Real Estate Forecast for 2018 Is A Positive One, But Is Your Real Estate Website Maximized For This Windfall?

real estate forecastWhile the real estate forecast for 2018 is looking very bright indeed, are you still using a clunky old website from years ago?

Have you seen the data? All indicators are a “go” when it comes to the economy in 2018.

Finally. After suffering through an anemic economy with slow growth since the Great Recession, it’s great to see the economy will be back on all cylinders next year.

Home prices are strong. Tax cuts are coming. Employment is at an all-time low. The stock market is at all-time highs.

Whatever your political affiliation, if you are a real estate professional, this next year your main concern should be to grab a big chunk of that housing market because it should be a good one.

As everybody in the biz knows, perception is reality.

Right now, consumers are feeling good. And they should.

Let’s take the numbers for GDP.

If you recall, back in  2008, during the Great Recession, the GDP dropped to us minus -.3%. That’s not good at all. Nobody is thinking about buying a house in that climate. They are just worried they will have a job to keep a roof over their heads.

The following year, 2009, was a real nightmare. GDP was minus -2.8%.

Then we had:

2010: 2.5%

2011:  1.6%

2012:  2.2%

2013: 1.7%

2014: 2.6%

2015: 2.9%

2016: 1.5%

Sluggish, especially when the GDP is below 2%. China by contrast continues to roar in the 6-7% GDP growth rates.

Now let’s look at the end of this year.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the GDP in the 2nd quarter of 2017 was 3.1%. That’s certainly an upsurge from 1.5%.

It’s gets better. For the 3rd quarter, the GDP grew to 3.2%.

Those are certainly signs that an economy is taking off. A very promising environment for a positive real estate forecast indeed.

Mortgage rate forecast predicts low rates

Let’s look at housing. We like to use numbers from the economists at the Mortgage Bankers Association. Because after all, most people won’t be buying a home without a mortgage. So these economists certainly have their ears to the ground when it comes to forecasting home sales

And their forecast is an optimistic one.

First off, mortgage rates will continue to stay relatively low, which of course, is fantastic for home sales. (Do you remember the days of 9% mortgage rates? Wasn’t anybody buying homes then.)

Here is their 2018 forecast for loan rates per quarter for a 30-year fixed mortgage:

Q1 – 4.3

Q2 – 4.5

Q3 – 4.7

Q4 – 4.8 (forecast)

That’s an increase from the third quarter of 2017 when rates were 3.9%. But as we said, 4.5% is certainly better than 9%. It’s a great window for borrowers. And as rates go up, they will certainly see that window start to close. So they know it’s time to get in a home fast.

MBA real estate forecast calls for growth

What does the MBA say about home sales?

They predict total Existing Home Sales for 2018 will be:

Q1 – 5,486,000

Q2 – 5,604,000

Q3 – 5,702,000

Q4 – 5,725,000

These were the existing home sales figures from 2017 (they are lower).

Q1- 5,620,000

Q2- 5,563,000

Q3 – 5,393,000

Q4 – 5,394,000 (forecast)

If you are a broker or agent, these are nice numbers. The real estate forecast for this next year is sunny, with little chance of obstacles.

Which begs the question?

Is your website ready for 2018? Or are you still using a boring old website from a few years back with a limited amount of information and an old-fashioned design.

Have you done everything you can to maximize your website for the housing windfall that is forecast for next year?

Maybe not. The first thing you should do is call Home Junction Inc. We are the real estate website experts.

In a nutshell, here’s how we can optimize your real estate website

1. WordPress platform – if your website is not using the No. 1 content management website in the world, then you might be in trouble. WordPress is the undisputed winner when it comes to websites. The website is coded to be super-friendly for users. You don’t need a webmaster to add content. The process is extremely simple.

You can add photos, text, listings, testimonials, whatever, in seconds. Display all those home listings in beautiful, bright, big image galleries. Fill that website with plugins and important real estate data.

2. Search Engine Rankings – Which leads us to the second benefit of a WordPress website – Google and Bing love this platform. It is coded in a way that is very easy for their bots to read and rank. And when consumers hit their computers next year and start searching for homes (which as we know 90% of them do), you will want to be in the top rankings to capture those consumers.

3. Real estate data – today’s home buyers live on the Internet. Millenials were born on the Internet. But even Baby Boomers will turn to their laptops, iPhones and iPads to look for homes. Those consumers are looking for information, and you certainly don’t want them to look elsewhere for Property Sales, Home Sales Trends, Local Schools, Demographics, Crime Statistics, Cost of Living Indices, etc.

You want to be able to show home buyers you are the No.1 resource in their local market. Home Junction can supply you with the hyper-local data to make that happen. (You can use that same argument to attract sellers – show them how you have more local, relevant information than your competition).

4. More enhancements – The staff at Home Junction are the experts when it comes to real estate websites. They’ve developed thousands of them. They know what works and what doesn’t. For that reason, they have a full array of tools – WordPress plugins, SEO services, Lead Generation opportunities, Home Value Estimators, Geo-Spatial Widgets, two IDX platforms for pulling in MLS listings and much more.

What’s missing from your site? Are you doing all you can to capture leads? Could you be left behind by others with better websites?

If the economy in 2018 is going to be hitting on all cylinders, then you need to be sure your website is hitting on all cylinders next year as well.

As you can see by historic data, the economy is not always on the side of brokers and agents. Next year, the real estate forecast is that it will be a banner year for home sales.

Call us to make sure you are ready to lead the charge into that forecast.

 

 

home winter

Tis’ The Season To Thank The People Who Help Families Find A Home

home winter

This holiday season when people gather in their homes to celebrate and visit with friends and family, it might be appropriate to take a minute and thank the professionals who helped them get there – real estate brokers and agents.

While real estate is a business, at the end of the day (and the year) everybody knows the process is very emotional.

Here’s a sampling of some of the comments brokers and agent receive from satisfied family homeowners.

“Thank  you very much for helping me with my first home. You made it very easy and enjoyable. Thank you!”

“As parents we can’t thank you enough for all your honesty, integrity, guidance and kindness. You are a true gem in your profession.”

“We all are so greatly appreciative for all you did to assist us in finding our home where we can thrive as a family.”

“We cannot imagine not having you along to help us through this. Thank you for replacing bad memories with good ones. Your overwhelming generosity has left our family speechless.”

“Thanks again for all of your time, your kindness and your knowledge. We really got blessed.”

“I wish I had two more houses for you to sell.”

“Thank you for showing me so many homes. I am so glad I found a home for my children and me.”

“After settling into our beautiful new home, I wanted to take the time to thank you and your staff for the first-rate service you provided to my family.”

