Real Estate Market Forecast Housing Outlook Vancouver 2016

There’s Cause for Optimism in Vancouver and the Rest of BC

bcforestgraphThe irony of it all. BC is now Canada’s economic darling and yet some are complaining (justifiably, those who can’t pay the high rents). The question is whether politicians will try do something negative to spoil this growth.

The BC economy is expected to expand nicely at 2.9% to 3.1% next year. BC exports are growing as new liberal international trade deals are increased and as our loonie keeps falling to .75US.

CMHC believes there will be 30,000 more households in BC next year, and that will support sales of rising new homes being built. Mortgage and borrowing rates will stay low, energy prices will stay low so it’s a superb business situation for BC companies who need the investment money.

bcexportsgraph
Exports to China strong. Growing trade will make Vancouver the key city in Canada in the next 5 years.

BC’s latest jobs report is pretty good too. BC is leading the country with 12,400 jobs added, while the rest of Canada lost jobs. And 2016 has a nice look to it — supporting a healthy real estate sector.

The big controversy is the influx of Chinese investment money into the BC commercial and residential real estate sector. If the Asian markets continue sliding, more rich Chinese will be seeking to park their money in Vancouver and Toronto property. This is a short term financial anomaly that won’t continue so why bother trying to kill it?

September report from RBC paints a rosy picture of BC's growing economic power
September report from RBC paints a rosy picture of BC’s growing economic power

A Better way to Manage the Influx of Billions

Chinese investing in Vancouver
Chinese buyers surfing the Net to find Canadian Properties

There are those who want to end the infusion of investment from Chinese property buyers.

Rather than making these investors use devious ways to buy property here, we could make it easier for them to buy in the Okanagan, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Toronto tax-free, since this investment money could go elsewhere instead. We could lose it all.

If Asian buyers can’t buy here, they will choose the US to park their cash. San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami and New York are very attractive too. But Vancouver’s better.

A report in the Globe and Mail states:

Dan Scarrow, vice-president of corporate strategy at Macdonald Realty Ltd., estimates that 16 per cent of his firm’s 1,500 sales of detached houses, condos and townhouses within the city of Vancouver last year went to buyers from China. Of his firm’s 544 sales of detached homes in Vancouver proper last year, 150 of the purchasers were from China, or 27.5 per cent.

Another Globe and mail report suggests Chinese sales are aided by a tax loophole that allows them to avoid tax by listing the purchase in the name of a relative.  33% of all these purchases are bought under these circumstances. If this loophole is closed, it could send a shockwave through the real estate market.

Big Sales but fewer Homeowners are Selling

The G&M report also revealed that number of listings in Vancouver has dropped 27% from last year.

In Vancouver, housing starts are expected to grow from 9500 in 2015 to 9600 next year. Resale home sales will rise from $820,000 in 2015 to $835,000 in 2016. According the BC real estate association, the average price of a single detached home will rise from $885,000 currently to $920,000 next year. That’s up more than $100k from 2014.

The GVREB HPI index price for a detached property rose to nearly $1.41 million in Sept 201, up 11.5% from last September.

If the Liberals win the October 19th election, which is very likely, we could see a boost in the economy with them increasing spending.  The latest jobs report is a rise of 73k part time jobs and a drop of 62k in full time jobs.

federalelection

What is Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Digital Marketing’s “Big Three”

The pillars of digital marketing are: SEO Strategy, Content Development/Strategy, and Social Media Strategy.  They’re interdependent and very powerful when they work together. This post is about how to develop a social media strategy — easy to digest, giving you the overview you need before you go about Tweeting, posting and liking.

Without a good strategy, it’s almost certain you’re wasting your time. No need for that. I’ve got a series of blog posts to help you build your value proposition, understand your prospects, create great content, use persuasive copywriting,  build your brand, and optimize your sales conversion funnel. Let’s begin with social media!

This graphic shows realtors are using social media, but are they using them together with content and SEO as a strategic force?

This graphic courtesy of Adrian Bishop of  Overseas Property Professional
This graphic courtesy of Adrian Bishop of Overseas Property Professional. Read his excellent account of how realtors are using social media today.

Social Media is the fastest growing marketing channel because it’s free (unless you’re using advertising), allows you to be very creative, is fun, and has tremendous reach into customer’s lives.social-media-bandwagon

Without a strategy, you’re very likely to get confused and frustrated with social media. This complicated medium needs a strategic path.  It’s simple really if you’re  a good marketer who can research, write, develop pictures and stories, network widely, and keep the conversation going.  If not, hire someone who is into it, create a strategy, and get this going.

Social media success doesn’t mean you have to go viral. A success is when you create prospects and engage with them, helping them understand your unique value proposition.

