How to create a digital real estate lead machine

via inman

Adjust your marketing funnel

  • You have only moments with your prospect to educate and nurture the prospect enough times to get them to choose to do business with you.

  • Recently, Raj Qsar outlined a more complex, but comprehensive, view of the modern marketing funnel in a Facebook post.

  • A savvy agent will master the paradox of appearing hyperlocal but also being everywhere.

Things progress toward chaos — that’s just how it is. It is the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

But it doesn’t just apply to physics. In the world of real estate and online lead generation, the chaotic state is increasing.

An increasingly chaotic environment

Most international telecommunications agencies estimate that more than 3 billion people are using the internet. Between smartphones, tablets and desktops, there is a good chance that your next client is online right now.

But with a bombardment of banners, popups and ad word choices filling the margins of their screen, how are real estate agents going to grab potential clients from cyberspace and bring them offline, where the lead becomes your client?

Is your head still lingering in the circa 2006 cyberspace, where you register a domain and start a website with a landing page that forces people to register?

An obituary for this bygone process might read like this: beloved agent bought a lead capture website from one of the hundreds of real estate website providers, ran some Google AdWords or general Facebook ads that linked back to a landing page and watched the leads roll in.

Some very successful agents still swear by the simplicity of this method and utilize a widely cast net of web presence. Expert agents build sites with offers to buyers and sellers and then run their offer everywhere — Craigslist, Instagram, Facebook, blogs and search engines.

Once stuck in the web, prospects are now tied to the landing page, pushing them right into the agent’s customer relationship management system (CRM).

But again, the system is getting increasingly chaotic, so simply spinning a web on the internet and waiting for a client to fly into it is not enough.

Like sand through the hourglass

Funneling leads has gotten more sophisticated as attention has become an increasingly precious commodity.

Agents are establishing what are called marketing funnels. Think of sand through the hourglass (unless you are having a midlife crisis, then think of something else) — there is a lot of sand in the top of the hourglass, but only a few grains trickle down at a time.

For a moment, single grains are falling, unique and isolated, before they land and get lost in the sandy shuffle. So it is with the faceless, nameless and impersonal masses of potential clientele on the web.

Funneling, then, sounds a bit too automated. It is not so simple, and it requires the lead nurturing of agents and inside sales agents (ISAs) through phone calls, voicemails, text messages and emails.

You have only moments with your prospect — while that sand is falling from the mass of grains — to educate and nurture the prospect enough times to get them to choose to do business with you.

Your marketing funnel can have singular sources or many. There are the sources online that we discussed above.

Classic ads and print mail can also drive your leads to landing pages where, hopefully, the lead registers, and, generally, they get an automated response from the agent’s CRM.

This then sends the agent an alert, and the CRM continues to follow up with the lead until they respond.

An effective hyperlocal approach

But, in a recent post to the Facebook group Lab Coat Agents, Raj Qsar outlined a more complex (but comprehensive) view of the modern marketing funnel — the necessary paradox of appearing hyperlocal, but also everywhere.

Note the current web of interconnectivity necessary today to get in front of a prospect and stay there until they are a client.

This is where the digital lead machine comes to fruition. Qsar’s example is specific to Zillow’s platform:

  1. Lead registers via your online portal.
  2. Agents are notified via text or email (contact receives a notification as well — a phone call from a live assistant in under five minutes).
  3. They are transferred to an ISA.
  4. Prospect is uploaded (generally this is automated) to the agent’s CRM.
  5. CRM drips lead content such as stats, blog posts, events, etc.
  6. Prospect is uploaded to listing alert software.
  7. Zillow adds contact into drip campaign with 19 touches in 30 days.
  8. Ideally, you also have a retargeting digital ad campaign in the same ZIP code or city where this lead is looking, so you are “following them around the web” with your digital advertisement (various ads) creating brand and agent recognition.
  9. Print mailing campaigns in the same ZIP code or city as the initial lead.
  10. The print mailing has a lead capture landing page and retargeting pixel so you can follow them around the web.
  11. Handwritten letters are sent to any leads interacting with your marketing, and emails, generated from sign-ups or subscriptions, are dispatched weekly or monthly depending on volume.
  12. The more data received from these leads, the more you can hone and focus social media marketing campaigns, like city or ZIP targeted Facebook ads, Facebook groups and broader Google Ads to cast a wider range of coverage.

