The Ultimate Google Guide For Realtors

| Monday
Why real estate agents should use Google Services:

Google can help you generate real estatereferrals & leads

Google has more real estate searches than other search engines combined, & more unique visitors than all real estate specific web sites.

Google is the most-used search engine for researching & purchasing real estate information & services.

The Google network reaches over 80% of U.S. Internet Users.

Below is a link to the presentation that will show you the best Google tools to use to get the maximum exposure for your real estaste business.

Google for Real Estate Agents

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Social Media Marketing for Realtors

| Friday
Check out our latest presentation on the impact of Social Media Marketing on Real Estate. Learn how Social Media can help you generate new leads and get more sales. The facts might suprise you-watch it now:

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Creating a Profitable ROI with Social Media Marketing in 2010

| Monday
The most common question I hear as a Social Media Marketing Consultant is this:

How do I get the highest ROI from my social media marketing campaign?

Businesses want to know what the return on investment is for using social media, but it's a complex question to answer for many reasons. Like any other marketing plan it depends greatly on the investment you put in.

The most important thing to remember is that you actually have to make an investment to expect any kind of return. Another interesting point is that looking only at the bottom line does not give you a full scope of what your return has been. The main difference is that social media is not only a tool for marketing; it is also a great customer service tool and provides open interaction with your consumers.

Another common question is what are other businesses doing? It's a good question to ask especially if you are looking at direct competition, but ultimately looking at how other businesses use social media can only reveal a fraction of what you need to know. Social media is based on the relationships you build with people and the consumers you are interacting with. That is going to be different for every business.

So how do you get the best ROI from social media marketing?

There is no magic formula that will get you results because this marketing plan should be customized for every business or professional individually. You actually do need to invest time and money in order to expect the best return. The biggest problem with most business is that spend tons of money setting up a social media marketing plan and then never consistently engage consumers with it. Social Media is not something you can set up and forget. For example a Facebook page for your business with no updates or calls to action for your consumers is doing nothing for you. You have to actually engage your consumers in order to get a return on your investment and that requires consistent plans to develop content and engage interaction.

The number one reason businesses fail with social media is that they try to go it alone and end up feeling like they waste all of their time with social media getting no return at all. This can often be one of the biggest mistakes-simply because most businesses do not have the skills to successfully implement this type of marketing plan. You end up wasting time and resources because you don't know how to use social media efficiently or effectively. What this means is that you can not think of social media as a one time project-this is something that takes time and effort to work effectively. Consider using a professional social media consultant to help develop or manage your plan.

Generally in business you need to realize that your return is only as good as your investment-this means if you plan and use your resources wisely then you will end up with a better return. The strict picture of ROI is the bottom line-but that is not the approach you need to have when considering social media. There are more advantages to your business in developing a strong social media presence than just the bottom line return. By engaging your consumers you can gain valuable insight into what they want and with excellent customer service you will increase your consumers' loyalty and referral business as well. Yes, businesses need to think of the bottom line-but they also need to recognize that to get to the bottom line investments must be made, processes need to developed, and relationships need to be built. Without these things, a profitable bottom line cannot be achieved.

Social media is one of the only ways to directly target your demographics, you can advertise directly to your consumers based on exact demographics giving you higher conversion rates on your ads. With all these things being said I encourage you to consider using social media because it can be one of the most profitable forms of marketing for your business if you do it the right way.

For those who want to learn more about how to create a profitable ROI using our practical guide to social media marketing download our free e-book here:

A Practical Guide To Social Media Marketing: The Essential Steps to creating a profitable ROI

If you had any lingering doubts that social networking is here to stay, doubt no longer.

Here are some interesting facts about social media:

Social Media is currently the #1 activity on the Web

The American Dialect Society announced that "tweet: is the top word for 2009, and "Google" is the top word of the past decade.

By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers....96% of them have joined a social network

78% of consumers trust peer recommendations & only 14% trust advertisements

80% of Twitter usage is outside of Twitter...people update anywhere, anytime...imagine what that means for bad customer experiences? Twitter also grew by over 500% this year.

Facebook has over 350,000,000 active users world wide and they share over 1.5 million items daily-do you know what they are saying about you and your brand?