A good example is the realtor targeting the young millennial buyer who rents right now, then establishing themselves as “the realtor for millennials” is the right strategy. The content and dialogue should be focused on the millennial’s beliefs, pursuits and values, and their current situation — student debt, need for low down payment, renting, mobile, with parents who may have money to invest. Of course, you already know this.

Before we embark on this journey into social marketing strategy, let’s get our definition set first:

social media marketing strategy is a plan of action to focus and magnify the reach and persuasiveness of all the diverse content and conversations a company generates for social media, and to create the greatest impact for sales revenue.”

There has to be a bottom line goal. When marketers talk about brand impressions, they’re basically admitting that they can’t create a customer via social media. As Google chokes out its customer base via its algorithm, only social media will be available for SMB marketing campaigns. Social media is already producing customers, so we might as well jump on the bandwagon and start making real money with it.

Photo courtesy of Buffini & Company — Real Estate Coaching for Agents and Brokers – Carlsbad, CA

A Strategy isn’t so Difficult — Just one thing to the Next

SimplicityldTo use social media effectively, you’ll need a simple strategy to help you select the best channels and use them to gain real results. You don’t do social, you must be social. That’s the key mindset as you head into social channel use. The process isn’t all that difficult, however you may want to hire a social media expert who you can bounce ideas off of. It is a partnership.

Research shows that most businesses use an ad hoc social media strategy (shotgun or hit and miss approach) while a small portion use a defined strategy (rifle or narrow path approach). Either way, it should be driven by strategy not tactics.

Some businesses get too narrowly defined to the point where their content and conversation is stiff and unattractive. It’s better to be human, personable, generous, expressive, and engaging since social media is really not for business — it was meant for everything that isn’t business.

Create something Compelling about You through your Content and Conversation

If you’re a realtor, mortgage agent, landscaper, insurance company, mortgage broker, construction services provider, dentist, plumber, medical services provider or other professional services provider, you can post material about almost anything that your prospects and customers find interesting (opinions, reviews, statistics, photos, video, infographics, news commentary, personal stories, sports and cultural events, neighbourhood events, etc). If it’s relevant and gets your messages across, you connect in a deeper more relevant way with your prospects.

78% of consumers say that the posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases — Forbes

And by messages, I mean your significant, compelling, unique value proposition. If you don’t know what that is, you can hire someone like myself to research and develop it. I can help you create a picture of more value and a brand that exudes trust, generosity and sharing; Excellent traits that customers like.

5 Step Strategy for Social Media Marketing

  1. Set your goals and objectives: how many followers do you want for each channel, and ideally what action do you want visitors to take? (e.g., sharing an infographic or video, visits to your website, comments, and actual leads). Do you only want to make branding impressions or get them to download something or get them to ask a question? Which metrics will you use to evaluate performance of your social strategy?
  2. Choose the most relevant channels: B2B marketers will likely choose Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. B2C may choose these plus Pinterest and Instagram.
  3. Who is your customer target? You’ll need to create a customer persona — a description of your ideal prospect, what they believe, what they do, and about their online habits. Are they older and sophisticated buyers who are all business, or young millennials who have broader interests?
  4. What content will you need to curate or develop that your prospects will feel passionate about? Your products may be boring and your value proposition might not be the most exciting. This is where imagination comes in handy.
  5. How will you interact with them? What will be the tone of your interaction? Will it be friendly, humorous, very helpful, participative, or a more detached, corporate voice?

A thorough strategy would drill down into the details of value proposition, content, interaction, and execution.

Good luck with your social strategy. When you’re ready to launch your presence with digital marketing, then it’s time to give me a call at 416-605-7026.

Here’s some further helpful info on social media for real estate agents:

http://blog.wishpond.com/post/58926524787/social-media-for-real-estate-agents-21-tips

http://www.inman.com/2015/02/12/canva-evangelist-guy-kawasaki-on-how-real-estate-agents-can-dominate-social-media/

http://maximizesocialbusiness.com/how-realtors-are-using-social-media-8788/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/06/25/100-killer-ideas-for-your-social-media-content/

How to Be the King or Queen of Real Estate Agents

Maximum Exposure, Maximum Engagement

Home prices in Vancouver continue their upward spiral. An interesting insight from an REW survey discussed in the Vancouver Courier suggests that wealth transfer from baby boomers to their Gen X and Gen Y kids is partly responsible for the demand and prices in the Vancouver real restate market.

costacouple
“kids, we’re having a great time in Costa Rica. Thank you for coming up with such a wonderful idea.”

Add that to the scarcity of supply and increasing demand from desperate Chinese investors along with the low loonie, and you have an overheated market. Amidst all that, is high potential for real estate transactions. Are you getting your share of exposure and engagement with buyers and sellers?

As a realtor, wouldn’t it be nice for you to enjoy top exposure to all these new buyers? Who cares who has the money or how they got it? The fact is, there are plenty of buyers. Sellers however are a different story. I’ve got a solution that matches up perfectly with retiring baby boomers – a key market.

