First Time Buyers — A House or Condo is a Great Investment

First Time Home Ownership – It’s Time to Buy Your First Home

Your dream of owning your own home is a smart investment and it’s doable. It’s been that way for a century. With all the negatives you hear about the economy, home prices, huge down payments, and the cost of living, you may have been pushed  into a state of denial and apathy.

First time homebuyers, it’s time to wake up and get your slice of the housing market.  But, before you contact a real estate agent and mortgage agent, let’s get you pumped up!




real-estate-salespersonOne of the keys to happiness and success is the belief in limitless supply, personal ability, investment opportunity, resources and potential wealth. Believing this way puts you into a great frame of mind that help carry you through no matter what home buying frustration you face. It’s a buffer against the negative insanity the system throws at you.

There are no limits, only what we impose on ourselves through our beliefs. So if you’ve given up on home ownership, you’ve accepted a unworthy, negative and potentially harmful belief. Time to get positive about real estate investment and home ownership.

To succeed at anything, we need to dream up all the paths to our goal. If you don’t have money, you could borrow it, partner with investors, find government home ownership programs, earn it, or get your relatives to help you out.

You don’t necessarily need 20% of the purchase price of a home to buy. How many people have $100,000 to put down on a home purchase? There are mortgage and financing solutions available.




californiapricegrowth

If builders are building, and the economy isn’t going to tank, buying a home is likely a good investment from New York to San Diego.

Owning a home is usually a great idea even if prices are high. Prices on homes will always go up and they rarely go downward. There’s plenty of demand because a so many millennials and baby boomers need a home for one reason or another. That’s why prices are high. They’re also high in many cities due to a lack of development land. If legislators in your state or municipality are eager to suppress development, then there will be strong demand for the few homes there. And if they open to development, the influx of new buyers will drive up land and home prices.

Check out mortgage rates on a $600,000+ home in Beverly Hills for a buyer with a ordinary credit rating and less than $20,000 down.

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Buying a Home has Infinite Benefits

That’s right, infinite benefits. If you’re between 25 and 35, ownership of a home represents an excellent long term investment. Having a home (large investment) also helps keep your life focused, stable and productive.

This is a key reason why older generations have pushed their kids into buying homes in the past (when homes were cheap).

Renting in contrast, has an aimlessness about it that keeps renters floating along never setting their feet on the ground and never building equity. Instead, they see all their hard earned money siphoned off by landlords and they find it hard to get a feeling of putting down roots as they say.

When they’re older, renters can’t help but look back with severe regrets about the hundreds of thousands of dollars they gave away. Picture yourself at 60 with nothing to show for a lifetime of toil in 9 to 5 labor.



Great Tip: If you have a work at home business, you can write off your business expenses which helps pay down your mortgage sooner.

The Smart Choice is to Buy a Home

But not you. You have a choice to make right now to keep your hard earned dollars and invest them in something that will have an immense value 30 years from now. Many buyers in the 70s and 80s are now selling their homes for 3 to 4 times what they paid for them. Some in the 60s might get more than 20 times what they paid.

Whatever your house or condo is worth in the years ahead, it’s yours. That’s the point. You will feel more comfortable every day of your life, more secure and confident knowing you own the property you live on. That sense of security, belonging, and confidence is important.

In California, Texas, Illinois and New York state you don’t need a down payment. You can borrow for the entire purchase. If you have credit card accounts, you may be able to ask for a raise in your CC limits to use for the purchase of a home.

 

Remember, that renter’s don’t get tax credits, but homebuyers do! Visit market watch to discover what tax credits you might qualify for .

The Downpayment Problem — Solved!

Having money for a down payment is always good. If you’ve got a bank of mom and dad, use it if you can. On a traditional home mortgage you will need 3% down payment. If you can raise 5% for your home purchase, a wider array of financing options become available because of how you look better to lenders. If your loan amount for the home purchase is above $417,000 for a single family home, you’ll have to raise 10% using with conventional financing. This will be called a Jumbo loan.

If your downpayment is zero or a low percentage, you’ll need mortgage insurance. The FHA or Federal Housing Administration insures mortgage loans with as little as 3.5% down payment. In California, the loan limit is up to $520,000.




See what your loan limits are in California:

californiahousingfinanceagencylogoVisit the California Housing Agency to discover education and home loan programs to help you buy a home. They have assistance, advisors, first time buyers education courses, info and guidelines to learn on program eligibility and property eligibility.

Don’t forget local county programs. Most cities and counties in California for instance have homebuyer assistance programs designed for their residents. These may include loans for first time buyers, down payment assistance, and funding for property rehabilitation.

The USDA offers programs to help buyers in rural areas. USDA loans don’t require putting any money down, however USDA has eligibility requirements, including income and property size.

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Check out Freddie Mac’s HomeSteps program of homes for sale.

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9 Reasons Why Rental Income Investment Property is Hot for 2018

Real Estate Investments with the Highest Returns

Looking for the best cities to buy real estate with the highest return on investment? How about one with an ROI of 30% to 40%?

Yes, those numbers are possible when you consider how real property delivers multiple streams of income, including tax savings, and a higher resale value when you want to divest.

There’s so much to learn about property investing such as financing, where to invest, hiring an agent if necessary, choosing tenants, renovation, and when to sell outright if the price is right.

Most investors are too convervative, especially those who are buying a home. Although buying a home is a sensible purchase, a better approach is to let someone else pay the mortgage.  Visit the number one real estate investing youtube channel and you’ll find out how how to purchase multiple properties, and manage them efficiently with online rental property software for even greater returns.

Real estate management is better when it’s visual. Property management shouldn’t be done on spreadsheets — Managecasa.com

If you can handle the risk, the key to even bigger profit is to leverage bank money to buy multiple properties. And how can you top that investment?




By selling the property to someone else who believes in its value more than you do. They’ll pay a speculative premium to have this great income earning asset. Just like a start up business where a buyer may pay much more than you’d expect to take that business to the next level.

I guess the rule here is, get it started, develop the full potential, and you could end up with a big winfall, which you can take with you to a new project, or if you want, just take off to Costa Rica.

For regular single property investors, the key to really powering up returns is in living in that property. So before you decide on a real estate agent and mortgage agent, consider how you can ramp up the full potential of a real estate investment. This will affect the type, location, and size of property you choose to buy.

And those agents will love to work with you because you may be doing additional deals. Get ready to be popular when you get creative with real estate investing.




Check out the rental investment potential in the Los Angeles real estate market, San Francisco real estate market, New York real estate market, or Toronto real estate market. These markets have intense conditions that support high rental prices and limited chance of price depreciation.

Here’s 9 reasons why rental income property is ideal:

  1. you can charge rent from the people who live in it
  2. you can live in your investment
  3. you can write off home renovations and improvements
  4. you can write off the cost of new appliances, insurance, realtor and mortgage agent commissions along with legal fees
  5. you can write off your capital gains using tax breaks/retirement tax benefits
  6. huge demand for rental units from younger generations and immigrants
  7. huge demand for homes from millennial aged buyers
  8. home prices are expected to increase
  9. you can borrow and leverage the banks’ money

If you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in rental income property, there are other avenues you can follow such as various reits and investment funds. They’re lower maintenance investments but don’t offer huge rates of return. You’re in this to make money not invest in something that pays like a bank savings account.

