Blog : Lead Generation

NextHome GoodLife launches in New York

NextHome GoodLife launches in New York

Stephen and Delica Herman

Pleasanton, CA — June 11, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome GoodLife. The new brokerage represents the ninth franchise location opened in the state of New York.

The company will be owned and operated by top producing REALTOR® Stephen Herman. He will be joined on the leadership team by his wife, Xiao Hua “Delica” Herman. Stephen will be the principal broker and handle the day-to-day activities for the company, while Delica will serve as the office manager and handle marketing for the brokerage. Additionally, Delica speaks three dialects of the Chinese language and works with many overseas investors from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.

Based out of Scarsdale, the brokerage will provide real estate services throughout the counties of Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess including the cities of Scarsdale, White Plains and Yonkers. With NextHome GoodLife just 20 minutes away from the Connecticut border, the company will also serve the residents in the southwestern part of Connecticut, including Fairfield County.

Scarsdale is 20 minutes north of Manhattan and is home to more than 17,000 residents.

The brokerage will provide various real estate services such as working with first-time homebuyers, investment properties, vacation and second homes, multi-family properties, and international buyers.

The couple has been married for 24 years and entered the real estate industry within a couple of years of each other. Stephen obtained his real estate license in 2006 and Delica obtained hers in 2008.

Stephen started in real estate part-time while he served as a Sergeant with the New York City Police Department. He spent the first five years of his career at Prudential Serls Prime Properties in Brewster, New York. Delica joined him in the second year of his business because of the need to interpret for Chinese buyers that Stephen was working with. In time, the translation became less her focus and she became more of an agent directly helping these Chinese clients.

In 2011, the Hermans moved their business to Douglas Elliman in Sommers, NY and spent the next eight years at various locations of the brokerage, including Scarsdale.   

Stephen attributes their success to constantly working on building relationships within their community. This commitment has helped their business grow each year, with the team doing more than $10 million a year in sales.

In 2018, the Hermans looked at opening their own brokerage after more than 12 years of being in real estate.

“We are very involved in Brian Buffini coaching and seeing that lots of agents wanted more from their brokerage and were willing to pay to get that training and coaching that they weren’t provided,” said Stephen. “We wanted to own and run a brokerage that lived by these principles of client care and helping buyers and sellers with their needs in mind.”

“NextHome provided the new fresh brand to the area that allowed flexibility as to how to provide more to our agents without a huge overhead,” he added. “NextHome has been the perfect partnership to align with.”

“Going out to California for training with the franchise team really helped Stephen and I put into perspective how great the company is we franchised with,” said Delica.

The Hermans have three children – Samantha (age 21), Kimberly (20), and Joshua (18). Delica has spent years volunteering at the children’s school in helping with translation between school faculty and parents. While Delica donates this time without expecting anything in return, she has earned a lot of goodwill and trust by parents, who in turn have become real estate customers.

Please join us in congratulating Stephen, Delica, and the rest of the team at NextHome GoodLife on the opening of their brand new NextHome office in Scarsdale, NY!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

4 Ways Home Warranty Plans Can Help You Win More Listings

4 Ways Home Warranty Plans Can Help You Win More Listings

Adding more listings is one of the most effective ways to build your real estate business, but it’s not always easy. Gaining listings can be especially challenging in low inventory markets, for new agents, and even for veteran agents trying to establish themselves in new areas. If you’re looking to boost listings, it’s important to use all the tools at your disposal, including home warranty plans. Here’s how:

Distinguish

An American Home Shield® Home Warranty Plan can help a listing stand out from others in the market. Listings that include home warranty plans can offer added value, show good faith, and may attract additional interest in the home.

Reassure

Household breakdowns can happen even when a home is on the market, and such malfunctions can bring additional anxiety to an already stressful time. By choosing an American Home Shield Home Warranty Plan with the Seller Coverage Option*, sellers receive all the advantages of AHS ® ShieldEssentialSM package protection for up to six months until the coverage transfers to the new buyers. ShieldEssential includes coverage for major components of the most crucial home systems that are the most expensive to repair or replace, including heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and more.

Differentiate

Adding a home warranty plan as part of your concierge service model can help differentiate your service from other agents. When sellers see that you care about their needs, they’ll likely want to work with you on the transaction. Paying for the Seller Coverage Option or the entire warranty as a closing gift adds unique service value and helps build the kind of long-term relationships that can garner referrals and repeat business.

Offset

If a client is worried about the marketability of a home with older systems and appliances, an American Home Shield Home Warranty Plan can help offset those concerns for both sellers and buyers. As American Home Shield customers, sellers can also save on updating appliances through the AHS Appliance Discount Program.

For questions or more information about how American Home Shield Home Warranty Plans can be beneficial for both you and your listing clients, contact your dedicated AHS Account Executive, visit ahs.com/realestate, or call 800.735.4663.

*Subject to a $2,000 cap for all trades during the listing period. An American Home Shield Home Warranty Plan covers major components of many home systems and appliances, but not necessarily the entire system or appliance. Please review the American Home Shield contract for limitations and exclusions.

For more home warranty tips, check out the American Home Shield blog!

