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Introducing Brian Barry of All East Bay Properties

 Brian Barry Blog Post Image In 2005, Brian Barry, began working with Jason Crouch at All East Bay Properties. The company was just opening in Emeryville, California, right across the Bay from San Francisco, and Brian had the opportunity to work with them from the start, serving as the marketing and technology manager. Now, with a team of only five, they are one of the top real estate offices in town, specializing in condominiums and rental properties. In a typical year, they sell roughly 30 properties with a topline revenue of $20 million. They attribute their success to consistently drawing in new website visitors and repeat clients with their extensive local knowledge of the East Bay real estate market.

The Evolution of Brian’s Website Promotion

Brian’s team started by investing in social media marketing to complement their regular marketing techniques (such as sending postcards every 2-3 months and regular email marketing). Then, with his background in web design and some search engine optimization (SEO), Brian was able to help the agency rank first in the search results for the search query: “Emeryville real estate.” Later, Google’s algorithm changed and their page dropped a few spots, so Brian began looking more into social media marketing. Brian was fairly new to social media, but he saw how it could add value to his real estate business. Over the past few years, they have maintained a blog that is rich with infographics sourced, in part, from their local MLS. Each of these blog posts are heavily promoted on their social media channels. Brian also created and launched a Facebook ad campaign. As a result, they have received more online exposure, facilitated online interactions, and further established themselves as a local real estate market leader. In fact, over the last few years, their Facebook followers have grown to 5,500. Now, with solid website and social media traffic, he just needed something that would enhance his website with the same functionality as larger brokerages and destination sites. He chose iHomefinder and MarketBoost to provide these tools for his website.

Making the Move to iHomeFinder IDX’s MarketBoost

Brian and his team immediately improved their ability to manage their listings with iHomefinder’s responsive IDX. MarketBoost gave him an advantage in the area because it provided visitors with a wide range of information about sold and open property listings as well as price changes. They couldn’t provide visitors these services in the past, but this gave them a chance to develop deeper online engagement with their potential leads. These tools turned his website into a significant source of leads, and the team capitalized on it by using the lead setting that requires registration after conducting two property searches. Brian can then offer those leads Market Reports via iHomefinder’s MarketBoost, which includes detailed information about the local market. The All East Bay Properties’ team employs a unique method of reaching out to these potential clients by creating markets defined by the specific building rather than a geographic area. Clients love the hyper-local marketing and return to Brian’s website again and again as the detailed market reports provide insights not available from other brokerages. Brian and his team created 12 markets, which will increase in the future. The current markets are all condominium complexes or rental properties where they have amassed a significant amount of local knowledge over the years.

Initial Results

With iHomefinder’s IDX on his website, Brian’s team was able to get more traffic to their site and generate more leads and repeat visitors. Adding iHomefinder’s MarketBoost to their website provided significant value to the brokerage:
  1. Solidify their reputation and image as local real estate experts. Brian and his team have gained the trust of sellers, buyers, and landlords who turn to them to rent and manage their properties. With MarketBoost, they are well-positioned to build upon this trust by providing relevant content to their new and past clients.
  2. Provide a means to nurture leads. For years, sellers and buyers have leveraged the internet to gain market knowledge prior to engaging with real estate agents. Brian and his team leveraged the power of MarketBoost to ensure clients always received the desired information directly from them (instead of the big portals). This keeps them ‘Top-of-Mind’ when the client is ready to transact.
  3. Save valuable agent time. By providing insights from the local market to their potential clients, his agents can free up more of their time to interact with clients much closer to transacting.
Brian is very pleased with the detailed local market information available through MarketBoost. He has established All East Bay Properties as the local real estate experts, and this had led to their growth in both first-time clients and repeat customers.

New! Email Alert Popups

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Encourage more lead registrations with Email Alert Popups! This new feature is available now in all accounts using responsive design. Just turn on the option in your account control panel and the popup (shown below) will display on every search results page after a visitor performs a search. Learn how >>


How to Generate Real Estate Leads

HowToGeneratLead-2   Consumers now have many options for exploring real estate listings online. To compete in this market and acquire new leads, it’s critical to have an effective lead acquisition and nurturing strategy. In this article, we’ll review methods for acquiring new real estate leads to help you grow your business. Some of these methods are simple while others will require more planning and follow-through, but they can all help you acquire more leads. We’ll talk about best practices for nurturing your leads in a future article.

Website Optimization

Does your website need an overhaul? An optimized website will engage buyers and sellers and convert more of your visitors to leads. Website optimizations will generally fall into two categories: aesthetics and content.

Website Aesthetics

Consumers form an opinion about your website in a fraction of a second. The following key points can make a dramatic improvement in how well your site engages consumers:
  • Professional, uncluttered look and feel
  • Quick loading time
  • Friendly user experience with simple navigation
Ask your family, friends and colleagues for their honest assessment and make adjustments if needed. Your business depends on it!

