Mississauga Real Estate Websites for Sale

Established, High Traffic Websites

Are you an agent looking to build leads in the Toronto area?  One of my clients is interested in selling his well established websites.  The main website has had a solid history of traffic in Mississauga, Milton, Port Credit, and Oakville region. Another website is focused on the Toronto real estate market and yet another focuses on Milton. Milton is a very hot market.  One more website is a mortgage website.

This is a great opportunity for any agent who has plenty of listed homes and needs more exposure.  These sites have a lot of potential.

It takes quite a while to establish a new real estate website so these sites can give you a decided headstart on your online marketing campaign. If you’re an established Mississauga realtor, this can be a vital addition to your presence.

Call Damir at 905-828-3434 to discuss an offer.

Positioning for the Coming Real Estate Boom

Long Extended Cycle Means Real Estate Sales Demand will Return Like a Tsunami

A number of real estate marketing service companies are preparing for the return of the real estate market. And let’s face it, if they begin preparation now, they will be well positioned to take the market when it returns.  Zillow, Realestatewebmasters, and Market Leader are 3 companies to look at as the battle of this market shapes up.  And there are many smaller hosting and marketing companies looking to carve out a niche.

Real Estate Services is one market sector worth a look if you’re an investor looking for the next breakout opportunity. There are millions of real estate agents in North America, Caribbean, and the UK and their sector is very competitive, yet most agents don’t have the skill or time to do marketing well. Those agents/brokers do their online marketing well stand to dominate their local markets.

Rising Stars in Realtor Marketing Services Online

3 high profile companies stand out as the lead horses in the race to dominate the real estate marketing service category.  This category is about helping real estate companies gain visibility online, manage contacts, optimize email and ad campaigns, create leads, and build client loyalty.  Given that all agents are turning to the web to generate sales leads, those companies that can provide these services are going to be highly valuated in the years ahead.

Zillow, Real Estate Webmasters, and Market Leader are the 3 top contenders to take the realtor service industry.  Zillow had its high profile IPO launch last year and is now valuated at a billion dollars.  It shows how a good idea (groupon, linkedin) can take off these days and make investors incredibly rich. Real estate webmasters is another successful company that might make such a move soon too. Market Leader ® recently purchased realestate.com and is purported to now be worth $84 Million.  One interview with the company’s exec stated the company is losing money yet is still worth 100 to 200 million potentially. Realestate.com is a great property however they’ll need more to compete at the top level.

Zillow, (partnered with Yahoo), recently bought Diverse solutions (powerful idx solutions) to bolster its ability to create leads. The IPO will give Zillow the funds it needs to be a real estate marketing leader. First to market really, since not many companies have established themselves as a leader in real estate marketing services. Most are positioned as real estate agent web hosting companies. The market is fragmented due to the fact that mls associations are themselves fragmented. Zillow, and Yahoo’s Trulia are after the national market in the US, and they’re offering real estate agent advertising services.

Realestatewebmasters is perhaps the largest real estate web hosting company providing a complete content and client contact management system. Each customer is responsible for their own content development and marketing. Realestatewebmasters has some great website solutions (some customers might pay up to $30k setting up their custom site in the first year) however, because it is a system, it presents some limitations for lead conversion (standard programming). Realestatewebmasters doesn’t have agreements with all mls associations across North America.

What Zillow, Market Leader ®, Trulia, Realtor.ca, Realtor.com and other big players in this sector don’t offer to agents, is strategic, original content and dedicated marketing services. Their customers are basically provided with a generic hosting and visibility service. Agents are so desperate for leads however, that they are signing up. An advanced type of service that helps individual agents with content development services and top level SEO and Social Media strategies, will be more attractive. If an agent doesn’t get the leads and sales they need, they are quick to move onto another hosting provider. There’s lots of churn in the real estate hosting business.

Given that the large services can’t deliver the dedicated service and original content targeted for local city markets, there is a niche that can be exploited by dedicated content developers.  Right now, IDX solutions are all the rage, but with the changes in Google’s search engine algorithm, new, original, engaging and sales converting content will be what everyone is after. The big companies won’t be creating that strategic content for agents.

Are you looking for a great real estate opportunity in Vancouver? Check out the new Global Education City project in Richmond BC.

How Big Money Gets the Job Done

Mattamy Homes President Donates 40 Million Dollars to Charity

Yes, I just had to tell you how you can get top rankings on Google right away and push other websites down the rankings. You just make a high profile donation that journalists and real estate writers will gladly write about it and link to your website. Huge cash donations are definitely buzzworthy and this has already produced 1000′s of citations. Normally Mattamy Homes has the top spot in searches for “mattamy homes” and they are a major residential home builder in the Toronto area.  There are a lot of searches for Mattamy homes.

After the donation was made, see how the rankings changed.

This is a good example of how good deeds can really help with organic link building although you can better performance for your link building budget by hiring an SEO.  Consider all the little things you might do for a local charity or community organization, then report the general event or activity to your local newspapers, and mention it on your facebook, twitter, and website pages. If you have $40 mil to donate then make sure you have me plan your event to get the best bang for your buck :)

Link Baiting

The Holy Grail of SEO – A Winning Link Baiting Strategy

As much as Google’s algorithm has evolved over the years, it is still backlinks to your site that generates your site’s ranking and ultimately your web traffic.  The most difficult task in search engine optimization though is link building. You need links on other websites pointing to your website, yet not many other website owners want to link to your site, especially if you’re just another humdrum real estate agent with nothing to differentiate you and demonstrate your value proposition.