Sellers Don’t Sell unless they have a Better Life to Move Onto

Why would anyone leave their beloved home and neighbourhood without something better to go to? If they sell their house in Vancouver, they could move out to Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, or to the Okanagan, but maybe that’s not a dream life for them. You only live once. Are they just bored people waiting for a really great idea?

You Can’t Create a Customer, if you can’t Create a Dream.

Tax Free Costa Rica real estate 1I think the answer is even more extreme, and it’s a pleasant one for anyone retired or near retirement. The solution is to sell them on moving to Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Costa Rica, or Belize. It is possible for them to sell their million dollar home and then live in these locations like royalty.

The point is, to get people to leave their lives in Vancouver, you have to paint an exciting new life for them elsewhere (even if it’s Kelowna or Port Hardy). If they believe it, you’ve got yourself a new client. And perhaps their kids will need some new homes and mortgages too!

That’s why I’ve combined travel and real estate as a compelling duo. The two professions can work magic together. I intend to add in investing to complete a very compelling value proposition. You can do the same thing.

Real Estate + Travel + Health + Lifestyle + Happy Family = Success

A Healthier, Happier Lifestyle – Good for the Whole Family

costa ricaA new life elsewhere would be a life tonic for many people in Vancouver. These other locations offer warm weather, blue skies, and plenty of outdoor activities. And you know as well that restaurants and health care are a strong suit for these places. Costa Rica for instance has a phenomenal health care system that is affordable. That’s fueling the burgeoning medical tourism industries in these countries. It’s driven by the expensive US healthcare system, however our medical services are becoming more expensive everyday.

couplesellinghouseThere’s lots of potential in this marketing strategy. Perhaps you can align with a travel agency and an investment advisor to deliver a more persuasive communications strategy. You could also work with me to build a powerful content strategy that gives you presence in Google rankings, and on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin.

Content strategy is the hottest thing going in digital marketing. Because online, content is what people see and consume. Design your content to greet these sellers, get them engaged in your marketing material,and to convince them, and you actually can begin to create home sellers.

So if you’re waiting around for a call from a seller, you might be wasting your time. The best approach is a proactive one guided by strategy. Read a few other posts on my blog and you’ll gain some innovative ideas that break the tired old paradigms that still guide many real estate agents.

Think about how you will create a fascinating, persuasive, and compelling unique value proposition, and reach millions of homeowners/investors via social media and Google search. You’re as persuasive as you want to be.

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What Plagues Unsuccessful Realtors?

Practice a Successful Realtor System

To serve my realtor clients as best I can, I needed to know what successful agents do and what unsuccessful agents don’t do. What I’ve learned about agents, I can apply to my own real estate marketing service.  You can never be too good.

frustrated realtorAs the realtor in the video below talks about, you need leads. Other realtors say it’s a numbers game. Make more connections and you reach more people. But who are the best 20% of prospects who will create your commissions and how do you capture them as clients?

Connect via Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter and offer up great content that makes them feel good. Everyone selling a house will go online and visit realty websites. It’s so quick and easy, why wouldn’t they go online?

Word of Mouth + Social = Powerful Brand

Your neighborhood word of mouth network might die out too often, meaning your time consuming, physical ground work is wasted.  With a great Google and social media and advertising presence you can keep those fledgling leads alive. Power up your brand in their minds, and use all channels strategically — show up on their smartphones too.

Take a look. Here’s why many realtors don’t become successful:

  • don’t build enough leads
  • don’t have a system of identifying the top 20% of great prospects
  • lack the funds and marketing campaign to take it to a profitable level
  • expects broker brand/website will build enough leads
  • don’t prospect enough therefore don’t get wind of people who might sell
  • it’s a numbers game and they don’t get enough leads
  • procrastination — never taking chances and leaps of faith
  • don’t follow up
  • don’t take care of their clients – poor relationship and customer service skills
  • don’t treat the customer like a good friend
  • poor communication skills — don’t get their value proposition across
  • don’t maintain a friendly, courteous relationship with all contacts
  • lose confidence after some frustration such as losing a sure sale – better to be overconfident, optimistic and resilient
  • believe the job is too tough when they really haven’t made the decision to be great at it
  • react slow to seeing opportunities and acting on them
  • don’t use their imagination to generate a wider approach to collecting leads and making contact

Contact me today gordcoll5@rogers.com for a review of your online presence and about a new content strategy.  Now’s the time to ramp up and accelerate your digital marketing and lead creation.

PS, remember that digital marketing including Adwords is a bargain (this graphic shows how you can create a lead for less than $2!)

vancouveradwords

Condo Buyers vs House Buyers — Are they Different?

Are Condo Buyers Different than House Buyers?

