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There are so many aspects of Twitter that most Realtors don’t understand.  Heck, I definitely understand not understanding.  In principle, Twitter is the simplest social network out there.  Just type in 140 characters or less into the tweet box and hit “Enter.”  I don’t know how anything can be more simple.  Now, actually getting someone to read that tweet, click on that link, retweet your tweet, reply or comment back, or favorite that tweet is a different story.  This is where  Twitter “loses” most of us – it is Twitter lost me for a while.  So, today I want to share with you a few Twitter tips I’ve learned to help you master Twitter.

1.       Use Queued.at – This puppy allows you to enter your tweets and have them go out at the most likely best times.  Pretty cool stuff!
2.       Use Tweriod – This app will analyze the last 200 tweets of each of your last 5,000 followers to give you a graph of when your followers are on Twitter the most.  This helps you to know when to tweet.
3.       If someone popular on Twitter retweets you, then make a note of the time and day this happened.  Be sure to tweet other things that person may like around the same time for a couple of weeks to see if she will retweet you again.
4.       The time of day you are most active on Twitter may be a great time to tweet your best topics.  You are not the only one who does things the way and times you do.  Try it and see for yourself.
5.       If you are about to attend an event and you want to tweet about it, then do it right before, during, or immediately after the event.  This will spark more interaction with your followers than doing so a day before or after the event.
6.       Join the Phenomenon – There is something on Twitter called the #FollowFriday Phenomenon.  #FollowFriday is the movement by many Twitter users of adding followers on that particular day of the week. Join in on the phenomenon and watch your followers grow by adding followers.

Try a few, or all, of these tips to soup up your presence on Twitter.  If you have a cool Twitter tip, please leave a comment with it below.

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If you follow this blog regularly, then you know I write a good deal about email marketing for real estate.  The reason is this process is critical to the success of everyone’s real estate business.  Email marketing is a very effective way to keep your name in front of prospective buyers and sellers on a regular basis.  Email marketing makes it nearly impossible for someone on your email list to say, “I completely forgot you are in real estate, and I just referred my sister to Sally Glutz, Realtor with XYZ Realty.”  Even if your email is not opened and read, email marketing is effective because you are still putting your name in front of a prospective client.  When your email is opened, you want to be sure you’ve got the right stuff in it.  So here are some tips for you to make sure you are ready to dance when someone on your email list asks you.

1. Snippit in the Bud – To increase your response and engagement try to give several article abstracts grouped into sets of topics that are of interest to your readers.

2. Be Easy – To share, that is.  Every marketers’ dream is to share her information with one person who then shares it with 10 others, who then shares it with 10 others, and on and on. This is much more simple to do today than ever before as most email providers have added social media sharing options that you can put into your content.

3. Be Content – No, not the feeling.  I probably should have labeled this paragraph “Be the Content Provider.”  Don’t have your newsletters just feature your listings.  The truth is you aren’t going to sell very many of your listings directly through your newsletter, but you will sell many of your listings indirectly by having a newsletter full of very valuable content that most consumers want to read and share.

Give these 3 ways of improving your email newsletter a try to see if your newsletters get better open and engagement rates.  Maybe I should have given testing as #4 in this list, but test #1 against your current format and see which performs better.  Then test #2 above and see if you have more clicks on your newsletter links than your old format.  Then try #3.

You should constantly be striving for the impossible 100% open or engagement rate.  If you have any other suggestions to share with us, then please do so in the comments section below.

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Geeky.  Nerdy.  Techie.  These are not really the terms I want to use to describe myself, but I have a confession to make.  I am a fan of any technology that I can use to make my life, personal or professional, easier.  If that makes me a techno, nerdy geek then I guess I’ll wear my pocket protector with honor.

To justify my new self designated title, I’m giving you 6 free online tools to use for your real estate business.  You may want to bookmark this post on your browser and refer back to it later because I want your help at the end of this post.  So, without further ado, here my list of awesome free tools to help your real estate business…

1. MailChimp – Free basic email newsletter service for up to 2000 subscribers.  I talk a lot about email marketing and how you need to be using it in your real estate business.  I have used MailChimp in the past, and I can tell you that it is a pretty solid service.  Even though I recently switched to Aweber, I highly recommend you give MailChimp a try.