One hot investment opportunity is student housing investment. Foreign students and domestic students in places like San Francisco and Vancouver have a very hard time finding rooms or condos.  The situation is critical. Take a look at this post on student housing investment in Vancouver for starters. You’ll learn of one company, CIBT Education listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They are the leader in this space in Vancouver BC, and you can invest without actually buying properties and maintaining them yourself.

 

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Online Home Valuation for Homeowners

Market Value Appraisal for Homeowners

Well, if you’re reading this blog, then you may be considering selling your home, and the market appraisal is one of the first tasks to get done. You’re wondering “what will we get for our old place anyway?” And then that will beg your next question: how do we increase the selling price of the home?

mjs-house
A Beautiful Home with incredible character, but was once a condemned property. The best house in the neighborhood by far, but will it be appraised as such?

Welcome, and I hope you’ll surf around and learn all about choosing a great real estate agent and getting the best results, in terms of price, professionalism, and moving onto the next phase of your life.

The essence of real estate is feeling good and finding the very best lifestyle for you.  Having a home appraised well is key to establishing the right selling price. And it’s the funds you’ll be starting with on this next exciting phase of your life.

Were you aware that you can actually get a free home market evaluation online? See the one below from Zillow. Or, you can do a Google search for [Realtor + market evaluation] and find a realtor who is interested in providing that service for you.

What’s so nice about about using Google to explore real estate topics, such as finding reputable realtors who are motivated and fun to work with, is that this is part of your journey. Google is making it easier, giving you endless education and insight into the real estate world.

If a Realtor ranks at the top of the results, it’s a good sign they want to work with you. It’s not easy to appear at the top of Google search results so you know they’re confident, put the hard work into it, and want to be successful. That desire for success is a good sign, not a sign of greed.




I Want to Get the Best Price Possible for my Home

And you should get the best price. That home and property represent a lot of daily toil on your part for year on end. Never forget that. Don’t give away value you created. You worked hard for years to make your mortgage payments and it is your investment. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you want to sell it for maximum price, you’ll want to use a realtor who has a habit of selling homes for over asking price. In today’s market, you’ll probably get it.

Thinking about Selling your California home and hiring a California Real estate agent in 2017? Check out the real estate  predictions for the US, and forecasts for apartment rentals and home construction in San Francisco, San Diego housing outlook and predictions for home sales in Los Angeles.

Preparing for the Maximum Selling Price

You’ll need a realtor and perhaps a renovation/designer to determine what could be fixed up to create an even better price and be sure to get it sold fast. The speed of the sale might save you some misery.

Once you get a ball park figure or Zestimate®, you’ve got a good number to work with. Realtors criticize Zillow mostly because they’re such an aggressive competitor online. Their Zestimate® tool is a little off the mark, sometimes low by $20,000 or more.  Yet as Zillow collects more information on homes across the US and Canada, they’ll become more accurate. But this number is just a number to rally on. You can raise the value of your home with your realtor’s advice and help. Appraisals are often based on comparables which could be the wrong comps, so you may want to go out and carefully find your own comparables to show the buyers the real value.

zillow-estimate-los-angeles

 

How do I Raise the Value of my Property?

Now you’ve got your base price often based on comparables in your neighborhood. What can you upgrade that’s worth doing? Homeowners tend to be way too passive about fixing the place up, as doing so could raise the selling price considerably, especially if your realtor manages to bring in a boatload of buyers who might compete for it.  It’s the simple pleasure/pain response. It may be very effective to get rid of everything that could offend or turn off the buyer, such as dirty toilets, broken light switches, dirty stained carpet, or some of your old nostalgic art items.

A Los Angeles Real Estate agent gives some insight into appraisers and how appraisals will affect what buyers might be willing or able to offer for your home.

Here’s 10 of the Best Ways to Raise and Get your Asking Price

Fix/Renovate the Bathroom – Home buyers want all memories and evidence that you lived there gone. The bathroom is a sensitive topic and they likely want the fixtures like the toilet, basin, shower replaced. Freshening it up with new fixtures tells them it is clean and ready to be used.

Fix the Roof – If there’s any signs the roof has had it, they will not even give you a bid. Here’s an opportunity to get rid of the old shingles and put in new solar shingles to create added value for them. Free hydro could be very excited for them.

Open Concept Kitchen – Just knocking down the walls could open up the buyer’s mind to the warmth of your kitchen. Most buyers insist on a kitchen/living room connection so try to make that happen.  Don’t buy new appliances, just look for some cheap used ones that still look good. Replace the obvious stuff that hints of poor hygiene such as grimy looking countertops, worn kitchen sinks and faucets.

Get Rid of the Old and Broken – Old just means old style, and items that have no relevance to the life they’re going to live.  Although you love your statue, antique furniture, or old small deck, they might really turn your buyer off. Broken things could get your appraisal reduced by $500.  Just one broken faucet or wall socket that doesn’t work could cost you $5k in appraised price because appraisers work in $500 increments.

Improve Exterior Features – Put in some exterior lighting, LED, for security reasons and for aesthetics.  The lights warm things up and create an evening presence that would otherwise be cloaked in dreary, scary blackness.

Try some New Window Shades – These are an inexpensive upgrade that can pick the windows up and help block bright sunlight and give privacy. These buyers don’t know the neighbors yet.

Remove Dirty Carpets – replace them with the new cheap linoleum based engineered flooring.  It looks like wood, feels like wood and it’s easy to keep clean. Make cleanliness a theme if it suits your ideal selling strategy.

Improve whatever the Realtor tells is wrong with most of the houses in your Neighborhood – If your house is the only one that doesn’t have the common problem, it will give them an emotional lift.

Make sure your top home Feature really Stands Out – there’s no point in going half way with the best thing about your home. If it’s got a rooftop deck for instance, make sure it looks like something they will be compelled to use. A rooftop deck or pool or large ensuite bathroom that they won’t use much is actually a waste. Everything being sold has a top benefit, so ensure this is 100% fantastic.

Have the Home Staged – having the right style, furnishings, and dressings for the intended buyer is important. Sorry, your style of furnishings only reduces the value.  Appearance is so important, from the condition of the lawn to the art on the walls. Let the realtor’s home stager make the place look immaculate.

Then comes the issue of how to choose the right realtor. There are almost 2 million real estate sales people to select from.

Choosing the best realtor is important. Some are motivated and some are not. Some are optimistic, some are not. You need to take some time doing a search of the best on Google. Take the top ten you find in the search results and assess their skills, strengths and weaknesses

A good realtor will be very optimistic, encouraging, and imaginative about how to help you get the best home selling price. That’s perhaps the most important criteria you should consider. Please don’t treat this like it’s just another transaction, and that you’ll take whatever you can. Your realtor will be making a good commission on the sale. You can expect them to come up with a brilliant online marketing strategy to capture more and better prospective buyers for your home sale.

