estate website specifically, but hey—nobody’s perfect right?

WordPress’ Jetpack tool is a kick-a** set of tools for WordPress-built websites that is 100% free and 200% awesome.

Here our favourites—and why we LOVE them….

real estate website jetpack 1
Why Your Real Estate Website NEEDS WordPress’ Jetpack!

  1. PhotonPhoton is a feature that allows you to load your images quicker, as they’re hosted on the WordPress network. This plugin saves bandwidth and helps your website load faster as you don’t have to store all those images on your website server. Think of it like your computer—when you use 80% of your memory your computer slows down.
  2. CarouselCarousell allows users to view yours images in full-screen view, while initially displaying your photos in a nice ‘carousel’-like appearance.
  3. Tiled Layouts Tiled layouts is a pretty way to display your photos when you have a number of images together on a single page.
  4. PublicizePublicize is great for people like you—who are busy! All the steps involved in uploading all your blogs is difficult enough, but to go through all your social profiles and post it yourself is irritating. Publicize posts every time with ‘Publicize’. It makes making your posts social—easy as pie!
  5. Sharing Jetpack’s sharing buttons mean your users can easily share your content. Anyone doing social media marketing will immediately understand why that’s important!
  6. Mobile Theme EVERY real estate website needs to be mobile-friendly. All of our are, but just in case your website theme in WordPress doesn’t leverage responsive design—then Jetpack’s mobile theme will ensure your website displays nicely on mobile devices.If you’re wondering whether your site is mobile or not—just ask us!
  7. Infinite ScrollIf your theme supports infinite scroll—then you’ll want this plugin. Unfortunately it doesn’t work with about 50% of themes, but for the ones it does it allows your pages to display an unlimited amount of posts or listings!
  8. Site Stats Sites stats is like a simplified version of Google Analytics, which is a free tool that tells you how many people are on your website each day, how they found it, what pages they visited, what pages make them leave, etc. Site stats is a simple version that takes only a second to setup, that tells you basic data. If you want to drill-down in your site data further, then ask us how to get Google Analytics.

 

So—if you’re already using one of our WordPress real estate websites but don’t have any of these setup, purchase our simple support ticket for $25 and we can activate them for you lickety split (generally within 48 hours).

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

If you’re using one of our rockstar websites and have seen the ‘Jetpack; option on the menu—this post is for you.

 

Jetpack for Real Estate Website Design

Jetpack is a powerful set of tools all lumped into one installation that allows you to do a huge number of things with your WordPress-based real estate website design. These features are:

 

    1. WordPress.com Stats (helps monitor website traffic)
    2. Notifications (find out about changes and website stats in your browser toolbar)
    3. Publicize (send your new content automatically to your social profiles)
    4. Jetpack Comments (a system so users can comment on your website)
    5. Subscriptions (lets users subscribe to your website content)
    6. Post by Email (LETS YOU CREATE BLOG POSTS BY SENDING AN EMAIL!)
    7. Likes (helps you promote your content to get more Facebook Likes)
    8. Carousel (an awesome way to display images)
    9. Sharing (allows your users to share your content)
    10. Spelling and Grammar (not a well speeler?–get this feature!)
    11. VaultPress (online backup…but we can recommend a free version)real estate website design jetpack 5
    12. Omnisearch (a powerful search tool)
    13. Gravatar Hovercards (useless in our opinion)
    14. Contact Form (a nice-looking contact form option)
    15. WP.me Shortlinks (creates short links)
    16. Google+ Profile (link your content to your Google+ profile)
    17. Tiled Galleries (another beautiful way to display images
    18. Widget Visibility (more website widgets)
    19. Mobile Theme (a nice mobile tool if your website isn’t responsive to begin with)
    20. Shortcode Embeds (…this is a web design thing)
    21. Custom CSS (another web design thing)
    22. Extra Sidebar Widgets (even more widgets! Yay!)
    23. Infinite Scroll (instead of making peopel click “page 2” then “page 3”, they can just scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll)
    24. Photon (helps load images faster)
    25. Jetpack Single Sign On (a powerful sign-in tool if your website has a sign-in area)
    26. Monitor website stats (helps monitor your viewers)
    27. Mobile Push Notifications (if there are changes or notifications from your website—this tool will tell you)
    28. JSON API (cloud-based access)
    29. Enhanced Distribution (better share your content in Google)

 

So—some of the above functions are somewhat useless for real estate website design, but others are truly amazing. And of course…they’re all FREE, so why the heck not, right?

 

For reasons why you should use some of these features—and to find out which ones are our personal favs…click here.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Here at Real Estate Web Design Canada we’re regularly asked where we’re located…and the answer is we’re not.

We’re not physically located in any one place. We’re spread out across the globe in a virtual workforce. We’d work on the moon if it had better Wifi.

 real estate web design location 2

Real Estate Web Design Canada–WHY? WHY?

Well, because we love travelling, we love warm climates—and we LOVE not having to dredge into an office everyday. We’re a happy mobile workforce. But before you doubt that our commitment to physical real estate is anything but a massive bonus to you—know that our mobility is a major benefit for our customers…

As a mobile force we have no expensive overhead—and offices are expensive! If we all dredged into an office everyday we’d have to pay rent, electricity, telecommunications, stamps and the like. That costs money….and when we say it costs money—it would cost YOU money, because we’re not a charity.

If you’d like to join our “Buy REwebsites an Office” relief plan we encourage you to buy our websites at twice the price. In reward we’ll send you the picture of the office worker that you’ve sponsored, in addition to a hand-written email every month of how much they hate their new cubicle. So—donate today to join our give-an-office-worker-a-cubicle program.

..OR, simply support our mobile real estate web design workers and buy one of our insanely affordably-priced websites. And don’t feel sorry for us…we like our offices on the beach and home offices.

 

Real Estate Web Design? What Web Design?

Ah…we see that you’re new around here. Well, welcome to the future of real estate websites design. Our custom-branded, high-tech websites are the most affordable websites around as ours cost just $2500 (+$120/year for hosting)–and they still offer the top technologies on the market.

If you’re asking yourself how we can afford to charge a one-time fee while most of our competitors charge $50+ monthly—it is because we do things different. A mobile, office-less workforce is just one of the ways that we keep our prices affordable for the rockstar websites we offer.

Another way that we keep our prices down, beyond real estate, is that we use an existing platform instead of building our own—because heck, why reinvent the wheel? We use WordPress, an open-source (this means free) platform that is the most widely used platform on the planet. Every major technology integrates into WordPress, including major CRMs, lead generation, email marketing, live chat and more. What WordPress does, it empowers us to offer leading technologies—without having a hundred-thousand-dollar development department (because again, that’s expensive!).

Yet another way we save (you) money, is that we don’t charge you monthly for MLS listing integration. We don’t know why the big guys do. Greed we suppose (sorry big guys, if you’re reading this!). We charge you to set it up—because we have to pay someone to do it—and again, we’re not a charity—but we actually don’t make any money on this. We currently charge just $89.95, one time, (if you’re reading this from the future and we’ve raised our one-time setup charge—sorry, you should have bought a website sooner!) because it doesn’t cost us anything next month or the month after that.

So—are you ready to get a custom, mobile-friendly website, for an affordable one-time price that is less than it costs to rent a templated websites for one year from our competitors?

Great—contact us today, or keep browsing around our website while you continue to realize why we’re the best solution on the market.

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in Uncategorized Read More

Real Estate Websites Marketing Tip:

Have you ever felt like your direct mail campaign is lacking? Lacking results. Lacking measurability. Lacking connection to your overall marketing?
Well, it could be missing an online connection. An online connection from direct mail to your online presence could be the missing link—a link that could not only offer your direct mail an extra kick but also drive the engagement that it so desperately needs.

 

So—let’s put some verbs in our sentences with these real estate marketing tips…

 

Real Estate Marketing Tip: How to Liven Up your Direct Mail Campaign with QR Codes

Let’s jump right into our real estate marketing tips to supercharge your existing direct mail marketing campaign…

  1. Why
    The ‘why’ is simple…direct mail marketing is expensive—which means it needs to net results. And of course, it does…but, those results can always be better. The ‘why’ is simply that if you could improve your existing marketing, easily—why wouldn’t you?
  2. How to
    The ‘how’ is the hard part. OK—it isn’t really that hard. One of the best ways to connect your offline marketing efforts with your online marketing efforts is to use QR codes. They can turn your static printing into a video, interactive website or other digital venture at the click of a smartphone button.Oh ya—back to the ‘how to’. If you’re already a client of ours, simply tell us you want QR codes. For a $25 support ticket we will install a QR code generator that will create a QR code for every website page, blog post and your homepage. You can then, at the click of a button have a QR code for whatever page you want your visitors to see, whether it include a bio, testimonials, videos or other form of content. If you aren’t a customer yet—it’s about damned time! We’ve been waiting for you…welcome home 🙂
  3. Find a Gimmick
    So, adding a QR code to your direct mail is all well and good—but that doesn’t mean anybody will take their Samsung out of their pocket and scan it. Pick some sort of gimmick that will get them to scan the code. This can be the promise of an actionable Local Area Real Estate Market Report, a link to your video, the potential for a free trip to Vegas—the promise of free candy, or what have you.
  4. Have a good website to back it up
    Before you go rushing out putting QR codes on everything from your direct mail to your business cards to the rear door of your hatchback—know that you need something to link to. If you don’t have a great website, get one of our custom websites for just $2500 (less than the cost of a single mailer!), or post a video on YouTube that they can link to. Don’t link to poor, generic content or a dated website—trust us, that won’t help!

 

For more tech tips, real estate websites marketing tips, bookmark our blog, join our mailing list—and of course, for a kick-ass website, contact us today!

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

We recently read an article in Business Insider that we felt was worth sharing with our clients in terms of 2014 social media marketing tips for Realtors…

The article circled around an online entrepreneur, Koby Conrad, who is earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year—from Facebook. He doesn’t code, he doesn’t invent anything and he didn’t have any experience.

Koby might not resonate with most of our Realtors, who are in the 40-50 age range—but Koby has some excellent social media lessons to offer, that Realtors (in our opinion) should listen to.

So—as a background to the article, Koby was highlighted as being one of the few Facebook marketers to excel despite perceived negative changes in Facebook’s marketing platform—which devalued pages and showed up to 90% less of pages’ posts in newsfeeds. And here’s how he did it….

 

2014 Social Media Marketing Tips for Realtors from a Young Entrepreneur

In Koby’s rant/article/lesson he gave four prominent lessons…

 

  1. Stop Talking About Yourself
    Yes, social media is a platform—but it isn’t a podium. Koby reminds people that nobody cares about hearing only about you or your product. That’s not why they’re on their Facebook. They are there for cute cat videos and to respond to infuriating self-deprecating posts.Instead of fighting against to this—sell out and go with it. Create content that people want to see. So—funny real estate pictures, a hilarious video, hard-hitting stats they haven’t heard before or even pictures of your cat doing something funny.
  2. Use Admin Tags
    When you have a page you have the option of posting as your page or as yourself. Know the difference, and sign off of your admin tags to drive further reproduction and interaction with your existing Facebook ‘friends’.
  3. Ask Questions
    You’ve surely been looking for a way to drive engagement and interaction. Here it is…ask questions—and make them simple and/or infuriating and/or emotion-driven. Be a ‘troll’ and ask questions with emotionally-driven answers and add phrases like ‘share if you agree’.
  4. Network—like, REALLY Network
    Yeah yeah, we’re all on social networks to ‘network’…BUT—how many of us ACTUALLY network with it. One of Koby’s most tangible pieces of advice is to actually network with Facebook. And he recommends doing this by aligning yourself with people in your vertical who aren’t direct competitors—and mutually sharing links and posts.
    For real estate agents this would be mortgage brokers, movers, cleaners, home inspectors, etc.
  5. Post Often…Without Spamming
    Koby says the most successful marketers, himself included, post every 3 hours on Facebook—24 hours a day. This is a fine line though as he advises that these need to be high-quality posts (not about yourself!) that have value.
    In our opinion, if you can come up with clever, informative posts 24 hours a day—phenomenal! Posting less if you have less to say however is better than posting 24 hours a day about your cat’s latest bowel movement (graphic—but proves a point, no?).

 

So—Now What?

We don’t offer social media marketing yet—as social media marketing takes a level of finesse that few people have. We’re working on finding someone though.

 

Until then, we recommend posting yourself—because who knows you better than you. Or, you can hire a company, but give a serious consideration to their end result.

For the full article on Koby, click here.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

Young buyers are an important percentage of the home-buying market—so your real estate marketing needs to cater (at least in part) to them. If you’re rolling your eyes thinking “yeah, easier said than done…mutter mutter…young punks…grumble grumble”–never fear…it’s easier than you think.

If you found this blog post randomly on the internet (*woohoo this proves our marketing is working!) and haven’t seen our website yet—check it out, then come back to this blog post.

Http://real-estate-websites.ca

Done? Great.

You likely noticed the ‘pow’ of our design. Clean lines, humour, a bright pop of colour (but not too much), integrated video, clear navigation, a responsive mobile design that shows brilliantly on mobile devices, the modern logo, etc. These are all geared towards a Web 2.0, younger audience…because if the technology and design can impress a young, technology-oriented agent…it will surely impress some of the *ahem* ‘progressive in years’ agents.

The truth is–if your marketing can impress even the young, hip kids–then everyone else will likely follow suit. Modern is good–to everyone. So, how can YOU do it?

 

Real Estate Marketing: How to Attract Young Buyers

To keep this simple we’ve come up with 3 somewhat simple things you can do to upgrade your real estate marketing to a 2.0 version that will impress the young crowd…

  1. Get Modern Headshots
    If you’re leaning on a sold sign, with teased hair, a screwed-on smile and a thumbs up—it’s time to update the pictures. So, ditch the ‘power poses’, 90’s brick cellphone pictures and other canned images. Get modern-looking headshots that show you out in the field—you know, actually working! Or, make this the year where you go for a funny approach and take a joke picture. Or—if those sound too risky, just get a modern picture, with bright colours or warm tones and a nice background (exposed brick always makes for good pictures). Outdoor headshots are always nice too—although this doesn’t always work well in Canadian winters.

  2. Social Media Marketing
    Every single young person is on Facebook. So, create a Facebook page with good, modern branding that shows your expertise in the business combined with your personality.

  3. Get a Stellar Website
    Every single young person will also Google you and check out your website. A dated website shows that you’re behind on technology—which is a huge detraction for the younger generation. It is a problem for them because technology is a big part of marketing these days, and they want to know that you use technology well and can do things like text, email and ‘chat’.

    So, ditch your old website that looks like it was created in the late 90s (and the template probably was!). Get a custom-branded website that is modern, and that truly represents your personality, approach and expertise. An example of a website we made that attracts young buyers is our niche website about condos for sale in Regina. This website’s overall look is catered to young buyers–which was a smart decision considering young people make up the majority of condo buyers in Regina (and other cities for that matter).

    If you’re worried that this all sounds too expensive and time-consuming. Headshots are a one-off cost and can be done fairly cheap (you can check Groupon for a photography deal if you want to save some cash), social media marketing is free (and fun!)–and our custom-branded websites are only $2500 and we do all the work!

    Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

If you’re looking for a good way to make actionable, tangible change(s) this year–I think Google’s Matt Cutts (a brilliant guy in a number of respects) has some of the best advice we’ve heard yet…

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

Many of the Realtors we talk to—as a 2014 Realtor resolution or not—want to leverage technology better.

Great…but how?

To help you guys out, here’s a 2014 Realtor resolution crash course to Realtor technology…

 

Realtor 2014 Resolution: 3 Technology Tips

Here are a number of ways to get the leg up on your competition, technologically…

 

  1. Get a Better Website
    Those 90s template websites don’t cut it anymore. The idea of just ‘having a website’ doesn’t work. A bad website is worse than no website, because a bad website indicates poor marketing. And poor marketing is the sign of a poor agent. So, this year—finally get a website that actually represents you. It’s more affordable than you think. Our websites will actually save you money, as they cost $2500 one-time (+$120 for hosting annually), and then just $120 a year after that. This is for a custom-designed, custom-branded website that won’t be cookie-cutter. I you’re asking yourselves why we’re so cheap and don’t charge $600 a year—it’s because no one should. If you’re paying $50 a month you’re being ripped off, as that company does nothing for you. We don’t charge that because there’s no need—we charge you ($89.95), once, and then we move on (–and show you smarter ways to spend your money).Our websites don’t just give you a custom-branded and designed website though, they also offer cutting-edge features. This includes live chat, CRM integration, email-marketing integration and more.
  2. Email Marketing
    Speaking of email marketing for Realtors. 2014 is THE year to finally do it. It is so much easier than you think, and we have two low-cost solutions for you. Our first suggestion is MailChimp—which is a FREE platform (up to 2,000 contacts) that is highly intuitive and insanely easy to use. It is literally point-and-click, and has phenomenal graphics that offer super-professional results.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WDNrFctnEIOur other suggestion—and the better option—is to use BombBomb video email marketing. This type of email marketing leverages video, which means it is easier for Realtors to create as all they have to do is talk. And if you can’t ‘talk’–you’re in the wrong business my friend. Being able to create it easily yourself is 1,000 times better than paying a company to send canned, irrelevant content (which is another ‘why bother’ technology). BombBomb isn’t free…but if you spend money on one technology this year….give serious consideration to this. 
  3. Social Media Market BETTER
    The backbone of a social media marketing campaign is having a helpful place to forward them to (as your posts aren’t enough to convince the online public that you’re legit)…aka your website (which is the backbone of ALL your marketing). 
    To improve your social media marketing you likely need to improve your engagement, but that advice could fill 1/5600th of the Encyclopedia Britannica. To get a good start click here for some great social media marketing engagement tips.

 

For more tips, on being a Realtor 2014, check out our other blog posts—or contact one of our sales reps today.

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

 

Above we offer a competitive-pricing matrix that compares our real estate websites pricing with our competitors. Why do we want to directly compare ourselves with our real estate websites  competition? The simple reason is that we have some of the most affordable pricing over the long-term. Having said that–we are speaking about standard pricing only, and we’d never denigrate the work of our worthy competitors.

With this real estate websites  pricing matrix we aren’t speaking to the quality of any company’s work–as many of them do a bang-up job at what they do! We just happen to do things a little differently, including working on a different pricing model. For example, we think the website wizards over at Brixwork do an utterly phenomenal job at providing top-notch backend tools for Realtors…tools that we hope we can offer our clients one day. But–not everyone can afford their services (which are surely worth every penny)…for those people, we’re here. With affordable pricing for a great product.

So–check out our pricing table below, then hop on over to our galleryportfolio and service pages to find out how much we offer for that real estate websites  price point!

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

SEO for Realtors — If you’re not heavily involved in website SEO optimization, blogging and the like then you amy not know that Google is constantly changes their algorithm. They often group a bulk of changes together and then give it a name. Previous changes included Panda and Penguin.

The newest group of changes is Hummingbird.

SEO for Realtors: The Hummingbird Update
The Hummingbird update to Google’s algorithm is largely based around semantic searching.

What this means for Realtors (and the rest of the online world) is that stuffing your website with keywords isn’t an effective strategy anymore. Google is now looking at the way people search, and trying to make the internet more friendly to them. What this means in tangible information is that they’re going to start giving higher relevant to long-tail keywords.

As far as professional online marketers can tell (because Google nearly clearly spells out what is in these updates, to keep us on our toes), this means that Google will start looking at your overall content on a page and on your website. They’re looking for a combination of keywords and semantic-based long-tail keywords

What It All Means
This means that all those emails you get promising to get you to “#1 on Google in 3 weeks” are worth even less than they were before (if that is even possible).

We’ve said it since we started—there is NO cheat for Google. The only way you can rank well in Google search results is still producing great content. This means you can’t simply drop “homes for sale in ___” into all your content, you need to create high-quality articles that are entirely focused around that keyword.