Website Content

Here are some considerations for content on your website that will help make your site sticky and convert more visitors to leads.
> Unrestricted Property Search
Allow consumers to search and explore listings without prompts for registration. Or consider allowing a number of searches and property views before asking for registration. The simpler your default property search form is the better. Consider offering a separate advanced search option so users don’t have to face lots of options they don’t need.
> Listings Pages and Galleries
Make it easy to access and browse listings organized by local communities, neighborhoods or even specialized categories such as water view, golf course, distressed, etc. These can also help your SEO (discussed in the Seach Engine section below).
> Email Alerts
Make sure you prominently feature an option to sign up for new listing email alerts. These emails provide your leads with listing links to your site for new or updated listings that match their search criteria. Consider adding an eye-catching graphic to your site that points out the benefits of Email Alerts with a link to the sign up form.
> Hyper Local Focus & Unique Content
Your website is your opportunity to present yourself as a local expert – something the large portal sites can’t provide! It’s also your opportunity to differentiate from other sites that simply have listings with no other useful information. Consider adding helpful community information, links to resources, and pictures. Search engines will index this content, bringing you more opportunities for free traffic from search engine results pages.
> Value Proposition
Put yourself in the shoes of your site visitors. Why should they consider working with you? If you don’t clearly answer this on your website, you can expect fewer registrations from your site visitors. Include some brief bullets on your site that point out how your services, experience, and knowledge will help them with their next transaction. Featuring testimonials from satisfied clients can help build trust with new visitors and influence how many register on your website.

PPC (Pay-per-Click) Online Ad Channels

Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Bing can all deliver advertisements to consumers using demographic criteria, time of day settings, and more. Each service will let you track your ad performance and modify your campaigns accordingly. Get Started with PPC: Google: https://www.google.com/adwords/ Bing: http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/home Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/business/products/ads Twitter: https://biz.twitter.com/ad-products

Social Media

Social media is an essential component of lead generation. There are several different platforms, each with their own benefits and tactics. We’ll discuss social media strategies in more detail in future articles.
  • Facebook – This is the most common network and building a strong presence here can really boost your lead generation. . Start by including a lot of facts about neighborhoods and properties to show off your local knowledge. Use lots of pictures and encourage people to share them. Don’t flood the newsfeed with your listings, though. You’re on a social network to attract and engage new followers with content .
  • Twitter – This is a quick and simple way to get people thinking about moving and buying homes. You can link to important resources on your website and use hashtags to get in on the active conversations.
  • Pinterest – This network is all about the best looking pictures. Create your own boards and fill them with pictures of the homes and yards as well as interesting images of the neighborhood and city. Make sure you have a good description of each image that is short and to the point.
  • YouTube – This is the #2 rated search engine! Maximize your exposure by creating a channel and posting virtual tours or consider even simple slideshow videos using listing images.

Email

A lot of people think that email is no longer an effective marketing technique but studies continue to show that this is one of the best ways to get a response from potential clients. In addition to automated new listing email alerts, you can send email newsletters with tips on finding homes, local community news, market information or any other content your leads might find helpful.

Search Engines

When someone finds you through a search engine, it’s safe to assume that this is a lead that definitely has home buying or selling in mind. When they search for general terms like new homes in a specific area, you'll obviously want your website to appear as high as possible in the results. Establishing an SEO strategy that brings you more search engine traffic takes time and effort and is definitely a marathon rather than a sprint. You can either consult professionals to build a strategy for your site or take a look at the wealth of content available online to get familiar with best practices. The SEO Starter Guide from Google below is just one example of the many online resources available and is a great starting point. Download the free "SEO Starter Guide" from Google >>

Events & Conventions

Out-of-town real estate conventions are a great way to contact agents from other locations and let them know that you’re open to referrals. You can establish yourself as a trustworthy agent so they’ll be willing to send you clients who are looking for something in your area. This is where you can also make contacts with other professionals such as lawyers, lenders, bankers, and insurance agents might all have relationships with potential real estate leads.

Direct Mailers

Postcards are simple and eye-catching and you can send them to people in specific locations. You can include information about listings or just focus on getting them to your website where you can invite them to contact you or sign up for new listing Email Alerts.

Referrals

Happy clients are the best place to look for new leads. If your past clients had a good experience with you, they’ve probably already shared the story with friends and family. In your next email blast, consider asking them about anyone they know who is interested in buying a home.

Nurturing

Don’t assume that a lead who isn’t quite ready to buy or sell is a dead end. The vast majority of your new leads will probably fit in this category. Once you have a new lead, you can send personalized mailers, set them up with new listing email alerts and send newsletters to keep them engaged and remind them of your services until they’re ready for a transaction. What do you do to generate leads? Is there something we missed? Let us know or share your thoughts!

