Archive for April, 2016

Does Your Agent Have Expert Marketing Skills?

Saturday, April 30th, 2016
Marketing skills

Hire a real estate agent who stands out from the competition. Hire someone who has expert marketing skills.

Remember the old days of marketing a home when a real estate agent could put up a sign in your front yard and buy an ad in your local newspaper? Marketing that way doesn’t work very well these days. Online activities have taken the world by storm, and to market well in today’s world your real estate agent must have expert online and offline marketing skills.

Since the housing financial crisis, competition among real estate agents has been heating up. Because the competition is fierce, real estate agents must set themselves apart from the crowd with expert online and offline marketing skills.

 Real estate agents must have online and offline marketing skills today

Working with a real estate agent is still key when buying or selling a home, but buyers are doing more work online before choosing an agent to work with. The National Association of Realtors conducted a study. Results from the study showed that 92% of buyers use the internet to begin their home search.

Is your real estate agent active online and offline? Are they social media savvy? If they are not active, engaging and networking online, YOU are missing out.

Investigate the online and offline marketing skills of your real estate agent. The following list marketing questions is extensive, but it will help you determine how well your real estate agent sets himself or herself apart from the crowd in today’s competitive market:

  • Do they have social media accounts on all the big networks – Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram? Do they interact with users, share great status updates and promote their clients’ properties on social media? Are they active on social media?
  • Are they reaching out to potential clients through ads on social media?
  • Visit their Pinterest boards. Do you see boards created for each one of their clients’ properties?
  • Are they easy to find in Google Search, Google Maps and Google+ because they set up a Google My Business account?
  • Are social sharing buttons added to their property pages? Is it easy for their home buyers to email and share properties online?
  • Are there testimonials from real, live people who endorse their services on their website and social networks?
  • Is their website attractive and user-friendly? Is the information on their website easy to access? Is the site easy to navigate?
  • Do they offer irresistible free content, like ebooks for example, to reach out to potential clients and to grow their real estate business?
  • Is their website mobile-friendly?
  • Is their contact information on every page of their website so that they are easy to contact? Is it eye-catching? Does it grab your attention?
  • Is there a shared scheduling app for you to schedule home tours and meetings with them?
  • Do they showcase the best that our Brooklyn area has to offer with high-quality, professional photos of Brooklyn, our landmarks, familiar sites in addition to their clients’ homes for sale?
  • Have they hired a professional photographer to take gorgeous photos of their clients’ properties?
  • Are comprehensive, enjoyable (not out dated) virtual tours of their clients’ properties available on their website?
  • Is there a short, cute, high-quality cartoon video that establishes their brand and showcases their personality? Or is there a video that features local Brooklyn landmarks or sites unique to Brooklyn? Maybe a video all about a small business owner in Brooklyn?
  • Have they partnered with local businesses?
  • Do they host webinars and create YouTube videos to share with potential clients on their website?
  • Do they host free seminars for home buyers?
  • Do they nurture their clients by interacting with clients based on their previous actions, such as attending an open house or a first-time homebuyer’s seminar, for example?
  • Do they have an awesome looking business card? Do they hand them out freely like coupons to a favorite New York pizza joint?
  • Do they sponsor local Brooklyn festivals, sports teams or school events? Getting their real estate business on t-shirts, pamphlets and flyers tells you they are working to stand out from the competition.
  • Have they got swag? (pens, pencils, bookmarkers, letter openers, t-shirts, keychains and other freebies that are branded with their real estate business)
  • Are they building client relationships with relevant email marketing? Do they send information about upcoming open houses, houses that recently listed, updates and such to subscribers via enewsletters?
  • Do they have a specific niche or target audience that they focus on taking care of? Charles’ niche is Baby Boomers, 50 years old and older.
  • Do they utilize postcards to reach out to potential buyers in addition to online marketing?
  • Do they showcase their knowledge about the current real estate market or how well Brooklyn is doing in local magazines or newspapers, for example?
  • Do they give a local care package or gifts to clients after home closings?
  • Are they building relationships with past buyers by staying in touch with anniversary cards, holiday cards and birthday cards?
  • Do they give incentives to clients for referrals to future homebuyers?

As you can see, to win the real estate marketing game you must hire a real estate agent who is working to stand out in today’s competitive market. They must have expert marketing skills both online and offline.

With over 30 years of experience marketing Brooklyn homes, I have the expert marketing skills needed to sell your home or help you find the home of your dreams. Call me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com today.

2 Reasons Why Your Home’s Proximity to Work Matters Most

Friday, April 15th, 2016
Proximity to work

Proximity to work impacts your disposable income, quality of life and the amount of time you have to spend with family at home. Think about it before you buy.

Where are homeowners dealing with the longest daily commutes to work? In New York!

Does it surprise you to know that a New Yorker’s morning commute is longer than anywhere else in the United States? But why should that matter to you? Well, if you are in the market to buy, a home’s proximity to work matters most for 2 reasons: Its effect on your pocketbook and your well-being.

Statista averaged morning commutes for 10 U.S. cities:

  • New Yorkers spend 39.4 minutes commuting to work every day.
  • Jersey City, NJ – 35.6
  • Newark, NJ – 33.9
  • Chicago, IL – 33.7
  • Philadelphia, PA – 32.3
  • San Francisco, CA – 31.0
  • Fremont, CA – 30.5
  • Baltimore, MD – 30.1
  • Washington D.C. – 29.8
  • Los Angeles, CA – 29.6

(If this piques your techy interest, find more morning commute statistics at Statista).

Why your Brooklyn home’s proximity to work matters

  1. It matters to your pocketbook in the long run.

Long daily commutes to work negatively impact your disposable income, quality of life and the amount of time you have to spend with family at home. Yes, there are financial and quality-of-life benefits provided by long daily commutes, but are they worth having less time to spend with your family at home?

There’s not a thing wrong with choosing to buy a home located beyond Brooklyn’s busy city life. However, it is important to avoid the temptation to buy a large home that forces you to stretch your budget and locks you into long daily commutes for a big-city salary in order to pay for that large home. I recommend buying a modest home based on the following Disposable Personal Income (DPI) formula.

Your household’s Disposable Personal Income is what you have available for spending and saving after taxes. Your salary minus the tax rate equals your DPI. For example, $100,000 – $35,000 (35% tax rate) = $65,000 DPI.

Don’t forget about the wear and tear on your vehicle and the cost of filling its tank with gas. Long daily commutes add higher vehicle maintenance costs and more money spent on gas to deplete your disposable income. There are more miles piling on your engine and wearing on your tires, the need for more oil changes and brake replacement, too.

  1. It matters to your well-being in the long run.

Long daily commutes matter to your health in the long as well. Outside of being more than inconvenient, long commutes to work negatively impact both your physical and mental health.

  • Sitting inactively for long periods of time can contribute to weight gain. The farther the commute, the more time you spend being inactive. People who commute every day are more likely to be overweight.
  • Spending long periods of time slumped forward in the driver’s seat can contribute to ongoing neck and back pain.
  • Long periods of time spent commuting affects your mood because you have less time to enjoy daily activities or concentrate.
  • Any amount of time spent commuting causes stress. The longer the commute, the more likely you will have elevated blood pressure.
  • Time spent commuting exposes you to air pollution. The longer the commute, the higher your exposure to harmful air pollution will be.

The decision to commute to work daily is clearly a matter of personal choice. You must determine how long your home’s proximity to work should be based on its effects to your pocketbook and your well-being. With over 30 years of experience in Brooklyn, I can help you determine the best location of a home to buy, a home that will meet the needs of your family. Call me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com today.