Social Media Buzz: How to Utilize Hashtags


You’ve built your social media profiles, and you’re posting regularly. People are starting to “like” your posts, and maybe even share them.

Now it’s time to start utilizing hashtags to get some more action on those posts you’ve so carefully crafted.

What’s a hashtag?

A hashtag is simply a way to categorize your post so that it is visible to people searching those categories. You implement a hashtag by using the “#” symbol prior to typing a word or phrase without spaces. For example: #realestate #homesforsale #realtor.

Someone who is searching for a Realtor® can search “#realtor” and see all of the posts that are tagged as such.

What are the rules?

There are unwritten rules when it comes to using hashtags.

    • Avoid using hashtags that don’t relate to your post. That’s a social media no-no.
    • Try not to overwhelm the body of your post with the maximum number of hashtags. Pick 2-4 of the most important hashtags. On Facebook and Instagram, you can fill up a comment with related hashtags after you post. That comment will still attract a relevant audience to your post without looking tacky in the process.
    • Check popularity of hashtags before you try them. Do a search on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to see if the tags you want to use are popular enough to attract eyeballs. Use a mixture of extremely popular hashtags and niche hashtags that are more unique to your audience.
    • Identify yourself or your business with a rare or specific hashtag, like #YourNameRealty or #YourBusinessName – Once people start to recognize your brand and become interested in your social media feeds, they will be able to search for you specifically.

What hashtags should real estate agents be using?

There are a lot of general real estate jargon terms that deliver great results.
#RealEstate
#RealEstateAgent
#HouseHunting
#NewHome
#Listing
#JustListed
#Property
#DreamHome
#HomeBuilder
#NewConstruction
#HouseForSale
#ForSale

You can also try niche hashtags like:
#MillionDollarListing
#LuxuryListings
#LuxuryRealEstate
#FixerUpper
#OceanView
#MountainHome

Target specific audiences by geographic location or property type. Hashtag the name of the state, region and city you are marketing to. For example: #SanFrancisco #California #SanFranciscoCalifornia – Each city and state will have various combinations of hashtag popularity.

Lastly, check what your local interior designers, decorators, contractors, builders, and landscapers are using. Try their hashtags to snag the eyes of their audience, but only when appropriate.

Have any hashtags that are working well for you? Share them with us in the comments below!

Smart Homes: A Rising Opportunity for Real Estate Agents


Smart technology is on the rise, and real estate agents are in a unique position to lead and guide homeowners as they navigate the home tech scene.

A study done by Coldwell Banker Real Estate in 2016 found that “almost half of all Americans either own smart technology or plan to invest in it.”

The question is, does smart technology in a home really pay off?

According to a survey conducted by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, 65 percent of almost 22,000 home buyers said that they would be willing to spend more on a home equipped with smart technology like security cameras, smart HVAC systems, and network-connected appliances.

Smart home technology presents a few opportunities for agents to serve as a guide for their clients.

  • Agents can recommend appropriate technology to increase property value when it’s time to sell. Focus on devices that control utilities for cost savings, or buff up home security.
  • Agents can draw attention to smart features when clients are looking for homes. Help people see past smart products that seem shiny on the surface but don’t add much value, and point out products that result in money saved or peace of mind. Do your research and make sure smart devices are adequately equipped to connect to other devices in case the client wants to add to their smart home later.
  • Become an expert. Smart home technology is constantly evolving. Keep up to date so you can provide your clients with the best recommendations possible. When you find a brand you believe in, consider reaching out to the company to start a partnership, especially if that company is up and coming. In many instances, real estate agents can be the gatekeeper to the smart home device makers’ customer base.

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Learn more about Abode’s home security solution here.


This article is for information purposes only and TPMC has no corporate ties to Adobe nor do we receive any financial benefits.

