Posts by Properties Online (page 89)

Super Bowl Ad Tips for Promoting Your Real Estate Brand

Super Bowl ads generate so much before-game anticipation and after-game buzz that they have become nearly as important as the game itself. The ability to reach the single largest television-viewing audience of the year (an estimated 113 million viewers this year) and the extreme level of attention paid to Super Bowl ads makes these 30-second commercials one of the most powerful brand-building tools in the American marketplace. Of course, at $3.5 million for 30 seconds, they ought to be.

CENTURY 21 Super Bowl Commercial

The arrival of each year’s crop of Super Bowl ads is so highly anticipated that this year several advertisers made the surprising decision to forego the secrecy that usually shrouds game-time ads and release their commercials on YouTube several days before the game. Volkswagen even released a pre-ad (the Star Wars barking dogs) to increase anticipation for its game-day commercial. YouTube logged millions of hits as fans flocked to be among the first to see the new spots. Given social sharing and the viral nature of the web, brand exposure increased exponentially. While this has been true in past years, it was hoped that releasing the ads early would maintain brand awareness over a longer period of time, giving advertisers a bigger bang for their buck.

It will take a while for the number crunchers to come to reach any conclusions, but Brian Haven analysis of last year’s Super Bowl ad campaigns by on found that most of 2011’s game-day ads had only a short-term impact on a brand’s social engagement with consumers. Once the ad buzz ended, brand awareness seemed to drop to pre-Super Bowl levels in most cases.

Perhaps that is why the most significant new element in this year’s Super Bowl ads was the addition of an interactive social dimension to engage fans who were expected to be watching the game with a smartphone, tablet or laptop in easy reach. Ads used QR codes, Shazam, Twitter hashtags, streaming video and more to entice fans to access bonus content or share comments. The take-away lesson for real estate agents []: Greater interaction equals better brand recall.

Next time: Tips for increasing customer interaction

Data Sharing Widgets Expand Realtors’ Social Media Reach

Chicago area Realtors are trying out a new real estate widget that allows them to extend their social media presence by beefing up their ability to share real estate listings. Available to Chicagoland real estate agents and brokers, Share My Listings is a new real estate widget developed and offered by Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED). Designed to put the full power of social media in the hands of MRED realtors, Share My Listings is compatible with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other popular social media applications.

The new real estate widget allows MRED members to share real estate listing domains on Facebook, Twitter and other supported social media sites. The widget also enables the creation of embedded links to connect listings to real estate blogs, Facebook business pages, and real estate websites. According to MRED, since the first of the year the widget has generated 175,000 web hits from potential clients in 387 Illinois cities, all 50 states and 101 countries worldwide.

Realtors and real estate brokers that want to quickly expand their social medial reach might check with their local MLS provider to see whether a similar widget is available in their area. However, there’s no need to wait on your local MLS provider to tap the full power of social media. Properties Online has developed powerful social media widgets that allow real estate agents and brokers to expand into social media immediately. Easy to use, real estate agents can expect quick results when they add our Facebook app and Twitter widget to their real estate listing services on Properties Online.

  • Our Facebook app makes it easy to post all your listings to your Facebook business page. Our Facebook app automatically creates links from Facebook postings to your website or listing domains and updates your Facebook tab whenever listings are updated. One-click publishing makes it easy to publish new listings to your wall.
  • Our Twitter widget makes it easy for you to have a “conversation” with clients. Twitter is an excellent real estate tool for answering client questions and notifying them of new listings.

Use Facebook Referrals to Build Your Real Estate Network

As a real estate tool, Facebook offers real estate agents numerous benefits. Facebook can be effectively used to spread your influence as a Realtor, connect with potential home sellers and home buyers, expand your listing reach, demonstrate your web-savvy marketing skills, drive traffic to your real estate website and listing domains, and much more. But one benefit that is often overlooked in the midst of flashier and more immediate uses of  this powerful social media application is Facebook’s powerful potential to be used as a real estate network-building tool.

Building strong networks is the key to success in the real estate industry; and, today, Facebook is the key to building strong networks. The rise of social media combined with the shift of real estate marketing online has made Facebook the premier application for real estate network creation. Other social medial such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus offer similar network-building opportunities that should not be ignored; but virtue of volume and ease of use, Facebook deserves your focus.