“As a widow and senior citizen, I was indeed fortunate in having you as my agent.”

“Thank you for helping me pick out this home. My family could not be happier!”

“Your knowledge of the area, diligence and attention to detail made this transaction worry-free.”

“For our agent, this is a career not just a job. He focuses on continuing education, learning current market trends, house staging and everything else involved with real estate. He is a true professional. Our family is so grateful.”

Home for the holidays

Agents work long and hard hours to help families make the transition into a home. Many times all the effort behind the scenes is not recognized or appreciated. That goes with the territory.

Those in the business can take pride in knowing, this holiday season, they played a part in helping all those families gather in a home they helped them acquire. That is satisfying in itself.

This holiday season, the team at Home Junction would also like to thank all of our customers, website visitors and readers.

News reports all point to a very robust 2018. That’s encouraging news and something to look forward to next year.

But this next week, appreciate all you’ve achieved this past year as a real estate professional and enjoy this time in your own home with your own family. And maybe think for a moment about all of your clients who are enjoying the same experience.

Happy holidays!

 

Property Data Can Be Used As A Neighborhood And Lifestyle “Compatability” Tool

neighborhood and property dataDetailed neighborhood and property data can help avoid situations like this one.

A recent article talked about mistakes home buyers make and included a sad tale of people who bought a lovely home, only to discover the neighborhood was not right for them.

The couple moved from a big city urban market to a smaller market in another state. After selling their home, they were thrilled to see the size and the type of home they could buy with all that cash.

Unfortunately, after moving in, they found out all the next neighbors were much, much older than them and did not have any kids.

In fact, the entire neighborhood was like that. They also found they missed the amenities they were used to in the bigger city – choice of great restaurants, etc.

Property data is a powerful match-maker

If you reverse engineer this situation, there’s a powerful lesson and opportunity here.

This is a scenario that could be solved with property data such as the neighborhood information provided by data aggregators like Home Junction.

The property data we’re talking about consists of in-depth detail about a neighborhood – demographics, cost of living indices, school information, crime rates, surrounding businesses, etc.

Take that same couple who moved from one urban area to the suburbs. After talking to the couple about their needs, an agent can use their real estate data gathered by Home Junction to tailor a home that fits their personalities.

If the couple is middle-aged professionals, the demographic data will show the areas where there are plenty of other middle-aged professionals.

If there is a family involved, use the data to show that these particular areas have similar types of families living there. You can also display the most important information a family usually considers when buying a house – school data.

Where are the schools in relation to the property? What is the student/teacher ratio? What is the demographic makeup of the school? What is the contact information for those schools?

Home Junction provides all of this hyper-local information. They have an easy-to-embed API that will feed relevant data to an agent’s website not only to the county and zip code level, but all the way down to the neighborhood level. On any page. With continual updates.

But there’s more.

Integrate real estate mapping

Use geo-spatial mapping technology to drive home the point. With their SpatialMatch IDX, Home Junction integrates MLS listings from the local area with lifestyle information.

Say the young couple likes to golf. Pull up several properties that match their home criteria, then show on the SpatialMatch plugin where those properties are located in proximity to local golf clubs.

Perhaps they like to hike. Or walk their dog in a park. Again, use the geo-spatial data to show the location of parks near those homes. Studies have shown that homes located near a park have higher prices in general than other homes. Use that fact to your advantage (and the seller’s delight).

You can do the same for gyms, restaurants, stores. You name it.

real estate map plugin

Home Junction’s real estate map plugin.

Unfortunately for the couple mentioned above, their home was not an ideal match for them. They moved.

But the lesson here is you can use in-depth property data to show why a home and neighborhood is the perfect match for buyers. You can also use real estate data to show home sellers how you will go beyond just the number of bedrooms, baths and square feet to market their home.

You will market the lifestyle amenities that the property will provide and how the neighborhood matches the buyer’s personalities and preferences.

One neighborhood caused two homebuyers to move out. But with the right approach and the right property data, you can market neighborhoods as a great place for home buyers to move into.

 

 

How Real Estate Data Can Help You Become An Effective Publicist

real estate publicistHere are some ideas on how to use real estate data to become your own publicist or to hire one and help make them more effective.

Why a publicist? Isn’t that someone only a Hollywood celeb would employ?

Not necessarily. Generating publicity on a local level can be a powerful marketing tool for local real estate brokers and agent.

It’s a way to break out of the pack and make your name stand out in the local community.

Today, more than ever, there are an incredible number of content providers out there.

Here’s one way to look at it. Media outlets – newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, magazine and local bloggers are all looking for story ideas.

In many cases not only is the medium looking for story angles, but every reporter at that company probably has a blog and a social media account and ALL of them are looking for story ideas as well.

Social media can be a hungry beast. If those reporters want to build up followings, they know they must post interesting content on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram

Fortunately,  news about the home market is an important topic.

But here’s the key. To approach any reporter, you must have an interesting story to present to them.

You can’t just call up a journalist and say, “Hey do a story about me.”

One, that’s not a particularly interesting angle and two, every business in town is probably doing the same thing.

This is where hyper-local real estate data gives you a tremendous edge.

Create appealing story angles with real estate data

Big Data providers such as Home Junction gather thousands of data points relevant to real estate from sources all over the country. County courthouse records. School information. Third party providers. Etc.  Their researchers know where to find the relevant data and how to aggregate it.

Home Junction then created a proprietary software API program called Slipstream that feeds the data to any website on the internet.

Therefore, a local agent in Oshkosh can embed a few bits of code on their website and tap into this gigantic database of real estate data about their local market, zip code or even neighborhood.

This is very interesting content to consumers.

Take Recent Property Sales for example. Where is the market heading? Are homes selling in the county? Is there one particular part of the county that is outselling other parts of the county? What’s the breakdown for the neighborhoods in a newspaper’s or magazine’s particular readership area?

The possibilities get even better.

Reporters are generalists. A general assignment reporter might cover a crime story one day and an interview about an interesting character in town the next. Same goes for business reporters. They might report on the construction of a new shopping center today and interview a local CEO tomorrow.

They have general knowledge about a subject. But even a real estate reporter does not have the same expertise as a local real estate agent who works in the trenches every day.

You are the real estate expert in your area. And when you embed this relevant real estate data into your website, it makes you even more of a local expert.

One strategy you can use is to use your market knowledge to interpret that data.

Perhaps point out trends taking place in certain neighborhoods. Compare one local neighborhood to another. Compare one local neighborhood to a major neighborhood in another part of the country.

The possibilities are endless.

When you call a reporter armed with some unique type of information, not just hearsay, but backed up by a credible source (in this case a national real estate data provider such as Home Junction), people will listen.