How does their online marketing presence look to you? Would you buy from them if you were about to buy? What about their website and the image they project? Does it seem to speak to you and put them in an exclusive class of quality realtors?  Do they really look like they care?  Is there much content on their website? Can you see anything about their character or personality?  Of course, you can call a brokerage and take whoever is next on call, or you could interview whoever is willing to come to your home to be interviewed.  Save some time and do a pre-screening of their website. Their website is a tell tale representation of their professionalism, skills, and commitment.

If you get a Good Real Estate Agent – Stay with Them

It’s an interesting statistic that most sellers don’t use the same realtor to help them buy the next property, even though they’re buying in the same city. Your selling realtor will be helping other buyers on other deals so why not you? Either you believe in your realtor or you don’t. Choose a great realtor and use them for everything.

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Housing Market 2017 – Latest News on US Real Estate Market Report

US Housing Market Report

If you haven’t read this post on the US housing market outlook for 2017 to 2020, please give it a good read. If you’re a home buyer, rental property investor, or you’re wondering where the best job prospects are for 2017 and beyond, there are several in depth reports on this blog with links to various data sources. This is helpful information to both investors and homebuyers. And you’ll find more in this report of best cities for real estate investment.

Too many of us have little insight into macroeconomic factors. We may have found such topics a bore in our youth, and the way reports are presented online, no one ever attempts to read or understand them again. How about we simplify them so we can can understand the US housing market 2017.  but these have immense influence over home prices, sales, mortgage rates, and whether anyone can afford to buy. One such macroeconomic factor is demographics. The fact that so many Millennials are reaching their home buying years now through to 2027 means there will be fundamental demand for homes and that puts huge upward pressure on home prices. Prices are already rising in what is the longest US economic expansion cycle ever.




The National Housing Scorecard for December 2016

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has just released its overall US housing market health report for December 2016 and here are the findings:

  1. Sales of previously owned (existing) homes rose again in November (sales up .7%)
  2. Sales of existing home were up 15.4% from a year ago.
  3. Homeowner equity grew sharply
  4. Purchases of new homes were up slightly in November (were down in October).
  5. Underwater borrowers continued to decline in number (down 74% since 2012)
  6. Obama’s programs continue to help struggling homeowners.

New housing Starts: Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,226,000. This is 11.3 percent (±10.4%) above the revised November rate of 1,102,000 and is 5.7 percent (±12.0%)* above the December 2015 rate of 1,160,000.

Except for the increase in foreclosures, the report isn’t too bad — sales are up and prices are up yet there are signs that everyone is waiting to see what President Trump decides what to do. Were Obama’s policies more just to mitigate the situation his administration created? And will Trump’s drain the swamp clean up strategy leave the door wide open to economic growth in all states and cities burdened by the Democrat’s administration? We’ll need to keep an eye on how investment money flows and how long ailing regional markets might be regaining their strength in the years to come under Trumps new rules.

Home prices are rising faster than incomes, so this is likely to slow demand from buyers as affordability becomes an issue. Still from this we can see a strong demand for multi-unit residential dwellings and other rental properties. See which cities are best for rental income investment.

A factor that’s plaguing many cities who have foreign real estate buyers — Houses held off the market. See this report on foreign ownership of land in Los Angeles.

Home Equity is Up – Will this generate optimism, confidence, and more spending?

 

10 Top Factors in Housing Market Demand

Here’s 10 key macroeconomic factors to keep in mind before you invest in any particular city market across the US.

  1. demographics – how many immigrants and Millenials/Gen Xers are buying and how many babyboomers are selling?
  2. economic confidence – the mood of buyers and sellers?
  3. outlook – the general incomes and employment rates of Americans
  4. housing availability – how much resale and new construction units are available
  5. mortgage rates – how high are mortgage interest rates
  6. credit – how available are home loans and refinancing
  7. immigration trends – where are people leaving and going to
  8. consumer debt – home much debt overall are consumers/homebuyers carrying
  9. cost of living – how much are earnings and savings eroding or increasing
  10. govenment programs – how is government assisting with buyers – Freddie Mac, HUD, Fannie Mae




You can read even more explicitly about housing market factors in the Los Angeles Real Estate report. The stock market is another factor that can affect a home buyers decision and timing. Investment money can move from stocks to real estate thus putting upward pressure on home and condo values.

Price Trends: Before you make the decision to buy a home or sell your home, get some deep insight into these big data trends. In only 4 years, the average home price has risen $45k and as Zillow suggests, it will climb into 2017.

Mortgage Rates

Where are interest rates and mortgage rates headed?

Screencapture courtesy of http://longforecast.com/usmg/mortgage-rates-forecast-for-2015-2016-and-2017.html

Hot Economies – But Which are next

Read the best cities to invest report and you’ll see that cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco may not stay hot. Regional economic outlooks change. While Detroit and Warren Michigan looked really awful with the disappearance of their auto manufacturing business, they might now be the darlings of the real estate investment world. The San Francisco and Bay Area apartment rental market remains scorching hot, but will it remain so if the tech sector slides?

Graphic courtesy of JLL Research

The Trump Effect on Housing and the Economy

Over the last month there’s been a lot of hype and scare mongering regarding President Trump’s forecasted policies.  Certainly a number of factors could reduce demand for housing in the states of Florida, Texas, and California by removing millions of illegal aliens. The latest furor over mortgage rates surpassing 4% is not panning out as influential.

A recent Fox News report shows that prospective buyers would benefit more by buying than renting:

Under Trump’s plan, the amount of tax-exempt income for single filers may soar from $6,300 to $15,000, and the exemption for married couples could rise to $30,000. If that happens, fewer people would need to file itemized deductions and take the mortgage interest deduction.

If this is true, it would stimulate home construction and reduce upward pressure on rents which you know are out of control in some cities. Home construction would stimulate further economic activity which it always does.  You can read more of Fox’s report here: http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2016/12/06/heres-how-trumps-tax-plan-could-affect-housing-market.html

 

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10 Powerful Tips for Home Sellers Who Must Have the Best Price

Number 1 Priority: Get the Best Price for Your Home

Chances are if you’re looking at the housing market stats or the MLS listings, it’s because you want to time the purchase or sale of a home — yours. It is a great time to sell, where once in a lifetime fortunes will be made. But your mind is made up, you’re going to sell your current home, and trade up, or move to a better neighbourhood. You’re looking ahead to a better life.

Homes for sale are scarce, but it won’t be like this forever.  We’re at a dicey point in the housing market right now. You’d be very wise to begin your plan and strategy to sell your home for the maximum price.  Why the maximum price possible using a strategy?  Because your home is the biggest financial asset you’ll ever possess. It’s a real estate investment that could launch your life into a beautiful direction. Put a little mindful effort into this.

Please don’t tell me you’re “Content” with the status quo, because we all know how temporary that is today. Nothing and no one is secure anymore. Contentment is a fool’s paradise.

[bctt tweet=”Get the Best Price for your home isn’t guaranteed. Get tens of thousands of dollars more, and get your real estate agent for free! #tips” username=”@gord_collins”]




Graphics courtesy of learnairbnb.com
Graphics courtesy of learnairbnb.com

If you’re also into real estate property investment opportunities, the tips here apply equally. It’s all about make your next real estate transaction work out with a positive return. Why should put up with losing money? You need to cover the agent’s commission and all the fees and taxes and more, so you’re going to need a good selling price.

