What You Need To Know About Facebook’s Business Page Changes

If you have a Facebook business page, you’ve probably noticed that your page is looking a lot more polished these days. With an updated layout, including a very clear side menu and distinctly different look from your personal page, business pages are taking on a “website” look.

Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing that has changed for businesses. When user feedback reported that people were dissatisfied with the ratio of business to personal posts on their newsfeeds, Facebook changed their algorithm to make it harder for business posts to get attention.

So what can you do about it?

LIVE VIDEOS

Starting in March 2016, Facebook’s algorithms started heavily favoring Live Videos. In real estate, this is an easy format to use. Show off a new listing! Introduce a vendor! Take your audience through a day in the life of an agent. Your followers will get a notification that you are “going live” and pull focus to your page.

ENCOURAGE INTERACTION

Facebook favors popular posts. When you post something new, ask family and friends who you are comfortable with to like or share the content. The more likes, shares, and comments a post has, the more likely it is to appear on a someone’s feed. Be careful with this one and use it sparingly – you don’t want something to seem inauthentic.

POST AT THE RIGHT TIME

For maximum interaction and visibility, post when other businesses and personal pages may not be active. Early in the morning and late at night are slower posting times and your post has a higher likelihood of reaching viewers’ feeds as soon as they wake up!

SPONSORED POSTS

In comparison with almost any other form of advertising, Facebook Ads are very affordable. You can set your budget starting around $5.00 a day and limit your total expense upfront. When targeted correctly, these ads are well worth their minimal cost!

 

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Facebook Business: Effective Posts for Your Business Page

Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm History

Better Branding: Using Color To Tell Your Story

Whether you are creating a logo, customizing your website, or creating flyers and business cards, your goal is to tell your potential clients what they can expect from you. Color plays a big part in this process as most of us associate certain colors with concrete feelings, attitudes, and tones. So what is your logo saying about you?

Branding and Color

RED

Red is powerful and dynamic, reflecting youth, boldness, and energy when used in a brand. Depending on the other visual elements of your brand, it can portray friendliness and strength or come across as aggressive. If you want to get attention quickly, red is your color.

ORANGE

Orange comes across as friendly, cheerful, and confident when used in branding. Borrowing power and strength from red and optimism from yellow, orange is a great option for conveying comfort and warmth.

YELLOW

People tend to associate yellow with optimism and happiness. It is the easiest color for the human eye to see and the first color that infants respond to.  However, if you use too much yellow, it can convey anxiety and caution (think warning signs when you’re on the road). You’ll notice that most successful brands that use yellow use it along with another color to neutralize it just a little bit.

GREEN

Green makes us think of peace, healthiness and positive growth (whether in plants or in wealth). It is a color of balance and harmony. If you want your customers to think of restfulness, peace, and a balance of logic and emotion, consider green in your logo. It has one of the most positive responses among the colors.

BLUE

Blue is the most popular color according to personal tastes of both men and women. It evokes feelings of trust and dependability. Blue is reliable and responsible – we associate it with sensibility. When used the wrong way, it can be perceived as cold or unfriendly, because it is one of the last colors our eyes recognize, as opposed to yellow, which is the first color most people notice. If your focus is on building relationships based on trust, blue may be your perfect color.

PURPLE

Purple gives us several different meanings, including creativity, wealth, and spirituality. Using red’s energy and blue’s dependability, purple conveys imagination and balance and mystery. Interestingly enough, purple is the color most likely to cause our minds to wander, so you may want to couple it with another color in your logo.

PINK

Pink, being a softer and less intense version of red, reflects compassion, care, and understanding. Obviously, it has romantic and feminine notes as well, which complement that nurturing feeling. Where red stimulates, pink soothes. Too much pink can come across as submissive and immature, but can be coupled well with others to convey your message.

BROWN

Brown is high on the list of least favorite colors among both men and women. While it’s not very visually stimulating, it does reflect stability, sensibility and structure. The “boringness” of brown lends our minds to dependability and protection. It’s a serious color, so if you’re looking to give a feeling of being down-to-earth without coming across as bland, adding another color is a great idea.

BLACK

Black is serious, disciplined and luxurious. It also reflects control and sophistication. It is a powerful color. If you want to be taken seriously, incorporate black into your branding.

What is SEO?

What is SEO? You’ve probably heard the term thrown around in meetings about websites and social media. And you may already know that it stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” But what does that mean?

SEO for Real Estate

In short, SEO is the process of getting traffic to your website from the free and organic search results on search engines.