Facebook reaches 56% of the active U.S. Internet universe with an average usage of 6 hrs a month per user

Time spent on social networking sites in the U.S. increased 277% this year

Sources: Socialnomics, Techcrunch, Facebook, Twitter

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Best Real Estate Widgets-Must Have Tools For Realtors

| Tuesday
We have all seen the cool blogs on-line with flash animation and all kinds of extra goodies on the sidebar. If you want to add some awesome to your blog or website then take a look at this carefully comprised list of the TOP FREE REAL ESTATE WIDGETS!
You may have heard the word "widget" before but do you really know what a widget is? In simple terms adding a widget (sometimes also referred to as a badge or feed) to your website or blog is like inserting a window or a special box that can pull information from a third party resource. Not only are all of these extras really useful they are all also 100% FREE! So here you go:


Share on Facebook - A simple widget that allows your readers to share items from your blog on Facebook.
Add This - The popular social bookmarking button is available.
Twitter - Add your Twitter stream to your blog and display anywhere from your last tweet to the last twenty. Also gives a link for people to be able to follow you.
Skype - The official Skype widget allows you to create various buttons that can show your current status and also allows people to just click it and give you a call.
Meebo Me - Meebo Me will allow you to create a chat box that you can install on your Blogger page, giving you the chance to converse with visitors to your site.
Jaxtr - Create a widget that allows people to call you on the phone without revealing the phone number to them.
MyBlogLog - If someone visits your blog that is also a member of MyBlogLog, their avatar and username will appear in the box. You can then click on any person to check out their profile on the service.
LinkedInABox - LinkedInABox retrieves your LinkedIn profile to display on your blog, allowing people to look through things such as your specialties and experience.
Flickr- You can generate an HTML or Flash based badge of your photo stream to share your images with your visitors.
PollDaddy - PollDaddy lets you create beautiful polls in no time, and display them at your blog.
Odeo player - display an Odeo player for and podcast right there in your sidebar.
YouTube Video Gallery: showcase your YouTube videos (like property tours)

Eppraisal Widgets
City Home Values: Include median home values for a city of your choice and an easy way for your visitors to look up their own. Including this widget in your site can reinforce your commitment to serve a particular market effectively and satisfy your visitor's curiosity all in one easy-to-use widget.
Home Values: Include this redesign of our classic home value widget to allow your visitors to quickly get an eppraisal home valuation for any address they choose.
Trulia Widgets (this links to the widget homepage so you can view all options)
Trulia Stats: Shows a graph of the median or average listing price and listing volume for any location you choose.
Trulia Map: TruliaMap is a free tool to help real estate professionals showcase their listings on an interactive, easy-to-use map on their Websites.
TruliaHomeroll: The TruliaHomeroll widget shows the latest properties for sale on Trulia in your local area.
Mortgage Rates:Live rates for mortgages & mortgage rate calculators
Home Staging RSS Feed: Home Staging Ideas and examples
Slide: allows you to quickly create an embeddable Flash graphic very quickly-which can be used for creating a virtual tour or listing presentation, etc.
Vflyer Listings Widget: Post classified ads on any website or blog through the vFlyer listing widget. Works like a self service banner ad. Simply get a vFlyer account (free for consumers), create attractive classified ads or "virtual flyers" and you are ready to syndicate them using the vFlyer listing widget.
Rentbits Widget: displays the current average rental price for up to any four locations for comparing rental prices.
Postlets.com: this is a property syndication website that is completely free which develops a single property webpage (branded with your information) that allows you to then use an embed code for your property flyer!
Facebook Listing Widget: By Realtor.com (display them on your wall for free with this widget on Facebook.)
Top Producer Market Snapshot: Free application (If you are a Top Producer market snapshot user) allows you to add your listings to your Facebook profile & Fan pages.
Still want more- check out this article: Social Media Marketing Tips
If you want to add more options to your blog but don't know how to use these applications feel free to contact me, your Real Estate Virtual Assistant, for help getting it all set up.

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Spend Less Time on Social Media and Still Get Results

| Monday
Many people get overwhelmed by spending so much time on social media that it takes away from other important tasks each day. Here I share some of my tips on how to spend less than an hour a day on social media. The key is to focus on the most important aspects of social media: Observe. Participate. Grow.

First, spend 15 minutes a day observing your network. See what others in your professional network are saying. You will often find useful information just by looking at updates within your network. Plus this will give you some opportunities to engage communication with those in your current network.

Next, spend 15-20 minutes participating in your social media network by updating your status or adding information to your network. Impossible you say—not if you know how to take shortcuts! If you haven’t yet check out Ping.fm. This is a wonderful application that will automatically post your updates to all of your social network sites at once-yes all at once. Meaning you type it once and it sends out your update to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Here are some other things to keep in mind when you consider what you are going to post. It is never a good idea to send out meaningless posts or pointless messages-this may make people skip your meaningful posts later. Always try to post substantial information on your network that will actually be worth reading. It is also a good idea to separate your professional and personal contacts on your networks—that way you segment the information appropriately to each group.

Finally, spend 15 minutes a day developing new relationships. This will help you to continue growing your network each day. This can be accomplished through participation on social networks, through reading new blogs and commenting, or participating in group discussions, etc.

P.S. Don’t forget it is okay to say NO to requests for access through your networks-you don’t have to accept every application request people send you-especially when you use your social media network professionally—this can end up being a real drain on your time if you let it.

For more tips on social media marketing check out this article Starting a Social Media Marketing Campaign.

