Effective Real Estate Call Capture Advertising For the Holidays

Even in a recession, individuals flock to shopping malls and places of business during the holidays. From stopping at gas stations on their way to holiday parties to shopping for gifts in department stores, people are out enjoying the jovial atmosphere during the holiday season. Because of this, companies often find the holidays to be an ideal time to advertise and grow their business. This is true for the real estate industry as well. While the holidays may not be a booming time for home sales, the beginning of a new year can be. Because a home buyer or seller usually ends up working with the first agent they talk to, now is a good time to pump up the advertising efforts. Catching buyers and sellers early in the decision making process is crucial.

Traditional methods such as holiday cards, signs, and billboards can no longer meet the growing needs of real estate agents who often work long, demanding hours. Agents cannot always answer every call that comes in. They many times don’t have the budgets to hire assistants to help them answer phones while they are showing properties or meeting with other clients. This means that the efforts spent on holiday advertising can be quickly lost on customers who call, do not receive an answer, and never call back.

Call capture, however, is an innovative tool for real estate agents who want to make the most of their advertising dollars during the holidays. This technology allows agents to not only have the ability to identify interested customers, but also to learn which of their holiday advertising methods work best. And because call capture allows callers to listen to a pre-recorded message, real estate agents are spared the need to answer every phone call.

By advertising their call capture numbers during the holidays, agents can grow their business. The holidays draw more people out of their homes and offices – they attend parties at homes and places of business, they shop in new neighborhoods, and they dine at new restaurants. With more people in the areas that an agent advertises in, the more likely it is that larger numbers of people will respond to advertisements. This is especially true when visitors to a neighborhood see a property that they are curious about or interested in. When real estate agents advertise their call capture numbers, these visitors can – with no pressure – place a phone call from their cell phones to listen to the pre-recorded message about the property.

Additionally, the holidays also provide many innovative ways to advertise call capture numbers. While signs in front of properties are an obvious example, holiday billboards, sponsorship of holiday events, and even cards and gifts allow real estate agents to extend pressure-free opportunities to consumers to learn more about their available properties and services. Holiday billboards give individuals a chance to offer holiday greetings, while advertising a call capture number that can encourage individuals who are interested in purchasing a home to call.

Many communities have holiday events such as plays, concerts, and school pageants. Donating to these events is a way to give back during the holidays, but sponsorship also comes with the opportunity to advertise on the event’s brochure or playbill. When real estate agents feature their call capture numbers, they have the opportunity to reach a larger customer base. Finally, holiday cards and gifts can also be advertising opportunities for the real-estate business. These opportunities, along with traditional ways of advertising in newspapers and newsletters, allow real estate agents the chance to give back to the community while still advertising their call capture number.

Further, by using call capture, real estate agents can quickly see a boost in their businesses. Because people are most likely still in the early stages of the decision making process during the holidays, they will be put at ease by knowing the can get a pre recorded message – not a high pressure sales pitch. Instead, customers can simply sit back and listen to the message describe the features of a specific property. At the same time, real estate agents are given access to the customer’s number through the call capture technology, allowing the agent to pursue the relationship with a friendly follow-up call. Finally, this technology allows real estate agents to make informed choices about where to advertise, since the call capture technology isolates and tracks which advertisement generated each call.

Surprising Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents Targeting Generation Y Homebuyers

Some real estate agents feel threatened by younger (“Generation Y”) home buyers. Granted, you may hit some speed bumps on your way to tapping this market, but don’t let that stop you. After all, Gen Y represents the new crop of home buyers and a tremendous economic force, regardless of overall economic conditions.

Take these tips to heart and you could be working in (and profiting from) this market, rather than shying away from it.

Generation Y refers to individuals born between the years of 1977 through 1995. Not only is this the Internet generation, this is the iPhone / “Internet in my pocket” generation. But don’t let that intimidate you. The fundamental rules of marketing still apply: Use the right medium to communicate the right message and you have the key to successfully targeting any audience.

The Right Medium for Targeting Gen-Y

So the first challenge is figuring out how to connect with the über-connected. As it turns out, it can actually be easier to reach this audience because they are always connected. It just means you have to be connected too.

And here’s the great thing: real estate agents can reach Gen-Y’ers without mastering “Web 2.0” or becoming an Internet marketing guru. Instead, be strategic. Cherry pick a few new ways to reach this audience based on what will return the greatest payout. For example, take five minutes right now and create a free account on Facebook – a social networking website.

The Gen Y demographic communicates differently. Many avoid speaking on the phone to anyone except those in their inner circle. Yet they’ll chat for hours online, communicate via text message nonstop, and love accumulating connections on Facebook and similar sites.

Two simple Facebook tips:

  • Tip #1: If you have a potential client, add him or her to your network. This makes it super easy for the client to ask questions and allows you to initiate conversations in a medium where Gen Y’ers feel comfortable.
  • Tip #2: When you have a hot, new listing, update your Facebook “status” and mention it.

Social networking is not the only way to reach younger generations. Video is another great Internet marketing technique for quickly spreading the word about a new real estate listing to the Gen-Y market. This is where YouTube comes into play.