How Search Engines Rank Sites

When someone searches for a term using Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., the search engine gets information from your page and every other page on the internet to determine what sites are the most relevant to the topic. You can pay, of course, for an ad that puts your information front and center for certain search terms. However, by using the right SEO strategy, you can earn a higher ranking without spending any of your advertising budget. Here’s what goes into search result ranking:

Clicks Help SEO

Each time someone searches for “New Homes in Texas”, the search engine will keep track of which results are clicked most often. The website with the most clicks will earn a higher ranking. This is a very difficult component to change. If a website has earned a top spot in a search result, it will continue to earn more clicks. If your page is appearing on the fourth, fifth, or later page in the results, it will be very difficult for you to get more organic clicks.

Content Helps SEO

This is one of the best and easiest ways to impact your position in the results. Sites like Google look at the words populating your site. If people are searching for “real estate agent”, search engines look for how many times those words appear on your pages. This is why blogging is a great idea! Instead of having five or six pages on your site that point Google in the right direction, a regularly updated blog can add an ever-increasing number of pages.

You may have seen places for “Meta Title”, “Meta Description” and “Meta Tags” at the bottom of a website editing program. These things are embedded in the page’s code, rendering them invisible to your viewer, but very visible to search engines. Again, these all help tell the search engines what your page is about.

Links Help SEO

It’s all about relevance. Adding links to other pages on your site is helpful, as long as the links are relevant to the services you’re offering. So, by linking to your brokerage website, to lenders, title companies, inspectors, and other vendors, you’re helping search engines recognize your value to the topic at hand. If other sites link back to you, it’s even better!

Updates Help SEO

A site that isn’t updated regularly won’t look relevant to search engines. To improve your SEO, make sure your site is regularly updated. Blogs, again, are a great way to update regularly, add content, and add links.


SOURCES AND FURTHER READING:
https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
http://www.mtu.edu/umc/services/digital/seo/
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/SEO.html

 

3 Reasons To Start Blogging Today

In Real Estate, taking the time to start blogging might seem like an impossibility. There are so many things that demand your time and attention, and it can be frustrating to add another to the pile. However, adding a blog to your website will go a long way to growing your business.

Blogging for Real Estate

Here’s why you should consider adding a blog:

A blog drives traffic to your website.

Each day, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines send their feelers out to crawl through the internet and determine what’s important to each subject. Think of how many pages there are on your website right now. Your pages probably look similar to this list: Home, About, Buying, Selling, Resources, Contact. And other than an automated feed from MLS for your listings, you probably don’t ever need to update anything.

Search engines look for keywords, updates, and new information as they populate their search results. Think of each page on your website as acting like a sign post for a search engine. If you have 5 to 6 pages and the last time you changed anything on your site was last year, you have a few old and battered sign posts telling people where to go. Each time you add a blog, you’re updating and adding valuable information. If you blog once a week, your site will grow from 5 to 57 pages in a calendar year. Those 57 pages, are now 57 well-updated sign posts, helping to point your potential customers in the right direction.

Tie your new posts into social media and you start doubling your exposure! Remember, it takes most search engines 60-90 days to pick up on your new information, so you may not see your time investment pay off immediately – but it is worth it!

NOTE: It’s important to make sure your SEO is in order…more on this in our next blog!

 

Blogging turns a reader into a lead.

Think of this: you found a great article on RealSimple.com on updating your home with paint. You share it on Facebook, your potential client clicks on the link to read the article, then sees the other content Real Simple is offering. Suddenly, they’re in surfing mode (as many of us have been), clicking on links about healthy school lunches, cleaning tips, and family activities. You had them on your social media page, and you lost them.

Instead, take that same information, adapt it to your expertise, credit the article and maybe find another source or two to draw from, and post it as a blog. (Be very careful to avoid plagiarizing. Use your own words and attribute quotes from others when necessary.) This time, you’re posting the same useful content, but the link brings potential customers to your own page. Now, if they get distracted and start to surf, they’re surfing through your page, your blog posts, your listings. You had them, and you KEPT them.

Blogging declares your expertise.

You know your strengths and weaknesses. You know what sets you apart from your competition. Blogging allows you to establish yourself as an authority in the industry without screaming it out loud. Are you an expert in staging? Blog about it. Are you skilled at explaining the complicated process of buying a home to a first-time buyer? Perfect for a blog! Use those traits that make you the best at what you do to help others and build your expert reputation.

Blogs don’t always have to offer advice and information. You can post about the daily life of a real estate agent, a new listing, a home that just sold, or an award you received. All of these things help to create an image in your prospective clients’ mind.

Better Ways to Ask Basic Questions

We’ve all been there. You meet a new client or colleague and exchange basic pleasantries, but once the basic information has been covered, the awkward silence ensues and you’re struggling to fill it up with small talk. An uncomfortable room can be avoided altogether with a couple of small changes to the way you ask questions. The biggest mistake most people make is asking questions that require definitive “yes” and “no” answers or simple responses and not allowing conversation to flow beyond that.