At this point, it is time to get local — get seen! Take the hyperlocal campaign from the web, where your ZIP code specific prospects are seeing your presence, to the streets — to “real life” through local appearances and events.

We asked in the opening paragraph: how do you pluck a prospect from the web?

Well, sometimes you need to make your presence known on the web through focused marketing efforts, and then move yourself from cyberspace into the real world.

This is where the moment of realization occurs for your prospects: “Hey, I’ve seen those ads, those emails, mailers, listings, etc. Let’s talk.”

If the commodity is a moment of attention — the moment the sand is falling from the hourglass — then focusing your digital lead machine with the above-mentioned tweaks could make all the difference.

Dale Archdekin is the founder of Smart Inside Sales and the current director of lead generation for Global Living Companies at Keller Williams in Philadelphia. Follow him on Facebook or checkout his Facebook group.

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Top chef at Yard House restaurants selling Yorba Linda estate for $10 million

via The Orange County Register

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Carlito Jocson, the top chef for Yard House restaurants, is selling his modern, five-bedroom Yorba Linda house on one of Orange County’s highest peaks for $10 million.

Set on 3.1 acres, the estate includes a full-size outdoor kitchen with a bar and wood-fired pizza oven. Two glass-tiled fire pits flank a zero-edge swimming pool.

In addition to an expansive parking area for guests, there’s space to add a helipad, says listing agent Raj Qsar of The Boutique Real Estate Group.

Built in 2011, the 8,320-square-foot home designed by David Streshinsky of DKY Architects boasts double-height ceilings, a restaurant-caliber kitchen, 1,200-bottle wine room and home theater. The house also has a solar-power system.

Grounds include drought-friendly landscaping and a meditation garden with more than a dozen olive trees. A basketball court and disappearing entertainment system are among the outdoor amenities, and the Pacific Ocean can be viewed in the distance.

The house is by far the highest priced Yorba Linda home offered on the Multiple Listing Service right now. The next most expensive one is a seven-bedroom, 9,411-square-foot residence built in 1995, with a $5.18 million price tag.

Jocson is a Yard House vice president and its corporate executive chef. He’s also an original partner. He said his favorite room is – of course – the kitchen, relishing the layout and plating his creations on the large island

“I wanted to build the kitchen with a sense of community,” he said. “It’s the (home’s) heart. From a chef’s standpoint, I love to feed people … I want them to watch me.”

When a chef friend created a seven-course meal at the house, Jocson added, “He didn’t skip a beat. It felt like (cooking in) a restaurant.”

He also savors how the master suite’s sliding glass doors open to the zero-edge pool. “I wanted to wake up in the morning and jump in the pool straight from the bed,” he said.

With four grown children out of the house, Jocson said it’s time to downsize.

Jocson and his wife Elizabeth for the past decade have been feeding homeless and needy Orange County residents through The Storehouse ministry of North Orange Christian Church, where they are members.

Yard House restaurants are known for their contemporary atmosphere, rock music, eclectic food and more than 100 beers on tap. The chain, with 13 states, was sold to Darden Restaurants by private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners in 2012 for $585 million in an all-cash deal.

Christina Boladian of the Boutique group is co-listing the house. A video of Jocson and the home is here.

Stunning Pinnacle House Hits the Market — in Yorba Linda

via Fox News

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When you think of a $10 million home in Southern California, the first neighborhoods that probably come to mind are Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood, and perhaps the Hollywood Hills or Malibu.

