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Jamin O'Brien

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Turning Your Real Estate Business into an Online Powerhouse!

by Jamin O'Brien

Greetings!

I speak with real estate agents from all over the country on a regular basis. Some are having their best years ever, many are doing well, some are struggling, and some are getting out of the business. Certainly this year has been a choppy one for real estate and next year is expected to be a challenging one as well. If you are looking to grow your business in 2011 it is imperative that you make adjustments that directly impact your bottom line.

Keep in mind that currently 5 million people are behind on their mortgages and this will result in a glut of foreclosed homes on the market for next year. If you are not savvy when it comes to short sales and bank owned properties you may want to get familiar quickly.

Let's focus on the positive with the belief that what you focus on expands and could result in you getting more sales in 2011.

First, if you do not currently have any online presence you need to get one going as soon as possible. While there are a couple of active agents who have so much referral business they do not need a website the vast majority of realtors should have a professional destination for their clients where they can showcase their listings, talk about the community areas they service, give school information and let people know why they should be doing business with them. I recently had a woman tell me she had gotten clients simply because her website looked better than the competition and these people believed she would be a more professional agent to work with! You need to make a great first impression with clients and your website can do that for you. Make sure the website is uncluttered and easy to navigate. If you are interested in a nice uncluttered professional website I strongly suggest you consider Real Pro Systems!

Second, don't underestimate the power of Pay Per Click services to drive traffic to your website. PPC can be expensive but can pay off in dividends as you can drive traffic to your website or your stealth sites if you have them! Online leads require that you be diligent and follow up as fast as possible. I heard recently about an agent that set up a Pay Per Click campaign and was driving traffic directly to his main website where his contact information was clearly visible and was getting a great number of leads by doing so. One of our new clients was planning on mimicking this by driving traffic to her Real Pro Systems Website to compete. We offer Pay Per Click services as well if you need help creating online leads and don't know how to navigate through crafting an internet marketing campaign, putting in positive and negative keywords, etc. You can take a look at our Pro Leads PPC services in evaluating whether or not you feel you can do it yourself. We had someone get a signed contract with someone just while we were doing a test for the marketing area! How is that for effective?

Third, if you are looking for a long term strategy in getting additional traffic to your website you are going to need to pick effective search terms to optimize your site for and you are going to need custom, unique content along with links to different areas of your website and inbound links from reputable online sources. Ranking well is going to take time, money or both. If you have a tech savvy person who works for you or an administrator they may be able to create the content, blog articles and dynamic search links that will help your website sizzle. For those of you who would like the process to be handled by others we have Search Engine Optimization Services available! SEO has a cumulative effect and while PPC will drop off the minute you terminate the service search engine optimization will have a lasting impact. The more pages you have on your website the greater your chances of being found online. Making sure the pages are optimized for specific keyword search phrases is crucial to these pages being found. Optimizing each page for Texas real estate or something general will not be effective in getting traffic. Linking articles to pages in your website will help lend credence to the content and let the search engines know these pages are important and need to be indexed well.

I hope this helps! Here's to making 2011 your best year in real estate!

Bernice Ross and Closing More Real Estate Deals

by Jamin O'Brien

Recently, Bernice Ross wrote a great article for Real Estate Agents interested in closing more business. What I love about the article is that she got down to the basic do'ss and don'ts when showing property. Having good sales skills is essential in ensuring that you are successfull in your real estate business. Having people to get in front of and engaging them to the point that they want to work with you is crucial to your success.

Once they are with you and looking at homes, then what? Bernice Ross covers that in her article and even if you are a seasoned real estate professional you may pick up some skills by reading the article, at the very least you will be reminded of what to do and not do and why to do or not do it! You can get to the article here: Bernice Ross and Closing More Real Estate Deals!

Happy Reading and have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

You can also visit her blog at www.luxuryClues.com.

Is Business Falling Through The Cracks?

by Jamin O'Brien

If you are a real estate professional this may have happened to you. You're moving and shaking, going out on appointments with existing and potential clients, you have multiple deals working and you can do no wrong. You are good at closing and finding the perfect house for your clients. You barely have time to eat and take a day off. Deals start closing and then all of a sudden, nothing. Your deals have closed and you have nothing to do. No new clients and the phone is no longer ringing.

What happened?

I'll try to put this gently. You forgot to manage your business. You got so busy closing deals that you didn't plan ahead. You were so focused on what was in front of you the bigger picture got away. This can happen in any sales environment but business pipeline management is nothing new to other sales arenas, so they are much more likely to manage this effect.

In sales, when you fail to manage your business pipeline effectively you can create what is known as an air bubble. This happens when you are focused more often than not to closing business rather than planning ahead and prospecting new business at the same time. Smart and savvy agents know that while you are closing business you need to be constantly focused to creating new opportunities and developing them at each stage of the sales cycle. In real estate a sales cycle can be as short as a couple weeks and as long as 12-18 months. Plan accordingly. As a successfull real estate agent you need to be vigilantly watching each stage of the sales cycle to make sure you are cultivating your leads, prospects, pending deals and staying in front of your closed business as well. The sale is not over when the people have bought or sold a home as they can send you referrals!

