Agent BizzUp Blog

Insights from our team about our products and services | Real estate online marketing tips and advice.
Jul 30

Agent BizzUp Now Include SSL Encryption For All Websites That We Host

sophisticated theme

As part of our commitment to protect you and your user's data, we are making it easy and free for your site to become HTTPS. That’s why we’re pleased to announce SSL encryption for all real estate websites that we host - at no additional cost to our members.

The SSL certificate allows your site to use Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which is the industry standard for securing data passed between the server that hosts your website and a visitor’s web browser.

When using HTTP sites, any data that is transferred can potentially be accessed or manipulated by attackers. However, when using HTTPS sites, data is encrypted and authenticated and therefore secured.

We've turned this feature on automatically for all our members' websites so you don't have to do anything to have a fully secure website. However, if you have placed existing assets on your pages (e.g., images, iframe widgets, etc.) that points to a HTTP protocol you will have to update the URL for those assets to fully secure the page. If you need to prevent your website from redirecting your website visitors to your secure site you can do so by going to the "Website > Preferences" page in the Control Panel.

we’re pleased to announce SSL encryption for all real estate websites that we host - at no additional cost to our members.
Apr 6

Agent Reviews: Reviews Best Practices

Reviews Best Practices

Part 2 of 3 part series: Agent Reviews

Client reviews are realtor’s bread and butter. However, many agents forget, rarely ask, or use wrong practices. By informing clients that reviews help other customers make informed decisions, you feel more confident requesting feedback.  

Online reviews matter. Approximately 80% of people in the United States believe online reviews are reliable. 60% of them trust online reviews more than a friend’s recommendation.  

“Our research shows that 90% of US adults check reviews when searching for property,” said Mark Jones, a real estate analyst. “Agents can’t afford to ignore reviews anymore,” he added.

Here are four reviews best practices for agents.

1.    Proactively ask for feedback

Requesting feedback from clients is an effective way of getting and managing online reviews. Numerous platforms allow realtors to get in touch with clients and obtain their feedback through text or email.

Based on clients’ experiences, these platforms give them a chance to leave comments. The response can either be positive or negative.  If the feedback is bad, the platform redirects a client to another forum to share their grief. This allows you to address the issues.

2.    Respond to all reviews

Most people are scared of negative reviews—including agents. However, always respond to reviews, more importantly, negatives ones. Most of your customers want to be heard. They will probably change their opinion given an opportunity. If you don’t respond, you are denying them the chance and refusing to make amends.

Don’t let negative reviews languish. Respond to them ASAP. Bad reviews are wildfires. A response mitigates any reputational damage that a review may have caused. Positive reviews should not be left hanging either. Thank customers and use the opportunity to inform them of available offers or discounts.

3.    Maintain professionalism

When you get a negative review, don’t take it personally. Some agents get defensive when they receive bad feedback. A hostile response turns off potential clients.

If possible, find a solution and provide a remedy instead of an explanation. When an aggrieved customer is shown empathy, the situation is defused and they may become your good ambassadors.

4.    Monitor your reviews

Track your reviews daily on platforms such as Yelp, social media and Google Reviews by setting reminders. Reviews are some of the information that comes up when potential clients Google search properties. Therefore, it is paramount to track and manage them.

Review management software is also another option you can use. You can also use a Reputation Management Software to consolidates all reviews from different platforms and locations into one dashboard. Some of these softwares also track your competitors’ reviews to learn and stay ahead of the game.

Don't forget to also display your reviews on your website. Agent BizzUp provide an easy way to display reviews from all the top review sites directly on your website.

As a real estate agent, don’t shy away from reviews. Embrace technology and change your leads to clients. How do you manage your reviews? We would love to hear from you.

Today, reviews are present everywhere. No one buys anything without clicking a review button. We review products, beauty parlors, resorts, plumbers, and real estate agents.
Oct 2

How Useful Is A Password Manager And How Exactly Does It Work?

password managers in real estate

Password managers are a new form of technology that allows a user to safely store their login and password information - from a plethora of websites - and have the same access allowed across multiple devices. This can be an especially useful tool for professionals in a variety of business arenas, including real estate. Most business professionals know that it's best practice to not use the same username and password for all of their accounts, but after setting up a few, it becomes increasingly more difficult to remember them. Let's explore the usefulness of a password manager and why you may need one for your business.

Auto-fill Information

The convenience and time-saving ability of auto-fill for commonly used addresses and credit card information is a plus. While many web browsers offer the ability to remember form details, a password manager will store your information securely - and grant access only to you.  