Building Trust with your Clients


With trust, Realtors® become confidants, motivators, helpers, and friends. Implementing effective trust techniques takes practice. Try some of the following trust-building tips to strengthen your relationship with your prospects and clients:

Look for barriers. Things like stress, body language, and focus can all be hindrances with trust building.

  • Never multitask during a conversation. Focus on and directly engage with clients to show your undivided attention.
  • Body language shouldn’t be closed off or contradict what you’re saying. This confuses, rather than confirms trust. Keep arms and legs uncrossed, maintain eye contact, and don’t clench your fists.

Engage. An engaged listener is an engaged Realtor®. Being fully in tune with clients reinforces a personal connection.

  • Focus on what clients are saying and how they’re saying it. Also pay attention to cues in their body language.
  • Never interrupt or redirect a conversation. Let the speaker continue until finished and then pose questions or offer suggestions.

Avoid conflict. Don’t make clients feel threatened or stressed.

  • Compromising is fundamental to building trust. Have backup plans ready for clients.
  • Use humor to defuse tense situations.

Think Positive. Positive affirmation can help the client work through insecurities, uncertainties and frustrations.

  • Show positive feedback to encourage clients to be more engaged with you. Smile, nod your head in agreement and watch your tone of voice.
  • Focus conversation around things your clients like rather than what they dislike.

Be Assertive. Assertiveness, not combativeness, means knowing yourself and your clients.

  • Explain thoroughly and concisely, and stick to your point while retaining a sense of empathy.
  • According to Harvard Health, showing empathetic assertion demonstrates sensitivity. Recognizing clients’ wants, but still being politely assertive demonstrates an ability to hold the clients’ best interests at heart while showing viable options or alternatives.

Follow these points to leave a lasting, positive impression with your clients that will lead to long-term relationships.

Social Media Buzz: Instagram for Realtors®


Social media passed 600 million users last year and is still on the rise. For relationship-based Realtors, this makes Instagram another platform you can use to connect with your audience.

Instagram users look for aesthetically pleasing images that are personalized in a way that connects them to larger groups of people. Keeping your account fun, informative and interactive encourages clients and prospects to stay connected. Use these tips to get started.

Profile. Introduce yourself to your audience with a short description of yourself. This is the only place on Instagram you’ll be able to link back to your website.

Hashtags. Hashtags are a collective organizing system on social media using the pound sign (#) before a word or phrase. People can search hashtags to find posts relevant to the content they are looking for. Make sure your hashtags are relevant, and only use a few in the description. To make your post show up in more places, comment on your own post with a list of hashtags to keep from cluttering the caption. Some popular Instagram real estate hashtags to put in the description box include #realtor, #realestate, #realestateagent, #realtorlife, and #realestatelife.


Videos. Record and post videos of property walk-throughs from your phone (up to 60 seconds long). Point out features of particular interest focusing on things that may be hard to see in typical online photos. Use Instagram’s Live Video function to make important announcements or provide insider information that would otherwise be inaccessible. Caution: live videos are not stored and will be removed the moment the broadcast ends.



Instagram Stories. Your story allows for a collection of photos or videos to be stored in sequential order for easier viewing. Use your story to string together pictures and video clips of properties that would otherwise clog up news feeds. These disappear in 24 hours. Think of story clips as information that would be of special interest to your clients who are on the lookout for your updates already.

Comments. Interact directly with your audience in the comments. To respond back to a client, use @username to tag that user. Keep up with your notifications, so you don’t miss opportunities to connect with people who are using Instagram to communicate with you.


Chat. Send text or photos over chat in private messages to clients you are already connected with. This allows for a certain amount of privacy between Realtor® and client.

Tags. Using @username in a photo or video description will automatically alert an organization, company or client that they have been referenced in your post. Use tags to give a “shout out” to various industry players including designers, landscapers, manufacturers, or contractors. Tags will put your post in front of a wider, relevant audience and help build relationships with more people in the housing industry.