To get bloggers, other real estate agents, website owners, journalists, and facebook enthusiasts to link to your site, you’ll need to generate some timely, valuable or buzzworthy content – information or other content to share with them. You’ll need time and a creative strategy to embark on your new link baiting program. Link baiting is the term used to describe how you’ll lure visitors to your site(s) and get them to talk about you and link to your site(s).

Link Baiting is going to get you thinking creatively and seriously about your unique value proposition and how you can differentiate your brand image. This is a useful exercise from many angles. It could end up being a lot of fun too.

Gimmicky Link Baiting: When SEO and other online marketers talk about successful link baiting strategies, they often talk about campaigns that were kind of gimmicky. For example, one marketing company used videos of an electric household blender where they blended just about any object they could find. Another put just anything they could find into a microwave oven and watched it melt, spark or explode. Not particularly effective from a branding perspective since it was kind of juvenile. However, it did get a lot of people linking to their client’s sites and they were said to have generated a good ranking boost in Google search results. If a realtor or other small business person used these tactics, it would damage their professional image.

To start your link baiting strategy, you need a goal — and the goal is to get others to share your news or content with others. If you can target only real estate related industry, that’s great, but you may want to broaden your scope to include home, house and garden, economy, and other related topics. Other agents are not likely willing to link to your site so it might not be wise to limit your strategy to real estate sites.

First of all, THINK BIG because this opens up your mind to your larger goals and the scope of what you might do. Then, pretend you’re selling another type of service or product (let’s say shoes, golf balls, cell phones, new car, etc) because that will get you thinking about the process of creative idea generation and link baiting. If you just think about real estate, you’re going to be stuck inside the box in your overly familiar business. You need to get outside the box so you can brainstorm creatively in a realm where you have no preconceptions. Freeing up your creative mind is job number one.

You need interesting, stimulative, and engaging content ideas.

Here’s a List of Linking Baiting Tactics:

  • breaking news stories
  • a great offer or promotional discount
  • unusual or controversial news story or opinion
  • upcoming events
  • vital market insight
  • a branded MLS mobile app
  • sending your buzzworthy news item or article to popular bloggers/journalists
  • an interesting video (such as the most lavish expensive home in your city)
  • offer a video or graphic that people can use on their websites and tell them to talk about it
  • put social sharing buttons (Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin) on your articles/news story
  • controversial views on local or state politicians and their stand on real estate development
  • discuss new real estate developments and benefit or harm they might produce
  • Interview someone important in the industry
  • run a contest
  • infographics
  • detailed article/section on your website covering the lifestyle of your community
  • create a new acronym for something in your industry
  • commenting on other people’s blogs and announcing your great content (not comment spamming)
The Hook
Just as in advertising, you need to find something specific that gets people’s attention and pulls them to your site. The hook grabs readers so it might be humorous, controversial, ironic, shocking, or confounding.  Whether people respond to your content or article can come down to one or two specific things — whether it is sympathetic to their views or in opposition to their views. it stimulates an emotion or a problem and now they’ve got to find a way to solve it – mentally and emotionally.
Some of the Challenges of Link Baiting Campaigns – Twitter Undercuts your Buzzworthiness

Viral Link Baiting

Yes, going viral is a great goal. Social media by its very nature is about sharing, so if you can create something good, it can get spread around the social world like wildfire. You’ll need to create a Facebook page, Twitter Account, Youtube account and other social media pages to broaden your sharing ability and to be seen as relevant to social sharers. You need to be one of them.

Viral Marketing and Link Baiting

Some say viral marketing and link baiting are 2 different things. Viral marketing is meant to spread a brand friendly message whereas link baiting is after a web link ultimately. At the end of your link bait strategy is a request or push to have readers link to your target web page. Viral marketing is therefore more open-ended I guess, whereas link baiting is specific and not necessarily brand friendly. That’s why many link baiting marketers use a separate website as their target. Creating a separate microsite for your link baiting might be a good idea, such as your Youtube channel. In fact you might want to target all of your web sites and then link to your main real estate website.

One of the best viral techniques going today is the mobile app for iphones, androids and ipads. An app that can present mls listings to mobile users is great, but soon realtors will be going much further by making their mobile website version and facebook pages a strategic focus. Your mobile mls app should offer more for home buyers and impressed home sellers.  The app can be one of the most effective viral marketing and link baiting tools too.

Good luck with your SEO and link baiting campaigns. Let me know what you’re doing right now.

The Future of Search

Social Signals Rising as a Ranking Factor?

I haven’t done many posts on SEO and Search Engine Ranking Algorithms, so I thought I’d begin touching on those topics. When we speak of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), we’re really talking about Google and it’s search engine indexing algorithm. Google owns 80% of the search market).

Their search engine algorithm “algo” is a mathematical equation that measures and weighs web pages and then determines which pages are the best ones to present to Google search users. Google claims there are at least 100 factors in the algorithm, however there could be many more and the most recent involve social media activity.

Google began back in 1998 with its rudimentary search algorithm which weighed a limited set of ranking factors, such as keyword density, exact keyword matching, link text, link popularity, and domain/keyword matching. It was actually better than Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, and other popular search engines of the time.  The Google guys worked on making the algorithm more complex so it could pick out better websites and web pages.  They wanted to thwart SEO specialists like me who were manipulating their search results pages. Admittedly, some of my client’s websites really weren’t the best for searches people were doing. In fact, some were awful. Good for my clients who were getting boatloads of traffic and business revenue, but Google’s customers weren’t getting to the really best sites.  Google tried to ensure they did find those good sites.