To be honest…it is simply a good idea to create great content—because who cares if you can attract people to your website with a keyword-stuffed article if it doesn’t showcase your expertise and professionalism. Without quality content nobody will call you. And if nobody calls you—you’re wasting your time (or money) writing content (or having it written for you).

The Other SEO for Realtors Tip: Google Authorship
The other element gaining importance with the Hummingbird update is that Google will give even more importance to Google Authorship. For more info on this read our post about Google Authorship here.

So—in conclusion, just keep rocking the rockstar-quality content and you’ll be fine.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

Real Estate Technology — If your new years resolution is to (finally) declutter your desk…boy do we have the tool for you—NeatDesk. Now, we rarely recommend hardware beyond a great computer and an iPad, but this is a good one. The reason why is that we’ve been in Realtor offices that are covered in paper and it drives us nuts.

 

Real Estate Technology Review: NeatDesk

This awesome piece of decluttering hardware will scan all your receipts, business cards, documents and other hardcopy items and digitize them. It is more than a simple scanner though as its smart technology reads the content and helps you automatically organize it. Yup, this scanner can help identify, extract and then organize the most important information.

real estate technology neatdesk

What this means to you is that you can declutter your desk and file cabinet—while having the documents easily at hand as the hardware/software combination organizes your documents into an indexed file that allows you to easily find them on your computer. We bet that you’ll be able to find them quicker on your computer (after using the software a few times) than you can find the hardcopy.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBQfGwd8oqg

 

The ONLY downside to this real estate technology is that it is quite pricey at $399.95—however, if you’re a broker then this is a no-brainer as an investment to increase not only your offices’ efficiency but also your agents’. If you’re an agent who’s broker isn’t interested, consider compiling a few friends in the office to make the investment with you…if you can get 8 agents its only $50 each. The product will absolutely save you $50 worth of time in the efficiencies it offers you. Also, it comes with a 30-day free trial, so if you hate it, nothing lost.

 

This product can help you with:

 

  • Decluttering
  • Organizing your tax information
  • Importing contacts into your phone
  • Organize your contact’s information with their documentation
  • Information backup as you not only digitize your hardcopy files but you can also back it up on the internet to ensure even if your office explodes your information will be there.

 

 

NOTE: We have no affiliation with this real estate technology product—we just like it, and think a huge percentage of our customers could use it!

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

There are two huge explosions in online marketing—video, and email marketing for Realtors. Well, BombBomb is a double threat. BombBomb offers email marketing with integrated video, which can help you take your video marketing to the next level.

Email Marketing for Realtors

 

Email Marketing for Realtors –with Video: The Reality

So, is BombBomb as fantastic as it sounds? Our quick answer: it sounds awesome. The only

caveat is that while we generally offer free or near-free technologies and this one isn’t free. BUT—if you do email marketing this is DEFINITELY worth the investment.

 

 

Coming back to price, the service costs between $25-37 per month (depending on how many users you send to and if you purchase month-to-month or a year at once). When you consider that the high-quality email marketing program we recommend to our clients (OK—to everyone, not JUST our clients) is free—and our clients aren’t paying expensive monthly fees for their website—they can have a rockstar website, an awesome video, email marketing—and integrate video for just $25 a month.

Bombbomb offers you the following features: 

 

  • Email templates for beautiful emails
  • Contact list management tools
  • High deliverability rates
  • Scheduled sending so that you can script emails when you’re not busy but send them one a regular schedule
  • Analytics to measure the success of your marketing campaigns
  • And a handy email editor

 

 

Oh, and by the way—we have no affiliation with BombBomb, it is just a great product at a very realistic price point.

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

It’s 2014—a brand new year, and it’s time to do all those ‘tech thingies’  and real estate marketing ideas you’ve wanted to do for a long time now. BUT, don’t make new year’s resolutions or dreams—make tangible goals. If you’ve had make better use of your CRM, update your dated website, start email real estate marketing or drip marketing, and the like—then we have a 2014 challenge for you—should you wish to accept.

 

(Spoiler—this 2014-oriented article will save you money and therefore expand the reach of what you can accomplish—real estate marketing ideas-wise–this year.)

 

Our Realtor Online Marketing Challenge for 2014
This challenge is all about getting you actively growing towards your goals—and getting you to where you want to be—on the budget you can afford.

Real Estate Marketing Ideas

The first step is to make a list of the technology and online real estate marketing ideas and advances you’d like to (finally) do this year. To help get you started here’s some ideas:

 

  1. Revamp my website
  2. Get a mobile website
  3. Start doing email marketing / drip marketing
  4. Find new—and actually useful—communication tools
  5. Start measuring where my leads come from to better focus my real estate marketing
  6. Start leveraging video in my real estate marketing ideas and strategy
  7. Start using (or better use) QR codes or augmented reality advertising
  8. Redo my business cards
  9. Create a better, overarching real estate branding strategy
  10. Start Social Media Marketing
  11. Improve engagement in Social Media Marketing
  12. Begin analyzing my online success (or lackthereof)
  13. Learn to better use my Ipad or Tablet for business
  14. Begin posting my listings on sites like Craigslist, Kijiji and other third-party networks

 

Your next step is to assign a dollar value to each to see how much each one would cost. Again, we’ll get you started (although this isn’t an exhaustive list as each element could be an entire web article on its own)…

 

Real Estate Marketing Ideas

 

  1. New/Improved Website: $600/year…or is it?
    The standard website company rents you your site for about $50 a month (not including setup fees). That’s $600 every year for a template website. OUR websites are $2500 one time, which means in a couple years you have an extra $600 in your budget. Our websites are also super-professional and don’t use standardized templates.
  2. Mobile Website: FREE
    If you choose our websites you get a responsive website that looks awesome on all mobile devices. So, check!
  3. Email Marketing: Time
    There is an amazing FREE email-marketing platform that has a beautiful point-and-click graphical interface, it’s called MailChimp. MailChimp also stores all your contacts so you just hop on the system once a month, write your content (or copy and paste from somewhere online…or have us write it for you), click on the design you like and voila.
  4. New Communication Tool: FREE
    A phenomenal new tool to use is a Live Chat system, which is free with our websites.
  5. Lead-Source Measurement: See below
    Unfortunately, the only way you can find out where your customers are coming from is by asking them. You can measure your social media activity and you can analyze your website’s traffic (see below), but only you can find out where your leads are coming from.
  6. Video: Time
    You have an iPhone with a fancy camera—use it. You can then upload the video right to YouTube from your phone (do it when you’re around wifi or it will eat your data plan). You then copy and paste the address into the website we created for you and voila!
  7. QR Codes: FREE
    There are tons of ways to get QR codes for free. The way we have for our customers is to have us setup a one-click QR code button, so that you can create QR codes for your listings, your entire website or one specific page. They’re unlimited. If you’re already doing QR codes and you want to vamp it up—check our Layar.com
  8. New Business Cards: $?
    Most companies that print business cards will also design them for you, which means it only costs you the printing costs…which varies. If there isn’t a creative agency in your area—you can have us design them for you for a one-time fee of $40.
  9. Real Estate Branding: Varies
    If you do the other things on this list you’re already half-way there with your real estate branding. So, have your business cards match your website real estate branding, which should match your feature sheets ($50 if you have us design a re-usable template), which should match your Facebook Page (which can setup as a real estate branding-oriented, personalized page for $45).
  10. Start Social Media Marketing: Time
    Social media marketing just takes time…although there are companies you can pay to do it for you. Although, having said that…if you’re going to outsource your social networking—find a company that only does Social Media Marketing and it isn’t just a small side business they’ve setup to post bland content. Look for engagement.
  11. Engagement in SMM: Time
    There are tons of tools you can use for further engagement. Our favourite is HootSuite, which is free unless you want the super-advanced tools (which is $8.99/month)…but you won’t need those until you’re a little stronger with their existing set of free tools.
  12. Analyzing Online Strategy: FREE
    There are phenomenal analytics tools out there that give you easy-to-read graphs to help you find out where your leads come from .Facebook has its own built-in insights, and our favourite tool for your website is Google Analytics—the internet’s most-powerful, FREE analytics tool.
  13. iPad Tools: FREE – a couple dollars
    Many Realtors bought an iPad with the best of intentions—but now all you do is play Angry Birds and check your email. Unfortunately iPad productivity apps are too long to list here, so here’s some great ones to get you started:

http://www.imore.com/sell-sell-sell-iphone-and-ipad-apps-you-need-win-real-estate (Sorry to our Canadian customers,                  but it does have a US-based app on there)

http://realestate.about.com/od/technologyhardware/tp/ipad_first10.htm

  1. Listings on Third-Party Networks: FREE + Time
    Adding your listings to third-party networks is a decent way to get exposure, and all it costs is time. …Or does it? If you use DDF (Data Distribution Facility) instead of IDX, then you can select to automatically add your listings to third-party websites. This is a MAJOR time saver. But this isn’t the only benefit of DDF. Check out our product listing for DDF (which is a one-time fee of $89.95 to install on the websites we build for a one-time payment of $2500):

http://real-estate-websites.ca/product/ddf-for-real-estate-websites/

 

 

Prioritize your Real Estate Marketing Ideas in 2014

Now that you know what you want to do, and how much it costs you now need to prioritize which elements are the most important—and which ones you can afford with the real estate marketing budget you have. If you don’t have a marketing budget, figure one out now.

 

In our opinion… and this isn’t JUST self-serving for us, start with considering one of our super-professional, custom-looking websites for $2500. It will save you hundreds to thousands of dollars a year, which will free up much-needed marketing revenue for next year. After all, looking at the list above—how much could you do for $500-$1,000 a year? If you’re thinking ‘but most of those things were free?’…good question—but you may decide it is worth your time to spend the money you save on paying someone else to dot your I’s and cross your T’s to free up your time for selling.

 

The capital our websites free up aren’t the only reason to get our websites—we’ve got tons of them. The most important one however is that ALL of your online real estate marketing ideas and efforts all come back to your website. You send people back to the property listings on your website with QR codes, from your Social Media Marketing, your new business cards, your branding, your video, your email marketing AND your mobile strategy.

 

Your website is at the hub of it all—so start there. We’ll help you with the rest. And, if you haven’t bookmarked our blog yet, be sure to do so (even if you won’t become a customer) as it offers you tangible, actionable tips on how to succeed as a Realtor with top technologies.

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

 

We hear this question all the time, why are your real estate websites so cheap? Sometimes it is accusatory in tone, other times inquisitive. If you’re wondering why we offer customized websites for $2500 and no monthly while other companies are charging $1,000+ to set them up and then a monthly fee. And they do a good job—and so do we, so why are we cheaper?

 

Well, there’s a number of elements that contribute to our price…

Why Our Real Estate Websites Are Cheap

 

  1. We’re Still Young

    We’ve only been around about 8 months (at the time of writing), which means we haven’t grown too big for our britches. We took Steve Jobs’ advice to heart, to “Stay young. Stay foolish”. And we’re just that, young and foolish—but excellent web designers, and quite frankly fun people to do business with.

     

    Having said that however, we don’t promise to stay at $2500 forever (but if you purchase a website at today’s price of, then that isn’t of concern to you).

  2. Because We Can

    We’re apparently young and foolish enough to not gouge our customers with $600+ in yearly fees—because we don’t need to. We don’t have the overhead of a fancy office, proprietary software or fancy suits.

     

    We just need enough money to buy beer and Kraft Dinner.

     

  3. Because We Think Differently

    We don’t want you to not spend money on online marketing. We just want to show you how to spend it smarter. Don’t spend money on ‘hosting’ which should cost you less than a hundred dollars a year, instead spend that on customized branding, drip marketing campaigns, SEO and rockstar content that defines your expert status.

     

    That’s where we come in. We offer all the ancillary services—which is where we make our money. So, instead of charging you for nothing (‘hosting’)–we charge you for services that put you above the competition AND you also get a customized website that, in our humble opinion, is far superior to simple template websites.

  4. Because We Didn’t Reinvent the Wheel

    We didn’t develop a multi-million-dollar platform, because all the tools we need are already available—for free. We’re an aggregator of technology, and we charge you to put them in a nice package with a pretty bow. Then we customize the heck out of it.

     

    For example, we use the widely-used free WordPress platform to build our websites on. It has thousands of free plugins (literally-named technology that plugs smaller software into it) that offer a nearly-endless amount of features and functionalities. By using this platform, and the software that works with it we’re able to offer free live chat, free lead-capturing and more.

    To break that down even further…the live chat software we use plugs in to your WordPress website. It’s called Zopim. It’s free for a single user (if you want more users its $14.99 a month), but is an extremely powerful and intuitive platform that sends live chat requests from your website to your smartphone via their app. It also offers a web dashboard that allows you to look at users based on analytical data that it collects. It’s an extremely powerful tool—and it’s free. And we don’t charge you anything…even though we could.

     

    We’re nice like that. 🙂

     

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

So, you’ve purchased one of our real estate websites–or you’re thinking of purchasing one of our customized real estate websites–and you’re wondering how the heck these things work, then you’ve come to the right place.

With the websites we create people ask us tons of use-related questions, often circling around what they will be able to do themselves. These questions include:

 

So, the quick answer is yes–you can easily update themselves.

Even though our websites are highly customized and look complex on the front end, they still use the relatively-simple WordPress backend. To teach you exactly how to do this we’re posting a great series of informative how-to videos from Duke University’s Center for Instructional Technology (CIT).

 

WordPress Basics: How to Create a Blog Post

 

 

 

This first video covers the super basics of WordPress, including:

  • How to find your WordPress admin section (hint: it’s always enter “/wp-admin” at the end of your URL)
  • How to create a new blog post
  • How to preview your blog post
  • How to save and publish your blog post

 

WordPress Basics: How to Add an Image to your Blog Post, Page or Listing

 

This blog post shows you:

  • How to add an image from the web
  • How to add an image from your computer

 

WordPress Basics: How to Add a Link to your Blog Post, Listing or Page

 

This video shows you:

  • How to add a link to any page, blog post or listing in WordPress

 

WordPress Basics: How to Style your Text for your Blog Post, Page or Listing


In this video you learn how to format your text, a process very similar to Microsoft Word.

 

WordPress Basics: How to Add a Video

Adding videos to your listings is a phenomenal way to highlight your listing–and it is an incredibly easy within WordPress:

  • How to find the url of your video
  • How to add a video to a blog post, listing or page

 

For further instructionals on how to use WordPress to accomplish one of your goals, simply go to www.youtube.com and enter “wordpress tutorial” and whatever keyword you’d like. For example, “wordpress tutorial adding a page to your menu”.

 

Stay tuned to our blog to learn intermediate WordPress skills and how to use specific functionalities in WordPress.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…

 

 

Does grammar and spelling matter to real estate websites SEO and to Google? If you’re heavily focusing on real estate websites SEO this is a great question to ask and an even better answer to know.   The quick answer is no. According to Matt Cutts (see the video below), Google’s algorithm doesn’t currently give much consideration to spelling and grammar…however there are caveats to this.    

 


 

Matt Cutt’s Google and Grammar Video

 

So, no—Google doesn’t value grammar or spelling (yet), but Matt makes a great point in this video that there is a correlation between grammar and spelling and success. The highest-ranking websites tend to have great content with proper grammar and spelling, and the lowest-ranking sites tend to have poorer syntax, grammar and spelling.   There is no direct relation to spelling and Google success—but, the point of SEO is to monetize your website so that you increase the amount of online and offline conversions that you make. Part of this process is the content you have on your website, which acts as a branding tool. And if all things are the same with your web design and user experience, consumers will choose the company with the rockstar, intelligent content that is well-written. Your content is a strong part of your online brand.

 

This means that for your real estate websites page content, blog posts, listing pages and any other page you have on your website you should strive to be a leader in your field. Showcase not just your spelling and grammar but also your expertise by employing—and properly spelling—jargon within your industry. Use your content to sell, to brand yourself and to become an industry leader. Then, when you’re doing writing—give it a quick spell check.  

 

Our Conclusion

Even if Google didn’t count spelling and grammar—you certainly don’t want glaring mistakes in your content, because your website is most people’s first (and some people’s only) interaction with your company.”

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

 

They say that learning a new language opens up neural pathways and teaches your brain ‘how to learn’. And it does.

So does coding. 

Check out this phenomenal video from Code.org,  of a number of tech billionaires, entrepreneurs, coders and even an NBA all star. Coding teaches you critical problem-solving skills. It also sets you up for a lifetime of success. 

If you want to set your child up for success–teach them to code. Or, simply send them to Code.org (since, sadly, coding isn’t available in the majority of Canadian schools). 

Oh, and by the way–there are over a million high-paying, upwardly-mobile jobs in North America that go unfulfilled (or filled with applicants from other countries) every year. So, the next time you hear a hipster in a Starbucks complaining they can’t find a job–hand them a hand-written note with “Code.org” on it. 

 

 

Help us, share the message. 

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

Tech Tips for Realtors:  Don’t Miss David Pogue’s TED TALK

If you guys haven’t checked out TED talks yet (TED= Technology, Entertainment & Design)–we highly encourage you to do so now. The ‘talks’ they have are short and highly-informative. 

This one below by David Pogue is especially informative–and his tips can save you hundreds of hours in your online life.

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

If you’re looking for advice on how quantifiably-effective real estate slogans are—we can’t help you. We don’t know how successful they are. But, what we can tell you is that they can be a highly-effective element of an overall branding campaign.

 

When it comes to branding, we highly recommend selecting a niche before choosing your real estate slogan. This is because real estate slogans are secondary to your overall branding strategy. It is much more effective to decide to become the condo agent in your city, or the foreclosure agent—or the relocation agent, than to try to brand yourself as “the 24-7 realtor”. Whether you choose a vertical like condos, or a geographic region—do this before you pick your slogan. Then, pick a real estate slogan to suit.


Real Estate Slogans


Below are a few of the most-common options available in the market place. These serve purely as an inspiration creator—but we highl
y encourage you to customize a slogan to yourself. If you get stuck….just ask us for some ideas.

Just before we jump into some examples, know that the most effective real estate slogans target a geographic area, use a rhyme, paint a picture or tug on the heart strings.

 

Example slogans to get your creative branding juices going are:

 

  • To sell fast—call the rapid Realtor
  • because nobody does it better!
  • Past performance means future guarantees
  • Because your home is worth it
  • Reward yourself with experience
  • Delivering (consistent) results
  • The low-commission agent
  • Solutions—not promises
  • Profit from ourexperience
  • …because your home is your best investment
  • Bigger homes, for less
  • The Condo Queen
  • Your full-service agent
  • Everything I touch turns to sold
  • Move in the right direction with ____
  • Real estate solutions—simplified
  • …dedicated, to results
  • Meet with the rest—sign with the best
  • Coming soon—to a closing near you
  • Intuitive investments
  • Beyond the sale…
  • Click or call…we do it all!
  • Real estate relationships—not transactions
  • Welcome home.
  • Turning your realty dreams into reality

 

For more tips on real estate slogans and overall real estate branding—stay tuned to our blog! 

 

real estate slogans

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

How’s this for a real estate technology tip: get some one else to do the work…

You’re busy—we get it. (We’re busy too).

One of the biggest objections we receive when convincing realtors to move to the website-owning solution and away from their rented month-to-month solution is—but they do things for me. Oh ya? Like what? 

Well, they automate my email marketing and have ready-made templates I can use for my feature sheets and other marketing materials”.

Fair enough—but all those tools are available for free online. For example, MailChimp offers the top email marketing solution available on the market…and it’s free. BUT, you still have to create an email yourself with their point-and-click tools. That’s the downside. The upside is that it is free (and won’t cost you $50 a month), the downside is that you still have to create it as you won’t be on a service that will blast your contact list with the same email being sent out to a thousand other agents’ lists. So—how do you balance the two?

 With a virtual assistant—that’s how!

 

Real Estate Technology Tip: Balance Cutting-Edge with a Virtual Assistant

Leveraging a personal assistant will help you offload work, without the expense of a part- or full-time assistant. You can give them as much or as little work as you have that week—and you pay as you go.