7 Ways to Win More Listings Regardless of Market Conditions

7 Ways to Win More Listings Regardless of Market Conditions

A changing market, summer selling season, low inventory, high inventory, queasy economy, fluctuating interest rates… are all, without question, factors affecting your production potential. However, regardless of current conditions and circumstances beyond your control, the question remains, what can you do to find more sellers and get more listings?

Here are seven ways you can rise above the rest and win in any market

1. Create the ultimate customer experience: In today’s world, everyone has gone paperless, mobile and social. The more technology enabling easier communication the less connected we actually become. All the more reason to it roll back. By all means, establish a robust digital presence in your prospecting territory, and let clients know that you are accessible via email, phone, text and even Facebook message. And then, take it a step further. Back up your digital ads, social media posts, and emails with hand-written notes, cards and letters. It’s so unusual these days to find something personal in your mailbox. Be the one who does that and stand out. Make it personal. Then circle them back to your digital efforts. Give them a “don’t take it from me” challenge and lead them to your custom testimonial, and referral page. Peer opinions speak volumes. (see tip #6)

2. Go hyper-local: Content is still queen/king! That’s why creating a blog or content specifically to suit your market, and its residents are essential. Create significant content that serves your audience and make it relevant. Providing value is always a good idea. Whether you’re writing about housing trends, market updates, or the lunch spot downtown now serving the”impossible burger”. Make your content matter!

3. Employ the 80/20 rule: Focus on the Top 20%! It’s the classic Pareto Principle which states that “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.” If you could focus on those with the highest likelihood to sell, wouldn’t you drive your marketing efforts toward that specified group? Focusing your efforts on a set group of people not only helps your marketing budget, but it will make you a more efficient agent. It just makes sense to build deeper connections with a select few than shallow associations with many. There’s so much value in making yourself memorable and creating trust.

 

 

4. Predict & Target: The ability to predict homeowners who are most likely to sell and focus on them is key (see above)! Whether you get most of your business from your sphere and want to keep it that way. Or if you’re expanding your database with prospects in your farm knowing who to go after will tremendously impact the way you spend your time and effort.

5. Leverage current listings: Current listings help you shine! Advertising your clients’ listings is your best marketing tool. Employ circle marketing and target the geographical area surrounding your listing with “Just Listed mailers. Show your work in action. Give a sample of what you can do for them. Better yet, target the homeowners in the surrounding area showing signs of selling in the next 3-9 months.

6. Social Proof: Create your very own testimonial page and let prospects know how others feel about you. Reportedly 84% of consumers research products and services they are considering before they take the plunge. Make sure those researching you online not only FIND you but see the TRUE you. By creating a testimonial and referral page, you have control over your online presence. Ask your clients to write you a testimonial or refer you immediately upon the close of your transaction. Check out Reach150 and see how with one click you can request a testimonial. Far too often we overthink the request to a point where we put it off and then even let it go. You don’t need to do that. Make it easy on yourself and your clients to promote you. Quite honestly, your clients will love to praise you. However, they may need to be prompted. For whatever reason, the knee jerk reaction to leaving online and in person reviews is to share the negative. The positive stuff is too often kept to ourselves. Give your sphere the chance to share. They will feel good and so will you!

 

 

7. Think outside your comfort zone: Don’t be afraid to do things you’ve never done before. Not a door knocker? Well, picking up the phone is still a useful way to introduce yourself and foster relationships with prospects. But, foster, you must. So choose what fits your style. Alternatively, hire someone to do it for you.

Nurture not drip! Nurture means giving prospects relevant and contextual content, depending on where they are in their homeownership life cycle. Merely putting your brand in front of your prospects won’t get you where you need to be with your business, but sparking meaningful conversations will! Foster relationships with homeowners and establish trust. When the time is right, you will be the one they turn to.

Last note, have fun, remember why you went into this business in the first place and close more business!

For more helpful tips, visit the Smartzip blog!

Home Values Dip Month Over Month for First Time in 7 Years

Home Values Dip Month Over Month for First Time in 7 Years

April Market Report

  • In April, the median home value fell 0.1% from March, the first time the market has posted a monthly decline in seven years.
  • A more stable metric — year-over-year appreciation — shows U.S. home values up just 6.1% from last April. That’s below annual growth of 7.5% in April 2018.
  • 16 of the largest 50 metros posted home value declines in April and have had flat or falling home values since January, raising our confidence that local home values there may have reached a peak.

The median U.S. home value fell 0.1% in April from March, the first monthly decline in seven years and another signal that the housing market continues to pump the brakes after several years of torrid growth.

The national housing market has been cooling for months, with annual gains slowing to 6.1% in April, down from April 2018 annual growth of 7.5%. The median home value now stands at $226,800, still above last April’s $213,700.

Home values in all but four of the country’s largest metro areas were flat or down from March to April. San Jose, Calif., posted the largest monthly decline, down 1.4%, the area’s sixth month-over-month decline in a row. April also was the second month in which San Jose’s median home value fell on an annual basis, down 2.7% to $1.19 million—still the priciest large market in the nation.