Along the way in the last decade, Google introduced new ranking criteria such as authority, trust, latent semantics, and pagerank to better filter out poor web pages and emphasize the good ones. Every time they introduce a new improvement to their ranking system, SEOs learn how to take advantage of it. That’s our job.

Today, achieving high rankings is not so much about putting keywords in text, links and headings, nor about getting hundreds of links pointing to your site. Google does assess consumer online behaviour which is why some are protesting about privacy invasion (recent allegations about them tracking iPhone users). The protest is more likely Google competitors trying to thwart Google’s search algorithm and reduce Google market dominance.

Google is actually one giant, powerful computer and they have many ways to see a website’s activity and how people are interacting with it. With that info, they can move beyond the obvious keywords stuffed into a page.  They know how much traffic sites receive and how long people stay on a site, so they’ll obviously use that data to optimize their search results. If you use the Chrome browser or have the Google toolbar installed or hop back and forth between Youtube, Google search, and Google +, they can track your activities.

In your Google webmaster account, Google indicates how many times your pages showed for which keyword phrases, where your traffic came from, who links to your site, and how long people stay on your site.

Original Content and Site Stickiness

It’s important now to make your site sticky. You need good quality, original content that gets people to stay a while and read, and content that gets people to click away to another site and come back. All that clicking activity means people are very engaged in your site. You want visitors from more locations on the web and from sites related to yours. These are good signals about how valuable your site is.

Increasingly,  your site’s rankings will be affected by your content quality. If people click away quickly, it can actually damage your rankings. SEO can only do so much to bolster a poor quality site — and Google’s eager to make it tough for us SEOs.

Social Media is thought to be increasing in importance. This chart below by SEOmoz’s Rand Fishkin shows how social media signals are being used to affect rankings.  The factors in dark orange show the factors that are increasing in importance.  Social media cues might be anything from referals from social media sites, likes, links from Twitter, Twitter follows, and time spent viewing Youtube videos.  Google will be struggling with social signals.  One thing for sure is that social site referals such as visits from your Google + or Facebook page can influence rankings.  All of this might be an extension of their ability to track searchers and assess their online behaviour.

Social Media Factors in Google Algorithm

Additional search engine rankings factors is content originality something they harp about a lot. That’s why blogs can rank very well, provided you still blog within in a focused search engine optimization strategy. Blogging aimlessly won’t achieve the results hoped for.  Google is still a database company and they must use an algorithm to determine which pages are most relevant for a particular search.  Your blogging, facebook, twitter posts, and youtube pages need to work together to give Google the signals it needs.

Is your 2012 sales season looking questionable? Rather than doing nothing and crossing your fingers, it might be time to get professional help. You can capture tremendous levels of traffic from Google and even improve the results you get from your local mls. Get your site found by using Professional Level SEO and you’ll get the leads and sales you want.

iPad Launch March 7

Apple’s Latest iPad Device Coming Soon

Apple’s Branding has Lots to Teach you as a Realtor

Apple is likely going to announce the release of it’s latest version of the iPad tablet and a lot of people will be eager to buy it. The main reason I mention the new iPad 3, is not just because it is a device that can add immeasurably to your branding and sales efforts as an agent.  The ipad / iphone apps offer lots of functionality such as the ability to show homes to clients while you’re with them face to face.  You get differentiated from the crowd and they get to see homes in incredibly high resolution — the iPad 3 will have an incredible 2048 x 1356 pixel resolutions and may have full 1028 hi res video.  Great for wowing prospects with a home’s beauty — of course you’ll have to upgrade your photography.

The iPad 3 buzz showcases the Apple brand – and it’s the brand image of Apple that I wanted to talk about. By now, Google Android should have taken over the market, but it hasn’t. Google had everything going for it with with the Google branding power, cheap devices, lots of apps and open source code for developers, and lots of phone devices to put their software on.  They even let the smartphone manufacturers do their marketing for them. Where Google failed is in the clarity and focus of their brand, and Facebook has lowered the value of their brand.

Apple on the other hand is focused. They make the phones and the software and the brand has built up such an astonishing prestige and strength, it seems unstoppable. Consumers recently were even stampeding in China to buy the new iPhone 4s. China isn’t supposed to be a viable market for the $600 iphone but they love it over there too.  Apple’s brand is very strong and people love the company and anything it makes. I believe Apple stock will rise well beyond $500 when the iPad 3 sales pick up steam. They’ve done it again with a device that overshadows all others.

They’re a Market Leader.

Branding is more than a Logo or Graphic Style

If you think branding is a logo, then take another look at the Apple logo and ask yourself whether it represents anything to you? I don’t even know what the bite out of the apple means? But it doesn’t matter to me. I wanted the iPhone not an Android from Samsung or whoever.  The word Android is irrelevant to most consumers and its kind of impersonal. The iPhone was the first to come up with the big glass touch screen and it is the one believe is the real Internet Phone.

The Latest Apple Logo

The appeal and functionality of the device makes any logo irrelevant, in fact the lgo may actually detract from the brand. Apple might consider some eco-friendly symbol to represent its new devices or how about a social type of symbol? It might not be too long before we see a smartphone with the Facebook logo on it, but it wouldn’t overcome Apple’s popularity. Whatever the price, people will pay for it.