The town of Yorba Linda, home of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, located in northern Orange County, probably didn’t even make your top 20 list of elite enclaves, did it? That’s why the Pinnacle House comes as such an intriguing surprise.

What could be so special about a house that isn’t on the beach and doesn’t have a prominent ZIP code? Plenty, you’ll realize, just as soon as you find out who built it. Carlito Jocson is the corporate executive chef and vice president of Yard House restaurants, a popular chain with locations throughout the U.S. and endless taps of beer.

If you’ve ever been to one, you know the chain is tremendously successful, so the veep would likely spare no expense in creating a dream house anywhere he wants. And that’s exactly what happened.

Jocson hired David Streshinsky of DKY Architects to design a modern dwelling with Hawaiian influences, mixing the elements of steel, clay, fire, and water. In fact, as some of the best California homes do.

The house comes with a feng shui appraisal from feng shui expert Jessie Kim, which states, “The Pinnacle House is a great example of incorporation of Feng Shui elements.The strongest Feng Shui elements of this home — water, fire and wood — will provide its occupants with Power, Fame and Great Reputation. … When balance is achieved with these elements, a feeling of harmony and uplifting energy will be felt by anyone walking through the home.”

For all the good karma built into the house, size still matters. The airy home has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 8,320 square feet of space. It is strategically situated on a 3.1-acre lot on one of the highest peaks in Orange County. “There’s ample room for a helipad,” remarks Raj Qsar, who is the estate’s listing agent along with his partner Christina Boladian.

But you actually don’t need a helicopter to get around, because the property is quite conveniently located. Set in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Yorba Linda (not to be confused with the Hidden Hills area of Calabasas, which is cluttered with Kardashians and pop stars), the Pinnacle House is only 10 minutes from Angel Stadium, Disneyland, and the Honda Center. It’s about 40 minutes from Los Angeles and 25 minutes from the beach.

Of course the executive chef of a prominent restaurant chain is going to build extraordinary cooking and dining facilities in his home, and this one has several: a huge indoor show kitchen with professional-grade appliances, an adjacent 1,200-bottle wine room, a full-service outdoor kitchen with a wood-fire pizza oven and a wok range, and a 12-person dining room with spectacular sunset views of the hills.

Adding to the feng shui philosophy of the home, the water features like the zero-edge, floor-level pool and the waterfall in the entryway flow from the outdoors in.

“We were able to install these beautiful sliding doors that open right up and disappear, and allow the bedroom to be indoor-outdoor. The thought process was, I wanted to wake up in the morning and jump in [the] pool straight from the bed,” Jocson says with a laugh.

“This home is very serene and has the feeling like you’re getting away,” he continues. “You can think better, you can think clearer, it’s just a wonderful place.”

Qsar believes that a buyer who values that type of lifestyle will find the property priceless, and that $10 million is a steal.

Him or Her? Featuring Raj Qsar & Christina Boladian from The Boutique Real Estate Group

via Give Back Homes

The Boutique Real Estate Group is a boutique real estate brokerage founded in Orange County, CA, that focuses on brilliant design, beautiful marketing & luxury services. The Boutique has created a culture that spurs collaboration, technology and social media with a unique marketing approach. We stopped by their new listing The Pinnacle House to ask them a few questions… 

Who is the patient one?

 

Raj: Me, for sure that’s me I’m the patient one.
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Who spends more time on their phone?

Raj: Me, but for work!

Christina: Not true! He’s on social media 24 hours a day! He snaps everything.

                        

_________________________________________________________________________

Who is the better driver?

Christina: Me, he’s just on his phone all the time and its a green light and no one goes! He hits curbs all the times.

Raj: You should see my rims they’re so messed up.

_________________________________________________________________________

In negotiations, who is usually the bad cop?

Raj: That’ so me, I’m totally the bad cop and I love it.

Christina: I’m too nice.
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Who is more opinionated?

Raj: Oh dear god, that’s so you

Christina: No! Definitely him.
_________________________________________________________________________

Who is better at calming down clients?