Use Your Password Manager Across a Variety of Mobile and Home Devices

A password manager allows you access to your accounts across multiple platforms with a few simple clicks. This is a great feature for those who are constantly on the go and need to be able to access a variety of data for clients, meetings, etc. Most password managers go beyond just storing passwords and form data. Your password manager can hold on to security questions, membership info, prescriptions - in short, any private information that requires a safe place to be stored and can only be retrieved by you.

One Master Password to Remember

While all your account information will be at your fingertips, to get into your password manager, you will simply need to remember one master password to gain access to all of your stored information. A password manager also allows you to securely share your passwords, which is a plus for partners and colleagues who share business accounts.

Real estate professionals often utilize a variety of different websites daily to find and list new properties. Keeping these passwords memorized can lead to eventual confusion. Writing them down can be risky and possibly lead to a security breach, which will cause catastrophe. A password manager securely keeps these login details safe, saving you time and allowing you to focus more on your productivity while cutting the frustration you may have in trying to remember everything. Let your password manager remember it all on your behalf.  

Real estate agents use a lot of different applications and manage a lot of sensitive data. This article explains the benefit of using a Password Manager.
Aug 31

Hurricanes & Housing: How Intense Storms Affect The Real Estate Market

Hurricane Harvey effects real estate

As Hurricane Harvey wreaks havoc on the Houston area, it’s important to remember that the most devastating effects of severe storms often don’t show up immediately. The real estate market is a powerful case in point. Once the skies clear and the waters drain away, Houston’s housing market is likely to find itself forever changed due to:

Diverted Developments

One of the most powerful effects that severe weather can have is to change which communities are considered attractive to live in. In the wake of a major storm, residents of a city or region often begin moving to houses at higher altitudes. This can lead to an enormous increase in investment in those areas, raising real estate prices, improving the quality of housing, and attracting businesses to serve the new residents. Meanwhile, residents and businesses leave low-lying areas, leading to lower housing costs and fewer investments. Given Houston proper’s flat topography, Harvey may drive investment out of the central city and into the surrounding suburbs.

Besides changing where people live in a city or region, severe storms can also affect the total amount of people who want to live in that area, usually for the worse. Hurricane Katrina, for example, led to an exodus from New Orleans, and, even after 12 years, the city’s population still hasn’t recovered. To the extent that Harvey leads to less demand for Houston area housing, the local real estate market may suffer an enduring drop in demand and prices, leading to less development overall.

Enduring Effects

Not only will Harvey likely change demand for housing in the Houston area, but it will also affect the quality of that housing. The record flooding that the hurricane is leaving in its wake will saturate local houses. This will cause water damage in the short run, while increasing the amount of moisture in the walls, contributing to mold growth. As the mold spreads, it will undermine both the structure of the house and the health of those living in it, thereby decreasing the property’s value.

Mold is particularly challenging for real estate agents, as it undermines the safety and integrity of the properties they sell. Real estate agents who are unaware that their properties are mold-infested could end up in serious legal trouble when buyers discover the problem. Any real estate agent who operates in Houston will thus have a responsibility to inspect each house they sell for mold, report any problems to potential buyers, and adjust the price accordingly.

Severe weather has enduring effects on real estate, and Hurricane Harvey will be no exception. From changes in the demand to lingering mold and water damage, the Houston area housing market will feel the effects of Harvey for years to come.
Aug 16

Should I Offer Short Term Rentals? A Property Manager's Guide

Short Term Rentals Management

Many homeowners with more than one home - and rental agencies with an extra property or two - often find their surplus buildings difficult to rent, sell, or otherwise make use of. A given property may, for a variety of reasons, be unfit for long term rentals. However, many property managers are finding that short-term rentals are an ideal solution for getting a substantial return on a property that defies other forms of monetization.

If you have a property that you think would be ideal to rent short term as a vacation space or as a B&B, here are the seven steps to develop your own short term rental (STR) management business.

Check Your Local Laws

Some areas have zoning laws that prohibit offering portions of a house for short-term rentals. Before you get too far along in the process, make sure you are setting up your STR in an area where it is legal to do so.

Evaluate the Risk Factors

It would be wise to speak to a real estate agent about the profitability of setting up your STR in a given neighborhood. Find out what tax implications apply. After you determine what expenses you will incur, decide whether or not you can raise the property to a level of luxury for which you can charge enough to make the venture worthwhile.

Consider a Triplex Conversion

A house that can be converted to a triplex is generally ideal for short term rentals. You want to be able to create a home-like space for your guests with all the amenities, and a triplex is usually best for this purpose.

