Marketing Your Business In March

Spring is here! While some are getting the itch to declutter and clean, it’s a great time to declutter what isn’t working in your business and make some new marketing plans!

Start (or beef up) your Instagram account

Here’s some big news – Instagram is now featured and shared on more websites than Twitter. While Twitter still has more account holders, this news means that Instagram is still growing steadily and more and more businesses and blogs are turning toward this trend. If you haven’t already set up an Instagram account, now is the time to do it! With a visual business like real estate, you’ll be missing out if you don’t.

What’s Coming Up?

April has some fun you can feature on social media and other marketing. April Fools Day, is of course, a lot of fun. Passover begins on March 30 and Easter falls April 1 this year. But don’t miss out on sending your clients and followers tips on green home living and recycling as Earth Day approaches on April 20.

Social Media Focus: Green Living

As we mentioned above, Earth Day on April 20 will have a lot of minds turning toward recycling and green living options. Highlight your local recycling center, tips on conserving water and energy at home, and growing your own vegetables. The spring season will have your followers craving this info.

Social Media Challenge: Make a Plan

Some entrepreneurs may like to “wing it” in their social media marketing. But in this day and age, social media provides the most affordable way to reach your followers. You can get in on their everyday conversations and promote your business, free of cost (unless you choose to run an ad). Your social media marketing should receive just as much attention, if not more, than your other forms of marketing. Sit down and ask yourself what you want to accomplish on social media? More followers? More leads? More visibility? How will you get there…by posting more regularly, by running occasional ads, and by developing a strong and consistent presence online.

4 Spring Blog Topics That Will Get You Excited To Write!

You probably already know that blogging is a fantastic way to keep your website at the top of the search results. The consistent updates to your site tell search engines that your page is active, the additional pages help feed results, and the language on each blog (probably related to real estate) tells Google, Bing, and Yahoo that you are relevant to the real estate industry.

Keeping your updates consistent is crucial. So here are four topics to get you interested in making your blog is up to date!

UPCOMING EVENTS

There are plenty of things to get excited about as spring approaches. No matter where your interests lie, you can find something to get passionate about as you update your blog. You may want to highlight religious events and opportunities during Easter and Passover, outdoor festivals, Earth Day offerings, or event gardening get-togethers and meet-ups. Offer your readers a list and commentary of all of the springy events they can take advantage of. They’ll see you as a fantastic resource and community guru!

SPRING CLEANING

Whether you’ve tuned into Marie Kondo or not, spring gives all of us an itch to get organized! Post your best tips and tricks, links to articles with advice, or a branded checklist of spring cleaning ideas. This is a great opportunity to offer ideas on how to spruce up the house if readers are considering selling in the next year. Point your readers toward trendy colors and styles they may want to include in their home for just such an occasion.

DINING OUT

Texas towns offer plenty of amazing outdoor eating opportunities. Invoke the feeling we all love of enjoying a perfect spring evening eating out on the patio. Direct your audience toward the best outdoor eateries and farmer’s market. The fresh feel we all want in the springtime can be easily found in places like these. Plus, your knowledge about all things local will quickly paint you as a neighborhood expert for potential clients.

SPRINGING FORWARD

Time to enjoy the great outdoors!

More daylight hours mean more opportunities to get outside! Nature walk idea, park listings and reviews, backyard games to play with the kids, or even neighborhood picnic recipes will delight your outdoorsy followers. Keep your phone on hand to capture your own adventures and include those in your blog posts to get readers excited about the great outdoors!

Are you getting the most out of your social media? Here’s how you can tell.

Whether you’re just using Facebook regularly or handling your business across many social media profiles, a regular audit of your social media presence is important. An audit for your social media pages is like getting a tune-up at the garage – you can learn a lot from regular review, and know when it’s time to make a change.

Audit Checklist

Here are the steps you need to take as you audit your pages.

Make a list of all of your social media profiles.

Include the following items on your list:

  • The social media network (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
  • The URL
  • Your profile name and/or description
  • Number of followers, connections, fans, etc.
  • The date of your most recent post or upload activity

Once you’ve got your list together, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I using this platform regularly? If not, do I have time to start using it regularly?
  • Who am I trying to reach on this account?
  • What are my goals for this account? More followers? More interaction? Lead generation?
  • Are my competitors on this platform?