Raj: That’s so me, for sure so me.
_________________________________________________________________________

Whose instincts are usually always right?

Raj: That’s both of us it really is, we both have good instincts.
_________________________________________________________________________

Tell me something unique about this property that nobody else knows.

Raj: We’re going to apply to have a helipad! Which is pretty cool.

Where?

Raj: Right here

Christina: So we can bring you in from L.A.

Raj: Uber helicopter!

Yes please 🙂

_________________________________________________________________________

With the sale of this home, Raj & Christina will be making a donation towards the Build Day in Orange County.

Push play below so you can fully experience this gorgeous home and it’s story.

 

Inman Teams with Lab Coat Agents for Learning Lab at Connect

via inman SF

Focus on agent advice and easy-to-implement business building tactics

Inman and Lab Coat Agent founders Nick Baldwin and Tristan Ahumada have announced a new collaboration with Inman for Connect San Francisco. The Learning Lab at Connect is a two-hour hands on session featuring advice and insights popular on the Lab Coat Agents Facebook group.

Designed specifically for agents who are looking for practical, business building skills, the learning lab will be on Tuesday, August 2nd at Inman Connect San Francisco. Tuesday at Connect is free for Select members and included with a Connect registration. Non-Select members can purchase a Tuesday-only pass for $29. Register for Connect here or Tuesday only here.

Baldwin and Ahumada will host the lab and will cover tech and marketing topics including: video marketing, leveraging client reviews, branding and luxury listing marketing and, of course, using Facebook to build your business. Confirmed speakers include Steve Pacinelli, Laura Monroe, Raj Qsar, Sergio Gonzalez, Amanda Todd, Terry Waggoner, Jason Walters, and Travis Thom.

“Inman and Lab Coat Agents share the same vision: bringing together the best in the business to collaborate, network and share the latest, successful strategies,” said Brad Inman, publisher.

“Lab Coat Agents is thrilled to bring our hands on approach to discovering what works for today’s agent to Connect San Francisco. It’s the perfect platform to share and learn with the best of the best,” said Nick Baldwin, Lab Coat Agents.

The Learn Lab will be Tuesday, August 2, from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Hilton Union Square. Save your spot now here.

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Did your child’s high school rank among best in U.S. News & World Report?

via OC Register

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Corona del Mar High School ranked as the 40th best public high school in California in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings released this week.

Three schools in Irvine cracked the top 100 statewide again this year: University High at 46, Northwood High, at 68, and Beckman High, at 74. University and Northwood are in the Irvine Unified School District, and Beckman is in the Tustin Unified School District.

Troy High School in Fullerton came in 69th – up from its 97th spot last year. Orange County School of Arts, in Santa Ana, placed 72nd in the state, four paces ahead of its No. 76 ranking last year.

Noticeable in its absence was Oxford Academy in Cypress, a magnet school that has consistently ranked among the top schools in the state and even in the nation for the past decade.

“We believe there was some kind of glitch,” said Michael Matsuda, superintendent for the Anaheim Union High School District.

There were no drops at Oxford in any of the metrics the magazine considers, and in some cases, Oxford ranked even higher, Matsuda said. Last year, the school was second best in the state, and 16th best in the nation.

U.S. News was unable to compute the school’s college-readiness index because Common Core data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics did not include necessary information, such as grade 12 enrollment numbers, said Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News.

Other Anaheim Union districts schools that typically garner silver and bronze medals got none this year and according to the rankings, some of the data also appears to be missing from the magazine rankings published online, said Manuel Colón, the district’s chief academic officer.

Only two of Anaheim Union district’s high schools netted a silver medal: Kennedy, ranked 298 in the state, and Cypress, ranked 236.

No Orange County school ranked among the top 100 nationally.

Whitney High School in neighboring Cerritos ranked top in the state and 19th best in the country.

Another area school that ranked high was the California Math and Science Academy, part of the Long Beach Unified School District, which came in as 10th best school in the state.

The magazine evaluated nearly 20,000 schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Analysts looked at various measures, including whether each school’s students were performing better than statistically expected for students in that state and whether disadvantaged students – black, Hispanic and low-income – were outperforming disadvantaged students in the state.

Another consideration was how well schools prepare students for college, based on scores of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams. For the first time, graduation rates were added as a measure.

“Parents should look at multiple indicators always … but certainly the U.S. News and World Report is another benchmark of how healthy a school district or specific school is,” Matsuda said. “In this case … there was a mistake.”

How Agents Can Give Back

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As your business takes off in real estate, it’s important to maintain the relationships already established with not only your former clients but also in the communities you serve.

One of the best ways for agents to gain exposure and build new relationships with potential clients is through the gift of giving. Recently, Raj Qsar of The Boutique RE, a residential real estate brokerage in Orange County, California took this idea for a spin.

They teamed up with Giveback Homes and Soul Cycle for a unique way to give back to the community. By reaching out to their network, they organized a #RidetoBuild spin class to help raise the funds needed to build a home for a deserving family.

Raj and his realtor friends managed to raise the money and feel the burn while helping to better the life of a family in need with the guided help of Giveback Homes.

Fueled by the passion of real estate pros like Sindeo Advisory Board Member, Raj Qsar, and hundreds of other leaders in real estate, Giveback Homes has made the opportunity to give back easier than ever.

Giveback Homes provides their members with marketing and design services, tutorials on how to incorporate giving into their business, local Build Days, international Build Trips, and tangible results of the impact they’re making throughout the world.

Recently, Sindeo helped fund a home for Marie in Haiti and Arcadio in El Salvador, and has plans to join Giveback Homes for their first Build Day in San Francisco this Spring.

Want to help too? Click here to donate to the San Francisco project or any of their Build Projects throughout the world.

For real estate professionals ready to join the social good movement, enter “sindeo” as your building code for a reduced rate of $30/month.

11 Examples of Perfect Real Estate Branding

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Successful real estate branding can’t be accomplished with just a fancy logo or a catchy motto. The real secret behind strong real estate brands is a combination of creative elements and on-point messaging into a coherent identity. And if you want to become a real estate branding champion, it takes valuable content, a strong media presence, and regular interaction with your audience to convey that identity.

Each of the agents and brokers listed below (in no particular order) has mastered the art of branding in some aspect, so check out what makes their brands unique and memorable, and learn how you can emulate their methods to bolster your own real estate agent branding.

Raj Qsar, The Boutique Real Estate Group

Qsar’s brokerage has been a leader in the video marketing sphere for some time now — so much so he could be designated the King of Real Estate Video (should such a designation exist). From hiring excellent video marketing vendors to help him capture some amazing listings, likeHale Ali’i, to shooting his own recordings featuring his agents and the properties they represent, Qsar has shown a knack for crafting wonderfully attractive and charming videos that make you want to watch over and over again … even if you don’t happen to be in the market for homes for sale in SoCal. The videos have now become a trademark of his agency, and it’s thanks to some nifty real estate branding savvy from Qsar.

Lisa Archer and Laurie Weston Davis, “The Geeky Girls”

It’s hip to be square. The Geeky Girls Archer and Davis have taken this mantra to heart with their real estate branding approach — one that’s made them well-known in the world of real estate. The social proof is in the pudding: Just take a look at the duo’s Placester website homepage and you’ll see a multitude of industry members sporting Geeky Girls gear. A bold color scheme to accompany their creative logo and a sense of pride in their unique business persona have earned the pair quite a following. Want to emulate success? Don’t feel obligated to label yourself as “The [Insert Adjective Here] Agents.” Instead, focus on what separates you from other agents in your market and blend that information seamlessly into your real estate marketing. For instance, if you mostly sell great beachside properties, use language in your marketing messaging to denote your status as one of the premier beachfront property sellers in the region. A catchy moniker, like The Geeky Girls, is simply gravy.

