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Facebook for Real Estate Video Series Preview

It has taken months of planning, filming and editing, but we are happy to announce that the production of our video series “Facebook for Real Estate” is well under way. Currently we expect our Facebook for Real Estate video series to run somewhere around forty-four (44), three (3) or so minute videos outlining each topic covered in our workshops (the odd video may run slightly longer depending on content).

By breaking our series down into a separate video per topic, we are making it easy for you to get only the information you are interested in while respecting your time . Having separate videos will also provide us with more flexibility to update the series as changes occur.

All of the new changes to Facebook’s interface (see How Facebook Updates Affect Real Estate and Facebook for Real Estate & Why the Changes Are Good) will be addressed in our series ensuring that you will remain right up to date!

Below are three videos dealing with the frequency of use required for Facebook, how your EdgeRank is calculated and also some of the key points to advertising real estate on Facebook.

*Note: These videos are not in any specific order and are simply an example of the series to follow.

We hope that you enjoy these videos as we continue to work on the rest of the Facebook for Real Estate video series. As always, we look forward to your feedback below.

Agents who read this Facebook article also read:

Facebook Library

To view related artcles, visit our Facebook Library.

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Real Estate Technology

Real estate technology is an interesting subject that comes up almost daily. Realtors are constantly seeking out the best technology to help their business and stay ahead of competitors. I have already touched on the confusion surrounding technology for real estate (see Real Estate Technology and Why Realtors Shouldn’t Care) and indicated that in many cases real estate agents already have the necessary technology, or better technology is available to them for free. Today, I would like to address common technology for real estate and the best solutions available.

Why Technology is Important for Real Estate

It’s easy to have a want for technology, but the question should be asked “Is there a need for technology in real estate?” The answer, of course, is yes, and here’s why.

Like it or not, technology is changing the world. We no longer perform tasks in the same way nor do we communicate in the same way. When it comes to business, we are often placed in the situation of adapting or falling behind. Real estate is no exception. We all know that most home buyers start their search online, but the need for technology in real estate goes far beyond that. Facebook has become the primary form of communication for many. People are checking their Facebook account far more frequently than they check their email. People argue with me all the time when I mention this saying, “Well maybe some people do, but email isn’t going anywhere, all of my business is done over email.” While it is true that there is still a need for email, to ignore social media networks because you don’t see the value in them is hurting your business.

Then, there things like websites, QR codes and virtual tours that are more familiar to Realtors and offered by many companies around the country. The issue with going with things that are familiar is that, in most cases, all of your competitors are using something very similar and while that might be “the way things are done in real estate”, it isn’t helping you to distinguish yourself from the competition.

Proprietary in-House Solutions and Why They’re Bad

As mentioned in Real Estate Technology and Why Realtors Shouldn’t Care, many companies like to offer in-house, custom solutions for Realtors. In most cases, these solutions include websites, email, database managers and some form of social media automation. While this might sound like a great solution and a one stop shop, the truth is that many of these solutions are sub-par and in some cases may even be hurting your business. In-house, custom solutions frequently suffer from lack of features, high overhead, little support, slow rate of improvement, and more.

Best Solutions for Real Estate Agents

Many of the best solutions for real estate technology are free to use. The trouble is that most of us don’t have the time to learn about these options and to get educated on what’s available. The good news is that’s why we’re here. We’re going to show you how to escape the proprietary systems that hinder your productivity and how to begin using free, cloud-based systems that will increase your productivity and make your business more mobile, while taking up less of your time.

-Email (see Real Estate Email)
-Website
-Social Media
-Database management

Over the coming weeks I will be adding articles focusing on each specific aspect and offering the best solution(s) that, in many cases, will be free!

If you have any questions or comments, please share your thoughts below.

Agents who read this Technology article also read:

Tech Library

To view related artcles, visit our Tech Library.

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Sellstate Lawsuits Update

We are pleased to announce that our pending lawsuit (see Sellstate Lawsuits for full details) has concluded after receiving a favorable summary judgment. Our last case went before mediation and the Plaintiffs are now obligated to pay Sellstate costs.

To further update, Sellstate was also awarded judgment in our second lawsuit (see Sellstate Lawsuits for full details), and they must also make payments to Sellstate.

