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5 Ways agents can diversify their online presence

By now, real estate agents have flocked to the web for marketing purposes, but diversity in marketing is crucial when on the web to improve results. Here’s how to achieve that diversity.

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Today, consumers demand immediate results. It’s no secret that the technological advances which have come fast and furious over the last several years have made all of us seek for immediacy in everything we do. That is, since we know that we can get the answer to just about every question by searching the Internet, we’ll just jump from one site to another if we don’t get what we want or need right away. This type of online user behavior—this demand for an immediate response—impacts the work of real estate professional.

If you know that online users go from site to site to site to seek answers, that’s where the real estate professional needs to be—everywhere. Real estate agents need a diversified online presence not only to solidify their brand but also if they are to succeed in generating online leads.

How’s Your Online Reputation?

Before making some suggestions for how and where to diversify your marketing online, the first thing you must do is to investigate your online reputation. The easiest way to do this is to Google your name. Use a search engine to investigate your name online. Study the results. Of course, if you have a common name, you may need to add the words “real estate” or “real estate agent” into the search bar. But, check out your online presence. Are people saying anything bad about you? Are there unfortunate or embarrassing photos of your high school days in the image bank? If so, you may need to do something about that. No matter what you see, at the very least you’ll understand the extent of your online presence: a presence which needs to grow no matter how large or small it is.

5 Ways Agents Can Diversify Their Online Presence

Here are 5 ways that agents can diversify or grow their marketing online:

  1. Get active on social media sites. You may already be on Facebook and LinkedIn. If you are not, then this may be where you need to begin. Create user profiles and begin to connect with others whom you know—personally or professionally. Then, continue by adding additional social media or social networking sights to your bag of tricks. Check out sites such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram among others.
  2. Write a few blog posts. You don’t have to be William Shakespeare to write something useful and post it online. Valuable information builds trust. When people trust you, they call you and hire you as their listing or sales agent. Consider writing a series of blog posts about different aspects of the home buying or home selling process.
  3. Make some community videos. You’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, that’s why videos are all the rage. Make some short videos and post them on Youtube. You can educate future home buyers about the communities where you are a neighborhood specialist. Youtube is the second largest search engine after Google, so that’s where you want to be.
  4. Boost your online reviews. One popular way to make the phone ring is through online review sites. Consumers read reviews before they buy shoes, hire a plumber, or even consult a real estate professional. If you have lots of positive reviews online, this will have a positive impact on your ability to generate leads.
  5. Look into syndication sites. There’s an ongoing polemic about the merit of the large syndication sites, and they may not be for everyone. However, the statistics don’t lie. Trulia and Zillow both rank in the top 100 on Alexa, which means that they are among the top 100 most visited sites by consumers (home buyers) in the United States. If home buyers are gathering on these sites, you may want to head over there and check them out.

There are loads of ways that you can diversify your online presence, all of which will increase your ability to generate leads online. They key is that you should not put your leads in one basket—you need to be everywhere. As home buyers in the United States click from site to site, they need to see your smiling face over and over again. That’s what will make the phone ring.

Melissa is an in-demand business success speaker and author, as well as a real estate broker with thousands of short sale transactions under her belt. She leverages her experience as a short sale insider to motivate thousands of business professionals to plan their careers better, execute more effectively on their plan, and earn more because of it.

Real Estate Technology

This tab manager uses AI to organize and focus your web browsing

(TECHNOLOGY) Tabby isn’t the first tab manager we’ve seen, but it is one of the cooler ones. Who wouldn’t want AI to help you organize web browsing?

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Logo for Tabby, a new AI-based tab manager

At one time or another, we have all been a tab hoarder. They start adding up when we are doing research, online shopping, and managing work projects. No matter what it is, we have all let tabs pile up like a stack of dirty dishes. However, several tab manager solutions can help clean up that clutter.

OneTab converts all your tabs into lists that you can later restore individually or all at once. TooManyTabs lets you preview the tabs so you can quickly find what you are looking for. Google Tabs lets you group and color code the tabs for better organization. And now Tabby, an AI-based browser assistant, manages the tabs automatically for you so you are more productive and focused.

“We built it to help everyone navigate on their browser without feeling additional fatigue due to an excess of tabs,” said Merlin Laffitte, one of Tabby’s makers. Because of more online meetings due to the pandemic, Laffitte said that he, along with his colleagues, found it difficult to focus because of the clutter created by the open tabs.

Being in a handful of online meetings myself, I know what he is talking about. Too many open tabs can be distracting and time-consuming. I have heard many people say, “I have the document pulled up.” Then, they can’t find it because it is lost among the ten, twenty, or thirty tabs they have open.

Tabby attempts to solve the pain of tab hoarding by removing unnecessary tabs without a user having to click on anything. In doing so, it makes the browser “focus-friendly.” The way the AI-based plugin works is that it takes into consideration these three main KPIs:

  • The time spent on the tab.
  • The last time you viewed the tab.
  • The frequency of viewing.