If you aren’t using or able to use the platform regularly, or if you’re using it regularly without reaching your target market, it might be time to cancel the account. Your list will give you a good idea of what is working and what isn’t. Don’t be afraid to cancel or deactivate an account that isn’t getting you anywhere.

Do A Consistency Check

Are the logos and descriptions the same for each page, so that your followers can easily identify you? Though each social media platform has its own tone – LinkedIn, for example, is much more formal than Instagram or Twitter – you want your branding to be consistent across all pages. This gives your audience a clear idea of who you are and what they can expect when they do business with you.

Do a URL/Username check. If you’ve got a strong presence on one platform, you want it to be easy to find you on another. Change your profile names and URLs if you’re able, so that all area consistent.

Follow Up Regularly

Now that you have an idea of what your pages look like and the attention you’re giving to them and getting back from them, check in periodically. Once a month or so, update your list and compare it to the previous one. Are you posting more? Are you engaging more? Is your following growing? Make adjustments as needed and keep checking back until you see some positive movement – then you’ll know you’re on the right track.

Remember, social media is a great tool if you use it well. You get what you give – so give it lots of attention, keep an eye on your progress, and you’ll see results in no time!

Ivy Edwards Moves to Memorial!

As our Memorial office continues to grow, we welcome IVY EDWARDS to the team!

Ivy has been a part of the Frontier Title family for 3 years, spending time in our offices in Katy, Lake Houston, and The Woodlands.

Prior to her career with Frontier, Ivy spent 13 years in the real estate industry. She loves a completely processed file. She does this by establishing and following processes, systems and procedures. Originally from Nebraska, Ivy grew up showing cattle and horses. She enjoys gardening, Mexican food, and spending time with her husband and children.

Along with her knowledge and experience, Ivy brings the same quality customer service you’ve always come to expect from Frontier Title.

IVY EDWARDS
Escrow Officer
O 713-893-0553
iedwards@frontiertitletexas.com

Marketing Your Business in February

February is here already? The year isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, so let’s look at a few ideas to keep your marketing plans on schedule!

Start Looking at Spring Marketing Plans

We’ve got a couple of big things coming up in the spring – decide what works best for your business. You can remind your contacts about Daylight Savings Time on March 12, look ahead to Easter in mid-April or Earth Day on April 22. Use these key dates as a way to connect with customers new and old.

Revisit Your Annual Marketing Plan

You got this one taken care of in January, right? If you didn’t, it’s not too late to plan ahead for the rest of the year. If you did set up a marketing plan, now that you’re a month into the year, you should have a little bit better understanding of how it may work. Were you too ambitious? Too lax? Just right?

Social Media Focus: Spring Cleaning

With the holidays behind us and warm temperatures ahead (especially for our San Antonio and Houston audience!), many people are feeling the itch of clutter. Highlight tips for organization, cleaning, decluttering and more on your social media accounts. Help your contacts get that nice and fresh feeling!

Social Media Challenge: Who Are You?

In January, we challenged you to set aside some time to focus on social media. This month, we’re taking it a step further and we’re challenging you to post about YOU at least once a week. Tell your followers who you really are, whether it’s a selfie at a new listing, info on a new restaurant you tried, or info on your involvement in your community, church, school, etc. More people choose to do business with people they know – so let them see the real you!

Do You Have A Perfect Tagline?

There are many companies that can be identified just by their tagline or slogan.

“Just Do It”

“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.”

“The quicker picker upper”

We’d like to bet you can identify the companies associated with the taglines above just by the line alone. The good news is, you don’t have to have a global platform to benefit from a good tagline. Local brands and small businesses can still make a memorable impression with a unique slogan. Don’t have a tagline yet? We’re here to help.

Find Inspiration In What You Already Have: Most potential customers will see your business name and logo before they hear your tagline. Let the look of your logo and the qualities of your business lead you into a strong slogan.