Inhabit One Floor

Like a B&B or a Hotel, your STR will need on-site management to run properly. This is part of the reason why a triplex is best — you want to be able to manage on a continual basis without being absent and without being right on top of your guests.

Prepare the Space

You will need to completely furnish the space with refrigerators, quality furniture and a washer/dryer. You will also need to set it up in such a way that gives a welcoming impression that is still businesslike. Assemble a welcome packet with information on the amenities you offer, any interesting facts about the building, as well as information about local attractions.

Advertise Via the Rental Marketplace

Have your property listed in as many vacation home rental sites as possible. For security reasons and convenience, it is best to accept payment through a portal service. The vacation home marketplace makes it easy to set up a payment portal. In most cases, you will never handle cash, which is ideal. Knowing that your guests don’t assume you’re holding a large cash-box makes it much easier to provide service with a smile.

Grow Your Business

After a while, if your business is going well, you should be able to invest in a second triplex and expand your enterprise. By this time you should know enough about running a short-term rental business that hiring and training a manager for your second building will be well within your capabilities.

A brief guide to setting up your short term rental business. These are the seven critical steps to getting started.
Jul 25

4 Top Trends To Keep An Eye On In Real Estate Marketing

Trend To Keep An Eye On: Virtual Reality and 3-D Listings

Here is a list of some of the vogue marketing strategies:

Virtual Reality and 3-D Listings

Visual concepts often present a better opportunity to intrigue clients. Seventy-three percent of homeowners prefer listing with Realtors who offer to create a video. A 3-D tour is beneficial to both the buyer and the seller. For the buyer, it provides a platform to view more houses in a short time span. It also eliminates the tedious part of moving from one house to another.

For a seller, it prevents one from vacating the premises whenever a potential buyer wants to view the house. It also offers a sense of security for those offended by people snooping around the house.

On a comparison scale, 3-D listings offer a comprehensive approach compared to the conventional way of using photos.

Responsive Websites

Realtor websites are a better way to provide information to clients concerning listings. However, with the current trend, most people opt to browse online using their phones. It is advisable to ensure that website interfaces comply with mobile devices. According to research, about 88 percent of customers searching for a local business call within the first 24 hours.

Live Chat

Clients prefer websites where they readily can get correspondence on products. Online live chats provide a platform to customers where they can get more information regarding the listings. Study shows that 63 percent of consumers are highly likely to refer to a site offering online chats.

Social Media

For quite some time, Facebook has been in the limelight in advertising content. However, those days are long gone. Nowadays, to boost the visibility of social media content, one has to invest in ad budgets. Google ads is an example.

For a successful and smooth run, be sure to keep up to date with the latest tricks in real estate marketing

Real estate is currently revolutionizing the housing industry globally. More people are investing heavily in the venture. In the U.S., 37% of homes were purchased solely for investment purposes. However, a commonly overlooked phenomenon is the marketing strategy. Proper marketing is critical in ensuring the success of the business. It is vital to understand marketing trends before investing time and money.
Jun 9

Creative Ways To Monetize Your Real Estate Website

website as realtor income source

Today's market is highly competitive, and one needs a real estate website to be able to compete fairly in it. When the idea was new, posting property listings was a breakthrough but this is not enough anymore. Because of the fickle nature of real estate, you could haul in big sums one month and make nothing or even some losses in other months. It is necessary to have different sources of income and one of these methods is your website. There are different methods and opportunities to make money through your website, and you can make use of the following creative ways for that.

Contemplate consulting services

If you have been in the industry for a long time and have a good experience, you can consider selling your time to educate relatively new people. You can add the availability of this service to your website by including a tab or a section that advertises it.

If you are going to try consulting, you have to do it in consideration of your own business. For example, avoid local consultations so that you do not give juice to the competition. Other people in other markets are better targeted for this.

Sell ad space

A good place to sell advertisements is a real estate website. You can pitch your website as an advertising platform to different businesses. Most of which might work are home services, furniture, and other things related to buying or selling a home.

You can decide to receive payment according to a flat rate per month or receive increasing rates as the number of visitors to your website increases. For the first option, you are assured of payment no matter what happens. For the second option, you have the satisfaction of increased compensation according to your growth.

Use email lists

You can use very ethical means to build email lists by adding a form on your website. Taking the time and energy to build this will offer flexibility in the future and provide for different options. This list can be used to develop real estate leads.

If you have a considerable size of traffic then building a mailing list will be easier but it is hard work. People need a reason to give away their information.