Now in Spring 2017 we’ve seen house and condo prices in Toronto jump and should keep on rising   The era of the condo is upon us and they may represent the best capital gain and rental income for investors and new deals for most realtors.

 

With respect to your own sales: It’s not the market, it’s your marketing

sandiegocondo
Condo in downtown San Diego has so much to offer for younger buyers who like transportation, shopping, and restaurants close by.

Marketing Condos

If you’re a Realtor marketing condos, being aware of how condo buyers are different will benefit your web content strategy and improve your lead conversion rate and closed deals. Knowing these buyer’s personalities, circumstance and values should help you create better more relevant advertising and web content for your target audience. And on the web and in social media, you are your content.

When they believe you believe what they believe, you become their most relevant person on the planet. You’re the dream enabler.

If condo buyers are younger, first time buyers, they’re likely more wide eyed and impressionable. They may be more susceptible to visuals, strong headlines, and dreamy descriptions of independent living, sociability, and freedom from time consuming home chores. As you brainstorm great content ideas, you need to keep that buyer persona in focus.

Content that’s Relevant to Condo Buyers

Your stylized content might include flashy infographics, video of urban shopping and attractions, and a reminder of the social life and how it positions them for a more successful career.

Single family home buyers are in a different boat. They want the privacy of a house, the ownership of real land, and they may have kids or want them soon. Cutting lawns and planting flowers might be top on their list of fun things to do.

Related Housing posts: Housing Market | Toronto Condo MarketLos Angeles Housing Market | Toronto Housing Market | San Diego Housing Market | Real Estate Agents | Future of Real Estate | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Housing Forecast | Affordable Leads | Digital Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding | Bidding Wars | LA Real Estate SEO | Realtor Growth Hacks | Realtor Skills | Realtors Benefits | Home Search | Rental Income Housing 

My brother recently bought a large property in the country. He would not like living in a Toronto condo. His idea of a great life is having the property, trees, and room for his dog to run. The task of clearing the property, plowing and shoveling snow, cutting grass, and fixing things is his idea of meaningful, creative living. Clearly, this hard work is not appealing to condo buyers. Their dream world is different.

condos

Lifestyles, Amenities, and Convenience

Most often it is carefree, social, urban, and prestigious lifestyles in the city that appeals most to these buyers.  And developers are taking innovation to heart with exciting new developments.

If you’re selling to condo buyers, here’s some points to keep in mind:

Condo buyers:

  • enjoy living in high density areas such as downtown Vancouver, Toronto and San Diego
  • enjoy the closeness of their neighbours
  • enjoy the shared amenities and ease of access
  • enjoy the lower cost of ownership
  • don’t mind underground parking
  • don’t want the challenge of yard maintenance
  • enjoy the excellent views from many condos
  • enjoy being closer to where they work
  • are often first time buyers
  • are a young person or young couple (except for empty nest buyers)
  • may like living near people like themselves (e.g., Richmond BC)
  • don’t want to have to repair or renovate
  • don’t have as much money as home buyers
  • often first time buyers
  • may not own a car nor want to own one
  • may not understand the risks posed by condominium associations

There’s likely many more key persona traits you know of yourself, in which case I’d like to hear your input. It’s an exciting time to be realtor in San Diego, Vancouver and Toronto. Three cities, rated at the top for livability and very attractive to condo buyers from around the world.

Selling isn’t easy anymore. The buyer market and marketing channels are more fragmented. Smart planning and strategy in developing your web and social content could mean the difference between mediocrity and outstanding success.

If you’re hoping for that top sales award, you should begin looking for a real estate marketing specialist who can elevate the value you provide to your market. Remember, it’s not the market, it’s how you market.

Related Real Estate Posts: Housing 2017 2018 | House Prices | RETS IDXLos Angeles Auto Insurance | 3D Home Tours for Realtors  | Toronto Housing CrashSan Francisco Housing ForecastLos Angeles Housing Market | Toronto Housing Market | San Diego Housing Market | New York Real Estate ForecastReal Estate Agents | Toronto Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Real Estate SEO | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Housing Forecast | Affordable Leads | Digital Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding | Bidding Wars | LA Real Estate SEO | San Francisco Bay Area Housing Market | Real Estate SEO

GordCollins.com, your homepage for the most powerful Real Estate Marketing and Investing Strategies for 2017 and 2018.

How to Fund a Winning Realty Marketing Strategy

Adopting Team Thinking without Giving up Independence

If your first thought about digital marketing services is that they’re too much time and too costly, I want to show how you can easily do it. If you watch the NFL or NHL, you know about the team game. Some battles are too tough to win alone.  Teaming up with other realtor partners can help you market like a leader with 1/5th the cost.

larealtor
Trying Harder: Going it alone might not work

Think in terms of small teams of realtors or mortgage agents. Your brokerage of 40 to 600 members is too big to work. It’s too impersonal. How do you get 600 realtor pictures on the homepage?

I’ve worked with solo agents as well as big agencies and a major International luxury home publication. Big agencies don’t really solve your needs since there’s not enough leads to go around. And going solo, it’s tough to stay focused and motivated. Perhaps that’s the top reason 90% of realtors never become successful.

The Future is Coming and it’s Connected

I’m linked with at least 1500 realtors in Toronto, San Diego, Calgary and Vancouver. Most of them don’t bother with digital marketing or social media, despite how traditional channels are drying up. A common complaint is the cost of digital marketing services by themselves and the ROI. You might have dabbled with some cheapo marketing services and came to the conclusion that it’s not worth it. It is worth it.  The key is finding someone dedicated.

If you join with other realtors and share the costs, you can fight way above your weight class in the realty marketing battles. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to partner with local realtors. It’s possible and perhaps advisable to join with realtors in other nearby towns or neighborhoods. They’re in the same predicament you are. Sound interesting?

Combine our Assets and Divide our Costs

If you partner with 3 or 4 other realtors, you not only combine marketing funds, and connections (think of the Linkedin and Facebook connections you have) you also:

  • bring more experience and market knowledge
  • create motivated team mates whom you can bounce ideas off of
  • have more insight and stories to lend to your team’s customer engagement strategy
  • work more effectively together
  • have better meetings
  • create more colorful and meaningful dialogue with prospects
  • inspire greater confidence and security in prospects
  • create a small team as a social unit which prospects can relate to
  • create 4 or 5 voices which can be much more persuasive

If you’re in a big city such as Vancouver, Toronto or San Diego, there’s plenty of leads available. By scaling up your marketing you will accelerate your growth and theirs.  If you’re in a small market city such as Markham, Burnaby, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido or Whistler, then joining with realtors in other nearby towns lets you combine funds yet still have your whole local market to yourself.

You become a more noticeable presence whereas before, you were almost invisible. When people say your town’s name, your name and face should also come to mind. That’s just a little of what I can do for you.

Calgary Home Boys is a great example of the team concept. They’ve combined the potential of 5 to 6 realtors to better leverage their collective powers.  They look like a modern, professional team you can rely on.

calgaryhomeboys

Danecker & Associates of San Diego is a traditional format for the team game. However, it would be better overall with a true together team picture! Still, this is the way to maximize the marketing budget and get the kind of results you’ve hoped for.  No more hoping, it’s action time!

Danecker

Think Big Picture, and get Better Results

In my mind, it doesn’t matter so much who you partner with — you’re going to garner much more of the available market. And your results are likely to be better than if you went it alone. If you’re doing very well right now, then you can perhaps double your leads and better convert the leads you get by investing in realtor digital marketing techniques.

You might have one more argument that one realtor in the group will take all the sales, for whatever reason. That won’t happen because all prospects have their preferences and each will look for the realtor that best suits their taste. Everything can rotate if required.

The creative effort to build or modify your realtor persona will be a good exercise. Let’s say you want to appeal to first time buyers. We can help you fashion your brand image to make you the most compelling to them. It’ll help you get more focused to convert the leads that typically come to you and improve your brand image. Everything is converted into positive results.

paradise
Whatever your career and retirement goals are, you don’t have to do everything alone. Your associates have the same dreams. Coopetition can work wonders.

If you’re struggling alone to improve your business as a realtor or a mortgage broker, consider combining with 3 to 4 others. It’s the perfect number to maximize your marketing funds and get the maximum benefit in relevant leads.

Gord Collins has provided expert San Diego real estate SEO, Los Angeles real estate SEO, San Francisco real estate SEO, Vancouver real estate SEO, Boston real estate SEO, and Toronto real estate SEO for 18 years.  Check out his posts on prospecting tips, how to get people to sell their home,  real estate agent importance, and tips for luxury real estate agents. Gord can help you deal with the Future of Real Estate and thrive on change.

Condo Market Heats up in Toronto, Vancouver and San Diego

Realtors Looking at Strong Market for Condos

The market for condos in North America’s hottest cities is heating up as housing becomes scarce.  The low Canadian dollar is making all Vancouver and Toronto properties an attractive investment but condos are the hidden gem for investors. The market in San Diego too is also being driven by a lack of housing stock.

3 Cities Primed for More Price Growth

Vancouver is loaded with condos and Toronto has seen a huge growth in new condo developments in the last 5 years. San Diego’s condo market is poised for astonishing growth.

As this graphic highlights, the great recession barely affected rocketing prices in Vancouver since 2002. There is no more land in Vancouver which means the sky is the limit in Canada’s top city.

vancouverhousing

Explosive growth in the Canadian market is fueled by Chinese, Middle Eastern and US buyers.  Vancouver is the main target of wealthy Chinese buyers. The strong Yuan and weak Loonie means Chinese millionaires are finding plenty of bargains to move into or to use as investments.  Many of the units are sitting vacant but don’t expect to see them on AirBnb.