 

 

 

Here’s what marketing minds says about the Apple brand:

The Apple Brand Personality

Apple has a branding strategy that focuses on the emotions. The Apple brand personality is about lifestyle; imagination; liberty regained; innovation; passion; hopes, dreams and aspirations; and power-to-the-people through technology. The Apple brand personality is also about simplicity and the removal of complexity from people’s lives; people-driven product design; and about being a really humanistic company with a heartfelt connection with its customers.

Well, that’s their description but the Apple brand is a powerful, complex image in my head and has nothing to do with the logo. If you’re getting your business cards, flyers, or website done you might be asking the designer about the logo as if that will be your realtor brand.  Increasingly though, I think a logo is a very limited and ineffective way to brand.  A million other agents could have a similar logo (including your Remax or Century 21 logo) so it’s ability to differentiate and promote you is questionable.

Branding is heading in the direction of images, sounds, words, and events that create a multi-dimensional memory in consumers minds. This is what social media marketing is really about. Social media is active, visual, and personal so it’s potential to promote is strong.

Since social media is important to your 2012 marketing efforts, consider hiring a social media marketer with a solid plan for building your realtor brand image.  That campaign should help power up your SEO, MLS leads, and client loyalty.

Social Media Strategy for Business

Consumers, Clients and Purchase Influencers are All Online

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It’s not just homebuyers that are online today.  Stats show that most consumers have an increasing reliance on digital devices to connect socially, get informed, and manage their lives. From iPads to Android phones to their laptops, they search and connect 24 hours  a day. As these devices improve and businesses offer mobile friendly sites/social media pages, they’ll use them even more.

For any business not to have a top notch presence online is risky. A business without a well trafficked, highly ranked, and social active website is bound to be valuated lower by customers and investors. A realtor with a strong website will often be considered more relevant  to buyers and sellers than one who has  just a broker contact page.  On a continuum then, where do you think you should be on the “presence scale?”

Social Media

One recent study showed that almost 40% of businesses don’t have a social media strategy.  That’s probably low. I doubt few companies could even visualize or formulate a social media strategy. It’s complex and social media vehicles keep changing and mutating.  A lot of work for some and very confusing for most. And we don’t want to get into the matter of how many social savvy marketers are destroying their brands and customer relationships with bad social media marketing.

I think the difficulty and fear of social media is actually stopping a lot of companies from planning their overall online/offline marketing campaigns well because they’re confused about the direction of marketing and promotion. It’s like a nagging pain or itch that distracts you as you go about your work.  Companies have turned away from SEO because they’ve heard that social media is now the way to do online marketing. Budgets are getting reduced, skewed, and scattered. Some are neglecting search engine marketing because of the promise of cheap social media marketing.  Well, social media marketing isn’t cheap and it still hasn’t proved it’s anywhere nearly effective as SEO and PPC in generating new leads and sales. What social media is good for is in building brands, engaging customers and maintaining customer loyalty. That is if it’s done well. So that’s why you and your brokerage need a good social media strategy. Is your brokerage providing that customer loyalty/brand leadership in social media?

I know: “My brokerage doesn’t do anything for me!

All businesses have some issue regarding the value they offer, and today, customers are value conscious. Social media is a great way to establish value in customers minds.  If your commission and sales ability is the issue, then this might be the goal of your social media strategy.  Combining SEO and social media can help you get that clear branding message out there – that you can deliver value.

The best way to get on top of the whole social media quagmire and conquer it, is to work with an agency or a good consultant.  The key to good social media usage is how it supports your brand, to communicate, sharpen, and increase the value of your brand. And it’s about building good relationships and keeping them moving in a positive direction.  There are some very good agencies who focus on social media campaigns, however you’ll have to determine what your budget can accommodate. If your real issue is a lack of visitors on your website, don’t neglect your SEO efforts. That’s the fountainhead of your future social media campaign.

Warren Buffet Says Boom Times in Real Estate Ahead

The World’s Wealthiest Man Gives Real Estate the Thumbs Up

In an interview with CNBC, the Oracle of Omaha  says real estate investment will far outperform other investment vehicles.  Buffett said single-family homes in the US are cheap and attractive investments while treasury bills, gold or cash are not going to fare well in the coming years. He said he would like to buy hundreds of thousands of homes at current prices then sell them years ahead.

However, he saw what is the biggest problem for large scale property management/investment — that homes located all over the place are difficult to manage and would entail a lot of risk and expense. Here’s a great opportunity for an enterprising agent/broker to team up with a property management company 0r some real estate investors.

The coming demand will come from the growing disatisfaction of people living with their inlaws or those renting and not having any investment equity.  In 2011, the annual pace of housing starts in the US was 609,000 a lot less than the household formation of 1.14 million. That’s a lot of people without their own home.

Warren Buffett Real Estate Prediction

I wouldn’t imagine that will stop a lot of hungry real estate investors who are determined to make a fortune in real estate. And let’s face it, real estate is where the real money is made, and these big growth phases in the market don’t come along very often. It’s all about being ready and well positioned to capitalize on a market that will outpace all else. If Warren Buffet is all abuzz about it, then maybe you have all the motivation you need to maximize your niche in real estate sales.