You Need a Good Solid Selling Price You can Focus on

You’re looking for proof of your home’s value and how you might get the very price on the sale of it. That’s fine. You should get the best price in a market driven economy. Will you get the best price using a local agent you saw on a garbage can in Los Angeles or the backend of a San Francisco trolley car? Or is it better to visit realtor’s websites and get to know them first? Don’t finagle about realtor’s commissions because a good one is going to get you tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars more in San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a sellers market with a great forecast.




You want to improve your life and you need emotional justification for getting a selling price and begin figure out the when of the move. With a little study of the market and realtor marketing strategy, you feel you’ll be more on top of this transaction. Completely understandable because a home sale is a rare event and it’s your huge fortune on the line.

I Don’t Want to Talk to An Agent

At this point, you don’t want to talk to an agent because you’re not sure what you want, so how can you tell them? The good agents know this and they’re going to present lots of options in neighbourhoods, home styles, price points, and amenities and carefully gauge all the things you want. Some will ask you that on their website.

Why don’t we speed up the process of you understanding what you want to buy and how you can sell your home for the best price? That’s the complete transaction for you. Your goal is to get the maximum amount of money for your home, or get a big mortgage loan, and then search for the perfect home for you.

The Best Home Selling Tips Possible

  1. Find an agent with good character and personality, who can reach more buyers — do an audit of their online marketing because 90% of buyers go online. Is their online material all about them or all about helping customers? The Real estate agent’s linkedin profile will show how many connections they have created, and their Facebook account will tell you about their ability to engage prospects, and their twitter account will tell you how active they are online. Their presence on Google search will tell you how much reach they have to buyers searching online. (type this into Google site:http://therealtorswebsitedomain.com (or .ca ). Basically put site: before their domain name and click search! Google will show you how many pages of that realtor’s website they have listed in their index. If they have 26 pages listed, that’s not good. If they have more than 2000 pages indexed, that’s good). Check their testimonials and do a Google search of their name. Seriously, check them out – don’t hire an unknown stranger even if you saw their face on the back of a bus.
  2. Ask them for a report on their sales activity — what was listed price and what did they sell it for
  3. See how many homes they are the listing agent for right now
  4. Certainly get comparative evaluations of many homes in the neighbourhood
  5. See how the agent sells homes, such as how good is the photography and have they done videos, and is the layout of listings on their website attractive and easy to read
  6. Ask them how they would improve the appearance or curb appeal of the home
  7. Fix or renovate anything that is awful in your home or property – and a realtor can tell you what’s unacceptable in your home which will drive the price down
  8. Make buyers feel comfortable and special by cleaning up your driveway and walkway areas. put in some shrubs and ornamental trees to create a visual break between the house and the street
  9. Have your home professionally staged so it looks perfect for buyers – move most of your stuff to a storage area or rent a portable storage bin for the backyard.
  10. Clean the bathrooms and the kitchen so they’re spotless — replace the toilets and worn fixtures – buyers don’t want that stuff!

Selling Strategies and Tactics Galore!

If you’d like to learn more about how to get your realtor to sell your home over asking price, why you need a real estate agent,  what skills good realtors possess, and which cities have the best selling prices, I’ve got a blog post for that!  Yes, the real estate forecast across the US is very good for a while. Even if prices in your neck of the woods isn’t rising, I’m predicting you’ll be a big winner when you sell.

Important Links: Los Angeles Real Estate Marketing | LA Housing Forecast 2017 | TREB Market ReportSan Francisco Real Estate Marketing | San Diego Housing Outlook | Top Cities to Buy Income Investment Property | Vancouver Real Estate |  Smartzip Predictive Analytics | Prospecting Tips | Realtor Branding | Housing Predictions | Toronto MLS | SEO Expert  | Top Real Estate Lead Generation Sources | How to Pick a San Francisco Real Estate Agent | York Region Real Estate Forecast | San Francisco Market Predictions

Big Successes in Traffic are Real – Here’s Some Stats you Should See

How Does 16,000 Visits/Month for a Realtor Site Sound?

If you ask the average business owner or realtor about how many visitors they could capture online, you’d get some pretty low estimates. The reality though is Google serves billions of searches for 1 billion people worldwide. They’re still the McDonald’s of customers served. People are searching on Google, especially when they’re hot to purchase. And they can be reached via Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter too.

At this point, you may have done a little SEO on your website and posted on your social media pages and then waited for the tidal wave of traffic. Weeeeelll, you could have a tidal wave if the right digital marketing strategist is doing the work. My realtor client in Mississauga enjoyed 16,000 visits per month for an extended period. For an agent, that’s massive traffic.

statssell
Toronto-based Real Estate Website enjoyed an average 16,000 visits per month over many years. How would you convert all those prospects to sales?

Curious about this blog’s traffic? It’s already massive and I’ just getting started. I can do this for you!

sitetraffic

A Major National Hotel Chain Doubles Traffic from Google

It happens in other industries too. My major hotel client saw their website traffic grow from 1.2 Million visits per year to 2.5 Million visits per year. If 3% of those visits convert x $400 2 or 3 night booking, it translates to $28 Million dollars per year.

A Digital Marketing Agency in Boston

bigMy branding agency client in Boston enjoyed almost a million visitors over 6 years from a variety of sources (mostly Google). They were the top performing digital marketing agency in Boston over that time period and the revenue and business results could have been much higher then if we’d known then what we know now. Even during the height of the recession, the site had 133,000 Google referrals per year, and 40,000 visitors per year from other sources.  One client was worth a quarter million dollars.

Wisdom Takes Time

Often it seems, only time reveals the complete truth. That’s why in my recent post I spoke about vision and ambition as so vital to sustain business clientele, staff, partnerships and revenue over time. If you’ve always accepted the notion that conservative values/practices denote an ideal, successful, sustained business, I know that this isn’t the case. Continued success in marketing is the biggest predictor of future business health. I’d encourage you to investigate this concept more fully.

Never coast or stop growing. It’s poison to morale, ends relationships, deflates employee’s dream of a better life, and it’s a failure of the original vision of your business

Big successes do happen, but because we tend not to brag or even talk about client successes, no one knows about them. If no one can see your big successes, how can prospects understand your value proposition? Now you know and I have the proof in Google Analytics reports.

Gord Collins | Digital Marketing Strategist | SEO Strategist | Content Strategist, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Diego

How Do You Build Such Massive Successes?

Here’s the keys to repeating these huge successes:

  1. Develop your unique value proposition fully – understand it deeply and personalize it to your audience and make it very relevant to them
  2. Develop plenty of original, useful, well-optimized content – that creates search engine traffic – understanding Google’s algorithm actually is important
  3. Create an attractive website – that’s simple and catches people’s imagination
  4. Do outreach and build links – to your site using engaging content such as infographics, blogs, stats, videos, and other things people like to share
  5. Show thought leadership — do not be solely a follower — great creative thinkers with lots of connections are credible and powerful leaders in the digital realm
  6. Do not do “best practices” – which is code word for mediocrity – do the right thing instead
  7. Be very inventive and creative – in providing value to customers/clients because customers generally trust and respect providers that find ways to deliver value
  8. Be transparent – trust is a big factor online and if people can’t see you and know you, how could they possibly trust you?
  9. Be open to growth and new opportunities – because they’re the path to your goals — growth means following your original business plan in exciting new ways. The journey will be fun.
  10. Be social – enjoy the banter and thoughts of your customers and colleagues as it shows you are genuinely interested in them and it makes your day a lot more fun.