How to get publicity

One idea you might consider to accelerate your inroads into local media is to hire a local public relations person. Doesn’t have to be full-time. And it doesn’t have to be long-term.

That person can immediately help you with the contacts they have established with newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, etc.

They know who is hungry for story ideas. They have established a rapport with many of these people so that she can call them and the editors will know his or her ideas are credible and worth listening to.

Perhaps they can’t get you an interview with a local newspaper. But maybe they can get you (and your data) featured in a local magazine. That magazine might have a readership of 10,000 people and a major email subscriber list as well. Getting your name published in front of that many potential customers is certainly valuable, especially since it is FREE.

Once your foot is in the door, there is always an opportunity for more. Remember, current news goes away after a few days, in many cases, after a day.

If your interview or content works out well, the medium might ask you to be a regular source or contributor. That’s huge. That’s a publicist’s dream.

Here are a few more tips:

Find out about deadlines. Generally, it’s best to pitch a story first thing in the morning when an editor or reporter is looking for story ideas.

Respect the reporter’s time frame. If a reporter is writing a story and is trying to post if before the deadline, don’t bother him or her. Offer to call back when it is convenient to them.

Call the news media in advance. If you know you will have some interesting news or your data feeds coming from Home Junction, for example, the next quarter’s results, call the editor or reporter a week or two in advance. This way your story idea is on their radar and they can work it into their schedule. Fridays are good days when most newsrooms plan the following week’s story.

Magazines publish way in advance, generally a month, so be sure to contact them much earlier.

Prepare visuals. The Home Junction team can also work with you to present your local data in different forms – charts, tables, etc. Show this to reporters. Especially if those charts indicate a major movement, say a huge spike in home sales or property prices.

Keep at it. As we said, your real estate data makes for an interesting story. Send a polite note on a regular basis pointing out different trends in the neighborhood. There will come a time when a reporter has run out of stories, or a story idea fell through, and they may contact you.

Create advertorials. These are very popular today with the news media, especially newspaper real estate sections. In this case, a broker or agent can write a news article, but it a paid advertisement and must be labeled as such. However, if you write the piece as a news item, not a fluffy story about yourself, it can generate the same readership and almost the same credibility as a regular news article. This is especially true if you have credible information, such as the factual real estate data from Home Junction.

Partner with other businesses or bloggers. Your real estate data is valuable. Perhaps a mortgage company would be interested in featuring it on their blog. Or maybe a builder. Many of these businesses will be working hard to create their own followings and you can piggyback onto their audiences with your hyper-local property information.

Let’s face it. In every marketplace, there are a ton of real estate agents. Some are full-time, pedal to the metal agents and some are retired, part-time agents. But to many consumers, all of these agents tend to blend together into one giant mass.

Using a publicist or acting as your own publicist is an effective strategy to separate yourself from the herd.

Even if you are only featured one time in a newspaper, magazine or TV station, you can copy that appearance and promote it on your website. Use it when you make a listing presentation to sellers.

When the public sees that a major media outlet has featured you, it immediately creates an impression in their mind that this agent has credibility, experience and local knowledge.

Movie stars know the importance of hiring publicists to keep their names in the public eye on a national basis. It pays off for them with higher box office sales and bigger paychecks.

The same results can work for you on the local level, with more listings and more calls from buyers. Use local real estate data to be the star of your community.

 

 

 

 

WordPress Websites Give You Advantages When It Comes To Real Estate Lead Generation

real estate lead generationWhen it comes to real estate lead generation, hopefully you are not doing the following.

Somewhere buried on your website, is a little tiny box (or even worse) just a link, that says, “Sign up for our newsletter.”

No, no, no, no.

Let’s get real for a second when it comes to real estate lead generation.

Those email subscribers a broker or agent captures is one of their most valuable assets, if not the most valuable asset they own.

This is the digital age. People visit search engines looking for properties and then review real estate websites. The days of a hot prospect walking into an office are gone for the most part.

When that precious prospect visits a brokers or agent’s website, do everything you can to retain that connection. Start a relationship. And you can do that by capturing that prospect’s email (and contact information).

The key point is, there should be multiple points on an agent’s website for real estate lead generation.

One of the best platforms to maximize leads is a WordPress platform, the most advanced web platform in the world.

And the best way to optimize a WordPress platform is a company such as Home Junction that is experienced in creating websites with plenty of real estate lead generation features.

The big advantage of WordPress real estate websites is the ease in which lead capture forms can be added and moved around a site.

Real estate lead generation strategies

Here are some strategies provided by Home Junction that go beyond just the “Sign Up for the Newsletter” notice.

  1. Home Estimator Tool – Everybody loves this tool – it creates an opportunity for a homeowner to find out “how much is my home worth.” Who doesn’t want to know that? Now local agents can provide this tool just like the big national portals. Add an email capture box somewhere along the path for when a person uses the tool and checks out the value of their home.
  2. Save Favorite Listings – People come to the site. They search for the particular type of property they want to buy. They find several listings that match their criteria. Give them an opportunity to save their searches. (Remember, one important aspect of real estate lead generation is to offer something first to get something in return).
  3. Email Alerts – Offer to provide updates to prospects by integrating your IDX with your email list so that consumers can know when prices change on their favorite listings or when those properties are taken off the market.
  4. New Listings Notification – In addition, offer to provide prospects via email when your IDX detects new listings that match their search criteria.
  5. Social Sign-Ins – Allow prospects to sign onto your website and see the information they saved by using their Facebook or Google Plus accounts.
  6. Forced Registration – This option for brokers and agents allows them to require a web visitor to fill out a registration form before they can access pages or data. Maybe it’s to use the Home Estimator Tool, or its perhaps for some valuable real estate data (also provided by Home Junction) such as Recent Property Sales, School Data, Demographics, etc.
  7. Offer a Content Upgrade – another idea is to offer EXTRA content for an email signup. Again, real estate data providers such as Home Junction have access to tons of relevant content. Perhaps hold some of that precious content back and offer it in return for an email registration.
  8. Newsletter Subscriber – Offer to send them this valuable data on a regular basis if they become an email subscriber. (“Want Local Market Updates Every Month? Sign up here!”)

The best practice for real estate lead generation is to a) make it easy for people to enter their email without requiring them to answer a bunch of questions and b) make sure the real estate lead generation form is not an annoyance, but something that consumers want to fill out.

Everybody knows pop-ups are bothersome. So perhaps place an “exit” pop-up on the page that people will see only when they are about to leave the site.

Another option is to have an email registration box appear as the web visitor scrolls down the page.

It’s also very important to allay any privacy fears. Assure people you won’t be using their email for any other purpose or to sell to third parties.