9 Reasons Print Newsletters Work


Print media is not dead! Especially print that is personal, colorful and delivered right to a mailbox. In fact, 67 percent of people report that physical mail is more personal than electronic, and 55 percent say they look forward to getting their mail every day, according to a 2015 Compu-Mail report.

So why choose print newsletters as a form of marketing? It's easy:

  • Print materials are saved much longer than emails. They have better retention rates in households and increased chances of being read by others in the home.
  • Print newsletters are not restricted to electronic file size like enewsletters. More images can be added allowing more freedom and creativity to be shown.
  • Print materials can be more appealing to the eye immediately. When a well-designed, colorful piece of mail shows up in a mailbox, it’s hard not to look. When it shows up as a black-and-white subject line in an email inbox, it’s easy to ignore.
  • Physical mail gets delivered whereas enewsletters might be deleted instantly, put in spam folders or get blocked by the email provider.
  • Print newsletters are more personal. People like seeing their name on a piece of mail. Note: Be careful to double-check the spelling of your clients’ names. Nothing will turn them off faster than getting their name wrong.
  • Print materials are generally considered to be more legitimate or trustworthy. This is found to be true for all age groups.
  • Think people over 65 are the only ones reading physical mail? Not true! In 2016, a study from InfoTrends reported that millennials are the most likely to read physical mail. Further, 92 percent of millennials indicated that they are influenced in purchasing decisions based on direct marketing rather than email.
  • Print materials send a message that companies care about their clients. When surveyed, people responded saying that personalized print materials are more strongly received than email because they acknowledge that companies spend their own time and money to design and send out physical mailings.
  • Print media does not mean electronic media is out. Add URLs or social media logos to advertise an online presence. QR codes are also an option and can be used to link to websites, social media sites, or other online information.

Personal marketing through print media is anything but dead! It’s thriving and well-established. When considering how to best market to prospects and clients, print newsletters truly are a proven success.

REALTOR® Resources: Webinars, Seminars, Podcasts


The real estate industry is constantly evolving and changing. The best agents will evolve with it. That means staying educated on the market, keeping up with marketing trends and finding new ways to connect with your clients.

In an age of information-overload, the hard part of keeping current is not finding resources, it’s finding good resources.

Here are a few resources for webinars, seminars and podcasts with reputations of delivering reliable information to help you stay in the know and grow your business.

Webinars

  • The National Association of REALTORS'® REALTOR® Mag has an archive of popular webinars offered by real estate and finance experts.
  • Inman.com posts occasional educational webinars for agents on topics such as using Facebook to build business, landing referrals, and getting the most value from advertisements.
  • REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR) has webinars listed all the way out until December 2017 on topics such as perfecting pricing, buyers’ demands and long-term real estate investments.

Seminars

  • The National Association of REALTORS® sponsors the Professional Standards Education Seminar that “delivers a variety of participatory exercises and role-plays to give hands-on experience to attendees.”
  • The REALTORS® Conference & Expo “offer[s] focused, practical and timely information, presented by knowledgeable, professional individuals.”
  • The 2017 NAR Leadership Summit “brings the chief staff executives of state and local associations, together with their Presidents-Elect, to an event that translates into multiple opportunities to make lasting connections in the REALTOR® association community.”

Podcasts

  • Wright Brothers INC. host the Modern American Realtor® podcast which “is aimed at uncovering the marketing, technology, and business strategies needed to compete in the current real estate landscape.”
  • Bigger Pockets Podcast features Joshua Dorkin and Brandon Turner in a weekly podcast aimed at both “novice and experienced real estate investors” that focuses on “top notch educational content and interviews.”
  • Real Estate Radio LIVE is hosted by a team of real estate and finance professionals who aim to bring the most up-to-date knowledge and information to their audience. So far, they have completed nearly 700 expert guest interviews and are still going strong.

These are just a handful of a multitude of resources available for agents, many of them are free. Before signing up for a paid webinar, seminar or other resource, always check reviews on a third-party website to avoid falling victim of a scam.