There’s my top 10 list of big success habits you can use right away. The 1th tip, is that you should not go it alone. Digital marketing is too complex and challenging now. Stay active and find the right employees, contractors, consultants, business partners and investors for you. That normally happens as you go so this last one is vital. Chances are you have a good business or marketing idea yet you lack the funds to make it competitive today. Keep your equity and create value for all these people.

If you want ridiculously big traffic to your website, then I’m the person you need to know. If growth and ambition are a part of your vocabulary, we’ll work together spendidly. I’m looking forward to speaking with you soon.

Check out the Bay Street SEO Relaunch!

 

Gord Collins is a Toronto digital strategist who engineers content to dominate Google rankings and engage prospects on social platforms.  His clients come from every industry including real estate in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Phoenix, Chicago, Houston, and San Diego.  Get him working for you and watch everything from your unique value proposition to your Google rankings and social engagement grow strong. There’s no time like now to prepare for the future. Speaking of positive outlooks, see the Toronto housing market outlook for 2017 post.

Real Estate SEO Specialist – Toronto Los Angeles San Diego San Francisco

The Art of Real Estate SEO

Real Estate SEO has been affected by a number of new technologies and by the growing use of social media to hone in on people’s conversations and online habits. New technologies help discover potential deals, but it’s good old high quality content and Professional Grade SEO that generates lead conversion.

From Los Angeles to San Diego, providers rely on automated messaging because it’s cheap. I’ve worked with 4 digital marketing agencies and I’m very familiar with the “cheap” formula. But it never works and it discourages clients. This is when they give up on SEO and go back to traditional marketing alone. Thorough, professional SEO strategies can actually work well with traditional channels. Given how long it takes to convert prospects, you need good exposure on Google combine with a good drip email campaign to nurture them.

Real Estate SEO advantage today is to get personal with readers – to make a connection that automated marketing can’t make

What is it that we focus on to make your site soar in the rankings? I’ve authored a ground breaking book on SEO and continue studies of Google algorithm changes including RankBrain, Trustrank, Mobile, and engagement factors. And I’ve provided San Diego, Los Angeles, Oceanside, San Francisco firms with high ranking and high traffic results. Big traffic and big reach makes things interesting.

Is Automated Messaging Killing Internet Marketing?

My quick answer to that question is yes. From obtrusive persistent ads, to autoplay video, to content that visitors aren’t even interested in, automated messaging is turning everyone off and threatening the viability of digital marketing. Digital marketing is heading for a crash.

If you’ve read automated social media posts, automated email you receive, and waited for ads to download on your smartphone, you’ve seen this blight first hand.

Powerful Online Marketing Solutions: LA Real Estate Marketing | Boston Real Estate Marketing | Real Estate Marketing SF Bay Area | Real Estate Marketing Company Toronto | Real Estate Marketing in San Diego | Vancouver Real Estate Marketing Company | Real Estate Websites

The Solution is Personalization and Emotional Connection

Automated marketing is rarely personal or engaging. What is effective now, are topics of interest written and presented in a unique way that adds value to your prospect’s experience. And those messages are person to person so they can be sent at odd times.

The key to all of this is whether you’ve chosen the right topic for the right audience — the topic they need to know about and a topic that gives you a special top of mind presence in their life.  It’s a crowded, congested, and over-competitive environment online and you must target the right people.  By taking your time with a good content, keyword, and SEO strategy, you’re going to take seriously. That’s when your prospects are eager to hear from you.




What Does Google Want in a Real Estate Website?

  1. Google wants lots of high quality, original content that is on topic and written in a flexible way that makes them think it is natural and not written for search engines.
  2. Trust is important which is why the TrustRank algorithm was created. Google’s system checks for spam, and other misrepresenting, poor quality content and links. You won’t see much spam via Google anymore so they’ve cleaned it up. However, if you have thin content that looks like everyone else’s — Google thinks that spam. When you have high TrustRank, Google will trust the links and words on your site more.
  3. Google wants to see lots of incoming links to your site. If you have quality content, are active on social media and do a good job of marketing your marketing, you’ll likely get those links (maybe some extra help here too).

Here’s Rand Fishkin of Moz in his video speaking about basic page SEO which is some of the work an SEO specialist must do. Rand’s an interesting guy and I don’t know how he remembers all that!

Ignore the Ill-informed Myths Floating Around out There

Pagerank is not dead. Google stills needs a number to rate importance and popularity of websites and webpages. An algorithm is simply a complex equation that generates or results in a numeric value. To rank things you need numbers. However, Pagerank is much more filtered now.  The new Pagerank is closely tied to Trustrank and keyword relevance (for instance, if you get a link from a site that is not related to your specific topical area such as a blog on a music site, there may not be much ranking juice awarded to your real estate site.

Instead if you get a link from a major, popular and trusted real estate portal such as Realtor.com or Remax, it may give you more Pagerank and Trustrank factor than you ever dreamed of. Almost inappropriately!

I’ve got a few SEO techniques here that might help a real estate agent understand what to look for in a Real Estate SEO specialist provider. There’s skills, tactics, creative innovation, semantics, and an understanding of what a good user experience is.  SEO isn’t simple when you want to be the number one ranking site. If you want to optimize like the rest of the common SEO herd, you’ll find yourself down the results page where searchers don’t  go.

There are a lot of ranking factors (Google still says 200) however these are the big factors you need to understand:

1 High quality, well written content with an intelligent flow to it appeals to Google’s quality filter
2 Content on your site flows well from a progressive learning perspective appeals to the Rankbrain Algorithm
3 Rich content that includes video, bulleted text, graphics, statistics, and other visuals that make it a more complete experience for visitors
4 Long form content – pages over 1000 words in length such as what you’ll see on my site (content that offers chances to link out and is what people like to share socially)
5 Long form content with more to read increases engagement and is more well shared on social media — Google is watching whether visitors stay on your pages
6 Content that uses synonyms, related words and stemmed variations of words in an intelligent way that Google reads as on topic and relevant
7 Websites with lots of content pages that have inbound links coming to them (not just to your homepage)
8 Keywords near linked items
9 Keywords within anchor text
10 Keywords in title tag of page
11 Content that is segmented or siloed to produce more power to capture high volume competitive phrases and long tail phrases (e.g., real estate agents in Los Angeles would have separate silos for real estate, real estate agents, and los angeles. Google even processes the word “in” so you work that into your page linking structure)
12 Google likes original, unique copywriting and linking – this is customized, personalized content generation that does well
13 Content that uses related words in links and text which helps Google determine precisely what your content is about (e.g., homes for sale 90210 or houses for sale in Beverly Hills, tells them with more precision than if you plastered your site with LA homes for sale). The words in your other page’s content will affect what Google believes about your page.