Don’t Overcomplicate It: You want your tagline to be something catchy and memorable. Don’t get too wordy or complicated. Most of the world’s best-known slogans only have between 4 and 6 words. Use words that are easy to understand and define, and make sure the wording of the tagline flows easily so that clients can remember it well.

Brainstorm a Word List: Aside from using obvious real estate terms, think about what makes your business stand out from the competition. What’s important to you? What do your clients say about your quality of service? After you’ve made a word list based on these things, focus on the words that seem to call out to you. Focusing on words that hold some personal meaning to you will get you closer to a strong line.

Use A Call To Action If It Works For Your Brand: Consumers respond well to action words and encouragement. Think about Nike’s “Just Do It” or McDonald’s 80s slogan, “You deserve a break today.” Don’t underestimate the power of suggestion.

Consult Friends and Family: Don’t rely solely on your own opinion. Seek out the opinion of those important to you. They may catch something in your new tagline that you didn’t hear or offer a word or two to inspire a great change. Keep in mind as you ask around that you’ll never please everyone. Don’t let one or two negative comments sidetrack you from finding something you love.

Let It Go: Not every strong business has a slogan. And no slogan is better than a bad slogan. If you can’t create a tagline you’re crazy about, don’t sweat it. A lot of businesses can get by without one at all.

Are you paying yourself enough?

If you work for yourself, like many do in the real estate industry, it’s important to know the true value of your time. Driving to and from appointments, working on contracts, attending CE classes, and networking, among other activities, can take a toll on your day. Before you spread yourself too thin, you’ll want to understand just what you’re giving up when you commit to one more thing.

Take a look at the Time Value Calculator or take this quiz at Clearer Thinking.

When you understand the value of each hour of your day, you’ll be in a better position to schedule your tasks and to decide what you want to outsource and what you can tackle on your own. For certain responsibilities, you may find it more financially viable to hire outside help for a lower rate than your own time is worth.

Say that your free time is worth around $20 per hour: If hiring an employee will cost you about $12 and save you an hour compared to doing the work yourself,  then it might be the right call. If it’s going to cost you closer to $20, you should probably reconsider. You can use your new knowledge to help you figure out:

  • Whether you should order in or cook
  • Whether you should hire someone to organize your office
  • Whether to hire someone to manage your social media accounts
  • Whether time spent on the phone with customer service to save $X is worth it
  • Whether or not it’s time to move on from a stalling client

The calculators linked above are meant to act as guides, not gospel truth. You will also want to factor in your personal budget, your own enjoyment of certain tasks, and more. Regardless, knowing your value is always a good thing.

What bugs customers most about “Sales People”

It’s no surprise that consumers aren’t comfortable around salespeople. But could your sales tactics be hurting your chances of winning your next client? Here are just a few things that could be causing your leads to run the other way.  

1. Not Really Listening

Professionals in any kind of sales industry have a reputation for pushing for a sale so hard that their customer’s needs are ignored. Time is precious to all of us and a customer that doesn’t feel important to you won’t waste their time. Whether your lead is telling you they aren’t ready yet to buy or sell, or your current client wants to take a break from house hunting, make sure you’re listening well and acting accordingly.

2. Not Following Through On Your Promises

It’s not enough to speak confidently – your actions need to be able to back up your pitch. Take a thorough assessment of how you’re marketing yourself online and in the materials you send out. Are you truly an expert in the areas you claim? Does your branding match the “real” you? Nothing will shake a potential client’s trust more than making an appointment with the “you” they found online and showing up to meet someone completely different. Furthermore, keep their trust by doing what you say you’ll do. When you say, “I’ll be in touch by the end of the day,” keep that promise!

3. Not Being Honest

Though you may be tempted to slip in a little white lie every once in a while to keep a client interested, this is the absolute worst thing you can do. Not only is it unethical, but it can only hurt your client retention and referral rates. Be honest and upfront about important details, especially as you get close the transaction itself and need to be dealing with deadlines, paperwork, and other parties.        

Want a better response to your blog? It all starts with better content.

We are living in a magical time. In a world full of platforms to showcase your knowledge and skill, you no longer have to wait for someone to recognize your expertise – you can declare it!