It’s important not to exaggerate the significance of month-over-month changes, which are always more volatile, following the adage that one point does not make a trend. A small percentage change in one month easily could rebound the following month, something that happens with housing data on a regular basis. That’s part of the reason market watchers prefer less-volatile quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year measures, which capture longer running trends.

Still, the data show it’s likely that home values in 16 of the largest 50 metros truly have peaked: Their home values are down this month and have been flat or falling for the quarter. They are San Jose, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego, New Orleans, Boston, Miami, St. Louis, Portland, Ore., Tampa, Virginia Beach, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Houston.

Home values in five of those markets—Philadelphia, Miami, Tampa, Virginia Beach and Baltimore—never returned to heights reached prior to the Great Recession more than a decade ago.

The number of U.S. homes for sale fell 1.7% year-over-year. Ten of the largest 50 metros posted double-digit inventory declines, led by Washington, D.C., (down 31.8%), Kansas City (down 24.1%), Oklahoma City (down 17.8%) and Baltimore (down 17.3%).

In a handful of the previously mentioned metros where home values appear to have hit a recent peak and are declining, inventory is also down in the double digits: Pittsburgh, where inventory dropped 12.2% year-over-year; New Orleans, down 13.1%; St. Louis, down 10.8%; Virginia Beach 13.8%; Baltimore 17.3%; Philadelphia 11.1%. That’s counterintuitive, and only time will tell what is happening in these markets.

Nationwide median rent continued to grow in April for the sixth consecutive month. The median U.S. rent rose 2.6% on an annual basis, to $1,477. Rents grew the fastest in Las Vegas (up 7.8%), Phoenix (up 6.7%) and Orlando (up 6.4%).

For more helpful information, check out the Zillow Blog!

Four Ways to Rehumanize Your Business

Four Ways to Rehumanize Your Business

In today’s digital world a human element has been removed from so much of our communication. People now hide behind email or send mass emails to their database. We often receive voicemails from robots. Even text messaging which was once deeply personal, quick communication, has been taken over by promotions and advertisements from companies we didn’t even realize had access to our phone number.

To stand out, it is imperative to be different, and be true to yourself. Because YOU are the differentiator your customers are looking for.

Below we’ve shared four of our favorite ways that can help you “rehumanize your communication,” and in turn, create a phenomenal customer experience that your clients will never forget.

1.) Determine Your Brand Identity Make Sure It’s Front and Center

According to Leadpages.net, the About section is typically one of the four most visited areas of your website. Isn’t that surprising? Now that you know that, think about what you currently have on your about page. Is it personal to you and your team? Does it speak to your values and what makes you – YOU?

It should! If you love dogs, take a cue from Mortgage Broker Alex McFadyen. Alex has created a brand all around his pug, Ernie. His Company is called “The Mortgage Pug,” and he includes his pug in all of his videos! Why? Authenticity! Alex explained that when he started his business “he didn’t want to be just another guy in suit.” He understands that mortgages can sometimes be “stressful, and boring,” so he decided to make it fun! This process has worked wonders for him!

When you’re creating your company branding, or your about page, don’t be afraid to include information about you as a person. Tell your future clients about your family, your hobbies, and even include it in your branding and marketing when it makes sense. People trust people more than brands.

2.) Send a Thoughtful and Personal Gifts

We learned this tip from Joey Coleman in his amazing book, “Never Lose A Customer Again” and it has changed the way we think about gifting.

This sounds simple when you think about it but most people aren’t doing it. How many times have you signed a major deal with a company and received a t-shirt or coffee mug with their logo on it as a thank you gift? It’s kind of a nice gesture, but it’s also a little selfish don’t you think? If you wear that t-shirt or use that mug, you’ll be helping that company expand their brand awareness. Seems pretty one-sided.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve done this – we’ve been guilty of it as well. But change your mindset for future thank you gifts! Think about the conversations you’re having with these people. Did they mention a favorite local restaurant? Are they wine connoisseurs? Do their kids love Legos? Next time you land a major deal, think through previous conversations and send your customers something that they would appreciate. Even if you don’t get them the perfect gift, they’ll think so highly of the fact that you remembered their interests, and it will leave a lasting impression.

3.) Provide Value Within Your Community

The phrase we live by on our marketing team is “Be of value and abundance will follow.” Try to provide your community with valuable information that relates to your interests and your businesses interest.

Social Groups (Like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Meetup) are a great way to get involved with your community. For example, if you’re a real estate agent and you love crafting, join a local crafting group and create content around DIY home decorations. But don’t just sit back and post content. Respond to your peers. Give them feedback and suggestions. Become an active participant within these groups and conversations.

By doing this you’ll build relationships with like-minded people and build your reputation as a reliable resource.

4.) Use Video Email

We could write a whole book on this (in fact we did) because we believe that video is the number one way to bring people back into our digital world. Think about it. If you’re looking for a real estate agent and you receive three generic emails, and one personal video, who are you going to remember? The video of course – and the person inside it.

We recommend using video email in a variety of ways including cold lead follow up, appointment reminders, happy birthday messages, purchase anniversaries and many more. It’s a great way to communicate hard to understand processes, procedures, or even difficult situations.

As we mentioned – there is so much more that can be said on the benefits of using video in business communication. Because of that, we’ve compiled everything we’ve learned with and from our customers over the past 10 years into this easy-to-read, highly informative book.