It’s not our philosophy to seek frivolous litigation, but Sellstate will fiercely defend its rights. We are pleased with the outcomes of our litigation and look forward to hopefully putting all the rumors to rest.

Thank you for all your support and confidence in Sellstate.

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Facebook for Real Estate & Why the Changes Are Good

Facebook for Real Estate – Why the Changes Are Good

Many people are upset with the recent changes to Facebook and I can understand why (see How Facebook Updates Affect Real Estate for a list of changes). People have invested countless hours into learning how the site worked and interacting with others only to have everything they knew ripped away over night. What’s more is that these changes are just the beginning. Facebook has some massive plans that are going to make these changes feel even more drastic than they already do. And you know what? This is a really good thing and the Facebook of today is much better than the Facebook of last week and I’m about to tell you why.

Lists

Some of you may have noticed that lists are now available. Lists are essentially a way of categorizing your friends list so that you may share information with only a select group of people.

This is a great Facebook update for real estate because it removes the fear of using the social network for business while at the same time using it for pleasure. Let’s say that you would like to use Facebook for real estate but are hesitant because you already have 300 personal friends and family members on there and you don’t like the idea of your clients or potential clients seeing your posts about how upset you are over last night’s reality show. Maybe you don’t like the idea that pictures from your birthday party are being shared with clients. In the past you’ve been somewhat out of luck as you could set it to only share with friends but if all your clients were on your friend’s list then they would see it anyway.

With lists, you are able to have all of your family on a “Family” list, while your friends are on a “Close Friends” list and clients can be on their own list. You may even want to keep buyers and sellers on separate lists. Now when you go to post your birthday pictures, you can select to share it only with “Family” and “Close Friends”. Of course you still have the option to share things with all of your friends or to share things publicly, but Facebook has just made life a little easier when trying to do business and pleasure on the same site.

Lists also make life easier when you want to follow what is going on. If you click on your “Family” list on the left hand side your news feed will change to display only things that have been shared by family members. So if you are trying to relax and want to use Facebook but avoid all of the work related topics, you can now browse only personal stuff or if you are at the office and want to avoid all the gossip among your friends you can do that as well.

Smart Lists

Remember how I said that you can organize your friends into lists? Well what if Facebook could organize those lists for you? Introducing smart lists. Let’s say you would love to connect with your old high school friends or are trying to find all of your co-workers. Facebook can use a smart list to automatically add any of your friends that lists the same high school or place of employment as you to those list for you. This makes it very easy to suddenly share something with co-workers or perhaps update people you went to school with on an upcoming reunion.

Ticker

The ticker is probably the most hated feature added to Facebook. Many of the notifications that used to appear in your news feed are now streaming endlessly on your ticker. Believe it or not the ticker is actually a good thing and helps keep everything organized. As we add more and more friends, we don’t want our news feed to get bogged down every time someone likes someone else but we do want to know that information. Now everything is neatly shared with you in the corner of your screen. If you scroll over the notification or click on it, a pop up box appears allowing you to interact with the comment. So if for example you see that I “Like” a post, you are able to see what the post is and also click “Like”, share it or comment on it while keeping the most relevant information front and center. This is also helpful if you are browsing around Facebook looking at various pages, your ticker will remain on screen allowing you to continue to keep track of what is going on without the need for you to be looking at your news feed. In a way it adds a certain amount of freedom to allow you to explore Facebook, pages or things that people have posted.

By interacting with the ticker you will also influence Facebook as to which stories you would like to see appear in your news feed.

The ticker will also be handy for subscriptions as you will have the ability to follow a lot more people without the worry of cluttering up your feed.

This feature is particularly great for real estate because it allows us to keep an eye on what everyone on our list is up to so that we may interact with them. It may seem like a pain at the moment, but take my word for it, once you get used to it you’ll like it much better.

Subscriptions

Subscriptions are a nice addition to Facebook for real estate users. On Twitter you may follow someone without them needing to approve or follow you back. This allows high profile people to be followed easily. Now with Facebook you can basically do the same thing. When you search for say… Mark Zuckerberg because you would like to know what other changes are on the way you can now click “subscribe” and his publicly shared updates will appear in your feed/ticker.