A virtual assistant can help you with a number of technology (and non-tech work too), including:

  • Listing presentations
  • Featured listing uploads to your website
  • Creating feature sheets and other marketing materials
  • Blogging
  • Branding
  • Email marketing and drip campaigns
  • Lead management
  • Marketing coordination
  • Newsletter creation
  • Social media marketing
  • Website maintenance and management
  • And more…

If you’re thinking—gee, that sounds swell but I can’t afford a virtual assistant…you’d be surprised.

You can hire a professional virtual assistant in the real estate vertical from one of the following companies (note: we haven’t tried any of their services)…

http://www.realsupportinc.com/

http://agentsolutions.ca 

http://revainstitute.com/member-directory/certified-member-directory 


Or, for a better deal (although they will require more training) you can hire a virtual assistant on Odesk…

 www.odesk.com


What hiring a virtual assistant does, is empower you to explore and test all the forms of real estate technology that you’ve been eyeing—but without having to do the grunt work that has been keeping you from implementing the improvements you really want.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

So—we’ve built you a beautiful new real estate website or real estate websites. Now what?…
Now, you have to promote them in order to turn your website into a lead-generating super producer (or at least a lead-generation ‘meh’ producer). To help you start your website promotion off with a bang we thought we’d give you a few tips on how to get started…

 



9 Ways to Promote Real Estate Websites


Without further ado, here are some of the easiest and most-effective ways to promote your real estate websites:

 

1. Setup your Social Profiles

If you haven’t yet setup your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles—now is the time to do it as your online efforts should be concerted, and these days concerts involve social media. If you aren’t sure how to do it we have a service available that will do it for you.

2. Blog!

Content is still king on the internet. So, if you want people to find your site you should start writing a blog post (or have us write them for you).

3. Create Neighbourhood Landing Pages

By creating neighbourhood landing pages full of tons of helpful, local information you can attract thousands of visitors to your site. And yes—of course we offer this service as well.

4. Create an Ebook or Market Report

Once you have people going to your site you need a way to extract their contact information. One of the best ways to do that is to create a piece of downloadable content, like an ebook on real estate in your area or a market report.

5. Host a Contest

People absolutely love contests on Facebook, so host a contest with a tangible reward that will encourage people to go to your site.

6. Create an Email Signature

Creating an email signature is a great way to promote your website effortlessly, as you’ll be doing it every time you send an email. Creating a signature takes less than 10 minutes and will work for years and years. If you aren’t sure how to do it, Google “how to make an email signature in ___”, and then fill in the blank with your email company or platform.

7. Do Email Marketing

Email marketing has never been easier thanks to the likes of MailChimp. At the click of a few buttons you can reach out and touch hundreds or thousands of people. And of course, within all of your email marketing blasts you’ll include your fancy-shmancy new website!

8. Marketing Materials

Now that you have a website you should include it on each and every type of marketing material, from flyers to open-house handouts to business cards.

9. QR Codes

Adding a QR code to all the marketing materials listed above is a great way to make finding your website super-easy for mobile users. If you aren’t sure how to do this…just ask us—we’ll help you (once it is setup it is a piece of cake).

 

If you can manage all of the above (in whatever spare time you can find) then you’ll be well on your way to promoting your sparkly new website. For more tips, and for high-level tips on how to promote your website, contact us today.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

For some of you old-school agents out there, Prezi is real estate technology which is doing for presentations in the Web 2.0 world what Powerpoint did in the 90s—it makes high-quality presentations (remember: back in the 90s, Powerpoint was cutting-edge stuff) with point-and-click technology.

Real  Estate Technology What Prezi Does

Prezi is a sensational free (with a paid version available) online tool that lets you build powerful presentations online. It has an intuitive platform that works much like Powerpoint in that you point and click on the items you want, but it adds voice, video and animation. Prezi is most beneficial for Realtors when used in listing presentations—although it is a great presentation tool for any presentation you make on your iPad. Signing up for Prezi takes, literally, 30 seconds as you simply enter your email, name and create a password and then you’re done. You’re then ready to create your first presentation, by following the giant, flashing blue prompts.

 

For the visual learners amongst us, here is a great 5-minute video from Breakthroughbroker.com about how to get started:

 

 

For specific videos on how to use Prezi software—just Google “how to do X in Prezi” and you’ll find great tutorial videos. If you want a real basic-level explanation and walk through, here is a good albeit dry video (with a Stephen Hawking-like presentor voice):

 

 

The Final Result

To fast forward through the real estate technology process and find out what your presentation could look like—here are a few sample ones:

http://prezi.com/rfatjjfqnmbi/copy-of-real-estate-agent-realtor/

 

http://prezi.com/-ann-kydpddt/why-sell-with-mike-oscarson-coldwell-banker-burnet-takes-15-seconds-to-load/

 

http://prezi.com/cwccosy77ful/realtor-presentaion/

 

How to Use It

Once you have made your Prezi presentation you can open it up on your iPad or computer during listing presentations. With the paid version you can download it to your device or host it on YouTube. You can also integrate it into your WordPress website with a simple plugin or addition—ask us about specifically how (or buy a simply support ticket for $25 and just have us do it for you).

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

Our Real Estate Websites–Why Not?

While most people immediately resonate with what we’re doing (selling instead of renting websites, like our competitors) there are a few people who push back with excuses not to buy one of our websites. And since we’ve got nothing to hide—here they are!

 

Real Estate Websites Rejection Reason 1: It’s Too Much Money

We rarely hear this excuse as our websites are very affordably priced at $2500 for a custom-branded website that doesn’t use the same template as 37% of your competitors. The reason why is that the average agent is spending $50 per month on their current website solution. That’s $600 each and every year. So, within one year your website begins paying for itself multiple times over, as you’ll pay $600 a year with them until the end of time (or the end of the internet, or your career). Even if you’ve negotiated a lower price at, say $35/month—that’s still $420 a year. That’s over $4,000 over a decade…for a template website.

When we break the costs down like we did above most agents nod in agreement that our solution is the more economical one over the long-term. But, what if your money is currently tied up in other marketing ventures? No worries, we still love you—and we still want your business, which is why we created out payment plan. You can pay your website off at $100 a month until it is paid.
For more info on our payment plan, click here.

 

Real Estate Websites Rejection Reason 2: I Don’t Have Time

You don’t need it. We do most of if for you. All you have to do is look at the design throughout and choose from a list of options we send you how you want your site customized.

For more information on the process, click here.
 

real estate websites no no

Real Estate Websites Rejection Reason 3: I Don’t Want to Mess With What’s Working

Hmm…is it working? Agents are often surprised when they look at how little traffic and leads their website actually sends them. If you’re saying now “but the current website vendor has a lead-generation program where they send me leads”…. oh ya? How many have they sent you? The truth is that once agents start doing the math on their current solution—it isn’t working as well for them as they think.

 

Real Estate Websites Rejection Reason 4: I Like __(example)__ Service that my Current Provider Offers

We’ll admit that some of our competitors do offer some great services to their clients, like website content, email-marketing tools, blogging, etc. But guess what—so do we. But, we’ve partnered with some amazing emerging technologies to offer these services (most of these partners’ solutions are FREE!). For example, instead of having a built-in email-marketing platform like one of our main competitors does—we integrate MailChimp into your website—a highly interactive, multi-million-dollar tool that is offered to you free. We also work with a phenomenal Live Chat platform called Zopim—which is also free (unless you’re a brokerage and want multiple agents—then it is $14.99 per month) and we can integrate into your website. You then download the free Zopim app to answer incoming chats. Zopim even offers visitor insights and powerful analytics tools that give you great insights on who is visiting your site.

We’ve chosen to align ourselves with technology companies like the above because let’s face it—it is what they DO. They all only do one thing but they do it extremely well and they can build more powerful solutions (with their millions of users) than real estate websites companies ever will.

Reason 5: What’s YOUR excuse?

If you’ve got a reason not to use us that we haven’t included in this list we’d love to hear it! You can live chat with us using the widget below, or email us at info@real-estate-websites.ca.

 

 

Posted by Robin in Branding, Uncategorized Read More

If you’ve experienced the dreaded ‘Business Card Overload’ syndrome—which is especially prevalent after open houses and showings, know that there’s a techy fix for that: CardMunch.

Actually, there’s a techy fix for everything now. (If you’re looking for a techy fix to another issue—use the live chat below to ask us—we’ve got endless techy-fix suggestions).

Enter CardMunch

Cardmunch is a FREE downloadable app from the networking geniuses over at LinkedIn that allows you to take a picture of a business card with your smartphone. The little gnomes on the LinkedIn servers then read the text on the card and then insert it into your smartphone. It can even read hand-written text that someone has scrawled as a personal note.

 

You can set a push notifications to give you a notice that the app has done its job and the contact information on the card is now available in your digital database.

Now, CardMunch isn’t the first—or only—business-card reader on the market, but it’s the best. For example, there is another competitor called Bump, but it requires both parties to have the app—which is like walking around randomly looking for someone with the same car as you, so hopeless. Competitors also aren’t as accurate as CardMunch…so just stick with the best.

The good news is that as-per-usual the iPhone crowd are well-served by the app as it is available for download in the App Store. Blackberry and Android users however are going to have to wait, as LinkedIn says they currently have those apps in development. As of right now there is no date that LinkedIn is planning on releasing the app.

 

Take CardMunch One Step Further: A Productivity Boost

CardMunch all by its lonesome is already an awesome tool, but we’ve got an extra tip for you. In the app’s settings tab you can create a sample email template that will allow you to send a follow-up email to contact that you meet. By setting this up you can make a follow-up hello your strategy after each and every time you meet a new contact.

 

Another productivity boost is to forward all your contacts to your CRM database, along with your notes from your initial meeting with the contact.

 

If you’ve been putting effort into your LinkedIn networking then use the app to send a “quick connect” request to connect to the new contact on your LinkedIn profile.

Final Tip

If you meet your new contact at an open house, use the initial contact email to send them a link to the property listing on your fancy shmancy new branded website. If you don’t have a fancy-shmancy new website…let’s talk.  
Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

Have YOU added Google Authorship to your real estate websites? You should!

If you’re doing SEO then Google Authorship is a no-brainer, it gives you a much-needed SEO boost by establishing your credibility as a real live person and as an active internet participator. The only catch is that you do need to actively contribute to the internet, at least somewhere. (Authorship also adds a little picture next to your website on Google search results!)

The great part about Google Authorship is that is helps your overall SEO plan—especially if you’re guest blogging (which you should be if you are actively participating in your SEO). If you don’t know what guest blogging is, it means writing blog posts for other similarly-minded blogs on the internet. It gives you a link back to your site while establishing you as an authority in your real estate area. Our best suggestions for guest blogs are on local mortgage broker sites, on your brokerage’s site and any other established site (the better they’re doing in Google search results the better for you!). Guest blogging, and then adding that blog to your Google Plus profile will establish you as an author. Then when you add Authorship to your website Google will recognize you as an active industry leader and give you an SEO boost. You’ll also get high-quality backlinks from your guest blogging—which is even more brownie points from Google.

real estate websites google authorship

 

Google Authorship for Real Estate Websites—A How To
Setting up Google Authorship is easy. The first step is to create a Google Plus profile if you haven’t already. The next step is to add your website and its blog to the list of your “Contributor” sites. You then add any blogs that you guest post on to your list of “Contributor” sites. This will establish you as a Google Author. You then need to add the following code to your website:

 

  <a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google</a>

For more help on doing that, you can read this Doc on Google.

So, the process is two steps:

  1. Add your website to your Google Plus profile page under contributor.
  2. A a link from your Google Plus page to your website and any websites you contribute to.


Once you’ve done that you’ll get your picture displayed in search results and the SEO boost you were hoping for.

If this all sounds too confusing (after all—who the heck knows how to put code into a website?)….never fear, we’re here. Purchase one of our Simple Support Tickets for $25 and we’ll do it for you 🙂
Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

real estate webmaster tips:

 So—some say that WordPress isn’t as secure a platform as home-brewed content management systems that exist on custom-developed websites (which cost anywhere between $3,500 to $10,00+), and they’d be right. Well, sort of.
WordPress is like a Windows computer—it can be vulnerable to security intrusions if not properly protected. Just like you put an anti-virus programs, you can add the same type of security to WordPress.

 real estate webmaster tips security

Whether added security is needed for real estate agent websites is another question though. First of all, when real estate agents create WordPress websites they do it to make a site full of public information about them and their business—so these websites don’t contain sensitive information. After all, your contact information is as public as public gets—you’ve put endless hours into getting your name and number out there as much as possible. So, if all the information in your WordPress is published on your WP website—then perhaps security isn’t your biggest concern. If you will be adding a CRM on the backend and storing important information, then follow these security tips…

 4 Real Estate Webmaster Tips to Add Security to your WordPress Website

  1. Update Just like Windows computers, WordPress releases security updates that must be updated in order to maintain up-to-the-moment security standards. This is easy, you simply hit the big yellow “update” button that appears at the top of every WP page on the backend of your website. You literally can’t miss it.
  2. Pick a Secure Password Using your puppy’s name isn’t a secure password. A secure password should contain both letters, and numbers—and some capital letters and symbols. If that sounds daunting you can use this Secure Password Generator from cutting-edge security firm Norton.
  3. Use a Security Plugin There are plenty of security plugins that will help protect your WP website, and they install at the click of a button. One of our favourites is Better WP Security.
  4. Backup If you’ve ever had a computer go to that big electronics yard in the sky—then you’ve learned the importance of backing up. Use a WP plugin to regularly schedule online backups for your site. This way if anything negative happens you can simply restore it to your last save point. WP Online Backup is a great plugin.

Put our blog in your favourites folder, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook for more great real estate webmaster tips like this one.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begin…

Posted by Robin in Uncategorized Read More

When we ask our customers what they want for their personal branding for real estate websites we often get ‘whatever’ or ‘whatever you think is best’. And while we do ‘our best’ with a zero branding budget—coming up with an idea, plan and execution won’t be effective without some guidance from the master of your brand…you.

real estate websites branding

real estate websites branding

 

You are the only person who can create your brand. At the very least you need to provide guidance on what you want your brand to be. For example, will you be THE condo realtor in X city? Will you be the ultimate first-time homebuyer agent? Are you a generalist with decades of experience?

What ARE the elements of personal branding when it comes to online real estate branding? 

 

Real Estate Websites Branding

There are a number of elements involved in creating a successful online real estate websites brand, including:

 

1. Expertise

Your online brand needs to establish you as an expert in your field and/or niche, after all, you wouldn’t buy stocks from a mall kiosk. People want to buy investment from experts—so be one. Establishing yourself as an expert means creating a website entirely centred around your niche. It should include multiple pages of content offering tangible advice to your potential buyers and sellers, a blog with continual advice and market reports and an air of professionalism that instills faith in you from your viewers.

 

2. Personality

Your personality IS your brand as an agent, so display that prominently on your website. If you’re numbers-oriented and serious, display that. If you’re a social person who can talk easily with people and hold their hand through the process—then do that on your website. Don’t hide your personality traits because your potential customers may call—but they won’t stick around once they realize you aren’t the person they found online. Sincerity goes a long way, and you’ll find plenty of people that align with your modus operandi.

 

3. Across-the-Board Materials

Your real estate websites brand needs to serve as a contact point for your potential customers in that every time they see or interact with your brand it instills the same message. So, design your website to match the existing marketing materials you’ve spend thousands of dollars on—or vice versa. This means the same branding, colours, fonts, designs and advice across your website, print materials and social media channels.

 

4. Visual

For people to notice your brand it needs to be visual. This means a clean and simple logo and beautiful web design.

 

5. Humour

Humour goes a long way in getting people to remember you and to pick up the phone, so try to keep your brand reasonably light (if you have the personality that suits).

 

Hopefully you’ve come up with some great ideas to identify yourself and your brand. For help executing on that plan across your website, print materials and social profiles—get in touch with us today.  

As an added ‘tip’, consider a separate NICHE website to gain leads from .Check out our latest niche condo website here: Brampton Condos for Sale
Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

Posted by Robin in Branding, Uncategorized Read More

Real Estate Websites — So, you’ve decided to purchase one of our awesome, competition-crushing websites.

 

…now what?

 

If you haven’t called or emailed us yet—then that’s your first step. From there the process will proceed as follows…

 

Minimum Development Time: 5 Days (Add 4 Days for IDX/DDF integration)

Maximum Development Time: 1 Month (Sorry for the ‘max time’–but we can’t offer more than a month  for revision periods as time extensions cost money) 

 

note: the minimum time can be achieved by expressing exactly what you want in terms of theme customizations off the bat, and then offering revisions (your suggestions for small changes in the design) within 24 hours of receiving the installed theme.

The maximum time is in place as it becomes increasingly difficult to manage website projects that extend beyond three weeks in time (but we give you a month grace period), as the back-and-forth emails become time-consuming to the point that we would need to raise our prices to keep up with the costs–and we avoid doing that at all costs so that we can remain an affordable solution for Realtors.

 

Our Real Estate Websites: The Process

real estate websites process

real estate websites process

Our process is a simplified process that creates beautiful websites without the muss and fuss (muss and fuss costs extra). This easy process was designed with costs in mind and allows us to offer custom-branded and custom designed (note: the design is based on a powerful theme that can be altered to your liking), at a small fraction of the price of custom websites built from scratch. The price difference truly is staggering, with custom websites costing between $5,000 to $8,000+, and our highly-customizable, personally-branded websites costing just $2500. Of course there is a functionality and quality difference between us and the $10,000-dollar websites (and there damn-well should be!), but never before have customizable websites been available to agents at such a low price. If you’re thinking “but company X offers customized websites! And for $50 a month”, then know that they offer templates with slight changes available (most of which you have to do yourself) an you pay $600 every year for the privilege. If you stay with them over five years you’ll have paid for an entirely custom, built-from-scratch website—you just don’t get one.

Our process and its steps are extremely important to us and our clients as lengthy phone calls between customers and web designers and unlimited amounts of revisions increase the cost of a website significantly. Extending the process truly does skyrocket the cost when you consider that web designers generally make $40+ an hour.

 

So, we like to make our customers aware of the purchasing and designing process in order to give them expectations and timelines that put them at ease and allow us to keep our price insanely competitive at just $2500.

 

Without further ado—here is our process…

 

  1. We send you an invoice for the downpayment on the website, $300 (the remainder due upon completion).
  2. You pay the invoice.
  3. You send us the theme of your choice, or you send us a few websites that you like and we send you a few themes that are similar for you to choose from.
  4. Once we have your theme we’ll send you a specifications form that will ask you questions like what do you want on your homepage, what pages you want created (although you can EASILY do this later), what functionalities you want (live chat, lead capture, CRM integration, etc.), etc.
  5. We also ask you if you have any images, logo(s) or graphics you want on the site that we can use.
  6. We then start the creative process. This generally take 3 or 4 days but it can take up to a week.
  7. Once we have installed the theme and customized all the elements you requested we send you the demo / mockup site and ask for your feedback. This round of revisions should cover pretty much all the things you want changed. Note: this is your chance to tell us everything you want—and we only allow minute changes after this step is finalized—so no telling us to start from scratch 😉
  8. We then make all the revisions you requested, provided they are realistic. ‘Unrealistic’ revisions would include an entire change of theme, heavy graphic design work, adding functionalities not already available in WordPress (as we would have to pay our developer more than your website is costing you to create a functionality from scratch), etc.
  9. We send the website back with all the revisions you requested, you give it the final thumbs up and then we publish it live.
  10. We then give you instructions on how to use the website, including how to add website pages, blog posts, images and videos.
  11. You pay us the remainder of the money so we can buy enough Kraft dinner, or beans and rice, to feed us until the end of the next website project.