“Rehumanize Your Business” is a hands‑on guide to adding simple webcam and smartphone videos into your communication mix in order to build trust, save time, and truly connect with people.

It’s been ranked as Amazon’s #1 new release in Sales & Selling, Communication Skills, and several other categories.

It’s been ranked as Amazon’s #1 best seller in Business Sales and Business Communication.

Click here to see where you can purchase it today!

For more helpful tips, visit the BombBomb blog!

The Step by Step Guide to Creating Community Videos That Will Grow Your Business

The Step by Step Guide to Creating Community Videos That Will Grow Your Business

Community Videos can be a really big part of your marketing strategy as a real estate agent. They not only show that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about your community but they also can show what a buyer would get when moving to that part of town. As a realtor, you’re not just selling a home – you are selling an area or neighborhood! Below we’ve made a list of steps to help you confidently film and share a great community video!

What to expect

Time commitment: 3 days total per video
(one day planning, one day filming, one day posting and promoting)

Average budget: between $500 – $2k

Potential outcomes:

  • More followers and viewers on social media
  • More community connections
  • New clients/prospects
  • You establish yourself as a local expert
  • You help promote something you love

1. Decide What You’re Passionate About

The very first step in this process is to decide what part of your community to highlight. You need to pick something you’re excited about and passionate about, whether that be restaurants, parks, non-profit organizations, etc. Judy Weiniger, a community video master, says, “Chose the businesses that excite you.” Don’t force yourself to get excited about a subject you don’t gravitate towards.

We know it can be hard to choose the topic of your first community video, especially if you love a lot of things in your area. We put together a list based on passions and interests to help you get started.

Do you love food & drinks? You could feature….

  • Coffee Shops
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Local Chefs or Bartenders

Do you love shopping and supporting local businesses? You could feature…

  • Small Shops & Boutiques
  • Any New Shop/Business
  • Outdoor Markets

Do you love being active? You could feature…

  • Parks/Trails
  • Gyms
  • Yoga/Dance Studios
  • School Sporting Events

Do you love music & art? You could feature…

  • Art Galleries
  • Local Bands
  • Local Artists
  • Festivals
  • Craft/Pottery Studios

Do you value family? You could feature…

  • Schools/School Programs
  • Libraries
  • Family-Friendly Activities in the Area

Do you love animals? You could feature…

  • Local dog parks
  • Pet-Friendly Restaurants/Bars
  • Local Vets
  • Local Animal Shelters

If you really want to go ALL IN on community videos, you can challenge yourself to feature your 30 favorite places in town over 30 days like Craig Veroni. Craig is one of our Real Estate Video Influencer winners who found a creative way to highlight the best parts of his community on social media. He was trained by Jesse Peters, and Michael Thorne of RE Video Studio.

Also keep in mind that you don’t just have to feature places or events, you can specifically feature people as well! Every community has inspiring individuals that your viewers will love learning more about. Craig Veroni has done another series called My Favourite Humans in Vancouver where he showcased different people.

2. Create a List of Specific Businesses to Reach out to

Once you’ve decided on what type of community videos you want to start with, it’s time to pick specific businesses/places/people to feature! When creating your list, we recommend focusing on a specific part of town. Marguerite Martin, a Real Estate Video Influencer winner in the Community Video Category, specializes in downtown Tacoma, instead of trying to cover her whole city. We also recommend keeping an eye on the news channels, papers and bloggers to see what people are talking about!

Pick the top three things you’d like to feature. Figure out who you need to contact for each topic and gather emails. If you can’t decide between a few places or businesses, ask some other people in the community what they’d prefer to see a video feature on. And like we said before, keep an eye on blogs and the news. Though it’s important to be passionate about what you feature, it’s also important that it will spark your viewer’s interest.

3. Reach Out with Video

Now it’s time to see if you’re able to film your community videos at the places you’ve chosen. Depending on what you choose, you’ll need to reach out to the person who owns or runs the establishment. If you have picked something like a park, you could try to find & contact a person through the City Government. If you’ve picked a business, then you’ll need to reach out to the owner and get permission to do a feature.

We think the very best way to reach out is through a video! It’s a great way to introduce yourself and explain what you are wanting to do. BombBomb makes this very easy to do. You could even go to the place you want to feature and record your introduction video there! (If you’d like to try BombBomb free for 2 weeks – click here!)

Not sure what to say in your email or video? We put together a script that we used to reach out to local businesses here in Colorado Springs!

Hi (Owner/Employee Name),
My name is (first name), I’m the (job title) at (company name).
As a real estate agent, I need to establish myself as an expert on our community and a great way to do that is by filming what we call a community video. For this video, I would really love to highlight your establishment, (business name).
INSERT BOMBBOMB VIDEO
My goal is to show off some awesome places in the community. I absolutely love your business, which is why I’m reaching out to you. If possible, I’d like to come by for a couple hours during a slower time and film a quick video with you. My goal is to capture the story of your business – so I’d love to interview you for part of the filming as well.
Let me know if that is something you’d be interested in! We want nothing in return. Our goal is to simply highlight our community on social media.
Sincerely,
(full name)

One last thing to remember is to make it clear that you aren’t asking for money. Ask for nothing in return. Community videos will be an investment on your part but trust us, it is an investment that’s worth it. Community videos establish you as a local expert. They will grow your following and viewership. They will help people connect you with. They will even help you establish relationships with local business owners who may eventually need to buy or sell their home! Ultimately, your community videos should bring you new clients and prospects as you grow your connections and community presence.

