Tag Archives: branding

Your best buyer may be overseas

International buyers snapped up $104 billion dollars’ worth of residential property in the U.S. from April 2014 through March 2015, according to the new “Profile of International Buying Activity” from the National Association of Realtors.

That figure represents 8 percent of the dollar volume of U.S. existing home sales during that 12 months, and it should be of particular interest to agents selling luxury properties. The average price of the homes purchased by international buyers was $499,600, nearly twice the average price of $255,600 for American buyers. Chinese buyers tended to pay more, an average of $831,800.

For the first time in NAR’s report, buyers from China were responsible for the largest portion of foreign sales, spending $28.6 billion on American properties. They were followed by buyers from Canada, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. A majority of the transactions were all cash.

SELLING LUXURY WORLDWIDE

The easiest way to reach high-dollar international buyers is right in your own backyard. Homes & Land sends qualified luxury listings to the websites where those buyers look, including the Wall Street Journal’s editions for Asia, Europe and India, and the Chinese and Spanish-language versions of Mansion Global, mansionglobal.com.

Buying that exposure on your own would cost approximately $1,400 per listing. When you advertise with Homes & Land, it’s part of the package.

Click here to read NAR’s report on international sales

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Filed under Industry Articles and Trends, Marketing Minute, Working Tips

Reaching Younger Buyers and Sellers

You know homebuyers and sellers 35 and younger grew up digital and turn to the Internet for real estate information. When it comes to communications, it’s not surprising they also trend digital. NAR notes in its "Generational Trends Report" that young buyers put importance on your communicating through emails and texts, while older buyers are more interested in phone calls.

But Millennials can surprise you. For one thing, they love print.

"Textbook makers, bookstore owners and college student surveys all say Millennials still strongly prefer print for pleasure and learning," the Washington Post reports in an article titled "Why digital natives prefer reading in print." Why do they? Print doesn’t beep, and it lets you relax and absorb what’s on the page.

The same factors play into our continuing attraction to print catalogs, which retailers such as JC Penney have found they can’t afford to give up, and to magazines. An amazing 91 percent of Americans read a magazine in the past six months. Younger Americans, 18 to 24, read more magazines than any other age group.

That’s where Homes & Land comes in. We’re a print magazine, a catalog of homes. We’re also a digital player with a website and easy-to-use online tools. We’re a multichannel, integrated marketing company that gets your listings to everywhere your customers are, no matter their age.

Get a closer look at the whole Homes & Land package


Getting the Web Right

"So, I just wanted to let you know. This week I have been going through all of my websites, ads, everything … lol. And what I have found very interesting is that, going through these 30-some-odd websites, when I searched for myself before logging in … I’m either nowhere to be found, my information is incorrect, or the profile just looks plain flat stupid. When I got onto HomesAndLand.com — everything is correct!!! When I searched for myself in 73034, bam, there I was. When I clicked on details, bam, there they were … good job!!!!"

DAVID DOBSON, Realtor/broker with ERA Courtyard
in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Homes & Land advertiser

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Easy 5-step strategy for turning old clients to new

Easy 5-step strategy for turning old clients to new

Moving, like other life events, is not often repeated in rapid succession. You can never tell when a happy homeowner is about to become a motivated buyer/seller. However, when it comes to the biggest of all big-ticket purchases — real estate — a repeat customer can represent a big win for agents.

Recently released data on mortgages from Fannie Mae indicate that there’s no time like the present to be in the market buying and selling real estate. With a growing number of Americans thinking now is the right time to attain a home loan, now is definitely the right time for agents to revamp their retention strategies.

These five steps to develop a top-notch retention strategy are important to your success:

1. Recognize the retention reality

In an article for Realty Times, author and former Realtor Bob Hunt points out that “the cost of acquiring a new customer is six to seven times greater than the cost of keeping an existing one.” A commitment to keeping in touch with former clients benefits your budget and your reputation.

2. Your brand in demand

Successful real estate agents make the most of a recognizable brand. Leverage your brand by advertising more than your listings — advertise yourself. Blending traditional methods, like placing a branding advertisement in Homes & Land Magazine, with more unconventional tactics will likely prove to be the perfect brand-awareness boost.

3. Networking on the net

Social media sites, the Web’s destinations for water-cooler conversations, are surprisingly useful, user-friendly and can be your best friend in the retention game. Being visible on Facebook and Twitter is hassle-free with Homes & Land, making regular marketing activities part of your retention strategy by reminding former clients you’re still hard at work.

4. Just being neighborly

A hand-written note. A quick phone call to check in and say, “Hello.” Even a polite email will be welcome amid the flood of other marketing messages your former clients are receiving. In this age of “big data,” taking the time to reach out on a personal level will help you cast a positive light on your client relationships.

5. Don’t forget direct mail

Your Homes & Land publisher is the best local resource for direct mail. Whether it’s post cards, flyers, or magazines featuring your advertisements, targeted mailings can reach former clients without being intrusive. Agents affiliated with Homes & Land have the added benefit of being able to schedule magazine mailings to home sellers right from the online control panel, demonstrating that the agent is gaining maximum exposure from print and ensuring the agent is top-of-mind when the seller is ready to buy or sell again.