That’s the subtlety and complexity that applies to every word, link, and page on your site.  And Google is much more page-centric and on topic than ever. In the past, if you had a popular, authoritative, and trusted website, then all of your pages were given a golden halo. Not anymore, Google has increased its damping factor which means ranking juice doesn’t go very far through the links.  Sort of like the Colorado river. By the time it gets to the mouth, there’s nothing left.

gord2Do You Need an SEO Specialist to Review Your Site? Call me at 416 998 6246 and let’s talk

You Crafty Devil You! You Did that On Purpose!

An SEO Specialist is very crafty, sneaky, strategy-minded copywriter who wants to write some beautiful prose on your website and social media pages to hypnotize and capture your visiting prospects. Yet, we speak to Google in a way you won’t understand in how we read between the lines of Google’s stated algorithm to romance Googlebot and all of Google’s database filters. We run a gauntlet of nasty algorithm demons who doubt our every word, action and even our identity.

Google says it wants only the best stuff and a highly skilled SEO content writer is the one to make sure Google’s receives with wrapping paper and a bow on top.  A good specialist will be an expert on content strategy too. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have specialized expert contributors on staff creating copy. It may be best to let these writers research and create their in-depth expert pieces and to focus on what their content needs to express — the unique value proposition and benefits. A content strategist needs to ensure the content experience is fun and gets the brand message delivered.

Getting “On Brand” Means Having the Right Content Strategy

Yet these expert contributors will often not be “on brand” and true to the value proposition, meaning they’re not creating copy that sells you. In the end, all of your content has to create a customer for you, not for the top earning agents such as Merrily Hackett, Josh and Matt Altman, Jade Mills, Donald Trump, Melissa Wu, or Jason Soprovich, or for some cliche real estate agent image.

Your SEO copy and inter-page linking are all part of a branded experience in content. Your content is you. Reader’s weigh your content’s promise of value vs the benefits they want. Your content constantly speaks about the value you promise to deliver. It’s not enough to be pretty, you have to be effective in getting your significant, personalized, unique value proposition (your brand) across to visitors. But visitors love keywords and related words so they’ll be gobbling up our copywriting and calls to action.

I like what Dave Keys says about creating real leads via Real Estate SEO. We have to keep in mind that any exposure to buyer/sellers at any stage of their search is good. If they see you on Google in November, and then they see you again in May, they may feel comfortable enough now to call you. Visibility at any time is good.

If all those visitors don’t call you, it’s because your content doesn’t get your UVP across laser clear that you offer what they’re looking for.  In fact, your SEO copywriter can make it look like you do, when in fact you’re not the best agent around.

With a great real estate SEO specialist writing your web and social media content, you’re creating a weave of powerful content they can’t resist. It speaks to what they want with the words they love to see, and the wording that Google respects.

Car Insurance Quotes San Francisco

Car Insurance Quotes in San Francisco

Given the long commute many home buyers in San Francisco and area are facing, they may want to find the best car insurance rates in the Bay Area by searching online. The lowest quote from an San Francisco-based insurance company won’t just happen right away.   There are a good number of insurance companies offering auto insurance coverage in the greater Bay area or drivers in San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountainview, Santa Clara, and South San Francisco.

And there’s no reason for you to shop local and watch thousands of your hard earned dollars disappear.   It’s vital to get plenty of competitive quotes from as many car insurance companies as you can.  Bay Area insurance brokerages offer a large array of insurers, but online insurance companies can tap into a huge volume of insurances. You’re bound to find the lowest rates for your truck, car, high value classic car, or motorcycle by conducting an extensive search online.

Quick, Easy to Fill out ecommerce Forms are all nice and dandy, but what you need right now is to search widely for the lowest insurance quotes and — Save Your Cash!




This is What $10,000 Looks Like

Ten thousand dollars
Save on Your Car Insurance

Search for a good 40 minutes on Google or Bing because you might save you $10,000 over 6 years. That may be a third or a quarter of your earnings for one year. Don’t give that money away with out a fight.  If you’ve been loyal to the same auto insurance company for years, there’s nothing wrong with that unless they’re taking advantage of you.  Do you think any insurance company in SanFran would do that to you?

 

Are you interested in lower home loan mortgage rates, solar roof installation, getting a free home market evaluation, or finding a better real estate agent? How does the US housing market forecast look and how will it affect the New York city real estate market? Live in another area? Find better insurance rate quotes in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Boston, San Diego, Miami, Chicago, and Denver.

Tips to Save on Car Insurance

I’ve outlined how you can save on car insurance premiums, and here on this page a Los Angeles auto owners can find auto insurance companies, insurance brokerages, and insurance agencies offering better rates to new customers. So come on, think positive and give these companies a chance to show what kind of super low rate auto insurance policy they can write on your vehicle and how you can drop or lower the premiums.

What to Look for When Getting Auto Insurance Quotes

tipstosavemoneyIt’s tough to know when you’re getting a better quote on your San Francisco auto policy when you’re not sure what it covers. There’s things you can save on and things you can improve on. Ask about accident forgiveness, rental vehicle coverage, rental replacement coverage, combining your home/contents insurance, usage-based coverage, higher deductible for collision damage, and other great benefits.

Should you outright cancel your collision coverage? Tough decision, however it may save you some cash, or it might not save you much. Get quotes either way and see what the difference is. If the difference with no collision coverage on your auto policy is minimal then don’t do it. It’s better to get your old beater repaired if you smack into someone on the congested, steep roads in the Bay area. If you need your vehicle to get to work, then by all means, keep your collision coverage deductible.

Accidents do happen, especially in New York City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Houston or Denver.  Too many trucks, cars, and motorcycles on the roads and it won’t be getting less congested.

Being properly insured in San Francisco is an important matter. Check out this infographic for info on liability coverage:

Check out insurance liability coverage on your policy. Infographic courtesy of
Check out insurance liability coverage on your policy. Infographic courtesy of Liabilityinsurance.org

San Francisco Auto Insurance Agents

Cost-U-Less Auto Insurance Agency
11100 San Pablo Ave #110,
El Cerrito, CA 94530, USA
510-408-6823

CoverHound Insurance Agency
1 California St #1100,
San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
855-465-8080

Anderson & Schmidt Insurance Agency, Inc
408 16th Ave,
San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
415-386-1701

Auto Insurance RatesResidential Solar Shingle Systems | Home Mortgage Rates | Zillow Leads |  Toronto Real Estate SEO  Real Estate Leads| Real Estate Marketing | Housing Forecast | Prospecting Strategy | MLS | House Market Evaluation | Homes for Sale | Toronto Condos New Construction | Auto Insurance Tips | Apartment Rental Outlook SF

Look for better car insurance rates in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Glendale, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Indianapolis, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, and Honolulu.

Why SEO is Still the King of Digital Marketing

Customers Looking for Your Product/Service

SMB owners have 3 key digital marketing vehicles to generate new traffic and sales prospects: Social, PPC, or SEO. SEO doesn’t have the ongoing costs like PPC does. Searchers click on the natural search listings and you aren’t charged a penny. SEO has the reputation of zero cost, high revenue, however it does have a cost. It’s an equity investment cost that creates excellent returns over and over.

