How High Is Your Real Estate Website’s Bounce Rate?

Posted on: February 17th, 2012 by
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The bounce rate for your website is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after looking at just one page or only stay on the site for a few seconds.  Basically, it is the number of people who decide immediately that your website is not the site they thought it would be.

There are many ways to improve your bounce rate both on page and off page.  We are going to talk about both in this 2 part blog.  Today we are going to tackle your off page bounce factors.

1.  Examine Where Your Traffic is Coming From – Go to Google Analytics and look to see what keywords are generating visitors to your site.  If you find some that are unrelated to real estate, then get rid of them.  For example, one of my top keywords for my blog is Moby Dick because I wrote a blog post that mentioned Moby Dick and Google picked up that word and was referring visitors to my site who were looking for information on Moby Dick.  Well, since my website is not about Moby, then people were bouncing off to the next site to find the information.  Sure, I loved the traffic, but I’d rather have quality traffic than I would uninterested traffic.

2.  Try to Add Your SEO Backlinks to Real Estate Related Websites – I know this is not always going to happen, because you should backlink your site every time you add a comment on someone’s blog and you are not always going to read real estate blogs.  By backlinking on related sites, you are ensuring that others who come to your site from the back link are looking for information related to that backlinked site.

Make these simple corrections to your backlinking strategy and your keywords today.  It will only take you a few minutes.  Tomorrow, we will talk about “on page” corrections to lower your bounce rate.  See you then!


4 Ways to Beef Up your Real Estate Email Marketing Campaign

Posted on: February 16th, 2012 by
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All Realtors know email marketing can help you stay in touch with your past clients and prospects.  I am always amazed at the number of agents who don’t use email marketing at all, and to them I have to ask “Why not?”  If you don’t use email marketing then, at the very least, you are missing the opportunity to VERY inexpensively market to your biggest fans (your past clients) and remind them you are the expert in your field.  Ok… I’m stepping off my soapbox and getting back on track.  I’m also amazed at the number of Realtors who are using email marketing, but are not using it to its fullest potential.  If you are using email marketing then here are some tips to help you beef up your campaign. 

1. Split Tests – Split test your broadcast messages and your opt-in forms.  As you know your opt-in forms are the source for new prospects.  Testing those forms will help to save you money on advertising costs or will help increase the number of leads you get from your website.  Split testing your messages allows you to spot trends that will help you to increase your opens (and sales).

2. Make Targeted Lists – Don’t send out blanket messages to all of your subscribers thinking all of them are interested in the same message.  Break your subcribers down into groups, such as 1st time homebuyer propects, past clients, move down prospects, etc.  Tailor your messages specifically for each of those groups.

3. Plant Your Garden – Don’t try to sell a listing in every email you send.  Instead educate your readers with market trend charts, a guest article from your mortgage partner, etc.  If you plant the seeds of knowledge in your prospects’ minds you will reap the rewards of more sales in the future.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Break Up – If someone has been months without opening a single message you have sent… Dump him!  Every available space for an email address in your email management program is costing you money and is precious real estate.  Fill that deadbeat’s spot with someone who cares about your message.

Try these 4 things to see if you get more sales and leads from your email marketing campaign.  If you have any other ideas that are working well for you then please leave those below so we can all share in your successes.


4 Ways to Use Pinterest To Sell More Real Estate

Posted on: February 15th, 2012 by
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Pinterest is perhaps the hottest new social media platform to hit the internet in the past 24 months.  In case you haven’t seen it or been exposed to it yet, Pinterest is an image sharing social site, where users can pin images, videos, or even websites on their “boards” for their followers and the world to see.  Reportedly, 70% of Pinterest users are females under the age of 45.  I believe this is a very important demographic for Realtors to target as many are decision makers (if not then they are definitely influencers) within their household.  I have heard many Realtors ask the question, ” How can I use Pinterest to sell more real estate?”  Well, I have a few ideas that I’d like to share with you today.

1. Ask your buyers to go online and pin their dream home inside and out.  This would be a great way to set expectations before you actually go out and look at homes.  If your clients are looking for that nice new kitchen and there is no such thing in their price range then it may be a good idea to let them know upfront by pinning some actual kitchen pictures of listings in their price range.

2. Feature your customers by pinning them.  No, not WWE style!  People love to see themselves, and buyers love to see themselves in front (or inside) of their new house.  If you create a board on Pinterest for them they will share it with their friends and family as well.  Each time they share it, they are passing your name and face around to others and sharing your brand.

3. Have your sellers present their own listings on Pinterest.  Perhaps they can show their before and after photos of their master bath renovation that was completed a couple of years ago.  Allowing sellers to do this makes them feel they are adding some value, after all no one knows the house better than they do.  A word of caution, though… Ask them if they want to prepare this board.  Do not tell them to do it.  You never want this to come up in a discussion later about how they “did your job for you” by taking 30 minutes to make a board in Pinterest for their home.