Toronto Sales Volume Rising Fast

Toronto’s condo sales volume grew 10% in August in the city and 23% in the region just outside Toronto.  No housing bubble is forecast for Toronto.

BILD CEO Bryan Tuckey says many potential first-time buyers are being priced out of the market. He says there’s a limited supply of new houses because of a lack of development-ready, serviced land across the region, which means “homes are being purchased faster than they can be brought to market.”

Foreign Buyers Helping to Drive up Prices in San Diego

San Diego’s real estate revival is in progress. Realtors are just getting positioned for the coming boom.  The graphic below from Jorge Castelon of Harcourts Pacific Realty in San Diego reveals the upward trend.

san-diego-condos

That’s an eye opening 50% rise in 5 years and the real estate market in San Diego still hasn’t taken off yet.

This graphic from August shows a shortage of units is lifting prices fast.

sandiegosalestrendsaugust

The US is the only country expected to excel economically, which means the US dollar will only go up. San Diego properties might be as good an investment as those in Toronto and Vancouver. As the world’s baby boomers begin looking for ideal locations to live the last decades of their lives, San Diego will be high on the list.

San Diego has 64 huge condo buildings and San Diego county has many more. The San Diego market is still marked by a high underwater rate so there’s plenty of hidden opportunity here.

The prices are outpacing wage growth, a trend that analysts say is only going to continue so long as the region sees its supply of housing remain tight. Mark Goldman, a loan officer and real-estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said home prices are appreciating faster than he expected — from the San Diego Tribue.

With mortgage rates remaining at such low levels, the condo market will be especially attractive.  The average homeowner in San Diego spends $10,647 per year on their mortgage. And the average renter in the city will pay a whopping 44% of their income on their rent. Either for rental income or as a capital investment, condos and homes in San Diego look awfully good.

Of course, we’re talking about San Diego. The luxury market is even more attractive to Chinese buyers who typically only look for $1 million+ properties.

$11.78 billion: The dollar amount in home sales in San Diego County in the first half of 2015, up 13.2 percent from $10.4 billion last year —  CoreLogic.

sandiegocondoview
Photo Courtesy of Dream Homes Magazine

Prospective buyers around the world will see condos for sale like this one at right.

If this market potential doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will. If you’re a San Diego, Vancouver or Toronto realtor with condo stock for sale, it might be the perfect time to do digital marketing right.

Contact me at gordcoll5@rogers.com to get started with a better digital marketing program designed for realtors that includes SEO, content strategy and social media engagement. Visit my linkedin page too linkedin.com/in/gordcollins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: the above content is not presented as a proposition for sales in real estate, nor advice about any realty investment. It is a commentary on economic and real estate conditions. All investors face uncertainty and economic factors beyond control and are advised to consult with a professional realtor before buying or selling.

How Realtors Can Lead in Social Media

Realtor’s Personalities and Ability to Engage Make them Perfect for Social Media Mastery

I was just doing a search on Google for San Diego real estate.  I clicked one agent’s link, but didn’t find much of interest. I clicked their Twitter link to see what they’re doing right now. Nothing. Dullsville. They didn’t much do much to create a connection with their visitors.

relationshipIt’s well known that visitors will leave quickly. All the techy SEOs and web devs talk about page loading time when the real issue is how quickly you make an emotional connection with your visitor.

Home sellers and buyers want to experience something exciting, inspiring, informative, fun and interesting. I go to Twitter because Twitter is current, right now in the moment. It tells me where that  realtor is at right now.

For most realtors, it isn’t a lack of leads, it’s often a lack of a connectivity in social channels and on their website that create an emotional connection. Getting to make them like you is vital, otherwise they’re off to visit other realtor sites.  They’ll visit many unless a smart realtor finds a way to engage them immediately on their site.

And engagement comes from excellent content.

Social Networking will only Grow — Get on it now and do it Right

I have a couple of friends in LA and Vancouver whom I tweet with. They’re both fun and very sociable. They understand the social aspect of Twitter. Both have an engaging manner.

Twitter is fun and hard work, so the active Twitter Realtor is showing you how hard they will work for you and what kind of relationship building they do. It’s the same for Linkedin.

It has nothing to do with things or events — what we normally refer to as  content. They’re all about the social interaction — the engaging conversation they have and enjoy. And I know of a successful mortgage agent in Oakville who is the same way.

And while I’m a content strategist/SEO guy, they’ve reminded me that the real content is the conversation. The content and platform is just the medium of your conversation or relationship with your new visitor.

This is central to how you build out content on your website and social pages. It isn’t about “my stuff” but rather how do I make the other person feel good. How does your conversation build the relationship your prospect is looking for?

