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Real Estate Technology News for Agents

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.

How to Optimize Tags as Keywords in YouTube to Boost Search Rankings

Increase Youtube Target Keywords

Seeing lackluster results from video usage in real estate marketing? It may be tag optimization issues. Does that sound Greek to you? No worries. We’ll cover it here…

What are Tags?
The term ‘tag’ can be confusing, because it refers to two types:

1. Public tagging.
This is how viewers label, organize, and manage their YouTube content. ‘Crafts,’ ‘Recipes,’ ‘Workouts,’ or ‘Homes to See,’ for example. (Viewers create their own.)

2. Publisher tagging of keywords.
These describe your video so YouTube’s search algorithm can understand what it’s about. ‘Realty Tips,’ ‘How to Stage a Home,’ and ‘Home Staging Tips,’ for example. With this info, YouTube can rank your video based on search terms (ranking = more views), and pop it up as a recommended video for those searching similar snippets.

Finding & Optimizing Tags
Unfortunately, there’s no magic tag solution for every realtor. Each is unique. But you can develop your own system for boosting views:

• Brainstorm
A good place to start is considering terms you might search if you were looking for a similar video. Develop 5 possible searches/keywords (limit 500 characters/per).

• Widen Your View
After narrowing your search down, think broader, looking for at least 3 more general keywords. Think: ‘Real Estate + Area/County/State’ or ‘Find a Realtor.’

• Narrow Things Down
On the flipside, consider very specific keywords, maybe a goal of 3. For example, ‘Fix and Flip in City/Neighborhood,’ or ‘3 Miles from Area Elementary’.

• Research Competitors
See what tags they’re using – but don’t copy them exactly. You can uncover professional tags with browser extension VidIQ and TubeBuddy.

• Try a Tool
Like Keywordtool.io and Ubersuggest.

• Ensure Maximum Searchability
Use singular and plural, varying word order, video suggestions that come-up next to your search, and even common misspellings.

• Don’t Neglect Your Title/Description
Tags are only part of the SEO puzzle.

Ready… Set… Go play ‘tag’ with these tips for video usage in real estate marketing 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.

How to Handle Hard to Answer Questions at Your Open House

Be Prepared to Field These Hard to Answer Questions at an Open House

Real estate marketing can sometimes leave you feeling a little hot under the collar – especially during open houses when negative aspects of a home are brought to light with a few creatively formulated (or intelligently devised) questions. How well-prepared are you for your showings?

How you handle these questions could make or break a sale:

How much interest have you seen?
Here, buyers may want to take part in (or avoid wasting time) on a home that could potentially undergo a bidding war, or be fishing for leverage. Longstanding listings offer a better chance at price negotiations, whereas a home with an offer (or multiples) indicates fierce competition and a need to act fast.

Any recent improvements?
Those fishing for improvement info or ‘the shape’ of the home are attempting to foretell potentially expensive maintenance and improvement needs. Keep in mind that some aspects of building condition will be part of disclosures and due-diligence, but buyers may use this as a litmus test for your ethics.

Could you tell me more?
Be careful what you mention first. Always keep in mind that what’s NOT said can indicate weaknesses. (Are you harping on a magnificent location to mask home condition?)

When do the sellers need to close?
A major sticking point in the buying process, you need to know this information. There’s no ‘right’ answer – but you need the honest truth.

What do utilities run?
Essential to avoiding budgeting pitfalls, this information can only be provided by the owner. If the numbers are good, bill copies (sans personal information) may be a great tool.

How’s the neighborhood?
The Fair Housing Act, prohibits discrimination based-on race, religion, sex, or family/economic status, making this one especially tricky. Point buyers to trusted realty search engines to decide if the home meets their personal demographic essentials.

Feeling the heat? Chill with some of the best real estate marketing tips in the business from PropertiesOnline.

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!