Will you be working with the growing hoards of property management and small real estate investors?  Without exposure online and the ability to establish and build relationships online, you’re looking from outside in.

Are you wondering about where to take your real estate sales career? Hundreds of thousands of agents will fumble through this next boom in the real estate market without the digital tools to create leads, automate lead management, generate sales,  and build client loyalty. These are the basics of a solid, long lasting and successful real estate career.

Real Estate Sales Tips

From SEO to Lead Conversion to Branding

Have a read of the best articles on real estate sales tips and other areas of online real estate marketing:

Mobile MLS

The development of Mobile apps is big business today.  Given that home buyers are looking for homes on their iPhones, Ipads, and Android phones,  you must have a mobile version of your website for them to use. Your regular website might not be mobile browers friendly.  Currently, homebuyers are searching using the free Realtor.com appRealtor.ca app, and the Trulia mobile app but that’s doing much for you.  You need your own custom app to keep your clients loyal   Discover the best ipad apps for realtors and apps for the new Apple  iPad 3 and iPhone 4S.

MLS – MLS Mobile App

Apps for Viewing MLS Listings via MLS.com

Are you searching for homes or condos via your mobile phone?  Download the MLS app for iPhone, Android, Windows 7 and iPad.  Collectively, the MLS app for all these phones let you search in the target city, neighborhood, or the latest listings for your favorite real estate brokerage or agent. All your MLS listing information is available including pictures of properties.  There are rival real estate apps including the  Zillow app  and the Trulia App and you can download those apps for free too. Newer apps are being developed now that allow realtors to add value for home hunters.

Realtor.com App

The REALTOR.com app is a real estate app for your Apple, Android or Windows allowing you to view the same MLS listings from REALTOR.com. You can peruse over 3 million homes for sale, rentals, and millions more property records and other types of real estate via your phone. The MLS mobile app is a free download so that you are free to find the real estate information you need whenever and wherever you need it. You can download on itunes, Android market, or the Windows Phone Marketplace.

MLS App for iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile Phones

MLS App for iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile Phones

REALTOR.com’s mobile MLS app uses the phone’s GPS functionality to show properties wherever you go making your active search on the road that much more productive.  This app makes it easy to save a home or condo listing  you’re interested in to your  REALTOR.com account,  or send it to your friends and family via email, Facebook or Twitter.

* The Realtor.com app for Apple ios phones and tablets has just been upgraded.    Home hunters can identify foreclosed listings and price reductions and app also features a new Nearby Recently Sold search on the home page.  Sold data may be available on the app as soon as 24 hours after closing.   The MLS app’s Area Scout feature is more prominent in the navigation and it updates a map with new listings as you travel  around a neighborhood.  The Area Highlighter has also been put on the home screen and it allows the user to draw a border around a specific area on the map to isolate listings within that specific boundary.

iPad 3 – Great Way to Surf the Web or View Home Listings No Matter Where you Are

The new iPad 3 will offer many new features however even the soon to be discounted iPad 2 is very user friendly.  If you have the iPad 2, you’ll enjoy the widescreen viewing of homes and condos. You won’t see video on the MLS app however viewing pictures is great. The iPad 3 will have twice the resolution of the iPad 2 giving users exceptional clarity of hi res photographs offered on real estate websites. MLS.com and most realtor websites however do not carry hi res photos because of the large file size and bandwidth concerns.

The MLS on iPad lets you:

  • Use the powerful, data-rich search & full-page mapping capabilities  using the Area Highlighter, Area Scout, Nearby Homes for Sale, Foreclosures, and Recently Sold Properties
  • Zoom in on the map to see recently sold homes and condos for sale
  • View the large gallery views of properties
  • Find price-reduced condos, land, and homes for sale with new map pins and listing indicators
  • Save your favorite listings and searches
  • Save time by having the “Viewed” indicator so you don’t review homes you have already seen

If you are about to buy the iPad 3, you’ll be pleased with its outstanding features. Even for real estate agents, the iPad provides an in person, multimedia tour of homes allowing the agent to provide  insight into the value of properties while you’re there with them in person.

Short Demo on how to Use the MLS App from Realtor.com

Do you have any questions about the MLS or Realtor.ca in Canada?  Vancouver home prices are still a great investment. Check available Vancouver MLS listings now.  Live in Mississauga and need a Mississauga real estate agent?

Progressive real estate agents in Vancouver, SeattleLos AngelesSan DiegoEdmonton, Las Vegas, Denver, or San Francisco, it’s very important to leverage the power of mobile real estate marketing. Some of the Mobile MLS apps allow customized, personal branding which allows you to impress your clients and inevitably reach more buyers via smartphones and iPads.  Power up your social media and SEO promotion with Realty Market Leader.

Real Estate Agent Branding – Key To Maximum Leads and Sales

Real Estate Agent Brand Strategy

Top selling real estate agents often have a great brand image and when you’re working with people, you want to have the characteristics they like.  A good brand comes down to trust, competence, credibility, and a unique value offer and top agents must have projected that well enough to generate completed sales.

An agent with a bad brand image is one who appears to have the traits buyers and sellers don’t want to have anything to do with.  Normally, you can’t do much about your skin color, age, lack of hair, height, weight, brokerage, gender, or appearance, so compensating with strengths in other areas may help you get past people’s common prejudices. A strong brand can overcome consumer’s prejudices and launch your career through the glass ceiling that you thought could forever hold you back.

