8 basic steps for Jamaican Realtors to Get Started on Twitter and Increase their Visibility

3:50 AM Posted by Stephanie Treasure

What is Twitter? Here is the Wikipedia definition:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. While the service itself costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.

As a marketer, my advice is to be visible and active in social media and use it to leverage your visibility, leverage your offline marketing efforts, to connect with your audience or target market wherever they are (and they are indeed on one social media platform or another). So get involved, get interactive and get more business.

Here are some basic steps to get started:

1) Go to Twitter.com and click on sign up Go ahead and sign up and be sure to use your real name, a Twitter username that is either close to your real name, represents your brand/product/service in a simple and clear way. So ‘TheActionMaven’ or ‘John Doe’ is good, but ‘Act1234’ is not descriptive enough. This is important because once you start building your Twitter followers, you want to be recognizable and consistent across all your social media platforms.

2) Once you sign up, the next thing to do is to adjust your settings First, go to notifications and uncheck, ‘send an email when someone starts to follow me’ and ‘send an email when I get a Direct message’. Twitter is a fast-growing social media platform. It’s easier to find random people, celebrities or people doing business in your niche than it is to do the same thing on Facebook. And there are people on this platform that directly monetize Twitter with Affiliate marketing programs and the like. These people make it a part of their day to mass follow Twitter users. There are programs and software that are structured to do help them do just that. So once you are on Twitter, you will find people following you that you don’t know. These emails can be annoying because you can receive 20 and more unsolicited followers per day. That is alot of email to go through.

3) Profile Next is to customize your profile. As you know, Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. So Twitter updates and even your profile has to be kept under 140 characters. Write something descriptive about your business or your brand, maybe a mission statement. Try to make it sound results-oriented or solution-oriented so that as soon as someone in your niche sees it, they will say, ‘That’s just what I need!’ For instance, ‘Successful Jamaica Real Estate Sales Consultant committed to finding the best deals for my clients. I focus on a win/win solution for all.’

4) Website Include your website URL in your profile in the space allotted for Website or URL. This is important for branding and promotional purposes along with your profile. It is also helpful for your website page ranking, the factor that helps your website to get found on the search engines. To optimize your profile and help users to see your website easier, enter your website in the format, http://yourwebsite.com instead of http://www.yourwebsite.com Test the former to make sure it actually goes to your website when clicked.

5) Follow people in your niche There are many Twitter Directories out there. Do a Google search for Twitter Directories and then use one or two of them to find followers using your most popular keywords for your niche. You can also do a twitter search for #hashtags related to your niche and follow the people that are using them. Hashtags are keywords preceded by the '#'to categorize tweets, i.e. #jamaicarealestate Hashtags are most commonly placed at the end of a tweet but it is not a rule.

6) Set up automatic sharing on Twitter If you do article marketing, video marketing and if you have a blog, you can customize your settings to update your twitter status every time you update those networks. You can also set up automatic Tweets through Hootsuite.com or SocialOomph I use the latter to send motivational quotes at specific intervals throughout the day.

7) Start getting interactive ReTweet, comment or share links with the people in your niche. Motivational quotes are very common and tend to get ReTweeted quite a bit. ReTweets and @ mentions are great for exposure to other people’s networks which helps to increase your followers.

8) Promote your Twitter Profile Include a link or note on your website, blog or other social networks inviting people to follow you on Twitter.

Twitter is a powerful micro-blogging social media tool that provides an avenue to build your brand and increase your virtual visibility. It’s fun, interactive, but can be time-consuming. Decide on a schedule for you or your company’s participation and then be consistent with it for optimum benefit.

5 Personal Marketing Tips for Jamaican Real Estate Agents

1:03 AM Posted by Stephanie Treasure

1) Write a helpful Real Estate Article for one of the local newspapers This will of course give you exposure, position you as an expert and give you some credibility. The key though is to make the article content-rich, helpful and not promotional. You will however, get credit at the end of the article which can contain your name, email address and possibly your website.

2) Start a blog So easy to set up. You can use a free platform like Wordpress.com or Blogspot.com or one with your own domain name. You can promote your blog on your business cards, email signature, classified Ads, facebook profile, twitter profile, LinkedIn profile.

3) Start an e-Newsletter Follow up with prospects or new networking contacts by inviting them to sign up for your Monthly, Weekly or Bi-Weekly e-Newsletter. For email newsletter marketing ideas, click here for a previous blog post on the subject.

4) Use Customer Testimonials on your blog, website or email newsletter Praise and credit by others sometimes have more weight than your own selling points.

5) Staple your business cards to giveaways that you are affiliated with For instance, advertisers in the Jamaica Real Estate Guide sometimes staple their cards to the magazine and leave in office lounges, doctors’ offices and similar high-traffic areas.