Also, the moment that you request to be someone’s friend you are subscribing to their feed and will see all of their publicly shared posts even if they do not accept the friend request.

The best part about this new Facebook feature for real estate is that when people request to be your friend and you aren’t really sure who they are, you can ignore the friend request knowing that they will still receive any public posts that you choose to share.

In Conclusion

I know that many of you are upset and I have seen the petitions flying around the Internet and Facebook to change things back to the old way. I am sorry to be the one to tell you that the new way is staying and more changes are coming so instead of passing around how much you hate the new layout you may want to use that time to get to know it.

As someone who spends a lot of time using the various social networks and reading about technology, I have to admit that I actually prefer the layout and new features. Yes, it did take some getting used to, but as I said before it is now much much better!

If you have anything that you’d like to add or disagree with please share your comments below.

Agents who read this Facebook article also read:

Facebook Library

To view related artcles, visit our Facebook Library.

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Google Plus Available for Real Estate

As of today Google Plus is available for real estate agents and everyone else for that matter. For anyone unfamiliar with Google Plus, I recommend Google Plus Circles for Real Estate and Google Plus for Real Estate.

So Google Plus is Live, Does Anyone Care?

The thing that makes Facebook such a great tool for real estate is that it has a massive user base. Real Estate Agents are able to connect with clients in a new way that in many ways is much more effective than traditional means. With Google Plus being new we have to evaluate whether or not this is the future of social media, a phase or a me too network.

Google Plus was the fastest social network to 20 million users and were able to do so in just 24 days while still in beta. Compare this to Facebook’s 1,152 days and it would seem that Google Plus is set to take over. As impressive as that is, it doesn’t tell the entire story. The latest numbers have shown that Google Plus traffic peaked in July and has been on a decline ever since. In addition to this, Facebook has just implemented major changes that essentially take the best of Google Plus (see How Facebook Updates Affect Real Estate).

Today marks the public opening of Google Plus which means that anyone may now sign up for the service. The question is how many people will? When I first got into the Google Plus beta and started evaluating how Google Plus for Real Estate would work I found that many of the features would be beneficial. As I told people about the new social network, much of the response I received was that they weren’t interested in learning a new social network especially when everyone they knew was already connected to them via Facebook.

Beginning of the End?

So then is this the beginning of the end for Google Plus? Hardly. Google is already working on seamless integration of Google Plus into your Google Account. Log into gmail today? Notice how a “You +” now appears in the top left corner? As you can imagine there are quite a few gmail users out there and Google is obviously encouraging them to start using the network. In addition, every Android phone user is required to have a Google Account, the same way iPhone users are required to have an Apple ID. According to the latest from Nielsen, Android accounts for the largest smartphone market share at 37%. Clearly, Google Plus is going to be here for awhile.

So as of today we officially have a new social network in play and if nothing else, it should be interesting to see how users embrace or reject it.

Agents who read this Google Plus article also read:

Google Plus Library

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How Facebook Updates Affect Real Estate

There have been a number of changes to Facebook over the past few weeks including a rather large update last night. I would like to take a few moments to look at how the Facebook updates affect real estate agents. For an introduction to using Facebook for Real Estate click here.

Facebook Lists

In what appears to be an answer to Google Plus, Facebook has made some changes to the list feature. You are now able to organize your friends into separate lists and each time you post you may choose which lists you would like to share your message/update with. This is very similar to Google Plus Circles (Our full explanation of Google Plus Circles for Real Estate may be found here) and drastically changes the comparison between Google Plus Circles vs. Facebook Friends. You are able to add the same friend to multiple lists so that if for example a co-worker was also a personal friend they would receive messages you share with both “work” and “friends”

Subscriptions

Subscriptions appear to be Facebook’s answer to Twitter. You are now able to follow someone’s updates (assuming they are publicly shared) without having to become their friend. This is similar to how celebrities or news networks are able to be followed on Twitter without the need to follow you back.

News Feed

The news feed works largely the same way as “top news” worked in the past. Your feed consists of “top stories” and uses an internal algorithm to determine what is important to you.