4. Plan a Time to Film Your Videos

The business owner might want to meet with you to plan your video. In that case, make sure to set aside time to meet and plan. You may also be able to work things out over email. We estimate most community videos take around 2 hours of filming on location. Try to schedule all your community videos for one day so you can knock them all out at once.

It’s important to pick the best time for the business owner. They likely won’t want you coming during their busiest time of day. Try to go when you won’t be disruptive with your filming and when the business owner/employees will have the most time to talk with you! If you’re filming a lot outside, try to pick a day where the weather will be nice and pick a time where the sun won’t be too harsh.

5. Hire a Videographer

**Note: This is not mandatory! Many of our video influencers shoot their community videos on their cell phones. But if you’re new to filming, a videographer is a good place to start. We jump to our tips on how to do it yourself in the video below.

We suggest using Judy Weiniger’s method of finding videographers. She says, “How I found mine is through searching videographers who do weddings.” Ask around or post something on Facebook asking for good, local wedding videographers. Most weddings are on weekends so these videographers will often be excited to get side jobs like this during the week.

When choosing a videographer, we suggest watching some of their previous videos to make sure their style aligns with what you want! The average wedding videographer gets paid between $1,000 – $2,500 for a day of filming and editing. If that is outside of your budget, we suggest trying to find an aspiring wedding videographer or a film student. They will probably work with you for a lower budget. (Thank you to BombCast Guest & John L. Scott Real Estate Agent, Paul Balzotti, for this tip!)

If you and a coworker or partner are wanting to tackle this project without hiring anyone, it’s doable! Here are some tips from Visual Storyteller, Matt Mead and Content Marketing Specialist, Alexa Franck. They walk through all the gear you need – both the basic setup and the pro setup.

6. Create a Video Outline

Now it’s time to plan out your video so you’re ready for filming! This plan should include a list of video shots you want, questions you’d like to ask the business owner, details you want the community to know, etc. Write down the script of how you want to intro and outro the video. You don’t have to stick strictly to this script, but it’ll keep you on track while filming! While planning your video, plan out the story that it will tell. Every business and person has a story to tell!

Depending on who you hire, you might sit down with your videographer to plan this out. You can also send this plan over to the business owner for them to approve before the filming. It’s always good to have a second pair of eyes (like the business owner or videographer) to look over your plan so you don’t miss any key points. You don’t want to get done filming and then realize a day later that you missed an important shot or piece of information.

It’s also important to plan for how long you want your videos to be. The ideal length of a YouTube Video is 5-10 minutes so you should shoot for getting enough footage to create this length of video.

Here’s an outline example that we used for our community videos:

Carnelian Coffee Community Video Filming Outline
Video Shot: Alexa in front of the coffee shop
Opening Script: “I’m here at Carnelian Coffee Co in Old Colorado City – only a few minutes away from the BombBomb Office! We’re going to go chat with the owner, and hear all about this cozy little spot!”
B-Roll: Alexa walking down the street into the coffee shop
Video Shot: Kate (coffee shop owner) sitting for interview
Interview Questions:
Tell us about the beginning of your coffee shop and what inspired you to start it!
Walk me through what a typical day at the coffee shop looks like for you!
What are some of the best things you serve/best selling drinks?
What do you want people to experience when they come here?
What makes your place unique?
B-Roll: Kate making a cup of coffee, pulling espresso, steaming milk, etc.
Extra B-Roll Shots:
-Shots of the shop interior and decor.
-A pan shot of the inside and outside.
-Shot of two people talking and drinking coffee.

While we were in the shop, we learned that Kate will only sell merchandise from Colorado Businesses. Because of that, we also got some footage of all of the trinkets she sold at Carnelian. It’s important to remain observant as the owner tells their story, and get shots of the amazing details they share!

Once your video is planned, you have the option of coming up with a clever name for your community video series! Here’s a few great names used by our Community Real Estate Video Influencers! See what other community video creators are doing and get some inspiration:

7. ACTION! It’s Time to Film Your Videos

Filming day has come. If you’ve followed each step and taken our advice, you’ll have scheduled to film a couple of places/business for the day. You will want to have a videographer who’s ready to go and knows what shots are needed. You’ll want to have your outline ready. And fortunately, you’ll also have already built a relationship with the business owner or manager through video or meetings so you’ll feel comfortable filming with them!

Things should go smoothly if you’ve planned accordingly. Our main piece of advice at this point is to have fun and enjoy the process! To build interest in your upcoming community videos, you should go LIVE on Facebook or Instagram before wrapping up your day of filming. You can include the business owner and quickly introduce them or give people a sneak peak of the places you’ll be featuring. Consider it a promo video for your community videos! We recommend going live for at least 5 minutes. If you’re worried about taking a video that long, try to prepare an outline for that video as well.