Matt Beall, Hawaii Life

Matt Beall is a prime example of real estate branding done right for several reasons. He built his agency, Hawaii Life, rapidly — more than 200 agents and brokers have joined the firm’s 11 offices in just four years. He’s hosted a brokerage-sponsored real estate conference called Worthshop that has featured numerous big industry names. He positions his firm online as the preeminent brokerage in the state. And, on top of all that, he’s even managed to get his agency some airtime on HGTV, thanks to the aptly named series “Hawaii Life.” In other words, Beall has put in the work needed to build a powerhouse real estate firm and is now focusing on maximizing its potential by getting its name out through various channels.

Michael Thorne and David Fauquier, “Mobile Agent TV”

Not all real estate marketing strategies need to focus entirely on getting in front of consumers. Directing your marketing tactics at your peers can position you as a thought leader in the agent community. Take Thorne and Fauquier, for example: Their RE/MAX-sponsored “Mobile Agent TV” webisode series entails them interviewing the best and brightest in the real estate sector. These shows (like the episode above featuring Placester’s Seth Price) inform agents and brokers all over on how to better their bottom lines with the latest and greatest sales and marketing efforts, emerging technologies, and general business tips. Additionally, though, the series has transformed them into knowledgeable agents in the eyes of their local market. Each and every episode of “Mobile Agent TV” enhances Thorne and Fauquier’s status as a go-to resource.

Jill Hertzberg & Jill Eber, “The Jills”

It pays to work in one of the hottest (literally and figuratively) housing markets in the nation, but even that is no guarantee for success. Miami-area agents Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber, who have capitalized on their first-name branding opportunity, understand that it takes some special marketing to stand out from the crowded field of real estate professionals operating in sunny Miami-Dade County. Thus, the dynamic duo has worked hard over the last several years to cement themselves as the premier agents not only in South Florida, but across the U.S. and world. Nearly every usage of their simple-yet-elegant logo is accompanied by copy denoting their status as “the #1 agent team worldwide.” When you’ve got the numbers to back up your claims, it’s an easy decision to take advantage of such a title. The Jills don’t rest on this logo and tagline, however — they also make sure to optimize their joint real estate website, produce detailed real estate videos, and take advantage of speaking engagements and other promotional endeavors.

Travis Greene, CountryWide Properties, Inc.

Branding for real estate businesses is primarily accomplished online these days, thanks to a bevy of inbound marketing tactics agents and brokers can implement. But offline marketing methods can also make an impact. For instance, Realtor and Placester customer Travis Greene has added his real estate agent branding to his truck, meaning he can promote his business simply by getting behind the wheel. Offline marketing techniques like this can go wrong (very wrong, in some cases), but Greene manages to incorporate his online branding into the real world effortlessly and attractively. Having a strong internet presence is vital to real estate marketing success, but spending some ad money on things like this can still offer reputational benefits.

Sue Adler, “Hear It Direct”

As we’ve discussed on the Academy before, agents have a wide array ofreal estate conferences available to them. Some of these conferences cover broad topics, like technology’s role in real estate and how to better organize your team. Others take a different approach — like Hear It Direct, a series of consumer-meets-agent events started in part by Sue Adler. What better way to market yourself than to speak with buyers and sellers in your area and answer their questions? As with the RE BarCamps that have become popular among agents nationwide, Adler’s Hear It Direct conferences have helped close the divide between agents and consumers, and make it simpler for both sides to understand one another. Adler can take a lot of credit for how successful Hear It Direct has become and deserves recognition for her selfless real estate branding. It’s a novel approach to a fundamental idea: Speaking and networking directly with those you want to work with.

John Hesse, Accelerated Realty Group

You have to go to great lengths sometimes to develop effective real estate agent branding — literally and figuratively. Sacramento-based Realtor Jon Hesse, for instance, flew a great distance to meet up with a branding firm he hired to get his photos taken for promotional images. The results? Well, just look at the “about me” infographic above, which features one of the images taken by the agency. It’s simple, yet shows Hesse is serious about his business because he’s willing to take the time to get professional shots taken. The same branding is used atop his real estate website and on all of his major social media accounts, meaning he’s taking full advantage of the branding services he secured. It can cost a pretty penny to get photos taken by seasoned pros, but if the fruits of that labor end up making you look reputable in the eyes of your audience, it’s more than worth the expense.

Marguerite Giguere, “The Skydiving Agent”

When you think “skydiving,” you may think “risky,” but perhaps that’s exactly what Giguere wants you to think: that she’s willing to take risks to help her clients close deals and provide excellent customer service. Look closer at her real estate branding, though, and you realize she’s much more than a gimmick. Giguere has charm and personality to spare, and clearly shows she cares about her clients. Email is a core element of her real estate marketing plans, as shown in this Academy post, while she also spends a great deal of time on her blog to inform the local community about interesting events, venues, restaurants, and other goings-on. Simply put, Giguere goes all out to make herself as personable and relatable as possible — and she passes that test with flying colors.

Julian Pilarski, Royal LePage Real Estate Services

To become a local, trusted brand name, real estate agents must implement some creative real estate marketing. A high-quality, appealing logo can be a great starting point for establishing your brand, but the real secret to broadening awareness and generating interest in your business is to use your brand marks in as many places as humanly possible. That means doing what Realtor Julian Pilarski has done, creating a beautiful real estate logo (like his below) to use on every page of your site, in your email marketing, atop your social media accounts, on flyers, in ebooks, and any other marketing collateral you create.

Pilarski specifically does an excellent job of using his logo in his real estate videos, as evidenced above. The branding is prominent at the beginning and end of his videos, and is even used in the corner of the screen mid-video. Seemingly small touches like these used hundreds of times over will add up over time and resonate more and more with local real estate customers.

Judith Weiniger, The Weiniger Group

Some agents forget to have a print real estate branding strategy in addition to online tactics. Look to Judith Weiniger’s marketing, for inspiration: She has mastered the art of the real estate mailer. Weiniger sends out print collateral like market reports and a home seller’s guide that are perfectly branded. They feature her agency’s logo, have a unified color scheme, and, most importantly, feature lots of valuable content that educates her audience.
Who do you think will be atop the list when recipients decide to buy or sell? Once again, consistency is key. Weiniger noted in a Placester Academy post that sending out mailers a dozen times annually is ideal. Doing so has helped get her and her company top-of-mind with qualified leads in her market.

Need some real estate branding ideas? Check out our Academy post 75 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Promote Themselves Online. What are some real estate brand examples you’ve seen that you loved? Share some notable instances in the comments section below!

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Tom Schick on What’s Next in Tech for 2016

Inman is interviewing industry thought leaders to find out what’s next in 2016. Here’s Tom Schick, an agent at The Boutique Real Estate Group.

What are your technology predictions for 2016?

The push towards the high-tech agent is expanding the gap between the great agents and the good agents. I see the best companies hiring technology specialists to assist with clients, listings and marketing.

I also see the rise of marketing automation, to stay in touch with people, generate new leads and respond to property inquiries. More agents in 2016 are getting into the tech trends to improve agent websites, capture leads through apps, ads and websites, and to tell the story and capture the emotions of buyers in property websites.

We at The Boutique Real Estate Group pride ourselves on staying in front of the tech curve.

What big tech trends are you watching?

I’m personally moving marketing dollars around from the typical Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com spending, and moving it into Adwerx, Google Adwords and lead-generating sites such as “get your home value” or localized sites to target specific neighborhoods.

I use apps like MLS-Touch to give my buyers and sellers the most up to date information when we’re out in the field, and I really like what RESAAS is doing to connect agents all around the world through a social site similar to Facebook. I’m involved in several groups in the RESAAS network including referral groups and brainstorming panels for marketing and tech trends.

What is more important: mobile or cloud?

