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Tips to Making Your Seller’s Home More Photogenic

Let’s face it, unless you’ve won the luxury home marketing lottery, chances are your latest listing is facing some presentation challenges. Bric-a-brac explosions, dated décor, and even cluttered, dirty surfaces are all par for the course in the listing photos game.

Unfortunately these photo flops can quickly turn would-be buyers off. Is there any way to work around the norm and find a magical solution to better photos for video usage in real estate marketing?

Tips to Creating a Picture Perfect Home:

• Get the seller in on the gig.
If sellers want top-dollar (and who doesn’t?), explain to them the importance of letting go of a few things momentarily and putting in a little elbow grease so they can make the most of their sale (and upcoming home purchase). Ask them to bring in an honest friend to point out things they’re ‘not seeing’ anymore.

• Cut clutter.
70% of surface items should be hidden (where the camera won’t capture), including family photos and knickknacks, fridge magnets – even paper goods and small appliances. Consider ditching many small items for a large centerpiece or trio.

• Let the light shine in.
Natural lighting creates a high-end look, adding depth and highlights. (This includes lit fireplaces!)

• Brighten up the boudoir.
Use a handheld steamer, add pillows and throws, and make the bed look as neat as possible. Secret tip: Soft textures and muted colors work far better than TV-test-pattern spreads.

• Lower artwork.
Hang art lower, emphasizing more horizontal pieces, to camouflage low ceilings, or show off high ceilings with huge vertical art.

• Boost curb appeal.
Move cars, rake, mow, and especially prune trees that obscure the home. Take covers off everything (like grills) unless hopelessly damaged.

• Treat pets like kids.
Remembering you love your own most – leave them out of photos.

Put video usage in real estate marketing to work for you with those beautiful photos. Uncover the latest video-builder tool from Properties Online today.

Throwback: Why Classic Communication Skills Give You a Marketing Edge

Stand Out From The Crowd

Hate the constant texting, tweeting, posting, and annoying constant digital interruptions in today’s real estate marketing world? Be true to yourself – and your customers – by taking a few steps back to your snail mail roots. Really. It can work for you. #DigitalFatigue

Yes, Tech Can Better Your Biz, But Its’s Not the End-All, Be-All
Because clients yearn to work with someone genuine, honest, and authentic, some of your favored forms of dated communication can make you memorable and unique, giving you an edge against a flock of smartphone sheep. While staying up on industry trends in tech is advisable, getting back to basics and flaunting your social skills (while today’s internet encrusted generation rapidly sheds theirs), can help you become a big bad business wolf.

Hello? Is there Anybody Out There?
Lost in a sea of emojis and hashtags, and hiding behind digital screens rather than engaging in up-front conversations, society’s social skills are waning. People skills, such as impersonal, typo-ridden texts, common courtesy, and stellar customer service seem to be living in the past. (Let’s face it folks, great people skills are on the endangered list.)

Fostering Etiquette & People Skills
In a crowded industry with strong competition, rise above the digital detritus with:

• Listening
As in – more than you speak. This will net you sales-winning client goals/motivations.

• Common Courtesy
Call/text if you’re running late or canceling a listing showing. (Busy, tired people are working to structure their day around you.) Use phone and digital auto-responders to denote absences. Don’t respond in haste or anger. And always be kind.

• Authenticity
Only empathize if you ‘get it.’ Be honest and unafraid of ‘I don’t knows’(and research).

• Send Thank You Notes
For everything. Old-fashioned courtesy and communication will get-it everytime. (Wow! You know cursive!)

Do you have the right blend of digital and old-school real estate marketing flair to stand out in the crowd? Get ahead with Properties Online today.

Have Fun with Video and Go Viral

Funniest Real Estate Videos Ever: Could Yours Be Next?

Real estate videos don’t have to be cookie cutter and boring. In fact, you’ll find funny or viral real estate videos are surprisingly popular on YouTube!

Gain Inspiration from these Hilariously Funny Options that Stand Out from the Crown…

• Hand-Out the 4-1-1
Funny but informative, this big budget informational video by Realtor.com features actress Elizabeth Banks addressing common questions first-time buyers and long-term renters typically have about the home buying process – and determining when you’re ready. It’s actually part of a series: “The Home Buying Process in Plain English with Elizabeth Banks.”

• Host a Viral Video Tour
Like this one that points out the obvious in a uniquely entertaining fashion.

• Hone-In on Trouble Spots
One of the funniest and most viewed viral real estate videos, agent Megan Hill Mitchum impersonates the ultra-famous Adele… and parodies the lunacies of buyers and sellers that drive agents nuts.

