Viewing by month: February 2012

Tips for social media success in 2012

With social media rapidly becoming a dominant means of consumer communication and conversation, it is increasingly important for real estate agencies to adopt social media tactics if necessary and appropriate for their markets and audiences. 


In order to enhance the success of your CENTURY 21 real estate franchise’s social media activities, you may like to consider the following suggestions. 


1.       Be selective

As you are no doubt aware there are many different social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, online videos and photo sharing.  While many of these will be useful for your office to communicate its message, others will not be as necessary.  As like any marketing tool, it is important for your office to identify which platforms can add value to your business and are thus worth pursuing. 


2.       Regularity

If people are interested in your social media content they will likely actively return to your site for new content.  It is therefore important to keep your platforms updated with new content on a regular basis.  Eventually you may find people returning e.g. daily or weekly with the expectation that new information will be available. 


3.       Relevancy

Content is key, and you need to publish updates that you would comment on, like and share.  If you would interact with the post there is an increased likelihood that your followers will too. 


4.       Interactivity

Posting content in the same format all the time can potentially become repetitive and boring.  Try to alternate between text, images, links and videos to make sure your updates are seen by a greater number of people and subsequently shared between users. 

5.       Plan your content

While being faced with producing regular content for your social media platforms may seem daunting at first, by planning ahead you can easily make sure you stay on top of your obligations and offer fresh and interesting content to your followers.  Creating a monthly calendar of planned content can be a helpful way to achieve this. 

With many CENTURY 21 real estate offices operating in markets for which social media is a valuable communication tool, it is important for franchise owners and managers to consider these tools and the value they can add to your business.  While implementing a social media strategy can take some time and experimentation, the above tips among others can help you to ensure that your base structure is successful and a worthwhile exercise for your office to undertake. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 27/02/2012 at 1:17 PM | Categories:

Search Engine Optimisation – making it work for your franchise

As there are many different real estate related websites across Australia, it is important to ensure that your real estate franchise’s site is found easily when searched for online.  This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in – a process that essentially makes your site more easily searched for thanks to the relevancy of the content you upload. 

SEO is the practice of maximising the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines via unpaid, organic search results as opposed to other forms of search engine marketing, such as pay per click or paid inclusion. 

SEO involves working continually on a website to push it further up search engine rankings.  A website that has been properly optimised for search engines should be much easier for consumers to find and to use than one that hasn’t. 

Among other factors, the SEO of your website can be improved by ensuring you maintain the quality of your content and update it frequently.  The titles of your pages are also important, and should be as detailed as possible to ensure they relate to what people may be searching for. 

From the perspective of your franchise – why should you look to dedicate resources to enhancing your SEO? The most important reasons for engaging in SEO are:

• To ensure people can find your website more easily, driving traffic and thus potentially increasing your business leads;
• To make your website more user friendly, ensuring visitors have a positive online experience with your company and return. 

While many experts will argue that a paid search engine strategy (such as Google Adwords) will ensure quick rankings, studies have shown that 75 per cent of users click on organic results, as opposed to paid.  Thus it is important to invest some time into improving the SEO of your website, enhancing your organic rankings, and avoiding the need to pay for advertised space. 

Maintaining the SEO of your website does not need to be an arduous process – by simply ensuring the ongoing quality of your content from the outset you are well on the way to making your website more user friendly, easier to find and a more effective business tool. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 20/02/2012 at 11:33 AM | Categories:

Get the most from your staff

As the owner and/or manager of a CENTURY 21 real estate franchise, it is essential to understand that your methods of management are key to ensuring the productivity and happiness of your staff members.  Basically – satisfied and motivated employees will be more likely reinvest their own efforts and time into building your business, helping to ensure improved levels of success and profitability. 

Business managers must therefore create working environments that allow their staff to flourish.  A good place to start is to have a look at how your office is currently operating and determine what is working or not working.  Are your staff members happy and productive? Are there appropriate incentive programs in place? Do they have the tools needed to complete their tasks?

Once you’ve considered the current state of your business, if needed you can start to put structures in place that enable your staff members to work most productively and ensure levels of satisfaction.  The following considers some common areas where improvements are often needed. 

 Provide the appropriate equipment

While your staff may be incredibly efficient, their effectiveness could be being limited by the tools they are given (or not given) to work with.  Providing your team with the appropriate equipment and technology can therefore be incredibly beneficial for levels of productivity. For example, if you have real estate agents who are often on the road, giving them Smartphones and internet connections could enable them to use their time more productively and achieve more throughout the day. 

Provide clear tasks and targets

As a manager you will no doubt have a good idea of what you need your staff to achieve, or how particular projects should be structured.  However, in some cases, if not spelt out clearly, tasks may not be completed in the way you had envisioned them to be – e.g. they might not be prioritised correctly.  To ensure clarity, you might like to clearly define large goals through a series of smaller tasks which are delegated appropriately with set deadlines. 

Motivate and incentivise

Most people like to have something to work towards.  Rewarding staff (on both a team and individual level) for good work and met targets can help to encourage greater levels of productivity and a sense of achievement.  Rewards don’t have to be expensive – even cost effective incentives can mean a lot to your team. 

Unlocking the potential of your staff members should be a key goal of any manager or business owner.  In creating a structure where employees are better able to achieve their goals, you can ultimately build a productive and happy working environment. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 13/02/2012 at 9:52 AM | Categories:

Common management mistakes to avoid

As the owner and/or principal of a busy CENTURY 21 real estate franchise, much of your time is spent directing your staff and remaining abreast of what your team is working on.  With so much attention focused on the work of others, it can sometimes be difficult to step back and assess your own management style and whether you are working to the best of your ability and in the most effective manner.

In considering your management style, there are a few common mistakes that many managers across the board make, which you may also find yourself doing on occasion.  By simply acknowledging that these practices can be changed, you could find that your team works more productively, your office becomes more efficient and the profitability and success of your franchise business improves. 


Be clear in difficult conversations – try not waffle when giving bad news

For employees, there can often be nothing worse than receiving bad news from a superior, whether it is that you are being let go or made redundant, or that you haven’t reached your targets, and for the news to be delivered in an ambiguous way.  As a manager it is your responsibility to be direct with your staff members, ensuring they understand your message and, if necessary, the steps that must be taken for the situation to be rectified.  


Reward where credit is due – withhold when credit is not due

The very nature of a reward is that it is incentive based – given on the condition that certain tasks are performed.  If you have promised your staff a bonus or special activity for reaching sales targets or exceptional performance, try not to give out rewards until such milestones are reached, or until it is appropriate to do so.  Rewarding unnecessarily can see the motivation for your team to perform removed, and it may make it harder for you to set goals in the future.  


Outline exactly what is expected

For tasks that are broad and vague in nature, it is important to go through the series of smaller tasks that make up the whole project with your team.  This will ensure that the project is completed in the manner in which you had envisioned, and will remove any confusion that may have otherwise prevented or slowed your staff in their completion of the task.  

While for the most part an immensely rewarding role, the management of a real estate franchise office has the potential to present a wide range of challenges.  By taking stock of your own performance every so often and identifying how to easily rectify common mistakes that you may be making, you may be able to improve the success of your business and the happiness of your team members.  

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 09/02/2012 at 10:08 AM | Categories: