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Social Media Marketing Benchmarks: What Works & Where to Focus

Social media marketers, how are you feeling? Read: Death of Facebook Organic Reach = New Opportunities for Influencer Marketing #2 – More Posting Doesn’t Equal More Engagement The highest post frequency on Facebook is in the Media vertical, with an average of over 10 posts per day. That’s right at the industry average, and seems to be the threshold on most platforms for how much an audience wants to see branded content. The engagement rates for Instagram are above the 1% mark, with some verticals seeing over 3%: While Twitter has an average engagement of .046%. In the end, their Twitter engagement was far higher than engagement on any other platform. The user doesn’t control what they see, and neither do brands. The reported engagement rate on LinkedIn is .054%, lower than Facebook but higher than Twitter. These benchmarks can provide a starting point for the next iteration of your strategy. To make sure your train keeps rolling, focus on just a few high-quality posts per day, boosted with paid ads on your most valuable channels. Need help mastering social media marketing?

Exactly How Big Is the Military Market?

According to the most recent Demographics Report (2015) from Military OneSource, prepared for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) across active duty and reserve populations, there are 2.1 million military personnel. Add to that the 2.7 million additional family members of these individuals, and you’ve got a total of about 5 million people. Military families move every two to three years. Add active duty military to the 21.3 million veterans in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and you get a total of 25.7 million military-related individuals living in the United States. In some states, the percentage is even higher—for example, in Alaska, 14 percent of the population are veterans. What that means is that the military and veterans are purchasing homes at a rate that is roughly twice that of their proportion within the general population. When searching for their home, 90 percent of active-duty servicemembers and 84 percent of veteran homebuyers bought their home through a real estate agent or broker. For even more information about active-duty servicemembers and veteran homebuyers, see the Highlights From the 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Learning how to serve the military market starts with understanding their needs, wants, concerns, and learning about the processes and procedures that they face. For more education about serving the military market, check out this month’s featured online course for 25 percent off at the Center for REALTOR® Development, the Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification Course, which is the educational requirement for NAR’s Military Relocation Professional (MRP) certification.

Housing options disappear for low-income renters

The study compares changes in the number of renters in five income levels between 2006 and 2016 with changes in the number of unites that would be affordable for people in that income range over the same period of time. However, these high-income renters are not in a crisis. Not an option for lower income families. Housing is a growing, the real struggle is for low-income renters, who did not just outpace the rate of rental unit growth – they actually saw a decrease in the number of units they can afford. Click to Enlarge “New supply is clearly not coming online at these low rent levels,” JCHS stated in its report. “Moreover, not enough existing units are filtering down to counter those lost to abandonment, higher rent levels, or conversion to higher-end condominiums. In September, the national average rent decreased, if only just slightly, for the first time in eight months. However, as interest rates make buying a home even less affordable, more and more consumers may be turning to renting as their only option. This could create even more pressure in an already competitive market. “We’ve seen supply finally start to catch up at the high end,” Schuetz said.

Rent-to-own innovator Divvy raises $30 million to fund growth

Divvy officially launched earlier this year with $7 million in funding. Caffeinated Capital and DFJ previously invested in the company. Divvy’s business model is different than traditional rent-to-own operators, some of which have been accused of predatory practices by purchasing run-down properties and convincing tenants to rent the properties by offering them the chance to buy the house in the future despite not making any repairs or improvements. The buyer typically puts 2% down on the home, then pays a monthly amount to Divvy that includes both rental and equity payments. During that time, they can also pay down debts and demonstrate enough steady income to be mortgage-ready when that three-year period ends. Divvy will also offer residents the chance to buy the home at any point during those three years should they find themselves ready to do so earlier than anticipated. According to the company, it is receiving 2,000 applications each month and buying one home per day in its current markets. And now, the company has new funding to grow its business. As part of the funding, a16z’s Alex Rampell, who leads the firm’s fintech investments, will be joining Divvy’s board. “We envision a world where everyone has a stake in the prosperity of their neighborhood and are excited to make Divvy the preferred partner for renters looking to purchase their first home,” Ma added.