4. Of course, the obvious idea is to just post your listings with links to each property’s individual listing website.  You could let each property have its own board or you can put every listing on one board by featuring the exterior of the properties.  Idea within an idea – why not give each property its own board and use that board to feature pictures of local eateries, nearby theaters, yogurt shops, parks, and other entertaining things to do along with the distance from each location you post.  This would be extremely powerful for out of towners or that chic downtown loft or condo.

I know what you are thinking… “Come on!  Another social network to learn and use?”  Well, these media are here to stay.  I believe that the agents who do not learn them and use them will begin to lose business to those agents who do.  If you want to learn more about these platforms or if you just need some help managing it all, then feel free to call or email me.  I am happy to help you anytime.

If you are using Pinterest already, please leave a comment and let me know how you like it.  If you are not, then please share why you aren’t using it yet.  I look forward to reading your comments.

Edit Post ‹ Andy Gagliano — WordPress


How to Write Real Estate Blog Headlines that POP!

Posted on: February 14th, 2012 by
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Last week I wrote a blog about writing effective real estate blogs (click to read).  In that article, I mentioned that one way to get more opens and reads is to write a strong title.  In today’s information overload world we live in, I believe a strong title is THE way to dramatically increase your reads immediately.  In that post I mentioned that my personal experience shows that the headlines that cut through the bull and tells the reader what is inside.  That is what you will see in 80% of my writing from now on, BUT that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t experiment with your own headlines.  So today, I’m going to give you some ideas on how to write real estate blog headlines that pop.  Here we go…

1. Cut the Bull – Yes, I’ve already mentioned the style that gets more opens for me, so I wanted to go ahead and get this one out of the way.

2. Use Numbers – If you notice I use numbers in a great deal of my blog titles.  I do this because it lets people know what to expect and numbers get reads.

3. Use Famous Names – Last week, I wrote a blog post about Twitter that mentioned Charlie Sheen. I could have easily titled that blog “Twitter Lessons Taught by Charlie Sheen” and probably gotten just as many blog opens.

4. Shock and Awe – No, not too extreme, but having a surprising headline can increase opens but you have to make sure your content fits the headlines or you’ll lose readers.

5. Ask Questions – Ask a question that many people can relate to and give the answer in your post.  How about, “How Can I Save $200 Per Year on my Homeowner’s Insurance?”

6. Scare Me – If you can cause concern with readers in your headlines then they will click to read the post for more information to calm those fears.  Example – “The One Mistake Home Sellers Make that Costs Thousands”

7. Mix It Up – Don’t overuse one style.  Mix and match.  Use 2 or 3 of these tips within the same headline.

Keep these ideas in mind when writing your next blog title, but be sure you pay attention to which style headlines get better open rates.  That information helps you to improve your writing skills.  Since I’m always looking for some great headlines for my blog posts, please share your headline writing tip with me below.


4 Ways to Fall in Love With Twitter

Posted on: February 12th, 2012 by
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Twitter is perhaps the most misunderstood social media marketing platform on the internet. One of the reasons I keep writing about Twitter is that most Realtors are still wondering why they should use it and how they can get business from it. Well, the truth is you don’t have to use it. If you are not targeting 1st time homebuyers, or Charlie Sheen, then there really is no reason to use it (right now). Twitter’s demographics tell me that most of their users fall into the 1st timers and 2nd timers categories. If that is your target market (and 1st timers are a great target market right now), then today’s post is for you.

I keep hearing rumors that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. In the spirit of the holiday created by Hallmark (of course, I’m kidding!) here are 4 ways to fall in love with Twitter:

1. Follow carefully – If you can’t stand someone you are folowing, then unfollow them (as long as it is not me). If you don’t like the people you are interacting with, then you won’t use Twitter. So dump them!

2. Don’t be all business – Tweet something funny your child said, tweet about a great meal you had at a new restaurant. Ask for a movie recommendation. In other words, show your followers you are human.

3. Follow agents in other cities – It is cool to spy on competitors, but it is cooler to follow some real estate marketing geniuses in other cities. Pay attention to what they tweet, when they tweet, etc. Copy their patterns, but not their material.

4. Stick with it – Don’t quit Twitter after a month or two because you don’t have thousands of followers, retweets, and DM’s. Chances are you didn’t develop all of the friendships you have today overnight, but you did it over time. Online relationships take more time to develop than face to face relationships, so don’t give up!
Twitter’s open ended platform can present many challenges for beginners because it is so misunderstood, but if you follow these tips above you’ll get more enjoyment (and leads) from it.