News Ticker

The news ticker seems to have replaced the “most recent” option for the news feed. All of the status updates, likes, updates, comments, friend connections and so on now appear on your ticker feed. This change seems to be in place as a way to keep a Twitter like feed going while at the same time avoiding the clutter that Twitter suffers from. This also helps to keep your relevant stories front and center while at the same time allowing you to keep tabs on everything that your friends are up to. By clicking on a message in the ticker you will see a pop up box with further details allowing you to quickly interact with that particular message.

There seems to be some early speculation that down the road we may see an update that further changes the functionality of the ticker as at the moment there isn’t a huge difference between what appears in your ticker and what appears in your news feed.

Photos

You may have noticed that photos are much larger in your news feed. This change seems to be mostly aesthetic.

Privacy

The privacy settings have also undergone a change. The menus have been simplified down to main categories such as “Control Your Default Privacy”, “How You Connect”, “How Tags Work”, “Apps and Websites”, “Limit the Audience for Past Posts” and “Blocked People and Apps” with sub menus for each. I strongly suggest that you take a look as you may come across certain things you wish to adjust. For example, friends are now able to tag you at a particular location with them. Many people are not comfortable with informing the world of their current location. You may also set Facebook to require your approval when people tag you.

Profile Button Gone

At the top of your screen where the “profile” button used to appear has now been changed to your name. This isn’t a big deal as far as functionality but it probably helps to simplify the layout and remove confusion.

How Does This Affect Real Estate

If you are a real estate agent using Facebook for business these changes are important to understand. Because the option for “most recent” is now gone from the news feed it has become all the more crucial that your messages appear in peoples “top stories” or they will be quickly lost in the ticker shuffle. Be sure to interact with others on a personal level and do not simply advertise. If Facebook does not view your posts as important or relevant to others than very few people will get your message.

If you have been hesitant to start using Facebook for real estate business because you have personal friends and do not want to mix friends, family and clients into the same place you can now use lists to easily share information with the intended group without the worry of everyone seeing your message.

Our upcoming video series will be detailing how to implement the best strategies for using Facebook for Real Estate.

A Side Note

Some people were reporting that changing your language to English (UK) would revert back to the old layout. From my research, it appears as though that was temporary and no longer the case as many using English (UK) have reported that the new updates are in place.

As always all questions and comments are appreciated. Do you like or hate the changes? Please be sure to share your thoughts below.

Agents who read this Facebook article also read:

Facebook Library

To view related artcles, visit our Facebook Library.

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Facebook for Real Estate

Facebook for Real Estate – Your introduction to Facebook for Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Brokers

Real Estate Agents are embracing social media like never before. With a variety of networks and a limited amount of hours in a day many Realtors are wondering which network to focus on given the popularity of Facebook, Twitter and now Google Plus (For a complete guide to Google Plus for Real Estate click here). The simple answer is that at the moment Facebook is best for real estate.

What is Facebook?

For those of you who are new to social networks, Facebook is networking platform, which lets you connect with others in a very easy and organized way. Through Facebook you are able to chat, comment on the status of others, share photos and websites and keep in touch with friends, family and clients.

How big is Facebook?

Facebook is a monster that keeps getting bigger. The latest estimates were that Facebook has now reached 750 million members of an estimated 1.2 billion Internet users. That means that over 60% of people on the Internet are on Facebook!

Why is Facebook Important for Real Estate?

Facebook for Real Estate is extremely important because Facebook is quickly becoming the preferred way of communication over the Internet. At the moment more people are checking Facebook than their email and they are doing so far more frequently. A large segment of Facebook users check their account before getting out of bed in the morning and as the last thing they do before going to sleep at night.

How Does Facebook Help Real Estate?

We all know the statistics of how many buyers are looking to the Internet to begin their home shopping. In many cases, consumers find their Realtor online. What better way to be front and center than to be actively communicating with potential clients before they are ready to begin their home search?

Facebook – The New Real Estate Database

Despite all of the fun exciting features that Facebook offers, the fact remains that what makes Facebook so valuable is that it is the world’s best database. We live in the information age and Facebook has the most entries, accurate contact information for all of the entries and knows what the entries like.