Relying on your photograph as your key branding tool leaves you stuck with consumer’s prejudices. Which of these agents below would you like to work with? Now you know about prejudice.  Your branding strategy can help you deal with all this and turn down the volume on prejudices/preferences that previously lost client opportunities.

What is the ideal Realtor Image? A face can say a thousand words, however an Agent needs to be more than a pretty face.

Strategic Brand Image Development for Realtors

If your branding consultant just talks web design and can’t articulate the fundamentals of personal branding and building your persona, then you need to find a consultant who can. The details of your personal realtor brand is composed of brand values integrated according to an effective strategy.  A brand only exists when it is focused according to the brand plan.

Some real estate professionals are using Facebook to boost their brand image and reach prospects and clients while others are developing flashy new blogs and websites.  A polished web presence is very smart, yet even that might not do it. There are plenty of agents who have lousy websites and still convert leads so there’s more going on here than meets the eye. In fact, you may have already faced this frustration, wondering why your website isn’t generating leads.

First of all, websites are a dime a dozen, and a blog or Facebook page can actually harm your brand image. Facebook pages are difficult to make unique so they make you look just another sheep in the pen. You need to look conforming to a certain degree but you have to stand out from the crowd in a relevant way.

Why can’t I just show one or two agents who really have the branding thing down? Because buyers are different genders, age, incomes, nationalities, race, and have unique personalities. You can’t be all things to all prospects so good branding may require focusing on specific market niches. You’ll need to decide on how to approach them.

You can focus on urban condos and lofts (end products) or you can focus on community involvement (personal affinity). You can also try to incorporate many brand values into your strategy, however you need an overall game plan. But first, consider the basics of your new powerful brand image.

Brand Values

  • Top Sales
  • Personable – friendly
  • Attractive/Interested
  • Helpful/Generosity
  • Low Commission
  • Experience
  • Trustworthy/Honest
  • Connected/Social
  • Effective/Successful

These traits above are what you use to create your brand persona.  Your brand persona is what advertising people envision to create effective characters in ads. You have to embody the traits that home buyers and sellers prefer.

Think about what the most powerful images, words, and activities describe the ideal persona for you.  Your web design should revolve around those images, pictures, colors, and words.  Building your web design first is a mistake.

Perhaps this is one reason why real estate agents avoid unique web designs? If you don’t know who you are professionally, how can you decide on a design that represents you?

Look into MLS mobile apps can help you generate and convert leads. Home buyers are using their iPads, iPhones, Android phones to access home listings and find agents. They’re downloading the Realtor.com appRealtor.ca app, and the Trulia mobile app but they could be downloading your custom mobile mls app.  Discover the best ipad apps for realtors and apps for the new iPhone 4S.

Open House Manager for iPad

Open Houses a Great Lead Generation Strategy

If you don’t like some aspects of open houses as a tactic to create buyers and to create new clients, you’re missing out on a key way to improve your business. The number of people searching for open houses may be limited and many of them may be dreamers rather than buyers, however a certain percentage are qualified buyers. That’s particularly true when they’ve had a chance to peruse your property listings online and like what they see. If they’ve come through realtor.ca, realtor.com, or the  MLS listings then they are interested.  It may be some work to convert open house leads, but over a full year, it is bound to pay off with some sales.

The quality of open house leads may depend on the quality of the MLS and your own website. If some visitors are a security threat and are unqualified time wasters, then your lead generation channel is not working. It’s time to review where you’re getting your leads from.

To increase the quality of your open house leads, advertise under high quality keyword phrases – be specific if you’re using Google adwords. If Google organic is giving you leads, rewrite your title tag, meta description and the copy in your pages to help you screen out poor quality leads. Describe the ideal buyer for that home and qualify who should come to the open house. Triflers will screen themselves out.

Triflers are a big problem in any area of marketing. You need to subtlely turn off triflers by asking something from them. Ask them to register for the open house or ask them for permission to contact you. Triflers generally don’t like phone calls or any kind of commitment.  Ask them about themselves. Ask them specifically what type of home and price range they’re interested in. Triflers don’t really know and will avoid the question.  Serious, intent buyers won’t mind  revealing some information — they’re on a mission to find their dream home.

Although open houses advertised via yard signs isn’t as popular today, the technique of using open houses to generate clients is still worthwhile.  The Internet and these mobile open house apps below can help you access many potential clients who are out and looking for homes. Refine your filter strategy and serve the relevant ones.

Open House Management Apps

Open House Manager and Open Home Pro are software applications which you can mange via your PC, Mac, iPad, or mobile phone. It was developed by  IUWow and you the agent can create Open House listings and share them with your current clients and new prospects by email within application. The problem with how most agents handle open houses is they don’t promote them enough and they’re never sure whether anyone will show up. If no one shows up, it is embarrassing since your client may wonder whether you are competent in marketing their home for sale.

Open House Manager

Open House Manager App for Mobile Phones - Android iPhone iPad

Open House Manager App offers these features:

- Intuitive interface simplies data entry for visitors.
- Custom questionairre design for email, phone number, checkbox and option questions.
- Synchronize visitor information with Apple’s Address Book or Microsoft Outlook 2003 & 2007 which can be uploaded to your CRM system!
- email marketing to potential buyers – notify them of price drops or other properties they might be interested in.
- Homeowner Email Report – send homeowner a report with the number of visitors and the comments on their house.
- collect visitor list  (including CSV formatted file).