How’s your Referral Business? Back to Basics

2:46 AM Posted by Stephanie Treasure

Referrals are great for a Real Estate professional’s business for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are prequalified, meaning they come to you already in the market for buying or selling real estate. Secondly, it gives you instant credibility when they are referred by someone they know and trust. Thirdly, they are instantly profitable because no advertising dollars were directly spent to get them to you.

Here are 5 key components of building a solid Real Estate Referral Business:

1) Organize your database Simple, but easily neglected. You need a database system for your past and current clients, potential referral partners, industry professionals and companies, etc. This can be easily done electronically using Microsoft Outlook or on paper using a diary, address book and/or business card holder.

2) Organize your contact regularly How many times have you received a business card that goes into your pocket and stays there until laundry day, then probably gets tossed? How many times have you written someone’s information on a post-it note and placed it somewhere until the glue wears away and it ends up in the garbage? Commit to updating your database of choice daily or weekly and stick to it.

3) Attend networking events Get out there. Always be marketing. Attend an event once per week or other regular schedule to meet new people, exchange business cards and start a networking relationship. You never know where your next lead will come from.

4) Contact at least 2 persons each day As they say, out of sight, out of mind. The more you stay in contact with people the more they are likely to throw business your way. And if you calculate 2 persons per day for an average of 20 to 25 working days per Month, that’s 40 to 50 people per Month.

5) Send them your e-Newsletter The easiest way to follow up with your referral sources is to add them to your e-Newsletter list. [Note: Let them know when you meet them that you send out an e-Newsletter and ask them if they would like you to add them to your list. Better yet, after adding them to your list, request a double opt-in via your email newsletter program to make sure they want to receive it.] Also, in each e-Newsletter you send out, include a referral request note to remind people because it may not come to mind to refer you on their own.

Spending a few minutes per day or week as the case might be, can do volumes to increasing your referral business and your Jamaican Real Estate business in general.

Build it and they will come?

12:50 AM Posted by Stephanie Treasure

In previous articles, I mentioned the importance of making your website your hardest working employee. It is important to get good recurring return on your real estate website. So in this article, I will list and describe 9 ways to get more people to your website, thus more leads and eventual sales.

1) Pay per click advertising Have you noticed those sponsored links on websites or in your Gmail account if you have one. It is usually related to the website you are browsing or the topic of the email you are reading. You can have your company featured in those sponsored listings too. The most popular Pay-per-click program is Google Adwords. These programs are fully customizable for cost and for geographic area, keywords, etc. For instance, you can stipulate how much you want to spend per day or per month or per click. You can also specify which geographic area to display your ads. And you can drill down further to specify they keywords relevant to your Ad and for which you want your Ad to be displayed.

2) Website Optimization You can use keywords in your website content that are most popular for your market. In this case, some of those keywords are: “Jamaica Real Estate”, “Real Estate Jamaica”, “Jamaican Properties” and more. But don’t take my word for it. You can do a quick research for this using a free tool called, Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool. This tool tells you what people are searching for and what keywords or keyword combinations they use most.

3) Submit articles to Article Directories An underutilized tool by the Jamaican Real Estate Industry players. I heard someone in an online Teleseminar say recently that ‘underutilized’ translated means ‘opportunity’ You can take a look at my submissions to EzineArticles.com, the most popular article directory here, Jamaica Real Estate Guide Articles This gives you an opportunity to link back to your website, which helps your site to get found quicker by the search engines, this more web traffic.

4) Submit press releases Send out press releases when you have added a new Real Estate Sales Consultant to your staff, new person on the Board of Directors, changed locations, redesigned your website, received an award, made a significant donation to charity and more. One of the most popular online press release services is PRWeb. But there are also Jamaican and Caribbean specific online press release services. Two of them are Jamaica Press Release and Caribbean Press Releases

5) Exchange website links One of the best ways to increase your website’s popularity is to exchange links with similar websites in your industry. Exchanging website links means to place a web link for another company on your website in exchange for a placement of your company’s web link on their website. Hope I did not lose you. For instance, www.JaRealEstateGuide.com has a Broker Directory page with links to Jamaica Real Estate brokers. Some of those brokers have kindly and smartly reciprocated with a link to the Jamaica Real Estate Guide. Some of those brokers are La Maison Property Services, Declan Real Estate and Howard Johnson Realty. This does two things for companies that actively engage in link exchange: 1) It adds value to the web visitor who sees your links page with helpful resource links to other companies in the industry; 2) It increases the ‘credibility’ of both websites, as Google and other search engines, rank websites high based on the number of links pointing to it. For instructions on linking to our website, click here

6) Offer a Newsletter When you offer a newsletter to your website visitors, it encourages them to come back to your website and refer others as well if your content is good.