Allison Sledge ~Founder/CEO/ Writer
(757) 408-7550 (0ffice) (704) 249-1193 (Cell)
(757) 408-7550 (0ffice) (704) 249-1193 (Cell)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Military Relocation Professionals Receives 2019 Best of Norfolk Award
Norfolk Award Program Honors the Achievement
NORFOLK October 6, 2019 -- Military Relocation Professionals has been selected for the 2019 Best of Norfolk Award in the Public Relations Firm category by the Norfolk Award Program.
Each year, the Norfolk Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Norfolk area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2019 Norfolk Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Norfolk Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Norfolk Award Program
The Norfolk Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Norfolk area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Norfolk Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Norfolk Award Program
Norfolk Award Program
"THANK YOU FOR PROTECTING OUR COUNTRY"
Veterans may be eligible to buy larger homes in pricier communities—still without a down payment—starting next year. Those taking out Veteran Affairs–backed mortgages will find caps removed on what they can spend in 2020. The Blue Water Navy Veterans Act of 2019 removed the caps for the new year. But Military Members on Active Duty and Veterans will still need to qualify for the mortgage and verify they can afford the monthly payments. “It gives the Veterans the opportunity to buy homes in the areas they want to buy in,” Kyle Reed, a real estate pro with Pauly Presley Realty in Austin, Texas, told realtor.com®. “It opens up some areas in cities to VA loans … that maybe Veterans didn’t have access to before without putting a bunch of money down.”
VA loans have been capped at different amounts nationwide. Borrowers could take out more on a VA loan in a high-priced area like San Francisco, for example, than they could in Detroit, where homes tend to cost less.
If they exceeded the set limits in the city where they lived, they were required to put down 25% of the difference on the mortgage. If they stayed within the loan limits, they could get a 0% VA loan.
Under the new rules, Vets can get a loan amount in what they can qualify for and are not bound by city caps. Banks can still put in some restrictions to protect themselves against defaults. For example, some lenders may require higher credit scores or debt-to-income ratios in qualifying for the loans, realtor.com® reports. The loans likely will only apply to a borrower’s primary residence too. The change in the VA loan caps takes effect January. 1, 2020.
We Support All REALTORS® Who Support Our Men And Women In The Military
This Map Reveals Just How Big The U.S. Military's Footprint Really Is
"Green = Army" "Dark Blue = Navy" "Light Blue = Air Force" "Red = Marines"
In 2020, one of the first things real estate agents should do is utilize video, accordingly to Ryan Fitzgerald, Raleigh, NC. Whether it’s sitting in your car talking about real estate tips; or touring neighborhoods with a video camera.
The other day, I received an email from a lead who registered on my website that they were doing research on Realtors in Raleigh, NC when they received my video, introducing myself, in an email. Their reply back to me was one of gratitude for introducing myself and connecting with them in a way other Real estate Agents were not!
Speaking to Bill Gassett, one of the Top RE/MAX Real Estate Agents in Ashland, Massachusetts, it was clear his opinion on how a real estate agent can gain business.
Bill mentioned putting together an exceptional local real estate community page or pages. Simply, a community page is everything you want to know about the city or town in which you do business. Consumers love to work with those who are knowledgeable about where they live and work.
Here is a quote from Bill: “Community pages establish yourself as a real estate expert within a given city or town. If you do a good job providing information people want and have a small understanding of search engine optimization you can really kick some butt with community pages. Real estate agents should try to optimize these pages for the term real estate agent or Realtor, city, state. These are money searches. When a consumer uses Google or other search engine and does this type of search they are looking to hire an agent!”
Bill talks extensively on how to make an awesome real estate community page in this article over at RISMedia, and he covers what you should have in your local real estate pages. Take a look it is well worth reading!
Real estate agents, whether brand new to the industry or full of experience and knowledge, should be putting an extreme emphasis on producing, and SHARING quality blog content in 2020. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “content is king”. While that couldn’t be more true, it goes further than that, says Lori Thomas Dickert.
What you do with your quality material once it is written will make or break the success of not just that article, but getting your name out there among the influencers in the industry.
A few of the important things that should be included in your article are, a minimum of 500 words, a compelling title, keywords, cited sources, and this biggie…links to additional articles by other real estate professionals on a similar topic!
You’ll want to do the latter for a few reasons:
- You are adding value to your article by providing additional information for your readers.
- The real estate professionals included in your article are more likely to not only read your article, but share it to their social channels, increasing the article’s exposure.
As I mentioned, what you do with your blog content after its written is a key component to its success. You should start by sharing it to the top social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest, followed by any others you have a presence on.
One more thing I’ll add since we’re on the subject of sharing content, is that you should also be putting an emphasis on sharing other people’s content! When you recognize another high-quality article by sharing it, you’re setting yourself up to be an industry leader and resource.
