The Internet has become the go-to source for information. It's how individuals stay informed of the latest news and share their thoughts. Multimedia has become an integral part of the Internet, from videos to photographs. The online experience today is vastly different than it was in 1995 and even 2005.
Real estate agents have come to realize the power of the Internet. Potential homebuyers scour listing websites for the latest prices and potential deals. They look up neighborhood information and the surrounding area to see what other perks are nearby. However, brokers have to put in more effort to truly make their listings stand out. In an age where so much information is available, it's easy for things to get lost in the World Wide Web. Luckily, there are a few ways real estate agents can become online power users to ensure current and future home listings will go viral and attract attention.
Build an online profile
Social media is huge today; there's no way around it. If you aren't on social media yet, or utilizing the services correctly, you're unfortunately behind on the times. To get an idea just how much social media has exploded in popularity, The Pew Research Center released a study looking how users of various ages have come to use these services. In early February 2005, 9 percent of those between 18-29 used social media. This time was, however, different than today. Twitter was not online and YouTube was days away from launching. Facebook was one year old and still restricted certain universities.
Flash forward nine years later, and an astounding 89 percent of individuals in the same age group utilize social media. This is important because they are the most likely to become homeowners in the near future. If real estate agents aren't online, they're missing not identifying and connecting with large numbers of potential leads.
However, don't limit yourself. You may find it beneficial to incorporate community-oriented social media services, such as Foursquare. You can schedule listings and encourage interested parties to use the mobile application to check-in. Facebook Events also works the same way. By seeing who visited and checked into the open house, you can compile a comprehensive view of interested homebuyers.
Become a power user
Twitter is an excellent tool to help you discover what people are thinking, if their tweets are publicly available, that is. Hashtags and key phrases should become your new best friends and luckily, you don't always have to type them in. According to Trulia writer Javan Hackley, third-party programs such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck can save searches. You'll save valuable time by quickly discovering the latest tweets relating to your search criteria. From there, you can connect with the users and build your client list.
Incorporate a blog
Homebuyers want to know everything about a house, such as number of rooms, bathrooms, kitchen space and square footage. That information is necessary, but homebuyers also want to know more, such as the history. Are there any hidden perks? What makes this house special?
A blog is the perfect way to highlight a home's unique traits. You won't have to write a 1,000 word post about every house, as long as you tell the home's story. You'll also show clients and leads you care about each and every property by writing an individual story.
Online blogs can also help you develop content, which will bring in even more viewers. This content can vary, but should all have an original spin. Other than writing about a various houses, content should touch upon the homebuying process and potentially market news.
The importance of photographs
This last component of a strong house listing is the most important. As mentioned earlier, many websites rely on multimedia aspects, and photos are at the forefront. Families look for a new house are more likely to have higher interest in the online listing that has multiple photos, rather than the profile of a house with no photos.
According to Trulia, you'll have more luck of having an online listing go viral by incorporating more images. You should ideally have at least eight photos. However, you should strive for creativity when taking a snapshot, and this process may require different types of gear.
If you have a new smartphone released in the last year, the camera is suitable for high-quality images. With an extensive catalog of editing programs and applications, you can ensure the best qualities of every image are shown. However, you can also use a DSLR camera if you want a more professional touch to photos. There is no correct method, but your own preference.
When you do take photos, Trulia recommended you take interesting shots. You'll still want the standard images, such as the home's front, bathrooms, kitchen and more. Like writing the history of the home, interesting angles will help generate more leads. As a real estate agent, you will want to invest time in highlighting the unique nuances of every home. By doing so and sharing the images online, your home listings will draw more interest.
There are other tips brokers will want to keep in mind as well. For instance, ensure there is good lighting and everything is in focus. Likewise, don't hesitate to stage photos. Remember, you're trying to highlight the home's best features. If the bathroom is bland, mess around with the room's organization to add more life to an image.
Real estate agents may already utilize social media, but to truly generate more online interest in home listings, there a few areas to focus on.