According to the Facebook website, more than 160 million Americans use Facebook. More than 50% log on each day, and the average Facebook user has 130 friends. If you can entice even a fraction of the people in your area to visit your Facebook page and click the “like” button, you can quickly build your network of potential clients. The fastest way to do this is by using Facebook to build a network of real estate industry professionals and service providers, including fellow real estate agents, mortgage brokers, title companies, insurance agents, building inspectors, repair services, etc.

According to a infographic posted on Mashable Business, 84% of real estate professionals use social media and 79% use Facebook. By building reciprocal links between your site and the sites of other industry providers, you earn consumer trust by association with providers already known to the consumer. Heavy Facebook use by the real estate industry provides you with a prelaid groundwork on which to build your network.

Video Chat Offers Realtors New Communication Tool

The integration of video chat with Facebook and Google+ offers Realtors and real estate firms an exciting new communication tool. Readily accessible from Facebook and Google, video chat is easier to use than Skype, making it an effective way for real estate agents to log face-time with long-distance clients. Email communications and tweets are adequate tools for transferring information about real estate listings to long-distance clients and have proven to be an effective way to quickly answer clients’ questions; but they lack the personal connection of face-to-face meetings.

Video chat allows real estate agents and clients to see each other in real time while they are talking, creating a more intimate and personal communication experience. Video chat makes it possible for real estate agents to develop a personal relationship with home buyers that do not live in the area, as well as with local buyers who have extremely limited availability.

The stress of finding and purchasing a home can be particularly grueling for long-distance home buyers who, by virtue of their absence, are forced to be more dependent on their Realtor than local buyers for reliable information about local schools, community services, neighborhood ambience and other issues that are important to home buyers. The ability to actually see their Realtor while discussing their housing needs and potentially suitable real estate listings can provide the extra bit of comfort and reassurance that many long-distance home buyers need.

Beyond its use as a highly effective client communication tool, video chat also offers real estate firms a viable video conferencing alternative. Video chat provides the benefits of video conferencing without the need for a video conferencing system. There’s no complicated set up, specialized equipment, lag time or expense. Video chat allows real estate firms to connect agents or multiple offices in real time for weekly briefings, training sessions or idea exchanges. Video chat allows real estate companies to create an anytime anywhere virtual conference room via computer or smartphone, a considerable advantage in our highly mobile world.

Make sure you’re reaping the full benefits of new real estate technology; contact Properties Online today.

Real Estate ‘Dictionary’ Aimed at Standardizing Descriptions

Real estate websites and classified ads can leave first-time home buyers wishing they had a Secret Agent decoder ring so they could decipher the abbreviations and description shortcuts used by real estate agents to save precious space when posting to  their local MLS system and creating newspaper and online classified ads for their properties. When house hunting, the first thing buyers and sellers need to do is learn the lingo!

Unfortunately, being able to decode a property listing on a real estate site doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a clear picture of the house that’s for sale. Like comparing apples to oranges, one Realtor’s flowery “luxurious master bath” may be another real estate agent’s succinctly stated “full bath.” Even real estate agents can find themselves confused when reading listings from another part of the country. Each regional of the U.S. seems to have its own unique way of describing different real estate features. Being unfamiliar with the local slang can radically skew your interpretation of a real estate listing. For example, a California bungalow could be a Midwest ranch or a New England Cape Cod. Each word conjures up a very different mental image depending on where you live in.

More than 900 nationwide multiple listing sites complicate the issue. Many determine their own listing standards. Discrepancies from one real estate website to another are often found in the way square footage is determined, how living space is defined, and how bedrooms and bathrooms are reported.

Such inconsistencies in the reporting, translation and display of real estate property data have led the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) to consider creating and adopting a standardized Data Dictionary for the real estate industry. Charged with promoting the development and implementation of data standards across the industry, the organization’s board has scheduled a discussion of the Data Dictionary proposal for its April meeting.

Real Estate Standards Organization board chairman Rebecca Jensen, CEO of, told The Seattle Times that preliminary discussions at the Real Estate Connect conference make publication of the first real estate Data Dictionary “very close.”