Here are 5 myths about Realtors, debunked

As in any industry, the real estate industry has its fair share of stereotypes and myths, but a new report from the National Association of Realtors just debunked some of those myths. Over the past year, NAR reported it saw a 6% jump in memberships, rising from 1.22 million in 2017 to 1.3 million in 2018, according to the organization's 2018 Member Profile survey. “Younger Americans are seeking business opportunities that working in real estate provides, but the overall trend is a slightly older age profile.” The report shows that the number of new entrants to the real estate market is rising as 29% of its members reported having less than two years of experience in real estate, compared to 28% in 2017. However, this does not seem to be the case. According to NAR’s survey, most Realtors work 40 hours per week, a trend that has continued for several years. Uneducated: While it’s true that most states don’t require real estate agents to hold a degree, or at times any college education, the survey shows that the typical Realtor has a bachelor’s degree or attended some college. The survey, however, shows that 72% of Realtors said real estate was their only occupation, a number which jumps to 82% when only looking at agents with 16 or more years of experience. They survey also showed that Realtors with 16 years or more of experience earn an average $78,750 annually. Inexperienced: While real estate is sometimes viewed as a profession that attracts a lot of people, but where most have little experience, the survey showed that a typical Realtor has about 10 years of experience. Technologically behind: It is true, the real estate industry remains significantly behind when it comes to the use of technology.

Renters are renewing their leases more than ever before

Despite rents continuing to rise throughout much of 2018, renters are choosing to remain in the same apartment more than they ever have before, even if their rent goes up. In fact, a new report from RealPage shows that apartment resident retention (renters electing to renew their lease after its initial term expires) hit an all-time high last year, with nearly 53% of renters choosing to renew their leases. According to RealPage’s report, apartment resident retention jumped to 52.5% last year, meaning that in the country’s 50 largest markets, when renters’ initial leases came up from renewal, 52.5% of them chose to renew. According to RealPage’s report, the renters who chose to renew their leases did so at rents that were 4.5% higher on average than their initial rent. The figures probably come as a bit of surprise to some in the market, especially considering apartment construction was at a nearly 30-year high last year, but RealPage notes that there a number of factors at work here. “For example, loss of renters to purchase ran below the historical norm, especially when interest rates inched ahead of year-ago levels, making purchase less affordable,” RealPage noted in its report. Apartments in Milwaukee and Newark-Jersey City had the most repeat renters, each registering conversion of expiring leases into renewal leases for 61.9% of the households. Resident retention was also above 60% in Providence, Rhode Island and Miami. The rest of the top ten markets where renters renewed their leases most often consisted of St. Louis, Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Pittsburgh. According to the report, other areas where resident retention ran well below the national level were San Diego, Charlotte and Phoenix.

6 Web Design Techniques to Convert Customers

As an online marketer, you depend on a large number of users on social media and search engines to bring attention to your business. In order to succeed as a business with an online presence, you need to put in the effort to get those conversions that all businesses need and that your website exists to capture. To that end, there are many elements that combine to make an effective, top performing website: Site performance Layout & design Content positioning and formatting Sales copy Whether you already have a site that could use some optimization or whether you are doing research for the future, every business can benefit from implementing good design techniques into their web presence. Without a good CTA, your website is not going to get those conversions. Impress visitors with good design On the Internet, as in real life, appearances matter. Taking the time and money to maximize for this key decision-making factor is therefore a very worthwhile investment. If your site is slow, the same studies show that users will rapidly leave and try to find information somewhere else. Filling your web pages with loads of features that look good but aren’t relevant or having too much content on a page can be very off-putting. Responsive design Responsive design is a web paradigm that helps to reformat sites for different screen sizes. If your website isn’t responsive then mobile users are not going to see your CTAs and they are not going to convert.