Open Home Pro offers these features:

• Manage all of your leads from referrals to ones you meet at open houses
• Automatically followup with leads using new contact methods that get opened and read more than 2x the industry average
• Create beautiful listing pages for all of your properties that buyers can leave feedback on or get in touch with you with one click.
• Export any collected data to excel or a CRM like top producer with one click

Open Home Pro App for iPad, iPhone or Android

It’s time to leverage a great opportunity to impress your sales clients and generate new client leads with these mobile apps.  As a tech savvy agent, you’re creating the right brand image to give you market leadership.

It’s time to look at how MLS mobile apps can help you generate and convert leads. Learn more about the Realtor.com app, Realtor.ca app, and the Trulia mobile app.  Discover the best ipad apps for realtors and apps for the new iPhone 4S.

iPad Sales Records – A Lesson in Market Domination

Ipads, iPhones, and Ipod Touch most Sought Mobile Devices

You can’t find a better example of the value of being a market leader than Apple and it’s popular iPad, iPhone and iPod products. I can still remember when Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy, a time when no one wanted their computers.  Jobs and company turned it around and Apple is now the world’s most valuable enterprise with a market cap of $460 billion, which is $8 Billion more than Google. Apple’s stock just rose above $500 a share and many believe Apple  iTV and the iPad 3 will drive shares to new record highs.

It is the iPad 3 that may be the key to their brand in 2012. That’s because it is clearly differentiated and popular and it lends so many benefits to business and consumer users. It is the product that is closest to consumers – and more specifically to realtors. Social media users might start to call their iPad their bff.

And it’s not like the iPad brand has reached its peak. It’s just starting.

Apple announced sales of 20.34 million iPhones in the last quarter of 2011, a 142 % unit growth over last quarter 2010. They also sold 9.25 million iPads during the quarter, a 183 % unit increase over last quarter of 2010 and they sold 3.95 million Macs during the quarter, a 14 % unit increase over the last quarter of 2010.  Apple makes its own products whereas Google only supplies the operating systems for mobile phones. Apple also sold 7.54 million iPods, however that it is a 20 % unit decline from the year-ago quarter.  Ipods weak differentiation from other competing products means its market leadership is vulnerable.

Apple Store

The Apple in NY - an Iconic Structure that Differentiates the Apple Brand

The key thing about Apple’s incredible success is that it’s introducing millions of people to the web in a new way. Now people are able to keep their web browser and favorite apps with them all the time. They can attach their iPads to their TVs and they can share their favorite websites with their friends and family members right away. The inconvenience of the PC, Mac, or laptop is gone which is why sales of traditional computers has fallen.

Apple has built the world’s most powerful brand. It’s a brand that has so many dimensions – a trait real estate agents should be developing for their own success. The Apple brand demonstrates conclusively that a strong brand can beat strong, well funded competitors (Google, Sony, Microsoft) who seemingly have every competitive and technological advantage. Google’s brand as you can see here is falling, probably because everyone assumed it would beat Apple. Now that it hasn’t, people are getting more confident and comfortable with Apple products. They’re continually so innovative that consumers don’t believe they’ll be obsolete anytime soon.

Top Global Brands

“Without the brand, Apple would be dead,” said Marc Gobe, author of Emotional Branding and principal of d/g Worldwide. “Absolutely. Completely. The brand is all they’ve got. The power of their branding is all that keeps them alive. It’s got nothing to do with products.”

What are the brand components that makes Apple so powerful? I think the products themselves do help. They were first to market and they’re still stylish. When you think of Apple though, you get images of creativity, flashy next generation products, family connections, internet connectivity, upward mobility, social connection, and technological mastery. Those brand values were available for Google to claim and exploit, but Google’s never been about family and social connections (which is why Google + is suffering). Apple got the early jump and it will be impossible to bump them out of the lead spot.

See the top apps for realtors now.

Real Estate Domination Models – Google or Apple?

Looking for conceptual models for your own realtor brand development? These 2 companies are great models for your brand strategy – Google with its informational ubiquity and Apple with its feel good warm and fuzzy feelings. Realtors are recognizing that Google isn’t providing the way it once did so being number one on Google isn’t enough anymore. Being king of the MLS isn’t going to do it either although top visibility and customer access to listings is vital. Your brand is the key to getting them to contact you and stay on as a repeat customer.

Your fellow real estate agents also have access to great web and mobile technology so technology will not convey an advantage in a few years time. It is very important that you adopt and leverage these new technologies since you always want to be an early adopter and market leader. That momentum carries on to generate sales and success for the rest of this decade.  What is your 5 and 10 year career goal?

Look at your sales career long term and you’ll see why new technology is important.  Recessions end and consumer’s behavior changes. The Internet and the recesssion has certainly changed how home buyers look for homes and what they expect from agents. Build your brand to appeal to these important, affluent, and tech savvy buyers and sellers. Using social media is yet another brand boosting tactic you need to integrate into your real estate marketing.

If you’re an agent and own an iPad, it tells your clients that you’re “with it” and these devices are just plain customer friendly. Make sure you get customers to your website to build customer loyalty. Your property videos will look great on the new high resolution iPad 3 screens.  You can save your ultra hi resolution videos on your iPad and show prospects on the iPad. Hi res video takes too long to download over wifi or cellular connections.