Questions?

Contact us

New! Site Activity Reports

You may have noticed your iHomefinder account is now sending you email reports with information about your site activity. If you have not received these new emails yet, you will receive them soon! The following activity information is provided in the reports, dependent upon the lead activity on your site. Most Active Leads Properties Saved Email Update Click-Thrus Saved Searches Total Searches  Total Properties Viewed Emails are sent daily by default as long as there is new data to show. You'll find options at the bottom of each email to change your delivery preference to weekly or monthly, or you can unsubscribe to stop receiving these emails. You can view these emails on all devices, and links are provided that login to your mobile-friendly account Control Panel, where you can access all lead information in your account. You can also email your most active leads right from the report, without having to login to your Control Panel.   siteactivity_post2 sample1   sample2a

Customizable User Registration

If you are looking for ways to convert more of your site visitors to registered leads, consider enabling the user registration feature in your account. This allows you to control where and when your site visitors are prompted for registration during their search process. There are many different philosophies and preferences related to forced registration, so we offer a wide range of settings to control the behavior of the registration prompt. It's easy to experiment with the settings and find out over time which settings are most effective on your site. The following are just some of the registration settings that are available: Trigger Points Choose what locations in the search process will trigger the prompt, such as the Property Details view, the Property Search form, Top Picks/Hot Sheets, or Search Results. Strength - Prompt with an option to ignore the request and not be prompted again - Prompt with an option to ignore the request and prompt again when your specified limits are reached - Prompt and require registration in order to continue Visit our Knowledge Base article for detailed instructions on setting up the User Registration options.

iHomefinder Optima IDX, Optima Express, Optima Social & More Available in Chautauqua County Board of REALTORS®

iHomefinder IDX is now available for members of the Chautauqua County Board of REALTORS®. Chautauqua County is located in the far western part of New York State, and is a resort area around Chautauqua Lake. The western border of this county is Lake Erie. This county is 70 miles southwest of Buffalo, NY and 50 miles northeast of Erie, PA.
Image from Wallace, Roberts and Todd

As of the 2010 census, the population of Chautauqua County was 134,905. Its county seat is Mayville, and its largest city is Jamestown.  The County is located within 3 hours of 10.8 million people because of its proximity to Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Toronto, Ontario. The county's economic has a diverse set of  businesses including retail, manufacturing, services, agriculture and tourism based industries.

Members of the Chautauqua County Board of REALTORS® can benefit from iHomefinder enhancements like the new Interactive Map Search and Facebook Apps. Members can also get started today with Optima IDX for Custom Sites, Optima Express IDX for WordPress or Optima Social.

For more information, resellers can view Chautauqua County Board of REALTORS® paperwork instructions or email us at resellers@ihomefinder.com with additional questions. Members of this Association can email info@ihomefinder.com or contact your iHomefinder reseller.

Service Available for Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®

iHomefinder IDX is now available for Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®. Ann Arbor is located in Washtenaw County, Michigan.  Ann Arbor's population was at 113,934 as of the 20120 census, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan. The Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a population of 344,791 as of the 2010 census. The University of Michigan plays a significant role in Ann Arbor's economy as it employs about 30,000 workers. The city's economy is also home to high technology companies drawn to the area by university R&D money and by its graduates. Members of the Ann Arbor Board of REALTORS® can benefit from iHomefinder enhancements like the new Interactive Map Search and Facebook Apps. Members can get started today with Optima IDX for Custom Sites, Optima Express IDX for WordPress or Optima Social. For more information, resellers can view Ann Arbor Board of REALTORS® MLS paperwork instructions or email us at resellers@ihomefinder.com with additional questions. Members of this Association can email info@ihomefinder.com or contact your iHomefinder reseller.

New Optima Express Pages – More WordPress Leads & Listings

Now get even more leads and display more listings with Optima Express, iHomefinder's IDX plugin for WordPress! The newly launched Optima Express 1.2.0 includes five new pages to generate leads and show listings on your WordPress site. Existing Optima Express clients just need to update their plugin to the current version to take advantage of these great new pages. Open Homes Search Site visitors can search exclusively for open homes with this new search page for WordPress. The City Selector and auto-suggest indicate which cities have current open homes, and results display open home information. Sold/Pending Listings Configure off-market properties to display on this page and show off your history of success! Supplemental Listings Add pocket listings, listings that are coming soon, or any other non-MLS listing to the Supplemental Listings page. Contact Form Get more leads from your WordPress site with the Contact Form. Leads can be tracked through your Control Panel. Home Valuation Request This form allows potential clients to contact you for valuation information on a property they'd like you to list. These leads can be tracked though your Control Panel as well. Learn more about Optima Express, iHomefinder's IDX WordPress plugin.