2. Google Alerts – Watch your competitors, your company, and yourself by setting up Google Alerts with this awesome service.

3. Jing – This is a free screen capture program that lets you capture images and record videos of your computer screen.  Next to Microsoft Outlook and Word, this is my most used piece of software on my computer.  I love Jing!

4. Google Docs – Speaking of Microsoft Word, are you looking for a free alternative? Try Google Docs.  It allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, or even surveys.  This cloud (internet) based software allows you to access your documents from any computer at any time by logging into Google Docs using your Gmail email and password.

5. Dropbox – A great cloud based storage and sharing service.  Now that you’re using Jing you need somewhere to store your videos so you can get them later or share them with a client.  You get 2 GB of file storage for free and sharing files or folders with others is a breeze.

6. WordPress – You can build your own personal real estate website for free using WordPress.  With thousands of free themes to choose from you can have a beautiful, Google friendly website online by tomorrow morning.  You’ll need to buy a domain and setup hosting to host your account (I recommend HostGator for that) for a small monthly fee.

I love sharing some of my favorite cool, free resources with everyone, but I know there are a gazillion other awesome free tools for Realtors out there.  I want to hear about your favorites as well.  Share your favorites and hopefully you’ll find a new favorite as well.  After you’ve added your favorite tool, then please share this article on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon.  If this thing gets rolling we can build the largest free real estate toolbox on the net.  So my fellow techno geek, dig out your own pocket protector from your desk drawer and share the free love!

 

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I recently Googled the name of a friend of mine in order to find her mailing address.  The very first result for her name was a picture of her mug shot on www.mugshotsonline.com from a DUI she was charged with a little over a year ago.  Because I know her, I know that the charges were later dropped before the case ever went to court, but her mug shot is still out there for the world to see.  It doesn’t have to be a mug shot that your next former potential client saw.  It could be a negative review on a real estate website on the vast worldwide web.  So, how does one prevent this from happening?

Well, here are some ideas.

  1. Create a Google Alert for your name – Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results of the web, news, blogs, etc. based on search queries that you establish.  This helps to inform you anytime you have a negative review posted online or anything else that you don’t want the world to see.  If you know of something negative that has been posted online, then you have the opportunity to react to it.  If you never know the negative information is out there for the world to see, then you may lose business because there is a fair chance your clients have seen it.
  2. Be proactive and preemptive – Have your satisfied clients post online reviews for you starting today.  With the invention of laptops, smart phones, and tablets, this has never been easier.  You can ask your smiling, happy clients to do this after you close on their new or current home.  Some agents dread asking a client to post a review, but the truth is most clients are more than happy to help you because you’ve just helped them.  Ask them immediately before you go into the closing and be sure to follow up with them after the closing to make sure they complete the review for you.  If you have 200 awesome reviews on the internet and 1 or 2 bad ones, then those bad ones will have much less of a negative effect on any future prospects’ preconceptions of you.
  3.  Be everywhere – Ok, if you don’t already have your own personal website, then shame on you!  Go get one now or call me and I’ll be happy to build one for you.  If you do have a personal website, then you need to be sure that website is the first result of a Google search for your name (in your town or state).  If it is not, then you need to be getting serious about your search engine optimization.  Once you’ve gotten your website in the number one position, then you need to get very active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, etc, etc.  The more you control the way you are presented online, the less affected you will be by negative reviews or news.  The fact is if those negative things are buried below a sea of positives then you may as well consider those negative things nonexistent.

If you’ve been in this crazy real estate game long enough, then you have at least one unsatisfied client out there.  I know you are shocked and amazed to hear this, but even I have one.  Yep, the client that I refused to help commit fraud during a transaction was unhappy with me.  She didn’t post anything negative online about me, but she could have.  If she had, I was ready for her.  Soon after the negative review posted, Google Alerts would have told me my name was mentioned online, and I would have read her post.  From that point, I would have searched Google to see that her negative review was result number 1,423 in Google because I’ve worked very hard on numbers 2 and 3 above.

If you have some suggestions on ways you can manage your reputation online, then please feel free to leave those below.

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