Try to film another promo video apart from going LIVE. When you go live, it’ll just air on Facebook or Instagram. You’ll want a promo video for other social platforms as well. Film a quick intro in front of each place you’re highlighting. In a promo video, you can inform your viewers when the community video will premiere on your social accounts. You can also give people a sneak peak into the things you’ll be talking about in the community videos.

Here are some examples of our promo videos here at BombBomb: BombBomb Facebook Videos

8. Create a Social Media Plan for the Videos

While your videographer is hard at work getting your videos edited, you can start planning out your social strategy. Here’s the distribution process we recommend for your videos!

Short Community Video Promo

General Guidelines:

  • Video Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Video Length: 1 minute

Where to Post:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Short Community Video Teaser

General Guidelines:

  • Video Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels and 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Video Length: 15-60 Seconds

Where to Post:

  • 30-60 second square teaser on Instagram and Twitter
  • 15 second vertical teaser on Instagram Story

Full Length Community Video

General Guidelines:

  • Video Size: 1080 x 1920 pixels and 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Video Length: 5-10 minutes

Where to post:

  • Vertical on IGTV
  • Horizontal on YouTube

Medium Length Community Video

General Guidelines:

  • Video Size: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Video Length: 2-3 minutes

Where to post:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Create an ad budget for promoting your video on Facebook. You need to pay to get views. We suggest creating a Facebook audience that includes people in your area. You can make your lists more specific as well! If you featured a yoga studio, target people who are interested in yoga, a specific yoga studio, etc.

Another great way to help your videos do well on social is to have the business themselves use the video however they want! Let them use it on their website. Let them share it on their social pages. For them, it’s like a free promotional video so they will probably love sharing it. You can ask them to tag you in their posts.

9. See What Your Audience Loves and Give Them More

If you did three different videos and one performed better than the rest, try to replicate what you did. If your video on a coffee shop performed the best, maybe try to feature another coffee shop. Don’t try to cover all the things in your community. Find your niche and stick to it. If you’re planning to do a series, stick to the topic of your series until you have between 5-10 videos. Then start planning your your next series. You’re becoming a community expert!

Here is the community video we did here at BombBomb! We went out and visited a local coffee shop to film our community video. We used a lot of the tips we listed here in this post and the results have been great. Thanks to Kate Firoved and Carnelian Coffee for letting us stop by!

For more helpful tips, visit the BombBomb blog!

How Real Estate Agents can Capitalize on Big Data for Big Results

How Real Estate Agents can Capitalize on Big Data for Big Results

Simple ways predictive analytics can boost your bottom line

Big data powers predictive analytics. As the field grows, these massive data sets propel some of the biggest companies in new, unexpected ways. Netflix reports it saves $1 billion each year by optimizing the predictive engine that recommends content and programming to its customers. Google Translate’s reputation is nearly bulletproof now that its predictive algorithm has been retrained to translate in contextual sentences. Airbnb hosts see a fourfold increase in occupancy rates when they set a rental price within 5 percent of the company’s recommended rate.In short, big companies use big data to make big waves. But what does that have to do with your relatively small real estate business?The truth is that big data isn’t just for big companies — and leveraging predictive technology doesn’t mean you have to scrap your current business model for something built in a hacker lab. Predictive products can help agents optimize nearly everything from mailers and marketing to cold calls and conversational outreach.Here are four ways you can tweak your business (and boost your bottom line) using real estate predictive analytics.

Double your impact in half the time and money

When you send mailers to an entire ZIP code, your marketing costs skyrocket and messaging tends to suffer.

When you narrow your target audience down to just the 10 or 20 percent of your farm most likely to sell this year, you’ll see better results because you’re able to send the right message, at the right time, to the right people: the marketing trifecta.

The hundreds of dollars you’ll save on mailers that never make it past the front door and online ads that never get clicked is icing on the cake.

Don’t just make contact – make a connection

Your prospects can tell when they’re on the communication conveyor belt. They won’t remember or hire you if you can’t initiate a casual, earnest conversation.

With predictive analytics, you don’t just get a list of likely sellers. You get deep insights into why and when people might be ready to list.

This means that you can naturally steer the conversation toward their potential reasons for selling, then reinforce your value as the agent who can meet their needs. The result? Real conversations with real sellers ready for on-point advice on listing their homes.

Boost your confidence because you’ll hear “no” less often

Farming often requires cold calls and knocking on doors — two activities that most agents abhor or ignore altogether. But there’s a stark difference between contacting an entire subdivision where 90 percent of the residents have no plans to move and initiating a conversation with the 10 percent of homeowners most likely to list.

When working with data-backed predictions, agents have higher confidence, as
they experience more receptive responses (and fewer curse words).

Beat other agents to the door

Losing business to competing agents? Predictive analytics can also reverse that trend by unveiling seller signals that other agents can’t see.

As other agents and teams robo-dial the entire neighborhood, you could be well on your way to securing listing presentations for the next crop of local sellers.

For more helpful tips, visit the SmartZip blog.

Finish 2017 Strong!

Finish 2017 Strong!

While our strong summer market continues to keep agents busy across the country, fall is just around the corner…. And you have only five months to close out 2017 with a bang!

