5 Tips to Prepare You for 2015

The New Year will soon be upon us, and while 2014 may not have been as promising as many had hoped for, the year did provide us with countless new trends and technologies, along with an ever changing market. What does 2015 have in store for us, you might ask? Unfortunately no one really knows until we get there, but one thing we do know is that there are a few takeaways from 2014 which every agent and broker should implement in their business strategy before the start of the year. So to help you make the most out of your efforts next year, take a look at these five tips for 2015:

2015

  1. Be mobile

It’s obviously beneficial for you to be available anywhere, anytime as an agent or broker, but being mobile goes far beyond just that.

Did you know that over 66% of emails are opened through a phone or tablet? Or that roughly 30% of internet users are on a mobile device? If you haven’t done so already, it’s more important than ever that your website, emails and any other online marketing tools are optimized for smart phone or tablet.

  1. Utilize video

One real estate group in Australia found that when a listing included a video, it received four times as many inquiries. While I can’t promise you four times as many leads as you’re receiving now, there’s no doubt about it that videos are more engaging than text or even pictures.

  1. Keep up to date with trends in technology

2014 brought us tons of new apps, ranging anywhere from Tinder system for listings (http://re-insider.com/2014/10/21/tinder-for-real-estate/) to an Uber-like app to find an agent (http://re-insider.com/2014/05/28/could-smartphone-app-be-the-new-way-to-pick-an-re-agent/), and there are only more to come in 2015. While it wouldn’t be wise to invest too much time, energy or money into an unproven technology, you should always keep your eyes open for the next big thing.

  1.   Maximize social media, boost your posts

If you run a business page on Facebook, you likely noticed some of the changes made throughout 2014. Possibly the most significant of these changes was the reduction of organic reach for a business page’s posts, and this could be killing the number of people who see your content.

Fortunately, for as little as a couple dollars you can boost your posts on Facebook, reaching a crowd far larger (and more targeted) than what would have been possible otherwise.

  1.        Don’t pay for Trulia and Zillow

Paying for leads through Trulia or Zillow is not only expensive, it’ often found ineffective. The average agents spends $320 per month – or almost $4,000 per year – on leads through Zillow, and its estimated that only 1%-4% of these leads lead to new business. Your marketing funds will likely find better use elsewhere, so consider using that money to revamp your website or capitalize on SEO.

 

Do you have any other tips for 2015? What are your thoughts?

  • Carol Lynn

    I like #5 the most. (although, they are all very useful tips.) However, wasting money on sites that are supposedly selling you leads is really costly and often far outweighing the benefits. I gave one of those sites a try, got locked into a 6 month contract and began getting leads coming in at 1:00 – 3:00 a.m. When I followed up, it was usually nothing. A few times that I did make contact, I was told they’d been already inundated by responses from realtors. On more than several occasions, the properties that were being inquired about by the ‘leads’ did not exist as currently listed properties. Wasting even more of my time, I had to research these potential sales to make sure I wasn’t missing something, only to discover that the properties had closed escrow many months prior to the inquiry. I consider it a costly lesson. The final straw was when a past client,who’d purchased our listing 10 years earlier, became inundated with people knocking on his door – our office getting deluged with calls about his property on the market. It was NOT listed – he had no intention of moving and thought our office had somehow put his house on the market. NO, of course not. What had happened was that one of the sites mentioned had regurgitated the MLS listing from 10 years prior and placed it as available (with our company as listing agent). The chaos hit fever pitch because the house had doubled in value since he’d purchased it and the offering price of the erroneous listing was the price he’d purchased it for a decade earlier. In a low-inventory market, his house looked like the deal of the century. It took hours to get to the department that targets and pulls the listings for their sites, and days to get it removed. I treat these public sites as a sketchy 3rd cousin that you don’t want to allow into your house without close supervision. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.