Be sure to let people know how often they will receive an email if they do register.

And be sure to let them know how easy it is to unsubscribe.

Placement of the real estate lead generation box is key. Moving the signup box to the top of the page or on a popular data page can result in a big boost in email signups.

As we said, every signup is precious. These are your prospects. You worked hard to bring them to your website – either through advertising, or search rankings or your social media posts.

With a WordPress website, as we said, it’s easy to relocate the real estate lead generation forms on a page. Making a move that increases a 5% signup rate to 10% is huge. That’s DOUBLE the number of prospects you will generate by just making a simple design change (and WordPress is all about simplicity).

Design is another key factor

Experiment with the form. Take colors for example. Red and blue are effective colors for email signups. Move the text. Change the headline.

If you have a form on one page that is not performing well, maybe change the color. Again, if the registrations jump from 3% to 6% you just DOUBLED your real estate lead generation strategies for that page.

Again, this is easy to do with WordPress real estate websites.

Since the internet started back in the 1990s, there have been a ton of gimmicks that have come and gone.

But one of the tools that has remained a staple for successful real estate marketing is email. In fact, building an email subscriber list has become a top priority for most businesses in all types of categories.

By the same token, the competition to capture a visitor’s email is as intense as ever.

Don’t take this strategy for granted. Get the best platform for making changes to a website- WordPress. (Here are some additional ideas for increasing lead sign-up rates).

Hook up with an experienced WordPress web company such as Home Junction to get the most out of your real estate lead generation strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WordPress Real Estate Themed Websites Are Made To Fix Listing Photos Fast

wordpress real estate themed websites photos

Listing photographs sometimes don’t come out as planned and WordPress real estate themed websites are the best format for not only displaying photos but quickly CHANGING them as well.

Let’s face it, taking photographs has made a quantum leap for consumers and business people.

These days a high megapixel iPhone or smartphone in your pocket can produce crisp, colorful high-quality photographs. Those images can be presented to consumers in mere seconds. There is no film to develop. No prints to order. It’s all instantaneous.

Incredible editing tools make it easy to fix even the crummiest photo in seconds. You can crop a photo, adjust the exposure, add contrast and saturate the colors.

A savvy real estate agent who takes a little bit of time to practice their photo skills and learn how to edit photos can become quite a decent photographer (of course, nothing beats a pro. Those smartphones and iPhones can only do so much and when it comes to illuminating a living room, pros still have the know-how and the lighting tools to make those photos pop).

That’s the good news.

Horrible real estate photographs happen

Then there’s bad news.

Some agents, for whatever reason, think because they have a camera in their pocket they can just snap a quick photo without any thought to composition, clutter or clarity.

In fact, there are websites out there devoted to showing really bad real estate photos. Pictures with weird toilets, homeowners asleep in their beds, pets sprawled out in the middle of the floor and rooms that have more clutter than the local landfill.

Those sites include:

https://www.inman.com/2017/11/14/12-real-estate-listing-photo-crimes-that-you-can-never-unsee/

https://badmlsphotos.com

http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com/

Shooting a good photograph does take a time and effort. Sitting in a car and sticking an iPhone out of the window probably won’t produce an image that grabs a buyer.

Or taking photos of homes that aren’t ready to be photographed – for example, kitty litter trays in the living room, aren’t going to turn on buyers either.

Most agents know how to do shoot real estate photos. They know to make those counters clean, remove all knick-knacks, open up all the windows to let in natural light.

They also know to turn off the TVs, remove the remotes from the coffee table, get those toys out of the living room, remove old rugs, get the cars out of the driveway, take the magnets off the refrigerator door, etc., etc.

That’s only part of the checklist every agent should adhere to. There’s more. Much more.

WordPress real estate themed websites are perfect for updates

Which is one of the key points of using WordPress real estate themed websites as opposed to other platforms.

WordPress real estate themed websites can make the process of uploading images a whole lot easier. Web design companies such as Home Junction can set up a broker or agent with ready-to-go, easy-to-use WordPress website in a short period of time.

Here are a few reasons why this is the smart choice when it comes to real estate photographs:

  1. Loading photos – WordPress is the No. 1 content management platform in the world. It’s not designed for coders and programmers. It’s designed for the average person. The whole concept behind the site is to make adding content an easy task, not a week-long ordeal.

It’s very easy to add photographs to a WordPress real estate themed website. You upload the photo to the Media Gallery. Add a caption. Insert some tags. Adjust the photo to the size you want. Add a link to another page. Then insert the image onto the page and hit the “Publish” button. It’s now live.

  1. Changing photographs – here’s one of the unwritten truths about photography. After you shoot a bunch of photographs at the property, go back to your office and load the photographs onto your website, you realize then the photo could be better. Much better.

It might be the angle. Or it might be the lighting. Perhaps the home was well lit and then the sun snuck behind some clouds for one key image. Maybe you missed an important feature in the kitchen. Perhaps a cat snuck into the frame at the last second and his eyes are lit up like a beast from outer space.

Whatever. You know the photo could be better. You know the buyer won’t be impressed. And you know the seller will not be happy.

No problem. Go back and shoot the photo over again. Come back to your office, open up the Media Gallery in your WordPress real estate themed website, delete the old photo and add the new one.

No big deal. You don’t need to wait for the company IT person to load the photograph. You don’t need to know HTML coding to load an image. It’s simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Updating photographs – the flexibility that comes with WordPress real estate themed websites is also great for adding more up-to-date and current photographs.

Perhaps, a home is listed in January when there is a foot of snow on the ground. Now its May. The snow is gone, the grass is green and the property looks more appealing.  Maybe the owner upgraded the kitchen cabinets. Or perhaps it was time to stage the home with different furniture. Or, the owner finally got around to painting the living room with a fresh new look.

Shoot the photo and quickly update the listing on your WordPress real estate website.

  1. Increase the number of photographs – the great thing about iPhones, smartphones and digital cameras today is that the number of photos you can take is almost limitless (although it is amazing how you can have accumulate 5,000 photographs on your phone in no time).

Nevertheless, it’s certainly better than shooting a roll of 35mm Kodak film that is limited to just 24 photos.

However, consumers also know this is the age of digital photography. They expect to see numerous photographs of a property, not just the front, back, living room, kitchen, and bathrooms. They want to see multiple angles of the front, back, and side yards. They want to see dozens of photographs of the interior.

With WordPress real estate themed websites, this chore is much easier. In fact, there are many plugins available for WordPress that provide off-the-shelf photo galleries that display those images in a big, bright format that is easy to browse.

Studies show that more than 60% of consumers report they just study the photographs for a listing and pretty much totally ignore the text.