I think mobile is still more important for my clients, but the cloud is more important for the doc-sharing and collaborating inside of our real estate firm. In my world, they are both critical to growing my business.

I use an iPhone 6 Plus, and I love being able to share my incredible property videos and websites with clients. Here’s an example:www.4582OceanRidge.com.

Today, I use my mobile device to type more emails than I do my computer. Being able to be out with my clients or out being social is critical to me growing my business, so I don’t like to be at a computer for more than a couple of hours a day.

I also use mobile apps like Docusign mobile, zipForms mobile, the Google Drive app and the Dropbox app.

Will the tech bubble burst?

No, I don’t think so. It’s not a bubble. Today, the tech world doesn’t have a ceiling or an end in sight.

What is next for Zillow?

Is it taking over the world? No, just kidding.

Zillow has become this online real estate listing giant. I saw that its agreement with ListHub has come to an end, so it’s going to have to develop new relationships with individual MLSs and individual brokers.

Just like everyone else, Zillow has to continue to reinvent itself, or it will get lost in the dust. Individual agents and brokers are creating their own search sites, and I think that will take away from the major portal sites.

Will the Broker Public Portal be launched in 2016?

It looks like its close to happening. Broker Public Portal LLC, is working on coming up with the data license agreement with MLSs. I like the idea of being able to brand the MLS experience for clients.

Will Upstream be launched in 2016?

Yes, it looks likes NAR and Upstream are working through the details now. It’s about time that technology jumps into our MLS system to streamline data entry and help autopopulate forms. We use the CRMLS system, which is getting better, but going into other MLS systems can be quite the time-waster for a busy agent.

Hopefully, Upstream will help to streamline record keeping and data entry.

How will predictive search change homebuying?

I think predictive search will help agents key in on the specific locations and needs for their clients. When buying a home, there are so many factors such as location, size of house, school districts, traffic and freeways, shopping, crime rate, local hobbies, etc. I think buyers will have a better idea of where they want to search for a house and this will save time for both the buyer and the agent. I’ve worked with some buyers that know what they want, and others that are relocating and want to see 10+ cities, to narrow things down.

Will on-demand showings go mainstream?

I think on-demand is a great backup plan if time is limited…but I believe that you can’t replace a good, seasoned agent with a randomly chosen agent. Buyer’s agents constantly complain about losing clients to other agents, or buyers not being loyal. I think building a relationship and trust with your buyer is critical, and I haven’t lost many buyers over the 12-plus years that I’ve been in real estate.

It’s not all about locating the house and moving right in. A seasoned agent can negotiate price, repairs and many important details of a buyers transaction.

Will the automated offer become reality in 2016?

I don’t think the automated offer will become a reality. Some sites claim that they help cherry-pick the best real estate bargains and submit offers for their clients. I don’t think it’s smart, and I don’t like the idea of automated offers.

A seller and a buyer need an agent who works specifically with their best interest in mind, and automating offers doesn’t sound like a good way to accomplish that. Buying a house isn’t a small investment, so I feel that a lot of time should be spent with a trusted and respected Realtor.

Will Closing in a Box happen in 2016?

Closing in a Box is a great idea. We already offer all of these items to our clients, and my amazing transaction coordinator keeps my files neat and orderly. Having all of these functions in one app or website is a great idea, though.

How will machine learning change real estate?

Machine learning will help agents and loan officers see which people are likely to buy or sell. It will cut down on time and save a lot of marketing money.

We have a couple systems that show us trends, such as ReboGateway, but one of our lenders at Primary Residential Mortgage has created a system that has really helped my business.

We Are Hiring! The Boutique Real Estate Group

OCOM-JobPosting

The Boutique Real Estate Group is expanding! And we are SUPER excited! We are looking for an amazing individual to fill our Orange County Operations Manager position. If you are looking for that next bold move or know someone who would be perfect then please email us your Resume, CV and headshot to info@TheBoutiqueRE.com and we will be in touch. We LOVE it here and YOU will too…

 

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