Have you ever purchased a list of emails to market to? Realtors do this all the time because it is an effective way to get their message out. When you really think about it though, your message is only getting out to a handful of people on that list. With a networking tool like Facebook, you are able to get your message out to your contacts and even interact with them on a daily basis. The amazing part is that we are able to use this database completely free of charge!

Mobile apps

Facebook has native apps for most of the mobile platforms making it easy to update your status on the go. In addition to the main Facebook app, they have separated out their chat client into a separate Facebook Messenger app which functions similar to text messaging except the service runs through Facebook.

Should Real Estate Agents use Facebook?

The short answer is yes. Facebook provides a way to communicate directly with clients and potential clients, stay top of mind and provides insight as to opportunities. When people are interested in buying or selling they often times share these thoughts on Facebook. Wouldn’t it be ideal to be there to respond to these people making it convenient and easy for them to choose you as their Realtor?

How Would I Use Facebook for Real Estate?

The best way to use Facebook for real estate is to treat it like a live social event. Do not go into it with an attitude that you need to advertise and strictly talk about buying and selling homes. People use Facebook for fun and entertainment. They do not go on to look at advertising. What you are looking to do is to interact with as many people as possible as often as possible. Remember, the number one reason why someone will choose to buy or sell a home with you is because they like you. Allow your personality to come out and have some fun with people. If you become a very familiar friend to them then you will be in a great position to satisfy their real estate needs when the time comes.

Sellstate Facebook Video Series

Sellstate’s proactive approach to social media includes having an entire video library covering all aspects of social media and Internet marketing. We are currently in the process of building this library with plans to begin releasing videos in the coming weeks. Unlike many tutorials currently available we will be breaking down each aspect of Facebook into its own two to three minute video making it easy to jump to the parts that interest you. Our video series promises to be the most comprehensive explanation of Facebook for Real Estate anywhere online. At this moment we expect the Facebook series to be comprised of forty-four (44) videos.

As always if you have any questions or have something that you would like to share your questions and comments are welcome below!

Agents who read this Facebook article also read:

Facebook Library

To view related artcles, visit our Facebook Library.

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Real Estate Wealth Strategies

A wise man told me that the only way to create true wealth is to have assets that make you money without working on them. This is very true and sometimes obvious. In the real estate sales business, it seems like this is impossible as we spend our time finding the next buyer or seller. When we close them (and hopefully we can close more then we lose) we are off the next one. As real estate agents we are selling our time, and up until now, we have never had the opportunity to develop income that did not require our time.

Sellstate has changed this by giving our agents the opportunity to build this sort of wealth through our Agent Asset Development (AAD) program. Sellstate agents can earn 5% of any agent’s gross commission just by getting them to join a Sellstate office. I have a simple business plan that can put money in your pocket and develop this type of revenue without cutting into your sales. Follow me for a moment and see if a light goes on.

As a real estate agent we know how hard we work to close a buyer or even all the work it takes to find listings and close them. Now imagine if you take 10% of your time and prospect for agents that will provide you a continuous income for possibly years. Take 4 hours a week and actually focus them on hiring a new real estate agent. Go to open houses, functions at the real estate board, Women’s Council of Realtors, and other real estate functions.

If you hired one a month that had an average income of say $50,000/year you would have 12 agents paying you $30,000 per year without ever having to get out of bed.

Pick up the phone and call productive real estate agents you may or may not know. I am confident that if you spent 16 hours a month doing actual prospecting to hire an agent, you would get at least one. If you hired one a month that had an average income of say $50,000/year you would have 12 agents paying you $30,000 per year without ever having to get out of bed.

Sometimes we have great opportunities right in front of us and all we have to do is recognize them and take action steps to make it happen. This will not happen on its own but I am sure that, for most of you, by investing a small amount of time into building a strong AAD program, it will pay dividends.

With most business ventures, you have to invest both time and money to earn this type of income. With your AAD you need only invest time, which makes it a no risk investment. Also, there’s something to be said for having a diversified income stream. In the event something happens and you can’t sell real estate, you still have income to cover your bills. I have seen many Sellstate agents have success with our AAD program, and I hope to see you achieve the same and much more.

For more information on how to join Sellstate, visit JoinSellstate.com.

Agents who read this real estate article also read:

Agent Library

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