In other words, those photographs are your sales tools. They will sell the home. They will make the owner happy as well.

Are you getting the big picture here? WordPress real estate themed websites are the best in the business for changing and updating photographs and providing formats that make those listings pop with beautiful images.

 

WordPress Real Estate Websites And Real Estate Data Feeds Help You Win The Fresh Content Game

wordpress real estate websites searchWordPress real estate websites are a game changer when it comes to fresh content.

This is the story with many brokers and agents. A few years ago he or she created a website. It looked nice at the time. A neat little package of home listings and information about the company.

The site ranked decently on Google and Bing for the neighborhoods they were farming. Not so much for the local market in general, but still showing up on the second or third page for searches.

Life seemed good. The agent felt good about their website and ready to move on to other projects.

Unfortunately, the internet does not work that way.

For one, there are quite a few people watching your website. Not only people, but robots (search bots as they are more commonly called).

Used to be in the old days, if you had content on your website that was relevant to certain keywords, say that neighborhood you are farming, your website would rank high in the search engines for those target keywords.

However, things have changed significantly from the old days of search.

Now Google and Bing have hundreds of factors they use to evaluate websites.

And one of those factors that continues to receive more emphasis is what’s called a “recency” factor.

In other words, how recent was your last update on the website?

How fresh is your content?

WordPress real estate websites offer advantages for fresh content

Web partners such as Home Junction Inc. offer several tools you can use when it comes to competing with others for the “freshness” factor.

Google and Bing know that consumers want to see new, updated and current content. These are consumers raised on finding quick answers to their questions. Those consumers will reward the most current sites with more visits and time spent on those sites.

The search engines know this. So they push those sites with fresher content closer to the top of the search rankings (although as we said, there are hundreds of other factors, including how many other websites link to a site and also the quality of those websites that link there).

In the past, many websites gamed the system by stuffing their pages with target keywords to gain ranking positions on Google or Bing. Many of those sites weren’t built by companies in the local market.

Then the owner of those websites moved on. Either to create similar sites in other markets for target keywords. Or to capture leads for businesses in those markets.

But how helpful are these sites to consumers?

Google and Bing determined that if these sites are not updating their content with fresh information, then they aren’t very relevant to consumers today. They don’t like stale websites.

Fresh content? Sounds easy. But like baking donuts, we all know that a baker has to get up early every day to keep his products fresh.

This is where Home Junction comes in. There are ways to make the process of creating fresh content easier.

WordPress websites for real estate

Let’s start with the website itself. How outdated is your web platform? Was the site created a few years ago? Is it clunky? Difficult to change?

Do you need to contact a web developer to add fresh content? Is there a long, cumbersome process involved in adding text, photos or videos?

If there is,  it’s time to ditch the platform. Switch to WordPress real estate websites.

WordPress is the leading content management software on the planet. It was designed for bloggers to make it easy for the average Joe and Jane to add text and images to their website. (As a side note, the website code was written for those bots to easily decipher the purpose of the website, which both search engines love. If a bot was capable of love).

The platform then evolved into creating full websites for businesses but with still all the efficacy and ease of the original blogging platform.

Many top brands use WordPress for their content. They include Bloomberg, Disney, Variety, The New Yorker and thousands of others.

With WordPress real estate websites, you can easily go into the administration panel, cut and paste some content into the text box, or write an article or blog directly on the website.

There are controls there to make the text bold, italic or underline it. You can easily add hyperlinks to other pages on your website or link to relevant outside websites as a resource for your readers (which by the way, is another factor Google and Bing use with their ranking algorithms).

Bottom line – WordPress is the fastest way to add fresh content to a website. A task of updating a website requires consistency, and a person certainly doesn’t want to jump through hoops to do it. In fact, it’s human nature. The more difficult it is to accomplish a task, the less likely that task will be repeated on a consistent basis.

But consistency with fresh content is a big factor for Google and Bing. They don’t just want to see you update your content every so often. They want to see a website that updates their content on a regular basis and will reward that website for their efforts (assuming of course, other ranking factors are being met).

Real estate data feeds provide reservoir of fresh content

Ease of updating is one of the keys to providing updates on your website.

The other is finding a source of new content.

That’s where Home Junction also makes this task easy.

Home Junction is a national and recognized provider of national real estate data that can be customized down to the local level.

That real estate data includes: Property Sales, Market Trends, School Data, Business Listings, Demographics, Crime Data, Cost of Living Indices, Boundaries and much more.

For brokers and agents, that data can be tailored to their specific markets – their counties, cities, zip codes and even further down to the neighborhood or subdivision level.

That content is constantly updated.

Talk about a resource for fresh content?

By just adding a few lines of code, a broker or agent can embed a feed of this hyper-local data onto any page of their website. Got listings in a certain neighborhood? You can order all this data, charts on recent sales, trends in prices, etc., just for that neighborhood.

A broker or agent can also use that updated content to blast out information on their social media sites – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

That relevant content will be liked and shared by people in those markets or seeking to move to those markets (social signals by the way, are yet ANOTHER factor that Google and Bing use in determining rankings. We told you things have changed dramatically).

Those Google and Bing bots are hard at work every day scanning millions of websites on the internet. Give them something fresh to report back when they come to your evaluating your website.

By switching to WordPress real estate websites with the right data and the latest plugins, brokers and agents can turn their old, outdated websites into powerhouses of fresh content.

 

 

 

Real Estate Plugins Can Help Home Buyers Who Need Roommates To Pay Their Mortgages

 

real estate map tool

Real estate plugins can help young home buyers attract renters to help with their home loan payments.

Let’s face it, living in urban areas is incredibly expensive and the use of real estate plugins is one way to help home buyers get into a property with the idea of renting out part of it.

Yes, home prices and rental rates are going through the roof in some markets. San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles are seeing record highs for prices. Ironically, Millennials want to move to urban areas more than ever. They are in essence, creating their own dilemma.

In addition, Millennials in most markets have held off the purchase of any property. They didn’t want to commit to a mortgage (even though, in another irony, mortgage rates are near record lows. A rate of 4% is still incredibly attractive compared to the 9% rates and higher we’ve seen).

One solution that is growing is a trend called “Co-Living.”

“What is co-living? It’s a concept that multi-family developers are now using to create “common” areas where several people can live together in one unit. Very similar to a dorm.

What does this have to do with a broker or agent?

Many home buyers today are looking at properties with the potential to rent part of the property out to help cover the mortgage.

It’s a smart strategy. The rental market is super-hot right now. If you own a home or condo in a decent location and can offer an attractive rate, you will get inquiries from renters.