How are you?

“How are you?” has become such a regular part of our greetings that it’s hardly a question anymore. Most of us respond with “fine” whether or not it’s the truth. Change this question slightly to show a genuine interest in your conversation partner. Ask, “Have you had a good week so far?” or “How was your weekend?” to show that your interest is genuine.

What do you do for a living?

The answer to this question requires a very brief answer and won’t drive the conversation ahead. Instead, try “How did you get into your line of work?” or “How do you spend most of your time?” Phrasing the questions this way does more than just give you an extended answer. It also places the focus of your question on the person rather than the occupation.

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

Again, this question needs just a one word answer. Vary the question by asking, “Have you lived here long?” Though the corresponding answer may still be a short one, chances are you’ll get more information than the alternatives. When you’ve got your answer, continue with prompts like, “Tell me about your hometown,” or asking about their experiences growing up locally to keep your conversation partner talking.

Nice weather we’re having, isn’t it?

Weather questions are such a small talk cliche! However, you can still use the weather to generate good conversation. Once again, you’ll want to turn the focus toward your client or colleague instead of the subject at hand. Instead of putting the weather at the center of your question, ask “Do you enjoy this kind of weather?” or “What do you do when it’s pouring like this?”

The biggest changes to implement in these and other questions are to (a) makes sure that questions are open ended, requiring more than a yes/no response or short answer, and (b) put the focus on the person rather than the subject of the question.  Use the responses you get as inspiration for your follow up questions and the conversation will be flowing naturally!


Sources and Further Reading
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/08/better-small-talk-weather-boring_n_5656105.html
http://ideas.ted.com/how-to-turn-small-talk-into-smart-conversation/
http://conversation-skills-core.com/questions-boost-conversation

Frontier Family Spotlight: Becky Steinbrecher

 

becky

This month, we’re excited to introduce you to Becky Steinbrecher, Escrow Officer from the Katy Office. Becky joined Frontier Title Company in January 2012 after a career in real estate. We asked Becky a few questions about herself and her experience working at Frontier Title Company. 

What do you think sets Frontier Title Company apart?

We care.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The smiles on the buyers, sellers and agents when they leave our office.

What are three of your defining traits?  

Honest, Hardworking and Loyal

What is your personal philosophy?

Do what you can to make life easier for others.

How do you define success?

Success is living life to the fullest.

How do you spend your time outside of work?

With my family.  We love to watch movies or TV shows we’ve taped.  Sounds boring but a good way to relax.  I help with our sacrament program at church. Bible study. Work Bingo at church once a month.  

 

To contact Becky Steinbrecher, email bsteinbrecher@frontiertitletexas.com or call the Katy Office at 281.391.9181.

The Resource: October 2016

We’re happy to share some great articles with you this month. Please feel free to pass these along to clients, friends and family.

Halloween Tips

Around The House

Food

Buying And Selling

Great Ideas

Staying Organized!

Staying organized during a busy season can be daunting, or even impossible, for some. Here are some great ways to cut down on the clutter and keep your clients’ files controlled.

desk-clutter-1530033-640x480

In The Office

  • Before you file anything, take a real look at what you’re putting away. Many of us stack papers and pile things up that we may never need or look at again. Realtor.org recommends that you “organize those you must keep so they correspond with how you transact business. For instance, arrange papers by prospect or neighborhood. Make one file each for maps, expense reports, and legal documents.”
  • Use different colors for folders or tabs to indicate the types of files in your system. And of course, make sure everything is clearly labeled for easy retrieval.
  • If something can be scanned and saved electronically – do it. Keep it all safe in a cloud-based system like Google Drive, Dropbox, or similar.
  • Finally, use a quiet day to organize the paperwork and do it frequently to avoid getting overwhelmed.

On The Road

  • Keep your papers in a plastic file case to make things easier to tote so that your important documents won’t be left behind, damaged by rain, ruined by food, etc.
  • Find a container that you can easily store on the floor of the backseat to keep the things you often need, like an umbrella, clipboard, measuring tape, air fresheners, etc. By keeping it all in one handy container, you’ll be able to carry things easily into the house and unload at your own office or home.

Helpful Apps

  • Apps like Everlance and MileIQ will track your mileage automatically so you’ll have it at your fingertips at tax time.
  • Circle Back will clean and complete contact information and merge duplicates so that your list can stay up to date.
  • If you’re looking to simplify your social media pursuits, Pocket is an easy to use bookmark tool that helps you to save content and articles you find on the web to your “pocket,” making it much easier to access (and remember) for your blog or newsletters later.