Twitter: Fast content that accelerates your prospect engagement

Your whole digital marketing presence’ goal is to create a customer and you do that today by creating excellent sharable and sociable content. Being social is very important now. Tweet, link up and like your way to success.

 

 

Engaging Content is Your Voice

You know that as a realtor, you’re a dreamweaver and content is all about creating a wonderful vision for home sellers and buyers.

There’s hundreds of thousands of realtors and mortgage agents who dabble in content. They write some blogs, they post on Facebook or Twitter, but what’s missing is depth, color and a strategy. All that content needs to attract and move prospects along to conversion as well.  Copywriting has to achieve a lot of objectives.

As they arrive on your Twitter page, Facebook page, or Website and IDX listing pages, your content should accelerate their motives and feelings about buying and selling. And that’s the challenge. What type of content should you create to captivate and inspire them?

What does your content need to do?

    1. entertain
    2. build trust
    3. create likability
    4. establish expertise
    5. establish personal fit
    6. inform and engage
    7. build emotional intensity
    8. get shared on social and the web
    9. create high rankings on Google
    10. convince the prospect

Map Your Content to the Customer Experience

When your content is mapped to the customer journey, and that includes your social content, you’re going to see your leads climb significantly. There will be great visuals such as videos and infographics, fun copywriting, and good conversation when they arrive. To engage them and move them along, there will be your mls IDX listings, blog posts on lifestyles and communities, and interesting stuff on your Facebook and Twitter pages. To convince them, there will be whitepapers, success stories, case studies, investment tips, and material that eases their post purchase anxiety.

It’s not enough to have the latest IDX real estate website with great navigation and pics from every angle. Where realtors can excel is to build the visitors emotions about buying and selling — about the excitement of change in their lives. Your digital marketing job is to accelerate that emotion and desire to experience a new life.

Your social media efforts really can go a long way to build a great personal brand that makes you the most relevant compelling agent to work with. Start thinking great content and how it gets spread through social networks.

So now you’re ready to Tweet, get Liked and create content that pulls new prospects in, inspires them, and helps them surmount any emotional barriers that keep them from buying and selling.

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4K Digital Marketing is the Next Wave for Realtors and Travel Companies

High Definition Yet One more Advantage for Smart Realtors and Travel Agents

It seems almost a monthly event where new technology impacts web design, video,  or digital marketing. The recent leap in TV and tablet display technology called 4K or ultra HD TV is one such development that will have an impact on web design and the web experience people expect.

Luxury real estate agents should pay closer attention to 4K and the corresponding boom in Internet bandwidth being ushered in. It’s exactly these technology waves that successful people surf on. This is where the big money is made.

surfingwaves
Smart people see these waves coming.

For realtors and travel companies, 4K is a powerful way to produce engaging content, lift Google rankings, drive social media engagement and reach, and generate new leads.

And this is just the latest way of uplifting your marketing strategy, growing leads, and creating an unbeatable unique value proposition — one bit of progress that could enable all the other areas of progress. I see it as a platform for taking your entire business to a new level.

Hi Def’s Already Here, but 4K is next

4ksonysmall4K has been around for a while, however it’s just in 2015 that sales of hi resolution displays have rocketed (up 143%). They’re getting ready to produce 8K displays, just so you know!
The amazing hi definition clarity is 4 times that of HDTV. And the colour range, low power LED and very fast refresh rates (120 Hz) that the latest 4K displays and new smartphones/tablets enable a whole new level of visual experience. And the new smartphones put 4k right into your hands.

For those marketing luxury properties, and those in the travel and entertainment marketing field, 4K HD is a new pipeline to wealthy consumers. First marketing adopters build a first to market advantage, so you should get a jump on this one or another wave will pass you by.

It’s the affluent with a taste for new technology and extraordinary experiences in particular who are first consumer adopters of these TVs and devices. Cable networks are already paving the way for broadcasts in 4K HD. Rogers is offering a new service for $250/month in 2016. The vivid clarity of 4K is eye grabbing. It does make a better emotional impact. And if it’s more engaging, it’s more persuasive as a marketing medium.

4K Marketing to Wow Homebuyers and Travellers

Using 4K HD in your Web designs, home listings, and videos, or travel destination videos is definitely taking things to the next level. And I combine travel and real estate deliberately because the wealthy see them as an integral part of their lifestyle. And foreign buyers must travel to view your properties. You need to prove to them it’s going to be a worthwhile trip.

And of course, travel agents can make big waves on their own by using 4K travel videos.

A first time approach to 4K marketing might be to incorporate 4K property pictures and property videos into your blogs. Your IDX listings likely won’t have anything 4K soon. The bandwidth needed is ridiculous. This is probably something you and your HD web designer will need to do yourself. There are drone videographers who have 4K cameras and editing equipment, so they’re ready when you are.