Try premium content

With some ingenuity, generate premium content for your website alongside free content and make it regular. It can develop membership and pay well. People will pay for access to special posts and webinars.

If you are new to the industry or want a fresh direction or some updates, a good place to start looking is Agent BizzUp. Here you can find all sorts of services ranging from real estate website building and design to hosting and marketing. You will be starting from the perfect platform and be well equipped with all the necessary tools to move in the right direction and make great progress.

For a real estate agent, it is necessary to have different sources of income through creative ways to monetize your real estate website.

Using Your Website To Build Your Real Estate Brand

real estate website build brand

Using Your Website to Build Your Real Estate Brand

If you have a real estate brand, you need to have an online presence. From real estate review websites to home buyers and sellers seeking real estate services in your area, the internet is a hub of communication between agents and clients. Building an optimized website is the first step toward taking control of your online brand, protecting your reputation and connecting with new local clients.

The Importance of a Real Estate Website

The primary reason to have a real estate website is that today’s clients begin their search for homes online. Your website differentiates you as a professional and allows you to direct clients to and from your property listings. A real estate website should contain useful content for potential clients, including listings and market information, as well as an accessible contact portal.

List Syndication

When it comes to selling real estate, visibility is key. Make your properties more visible by cross-posting them to multiple listing websites, increasing the likelihood that they will be seen by the right potential buyers. This strategy is known as list syndication, and it allows you to reach clients no matter which online platform they prefer.

Getting Noticed

Most real estate clients begin their quest to find a real estate professional with a local search. Search engines index locally targeted businesses according to keywords, authority and proximity to the user. You can boost your rankings in these results by having high-quality content on your website that communicates your expertise in your local market and features targeted keywords used organically. This means finding out the terms your clients are using to search for real estate information and using them naturally on your social media, blog and webpages.

The First Impression

Most people come to a decision about working with a brand within 6 to 10 seconds of landing on its website. Your website should be designed to hold the attention of your visitors and help convert them into clients through seamless navigation, consistent branding, valuable online services, and an intuitive contact form. Agent BizzUp can help you accomplish these goals through marketing assistance and streamlined web design. Your website is your online platform, and a great website grabs the potential client’s attention and establishes you as an expert in your field.

The real estate market is competitive, but you can get ahead of the competition in your area with a locally targeted website and by using these tips to maximize conversions.
May 25

Developers Are Learning How To Invest In Local Cities While Developing Real Estate Opportunities There

Developing Real Estate Opportunities

It's Not Where You're From - It's Where You're At

In today's real estate marketplace, it is extremely important to understand the places that potential clients come from. What do they want to see in the communities in which they choose to live?  It may be greater access to green grocers, schools, the arts, or greener and cleaner parks. The list can go on and on.

Improving the community is of particular importance for clients who may want to move to an urban area or stay in their present urban area. Realtors need to be aware that some markets lack access to better amenities due to location.

Agent BizzUp understands what the needs of the real estate professional are. That's how great relationships are created, and that's how great relationships last. The same principle is salient in the relationship between the realtor and his or her client. The website that the realtor puts forward is critical to how they will build their web presence. Realtors should let the clients know that community investment is an important feature of their business. In turn, it is an important feature of the listings that are shown to clients. 

Community Investment

Clients may actually question this aspect of a potential purchase. Realtors should be prepared for questions from their clients regarding the developers' community investment. This may be part and parcel of their decision to purchase a particular property, condo, or cooperative apartment. 

One Story of a Baltimore, MD Developers Community Investment

There were many abandoned homes in Oliver due to poverty, drugs and all of the things that go along with those blights. However, this developer saw the purchase price of his homes increase from $140,000 to $210,000 in the space of a few years. Now residents are saying they feel good about the changes they see.

Many people are making the decision to return to Oliver. There is more communication between the police force and the community residents due to social interactions (including happy hours for adult residents of the area and officers) fostered by the development corporation. The head of the company has hired the person he sold his first home to as a consultant on what deals are in the best interest of Oliver.

Realtors Be Aware of Importance of Community Investment.
Nov 29

Introducing Our New Sophisticated Design Theme With Video Background Header!

sophisticated theme

This new theme is sleek and sophisticated. It takes advantage of modern technologies to provide an ultra-modern and highly customizable look and feel.

This is the first theme in our new Designer series. Themes in this series include video background header and jumbo image header options. For a bolder landing page, you can now also make the header on your home page different than the rest of your website.

This new theme is sleek and sophisticated. It takes advantage of modern technologies to provide an ultra-modern and highly customizable look and feel.
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