Marketing professionals are quick to extol the benefits of a good retention strategy. Don’t be an afterthought next time one of your former clients chooses a real estate agent. With a bit of proactive planning, you’ll be the one getting a call when the decision to move is made.


40thRGHTsm

Homes & Land Affiliates, LLC, is the most trusted, integrated multimedia real estate brand in North America. A leading local resource for real estate information, HomesAndLand.com welcomes millions of unique visitors every month. Headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, with magazines across the United States and Canada, Homes & Land has been serving real estate professionals, homebuyers and home sellers since 1973. In addition to Homes & Land Magazine, the company publishes Home Guide, Rental Guide, and Estates & Homes magazines.

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Filed under Advertising, Industry Articles and Trends, Marketing Minute, mortgages

Communicating your value as a real estate agent

Some marketing resources are accessible only to real estate agents.

Many of us are familiar with MasterCard’s “Priceless” campaign, created in 1997 with the goal of demonstrating that the credit card is the perfect way to pay for “everything that matters.” So, in the spirit of clever slogans and everything that’s priceless to us: The feeling of joy you get from home ownership is something money can’t buy, but for everything else in the buying and selling process, there’s your Realtor.

Value proposition

Plenty of negotiating goes into determining the value of a listing, but there should be no question about the value of a Realtor. Unfortunately, many home sellers and buyers may not know how critical it is to work with a real estate agent.

Don’t miss an opportunity to communicate the value you offer as a qualified professional. The National Association of Realtors reports that more than three quarters of buyers and sellers believe Realtors are “very useful” sources of information. Still, as most agents know, that’s not telling the whole story.

Of course Realtors can provide a wealth of industry-specific information to their clients, but there are also marketing resources accessible only to agents. As the real estate professional, how can you tip the scales in your favor when buyers and sellers are making the crucial choice about who to work with?

When decision makers find you while reading a magazine or searching online, they are likely at what Jim Lecinski of Google refers to as a “Zero Moment of Truth” — see the book of the same name. As Lecinski explains, “ZMOT is that moment when you grab your laptop, mobile phone or some other wired device and start learning about a product or service you’re thinking about trying or buying.”

It’s in this pivotal moment that buyers and sellers must understand how valuable real estate agents are. The service you provide is indispensable. Prove it to potential clients through marketing that makes this reality abundantly clear.

Bragging rights

  • You sold six listings last month. Congratulations! Now is the time to tout that success. Drawing attention to the listings you’ve sold shouldn’t be viewed as a way to take up space. In fact, it’s an excellent way to convey the fact that you were invaluable to six different happy clients.
  • The business of marketing looks different than it did twenty years ago. Maybe you know firsthand how much it has changed, but you’ve proven yourself more than capable of keeping up. Don’t hesitate to tell your story everywhere possible by completing your profile on websites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Need more space to tell your story? Create an AdEssential site that will link to your listings on HomesAndLand.com.
  • Additionally, consider your message and brand. Advertising just home listings doesn’t differentiate you in the clutter. A home buyer or seller wants to know why you are the expert to assist them in making a major decision. Track record is wonderful, but your brand is what will resonate!
  • Demonstrate your tech-savvy skill set by making the most of mobile marketing opportunities. For example, a prospect sees a beautiful house in Homes & Land Magazine. They’re in the right mindset, feeling decisive, but they could use a bit more information. If you’re using text codes on your printed listings, those additional photos of the interior and backyard can be accessed on smartphones via a simple text message.

Practice preparedness

The greatest generators of buzz are attracting interest through word of mouth — networking at events, moving in the right circles and meeting new people. All good things, for sure. One thing even affable agents may not be aware of, though, is that social interactions nowadays can be a matter of public record. Lecinski, our marketing guru from Google, points out that, “For the first time in human history, word of mouth is a digitally archived medium.”

Quick and convenient access to information isn’t getting any less prevalent. Just thinking about all the competition that’s out there may provoke a fight or flight reaction in some Realtors. If you choose to get in there and fight, it’s easier to rest assured when the right proponent has your back.

With Homes & Land, attractive listing flyers, social media syndication, virtual tours, text codes, QR codes and targeted direct mail are all part of your arsenal. With these tools at your disposal, generating buzz offline and online will only get easier, giving you more face time with clients and prospects.

Listing a dozen reasons why it’s wise to use a Realtor is a good starting point for communicating your value as a professional. Take that idea further by boldly going beyond the basics. Being prepared is the best way to provide a complete picture of everything you have to offer, but you should also be confident about how priceless your presence will be at each buyer and seller’s moment of truth.


Homes & Land Success

“Homes & Land is a great marketing tool for me and my clients. I gauge very carefully where inquiries come from; time and time again, qualified people contact me from Homes & Land.

“It is important for my clients to know that their property is being advertised as effectively as possible. Over and above a terrific local presence, Homes & Land reaches out nationally, in print and on-line. People inquire from all over the country on properties they have seen on HomesAndLand.com.