3 Ways to Build Your Brand Identity Using Content Marketing

When I work with digital strategy clients who are struggling with content marketing, I always ask them to take the logo test, inspired by this excellent Content Marketing Institute article. Your brand voice. "From startups to global businesses, the organizations with the best content strategy are those that create content reflective of their brand's unique personality and then use this content to build stronger relationships with prospects and clients," says Midon. Vision, voice, and value: Bringing branded content marketing to life As the name implies, "branded content marketing" needs to be grounded in your brand's identity. If your content can't pass the "logo test," it will be just another of those generic pieces daily bombarding your target audience. To make your content stand out, bring your brand identity to life with three steps: Define your vision. Define your brand voice. While you may have a very clear idea of your brand's voice, ask yourself, is everyone else at your company on board with this voice, too? Branded content is beneficial not only for defining the buying vision in your favor but also for reminding existing customers about how valuable your offerings truly are. From case studies to white papers, how can you create content that helps existing customers maximize the value of your offerings?

Here are 5 reasons the Millennial homeownership rate is low

But now, the Urban Institute released a study that shows the actual data behind these factors, revealing what is really holding Millennials back. The generation's homeownership rate was 37% in 2015, about 18 percentage points lower than the rate of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers when they were ages 25 to 34. Here are five factors that Urban Institute found have kept Millennials out of the home-buying market longer than previous generations: 1. If the marriage rate in 2015 had been the same as it was in 1990, the Millennial homeownership rate would be about five percentage points higher. Greater racial diversity: White households have the highest homeownership rate by-far, therefore the increasing diversity within the Millennial population also contributes to the lower homeownership rate. Increased education debt: Student debt has been a growing problem, and could even be turning into a crisis. The Urban Institute’s data shows a 1% increase in student debt decreases the likelihood of owning a home by 0.15 percentage points. For those who are married, having a child increases the probability of owning a home by 6.2 percentage points. Also, a 1% increase in parental wealth increases the child’s likelihood of being a homeowner by 0.016 percentage points. The difference between the homeownership rate between the two groups increased from 3.3 percentage points in 1990 to 9.7 percentage points in 2015.

10 Steps to Optimize Your Blog Post For SEO

Optimizing posts according to the best practices for content SEO is essential to maintaining search engine rankings and bringing in more visitors. In fact, 60% of readers don’t read further than that. A great headline not only captures the reader’s attention but also compels them to click and read more. For example, if you want to write about ‘shoes’, you need to come up with a more specific working title to begin with. That’s where keyword research helps to keep us from targeting the wrong search terms.Based on this knowledge, we can tweak our first working title to "10 Designer Spring Shoes to Try in 2018" Optimize your title - The last step is to craft your title to drive maximum clicks & shares. By writing a persuasive meta description, you can compel the readers to click on your article, instead of the ones ranked above yours. Again, an interesting meta description can compel readers to click on your post. Yoast has in-built features to wrap your meta description in the right HTML tags that are then picked up by social networks and search engines while displaying your content. They also make it easy for Google to understand the various sub topics covered in your post, and help your content rank for more search terms and keywords. Some might share your article because they liked the video, some might share it for the infographic.


5 Millennial names that tell us where home buying is headed

They were the top five names associated with the fastest levels of home sales growth in 2018. “They are entering that stage of life where it’s more about they must have that house as opposed to it would be nice to have that house,” he explains. “They are really leaning into the fact that qualifying for a mortgage with a good job is not as hard as it used to be,” says Vivas. And that’s what we’re seeing with these Millennials.” Single women are one of the fastest growing demographics in the housing market. The 2018 deed data also reflects women’s impact on homeownership as a whole. Sales associated with female buyer names increased while sales with male names declined, up 1.6% and down 0.1% year-over-year on average respectively. James could be 100 years old or 20 years old, but when you take the data in an aggregate, it’s colorful evidence of how the profile of the home buyer is changing quickly.” Social Security Administration data shows half of Hannahs were born before 1993, and 80% between 1987 and 1997, giving Hannah a high likelihood of being a Millennial buyer. “Before getting my mortgage through Quicken Loans, I made a budget and put money away monthly into a savings account with a long-term plan to buy a home. “I don’t know whether I’ll do that or not, but student loans are a big factor in regards to what type of home I can buy and how much of my income I can use to actually put towards my investment in my home,” she says. That was a requirement.” Though Strasser is still learning the ropes of homeownership, she has no regrets.