This is where a real estate pro can paint a picture of how a property can be a good source of income.

And one of the best ways to paint that picture is with real estate plugins, such as the widgets offered by real estate data providers such as Home Junction.

Choose from a suite of real estate plugins

Sure, you can tell a home buyer this is a great location.

But why not SHOW them how that property is an ideal location on a map embedded on your website? Get the wheels spinning in the buyers head on how they can also use this information to attract renters.

For example, with the real estate map plugin, an agent or broker can point out a prospective property pulled from MLS data.

Then they can start displaying amenities within certain distances of that property.

Maybe it’s a coastal town and the property is located ten miles away from a beach.

Or perhaps it’s a hipster type town and the home is located three miles from downtown.

How about a plugin for local businesses in relation to a property? Alongside the listing, show a widget for businesses nearby. There’s a cool bookstore over here, just a mile away. Love Starbucks? Here’s a Starbucks and here’s a hip local coffee shop within a five-mile radius. A yoga enthusiast? Here’s a place where you can bend and twist within two miles. Sushi restaurants, clubs, book stores – point them all out in relative proximity to the home for sale.

That’s a powerful selling tool to attract renters…

 School data is a must for any real estate website

How about schools? There are quite a few single parents in society. They are all looking for inexpensive places to rent. Great schools would be an enormous draw and in fact, the main draw for them.

Provide a feed on your website with current school data plugin. Show buyers a comprehensive overview of schools in the area with student/teacher ratios, school demographics, etc. (Also provided by Home Junction).

What are trends for home prices in this area, a young home buyer might want to know. With a real estate plugin for Recent Property Sales, an agent can quickly give that consumer a sense of comfort that property prices have been trending upward in this market for the past few quarters.

Conversely, want to attract sellers in a hot market who have the perfect home that would appeal to renters? Offer the Home Junction Home Estimator widget. Sellers will continually use this plugin to check out the value of their property. One day they are going to decide to sell. Make sure they are on your website when they make this decision and have easy access to a lead form or a phone number.

The challenge of convincing consumers today to purchase a home might seem enormous in current conditions. Inventory is low. Prices are high. Millennials are still reluctant to take out a 30-year mortgage.

But real estate pros know challenges come with the territory.

What’s encouraging, is that today, with big data and geo-spatial technology, brokers and agents have an incredible array of inexpensive real estate plugins at their disposal. Tools they can display on their own website (and make sure they keep their clients on their website or generate their own leads).

Some consumers will want to consider adding renters as a home buying strategy. Maybe that’s the only way they can get in a home. That’s fine. You can help. And with key real estate plugins integrated into the local MLS, you will have the best tools to assist them.

 

 

 

How Property Data Can Make Those Critical Email Open Rates Take Off

property data Property data is a must-have for any broker or agent who sends out email to customers.

Why?

Research shows that poor, unappealing content is the No. 1 reason why people ignore or even (oh no!) unsubscribe from emails lists.

Let’s face it. Every business person loves email. You can launch a message out to thousands of people with just the click of a mouse. For little to no cost. There are no stamps, no envelopes, and no post office.

Therein lies the problems. There are so many emails spewing forth onto the web that people have developed blinders on what’s coming into their inbox anymore.

Consumers have heightened filters for bad emails – they can pore over subject lines faster than an airport scanner and delete the trash quicker than the neighborhood garbage man.

And after all the work a broker or agent has to do to get those email subscribers, you certainly don’t want them hitting that dreaded “unsubscribe” button (a feature that is required by law by the way).

Sure emails are free. But it doesn’t mean a broker or agent does not have to invest both time and resources to make them effective.

Because if they don’t, their competitors will.

Take open rates for example.

Where are your open rates? According to MailChimp, an email delivery platform, the average open rate for real estate agents is 20.84%.

If your emails are not hitting that level, then you’ve got a problem. Not only that, you are leaving purchases and listings on the table. Your email is underperforming.

If you are hitting that level, why not make it better? After all, every increase in open percentages means more potential business.

The great benefit of email to brokers and agents is that you only need one response from an email blast, to make it more than worth the effort. Unlike someone who is selling a watch for $9.99. The price point you are dealing with is a bit higher, say 5,000 times higher.

But it goes even deeper.

Say you have successful open rates for your email blasts. That’s great.

But what’s the click-through rate? (See, we told you, the email landscape is a complex one).

The click-through rate is the number of people who open the email and then proceed to click on a link in the email to visit the website (and advance in that precious sales funnel.)

It’s a simple equation and frankly one that’s kind of fun to watch. The more a consumer advances, the more qualified they are as a buyer or seller. In other words, the more they move toward the site and around the site, the hotter they become as a leat).

According to MailChimp, the average real estate email has a clickthrough rate of 1.91%. Frankly, that’s not a great return for all that effort in building a list and sending out emails.

If your click-through rate is low, then again, you are leaving business on the table. But 2% is not much to rant about either. Plenty of opportunities there.

Property data adds power to your email content

How can you fix this?

The solution is a simple one – content. Interesting, relevant, hyper-local content.

Where do you get that content?

From property data providers such as Home Junction, Inc.

Home Junction is part of the new breed of BIG DATA providers who have the ability to amass a tremendous amount of real estate information from a number of different sources.

Those sources include government records on the county and city levels, information from schools, listings of businesses, etc. etc. etc.

One of the big advancements in BIG DATA has been the ability of these providers to feed that information to a local agent in Anytown, USA.

However, that agent doesn’t have to order giant bulky disks full of information. By implementing a few lines of code, that information is fed directly into an agent’s website on whatever page they want.

For example, if an agent is geo-farming That’s A Great Place to live community, the agent can insert hyper-local data about that community alongside listings.

That hyper-local data includes:

  • Recent Homes Sales
  • Trends for Property Prices
  • School Information including student-teacher ratios
  • Local Business listings based on distance
  • Demographics such as age and income
  • Crime Statistics
  • Cost of Living indices

And much more.

Add punch to those subject lines

Now’s that’s perfect content for an email blast.

Instead of just sending another listing, why not put something to this effect in the subject line?

“What You Should Know About The Local Housing Market”

“Prices Are Rising In Your Area. See Charts”

“See Latest Real Estate Data On Up And Coming Neighborhoods”

“Here Are Some Reasons Why You Might Buy In This Community”

Interested consumers will have an interest in this type of property data.

They know it’s not hype, it’s not salesy, it’s factual.

The beauty of email is that brokers or agents can experiment with different subject lines to see which ones get a maximum open rate.

Some systems even allow A/B split testing for email subscribers lists that have a large enough sample for a decent comparison of one subject line versus another.

They key point here is that you now have valuable data at your fingertips to promote – property data that is local, relevant, accurate and current.