Based on these interactions, Tabby scores each tab by relevance, and makes its decision on which tab to close. Whenever a tab is removed from your browser view, Tabby will send you a notification. On the tool’s homepage, you can find the removed tabs and choose whether you would like to restore one. From there, you can also set your preferences to customize Tabby’s behavior. As you continue using it, Tabby will adapt to your habits and learn when to remove a tab when it is not being used.

Tabby is “meant to help you declutter your browser view by removing unnecessary tabs.” Currently, the product has a 5/5 review on Product Hunt, and users seem to like it. With only 25 reviews as of this writing, Tabby is still in its infancy. It’ll be interesting to see how well it does among other tab manager tools as it gains more users.

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Real Estate Technology

This law-tech tool helps tenants navigate eviction notices

(TECHNOLOGY) Law-tech tool Hello Landlord helps struggling tenants meet the eviction moratorium’s rules, but it’s greatest benefit may lie in communication.

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Man seated in trunk of car, head in hands as he considers eviction. New tools may help.

For tenants behind on rent during the pandemic, being shielded from eviction for nonpayment requires strictly following rules in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s eviction moratorium that began September 4 and runs through the end of 2020.

Now the makers of website Hello Landlord, which helps tenants give notices to their landlords, have updated their free tool to meet the CDC requirements.

At HelloLandlord.org, tenants submit their information and answer a series of questions, including their landlord’s name and how much money they owe. The site automatically generates a customized letter to the landlord that outlines the tenant’s circumstances and includes a promise to pay the back rent. Tenants also get a declaration document that follows the moratorium order.

In the declaration, tenants must swear they:

  • Earn no more than $99,000 annually (or $198,000 jointly).
  • Can’t pay their rent because of loss of work or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  • Have done their best to get available housing assistance;
  • Would become homeless or have to move into a home with many people, potentially spreading the COVID-19 virus;
  • Will try to make timely partial payments.

No documentation is required, and there are no official forms.

If renters don’t qualify for protection under the new order, the site will create a letter that asks the landlord for flexibility with making rent payments.

Relationships between landlords and renters often start going south because of communication issues. That’s something Hello Landlord’s letters might head off by helping tenants communicate effectively. The letters meet the legal requirements but also sound, well, human, despite being automated. The language is informal, even conciliatory. The tenant empathizes with the landlord – acknowledging that this time is financially hard on them, too – and pledges to work together.

Some sample language: “Although the CDC’s Order may prevent my eviction, I want you to know that I am willing to work with you moving forward during this challenging time.”

Hello Landlord debuted in 2019 and was originally created by SixFifty, a software subsidiary of technology law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. They collaborated with LawX, the legal design lab at Brigham Young University’s Law School, and the Innovation for Justice (i4J) Program at University of Arizona College of Law to research causes of and solutions to the eviction crisis.

A second tool, HelloLender.org, helps homeowners create letters to their mortgage lenders asking for accommodation in payments under the CARES Act stimulus program.

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Real Estate Technology

Beef up your security against COVID with this new environmental sensor suite

(TECH NEWS) This new security sensor can help protect your company from COVID-19 and monitor the overall health of your building.

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Office setting, with spaced employees for security against COVID.

Verkada, the cloud-based physical security company, is modernizing the world of enterprise building security by enabling customers to proactively respond to COVID-19 in the office.

In June, Verkada introduced its COVID-19 Response Suite. Part of the this release included People Heatmaps. This new feature allows organizations to “identify areas that are prone to overcrowding, and find ways to disperse traffic”. In other words, it helps ensure employees are practicing social-distancing.

This week, Verkada announced the release of its new environmental sensor product line, and its product, SV11. This all-in-one environmental sensor monitors changes that are happening in your physical space. The product is made from photochemically engineered stainless steel mesh that filters out large particles. The integrated sensors measure air quality, temperature, humidity, motion, and noise. Then, all the data is reported back to users for regular monitoring and analysis.

“The SV11 sensor is a cloud-based sensor that seamlessly integrates with the Verkada ecosystem of products,” said Jeff Chase, a product marketing manager for Verkada, in a recent video. “The SV11 can be used across all indoor environments and can meet the needs for a wide range of use cases, including simple remote monitoring of facilities.”

In the security system’s web-based command platform, users can see all the sensors, and can quickly scan real-time data for each location. Live footage and current readings are easy to view. Custom thresholds can be set for each sensor so a user can receive alerts as they happen. This is helpful so you can know when a server room is getting too warm, or when the TVOC (total volatile organic compounds) level is too high.

“Our customers are responsible for the systems that keep facilities online, and our mission is to give those administrators the best possible tools to do their jobs,” said Filip Kaliszan, CEO and co-founder of Verkada. “Whether it be monitoring the status of a server room, the temperature of a patient room in a hospital, or the air quality of a school, the SV11 gives facilities and staff unprecedented visibility and control over the sites they’re responsible for keeping safe and secure.”

With more companies bringing their workforce back into the office, Verkada’s security system can give them visibility on what’s going on at work. And with the valuable information rendered by the sensors, they can gain insights into what they can do to keep their employees safe.

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