Below are five foolproof ways you can assess your business goals, tweak your projections and ramp up your business so 2017 is your best year yet.

1. Start with the goals you might not meet

Dust off the goals you set last winter and painstakingly analyze where you stand in terms of buyers, sellers, marketing plans, GCI, operations and more.

If you’re behind, be realistic about what is possible by the end of the year — and don’t be afraid to reset your goals so they are attainable instead of a pipe dream. While it may seem like a step back, the truth is that if your goals are so far out of your reach, you’ll be unlikely to hold yourself accountable.

2. Ahead of goals? Dig into the why

If, however, you are ahead of schedule on some goals, spend some time reviewing how that happened — and consider nixing some of your “unattainable” goals in favor of the business categories where you are succeeding.

If, for example, you started with a goal to list 6 houses and help 15 buyers, and you’ve listed 2 houses and helped 22 buyers, consider how that has affected your GCI. Are you actually ahead of your goals in some ways, because you’ve had 2 more total transactions (already!) than planned?

To close out the year strong, do you want to focus on landing four more listings and ditching potential buyer clients — which could set you up for more seller clients in 2018? Or do you want to stay comfortable, where the guaranteed income has been all year long?

There’s no right or wrong answer, but the tail end of the year can be a good time to take a risk if you’re already ahead of your commission goals.

3. Create a log of top lead and client sources

If you tend to buy (and convert) leads that get automatically loaded into your CRM, this step may be a breeze. If you work primarily from word-of-mouth referrals, in-person workshops, direct mail ads or other traditional client sources, you may need to spend some time cleaning up your records.

But this step is mission-critical if you want to close out the year strong. By analyzing where your clients come from, you can move on to step #4: Measuring the ROI of each of your client-getting efforts.

If possible, create a few main categories so you can measure general categories quickly:

  • New, paid leads
  • Word-of-mouth and referrals
  • Brand marketing
  • Past clients // repeat customers

4. Look at your spending, budget and ROI

After creating your main client sources in step three, consider the individual costs and return on investment for different tools, campaigns, lead sources and other tactics that “live” in each main business category.

As you go through this exercise, be sure to keep your newly tweaked goals in mind. If your Facebook listing ads are performing incredibly well, and your end-of-year focus is on listings, then you may want to double that budget and slow down your spending on buyer leads.

Conversely, if 41% of your business comes from paid buyer leads, but ¾ of those converted leads are coming from the least expensive source — you can easily phase out the more expensive buyer leads for the rest of the year.

5. Reward the people helping you

While it’s easy to shift your spend from one technology source to another, you also might find in steps #3 and #4 that you have a few incredible referral sources who have been the biggest impact on your business this year.

Whether they are fellow agents from other markets, past clients who loved your services and have recommended you to their friends and family, or one investor client who bought up several properties in fast fashion this spring, be sure that you are properly rewarding them appropriately!

Go beyond and above to send them quarterly gifts — movie tickets, restaurant gift cards, back-to-school survival kits, whatever you can think of. That way, they will not only feel appreciated for their past contributions, but will be more likely to go out of their way to send you new business as you close out the year.

Ready to hit the ground running?

Keep in mind that checking in on your business isn’t a time to feel ashamed or stressed. Think of it as a progress report — if you were back in elementary school, you’d still have plenty of time to turn a low grade into a respectable B+ by the end of the year.

So as you dive into the tail end of 2017, stay motivated and positive. And let us know what you find as you do a deep dive into your business! We’d love to hear how your mid-year evaluation sets you up for future success.

For more helpful tips, visit the SmartZip blog.

Leads are People Too: Four Ways to Persist Without Turning People Off

Leads are People Too: Four Ways to Persist Without Turning People Off

Industry visionary Brian Boero, of 1000 Watt Consulting, recently wrote about how many top real estate companies are working their leads in highly aggressive ways — in short, he says, real estate agents are starting to “digitally waterboard” their leads with between 21 and 43 touches designed to convert at any cost.

What agents aren’t considering, Boero, says, is how these potential clients want to be treated after they come in as a lead. And while you can certainly work to repair a relationship that commenced with light stalking, wouldn’t it be better to start off on the right foot?

Below are four tips for keeping it real and finding the human connection when you are working to engage and convert new leads.

1. Do some research before you reach out
Yes, the five-minute response is important. You may consider automating an initial response to a lead saying that you’re busy at the moment but will be in touch soon. But in the time between that automated text (or email) and your initial call, be sure to spend a few minutes thinking about how to engage the lead on a personal level.

If they’re a clear buyer lead, Google their name or look them up on Facebook. If they seem to be recently married or have an expanding family, work that into the call by asking if they had any major life changes recently or if they’re just looking for a new home. By giving them an opportunity to talk about their personal circumstances — and not just the deal you’re after — you’re stoking a real human connection that sets the right tone for them to work with you.

If they’ve requested a CMA or price analysis on their current home, do some digging on the home’s exact location. In your call, discuss its proximity to a local park, pool, restaurant or emerging commercial district. Show them that you know about more than just their home’s value and local housing trends; you also know about all their community and what makes it special.
2. Create your own script
Have you ever worked with a coach or service that offers scripts… but you end up tongue-tied or embarrassed as you work to get your point across?