4 Tips to Improve Your Realtor YouTube Profile

Posted on: February 10th, 2012 by
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YouTube has recently rolled out their new look, have you seen it yet? YouTube is moving in the direction of becoming a more social network, and this new look is proof of that.  Some users don’t like the new look, but personally I do.  The tweaks I’m going to tell you about are the main reasons why I really like the new YouTube.

Tweak #1 – Add Your URL’s in the Description Area.  In the past you had to be a partner to put your URL links to the right of the video, but not anymore.  With the new changes, you can add as many links as you like and your social media links as well.  This is a big move in the social network direction and a little more SEO juice to boot.

Tweak #2 – Ads from Showing Your Videos.  You can keep others’ ads from showing on your featured video player by checking the box that says, “Prevent ads from showing my videos on this page.”  To do this, click on the edit button above the video.  This is the most important because of Tweak #3.

Tweak #3 – Add Overlays to Your Videos.  Overlays are a little known feature that allow you to feature your listing or yourself on a banner at the bottom of your video.  Remember you’ve got to stop the ads first (Tweak #2).

Tweak #4 – Pin Your Subscribers to Prioritize Your Home Page.  By doing this, you can spy on your competitors to see if their strategies and habits are working. You can see when they post, how often they post, and what they are posting.  See what they are doing that is successful and copy them.

Now that you know about these 4 Tweaks, go on YouTube and “pimp” your profile.  After you make the above tweaks, please come back here and share your success stories with us.  I love to hear about other successes.


5 Tips for Effective Real Estate Blogging

Posted on: February 9th, 2012 by
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Have you ever stopped to think about why you read and interact on the blogs that you do? Since I am a regular blogger I am always striving to write the one blog that will drive tons of traffic and create lots of buzz in the comment section. Over the past year or so that I have been blogging consistently I have noticed a few patterns in some blog posts that tend to drive more traffic and comments. I decided to share these patterns with you today, grab a pen and paper and take some notes to look at while writing your next post:

Write a Strong Title – I’ve experimented A LOT with titles. I’ve tried funny titles, short titles that make the reader curious, and titles that cut through the bull and tell the reader what the post is about. Hands down, the winner is the titles that cut through the bull. I believe the reason is simple – time is at a premium and readers don’t want to read something they are not interested in. Tell them what the article is about and you will get better read rates.

Be Clear and Concise – Try to keep your real estate blog post to 400 – 500 words. I have found the most opened and commented posts are the ones that share tips, how to’s, secrets, benefits, lists, etc that people can really use.

Go From Point A to Point B – Have a clear message you want to deliver to your reader. Beginning your blog with a question, followed by a short story and then the answer to the question you asked is a good format to follow. Don’t get stuck in a rut though. Mix your format up a little bit.

Be Credible – I know I’ve stopped reading many bloggers’ work because they lost credibility with me somehow. Be you, and check your facts before you post something. It is ok if others disagree with an opinion of yours, in fact it can be good because it will drive interaction. But don’t say anything that can be proven to be untrue.

Comment on Comments – This is VERY important, and you know why. You wouldn’t ignore someone who spoke directly to you while in an almost empty elevator would you? Not commenting or interacting with others is the same thing.

I hope you’ve gained some useful info from today’s post. If you have any other tips about blogging you would like to share, please do so below in the comment section. I look forward to meeting and interacting with you there.


6 Tweet Ideas for Real Estate

Posted on: February 8th, 2012 by
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I recently wrote a blog post about how Realtors can find blog topics.  Click here to read it.  In this blog, I suggested that agents pay attention to the parts of the transaction that buyers and seller struggle with, listen to the questions the public is asking them, and think about what their buyers and sellers want to know and use those ideas as topics for blogs.  I thought it was pretty funny to write a blog post about what to write in a blog post, but the post got a lot of traffic and generated a fair amount of buzz with the agents who I talked to that week.  So, today, I’m going to copy my idea from a couple of weeks ago with a little twist.  Today I’m writing a blog about what to tweet on Twitter.  Here are some ideas, so bookmark this page and refer back to it when you run out of ideas for tweets.

1. Blog Posts – Tweet the title to your most recent blog and a link to the post.  If you use a feed service like HootSuite or have a plugin for your WordPress site, you can set this up once and you will tweet automatically every time you post a blog.  It doesn’t get any easier than that!

2. @Replies – By responding to others’ posts and conversations, you are showing them that you care about what they are tweeting.  This is the ideal way to begin interaction with others.  Simply enter the @ sign and their twitter handle and type your message.

3. Ask Questions – You’ll be amazed at the responses you’ll get if you just ask a simple question.

4. Tweet Photos – You know what they say… “A picture is worth a hundred forty characters.”  Tweet a pic of your happy sellers or buyers from your closing yesterday, a picture of your most recent listing, etc.

5. Accomplishments – Tweet about your most recent closing, your new listing, your salesperson of the month award or any other personal achievement.  Do it in a way where you don’t come across as bragging for optimum results.