 

 

To recap this in a shorter explanation our real estate websites process goes like this:

 

  1. Initial invoice and payment
  2. Theme selection
  3. Customization specifications form
  4. Website creation — 3 or 4 days (a week max)
  5. Round of revisions –to be completed within one week
  6. Final thumbs up
  7. Instructions on how to use the website
  8. Pay the remainder of the invoice — due immediately after final thumbs up

After the website is finalized and completed you have a ton of optional services that you can begin leveraging at that point–from content to analytics to social media to support. Check out our shop for services we have available for purchase.
If you have any questions about how this works, or to buy your highly-customizable, custom-branded website—give us a call or email today.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begin…

Real Estate Websites: Our Sample Content

 

So—you’re ready to buy one of our fancy-shmancy websites, but are stuck on what you would fill it’s brilliant pages with?

 

If your current website is full of your current vendor’s content then, like a 90s comedian, you’ll be needing some new material. For those in the market for new content—you have two options: new, original content or our standard website content.

 

We highly, highly, highly, highly, highly recommend using our writer to write original content. If you are going to do any SEO work at all—then original content is a 100% must-have. Google won’t rank you with copied content.

 

If SEO isn’t your bag, and copied content is fine by you—then you will have available our content if you purchase one of our websites. However—should you steal our content without buying one of our websites—we’ll have Google put a voodoo hex on you (yeah—they designed an algorithm for that).


 

Real Estate Websites: Our Sample Content
Buyers Page
Buying a home involves a multitude of concerted efforts, including arranging financing, liaising with legal representation, scheduling appointments, filling out paperwork, negotiating offers and carefully picking a price that will win you the house of your dreams.


You need an agent to guide you through this complex process, to give you sound investment advice—and to ensure that you’re paying a competitive amount for the home that will fit with your long-term real-estate and home goals.

Enter, me.

My years of experience will help glide you through the process, while encouraging you to make smart decisions. Together we’ll tackle every step of the way, from viewings to offers to inspections to closing. I will make the process easier for you.

 

Using my professional advice, you and your family will find the home of your dreams—and in one quick call with me you’ll find out exactly why.

 

So—call me today to find our what listings I have that may be utterly perfect for you, or to find out what services I have up my sleeve that keeps my buyers coming back time and time again.

 

My nearly-patented steps that I use to walk you through the home-buying process include:

 

  1. Asking yourself (or letting me ask you) qualifying questions—like your home wants vs. needs, the budget you can truly afford and what style of home is your ideal.
  2. Becoming pre-qualified for a loan.
  3. Visiting listings.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you find your dream home.
  5. Make an offer.
  6. Repeat step 5 until we’ve nailed it.
  7. Negotiate.
  8. Close on the property.
  9. Move.

 

 

Real Estate Websites: Our Sample Content

 

Selling

If selling a home were easy my job wouldn’t exist. But—lucky for me, it takes style, grace and ruthless-negotiation skills to sell a home, quickly—for top dollar.

Allow my years of experience and combo of entrenched skills, technology and unique marketing plan to work for you. My ability to exceed the demands of a competitive market coupled with my ready availability make me one of the top real estate agents in the city.

 


Forms of Marketing I Offer to you as a Client

 

  • Traditional forms of print marketing.
  • Online marketing of your home via MLS, IDX and my own website.
  • Via open houses.
  • By networking with other agents in my office and area.
  • And more…

 

If you’re curious what I can do for you as a seller’s agent—give me a call. In a few short minutes you’ll see why my clients return to me…time and time again.

 

Real Estate Websites: Our Sample Content


Financing: Mortgages, Affordability and Financial Planning


Financing a home is an often-convoluted process—but with my help, and the help of my team of financing professionals, we’ll successfully navigate the process.

I highly recommend the mortgage broker that I have added to my team of service providers, because a good mortgage broker is literally worth their weight in gold. They can keep you from overspending with your budget, while keeping your costs down overtime by suggesting the right mortgage contracts and amortization periods for you.


An excellent mortgage broker will help you with the following:

 

  • Choosing the mortgage amount that you can safely afford, over the long-term.
  • Help you plan for future real estate growth to suit your changing lifestyle.
  • Negotiate you a better interest rate due to the collective-buying power they generate.
  • Find you an amortization plan that will ensure you pay down as much principal and as little interest as possible.
  • Guide you on the right length of term to choose to secure you the best interest rates.
  • Will advise you on the benefits of a larger down payment.
  • They will pre-approve you for a loan so that you can begin scouting homes in your area.
  • They will advise of prepayment possibilities, possible penalties, mortgage portability,


As I said, a mortgage broker is worth their weight in gold—however know that they aren’t all the same. For the best of the best in our city—ask me for my mortgage-broker recommendations.

 

In addition to mortgage brokers, you will want access to my network of other vendors and service providers, including:

 

  • Sales representation (me!)
  • Real-estate lawyer or notary
  • Home inspectors
  • Moving companies
  • Contractors
  • Other lenders
  • Insurance broker(s)

 

When you sign with me, you have access to a solid network with a proven track record of success—which is just yet another reason to make me your agent.

 

 

 

Real Estate Websites: Our Sample Content

 

Real Estate Costs: Additional Costs You NEED to Know!


Buying and selling real estate is a complex process—and with that process comes throngs of surprise costs.

I consistently ensure that none of my customers are surprised with additional costs. Costs that they hadn’t worked into their budget. These additional, surprise costs include:

 

  • Property Taxes
  • Utility Fees
  • Land-Transfer Tax (which in Ontario is: From $55,000 to $250,000 X 1 % of total property value, from $250,000 to $400,000 X 1.5 % of total property value and from $400,000 up X 2 % of total property value)
  • Surveying Fees
  • Appraisal Fees
  • Inspection Fees
  • Lawyer / Notary Fees
  • Property Insurance
  • Mortgage Insurance (required on mortgages with down payments under a certain %)
  • Application Fees
  • Mortgage Broker Fees
  • Moving Costs
  • Closing Costs
  • Certificate Fees
  • Condo Fees
  • Renovation / Repairs / Redecoration
  • Buying Appliances
  • On-going Property Maintenance
  • First-Time Loan Insurance


Incorporating all or some of the above necessary fees into your budget is critical to a smooth home-buying or home-selling process. It is critical to think of these before you commit to a mortgage so that your housing costs don’t exceed the recommended 35% of your gross income.

If you’re unsure if any of the above apply to you—give me a call.

 

 

Real Estate Websites: Our Sample Content


The ‘Offer’ Process

Making or receiving an offer for a home is a true balancing act. If you go too high you lose money on your investment, but if you are too low you can lose money, or the opportunity to own the home of your dreams.

It has taken me years but I’ve developed a 6th sense about the Goldilocks Principle—which states that an offer must fall within certain margins of expectations and reality, avoiding extremes, to win the deal and make a sound investment.

It isn’t just a spidey sense that helps me price my offers and sign-backs right—it is also thorough market research and primal negotiation skills. To put my research skills, negotiation skills and 6th sense to work for you—simply give me a call today.

 

Types of Offers to Navigate in Real Estate:

 

  • Firm offers
  • Conditional offers, including those conditional-on-financing
  • Offer acceptance

 

 

 

 

Real Estate Websites: Our Sample Content

Home Improvements to Build your Home’s Value

There are a number of small, quick improvements you can make to your home to add thousands—to tens of thousands—of dollars in value to the listing price of your home. This includes…

 

 

  • Staging your home for a quick sale
  • Improving the exterior of your home by mowing the lawn, weeding gardens, cleaning stains off your driveway, touching up rough paint jobs, trimming bushes and other curb-appealing improving tasks
  • Making simple repairs and maintenance, including fixing: squeaky doors, chipped bath tubs and other tiles, leaky taps, cracked plaster, seals, painting, etc.
  • Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning
  • Decluttering and depersonalizing

 

If you’re unsure how to do any of the above—just give me a call and I’ll give you all the top staging and home-improvement that I’ve collected over the years (and are proven value-adders!). 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begin…

 

We’re regularly asked are our real estate websites SEO ready? And our resounding answer is abso-frickin-lutely…however, our standard websites only have a small portion of the SEO work done. Read on to find out why.

On our websites we can optimize the website pages, images and site architecture—but the real ‘Google juice’ that earns you SEO brownie points comes down to two primary components: inbound links and content.

Real Estate Webmasters Tips: Inbound Links
Inbound links are links from other websites that link to yours. Google takes this as a very suggestive nod that says ‘hey, this site must have good stuff if other people want to link to them so much’. So, inbound links are important to your SEO, and therefore your Google Page Rank (where your website shows up on Google searches).

 

We don’t get involved in inbound linking for SEO for one very specific reason—companies who offer inbound links generally do so with low-quality link from websites like ‘Bob’s Fishing and Tackle in Timbuktu, which is unrelated to real estate websites and therefore offers very little Google juice.

 

The absolute best way to get high-quality links is to ask your friends, colleagues and network of service providers to link to you. Local links are best, as are ones in your vertical (so, real estate). The longer the website has been around, the better that it does in Google searches and the more prominently your link is placed all matter in SEO. Unfortunately nobody can do this better than you—which is why we don’t offer this as a service.

 

This is something you can do yourself by asking around. Having said that, Google doesn’t take reciprocal linking well, but there is a great workaround to this if you have a bunch of friends who want to link to each other—it’s called a link triangle. You can google it for details.
some_text

 

Real Estate Websites SEO: Content is King

The other major—and biggest contributor to SEO—is content.

 

If you can plenty of Google juice and brownie points you need phenomenal, original content on your website. The more the better. When it comes to content there are a number of things that make a page of website content the ideal content for Google, including:

 

  • That it is 350 words or more.
  • It has at least one outbound link (to a website other than yours).
  • That there is at least one image.
  • That image needs an alt tag with your keyword
  • That your keyword is in your title, in a subheading in your article and in the URL.
  • That your title isn’t too short—or too long.
  • That your keyword is at the beginning of your title
  • That your keyword is used quickly within your first paragraph.

If all that seems like a lot to remember (and it is!), never fear—there is an amazing WordPress plugin called Yoast that will analyze every post you make and make suggestions about how you can improve your SEO.

 

Yoast uses an awesome traffic-light visual to tell you how you’re doing. Red is bad, orange is less bad, yellow is reasonable and green is great (although it still gives you suggestions to make it absolutely perfect).

some_text
With Yoast you can ensure that all your content is SEO-ified. We can install it on any Real Estate Websites Canada website easily—so if you haven’t gotten Yoast yet—let us know!

 

OR—you can hire us to create your content for $35 a page and then it will be professionally-written and laid out, and be entirely SEO-ready.

 

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begin…

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

As professional real estate Marketing pros we’ve done the research on responsive real estate website design—and the verdict is in, responsive web design is a good idea. But first, we’ll explain what it is…

real estate webmasters responsive design

What IS Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design is an approach to website design that allows the website to automatically readjust itself in size and display to be optimally viewed across all devices and their varying screen sizes. What it does it allow one website to look great whether you look at it on a 20” computer monitor, a 13” laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. The adjustments it makes will be fluid and will use percentages to readjust its sizing.

Here are some examples you can check out.


Real Estate Marketing Tips: 6 Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is Awesome
To help you understand why responsive web design is an awesome new technology that every Realtor should be leveraging, here are the top reasons we came up with to switch to responsive design:

 

  1. If you use responsive web design then you don’t need to have a mobile-optimized website version that you will need to update each time you update your original non-mobile website.
  2. You decrease the amount of scrolling and adjusting the screen size that your users have to do, which causes them to get frustrated and leave your website.
  3. It is more cost effective because with responsive design you don’t need to purchase a separate mobile website.
  4. You will be ‘future proofing’ your real estate website because responsive websites are designed well and will more easily incorporate new and emerging technologies.
  5. It helps your SEO, because Google likes optimized sites better than non-optimized—which means you’ll appear higher than non-responsive and non-mobile-optimized sites when mobile users do a Google search.
  6. It will assist other marketing campaigns, like email marketing—as the average person now reads more emails on their mobile device than computers. This means that when they click-through your content they need a good mobile viewing experience.

 

As real estate Marketing we’ve fallen in love with responsive web design, and so should you. If you’re interested in offering your users and potential customers a better online experience on your website—then you’ll want to leverage responsive design.

 

To incorporate responsive design into your website—just call us, the real estate Marketing here at Real Estate Websites Canada (street name: REwebsites). 
Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

Posted by Robin in Uncategorized, Website Tips Read More

Real Estate Webmasters Tips:

If you work with us real estate webmasters then you know that we’re big on giving out killer free advice that we should be charging an arm and a leg for. Well, here’s another one…
For Realtors who have been building their online presence and are now working on turning the traffic/visitors to their site into actual clients—you’ve likely heard about call to actions. Just in case you haven’t, you can read about call to actions here  (because it is too long a topic to deal with in this article).

real estate webmasters call to actions

So, CTAs are buttons or text that convinces people to call, email, give you their email or in some way interact with you. Fantastic. But how?

 

The truth is, a lot of call to actions don’t work because they are too generic and don’t provide something tangible for your users.

 

Call to Actions that ACTUALLY WORK for Real Estate Webmasters

Call to actions that actually work need to be useful and actionable for your users—which means that “click here for MLS data” won’t work, because they already know where to find that, on Realtor.ca.

 

To help you in the right direction, here are great call to actions that have high success rates for agents:

 

1. Downloadable Content
By creating a button that allows your users to download important information you can gather their names, emails and possibly phone numbers. It has to be data they want and can’t find with a simple Google search—so make it a “2013 Real Estate Investment Report for Randomville”, “2014 Real Estate Market Insights from the Pros”, or “The Top 13 Home Upgrades that Homebuyers in Randomville Desperately Want”.

 

2. Information Holdbacks
When creating your unique listing information (which should be much more detailed than what is available on Realtor.ca) you should leave some information out of the ad—and then write “call for information on this home’s _____(basement, yard, current price, etc.)”

3. Ask Us…
No seriously, we’re only giving you two free call to action ideas. We might be nice but we’re still a business 😉

 

 

 
Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

 

 

Here at Real Estate Websites Canada we like to approach marketing with the easiest approaches—that have a big bang. So, instead of fighting a congress of agents all fighting over “homes for sale in Randomville”, find more-targeted keywords that have less competition.

The best ancillary keywords to target are names of popular streets, neighbourhoods, communities, buildings and complexes in your city. Our favourite—creating neighbourhood landing pages. They earn great SEO juice, or ‘Google juice’ as we call it.

 

Real Estate Websites Marketing: How to Create a Neighbourhood Landing Page

Neighbourhood landing pages are all about content, which includes original text, images and videos. The pictures and videos are relatively easy enough—not to mention we simply can’t help you with these. What we can help you with is the content.

Below we’re going to tell you how to write successful neighbourhood landing page content—but you can always hire us to write it for you if you’re too busy, or simply loathe writing.

 

The best and easiest way to approach neighbourhood profiles is to break it down into sections. To give you a basic breakdown your profiles should include elements like these:

1. Intro

In your intro you give them a little teaser about the neighbourhood and a couple of its highlights. You’ll also want to put some media front and centre, whether it be a picture or a video. Adding a Google Maps display will earn you bonus points, and if you already have it installed on your real estate websites then it will be a breeze.

2. The Must-Knows

While you still have their attention you’ll want to express the must-knows of the neighbourhood, like the things that only locals know—like the best trails, shops, business opportunities, parks, entertainment, etc.. After the ‘fluffy’ stuff it would be in your interest to provide some reasonably high-level analysis of real estate in the neighbourhood—including market data, price points, investment growth rates, etc. This is also a great time to insert a contact form or your contact information should they have a question. 

3. Extras

Now that you have all the important information out of the way you can share some non-critical stuff, like links to businesses or services in the neighbourhood, Walk Score, a local business directory, school information, etc.

Sounds easy enough, right? Great. We wish you the best of luck—but if you get stuck, you can always give us a call to hire our writer to create the content for you. It may be worth the $35 to get the task off your plate!
Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

The number one reason to buy one of our real estate websites is for a more-professional image and strong online branding strategy. The second reason is money.

And we can save you a lot of it.

How Our Real Estate Websites Can Save you Money

Curious all the ways that our real estate websites (and our service) can save you money while boosting your online image? (Hey—we never said this wouldn’t be wildly self-promotional). Well here they are:

 

  1. We Save you $50 a Month on Website Fees
    Our average competitor charges $50 per month. While this ranges anywhere from $40 to $80, we feel that entire range is too expensive. That’s $600 per year. Every year. We charge you $2500, and that’s it. The only on-going fee is hosting, at a few dollars a month—and you can buy ours or another company’s hosting (…although we recommend ours, for obvious reasons).
  2. Email Marketing
    When we create our websites we can install FREE email-marketing software that can help work with your exiting email-marketing platform—or you can go with our recommended vendor MailChimp (which is also free).
  3. On your CRM
    We can make recommendations on CRMs, either built-in to your website or on its own platform that are free or cheaper than standard industry solutions like Top Producer. TP is of course about $50 a month because the real estate services industry apparently loves round numbers.
  4. Branded Marketing Materials
    We can easily take a snap shot of the banner we create for your website, and send it to you as a free graphic to use on all your marketing materials so that you have across-the-board branding, without paying a graphic artist or printing company to create it. Using your banner image across your open house handouts, Facebook Page, LinkedIn page, letterhead and more. Versatile huh?

Our websites are so much more than just websites—they’re money savers! And while this may seem too good to be true we will point you towards so many high-quality, low-price (mostly free) technologies that you’ll think that you’ve died and gone to that big internet in the sky.

 
Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

Real Estate Websites: We’re so in love with WordPress for real estate  websites that it’s like we’ve got a school-girl crush on it. We want it to show up in front of our second-storey window with a boombox, rocking a super-romantic hit-of-the-80s song. 

There’s sound thinking behind this ridiculous crush though…


Why (We Think) Real Estate Websites Should use WordPress

Real Estate Websites

 

There are a number of reasons why agents should use WordPress as their Content Management System (CMS):

 

1. It’s Free—But Powerful

WordPress is what the tech community calls an open-source platform—meaning it is free. It was created by some geniuses a number of years ago, and is now updated and added to by hundreds of thousands of techies worldwide. It is now one of the most powerful open-source platforms on the planet and has created millions of blogs and websites. And it’s free.

 

Despite being free it is still extremely powerful. It comes with tens of thousands of free plugins (little pieces of software you install with a single click that give you extra functionalities) and tens of thousands of themes (kind of like a predesign template—but more powerful and customizable).

 

We’ll be the first to admit that there are more powerful CMSs out there, like Joomla and Drupal—but quite frankly they’re far too complex for real estate agents to use easily, and they don’t have as many free functionalities.

 

2. Free Functionalities

WordPress’ free functionalities are the only reason that we’re able to offer soo many amazing real estate website functionalities, like live chat, integrated CRM, integrated video and lead capturing—without adding any costs to the end user, or expensive monthly fees that generate profits over time. Since these functionalities are free with WordPress, we don’t charge you a ton of money to install them. In fact, nearly every functionality available with WordPress is free during initial installation. After that we charge a $25 support ticket fee to install additional functionalities (called “plugins” with WordPress)…which is entirely fair since we don’t charge an expensive monthly fee like our competitors (who charge you whether you use their services that month or not).

One example of this is one of the niche websites we run–condos for sale in Regina, a website dedicated to garnering leads in the Regina condo market. This website uses a number of pre-existing technologies with call to actions, listing comparisons and more–all of which wouldn’t be possible (without expensive custom development fees) without free functionalities.

 

3. Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Since WordPress is free, its plugins/features are free, and our ability to blend inexpensive themes with the free platform and free plugins is just $2500 without an expensive monthly fee—this mean a low total cost of ownership for your website. This frees up money to invest in other forms of marketing, while leveraging the best technology on the market (without spending tens of thousands of dollars of course—which could get you better technology, of course).

 

 

Are There any Drawbacks to WordPress for Real Estate Websites?

Yup. There’s a few ‘cons’ of WordPress—however, as a simple user you won’t notice them. They do provide some limitations on the design end, but since our websites don’t deal with tons of custom design work and coding (hence why we’re able to offer our websites at the price we do), it isn’t much of a concern to us either.