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Drowning in Social Media? A Social Media Virtual Assistant Just Might Rescue You!

| Tuesday

The growing popularity in social media has created great anxiety among many businesses about how to use them and how to create a profitable ROI using them. Social Media is the buzz in many marketing departments these days, and the biggest concern is how to spend time and resources wisely when using Social Media. So how can you build your company's social media presence when it seems like the next hottest thing is popping up every few seconds? One way is to utilize a social media virtual assistant, someone who is knowledgeable and can help you optimize your return on investment while promoting a positive image for you and your business in social media networks.

Creating a successful social media marketing strategy is a very complex process and often times leaves you frustrated and overwhelmed if you really don’t know what you are doing. In order to achieve a profitable ROI it is very important to strategically plan your social media campaign. First, you need to research your current industry to see where your consumers are already gathering online.

Once you have established key locations to engage your consumers you need to then establish a plan to generate interaction with them. This is the hard part. It is sometimes difficult to determine whether you should engage in a conversation that's happening about your company, products or services. It is also usually a challenge to develop quality content—a common misconception is that quantity is more important when it comes to social media—this is false. People have trained themselves to ignore those little ad-like posts and simply skip over them while browsing. Think about it—when is the last time you actually read a post that looked like an advertisement? You also need to choose content that is easily shareable-but how do you decide what type of content to use with so many options? A social media professional will help you weed out time wasting tasks while helping you focus on generating quality content that will get you results.

How do you calculate your ROI? This depends on the investment of time and resources used in executing a social media strategy and the actual costs of any targeted advertising within social media platforms. A successful strategy will create new leads and drive new sales while building customer loyalty at the same time for repeat and referral business. You have to really consider the amount of time you are actually spending on these tasks.

Can you research on-line and read countless how to guides for Social Media marketing? Yes.

Can you spend hours working on social media instead of running your business? Yes.

Can you struggle with learning new platforms and technologies in order to promote yourself on-line? Yes.

The real question is why in the world would you-when you can easily and affordably outsource this work to trained social media virtual assistant who could handle it all for you?

If you really want to achieve a profitable ROI it may be well advised to use professional support for creating your social media marketing strategy. A social media virtual assistant will know how to best use the tools and platforms to optimize your strategy. If you are overwhelmed with the tasks involved in implementing your social media marketing campaign, then outsourcing to a social media virtual assistant may save you valuable time, resources and money. With the demand increasing daily for your market position on-line can you afford to start a New Year without a fresh marketing campaign?

With the increased demand for social media services we are now offering a Free Social Media Marketing Consultation to help you get your marketing in gear for New Year. Just complete the form and we will contact you for your free no obligation consultation.


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Starting a Social Media Campaign: Basic Ideas for Social Media Marketing Strategy

Here are a few social media ideas designed for those companies who are just beginning to engage with social media marketing. This initial strategy will help show some benefits of social media marketing services while limiting the risk involved.

  1. Internal Communication - One of the often overlooked social media advantages is that they can often be used privately for internal communication. You can create a password protected workspace for collaborating, a corporate blog, a private intranet or you could start with some online training.
  2. Web Conferencing- Another great option would be to utilize professional web conferencing. This is a wonderful way to engage in social media. The next time you have a planned conference that would normally require travel utilize a free trail from a web conference company online to try it out. This is a great social media tool and as a bonus, it is a great way to save money on travel expenses!
  3. Content Sharing- One of the concepts becoming a huge force in the future of social media marketing is the idea of content curation. First, you simply find content that already exists and then share it in some sort of useful format, such as a blog. The greatest advantage with this activity is that at first it requires no content creation. It also helps brands to ease into social media simply by finding what is already out there and bringing it together in a useful way. This is a great way to share relevant information with your audience without the pressure of coming up with new content (just be sure to observe copyrights and always post sources).
  4. Industry Tracking- Though it is common to hear that you should be listening online, what is often disregarded is how you should be focusing on keywords for the industry that you are in. See what words people are using to talk about your industry online and you can learn how you might be able to make your business or brand more shareable with your social media marketing efforts. Twitter is a great tool to use for searching keyword content for your industry—simply enter your industry as the search term and see what posts come up—you can easily scan the posts to see what words people are commonly using within posts that are relevant to your industry. This will help you better target your market with your social media strategy.
  5. YouTube Channel - Many businesses or brands have videos that were produced for some reason, maybe for sales training or as advertising. Posting these videos onto YouTube is an easy way to share content that you already have. It is cost effective and gets you started with the process of uploading, tagging and sharing your content online. If you are worried about possible comments on your channel simply disable the commenting option-instead offer a link on the page for private feedback if you wish.

    As an internet marketing specialist and social media marketing consultant I have developed this initial social media strategy to assist those companies just beginning to use social media and internet marketing. If you are interested in social media but are not sure where to start with the technology involved a virtual assistant may be a great option to get you started with using social media marketing.

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