• Give a New Perspective
Easily recreate your own version of this tongue-in-cheek video about Re/Max (by Re/Max), highlighting the benefits of working for – and with – your brokerage. Or slam-it with your own pop or rap-parody like these creatively clever brokerages.

• Save Future Sales…
In this hilarious but simply done video, agent Rob Golfi rushes to the scene of a home fire to save it – because he may sell it one day!

• Say NO to FSBO
A short, sweet, and funny Old Spice “mocku-mmercial” on agent versus FSBO sales.

• Just for Fun
Blow off some steam and entertain clients with your sense of humor, such as real stuff real estate agents say – or wish they could!

Don’t be shy! Help your videos stand out from the crowd with the help of Properties Online’s latest video builder tool, and you’ll be well on your way to standout real estate videos in just minutes! Take the road less traveled – construct a viral Virtuet today!

Marketing Videos... The Key To Success.

The Most Popular Marketing Methods for Promoting Real Estate Video

Video use in real estate marketing is reaching an all-time high. Do you have the tips and tricks you need to get your content seen? You’ve put a lot of effort into your video – and you should be putting the same amount of effort into getting your masterpiece seen by the right people: Prospects who are likely to convert into leads, and (hopefully) clients down the line…

The Secret to Your Success
You don’t have to be a video marketing expert. This simple checklist will work for brokers of any age, experience, and niche, giving you considerable mileage for your real estate video marketing efforts:

  • Flaunt what you’ve got
    Your website is an ideal location to flaunt video messaging – your premier place for hosting. Splash your home page with a promotional video, alongside listing videos and informational “vlogs,” ensuring they are properly search-optimized for exposure. Great options for inclusion in your campaign include:

    • Agent/Brokerage promo videos
    • Property listings
    • Area & community features
    • Informational videos
    • Interview videos
    • Client testimonials
    • How-to advice
    • Market updates
    • Special offer videos
    • And more!
  • Be social
    Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram are prime places for real estate video marketing promotion. Pin status updates to the top of your social pages featuring top-performing videos, and splice-and-dice for sharing on Instagram and Pinterest, gaining maximum exposure by sharing them over the course of months – versus weeks or days.
  • Send a note
    Email is a powerful marketing tool for direct communication with leads and clients, allowing you to custom-tailor videos by individual needs, in-turn moving prospects down the marketing funnel. Because you can’t embed, however, be sure to include a photo from the recording (linking to the video landing page), inspiring prospects to take a look.

Looking for a little help with video use in real estate marketing? Properties Online has you covered. Discover more today.

Are Your Communications Secure?

Smart Home Hackers: What Agents Should Know

In this week’s real estate selling tips: Is smart home technology putting you and your clients at risk? Purported to bring convenience, security, and improved connectivity, smart services are instead bringing unauthorized surveillance, loss of privacy, and compromised data, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).

What’s the IoT?
The combined/synergistic use of mobile apps, cloud storage, big data, automation, sensors, and more, attached to everyday items, processes and systems, part-and-parcel of everything from your phone and laptop to your TV, appliances, door locks, and security. Case(s) and point(s): Recent WikiLeaks on the CIA’s (and other hackers’) ability to spy on you via TV – not to mention last October’s massive, internet service disrupting, distributed DDoS attack.

The IoT-DDoS Conundrum
Each of these devices relies on the cloud to operate, either for analysis or as a communications path to other devices, forming a “botnet” of devices. But there is no magical “cloud” – only someone else’s computer, such as company Dyn’s DNS system – the one hacked last October. Protection of botnets, to date, is woefully insufficient, and devices are so prolific that if a mere portion of those in homes were comprised, it could prove disastrous. The best protection? Keeping these devices out, as even password-protected gadgets are NOT secure, and informing clients of smart home risks.

Isn’t Technology Grand?
The magic of the cloud comes at a price…. Continual transfer of personal data (habits, speech, possessions) funneled away to an assortment of third parties is a privacy rabbit hole that leads to technological nightmares.

  • A 2016 Nest’s smart thermostat glitch caused batteries to drain, leaving consumers without heat – in January – with no way to turn it back on. The fix: Nine-steps, included a 3-hour charge-cycle.
  • Samsung’s smart refrigerator photograph contents – great if you lost your shopping list; bad for advertising your prescriptions – and allowing insurers to peruse your dietary choices.
  • Beware of “smart’ tech terms of service, which limits damages, prohibits class action lawsuits, and requires resolution via arbitration.

Spy any good real estate selling tips? Properties Online has you covered.