 

If you really, really, really want to know what the drawbacks of WordPress for real estate websites are, voila:

 

1. Some people consider open source a drawback, as not 100% of every single functionality works with every single theme, and vice versa. (We don’t consider this a ‘big deal’ as you can always choose from the ten thousand other themes or plugins).

2. There are security issues with WordPress for large companies adding proprietary information that shouldn’t be shared with the public. But, since you’re not a large corporation (and aren’t a target of high-level hackers) and are putting all your WordPress information out there on the web for everyone to see—this isn’t a concern for you.

3. It’s not designed to be used out-of-the-box for large-sized websites. What this means is that large corporations who try to use WordPress (and many do—including Readers Digest, CNN, National Geographic and many more) need to do a lot of customization to support the amount of graphics and interactivity. Your site will never have these types of issues unless you become the largest, nation-wide brokerage in North America that is hosting all your agents’ websites on it.

 

Curious what WordPress can do for you? Just hop on over to our portfolio to see what we’ve done for other agents—and what we can do for you.
Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

People always ask us–just how easy is your real estate websites design platform to use REALLY.

Our answer: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ily easy. And we’ll show you.

 How to Use our Real Estate Websites Design

OK–we said it would be easy and here it is. After we create a website for you we give you the web address for you to login it at. It will always be www.YourWebsites.com/wp-login.php.

From there you enter the username and password we give you.  If you click “remember me” you won’t have to login each time, it will allow you to bypass this screen and go right to your dashboard.

 

 

 

 

Now that you’ve logged in you will see your dashboard. From here you can easily navigate using the right-hand menu (which appears on every single page) to choose your desired goal.

Real Estate Websites Design: Just HOW Easy Are our Websites REALLY

 

Let’s say that you want to add a blog post. You simply click blog post–>add new . Or, you can hover over the “posts” tab and a menu will automatically appear that you can choose from.

Once you’ve clicked add new you write a title/headline, then the body of the post. When you’re done click “Publish” (although in this account example it says “submit for review” as I have set this user to be a contributor that I have  to review their content before they post).

Real Estate Websites Design: Just HOW Easy Are our Websites REALLY
 

If you want to edit a blog post that you have already written you simply click on “posts” and then scroll down to the one you want to edit. If you have tons and tons of posts (this would be a hypothetical ‘good job!’) then you can use the “search” to find the one you want.
  Real Estate Websites Design: Just HOW Easy Are our Websites REALLY  

This process can be easily repeated if you want to edit one of your website pages, or to add/edit one of its listings.

 

Real Estate Websites Design: The Ease of WordPress

As you can see the process of adding, changing and editing content on your website couldn’t be simpler. If you can use Hotmail and Facebook–you can use WordPress, and you can use our real estate websites design!

 

 
Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

 

 

LinkedIn for Real Estate Agents…

So. Does LinkedIn for real estate agents matter for real estate agents? Our frustrating-yet-definitive answer is…sort of.

Ah you’re still reading. Good news for us.

The complex answer to whether LinkedIn matters for real estate agents of yes and no is an ambivalent answer because LinkedIn is somewhat of an ambivalent social network. It’s not Facebook, and it never will be—but it does matter, sort of.

LinkedIn for Real Estate Agents

The best way to think of LinkedIn for real estate agents is to consider it an online resume. It provides you with a chance to truly shine.

 To break that down a little further, here at the things you can highlight with a LinkedIn profile (scroll below for how to easily create one):

  1. Experience
    Of course, on a resume that is searchable by anyone who Google’s you (if you’re experienced) should be your experience. So, highlight how long you’ve been in the business and all the experience you’ve gained.
  2. Accolades and Awards
    If you’ve won any sales awards, community awards or other accolades that earn you bragging rights—then brag.
  3. Trainings
    You’re required to do a number of trainings every year to maintain your license, so put those on your LinkedIn profile.
  4. Associations
    If you belong to any Realtor associations, boards of trade or other professional organizations then let the public know about it on your LinkedIn profile. If they have a LinkedIn group then link to the group to add extra legitimacy.
  5. TESTIMONIALS
    Testimonials is the true piece-de-resistance of LinkedIn as you can add legitimate testimonials. Every testimonial and endorsement links back to the user’s profile, showing to the public that these true testimonials (as opposed to the simple text put on websites).
  6. Networks
    You can build a network of contacts, either existing or new, of contractors and service providers that can help out your clients, including: movers, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, etc.

 

If you can do all the above with your LinkedIn profile then you’re well on your way to using LinkedIn as a social network.

 

LinkedIn: A How-To

Setting up a profile on LinkedIn is a set-it-and-forget-it solution. You set it up and then you simply respond to messages that you get and ‘friend’ requests (or not). Setting up a profile is relatively easy and can be done within about half an hour.

 

If you’re insanely busy or extremely technologically-inept, you can always have us set up your profile for you. For $45 it will be done and done, just click here: http://real-estate-websites.ca/product/linkedin-profile-setup/

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

 

Real Estate Website Tip: Can I just Buy a WordPress Theme and Upload it?

Nope—thank god.

 

If using WordPress were THAT easy we’d all be out of jobs.

 

While WordPress provides a powerful platform with rich, customizable, feature-rich themes. Those themes aren’t plug-and-play solutions. There is hours upon hours of backend stuff to get done, including setting the theme to look like the demo (you should see the hot mess they start out as), creating site hierarchy, setting SEO, creating menus, adding images, creating graphics, setting sliders, adding content, and on and on. As an example, we created a website in Regina real estate, regarding condos for sale in Regina. This website leveraged a number of design elements included, but don’t simply turn on–they need to be customized, designed and branded. We also had to add a ton of functionalities not included in the base theme, like call to actions, listing information and more.

 

So WordPress is Hard to Use? (Bad News?)

WordPress is an extremely easy to use system when you are simply uploading listings and blog posts. To do the design stage however takes more time and knowledge than you likely have (if you knew how to do it you wouldn’t b reading this). This however is why WE have jobs.

 

So, the short answer to if you can simply buy a WordPress theme and upload it on your website to create a great real estate websites—the short answer is no. It isn’t that easy.

 

To learn how to use WordPress for design purposes, you would need to spend a couple hundred hours in class to learn how to create what you want. Our highly-recommended alternative, is to just pay us the $2500.

 

But What About Website Builders?
If someone recommended a real estate website builder, we implore you to ask them two questions….how well did it turn out? (this one you can see for yourself) and how long did it take you?

Unless they’ve done it before, it likely took them at least a few days to put together, and the results aren’t comparable to what we can provide.

 

Our advice is to leave web design to the pros—just as we leave important real estate advice to the pros. We’re all experts at something, but your expert status lies in lucrative real estate. Sadly ours, lies in staying-home-in-your-mom’s-basement software manipulation.

 

Hop on over to our real estate websites portfolio page to see exactly how well we design websites, which will help you understand why it is just simply worth it to pay us the $2500 to create your site (which you then own forever and pay nothing else on except for yearly hosting).

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Why Buy a Real Estate Websites Canada Websites

OK—get ready an onslaught of shameless self plugs for real estate websites.

But hey, at least we warned you. Not even Pepsi or Coke afford you that type of honesty.

So, on to the shameless nitty-gritty of why you need one of our Real Estate Websites Canada websites. To make this easy-to-skim so you can mosey on over to our product page—or get back to work—we’re going to use super-simple numbering. Thankfully, we’ve got 3 convenient tips on why you should use our websites:

real estate websites canada pic 232

Real Estate Websites: Why We’re Better:

1. Our Real Estate Websites are Better

We said this would be shameless…but this isn’t the self-aggrandizing part yet. If you’ve somehow landed on this page then you’ve likely been shopping around for real estate websites. And if you’ve been shopping around, then you know exactly how good our websites are.

 

By using powerful WordPress themes (not to be confused with the limited ‘template’ options offered by our competitors) we are able to offer thousands of extremely powerful and dynamic designs. These designs won’t be used by throngs of your competitors, and they offer powerful, FREE tools that we are able to leverage. This means you get the look, feel and power of a custom-designed website, without the $6,000 price tag.

 

Should you doubt that we’re better, just compare us to the competition. If we don’t win on looks alone (not even counting the fact that we’re significantly cheaper) we’ll be surprised—but we’ll gladly recommend the top competitors in the business for you to scout a new site from. Heck, we’ll tell you now who they are: MCS, RealWeb, Incomm, MoneyMaker and TopProducer.

 

2. Our Real Estate Websites Pricing Model

We’ve turned the real estate websites pricing model entirely upside down. While other companies charge a monthly fee (which for most of our competitors is between $39.95 to $79.95 plus $100 to $299 setup fee), we only charge you for what you actually use. We don’t have free support (after the initial website is setup and you overwhelmingly approve it), so we charge $25 for a support incident. When you’re not paying anything monthly, paying for support once in a blue moon makes sense financially (and we’re so insanely, readily available—just ask us on our Live Chat…or call us….or email us).

 

This monthly fee charged by our competitors will run you between $480 to 960 EVERY year, which means our websites (which are a one-time fee of $2500) will pay for themselves in the first year….and this timeframe doesn’t even include the fact that they charge you a setup fee as well.

 

What we offer our customers is a chance to OWN their website instead of renting it, because when you leave many of our competitors—you don’t take your website with you. This is why you have to keep paying the monthly fee—until the end of time—because you’re renting. This makes no sense in the best of scenarios—but seriously, a real estate agent that RENTS?

 

3. Functionalities from our Real Estate Websites

 Don’t get in your mind that we’re cheap. Well, we are—but what we provide isn’t a cheap version.

 

We offer more functionalities than our competitors because we leverage a platform called WordPress, and WordPress has thousands of themes and tens of thousands of functionalities. And you can have any of these functionalities at no extra cost during initial installation. If you find a functionality that you want further down the line—you simply buy a service ticket to install it. (about 90% of WordPress functionalities can be installed easily, and for free—in which case a single support ticket would do it).

 

These functionalities, just to name a few, include: live chat, email marketing integration, CRM integration (so you can ditch the $50-a-month TopProducer), social media promotion tools, SEO tols, free QR codes for whatever website page you desire, click-to-call button, click-to-print button, click-to-email button integrated blog, and MORE.

 

 

If you find a functionality that they offer and we don’t have on offer on our website—just ask us. WordPress has tens of thousands of functionalities, and we can’t list them all or you would be bored (although quite frankly we’re just impressed you’re still reading).

 

 

 

Not convinced yet? ….Really? We offer more-professional websites, for cheaper, saving you thousands of dollars over the years, with all the top technologies that don’t cost you extra (aside from a possible $25 installation fee). If you want more than that…let us know, we might still be able to accommodate you.

 

So You’re Cheap—So What?

 

Hopefully none of you are saying this, as we’ve demonstrated why we’re top quality. But, if you are—give us a call. We’d love to have a friendly, informative discussion with you about how else we distinguish ourselves from our competition—and to answer any lingering questions you have.

 

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

When it comes to real estate websites and online marketing—SEO is your BFF. But before we throw yet another TLA (three-letter acronym), let’s cover what SEO is for anyone who isn’t halfway to becoming an online marketing guru. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is ‘tweaking’ you do to your website to get Google to show it some love. When you optimize your website you’re making it easier for Google to find you, and convincing them why they should display your website above others. 

The two primary pillars of real estate websites SEO (there’s a thousand other tiny elements but trust us—you’ll thank us for boiling it down to the two elements that represent 95% of SEO) are keyword-optimized content and inbound links.

 

Real Estate Websites Smart SEO: Inbound Links

Inbound links are links from other websites, pointing at your website. Google puts a high value on them because they think ‘well hey, if other people think this content is so good that we should send our viewers to it—then it must be pretty good’. Makes sense right? Well understanding it is the easy part. The hard part is actually getting people to link to your website.

Waiting for people to naturally discover your content and link to it isn’t exactly a ‘breath-holding’ strategy. But we’ve got two solid strategies to suggest: asking for links and guest posting.

Asking for links is exactly what it sounds like, you ask people to link to your site. This strategy works best if you ask your close network of friends, colleagues and partners, because Google gives the most link juice to local websites that have been around for a while. So, ask your favourite mortgage broker, moving company, cleaning company, etc., to link to you. Beware though, don’t exchange links—Google knows all about this and it may penalize you for it. If someone wants something in exchange for the link, offer them something other than a link from your site, like perhaps putting their flyer in your office, recommending their services to your colleagues or giving them a social media shout-out.

The second strategy is guest posting on blogs. When you guest post you get a short author bio and a link to your website. When searching for blogs to post on, look for local blogs preferably (although national ones are good too!), a local newspaper’s online counterpart, a local mommy blog, a home design blog, etc.

 

Real Estate Websites Smart SEO: Keyword-Optimized Content 

The other thing that Google will love you for is for having high-quality, 100% unique content—filled with keywords that help its algorithm understand exactly what your content is about.

Writing high-value content is difficult for some—so never fear, you can always just pay us to do it for you (for just $35 per page). We’ll pick the highest-value keywords, write the content and upload it to your website. If you’ve got Google Webmaster installed on your website we’ll even give Google a poke to tell them that you’ve got new content on your site!

If you want to try writing it yourself—kudos! After all, who knows your business better than you. We’ve still got your back. Here’s enough blog topics and keywords to keep you busy for a year:

Free blog topics for realtors. (Click the words)

Free keywords for real estate agents. (Click the words)

You’re welcome.

Another super-awesome free tip from us is to ditch your IDX and begin uploading your own, hand-written listings. They will get you far more attention from homebuyers in your area while giving you plenty of SEO juice. Click here to read our article on why you should ditch your IDX.

 

If you’re ‘going it alone’, here is our one final tip. Install the Yoast! SEO plugin. It will show up on every blog post, and at the hit of one button you can know how to better the SEO of that specific piece. It’s like an SEO samurai standing over your shoulder….and IT’S FREE!

We love free (in case you hadn’t noticed).

You’re still reading? Unbelievable (but thanks!). Be sure to hop on over to our other blog posts—they offer equally as brilliant advice. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the websites we make—we bet you three Candy Crush lives that ours are better AND cheaper than what you’ve got now! 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

The best real estate websites have one thing in common—they deliver potential clients. If you’re website isn’t delivering leads—then you’re missing out on clients, and it is likely for one of the following three reasons:

1. Bounce Problems

‘Bounce rate’ is web terminology for when someone clicks on your site, it loads, and they leave within a few seconds. It happens when people don’t like what they see, or what they see doesn’t pop out at them. The best real estate website avoid these like the plague.

The sites with the highest bounce rates generally have one or more of the following issues:

No flow. A website, like any graphical element needs to have a specific flow that the eye is supposed to follow. To accomplish this you need to choose colours, sizes, fonts, pictures and videos that attract the readers to the most important part of your site and then provide a natural visual flow. Websites with multiple items that jump out at you will make users ‘bounce’.

Cheese. Nobody like cheesy. A website that looks cheesy will encourage people to bounce immediately.

Similarity. If your website looks like every other agents’ website then you won’t capture people’s attention immediately. To avoid similarity stay away from templates used by other agents in your area (like MCS or Real Web websites).

2. Failure to Communicate

People are surfing the internet for information. If you don’t provide them, quickly, the information they are looking for then they will find best real estate websites that will. To offer them the information they want in record time, your website needs:

– Excellent navigation. Your navigation should preferably be at the top of your website, and be clearly labelled and easy-to-read. If you have more than 5 or 6 pages then you will want to use drop-down menus to avoid your menu being too cluttered.

– Use sub headings to help people skim the page for the information that they want.

– Use clear fonts without funky colours to make your text easy-to-read.

 

3. Failure to Convert

Attracting people to your website is one challenge. Getting them to stick around for a few minutes is your second challenge. Your third, and final, challenge of the best real estate websites is getting them to take the next step and contact you.This conversion stage is the most difficult, especially since many homebuyers browsing the web are still in their informational phase and aren’t ready to begin contacting Realtors yet. This informational stage however is exactly when you need to strike.To aid your conversion rate, you need to focus on the following:

Expert status. To help aid in conversions, you first need to offer information and advice on your website that makes you an expert. Avoid generalizations and marketing fluff. Instead give them tangible reasons to make you their agent.

Contact. You need to have methods to contact you on every page of your website. This means phone number, email, live chat and social profiles—because you don’t know which method each user will prefer (and not all of them will prefer the same method).

Call to actions. Every good website needs some call to actions. These are generally brightly-coloured buttons with some text that grabs you and convinces you to call. Ideally you want multiple, different call-to-action buttons on your site. On your listings you can hold back a piece of information and say “call for X piece of information”.

Downloadable content. Adding content that can only be accessed by entering your email and then downloading it, or having it emailed to you, is a great way to build your email marketing list.

4. Page Load Time — A Habit of the Best Real Estate Websites

Pages that take a long time to load are bad. First, many people won’t wait–they’ll just bounce to another website. Second, Google doesn’t like pages that take too long to load, so they will suggest other ones to people performing Google searches. So, to ensure success, the best real estate websites load lickety-split.

 

So, is your website doing all that? No…then you need us. Check out our portfolio for some examples of the work we’ve done, then head on over to our services or pricing page to see how much we can offer—and how extremely affordable it is (hint: it’s $2500—with no expensive monthly fee). If your website IS doing all that—kudos! But check our pricing page because we can likely save you a ton of money that you can reinvest in other areas of your marketing.

 

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

Real estate and real estate marketing are cut-throat industries—and you need to haul butt just to stay afloat. To get ahead of the flock you need to implement some creative marketing and sales ideas….and here’s 26 kick-starting real estate marketing ideas to get you started:

real estate marketing ideas

 

  1. Create a great email signature, preferably complete with a picture and a quote that will help you stick out in people’s minds. It should also have all methods of communications, including links to your social profiles.
  2. Boost your  real estate marketing SEO efforts. If you haven’t done any SEO yet, start.
  3. Mobilify yourself. Make sure your website is ready for the mobile movement. Check to see that your website displays across the most popular devices.real estate marketing ideas
  4. Ask people to put you in their cellphones, because the days of passing out a business card is over. Instead, ask them to put you in their cellphone where you’ll be ready at hand should they have a question.
  5. Use analytics on your website and your Facebook page to see how well—or poorly—you’ve done over the last year. Also, use it to take tips for social and website ‘tweaking’ improvements.
  6. Engrave your information on your customer’s new-home keys. They will have a regular reminder of you, which will keep you in the forefront of their brains should one of their friends be in the market.
  7. Check your  real estate marketing online presence. Do you have a great website? Is it at least as good if not better than your competitor’s? If not, now might be the time.
  8. Pay Per Click advertising. If your SEO is somewhat lackluster but you don’t have the time to put the effort into SEO then use the SEO shortcut, PPC.
  9. Host seminars. Whatever you’re an expert in—host a seminar in it. This could be downsizing for seniors, condos for the upwardly-mobile or simply how to stage your home for sale. Then market the heck out of it on social media (consider paying for Facebook advertising) and other platforms.
  10. Develop a solid relationship with a great mortgage broker so that you can—conversely—send each other leads.
  11. Email marketing. If you haven’t started email marketing yet, now’s the time. You can do it for free on MailChimp and it can help you reach a large number of people in a short amount of time.
  12. Be super creative at your next community event and do something off-the-wall and memorable like handing out smoke-detector batteries with a little note reminding people to keep their family safe by changing the batteries–”just another home tip from Whoville’s best agent, Jim Smith”.
  13. Buy (and actually carry) white, writable business cards. This way if you meet somebody and ask for their information you have something handy for them to write it on. You will inevitably put it in your phone anyways but there’s something memorable about having them write it down for you.
  14. Create accounts on consumer review sites like Yelp or ActiveRain and encourage past customers to review you. These reviews could be the deal-sealer for potential customers deciding which agent to sign with.
  15. Setup a LinkedIn profile. While we don’t dig it as a social network necessarily, you can use it as an online resume service that will highlight your skills, specialties and all the training that you’ve had. You can also have people give you endorsements and testimonials that are completely legit as they link back to a real person’s profile. If you don’t have time for this, we offer a profile setup service for just $50.
  16. Sponsor a little league team. Families with little kids in sports are extremely social and by attending games you can get yourself into a whole new market—of young families upgrading to a larger home. Try to get into everyone’s cellphone and encourage them to call you with any home-oriented questions they have—like which home upgrades are worth the most to your home’s value.