Okay, one more thing…2020 should be your year of social media interaction with others. You should be visiting the social networks of others: liking, plussing, retweeting, re–pinning, commenting, and showing a true interest in building relationships. When you create high-quality real estate content and follow through with the sharing process, you can rest assured that you and your blog will be in a completely different position: a GREAT position!
A well-rounded lead generation strategy is crucial for real estate sales success, says Luke Skar.
Too many real estate agents succumb to the idea that they have a large enough group of friends and relatives to help make a career selling homes. Successful agents share the same characteristics as other professions: hard work and a sound plan yield to great results. In order to see steady and repeatable success, new and veteran agents need a well-rounded lead generation strategy.
The easiest way to connect with potential clients is with a blog and social media accounts. Agents should use the blog to show their expertise in particular areas as well as expound on their hobbies, interests and charities. People buy from people when they share common interests. Sharing the blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest will allow the agent to connect with other folks that have the same interests.
This will take some money, but direct mail has proven effective for many years. New agents can team up with insurance agents and movers in order to minimize costs. Cheap postcards can be sent out monthly to the same areas to keep the agent’s name at top of mind for potential buyers.
Networking is effective, especially when agents join a group that is geared toward business goals. BNI and local chamber of commerce are usually the best avenues for meeting like-minded professionals and getting a base of contacts.
Developing a comprehensive lead generation strategy, and sticking to the plan each and every month, will lead to more clients and more transactions as time goes on.
If your plan is to generate organic leads online from your own website…you MUST go niche, according to Karen Highland from Frederick Md Realtors.
You should create community and neighborhood pages with rich, detailed content, GPS-tagged photos from your own smartphone, and video of the community. These pages will capture online searchers and direct them to your property search, or they might just contact you directly, because they recognize you as the neighborhood expert.
You need to care for these pages, keep them updated, add to them when new neighborhood information comes to your attention. Add seasonal photos…make them a super source for people looking for lifestyle information.
Lifestyle searches are the newest search target on the radar. People are just as interested in what the lifestyle is like as they are “3 bedrooms 2 baths“. So if we want to capture them, we have to provide what they are looking for! These community and neighborhood pages should be the cornerstone of your online marketing. Then you link to these pages from blog posts and social media posts. You add them to lists and Pinterest boards, you promote them in all the places and ways that you can. This type of content will set you miles apart from other agents who are just paying for leads and using their company lead pages.
My own personal goal in my content marketing: get better at story-telling, both visually and in the printed word.
If we keep providing value in ways that today’s consumers are looking for, we will be the experts they are looking for!
Just one thing: if I could only select one thing to utilize in my business, it would most definitely be to continue to write high quality real estate articles and do it consistently over time.
Lynn Pineda continues by saying that there really isn’t any better way in which to establish yourself as an expert in selling homes, than to put it into words so the whole world will know. Your reach is incredible!
You’ll find most real estate agents will not do it, as by no means is it easy. Many think they can’t write, yet anyone can really fine tune the craft of writing. It takes effort. If one thinks they can’t write, than all they have to do is to seek out help as there are articles after articles on just how to do it: from the title to use, to the length, to the format and to the topic. It’s all out there to learn.
With this in mind, it really is a huge opportunity for you to stand out from the competition.
There are no short cuts in writing real estate articles: it takes planning and commitment. Quality writing gets attention from customers wanting to sell a home or buy a home. In addition, quality writing grabs the attention of real estate influencers and getting the attention of someone influential in real estate, will only grow your following across social media platforms increasing your exposure. More attention when you want to be noticed for what you do is always a good thing. Get writing!
If you need to see what I’m talking about, feel free to visit my Southeast Florida Real Estate blog and discover an example of what I’m suggesting.
What to focus on for success as a real estate agent in 2020? Paul Sian noted that for 2020, real estate agents should be focusing on adding more video to their stack of tools. Not just video of a house listing but using video to share their information and knowledge with buyers and sellers. In today’s time-pressed world, reading sometimes becomes something one does when they get time which usually translates if they get time.
Video is much easier to share and the main points are easily understood as compared to lengthy blog articles which may take a couple of reads to full digest. This does not mean one should ignore blogging altogether but both video and blogging can go hand in hand.
If a real estate agent creates a 4-6 minute informational video, they also have the makings of a blog post from that video. All they need to do is have their video transcribed into text and post it on their blog alongside the video. That way, the content serves two different groups: those who want to watch video and those who want to read. If you have time and want to make the blog more accessible to everyone, you can add proper section headings and descriptive text to help organize the thoughts of the video for a read.
Real estate agents should also be using video for showcasing the homes they are helping to sell. Great pictures are a must but now so are great videos of the home. Not only should those videos show the home but there should be some narration as well describing what potential buyers are seeing and why they should come into the home to see more.
Internet marketing is taking on a whole new avenue which should be looked at by all. The old methods of pictures, MLS, and a local paper ad do not work any more. Only by focusing on what the new media platforms have to offer can you best serve your clients.