When you compete in SEO, it necessitates competing in content and conversion strategy. SEO traffic is the truest indicator of customer attitudes and preference. That’s excellent feedback.  Optimization isn’t just keyword manipulation then, it’s optimizing the whole process of converting these excellent prospects are actively seeking solutions.



Discover the Top 12 Factors for creating top rankings and big traffic.

ROI is difficult to measure and very often SEO isn’t given credit for the full value it generates. You’ll find your direct traffic increases along with your Google referals.  Google doesn’t track referals very well, but we know most direct visits are actually Google visitors.  Despite that, a few surveys show marketers do believe SEO underpins their success.  When you consider the lifetime value that SEO produces, it is clearly a great part of any sustainable marketing effort.

Kiss Metrics conducted a study and this graphic shows that sales are attributable over a certain time period. Tracking over many years is more difficult because tracking cookies get deleted. A top notch tracking system lets them track revenue back to the keyword phrases typed in by customers.

KM-Revenue-Search-Terms

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Why is SEO Considered Most Impactful to Sales?

bottlePeople search when they’re highly motivated and interested. Google searchers feel they’re being given the best sources for information and products and they’re on track to fulfillment. What Google knows is that search is like selling a bottle of water to a desperate, thirsty man in the desert – at the right time and place to get the best price. SEO is responsible for getting products/services exposed at the specific time customers most want to see them.

Think of how Coca Cola is everywhere to quench our thirst. This post describes how SEO is key to an omnipresence strategy that increases the value of PPC and social media.

Speaking of omnipresence, my national hotel client needed help with Google local rankings and in regular organic search rankings. I lifted their Google traffic from 1.2. million visits per year to 2.5 million visits.  And I didn’t ask them to divert funds from their PPC campaign to organic search. I regret not being more assertive when in fact, my plan would have created much more benefit for them. Yet, no need to regret. They received incredible value for what they spent and as well, gave their competitors maximum hardship.

More than Keywords: SEO + Content Supercharges your Digital Marketing

In B2B marketing SEO is by far the most efficient from of promotion. To not do SEO is leaving a lot on the table.  And by encouraging interesting and relevant content, SEO actually improves the performance of social media leads and ppc advertising leads. The spirit of SEO is an important driver in healthy digital marketing. PPC has no soul.

Google recently made some changes to Adwords because sales conversion has plummeted. They recently launched their band aid program called “smart goals” to help customers improve their poor conversion rates. The bigger problem is that PPC is a cheapskate’s ad tool. Adwords is all about getting something you didn’t deserve, and all too often the ads aren’t relevant. The top issue now is that advertisers have no money left for high quality engagement and conversion. It’s all down to a single minimalist landing page. Similarly, advertisers avoid social media as well.  Now they’re stuck in PPC Hell.

That’s why doing PPC, email, SEO, and Social Media together in an integrated or Omnichannel strategy works best. Each channel supports the others and is able to create a variety of touchpoints with prospects in any industry.

Building more useful, relevant, engaging, and sharable content helps support your outreach and link building efforts. If you rely on one channel (e.g. Adwords) you won’t generate enough natural touchpoints with customers. Especially in B2B where purchase cycles are longer and highly involved, these multiple channels keep your company top of mind. And they give prospects multiple angles on your business. If your UVP message and branding is consistent, omnichannel can really make a strong impression. Omnichannel is where successful companies are headed. If you’re not there, you may be drowned out in all channels.

The Searcher Likes the Organic Search Experience

A search is a quest or an exciting adventure to find satisfaction. Searchers enjoy the control that Google organic search provides which other media don’t provide. SEO can lead to so many sources of satisfaction including a trip into social media. As a business serving customers, you should have very relevant, high quality content since it’s the essence of their search, whether it’s new home floorplans, neighborhood profiles, or maybe a retirement home in Central America and the medical services available there.

ppcpricesTake a look at these Google Adwords PPC per click prices on insurance related keyword phrases. The most expensive keyword phrase is mesothelioma lawyer at nearly $300 per click.

Even if your clicks cost $5 and you convert 1% to a sale, your cost is $500 per customer acquisition.  1% is an excellent conversion rate for most sites with a good value proposition.  Yet conversion rates are falling because consumers are shopping around for the solution that matches them best.  Your prospects have more options even if those options are a fool’s paradise. Your plan now has to be about getting them back after they’ve been brainwashed and misinformed by 10 other competitors.

 

SEO is Complex

SEO is a process of creating and shaping content on your website, blog, or social media pages which Google will deem useful to searchers.

It’s also an active process of engaging with other web publishers and encouraging them to share your content.  Good Value + Distribution + Persuasion = Viral Success. I have to tell you though that you can go viral without any SEO success.

8 Keys to SEO Success

  1. Seek deep, thorough customer research – customer pains, UVP, and web analytic insights. An SEO must understand the company’s marketing goals, UVP, branding, target customer, industry dynamics, and how targeted customers can be reached and engaged.
  2. Do Thorough accurate useful keyword research – discovering relevant keywords and keyphrases to target. This is normally done via Google keyword tool and SEMrush keyword tool and Google analystics. Keywords, related words, and topical themes are woven into content in a sophisticated way (in headings, in links, near links, and in how paragraphs are constructed) and the messaging used determines how other web publishers will provide links and citations about your company. It’s all in the SEO’s hands.
  3. Create Imaginative, fresh content – this is where plenty of reading, web surfing, social surfing, and brainstorming exercises come in. Your SEO needs freedom to explore, surf and opportunities to connect with influencers.  An SEO/content developer needs to be active and a big consumer of content themselves.animated
  4. Well Planned Content infrastructure –  Googlebot, which is Google’s anxiety causing indexing robot actually experiences your content too. How it navigates and understands your content and its quality is solved with a well planned layout of themed content.  Your content is for users, but you need to recognize how a robot interprets what it collects. A subtle but expert optimization gives Google the right picture but also avoids spam filters. Moderation is important but don’t shy away from pushing the envelope. The key is whether Google trusts your site. If trust is good, you can optimize all you like.
  5. Integrated social media engagement – Although most businesses only utilize two or three social channels, they must coordinate social messages to capture attention, bring engagement to critical mass and then encourage an action. This is where understanding the customer’s emotions and how to appeal to them is important. If social visitors like your content, they will share it, and that creates more valuable inbound links to your site.
  6. Mobile consumption –  B2B and B2C customers are using smartphones and tablets more frequently. Mobile content is delivered differently because of the limited bandwidth and customer attention. No one reads long on their phone, so mobile content must be brief, fast loading and impactful. Being mobile friendly isn’t enough. Google is watching whether your site sucks for mobile users and your rankings will fall if users aren’t engaged with the content or leave fast.
  7. Aggressive outreach campaigns – Google is dependent on inbound links to determine trustworthiness and keyword relevance. Web publishers and bloggers and tweeters aren’t necessarily motivated to say anything about your product/service/company or link to your web site. A campaign of connecting with them, especially key influencers, and engaging with them can generate big ranking and traffic results. And, they will want valuable, helpful, popular content to share and promote, so your content developers must create fascinating, compelling copy, stories, graphics, videos and comments that impel them to share it online. It is other people who make your business successful and outreach makes you appreciate that fact.

