Hook Agency – Minneapolis Web Design is offering a $700 College Scholarship to the college hopeful who is able to dream up the most creative digital marketing solution to a common problem.
This is a recurring scholarship – offered every year, but this current year’s entries are due August 15th, 2017.
Getting the word out about a realtor’s website – and sharing their uniqueness with the world.
Because there are so many Realtors. In realtor web design and realtor digital marketing, it can be especially difficult to differentiate yourself from the crowd. But connecting Realtors with customers that need their services is big business… From Zillow to Houzz, from the big realty companies to little independent realtors – they need a way to separate themselves from the crowd.
- What digital marketing tactics can they use to make them different?
- What creative ways can they showcase their personality on their site?
- How can they use video, social, or another tactic to give them an entirely different spin than the next guy or gal?
Get creative. The only thing that counts is originality and what I deem as effective digital marketing. Creativity and a demonstration of understanding the real opportunities in connecting with people to affect revenue change for realtors will help set your entry on the next level.
Terms and Conditions for entry
- Send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject – Real Estate Web Design & Digital Marketing Scholarship Entry
- The entries should be at least 600 words long, but longer is encouraged if the content or idea needs longer to articulate.
- Everyone who will attend college in the next year and a half is eligible.
- You will need to prove your enrollment in your chosen college or university at the time the scholarship is disbursed
- The top entries will be featured right here! Those individuals whose entries are chosen to be featured will be contacted and as finalists are judged – have their posts available to my site readers (thousands a day!)
- Include headlines and images in your entry (Word documents preferred) for maximum chance of being featured / and your greatest chance of being chosen as the winner.
- Originality, Creativity, Innovation and the chance of your strategy actually helping a business will make you most likely to win!
- Entries are due before August 15th, 2017
- Finalists will be chosen and shared before September 15th, 2017 – Finalists: Javon Dawson and Joseph Gavello
- Winner will be chosen and publicized October 1st, 2017
Javon Dawnson’s Entry:
The real estate industry has had some interesting ups and down over the past decade – NAR (National Association of Realtors) membership hit its all-time high back in 2006 with 1,357,000 realtors before dropping dramatically with the housing financial crisis. However, since its rock bottom in 2012 (with 999,000 members), it has been steadily increasing, and with nearly 1,100,000 members in 2014, the competition among realtors is heating up.
The competition is fierce, and these days you’ll need expert online and offline marketing skills to set yourself apart from the pack.
Marketing for Real Estate
While real estate agents are still key in the home buying process, buyers are increasingly looking to do more leg work online before involving the experts. A study from the National Association of Realtors showed that 92% of buyers use the internet to begin their house hunting quest, driving home the vital need for real estate agents to have an active online presence. If you’re not active, engaging, and networking online, then you’re missing out.
1. Set Yourself Up For Social.
Make sure you have social media accounts on all the big networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and even Instagram if you snap a lot of house pics). Interact with users, share good press, and promote your properties.
2. Add Social Sharing To Property Pages.
Chances are, home shoppers are eager to share their top housing pics with friends and family, so make it easy for home buyers to email and share various properties online by adding social sharing buttons.
3. Keep An Eye On The Competition.
What are other realtors in your area doing? What do their websites look like? How active are they on social media? Take note of what competitors are doing – then avoid their mistakes and replicate their success!
4. Make Yourself Easy to Contact.
Put your contact info on every page of your website. Ideally, make an impressive contact us page that grabs attention.
5. Create a Killer Business Card.
Get an awesome looking business card and hand them out like pizza flyers on a Friday night.
6. Make Use of Local Images.
In many ways, you’re not just selling a house, you’re selling a whole town or area. Showcase the best that your area has to offer, with high-quality, beautiful photos of local town landmarks and familiar sites.
7. Create an Irresistible Content Offer to Capture Leads.
Consider producing an ebook like “X number of things new home owners should consider before buying” or “X most valuable features of a new home.” Offering free ebooks in exchange for an email address (and zip code, in the case of real estate) is a great way to capture leads.
8. Hire a Photo Pro.
Successful real estate relies heavily on great photography. Bad photos will diminish interest in even the greatest of properties. It’s absolutely vital that you have gorgeous photos of your properties. Hire a professional photographer (preferably with experience photographing homes and architecture), or, if you have sophisticated equipment and are confident in your abilities, have your own hand at it. Just remember this is one of those scenarios when it pays to bring in the professionals.
9. Create a Virtual Tour.
Your clients’ time is precious, and they want to understand as much as possible about a property prior to visiting in person. Virtual tours are a great way to give a comprehensive, accurate preview of the property for potential buyers.
10. Local Sponsorship.
Consider helping sponsor local festivals, sports teams, or school events. Signing up as a local sponsor often means getting your business a spot on t-shirts, program pamphlets, or flyers.
Want more tips? Download our free guide, 69 Creative Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Business!
11. Animated Video.
Consider outsourcing a quality animated video for your real estate businesses. Short, cute, high-quality cartoon videos can help establish your brand as well as give a touch of personality. You may even want to consider featuring local landmarks or sites in your animated video to make it ultra-unique and targeted.
12. Pinterest Boards.
Pinterest boards are a great way to provide images and information for specific listings. You can create a Pinterest board for a single property that, in addition, to property photos, highlights major benefits of the area.
13. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly.