Another beauty of finding great subject lines is that you can use them over and over again, with just a slight modification.

For example, with this subject line: “Check Out Latest Price Trends In My Favorite Neighborhood For July.” If you see this subject line works, all you have to do is change the month. Home Junction will supply a new bit of fresh data every month. It’s that simple.

Do the same type of experimentation to increase click-through rates.

You might not want to splash all that local property data directly on the email page.

Perhaps, just put in some teaser information with a link back to the real estate data on your website.

You could even experiment with putting a contact form someone on your page before the information, prompting people to fill out the form if they are interested in learning more about local listings or selling their property.

(But be careful with this, because any bit of friction before a user reaches their destination on a website might cause them to leave. Maybe put the pop-form after they visit the page. Home Junction can help with this as well).

There’s more to email marketing.

A broker or agent can segment their lists, for example. Just send certain emails to people interested I Want To Live There Neighborhood, for example.

The time and day are also important.

So is inserting the prospects name, etc.

Bottom line. Even with all those features, if you are not sending interesting content, you are not going to boost your open and click-through rates.

It’s that simple. All it takes is one phone call. Then you will give your email blasts a property data rocket to boost their marketing power.

 

 

 

 

School Boundaries On Your Website Will Get You High Marks For Local Knowledge

school boundariesIf schools are one of the most important factors that buyers look for in a home, why don’t you have school boundaries showing prominently on your real estate website?

These simple lines on a map are one incredible selling tool for brokers and agents.

According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, the quality of school districts was the FOURTH most important factor for home buyers age 35 to 49. It was the SIXTH most critical factor overall. (As you know, every homeowner also knows the value of schools for property prices, even if they don’t have children).

School boundaries are extremely important to home buyers (and obviously to sellers in quality school districts as well).

A real estate data provider such as Home Junction can easily help a broker or agent integrate critical school boundaries onto their website.

Home Junction gathers giant geo-data sets of information on boundaries.

That data includes:

  • Neighborhoods
  • Subdivisions
  • School attendance boundaries
  • School districts
  • Zip codes

What’s important to note is that these datasets go down not to just the county or zip code level, but all the way to the neighborhoods and subdivisions in an area. This is crucial for school boundaries in particular.

By implementing a simple API (Application Programming Interface), which is basically a few bits of code, a broker or agent can make their website a powerhouse of this hyper-local boundary information.

Agents can feature school boundaries on their web pages

How is this accomplished?

Without getting too technical (Home Junction experts will be glad to explain the technical details if you want) those millions of bits of geo-data are organized to create points or coordinates. Those points are then translated into “shapefiles.”

A shapefile is basically a format for showing geo-metric locations when points are joined together into boundary lines. Those shapes basically look like geometric polygons or the outline of an area on a map.

As you can imagine, for a broker or agent to sit down and compile all this information and then draw all those maps would be, well, just about impossible.

And just when you think you may have completed such a monumental task, the cruel point is, boundaries frequently change.

Especially school boundaries.

Sometimes a school may have too many students and the school attendance zones need to be changed. Or perhaps a new school was recently built and a major shift will be required with all the boundaries in all surrounding neighborhoods.

On top of that, then you have those choice charter school and magnet schools that many parents covet for their children.

In addition to the school boundaries, Home Junction also provides details about schools in a text format showing addresses, contact information, principals name, etc.

They also have datasets on student/teachers ratios, etc.

Promote boundary data to buyers and sellers

Studies show owning a house in a popular school district will have a major impact on the price per square foot compared to homes in other areas.

These hyper-local school boundaries and information are hyper-important datasets.

When talking to potential buyers, are you just telling people about the school districts verbally by happenstance?

Or, are you the local broker or agent who has all these school boundaries laid out on a map integrated with a local MLS database into the website?

Which agent do you think house hunters will be more impressed with? Which agent do you think sellers in great school districts will want to list their homes with?

Which agent has a powerful feature they can promote on their home page? Which agent can promote these school boundaries on their social media sites?

At the end of the day, is your school information an A-plus or a D-minus?

When you display these valuable school boundaries on your website, you move to the head of the class for expertise on one of the most important questions posed by house hunters today.

 

 

 

How To Use Real Estate Map Plugins To Promote “Hang-out” Neighborhoods

neighborhood artReal estate map plugins can boost the value of any neighborhood and when you look at how “hang-outs” are promoted in a place such as New York, there’s a strategy there for any area.

Whenever you see a TV show or read an article about listings in big cities like New York City, you always hear talk about “neighborhoods.”

In a market where a 900 sq. ft., condo with one bedroom, barely a living room and a tiny bit of sunlight is listed for $2.2 million, selling the neighborhood can be a critical factor.

In fact, the reason why that property is priced at that number, compared to a larger property on the other side of Manhattan, is because of that neighborhood.

In NYC, neighborhoods sell.

Different types of neighborhoods sell for different reasons.

For example, there are the “hang-out” areas. Places filled with cool, trendy bars and restaurants, where people do just that, hang out.

For Millenials, hanging out is important. While the property might be nice, at that small size, it’s also confining. Having a great place to go and get out with friends within a few blocks is a major, major selling point.

Conversely, some neighborhoods are known for their parks and places to relax, perhaps for an older couple. Throw in a relaxing coffee shop, library or bookstore as well.

These neighborhood factors are huge when it comes to major metro areas.

Buyers today want “hang out” places

For real estate professionals, why not use the same neighborhood factors when selling properties in Anytown USA?

Most brokers and agents do this. But how well do they portray the neighborhood as part of the entire property package?

Do they casually mention there is a cool sports bar around the corner?

Or do they utilize the right real estate map plugins to make a full court press and impress the heck out of buyers (and potential sellers) about the “hang-out” benefits of the area surrounding a property?

Home Junction offers one of the most popular real estate map plugins as a widget that takes neighborhood selling to a whole different level.

For one, the plugin is not just an ordinary map.

It’s integrated with MLS listings as well.

Therefore, an agent can pull up a property for sale on the SpatialMatch plug-in and then proceed to show the points of interest in the community surrounding that property.

For sports fans, they can show how that Buffalo Wings sports mega-bar is just a mile away. For music lovers, there’s that club around the corner that offers first-class local bands every Friday and Saturday night.

Who doesn’t love a cool coffee shop? A place where someone can sit down with a latte and a laptop and study for that nursing degree or write that must-see blog.

Studies show that neighborhoods with popular enterprises such as a Starbucks, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, have a higher value than neighborhoods that don’t.

Sure, many brokers and agents will say. I do tell prospects about those lifestyle amenities.

That’s the crux of the issue right there.