 

What tools do you use to keep your business in order? We’d love to hear about them!

Using LinkedIn to Boost Your Real Estate Business

In this social-media-saturated world, chances are you have a Facebook page. You probably even have a Facebook business page, and a Twitter account. You may even have an Instagram if you’re really in the know. But what does your LinkedIn page look like? LinkedIn seems to be a lost resource for many real estate agents. That might be because of the perception that it’s used mostly by people looking for employment opportunities. This is not the case and, hopefully, by using some of the tips below, you’ll grow your business by using LinkedIn well.

LinkedIn may have a reputation as a job search site, but you should consider it as a 24/7 networking event for business professionals. Even better, it’s an event that will give you time to speak your mind, tell others about what you do, and make the case for what makes you better than your competition.

Step One: Look The Part

You wouldn’t ever arrive at a networking event dressed casually. Make sure your picture is recent, professionally taken, and cropped well. Snapshots and family photos have no place here – your profile picture makes a difference.

Step Two: Complete Your Information

You’d never hand someone an outdated business card. Make sure that your profile information is complete. Your summary, current role, and previous positions should be detailed and written in the first person. LinkedIn, like all social media, is conversational. Consider recording yourself speaking about who you are and what you do, then transcribe it to make sure it truly “sounds” like you. People on LinkedIn are interested in your past experience, but if you have a gap in employment, irrelevant jobs in your history, or a job you only took for a few months, it’s okay to omit the information. It’s more beneficial to see the positions that helped you become the amazing professional you are today.

Step Three: Connect

In the world of LinkedIn, connecting with acquaintances, or even people you’d like to get to know better, doesn’t have the creepiness factor that Facebook does. Growing your network is important (we’ll get more into this in Step Five). When you send or accept a connection request, send along a quick note. The note can be as simple as, “It was great meeting you last week” or “I really admire you and I’d love to connect.” Again, at a live networking event, you’d want to reach out to others. Standing on the sidelines won’t help you grow your business.

Step Four: Interact

LinkedIn gives you lots of opportunities to interact with others. You can comment on articles and updates, congratulate colleagues on promotions, new positions, work anniversaries, wish people a happy birthday, etc. All of these instances give you an opportunity to send a personal note. Leave business out of it and send your genuine well-wishes. You’ll be happy to reinforce the connection and the recipient will be appreciative of a sincere message without a sales piece.

Step Five: Publish

Now that you’ve got a strong audience (thanks, Step Three!), you’ll want to remind them that you’re there. By publishing links to articles, quotes, and status updates, your network will recognize you as an authority in your field.

 


SOURCES AND FURTHER READING:

So You’re On LinkedIn – Now What?
9 Effortless Ways to Use LinkedIn to Generate Real Estate Leads
How to Use LinkedIn for Real Estate Leads

Open House Tips from Retail Psychology

Did you know that when stores pipe in a vanilla scent, customers are more likely to impulse buy? When preparing an Open House, a vanilla scent may lure buyers into considering the property, but impulsive decisions don’t often end well for either party. Likewise, the smell of cleaning products, particularly orange scented products, gives consumers a feeling generosity.  The clean, orange smell may help your potential buyers see the value of a home.

There are so many things that influence the way we buy. Retail stores have used psychological triggers to their advantage for years. And some of those same tips may help you sell more quickly!

SCENT

As stated above, vanilla scents lead to more impulse purchases, while clean scents lead to generosity. And of course, most of us have heard that the scent of baking bread, or even bacon, gives many people a feeling of “Home Sweet Home”. So, for your next open house, ditch the vanilla candle and try something new!

COLOR

Our minds are easily provoked by color, which is why color psychology should be considered when staging or even repainting a home to sell.

Red – Red gives consumers a sense of urgency and encourages people to take action quickly.

Blue – Blue gives us feelings of trust and security. It may be the perfect choice for a great home in a less-than-ideal neighborhood.

Green – Green is calming and soothing and linked to growth and wealth.

Black – Black evokes class and sophistication, used most frequently when marketing luxury items.

MUSIC

If you’re hoping your potential buyers will linger and take their time as they walk through an open house, the right music can help. Music with a fast tempo increases heart rate and encourages us to move quickly. Conversely, a slower tempo helps us slow down and take our time.

Genre can make a difference as well. Consumers listening to classical music in a retail environment are more inclined to spend their money on luxury items. Customers listening to Top-40 pop music usually make smaller and cheaper purchases.

 

Sources and Further Reading:

Using Colors and Shapes to Convert Shoppers
6 Psychological Triggers that Win Sales
Smell Manipulation
Sight, Smell and Sound and Consumer Behavior