“In putting together my marketing plan for the year, and the specific marketing plan per property, I look at the media I know people use. Nine out of 10 buyers have Homes & Land in the front seat when they are physically looking for a home.

“I am confident when I put my listings in Homes & Land that I am getting the maximum exposure possible. My goal is to reach as many “real” buyers as possible. I am pleased to provide my clients the breadth and depth of my marketing knowledge and expertise.

“Homes & Land is a great partner for me in that effort!”

Lauren Stone WEBLauren Stone
Bean Group


40thRGHTsm
Homes & Land Affiliates, LLC, is the most trusted, integrated multimedia real estate brand in North America. A leading local resource for real estate information, HomesAndLand.com welcomes millions of unique visitors every month. Headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, with magazines across the United States and Canada, Homes & Land has been serving real estate professionals, homebuyers and home sellers since 1973. In addition to Homes & Land Magazine, the company publishes Home Guide, Rental Guide, and Estates & Homes magazines.

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Filed under Advertising, Marketing Minute

Powerful real estate marketing for your brand

Unique FEATURED

If having an ample number of homes for sale at any give time is more than just a passing concern, you’re not alone. If you’re trying to gauge the impact of technological advancements on your industry, you’re not alone. One doesn’t have to look any further than Realtor.org for confirmation.

Discussing the challenges facing real estate agents, National Association of Realtors President Gary Thomas points out that “42 percent [of real estate firms] are concerned about both maintaining sufficient inventory and keeping up with technology.”

Keep your concerns in check by focusing on name recognition. With some attention to detail and creativity at the outset, your brand and your reputation can be working for you while you’re out working for your clients.

Ordinary is out

Seeing a bucket truck drive past you on the road is likely to make you think there’s a power line down somewhere nearby. You’d most certainly be right, unless you’re in Berks County, Pa., where Jeffrey Hogue, owner and Realtor at Weichert Realtors Neighborhood One, puts his bucket truck to use for a different purpose.

JeffreyHogue_BucketTruck2_DS
Hogue uses the lift and basket connected to his vehicle to take photographs of houses for his real estate business. The truck itself doubles as a branding mechanism, with Hogue’s image and company logo featured prominently on the side.

Somewhat of an expert on taking an unconventional approach to marketing, Hogue also looks to the print and digital medium for getting his name out there, telling Homes & Land, “I see Homes & Land as the strongest, most dominant medium in my marketplace. As a branding and marketing tool, it delivers more for my clients and I than any other integrated print and digital medium.” He even has the Homes & Land logo featured on the side of his truck.

Homes & Land Magazine and HomesAndLand.com are hard at work for businesses like Hogue’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether it’s on racks at local grocery stores and offices, or online in front of the websites’ 1.3 million monthly unique visitors. Not to mention increased exposure from strategically located distribution points and syndication partners like the The Wall Street Journal, Zillow and Trulia.

Put your brand to work

It would be helpful if you could personally point out all the great amenities of your client’s property to each and every one of your prospects, ensuring that nothing goes unnoticed. But because you can’t be everywhere all the time, your brand and advertising should be equipped to speak for you.

According to the Association of Magazine Media, 91 percent of Americans are magazine readers.Properties in Homes & Land benefit greatly from being in front of such a wide audience. But wouldn’t it be great if they could get the full story? They should have information about the community and schools, an array of pictures, and maybe even a video. With the right technology, the full story is at your fingertips.

Adding text codes to your magazine listings lets you provide a robust view of all the details to potential clients using smartphones — a significant segment of the population. Fifty-six percent of all American adults have smartphones, according to the Pew Research Center.

When a user sends a text message to the number on your listing, they’re treated to a full suite of listing details, custom-fitted to the size of their device thanks to the cutting-edge technology behind HomesAndLand.com.

Using an integrated, multimedia approach that includes print, digital, mobile and social components is not only smart marketing, it’s living up to the expectations of buyers and sellers.

It may be trying something new and creative, or it may be keeping up to speed with the most powerful marketing options available. Either way, the name recognition gained as a result of your efforts will help you be certain that buyers and sellers know you as the go-to agent when they decide it’s time to make a move.


Homes & Land Success Story

“Recently I had the opportunity to do a listing presentation on a $4.98 million dollar home and, because of the advertising package with Homes & Land, I won the listing. Included in the advertising package was your upgraded WSJ.com package, which included the international exposure. Because the sellers are international, the international exposure resonated highly with them.

“Thank you Homes & Land. Because of the upgraded international distribution, I secured the listing.”

Martin Argosino WEBMartin Argosino
Real Estate Broker
San Francisco


40thRGHTsm
Homes & Land Affiliates, LLC, is the most trusted, integrated multimedia real estate brand in North America. A leading local resource for real estate information, HomesAndLand.com welcomes millions of unique visitors every month. Headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, with magazines across the United States and Canada, Homes & Land has been serving real estate professionals, homebuyers and home sellers since 1973. In addition to Homes & Land Magazine, the company publishes Home Guide, Rental Guide, and Estates & Homes magazines.

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