Do you tell….or do you show?

Real estate map plugins are visual hooks

Everybody knows most information is absorbed visually. Visual representations have a strong impact. A recent study conducted by a college professor found that when most people view properties, more than half hardly read any of the text.

In addition, the internet is the new real estate marketplace. And the internet is a visual medium by far. In fact, the populace is almost becoming attuned to visual information. Check out the growth of Instagram.

real estate map plugin

Home Junction’s real estate map plugin.

Visual information can be absorbed faster. It catches people attention. When you have a medium like the internet where people are clicking away faster than the speed of sound, brokers and agents would be wise to present their neighborhood pitch in a visual manner.

Therefore, don’t talk about hang-outs. Show them. Use Home Junction’s SpatialMatch real estate plugin to illustrate a home’s proximity to Starbucks, TGIFs and Urban Outfitters.

Those neighborhood amenities, especially for Millenials, are as appealing to them as a bedroom or a living room. In fact, one study found that close proximity to a cool neighborhood with hangouts was more important to young buyers than a backyard.

Backyards are for their moms and dads. These kids want a place to chill with their friends.

In addition, when a broker or agent has a somewhat drab listing, the neighborhood will probably end up being the main selling point.

Show sellers how you are going to boost the value of their bland property with your SpatialMatch geo-spatial tool. You are not going to present their home as just another “decent place to live”  but as a part of an appealing neighborhood package with all these other lifestyle amenities.

This is how they do it in NYC. One condo in a 30-story building looks just like every other condo. In today’s real estate market in cities such as New York City, those condos ain’t cheap.

As you can see on shows such as Million Dollar Listing in NYC, property owners can be very demanding.

Add SpatialMatch real estate plugins to your tool box.  Use the colorful, integrated maps to convince owners you are the agent that can sell their bland property at the top dollar they want…and then use those mapped-based tools to convince buyers they can buy a piece of that hot “hang-out” neighborhood.

 

Real Estate WordPress Websites Help Maximize Those Precious Share Buttons

real estate wordpress websitesSuccess is in the little details and that’s why real estate WordPress websites can easily help you maximize every little detail of your website.

Take social share buttons for example.

Those are the little icons that go at the bottom (or top) of a web page and encourage people to share or like the content on that page.

Seems like a simple matter at first.

But for a real estate broker or agent, these buttons can be extremely important. And that’s another reason why using a WordPress real estate WordPress website, developed by WordPress experts such as Home Junction, are incredibly important.

Here’s why.

Those social buttons are ubiquitous. They are everywhere on the web. Too many people take them for granted.

Their value depends on who is posting the content that is hoped to be shared.

For a mom who writes a blog about a recipe for pecan apple pie, someone hitting one of those buttons and sharing the recipe can be kind of fun. Gives that mom a satisfying feeling that someone cared enough about her recipe that they decided to share it with their friends.

That’s nice.

Real estate WordPress websites make it easy to optimize

Now, take a page of content on a real estate website.

Using a real estate WordPress website, an agent can easily post a chart about real estate data on their website about recent home sale trends in a particular neighborhood. The data shows property sales are heating up.

The agent posts information about that chart (with a link back to their website) on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

The post catches the attention of several people. They visit the site.

A few of those people like the information so much, they decide to hit the share and like buttons at the bottom of the page. The chart now appears on their Facebook page and is seen by all of their friends (on average there are about 155 friends per Facebook user).

One or two of their friends are interested in that chart. One of them lives in that neighborhood and is thinking of selling their home. They contact the agent who posted the chart.

Another Facebook user knows someone who has thought about moving to that neighborhood. They share the chart with that friend. That person views the chart and contacts that agent about purchasing a property in that neighborhood.

Here’s an important point most people don’t realize. Humans like to share.

According to research:

– 49% of people say they share to inform people about things they care about and to encourage some sort of action

– 78% share because it helps them stay connected to other people

– 68% say they share information because it gives them a better sense about themselves and what is important to them

– 69% share information because it gives them a sense of involvement

As anyone can see, there’s a big difference between a mom sharing pie recipes and people sharing real estate market trends that result in hot leads and contacts for an agent.

A gigantic difference.

Constantly test position of buttons to increase shares

So why just take those social media shares and like buttons for granted?

Optimize them.

And one of the best ways to optimize anything on the web is with the leading web platform in the webiverse – real estate WordPress websites.

WordPress has a super easy back-end for brokers and agents to manage.

In fact, WordPress was first created to be the easiest platform for people to start a simple blog.

The superior coding caught on so well, that the developers of WordPress decided to offer it to business people as a way to build out a full website as well.

That decision resulted in WordPress becoming the leading web platform in the world.

Many brokers and agents might think, “Well, I have a website now, that shows my listings and descriptions, why change?”

Let’s go back to those little social share buttons.

With WordPress real estate websites set up by Home Junction, a broker or agent has the ability to easily experiment with the placement of those buttons.

For some content, place them at the bottom of the article.

For other content, place the buttons at the top of the content.

Place the buttons at the top and bottom.

Experiment with the look of the social share buttons. (Most plugins for social share buttons offer several variations to choose from).

Add more social share buttons for social media sites like Tumblr.

Delete some of the social share buttons if you just want to focus on say Facebook and Instagram.

Add an email share button for someone to send that content by their personal email to a friend, or even to themselves as a reminder to read later.

Like any marketing program, monitor the progress. Measure the number of shares and likes (they are counted).

Did your chart on Property Sales in My Target Neighborhood generate five shares one month? But the next month when you posted the new chart on Property Sales and you moved the social share buttons to the top of the page, you generated 12 shares on Facebook.

Here’s the point of owning real estate WordPress websites.

All this moving around is easy to do. You don’t need to hire a coder to rewrite the HTML code on your page to make the change. You don’t need to wait two weeks for that coder to find the time to make the change. You don’t need to wait for your web developer to return your phone call a week later.

A broker or agent can experiment with these changes on their own.

People like to share photos and information with friends and family. They like to help out people they know.

Researchers report that psychologically when web users share something important, it gives them a positive feeling. They get a warm buzz from being a helpful resource for their friends or family. In their mind, it elevates their status in the minds of their acquaintances. That’s their emotional reward. And they relish that feeling.

And as we pointed out, unlike the mom’s recipe for apple pie, one move that generates more social shares that reach out on the web could result in a buyer for a $550,000 home with three beds and three-car garage or a listing for a $750,000 home on WeWantToBeThere golf community.

Any successful business person will admit, it’s the attention to the little details that make a big difference.

Fortunately for brokers and agents, those little details can result in a big payoff.

Get a WordPress real estate website that helps you maximize those little details.