Tech-savvy consumers spend tons of time on their mobile devices. In fact, a recent study has shown that 80% of Internet users use their mobile devices for online activity. It’s paramount that your website is mobile friendly. Even better, consider creating a mobile app that potential buyers can use to review listings.
14. Create a Newsletter.
Email marketing is one of the best strategies for building client relationships. Collect emails from your website, local outreach, or any other methods you can think of. Send your email subscribers the stuff they’re looking for – notices about upcoming open houses, new houses on the market, news about seminars you’re offering in the area, etc. (Note: if you work in different geographical areas, you’ll want to segment your newsletter subscribers based on their location, ensuring that they only get relevant emails and updates from you).
Joseph Gavello’s Entry: Real Estate Marketing Strategies
Growing up in the real estate industry and in a time of ever changing technology has given me a unique perspective about how realtors can turn their digital marketing efforts into a commission check. Achieving genuine online engagement with your local community and converting that into new listings, home sales and ongoing referrals is totally doable. The key factors that will contribute to successful digital marketing for Realtors are: consistency, variety of content, likability, originality and, industry knowledge.
Engage through competition
Create a video challenge between two neighborhoods that compete, (for the most pounds of food donated for example). Sharing their progress online will increase the competition and show that the agent is giving back to their community. Have fun by hosting a seller’s virtual garage sale having an online auction that benefit’s the seller’s charity of their choice or helps with their moving expenses. These examples are fun and create an opportunity for conversations, stories and referrals.
Make your clients the star on your YouTube channel
When a new buyer has selected a home prior to move in, record of video of the buyer walking through the home and discussing the features they most love about the home and how they plan to spend their time when they move in. Once they have moved into their home, approximately 90 days later go back and record a short interview/ walk through with the new homeowner so they can show off everything they have done to make the home their own. Show them enjoying the features of their home; having a glass of wine on the patio or watching the kids swim in the pool. We all like to watch the end of the home flipping shows to see what happens after the move in. This also keeps the Realtor in touch with their past client and is an opportunity to remind them to refer the agent to friends and family.
Highlight your service level
Post anytime you’ve “gone the extra mile” for your buyers and sellers. For, example if the house needs touch up paint and you’ve jumped in to personally handle the task. If you have to go to the county offices to research a permit issue you could dress professionally and live from the county offices, share a short educational video about this potential pitfall instead of just posting yourself behind your desk. This shows your level of commitment and knowledge and reaffirms the fact that buyers and sellers truly need the expertise of a licensed Realtor.
Make the most of your Open Houses
Have your homebuyers “check in” on Facebook at your Open Houses or share a Yelp review in exchange for entry into a monthly drawing. Once you have selected a winner be sure to take some video when you deliver the prize, (think Publisher’s Clearinghouse commercial). Not only will this increase your SEO but also it’s marketing for the seller and allows you to create a relationship with potential buyers. You’ll capture their contact information so you can stay in touch. Everyone loves the cooking channels. Get more people to your open house by posting a short instructional video or slide show that shows you making your famous crowd-pleasing brownies or chocolate chip cookies and attach the recipe. It’s a fun “non-salesy” way to get people to come by your home and also makes you stand out with your specialty. Creating Pinterest boards and pinning your Open House plates, staging ideas, quick fixes when getting ready to sell, etc. will also rack up followers.
Too many posts about work and no play will make people scroll right past you. Sharing pictures and videos of you enjoying your hobbies and sharing your interests makes your more relatable. If you are an avid cyclist show some of your favorite rides. Share articles about the sport. At least one in five posts or shares should be personal. Unlike other marketing, when it comes to digital marketing people need to feel like they know you even if they don’t.
Why does having custom web design help realtors make money?
Real Estate Web Design
– get a custom look, designed around what makes you special
- Connect with a professional web designer directly
- I distill down your unique value propositions into design
- Totally custom, high-quality real estate web development
Connect with a professional directly
You pride yourself on a personal touch – so why should you go to some website factory type company? I understand why you want to invest in web design. So you can make more money, and get more of your favorite kinds of real estate clients. I also get that how your website looks reflects on your professionalism. You want real estate web design that looks classy, not bland and like everyone else's site.
Telling your unique story
I have a unique process for pulling things like trust factors (badges, organizations, and testimonials) into a striking layout and finding a way to tell the emotionally compelling story that will help you earn clients and cause them to take the next step to working with you.
WordPress Development with IDX / MLS
My set of WordPress standards sets me apart – and my entire process is set up so that you can edit the things you need to and want to regularly at the end of the build. We can pull in MLS listings and add custom listings – all while retaining a visual design / website look that's totally unique to you.
I create websites that are built for traffic and conversion
Nothing matters to me more than making sure your business gets more traffic and more people contacting you after your real estate web design project. I will help advise you on secrets I’ve learned over the years running SEO campaigns and building websites for realtors.
Basically, my entire process is geared for the business minded realtor – we talk about your best customers and why they come to you. I take that information and help you figure out how to get more of them through a visually compelling website built to nudge people to contact you.Get more clients
Realtor web design built for long-term success
Real estate web design doesn’t all have to be bland and look like everybody else’s site – no matter what other real estate web design companies tell you.
Using simple functional site modifications, we can get your site working with MLS, AND be built for you to add your own custom listings – creating a dynamic long-term focused website that will pay you back more than 2x on one house sale.
It’s important to me that your investment in your site is one of the smartest moves you make as a realtor this year. Let’s get started!Get more clients