YouTube is as easy to use as it is to say. Simply create an account and post your real estate video tours for free. By posting video tours to YouTube, you’re again putting yourself where Gen-Y’ers are looking. Don’t know how to create a video? Post an ad on Craigslist and have a Gen-Y’er create the video for you or better yet, teach you. How’s that for really tapping a market!

Maybe even with these techniques you’re struggling to get exposure for your listings on the Internet. Here’s another simple solution: Promote your listings on specialty real estate sites. Warning – don’t plug and chug all of your listings into every site out there. Instead, strategically map out which listing sites would be a good fit for you and your market area, and then test the results.

The Right Message for Targeting Gen-Y

So by now I’m sure you can guess there is a second challenge. It’s not simply about “how” to communicate; it’s also about “what” to communicate. After all, the Internet is merely a means to reach your audience. Ultimately, it’s your message that needs to resonate and sell.

Start by understanding the target market. Think about which economic changes have impacted Gen-Yer’s the most. Saving for a down payment is harder today. With uncertainty in the market, increasing health care costs, outstanding college loans and overwhelming credit card debt, Gen-Y’ers find it tough to commit to a major decision between buying and renting.

Banks are cracking down with tougher rules too. Having to come up with a 5% or 10% down payment for example may seem feasible for some homebuyers at first. But when banks change that initial 5% or 10% to 15% or 20%, the task may be impossible for Gen-Y’ers who don’t have parents helping them.

Then again, parental involvement may be something you can expect. Parents of Gen-Y children tend to be more involved (some may even say “coddling”) than those of past generations.

Don’t shy away from these uncomfortable facts. Instead, consider addressing these concerns directly on your Web site. For example, you could include an article or calculator on “Should I rent or should I buy?” or advice on buying real estate with a parent. By being upfront with customers and providing valuable information, you’ll be seen as a resource and a trusted adviser. That way, whenever the person decides to buy, you’ll be on their mind.

With these tips, you now have what it takes to start selling to the Gen-Y market with confidence. Good luck!

Top 10 Tips to Attract Readers to Your Real Estate Blog Like Ants to a Picnic

Blogging is an excellent way for Real Estate Agents to keep in touch with clients and to generate new clients. Blog marketing can get complicated if you let it. But, It’s really only as hard as you make it. The key is to be consistent. If you are a beginner and new to blogging, here are 10 blogging ideas that you can write about that will attract readers to your blog like ants to a picnic.

1. Market updates for your area.

Get the sales information from your multiple listing service for the past month and compare the past months totals to the same month 1 year ago. Analyze and explain the data. Why are there so many properties on the market in your area? Or, why are there so few properties on the market in your area? What’s the median sales price as of last month? What was it for the same month last year?

2. Community events.

People looking to move into a new area are interested in local events and what’s happening on the weekends. Write about parades, grand openings, and comment on headlines in your area.

3. Answer Questions.

Read your emails and when people ask you questions about real estate write a post about it instead of just replying to the email.

4. Take Pictures.

When you are out and about take pictures of interesting things and write a post about it. Watch for the unique, absurd or funny. It doesn’t have to be about real estate. Camera phones are a must for real estate agents today.

5. Ways to improve your community and the Real Estate industry.

Write about your own local volunteer efforts or the volunteer efforts of your local realtor association. You can announce donation drives for local charities. Are there any blood drives going on? Post the time and place on your blog.

6. Realtor conferences, seminars, and classes you attend.

Write about something you’ve learned and how you will apply it in your business. What’s the latest on real estate law in your area? For example, there is a mortgage fraud class being offered as a continuing education class in my area. This class addresses issues of predatory lending and mortgage fraud, and how they affect foreclosed and repossessed properties. After taking this class you could write about how a buyer can avoid predatory lending. Explain to a buyer what predatory lending is.

7. Web surfing.

When you are surfing the internet watch for items that affect your community and comment on it. Than write a post about it on your blog with a link to the item you commented on. You can post a list to local government sites for your town or city.

8. Going to the market.

There is a real estate angle almost everywhere, especially if you like talking to people and starting up conversations. Write a post about a real estate conversation you had. If you are going to use a person’s name be sure to get their permission. Don’t post private information just keep it general. You don’t want to anger potential clients.

9. Real Estate print newsletters and ezines.

What’s the hot topic for the year? Write a post about your thoughts on it. For example, foreclosures are a hot topic right now. You can write about the foreclosure rate in your market area. What subdivisions are the hardest hit.

10. Market Area.

Write about the pros and cons of living in a subdivision within your market area. Is it close to a busy road? Walking distance to schools? Does it have a community playground? Quiet neighborhood? Answer the question, what’s so great about living in this subdivision or area? Make sure you write like you are sitting down with a buyer and answering their questions.

According to the website thefuturebuzz.com there are 346,000,000 people globally who read blogs and there are 133,000,000 blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002. That’s a huge ocean of bloggers to compete with. However, if you write consistently and keep all of these blogging ideas in mind. You will attract readers to your blog and improve your business in no time at all.