  17. Find an ‘in’ into your local mommy market. Mom marketing is one of the strongest social networks for products—if you can get an ‘in’, the marketing potential is endless. So, go the extra mile for a mommy-marketing client.
  18. Real estate marketing ideas #18: Turn your car into a mobile advertisement with wrap-style marketing. It can be expensive initially but there are no on-going marketing costs. Of course, only do this if you’re a courteous driver!
  19. Supercharge your boring business cards with QR codes and rich content. Infoduce (https://www.infoduce.com/home) has a great platform that allows you to make a clean interface with connections to everything you need, like a LinkedIn profile, your website, your vCard (a downloadable business card that enters all your data into someone’s phone as a contact) and more.
  20. Leverage video. Video has never been easier now that all of us have powerful cameras in our pocket that we religiously bring everywhere with us. To start your creative video juices flowing, here’s some video ideas: customer testimonials, an introduction video, a video resume, listing videos and neighbourhood highlights.
  21. Align yourself with a local charity. Try to find one that isn’t aligned with any other agent and has tons of people involved in the charity and its events. That way you’ll have a large reach. Agree to donate a % of every sale to that charity, and then put that on your website, business card and all your marketing materials. Ask them to put a link on their website to your website and announce the partnership on their Facebook page.
  22. Buy the phone number of agents who retire or move out of town. The only hard thing about this one is keeping your ear to the ground to find out who is retiring and leaving.
  23. Buy tshirts with your business information on them and a slogan, and then wear them to every local event you go to.
    real estate marketing ideas
  24. Write a column in a local newspaper. Local newspapers are pushed to reduce their staff costs and boost their ad revenue, so meet them in the middle with a community column, home-renovation advice or the like. If you aren’t a great writer you can always hire our writer to write it for you. Be prepared that they may charge you for the column, but we promise it is money better spent than yet another ad in the real estate section.
  25. As a real estate marketing ideas: host a customer appreciation party to keep you in the forefront of their minds—and of course ask them for their referrals.
  26. Cozy up to agents nearing their retirement age. Show them how eager you are to close business—and how good you are at it. That way when they retire you may be on the shortlist for their referrals or client rolodex.

Here’s one extra-special bonus tip: hire Real Estate Websites Canada (that’s this ominous voice playing in your head right now as you read this article) to supercharge your online presence and real estate online marketing tasks. We can do it cheaper and better than you can…just don’t ask us to sell houses! We’re rubbish at that!

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Real estate websites should be marketing tools that run in the background and continually gather leads—while you do other things. This type of reactive lead collecting is how top producers keep their title. You’re probably rolling your eyes by now–”Duh!”.

real estate websites
 So, how exactly does one reactively let the leads roll in?

In an ideal world, you’d simply put up real estate websites and set-it-and-forget it like it’s a late-night informercial food processor. In real world, you need a website that first attracts web surfer’s attention—and then compels them to contact you (from there you’ve got to rely in your real-world awesomeness).

 

How to Attract Web Surfers to your Real Estate Websites: SEO or PPC

There are two primary, online ways to attract people to your website, Search Engine Optimization marketing and Pay Per Click advertising. We don’t deal with offline methods of drawing attention to your website here, but stay tuned for more info on that (hint though: QR codes and putting your web address on all your marketing materials).

 

  1. SEO
    SEO is a way of attracting attention from Google in order to get it to put you high up in search results so that people will click on your site when they search for homes or realtors in your area. So, put some fishnets and garters on your website and send Google a late-night text. Or, SEO-ify your website. 


 Click here for SEO tips

 And here for 3 SEO cheats

  1. PPC
    Pay Per Click advertising is a way to skip SEO but get the traffic anyways. You simply buy the love from Google. But, before you go buying Google’s love with AdWords, know that you need a compelling website that will turn that traffic into customers (or you’re spending your money on nothing).

 

 

Real Estate Websites: How to Compel them to Action

Compelling customers into action is the hard part of course. And not everyone visiting your website is ready to contact a Realtor yet—but hey, at least they’ve got your name in their head already. For the perentage of your traffic that are in the Realtor-contacting phase already, doing the following things will greatly improve your conversion rate (how many surfers turn into customers) with the following:

 

  • Make a rockstar website that will immediately grab their attention and hold it for at least a few seconds. This website will need to be significantly better than your competitors, offer want-to-watch videos and offer them interesting content right off the bat.
  • Offer them tons of ways to contact you—on every page. This includes live chat, email, phone number and social media profiles.
  • Use analytics to determine surfer’s behaviour, including: bounce rate (how many people take one look at your website and leave immediately), favourite pages (the ones they spend the most time on), pages that users are likely to leave after, etc. This info is a goldmine and is free with a free Google Analytics account.
  • Use takeaways on your website like a “2013 YourCity Real Estate Market Report” available by download only (so they have to give you their email), a listing with more information than is available on MLS but still has a hold that they have to call you to find out, a free offer available if they call you, etc. Unfortunately we can’t give you the answer here because it needs to be something unique to you—that you’re willing to offer.

 

All of the above advice hinges on having a professionally-done website that offers all the tools that you need. Not-so-coincidentally—ours do. And they’re just $2500.

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

 

 

 

If you’re looking for the top 10 real estate websites then you’re likely looking for some inspiration to kickstart your own kick-a** real estate agent online marketing campaign. Boy have you come to the right place—because that’s kind of our ‘thing’.

 

Before we knock you off your super-impressed feet with purdy pictures, let’s go over what makes a good website. First we’ll discuss what the public looks for in their top real estate websites, and then what Google look for. If you’re just looking for pretty pictures, skip the next part (although we don’t recommend it) and then look at the top 10 real estate websites based on existing WordPress themes—which we can install along with all the functionalities you want for a one-time fee of $2500.

 

Top 10 Real Estate Websites: What the Public Wants
Every website should be geared towards what the public wants—because that’s who you’re making the website for. And this is what they want (using rash generalizations of course):

 

  1. Easy-to-find content
  2. Relevant content
  3. Unique content that isn’t on every other realtor’s site
  4. Tangible content about their desired neighbourhood, condo, community or local real estate market
  5. Multiple ways to contact you (because not everyone wants to go the same communication route), including phone number, email and live chat
  6. Information on your listings that can’t be found on MLS (otherwise they would just go to MLS)
  7. Specific information about you as a realtor

 

Top 10 Real Estate Websites: What Google Wants

The Google gods are fickle. They know exactly what they want, and like any fickle god if you don’t offer it they will find another puny mortal who will give them what they want. And they’ll make that puny mortal show up higher in their search results than you—so give them what they want, which is:

 

  1. Unique content (if you use duplicate content they will strike you down with a godly bolt of lightning)
  2. More (unique) content than your competitor
  3. More inbound links (links from other people’s website pointing to your website) thank your competitors (notice the theme here with your competitor’s?)
  4. Use of SEO keywords (you can steal some from one of our other blog posts)
  5. Images with keywords in your ‘alt image tags’….you can Google what those are
  6. At least 300 words per page
  7. An outgoing link (pointing to someone else’s website) on every page, like Wikipedia, city council, another local business, etc.

OK—ready for the pretty pictures now? …. Click the link below the image for a live demo

———————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Top 10 Real Estate Websites


———————————————————————————————————————————-

Open Door Real Estate Theme for real estate websites

———————————————————————————————————————————-
Top 10 Real Estate Websites

 

———————————————————————————————————————————-

CasaNova Real Estate Website Theme

———————————————————————————————————————————-
Top 10 Real Estate Websites

 

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Curb Appeal Real Estate Website Theme

———————————————————————————————————————————-
Top 10 Real Estate Websites
———————————————————————————————————————————-

TurnKey Real Estate Website Theme

———————————————————————————————————————————-
Top 10 Real Estate Websites

———————————————————————————————————————————- 

Construct Real Estate Websites Theme

———————————————————————————————————————————-
Top 10 Real Estate Websites

 

LightHouse Real Estate Web Design Theme
Top 10 Real Estate Websites

 

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Ushuaia Real Estate Web Design

———————————————————————————————————————————-
Top 10 Real Estate Websites

———————————————————————————————————————————- 

Decorum Real Estate Web Design Theme

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Top 10 Real Estate Websites

 ———————————————————————————————————————————-

AgentPress Real Estate Web Design Theme

———————————————————————————————————————————- 

 

Top 10 Real Estate Websites

———————————————————————————————————————————- 

Associate WordPress Theme for Real Estate Web Design

 ———————————————————————————————————————————-

 

WANT MORE?…. Visit our Gallery

 

Don’t Leave Now! You’ve only just begun…click below to learn more about:

Writing real estate website content is easier than you think—although still not easy, otherwise our writer wouldn’t have as much work as she does. If you’ve decided to try writing your own website content, good on ya’. As always, we want you to succeed online, so we’ve got some great tips from our professional writer about how to write great real estate website content—that people will actually read. The even better news is that we’ve made it an easy-to-follow numbered list…

 

  1. The Them-Not-You Rule
    The temptation when writing real estate website content is to write what you want to write about and not what your audience wants to hear. Well, if you want people to read it you need to write what they want to know about. There’s an easy way to find out what they want—just ask them. Ask your clients, past clients and friends what information they want to read when they’re buying or selling their home.
  2. Be Specific—be, be specificThe internet is full of bullcrap ‘fluff’. It doesn’t need anymore. In fact its fluff quotient has reached maximum capacity. So, when writing content be extremely specific and avoid generalizations. Instead of writing about “4 Generic Things to Look for in Homes” write about “12 Easy Upgrades that Add $10,000 in Value to your Home”.When you’re writing about real estate in your area, refer to specific neighbourhoods, condo buildings, and specific amenities, etc. Don’t write on a listing that it is “close to restaurants, shops and other amenities”, instead wrote “close to the high-end grocery store Sobey’s and 3.7 minutes walk from super-affordable No Frills”, or “literally, right around the corner from award-winning restaurant L’anzorellis”
  3. SEO
    Without SEO-ifiying your content it won’t be found. So there’s no point in writing New York Times-quality content if you don’t SEO-ify so that people have the opportunity to read it. Now, SEO is too complex to summarize in a few sentences, but if you can do the following things you’ll be in good shape:
  • Use at or around 350-words (although more is always good too). Google likes this number.
  • Use your keyword (you can use Google’s free keyword research tool https://adwords.google.com/ko/KeywordPlanner/Home) in both your headline and in the first paragraph, ideally at the beginning of each. Then use it another 2 times throughout the article/content.
  • Use images and put in an ‘alt image tag’ with your keyword. You can Google how to do this within WordPress. Once you’ve done it once it is very easy.
  • Add one inbound link and one outbound. Inbound is a link to another article or page on your site, and outbound is to another site (which could be Wikipedia, city council, or whatever relates to your article).
  1. Easy-To-Read RuleWriting online content is all about making it easy-to-read and easy-to-skim through. Our attention spans are short and large blocks of text scare us away. So, use short paragraphs and whenever possible use a numbered list, bulleted list or subheadings to create visual reference points.If you question the validity of this, compare this article you’re reading now to one without a numbered list, bulleted points or subheadings. You’ll immediately notice the difference and 99% of readers will gravitate towards the one that is better formatted.
  2. Catchy Headline Your headline is your first—and often only—opportunity to capture a reader’s attention. There is some great headline-writing, attention-capturing advice here (http://goinswriter.com/catchy-headlines/).


Now, go forth and be a wonderful scribe! And of course, should you tire of writing blog posts and listing write ups (most people hit a creative wall eventually), just write us a line—we can always take over.  

Want our best real estate websites advice? Ditch the IDX. Google doesn’t like it, it’s expensive–and it doesn’t get results.

 

Saying Google hates IDX on real estate websites isn’t quite fair—because the truth is they don’t recognize it at all on your website. If Google were a mean kid—it wouldn’t even pick-on IDX, because it couldn’t find it. It offers zero value in terms of content and SEO, and you in fact are penalized for using it from Google due to the content black hole it creates on your website. 


Why Does Google Hate IDX?
Google doesn’t recognize IDX because it doesn’t actually create any content on your website, it simply temporarily pulls content from the main MLS website (or wherever your specific region’s IDX data feed comes from) and displays it temporarily on your page. Think of it like an internet browser…your internet browser (whether it be Internet Explorer, Chrome, or what have you) doesn’t download all the data it uses onto your computer. If it did, your hard drive would already be full of entirely YouTube videos of kittens. Instead it creates a temporary window that displays the content. IDX does the same thing.

Since your real estate websites IDX feed doesn’t create any content—how much content does your website have? If it does have a few pages of original content—how much of it is new? And how often is information added or updated?

 

Why Google Likes New, Unique Listings
There are literally thousands of online ‘photocopies’ of MLS listings. If you google a listing address, like “123 Fake Street, Fauxville, QC”, you’ll see hundreds of thousands of results—and pretty much all of them are identical. So—how does Google rank those to see who goes first? It’s a bit of a crap shoot, and the highest-ranking real estate websites sites go first. The problem is—you’re not going to get there using IDX.

 

To start showing up in search results—for your own listings at least—you need unique, original, SEO-ified content on your real estate websites. To do this you need a website that allows you to upload your own listings, along with a unique description—and then you need an SEO tool like the YOAST plugin for WordPress. Note: ANY copied/duplicate content will penalize you worse than if you had no content at all, so don’t copy-and-paste anything. By uploading your own listings with originally-written descriptions you:

 

  • Get major SEO street cred for your real estate websites by adding unique, SEO-rich content on a regular basis.
  • Have an element to add to your listing presentation—after all, you’re creating feature-rich, attractive, high-profile descriptions that far outweigh what you can put on MLS.
  • Gain more traffic to your site by appearing high in search results for your listing’s address, and for its street name.

 

So, What Do I Do?

Our knee-jerk answer is to get one of REwebsites’ websites, because we offer WordPress-based websites with unlimited quantities of listings that you can easily add yourself (it really couldn’t get any easier—if you can use MLS, you can use our websites) and it will only cost you $2500, that’s it. Oh, an because we’re super awesome. But—the honest answer is that any WordPress website, or website Content Management System (CMS) with a credible SEO-analyzing plugin will work. But again, we recommend using us—because while you may be able to create a WordPress website yourself, eventually, it surely isn’t worth the time or headache.

 

 

Click here to find out about the services and products we offer… 

Take away: begin considering ditching your IDX. It is super expensive and doesn’t work. After all—how many leads have you gotten from it this year? That wasn’t rhetorical—count them. If you have even 3 we’ll buy you a beer. Are you getting your $50-a-month worth?

Want to know more? Curious what other Jedi-like secrets we know? ….Think we’re wrong? Give us a call, we’ve got realtor hours—we’re ‘open’ 7 days a week, 10am to 10pm. Or you can click on the LiveChat thingamajig below…

If you’ve been humming and hawing over whether to install live chat on your real estate website—our opinion is a resounding yes. A thousands times yes. Why wouldn’t you?

 

Our absolute most convincing reason to use live chat on your real estate website is that if you’re already a customer of Real Estate Websites Canada (REwebsites) then live chat is FREE. No seriously. Shoot us an email (info@realestatewebsites.ca) or give us a call  and let us know you want it—we’ll get you started with live chat today. Well, it might be tomorrow. We may be knee-deep in website development at the moment.

 

If it being free wasn’t reason enough—here’s 6 more:

 

  1. Insta-Leads Live chat is like the instant-coffee version of the internet. Leads are readily available for the picking, but many want the instant-gratification that live chat provides.
  2. Counter the Fear Many people are shy to pick up the phone and call you. Live chat is significantly less threatening.
  3. Monitoring The live chat tool we install on our websites empowers you to track your visitors as they move throughout your site. Noticing what page they are on can help you guide them through the content you’ve carefully created—and preemptively answer any questions they may have.
  4. First Impression By being so readily-available and attentive to their needs, through live chat, you create an unbeatable first impression.
  5. It’s Easy Using live chat (the one we use at least) is super easy. There’s an app to put on your smartphone that sends you alerts, just like texts. You can adjust your settings to alert you whenever someone hops on your site, so that you can offer them a preemptive hello and a welcome to your site—or, when they type a message into the live chat box. You then receive an alert to your phone and type like you would a text message. If you can text, you can use our live chat.
  6. It’s FREEWe know we mentioned this—but seriously…it’s free!

 

If you’re curious about live chat on your website. Give us a ring-a-ding-ding, drop us a line—or use our convenient live chat feature that should be hovering at the bottom right hand-side of the screen. If we’re ‘offline’ send us a message—because unlike Realtors, we DO sleep!

 

 

If you want live chat on your website–and want to save the expensive monthly fees you’re spending on your website now, click here to find out more about the services and products that we offer… 

Author: Robin

One of our best real estate online marketing tips–and pay attention because we don’t have strokes of genius every day is this: Video should be in every real estate agent’s portfolio—after all, you’ve already got a smartphone with a camera that’s more powerful than a 1990s 3.5-lb camera. But a camera is only half the equation. There is also being inside your listed property—oh, wait.

 

There is no excuse for agents not to leverage video. Uploading a video to YouTube (super easy—try it, we dare you) takes mere seconds. A minute and a half if you’re one of the 37 Canadians still using dial-up. It is also a great cheat to SEO as a few relevant YouTube videos are displayed at the top of Google search results—effortlessly beating out all the people who worked hard with SEO to get just below your latest YouTube video.

 

Even better news (well, maybe not better—but at least still pretty darned good) is that there are 3 easy ways to leverage video for real estate agents…

 

Real Estate Online Marketing Tips: 3 EASY Ways to Leverage Video

  1. Video ListingsYou’ve likely heard the internet ‘mantra’ that “print is dead”. Well, that’s only a half truth. While creating tempting-sounding listings to grace the virtual pages of MLS with is still moderately envogue, nothing sells real estate like glossy video. So the next time you’re jaunting around your listing, pop open your phone’s camera and snap a quick vid (1-3-minutes tops). Upload it to YouTube when you get home, slap the address name and neighbourhood in the title, link it to your website and you’re done. The whole process will take less than 10 minutes once you’ve found your groove.
  2. Introduction/Explainer Video How many potential clients can you actually get in front of per day and give your best elevator pitch to? Its like a very small multiple of one—and no blame-game here, getting in front of people is as hard as a petrified oak tree. Technology’s goal in life is to make our lives easier. Let it. Making an introduction/explainer/elevator pitch video is a signficantly easier way to get in front of people, even if it is virtual. Put it on your website, on YouTube, put a QR code linking to it on your marketing material or come up with other creative ways to get it out there. It will only take maybe 30 minutes all together and then its a set-it-and-forget-it solution (unless your ‘pitch’ changes).
  3. Neighbourhood Profiles Video listings are a great way to sell a home, but to cast a wider net do a video neighbourhood profile. It will come up on Google every time someone searches that neighbourhood on Google (and relatively high up on the search results as it is video) for years to come. Make one each week, beginning with the most popular neighbourhood, or with your special ‘sweet spots’. One a week might be a little gung-ho, but once you see the results you’ll likely even ramp that up. Hop on over to YouTube (in a new browser please—we don’t want you leaving us just yet) and search a few neighbourhoods in your market—unless you’re in one of Canada’s biggest metropolitan areas we betcha’ almost nothing comes up.

 

Think these lil’ real estate online marketing tips were good? Stay tuned for more pearls of internet wisdom—and sign up for our Facebook page—we’ve got streams of grade-A stuff on there (seriously—check it out!).