Scripts cartoon

Scripts can be great, but they also don’t take into account your personality, your attitude and how you prefer to engage with potential clients. If you’re an inherently amiable person who’s using an aggressive script, you’ll sound as natural as a vegan working the cashier at a butchershop.

And it’s not just awkward for you — when you fumble a script, your leads will notice something is off and they may even choose to hire an agent who seems a little more comfortable with their pitch.

Review the scripts you use and think critically about the parts you like, the calls to action that seem to work and most importantly, the sections or pitches that trip you up or make you squirm with discomfort. Revise them and ask your broker or a fellow agent to sit in on a 30-minute session where you review each revamped script until they’re fully memorized.
3. Talk about why you’re different
Plenty of buyers and sellers start their search on the web long before they officially sign on with an agent. If your potential leads have been on real estate sites for more than 5 or 10 minutes, there’s a high chance they are already being… ahem… “digitally waterboarded” by other agents.

This doesn’t have to be a roadblock; it can be an opportunity. In that initial call or email (if you don’t have their number), explain that your approach is different and you want to offer them real insights and valuable information that can help them.*

Reinforce that you have a no-pressure, no-obligation approach and see if this change in tone helps you engage with more buyer and seller leads on a deeper level starting on day one. If it does, you’ll know that treating your leads like people — and not a stray herd of cattle that needs prodding — is a unique, effective approach that will pay off in the short- and long-term.

*Of course, you’ll want to be sure they haven’t signed an official contract with any of the other agents who consider them an active lead.
4. Vary your approach (and keep track of it)
There’s nothing wrong with having multiple approaches to engage a client. In fact, we’d say giving them an opportunity to see different sides of your business and personality is a good thing. In fact, that’s why SmartZip’s SmartTargeting system comes with an intelligent, flexible outreach app called CheckIn.

CheckIn App

CheckIn reminds you to get in touch with your leads and prospects, giving you the option to email, call, door knock or door drop, or to invite them to a local community event you are hosting. CheckIn also tracks any automated marketing touches you send their way, so you can be sure you aren’t overloading them with too much information.


If you’d like to learn more about SmartTargeting’s all in one lead generation solution and see how predictive analytics, automated marketing, mobile CRM and lead followup can work for you in your farm or sphere set up a quick personal demo here. You may also view other territories to find areas with high turnover and better commission potential.

For more helpful tips, visit the SmartZip blog.

The NextHome Franchise announces 200th Franchised Location

The NextHome Franchise announces 200th Franchised Location

Pleasanton, CA— August 9, 2017—Real estate franchisor NextHome proudly announces the opening of their 200th office location – Palm Harbor, Florida.

The company’s growth has been unlike anything seen in the real estate industry. NextHome began franchising in January of 2015 and since launching, the company has expanded nationally into 41 states.

“To be able to grow our company from zero to 200 offices in less than 30 months has been an incredible ride,” said NextHome’s Chief Executive Officer, James Dwiggins. “It has been a humbling journey and still having the family feel while building a national network of NextHome agents and brokers has been inspiring.”

“We are looking forward to what the next 30 months has in store for our company,” added Dwiggins.

Key to the expansion has been the work of the sales team, led by NextHome’s Vice President of Sales, Charis Moreno.

“I’m excited about our company’s expansion and how quickly we have grown,” said Moreno. “But what truly impresses me is the quality of the NextHome agents and brokers that have become a part of our company. The best companies are driven by the quality of the people in it.”

Based in Pleasanton, California, NextHome’s headquarters features nearly 20 staff members dedicated to serving more than 1,600 NextHome members nationally. The team, led by NextHome’s Chief Operating Officer, Tei Baishiki, handles more than 8,500 member services inquiries per month.

With NextHome’s highly automated Intranet system, the Member Services team can focus on highly personalized, first-class interactivity with members who are in need of real estate assistance.

New additions to NextHome’s technology platform has substantially increased broker interest in franchising with the company. NextHome’s Chief Strategy Officer, Keith Robinson, focuses on identifying and implementing new products to the NextHome suite of tools. These tools include the integration and connectivity of real estate technology products such as: SmartZip, Ylopo, BombBomb, RealScout, Homespotter, and Spacio.

Once these programs have been added to the franchise’s platform, members are shown the benefits of NextHome services through various live in-person trainings, as well as online webinars. These courses, taught by NextHome’s Franchise Development Director, Mackenzie Baishiki, allow a flexible, yet interactive experience that caters to today’s REALTOR®.

With NextHome’s goal of having offices in all 50 states by mid-2018, the company looks to grow not only in total offices, but also in agent count.

“Our company has seen a pretty significant increase in agent count over the past year,” said NextHome’s Vice President of Business Development, Imran Poladi. “As our brokers get more comfortable and confident in what their NextHome brokerage has to offer, their ability to add talented agents has been exceptional.”

“I remember being in a room just three years ago with a dedicated corporate team who wanted to change the industry. And here we are, just 30 months into our journey and I’m so proud to see our company growing with productive, career-oriented REALTORS®,” added Poladi.

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.