6. Industry News – Tweet a positive real estate headline for the day.  This news is easily found by setting up a Google Alert for national or local real estate news.  Those news articles will be emailed to you daily.  Pick the headline you like (the most positive headline) and tweet it.

We often make Twitter more difficult than it really has to be by drawing a blank regarding what we should tweet.  The main thing to remember with Twitter is that it is important to be active and social.  You must interact with others when they DM or @reply you in order to be successful with this platform. 

If you have another awesome tweet idea for real estate agents, then DM me @mortgagehuntr.  I look forward to reading what you have to say and interacting with you in Twitterland.


My Password Creation Tip

Posted on: February 7th, 2012 by
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Yesterday, I wrote about Google’s new privacy policy and how Big Brother, I mean Google, will be watching how you use their services and will start customizing your search results based on how you use their other services.  I also recommended that if you use any Google services for business purposes that you open new accounts with those services specifically for your business.  Well, this raised some eyebrows and ruffled some feathers of some Realtors.  Some were unhappy with the intrusive nature of Google’s new methods and others were just unhappy with the fact that they will need another set of passwords for the Google services they use.  Unfortunately, I can’t help you with Google’s intrusive new policy other than to recommend you start using Yahoo! or Bing, but I can help you with the password problem.

Today, I’m going to share with you my trick for creating multiple easy to remember but tough to crack passwords for your web surfing pleasure.  Ready?

Ok, so let’s say you need a new password for Yahoo!.  The first thing you need to do is choose two special characters listed above the numbers on the number keys of your keyboard.  These same two characters are going to be the start of EVERY single password you create from now on.  Now you are going to choose two more special characters to put at the end of your password. These characters will also be used at the end of EVERY single password you create.  For our Yahoo! password maybe I choose the special characters above the “1″ the “0″ the “2″ and the “7″ since that is my birthday.  So to start my password I’ve chosen “!” “)” and to end my password, I’ve chosen “@” and “&.”  From here I am simply going to put the name of the website between those two sets of symbols so my Yahoo! password looks like this, “!)Yahoo!@&”  According to www.howsecureismypassword.net, a desktop pc would take about 231 years to hack my password!  Now, this password is pretty secure; however, we are going to step it up a notch.  We are going to change some of the letters in the password to symbols or numbers, and we are going to do this consistently with every site we use.  For example, I may choose to change all of my a’s to @’s, all of my o’s to 0′s, all of my l’s to 1′s, and so on.  The trick here is consistency!  So, we’ll do this for our Yahoo! password, and now it looks like this !)Y@h00!@&.  According to www.howsecureismypassword.net, it will take someone about 928 years to hack that my new Yahoo! password.  Personally, I like the thought that it will take someone 928 years to get into my account, and part of me hopes that they will sit at their monitor waiting until they get it hacked.  But I really like the idea that this is a very secure password, and I can remember what my password is because it is in the same format as all of my other passwords, even though it is very different than my other passwords.

I hope this process helps you with your passwords.  If you have any other super cool password generation tips, then please leave them in the comment section below.  If you know of anyone who you think can benefit from the information in this blog, then please forward or share this post with them.  Also, please note that NO password was harmed in the writing of this blog post!


Some Helpful Hints for Realtors Regarding Google’s Privacy Policy Change

Posted on: February 4th, 2012 by
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This past week I got the email I’d been hearing about for the previous 10-14 days.  Google sent out their new privacy policy recently to all of their users.  The new policy is intended to ease the burden of having a different privacy policy for every single product they offer.  Google also says the policy will help it to better understand your browsing experience.  This means that whatever you do while you are using a Google service can/will be considered when you are searching.  So, whatever you watch on YouTube will factor in to results while you are Google searching.  With this policy change, Google is confirming that your search results are different than my search results. 

Well, what does all of this mean to you and me?  It means we need to separate church and state… well, actually business and personal.  You may want to open a separate Google account for your business for each Google service you use.  So, if you have one Gmail account, and you use that account for personal and business emailing and you use Google for search while you are logged in to that one Gmail account, then your search results will be influenced by your personal emails sent on Gmail.  So, the best thing to do is set up a Gmail account for your business use (if you don’t have one through the server with your company) and a Gmail account for your personal use.  Do this same thing with YouTube, Google Voice, etc, etc.

After you do this, be sure you pay extra special attention to which account you are logged into when you are searching on Google because your search results will be effected going forward.  Remember to keep personal personal and business business.

For the most part you will notice very little change in Google’s services if you follow the tip above.  I know, I know.  We now have another whole set of passwords and usernames to keep up with – which gives me the idea for my blog topic for tomorrow… my tip for unique and easy to remember passwords.  The new policy is part of Google’s way of making their search algorithm more personal and, therefore, tougher to duplicate (sorry Bing!).



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