Fast adoption of HD Tvs/displays/tablets in Asia and the US means home buyers and travel consumers will gravitate to websites and Youtube pages that use 4K. Your current website and social pages probably won’t look too hot in the new displays. You’ll cringe when you see them.

As for your own selling aid, (e.g., your new iPad), these new higher resolution devices can create a more compelling experience for homebuyers that you’re showing homes to. Your own brand will rise by riding the crest of this new technology.

And for foreign property investors looking at what you have to sell in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto, it means giving them a more reassuring look into available investment property from downtown condos with sweeping views expansive countryside or seaside estates. Nothing hidden — total transparency that builds trust. It’s all about trust in the $1 millon+ market.

There are 2 million real estate agents and travel brokers in the Americas. How many will ignore great opportunities when they appear? I hope you’re one that decides to incorporate 4K into your value proposition, spruce up your Google rankings, multiply your mls views, and supercharge your social media results.

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Key to High Rankings: Effective Outreach

Outreach and Link Building are Seriously Underrated

In life as in marketing, some things don’t get their due recognition and respect.  In the realm of digital marketing and SEO, outreach is the weak stepchild.  That’s because it’s not understood well and doing it well is a challenge.

Admittedly, link building and outreach require confidence and tolerance for frustration.  Don’t worry, if you begin studying the art, you’ll become good at it.

We’re all aware of how vital good rankings on Google are, and Google’s ranking algorithm is heavily weighted on the quality of inbound links to a website. Acquiring links from other websites is the singular most important aspect of high rankings and thus free traffic from Google. There’s nothing like receiving free prospects who are looking for your product or service. They may even be desperate to buy right now!

Pay Google. They Love the Cash!

Google Stock PriceGoogle’s purpose was to make search rankings difficult to obtain.  By increasing businesses frustration in getting free organic rankings and traffic, marketers like yourself are forced to buy more Adwords advertising to get customers. Google’s revenues and stock value have shot through the roof.

Despite their disappearing ad budgets, many marketing managers refuse to take link acquisition or outreach seriously. In fact, many have given up on it. The reason for that is not just a lack of respect. It’s because they have no confidence in their own business value proposition and their ability to create value for those who might link to their website.

Outreach is a process of emailing, social posting, and content placement done with the purpose of getting people to link to your web site. How persuasive  and effective it is depends on your strategy. It is a process of creating value, and personal networking and persuasion.

Link outreach is a demanding process requiring creativity, persuasion, and networking skill. Those who don’t know how to do it well can learn. And those without the time, resources and creativity will want to outsource to link building experts or outreach specialists. Because the end value is tremendous.

By doing it yourself, you avoid having to buy links and risk being penalized by Google.

Here’s my Top Ten Tips for supercharging your link building outreach efforts:

  1. Create unique, compelling content of value to share with bloggers, journalists, top influencers etc.  That might include data, infographics, photos, white papers, videos, or articles that generate good value. Your content has to be valuable to their customers or make them look good. Think of the targeted website owner as a friend whom you need to help.
  2. Have a plan to spread the word about your company and its unique value proposition.
  3. Use email to contact prospective targets and followup with additional emails (persistence)
  4. Use blogger outreach tools and services to make bloggers aware and convince them to talk about your company/article
  5. Find top influencers on social sites using followerwonk
  6. Use Twitter ads and Facebook ads to gain more exposure to target people
  7. Use Moz’s Opensite Explorer to discover who links to your competitor’s (or highest ranking) websites in your keyword category. Visit these sites and study the reasons why the site owner’s linked to your top competitor’s website.
  8. Develop your social media channels so you can reach potential targets directly
  9. Write content for various online news sites, magazines,
  10. Leave sincere, intelligent comments on other’s blogs and blog posts
whiteboard-friday-moz
Check out Moz’s Whiteboard Friday for Link Building tips

If you’re spending $10k per month on Google Adwords, it might make sense to hire and train someone in-house to do link building and outreach. That is, if you have someone creating quality sharable content. Otherwise you will have to find a link building expert.  There aren’t many of them, so be prepared to pay a great deal for the services of the best ones. This is definitely a good entrepreneurial business opportunity for those with the talent and resources.


Even if your value proposition is weak, you can still do a good job of creating sharable content and communicating value.

This process of respecting link building and outreach should encourage you to work on your UVP and your digital marketing strategy and shore up those weak spots.  Give link building and outreach their due respect and focus resources on the process. Even if you do it for 6 months, you’re going to learn a great deal about your product marketing and your target customer.

Link Builders Can’t Get No Respect

Check out the salary ranges for digital marketing pros and compare: Click to Enlarge.

SEO-Salary-Jobs-Guide|
This is an excellent example of how SEO companies/link builders get valuable links — an infographic. Find out more about pay and salaries for other digital marketing jobs.