The success of SEO usually comes out of good knowledge of your customer and a desire to create good content experiences for them. Google will recognize when your content is “HOT” and whether you are converting those visits to sales.  Heck, they can see everything.  Forget about cheap PPC and email tricks and put an honest effort into SEO. I’ts the only approach that’s sustainable.

These 7 essentials of SEO help you understand what really still is the core of omnichannel marketing.  SEO is still a dominant channel for any digital marketing strategist. Contact me if you’re a mortgage agent, insurance broker, or lawyer. I can connect you to leads.

 

A much desirable alternative to hiring an agency or in-house college grad, is to hire a dedicated digital marketing strategist from Toronto Canada. As an 18 year veteran digital marketer, I offer the best possible digital marketing advice and have consulted with companies in Los Angeles, Boston, Vancouver, San Diego, Dallas, Denver, and Phoenix.  I can help you compete head to head with realtor.com, homes.com and remax.com. As an experienced and versatile digital marketer, I can help build your knowledge of SEO, Social Media, and content marketing. I build impressive, qualified traffic via high quality, relevant content and outreach strategies. Let’s get started!

8 Crazy Good Lead Generating Tactics You Need to Use this Selling Season

It’s 2016 and the Outlook is Excellent

We’re getting close to the 2017 spring selling season where 60% of your sales happen. It’s crunch time! Try these Top 8 Lead Generation tactics to grow your contacts and build a buzz about working with you. Ramp it up and one day you may be running your own brokerage.

Any luxury realtor, whether selling presale condominiums or million dollar mansions, can amp up their sales prowess by strategically adding on sales tactics and honing them within a more skilled strategy. The payoff for some might be millions in new commissions.




2016 is already off to a near record breaking start.  There’s plenty of economic factors in the Canada and US markets that will drive sales this year. And a surprising amount of demand is coming from China. It turns out that only a small number of realtors are pursuing Asian buyers. That leads us to tactic #1.

  1. Offer to pay Asian and Arab investors travel expenses if they visit and buy a property with you. You can set up a travel itinerary for them using Air Canada. They pay the airlines fee and a hotel room in your town. You pick them up at the airport. Ensure the accommodations look good online. You can dress this invitation up as a wonderful vacation of a lifetime. Many Asians would love to visit cities in the US or Canada. Places such as San Diego, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto have drawing power. You can leverage that.

chineseTreat the prospects trip like a vacation and let them know they have an opportunity to park their investment dollars into something with potential. San Diego is becoming a hot market, and Vancouver, BC, and Alberta properties are a bargain because of the 40% exchange rate.

A few realtors have gone to China to arrange visits by the plane load. It’s not hard to see the potential in 300 Asian investors landing in your city. They’ll be buying something. If they don’t buy, they have to pay their $5000 bill themselves.

Because the Yuan is depreciating, Chinese investors need to buy a property or something here as soon as possible. Build a new website in Mandarin and make your special offer. Add investment advice, and a little about how wonderful it is to live in a free country with lots of room.  A firm can make your site visible in Baidoo and Google.cn and other popular Chinese websites. These investors are often looking for big luxury properties.

  1. Use Google Adwords. Really? Yes, Adwords has incredible reach to people who are hunting for real estate or selling. Can’t beat it. But you need to do it well. What I’ve learned about Adwords is that you must test, test, test. Your quest is to find the best ad wording, landing pages and value proposition. Even after you optimize your ads and have amazing landing pages, you must have the best value offer.Analyze your UVP and your hook, and ask others what’s weak about them. Get lots of feedback. If you optimize your lead funnel, it will pay off despite the cost. Marketers are discovering that even with PPC, content marketing tactics are necessary to build prospect’s interest.  Buying real estate is a high involvement purchase and good content is something that increase comfort and and increase desire.
  1. omnichannelmarketoUse all Digital Channels. Yes, it is a lot of work, but one or two channels doesn’t cut it.  When you increase touchpoints with customers, you give them more emotional justification for working with you. And the repeated exposure is good. Omnichannel digital marketing works best with lots of content – infographics, long and short blogs, downloadables, whitepapers, case studies, videos, persuasive emails, and PPC advertising. Keep throwing value at the prospect and eventually they’ll break and give in. Persistence.
  1. valuepropositionbookImprove your unique value proposition. Are your tactics, brand and value proposition the same as thousands of others? That’s not good. You can run a fantastic marketing campaign, but if your UVP sucks it will bring everything to a halt. Every agent has a UVP. It’s what your prospect believes about you and your ability to make things happen.You must be compelling, relevant, and unique.  Your UVP is you and your offer of professional help. What can you add to your UVP to push you by your competitors. What will the others not do? Do that. Tell prospects they are going to get some special, wonderful treatment, other than hellos and smiles. That’s not enough.
  1. Create new original interesting types of content and optimize them for Google search rankings. Don’t say you know how to do this. I’m an SEO guy. I know how to do it. I see agent’s blog and pulse posts all the time and they get no traffic and don’t generate value. People don’t have time to read unless you get it into an exciting format such as a video, infographic, downloadable pdf charts, graphs, or photos. It’s not easy but it does set you out as someone to remember. Part of your content should be for use on other people’s websites, which creates inbound links to your website.
  1. Blog about, network with, and even promote other agents/brokers. Other agents can bring business to you. Coopetition has been a good tactic for a while. Link with as many other agents as you can on Linkedin, and retweet their tweets on Twitter. Create a friend as they will last longer than any other relationship. Work together like sheep dogs! Linkedin is a great tool. I’m linked with thousands of real estate agents.
  1. retweet-elmerBuild your email list and do direct marketing. A lot of agents don’t nurture their email lists. Build unique, valuable, and entertaining content to stay top of mind. email is still a powerful lead conversion tool. Set up an account with Constant Contact or MailChimp. Within your email campaign, run a contest for a 4K TV for men or a new wardrobe for women — use it to grow your contacts.
  1. Setup multiple Twitter accounts and a Facebook account to reach diverse local audiences on topics they’re interested in. Most people don’t want to talk real estate. It’s boring, stressful, and they’re so distracted today. Create accounts or even websites on interesting topics such as investment, travel, retirement, health, local sports, and health and wellness.Hire a great copywriter like me to fill these sites with relevant, engaging content. How about a site that is constantly updated with local sporting and events activities? Whenever they wonder about what’s happening in town, they’ll go to your site where it’s all laid out.
  2. There’s other services such as Follow Rocket that can help you get more followers and reach more people.

That’s 8 of the most powerful tactics you can use within your superb digital marketing strategy. As you get into this, even more opportunities will appear. They don’t appear until you get into it. Winners and leaders are more nervy and creative. Don’t be ultraconservative, old school, or burdened under the weight of your own skepticism. Get started.

Your future in business is completely in your hands. You decide right now what direction your business, income, and lifestyle will take. Make a good decision.

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I have experience in every industry from real estate to hotels to travel to medical services. You’ll be my next success. Let’s talk now at 416 998 6246.