You may have heard it a million times, but writing a blog is a great way to set yourself apart from your competitors and establish yourself as an expert in your field. But when it comes right down to it, blogging takes time – our most valuable luxury. The idea of adding one more thing to your daily tasks is almost impossible to think about.  However, with a small time investment and a good roadmap to getting there, creating good content isn’t so impossible.

Get A Good Title

It would be nice if we could make people click on blog posts and read great content, but we have to draw them in with a strong headline. One of these 5 starters may help:

  1. Make A List: 10 Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Agent
  2. How to: How To Style Your Home On A Budget
  3. Question: What Does A New President Mean For The Housing Market?
  4. Controversy: You’ll Never Believe What’s Inside This House
  5. Numbers: This Step Will Increase Your Home’s Value By 5%

Focus On Your Intro

When you’ve got great content to share, it might be hard to think of a way to get started. You don’t want to jump too quickly into information. It will create a dry blog. Instead, use an opening sentence that builds curiosity. Ask a question of your audience, challenge an idea, or be a little silly to keep them reading. With blogs, like any form of social media, the tone should be light and conversational, not journalistic and stuffy.

Write Your Outline, Then Fill In Content

Once you know what you’re going to write about, jot down a simple outline to get your thoughts organized. This makes sure that you don’t leave out important information or get carried off on a tangent. Once your outline is solid, start filling in your ideas. Search engines grade posts on their readability, among other factors. Keep sentences short and break the content into small paragraphs. Your total word count should be around 400-600 words.

Link Where You Can

Your blog also grabs more attention from search engines when it links to sites with similar information. If you’re citing a source, add the link to the original material. The more connection your post seems to have with other relevant sites, the higher you’ll appear in search results.

Add Some Visuals

Pictures break up the content for your reader, but they also add weight to your search engine results, especially if the picture file names relate to the information in your blog. For example, if you’ve written a blog titled “5 Problems You Shouldn’t Overlook When House Hunting” and including a picture of a home, double check the file title and make sure you change it if necessary. A picture of a home titled “new-home.jpg” will get a lot more mileage than “image00159.jpg.”

Writing A Great Blog

Publish And Promote

Congratulations, your blog is looking good! But wait! How will anyone know it’s there? Make sure you share your content to social media to help drive visitors to your website. You can also send the link out in your next email blast, forward it to a client who may have asked about the information you’ve posted, or share it in a variety of other ways. The point is, if people don’t know it’s there, they may not go looking for it on their own.

January 17 is Get To Know Your Customers Day

In the real estate industry, understanding your client is probably the most important key to doing your job well. So, this January 17, on “Get To Know Your Customers” Day, we have a few things to keep in mind as you get to know your clients better.

  1. Hold An Event – A social mixer with a few former clients will help you get to know your client-base in a unique way. Attendees won’t be guarded as they relax and have a good time, and they’re more inclined to create a social bond with you. This will help you create a more friendly relationship rather than one based on a business transaction.
  2. Do Some Research – In the era of social media, so much of our information is online and available for all. Without digging too deep, run a social media search on a client to learn more about them and their hobbies. This information could help spark some conversation ideas and give you insight on who you’re working with.
  3. Create a Customer Profile File – A spreadsheet with need-to-know info could be a lifesaver for your business. Create a file that lists names, birthdays, hobbies, favorite sports teams, and more. Don’t forget to include favorite Starbucks drink order! You can collect all of this information with a quick and easy survey, then use the data to remind you to send a quick note when their team wins the Super Bowl, a birthday greeting, or a link to a fun class or event you think they’d enjoy.
  4. Pay Attention! – Your clients are dropping clues all day long about who they are and what they like. At the end of a meeting, give yourself 5 extra minutes to jot down some things they may have said. Did they mention their pets? Did they talk about their children’s hobbies? Holding on to these small pieces of information and finding a way to acknowledge them later will highlight your thoughtfulness and dedication.
  5. Follow Up – Your client may be happily living in their new home, but don’t forget to follow up! Check in from time to time to catch up! Remember to be sincere in your approach. If a former client can tell that you’re only looking for a referral or a repeat customer, they’ll run for the hills! Make it friendly and personable. Don’t mention business unless they do first.