Learn more about the Realtor.com app, Realtor.ca app, and the Trulia mobile app.  Discover the best ipad apps for realtors and apps for the new iPhone 4S.

iPad 3

Apple’s Newest Version of iPad will Make You Want to Own One

You should have an Apple iPad 3 just to show off to your real estate clients.  Talk about realtor brand differentiation, this is likely to make you more than memorable and with it. It’s more than functional giving you more powerful meetings and presentations to clients or new prospects. It is as cool as any mobile device gets and having the Apple brand rub off on you and your realty business is value added.  Since realtors have such personal contact with clients and since you’re showing expensive properties, it makes sense to go first class with the iPad 3.

The newest version of the wildly popular will have some excellent upgrades to make it faster, last longer, and the display will have phenomenal clarity.  The ipad 3 release date is sometime in March. The iPad 2 with wifi sells for $519 to $600, but no one is sure what the new iPad 3 price will be.

iPad 3

The latest version of the iPad will have some amazing features for both realtors and for homebuyers.

From the TV interfacing capability to the new SIRI virtual assistant app, the iPad 3 is becoming the most useful mobile device ever. If you’re an agent who feels little enthusiasm about these new mobile gadgets, consider that homebuyers and homesellers love them. They can take them to the beach, cottage, coffee house, grandma’s house, or their deck at home.  You don’t have to lug around a laptop.

When home sellers see that you’re internet savvy, it’s bound to make an impression.  If you can get your customers and prospects to use your website or apps, it’s another way to keep you relevant and top of mind.  Prospects with iPads and iPhones will see a certain sympatico between you and them. Don’t dismiss how powerful compatibility and shared experience is.  The more affinity you have with these affluent and technology happy people, the better.

Check out the iPad apps and iPhone apps you and house hunters can download.

iPad 3 Features

One of the neatest features of the iPad is the 2 way camera which allows you to video conference. That is tremendously useful for business people who need to arrange virtual meetings and make the meetings effective.  iPad 3 users can surf the web, check email, or get directions via Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.  Your clients will love playing high resolution property videos and pics, while having you right there to answer their questions. It’s just like being right beside on their own computer at home while their house surfing!

iPad 3 will offer a 178 degree viewing angle and a 9.7 inch, ultrahigh screen resolution of 2048×1536 pixels for stunning images and high definition video.  The ipad’s battery is expected to last longer than the current 10 hour capacity and with Siri, you can just speak your question and get a useful answer. Reports suggest the iPad 3 will run on several 4G speed networks such as  AT&T and Verizon in the US, and Rogers in Canada.

Check out the dedicated real estate SEO services of Realty Market Leader.

Mobile App Growth – Real Estate

Mobile Usage Trend in Real Estate Grows Strongly

The growing use of mobile devices for viewing real estate websites and accessing MLS listings is growing strong. This graphic below shows growth in mobile visits to a real estate web site over time, and reveals an even stronger growth curve for the ever popular Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices. Add to this trend the fact that home buyers are accessing mobile applications created by Zillow, Redfin, MLS.com, Realtor.ca, and Trulia means the mobile real estate revolution has arrived.

Mobile Real Estate Access Trends

Mobile Real Estate Access Trends - Growth of iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch is dramatic. This graph doesn't show mobile real estate app usage.

Realtors, check out iPad apps to allow you to be more effective when you’re driving clients around to homes. There’s no doubt that mobile phone developers are working on getting Applie iPhone’s SIRI app to search mls listed homes for sale and return all the listing details. Siri can speak so it could verbally tell you the details.

Find out more about new real estate apps for realtors and more comparisons of Iphone vs Android phones.  Vancouver real estate realtors are enjoying a high growth period with growth in new listings and can benefit from utilizing professional level real estate seo. From search engine optimization to content development and mls optimization, Realty Market Leader can make a big difference to your success.

Vancouver Home Prices Falling

More Homes Available in Greater Vancouver Region

The latest data on Toronto real estate and Vancouver real estate prices shows prices of resale homes are falling. The average price of a Vancouver property fell 2.3% or more than $10k, from $762,562 in January 2011 to $752,380 January 2012. Outside of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley, Kamloops, Okanagan and Victoria regions saw prices increase.  Everyone believes the so called Vancouver real estate bubble is going to burst, it’s looks instead to be a balloon with a slow leak.

The Vancouver real estate market has seen house prices rise 160% in the last decade  compared to 104 per cent nationally. The ratio of home price to income is 10, almost double that in 2001. Victoria price to income ratio is at 5.7 and the Toronto price to income ratio is 6.7.

Home Sales in Vancouver in January were the lowest they’ve been since 2002. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported that  MLS sales in Greater Vancouver were 1,577. That is 4.9 % decrease compared to December 2011 where  there were 1,658 sales recorded.

Vancouver Housing Prices

Vancouver Housing Prices – New HPI Price Trend Indicator

New residential real estate property listings were the highest January total in Greater Vancouver since 1995, a 19.9 % increase compared to the 4,801 new listings reported in January 2011, and a whopping 253.3 % growth compared to the 1,629 new listings reported in December 2011. Housing starts in BC cities grew to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate  of 27,000 units, a rise of 28 % from December and 8 per cent above January 2011 totals.

Although the BC economy is stable with growing exports, there is a growing glut of available housing so it’s a rare good time for real estate buyers in the greater Vancouver area.

Discover more about realtor.ca, and why you need a top performing real estate website with high quality blogging. Learn more about Real estate web hosting, and successful online real estate strategy.

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