 

Also, before you go out filming video for your website–make sure you have a great website, like the ones we offer for just $2500. Click here for more information.  

 

 

Author: Robin

Real Estate Marketing Ideas: 3 Legit SEO Work-Arounds for Realtors

So. You’ve looked for real estate marketing ideas and heard about SEO. You may have dabbled in it (likely to no result). If you haven’t dabbled in it, and don’t know what it is, here is a phenomenal video that explains what it is in super-simple terms that even people without computer science degrees can understand:

www.player.vimeo.com/video/74368203

Got it now? Great. (If you don’t ‘get it’ yet—give us call, we’d be more than happy to explain it and answer any questions that you have—no really, we probably need a break from staring at HTML code anyways.

 

Now, SEO is hard. That’s why there are tens of thousands of companies who offer SEO services, some of them legit—and some of them snake-oil salesmen. In response to the snake-oil salesmen—there are no cheats, hacks or workarounds for SEO. Google puts hundreds of millions of dollars, every year, into their algorithm to ensure that nobody can’ fake it’. “But you said you have cheats?”. We do, but they are really just ways to avoid the hard-work that SEO takes (especially in a competitive industry like real estate) while still getting exposure online. …and here are our real estate marketing ideas to avoid SEO (although doing SEO as well is even better!):

 

  1. Google Business Registration
    Registering your business with Google will put you on Google Places—and on Google Maps. Since Google generally puts a few of its Google Maps/Google Places results near the top of search engine results—this is one way to get to the top of a search engine, without search engine optimization.
    Registering for Google Place takes about 5 minutes (although you need to wait a couple weeks to receive a postcard from Google in the mail with a code on it, to confirm your address), and can be done using this link:

    http://www.google.ca/business/placesforbusiness/
  2. Videos
    Google does the same sort of thing with its videos from YouTube (which is owned by Google), displaying a couple of videos in its search results. So, another way to get to the top of Google without putting effort into SEO is to upload some videos on YouTube. These can be listing walkthroughs, realtor-introduction videos or neighbourhood highlights. You can take these videos on your iPhone or video-enabled smartphone. And quite frankly, you should be taking them anyways because video listings get more attention than print alone.
    To create a YouTube profile, click here:
    https://accounts.google.com/SignUp?service=youtube
  3. AdWords
    AdWords is like ‘paid SEO’ from Google. AdWords is the only company that can offer paid SEO results—as it is owned and controlled by Google. While paying for clicks (AdWords is also known as pay-per-click advertising) isn’t ideal, there is a break-even point where some SEO services will be more expensive than pay-per-click.
    You can sign up here, or use their navigation to find information or videos showing you what it’s all about:

    http://www.google.com/adwords/index.html?sourceid=awha&subid=ca-en-ha-aw-bkup0~29213198885&gclid=CKSEpbGFuroCFe1aMgodHXYA8g
  4. Axing IDX
    IDX has no SEO value. In fact it detracts from SEO because it temporarily populates your real estate website with listing information—although it is all duplicate content and none of it is actually hosted on your website—which is why it has no value. If you ditch IDX there is a great work-around for SEO that will get you hits to your website, by uploading unique property listings, with unique descriptions, to your website.Uploading listings to your website is simple, especially with our real estate websites. We can show you just how simple. If you can use Hotmail and Facebook—you can upload a listing to our websites. To make it an SEO winner it needs to be at least 200 words (although 350+ is even better!), and entirely unique.Once you’ve begun uploading your own unique listings you’ll begin getting SEO ‘points’. These SEO points will send you to the top of Google results quickly because you won’t be competing with super-competitive keywords, like “Toronto homes for sale”, you’ll be competing based on your listing’s address (which should make you the only one). Alternatively you can use the street address or neighbourhood as the keyword so that you’ll come up in search results for properties on that street or neighbourhood in the future.But all this starts with getting rid of IDX (or at least uploading your own properties on your website alongside your IDX). 

Sound good? Or does it sounds overwhelming? If it sounds overwhelming, start with one at a time—and start with registering for Google Places, because it is easy as pie (–which really isn’t easy to make at all—we’ve tried!). Or you can just pay us to do it for you.

If you’re keen to get started—fantastic, BUT, before you go SEO gung-ho know that you need an impressive website that will keep the attention of the traffic you send to it. Here is where the good news comes in—we can build you one, within a week (depending on the difficulty of the site you request) for about $2500.

Give us a call, use the online chat below or shoot us an email and we can do a free analysis on your current website and online marketing strategy to tell you where you need the most help.

 

Another option is to get backlinks, from websites like http://dmoz.in.net/
DMOZ Free Directory Submission

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

Why Real Estate Branding?

 

Image is (nearly) everything to a realtor—your image is your brand, which is your integrity. But you know that. But how do you build a strong online presence that conveys trust and integrity?

 

Real Estate Branding: How Realtors Can Build a Strong Presence Online
Foreshadowing: real estate branding isn’t all sunshine and roses—you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and get virtually dirty. Or of course you can pay someone else to do it (coincidentally—we’re available). Building an online brand, without getting Mafia-level complex, involves the following elements:

 


Website

Think of your website as your central system of your online real estate branding strategy. It is the hub and the other elements below are the spokes. This is because all the other elements need a central place to send traffic to—a central place that has multiple methods of communication, technology and realtor-specific information. Your website’s job is to get your visitors to call you, and then become customers—and everything else’s job is to get traffic to your website.

So, what kind of website do you need? You need a custom-branded website, that portrays professionalism while offering them all the information they need to make an informed decision on you as a realtor. It also needs to showcase your listings and offer the user multiple methods of communication—our favourites being click-to-call buttons and a LiveChat tool.

 

If you’re thinking how much business you’d have to write to pay for all this—not much! Our websites, with all the bells and whistles—are just $2500.


Mobile Website
Mobile websites are important for everyone—because 2/5ths of all internet searches are now done on mobile devices, and that number is growing quickly. That number however is already larger for real estate agents because most people see your marketing, advertising and meet you outside of their homes or offices—so they look you up on their smartphone. But you knew that already. Did you know that 80% of all mobile users will bounce from a website that isn’t ‘mobile-friendly’?

So, what is mobile-friendly? A mobile-friendly website will show up well on mobile devices. The little-bit-more in-depth look is that it easily displays on mobile devices without having to adjust the size of the picture (commonly accomplished by pinching and expanding the area). They also don’t have massive images or video that will take long to load or eat up a data plan. What they do is allow your visitors to navigate your site easily, finding the information they want with a few clicks of the button.

 

A step beyond mobile-friendly is ‘responsive’ which means they ‘respond’ to the device you are using b recognizing it and displaying in a way that is friendly to that device and its screen size. If you’re wondering if you want mobile-friendly or responsive—the truth is either one will do. Responsive is better—but even having a mobile-friendly website will put you above most of your competitors.

The good news after all this confusion is that the price of mobile-friendly and responsive websites have come down in price significantly, while the qualities have improved. We provide all our customers who purchase a website with a responsive design, which means they have a mobile website that displays beautifully on all devices. Curious which one your website is capable of? Just give us a shout—we’ll tell you.
QR Codes
Once you’ve got a mobile-enabled website you’re a hop-skip-and-a-jump from offering your public click-of-the-button-access to your website via QR codes. If your eyes are glazing over thinking that this is all getting too far ahead for you then know this—all of this can be done for you. A website and mobile version, we can do for ya! We also create all our customers free QR codes. We can also install a tool where you click one button on any page on your website and it instantly creates a QR code that you can add to your business cards, ads and marketing materials.

 

So QR codes—easy and free! A definite addition to assist your online presence.


Social Media (Who are we kiddin’–we mean Facebook)
You’ve likely heard all about how you should be using social media, and it likely sounds time-consuming and confusing—but let us simplify it for you. Choose one social media platform and spend your time on that instead of spreading yourself thin on several.

One exception to the one-social-network rule: sign up for a LinkedIn page. A LinkedIn page is like an online resume, and you can use it to get endorsements from real people you’ve worked with—which lends legitimacy to the platform. It will take you 10-15 minutes to sign up and then it is pretty much a set-it-and-forget it solution (in our opinion). Check your messages that you receive but other than that don’t waste too much time on it—it doesn’t work as well for Realtors as it can for industries that rely on B2B networking, and you’re B2C.

The network we recommend is Facebook—especially if you’re already on it. You can sign up for a service to manage it, or you can do it yourself. In our opinion it is relatively easy to handle yourself, and you can schedule posts for a week at one time by using their timing tool (so sit down for 30 minutes once a week and plan your whole social strategy). Then answer comments and likes to drive interaction. To build your list add all your offline contacts, friends, current and former customers, and then engage them with relevant-to-them, funny or intriguing content (this will take some time to get the hang of). Unfortunately social media marketing—even just Facebook—is too difficult to encapsulate here, and the above is only ‘the gist’ of it. You’ll have to keep researching for specific ideas.

 

SEO/Original Content
An SEO strategy is how you get people to get to your website from Google searches, without paying for it with Pay Per Click advertising. SEO is an extremely complex field—but the ‘gist’ of it (while this article is over 1,000 words it still can’t come close to encapsulating the technology behind any of these sub topics) is that you do certain things to your website that attracts Google’s attention. Google then analyzes your website based on its proprietary (and shrouded in mystery) ever-changing algorithm to assess its credibility. Now, there are thousands of elements that Google analyzes, but what we know so far is that a large percentage looks at two things: your content and how many people and websites link to your content. 


In terms of content Google looks for pages that are 100% original. They, ideally, want pages with at least 300 words of content that uses—naturally–keywords in your industry.

The good news about SEO is that there are technologies that can tell you if you’re doing it right. The industry favourite is a WordPress plugin called Yoast. Yoast gives you a red light (bad), orange light (less bad), yellow light (a little better) or green light (green for go—and green for money!). Green is good. If you haven’t reached green it will tell you what to do in order to get it.


The other element is links. Inbound links are links that are aimed at your website. They tell Google that your content must be good—because other people like it enough to post a link from their content to your content. They can be hard to get organically which is why many people buy links. This can work, although it can go badly too. Instead I recommend speaking to other people in your area with businesses about linking to you, because the quality of the link matters. So, Mr. Responsible Local Mortgage Broker’s website is worth more ‘link juice’ than Bobcaygeon’s Bob’s Bait and Tackle Shop’s link. Don’t just trade links though because Google assigns a lower value to links if you link to each other (Google figured out pretty quick that people will easily trade links for ‘link juice’).

So, you can write original content and get links, you can pay someone (like us) to do it for you—or you can pay for click with Google’s Pay Per Click.

 

Video
Video is our favourite online branding tool for Realtors. It is a phenomenal way to, literally, get your face out there. It is also extremely easy now, since every iPhone has a built-in video camera. Recording an introduction video, listing walk-through and virtual tours is a great way to promote yourself and your listing. And it costs nothing.


Once you’ve taken a video you can upload it to YouTube (free) and then add it to your social media page(s) and your website. You can even tag it a QR code and add it to ads and marketing content. Video has tons of opportunities and it costs nothing if you’ve got a smartphone with a decent camera (although be sure to have some decent lighting when you take the video so it doesn’t come out too dark).

 

Branding Strategy
You’re still reading? Phenomenal. Let’s end this off with an easy one—and yes we’re still talking about a branding strategy. Creating a simplified branding strategy isn’t difficult. In real estate it generally involves picking a ‘look’ and a motto and then multiplying that across all your marketing and advertising. An easy way to do this is to have a custom-banner made for your website—as you can then use that same banner on your Facebook and other marketing documents like materials for open houses and other client-facing handouts. If it doesn’t fit exactly you can always have it altered slightly to fit whatever document you’re using. You should also use it in your business cards. This will create a branding strategy that clients will automatically relate to you.

 

Real Estate Branding–Sounds complex–but hopefully a little easier now. To get your toes wet in real estate branding for realtors, just give us a call or click the LiveChat button below.  We can help you choose a good place to start. And we’re seriously honest–if you haven’t looked at our pricing yet you can see that we don’t gouge our clients for $50 a month for our websites, we don’t charge for LiveChat when its free through Zopim (they’re seriously great!)–and we offer honest, clear advice about real estate technology. While we may not be real estate branding professionals, we have the technology to get you there.

 

Want our best real estate Marketing advice? Ditch the IDX. Google doesn’t like it, it’s expensive–and it doesn’t get results.

Saying Google hates IDX isn’t quite fair—because the truth is they don’t recognize it at all on your website. If Google were a mean kid—it wouldn’t even pick-on IDX, because it couldn’t find it. It offers zero value in terms of content and SEO, and you in fact are penalized for using it from Google due to the content black hole it creates on your website. 

Why Does Google Hate IDX?
Google doesn’t recognize IDX because it doesn’t actually create any content on your website, it simply temporarily pulls content from the main MLS website (or wherever your specific region’s IDX data feed comes from) and displays it temporarily on your page. Think of it like an internet browser…your internet browser (whether it be Internet Explorer, Chrome, or what have you) doesn’t download all the data it uses onto your computer. If it did, your hard drive would already be full of entirely YouTube videos of kittens. Instead it creates a temporary window that displays the content. IDX does the same thing.

Since your website’s IDX feed doesn’t create any content—how much content does your website have? If it does have a few pages of original content—how much of it is new? And how often is information added or updated?

 

Real Estate Marketing Advice: Why Google Likes New, Unique Listings
There are literally thousands of online ‘photocopies’ of MLS listings. If you google a listing address, like “123 Fake Street, Fauxville, QC”, you’ll see hundreds of thousands of results—and pretty much all of them are identical. So—how does Google rank those to see who goes first? It’s a bit of a crap shoot, and the highest-ranking sites go first. The problem is—you’re not going to get there using IDX.

 

To start showing up in search results—for your own listings at least—you need unique, original, SEO-ified content. To do this you need a website that allows you to upload your own listings, along with a unique description—and then you need an SEO tool like the YOAST plugin for WordPress. Note: ANY copied/duplicate content will penalize you worse than if you had no content at all, so don’t copy-and-paste anything. By uploading your own listings with originally-written descriptions you:

 

  • Get major SEO street cred by adding unique, SEO-rich content on a regular basis.
  • Have an element to add to your listing presentation—after all, you’re creating feature-rich, attractive, high-profile descriptions that far outweigh what you can put on MLS.
  • Gain more traffic to your site by appearing high in search results for your listing’s address, and for its street name.

 

Real Estate Marketing Advice: So, What Do I Do?

Our knee-jerk answer is to get one of REwebsites’ websites, because we offer WordPress-based websites with unlimited quantities of listings that you can easily add yourself (it really couldn’t get any easier—if you can use MLS, you can use our websites) and it will only cost you $2500, that’s it. Oh, an because we’re super awesome. But—the honest answer is that any WordPress website, or website Content Management System (CMS) with a credible SEO-analyzing plugin will work. But again, we recommend using us—because while you may be able to create a WordPress website yourself, eventually, it surely isn’t worth the time or headache.

 

Real Estate marketing take away: begin considering ditching your IDX. It is super expensive and doesn’t work. After all—how many leads have you gotten from it this year? That wasn’t rhetorical—count them. If you have even 3 we’ll buy you a beer. Are you getting your $50-a-month worth?

Want to know more? Curious what other Jedi-like secrets we know about real estate websites advice? ….Think we’re wrong? Give us a call. And we’ve got realtor hours—we’re ‘open’ 7 days a week, 10am to 10pm. Or you can click on the LiveChat thingamajig in blue below

 

 

Should Real Estate Agents Use Website Builders?  — Real Estate Website Builders

 

real estate website builder
Should real estate agents use website builders? In our opinion? No, of course not.

 

Our knee-jerk response isn’t what you think though…

 

Yes, we—of course—want you to purchase a website from us instead of a website builder, but we also know that eventually most agents who use website builders will turn to a professional web development company anyways. And since we’re rockstar awesome, have the most economical prices in the business and offer top-level technologies—they’ll come to us eventually. So—we’d rather save you the time by telling you which real estate agents should use website builders…and which should use US.

 

Real Estate Website Builders: Who SHOULD Use Website Builders

  • Agents just starting out who have absolutely zero budget for a website.
  • Agents with plenty of time on their hands to build the website.
  • Agents with a reasonable level of technological know-how.
  • Agents looking for a simple website with basic functionalities (for some—that’s all they need and want, and hey—that’s cool!)

If you think a real estate website builder might be for you–allow us to point you in the right direction with this great chart of different website builders and what they can do:

http://www.top10bestwebsitebuilders.com/

real estate website builder 2


Real Estate Website Builders: Who SHOULDN’T Use Website Builders

  • Agents who don’t have the average of 15-25 hours that it takes to create a reasonably high-quality website with a website builder—and would just rather fork out the $2500.  Because sometimes having a pro do a pro-grade job is worth more than paying yourself slightly above minimum wage to figure out how to build a website.
  • Agents who have an image to uphold and need a professional-looking website.
  • Agents who want a number of top-level technology website features like lead-capturing, CRM, Live-Chat, Mobile Click-to-Call buttons—and more.
  • Agents looking to leverage on-the-go online marketing with a mobile website and QR codes.
  • Agents who get frustrated easily by technology (you know who you are).
  • Agents who aren’t sure exactly what they need on their website! (You know who YOU are too)
  • Agents who want more control over the look and feel of their site.
  • Agents who see the value in owning their website instead of renting it.
  • Agents who need on-going support to manage and continue to expand their website and online presence.


Real Estate Website Builders….hmmm….Not sure which one you are? Feel free to give us a call…we’re honest and will give you a no-nonsense answer to what you really need. If you understand technology (which we can determine from a 2-minute phone conversation) and all you truly need is a website builder—then we’ll tell you just that! (And then we’ll kindly ask you to refer us to less-technical agents in your office, of course).

If you’ve tried a website builder and aren’t happy with the results or simply ‘weren’t able to quite figure it out’ (no shame in that game—we know how much knowledge it takes to build a website), then welcome home—like family we’ll take care of ya’.

 

To see examples of the kind of website you can get for just $2500–with no expensive monthly fee–click here for pricing, and here for portfolio examples.

real estate website builder 3

Author: Robin

Don’t think we can help with your real estate websites? Pfft…wanna bet? No, literally—we need the money.

Rewebsites Canada helps its customers with their real estate websites, while building their online—and offline presences (ask us how we manage that!)–over the long term. Curious the ways that we help? Well, off the tops of our heads we can think of 27 reasons you need us….

 

  1. We get your mobile. (click here to see more about our mobile sites)
  2. We get you started on QR codes. (free with our websites!)
  3. We improve your professional image with a stylish website and stellar content.
  4. We improve your listing presentation by offering you a unique platform to promote your property—and not with the terrible, space-constrained MLS profile.
  5. FREE easy-to-use lead-capturing technology.
  6. FREE easy-to-use CRM-based customer and lead management.
  7. One-button integration with your social media marketing (Facebook yo!).
  8. With SEO help.
  9. Canadian-style customer service “you first”…”oh no, you first”…”oh no, your first—I insist”
  10. With our ATTENTION-GRABBING content.
  11. With our integrated blogging.
  12. With our Google Analytics and Google Webmaster integration.
  13. By helping you get on Facebook (it’s never too late!).
  14. With the technologies you crave—like click-to-call buttons and Live Chat.
  15. Unlimited content—because you may have a lot to say!
  16. With your entire branding strategy—from branded email accounts to marketing materials.
  17. By guiding you with our knowledge (and like McDonald’s smiles—that’s free).
  18. Low costs.
  19. An easy-to-use Content Management System—that yes, even you can use (you know who you are).
  20. Post-website-creation tutorials that teach you how to use the technology (again and again if you need it).
  21. Virtual tour encouragement.
  22. Video marketing empowerment.
  23. IDX integration (if you want it—although have a chat with us about it first, it may not be all you thought it was)
  24. Listing write-ups so that your listing information looks super-professional.
  25. Blogging. We do it for you—so that you don’t have to.
  26. We mow your lawn. (Just checkin’ if you’re paying attention).
  27. We’re fun to work with. (If you doubt the value of this then just think of your last customer service experience with Bell or Rogers).

