While everyone is wild about apps these days, some of the most useful tools for your real estate business continue to be ordinary websites. In fact, many older sites are still rich with resources to make your job easier.
Here are three resources that can help you with your business.
Monsterdaata.com is an old site that has a wealth of resources on it from the California Association of Realtors. While much of the data on this site hasn’t been kept completely up to date (e.g., the census data is based on the 2000 census), there are numerous resources that are still quite useful. Here are three examples:
1. Helpful newsletters
If you’re looking for resources to answer questions for your buyers or sellers, there are plenty of articles here that can help you. For example, if a buyer asks about the wisdom of getting an adjustable-rate mortgage vs. a fixed-rate mortgage, there is a series of useful articles on financing provided by HomeResponder.com that answers this question in detail.
2. Buyer information
Monsterdaata.com also has a number of short online videos that can be used when you are working with buyers. While most of these are so short that they’re not very useful, one excellent buyer video explains how to choose the best area in which to purchase. This video addresses what is important in terms of selecting a location in simple, concise terms that are easy to understand.
3. The dangers of overpricing
One of the toughest obstacles listing agents face is persuading sellers to be realistic about their asking price. In many cases, the classic seller comeback to this issue is, "We want to test the market." Monsterdaata.com has two very short videos that can deliver a one-two punch to help you persuade the seller to avoid testing the market. While you could tell the seller this yourself, it’s much more powerful if the resource is online.
The first of these two videos walks the sellers through the consequences of what happens when they overprice their listing. The second video, the "Time-Price Relationship," references what is sometimes known as the "honeymoon chart." The honeymoon chart refers to the fact that your sellers will get most of their showings during the first three weeks they are listed. Once you show these two videos explaining this concept, use the following script to close them on listing at the right price:
"Mr. and Mrs. Seller, most people who list their home don’t realize that they will have the greatest number of showings when they first list their property. The reason for this is that all of the current buyers who haven’t been able to find a property will generally look at new listings during the first two or three weeks that they are listed. After this so-called honeymoon period, the showings drop off dramatically because your showings will be limited to new buyers coming into the marketplace."
An excellent way to assist your buyers and sellers is to give them a comprehensive list of moving tips. A site called MoveCentral.com provides visitors with free moving planning services. Visitors to the site can obtain competitive bids on their moves, get discounts on thousands of moving-related products and services, as well as getting great tips on packing, changing their utilities, and shipping their vehicles.
MoveCentral.com is also a great resource for making up your own moving tips list to share with your clients. For your older clients who may not be as Web-savvy, you can print out many of these resources to share. For your younger clients who like to do their own research, give them the links as well as a brief explanation of what each site contains.
Create a customer satisfaction survey with Wufoo.com
One of the best ways to build your Web ranking and to have repeat business is to put together a customer satisfaction survey that you give to your clients when they close their transaction. A site called Wufoo.com allows you to create landing pages for your website or blog. You can create up to three different landing pages, three reports on those landing pages, with up to 100 responses per month at no charge. It’s the simplest way ever to get feedback and to build your online presence at the same time. Visit the site’s examples page to see how this process works.
While the newsletters and most of the static information on these sites will display on smartphones and iPads, the videos are older technology and will not play on your Apple mobile devices.
While mobile apps are definitely the flavor of the month, don’t forget the plain old vanilla website resources that can help you turn your leads into signed business.