Real Pro Systems has been revolutionary in that they have finally separated each stage of the sales cycle so that you can manage your sales pipeline effectively. A sales pipeline has an open end that is broad and represents your leads. As the sales cycle moves on the funnel narrows as people become more or less qualified to buy or sell a home. At the end of the sales funnel you have the people who have finally qualified and completed the transaction.

Real Pro Platinum separates leads, prospects, pending sales and closed deals to give you visibility of each stage of the sales process. This allows you to focus on each deal and assign action plans to make sure every step is followed with laser like precision. By making everything visible in the business dashboard you can constantly evaluate each stage of the sales process to keep sales constant. If web traffic is down, how are you going to draw more people to your website? If leads are down how are you going to get more of them? If not many leads are getting promoted to prospects (time frame, budget and decision maker) how are you going to improve conversion? And if your deals aren't closing what can you do differently?

Having visibility doesn't gaurantee success but it does give you the ability to spot problems quickly. Formulating solutions will take experience and partnerships with forward thinking companies who can provide solutions at each stage of the sales cycle. Getting leads online to help you grow your sales funnel is invaluable in making sure you always have plenty going into the pipeline. From there team leaders and business managers can help their agents convert more leads into closed business. If you are interested in learning how Real Pro Platinum can help you close more business feel free to contact Real Pro Systems.

RSS Feeds

by Jamin O'Brien

RSS feeds allow you to share content quickly and easily on the internet. You may notice that on the side of our blog entries there are RSS feeds you can subscribe to. This allows you to subscribe to the articles that are being updated on the website. In order to get the updates you need to have an account with one of the free reader programs on the side. Then the new updates will be shown in the independent reader associated with the independent program you are using. In addition if you use Microsoft Outlook you can subscribe to the feed to get updates on when I post a new blog article. RSS feeds allow you to stay updated on the latest happenings on my website as I post new and interesting content.

If you click on the headline for the blog article and scroll down you can also a "share this" link at the bottom of my blog article. Here you can click and share any blog article you like to Facebook, Twitter, etc. to bring over the content and keep your sphere in the loop. Share This is a company we have an integration with so that you can quickly and easily share data for your blog articles on social networking sites. If you have questions please send me an email or give me a call, jamin.obrien@realprosystems.com, 541-743-8514. Cheers!

Successfull Advertising Campaign with Jason O'Neil

by Jamin O'Brien

Charlee Jacobs, salesperson for Real Pro Systems shared some agent success from Jason O'neil with Sotheby's in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Hi Charlee,

"We received a total of 768 CMA requests on a mailing of 62,000. Not bad percentages. That was the last week in February and we have had 6 appointments 2 listings and one closed deal."

Jason

www.oneilrealtors.com

It's great to get positive feedback from agents who are successfully implementing our website solutions with their marketing efforts. While his response was overwhelming, traditional methods of advertising combined with our website solutions can amount to substantial results.

Adding Video to Your Website

by Jamin O'Brien

Adding video to your website is extremely important to your success, both from an SEO standpoint as well making your website stand out from the crowd. Whether you are doing virtual tours or talking about your real estate business, video can is valuable in grabbing audience attention. In this video Rob Jansen of John C. Jones real estate (www.johncjones.com) explains how you can add video to your website and social networking. He suggests a flip video camera which can be purchased for about $200.00 from your local Best Buy. Having used the flip camera myself, I can vouch for his advice. The camera is easy to use and small in size.

Google loves YouTube as they are an owner of the company. Adding video to your Real Pro Systems website will enhance your online presence, give people valuable resources, and keep fresh the content you are posting. Text is effective but can be stale or boring if not used in moderation. Pictures and video especially draw people back to your website to see what is new and different. With that, take it away Rob Jansen.

Posting You Listings to Craigs List

by Jamin O'Brien

Our development team recently enhanced our Silver, Gold and Platinum systems to include the ability to generate a Craig’s List post, in HTML, promoting your listings. All you have to do is copy the code and add it to Craig’s list.

Step one- Log in to your admin.

Step two- Go to “My Website” then your featured Property section and view all listings. You will see a link under a new column called “Craigslist ad” Click the “View” link.

Step three- Copy and paste the code into your Craig’s List post.

Here is an example of what the ad looks like.

Real Estate Web Systems

by Jamin O'Brien

Many people on the internet offer "Real Estate Websites" to their clients. The offerings can range from a cookie cutter looking website to a fully custom one and can have a huge range in terms of cost. As a company Real Pro Systems has found that most agents are looking for something they can change themselves quickly and easily and do not want to break the bank to buy it!

So how does a real estate agent pick the best solution and what are the search criterie the agents are using?

Most agents are not looking for just a website. Most agents are looking for a tool that will aid in attracting new business. Not all agents agree on the best way to utilize the internet and to a certain degree they are all right as the market changes constantly and varies region to region. That is one of the reason we offer a range of solutions designed to fit in your plans as an agent to attract new business.

First, we suggest you research what people are saying about the company you are thinking about doing business with. Going for the least expensive option just to "get something up" is not wise. Branding yourself online and having a consistent marketing message can help you generate new business and generate the type of business you are looking for. Having a dynamic, interactive website will allow you to help attract more buyers and sellers and giving you the tools to manage your site and make changes will help you keep the site interesting and constantly improving.

All important in helping you generate more business online! And we have these needs in mind when we created our products at Real Pro Systems!

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Caine O'Brien

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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