 

If you’re curious about what we can do for you to build your real estate websites or online presence…or you really do need someone to mow your lawn—give us a shout. 

To see how little it will cost you to move to one of our websites–with no expensive monthly fee like our competitors..click here.

 

Author: Robin

Keyword-Rich Blog Topics for realtors…and other random advice we tacked on last minute…

Blog topics are endless….blogging is easy…the sky is the limit…yadda yadda.

If you’re sick of generic advice about how easy and effective blogging is then you are in the right place—because we’re here to tell you it ain’t easy and it ain’t always effective.

Use Yoast

Leveraging our usual got-your-back-Jack philosophy, here’s our first tip: install the Yoast! SEO tool. It will tell you when your blog is SEO-worthy—with an easy to read red-light, yellow-light or green-light system. It literally couldn’t be easier. If you get the dreaded yellow or red (eek!), it gives you a list of things to do to move to green. Without this plugin tool you may be blogging without a specific purpose.

Pick Yo’ Keywords

Choose keyword-rich blog topics. To begin this, check out our blog post on keywords for real estate agents.

Keyword-Rich Blog Topics for Realtors..and Other AdviceCome up with Some Blog Topics…or Let us Do it For You
If you’d prefer we come up with your blog topics for you…here they are—and you’re welcome. (Note that ‘Bummsville’ should be replaced with your city’s name). (Second note: the numbers are generic placeholders—but people are 7-times more likely to read a blog post in a list form)

  1. Neighbourhood Reviews (using each neighbourhood name as your keyword…this should give you at least ten blog topics)

  2. A News Review (about a trending topic related to one of your keywords)

  3. Commentary regarding a local news story (again using one of your keywords)

  4. 10 Fun Facts about Bummsville

  5. 7 Things Only Locals Know About Bummsville

  6. 5 Secret Spots in Bummsville

  7. How to Find a Realtor in Bummsville

  8. 11 Reasons Why I am the Best Real Estate Agent in Bummsville

  9. Why I am YOUR Realtor in Bummsville

  10. 15 Tips for Selling your Home in Bummsville

  11. How to Sell your Home in Bummsville

  12. Quick Sale: How to Sell your Home in Bummsville

  13. 4 Creative Ways to Sell your House in Bummsville

  14. Home Selling Tips for BummsvilliansKeyword-Rich Blog Topics for Realtors..and Other Advice

  15. Marketing your Home in Bummsville: a How-To

  16. Staging your Home to Sell: Home-Marketing Tips in Bummsville

  17. How to Benefits from Foreclosures in Bummsville

  18. Short Sales: How to Leverage them for Real Estate Success

  19. Foreclosure or Short Sale: Where to Invest in Real Estate

  20. 12 Common For Sale By Owner Mistakes in Bummsville

  21. 11 Common Mistakes that FSBO Make in Bummsville

  22. Sell your Own Home: Are YOU Ready?

  23. 21 Tips to Sell your Home Quickly

  24. Short Selling a Home Tips

  25. Home Buying Tips for Bummsvillians

  26. Real Estate Listings in Bummsville

  27. Find Real Estate in Bummsville: A How-To

  28. Bummsville Houses for Sale: What to Look For

  29. Best Townhomes for Sale in Bummsville

  30. The Top MLS Listings in Bummsville

  31. When to Buy a Home in Bummsville

  32. How to Buy a Home in Bummsville

  33. 13 Tips for Homebuyers in Bummsville

  34. Real Estate Market Update for Bummsville Q3

If you didn’t know about Yoast, the top keywords or blog topics—what else don’t you know that you don’t know? Follow our blog to find out other ways to blog better, and build a better online presence. If you can’t wait for our next blog—get us on the phone and we can help you out. 

If you need a blog on your website–or a website itself, check out the services we offer by clicking here.

Article Written By: Author: Robin

Posted by Robin in SEO, Uncategorized Read More

You asked us for keywords for real estate sites–you got it!

If you’re running on fumes in terms of keywords for real estate sites—then you’ve come to the right place—we’ve got a number of keywords and the demand for them. If you’re tired of blogging entirely…we can still help, just give us a ring or e-mail for our blogging rates and samples.

 

Top Keywords for Real Estate Sites

To help point you in the right, virtual, direction we’ve put together this list of the most common real estate sites keywords in Canada. Just to give you an idea of how often they are search we’ve included the amount of times they are searched per month in Ontario. If you want to know how popular these terms are in your town, plop them into Google’s Keyword Planner (you can search a whole batch at a time), select your city in the location box and it will give you the amount of times it is searched monthly within your geographic region.

 

Note—each keyword is followed by the number of search (in Ontario for this example), and then by the competition (which can be low, medium or high)…  

 

mls listings 49,500 Medium  

realtor 22,200 Low  

for sale by owner 5,400 Medium  

condos for sale 2,400 High  

first time home buyer 1,900 High  

real estate listings 1,600 High  

realtors 1,300 Low  

real estate agent 1,000 Medium  

foreclosure 880 Medium  

multiple listing service 720 Medium  

condo for sale 590 High  

short selling 480 Low  

fsbo 390 Medium  

townhomes for sale 390 High  

real estate agents 390 Medium  

foreclosure listings 390 High  

mls real estate listings 320 Medium  

first time home buyers 320 High  

townhouse for sale 320 High  

sell your own home 210 Medium  

foreclosure homes 210 High  

foreclosures 110 Medium

real estate agent 1,000 Medium  

real estate agents 390 Medium  

top real estate agents 70 Medium

first time home buyer 1,900 High

mls listings 49,500 Medium  

realtor 22,200 Low  

condos for sale 2,400 High  

realtors 1,300 Low  

multiple listing service 720 Medium  

condo for sale 590 High  

short selling 480 Low  

fsbo 390 Medium  

townhomes for sale 390 High  

townhouse for sale 320 High  

cheap houses for sale 110 High

real estate listings 1,600 High  

mls real estate listings 320 Medium

real estate agent 1,000 Medium  

real estate agents 390 Medium

first time home buyer 1,900 High

first time home buyers 320 High

for sale by owner 5,400 Medium

foreclosure 880 Medium  

foreclosure listings 390 High  

foreclosure homes 210 High  

foreclosures 110 Medium  

 

Has this been a help? Great! If it has please share it with your agent friends—or your broker (we’d REALLY love you if you shared it with your broker). Follow our blog regularly for more great tips, but for help implementing these keywords—give us a call, we can help.

Article Written By: Author: Robin

Plugins for Real Estate Webmasters

Alright peeps—we’ve put together a mad-wicked-terrible(?)-off-the-hizzle list of whack (is this good?) functionalities that your realtor website can benefit from. And all these functionalities are available with free WordPress plugins. Why all WordPress? Because we love them. They are fly, dope, fresh, chill and most importantly—easy enough for almost every (you know who you are) realtor to use.   Oh, and we’ve left out the standard I-just-need-to-write-a-blog-post-about-plugins suggestions that 57 websites have already all posted by copying off each other. You know the plugins for real estate websites that we’re talking about—IDX plugins, PropertyPress, Simple Real Estate Pack and 8 other functions that every real estate website already does.   Here is our fresher-than-Fresh-Prince list of awesome plugins for real estate websites:  

  1. MailChimp mailchimp plugin for wpIf you’ve delved this far into your realtor website then you’ve likely already tried some sort of contact form, sign up sheet or gimme-your-damned-email pop up. Well, if you’re already trying that then you’ll love MailChimp for WordPress. This plugin allows for customized sign-up forms, comment and registration forms that encourage people to subscribe. And the best part? They add them all to MailChimp which makes creating an emailing list/campaign super easy.
  2. Testimonials Widgettestimonials widgetThis obviously-named plugin creates an ability to preload pre-chosen or random customer testimonials on your site. And since here at REwebsites we’re huge fans of the legitimacy of well-displayed testimonials (although video ones are much, much, much better!) we love this plugin.
  3. Facebook Comments for WordPressfacebook commentsDon’t use Disqus. Why? Because why Disqus when you can integrate your website comments to Facebook. You likely don’t get tons of comments on your website anyways—but when people do comment it helps to get their social profile information—and to give them the option to share it on their Facebook page. This can interfere with certain DiggDigg plugins—but nobody uses DiggDigg anyways. (a bunch of you are probably Googling what it is right now).
  4. Yoast SEOyoastOK—this plugin you’ve likely seen on the other lists, but its just soooo good. It makes SEO easy enough for even the most technologically-inept agents to figure out (this isn’t an insult—they’re the ones out there actually selling instead of tinkering around on the internet). Excellent, excellent, excellent SEO tool. And if you’re putting this much effort into your website you should be doing SEO to get people to actually visit your site.
  5. W3 Total Cachew3OK so here’s another one on all the other lists (and the last one, we promise), but it too is an absolute must as it keeps your website from s-l-o-w—i—n—–g down with all those pretty property pictures you post (and never sacrifice the quality of your pictures—it is such an important property promotional tool).
  6. Print Friendly & PDFprint friendlyPeople are (hopefully) going to your website and looking at your properties. Well, give them the option to one-button print it—and have that print out actually look good. Small technologies and functionalities like this can be differentiators when people are sizing you up based on the quality of your website (and trust us—they do that).
  7. YouTube Sidebar WidgetyoutubeIf you aren’t leveraging video(s) on your website—we highly recommend it. But how do you post these to your website so they aren’t gaudily front and centre or on a lonely blog page? With YouTube Sidebar Widget. It only works if you upload your videos to YouTube…but they’re the best anyways.
  8. Click to Call Me
  1. click to call meHave your visitors be able to call you right from their computer, tablet, iPod, smartphone, or whatever other internet-surfing device is released with the Click to Call Me button. It looks slick and lets people call you without having to enter your number (which is hard to do if they’re viewing your website on their phone and have to remember the number while they move from the browser to their phone). People are lazy, make it easy for them.

  If there were things on this list that you said “ah ha” about and had a lightbulb-moment about—then you may need REwebsites. Give us a call to see how we can improve your website. It is likely easier, faster and cheaper than you think.   And of course–to get these plugins for your website you need to have a WordPress website–which we offer for just $2500, with no expensive monthly fee. Click here to find out all the free functionalities we offer…   Article Written By:Author: Robin

Posted by Robin in Apps + Tech, Uncategorized Read More

Real Estate Marketing: Mobile Real Estate Websites–you NEED one. Really.

Constantly hearing about “mobile, mobile, mobile” sounds like an annoying Brady-Bunch-like cry from Jan about constantly hearing about the need for a mobile website. But—there’s a reason you’re hearing this, you REALLY DO need a our real estate marketing tip to leverage a mobile real estate website, and here’s 7 reasons why:

real estate marketing tip

  1. Half your Market
    The smartphone has penetrated the market to hold a 56% share. So, that is up to 56% of your potential customers accessing you from a mobile device. Perhaps this makes the real question is do you need a non-mobile site? (Of course you do, but mobile is just as important).real estate marketing tip
  2. Click-to-Call
    We’re a lazy generation thanks to there being an app for everything, and mobile websites indulge our general laziness. Withmobile-integrated features like click-to-call buttons it makes it easier for your potential clients to get a hold of you. So, unless you want to miss out on possible leads—go mobile.
  3. First Impression Blah Blah Blah
    You only get one chance to make a first impression might make your eyes roll, but its still utterly true. A Latitude Marketing study shows that, “61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good experience”. And of those 61%, if they don’t like your mobile site they’ll surf around to your competitors until they find one they like. So, boost your mobile  real estate website—boost your brand.

  4. Why the Heck Not
    Even if only a quarter of your potential customers connect with you on their mobile device (and the stats say this is an insanely modest figure)–why NOT make it easy real estate marketing tip or them since a mobile website is extremely affordable these days. If you’re laying out a couple hundred dollars just to publish an ad in a paper or magazine or Pay-Per-Click—then why not invest the same in a mobile-friendly website?
  5. Keeping Up with the Joneses
    Many of your competitors have mobile websites already. Mobile websites therefore are no longer a fringe benefit for first-advantage movers, they are a simple tool you need to employ to keep up with your competition.
  6. A Bolder Statement real estate marketing tip A slick mobile website says that you work hard on your brand image and properly leverage technology. It instills confidence in your viewers. If you don’t believe us look at a bunch of different agents’ websites online, some with mobile-friendly sites and some without them—which agent is more impressive based on those sites (and many of your potential clients will get their sole impression of you based on this site).
  7. QR Codes
    You can’t hop on the trend of using QR codes if you don’t have a mobile website—because they are using their mobile device to scan your QR code. So, no mobile website—no QR code.

Should you need even more reasons to get your mobile website, here’s 50 more.

If you’re sold on our real estate marketing tip to create a mobile real estate website, give us a call…or email…or snail mail if you’re old school…or smoke-signal if your real old school.

 

Ready for a mobile website? They’re included FREE with the purchase a one of our websites!

 

 

Article Written By:Author: Robin

Want some super-crazy-mad-awesome real estate web design tips? Well you’re in luck.

When our bad mama-jama web developers aren’t busy creating internet-based masterpieces they occasionally impart a few pearls of wisdom on us. And here they are, in the form of 5 super-amazingly-awesome real estate web design tips from Canada’s slightly-more-than-mediocre real estate webmasters:

  1. real estate web designEmotion Works BetterOur real estate web design web guys can be surprisingly sappy—but it works out well. When they are able (and allowed) to incorporate heart-string-tugging elements into the design of our client’s websites, those website turn out more leads than non-emotion wrenching sites. A few tips on how to work a lil emotion into the sale are:
  • Work the women and kids angle
  • Appeal to a man trying to please his wife
  • Lifestyle-enhancing elements

So, instead of using generic photos use ones that convey a certain lifestyle, or appeal to women or mothers. Pay attention to small details of your website design as well. For example, if you’re trying to appeal to the woman (and let’s face it very few real estate deals have ever gone down when the wife hates the house or agent) then use softer colours instead of harsh metallic-coloured themes.

  1. Design with Women in Mind
    Aww heck—let’s face it, women make the majority of home-buying decisions (or at least have veto power over the decision), so play up to it. Don’t be too intimidating appearing on your website or women could go running from the hills. An example of catering towards women can be seen on a niche website we made in Regina, about condos for sale in Regina. This website caters to women especially as they represent a large percentage of the condo-buying population in the city.
  2. Leverage your Content
    Pretty pictures will only get you so far. In fact they’ll only hold a viewer’s attention for about 7 seconds. After that you need legible content that they can easily skim. This means clearly-named subheadings and to-the-point information. We’re a Nintendo- and microwave-generation society, so be sure everything on your website can capture our flighty attention-spans in mere moments—and keep them.A great example of this is a website that we’ve helped sculpt some of the content for: Mazeon.ca. A sample page is their page on White Rock homes for sale–which is full of recent and relevant stats, trends and homeprices.
  3. Make it Mobile
    The days of opting for a mobile website are over. You now need one. Period. If you meet a potential client they aren’t going to read your business card they are going to scan the CR code and go to your website—on their mobile phone. If it comes up with tiny, scrunched-up letters and illegible fonts they will simply give it the pass. These days mobile is super easy, and extremely affordable—so there is no excuse.
  4. Don’t DIY
    While you might recommend DIY projects to your clients to fix up their nicked walls and cracked bath tub—a realtor’s website isn’t the time to be all DIY about yourself. Your website needs to be über-professional. It needs to convey that you are a dedicated professional who takes their job seriously and thoroughly understands key marketing concepts (like professionalism).

If you’re considering hiring a pro for your real estate web design project—give us a call. You’ll love us, and we’ll create a website that will represent you, perfectly. 

And our best tip? To use one of our websites–they have no expensive monthly fee, cost just $2500–and come with all the FREE bells and whistles you could ever want! Click here to find out more.

Article Written By: Author: Robin

Posted by Robin in Uncategorized, Website Tips Read More

If there is one piece of real estate website design branding advice that we offer our customers—it’s to be themselves. The cheesy-or-sleazy salesperson image is no longer what the public wants (although we’re not sure its what the public ever wanted). What they want now is genuine, strong, intelligent and sometimes funny realtors—which is also, no-so-coincidentally, what your viewers want.   So, what else do your viewers want? And what else should you include in your real estate website design branding strategy?  

Real Estate Website Design Branding:  

Create a Concept that is Uniquely YOU Nobody can be you like you can. Reflect that in your website. If you’re funny then be funny, if you’re powerful and intimidating then be powerful and intimidating. If you’re accountant-like with numbers, then look like an accountant. Come up with a powerful branding strategy by being you—then lay it on (reasonably) thick. For example, if you’re a cowboy agent at heart and you’ve decided to ‘wrangle your sales’ in a cowboy hat and spurs—then run with it. Have not only a cowboy hat on in your website’s portrait, but make the website background a barn pattern. Then make all your graphics cowboy-related. Then make your business cards to match (and all your other marketing materials). It is only through a repeated message that you become memorable to your viewers.  

Be Funny How many agents website do you think your potential customer has seen before yours? To avoid being just another quick click-through—give them something to remember. And nothing sticks in memories better than humour. Whether it is a cheesy line, a funny slogan, a pun or just a clever overall branding strategy, give them something to remember.  

Keep it Up Successful branding strategies for real estate website design branding don’t happen overnight. In fact, no successful branding strategy happens overnight (not even for biggies like Walmart or Kellogg’s). Give your branding strategy time, but don’t let it lapse in the meantime. Incorporate your strategy into each and every marketing material that you create. For some ideas about how to create an all-around (offline AND online) branding strategy click here. For some more GREAT branding tips click here.  

Ready? Not yet? If you’re nodding your head and agreeing but haven’t the foggiest where to start—never fear, we’re here. Give us a call, shout, ring, email, snail mail, or whatever it takes and we’ll let you know what we have in mind for your custom branding campaign. Check out our pricing to see how little it costs to get the high-level branding  you want (spoiler: its just $2500)

Posted by Robin in Branding, Uncategorized Read More

Why aren’t there more real estate marketing funny real estate ads?

Have you been on MLS these days? (Rhetorical question—of course you have). Pretty boring stuff right? Well, if you’re sick of hearing about “5-lvl bksplits” and “needs TLC” and “close to public transportation”–you aren’t alone. Your public is sick of hearing about properties in the same old ways too.

 

So—shake things up a bit. Try using real estate marketing funny real estate ads, or at least more-interesting ones.

 

Consider the following headlines. Which one would you click-through

 

  1. “Beautiful 4-bedroom home in great neighbourhood”or
  2. “Pulchritudinous human dwelling in a *rockstar* location”or
  3. “Human-owned home—been only reasonably lived-in!”

 

Or these:

 

  1. “This lovely 4-bedroom home comes with a state-of-the-art kitchen and an upgraded bathroom”or
  2. “This 4-chambered mini mansion is equipped with a newfangled food-cooking room and enriched lavatory”

 

Another real estate marketing tip: try humour. Funny real estate ads get attention.

 

Consider the following real estate marketing tips of humorous signs and funny real estate ads and the attention they create:

 

real estate marketing tip real estate marketing real estate marketing real estate marketing real estate ads funny 6 funny 4 real estate ads funny 2 funny real estate ads 8 funny real estate ads 9 funny real estate ads 10 funny real estate ads 11

For more funny real estate ad examples click here.

So–have we stirred the pot yet and lit a fire under you to create original, attention-grabbing headlines and funny real estate ads that will get attention? If so, don’t bang your head against the desk for 4 hours trying to come up with something–just let us do it.  For $35 an ad it is definitely worth taking the aggravation off your plate.

Not convinced on the funny approach? No problem. We can do serious too. “This ultra-sleek, modernized home comes with a top-of-the-line kitchen complete with Moen faucets–and a bathroom that needs a TV just so you can spend more time in there”.

To spruce up your real estate ad listings–give us a shout, we can help.

 

Article Written By: Author: Robin